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GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-SLI LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Great preforming motherboards don't have to be expensive! Since intel has been moving more and more stuff onto the cpu(VRM's now on cpu itself) performance is pretty similiar across practically every platform until you get into the fancy power delivery on high end boards but for the average user, it won't effect much if at all any

- Instruction booklet is well laid out and very descriptive.
- Driver cd(just download the latest off gigabyte's website)
- The usual rear i/o, only 2 sata cables and an SLI bridge(AMD's crossfire no longer uses bridges)
- Gold plated CPU socket(gold is always better, right?)
- Dual BIOS

Plenty of connectivity!
- 6 sata 3 6gb/s connectors
- sata express
- 2 pci-e 3.0 lanes (16x,8x)
- what seems to be almost standard 3 pci-e 1x and 2 pci lanes
- m.2!!!
- Five 4-pin fan headers
- PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port (a must have still, has saved my bacon many times)

Overclocks fairly easy, put my pentium to 4ghz by just upping the multiplier and nothing else and ran stable.

Board boot looped once to boot with ram settings that work, a quick XMP put my ram back at 2133mhz with the click of a button

Cons: Only cosmetic gripes, brown PCB with red heatsinks and gray/black ram slots

Using M.2 will disable sata ports 4/5
Clear CMOS JUMPER WHY?! ( i guess you can always just remove battery, BUT WAIT DUAL BIOS) goodluck bricking your bios

Other Thoughts: The bios is interesting, there are 2 modes, a flashy cool looking uefi bios and the standard bios which i find far more appealing.

SLI/crossfire work in 8x/8x but that's equivalent to pci 2.0 x16 so no worries there.

All in all one of the best budget boards out there. Coming in at around $120 depending on sales, this board is a great buy. No problems with the board or getting it to do what i want, plenty of sata ports even if 2 of them are disabled with m.2
Little touches like front panel headers being labeled clearly on the board and well laid out fan headers are a nice touch, every connector is in the right area no wonky misplaced headers etc.

TP-LINK Archer T8E AC1750 Wireless Dual Band PCI Express Adapter IEEE 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11b PCI Express Up to 1.3Gbps Wireless Data Rates
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: - Wireless AC that's fast and holds connection well
- PCI is always better than USB implementations
- External antennas (because you like getting wires tangled up in the back)
- Black PCB and heatsink look great in any pc
- The utility is easy to use(let's be honest here though, practically all utilities of the like are pretty straightfoward anymore.)
- Instructions are there if you really need it.
- CD with drivers (always download the latest off website)
- 3 antennas are better than 1
- 3T3R MIMO (If you don't know what this means, it basically means using 3 antennas to do the job of 1 resulting in better performance/stability.)

Cons: No slim PC adapter bracket, seriously?

Other Thoughts: This TP-link adapter is fantastic. Compared to a wired connection, i did not notice any loss in speed/disconnects or even major packet loss, i actually forgot i was using it after awhile.

The utility has everything you need to connect to wifi and there is even some basic settings (mainly to just save you time in going to device/network manager)

Wireless AC i have found to just be in general more stable than the previous as both bands are connected streaming data from your router.

All in all this thing is rock solid. The only problem is slim bracket, seriously why is there no slim bracket? Most motherboards come with a good implementation of wired (always use wired vs wireless unless you can't run wires) meaning most of the general use of this will be for things like a HTPC where you maybe don't want to use wired. I can't take off an egg for that though, maybe they will offer a slim bracket sometime in the future.

TP-LINK Archer C5 AC1200 Dual Band Wireless AC Gigabit Router, 2.4GHz 300Mbps+5Ghz 867Mbps, 2 USB Ports, IPv6, Guest Network
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Wireless AC
3 External antennas for 5ghz(internal for 2.4ghz
Wireless on/off switch(needs to be more of a standard)
2 usb ports come in handy
Warranty is actually a nice touch
Wall mountable with the icons slanted so you can see them while wall mounted
Easy installation cd is about as easy as it gets
the app can come in handy
IPV6 and a guest network

Other than that its your basic router that we all come to expect when shopping for routers

Cons: Only usb 2.0 but better than nothing

other than that this thing is great especially for it's price

Other Thoughts: Price can't really be beat. It's not easy finding a good AC router under 100 bucks

Wireless performance is far beyond expected. I can get 5ghz all the way to the end of my drive way without a hiccup and my current router has a radio amp to boost signals.

2 usb ports come in handy as i have a printer connected to one and now i have one for the flash drive to watch movies over the network(all the way to the end of my driveway if i wanted.... its pretty far)


Joseph C.'s Profile

Display Name: Joseph C.

Date Joined: 02/18/11


  • Top 1000 Reviewer
  • Reviews: 64
  • Helpfulness: 20
  • First Review: 05/11/11
  • Last Review: 02/20/15
  • Most Favorable Review: 4 out of 5 eggs
  • Most Critical Review: 3 out of 5 eggs
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