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Pros: Easy to setup, small, easy to fit into smaller cases. Flexibility of 2 internal, 2 external, or 4 internal, marvel chipset. Works in Windows 7 and Ubuntu (desktop and server) 14.x, and uses x2 PCI bandwidth. Works in x4, x8, and x16 slots (make sure your x16 slots are NOT graphics only ports, haven't found any like this, but be aware).
Cons: Does not appear to work well with onboard controllers
Other Thoughts: I have used this card in a Windows 7 x64 desktop with Intel DX58SO, 4 internal, 1x port used with a backup drive, 1x port used for Intel 240GB 530 SSD as boot drive, and 2x ports used with a 2x 2TB WD black mirrored (Raid 1) setup data drive. It worked and was an improvement (slightly) over the onboard Intel controller/components on the DX58SO (which were only SATA 2). This is a PCI Express 2.0, x2 interface, so make sure your motherboard can support a x2 2.0 interface.
Now, onto the bad which may or may not apply to you. After upgrading my wife's computer to new equipment that had native SATA 3 support and RAID, there was no need for this card. It was given new life as a controller on an ASUS Rampage motherboard, E8400 processor, 8GB of ECC RAM with Ubuntu 14.x server (media server) to expand the motherboard's 6x SATA2 ports with 4x SATA3 ports. I put the OS/SWAP drive on the SIIG card on an SSD, along with 3 of my most used/best drives attached without RAID. Transferring between the devices on the card worked perfectly, no issues. But, whenever I did long/large transfer from the card to the motherboard SATA 2 ports/drives or vice versa, I would get an error and the drives in the server would no longer be accessible in the OS (can't remember if it was the SIIG controller, the motherboard, or both controller that appears to be hosed up and spewing errors when I tried to access a drive) and I would have to bounce the server. Now, since the card doesn't officially support Ubuntu by SIIG documents, but according to other reading, the marvel chipset on the SIIG card is supported in kernels newer than 2013, it should not have been an issue. In any case, I ditched the card from use in the media server and spent proper money buying REAL HBA cards from a well know manufacturer for that type of product. To be fair, when I ditched the SIIG controller in favor of 2x 8 port HBA/RAID cards, I also ceased using the motherboard SATA 2 ports. So, without further testing, the problem could have been with the motherboard controller not playing well with the SIIG - that's a possibility I have to concede. For that, I removed only one egg. SIIG has always made good products, and I would use SIIG again, of course, this is a Marvel chip for the controller and they are widely used in motherboards and OEM solutions without issue.
According to the current info on the SIIG site, Windows 10 natively supports this card (drivers not needed), Windows 7 and 8 drivers are available there. I don't see officially a Windows 10 GUI download on the SIIG site, but you could probably use the Windows 7/8.x version - not sure about that.
On the issue of the Control + M to enter the BIOS. I had this issue too, but I solved it. I can't remember how, but I think the problem was until you add 2 drives to the controller, the RAID BIOS won't show up and it will just remain an HBA. Don't quote me on that, but I stirred on that for a long time and the documentation didn't say that as a requirement.
Also, one last item to consider. The nice thing about using a card like this for RAID as opposed to a motherboard port (beside speed if your motherboard only supports SATA 2) is that when you take this card from computer to computer, your RAID volume should survive and be completely compatible with whatever you put it in (data drives only, but boot drives might work too). Sometimes, changing motherboards from one manufacturer to another using different RAID controller chips from different manufacturers, the RAID volumes have to be redone. So if hardware upgrades and RAID migrations of data volumes are important to you, addon RAID cards become a nice luxury - imo :)
Pros: Color is red and black, looks good (if looks matter to you). Spacious design and feel, BIOS has a bit too much red in the menus, but that's trademark for the Gaming series AND the BIOS is easy to navigate and configure. Plenty of SATA ports on the Intel chipset, +4 more on the ASMedia controller for a total of 10 SATA 3 ports. The 4 -ASMedia SATA 3.0 ports appear to work with both DVD and data drives unlike some other models from other manufacturers that only support hard disks. Plenty of PCI x1 ports.
Cons: The BIOS seems a bit limited when compared to other Z87 upper echelon offerings from some competitors. More USB 2.0 ports on the back would have been nice, as well as another internal USB 3.0 header on the motherboard (it only comes with 1). The FAN ports are sadly lacking in automated control compared to another manufacturer that I tend to use. Using 2000 RPM capable fans, even at light temps, it spins them at 1200 RPMs. Other boards I use can spin the fans down to zero RPMs on cool readings. ASMedia SATA 3 ports are slower than the Intel ones, but that's to be expected. MSI appears to only have email support, but the response is pretty fast (same day in my case within a couple of hours). BE CAREFUL with the board itself. It's very flimsy in my opinion. If you have to install your CPU heat sink prior to installation into the case, put the motherboard on a flat HARD surface because this board will flex easily (again, common sense, yes, but with another manufacturer, I was able to install the heat sink with the motherboard on the card board box with almost no flex to that board). PCIe is x16--, x88-, or x844 - that's understood and I knew that full well when purchasing and I am not marking of any Eggs for that, but not sure I would classify this as a "Gaming" motherboard - most people who buy a gaming rig will do so for SLI purposes and would probably appreciate (or expect) x16/16-- lanes like some other manufacturers offer, but you will pay a hefty premium for that.
