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Pros: - Incredible value
- Fast (benchmarks show almost 200MB/sec read and write using two of these in a mirrored Microsoft Storage Space configuration using SATA III)
- Relatively quiet
- Reliable brand
Cons: - Slightly "clicky" when reading/writing, but nothing that's unexpected for a spinning-platter hard drive
Other Thoughts: These drives, in my opinion, offer an incredible performance/size/price ratio. HGST-brand drives frequently get high marks and exhibit low failure rates from cloud-based companies like Backblaze.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: - Incredible graphics upgrade, especially from integrated Intel HD graphics
- Small form factor
- Only one 6-pin power connector needed
Cons: - Fan is loud at anything above 30% RPMs
- Card runs hot unless you use EVGA's Precision X software to control the fan curve
- EVGA's Precision X software looks like it was designed by a 12-year-old that's obsessed with gauges and LCD displays
Other Thoughts: I put this in a Lian Li PC-Q36 mITX form factor case, and it fits great with room to spare. Keeping the card at or below 70 degrees C is a chore if you want peace and quiet, though. Either use a more noise-dampening case or get a good pair of headphones for your gaming sessions.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: Intel NUC NUC5PPYH, HDMI, VGA, Intel HD Graphics, USB 3.0
Pros: - Compact and quiet
- Easy to install memory and hard drives
- Full-size HDMI connection
- Legacy VGA connection
- USB 3.0 all the way around
- Decently fast quad-core processor (though non-hyperthreading)
Cons: 8GB of RAM maximum -- not exactly sure if this is a definite con or not at this point, as this is being used a lightweight Windows 10 conference room computer.
Windows 7 is virtually impossible to install on this machine. Even though Intel provides a utility to slipstream USB 3.0 drivers into the Windows 7 installation media (usually a USB flash drive), once Windows 7 is installed and boots for the first time, you'll find that nothing connected to the USB ports (like a keyboard and mouse!) works.
It seems that the Intel utility installs drivers onto the Windows 7 installation media, but those drivers are not installed along with Windows 7 on the hard drive, rendering the system useless after the install because you cannot use your keyboard and mouse after the installation procedure completes, reboots from the hard drive, then asks you to create a user account. It's very difficult -- some would say impossible -- to create a user account without a keyboard and mouse.
Still, the reason we wanted Windows 7 was because we owned a license and wanted to immediately upgrade it to Windows 10. Luckily, we received the unit just after the Windows 10 November update, which enables the installation of Windows 10 using Windows 7 or 8 serial numbers (whereas previously you needed to install Windows 7 or 8, then upgrade to Windows 10). This allowed us to install Windows 10, which recognizes USB 3.0 devices by default, and bypass the whole install-Windows-7-then-immediately-upgrade-to-Windows-10 Rube Goldberg process.
Other Thoughts: This is a nice machine to run a large, flat-screen TV from in our office's conference room, and replaces a bulky and hot ATX-form-factor desktop for doing things as simple as showing Excel documents on the TV screen, connection to GoToMeeting/WebEx screen sharing sessions, and using Remote Desktop to connect to more powerful computers for demonstrations.
We paired this up with 8GB of Crucial SO-DIMM 1.35V RAM and a 120GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD. It has a miniscule form-factor, boots quickly, is responsive enough for our needs, has wireless and wired network connections, and is quiet. All in all, with all components, it's a nice, little computer for under $400.