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Pros: Low cost, Low power consumption (<10watts at full load), small form factor, silent fanless design.. Adequate performance for most tasks except hard-core gaming. Supports 2 displays.
Cons: Only 1 USB3 port (out of 3 total).
Have to change a BIOS setting to get it to run Windows 7 or Linux.
Documentation is sparse
Other Thoughts: Use the *EXACT* RAM specified, If you don't use LOW VOLTAGE (1.35V) PC-1333 RAM, it won't turn on. Put in the right RAM and it will. Both the voltage and the speed have to be exactly correct. I suspect that a large number of the "DOA" claims and "1" ratings are from people who simply did not buy the right RAM.
It has no problems with 8GB if it is the correct speed and voltage.
Pros: Very low cost, low heat, low power consumption. Takes a standard 2.5 drive vs msata like some other versions.
Performance is adequate for undemanding tasks like web surfing and word processing
Cons: Not very powerful by gamer/power user standards. You get what you pay for.
Only 1 USB3 port (and 2 USB2 ports). Invest in a USB3 hub if you need more.
Oddly, for a low-performance system, it requires PC-1333 memory, so if you're hoping to re-purpose some old laptop memory, you are out of luck.
Other Thoughts: I have 3 of these, two running Windows 7 and one running Linux. No complications installing either operating system. By default, they come set up to run Windows 8. To run Windows 7 or Linux, you do have to change a BIOS setting.
They're a great choice for a child's desktop or for a low-usage SOHO infrastructure server.
Pros: The last hurrah for the venerable AM3+ platform.
5MHz clock speed in burst mode.
At $250, the price/performance ratio is unbeatable even when you do factor in a premium heatsink.
Cons: Generates insane amounts of heat. The stock AMD AM3+ copper-bottom air cool heatsink won't cool this beast; a heavy duty heat sink is required (preferably water cooling) and even then it runs hot.
It does have built-in thermal throttling which drops the clock rate when it reaches a pre-set threshhold, so it's safe to run, but if you want to get the full benefit of this CPU you need serious cooling.
Basically, this chip is overclocked out of the box, so of you're looking for something that you can tweak, forget it. It's already pushing the limits.
Other Thoughts: This is my 3rd AM series CPU over a stretch of 7 years. It's pretty amazing how well AMD has kept the platform relevant and competitive.
I'm a little annoyed that Newegg dropped the price by 25% a week after I bought mine, but that's life.
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