Other Thoughts: Overall, I am very satisfied with this board for what I want to do with it. I usually buy another competitors products, but decided to try MSI after I had some issues with a competing product. This computer won't be for me, it's for my wife. And it built right out of the box, no issues. Something to be aware of (might be common sense to most) - the Intel RAID controller won't be available to use it's CONTROL+I feature outside of Windows unless you have at least 2 HDD attached in RAID mode first. I was building the OS on an SSD and planned to attach a data mirror at a later time once I was done, but got nervous when the Intel RAID Configurator wouldn't come up at boot (didn't want to build the OS if the mobo was defective). Tech support wasn't able to help me figure that out, they thought I had the SATA drives on the wrong ports. Kind of hard to do, it's well identified which is which on the board. I subtracted 1 egg because of price to features (price is a bit high give the feature set), lack of convenience when reaching tech support (you have to create an account and all that jazz) and only by email, the board thickness feels flimsy to me, but it is a piece of electronics, so treat it well. I think if the board had a better quality secondary SATA controller, more USB 3.0/2.0 ports, I'd have given in a 5 Egg rating easy. Despite the 4 Egg rating, I almost regret buying the other competing Z87 product which I also only gave a 4 Egg rating. If you aren't looking to do BIG overclocking, you aren't looking for over the top PCIe bandwidth (x16 x16 lanes - ie. you plan to use a single graphics card), then this motherboard I think would be great for you!READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: ASUS Z87-DELUXE LGA 1150 Intel Z87 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Pros: Beautiful, sturdy, spacious, feature rich, compatible, easy to work on.
Cons: Customer service and tech knowledge from ASUS is, in my opinion, extremely lacking - let the buyer beware! ASMedia USB 3.0 ports are nothing more than a hub. ASMedia SATA 3 ports (4 of them) are ONLY for data disks, and the performance is less than that of the Intel. Would almost be better to NOT have the ASMedia SATA 3 ports and add on a card at a later date.
Other Thoughts: I have had two of these boards. The first had random Windows 7 x64 freezes. ASUS suspected it was a VR issue and offered me a RMA for a refurb board... Seriously? $250+ for a new board only to pay to ship it back and get a refurbish product from the manufacturer? Thank goodness Newegg has a greater sense of customer service and commitment for the products they sell (Newegg took care of me and got me a brand new one). The new board is working fine, but have had to chat with tech support on several occasions about problems. I had a problem with AI Suite software, TPU, not showing the right BCLK frequency that CPUz, BIOS, and Realtemp were. 4 techs, 3 disconnects from the chat room, and the 4th proceeded to send me to web sites about overclocking and benchmarking the board. I asked if the Intel Management Engine software IS required for the AI Suite to function normally - he said it was not. So I installed it anyways and it resolved the inconsistency. I was then offered a "Test Report" to go to Engineering. Having entered one weeks ago regarding the FAN power/noise issues, and not heard back, I have come to feel that these "Test Reports" are nothing more than lip service to make the customer feel like something is being done on their behalf to make up for the lack of the T1 knowledge of the tech you dealt with. I have spent over 40 hours trying to get a stable install, stock/auto settings with a Core i7 4770K. Although quite a bit more simple, the Intel (foxconn) boards were always stable right out of the gate. Is this a bad board? I still have to say, No. It works, but I have never had so many problems with a motherboard before. I have never had to use customer service or Tech support from a motherboard company before. I have to say, that sadly, I see what everyone has complained about in other posts about ASUS customer service. ** Bottom line: The motherboard IS feature rich. It has the settings to overclock and the ability to do so. But a VERY patient and experienced person IS required if you want to build a top notch powerful build. If you are not using a K processor, perhaps you will have an easier time. I have the K, I am not overclocking, and it's been a pain. I have some buyers remorse on this one and not sure that I would want to chance ASUS again in the future. I am removing 2 stars for their customer service and apparent lack of knowledge by their tech support. Please ASUS, I hope you improve. I find myself embarrassed for ever recommending ASUS and for previously recommending this board to others as I did in my first board review from Newegg.READ FULL REVIEW