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Pros: These cables are very sturdy, with a durable outer jacket. We have cats, and these will be much less prone to being bitten in two.
Cons: Because of the tougher outer jacket, these HDMI cables are not as thin and flexible as some others.
Other Thoughts: For my application, these are ideal because I needed durable cables with quality connectors. Thin and flexible were not criteria that mattered to me. Thus, I'm very happy with these cables, and I feel they were a good value for the price.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: In a gaming system, this board coupled with a 4.0 GHz Core i7 Haswell CPU and an NVIDIA GTX 660 really zooms. Installation was as easy as a motherboard installation ever can be (you always have to deal with cable routing and such). Connectors are clearly documented in the manual and clearly labeled on the board. The circuit board itself seems to be of high quality, and ASUS used reliable connectors. I used to design circuit boards professionally, so these are things I notice and care about!
Upgrading the BIOS is dead easy. Just put the new BIOS file on a VFAT-formatted thumb drive, power the system off, insert the thumb drive into one specific USB port on the back, press and hold the button next to that USB port, and wait a minute or so until an LED stops blinking. Reboot. Done.
The BIOS is so configurable that even as a computer engineer I found that there were more options there than I really needed. If you want a board that you can deeply configure for overclocking, this is a good choice. I tweaked the things I wanted to tweak and kept the defaults otherwise, and the board is running stably and smoothly for me. If you're a beginner, the menu might be a little intimidating, but the defaults normally will work fine.
When researching this board online before purchase, I found one review that said you couldn't install Windows 7 on a solid state drive with this board. That's nonsense. I did just that and had no problems at all. Windows 7 boots off a SATA SSD for me in about 10 seconds.
The onboard gigabit Ethernet chipset performs nicely. I am doing game development and use this system to capture multi-gigabyte videos, which are transferred to another system for editing. The onboard Ethernet can fully stuff the GigE pipeline as fast as my network switch can go.
I give kudos to ASUS for providing a very detailed manual for the board, when a lot of companies don't seem to do that any more. This matters more than you might think, because unless you have another system nearby during installation, looking up configuration instructions online may not be very convenient, so the printed manual is a very useful item.
Cons: The Realtek audio driver has a known bug (documented online) that causes it to fail at boot time. Online, the consensus was to upgrade to the latest BIOS to fix this. I did so, but the problem persists. My video board is providing sound output, so I simply uninstalled and ignored the Realtek driver, but this may be a problem for others. I'm assuming ASUS or Realtek will fix it in a driver update, but for now this cost it one star in my review.
I found some of the marketing hype around the board's features (especially the bundled software) to be a bit excessive, but it can be ignored and doesn't diminish the quality of the board itself. Frankly, some of the software wasn't of any interest to me, so I didn't install all of it.
Other Thoughts: I bought this board with a 4.0 GHz Core i7 CPU as an upgrade for a gaming tower, replacing another ASUS board that has worked well but can't keep up with the newer games.
One installation caveat: Be sure to plug in not only the main ATX power connector, but also the PCI Express power connector located near the CPU socket. If you miss this step, the board will power up but won't boot. This is documented in the manual but easy to overlook, which I did the first time through! Get the cabling right, and you're off and running. My fault, not the board's, so I didn't take away a star for this.
Pros: These are low-priced, mechanically compact, and work well. I am using two of them (different locations) with a Google Nexus 5 phone. I'm thinking about ordering a couple more of them for other sites in my home.
Another nice feature is that they have two downstream USB charging ports that you can use with devices that don't yet support the QI wireless charging standard.
Cons: This item drop-shipped from China and took a couple of weeks to arrive. I was not surprised or upset about this, because it was made clear to me during the ordering process, but it's something to note if you need a charger in a hurry.READ FULL REVIEW
Display Name: Scott C.
Date Joined: 05/31/05
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