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Pros: + Amazing construction quality
+ LEDs look great with whatever hardware you have
+ Stable and fast
+ Up to 40 Lanes PCI-E
+ Easy to overclock in BIOS
+ Good onboard sound
+ Q Flash Plus lets you flash BIOS without a CPU
+ Lots of fan and other headers
+ M.2, U.2, and USB 3.1 connections
+ Built-in wifi (2.4 and 5GHz) and Bluetooth
Cons: - If you want all 40 PCI-E lanes, get ready to drop some serious $$ on a nice CPU (not the board’s fault)
Other Thoughts: I didn’t think my i7 4820K needed an upgrade, but when I was given the chance to test this board I couldn’t resist. I paired this up with an i7 6800K and 32GB (4 x 8GB) RAM, and the system just flies. I still need to upgrade the video card (running a GTX 770), but even without a newer card the system boots and runs noticeably faster.
I really like the future-proofing this board offers. It has multiple USB 3.1 slots, M.2, and U.2. SSD support. There are also an abundance of USB 3.0 slots. It also sports very nice onboard audio, dual NICs, and built-in wifi and Bluetooth. I was able to test every single connection and they all worked flawlessly. The wireless connected to both 2.4 and 5GHz SSIDs in my house, the Bluetooth paired right up with my Microsoft Sculpt Comfort Bluetooth mouse, and the onboard audio thumped my Logitech 5500s without any noticeable negative effects or noise (disclaimer: I am no audiophile). This board also has a TON of SATA 6Gb connections. If you are someone who likes to run a lot of drives, this board will make you happy.
As others have mentioned, to get full use of the 40 PCI-E lanes, you will need a CPU that supports it. As of right now the cheapest CPU option that supports 40 lanes costs nearly $600. I only plan on running one video card so I opted for the cheaper-but-excellent 6800K (up to 28 lanes). I figure that will give me some extra $$ for a better video card. It also leaves me with plenty of headroom for upgrades to this system down the road.
I am very impressed with the quality of this board. This is my first Gigabyte product, and I would not hesitate to purchase a board from them in the future. Nicely done!
This review is from: Pantum M6552NW 1200 dpi x 1200 dpi USB / Ethernet / Wireless mono Laser MFP Printer
Pros: + Easy to use once you get it set up
+ Small footprint and nice appearance
+ Wifi works great
+ Auto Document Feeder
+ Fast operation
Cons: - Quick setup guide was somewhat confusing
- Limited file-type support for wifi printing
Other Thoughts: This is a nice multi-function printer, scanner, and copier. Setup was a little confusing using just the quick setup guide, which uses mostly pictures, and I wasn't really sure what each step was telling me to do. I finally just put it the quick setup guide down, took off every piece of protective tape I could find (including on the starter toner cartridge), and then plugged in into my PC. I then put in the included driver CD and installed the package for this device (M6552NW).
This prints a lot faster and quieter than my old circa-2004 HP LJ1200. Copying documents also could not be easier. The document feeder works great too. Scanning took a tiny bit more effort to figure out, but once I opened the Pantum Scan Application on my computer, it was all self-explanatory. Scanned a couple of pictures in full color, and they came out great. Copies are clear as well. The included starter toner is rated for 700 pages. The full toners you can buy are 1600 pages.
All in all a very nice printer / scanner / copier. The only question now will be how long it lasts, and how accessible toner cartridges will be in the future. Overall very pleased.
This review is from: ASUS RP-AC56 AC1200 Wireless Dual-Band Repeater / Access Point/Media Bridge
Pros: + Good variety of modes (repeater, access point, bridge)
+ Decent interface once you get to the proper admin page
+ Does a good job of extending signal on both 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies
+ Solid construction
+ Nice appearance
Cons: - Very minimal documentation
- Setup could confuse many users who aren’t comfortable in their router’s settings
- Takes up both outlets in a standard wall plug
- Bulky, hard-to-remove packaging
Other Thoughts: I don’t usually do the WPS thing, so instead I thought I would share the steps I took to configure this manually in repeater mode.
I configured this device by disconnecting my PC from the router before plugging the repeater directly to the PC. Using any web browser, you can then go to the default IP (192.168.1.1) or repeater.asus.com.
The first screen you get is very basic; it only shows the SSIDs it found, and lets you select and configure the 2.4GHz and/or 5GHz connections. Once you provide your SSIDs’ passwords, it connects to the wifi, sets up new SSIDs (your original SSID + _RPT appended to it), and at that point gets assigned a LAN IP from your router (assuming you’re using DHCP). The next step is to determine the new LAN IP, which is done easily enough by going into your router’s admin page and looking at the DHCP tables. You can probably also use a command prompt and ipconfig to do the same. Once you have that IP, enter it into your browser and log in with the default username and PW (admin for both). Now you are in the full administrative interface.
In this interface, you can change the login and password (do that right away), set its mode (repeater, access point, bridge), and perform other administrative tasks like setting a static LAN IP so you always know how to log into the device. You can also upgrade the firmware, configure the audio service, setup MAC filtering, and more. It would be great if there were more detailed instructions about this interface included in the box, but if you have configured a lot of routers or other networking devices you probably will be familiar with most of the settings. The firmware failed to upgrade using the utility, but I did find a new version online on the Asus support page for the device and was able to update it manually.
With the device fully configured, I relocated it to the farthest point in the house where the signal was still excellent. Beyond that point, I connected with an iPad and cell phone to the new SSID (the one with RPT appended to it), and signal strength remained excellent much farther away from that than it used to. It’s been in use for a few days now, and all seems to be working as it should.
I can see the other modes coming in handy. Bridge mode will allow you to setup another wired LAN segment using the Ethernet jack on the RP-AC56. The RP-AC56 will then bridge that wired segment to your router wirelessly. In this mode you can connect the RP-AC56 to a switch to get more ports and provide as many devices as you’d like with wired Ethernet connectivity. Access point mode allows you to wire the RP-AC56 to your router and then use the device as an access point farther away from your actual router.
For what it does, the Asus RP-AC56 works well once you set it up properly. Just do your homework beforehand. My only real concern with it is that, for the price, I can probably just go and get another actual router and get more options for connectivity, especially if you get one that supports DD-WRT. Outside of that though, the RP-AC56 is a good performer overall. If I could give it 3.5 eggs I would, but since I can’t I’ll round up and give it four. Minus one egg for poor documentation, and minus half an egg for form factor and painful (albeit pretty) packaging.