RAM: G.Skill Trident Z
With DDR4, we have seen many designs in heat spreaders, and varying degrees of performance for the rated speeds offered in what we tested. However, when it comes to picking just a single kit from the bunch, the G.Skill Trident Z RAM is where you will get the best of all worlds. Whether you want white, black, red, orange, or yellow accents to match your motherboard, G.Skill has what you desire. Performance has been top-notch, and for those who like to squeeze a bit more from their RAM, the ICs used in these kits delivers the ability to obtain more speed, or reduce timings to finely tune these kits to get exactly what you want from them.
USB Drive: PhotoFast iType-C
It's no secret that 2016 was the year of the OTG drive. Nearly every vendor that's in the flash market has come out with their own solution, but there is no denying PhotoFast the top choice with the iType-C. The first platform independent solution to hit the market with Lightning, USB-C along with USB 3.0 and micro-USB via the included adapter, this device is possibly the only solution you would ever need. Performance hits the 90 MB/s mark making quick work of file transfers and the app for iOS and Android, has come a long way, keep getting better and better.
Portable Storage: SanDisk Extreme 900
With USB-C Gen 2 starting to come into its own, SanDisk launched their first full speed solution in the 2TB Extreme 900. With this being our first look at the technology in its retail form, we came away quite impressed with how far external storage has come. This solution with its tremendous capacity maxed out Gen 2 USB-C with 850 MB/s read and write, with small spells up into the 1000 MB/s arena.
NAS: Synology DS916+
Year after year the consumer NAS market gets even better. At this point, these small form factor platforms are PCs with purpose-built operating systems. No-one showcases this better than Synology with the DS916+; this solution was one of the most spec'd out platforms of the year with an Intel N3710 Pentium quad-core CPU and 8GB of DDR3. Adding in the new DSM 6.0 platform only made this solution better with one of the easiest and more fluid NAS systems available on the market.
Router: Ubiquiti Amplifi HD
When it comes right down to it, Mesh is the future of consumer networking. It's been used for ages in business and enterprise, and it has now trickled down to the consumer. No single vendor is more experienced in this technology than Ubiquiti and with their release of the Amplifi platform have designed a mesh network that is easy to setup and expand for the consumer. In my own testing, I found a solid boost in signal throughout my home, and while this platform is AC1750, there is plenty of bandwidth available for streaming, gaming, and browsing among multitudes of devices.
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