Consumer Reviews
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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by Lyle Smith

OCZ ARC 100 SSD Review

OCZ ARC 100 Series SSDs are designed for mainstream consumers who want the benefits of flash storage without a big price tag; the ARC 100 gives consumers an aggressive suggested price point of .50/GB. Of course as the SSDs get into retail, pricing will fall even further. OCZ doesn't cut corners though with the ARC 100, part of the pricing power is due to the vertical integration with parent company Toshiba. Jointly they own all of the core components in the drive, including the controller and Toshiba MLC NAND. The ARC 100 offers a good endurance profile, supporting 20GB of writes per day (same as the Vertex 3) and the drives come with a three-year warranty.

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by Adam Armstrong

Seagate NAS (4-bay) Review

The Seagate NAS line is a 2 or 4-bay NAS designed for SOHO users and small businesses without dedicated IT resources. The Seagate NAS comes with a Marvell 1.2GHz processor, 512MB of DDR3 ram, and can run up to 20TB in capacity. The NAS also comes with Seagate’s new operating system, NAS OS 4 and ships with Seagate 5TB NAS HDDs. Having all of the software, hardware, and drives made by Seagate enables the system to work together seamlessly. The NAS come 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

Corsair Flash Voyager GTX USB Flash Drive Review

Corsair has recently released the Flash Voyager GTX flash drive, which is optimized for speed and hailed as their fastest USB drive yet (with reported transfer speeds approaching 450MB/s read and 350MB/s write). Corsair designed this flash drive for professionals in mind, but casual users too can revel in the high-speed transfer of large data collections like operating system images, game installs, video and music production projects, and large media libraries.

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by Lyle Smith

Intel Pro 2500 SSD Review

Intel Pro 2500 Series are SSDs designed largely for enterprise client solutions (desktops, notebooks) that require reliability, power-efficient performance, enhanced data security, and remote manageability. While the Intel 730 SSDs are catered towards enthusiasts and the Intel 530's demographic is more mainstream consumer, the Pro 2500 series (and the Pro 1500 Series before it) are specifically architected for businesses who need to deploy a large number of drives into their organization. Intel's new Pro 2500 Series features quoted throughput up to 540MB/s and a random IOPs up to 80,000, all the while offering low-power modes to extend battery life and improve the mobility of the drives. For example, when the new Pro 2500 Series SSDs are combined with the Intel Core vPro Platform, Intel states that power consumption can be reduced by substantially: from milliwatts to microwatts.

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by Tucker Mindrum

Synology DiskStation DS414slim Review

The Synology DiskStation DS414slim is a direct replacement for the DiskStation DS411slim that we reviewed about three years ago. It is a 1.2GHz 4-bay SOHO NAS optimized to be as compact as possible while still providing ample storage and modern features. It houses 2.5" drives and can accommodate a maximum of 6TB through four 1.5TB SSDs. At first glance it is almost identical to the DS411slim; it has the same dimensions and general layout. However, users can look forward to new USB 3.0 connectivity and a few new features.

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by Tucker Mindrum

LaCie 2big Thunderbolt 2 Review

The LaCie 2big Thunderbolt 2 is a recently released desktop storage solution catered to media enthusiasts and professionals. It comes in capacities of 6, 8, and 12TB, and could provide up to 60TB of storage if five 2bigs are daisy-chained together. The 2big was designed to be compatible with both Macs and PCs, providing Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3.0 connectivity (the former of which results in an impressive 420MB/s reported read when equipped with 12TB and configured in RAID0) and compatibility with Time Machine or Windows Backup if professional-grade backup solutions are desired. This device would be best implemented in the storage of large audio, photo, or video libraries, especially where frequent transfers are needed.

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by Lyle Smith

Drobo Review (Gen 3)

Created by Connected Data, the Drobo Gen 3 is a direct attached storage device (DAS) with four 3.5" SATA II/III HDD carrier-less bays and one USB 3.0 connection port. The new Drobo sports a new design and continues Connected Data’s focus on simplicity for their storage solutions. For example, this simplicity includes the ability to use drives from any manufacturer, capacity, and spindle speed with no carriers or tools required for installation. This type of functionality is definitely welcomed, making this little storage solution quite a versatile DAS.

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by Lyle Smith

WD My Book Duo Review

The WD My Book Duo is the newest addition to the company’s easy-to-use family of desktop storage solutions for both the home and office, which is comprised of two WD Red drives (which are optimized for small RAID environments), hardware-level RAID, and USB 3.0. The My Book Duo comes bundled with software that creates secure local, cloud and system-level backups for a complete data protection package. Quoted to boast transfer speeds of up to 290MB/s, WD’s newest desktop storage solution comes preconfigured in RAID0 (for performance and capacity) and allows users to configure the My Book Duo to mirror mode (RAID1) for increased data protection as well as the JBOD configuration so that users can work with the drives individually.

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