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Pros: One of the best price/peformance ratios you can get in the Sandy bridge i3 family. A dual core machine with decent integrated graphics. Intel 3000 graphics gpu hits the sweet spot for office duty use, workstation apps and light duty gaming.
Cons: Intel's heat sink and push-pin design that we've grown to loath.
Other Thoughts: Intel designs their cpu heatsinks for average loads in cold air-conditioned spaces. They will run hot in other environments and higher cpu loads. Intel should consider that a good percentage of these cpus will see use in non-airconditioned labs and warehouse space. And design their heatsinks accordingly.
For those uses, consider getting a better cooling, third party heatsink. The cooler you can run your electronics, the longer the life expectancy.
This review is from: Intel BOXDH61BEB3 LGA 1155 Intel H61 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
Pros: Decent support for older ps/2 connections and parallell printer port. Yet having a few ports for USB3. Coupled with a Sandy bridge cpu, this makes for a great office and light duty workstation.
The initial bios settings are very conservative and set to legacy bios, making it easier to set things up.
Cons: Recommend updating the bios. It appears a large percentage of the boards seem to be a production run of bios version #042.
Ivy Bridge cpu support depends on later serial number versions *and* the BIOS being version #048 and newer.
Other Thoughts: There's a lot of life left in Sandy bridge cpus. And if you plan to use a sandy Bridge cpu and Windows 7. I'd advise updating the BIOS no higher than #048. The latest BIOS versions add Windows 8 and related updates to Windows 8 favored UEFI booting and the secure boot can-o-worms.
UEFI bios is still a messy work in progress. If you have windows 7 and no need to use large 2TB hard drives and/or RAID. The legacy bios setting is definitely your friend.
Pros: Upgrading a desktop to the dual core era with new cpu, motherboard and DDR3 ram. What a difference it makes over an ancient first generation P4. AMD provides a good value for the money. Yes, you can pay to have the big "I" name sticker or buy AMD plus RAM sticks of your choice for the same price as that blue labeled CPU.
Cons: Subtract one egg of rating due to the undersized stock heat sink. Barely sufficient for desktops in air conditioned offices. Underated heatsinks are supplied in most retail box CPU's from both AMD and Intel. Recommend a third party heat sink for rooms with wider temperature swings.
Overclocking? Never heard of it or even desire it.