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This review is from: ASUS M4A88T-V EVO/USB3 AM3 AMD 880G USB 3.0 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
Pros: Durable, long lasting.
Great board cooling.
Easy overclock and core unlocker!
Connectors are all easy to access.
Cons: Built-in video is obsolete, won't work well over HDMI (4:3 only) even with legacy drivers.
Max RAM is only 16GB.
Other Thoughts: I bought one of these for my build many years ago when it was new to the market. It has served me admirably, handling Crossfire for a while (HD 7850), and working well with my CM Storm Scout case and H60 liquid cooling. It's an easy mobo to work with, and the core unlocker is handy if you have a CPU that only has three cores unlocked. Since I had a Phenom II X4 955 Black on it the whole time, I never needed the core unlocker (all four were already unlocked) but I have made use of the built-in overclocking, and it's pretty simple to use. While this board is now considered old or obsolete by modern standards, it's still very capable of handling decent gaming or HTPC functions. I ran games like Skyrim (heavily modded), Saints Row the Fourth, and Batman Arkham Origins at Ultra settings with my configuration, and the board held up and didn't seem to hinder anything.
The only big negatives now are that the board only handles 16GB of RAM, maximum (not that big a deal unless you're doing a lot of video editing, etc.) and the on-board video is horribly obsolete and doesn't allow 16:9 resolutions via HDMI. You can still get 16:9 via DVI, but that's not a great solution. Luckily, you can still slap any modern video card on this thing and get great performance out of them.
If you find one cheap, and want to do a mid-level build with it, you will probably be fairly happy for the time being. This mobo's on its way to the old mobos home, but for now it still has some spring left in its step.
This review is from: SYBA ExpressCard to PCI-Express Conversion Card Model SD-PEX-EXPC
Pros: Easy to install if you have a free slot and a free USB connection on your motherboard. ExpressCards are nice and snug in this, and seem to be firmly held in place.
Cons: Requires a USB connection from your motherboard to the card, and won't work with it. If you have an average motherboard and case, and use a multi-card reader, you probably won't have a connection to spare.
The real problem is that it uses the PCI-express slot, and while that would normally be OK, in some motherboards you disable or downgrade other slots if you use the PCI-express slot. In a CrossFireX setup, the slot that is disabled or downgraded is the one you'd put your second graphics card into, and thus the Syba card disables the ability to do CrossFireX properly.
Given a choice between reading ExpressCards and using CrossFireX in my system, I'll take the graphics boost.
Check your motherboard manual to make sure that using the PCI-express slot doesn't screw with your setup before buying this!
Other Thoughts: Would be nice if this just worked without needing the USB connection. Would be really nice if I could find a version of this that will mount in the front of my case and use an IDE or SATA connection, instead of hogging a card slot and a USB connection.
Alas, this card is asking for too much sacrifice in my system to be worth the end result.
Pros: This is a sufficiently fast CPU for most modern games, although it does provide a bottleneck in older games that are more dependent on the CPU than the GPU. Still, you can't complain about 3.0GHz, and if you have a monster heatsink & fan, you can overclock it pretty well with the right motherboard. Works as advertised, makes things go ZOOM, and having the L3 cache is pretty handy in some applications when you're not playing games.
Cons: As my review title indicates, some are lucky enough to have completely stable 3rd and 4th cores in this CPU, and others are not. I was one of the unlucky ones. While the cores unlocked easily enough, both were unstable and caused anomalies in Windows. Glitching graphics, flickering images, and stalled applications were the most common problems, and it was easy to turn off each of the extra cores individually and find out that both of them were wonky. This isn't really a "con" for this CPU, as it's not really an advertised feature, but just be aware you're not guaranteed success with core unlocking, and if that's the case you want to be sure that this is enough CPU to do the job for you without those extra cores unlocked. This does not cost the CPU an egg in the ratings, but it's something to be aware of if you're planning to use a core unlocker.
Other Thoughts: I would have liked if they at least included an AMD case sticker. I understand not getting a cooler with it, as it's OEM, but the sticker would have been a nice touch for my new PC.READ FULL REVIEW