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Pros: It's got everything I need!
The way you can update the BIOS and set that BIOS option to have it make driver installations super easy...it's just awesome. The board works without any issues! No hiccups or anything. A few extra features are nice, but this board has quite a few options in BIOS as well, which I found rather surprising.
It even has some basic overclocking features!
Cons: Limited overclocking? It IS an H97 board. Perhaps the Z97 is what you're looking for if you want to overclock?
Other Thoughts: Pentium G3258
Crucial DDR3-1600 value stuff.
120gb Samsung SSD
The RAM only runs at 1333, because that's all the CPU supports!
This review is from: ASRock AM1B-ITX AM1 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI Mini ITX AMD Motherboard
Pros: It has extra SATA ports provided by an Asmedia 106x SATA 6gb/s controller.
It has extra USB3.0 ports also provided by an Asmedia controller.
mITX, with an old-school Parallel port! Not that it's needed, at least.
It's a great little board (so far). I built two systems, and purchased this board elsewhere, despite the bad reviews on here.
WIth BIOS P1.50, it boots headless without an issue. Just power and network connectivity.
No issues whatsoever! All these negative reviews seem to have come from previous BIOS revisions.
Some of the ASRock specific features, like updating BIOS without needing a USB flash drive, are pretty awesome.
Cons: For some reason, the 21x CPU multiplier is available in BIOS, but even with Cool'n'Quiet enabled, the CPU doesn't clock down when idle.
No options to overclock the GPU (but this seems standard on AM1 boards)
The ASMedia 106x SATA controller is pretty bad with sequential read speeds. I was getting 500 MB/sec sequential read from the AMDSATA controller, and only 360 from the ASMedia. But hey, it's still a couple extra SATA ports and it's dirt cheap! It's only the sequential read that did poorly. All others did quite well. Tested with AS SSD.
Other Thoughts: This is an awesome little board. I'm pleasantly surprised after reading the reviews on here, which is the reason why i'm posting one now.
Cooler Master Elite 130
EVGA 430w PSU
AMD Athlon 5350
Crucial Ballistix Sport 4gb DDR3-1600
Crucial MX100 128gb
Blah blah, it's not dual channel. That's an issue with the platform, not the motherboard. Stop docking the ratings an egg simply because AMD thought single channel memory would be sufficient.
This is a great little board that does it's job quite well, for a reasonable price. I'd definitely recommend it. If the AM1 platform was a bit more overclocker-friendly, perhaps it wouldn't be that great.
Pros: As an everyday user: Cool product! Made my old computer fast at turning on and the programs I use all day are really fast now, too!
As an enthusiast:The drive is fairly quick in applications (after using that application a couple times), Windows boots much quicker than I ever imagined it could in my old Dell laptop. Not only does it sort of feel like a solid state drive, but I have so much space to store things on. A terabyte worth of moderately quick storage, that acts like a solid state drive as best it can? I like it. I definitely wouldn't think of going with this drive over a real SSD, but the performance increase is definitely noticable. Data transfers...not bad considering the access times. I'm not sure if i'm being a pessimist here, or if this drive really fails to excite me, but see below. Sure, it's quick. Sure it's made my older laptop feel new while booting and using a few common applications, but it seems like some sort of bad joke when it finally hits the mechanical section of the drive.
Cons: I did run benchmarks on this drive, and they were not that terribly impressive, even on the SSD portion. This drive could definitely use faster NAND, and more of it.
For a hard drive that's meant to go in a laptop (which generally don't have that great of cooling for the drives), and being 5400rpm, the drive gets pretty warm. In my laptop, the old 5400rpm drive would stay around 40c, while this SSDHDD thing hovers around 47c. This is a bit warmer than I'd like a drive getting, but it doesn't seem to mind the heat.
The mechanical portion of this drive is not very impressive. Sure, it's fairly quick with sequential reads, and slightly better with writes, but the access times are absolutely miserable when focusing on only the mechanical portion. 19ms random access time? I have green drives that best that by a good margin. I've even seen better in 5400rpm drives from 5-10 years ago. It isn't AAM affecting performance...I checked. I should also note that I had a fan on it so it wasn't running as warm as I just mentioned. In my desktop...
So basically, it feels really really fast, then it's suddenly far from it. That should be alright, as the drive should try to "get smart" and move your most used data to the ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE (sarcasm) 8gb of MLC NAND that is in this thing. It would be a lot better if Seagate offered 16 or maybe even 32gb of storage in a hybrid drive.
Other Thoughts: Since Newegg hasn't had the greatest reputation for shipping hard drives safely, the retail box might offer a little extra protection, so that's always a good thing. The retail box also comes with some warranty information. That's all you get inside the retail box. I expected them to not include anything extra, and I was right. I'm not so sure about the reliability, but the drive does have a 3 year warranty, so that's definitely a nice touch. Just be sure to pick up an external and back your documents up to it.
I may not have given this drive that great of a review, but I would definitely recommend it for your average user. It's really nice to have your laptop boot up quickly, and have roughly the same performance it did before the drive upgrade in a worst-case scenario. I'm more of a power user/enthusiast, and it definitely isn't for me. I'm sure my sister will absolutely love it though...