SSD: Intel 400GB 750 Series NVMe
Looking to supercharge your build? Intel's 400GB 750 Series Add-In-Card SSD will speed your data flow along at up to 5x that of a standard SATA-based SSD. Games will load in a flash, applications will respond better, transfers of large files will happen at supersonic speeds, and overall your PC will have new life breathed into it. The 400GB 750 Series is supremely compatible with Z97 and X99 and priced low enough that you can afford it without taking out a second mortgage. We recommend the 750 Series over Samsung's 950 Series for Z97 and X99 builds. Be sure to install the drive on a GPT partition and use Intel's proprietary NVMe driver for best results. Read our full review here.
USB Drive: Patriot Rage 2
Starting off our buying guide with the simplest of solutions, we have the affordable yet very quick Patriot Rage 2. This drive shocked me when I reviewed it at the beginning of the year with its performance reaching over 400 MB/s read and 300 MB/s write. Pricing too has come down since, and you can now find this drive anywhere from $129.99 to $169.99 for the 256GB capacity depending where you shop. Read our full review here.
Portable Storage: Samsung Portable SSD T1
With NAND starting to touch that elusive 50 cents per GB mark, portable SSDs have caught on in the last year. The Samsung Portable SSD T1 was mighty impressive with its small form factor and 1TB capacity, performance was quite good with this solution as well hovering around the 350 MB/s mark for both read and write. Pricing on the 1TB model we reviewed has come down quite a bit over the last few months, with this drive now sitting around $369.99. Read our full review here.
Consumer NAS: Seagate Personal Cloud
There are typically three things I look for when reviewing consumer NAS appliances. The first is looks; does it flow with or go well on a desktop and does it blend in. The second is the interface where we should have a clean cut interface that's easy to navigate and use. The third is performance; the NAS must be able to support simple file storage, streaming of movies and photos and as a bonus multiple platforms. The Seagate Personal Cloud has all of these features and offers solid capacity options with 3, 4 and 5TB single driver solutions along with 6 and 8TB dual bay options. Read our full review here.
Router: TP-LINK Archer C3200
I've seen a solid amount of router come through in the past year, and none stood out to me like the TP-LINK Archer C3200. While we did see the D-Link Ultra 890L with its rather exciting design, I was even more impressed that TP-Link chose to keep their AC3200 solution small, smaller than any other vendor. This router packs in two 5GHz bands that operate at 1.3Gbps while the single 2.4GHz band is capable of 600Mbps, and as I have said in many articles, these tri-band solutions are the way forward, if not for the fact that we as consumers have many legacy devices that we enjoy using over Wi-Fi. With current standard dual-band solutions, that's just not possible without bringing the rest of the wireless network to a crawl. The user interface is simple and the price has also come down since my review, which you can read here.
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