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GIGABYTE GA-F2A88XN-WIFI FM2+ / FM2 AMD A88X (Bolton D4) HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX AMD Motherboard
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: -Stable
-Good build quality

Cons: -Ships with F1 BIOS which is not compatible with Kaveri.
-close proximity of DIMM slots means one slot will be blocked if used with a Noctua NH-L9a cooler

Other Thoughts: Perfect mITX board for a file server I'm building using a Fractal Node 304. Stable board with plenty of BIOS options. One downside is that the stock BIOS is (F1) is not compatible with Kaveri. Need to flash with an FM2 APU. Fortunately I already have a A4-5300 which I picked up for $30.

*** I've seen so many people's reviews complaining about how hard it is to flash to newest version. As per Gigabyte's flashing instructions DON'T USE QFLASH. Use the EXE that comes with the FM2+ compatible BIOS. This warning is shown right on the BIOS download page in RED. Not hard to miss. Copy the BIOS contents to a bootable usb drive, the BAT file will take care of the commands ***

Stock AMD heatsinks are loud and do not perform well. Purchaed a Noctua NH-L9a low profile cooler. Although it mounts fine, one of the DIMM slots is blocked and I'm only able to use the outer one so no dual channel memory. Noctua has confirmed with me that the cooler blocks a slot for this particular board.

MSI R9 290X 4GD5 BF4 Radeon R9 290X 4GB 512-Bit GDDR5 Video Card
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: - excellent performance
- decent price compared to Nvidia's offerings
- comes with BF4

Cons: - runs hot (95C)
- very loud stock cooler
- 290 is cheaper and not that far behind in terms of performance

Other Thoughts: This card is replacing an EVGA GTX 680 SC Signtature+. Much better performance now that I can maintain >60fps at 1440p in most games. I went for this reference model because I will be putting a waterblock on it eventually which will negate my biggest complaint about it: heat and noise.


ANTHONY E.'s Profile

Display Name: ANTHONY E.

Date Joined: 04/02/09

  • Reviews: 2
  • Helpfulness: 1
  • First Review: 12/02/13
  • Last Review: 01/27/14
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