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ASUS KCMA-D8 ATX Server Motherboard Dual Socket C32 AMD SR5670 DDR3 1333/1066/800
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: more than 1 year

5 out of 5 eggs An Update After 2+ Years of Ownership 07/17/2014

This review is from: ASUS KCMA-D8 ATX Server Motherboard Dual Socket C32 AMD SR5670 DDR3 1333/1066/800

Pros: Crossfire support! - For those who have been wondering, yes crossfire indeed works! Crossfire does not work under a server OS, however.

Stable, when using Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 or earlier, this thing is rock solid. Windows 8 has a few issues, but nothing that can't be dealt with.

TRIM works with SSDs in RAID 1 with the Promise ROMB. It probably works with RAID 0 too. TRIM also works with the Pike cards.

Cons: The built in RAID, when configured in a RAID 5, does not get along with Windows 8+. Windows has issues detecting the array even after the Promise drivers are loaded. Other RAID levels work fine.

Further more, the ASUS Pike 2008/IMR, when configured in a RAID 5 under Windows 8, does not work either. At least on this motherboard.

The Pike 2008 and Promise RAID cannot be enabled at the same time. You have to choose one or the other, and if you want all 14 drives, you have to place the Promise RAID into AHCI mode. I mainly use the Pike with just a Blu-Ray and DVD drive connected to AHCI.

Has some ACPI related issues that can result in a BSOD in Windows 8+. If you prevent Windows from sleeping, you won't get any crashes.

Other Thoughts: My setup has grown quite a bit since I first built this PC:
Initial:
AMD Opteron 4180 Processor
Noctua NH-U9D0 CPU cooler
2X 300 GB WD Velociraptor RAID 1
2X 1 TB Seagate RAID 1
2x KVR1333D3LQ8R9S/8GEC 8GB RAM (16GB)
NVIDIA GTX 260
850W Coolermaster PSU
Windows 7 Professional x64

Current:
2x AMD Opteron 4340 Processor
2x Noctua NH-U9D0 CPU cooler
2x Samsung 840 Series 120GB RAID 1
6x WD 1TB Black RAID 10
ASUS Pike 2008/IMR
8x KVR1333D3LQ8R9S/8GEC 8GB RAM (64GB)
2x AMD R9 290x
1200W Corsair PSU
Windows 8.1 Pro x64

Make sure you get a case that has good cable management. You will end up with SATA spaghetti if your cable management is poor.

If you purchase the CPU cooler I have, you will need to move the fans slightly up the side of the heatsink and attach them. If you put them in their proper spots, they will touch the RAM.

If you decide to install a pair of video cards, they will be almost touching. Keep this in mind if you do not buy a card with a reference cooler.

Don't be surprised when you start your new rig up for the first time, if it just sits at a black screen for a bit. It takes a little while for it to start POSTing. If you let this motherboard do a full POST, it takes forever. It's a server board though.

I have had very few issues outside of my own creation with this motherboard, and still highly recommend it.

READ FULL REVIEW
ASUS PIKE 2008/IMR 8-port SASII RAID Kit
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: more than 1 year

3 out of 5 eggs Disappointing 07/17/2014

This review is from: ASUS PIKE 2008/IMR 8-port SASII RAID Kit

Pros: Enables the eight SATA/SAS ports on the motherboard.

Cons: The main con is that you cannot connect an LSI battery backup unit to this. Consequently, the controller does not allow you to enable write-back mode for your arrays. The LSI MegaRaid software does not provide any options to enable write-back, and using the command line to attempt to force the controller into write-back mode fails.

It appears as though you cannot enable the on-board Promise RAID and use the Pike at the same time. The motherboard (KCMA-D8) just ignores the Promise array. You have to set it to AHCI mode for all 14 drives to be recognized.

There also seem to be a few issues with Windows 8+. I created a RAID 5 and attempted to initialize it in Windows, and the controller freaked out and all of a sudden Windows could not find the other array and then subsequently locked up. RAID 1 and 10 seem to work fine though.

Other Thoughts: I would pass on this controller unless you do not need/want write-back mode.

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CFI Pharaoh Evo CFI-A1128 Black SECC / Mesh & Plastic Front Bezel ATX dual system full tower Computer Case
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: Nicely accommodates two systems as advertised.

Hot swap bays are pretty slick, they screw on to the bottom of the hard drive. Supports both 3.5" and SSDs without the need for an adapter.

Support for large motherboards. I have an ATX board installed, and there is plenty of room to work with.

Back planes have 3-pin fan connectors built into them.

Back planes require Molex connectors, so you don't have to worry about having enough SATA power cables.

Cons: First and foremost, I did not receive any screws what so ever with this case. I'm pretty unhappy about that, as I had to scavenge other cases I have to get what I needed.

If you have any WD Velociraptor hard drives, make sure that your SATA connectors are positioned in the usual spot. One of mine is mounted oddly compared to the rest of my drives, and it won't work in the hot swap bays.

Comes with a giant case fan in the bottom of the case that would accomplish nothing but sucking up dust. I had to remove it to be able to install a power supply.

Would have been nice if the case came with some wheels to help move it around.

Not sure what the deal is with the expansion slots. They have plastic covers over them, but nothing to secure the cards with once you install them. Don't know if they were supposed to be tool-less or use screws. I had to scavenge screws to secure the cards.

Other Thoughts: Massive, I'm 5' 10" and it nearly comes up to my waist. When it is fully loaded with two systems, it weighs a ton. Might want some help moving it if you are a smaller person. Might want some help anyways so you don't drop it and break your foot.

You need a low profile heat sink for the CPU in the top compartment, as a stock heat sink will probably not fit because the power supply is directly above the CPU. An AMD stock heat sink will definitely not work.

Top compartment requires a Micro ATX size power supply, the same type you find in PCs sold by computer manufacturers.

In the top compartment, you need to buy a left angle and a right angle SATA cable for the back plane. I tried the straight cables, and the back panel wouldn't close because of it. I was lucky and happened to have some.

Cable management is okay, would recommend that you buy a modular power supply. Mine isn't modular, so it took a bit to get everything out of the way.

Would also recommend you buy long SATA cables so you can route them. The ones I have are shorter, so because of the position of the back plane I have SATA spaghetti in the case.

Make sure your power cables are long enough to reach. I bought extensions for the 24-pin connector, 8-pin CPU connector, and 8-pin PCI express connectors. My 24-Pin and 8-Pin connectors are at the top of my motherboard, and they barely reach.

The case has a lot of plastic on it, so it's something to keep in mind.

Overall, unless you want to have two systems in a single case, I would pass on this. Just hope you receive some screws.

READ FULL REVIEW

Craig C.'s Profile

Display Name: Craig C.

Date Joined: 04/27/09

  • Reviews: 4
  • Helpfulness: 3
  • First Review: 01/04/12
  • Last Review: 07/17/14
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