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Pros: 4 eggs for my usage and environment. I built this rig for the man cave down in a horse stable I've built out. It gets very hot and very cold. The build is just not in a happy environment, yet I knew I needed an SSD. "Intel 730 without a doubt", came up as a shell shocker, sold.
It's a very reliable drive, will withstand these elements, and I just trust it fully.
Cons: 3 eggs, max, for other purchaser's usage, environment, and hopes for the true SSD experience. It's just kinda slow for an SSD with only the warm fuzzy feeling that it's industrial strength.
Skulls. It's white trash. Might as well put a pic of Kid Rock sitting on a Huyabusa in front of a mobile home in it's place. Skulls, flames, blinking lights...a builder needs none of this. Thankfully they go in brackets to never be seen again; Even if you have a window. (who displays that they have an SSD now days? We all do. They're $50. I wouldn't put this on display on any build).
It's the semi-pretty girlfriend. Not the best, don't have to work hard to get her, won't nag and bother you all the time, no maintenance required, and will never cheat on you.
Other Thoughts: I'm with the prior comment Timothy K. made on this purchase and review. I'm an all SSD user for all boot drives on every build and have been since they came out over 10 years ago now. Loved the snappiness of SSD's and haggled a bit over switching from 5x74G raptors in R5 due to capacity issues early on. After paying out for 5x150G raptors and enjoying the growing tech in the SSD field I knew I had to get on board fully from that point on out. If you want performance, you just go to SSD with no questions asked; Deal with capacity and storage in another thought process.
It's an SSD with good capacity, at a decent price, and Intel reliability. If it's your first SSD you won't be disappointed at all. If you're already well entrenched in SSD's and have used several before, you will be hugely disappointed by having very average speeds compared to others out there. Probably why it's on sale a lot here.
This is officially my 27th SSD and there's just a lot left on the table when I know Intel can do better. Also, none of them have ever failed so I question whether I, or anyone else, should really chose reliability over speed any more. I back up constantly, I don't run enterprise servers, and no drives have failed. I don't discourage this SSD as a purchase but I would look around for something more snappy with more actual performance.
Still running Mushkin, OCZ, Samsung, Crucial, and Intel of many variations. This was the first that really let me down since we're deep into the SSD evolution and is just ho-hum.
Pros: Very little. Once it's up, it's a good little board. It just becomes a minor hassle with the cons.
Might soon be framed into Geek artwork to hang on the wall...of shame.
Cons: The fix I had, and may have said already prior, is to leave the CMOS battery out. Set up the BIOS the way you want it then save that setup in the OC profiles.
If you ever shut this down you have to turn off power, ensure the LED on the board goes out, turn power back on, boot into the BIOS, restore saved BIOS, save and reboot, then update time time and date in the OS (or web certs won't be allowed).
If you don't do all of this you can wear out the power button on your computer because it does absolutely nothing. It's not a dead board, just an inherent problem with this model in which no BIOS update nor CMOS battery could fix.
Other Thoughts: Sorry, it's really hit or miss. You got one that works and you got lucky. The reviews are legitimate as you don't see this level of bad reviews on many other Asus boards.
I've got a picture and a video holding it to prove I have it. If you want a video of me pushing the button for 24hrs, I guess I could do that too. Or one where I just push it 5 times, doesn't even budge, then go through this process and it boots and POSTS, that'd be easier ;)
It's discontinued so it's not a major concern anymore, but many people come here to view the reviews for refurbs or external sales. This is not a board to trust.
Pros: This is my favored middle of the road CPU now. You could spend a bit more for the next level up, but I'd save the $50 since those features really aren't warranted outside of bragging rights and bigger model numbers. Run this on a quality board and it's just fine.
Replaced an i3 2100 with 65 TDP with this 69 TDP unit in a tight iTX build with some hesitation, but couldn't be happier. It's just as cool at idle of any prior i3 on hand (SB & IB) and only mildly warmer at full stress and OEM heatsink (and good TIM, see Con). Temps are relative, but it's very livable at all loads even with the OEM cooler.
The only reason I still use the 2600K box is for video editing where the software will actually utilize all the threads it needs for render and the GPU for previews. If you don't have that higher end software or even wonder if you need a lot of cores for threads, this is more than likely the CPU to purchase. With my average editing software (under $150 and freeware), I can't find a fault with doing those tasks on this CPU while the bigger boy chugs down the heavier compiles.
I like P models in builds I know I'll have a discrete video card in. In theory, they should overclock better than Non-P units due to the IGP being linked too closely to the CPU core clocks.
Yes, you CAN overclock Intel CPU's but is more up to what motherboard you chose. K's are no brainers but aren't the only answer. Raise the BClock and it's overclocked.
Cons: I understand very well how to install the OEM heatsink and never had a single issue installing them...ever. But I do doubt the amount of paste they place on them still. It's the same amount they've used since the much smaller s775 and just doesn't cut it.
I installed it, broke it in for about 4 hours, took it off, and it's still a nickle-sized coverage. A nickle-sized contact on a DC s775 would be fine but not on a QC s1155. This is probably the real problem most have with Intel OEM coolers.
Don't use it. Wipe it off well, use some good TIM like ICD7, and the OEM cooler does very well.
Other Thoughts: Keep in mind that "TDP" is a thermal design term and not "watts" as in electrical power. Just a warning to not use that figure if you're working with trying to fit it into a very small PSU or something. Would crash with a 65W PSU under load where the 2100 wouldn't. Runs fine in a 150W box with 16G DRAM and an AMD 7750 though. Just saying that it doesn't use 69W of the PSU or it wouldn't work with a 150W Pico PSU
*Dark contacts are very normal. This happens during manufacturing and final validation before it's qualified to be put in a blue box. Not a flaw and is easily wiped off with a lint-free rag and all those "safe" practices.
*Never, ever, had a dead CPU from Intel. Had an old Athlon MP die about 14 years ago that was actually faulty once, but CPU's just don't die. Past employee of both teams, I tried to kill them; it's not them...check your build.