Consumer Reviews
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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by Tucker Mindrum

Synology DiskStation DS214play Review

Synology’s DS214play provides 2 bays of NAS storage and its key component – video transcoding – allows users to easily convert media files to usable extensions, catering to owners of large media stores with conversion needs. The DS214play is also capable of streaming several 1080p videos across Windows, MacOS, and Linux at the same time giving the NAS a unique spot in Synology's diverse lineup. 

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by Lyle Smith

WD My Passport Pro Review (4TB)

Today, WD launched the dual-drive My Passport Pro, the first portable, Thunderbolt-powered dual-drive solution on the market designed for creative professionals and enthusiasts who demand mobile storage with both high performance and high capacity. The drive comes in both 2TB and 4TB capacities and features an all metal case and integrated Thunderbolt cable. 

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by Tucker Mindrum

SanDisk Ultra microSDXC 128GB Card Review

The SanDisk Ultra microSDXC 128GB memory card is optimized for smartphone, tablet, or camera users looking to maximize their storage space. It is compatible with Android and Windows phones and can be used with any SD card accepting camera (it comes with an SD card adaptor). While it does offer the most storage available in any microSD card on the market today, the user does sacrifice some performance; at a reported read speed of 30MB/s, it is one of the slowest microSD cards that SanDisk makes. However, for many users this trade-off would be an easy one to justify; this card could be fully appreciated by anyone that uses their phone or camera to capture lots of HD video or images without wanting to clear the card as frequently. 

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by Lyle Smith

WD My Cloud EX2 Review

The WD My Cloud EX2 is the newest addition to WD's family of NAS devices and is designed specifically for small businesses, pro users, workgroups and anyone else who are serious about a reliable way to save, share, back up, stream, and manage up to 8TB of data. The EX2 is a feature-rich, stable, and secure network storage solution with functionality such as data serving options such as an integrated file server, FTP server, backup server and a P2P download server. Users also have the option of downloading and running a plethora of third party apps, including aMule, Icecast, Joomla!, phpBB, phpMyAdmin, Transmission, and SqueezeCenter. The EX2 can also be used as a media server giving users the ability to stream videos and photos to their TVs, media players, gaming consoles and other DLNA/UPnP devices with the included Twonky 7.2 server, DLNA-certified 1.5 media server, and built-in iTunes server. In addition, users have several options to secure their data from loss including RAID 1 configuration, USB attachments, and cloud or LAN/WAN backup depending upon their specific needs.

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by Tucker Mindrum

Toshiba TransMemory Pro USB 3.0 Flash Drive Review (128GB)

The Toshiba TransMemory Pro USB 3.0 Flash Drive is Toshiba's newest and largest flash drive. Available in 64GB and 128GB capacities it provides huge portable storage space and impressive transfer speeds, and would be ideal for use by enthusiasts and professionals looking to transfer or store large video, picture, or audio files. The drive comes with EX II Pad Locker encryption software (Windows) for protection and the ability to create both public and private partitions. For physical protection, the drive uses an aluminum body for a rigid build that keeps the flash inside safe. 

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