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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: I'm and AMD guy but I was given (yes, for free) an i5-4370 but had an old Asus A8N-SLI rig with a Athlon X2 3800+. So upon reviewing what worked with the 3470, all roads pointed to this board. After some research, it seemed ASRock had a bad rep with some other models so I was hesitant. I wanted to stick with an Asus or Gigabyte as I've known those brands for years. I actually bought this board locally in case of any issues. Happy I bought it! Setup was as simple as dropping in the CPU and board into my old case, connecting all my SATA drives and PCIe cards and it fired right up with no complaints. Windows 7 took a minute or two to rearrange itself to its new home but after hunting down newer drivers than what's on the CD, I was running and running very well. BIOS seems easy to navigate and I like the "No-K" overclock feature. Man, where was that kind of thing in the BIOS back in the day? While I realize I am a bit limited in terms of upgrade path down the road, I am not a gamer and just needed something of average cost and good quality and this board fits the bill well. It's built well, has good quality components and I can stick 32GB or RAM in it down the road. PCIe 3.0 is a nice plus even if PCIe 3.1/4.0 and other new tech are just around the corner. I am happy thus far.
Cons: Can't say I am a fan of the right-angled SATA connectors on the board but I am lucky I have room for movement and clip-lock style SATA cables so they don't come loose by accident. Took me a moment of two to figure out why I wasn't getting any sound. I have an M-Audio 2496 and the BIOS, by default, will not enable the onboard Realtek sound card if it detects another sound card installed. So, it has to be manually set to Enabled instead of Automatic. After that, things worked.
Other Thoughts: I've been a hardcore AMD guy since the 90s and was waiting, and waiting, and waiting for something newer than the 990FX. The A8N-SLI board I've had served me well but now I find out AMD has basically abandoned the desktop CPU marked and is focusing on APUs and non-performant chipsets. That and they've killed the proposed 1090FX chipset I was waiting for nearly 2+ years. So, AMD, this is where we part ways for good. Life for you was good with Jerry Sanders at the helm. Too bad a bunch of imbeciles took over after you and drove the company into the ground.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Fanless is, of course, the #1 plus to this basic card. But can it run Crysis? Who cares! I don't play games or run AutoCAD! I need something to display the Interwebz on my screen and do some OpenGL on Google Earth and accelerated viewing of content once in a while and this card does the trick.
Cons: None for me.
Other Thoughts: I have a beat up old Asus A8N-SLI board with PCIe 1.1 and this card works well with my board. I have been able to do a *stable* overclock of this card from its factory rates of 520 (GPU), 1238 (Shader) and 600 (RAM) to a 13% overclock of 588 (GPU), 1399 (Shader) and 678 (RAM) and this card not breaking a sweat at all. Runs fairly cool in my case which has *one* 120mm exhaust fan (COUGAR CF-V12HB) and a 60mm, low RPM pointing at my northbridge. In terms of bang for buck on an older system, you can't beat it.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: I inherited an old Asus motherboard and built a basic system around it. I was looking for a simple video card to watch vids, browse the web, and had *some* OpenCL/CUDA to tap into for apps that can take advantage of it.
Out of the box, this sucker ran nice and cool. But, it could do much better. Took off the heatsink, put some Arctic Silver under there and fired up a bootable XP disk and used NiBiTor to overclock the heck out of this little wonder.
I was able to get an 11% across the board overclock without it blowing up or breaking a sweat. I dropped the lower end a bit more than what the factory set it to help it run even cooler. After overclocking it made my Windows score go up .2 from the original factory speeds. It's a win win for me!
Cons: But can it run Crysis? Maybe, I don't know. I am not a gamer.
Other Thoughts: This card is for those of us to whom the idea of a video card should be something which *doesn't* require a 2000WATT power supply just to run nor something that takes up *TWO* card slots not something that has 3 fans and sounds like a jet taking off under load. Seriously. I am old enough to remember Vesa Local Bus cards that *barely* fit in my case much less when you needed fan cooling to keep your video card cool from running some simple OpenGL stuff. I don't want to hear my video card at all. The loudest thing in my system should be my PSU fan. As it is right now, it isREAD FULL REVIEW