Nyko Data Bank Pics
So I got my PS4 back on launch day and even before first boot I swapped the internal drive with a 1.5TB. At the time that was the largest readily available 2.5" 9.5mm hard drive. Today, you can get bigger drives but still not as big as 3.5" desktop hard drives. Unlike the Wii U and XBOX One you can't use an external USB hard drive to run games off of. Enter the Nyko Data Bank which I picked up at Amazon for $40.
There have been solutions before wiring up 3.5" external enclosures with esata to the internal sata port on the ps4 but they weren't very elegant and you had to deal with the enclosure being on a separate power switch. So you had to make sure the hard drive was on before the ps4.
Enter the data bank which is a pretty well integrated solution. It consists of a plastic sata sled pass through in the shape of an internal 2.5" hdd along with the bracket around it. That routes the sata data/power upward at a 90 degree angle. Then, you have a replacement cover that houses the 3.5" hdd and a little ribbon cable that routes the sata from the sled up to the back of the enclosure. Power is pulled from the plug and then passes through to the ps4 so everything powers up together. Overall, it's a pretty elegant solution.
It comes packaged with some pretty detailed instructions but here are some nice instructions on swapping the hard drive. So with the latest ps4 2.50 firmware they added a backup/restore function that basically images your hdd to an external usb hard drive and then let you restore form that. It sounded perfect because then you don't have to re-download all your games. I have close to 900GB of data.
WARNING: DO NOT USE THE BACKUP/RESTORE FUNCTION IN FIRMWARE 2.50. It's currently very buggy. I spent about 12 hours backing up and another 7 restoring. It looked like everything went OK but then the ps4 started having all sorts of odd issues:
- Most of my games were corrupt and couldn't start. Deleting and re-downloading the game would cause CE-38612-0 error and would prevent any game from starting.
- Non responsive controls
- Putting the ps4 into sleep mode would crash it.
- No amount of restarting, unplugging, or database rebuilding would help.
- Tried turning off internet connection which didn't help.
I finally had to re-initialize and reinstall from scratch clean after first manually backing up each individual game's save files to a usb flash drive. Don't forget to sync your trophies and backup any video or screen captures you want to save. After configuring all my settings and logging into PSN I re-downloaded The Witcher 3 and everything was working fine. Now, I'm trying to re-download all my games which is going to take a few days. It's a real PITA and sony needs to get this fixed pronto. FYI, you can queue P.T. to re-download but it will fail with an error. Oh well, I guess I lost that game demo.
I installed this 4TB seagate SSHD which is one of their new hybrid drives. It does seem a bit faster on load times. I'll know better once I repeatedly load a game a few times.
Some possible drawbacks:
- Heat. I'm not sure but I think it might add some heat. As a bonus you move the hard drive completely outside of the ps4 but that 3.5" hard drive does generate a bit of heat. The thing is passive so there are no additional fans.
- Bluetooth performance seems to be a bit worse but I'm not 100% sure on this. This giant enclosure sitting on top of your ps4 might be inhibiting the bluetooth signal SLIGHTLY. I'm still testing. I don't really notice any issues while playing games but only in the cross media bar. That might be because I'm trying to download and install my entire digital library of games though.
Recommended if you don't mind going through all the hassle to install this thing, migrate your data, and re-downloading all your software. It really is a big pain but I think it is worth it in the end.
NOT RECOMMENDED. Apparently the current ps4 firmware (2.50) isn't completely happy with volumes greater than 2TB. It will crash when you sleep it consistently. Reading the reviews on amazon I'm not the only one. It's possible the backup/restore would work on a smaller hard drive but I don't know for sure right now. Well, this kind of defeats the entire purpose of the device and Nyko should have been clearer on this point. Even though technically nothing is wrong with the enclosure it's still kind of pointless to buy it now until a new firmware that plays nice with larger volumes comes out. So now I have to decide either to swap back to my old hard drive and return the data bank (or keep it around until it's properly supported) or live with shutting down the ps4 everytime and keep my fingers crossed this gets fixed in future firmware update. I think I'm going to swap back to my internal drive
Monday, June 15, 2015
Monday, May 11, 2015
- I'm usually not a completionist but on this game I was. There were a few things I missed on the first play through that I had to pick up on NG+. You might want to review all the NPC quests especially ones dealing with covenants. There is usually a strict order of things and there are specific events that will prevent you from completing quests if you hadn't already completed previous steps.
- If you want all 3 endings you might want to read up on that and what is required. You'll also want to create a save backup before the point of no return if you want to easily get all 3 ending trophies without having to play through multiple times.
- I missed some of the hunter tools in the late stages. I would review those and see if you missed any before you cross the point of no return. You're there when ummm everything is on fire.
- You won't get all the weapons either until you do the chalice dungeons.
- There is exactly one blood rock in the main game that lets you upgrade a weapon from +9 to +10.
- You can get another blood rock in some depth 5 root chalice dungeons but you have to pretty much finish the chalice dungeons to unlock that. It's a pretty big time commitment.
