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ASUS A88XM-PLUS/CSM FM2+ / FM2 AMD A88X (Bolton D4) 8 x SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

5 out of 5 eggs Very solid - excellent experience with a modest-end CAD setup 12/17/2014

This review is from: ASUS A88XM-PLUS/CSM FM2+ / FM2 AMD A88X (Bolton D4) 8 x SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

Pros: I've got one of these with a Richland processor set up with a rather expensive CAD video card and 16 Gigs of RAM. It's run superbly for the user. If I had the money I'd obviously take the Xeon workstation route, but it's not being used to design extremely sophisticated product, and I've been very impressed.

As a side note, I've got about 15 A88XM-A boards, which are almost identical, running throughout the office. Not a single failure, device incompatibility issue, etc. No DOAs. Also, it's incredibly easy to update the BIOS. Very pleased.

Cons: Can't really think of any.

Other Thoughts: I'd highly recommend this board for someone who is looking for a moderate-performance system. Do your research, pick good RAM and update the BIOS at your very first power-on.

Microsoft Office Home and Business 2013 Product Key Card - 1 PC
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

3 out of 5 eggs Does what it's supposed to do. 07/14/2014

This review is from: Microsoft Office Home and Business 2013 Product Key Card - 1 PC

Pros: It's still the flagship office productivity suite on the market. It does what it's done for years. That's about it.

Cons: The ALL CAPS tab titles? Yikes.
You have to work really hard to eliminate the 'sky drive' option, which is incredibly stupid in a business environment. It all but pleads with users to upload their documents! Also, the Save screen has to be tweaked (and it takes some doing) or else the save process is 2 steps just to get to a list of folders.

Virtually no visual enhancement choices for the UI - basically white or light grey.

Other Thoughts: Better than its open source counterparts in terms of functionality. However, it doesn't feel 'professional' anymore. It hits you with unwanted 'features' like SkyDrive, then makes it rather difficult (it takes Group Policy settings) to fully get rid of it. Definitely another step toward the 'let's call our programs 'apps' and make them cool!' nonsense.

Cooler Master N400 NSE-400-KKN2 N-Series- Mid Tower Computer Case with ATX Motherboard Support, Multiple 240mm Radiator Support, and Ventilated Front Panel
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: Excellent airflow potential - I've filled all fan slots in some 12 builds with this case now, and the temps are excellent.

Lots of space and openings for cable management behind/under the motherboard.

Front faceplate is very stylish, and modestly so - no gaudiness. I especially like the simple white-colored power and hd activity LEDs. Excellent for office builds, where excessively bright red or blue LEDs can be distracting or annoying.

Cons: One major con that has not stopped me from buying more --> There are two top fan openings for 120/140 mm fans. A nice positive. However, the top standoff positions result in all motherboards mounting with the top edge virtually flush with the top of the case. They're positioned too high inside the case.

Even a Micro-ATX motherboard, when installed, renders at least one of the two fan openings basically useless, apart from extreme measures... I've installed a bunch of ASUS A88XM-A micro-ATX boards, and the more forward-positioned fan space is blocked by a single RAM stick - moving to another slot doesn't matter - they're all in the way. Using the front fan space means that the secondary 4-pin CPU power cord has to be kinked severely by the pressure of the fan contact. So... I've actually chopped off a fair amount of plastic from the frames of the top 120mm fans I've used in order to enable me to install the things...

Most boards have their RAM slots situated so that, depending on how much RAM you're using, at least one of the fan slots is going to be blocked by the RAM stick/sticks.

Not especially well thought out...

Other Thoughts: I recommend it highly if you're not likely to use either of the top two 120/140 mm fan openings. Chances are very good that you'll end up with one or both of the spaces being unusable, with most motherboards. Unless you want to shave off a substantial amount of plastic off of the fan/fans you're going to use...


Daniel G.'s Profile

Display Name: Daniel G.

Date Joined: 12/09/13

  • Reviews: 5
  • Helpfulness: 1
  • First Review: 04/14/14
  • Last Review: 12/17/14
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