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Pros: 1. Dual NICs
2. Dual Core Ivy Bridge with 17Watt TDP
3. Easy to work with BIOS
4. Very Quiet
Cons: 1. PCI instead of PCIe expansion
2. No USB3
3. NICs are Realtek
4. Only 2 fan headers (CPU/System)
5. Only 1 6Gbps SATA
6. Not the prettiest board (if you are into that)
Other Thoughts: I'm currently using this board in my pfsense build. I'm using an old Antec ISK-110 Mini ITX case with a built in 90Watt Power Supply I had laying around, along with 8GB Memory and a 320GB 7200 RPM HDD. This board runs quiet and cool.
I'm currently running pfsense 2.1 RC0 since I heard 2.0 doesn't recognize the NICs (I didn't verify that). I got this since any consumer grade firewall can't push more than a few mbit/s using OpenVPN/IPSec. I ran a test where I was downloading at 32mbit/s and concurrently uploading 5mbit/s and my load average was between .20 and .32. OpenVPN was utilizing 20-22% CPU while the two NICs were using 4.5% each. Keep in mind this is out of a CPU max load of 2/200% since this is a dual core system, and you can see that this CPU can probably push between 200-300mbit/s with OpenVPN encryption. I suspect that IPSec will be less and PPTP will be more.
Other than that, this board is really vanilla. No USB3 and PCIe will turn away some, but for what I want this is pretty much perfect (although built in Intel NICs would have been preferred) . The BIOS was super easy to navigate, and I booted off a USB stick without even having to drop to a boot menu.
Pros: Modem works most of the time.
Multiple Ethernet Ports for wired LAN connectivity
Cons: Absolutely Horrid Wi-Fi performance if you aren't in line of sight and within 10-15 feet of this thing. I have had TWC replace this modem twice because I thought it was defective. Turns out its just built in wireless that is awful.
I do get connectivity hiccups that I didn't have before when I was on Docsis 2.0 (different modem). They are infrequent, but of course, they are annoying when it happens (get dropped from games, lose terminal acces, etc..)
The device itself gets quite warm. Make sure to give it some room to breathe.
The router on this device is extremely limited. Don't expect anything like QoS or VPN from this thing.
Other Thoughts: I used to have Docsis 2.0 service from TWC. At that time I had a simple modem from them, and I used my own Linksys WRT54G for my Wi-Fi and Routing. My network was rock solid with that setup. Ever since moving to this modem after upgrading to Docsis 3.0 service, my local network wireless connectivity has suffered immensely. Streaming Netflix and Youtube from the bedroom is no longer possible. Being less than 20 feet away and around 1 corner will drop speeds to less than 1 mbit/s (30mbit within 8 feet and line of sight). Its unacceptably bad. Having gone through 3 of them, I can say that its just the modem. I know that people like the all-in-one package, but honestly, get the modem only version and get your own wi-fi router for better performance.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Small dimensions which is great for uATX case builds. Fan is inaudible to my ears. No coil whine during stress tests. Cables are all black. 24 and 8 pin CPU cable are nicely sleeved in black. Fan will stop during low loads, but you can also have it run at all times if you prefer.
Cons: Most of the cables are flat with ribbon cable style sleeving. I prefer round sleeving, but this isn't too bad.
Other Thoughts: Got this for $99 during Cyber Monday, which was a steal. It works great in my new Temjin TJ08-e build which really benefits from the compact size of this unit. Being fully modular is a real advantage when putting together a system.
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