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SUPERMICRO MBD-X9DR7-LN4F-O Extended ATX Server Motherboard Dual LGA 2011 DDR3 1600/1333/1066/800
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: This is a fine motherboard! It does what is advertised, of course, but Supermicro has made the supporting material great as well:
- The manual is one of the best I've ever seen. Clear, lots of diagrams, every jumper is explained, and all the information you need is right there.
- Supermicro tech support was very helpful and quick to diagnose a problem (I missed a setting in the BIOS to enable graphics cards, if you have that problem set video priority to "offboard".)
- Technically speaking, I have no problems with the motherboard. Recognized my hardware, and all that. More ports than you know what to do with, worked out of the box (with exception of video card thing, but I don't fault them because the default setting makes sense in a server situation).

Cons: None of these is enough to dock a whole egg, but:
- The motherboard is *technically* not E-ATX. The screw holes don't line up with the standard in some places, so parts of my motherboard are unsupported. I was a little nervous when the motherboard flexed when I was installing RAM, but other than that it's not been a major issue. About half of the screw holes do line up with E-ATX specification.
- I had some trouble installing a CoolerMaster heatsink. I can't tell for sure if this is the processor socket being a bit wonky or the heatsink being a bit off-size, and I got the heatsinks on in the end. There was plenty of room for two Hyper 212 EVO. Temperatures are fine.
- The SAS port aims off the side of the motherboard, rather than straight up. The case I chose (CoolerMaster HAF X) had a metal strut in the way, so I have to use the SATA ports or take a dremel to my case. =(
- Even when the machine is off, there's a green light on the motherboard, and it sort of clashes with the ambiance of the office it's in.

Other Thoughts: This is our molecular visualization machine: 2 x E5-2680, 8x M393B2G70BH0-CK008 (128 GB ram), Quadro K5000. Running Fedora 19.

I am very happy with Supermicro, and I will use their products in my future high-end builds. NVIDIA, on the other hand...

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Tripp Lite PDUMH30 Metered 1U 120V 30 A 15 ft Power Distribution Unit
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs Just what I need 09/17/2013

This review is from: Tripp Lite PDUMH30 Metered 1U 120V 30 A 15 ft Power Distribution Unit

Pros: - It fits in a rack.
- It fits on a desk.
- It plugs into an outlet. (NEMA L5-30)
- It provides power to other things. (NEMA 5-20)
- It tells you how much power it's using.

Cons: The plugs on the back are close together, which makes large plugs difficult to place.

Other Thoughts: I mean, it's a PDU. What more do you want?

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Fractal Design Define R4 Black Pearl w/ USB 3.0 ATX Mid Tower Silent PC Computer Case
  • Owned For: more than 1 year

Pros: - Excellent cable management :: A roomy back panel, lots of loops to attach to, rubber grommets to connect through.
- Completely silent.
- Comes with all the screws you'll need.
- Hard drive bays are very easy-to-access.
- Looks awesome.

Cons: - On mine, one of the latches for the hard drive fan cover is broken, and won't close. This means that when the door is open, the face of the case isn't flat. Normally, it wouldn't be noticeable, but with Fractal's stark aesthetic, it's jarring.
- With 5 HDDs, the one cooling fan let them get to 41 C, which is rather warm. Adding another fan to the front helped.
- When the front cover is closed, the case takes air in only from the side, so you can't have it blocked in on both sides.
- No HDD activity light.
-The power light is *very* bright, which can be distracting if it's next to, say, a TV in a dark room. Bit of red tape fixes it right up.
- When it powers up, you often can't hear the parts spinning up because of the insulation, and you feel sort of empty inside.
- The fan controller doesn't allow 4-pin fans. Be aware of this when buying extra fans.

Other Thoughts: I'm very happy with this case overall. I'd use it again in a heartbeat to make another mid-ATX system. Especially in an office, where acoustics are usually poor, this case is a great choice.
Did I mention how quiet it is? Because it's really quiet.

- The USB 3.0 ports on the front are attached to an internal USB 3.0 adapter, which your motherboard (older boards and server boards) may not support. If not, you'll have to buy an expansion card or have half of the ports on the top of the case inoperative.

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Charles M.'s Profile

Display Name: Charles M.

Date Joined: 01/08/13

  • Reviews: 3
  • Helpfulness: 1
  • First Review: 07/22/13
  • Last Review: 02/15/14
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