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beardmonkey "irwilson5"

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Plextor PX-AG256M6E 256GB M6e PCI-Express Solid State Drive with adapter
Plextor PX-AG256M6E 256GB M6e PCI-Express Solid State Drive with adapter
Price: 169.99

5.0 out of 5 stars RAPID!!!, 16 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The computer I use most is a home theatre PC. I have no real use for this speed and performance to be honest, I dont play many games nor do I do video processing - but the performance is nice to have!

Why buy this over any other SSD? Well, to be honest I am heavily biased. I don't know how anyone else feels about losing music/photos/documents as a result of hard drive failures, but I have had my fair share and it has changed my perspective on buying cheap products. Plextor however, as renowned as having one of the lowest returns during warranty period worldwide and that is what you are paying for here. The extent that Plextor go to in order to provide products which are fantastic and reliable is remarkable.

The main reason I bought this is because my HTPC case is an ATX case, but the asus ROG motherboard mounts all its SATA ports horizontally which leaves me little space whatsoever to plug devices in. So, the benefit of using a PCIE slot instead of SATA suited me personally and I choose plextor for their reliability. You can get a standard SSD like OCZ or kingston at 1 million hours MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) for a bit cheaper, or you can buy plextor with 2.4 million hours MTBF.

Oh and did I mention this is RAPID!?!!


Synology DS214 DiskStation 2 Bay Desktop NAS
Synology DS214 DiskStation 2 Bay Desktop NAS
Price: 215.98

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!, 12 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a fantastic NAS unit, but there are some pitfalls that you should know about prior to buying this or any other NAS enclosure.

1) Modem Routers. Most people will no doubt be using the modem router provided by their internet service provider and this will cause problems, because most of them are rubbish. This is because modem routers are actually two items merged into one, it is a modem (i.e. connects to the internet) and a switch (which allows other computers to connect to one another, wirelessly or via a cable). The reason most of them are rubbish is because they are only 100megabit ethernet switches instead of gigabit switches. Gigabit ethernet switches have been out for a long long time but since most people are using devices wirelessly, companies have opted to save some money and one of the cost cutting excercises has been to put old technology into the ethernet switch. To put this into perspective, if you have a standard router provided by your ISP.. even with an ethernet cable, your transfer rates will peak at approx 9 - 12 megabytes per second. If you are happy with this.. then you are wasting your time buying this NAS or a higher model, because you will never see the performance benefit. Even if you are using a wireless device, you will still never beat this rate because the NAS drive itself is attached to your router via an ethernet cable so it is the modem router connection which is the bottleneck.

2) Hard drives. Do not put any hard drives into these devices which are not rated for 24/7 usage as they will simply not last. I only use western digital drives, so my examples will be specific to this. Do not use Green or Blue drives in a NAS unit as they were not designed for use in a NAS enclosure and their longevity will suffer as a result. Most of the NAS units are ready to ship with WD Red drives, which are designed Specifically for NAS enclosures, but dont forget you can also put your old Black, Purple, Enterprise SE or RE3/RE4 drives into these. Don't worry if you have an old SATA version two drive(s), the performance benefit from SATA version 3 drives will not be relevant inside a NAS as even the performance of an SATA version 2 drive will outperform your modem router - even with a gigabit switch (see comment above). You can pick up some old SATA version 2 Western digital RE4 drives on ebay fairly cheaply and they have a massive 1.4 Million hour average between failures (one of the lowest failure rates in the hard drive industry).

3) If you have a massive media collection that you would like to take out of your computer and put into a NAS, you cannot do this in one seamless movement. This is because your drive will probably have been formatted originally using an NTFS file allocation system. This NAS, like many of Synologys NAS drives insist upon using an EXT4 file allocation system which is basically a Linux system. Since Linux systems are renowned for their reliability, I would say this a good thing - but it is also a pain if you cannot fully back up all your media from the drive which you are about to put into this enclosure, as you will have to wipe the drive and then transfer all your media back onto the drive once it is in the NAS enclosure. If you are using a modem router provided by your ISP, then theres a good chance you will be transferring said media at a rate of 10 megabytes per second. Yawn. Definately an overnight job.

