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GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-SLI LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

4 out of 5 eggs Gigabyte Durability and Reliability 10/02/2014

This review is from: GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-SLI LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: -M.2 PCIe socket is the latest and greatest in SSD
-SLI or CROSSFIRE compatibility
-4DDR3 slots upto 3000MHz speeds
-Low Heatsinks make it compatible with almost all varieties of cpu coolers
-115dB HD Audio with built in AMP
-6x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
-1x SATA express connector
-4 USB 3.0 ports on the back
-15micrometer gold plated cpu socket pins --for those who like changing CPUs like underwear
-easy to use bios with explanations of settings
-dual bios backup

Cons: -ram slots are a bit too close to the cpu socket. IF you have a large CPU cooler it may hit the ram.
-visually a generic and boring black and red motherboard
-one usb3 header
-no lights on the motherboard

Other Thoughts: For your average computer builder or tech junky I'd say this is a great board. It's a motherboard that doesn't require much maintenance and works great right out of the box. You have your important inputs plus the addition of the M.2 SSD socket which is the future in SSD technology and makes the board future compatible- saving you money in the long run because you don't have to buy a new one later down the road. The prices of M.2 SSD will become affordable in the future so it's always nice to have this compatibility. The built in audio card was good but not great. If you listen to a dedicated sound card and then listen to this you will notice the fidelity,crispness,and separation is not quite there. Considering the cost that a good dedicated sound card is $100+ this built in ALC1150 is sufficient enough especially if you are not a audiophile. The bios is your typical UEFI and is pretty easy to navigate and adjusts. Overall, I've have not had much issues, Gigabyte is one of my go to motherboards and this one sure delivers. Although it is a bit boring looking it does have nice features and isn't too expensive.

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Seagate Backup Plus 5TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive STDT5000100
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: -5TB (4.54TB after windows format) is MASSIVE!
-Portable but uses power ac adapter
-USB 3.0 Cable included
-Works as advertised, no issues starting the pc with it plugged
-Nice black finish
-Above average transfer speeds (100MB/s) compared to 2.5"
-Elevated bottom to dissipate heat but must lay on flat surface
-Backup software is great and easy to use

Cons: -2yr warranty
-no power switch
-attracts fingerprints
-no reason to use utility
-heat dissipation is decent
-can only lay flat

Other Thoughts: Included with the Hardware is a 4' USB 3.0 cable, HD, power adapter, and a built in seagate utility software.The drive itself is made of matte plastic with a blue bottom that gives it a nice contrast but despite the matte finish it seems to absorbs oil from the skin when handling the HD. Vent ports are present and keep the temps warm to the touch. There is a minor humming noise from the drive and write's and read's with a minimal mechanical seeking sound. There isn't an led present nor is there a switch to turn off the HD. Turning the HD off requires manually unplugging the power cord or the "safely remove HD" function through Windows. Transferring large files was around
100MB/s which is not bad for a USB 3.0 mechanical HDD. I didn't encounter much issues using this for normal storage such as transferring movies, pictures, torrenting, etc.- all worked without a hitch. The main problem with a HDD with this amount of space is not knowing if it will fail and if it does all 4.54tb of data is going disappear. Included is a 2yr warranty which is decent but being as it is a portable hd and marketed as consumer level product it is no surprise and other competitors are the same.

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ASRock Z97E-ITX/ac LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: -stable stock speeds, I do not overclock as this is for a HTPC
-feature packed!! HDMI in/out (audio passthrough)
-AC wireless built is solid and works great!
-6 SATA-3 connectors is plenty for multiple HDs and SSDs
-M.2 Socket for future upgrade ability is a nice feature to have
-LAN built in
-6-USB 3.0
-Bluetooth 4.0 built-in

Cons: -ONLY 2 DDR3 Slots (16GB supported)
-Old bios, but easy to update
-M.2 socket on the back of the board

Other Thoughts: This is a great board for building a mini-itx. It comes with many great built in features such as HDMI out, AC wifi, Blue tooth, and M.2 socket to take advantage of newer SSDs. The only con I had was that there are only 2 memory slots which is to be expected with a mini-itx, so make sure you buy the correct memory size. Everything has been stable so far and HD1080p movies have worked wonderful on the HDTV. Wireless is also great for being onboard.

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Amennie T.'s Profile

Display Name: Amennie T.

Date Joined: 12/12/05

  • Reviews: 52
  • Helpfulness: 25
  • First Review: 01/05/06
  • Last Review: 08/11/14
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