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This review is from: ASRock 970DE3/U3S3 AM3+ AMD 770 + SB710 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
Pros: The price! Great memory and variety of cpu's supported. Excellent software included. Core unlocking capability. All solid capacitors. USB 3.0 ports - SATA 6.0 included for hard drives. 4pin headers for fans. Solid black color matches component and towers for those who care.
Cons: None for the price range!
Other Thoughts: I installed 2 x2gb 1600 mhz crucial ballistix ram and an amd phenom II x3 720 black edition cpu, a western digital caviar black sata 6.0 500gb hard drive and windows 7 64bit home premium. As soon as I had everything installed it automatically unlocked my processor to a quadcore! I swear I didnt even have the bios set up yet. I have never had that happen before and doubt I ever will again! So far it has run rock solid without a hitch. For the money you will be hard pressed to do better. This was my first A*Rock board and I am very pleased!READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: Accelero Twin Turbo Pro VGA Cooler
Pros: This cooler does what it advertises. I installed this model on an XFX ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB version. The AC Turbo dramatically cooled my card between 10 and 15 degrees celcius! It is not obnoxiously loud even with the fans cranked up. It came with memory chip heatsinks and heatsinks for the mosfets. ( see other thoughts)
Other Thoughts: If you want to save yourself a ton of frustration, when installing the memory heatsinks use superglue around the outside edges of the heatsinks and add a small dab of thermal compound to the center of the heatsink and give adequate time for drying and you are good to go.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: BIOSTAR N68S AM3/AM2+ NVIDIA MCP68S Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
Pros: Supports AM3 processors out of the box - supports up to 95 watt cpu - Via VT1708B six channel onboard audio- Nvidia Geforce 7025 onboard graphics -Very compact size and I really like the black pcb with red pci slots. Decent bios options. Biostar has one of the easiest bios update tools I have used( haven't had to use it with this particular board though.
Cons: Only has two fan headers, one for the cpu of course and one three pin system fan header. Not really a con but would have been nice to have one more header. Has only two pci slots. One is a pci express 1.0 and the other is a standard pci slot. PCI express 2.0 videocards are backwards compatible with pci express 1.0 slots ( info for newbs) I obviously knew this beforehand but it is noteworthy. No gigabit lan which does not matter to me as I use a wireless card in the other pci slot. Only two sata ports again not a con for me personally but will be a dealbreaker for some.
Other Thoughts: I knew the boards shortcomings before I purchased the board and planned accordingly. The via sound chip is an upgrade over the realtek alc662 chip found on most boards in this price range. The Nvidia Geforce 7025 is a step up over the Geforce 6100 found on competing models in this price range. The real selling point of this board to ME was its ability to handle ddr2 1066 memory. There is virtually no real performance advantages with ddr3 1066 over ddr2 1066 in REAL WORLD use except lower voltage for ddr3. You can use the older model AM2+ cpu or the newer phenom cpu with this board as long as you do not exceed the 95 watt limit. Bear in mind that you will be limited to using smaller cpu coolers as the ram slots are very close to the cpu. I am using an AMD phenom x2 550 Black edition cpu with 2 x 1 gb sticks of Geil Black Dragon DDR2 1066 memory and a Western Digital Caviar black 500 gb hard drive. Athlon x2 cpus only support ddr2 800 on this board. Hope the info provided helps someone.READ FULL REVIEW