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Pros: This is, hands down, the best motherboard I've ever used. Obviously with the new technology that doesn't seem like much of a compliment, however, I am talking in terms of at the time of use. Up until using this motherboard my favorite ever was the Epox 8rda3+ Pro that I used with my AMD socket A 2600 mobile chip that I overclocked to 2.4ghz on air. At the time the motherboard was feature-rich, tough-as-nails, and aesthetically pleasing. The king has been dethroned!
I was able to play around a bit with overclock settings and RAM settings and found the UI to be very well laid out and easy to navigate. There are plenty of options to please power users and yet simple enough for the layman to still find his way through. Honestly, though, there is no reason for anyone to buy this board if they are just building an e-mail machine for grandma. This board was meant for speed, power, and stuffing a full-tower case full of sweet, gorgeous, wonderful technology. The board has the word "gaming" in its name for goodness sakes.
This board is gorgeous to look at. Seeing it through the window of my case just makes me all giddy. I am going to be ordering a new case to match the board (the stormtrooper look is BACK) and my LED color selection (can't choose between orange or blue or maybe BOTH).
SO MANY USB 3.0 ports! From the number available on the back and then the on-board plugs for extra ports you could plug in around 63 laptops worth of USB devices. Why would you ever need to plug in that many USBs? Well I say, why NOT?
This board has U.2, M.2, and USB 3.1 ports available. While these are going to be used only by the most hardcore of users keeping up with the latest in technology (honestly I had to do research to learn more about U.2 and M.2), it is still wonderful to have the options available. For being a piece of hardware that is impossible to future proof (in another month there will be DOZENS of updated motherboards with newer technology available) this board does a darn good job of making you feel secure with the features of your PC for at least a year or two. For me this will last a LONG time (basically until the machine burns up because, as my high school electronics teacher always said, "You can't put the smoke back in!")
You can update the BIOS through USB port! This is a great option in case you bork your bios install and need to do an emergency bios recovery with a thumb drive.
The layout of the PCI-E slots is very roomy. Up to 4 cards can be installed (more than 2 cards requires the higher-priced 40 lane processors) with 2 cards having a LOT of room and 3 cards still fitting quite comfortably. I was pleased with how installing my two cards for SLi didn't block any of the headers on the board!
SO MANY LEDs. This board has LEDs everywhere. Of course there is the option to turn them off...but WHY!? Playing with the different colors is just mindless fun. Seriously I got way more enjoyment out of the LEDs than I probably should have.
Cons: The ports that are installed facing parallel to the board (on the edge facing to the side instead of straight up at you when looking down onto the motherboard) are VERY difficult to access and in mid-size cases you will need a 90-degree plug to be able to use them. Even with the 90 degree plug it is very very hard to get to these ports. Obviously anyone purchasing this board should have a larger case but since this was sent to me for review I was able to find out that just because this form factor will fit doesn't mean it will be easily accessible.
The LEDs are an all-or-nothing deal. You can't turn off certain ones and leave others on they are either all off or all on. Also you cannot mix and match colors. Every LED has to be the same color. Not a huge deal but I felt it was worth mentioning.
If you opt for the cheaper processor with only 28 lanes you will not have access to every possible feature that you would have with a 40 lane processor. For instance it seems that you cannot use the U.2 port unless you have a 40 lane CPU. There are adapters available if you have a cheaper CPU and want to use the slot but for the purposes of this review I did not test this option. I hope to upgrade to the more expensive 40 lane chip in the future. Also you will not be able to utilize SLi for 3 or more video cards to their full potential with the 28 lane chip. Honestly I can't see that being a big problem because if you can afford three or four $500 video cards why would you cheap out on the processor. Go big or go home! I honestly have no business saying that because I bought one of the cheaper processors.
For me the biggest con to this board is that there is NO POST DISPLAY! I love the post code display on a board. So easy to look into the case and see if there are any problems with your settings while booting up especially when an overclock fails. It is really odd for a board this fantastic and this full of features to not have a post code display. I've gotten spoiled since they started putting them on motherboards and to have one missing from a high-end gaming board just bums me out. I will get over it though because otherwise this board is amazing.
Other Thoughts: Right now there aren't many USB 3.1 devices out there but that will change with time and the fact this board can support them will come in quite handy.
I wanted to comment more regarding gaming and how well this board worked with different settings on different games, however, my video cards decided to go completely bonkers right when it was time to review this board. I tried borrowing a card from a friend but he flaked out on me and the RMA process proved to be far too lengthy to be acceptable in the timeframe required to post my review. If I discover anything worth mentioning I will try to edit this review and update it when I finally do get a video card that gets me up and running and I can really put this board through its paces with a few games and some different tweaks made in the BIOS. I have a feeling, however, that my opinion of this board will not change. I honestly cannot say enough great things about it and have already recommended it to a couple of my friends that are thinking about upgrading their rigs.
This review is from: TP-LINK RE355 AC1200 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Range Extender
Pros: There isn't much to tell about these kind of devices. They either work or they don't. This one works very well. It is easy to set up, doesn't conflict with Windows or OS X, doesn't lose connection and has an impressive range. It still doesn't reach out to my garage (none of the devices I've ever tested have) but it's an attached garage and an old house with thick walls. It is a pretty good looking device. It is white and has cool-toned blue LEDs. It plugs directly into the wall and looks kind of like the three antennae devices in Ghostbusters (the GOOD Ghostbusters not this new travesty to film and the human eyeball)
Cons: It is a little big but it can still be setup to leave an outlet open while it is using another. I really can find no cons other than this.
Other Thoughts: I'd definitely recommend this product if you are looking for a range extender for a large home or a finished basement/attic. It is a great device with no glaring faults. This is the first of these devices I have come across that has adjustable antennae.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: This is a PoE switch (power over ethernet) so no power brick required. However, you will still need a source of power either from it being built in to your other equipment or from an "injector". In my case I required an injector to provide power to this switch. I have plans for a home security system and hadn't considered using PoE when I was sent this switch to review. I had to put a rush on ordering the parts for the system I plan to have in place and was only able to do a bit of a bench test but this switch worked quite well.
This switch provides PoE to two devices and works as a common switch for two other devices. I read some other reviews that complained about this product not providing enough power to run two devices but I updated the firmware before testing this product and did not have the same problem.
Being able to power my planned security cameras with only an ethernet cable is incredibly convenient. I was actually dreading running power out the locations I was going to place my cameras but with this switch I can now drill only one tiny hole.
This little switch is a tough little device. Well-built and solid. I have a non-PoE Network switch that is similar to this switch and haven't had the chance to really mount it properly in the basement where I keep it and it has taken a few long drops to the concrete floor and I've never had a problem with it.
Cons: Only having two PoE outputs is a little restricting. My original plan for my security cameras only calls for two cameras so this switch works great for me but may be a little limited for anyone else.
Other Thoughts: I am very excited to have this switch and would definitely recommend it if you are looking for a good solid PoE switch for your security cameras, VOIP, or other devices that you need to power with only an ethernet cable, as long as you are okay with only powering two devices with it. Remember you will need a system that will supply this switch with power over ethernet or a power injector which takes in a normal ethernet cable connection and plugs into an AC outlet making the output ethernet cable able to supply power to PoE devices.READ FULL REVIEW