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Pros: I needed to upgrade my existing discrete HTPC card for a bit more ability with the latest codecs. This chip looks to be a great use for that.
Great that we finally have some decent low profile cards to choose from.
Nice that it's a true single slot cooler, but that also leads to the Cons below.
Cons: The cooler fan is much too loud for HTPC use. Even when under moderate load it's very audible. Even the wife notices which is bad.
I've tried a number of the software tools to quiet the fan and they do work to an extent at the high end, but then make the low RPM speed even higher than default. So you end up with less noise on the high end and more noise on the low end.
In the end this card is not going to stay in this machine. I may try and pull a dual fan setup from an older nVidia low profile card and replace this one. At least the noise from that fan is tolerable.
Pros: I've been looking around for a laptop replacement for about six months now. I wanted a Sandy bridge chipset along with a discrete graphics card that was good enough to play games a little bit when needed and a good enough CPU to last a few years, but the laptop also had to be small enough to move around easily too.
This MSI laptop is THE best combination of all of those factors is this price range.
I've run this laptop though CPU and GPU torture tests and there are no throttling issues unlike the Acers. MSI seems to have installed the heat sinks correctly.
The laptop does have an actual Intel wireless NIC and Bluetooth stack which is nice. The wired Realtek NIC is Gb too.
The screen is acceptable and the price is fair given the components used.
Cons: I don't like the fact that the fan is on all of the time. Granted it's fairly quiet but none the less it's a negative in my mind. The keys seem like they could have been made a bit bigger given the room, they do feel a tiny bit small.
Other Thoughts: I've looked at the recent Acer laptops along with other brands and all of them had tradeoffs of one form or another. (the Acers have massive throtting issues due to heat) This is still the best bet you'll find.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: When it works, it’s fantastic. Great read and write speeds with RAID 5.
Cons: I’ve had this card in four different motherboards trying to find a good match.
Other Thoughts: First motherboard was an Intel G41 chipset board. It worked in that board, but since the PCI-e slots were only 1.1 the speed was not up to what it could be.
The second board was an Intel G55 chipset board. In this board it would work fine up until you hit the RAID stripe size, then it would jump randomly from huge read speeds to almost nothing. It seems that all P/H55 chipsets only run at half the PCI-e spec. This causes major problems with this card.
The third board was an Intel H67 chipset. The motherboard would not even post with the LSI card in. Stay far away from H/P67 chipsets and any RAID cards.
The fourth (and final) motherboard I’m trying is actually one on the compatibility list. SUPERMICRO MBD-X8STE-O I have high hopes for success with this board.
My advice, be very careful what motherboard you pair this card with.