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This review is from: ASRock A785GM-LE AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G + SB710 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
Pros: My father's motherboard failed in his HP Pavilion Slimline and I scoffed at the $75 price tag for an identical replacement board on online auction sites. My Dad's over 70 years old and doesn't plan to buy a new machine... ever. For less money, this NEW motherboard put life into my Dad's machine. Oddly enough, EVERYTHING, including the HP headers fit perfectly except the power cable (see other thoughts) and I now have my Dad running dual monitors (which together make one HD monitor, but that's another story).
Cons: - I thought by reading reviews purchasing a 4-pin 70mm CPU fan or aftermarket heatsink/fan wouldn't be a problem to dial back the full-speed jet fan going on by default. This was a HUGE chore and ultimately a design flaw imho. Given the era this motherboard is built for, the CPU fan connector should have been 3-pin for the stock fans.
- Windows 7 was highly unstable (random power offs during Windows update) until I installed the AHCI driver on the disc. Everything was smooth sailing afterward.
- DVI-D? Seriously? OK, make the signal digital but at least give as a DVI-I connector so we can plugin the converters for the old monitors.
Other Thoughts: The 24-pin ATX power cable was too short, but I easily found and an extension on newegg for less than $5. I tossed in a cheap 128gb SSD while I was at it. If I can find one at a reasonable price I might drop in a low-profile video card as well. All in all, despite a few minor nuances, there's nothing here to deter anyone from purchasing this motherboard.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: - Four USB3 ports
- Support for dual screens
- UEFI BIOS
- Realtek Audio (& Intel HDMI Audio)
- Mounting kit included
Cons: - Had no Problems doing a UEFI Windows 7 install, but then driver hell. The NIC isn't auto-identified on install and the Intel download site will leave you completely lost. Visiting Intel's NUC site however will get you where you need to be. This isn't a problem once you know what you're doing, but it could have been made more obvious with the literature that came with the device.
- I don't see why the mini HDMI and mini DisplayPort are necessary, pushing an added cost on special cables. There's enough room there for normal HDMI and DisplayPort plugs. Either that, or include the conversion cables needed to plugin to the vast majority of monitors out there.
Other Thoughts: The small business I consult for purchases six computers a year for internet and word processing. Tablets and laptops are not an option and maximizing workspace is important. We haven't ever upgraded a CPU which is why we considered the NUC as a viable option. Aside from the driver issues, which really just took a learning curve on Intel's website, I'm pleased with this device. Be sure to do your homework so you purchase the correct memory and SSD. And don't expect to save any cash by moving to this platform, as you'll make up the savings with special cables, specific voltage memory, a more expensive mini-SATA SSD, a memory card reader and a monitor with speakers and USB ports (because reaching behind the monitor to plug in jump drives isn't practical). I don't have a problem with the price tag pending the product stands the test of time and being upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 9. I would love to see these being used exclusively in all our offices. We'll see.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: - Solid construction
- Has all the features I was looking for in an ITX form factor
Cons: - Asus Probe II Sense (AMDA00) Driver. The very reason I purchase and build my own machines is so my clients don't have to put up with bloatware. And the very fact I'm giving a client with an intentionally disabled driver is disheartening. At least make the driver stable so it doesn't crash Windows. It took me five installs and 20 hours to figure out the culprit.
- The UEFI BIOS is functional, but not even close to the quality of others I've used. Simply changing the boot order takes far more effort than it should and when only changing the boot order, on exit, the BIOS asks if you're sure you want to quit without any changes. Granted it saves my changes, but changes were made (yes, this is on the current version... flashing didn't help).
- Just being nitpicky on this one, but given the construction of most ITX chassis, the locations of the USB2 and USB3 headers should be swapped.
- Again nitpicky... can't believe NONE of the vendors have figured it out yet... put the stinking drivers on a branded USB jump drive. Optical drives are becoming hard to come by and I'd just assume replace the shipped drivers with the current drivers since the USB drive is what my clients will give me when I have to repair the machine.
Other Thoughts: After purchasing over 50 Asus routers (love them!) and having my first positive experience in a runin with Asus support in many years, I thought I'd give their motherboards another chance after 10+ years of avoiding them altogether. Frustratingly, same problems as ten years ago... different day. I won't be purchasing another. Given the problems I had, this is an expensive purchase. Resolve the above problems and the board is worth the cash. However, with only a half-baked BIOS and horribly unstable bloatware drivers... yeah it's back to MSI for me.READ FULL REVIEW