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Pros: Everything you need minus the OS, perfect for a technician or builder with a little knowledge, or a Linux enthusiast.
A little dated but enough for a backup box or a media server [Media on Attached NAS] not hosting. Good for a young child's first box, setup and install Toolwiz Timefreeze. Specs are enough to run the basics.
3GHz Dual Core is adequate to power Windows 7 to Windows 10 and Linux. 4GB of DDR 2 6400 is enough, but the board in mine, [DQ45CB] supports 16GB across 4 slots [2 Open] My unit came with a 160GB Seagate 7200rpm not the 80GB described [Thanks EPC]. Perfect to make a very usable 120GB with a 29GB backup partition. I loaded Windows 7 Pro SP1 [Thanks EPC] All the Updates and Drivers after extensive testing of all hardware. For those that care, MS Experience Index 1.0 - 7.9 as follows
Memory: 5.9 [Shared Max with GFX chip]
3D Graphics: 3.6
Hard Drive: 5.9
I have the extra ram around so I'll move it to 8GB and I bought a graphics card 9SIA1N83V74323 .. [which I regret, $42 GT 710] that I might through in, to boost the numbers and provide for better media play through my TV. I wish that I could have bought a refurbished card for $15 to $25 bucks but Newegg's policy of not at least confirming inclusion of the low profile plate means I will never waste my time with those.
Cons: One minor scuff, not a con, but just pointing out that these are refurbished, such things should be expected.
One issue, the unit's BIOS has an Intel feature [Intel Active Management Technology] on my unit's Intel DQ45CB motherboard, that caused the unit to power up for a second and power off, every few minutes. Fix is Below.
Other Thoughts: On the Intel DQ45CB - Enter bios with F2, navigate to Intel ME.
The default password is admin (case sensitive), you have to change that to a strong password before proceeding.
Your password has to be 8 to 32 characters long and must have at least one upper case character, one lower case character, one number, and a special character like !,@,#,$,%,^,&,*.
Then go to IME configuration and change manageable feature from Intel AMT to none.
Save and Exit! Thanks FritzWue
This review is from: BitFenix BFC-PRO-300-SLOG-RP Aluminum Badges Silver
Pros: Nice badge to compliment your build. Fits nicely on a ROM plate.
Cons: I did a new build the end of 2013 and went with BitFenix fans, thought they deserved a badge on the case with the rest of the MFGs got it for $5.99 and thought that was a bit high for something the RAM and Graphics and CPU makers give for free. $30.00 for this badge is simply the MFG saying FU to their customers, maybe it's NE doing it as they can be found for $5 elsewhere.
Other Thoughts: Getting ready to do a new build.... Will not be buying the badge here...READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: The board itself has good features and decent layout. For a small mATX PC it's as feature packed as your likely to find for the sub 75 price. At the time of my purchase it came with a code for Battle Field 4 which still sells for 60 bucks. Very little to fault the board without nit-picking.
Cons: The minor issues that people, and myself have with this board was on the support side. Some posts are talking about USB issues, which I had myself. For those of you concerned or having issues, it's in the fact that the USB 3 drivers are not posted on the MSI site for the board. They are not installed with the chipset drivers. The Live Update utility does download them for you if you run it, as well as the BIOS. A 1 egg reduction, for shipping a product that needs a BIOS update out of the box and not providing a simple driver on the motherboard page [where people are looking] that would solve every ones issue with the USB. I never had this kind of issue with ASRock.
Other Thoughts: The board is great as far as feature and design. If you make sure to install the Renesas USB 3 driver, not listed on the motherboard page, and go ahead and flash the BIOS right away, you can avoid the minor snags some of us have hit. The driver is on the DVD under others. or the Live Update will download it. Forget the link in the MFG response here, it's a dead link. Run your setup disc after OS install and you should be able to give 5 eggs.READ FULL REVIEW