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Pros: Let me start by saying I am a first time Asrock user. Got the board on a super sale so had to pull the trigger.
First off. There was a question about ram compatibility with going with two 16gb kits as opposed to a single 32gb kit.
Pleased to announce that 2x of these kits below worked GREAT with BIOS 2.0. Set the XMP and all 4 modules are working at a perfect 3200!
I booted the machine without a GPU (used the integrated HDMI) and without setting up anything first and just did the in BIOS flash. It will ask you to pop in a USB drive to save it out but otherwise worked perfectly.
On to the second big thing. Windows 10 licensing.
WORKED GREAT WITH WINDOWS 7 KEY! No need to install windows 7 FIRST then upgrade. Just used the media creation kit from MS and popped my key in when installing.
I reformatted the drive again for the hell of it, reinstalled windows with the same disk but the second time I said "I don't have a key" when prompted. The install continued and when the LAN drivers were installed, it just activated cause it was the same motherboard CPU combo! So put to rest any doubt that if you have a valid windows 7 key it wont work with windows 10.
Other then that, I installed the latest drivers from the asrock site (REBOOTING AFTER EVERY ONE) and the device manager is clean.
For those who are hardcore ASUS users, rest assured that AsRock has REALLY stepped up their game. The packaging is amazing and it definitely feels premium. The BIOS is outstanding and doesn't feel cheap at all. Very nice advanced and basic modes. When doing some benches with this board, its right up there with the $500 Asus and Gigabyte when using the latest BIOS (2.0)
Cons: - Coming from a windows 7 based system and regular BIOS took some research to understand windows 10 and UEFI. Not a con but more of a warning to those to make sure you understand UEFI.
Other Thoughts: - When you boot up for the first time, don't even bother having any HDD's/SSD's hooked up. Use the integrated video (it will autodetect when you add a GPU) to update the BIOS. Once you are on the latest, then add your components one by one starting with the VID card. Its best to "build up" the system with the latest BIOS"
- After and ONLY after being on the latest BIOS, enable the XMP profiles for the ram.
- Download the drivers from Asrocks site first and pop them on a USB stick. Also download your Nvidia or AMD drivers as well. KEEP THE LAN disconnected. The reason for this is because windows 10 will automatically download the VGA driver in the BG and its best to just install the latest drivers. Reboot after every driver install. After a clean device manager, THEN plug the lan in and do a windows update. These steps worked for me PERFECTLY twice.
- Don't be discouraged by Asrock. This board is premium and will take on any Asus board.
Pros: Works with new firmware
Cons: Bluebird comes with the drive firmware. NOTE: Even though you can disable bluebird from auto run, when a disk is not in the drive it will still show up as having it in "my computer".
Other Thoughts: Had to update the firmware to get rid of it. Didnt feel like explaining to the customer why a blue bird icon would be in her my computer icons. NEVER buying LG again. Sticking with Plextor and Lite on.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: Thermaltake Cyclo CL-R0023 Fans
Cons: Unless you have a $30.00 tiny video card, this thing is going to hit it. Anyone wanting to use the product obviously has a somewhat high end system and a somewhat high-end video card. The brackets on this thing make it impossible to use if you have a what is now a regular sized video card.
Other Thoughts: Stick with the Corsair ram cooler. They actually tested it with machines with video cards unlike this piece of garbage.READ FULL REVIEW