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GIGABYTE GA-B85N Phoenix-WIFI LGA 1150 Intel B85 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: LEDs behind the board gimmick aside, this is actually a very nice board to build with. Sturdy, well laid out and recognized my (Haswell Refresh) Xeon CPU out of the box: no bios update needed.

The BIOS sucks if you try to use a mouse but navigating with a keyboard is logical and consistent. Menu options are well grouped together and I never had any trouble finding what I was looking for.

Cons: The worst thing about this board, for me, is that the case headers are at the top of the board instead of the front, usually where they need to be if you're using a small mITX like the Hadron.

Don't know why they still put PS2 ports on motherboards. Just give us another USB2 ports in place instead.

Not enough for me to dock an egg for, however.

Other Thoughts: Board booted right up on first try, no fuss, recognized all the ram and got the timings exactly right. No further updates needed for compatibility, even has a lot of the desire hardware toggles in the BIOS instead of having to rely on software for some device features. (Example: toggle for ethernet Wake on Lan is in the bios, I usually have to disable this in Device Manager on Windows)

Ran a burnin test and Memtest overnight. No issues whatsoever. Can't wait to finally be able to put this in my case. I might like the orange glow behind the board then...

DIYPC HTPC-Cube-BK Black USB3.0 Aluminum/Steel Mini-ITX Tower Computer case, can support 120mm Radiator, Standard Size ATX PSU
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: Unexpectedly roomy, solid construction, individual panels for each side, flat front (no drive bays), no blue LEDs used in the front button. (Blue LEDs are EVIL!) They are red and white for HD and Power.

Cons: Can get cramped if you don't install things in the right order (put the PSU in before you install the video card), gold legs are kind of tacky, surface of case scratches easily.

No thumbscrews. (Buy a pack of them when you order this.)

No air filter for rear fan. (Again. Buy one.)

With my motherboard, I was unable to have two drives installed at the bottom of the case while also having the USB3 connector for the case headers plugged in. The clearances between the edge of the motherboard and the bottom of the case are pretty darn slim. There is a place to install a drive above the video card, however. Having one at the top and one at the bottom doesn't play well with some PSU (the ones where all the drive connectors are on one cable like mine)

Other Thoughts: The case does have some flaws. But it's also probably the best compromise between size and utility that I've seen yet. I always felt the Node 304, while a really, really nice case... just didn't make use of its internal space all that well. This case also uses discrete panels for the sides, which I've always preferred over the single piece "U" shell type cases.

Case is actually a lot roomier than it looks from the outside. My A8-5500k is in there with a high height Cooler Master heatpipe cooler along with a GTX 470 and an Antec 620W PSU. Plenty of room for all of it. You just have to work with it slowly to make sure you get everything seated right before you start screwing things down.

The BEST advice that I can give anyone attempting a build with this computer is to install the PSU so that the fan is facing the motherboard, not the front of the case. You WILL have to wrap the cables coming out of the PSU around the end of the video card if you have a full length (10") one, but this will also deal with the problem of PSU cable slack for you by forcing it all to the top of the case. Flip the rear fan so that it is an intake and the airflow goes over the CPU and into the PSU. This will ensure proper air tunneling and exhaust for hot air... AND give you space behind the PSU for additional cable slack... which you can't do if the fan was facing the other way.

Proportionately, it's about as wide and about a third taller than a typical Shuttle box while being slightly less deep.

Having the DIYPC case in my hands, feeling it and working within it... I think it's now my go-to case for mITX builds. They did a lot of things right with it and SFF cases without visible drive bays are sorely lacking. Design may be a bit spartan compared to what gets sold here but that's exactly why I like it.

Lenovo 70A69003NA Diskless System Iomega ix2 Network Storage 2-bay
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

4 out of 5 eggs Good basic NAS 03/08/2015

This review is from: Lenovo 70A69003NA Diskless System Iomega ix2 Network Storage 2-bay

Pros: Quiet, doesn't draw much power (Power Adapter is rated for 36 Watts max) and the speeds are reasonably good considering the featureset and how much you'd pay for this NAS Enclosure.

Despite using blue LEDs for hard drive activity, the LEDs are not bright at all. Good for light sensitive sleepers such as myself.

Software download not required on host PC to set up this NAS. Can simply point web browser at the IP given to the NAS to configure everything.

Cons: Documentation that comes with the hardware is next to useless. Be prepared to have to download online PDFs and look through their help guides. Case in point, there is ZERO information on how to install drives included with the NAS. (Lift front cover panel straight up from the bottom to remove. Something I was afraid to try before I saw how to do it because I didn't want to break any plastic by forcing something.)

The firmware does have some usability quirks.

If you insert drives that aren't blank, you may have to do a "factory reset" within the Web interface (even after once going through setup) before the drives will be reformatted in the default Raid 1 mode. (Mirrored)

Anyone who buys this NAS expecting that they can pop in drives with content already on them clearly has never dealt with Raid systems. NEVER put anything in a Raiding system unless you are prepared to format.

Samba/Windows File Shares weren't recognized by my computer until I toggled the protocol off and then on again within the web interface. Once I did that, everything worked great.

Other Thoughts: I just wanted something simple, quiet and usable. This NAS, once I got past the quirks and copied everything over from backups, does the trick. I get a very consistent 22-25MB/sec write speed over Gigabit Ethernet in Raid 1 mode. Getting network mapped drives set up in Windows and Linux was a piece of cake. No strange delays or phantom disconnects with this NAS... which I did occasionally get with the one this one replaced.

I consider it a very solid 4 eggs considering how cheaply you can get one of these for and what you're able to get out of it.


Anonymous's Profile

Display Name: Anonymous

Date Joined: 06/02/04

  • Reviews: 35
  • Helpfulness: 28
  • First Review: 11/23/07
  • Last Review: 09/13/15
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