4) Synology will always implement its default storage method if you have multiple drives in this, which means that one drive will mirror the other so that if one drive fails, your data is not lost. If you have two drives that you want to act as one volume and make use of the full capacity of your two drives, you will need to read the guide and do this manually. Actually it is really easy and I had it resolved within minutes - but it is not something you can work out without reading the manual so please bear this in mind.

So now that the pitfalls have been dealt with, this enclosure is fantastic! It is easy to install and easy to use. The operating system of this drive basically acts like another computer which you can control using internet explorer/firefox/chrome etc. It can be accessed from the internet from another location once you setup an ID and password (the setup wizard will do this for you upon startup if you wish) and you can even have the NAS download torrents for you when all your computers are off. I am absolutely delighted with this unit and can thoroughly recommend it to all.

I hope this review has been helpful for anyone considering a NAS drive. What I have said here, particularly with the first four points is relevent to many NAS enclosures and not just this one. So if you do opt for any other model, the above many still be worthy of note.

Pros: Easy to use, fantastic design with a sturdy construction, relatively small/inoffensive to look at, quiet, good performance.

Cons: Price, but you get what you pay for and nothing worth having ever comes easy. It will also outperform other equipment and reveal flaws in other items that you were happy with prior to using this. Soon you will be wanting a new router and then all of a sudden you are spending even more money... (where does it end?!?!) haha.


Be Quiet Dark Power Pro 10 550W PSU
Be Quiet Dark Power Pro 10 550W PSU
Offered by Specialtech
Price: 121.71

5.0 out of 5 stars This is going to sound like a stupid review..., 20 Mar 2014
I am about to say something really stupid, but please bear with me. This is really quiet!

As the name of the manufacturer suggests, one of the priorities they have is to create kit which is quiet and oh my goodness have they achieved it. My computer used to be a tower used purely for gaming, but now its an HTPC and I rarely play games.

As a previous reviewer stated, it may sound silly getting excited about a power supply - but I had never considered that the noise that came out of my previous PSU (OCZ 700w) was loud. It was just the norm, same goes for the CPU fan that I had (OCZ Gladiator). Then I decided to get a closed loop water cooler (corsair H80i) and heard the difference it made. I realised that there was only one other fan in my system and that it had to be the culprit for the noise. I replaced my trusty OCZ (i know what you are thinking, its not often you hear "trusty" and "OCZ" in the same sentence!) with this PSU and I simply cannot believe how quiet this is. You can hear the corsair water cooling radiator fans at 600 rpm i.e. minimum rate, over the rest of the system. Its virtually inaudible!!!

Speechless, I am literally speechless. 11 stars out of 10. If the reliability of this unit is as good as the reviews say they are then I would have no problem recommending this to everyone and firmly believe it is worth every penny.


Plextor PX-128M5S 128GB M5S Series SATA III 6GB/s 512MB DDR3 2.5 Inch Internal SSD
Plextor PX-128M5S 128GB M5S Series SATA III 6GB/s 512MB DDR3 2.5 Inch Internal SSD
Offered by Aerisco
Price: 75.93

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!, 12 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I assemble computers for myself, my family, friends and occasionally colleagues - and I have used this drive several times. I specifically buy plextor every time because I am yet to have any item of theirs fail on me. For anyone who has owned an OCZ SSD or anyone who remembers having the IBM Deskstar (or Deathstar as they were more commonly known) will no doubt know what if feels like to lose all your data due to drive failure.

But that is what plextor are all about - reliability. if you can be bothered researching all the specifications on an SSD, I urge you to look out MTBF numbers before you a buy a drive and compare them. This is the Mean Time Between Failures and is measured in millions of hours. If you buy a kingston hyperx ssd, it has approx 1 million hours. Crucial M5 1.2million hours. PNY's XLR8 1.2million hours. Buy the Plextor M5S and its up to 1.5million hours, buy the plextor M5P and its 2.5million hours!! I dare you to find a more reliable drive than the Plextor M5P!! Plextor have statistically one of the lowest returns in the electronics industry and that is a company ethos I can get behind.

