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Pros: I've been using The FLX series GrandTec boards for almost a decade now, and have even converted my office to use them for silent productivity. The original models were quick to adapt to and had volume controls in-place of three useless nubs. The second revision removed the volume control, but introduced a sturdier button, which operated much more smoothly.
Cons: With the latest reversion, however, GrandTec has turned a classic into a complete dud. Key presses simply do not register without full and forceful contact. It has taken a 90+ WPM user down to less than 30 thanks to constant corrections. The most egregious change of all is a move of the CTRL key to the right, replacing it with a useless plastic key.
Other Thoughts: The CTRL key has been a lower right, bottom-most standard for decades, but GrandTec finally some how got it wrong. The rubber is way too stiff to type accurately or at all the o of the control button. What are they thinking?READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: GIGABYTE GA-E7AUM-DS2H LGA 775 NVIDIA GeForce 9400 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
Pros: Nice board if the chipset is kept cool.
Cons: Completely unusable as a HTPC out of the box. The Geforce 9400 will overheat after a couple minutes and cause the video to fail and the system will lock up or the video will simply cut out. If the chipset is too hot on the next boot, the driver will fail to load in Vista. You have to wait for it to cool off. Latest firmware doesn't help.
I was hoping I had a bad one, but everyone else seems to be having the exact same problem. I don't know how Gigabyte came up with the idea to put a Geforce 9400 passively cooled with a heatsink that's just barely hanging on. This thing needs a serious heatsink with active cooling or it simply fails.
Investigating my options, but this is the second board I've had (RMA'd the first for the same issue), and it's completely unusable as is.
This review is from: areca ARC-1210 PCI-Express x8 SATA II (3.0Gb/s) Controller Card
Pros: I swapped out my onboard 680i Raid 0 array for this bad boy Areca pci-e controller. In Raid 5, this puppy blows away my previous benchmarks with onboard. Close to 700mb/s bursts, and 200mb/s sequential reads.
Bios is extremely easy to use, and very easy to setup. Lots of options and flexibility.
Cons: Driver disk is actually a boot disk that creates floppy driver disks. The drivers are packaged away making them unreadable if you simply put in the cd during a Vista install. Make sure you unpack the drivers to a usb drive or some other media before you go to install your OS on your raid, unless you have a floppy handy.
The raid card likes to beep very loud on boot, and the option to turn it off doesn't work.
Other Thoughts: Excellent entry level hardware raid solution to bypass your capped onboard.READ FULL REVIEW