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Pros: Consistently good quality from G. Skill
Cons: None that I have found
Other Thoughts: I've been using G. Skill memory for new builds and upgrades for about five years and have never had any issues. This set was no exception. I split these into 16GB installations for two builds.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Simple installation
Well constructed board
Nice Feature Set
Proven Reliable for me in the past
Cons: NB heat sink could be better
Side-facing SATA ports sound like a better idea than they are
Other Thoughts: Three years ago, I built two systems for our home offices based on rev 1 of these boards. They worked flawlessly for three years, until a nearby lightning strike took out my router, switch, cable modem, DSL modem, three printers, two monitors, and the two motherboards, their CPUs, graphics cards, probably the memory, and one RAID card. All of that stuff was on some pretty serious surge protection (along with a whole-house surge suppressor and lightning suppressor), but the strike also came in via the phone and cable lines, back-dooring the network and spreading that way.
I had a spare rev 1 motherboard around and ordered this, which came as a rev 4. There was a small learning curve in getting the new board up and running with the new BIOS and the fact that the onboard RAID apparently uses a different driver than the rev 1 version, but nothing huge.
This unit is coupled with an FX-8320, 16GB G. Skill Ripjaws, and an MSI R7 265 OC video card. It got the same twoCrucial SSDs and WD hard drives both in a RAID1s from the lightning-enhanced predecessor (no damage or data loss). Other than having to use my bean to figure out how to get the new RAID driver without a lot of effort, all that went together easily and has worked well for a week now.
The UEFI BIOS took me a little getting used to.
I originally knocked this down an egg only because one of the SSDs failed during re-installation (physical damage to the connector, my fault, not the board's), and replacing it has not been as easy as popping a new SSD in and rebuilding the array. I think I have that figured out, but have not had time to experiment with the solution yet. I believe that to be an AMD SB950 RAID issue, not something specific to this board.
Otherwise, I am still sold on these boards. I am also a little mystified that one reviewer gave it 2 eggs based solely on the negative reviews of others, without even trying it out. The purpose of these reviews is to relate our own experiences with a product, not summarize what others have to say. To offset that lunacy, I added the egg I subtracted for the RAID confusion back in.
Pros: Reliable, Highly configurable, Dual WAN support, good Tech Support, good value.
Cons: User interface may be a intimidating.
Other Thoughts: I'll echo what the previous reviewer said. Let's understand exactly what this is: a reasonably low cost, business-class router/firewall. We needed one that had dual-WAN support, and it came down to this and a couple of Cisco's lower end offerings. Given the relatively poor reviews of the Cisco's, I decided to give the USG50 a whirl. After several months of continuous service, I'm glad I did.
Job One: Reliability. The USG50 passes this with flying colors. In the months it has been in service, it has not rebooted or required rebooting once. It has not dropped a connection that I can see, nor has it cough, hiccuped, sputtered, or otherwise misbehaved. It just functions reliably and with no attention from me.
Job Two: Handling Dual WANS. Yep. We have a cable modem that carries most of the weight, with DSL as a backup and overflow. It handles the spillover fine, when I have induced failovers, it handles those quickly, and when the failed WAN is restored, it comes back quickly.
Job Three: Configurability. Yep. My needs are few, and it handles all of them. I have certain IP addresses (an outgoing mail server) that has to go through the DSL line for authentication. That took about two minutes to set up, 75 seconds of that finding the IP address of the mail server. I have other addresses I want to ensure always go through the cable modem (WAN1) unless it is down (video streaming). Again, it takes as much time to look up the IP address of the sites as it does to enter the routing rule. I could also just assign the IP address of the internal streaming devices to WAN1 (again, unless it is down), but I am too lazy to do that (and it would probably be a better solution).
Factor Four: Tech Support. Check. When the cable modem was installed, I was having a problem that appeared to be the USG50 defaulting to the DSL speed. I called Zyxel Tech Support twice, and although they were scratching their heads, they at least knew what they were doing and understood their product. Had I bothered to check the error log, I would have found the USG50 was working exactly as it should when the patch cable on the cable modem is faulty.
Add to that the firmware upgrade process is relatively painless.
It takes a bit to get used to the object oriented user interface. But, once you figure out what exactly each of the fields wants and the logic of how it works, it is pretty easy to work with. I've messed with the command line interface, and it is cryptic, but they all are.
I can't speak to the VLAN capability or some of the deeper functions. I have not tried the UTM features, although I had thought about the anti-virus. I may rethink that reading the previous review.
At this price point, I think I'd be hard pressed to find a better router/firewall. Given the cost, just using it as a basic, reliable, dual-WAN router/firewall is a decent value. The fact that it offers flexibility beyond that for more advanced needs and wants is a bo
Display Name: Mark S.
Date Joined: 07/28/04
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