This drive (currently at 82.80 at time of review) may be a little more expensive than its competitors, but In my honest opinion you cannot put a price on losing photos/videos/office docs. Therefore I will continue to support plextor the best I can, and will buy this drive or the M5P any chance I get for whoever my build is for. Occasionally I will use corsairs SSDs as they are also very reliable.

Anyway more importantly, I have the M5P in my desktop and the M5S in my laptop and they are both blisteringly fast and I could not recommend them any higher.


COOLER MASTER RL-S12V-24PK-R1 Seidon 120V - 120 Radiator 1x 120 PWM Fan All in one Liquid CPU Cooler Kit - (Components Cooling Fans Modding)
COOLER MASTER RL-S12V-24PK-R1 Seidon 120V - 120 Radiator 1x 120 PWM Fan All in one Liquid CPU Cooler Kit - (Components Cooling Fans Modding)
Offered by UKStocked
Price: 38.20

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic little unit, 1 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have used a few different water cooled units, my favourite would be the one I am currenlty using which is the Corsair H80i - more on that later. I assemble computers regularly for friends, family or colleagues and have used this unit a few times now. It it probably worthy of note that at the time of review, this is currently selling for 36. So here it is:

Pros. This is one of the cheapest closed loop water coolers about, so price is a plus point. I have owned air cooled heatsinks around the 35 to 40 mark and I would say that this unit is comparable in performance. I have owned the Be Quiet Dark Rock Advanced (BK014) and Im not sure which product I would choose if I had 40 to spend to cool a CPU. A compliment in itself as I am quite fond of Be Quiet equipment. I have played games on a PC using this cooler and pushed it as hard as i could using an AMD FX 6300 (95w cpu) and the temperature peaked at 43 degrees and I couldn't get it any higher. This unit can be quiet but it depends on how you set it up, if the fan operates at 100% it will roar.

Cons. This is where I can get a little picky so I appologise if this sounds trivial. The locking mechanism. As far as I am concerned, any lightweight fan/heatsink assembly should use the standard AMD backplate - Conversely if the weight of the heatsink is substantial then it merits changing the backplate to something a little stronger. This is not a heavy unit. So why change the backplate? This is why I favour the corsair H80i - a very simple clamp system which uses the original AMD provided backplate. Therefore I have used the coolermaster 120v on the builds that I have started from scratch, but I have never and will never use this to upgrade anyones machine unless their PC case provides access to the rear of the motherboard. Normally I would deduct a star for this, but I believe this point is trivial considering the price. (Any unit costing 60 and upwards who demand you remove the backplate is unforgivable IMHO and will have stars deducted!).

Next con. The instructions are not very clear with regard to plugging in fan/pump etc. This should be straight forward but in practise it isn't. My first thought was to plug the pump into the CPU header and the Fan into a chassis fan header. Wrong. The kit which controls the temperature of the CPU should be plugged into the CPU header - in this case it is the fan, as it cools the liquid through the radiator. The pump should be plugged into any available chassis fan. In my experience, the pump has a clicking noise if it is ran at 100%, therefore plugging it into a chassis fan header and controlling the pump speed between 50 and 75% is ideal. Likewise, use your motherboard fan controller software to operate the Fan in the CPU header to vary in proportion to temperature. This could and should be better explained in the manual.

I am giving this unit five stars because I believe that it is excellent value for money. It is not perfect, but I am not going to argue at this price point. I will no doubt continue to buy this unit for any builds I do in the future until something better comes along.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 23, 2014 11:53 AM BST


Corsair 120mm Hydro Series H80i Digital High Performance Rad All-In-One Liquid CPU Cooler
Corsair 120mm Hydro Series H80i Digital High Performance Rad All-In-One Liquid CPU Cooler
Price: 63.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect, but good., 1 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have built myself a very capable Home Theatre PC consisting of a Plextor M5P SSD, Radeon HD 7770 2GDDR GFX card with 16gb of Corsair 1866mhz memory using an AMD 705E processor. I choose this processor because I didn't need a lot of computing power for the tasks I do on the machine. But I decided it was time to upgrade, so I bought myself a FX 6300 i.e. moving from a 65w CPU to a 95w. Therefore the stock cooler just wasn't going to be enough.

