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This review is from: Antec GX GX 700 Black and military green ATX Mid Tower Case
Pros: Solid case with lots of small features that are nice. Wire management capability is pretty stellar with lots of holes for mother board access.
Cons: Not as thick of metal as I would have liked on the front panels, the clasps are kind of janky and the whole front panel is cheap-feeling plastic. Button cover on the top is also kind of cheap.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: ASRock E3C204-V+ ATX Server Motherboard LGA 1155 Intel C204 DDR3 1600/1333/1066
Pros: Basic install info:
Proc: i3 3220
Memory: Crucial CT2KIT51272BD160B (2x4GB ECC 800)
Power Supply: Thermaltake 500w
Case: Antec GX700
Boot: OCZ Vertex
Storage 4x1TB Seagate Constellation (RAID5)
OS: Windows Server 2008 R2
Board does everything a basic server requires, but there are also 3-4 other boards in the same ASRock series if this particular one does not meet your needs and all are within a few dollars of each other.
I do not use the additional Marvell RAID controller for anything other than an optical drive, however the 6 ports available to the Intel Matrix RAID are nice and simple to setup whether you use the RAID BIOS or configure through the Intel Matrix software via Windows.
Check most BIOS functions to see if they act as they should without need for flash/update and all worked as expected.
Boot time to an SSD on the Intel controller is around 20-30 seconds with all optimizations on.
The Intel C204 is limited, but it's more than sufficient for server functionality and the drivers have been rock solid.
This board would actually work very well as a bitcoin miner having 2 full size PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots and even with double width video cards still leaves a x2
Cons: The only real downside I've found for this board is more of a caveat; note the placement of the 24 pin power connector and it's absence near the SATA ports like most standard ATX boards. It's not a game stopper or even a game changer if you use a case with solid wire management. In my GX700 I needed to weasel the 24 pin connector through a small hole for the cleanest installation, but the hole was originally just made for the extra 8pin Proc power connector so I had to be very careful getting it through. Just consider wire management when you are picking out your case and this shouldn't be an issue.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: nMEDIAPC Red Wood Wood/Steel HTPC 8000 ATX Media Center / HTPC Case
Pros: Case is very aesthetically pleasing and provides enough internal expansion space to handle large video cards and multiple HDDs.
Included case fan works well for the size of the case.
Cons: The integrated card reader is of low quality and due to it's polling nature does not allow the computer to sleep; after going to sleep the computer instantly powers back up because of the card reader.
The top mounting case screws are not the highest of quality and I recommend only putting the top back on after you are sure you do not need to access any internal components.
Other Thoughts: I would love to see a slightly higher quality offering of integrated components (card reader, LCD screen should be standard) and a higher quality standard of hardware (nuts/bolts) for taking the top on and off.READ FULL REVIEW