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Pros: I looked up and down for CPU/Motherboard/Memory combo deals after my old Phenum II X2 died last week. The combo deal I got from Newegg consisted of: AMD FX-6300 six cores CPU, 16GB of RipJaw DDR3 RAM, and this motherboard (Gigabyte 970A-UD3P) for around $250. I was in a state of desperate for a replacement workstation. The price was right and I like the idea of going from 6GB (old system) to 16GB, 4 cores to 6 cores. This combo seemed to fit my configuration as a development workstation. So I hit the button and order one.
Cons: That night, I decided to read up on the items that I had ordered. The CPU and the memory were mostly good. I went over many posts on other forums and many feedbacks on this MB. Most were pretty favorable as well coming from many overclockers. I was in shock when I saw the Newegg buyer reviews on the motherboard. Over 30% of the reviews were unfavorable and a large number of them were very recent. At first I was a little angry thinking if my deal seemed too good simply because Newegg wanted to dump their bad lot of inventory. I got cold feet and almost wanted to halt the order.
I also checked on other MBs and many were also having pretty high rate of complaints. Not a good sign!
2 days later, my order came. I gave the board a very careful visual inspections -- under 8x magnifying glass. Looked to me the solder joints on the board were done very well. PCB traces were as good as it could get. No scratch was found. The heatsinks were mounted properly. So both the electrical and mechanical construction seemed OK at the first glance. By the way, the board is Rev 2 and it has the FB version BIOS already flashed. So there is not a thing I needed to do as far as firmware goes.
I wired everything up. Electrically, everything went smoothly without any problem. It powered right up in my first try. Windows failed to start up due to too many changes of hardware, so I went ahead and reinstall Windows. The process went rather smoothly. Many people complained that Windows 7 installation would fail. Not mine. No problem. Installed all the drivers came with the CD/DVD. No issue found. Installed video driver (EVGA GTX 750Ti 2GB). No problem. Installed power monitoring software for my CyberPower UPS. No problem. The new system seemed to draw more power (113W - 220W compared to that of 82W - 180W). All Windows patches installed. No problem. All hardware driver installed and recognized without a hiccup.
I am not interested in overclocking so I left every BIOS setting default without changing a thing. The system will automatically OC itself to 4100MHz when it needs to. When green mode kicks in idles around 1400MHz although normal speed is 3500MHz. Now that I think of it, I actually like the idea of having an overclock-able setup but to run it as is so I can expect a pretty darn good durability down the road. It's just me.
I ran a few burn in benchmark programs. I did not pay much attention to the numbers. I just wanted to make sure that the system was able to handle some loads. The system has been left on for 3 days now; however, I did turn it off a few times just to let the system cooled to room temperature and restarted with loads. The entire system seems to be doing just fine without any problem so far.
Other Thoughts: I am beginning to wonder if there are actually a silent majority out there! I just cannot think of another reason why MBs commonly have >20% of unfavorable product reviews. But people will keep buying them even though many appear not to like it. What and why is that? I supposed those who found problems were either pushing too far, compatibility issues, user training, or there really are product issue.
At this point. Only time will tell if my system will continue to run before it fails on me. Otherwise, I rate this experience a 5 eggs buy.
Pros: I have 7 of the WRT54G/GL routers all because of the two build-in serial ports. This gem is like a dream comes true to all of us hackers who want to control micro controllers via WiFi to serial communications. The reliability so high it is unbelievable for a $50 product!
Cons: None to me, but probably some to speed thrusty buyers because it is not a 802.11n router. My only purpose of buying this is for micro controller projects.
Other Thoughts: Ordering 2 more for new iPad controllable projects for church.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: 128GB SSD has finally dropped below $100! This is a fine, 128GB, SSD. My primary goal of getting a 128GB SSD was to expand storage capacity because I have only about 6GB left on the old drive. The aluminum construction is very nice and has a very sturdy feel. The bracket that comes with the drive fits very well in my case. 5 years warranty! This drive replaced the original 64GB SSB (OS+APP partition, also from vertex). I've used the 64GB for the past 2 years without a hitch so Vertex has won my trust. I paid more for that old SSD than this new drive. I only have 3gb SATA, so I don't know have the environment to really push the drive and to feel or measurable the different. The general feel is that it is just as zippy if not more because my bandwidth got easily saturated. I used a free version of Acronic which was downloaded from a famous hard disk support site and moved the old 64GB onto this new 128GB drive in merely 7 minutes. It was totally effortless! I now can move the old 64GB SSD onto my netbook. Yahoo!
Cons: No free data cable!
Other Thoughts: Although it did not happen to me, I think that Vertex will do a great service to their customers by providing instructions on how to clone their boot partition should they want to migrate to a larger or SSD based device. I believe that a large portion of user base who buy SSD are aim to use such device to boost overall system performance and smoother operating experience.READ FULL REVIEW