So I opted for this water cooling unit. I also considered the closed loop water systems by competitors such as Antec, thermaltake and coolermaster. I chose this one based on the fact that I didn't need to pull my entire machine apart to replace the backplate (although you will have to do this with an Intel motherboard) therefore it would make life much easier. Also, having owned many items of corsair equipment in the past, all of which are still functional.. I had no problem putting my faith in them again.

Well the first unit was DOA!! But many thanks for amazon for their superior service as always in replacing it. The first unit made a constant clicking noise that sounded like a wire rubbing against fan blades but was coming from the pump unit itself. After much research, I found a thread about this on the corsair forums where they said it was a problem which affects up to 1% and it is due to faulty bearings in the pump. Corsair recommend that if you find this happening to yours, to return it for a replacement from the vendor.

Now that the new one has arrived, I can say that it is a good unit and has kept my CPU between 32 and 35 degrees constantly. I have played company of heroes 2 and increased the settings to give the CPU a good workout and it peaked at 35 degrees! The unit itself is quite quiet but if the fans were to go at full throttle, it sounds like an air raid siren, its rather impressive - but also unwelcome in an HTPC, thankfully it only lasts a few seconds at start up. I have read several people saying that they have replaced these fans with the "Corsair CO-9050006-WW Air Series SP120 Quiet Edition 120mm Low Noise" fans and I suspect I will also at a later date. I have owned these fans in the past with a different case and can recommend those too, although it surprises me that they didn't include these with the unit originally. For 75, I would like to think that the fans should've been included instead of the ones provided.

Also, I have seen reviews of this product on other websites where people have said that the Y cable which connects the pump head to the two radiator fans is wrong, and doesn't connect to the fans. Please bear in mind that the Y cable should have 4 pins on each end which insert into the fan connectors and are supplied with transit pin protectors i.e. there is a black plastic sleeve protecting the pins and these must be removed before use. This is not mentioned in the manual, so if you are reading this review prior to purchasing this unit, please remember about this as I feel some of the negative reviews that have been given are unjust.

And lastly the program, perhaps I should spent more time learning how to use the program but I cannot honestly say that I like it. Yes it has lot of features, including changing the corsair logo colour on the pump head unit, but its not the most user friendly, plus it seems to think that my CPU temperature is currently at 6.8degrees, which I know for a fact that it isnt!! I am using Asus motherboard software as an indication of temperatures instead, therefore because of this and the lack of silent fans this product loses a star.

All in all, I don't regret buying this unit. If it is as reliable as other corsair products have been for me in the past then I will no doubt continue to be delighted.

Thanks for reading this review.


No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic little LEDs, 3 Dec 2012
I am not going to lie to you, these bulbs are not the brightest.. But they are remarkably bright for being 1w!! I bought these originally for a hallway, which there are 8 spotlights, in an L shape about 1m apart. Lets face it, how often do you really need a huge amount of light to be able to navigate down a hallway?

Ok I should probably confess at this point that my partner and I keep our house fairly dim and like it that way. However, when you have a room like a kitchen where there are nine spotlights in a square.. These are perfect! The 50w Halogens that were in before make the kitchen like a tanning salon, where as these are just perfect.

However, if you like your rooms to be relatively bright - I would recommend you look elsewhere. I bought a pack of these 18 months ago and all are still functioning. I know brands like Duracell, energiser and philips have been doing LED bulbs but at 3 and 4 times the cost. So far I have zero regrets about this purchase and have bought an additional 2 boxes of 10 since my original purchase 18 months ago to kit out the rest of the house.


Xebec-Tech Diamond Rechargeable Wireless Keyboard - Silver
Xebec-Tech Diamond Rechargeable Wireless Keyboard - Silver

5.0 out of 5 stars Handy little keyboard!, 22 April 2012
Bought this keyboard a while ago and have found it really handy compared to my last wireless touchpad. The fact that this one doesnt require batteries makes it really handy. It feels like a well built quality product and was easy to install, windows 7 recognised it easily. My only critism is that I think the mouse is a little too sensitive and I couldnt find out how to turn the sensitivity down, but thats not a big problem though, still a fantastic little touchpad.


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