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XFX R7-250A-ZLH4 Radeon R7 250 1GB 128-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 CrossFireX Support Video Card
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: Works just fine fanless in the Core i5-2500 system I built for my wife, which runs Folding@Home (CPU and GPU) all day. Used for video encoding/decoding which works fine. Fast GDDR5 memory.

Cons: Price. At the time I bought it, the fanless Radeon R7-240 version was perhaps ten dollars cheaper (due to being in short supply), and now it is $30 less. It would have been enough for her.

Other Thoughts: Used in a Lian Li PC-A04 case. Two low-speed Scythe FDB fans for intake, one for updraft exhaust. Arctic Freezer 7 Pro CPU heatsink. Single 1TB 7.2k hard drive, DVDRW. I purchased this because the fan on the Geforce GT 430 in my wife's system failed, and I couldn't find a replacement fan. I don't want to deal with small, failure-prone GPU fans for her system.

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HP ProLiant MicroServer Gen8 Ultra Micro Tower Server System Intel Celeron G1610T 2.3GHz 2C/2T 2GB No Hard Drive Operating System None 712317-001
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: HP iLO 4 integrated (just like the big servers)
Supports HP Intelligent Provisioning (just like the big servers)
Socketed CPU (can be upgraded to low voltage Xeon E3 or E3-v2)
Expansion slot with full support for HP SmartArray P222 RAID controller (including in iLO and Intelligent Provisioning)
Dual gig NICs
USB3 integrated
Micro-SDHC slot on the mainboardfor running a bootable OS (e.g., VMWare ESXi) as well as internal USB port to do the same
Optional stackable HP PS1810-8G 8-port layer 2 managed Gig switch with VLAN support and integrated management with the Gen8
Great driver/firmware support

Cons: Intelligent Provisioning does not support Server 2012 R2 yet (but is upgradeable in the future)
Poor setup for adding optical disk drive
Only 2 of 4 ports on the SATA backplane are 6Gbps (chipset limitation)
No Intel VT-d support without processor upgrade

Other Thoughts: This is a great server either for running FreeNAS, or upgrading to a beefy home lab for testing virtual machines. Note that it requires a 9.5mm ultra slim optical drive (it could have held a 12.7mm with some changes by HP) and has an odd 3.5" female power adapter that means you need a special HP power/SATA cable to use an optical disc, as well as a special bolt on bracket/clip to attach the drive to. I think this is HP's one big mistake in an otherwise great small business server.
Note the server also requires ECC unbuffered memory; not just any RAM will do.

Mine has been upgraded to a low-voltage Xeon E3 (1265L v2), 16GB of RAM, and an HP SmartArray P222 hardware RAID controller so I can run a RAID-5 array. I am also using a special aftermarket bracket to hold an SSD as a boot drive that boots off the system board controller. I'm currently running Server 2012 R2 Standard beautifully.

The iLO4 capability alone is worth half the price of this great unit, but you'll want to buy an advanced key for some of the better features (a brief search will find you one cheaply). If you have a 10-30 person office, this is a great server on a budget.

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APC BE750G 750 VA 450 Watts 10 Outlets Power Saving Back-UPS ES
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: more than 1 year

5 out of 5 eggs A great home protection solution 01/19/2014

This review is from: APC BE750G 750 VA 450 Watts 10 Outlets Power Saving Back-UPS ES

Pros: Has surge protection for coaxial cable and phone (for DSL or FAX)
Has USB connection to a computer for graceful shutdown (using PowerChute Personal which is free)
Has building wiring fault indicator
Batteries are replaceable

Cons: If used for the right purpose (read: non-enterprise) none I can think of
(remember NEVER to use a laser printer on UPSes or other high wattage devices like a microwave or coffee maker)

Other Thoughts: This is a solidly built unit, with a well-thought out design. In my case, I'm using it at home with an HP Microserver Gen8, its external backup drive, my cable modem (which I'm also using the surge protection for) and my router, and it has more than enough juice for all of them; it would also work great in a home theater environment to protect your critical equipment.
PowerChute Personal software works fine with desktop operating systems and Windows Server (including 2012 and 2012R2) making this a perfect unit for your home server, and letting you shut down gracefully, as well as giving an easy way to regularly test the batteries of your unit. I've had this unit several years, and it has been a solid performer through multiple power outages.

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Douglas T.'s Profile

Display Name: Douglas T.

Date Joined: 07/14/01

  • Reviews: 38
  • Helpfulness: 21
  • First Review: 10/14/05
  • Last Review: 07/13/14
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