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BIOSTAR A68N-5000 AMD A4-5000 Quad-Core APU Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU/VGA Combo
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

4 out of 5 eggs Almost perfect per spec but cooling an issue 01/18/2015

This review is from: BIOSTAR A68N-5000 AMD A4-5000 Quad-Core APU Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU/VGA Combo

Pros: * Inexpensive
* Quiet
* Small (Mini-ITX)
* Choice of HDMI or AGP display

Cons: As noted by others, the fanless heatsink misplacement fails to promote cooling (RAM blockage - see board diagram). Without a CPU fan inside of my Mini-box M350 case, Mobo/CPU/Radeon temps all rose consistently to ~70/75C (note that 80C is too high and 90C is critical). I remedied this by installing an old-ish Evercool 80mm CPU fan on top of the heatsink. Result: all 3 temps are now at 40-45C range.

I used standard CPU fan screws, not tape or epoxy like some more creative/fearless folks have done. Note that 80mm fits perfectly on the heatsink. I sized a 120mm fan but it was significantly too big for a standard (using screws) installation.

Now, all I need to do is find a somewhat quieter CPU fan.

Other Thoughts: The CPU fan is on all the time. I'll play around with the "smart fan control" of the BIOS or Linux until a get a happy balance between cooling and noise. On the other hand, anyone have a suggestion for a *QUIET* but effective 80mm fan? Thank you.

  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

5 out of 5 eggs Operating 100% as I expected 01/12/2015

This review is from: ADATA XPG SX900 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) ASX900S3-64GM-C

Pros: Quiet, cool (negligible generated heat), fast.

Cons: None for me, so far. Note the other documented customer experiences. It sounds like there might be a design flaw or a quality control set of issues at manufacturing.

Other Thoughts: Suggest that one use SSDs, in general, as many folks have already documented:
* `fstrim` periodically (or the Windows equivalent) the file system(s) on SSD drives.
* Map temporoary space (E.g. Linux /tmp and /run) to RAM.
* Avoid updating directories "access time (E.g. Use noatime in Linux /etc/fstab).
* Avoid swapping to disk by using max RAM and reducing Linux swappiness.

Habey EMC-800S Silver Heavy duty 3mm aluminum Slim Mini-ITX HTPC/NAS/Server Chassis 120W Internal Power Supply, 60W External AC Power Adapter
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: more than 1 year

Pros: Cheap. Sturdy metal components. Simple to open and close. No-brainer to use!

Cons: Awkward to mount a case fan. There are airflow obstruction issues with an Intel i3 CPU + cooler and heatsink. This requires some creativity to resolve.

Other Thoughts: I recommend only using an SSD for storage and an external optical disk (E.g. portable USB-connected optical drive) if a motherboard requiring a CPU heatsink+fan is employed - pretty much anything except an Intel Atom CPU board. Be sure to investigate ahead of time whether or not all desired inside-the-case components will fit.


Richard E.'s Profile

Display Name: Richard E.

Date Joined: 01/11/03

  • Reviews: 4
  • Helpfulness: 2
  • First Review: 01/22/14
  • Last Review: 01/18/15
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