Consumer Reviews
by Lyle Smith

LaCie d2 Thunderbolt 2 Review

LaCie has updated their d2 desktop storage line, making it the first single drive solution to feature Thunderbolt 2 connectivity as well as the first to include both Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3.0 together. LaCie has upped their game even more with their new d2, giving users the option to purchase an SSD Upgrade Kit to greatly enhance its performance. The kit adds 128GB of PCIe SSD storage and increases throughput up to 1150 MB/s for the flash component. LaCie indicates that users simply need to remove the rear panel and insert the PCIe card into the slot to install the add on. With this performance potential, LaCie is certainly correct in specifically targeting the d2 for audio, photo, and video professionals with resource-heavy workloads. This is a serious hardware bonus for users, as it allows for significantly more flexibility with both performance and capacity elements within the same housing.

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by Tucker Mindrum

G-Technology G-SPEED Studio 4-bay Review

The new G-SPEED Studio 4-bay, along with the G-SPEED Studio XL 8-bay and G-RAID Studio 2-bay, characterizes HGST G-Technology's new Studio line of customizable media-oriented attached storage devices. The G-SPEED Studio, with its maximum capacity of 24TB (using four 6TB 7200RPM HGST HDDs), delivers a reported transfer speed of 700MB/s and can handle multi-stream compressed 4K and 2K workflows in both pre- and post-production. The entire Studio line is designed to embody the minimalism commonly found in Apple products, closely aligned with Mac Pro design. The line exclusively features Thunderbolt 2 connectivity and comes pre-configured for Mac OS.

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by Lyle Smith

Micron M600 SSD Review

Micron has released the newest addition to its portfolio of solid state drives, the M600 SATA SSD, designed for low power consumption in client computing environments and the direct successor to the M550. The M600 is built using Micron’s in-house 16nm NAND Flash and features the company’s new dynamic write acceleration, both of which will likely add to its reliability and longevity. Micron has also implemented its industry leading encryption and security features within the M600, including Opal 2.0 self-encryption, RAIN reliability technology, power loss protection and adaptive thermal monitoring.

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by Lyle Smith

LaCie 5big Thunderbolt 2 Review

The LaCie 5big Thunderbolt 2 is the company’s latest addition to their Mac-centric portfolio of professional 5-Disk RAID device, designed for professionals and businesses that focus on 4K and other bandwidth-heavy workflows as well as for those who need a larger storage solution embedded with LaCie’s pedigree of slick design and reliability. The LaCie 5big is quoted to boast Thunderbolt 2 speeds up 1050MB/s for 4K video editing, up to 30TB in capacity, and hardware RAID5/6 for data security.

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by Adam Armstrong

QNAP TS-451 NAS Review

The QNAP TS-451 NAS is a high performance NAS for small offices and personal use. It comes with a 2.41GHz dual core Intel Celeron processor, 1GB of DDR3L RAM (expandable up to 8GB), up to 20TB of capacity (5TB HDD x 4), and all kinds of connectivity including two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, two LAN Gigabit ports, and something a little different for NASs, an HDMI port. The NAS runs QNAP's latest OS for their NAS line, QTS 4.1. The device supports multiple platforms (Windows, Mac, and Linux/UNIX) and allows cross-platform file sharing and can be remotely accessed from multiple devices. The TS-451 boasts speeds of 224MB/s sequential read and 216MB/s sequential write while posting encryption speeds of 68MB/s both sequential read and write.

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by Lyle Smith

WD My Passport Wireless Review

WD has released the My Passport Wireless today, the newest addition to the company’s vast portfolio of portable external hard drives and their first wireless storage solution to hit the market. Like all drives of its kind, the My Passport Wireless is ideal for the traveling business person or the creative professional working in the field, as it gives users the ability to transfer files from computers, tablets, and smartphones to the My Passport Wireless without the need of cables or an Internet connection.  

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by Adam Armstrong

Synology DS415play NAS Review

The Synology DS415play is a 4-bay NAS for the media enthusiast. Like its smaller sister, the DS214play, the DS415play comes with video transcoding, that allows users to convert media files to usable extensions. The DS415play looks almost identical to the DS414 but it comes with a total capacity of 24TB, an Intel Atom dual core 1.6GHz processor, 1GB of DDR3 RAM, and plenty of external ports, three USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0, to connect and power multiple peripheral devices at the same time. The DS415play has four hot-swappable, tool-less drive bays accessed through the front of the device. And the DS415play uses Synology’s award winning DiskStation Manager OS.

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by Lyle Smith

AMD Radeon R7 Series SSD Review

The AMD Radeon R7 Series a high-performance SSD designed for enthusiasts who want the most out of their computers. The drive isn't exactly a new offering from the ground up though, it's made and manufactured by OCZ, and leverages their Barefoot controller and parent Toshiba's MLC NAND. While AMD has a pretty complete PC portfolio including CPUs, GPUs and memory, they don't have a storage component. That said, this is an intriguing route to take by AMD, as entering the already saturated SSD market is a risky endeavor. Even with a pre-made drive from OCZ, it will be interesting to see how well the AMD brand travels to storage, with so many other options available. The Radeon R7 Series does hit all the key spec sheet buttons though, with excellent throughput endurance of 30GB per day and a warranty of 4 years. Of course gamers have also come to love AMD's Radeon line which should give the AMD SSD a better starting point than most other new entrants.

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by Tucker Mindrum

Seagate NAS (2-bay) Review

The Seagate 2-bay NAS, along with the recently reviewed 4-bay configuration, is part of Seagate's latest NAS line release. The Seagate NAS line is aimed at small or home offices without dedicated IT resources. It includes a Marvell 1.2GHz processor, 512MB of DDR3 RAM, and ships with Seagate NAS HDDs for a maximum capacity of 10TB (users can choose to receive their NAS drive-less or equipped with two 2TB, 3TB, 4TB, or 5TB drives). All hardware, software, and drives are made by Seagate allowing all parts of the NAS to work together seamlessly. Unlike its larger sibling, the 2-bay NAS only has a few RAID options (RAID0 and RAID1, with a JBOD option) but comes preconfigured to save setup time but users can change the configuration through SimpleRAID technology built into the OS. 

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by Tucker Mindrum

WD Red Review (6TB, NASware 3.0)

WD was first to market with a duty-specific NAS drive when they launched the Red family over two years ago. They're now onto the third iteration of the 3.5" drive (we previously review the WD Red Pro), which includes an updated firmware, NASware 3.0, and new larger 5TB and 6TB capacities. The top end 6TB drive of course offers a 50% bump over the previous largest Red and is now the largest NAS HDD on the market as of this review. As part of this release, WD is also supporting 8-bay NAS units with the Reds, up from a recommended 5-bays in the prior generation, creating a grand total of up to 48TB raw within a single NAS unit. That's a massive amount of data and thus good news for small offices or those with ever-expanding media collections that need to be able to keep up with their data growth. 

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