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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.
This review is from: ASUS P8H77-I LGA 1155 Intel H77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard
Pros: 2+6 S/ATA ports which is rare for iTX, I/O plate is stacked with ports, I really like the single latches on the DRAM slots since the other side would be hard to reach once you get a video card in there...I could go on and on, I just love this board.
Has everything that an mATX or even ATX have except all the PCIe slots. So this is a no brainer if you don't need a wireless NIC, fancy soundcard (onboard on this one is "Good"), or SLI...which is pretty much most people. Heck, don't even need a video card if you run HD4000 really.
Great memory support. While building I decided to go through a box of DDR3 of many brands and bins for testing since some were questionable in other motherboards. Every single one worked.
I really like that Asus unifies their, um, UEFI. Through all Asus boards with it, all the UEFI have the same layout and just makes it easy when they're all really, really similar. With older BIOS it seemed they were all different even within same brand and even chipset series. ROG, Sabertooth, mATX, iTX...doesn't matter, all Asus UEFI are a breeze to work in.
Cons: One CPU and one Chassis fan header, that's it. Typical for iTX boards, but one more chassis fan header wouldn't hurt just to have the option.
Other Thoughts: I decided to buy 2 more of these for a WHS(2) and to replace an Asus H61 and all work flawlessly.
I like these little builds (ISK300-150 case). A couple SSD, i5(p), 7750 low profile, 16G 1866 and I go to this thing much more than my old i7 950 full tower. I think this iTX thing is picking up for more than HTPC type builds. So much power in a small footprint.
*Onboard video can't fail because there is no onboard video; it's on the CPU and Intel CPU's don't just randomly stop working.
Pros: The hardware works fine. It's quite fast and the best at the 5Ghz band from the pile of adapters I've tossed at this complicated dead-zone build.
Seems impervious to dirty neighbors/Microwaves kicking on, but then again that could be the router's good deed. I just can't find another adapter that works better than this one, so giving this adapter a pat on the back for that.
Cons: After a year, the drivers from the website simply do not install on Win7-64 Pro. The ones on the disc worked fine on two builds, but where is that thing now? I dunno. It's been over a year and I usually toss those things since getting the latest version off the website is the best for builders. Nope.
Downloaded every version I could find on their website for my OS and it just halts saying that the Win7-64 version I downloaded is not for my Win7-64 boxes...none of them.
Windows update somehow has drivers that work, but D-link does not. I can't figure out how that happens.
Other Thoughts: I've been a big fan of D-link hardware for, Jeez, about 8 years now; but the support is just sliding downhill for my tastes. This is still a fine piece of hardware and the driver issues just shouldn't be an issue. Most of the "fixes" state they've fixed exactly that I didn't have a problem with then but do now.
It works very well, but that's thanks to MS/Windows Update delivering the basics any piece of hardware needs. Seeing this on the rest of my D-Link hardware that are being replaced with another brand at a fast rate.
Don't steer clear and still 4 eggs; I'm not bitter. Just don't hope to get much as far as support prior to calling the help desk. Just get this weird feeling that 1yo products are not supported fully.
(No, I don't want an RMA or call/email tech support. Microsoft already helped me out...I think)