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Sonnet Technologies Echo Express SEII Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe Expansion Chassis
Sonnet Technologies Echo Express SEII Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe Expansion Chassis
Offered by Maxx Digital
Price: $439.00
11 used & new from $428.21

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fan not as quiet as claimed, March 31, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Pros:
- It works, and is using Thunderbolt 2.
Cons:
- It's big. This shouldn't be a valid complaint since it is meant to house 2 cards (and one can be double height), but they discontinued the smaller model so this is your only option.
- The included fan is advertised as being really quiet. This is not the case, even at the lowest idle speed. The noise is particularly annoying if you have it hooked up to the near-completely-silent new Mac Pro. I opened mine up and replaced the fan with a SilenX EFX-08-15 80mm Effizio fan, which is much better and fits fine (though their fan connector is 2-pin; you can just position the 3-pin connector so the yellow speed pin is not connected).
- The blue LED on the front is too bright, like most LEDs used on modern components. This can be eliminated without ugly tape by just popping off the flexible light pipe inside.
- The barrel connector for the power supply will touch the bare metal of the chassis as you insert it, emitting sparks and making you wonder about the build quality and safety of the whole thing. It's not actually dangerous but something they should have considered with the design (solution: swap polarity on the barrel, or use plastic jacketing).

Overall though I'm about as satisfied as I'm going to get here. It's still better than the other options out there, since at the time of this writing Sonnet is the only manufacturer supporting TB2.


Komputerbay 128GB SDXC Secure Digital Extended Capacity Speed Class 10 600X UHS-I Ultra High Speed Flash Memory Card 60MB/s Write 90MB/s Read 128 GB
Komputerbay 128GB SDXC Secure Digital Extended Capacity Speed Class 10 600X UHS-I Ultra High Speed Flash Memory Card 60MB/s Write 90MB/s Read 128 GB
Offered by Komputerbay
Price: $33.99
46 used & new from $33.99

1.0 out of 5 stars B-Stock parts. Don't risk it., March 31, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I ordered two of these, one of which was DOA and the other was _extremely_ flaky. As others have pointed out, the parts inside are B-stock parts that come off the same fabs used by the big players. The lower yield components mostly "work," just not as reliably as the A-stock. Third party manufacturers like Komputer Bay buy up this B-stock for cheap, and take the risk of dealing with people getting bad parts. You may get a good card, you may not. I was 0 for 2.

I regretted buying this and replaced it with the equivalent Transcend card for just a few dollars more, which I know is reliably A-stock. No problems.


Intel Ethernet Converged Network Adapter X540T2
Intel Ethernet Converged Network Adapter X540T2
Offered by HE-LINK TECH-US
Price: $250.00
126 used & new from $250.00

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only trust Amazon LLC, March 31, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The X540T2 is rock solid with great driver support. However, be careful where you order.

I ordered the Intel X540T2 from one of the marketplace sellers here, and instead received apparently used Dell OEM parts with active cooling and no brackets. The official Intel part comes in a sealed box with a half-height and full-height bracket, and is passively cooled as shown in the picture. Be very wary of marketplace sellers on items like this. I will say that the seller refunded my money no problem, but it wasn't worth the headache to save a few bucks.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 4, 2015 9:36 AM PDT


Toy Instruments: Design, Nostalgia, Music
Toy Instruments: Design, Nostalgia, Music
by Eric Schneider
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.95
36 used & new from $1.97

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cool pictures, and that's about it, April 24, 2013
If you treat it like a picture book, this will suit you fine.

Unfortunately there is very little actual information about the toys pictured in the book, and every time you naively glance at a given toy's "description" you will be punished by one of the author's corny one-liners instead of anything interesting. Which is sad, because the author has such a cool collection and I'm sure he's very knowledgable about most of it. To me it seems as though a totally unknowledgeable third party came in and typed in 90% of the captions.

All that said, it's still on my coffee table because the pictures are pretty and I enjoy toy books. Just don't expect to learn anything.


The Boy Kings: A Journey into the Heart of the Social Network
The Boy Kings: A Journey into the Heart of the Social Network
by Katherine Losse
Edition: Hardcover
100 used & new from $0.01

13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Some truth, but mostly fiction, April 6, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I worked at Facebook with the author during the era "chronicled" in the book. For the most part, I found that she took extreme latitude in her storytelling with a great deal of embellishments and exaggerations; some events actually never occurred or occurred in a very, very different way. For many of her former coworkers this was really disappointing to see.

I would enjoy a less fictionalized story of the early days at Facebook, preferably without the sophomoric meandering writing style and forced "heady" metaphors. If you want sensationalized fiction of the story, read "The Accidental Billionaires" by Ben Mezrich. If you want non-fiction, "The Facebook Effect" by David Kirkpatrick is good. Unfortunately this book's format sits between in a mess of truths and un-truths that are unfair both to the author and all the characters within.


