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Pros: - As you can see by the specs, it's very fast.
- Completely unlocked, so you can tune everything. The Asus 990FX R2.0 is a perfect motherboard for this chip. With the right cooling system, you can have an extremely fast box.
Cons: - The included cooler with the preapplied thermal compound can't handle all 8 cores at 90-100% with Turbo enabled for more than a few minutes (> 63C, ambient room temp ~21C,) even with quiet fan control disabled in BIOS. There isn't much else in the box generating heat, since the hard drives are mostly inactive at that time and I don't run graphics. Without Turbo the temp stabilizes at about 60C when all cores are at about 95%. Overclocking is completely out of the question without replacing the cooler.
- I don't think this CPU can handle RAM speeds higher than 1866, but I'm not entirely sure.
Other Thoughts: I don't have a lot of technical knowledge about CPUs, but I do know that high temps are bad and that high clock speeds are good. I'm running FreeBSD 9.1 with this CPU on a 990FX R2.0 motherboard. I have it set up as a server for running lengthy computations in parallel. It literally exists for me to compute as much as I can during a given time window.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: - 2.5GHz hyperthreaded dual-core processor.
- 4GB of DDR3 1600.
- 7200RPM 500GB SATA 3.0 Gbps hard drive.
- 3 USB 3 ports, and a USB 2 port (which I needed for my wireless mouse to work with Linux.)
- POSTs faster than any computer I've owned in the past.
- Great wifi signal.
- Hardware works with Linux.
- Looks much nicer than the previous ThinkPad versions.
- Nonreflective display.
- Probably the best laptop keyboard I've ever used, as far as button shape, texture, and mechanics.
Cons: - No CapsLock indicator or keyboard backlight.
- Low-contrast display, but it's acceptable for working indoors. I wouldn't use it to watch movies or to edit pictures/video.
- No option to buy it without Windows. I turned it on long enough to get the DVD drive open, then I immediately rebooted to install Linux.
Other Thoughts: After ~10 years of putting a lot of money into laptops, I finally decided to go modest on the laptop build a server to handle all of my computational needs. I'm running Kubuntu 12.10 on this laptop and as far as I can tell all of the hardware is supported. I've been using it to edit documents (locally and remotely,) to ssh into my server to work remotely, and for various things on the web. That being said, this laptop was 1/3 the price of one I bought 2.5 years ago, and this one outdoes the old one in every way except for the display. Since I primarily use Linux, the hardware requirements of my OSes don't increase very much over the years, so this laptop is still youthful in "Linux years".READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: - AM3+ socket.
- Lots of SATA and USB 2/3 ports and built-in ethernet port.
- Extremely useful BIOS setup utility with more settings than I know what to do with. The mouse-based interaction saves a huge amount of time.
- AI overclocking utility, which automatically overclocks the CPU. This made my FX-8350 run at about 4.33GHz vs. 4.0GHz without stability problems. Unfortunately the CPU fan couldn't keep up, however.
- The MemOK! and DirectKey buttons saved me a lot of headache numerous times. I had to use the MemOK! button to clear failed RAM OC settings (my own) so the machine could POST, and I connected the reset button on the chasis to the DirectKey connector so I can quickly get into the BIOS settings.
- The whole board seems to run pretty cool.
- For the most part I didn't need to reference the documentation when plugging things into the board.
- Includes 4 right-angle SATA cables, although I needed more than that.
Cons: - Apparently this board doesn't want to run RAM at higher than 1333 without explicitly overclocking it. I did read that AM3 chips shouldn't run RAM at higher than 1333, but that AM3+ can run RAM at 1866.
- I had an AHCI-related OS boot issue (FreeBSD 9.1) when I had a DVD drive plugged into a port on the ASMedia SATA controller, but it went away when I moved the drive to one of the SB950 ports. Apparently the ASMedia ports are only for actual hard drives.
- I don't use the RAID feature, but the documentation implies that it isn't entirely encapsulated in the hardware, i.e. your OS has to do part of the work.
- My RAM is almost touching the CPU heatsink.
- The documentation for a lot of the BIOS settings is unhelpful.
Other Thoughts: I'm using this board for a personal server, which I primarily use for multithreaded scientific computations via ssh. I'm running FreeBSD 9.1, and I haven't had any problems other than the SATA DVD issue I mentioned above. I admit that some of the cons I listed wouldn't be cons if the corresponding features weren't actually present (e.g. if there was no ASMedia SATA controller.)READ FULL REVIEW