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This review is from: Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver Thermal Compound AS5-3.5G
Pros: Very concentrated.
Cons: none so far.
Other Thoughts: Be sure to check out their website for instructions on how to apply thermal paste. It's a reference guide that can be followed specifically for CPU types.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: -Good set of features for a gaming rig, but this is also a con (explained below). Overall a really decent board which can be easily setup for almost all needs.
-Loved the on-board buttons for troubleshooting (only remember the power on, but the other 2 serve equally important functions)
Cons: Here's where the egg gets dropped:
-With all the features this board has, I can hardly see the need for all the server features being needed at all on a board that is trying to meet halfway in between "server" and "gaming". Some things will probably not be used by most and it is probably using up space. The difference won't be dramatic, but it could be the solution to my next con.
-Ram sockets aren't evenly spaced out. Look closely and the top picture in the description and ensure you're gonna be using a low profile ram (specifically width since height should be a no brainer based on your cpu cooler). I will be sending back my quad channel ram, and may possibly replace the ram currently in use. Ironically I was going to send back the dual-channel ram (messed up order on my part) but will be sending back the ram that was quad-channel instead. So just have that in mind when choosing your ram.
All in all, the loss of the egg goes to the RAM modules 1A and 2A being too close; nothing more to add here.
Other Thoughts: I'm writing a somewhat detailed review based on my experience to encourage both costumers and Supermicro to continue making these boards. I like the quality.
Other things to consider:
-PCI peripheral slots were very close to each other (very common among non ATX boards it seems), so stay in the large form factor if you plan to have more than just a GPU in place. The PCI X1 slot seems usable (furthest from GPU).
-Windows 10 failed to recognize the m.2 as a boot device, this may be either something on board settings that I haven't read yet, or the board needing a bios update (unsure what previous review meant about their need to have bios upgraded, but this is kinda risky and may not be the reason). Not a big concern since the m.2 drive will be used to install apps that will be used more frequently, but it would have been nice to have the option of doing so (I'm using a sata ssd for OS).
-Manual should be printed (my opinion), I prefer this old school method since some users like myself don't use cd/dvd drives and/or prefer flipping pages.
-Given that I had no disc drive I had to download drivers online. My incompetent internet (comcast/warner) would not allow ftp for some reason. Supermicro, please have more options for downloading drivers. Not your fault tho. I'm baffled by an internet company blocking this port; I attempted the download at different times/days with no success.
-You're paying a good price for the board, and while you may not get a fancy "alien ship" look alike of the major companies (with all their fancy stuff), you ARE getting your money's worth for this board.
Pros: -mITX with lots of features
-cheaper than the maximus impact (or whichever the mITX is)
-everything's well arranged
-could run well for everyday use via the cpu's graphics
Cons: -Can't support a high-end cpu cooler (a big one could run into part of the mobo)
-Not enough space for any type of ram if using an air cooler (limits on height mostly)
-positioning on some of the components
Other Thoughts: I'm aware that there's a new one out right now, and it may have better performance and/or newer tech. But I did wanted to own this for a while before giving it a review.
I'd recommend this over the impact unless you want the "hd audio". sata placement's a little awkward but bearable.
Last thing I have to say is that the wi-fi IS removable and attached by 2 small screws on the bottom, and an M.2 card (someone stated it in their review). But that's an extra ~30$ for a premium motherboard. This is where it loses the 5th egg. But I can't say that I'm dissatisfied with it working flawlessly for over a year now.
ps: as a fan of mITX, if you have the money to go for it, check out the new asrock x99; that's a true minibeast that even has placed the m.2 ssd slot smartly (unlike the newer deluxe where it sits at the bottom). That may be my next build, although that's some time from now.