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ASUS RT-AC68U Wireless-AC1900 Dual Band Gigabit Router IEEE 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

5 out of 5 eggs This is the router you're looking for 04/09/2014

This review is from: ASUS RT-AC68U Wireless-AC1900 Dual Band Gigabit Router IEEE 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n

Pros: This is currently the flagship ASUS router. It supports a/b/g/n/ac and has both 2.4GHz and 5GHz radios. It has more features than most people will ever need or use, but it's comforting to know that they're there if you do. Hopefully, this is the last router I'll need to buy for a long time.

Cons: My router shipped with firmware version which, seems to have a performance problem, at least with 2.4GHz "n" clients. With my old ASUS RT-N16, I could get a solid 15Mbps download speed when running online bandwidth speed tests (my broadband connection tops out at 15Mbps). However, with the new RT-AC68U, I could only get 1.5Mbps at best. When I flashed the firmware to Asuswrt-Merlin 374.40 alpha 4 (the latest stable build for the RT-AC68U). The performance problem is totally gone. Asuswrt-Merlin is a modified version of the stock ASUS firmware, so it has the same UI and all the features of stock firmware, except with less bugs.

Antec New Solution NSK2480 Black/Silver 0.8mm cold-rolled steel MicroATX Desktop Computer Case 380W Power Supply
  • Owned For: more than 1 year

Pros: This is one of the most compact desktop cases you can get that will fit full-height cards and a full sized ATX power supply. It has a fantastic layout and cable management is a joy. The anti-vibration mounting for hard drives is well done with plenty of space for proper ventilation between drives.

Cons: These are all minor but I figured I'd mention them just in case. Some aftermarket CPU heatsink/fan units will not fit due to the low case height. The exhaust fan blows out the side, which may be a problem for some people. The anti-vibration hard drive mounting is a little tricky for getting drives in and out, so this case isn't optimal for people who are swapping drives in and out with any frequency.

Other Thoughts: If you want a similar micro-ATX case in a mini-tower format, take a look at the Antec NSK 3480, which is equally compact and well designed.

ASUS P5KPL-CM LGA 775 Intel G31 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

4 out of 5 eggs Overclock on a budget 06/21/2009

This review is from: ASUS P5KPL-CM LGA 775 Intel G31 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: This board turned out to be a great little board for the price. You can build a decent overclocked system with the right parts. This is what I used...

CPU: Intel Core2Duo E5200 (12.5 x 200MHz = 2.5GHz)
Memory: OCZ DDR2 PC2-8500 Fatal1ty 4GB (2x2GB)
(note, I recommend memory with faster timings, though this worked for me)

I'm currently running the above CPU at 3.5GHz using the stock Intel heatsink-fan unit simply by changing the FSB from 200 to 280. 12.5 x 280 = 3.5GHz. That's a 45% overclock. A full 1GHz for free.

I also lowered the memory setting to the 667 setting (3:5) to make sure that my memory wasn't being overclocked.

I did a Prime95 torture test on it to make certain that it was stable at 3.5GHz. I was able to run over 3.7GHz, but it couldn't pass Prime95.

Cons: I was only able to push the FSB to 312 before it refused to POST. I could get into Windows with it at 310, but it wasn't stable under load. 280 seems to be the max stable FSB. This limits you to CPUs with high multipliers if you want to overclock.

There is no way to adjust CPU voltage from the BIOS. This isn't a concern because this board is limited by FSB, not CPU voltage.

There are limited memory ratios. With a 800 rated FSB chip like the E5200 I used, there are only two FSB:memory ratios available:

800MHz (which is 1:2)
667MHz (which is 3:5)

So if you want to overclock, get DDR-1066 memory and select the 3:5 ratio.

I attempted a BSEL mod on my CPU to fool the board into thinking that the default rated FSB is 1066 (really 266) it kinda worked, but the board was VERY unstable. I hoped that maybe it would open up more memory settings or better timings, but that didn't happen. It was much more stable without the BSEL mod.

Other Thoughts: Note that this board DOES support manual memory timings, they're just hidden under the chipset-northbridge menu. The slowest timings are 6-6-6-15, so keep that in mind when selecting 1066 memory. The memory I chose seems to work, but it's running with faster timings than recommended by the manufacturer.

Things I've read on the internet claim that this board doesn't have proper PCI locks. Therefore, overclocking the FSB also overclocks the PCI bus and all devices on it. This may be why it tops out at 280FSB.

That being said, it's still a decent well made board from a great manufacturer. With a high-multiplier budget CPU and the right memory, you can get a respectable overclocked setup for $180 (Newegg prices as of 6/21/09):

Asus P5KPL-CM: $55
Intel Core2Duo E5200: $70
G.Skill 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2-1066: $55

I gave it 4 out of 5 rating because of the FSB wall. If the board would go to 400, I'd have given it 5.

I'm using the latest 0608 BIOS and Windows XP Pro.


William K.'s Profile

Display Name: William K.

Date Joined: 10/05/03

  • Reviews: 3
  • Helpfulness: 2
  • First Review: 06/21/09
  • Last Review: 04/09/14
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