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Pros: I've used these in a couple workstation builds. They run desktop graphics, video and light gaming with no problem. It's not exactly a power house, but at the price point it can't be expected to be.
Cons: The heat sink that comes with these is junk. The pre-applied thermal paste has black debris in it more often then not. The debris keeps the processor and heat sink from making good contact and drives up the chip temp.
All of the heat sinks the heat sinks from the A-series that I have dealt with have had the same glaring issue. In order to drive down costs, the heat sink is made from an extruded bar that is cut to size. While this makes for a cheap way of making fins, it leaves the surface that contacts the processor rough with tool marks. It's like they just used a chop saw to cut them and then knocked the very top of the tool marks off. The result is a heat sink that sits half a millimeter off the processor.
Other Thoughts: The rough surface can be fixed in a couple of minutes with a piece of glass and some sand paper. If you don't have glass, use the most perfectly flat surface you can find. Lay the sand paper on the flat surface, rough side up. The put the heat sink on the sand paper and work it in a circular motion, changing directions every couple of strokes. Do not apply any downward pressure. The weight of the heat sink is more than enough. Do this with 150, 200, 400 and if you want, 600/800 grit sand paper. Clean thoroughly when done. You should end up with a perfectly flat and smooth surface to which thermal compound can be applied.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: 8 SAS/SATA 6GB/s connections through two SFF interfaces. Installation was easy enough and the included software makes management and maintenance a breeze.
I obtained near theoretical IO speeds with 4 short stroked Constellation drives in RAID 10.
Cons: This is not completely a hardware level RAID controller. It has a BIOS accessible during boot. Here you can create arrays and various other drive utilities. Unfortunetly, the arrays will not initialize until the software is installed and ran.
Other Thoughts: Other than the software needing to be running, this is a great card. The software is only there for configuration and management and as such does not put much, if any, of a load on the system.
I am using this card to build an external mirror array of our internal RAID 10e array on a Xeon file server running win server 08 r2. A little extreme in the redundancy, but necessary.
Pros: Dual GPUs give this laptop a very nice edge. The look and feel is refined without being over the top. All in all a pleasure to use.
Cons: I purchased 3 of thee laptop for a very important business trip. These are not business class machines, but the hardware would work very nicely for our CAD software. Unfortunetly, Lenovo and all of its wisdom modified the BIOS for windows 8. Not a problem unless you need windows 7. What should have been a 4-5 hour job of wiping and loading has taken the better part of 3 days. The worst part is the SLI issues. The secondary graphics card drops from the system on any reboot. To get it to reconnect, you must do a completely cold boot. That is, you must shut the laptop down and let it sit for a few seconds and the turn it back on. SLI card shows back up every time.
Oh, and the SSD is a joke. 16GB is only good for a page file. The IOPs is really low. Best to drop in a 120GB or larger SSD and load the OS on it, then load programs and other storage on the platter drive.
Other Thoughts: I like this laptop. Wish I didn't have to pass these out to coworkers.READ FULL REVIEW