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Pros: Power efficient
Excellent single threaded performance
Supports HyperThreading for 4 virtual cores
Cons: Price fluctuates, compare the higher speed grades and look for combosREAD FULL REVIEW
This review is from: ASUS H81M-K LGA 1150 Intel H81 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
Space for a dual slot GPU and a 1x PCIe add in card
Cons: No HDMI
No USB3 header - so can't use front USB3 ports on the case
Number of SATA and USB ports might be a limiting factor with this chipset
Other Thoughts: There's no reason to pay (much) more than this for a basic, quality motherboard. Add an i3 and a GPU and you have a very capable budget gaming machine.
I have an i3-4330. As a test I plugged in an R9 290x and it flew through some benchmarks. You're not going to get much faster unless you run one of the few games that is CPU limited and takes advantage of 4 real cores, or you overclock.
Stick with the onboard gfx if you are not interested in games.
If you want to use it as an HTPC with the integrated gfx, it is worth finding a board with an HDMI output. I thought I could use an adaptor, it works, but I can't get the black level correct for my TV (it needs 16-235 range rather than the full 0-255 RGB range). Playing with contrast/brightness is a work around, but I've ended up going back to using an external GPU. I'm assuming this problem wouldn't occur if the board had an actual HDMI port.
The network works perfectly for me. I don't think I have tested the onboard sound - I'm using a USB DAC.
Pros: No problem reading any netflix blu-ray so far, including godfather parts 1 & 2 which must be dual layer due to the size.
1080p is sweet, and an unexpected benefit was the sound quality. (I have a reasonably good 2 channel setup)
Cons: Included powerdvd does not fullscreen a 2nd monitor (my 1080p tv) - it seems to limit itself to the resolution of the primary monitor. Works perfectly if my tv is set as primary monitor. Not sure if this is a powerdvd or gfx driver issue, but other video software works fine.
Other Thoughts: Started small with this purchase, but ended up costing me more than a stand alone blu-ray player in total after getting a new cpu, mobo & memory as my athlon64 3700+ could not cope with blu-ray playback. Also bought a copy of anydvd-hd and have combined it with eac3to so I'm not stuck with using powerdvd (which would be fine if not for the above issue).READ FULL REVIEW