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Pros: Standard USB2 and USB3 header connectors that seemed long enough to reach where I needed them inside the chassis.
USB3 cable is about 22 inches long from back of case to header. USB2 cable is about 23 inches long from back of case to header.
Case seems to fit 3.5 inch form factor and completely enclosed in metal similar to that of a standard floppy disk drive enclosure.
Windows 7 did not have any problems finding drivers for this device. Linux used it's standard USB drivers, so I doubt this device has an "obscure" chipset inside it.
Cons: USB3 cables are extremely stiff and make cable routing difficult. They are about 0.25 inches thick. There is extreme faint microprinting on the cable that is unreadable.
USB2 cables are "ribbon" style.
Other Thoughts: 2x USB2 and 2x USB3 ports in the same panel is a rare device. I have only found one other vendor that has such a product. I was looking for this specific "mix" of USB ports in a small front panel for a new PC.
My package was sent via USPS. I was able to sign up for package tracking for my parcel at USPS and the updates were frequent. The shipping time was within the estimated time shown. The packaging seemed to survive international shipping, but it had minimal "cushioning". Also, it was quite "dusty" (a very fine film of dust on the package) and needed to be wiped down before I brought it inside.
I did not try out the included 3.5 to 5.25 mounting bracket, but it looked sturdy. Small screws were provided witht he 3.5 inch enclosure to mount it into a case or the bracket.
Pros: It uses unbuffered non-ECC DDR3 (not DDR3L) RAM, so that saves some $$. The vendor does claim any ECC memory support for this board.
It has 4 memory slots, but can be run using only 2; I am doing this now.
No legacy PCI slots, only PCIe (1x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1x PCIe 2.0 x4, 1x PCIe 2.0 x1)
5x SATA3 connectors, 1 combined mSATA+mini PCIe slot that accepts full-length cards. No legacy IDE connectors.
4x legacy 9-pin Serial headers on board, but no legacy PRN/LPR (printer) header.
Back panel has single combined PS/2 keyboard-mouse jack. I had no problems running a USB keyboard on a back pnael USB 2.0 port while working through the "legacy looking" text-oriented BIOS screens.
It has a front panel 3.0 connector on board near the front of the board; good thinking. Other front panel connections are clearly marked in "silkscreened white paint" on board.
Different types of video connectors (HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI-D, VGA) with support for 3 independent displays.
4x 4-pin fan headers on board, and that can be really helpful in larger cases.
CPU power chips on board are covered with a small heat sink. Nice to see. The added CPU power Molex is 4-pin, not 8-pin like that found on some boards, so a lower power PSU that supports Haswell CPUs should work. I am using a semi-modular Antec BASIQ 550 PSU.
The BIOS gives you the option to "legacy" or "UEFI" boot the OS. I tried "legacy" boot under both Gentoo Linux (3.14.14 kernel) and Windows 7 x64, and I did not encounter any issues.
The stock Intel CPU fan fits without any clearance issues.
Supermicro-sponsored, Windows-based SuperDoctorIII utlity is a "must have" even though it requires Java JRE.
Absolutely no issues getting any hardware recognized under Gentoo Linux 3.14.14 kernel.
The hardware monitoring chip on board definitely responds to changes in CPU temperature and causes fans to speed up and slow down as needed. I tested that under Windows 7 (Supermicro drivers, found on their web ite, must be loaded) and Gentoo Linux (proper packages must be loaded and configured).
Cons: Definitely not a "server class" motherboard even though Newegg has categorized it that way. If it were "server class" and from Supermicro, it would require ECC DDR3 memory (more costly).
Given this board uses an Intel "Q" version chipset and has one "-LM" series LAN NIC, I would say the target audience for this board is "corporate / business" usage.
I doubt this board would be suitable for "overclocking", but I don't "overclock" so I can't say for sure.
The BIOS is filled with all sorts of options. The Supermicro manual and the BIOS screen do a very poor job documenting the "less obvious" ones, but that might mean, "if you don't know what it means or what it does, then you probably don't need it and should not change it".
Other Thoughts: I have run Gentoo Linux (3.14.14 kernel) and Windows 7 x64 Professional on this board. I did not have any problems with either OS.
I did have to download the Windows 7 x64 drivers from Supermicro, but the system was "usable" even without them. Once the Windows drivers were loaded there were no "unknown" devices in Device Manager.
The Windows Update process actually found and loaded "more current" drivers compared to Supermicro's web site, but that did not cause any issues.
The components on the board are all wwell spaced out so heat buildup in any part of the board should be minimal.
Being a Supermicro board will likely mean very few if any BIOS updates over the life of the board. I did notice that the BIOS could be updated via the Supermicro-sponsored, Windows-based SuperDoctorIII utility. Other than Windows SuperDoctorIII requiring JAVA JRE, I found it very useful and easy to use.
I would definitely buy another one of these boards if I had the need. I like the stability of Supermicro products. Like all Supermicro products, find the time to carefully read the vendor's web site and product manual before buying. The, be very honest with your expectations of the product.
Pros: Large storage capacity. Low noise. Lower power consumption compared to WDC Black series. Low heat generation compared to 7200 rpm drives. SATA3 speed potential. 3 year warranty and dedicated WDC support line.
I like to use 5 of these in home-built NAS systems running Linux with ZFS filesystem to store large video files.
Cons: Newegg packaging has improved, but the packaging has to be handled carefully. Drives cannot be "simply stuffed" into the air cushions.
1 of my 5 drives in this batch was inserted the complete reverse of the others. All 5 drives had air cushioning that was either "loose" or had "broken air cells". This tells me the packing of drives into the air cushions is a manual process, not a machine process.
I applaud Newegg's efforts to improve packaging of OEM/bare drives, but the packing staff must take greater care to avoid creating issues that could cause RMAs and customer dis-satisfaction.
Other Thoughts: My latest batch of 5 drives came from the Memphis warehouse. 4 drives successfully passed extensive offline testing. The 5th drive reported increasing read errors so I requested a RMA for it.
During the unpacking process, I noticed the packaging of the 5th drive looked "suspect" so I made a mark on the static bag and noted the serial number; broken air cells in the cushion around the drive and an overall "very loose" air cushion. The small boxes for all 5 drives were undamaged and very securely taped shut.
Previous hard drive shipments from Baldwin Park and Edison were packaged perfectly with all drives being "very snug" in their air cushions. None of those drives had any "read error" issues.
Now I am seeing a track record in past orders of drive failures out of Memphis. The shipper is UPS in all cases, so only the warehouse and travel distance are different.