TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router Review

Introduction


There is no shortage of routers on the market and today I’m taking TP-Link’s Archer C9 AC1900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router, a beautiful and simple looking router capable of handling the newest AC connection standard.

The Archer C9 looks like it could have it all, powerful dual-band wireless for up to 1900Gbps total transfer speeds, Gigabit Ethernet ports for both LAN and WAN, USB 3.0 for file sharing and an easy to use setup and configuration interface.

Archer C9’s strength doesn’t just come from the support for the 802.11ac standard, the next generation of Wi-Fi, and the combination of the 2.4GHz 600Mbps and 5GHz 1300Mbps connections for a total available bandwidth of 1.9Gbps, but also in the added features and functions such as USB file and printer sharing as well as beamforming technology for the best possible connection between your devices.

The Archer C9 has three detachable dual band antennas for maximum and omni-directional wireless coverage as well as reliability. The signal strength is further boosted by the built-in beamforming technology for an even better and efficient wireless connection between the router and the connected devices. The router will focus the strength of its signal where it is needed.

To achieve all the power needed to handle all that traffic speed, TP-Link built the Archer C9 with a dual-core 1GHz processor that is able to handle a lot of simultaneously wired and wireless tasks at the same time.

On the rear of the unit, you’ll find a USB 2.0 port for older legacy storage devices and printers and it also comes with a USB 3.0 port on the side for modern and high-speed storage. The built-in FTP server and file-sharing allows you to easily access the stored files and media from any device connected on your network.

The built-in FTP server, media server, and Samba file-sharing allows you to easily access the stored files and media from any device that is connected to your network.

There is a separate LED for almost every part of the router from power over the two wireless signals to LAN, WAN and an individual for each of the USB ports. The only thing that you can’t see quickly on the LEDs is which of the four LAN ports that’s active.

There isn’t a way to mount this router on your wall, it instead comes with a stand that will make the router stand at a small backward angle. The rubber feet may not be large, but they are enough to keep the router where you place it.

The addition of a power button is a nice touch. You rarely need it on a router, but it is a lovely feature to have when you do. There is plenty of room on the device, so why not.

All four LAN ports and the WAN port are Gigabit ports for the usual great LAN speed and without limitation on faster than 100MB/s internet connections that are making their entry in more and more location and markets. The WPS button also works as reset button at the same time.

I really like the design that TP-Link applied to the Archer C9. The gentle curves give the router a simplistic yet almost sophisticated look. But it doesn’t just look great, it’s also a well-crafted unit made with great parts.

On the side of the unit you’ll find the USB 3.0 port where you easily can connect your fast portable storage and share it over your network. It’s also where the button is located to turn the WiFi on and off. No need to have it running when not needed, especially when it’s so easy to access and switch.

The Archer C9 also supports guest network connections for people who only need access now and then and to whom you might not want to give your normal and more static password. Parents can also rest assured that their kids won’t visit sites that they shouldn’t and on hours where they should be asleep thanks to the parental control.

Other features include IPv6, Dynamic IP/Static IP/PPPoE/PPTP/L2TP/BigPond WAN connections, 64/128-bit WEP, and WPA/WPA2, WPA-PSK/WPA-PSK2 encryption. It has built in firewall, bandwidth control, supports direct setup for dynamic DNS services and VPN passthrough.

iOS users will also have access to easy management through the Tether APP while anyone can enjoy quick and hassle free installation via the web interface via any computer, smartphone, or tablet.

Within the box you find everything you need to get started with your high-speed wireless network: the router itself with its three antennas, a AC/DC power adapter, a RJ45 LAN cable to connect it to your internet connection, manuals, resource disk, and a quick installation guide to get your started and running as quick as possible.

HGST Deskstar NAS 6TB 7200RPM Hard Disk Drive Review

Introduction


There aren’t that many hard disk drives on the market so far that are specifically designed for use in NAS environments, but there are a few. Today I’m taking a closer look at the HGST’s Deskstar NAS 6TB HDD that is just such a drive and will put it through a thorough testing process.

