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This review is from: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Pros: Overall a good deal when I got it for $134.
Cons: Kept getting errors in memtest, even with other sets of ram, which led me to believe the motherboard was defective. RMA'd through AsRock, they sent me a new one and the errors are gone!READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: It's big. It works. I put this as my primary drive for a HTPC, and it gets the job done.
Cons: As a media PC, this drive works just fine. 5400 RPM is not "slow", but it's not the fastest. When I go to open a sizable media file, it takes about 1-2 seconds before I'm watching it. I'm guessing the choke point is the 5400 RPM, but if you can't wait 1-2 seconds for media, you need some therapy.
Other Thoughts: Although this has nothing to do with this hardware, I thought I share my experience trying to share this drive over a home network in Windows 7 where the other machines were XP. It was WAY more difficult than it should have been. I'll spare you the troubleshooting details, but as it turns out, Windows 7 treats sharing a drive different than sharing a folder. It also treats sharing a USB drive different than an internal drive. It also doesn't tell you any of this information. If you want to share a USB hard drive, all you have to do the typical "share this drive" procedure. If you want to share an internal drive, you also have to go into the "Security" tab and add "Everyone" to have permissions. And no, it's not a drop down or check box, you have to know to type "Everyone" into the Add field. REAL INTUITIVE GATES. REAL INTUITIVE. Hope this helps someone who's having the same issue.
I'd like to request a moment of silence, in which we collectively curse Bill Gates. Amen.
Pros: High performance for low power and size. Fan is quiet and offset from center, making cooling better when it's slotted right next to a PCI audio card. The price is incredible for what you're getting. Plays 1080p videos just fine. Using card for HTPC and it's lived up to all my expectations.
Cons: I've found mixed information on S/PDIF passthrough for this card. I'm not sure if it supports it or not. Because the onboard audio is so good, I have no reason to look into it more. I am curious though, if anyone's got more information regarding how to pass audio from another card through this card.
Other Thoughts: HDMI out works flawlessly fed into my 55" LCD TV. One thing I found interesting is this -- since my TV supports 120hz upconverting on all it's HDMI inputs, media and gaming looks much better than when I was connecting via my VGA input. I would guess most LCD TV's only support upconverting for digital signals.
I know a lot of people have trouble getting audio to come through HDMI, but it was easy for me on Win 7. The drivers allow windows to see another audio device -- the one on this card -- and all you have to do is select it as your primary audio device. I've done some light gaming and found the audio to be quite good (much better than simple motherboard audio). The card claims it can do 7.1 surround, but I don't have the speakers to test that. I'm using regular stereo and it's great. My machine is dual boot win7/centos5. I haven't tried anything in linux yet, but Nvidia is generally good about drivers, so I'm not worried.