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Pros: It's a cheap ($11 AR) and fast little SATA expansion card that does the job well. I've got two Toshiba 3TB 7200 RPM drives working off the same card while the PC serves as a file and media server. On average, transfer speeds were ~175-180 MBps for a mix of music files, movie files, and documents. Not bad at all.
Cons: Two sticking points for me:
1) To reach the above mentioned speed of ~175-180 MBps, it seemed the device needed to "ramp up". There is a pronounced data rate curve as the device warms up. Maximum speeds were not attained until around 100MB or 10-15 seconds into the transfer. Initial transfer speeds are really slow, like 8-10MBps.
2) It will sometimes stop transferring files during a large transfer. Over the course of transferring ~1.5TB worth of data over the card, the transfer speed would dip to 0 for 2-3 seconds, and then resume transferring. This would happen every 3-4 hundred gigabytes transferred, so it wasn't a big deal and the transfer would still complete with human intervention. Maybe the device is buffering?
Other Thoughts: I found the drivers on Syba's website. However, you'll need to point Windows to the driver files folder. No executable installer or setup wizard, which is kind of disappointing.
Windows Server 2012 R2
AMD Athlon 5350
Toshiba HDKPC08 7200 RPM SATA III 3TB HDD
8 GB DDR3 1333 Patriot Viper RAM
Atto Disk Benchmarks:
Transfer Size: 0.5-8192.0KB
Total Length: 256 MB
Direct I/O Checked
Overlapped I/O Selected
Queue Depth: 4
(Transfer size, Write/Read):
0.5, 5858, 6352
1.0, 11942, 12481
2.0, 22016, 25088
4.0, 49313, 49313
8.0, 94832, 96621
16.0 167317, 171742
32.0 179334, 181554
64.0 182004, 182457
128.0 179958, 184104
256.0 180364, 184104
512.0 178165, 180561
1024.0 180967, 180967
2048.0 173184, 179355
4096.0 181375, 179755
8192.0 178956, 179755
This review is from: EnGenius EPI-3601S PCI Wireless Adapter
Pros: It's stable and fast enough for web surfing and YouTube. Windows 7 and 8 drivers automatically install. Uses a PCI slot so it'll help keep your PCI-E slots open for other expansion cards.
Cons: Not "long range" as advertised, compared to other WiFi cards.
Other Thoughts: I have this and an AWUS036h on the same tower (I'm usually using the Engenius with Connectify to rebroadcast WiFi). When compared to the AWUS036h, there is a noticeable drop in signal (5 bars vs 3 bars) and web browsing speed. I would definitely recommend the AWUS036h over this device, especially since they can often be found at the same price. Get a PCI to USB card instead of this one, and buy an AWUS036h. Then you'll also have additional USB ports in addition to stronger signal!READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: *This card can max out BF3 and the BF4 beta on ultra easily, which are pretty much the only games I play. I don't have FRAPS numbers but it's smooth enough that if you die, it's your fault. Expect speed boosts when Mantle comes out.
*I've OC'd the card to 1100mhz core and 1500mhz VRAM without touching the voltage. This exceeds Ghz Ed. card performance. Bumping the voltage could yield more performance but I don't want to mess with it.
Cons: *This card runs very hot at 80C in a Fractal R4 with 3 140mm fans; one of which blows directly on the cooler. VRM's go as high as 120C until I stopped benchmarking. The stock cooling is completely inadequate for the power that this card has.
*Paired with an FX-8350 and 8 GB DDR3, along with 2 HDD's and one SSD my setup pulls 455W from the wall at load. Ouch.
*My card has coil whine, but most of it is masked by the sound-proofing of the case. Nowhere loud enough to be annoying, but loud enough to notice. The coil whine is softer than a case fan on 1200RPM.
Other Thoughts: *I replaced the cooling with an Accelero 7970 Xtreme. Note that by doing this you may void your warranty (there's a warranty sticker over one of the screws), but it brought my temps down to 60C max core, and 90C VRM's. Other forums indicate that MSI will still honor the warranty as long as you return the card to its original configuration.
*If you go with the 7970 Xtreme and you own a Fractal R4, you will have to remove the middle HDD cage or it won't fit.