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BIOSTAR J1800NH Intel Celeron J1800 Dual-Core Processor Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU/VGA Combo
  • Owned For: less than 1 day

Pros: Small, does not draw much power and does stay under 60 C in a small fanless enclosure (not that I would recommend that you do that). Also pretty cheap.

Cons: Documentation leaves a lot to be desired and there does not appear to be any speed controls for the two system fan connectors so if you're looking for a quite build make sure you have some other way of controlling the fan speed. Also Biostar cheaped out with some of the Capacitors so not sure how long these boards will last. Might want to spend a few bucks more on the Gigabyte board Newegg sells instead as it looks to be a better build quantity.

Does not have drivers to support Linux so while I got some distros to start the boot process they all choked when it came time to load graphical drivers. This will probably be fixed by the Linux community sooner or later but may take some time.

Other Thoughts: OK got this yesterday and spent over 4 frustrating hours trying to get FreeNAS to boot on this thing, tried everything including trying to just get various distro's of Linux to boot just to try and find out what's going on. Lesson learned is that you must set the CSM (Compatibility Support Module) to enable for anything other than windows 8 to boot.

Can't say how well this will work with FreeNAS as it is limited to 8GB RAM and does not have ECC support but I'm just playing around with it to learn so don't really care. If you really want to do it right get the ASRock Avoton based boards (they're $200+ more than this one but worth it in my opinion if you're serious about running a real NAS and not some plaything like what I've got).

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AMD A10-7850K Kaveri 12 Compute Cores (4 CPU + 8 GPU) 3.7GHz Socket FM2+ 95W Desktop Processor AMD Radeon R7 series AD785KXBJABOX
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: Zippy little processor, great graphics that can run mid-level games surprisingly well. Considering that it only uses 95 watts for what amounts to a low/mid end graphics card and a 4 core processor that performs almost as well as a i5 Sandy bridge is pretty impressive. Using 1866 RAM and got 7.4 for the processor and 6.9 for the graphics on the Windows Experience Index. Very good for a HTPC where you want to do more than watch movies with it, good all round performance.

Cons: The price for this is a little too high without the free Battlefield 4 coupon, realistically would say the price point should be around $139.99. Also the CPU cooler is not the greatest but really isn't that bad.

Other Thoughts: Pain in the neck getting the drivers right, swapped out an A4-5300 for this which is the only way I would have been able to update the BIOS for the motherboard. If you do what I did then make sure you un-install the old drivers before you install the new ones otherwise you won't get the full graphics performance.

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MSI A88XM-E35 FM2+ / FM2 AMD A88X (Bolton D4) HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: less than 1 day

Pros: Upgraded my motherboard to this from an ASROCK FM2-A55M-E33 in hopes of getting the newer Kaveri APU in the near future. Nice little board with lots of features, the new BIOS is easy to use and everything seems to work once I updated the drivers.

Cons: TThe first motherboard had a dead memory slot so had to RMA it back to newegg. Second one would not post and I thought it was dead. Reseated everything and it came to life, not sure why but think the power plug was not fully in which is hard to do on this board since the last few inches of the board where the power connector goes is not supported by anything and flexes quite a bit when pushing in the plug.

Other Thoughts: Was nice to get Battlefield 4 with this MB, can't say I like the story line in the game but it's free.

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Ken S.'s Profile

Display Name: Ken S.

Date Joined: 02/03/04

  • Reviews: 5
  • Helpfulness: 3
  • First Review: 07/22/11
  • Last Review: 04/03/14
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