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Fast and easy
Pros: Small footprint allows for easy placement in ITX case builds. Affordable MB and CPU combo. The heatsink remains very cool under lite duty with no fan!
Cons: Loaded with WIN8 and 4GB RAM the Windows Experience Index is 2 due to video. Processor is 3.8 and memory is at 5.2. (Don't expect to build anything more then a workstation) Supports only HDMI and DVI, don't bother with adapter to VGA.
Other Thoughts: You can still put a decent PCI video card, but this is not a gaming platform. Drop in a Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid drive to max out the potential.
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Dreaded PowerVR video chipset
Pros: Low power. Lots of USB ports.
Cons: These boards have the PowerVR chipset (Poulsbo, GMA500, etc.) and there is nothing but minimal non-accelerated driver support for them in ANY Linux distro, except several year old MeeGo, and then maybe 32-bit XP/7 (from what I read there is no Win8 and no 64-bit support). I was only able to get it working under Slackware at 1366x768 resolution, but even then it's non-accelerated performance just barely makes it acceptable for playing media. Very disappointing driver support from Intel on this product and anyone buying it should know up front that there is no way to upgrade OS as the drivers just don't exist and probably never will, so you're stuck with XP or whatever. I'm going to use it as-is for a while, and then shove it out to the garage where it will probably work OK on a 1280x1024 monitor and playing MP3s. Tried 1920x1080 but it's just too slow, even just the X desktop (KDE) stinks.
Other Thoughts: Hint: add "video=1366x768" to your kernel boot parameters to keep the screen from going black with "no signal" at Linux boot -- that took me days to find. Apparently the gma500_gfx kernel driver picks a bad video mode and this causes the monitor (HDMI, DVI, etc.) to go black, or blue. Need latest kernel (3.7) probably; the earlier kernel I tried (3.2) had the gma500_gfx driver, but it crashed.
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Pros: Small form factor. Runs cool (even with no CPU fan). 64-bit architecture. Has hyper-threading so you see 4 cpu's. Runs pretty quick. No install issues, memory went right in.
Cons: Tried to run as a cheap windows server using win server 2003. Intel prohibits use via providing no drivers and banning LAN driver installation for windows server OS's. I managed a work around by guessing a few drivers for the LAN chipset until I found one that worked; I browsed the CD it came with. So it can be done, just not easily. It is classified as a desktop board but obviously runs as a server if you find the right drivers. Intel could simply specify that working drivers are provided at your own risk as the board is not server certified or something to avoid legal risk and make us happy.
Other Thoughts: This would make a nice in-expensive home server unit as I purchased a ready made server case with the board. If Intel would simply provide straight forward drivers so we can use hardware as we please it would make life much easier.
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“These boards have the PowerVR chipset (Poulsbo, GMA500, etc.) and there is nothing but minimal non-accelerated driver ...”— kevinh 1/20/2013
“Small footprint allows for easy placement in ITX case builds. Affordable MB and CPU combo. The heatsink remains very cool ...”— PC Solutions 1/30/2013