The Deskstar NAS hard drive is a 7200 RPM 3.5-inch hard drive that provides an exceptional blend of reliability and performance, making it an ideal solution for both consumer and commercial desktop NAS systems. HGST has quite a bit of experience in the enterprise sector where they are the market leader in more than one field.

They took that experience and created a high-performance NAS drive for those that aren’t satisfied with the slow and silent approach to this market and the Deskstar NAS series kicks everything up a notch. Where most NAS drives will run at 5400 RPM, this one has a rotation speed of 7200 RPM and also double the cache that you’ll find in competitors drives: 128MB.

The higher spindle speed doesn’t just mean that you get faster transfer rates, it also helps with the seek times bringing them down below 12ms. The end-result is a drive performing roughly 20 percent faster than the competitors. The HGST Deskstar NAS drive is designed to run in enclosures with up to 8 and even 10 drives for those who need a lot of raw storage.

HGST’s rotational vibration sensors (RVS) on the edge of the drive sense incoming vibration and adjust the head position to vibrate in tune with external waves. According to HGST, this can improve the drives reliability with up to 70%. The sensors don’t just sense incoming vibration, they also predict them and in return the drive can compensate.

Vibrations can be a big issue for multi-drive enclosures and it’s a thing one shouldn’t forget. Not every drive is built for this and that’s why the NAS lines of drives were created.

The HGST Deskstar NAS drive comes with a 1 million hour mean time before failure (MTBF) and it is backed by a 3-year limited warranty. The Deskstar NAS drive is available with 3TB, 4Tb, 5TB and 6TB capacity and you can also get them as two and four packs, making everything easier when you build your next system and need to fill it with fresh drives right away.

TechnikPR Party at Computex

Computex 2015 – We visited TechnikPR’s Industry party in Taipei to check out the latest be quiet! cases and coolers, and we were not disappointed.

On display was the be quiet! Silent Base 600, a high-performance chassis with excellent cooling and quietness. The innovative construction doesn’t just provide your hardware with excellent air circulation, but it also keeps in the sound waves or breaks them up for the least audible operation possible.

Everything be quiet! strive for is in the name, quite; all of its products are some of the best on the market for silent operation and optimal cooling. The Silent Base 600 incorporates these qualities from the adjustable side panel vents where you can mount additional fans to the u-shaped edges on the side panels that help minimize vibrations as well as provide extra stability to the chassis. The HDD cage got a silicone rubber treatment and you can install a total of 7 fans in the chassis – two ‘Pure Wings 2’ fans are pre-installed.

The Silent Base 600 is just 5 cm smaller than the Silent Base 800 and still provides plenty of space for your hardware. You can mount graphics cards with a length of up to 400mm and CPU coolers with a height of up to 170mm. The case offers 100% tool-free mounting and you can hide away SSDs at the back.

Dust is kept out with fine-meshed filters and the case allows for easy and professional cable management.

The Silent Base 600 is available with a closed side panel as well as one with a window; despite the different constructions, they both feature the same sound deadening properties The orange, black and silver chassis is set for a September 2015 market launch and tagged with an 110 Euro MSRP without window and 125 Euro with windowed side panel.

be quiet! SilentWings 3 fans are the third generation of the highly awarded fans and they now provide better than ever performance without increasing the noise generation.

The fans are powered by a 6 Pole Motor and a 3 phase design. The funnel shaped fan intake and improved fan blade design increases the air flow and generates an air stream.

The redesigned fan mounting lets even fewer vibrations pass on to your chassis and the mounting kit can be switched to either mount the fans directly on the surface of keep a 1mm gap between the case and the fan.

The SilentWings 3 already works at low voltages (4V) and they’re also perfect for liquid cooling setups, both AIO and custom looks.

The 120mm and 140mm PWM fans have an MSRP of 21 and 22.90 Euro respectively while the 120 and 140mm non-PWM fans costs a little less with just 20 and 21.90 Euro MSRP labels. Availability is set for October 2015.