- There is one living string in the main play through that is important if you plan to do the chalice dungeons.
- The non-root chalice dungeons are NOT random and there is a pretty strict linear progression. I would recommend saving depth 3 and greater for NG+. The end goal is to kill the queen. On step 6 most people say Isz is easier than Lower Loran so that's what I did.
- So I found a few bosses particularly difficult.
- Cleric gave me some trouble since it was my first experience with a souls game boss.
- Blood starved beast was heard and taught me to gun parry.
- Martyr Logarius was probably the hardest boss for me in the main game.
- All of defiled chalice dungeon was really really hard. It was the hardest part of the entire game for me.
- The queen was actually pretty easy.
- One of the main things insight does is make the game harder (lower resistance to frenzy, enemies have new abilities) on multiples of 15. So if you want to keep the game as "easiest" as possible keep your insight below 15. I'm a wuss so I just bought bolt or fire paper to keep my insight around 11 at all times.
- Out of the 57 hrs of play time about 3 hrs was probably dedicated to echo farming to help put me a bit ahead of the level curve. I really didn't start farming until first floor lecture building (works from the side room too which is they way I prefer to do it). Lower mensis near the lantern isn't a bad spot either. I also farmed a bit in layer 1 Great Pthumeru Ihyll Chalice. Right at the lantern there is a big dude you can kill. With all 3 moon runes equipped I made about 33K echoes per run. Just use bold hunter's mark and repeat.
- The hand lantern affects stamina. Actually, a few things do.
Highly recommended. I can definitely see this being my game of the year. It's a system seller IMO. I think I'm done. I don't have any real desire to grind root chalice dungeons or do pvp. I guess I'll start working my way backwards through the rest of the souls games.
Toward the end of my first play through I decided to start saving some of my boss fights to youtube. Obviously these are pretty spoilerly. Here they are in the order that I got them.
Thursday, May 07, 2015
Here is a pretty neat and portable solution to get a dual monitor setup for your macbook.
Mountie is a $25 clip that allows you to attach your ios device to the side of your macbook. It consists of spongy grippy clips that hold on to each device with a stabilizing bar running in between them. It comes with a few different sets of pads of different thicknesses to accommodate different mac/ipad/iphone models. I'm using a macbook pro 15 mid 2014 along with an iPad air 2. The clip is really easy to attach and remove. So that's kind of cool on it's own. But it gets really neat when you pair it with Duet.
Duet is a $16 universal app. I know it's pretty pricey but worth every penny. I picked it up when it was on sale though. So this lets you use your iOS device as a second monitor for you macbook. There have been several similar apps that use wifi but this one has one big difference. It's connection is done over the lightening cable. This gives you incredible performance, reliability, and visual quality. Your iPad will look and respond just as if you had a small secondary monitor attached by hdmi or thunderbolt. This is a great portable/space saving dual monitor solution that's great for travel, on the couch, or if you just have limited desk space.
Highly Recommended. On a table the iPad works well in both portrait and landscape orientation. On your lap I find landscape to throw the balance too far off to feel all that comfortable or stable.
So with pretty much every laptop coming with a SSD these days (or you are upgrading to one) the lack of large of amounts of storage is pretty apparent. The good news is most modern laptops have usb 3.0 ports which gives you the full throughput that portable 2.5" external hard drives can deliver. The biggest issue if you use your laptop on well your lap is it's pretty inconvenient to have this hard drive tethered to your laptop which doesn't easily move around with you.
So I started looking into different ways to attach the hard drive to the back of the lid of the laptop. I've tried suction cup hooks like you can find in craft stores. There are some Christmas wreath hangers that kind of work but are rather large and the hook is the wrong shape. The idea is to suction cup the hook to the hard drive and then hook it over the top of the laptop screen. Plastic hooks are obviously preferred to prevent scratching. Also, it has to be small enough not to obscure the screen. Then if the angle/curve of the hook isn't right the hard drive won't hang right. Also, it's pretty easy to knock the hook off the laptop or the suction cup could release. Overall, it was a pretty horrible solution.
Next I tried those thin rubbery sticky pads used to hold cell phones to car dashes. Those kind of work but were hard to remove and as the stickiness wore off the hard drive would fall off. This was an even worse solution with strong possibility of damaging your hard drive from a fall.
Finally, I found a solid solution I REALLY like. Those little rubber coated flexible spider mounts are perfect for the job. They are really inexpensive like these for $2.55. Those ship from china so it takes a few weeks. Search around amazon and you can find some prime ones for a bit more. Look at my photos to see how you should bend them to wrap around the hard drive and create 2 hooks on the opposite end of the usb port. When bending sharper angles like for the hooks you might want to use some pliers. Just be careful with these cheaper mounts because you can actually have the metal underneath poke through the rubber outer coating. The rubber coating makes it safe to use and grips so it doesn't slide around. You can bend all the little legs to fit almost any hard drive and any laptop. Now, when you get up or move around with your laptop your external hard drive moves with you. For hard drives I really like the Seagate Backup Plus slim 2TB for around $89.