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Pros: Got this from Newegg Marketplace. Results atypical, your experience may vary.
Dirt simple to set up. I'm not really a "server guy" and this wasn't any kind of a challenge.
* Grab a HDD (didn't setup RAID, this system is primarily for me to Train for MCSE 2012),
* Get a copy of Windows Server (Hint: College student? Check out Dreamspark.com. With proof of attendance to a college, you can get a 5-user copy of Windows Server 2012 R2 for free)
* Set up the BIOS (Press F1). No drivers needed (base install covers all the bases for one hard drive).
* I have the system set up for RDP, so there was no need for a KVM once it's configured and running. Use your Windows Vista/7/8 system, dial in with RDP, and have fun!
Points that other reviewers made: 1) (for me, anyway) all of the SATA Cables for each bay came preinstalled (enough for 2 drives, with the cables channeled down to the case so they're not all over the place.) If you get a marketplace system, understand it's not sold directly by Newegg, so there may be variances. 2) Having a PCI-E x16 slot running at x8 speed isn't a bad thing for a server. It's a bad thing for gamers. This isn't meant to be a Desktop computer. Please don't use it for one. 3) Memory is picky with servers, always has been. 4) Again, what use does a Server system have for Sleep, when it's supposed to be running for background services? If you're concerned about your monitor, set that to shut off in 10 minutes. 5) Windows Server 2003 is going to have architectural differences (especially if you're using 32-bit on this 64-bit system), so it may not run very well (also: Really? Why 2003?) Finally, 6) short of Newegg's policies, don't expect Lenovo to support you short of hardware failure. If you're having software problems, I feel bad for you son... (guess the rest of the delivery.)
Cons: So far none. Once I'm done with MCSE, I'm going to set this up to make a private web/email server for my family to make use of. If I can manage to find a cheap enough SAS Controller and exterior chassis, I might build a RAID on the system for more space, but it's not a pressing issue just yet.
I had to hit the front LED's with electrical tape, as this is running in my bedroom and the lights are bright. For a 24-hour system, the lights are bright enough to keep someone light sensitive awake (not the worse, but bright enough.) This is more of a style-points issue, and not worth dropping an egg over.
Finally: Windows Server 2012's color scheme sucks (cerulean blue/cyan hurts the eyes.) Fortunately this can be fixed: Server Manager > Manage > head to Services, choose Desktop Enhancements. Adds some stripped back Windows 8 components, allowing you to change colors for the windows as well as the Modern UI elements. Also, not a con, since for the same as above, this is a style-points issue, and second, WS2012 doesn't come with the server, so you are your own tech support. That's how it is.
This review is from: ASUS P8H61-M (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
Pros: POSTed on first try, UEFI BIOS Admin panel is a breeze to use compared to CUI-Based ones, has a memory check light on the PCB to see without a monitor attached if your memory is useable. AI Suite II is useful in monitoring motherboard stats without too much bloatware. System stays cool and stable. I live in the desert: even though it's winter, temperature extremes are normal out here -- daylight it may be 60-70 at noon, but at night, slips right into the 20's. One heck of a gradient. Electronics that aren't made well don't last for long out here. For that reason alone, I avoid overclocking... the ambient temperatures out here are enough. Why add more strain?
Cons: Some of the capacitors aren't solid state, which bugs me (see temperature yarn above in Pros.) SATA 3GB vs. SATA 6GB, USB 2.0, 2 DIMM slots (16GB ceiling), no PCI slots (bye bye old accessories). Yadda, yadda...
You get what you pay for, but it's manageable for the price and the fact that it works across the Core-i series lineup (Core i3, i5 or i7 processors with less than 110W.)
Other Thoughts: ASUS Mobo Driver DVD allows you to pick and choose apps, or offers to install all of them at once along with bloat and toolbars. I'll pick and choose, TYVM. (I get why HP/Dell/et al do this junk, but do third-party vendors really need to subsidize new Motherboards without a system?)
I've been a long time user of ASUS, and except for a cheap GeForce card I got 5 years ago from them, they don't disappoint on Motherboards IMO. My laptop is also from them (G72Gx) and it's been very reliable the last three years. But I baby the hell out of my stuff, so take that with a grain of salt.
Pros: Plugged right in, fired right up.
Cons: Nothing. LITE-ON drives have been a staple on my PC builds for years, never had a DOA from them yet.
Other Thoughts: Transfer speeds on optical media as compared to SATA HDD's and SSD HDD's are finally starting to show real age. I installed Windows 7 in less than 12 minutes with a Core i5 Quad proc, and 64GB SSD, but the DVD Drive was clearly the bottleneck during installation. It can't be helped: the drive works perfectly and compared to prior DVD/CD Burners it keeps pace or outruns old drives I used to have. It's just not as fast as newer technology.READ FULL REVIEW
Display Name: MICAH C.
Date Joined: 12/22/06
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