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Microsoft Windows 8.1 64-bit
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

4 out of 5 eggs Not as bad as I feared 07/07/2014

This review is from: Microsoft Windows 8.1 64-bit

Pros: The start menu is back! If you remember to right click only it is semi-useful.
Very resource friendly.
Detected most devices and installed generic drivers to get me going(see below).
VERY fast boot up. Also my first UEFI computer.

Cons: Feels like Windows 7...where a virus has taken over and fudged the UI.
This version of Windows installed generic drivers by default, felt like I didn't need to download the newest drivers from ASRocks website.
!!Still go to your mother boards website and download all drivers.

Other Thoughts: With the OEM drivers, Windows would freeze often during updates. I even rebooted once thinking I had bricked it some how. Windows started up with a installing updates splash screen. After I installed the newest Intel SATA drivers, it ran much better. Naturally updates won't install any more. Even after clearing out the updates cache
I cannot reiterate how much UEFI is beneficial to Windows 8(.1). Windows clocks boot up from first click of the power button to log in screen at 4.5 seconds. I think it is actually closer to 5 seconds :-)

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MyDigitalSSD 128GB Super Cache 2 42mm SATA III (6G) M.2 2242 NGFF SSD with FNet HybriDisk Cache Software - MDM242-SC2-128
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: 128Gb SATA
SATA 3(6Gb)
Small enough to fit on 2 fingers...while wearing an anti-static strap.
Dual notches allows usage in B and M sockets.
Only 42mm long...

Cons: Unfortunately, like all tech this is just plane SATA3.
Only 42mm long...
Comparable in speed to most low end SSD. Latency is actually quite high. Computer freezes often during Windows Updates, other wise just fine(could be driver issues as well)
Probably only meant to be used as a cache and not sole drive.
5x speed if you have a 5400PRM disk drive to cache.
I spent 3 days reading up on the M.2 socket to figure out which to buy for the listed mainboard.

Other Thoughts: Naturally I cannot wait for the PCIe version 42mm.... Broadwell... Santa...
Paired with
ASRock Z97 Extreme mini-ITX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157504&cm_re=ASRock_mini_itx_Z97E-_-13-157-504-_-Product

Antec 110
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129185&cm_re=antec_110-_-11-129-185-_-Product

If you remove the SSD cage, this allows for full access to the M.2 socket. Installed Windows 8.1 Pro 64bit and I still have 98Gb free for apps. Makes me wonder what is in those 2.5" metal shells I am using in my desktops...

Newegg has these M.2 SSD all over their website. I found a comparable SSD listed as wearable devices??

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Antec ISK 110 VESA Black ABS plastic / 0.8 mm SECC Mini-ITX Desktop Computer Case 90W External Adapter, Up to 92% Efficiency Power Supply
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: Smallest ITX case without resorting to ugly automotive/industrial enclosures.
Still has a built in power supply(80w DC-DC converter board).
4x USB 2.0 on the front.
Comes with a plastic stand to allow for a slight tilt and is secured with a single thumbscrew.
Also comes with a metal VESA bracket(hanger) for out of sight LCD attachment.
No noisy case fans.
The converter actually has 20+4 and 4+4 cable for the main board.
2 SATA power which probably reaches to the rear bracket.
one 4pin molex, which is about 2 inches long??
Rear panel is plastic and has tiny air slots for convective cooling.
Comes with a generic laptop 19v 4.74A power brick for internal DC-DC board.

Cons: No USB 3.0 on the front.
Head phone and mic on the front panel seems dubious as the rear panel is easily within reach.
No case fan at all. CPU fan is the only device providing active air circulation.
The 4pin molex is only 2 inches long. Not really sure what that is suppose to plug into as this case does not support anything of that sort.
The rear bracket has thick paper insulator strips for some reason. I would rather have any devices on the rear dissipating heat through the bracket over a larger surface area.
Case does not provide any room for PCIe based devices, but neither would the PSU output.
80w converter limits you to 65w or lower CPU with on board graphics. Over clocking would be a NO-NO as well.

Other Thoughts: I am using the ASRock Z97E-ITX/ac with this case. It is a perfect fit. I actually think Antec and ASRock collaborated in the design and layout.
The USB and front audio jacks on the main board are at the bottom rear. The cabling runs along the front and bottom of the case and completely out of the way of everything.
The rear bracket was removed completely and the M.2 port on the main board is in easy access, when I find a quality 2242 SSD.
As this will be used in an automotive environment, the DC-DC converter with be eventually removed. I may snip off the 4pin Molex during stress testing so I know if I can drop to a lower PSU or go up a size.
Even if the power brick is beefed up with a 120W generic, the 80w DC-DC board would still be a limitation.
More details in the ASRock P97E-ITX review.

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Walter C.'s Profile

Display Name: Walter C.

Date Joined: 10/29/01

Achievements:

  • Top 1000 Reviewer
  • Reviews: 72
  • Helpfulness: 23
  • First Review: 02/17/05
  • Last Review: 07/07/14
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