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Corsair Force LS Series CSSD-F60GBLS 2.5
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: Cheap, small SSD. I used it in my budget HTPC system for the OS and programs. Boots fast enough for me.

Cons: None so far. Probably not as fast as an Intel SSD, but I was looking for cheap with better performance than a standard hdd, not top performance.

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GIGABYTE GA-H81M-H LGA 1150 Intel H81 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: I was surprised at the size of this mATX board. With one less PCI slot and 2 less RAM slots compared with a full mATX board, this fit nicely into my Silverstone ML03b and made cable management much easier in this current iteration of my HTPC.

The headers on the board are clearly labeled, especially the headers for the power and LEDs (with little + and - as well).

Cons: No headers for USB 3.0 and no second system fan header, but when you go cheap, you can expect sacrifices in features. Some of the UEFI bios settings are rather ambiguous as to what they are meant to do.

Also, I couldn't install Windows 8.1 in a full UEFI-only mode. The DVD would present it's "Press any key to boot from disk...", but upon pressing a key, the screen would stop and the BIOS would flash "No Boot Device Detected." I don't know if this was related to the board, my Windows 8.1 disk, or my choice of SSDs (even though it wasn't formatted, so it shouldn't have mattered).

Installing Windows 8.1 worked with CSM mode enabled and setting some parameters to UEFI-first. If it was more than a budget HTPC, I'd probably investigate the problem more, but the system is operating just fine and boots quickly enough, so no real worries. Just a weird thing I experienced in the installation.

Other Thoughts: This is a pretty no-frills board, but solid if you're looking to build a budget system.

I've now got the following setup for my HTPC:
-Gigabyte GA-H81M-H mATX board
-Pentium G3240 Haswell Dual-Core
-Corsair Force LS 60GB SSD (for OS/Programs)
-8GB DDR3 1600
-Rosewill N600PCE dual-band wireless card
-Windows 8.1

Recycled components from the previous iteration of my htpc:
-Samsung 1TB drive
-Antec Earthwatts 380W PSU
-LiteOn iHOS104 Blu-ray drive
-Happaugue WinTV 1250 tuner
-Silverstone ML03b

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Rosewill RNX-N600PCE, Dual Band Wireless N600 Wi-Fi Adapter, IEEE 802.11b/11g/11n, Up to 300Mbps(5.0GHz) + 300Mbps(2.4GHz) Wireless Data Rates, PCI E Interface, 2x High Power Dual Band Antenna
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: Dual-band wireless adapter and PCI-Ex1. Also comes with the half-height bracket for installation in thinner cases. I've had no problems with this card.

Cons: The driver, recently provided online, must be installed prior to card installation with Windows 8.1.

Other Thoughts: The card works great and I haven't had any problems. I was prepared to use the Asus driver people were mentioned for W8.1, but Rosewill released a driver on their own before I did my own installation.

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James B.'s Profile

Display Name: James B.

Date Joined: 06/18/06

  • Reviews: 52
  • Helpfulness: 15
  • First Review: 08/18/07
  • Last Review: 08/06/14
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