We’ve been recommending Plextor’s B940SA 12x drive on our Best of the Best list for more than a year now, so we were delighted to receive a challenger that could shake things up—even if it was another Plextor drive. Hey, why not build on that good track record?
Our excitement waned, however, when the drive we received—Plextor’s PX-LB950SA—bore the exact same specs as its predecessor.
Any other 33-year-old who noticed a sudden growth spurt would run to a doctor, but it seems that Intel’s x86 architecture will never stop growing. New extensions appeared this year in Sandy Bridge processors, more are coming in next year’s Ivy Bridge, and still more will come in 2013 with a processor code-named Haswell. Is the x86 growing stronger or fatter? Stronger!
A modern NAS, as the hub of your home network, can offer many advantages. Its terabytes of storage can provide not only easy backup for your devices, but also a centralized and unified media library that can stream to any device in your home—and beyond.
We're going to take a look at four of the top NAS devices currently on the market. These devices are geared toward small businesses and home offices, and they include features and performance that extend above and beyond what the typical home user will require. But then again, we've always felt that overkill is just another product feature.
When the previous version of a product holds a spot in our Best of the Best hardware rankings (see our review of the QNAP TS-459), it's only fair to have some high expectations, and fortunately, QNAP meets them with its TS-459 Pro II. Some aspects of the TS-459 Pro II hardware are comparable to the competition, and in other respects, it's just head and shoulders above the rest.
When it comes to computer networking products, there are a few companies that always come to mind. Buffalo is one of them. Storage devices have always been a part of Buffalo's repertoire, so including the TeraStation Pro Quad in this roundup was a no-brainer. But while enterprise-geared products are business as usual for Buffalo, is the Pro Quad consumer-friendly?
Traditionally, motion control has been the domain of the consoles. Between the Wii, Xbox Kinect, and the PlayStation Move, the tech has developed a reputation as an arm-wagging, casual experience—emblematic of the overall shift away from the kind of deep, demanding, rewarding gameplay that the PC as a platform is known for.
With that in mind, you can imagine that we were a little surprised when we heard that Razer—a company associated with competitive, hardcore gaming—was releasing a motion controller for the PC. Is this the beginning of the end?
In a word, no. Whether or not the Hydra is the beginning of anything at all is debatable, but it’s definitely not trying to dumb down PC gaming.
The Radeon HD 6950 often gets overlooked, because it falls into an in-between netherworld of pricing. Typical cards cost anywhere from $240-$300, but most seem to hover around the $270 mark. This MSI overclocked card, built using the company's Twin Frozr III dual-fan cooler, sits at around $280. So high-end buyers overlook this price category and budget buyers feel like it's a little too much.
Synology has been in the NAS business for a while, and it has an impressive number of products to show for it. While the competitors are offering products with hot-swappable drives that are accessible from the front, the DS411+II requires you to remove thumbscrews and the cover to gain access to the drive bays. The DS411+II is powered by a robust dual-core 1.8GHz Atom and 1GB of DDR2 memory, which belie the slightly outdated form factor.
Promise Technology has been quietly making a name for itself as a major player in the storage space, producing a number of RAID and NAS solutions for all types of needs. The SmartStor NS4700 is the company's four-bay, performance-oriented NAS. The NS4700 ships without hard drives, but in our testing we used four 2TB Seagate Barracuda Green drives.