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This review is from: MSI A55M-E35 FM2+ / FM2 AMD A55 (Hudson D2) HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
Pros: I really like the BIOS menu. It is dead easy to do everything, even things like flashing new BIOS versions, and the interface is pleasing and works with a mouse. This price for MSI's reputation for quality control is excellent. 3 monitor outputs.
Cons: This seems to have a strange incompatibility with the stock fan that came with my A8-5500. It made an obnoxious amount of PWM noise and I had to replace the fan. However, this fan is silent on the ASRock board in my other machine. I just swapped the fans and got quiet machines. Go figure. Also no USB 3.0 and only 2 RAM slots, but that isn't much of a con at this price and on a micro board.
MSI's driver update utility was painfully slow to download updates and triggered a security warning every time I booted the system, plus it installed an old Catalys driver, so I just did them manually.
Other Thoughts: The number of 5 star reviews on this and nearly all MSI boards was the reason I chose this one. So far, no regrets.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: APEX TX-381-C Black Steel Micro ATX Tower Computer Case
Pros: It is a good looking case for the price, Easy access, Light but feels sturdy, good airflow, top ports are convenient
Cons: Cables are just barely long enough, front panel seems to come off a little too easily, expansion slot covers are hard to remove once a motherboard is in. Rear fan is a bit on the loud side, and made a clicking noise for an hour or two until it apparently wore off a manufacturing defect.
Other Thoughts: The case was definitely the part I cheaped out the most on in my build, but I don't regret it. It does what it is supposed to and doesn't feel as cheap as its price point would make you think. The CPU air tunnel is really nowhere near the center of the CPU on my MSI AMD board and only overlaps with it probably about 25%, but the CPU still easily stays cool with the stock fan and one added front case fan.
For this price, I expected a long con list.
Pros: Quiet, efficient, rock solid, low price
Cons: Doesn't have an 8 Pin video card connector
Other Thoughts: I bought one of these about 3 or 4 years back for my computer, which is on constantly, and it has never had issues. A little over half a year ago, I started mining with a card that really should call for a higher output supply, and I'm powering it from a simple Hard drive power to 8 pin adapter which you really shouldn't use and it has been running for 6 months straight without issue. I recently bought another one for another build, and it also works great, and I expect it to continue to do so.READ FULL REVIEW