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ASUS Q87M-E/CSM LGA 1150 Intel Q87 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: - Zero problems; exactly what I expect with an ASUS board.
- Supports everything you expect out of a modern workstation: VT-x, VT-d, and vPro.
- Looks nice (not that I have seen it since I installed it).

Cons: PCI slots? Would have strongly preferred PCIe 1x slots in those positions.

Other Thoughts: Most of the things I love about this board are a direct result of the Q87 chipset. The stability is on the board manufacturer using high quality parts, though, and ASUS has always been good about that. With a little over a month of use, it has been totally solid.

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Dell UltraSharp U2312HM IPS-Panel Black 23
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: - Brilliant image quality.
- IPS panel (This means wider viewing angles, better color, and better brightness.)
- Excellent anti-reflective coating.
- Very fast response for an IPS panel in this price range.
- No dead or weak pixels anywhere on any of the displays.
- Like every Dell UltraSharp LCD, this one has an awesome stand. It puts the stands on every other LCD in this price range to shame. So adjustable and they even have a very usable cable management hole.
- Three inputs (DVI, VGA, and DisplayPort).
- USB hub inside with 4 ports (2 back, 2 side).
- An easy-to-use configuration menu that rotates.
- Doesn't have a power brick and proprietary power connector like older UltraSharp monitors. Just a standard power cable like your computer uses.

Cons: - I don't know if every one is affected, but all three of mine had problems with their DisplayPort inputs. Using a DP->DVI converter fixed the problem. We'll see if the next three I get have the same problem.

Other Thoughts: If you asked anyone I know what computer manufacturer I loathe, every one would say "Dell" without any hesitation. Dell computers are pure evil. They will have some component made that is almost standard, aside from one or two little things, that makes them impossible to fix without their outrageously-overpriced parts. I'd never buy one of their computers willingly and passionately hate supporting them.

Their UltraSharp LCDs, on the other hand, are the best I have ever used. In fact, these 2312HMs are even better than the 2001fp units that I used for almost a decade, if only because they're cheaper and have a standard power connector.

Aside from the displayport, I can't find a single flaw with these. If you haven't had the pleasure of using a Dell UltraSharp before, I highly recommend you find someone with one to just play with it for 5-10 minutes. Unless you're super sensitive to price or a few ms in response time, you will never go back. The stand adjustments, image quality, and ease of use are simply unmatched anywhere in this price range...

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Thermaltake Element Q VL52021N2U Black SGCC / Plastic Mini-ITX Desktop Computer Case 200W SFX Power Supply
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: more than 1 year

Pros: - Small
- Solid construction.
- Easy assembly.
- Just the right size PSU for the type of computer this should contain.
- Customers love them because they look good and are quiet.
- Thus far the PSUs have been completely solid.

Cons: - Pricier than identical cases with higher-wattage PSUs and nicer-looking front bezels (though these are more durable).
- Heavy for what it is.
- Cramped if you need more than a couple SSDs. Retrospectively, I wouldn't use it again for a similar small office server build that I did with an i5 and mirrored 3.5" storage drives.

Other Thoughts: I built a bunch of computers with i3-2120T processors and SSDs about a year and a half ago and they're still running strong with no complaints from the users. For those, this case was an excellent choice.

However, with much more than such low-mid range hardware, they get hotter than I like to see due to very low airflow. This is why I wouldn't do something along the lines of the i5-2450S with 3.5" drives (their file server) in one again. That machine idles around 15-20F above ambient, which would concern me on a machine that did much heavier duty than this one does (it runs a couple VMs, file serving, and services for applications they need). Still, this is the only one that has been even marginally flaky out of all their machines, and I suspect that's either due to heat or spinning those two big 3.5" drives with this little PSU.

I wouldn't even contemplate building a machine with a video card in this case, it's simply not going to dissipate that kind of heat.

Regardless, it's a solid case for a mini-ITX build and perfect for use on a desk in an office.

I'd strongly consider other mini-ITX cases before buying it again, simply due to the price.

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Eric J.'s Profile

Display Name: Eric J.

Date Joined: 06/01/01

  • Reviews: 8
  • Helpfulness: 4
  • First Review: 08/27/10
  • Last Review: 08/19/13
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