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Pros: This thing is big! However, big means lots of screen real estate, and a full keyboard; this includes a dedicated 10-key. With an Intel i7 and 8GB of RAM, this should easily churn through anything you need, short of real gaming. Three USB ports is pretty standard these days, but I like that there is still D-Sub for video, but also DP for external video connectivity. Also, unlike many current laptops this unit still has a DVD-RW drive. Some of us still have lots of software and data on disks and don't want to have to carry around an external drive.
While the screen may be large, and the resolution isn't exceptionally high, the screen output is about the right size, is bright and clear, text looks, and colors are great.
One of the things I really liked about this unit was that the glidepad still has mouse buttons, and isn't overly large. Many newer laptops have no mouse buttons, and the pad is so large that you have to calk your wrists at an uncomfortable angle to keep keep your cursor from not flying to unknown parts of the screen due to even the lightest glance of the glidepad.
Upgrades are easy! While 8GB of RAM is more than enough for me, I wanted to install a different hard drive. This unit only required removing two screws and the back panel slid off and everything was easily accessible. Many units in this price range make such upgrades very difficult, if not impossible except by a certified tech with the information to do major system disassembly.
With this unit on sale for $150 off, it's a good deal, and I don't normally buy extended warranties, but two years for the price of one was just too good to pass up.
Cons: This thing is big! I wouldn't even really call this a laptop. It's size really puts in the DTR (DeskTop Replacement) category. If you need something portable because you travel, this isn't the unit for you.
This isn't so much a con since it isn't a deal breaker for me, but it doesn't have a backlit keyboard.
The BIOS is very sparse in configurability.
Having 1TB of drive space is nice and all, but I would gladly forgo some space for the speed of a factory installed SSD.
Other Thoughts: Did I mention this thing was big?
Because I've gotten spoiled over the speed of SSD drives before I ever even booted this unit I used Acronis True Image to take an out of the box, factory image, then installed my 250GB SSD. Yes, it's 1/4 the size, but for my needs, I'll take that speed over capacity any day; I have any number of external backup options.
Pros: Board is still working well, and doesn't seem to mind being overclocked.
Cons: The OC Genie is still trying to push too far. It wants to take all 8 cores to 4GHz, but it just doesn't seem to supply enough voltage, or it thinks the chip is more capable than it really is. My chip seems very comfortable at just over 3.8GHz with manual tweaking, which isn't bad considering the chip was only rated at 3.2GHz.
What I have found is the voltage control isn't quite as granular as other boards. Adjusting the CPU the system wants to jump in .01V increments. Since voltage is measured out to four decimal places, at full 1/100th of a volt jump is quite large. Maybe a future BIOS update can rectify this.
Other Thoughts: To Lise, who just posted recently, you are absolutely incorrect. I am currently using an FX 8230E in this board. It works fine. Since I have only seen maybe two bad CPUs in 20 years of IT work, and lots of AMD builds, I'm more likely to conclude that you have a RAM compatibility issue. I did run into one of those with a recent AMD build with the same CPU in 6-core variant.
I'm currently running the following Crucial RAM, also obtained from Newegg.
Pros: This is a large case, which makes it great for longer video cards. No problem at all fitting 779x/28x/29x video cards. They install with a couple of inches to spare.
Lots of factory cooling. with 4x120 and 1x140 standard, and there's room for more.
Lots of rubber grommets for routing cables between the motherboard tray and side panel, for that clean install look, and great air flow.
This case is even large enough to install the lucifer V2 cooler, which is massive!
Has nice rounded corners so you don't shred yourself during installation. Materials and build quality are decent for a case in this price range. It doesn't compare to my Thermaltake case, but then again, neither does the price!
Lots of front mounted USB is nice, and the drive dock is a nice touch.
Cons: The power cable for the drive dock is 4-pin molex, and this part is extremely poor quality. The pins in the molex connector are poorly secured and flop around inside the connector. It's definitely a work of patience to get your PSU connector attached.
Other Thoughts: Not really a con, but something to think about. This case is quite tall, and the PSU is bottom mounted, so make sure your aux. CPU power cable is quite long. Even though the PSU I used had a fairly good length aux. cable, it still wasn't quite long enough to pass through the grommets and behind the board. I actually had to run it in front of the board, tween the PCI/PCI-e slots to make it reach.READ FULL REVIEW