K&H Cuddle Cube Pet Bed, Medium 28-Inch by 28-Inch, Gray
K&H Cuddle Cube Pet Bed, Medium 28-Inch by 28-Inch, Gray
Price: $35.52
33 used & new from $28.64

4.0 out of 5 stars Instant hit with our French Bulldog, April 6, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
We have a French Bulldog that loved this bed (in Medium) the second it came out of the plastic. It looks good in any room and it's really comfortable. It's also really easy to clean because the cover comes right off. I can't really complain, except about the price. I've bought three of these total over the last 2 years and the price has gradually increased on Amazon by quite a bit. Not really sure why. I guess it's just that popular/good a product.


Nyrius ARIES Pro Digital Wireless HDMI Transmitter and Receiver System for Streaming HD 1080p 3D Video, Laptops, PC, Cablebox, Satellite, Blu-ray, PS3, Xbox (NPCS550)
Nyrius ARIES Pro Digital Wireless HDMI Transmitter and Receiver System for Streaming HD 1080p 3D Video, Laptops, PC, Cablebox, Satellite, Blu-ray, PS3, Xbox (NPCS550)
Offered by ShopTronics
Price: $499.98
2 used & new from $399.91

173 of 193 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a true uncompressed HDMI signal, April 6, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I spent a lot of time looking into WHDI devices like the Nyrius ARIES series. I was really impressed with all the good reviews. Unfortunately, I found the product to be misrepresented in marketing materials and the picture quality to be completely unacceptable for my purposes (cloned laptop display).

The problem is that Nyrius likes to claim their signal is "uncompressed." This is misleading. The fact is, this device does not transmit a full unmodified 1080p signal. There's very little information on this online besides the common claims that the video quality is "Perfect" (source: whdi.org), "Uncompressed" (source: this product page), "lag-free" and so on. But nobody will claim it's exactly the same as an HDMI cable, because it isn't. After much digging I found that WHDI technology "prioritizes areas of visual significance" while giving less priority to others. Ultimately this means WHDI is using a motion estimation/detection algorithm just like any other video compressor. The difference is that they simply drop information rather than encode it into some other format, which would have more potential to introduce lag. To me this means the signal is compressed, but if you want to get disingenuous I guess you can claim it isn't since there's no format conversion going on. I always thought "compression" would mean taking a signal and making it fit in a smaller amount of bandwidth, which is what is happening here, but marketers really like to invent their own definitions for words.

For the technically minded, you can read more about WHDI's "totally not compressing anything" motion-estimation and prioritization algorithm here: [...]

To see what I mean, hook up a computer of some kind (I used a Mac Mini) and drag some windows around. In my case I had the transmitter and receiver within 2 feet or less of each other, and the built-in signal strength meter on the display indicated full quality. When any amount of motion is displayed on the screen (dragging a window would be an example of "high motion" for the purposes of video encoding, at least the way WHDI does it) there is severe visible artifacting taking place. When hooked up over a straight high-speed HDMI cable, this artifacting is of course not present at all.

I double-checked that I had turned off my 5Ghz wireless router just to make sure it wasn't interfering. Picture quality (during motion) was still unacceptable and not at all close to the performance of a normal HDMI cable.

All that said, if you just don't care about top-notch visual quality and you just want a functional wireless video setup, this will work. It may be reasonably OK for TV/Movies, as many have attested. And the out-of-box experience was certainly extremely easy and it worked immediately. But if you are trying to solve a wiring problem I might suggest looking into HDMI-over-Cat5/6 baluns if it's an option for you. You can do a lot better than this solution.
Comment Comments (15) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 17, 2015 7:26 AM PDT


StarTech.com 2.5in SATA Removable Hard Drive Bay for PC Expansion Slot
StarTech.com 2.5in SATA Removable Hard Drive Bay for PC Expansion Slot
Price: $23.94
67 used & new from $17.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good product, cheap power cable, December 25, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have two of these and they work fine and fit even in tight spaces, like most 1U server chassis. Beware that the included power cable broke on me both times and should not be trusted. It can be replaced with a normal SATA power cable (and disables the horrifically bright LEDs on the back as a bonus).
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 10, 2015 12:48 PM PST


Supermicro SNK-P0046P 1U Passive Cpu Hs for Intel LGA1156
Supermicro SNK-P0046P 1U Passive Cpu Hs for Intel LGA1156
Offered by pcrush-outlet
Price: $21.76
45 used & new from $17.45

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does its job, December 25, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It is what it says it is. Fits fine in my Supermicro 1U case. No need for a fan. Comes with bracket for the other side of the motherboard and has thermal compound already on it, so you just screw it together.


Solder Sucker- desoldering pump
Solder Sucker- desoldering pump
Offered by SFT, Inc
Price: $5.65
8 used & new from $1.35

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cheap plastic casing, December 25, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The price was certainly right, but I decided to unscrew this thing to inspect the insides and the cheap plastic threads on the casing were already stripped, and unscrewing it permanently stripped them. It doesn't go back together. Didn't even get to use it once, and even if I had, cleaning it out would have been impossible without breaking it. Look for a higher quality product that isn't made of plastic.


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