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Pros: Drive continually performs quickly and quietly. I purchased my first drive on a Black Friday sale back in 2012 and it was amazing. I'm using it as a second drive to, what was back then, a 120Gb SSD. Installing the application on the WD drive and having only the OS on the SSD provided amazing results. I was worried about heat, so I also purchased a hotswap bay with an active cooling fan, but it would be just fine without the fan. With my current Samsung 840 Pro SSD, when I copy files to the VelociRaptor, I see a consistent 200Mb/s write times.
Western Digital RMA process is simple and extremely fast.
Other Thoughts: My first drive failed on me. But that was my fault and by no means an imperfection from the factory.
Go to WD site and REGISTER your drive!
The RMA process is simple and quick. I had my new drive the NEXT DAY after they received the defective one.
Pros: Transferring data from an SSD to this drive takes no time at all. I use this drive as an application drive with an SSD as my boot drive. I don't notice any unusual noise out of this, if it's making a lot of noise, you may just be getting a lot of vibration from your case. I've got it mounted with rubber mounts, so it's no louder than any other mechanical drive in my system.
Other Thoughts: I bought this drive in November 2012 and it performed great out of the box.
I had to RMA it two weeks ago because it wasn't being recognized by Windows or BIOS. Upon further inspection I noticed a very distinct clicking noise. I suspect this happened because of me actually dropping the drive when I got a new case, but it took at least 3 months for the clicking to develop.
THAT being said... The RMA procedure through Western Digital was painless and easy. They even have an RMA status of "clicking noise". I sent the drive in and it got to them on a Friday and the following Tuesday I had my new drive. Outstanding.
Pros: This board has everything you will ever need. Period. Unless you need the extra PCI-E slots, there's really no reason to get the -E version. I didn't think it would fit into my older Lian Li case, but it's just ever so slightly larger than the AMD board I was replacing. Installing the CPU, RAM and everything else was a breeze. I love how with the Corsair H100i, you don't have to install a back plate, just screw it directly into the 2011 bracket and you're done. The board does take a few seconds to post, during which time it is flashing all sorts of Q codes at you. At first this concerned me, but once it went to "A0" and "AA" you're golden. It accepted all 64gigs of Mushkin RAM and all I had to do was enable the XMP profile and it automatically clocked the RAM at its advertised 2133Mhz speed. It also bumped the processor up from the stock 3.4Ghz to 3.8Ghz.
Cons: There is one major con that can happen if you're unlucky and get older stock. The BIOS - You need version 4306 to run the Ivybridge-E processors (which nowadays most everybody will be). I got a board that had been sitting in a warehouse and had the ancient 0802 BIOS on it. So I did what the ASUS support sites told me to do and started the process to flash the BIOS with the BIOS flashback utility. It never would work. Everything I did it just seemed to laugh at me. I called support, the guy walked me through the exact same steps... Nothing. Finally he said we could either RMA the board or they could ship me a new BIOS chip. I opted for the BIOS chip since I didn't want to take everything apart. Next day, I remove the old and put in the new chip. Same symptoms. It turned out they sent me the wrong one. Ok, fine, stuff happens, they're small chips that are hard to read. They send me another one for free. Next day, I install the new chip. The board doesn't even power on. I call support, they decide it be best if we RMA the board. I send it in. I get it back a week later. The board still does not power on. Not even using the onboard power button. No motherboard lights come on when I plug in the 24-pin power. At this point I'm kinda mad, I've got a $570 processor and $1000 worth of RAM just sitting here and it's been a month since I bought the board and I haven't even seen it post. I call support, they run around and ask everyone what to do. Finally I demand that I just get a brand new board. They agree. I send it in, they overnight me a brand new board. Check the bios and it is the newest (at the time) 4505 BIOS. I install the CPU and RAM and a dinky video card and it POST's!
Long story short... If you get an older board with an ancient BIOS, you may have a long road ahead of you. But it is completely worth it in the end.
The only good thing about this Con is that ASUS did make everything right in the end. At no point did they say that they were not going to honor the warranty. They even refunded me the $40 for the new BIOS chip and the overnight shipping I paid for. So ASUS warranty service is amazing.
Other Thoughts: If you've stuck around after the con's section then Congratulations!
Don't let the whole BIOS thing keep you from buying this board.
I'm not using this PC for anything that it should actually be used for. I'm not running any workstation software, video editing, and I'm playing a game every once in a while.
I basically have a 6core/12thread, 64 Gigs of RAM email and internet machine.
But - Everything it does, it does very quickly. I'm very glad that I went with this system.