Consumer Reviews
by Lyle Smith

Netstor TurboBox Thunderbolt 2 Review (NA211TB-LD)

Previously, we reviewed the Netstor TurboBox (NA211TB-LD) equipped with a Thunderbolt 1 connection and found it to be a good companion for creative professionals who need high performance storage in a portable form factor. The TurboBox itself is a very slick looking storage solution with three PCIe slots and four 2.5" bays that can handle SSDs or SAS/SATA HDDs. It also has a 250W power supply with plenty of ventilation located on both the front and back of the high-end aluminum enclosure. We recently upgraded the device with Netstor’s Thunderbolt 2 upgrades kit, which essentially doubles its throughput capabilities and as a result will allow for an even more efficient workflow for users. The upgrade process itself was quick and seamless and consisted of simply switching out the PCIe boards.

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by Adam Armstrong

Intel SSD 750 Review

The Intel 750 series is a high performance SSD with NVM Express technology for use in workstations and client PC storage devices. It is designed for improved multi-core platform performance, low latency and Quality of Service. Through the use of its coupled PCIe and NVMe technology, it minimizes idle processor time while delivering a significant improvement in compute power. The 750 series comes in both 2.5” (which uses the SFF-8639 connector), 15mm Z-height, and Add-in Card (AIC) models in order to maximize its usability for specialized environments. Although there are limited use cases for the NVMe 2.5" form factor at the moment, there are systems coming out for client use that support it as the next generation of high performance storage where PCIe cards may be limited by footprint.

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by Lyle Smith

Samsung 850 EVO M.2 SSD Review

Like the mSATA model, the Samsung 850 EVO M.2 is very similar to its impressive 2.5 inch brethren; however, it has the added benefit of not being limited by mSATA’s legacy architecture. Another advantage of the M.2 form factor is that it comprised of a much smaller footprint compared to traditional SSD sizes, all without having to sacrifice capacity. Its unique thin and light form factor also allows the tiny storage solution to be deployed in wide range of use cases, everything from the most recent Ultrabooks that require high performance, to the lastest tablets.

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by Lyle Smith

Samsung 850 EVO mSATA SSD Review

The Samsung 850 EVO mSATA is pretty much identical to the previously reviewed 2.5 inch 850 EVO, which proved to be an impressive SSD by offering bar-setting performance and fantastic endurance coupled with a competitive price point. As such, the mSATA version of Samsung’s newest SSD line features the same 3D V-NAND technology, enabling it to boast twice the endurance of a conventional 2D planar type NAND flash, and is designed to maximize everyday computing with an obvious focus on performance and reliability. The mSATA model is built for small form factor computing, embedded applications, and provides users with upgrading capability for ultra-thin PCs and desktops using an mSATA slot.

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by Adam Armstrong

LaCie Rugged RAID 4TB Review

The LaCie Rugged RAID 4TB is a portable storage device that, as the name implies, has a capacity of 4TB and can be configured in either RAID0 or RAID1. The device comes with both a Thunderbolt connection (which it is bus powered through) and a USB 3.0 connection (users will have to use the AC adapter with the USB connection). LaCie claims sustained speeds of 240MB/s in RAID0 configuration and using the Thunderbolt connection to transfer files.

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by Adam Armstrong

G-Technology G-DRIVE ev ATC With Thunderbolt Review

G-Technology recently announced some new additions to its rugged line, The G-DRIVE ev RaW and the G-DRIVE ev ATC. The G-DRIVE ev ATC is a 7,200RPM, 1TB portable drive that can handle some pretty rough treatment and still protect user’s data. The G-DRIVE ev ATC comes in two models, a USB 3.0 only model and a USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt model. Both models have a SATA connection for use with a G-DOCK ev.

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by Lyle Smith

OCZ Vector 180 SSD Review

The OCZ Vector 180 is the direct successor to the Vector 150, which was a nicely designed SSD that we found very reliable while boasting great endurance. The Vertex 180 improves on these qualities by offering power failure management functionality as well as adding OCZ’s ShieldPlus plan, the latter which offers consumers a market leading customer service and replacement plan. Like all recent OCZ drives, the Vector 180 uses an in-house controller with the OCZ Barefoot 3 M00, giving OCZ much more control over their pricing, as well as improved performance, reliability, and support. This has been made obvious in OCZ’s recent release of reliability data, which demonstrates how they have become leaders in the consumer SSD market in this category.

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by Lyle Smith

Seagate Backup Plus External Hard Drive Review (8TB)

The Seagate Backup Plus 8TB is the latest addition to their portfolio of external desktop drives, offering users with the largest available single-drive solution available on the market. The availability of an 8TB model is certainly a very important release for many, as data size and storage requirements continue to grow at a very fast pace. As such, the 8TB unit is ideal for professionals who deal with extremely large files (i.e. videos, project files) and need an archive solution. The new Seagate external drive is also catered towards consumers looking to backup and protect the entire contents of their computer and on their frequented social media websites. Under the hood lays the 8TB Seagate Archive HDD, a drive used predominantly for active archives, featuring a relatively low price point as well as a very energy efficient design. Users can also install the pre-loaded NTFS driver for Mac on the Seagate Backup Plus, which allows them to use the drive interchangeably between both Windows and Mac computers without having to reformat the drive.

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by Adam Armstrong

Apple MacBook Pro Samsung SSD Review (March-2015)

A few weeks ago Apple held an event in San Francisco to showcase the new additions to its product line. Most notably was its new smart watch, the Apple Watch (or colloquially referred to as the iWatch by its fans and detractors alike). There were a few other announcements as well including the re-launch of the MacBook (which was discontinued in July of 2011 in favor of the MacBook Air) that is thinner than the MacBook Air. The MacBook comes with Apple’s new butterfly-mechanism keyboard and new force track pad. More of an interest to us was the new MacBook Pro 13” and its new features including a new Samsung SSD inside. 

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by Adam Armstrong

WD My Cloud DL4100 Review

The My Cloud DL4100, which was designed to be easy to deploy while bringing new features to its users, is WD's newest four-bay SOHO NAS. All of the components of the DL4100 are made by WD, so the fully integrated system is ready for use right out of the box, delivering up to 24TB, 117MB/s read, and 107MB/s write. WD's MY Cloud OS (which comes standard with the DL4100) allows for PC/Mac consolidation, remote and mobile access (computers, tablets and smartphones), third-party app support, and maintained performance for multiple users. WD promises to provide reliability, security, scalability, which is evidenced in its features.

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