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Pros: - PCIe x1 interface allows installation in many systems.
- Easy to install in Windows XP.
- 4 display ports, and cable adapter is included.
- 3D performance is good, 2D performance is excellent.
- Good for rendering large and dense charts, graphs, and maps.
Cons: - Price is kinda high, but for my application the price could not have been beaten.
Other Thoughts: My company uses these cards for analyzing the input\output of our servers, analyzing a section of the stock market, and generate designs to improve the datacenter's of other companies.
I was put in charge of purchasing new workstations for my company. Instead of buying new thousand dollar workstations, I purchased several of these cards and put them in some PowerEdge 2850's that we replaced with R815's.
I converted the 2850's by removing a power supply, removing all the hard drives (PXE), removing the RAID card, putting in a PCI-E riser card, putting a Sound card, and fixing the fans.. After installing Windows XP x64 onto each workstations and installing the cards, there would be 4 Logical Cores, 2 Logical GPU's, and 8GB of Memory.
For only ~$400 each, I created several workstations with these cards from old servers and harnessed myself a nice little (big) bonus at that.
Pros: - Very cool drive. I had running in an airflow constricted storage server without a hitch for well over a year. I probably didn't even need fans
- Very quiet. It fits in well to an already silent storage server.
- Reliable. Not a single drive had failed on me.
Cons: - HORRIDLY HORRIBLE AWFUL WRITE PERFORMANCE. I couldn't have imagined running this in RAID 5. I believe the highest large file transfer rate I've gotten was only 35mb/s when competing drives at least double that.
- It bottle necked ESXi performance considerably. The poor transfer rates only made my life more difficult and my customers angry.
Other Thoughts: I suppose the inconveniences brought on by these drives leaves only me to blame for not taking the time to research the drives, and my ineptness when going into the concept of a green datacenter certainly didn't help.
Even still, that does not excuse the poor performance. Skip this drive.
Pros: - Very strong and heavy. This case, even with a top mounted power supply, will never inadvertently tip over.
- Lots of screws, brackets, and the expansion slot covers are especially nice.
- A very secure case. The front bezel will not come off without a fight, and the chassis intrusion switch keeps the sensitive equipment inside safe.
- No audio jacks. Seriously, it's so tacky to see a server case with sound jacks when most of these servers operate headless.
- Lack of drive bay rests. I can add 5.25" components that may take up 2 or 3 drive bays.
- Lots of 5.25 drive bays.
- Great organization of drive bays. I keep my media drives up on the top three, the floppy drive in the 3.5" bay, and any hot-swap bays in the bottom 5 bays.
- The fan seems reliable, operates quietly, and blows lots of air.
- So much room. I can add a large heatsink to the CPU, redundant power supplies, and perhaps a fan bay next to the motherboard.
Cons: - Lack of instructions. I had to guess and check where the standoff screws for the motherboard went.
- The case cover of my particular unit does not fit flush. This is a small problem and not worth RMA'ing over.
- The door and lock are flimsy and plastic. My first impression of the product was negative because of the door.
I would like to perhaps see these in future products:
- A fan bay\cage (like you may see on certain factory-built servers) would be nice and would bring a smile to my face. I would definitely be willing to pay more for this.
- Please, make the bezel and door out of metal and make it sturdier. It simply creates a great first impression and makes you want to use the product.
- Keep the USB ports and perhaps (add) a VGA port inside the door; side mounted USB ports allow unauthorized people to plug whatever in.
- If shrouding or something is added into the sides and top for cable routing... Many people will be very happy.
- Internal USB hub. 'Nuff said
Other Thoughts: I've used this case for a short time, but If I were to ever build a new server, I would purchase this case again. It does not feel like it is made in China, it feels like it's quality made in America by professionals.
It feels and looks like a server case. If it weren't for the flimsy door, this could see action in more stressful environments. I could probably do jumping jacks on it and it would take the pain. The plentiful amount of screw holes and the support bar give an impression that this is a serious case.
I personally used an Asus AM3 ATX Motherboard with an AMD Phenom II x6, 8GB of memory, and a couple of PCI-X dual gigabit cards as an ESXi test-bench. In the future, I intend to expand it to a Dual G34 Motherboard and two 12 or 16 core Bulldozers, lots of memory, and perhaps add a RAID card.
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