Kingston HyperX Savage 240GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


There have been a lot of PCIe, M.2 and new generation NVMe drives in the news lately and we’ve also tested some of them already, but the go-to standard for most people will still be the default SATA III connection for a while. Today I’m taking a closer look at such a drive and it’s a beauty at the same time, the brand new Kingston HyperX Savage SSD with 240GB capacity.

HyperX is Kingston’s gaming and high-end division and there is no doubt about that when opening up for this drive. It is presented in all its glory right away. The design looks great with the overall design resembling the X in HyperX. The red and white theme will also make it fit great with most gaming equipment as a lot of that carries the same

The design looks great with the overall design resembling the X in HyperX. The red and white theme will also make it fit great with most gaming equipment as a lot of that carries the same colour scheme.

The HyperX Savage SSD is built around the Phison PS3110-S10 SSD controller and paired with Toshiba’s A19nm MLC flash for great performance. It’s nice to see that Kingston also moves away from the SandForce controller in this drive series as they’re heavily outdated by now. This is without a doubt a great successor to the 3K drive and the Phison controller is probably the most powerful one available in the consumer market right now.

This is without a doubt a great successor to the 3K drive and the Phison controller is probably the most powerful one available in the consumer market right now.

The default 2.5-inch form factor with 7mm height makes the drive perfect for both desktop and laptop use. As always with Kingston drives you can get it either as just the drive or as an upgrade kit with external USB enclosure for easy migration from the old drive to the brand new HyperX Savage.

The speed rating on the HyperX Savage depends on the capacity it comes with and it is available from 120GB to 960GB. The 240GB model that I’m taking a look at today can perform up to 560MB/s read and 530MB/s at sequential compressible data, but its true strength lies with incompressible data and random performance.

The Savage can perform with up to 100K IOPS reading and 90K IOPS writing which is a difference that you’ll feel every day when working with your applications or playing your games.

 

The 240GB Savage SSD is rated for 306TB total bytes written (TBW) which equals to 1.19 drive writes per day (DWDP). The drive is backed by a 3-year warranty and has a life expectancy of 1 million hours (MTBF).

Kingston always has a great accessory bundle with their drives and you get both an internal 3.5-inch adapter and 9.5mm adapter brackets just as you get a copy of Acronis True Image HD cloning software and a cool HyperX sticker for your case.

Everything you need to make your upgrade as easy as possible and show off your HyperX pride at the same time.

Kingston HyperX Predator PCIe 480GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


HyperX is Kingston’s high-performance product division and it is logical that they released their new M.2 based SSD under this label. Today I’m taking the Kingston HyperX Predator PCIe 480GB Solid State Drive for a test ride on my test bench to find out just how great this new M.2 SATA-based drive can perform.

The Predator SSD offers a large capacity up to 480GB, but it is also available as a 240GB model for those that need less storage or just don’t want to spend as much on a storage drive as others. The drive is rated for speeds up to 1400MB/s reading and 1000MB/s writing and it is a perfect drive for ultra-responsive multitasking as well as just an overall faster system.

The drive is built around the PCIe Gen 2.0 x4 interface and comes as either just the M.2 drive or coupled with a half-height, half-length (HHHL) PCIe adapter like the one I’m having a look at today. The drive is a lot faster than the traditional SATA SSDs thanks to the increased bandwidth that the PCIe connection offers over the relative old SATA standard.

The drive is powered by a Marvell 88SS9293 controller and coupled with Toshiba A19 Toggle NAND to achieve this great performance. The drive further has 1GB of 1600MHz DDR3 memory in two 512MB packages for caching purposes and general operation. All in all, that is a lot of hardware packed onto this small 2280 gum stick shaped solid state drive.

