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Pros: Easy to install.
Lots of USB ports
Lots of open space in the PCI slot area. (previous mobo had raised components that interfered with installation of long video cards).
Click BIOS is very easy to use and the "help" window is more useful than in the past. The "change summary before you actually apply changes and reboot is great.) Overclocking the memory was two clicks!
4 DIMM slots will allow 64 GB of RAM (I installed 32).
SATA and internal USB #connectors are positioned for easy access.
Cons: Onboard heat/cooling shields are too close to the CPU socket. It made installation of a ZALMAN cooler a little difficult. Other coolers might not be a problem.
I would give this board 5 eggs except for one really annoying issue. The board will not initialize the video card when the machine is awaking from sleep mode. I have been working with MSI to diagnose the issue. They have been responsive but not helpful. (i..e the problem remains.) At first I could get it to wake up once if I left all the BIOS settings at their default values. But if I woke the machine, used it, and put it back to sleep, it would not awaken the next time. At the instruction of the MSI tech, I installed new Intel drivers, but that resulted in the machine not being able to wake even with default BIOS settings. This happens with my external video card as well as the onboard one. I suspect a BIOS timing issue, but I'm no BIOS expert so I have to rely onMSI to fix the problem.
If you are accustomed to shutting your machine done when you are finished working, then this will not be a problem for you. I, on the other hand, generally leave my machine on so I can remote into while traveling. For me this is a serious drawback!
As indicated in the title, I love everything about this board except this. As soon as MSI gets it fixed I will change the review to 5 eggs.
Other Thoughts: As noted above, if you always shut down your machine this is a great board. Otherwise, wait till this review changes to 5 eggs before buying it.READ FULL REVIEW
Cons: Incredibly difficult to configure. Would not allow remote desktop connections to machine on the SAME network/subnet. (Never got around to attempting RDP connection from outside the network.) Configured the trial version of the content filtering service. The test facility indicated it would block a specific prohibited site, but the computers which were begin served by the device could still access the prohibited sites.
Included documentation is useless. You can get a pdf from the Zxyel ftp site, but it assumes you have a rather high level of network configuration knowledge. (i.e. you need to know what all the three letter acronyms stand for or you will be lost). There are no configuration guides that help you accomplish a specific task (like configuring internal remote desktop access).
Other Thoughts: A previous reviewer indicated it was easy to configure if you were familiar with other Zyxel products. That could be true, but I am not familiar with this company's products and I spent three days trying to configure it and ended up giving up and purchasing a different product.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Easy install. Removable drive rack. Memory card slots, USB, Firewire, eSata and audio ALL on the front. Optional LCD display is inexpensive and adds a nice touch.
Cons: The dvd drive door is really flimsy. And, though it might make for a "sloppier" look on the front, I wish the dvd installation allowed the drive to be mounted through the front (like a normal PC). This case REQUIRES the removal of the front bezel of the dvd drive. The Blu-Ray drive I got was unusable because the case's drive button would not contact the drive's button, therefore, you could not activate the drive without using the eject functionality of the operating system. (actually this is probably a drive manufacturer problem, because I used a standard DVD burner instead and it worked fine.)
Other Thoughts: Factory installed fans are simple two wire connections that will not plug into the motherboard (for speed monitoring). I replaced the front fan with a motherboard controlled fan (and added another one to the other side).READ FULL REVIEW