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Pros: - good price
- ESATA would be great if it worked
Cons: - can't get ESATA to work
- drive spin-up is sketchy
Other Thoughts: "at last", i thought, "a basic, inexpensive dock with ESATA 6Gb/s" -- so hard to find
but woe is me.
tried using the ESATA connector with 2 different GPT drives on 3 different computers, and none worked. drive would inconsistently be recognized in bios but windows 8.1 and 10 never saw the drive. tried with drive turned on before boot, and drive turned off before boot then on with windows running.
USB3 connector works fine, but Orico has a different model for those who just need USB3.
measured USB3 speed of 135MB/s which isn't terrible.
and a note about how the drive spins up:
normally with a dock the drive will spin up when power is applied, even if the drive is not connected to a computer.
this dock appears to require a connection before it will spin up the drive.
unfortunately, i bought 2, and not being able to use ESATA makes these useless to me.
Pros: very good power management features, like most of the intel cpus these days. the clock rates flow like water from a firehose, from idle to turbo and back.
Cons: cannot turbo all cores to 3.8GHz at the same time...but that would probably crack the power envelope. the 140W TDP is what you pay for the clock speed.
Other Thoughts: i think this cpu hits a necessary compromise spot between core count and clock speed. you can buy a v3 cpu with more cores, but not necessarily more clocks. so if single-thread clock speed is important to you (e.g., for gaming) and you also want more than 4 physical cores (e.g., because), this cpu should be on your short list.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: - lga2011 connectivity in a small form factor - you can connect many devices via pcie / sata / usb
- onboard m.2 ultra slot lets you run your OS/boot drive over pciex2 at speeds beyond sata3 6Gbps
- ability to run intel i7 or xeon cpus up to 18 cores
- supports 32GB DDR4 (the only mini-itx i know of that goes over 16GB)
- you can load up this board with ultra-high-performance power-hungry parts and still have a very green machine that only uses the power it needs - very comprehensive power and heat management options
- comes with dynatron r24 cpu cooler, which is a very good cooler
Cons: no cons, only a wishlist:
- WISH there were 4xDDR4 slots
- WISH there were just a few more SATA ports
but hey, it's a mini-itx and they already crammed everything you really need onto the board
Other Thoughts: i built a portable minibeast around this board.
i wanted a machine that i could use for any purpose: gaming, hosting VMs, and media. i already had separate machines for each of those but wanted to see if i could make one machine for everything.
i used top quality parts throughout, and had ZERO compatibility issues everything worked first time, and has worked with no issues in the month i've been running the machine.
If you're interested in using 32GB RAM, the max supported on this board, there are some issues. because DDR4 is quad-channel, the RAM makers are selling non-ECC (consumer) RAM only in packages of 4 sticks. (hopefully that has changed by the time you read this.) the only package i could find of 2x16GB sticks was ECC RAM. to use ECC RAM, you have to have a server-class CPU. so i ended up with a xeon e5-1650v3 rather than the i7-5820K just for the ECC RAM support.
here are the parts i used:
- CPU: Intel Xeon E5-1650 v3 (6x3.5GHz cores) [N82E16819117499]
- Case: Lian Li PC-TU200B [N82E16811112348]
- Case fan: Noctua NF-A14 iPPC-3000 [N82E16835608048]
- PSU: SeaSonic S12G S12G-650 [N82E16817151137]
- RAM: Crucial CT2K16G4RFD4213 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM ECC DDR4 2133 (PC4-17000) [N82E16820148840]
- SSD: Corsair Force LS CSSD-F960GBLSB 960GB [N82E16820233781]
- CPU cooler: dynatron r24 60mm (it comes with the board) [N82E16835114134] this is in fact a very good cooler and in many builds will be your best choice. it has a 60mm fan. if you have height clearance for one the larger dynatron coolers that fits narrow ILM (they have others with 80 and 92mm fans), i would recommend it for less noise
- HDs: 2x TOSHIBA PH3400U-1I72 4TB 7200 RPM (with room for 2 more)
- BD: ASUS BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS [N82E16827135247]
- M.2 drive: SAMSUNG SM951 M.2 256GB [N82E16820147425] (you should GET THIS drive with this board! direct connection to pciex2 is faster than sata3! this drive is AHCI, and if you can get an NVMe one, it should be even faster)
- VGA: MSI GTX 780Ti GAMING [N82E16814127770]