Kingston’s HyperX Predator PCIe SSD has a mean time before failure of 1 million hours and this 480GB version is rated for 882TB total bytes written (TBW) which equals to 1.7 full drive writes per day (DWPD). The smaller 240GB model has an almost identical rating with 1.6 DWPD which equals to 415TB TBW over the drive’s lifetime.

Kingston opted for a fully black device and I like this. The black PCB is a nice touch and one that is followed through from M.2 SSD to PCIe adapter board. There is also an extra foam pad mounted next to the connector to stabilize the inserted M.2 drive and prevent accidental damage.

Kingston backs this drive with their great customer service and a three-year warranty. The package with the PCIe adapter also included a low-profile replacement bracket for mounting abilities in SSF chassis, a key for Acronis True Image disk cloning software, and a cool HyperX sticker for your case.

Time to dive into the tests and see how this drive performs, it sure sounds like an awesome one.

Overclockers UK Now Selling All be quiet! Products

There is some great news for all our UK based readers as Overclockers UK just announced that they entered a larger cooperation with be quiet! and became a master partners to sell the entire portfolio of BeQuiets products.

Be Quiet has been the market leader in PC power supplies in Germany for the past nine years and they have also won a lot of rewards in our reviews, and they are well-known for creating some of the best devices for people who desire silent operation at the same time as they still get the best performance. Overclockers UK was founded with the idea to sell overclocked CPUs with guaranteed performance and stability and has quickly become the go-to place for enthusiasts and modders.

“Overclockers are delighted to sign a master partner agreement with be quiet! in the UK. be quiet! are renowned for their excellent products in the PSU, cooling and chassis markets, offering tailored components for people who demand silent, high performance solutions. be quiet! will join our extensive range of market leading brands in the UK and we look forward to a successful partnership together,” said Glen Rhodes, Product Manager Overclockers UK

It is no surprise that these two have partnered up and it is great news for everyone in the UK that wants to get their hands on the latest and best Be Quiet products.

BeQuiet Show Off Their Latest Range Of Coolers At CES 2014

BeQuiet! are one of the hottest brands on the market, well known for their high performance and dedication to creating high quality, whisper quiet performance. On display at CES 2014 they’ve got several new models for 2014, including their new Silent Wings 2 and their Pure Wings 2 fans, which have been improved once again to offer better, and quieter performance.

Two new low-to-mid budget solutions have been revealed too, the Shadow Rock Slim and the Shadow Rock 2, they don’t look as fancy as the all black fittings of other BeQuiet! CPU coolers, but BeQuiet! promise they’ll still offer great cooling performance and they still use the same high quality fans.

The Dark Rock 3 is a new premium model and comes fitted with six head pipes, 1 x 140mm fan and mounts to install another 140mm.

Want something truly epic? The check out their new Dark Rock Pro 3, this features a dual radiator design, 12 heat pipes, two pre-installed fans and room for a third fan should you really want to make things super cool.

Thanks to user feedback, their coolers are now 3mm shorter, but BeQuiet has gone to great length to ensure that there is as much surface area as possible, adding little indentations to each fin of the radiator and making the cooler a little wider.

We really can’t wait to put the performance of these new fans and coolers to the test, and I’m happy to say we already have the Dark Rock Pro 3 in the office already, so expect a full review as soon as possible.

 

BeQuiet Product Updates At CeBIT 2013

We have a sit down with Aaron from BeQuiet to see what’s new in their product lineup. Three new items are on show this time round with a non-modular PSU, entry level fan and new heatsink.

Following the trend that was set last year, we can only sit and have a beer with Aaron during the busy day as he takes us through the new items that are on show in the Planet Reseller at CeBIT.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/agmpzLlSnnI[/youtube]

be quiet! Product Updates At CeBIT 2013

We have a sit down with Aaron from BeQuiet to see what’s new in their product lineup. Three new items are on show this time round with a non-modular PSU, entry level fan and new heatsink.

Following the trend that was set last year, we can only but have a beer with Aaron during the busy day as he takes us through the new items that are on show in Planet Reseller at CeBIT.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agmpzLlSnnI[/youtube]