Consumer Reviews
by Tucker Mindrum

Icy Dock EZ-Fit Lite Dual 2.5" to 3.5" Bracket Review

The Icy Dock EZ-Fit Lite Dual 2.5" SSD/HDD mounting kit easily combines two 2.5" drives in to a 3.5" bay, allowing users to maximize storage space in reduced form factors or in use cases where more drive density is needed. The bracket can accommodate all 2.5" drives between 7 and 9.5mm and features tool-less installation (unless the optional reinforcing screws are desired). The EZ-Fit Lite features an open-air design that provides passive cooling for the drives through side vents and slightly elevated ridges to keep the drives raised within the housing. It also has 60 screw holes strategically placed over its casing to accommodate most chassis designs.

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by Lyle Smith

Samsung EVO SD Memory Card Review 32GB (MB-SP32D)

Last month, the Samsung EVO line was launched alongside updates to the PRO and Standard SD and microSD cards, all of which are designed for different levels of high end digital imaging and mobile devices. We recently reviewed the 64GB Pro card and found it to be one of the best, if not the best, offerings of its class. This time around, however, we will be looking at the Samsung 32GB EVO SDHC card, which offers a more mainstream profile than the Pro line. Even so, Samsung’s new EVO line of SD cards are still specced to offer decent speed and performance to enable full HD video recording and high resolution pictures. Also worth noting is the new EVO branding for memory cards, which shares that of Samsung's line of high-performing but value-priced SSDs. 

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by Adam Armstrong

Seagate Backup Plus 5TB External Hard Drive Review (STDT5000100)

The Seagate Backup Plus Desktop Drive 5TB is an external hard drive with plenty of capacity. With more devices creating content, consumers find that they need more and more room to backup or store their data. Storing all one’s data from a desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone, and social media can quickly added up to large amounts of storage space. The Backup Plus 5TB is USB 3.0 connected and supports Windows 7,8, Vista, and XP as well as Mac OS 10.4.6 and later. Users can install the preloaded NTFS driver for Mac and then use the drive back and forth between Windows and Mac without reformatting.

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by Adam Armstrong

Kingston SSDNow mS200 mSATA Review (240GB)

The Kingston SSDNow mS200 is an mSATA SSD that is built specifically for system builders, OEMs, and enthusiasts. Roughly eight times smaller than a 2.5” drive, the SSDNow mS200 claims sequential read/write speeds of 550MB/s and 530MB/s.  The device is fully compliant with mSATA interface, uses NAND based flash memory and supports Intel’s SRT, S.M.A.R.T., and TRIM. The mS200 comes in 30GB, 60GB, 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB capacities.

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by Lyle Smith

Samsung 64GB SD PRO Memory Card (MB-SG64D)

The Samsung Pro SD family is one of the newly launched lines of advanced SD and microSD cards that were announced in April of this year, all of which are designed specifically for high end digital imaging and mobile devices. The new cards, which are available in PRO, EVO and Standard categories, cater towards different use cases and performance levels for both consumers and professionals. The Pro line supports Ultra High Speed (UHS-I) Class 1 level performance and quoted to offer read speeds up to 90MB/s and writes of 50MB/s, respectively.

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by Lyle Smith

OCZ RevoDrive 350 PCIe SSD Review

The OCZ Storage Solutions RevoDrive 350 is the latest edition of its RevoDrive family of enthusiast PCIe SSDs. The RevoDrive 350 is redesigned from the ground up with updated drivers to enable maximum performance and efficiency as well as taking advantage of new hardware design. The RevoDrive 350 is a PCIe integral storage solution, which is often used by creative professionals, enthusiasts and others who are looking to get around bandwidth limits that face traditional SSDs (i.e. 6Gb/s). We reviewed its predecessor--the OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2--a few years ago and were incredibly impressed with the results. We expect more of the same with the OCZ RevoDrive 350 drives (and then some!), as the 350 is specced to boast read speeds upwards of 1800MB/s, writes of 1700MB/s and 4K random write IOPS of 140,000 for the 480GB/960GB models. These quoted numbers by OCZ are by in large the fastest seen we’ve seen yet for any client PCIe SSDs from any brand of consequence, setting a new bar for performance.

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by Josh Linden

HGST 4TB Deskstar NAS HDD Review

The HGST Deskstar NAS is built on HGST’s 3.5-inch 7,200RPM Deskstar consumer drive platform and is intended for consumer and small business NAS appliances which are typically sold diskless. While the NAS designation implies a priority on reliability and capacity over performance, HGST has used a 7,200RPM platform rather than the typical 5,400RPM for drives in this class and reports seek times of less than 12ms in manufacturer benchmarks. The 7,200 RPM spindle speed is primarily employed in order to reduce the amount of time the drive must remain active in order to complete I/O operations, potentially giving small NAS users a higher-performance alternative to the standard 5K NAS drives or much more expensive enterprise-class HDDs.

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by Tucker Mindrum

iXsystems FreeNAS Mini Review

The new iXsystems FreeNAS Mini is a power efficient home and small office NAS featuring an 8-core 2.4GHz Intel CPU and 16GB of RAM (upgradable to 32GB). The Mini, which was developed with the FreeNAS community in mind, utilizes ECC RAM, which reduces its possible error rate compared to previous models. The Mini of course features all of the FreeNAS goodies like compression and optional data deduplication, which is unavailable in other NAS consoles in its class, maximizing its 16TB of storage space and eliminating superfluous reiterations. It is the most customizable (both in terms of hardware and interface) NAS in its class and its free operating system has an active developer community, producing new (and free) updates regularly. Although the FreeNAS interface is not as user-friendly as others in the Mini’s class (like Synology and QNAP), once users become familiarized it can be a very efficient system to manage with an extensive feature set and leading data reliability thanks to ZFS.

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by Lyle Smith

ADATA Premier Pro SP920 SATA SSD Review

The ADATA Premier Pro SP920 2.5” SATA SSD is specifically designed to meet the needs of multimedia professionals looking for high-performance capabilities with large file transfers, such as massive videos files. Under the hood, it is equipped with the latest generation of the incomparable Marvell controller with the SATA III 6Gb/s specification. ADATA has indicated that their stringent selection of flash memory chips is said to enhance the overall system efficiency and speed, particularly with the transmission of multimedia files (or uncompressed data). 

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by Adam Armstrong

Synology DiskStation DS214 Review

The Synology DiskStation DS214 is a 2-Bay NAS geared toward small and home offices. The DS214 is specifically designed for users that need to share files (and share files from multiple platforms) and protect data. The DS214 has a max internal capacity of 10TB (using 2x 5TB HDD in each bay), a dual core 1.066GHz processor, 512MB of DDR3 memory, and Synology's Disk Station Manager 5.0 software. Like others in the Synology DiskStation NAS line, the DS214 comes with all types of connectivity, coming with USB 2.0, USB 3.0, and Ethernet ports.

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