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Pros: Fast and lightweight
Cons: Doesn't make coffee
Other Thoughts: I have an 840 EVO and with two firmware updates I finally have a reliable drive .. as long as I access the data all the time. With the 850 EVO Samsung has figured out their reliability problems and made a fast, power efficient drive that I don't expect to have problems with.
The 850 EVO was a great price for 256GB. It installed in my T420 without problems. The T420 had a 360GB spinner and the SSD was a major improvement.
Pros: Great inexpensive board. Has the features I wanted (SATA 3, Socket 1150, PCIe3) without a lot of extra expensive features (no RAID or overclocking). Works with Intel i5-4690S CPU out of the box (BIOS version FB) although I did update it to the latest BIOS (FE). I had revision 2.0 of the board.
Worked with my existing RAM (Corsair XMS3 DDR3-1333) and Gigabyte GTX 660 Ti with no issues.
Cons: Doesn't overclock even with a K CPU (not a legit con since I knew it didn't overclock).
Only has 4 USB 2.0 and 2 USB 3.0 on back panel (with 4 USB 2.0 and 2 USB 3.0 front panel headers)
Only supports Crossfire, not SLI.
Doesn't allow me to manually set the core multiplier even though I have the option in the BIOS. What I mean is that under load, the CPU I used turbo's to 3.5 GHz. Single core turbo is 3.9 GHz. I set the four cores to 3.9 GHz in the BIOS regardless of load but the CPU still "only" turbo's to 3.5 with four core load. This is because I have the Enhanced Intel Speed Step enabled. If I disable that option, I get 3.9 GHz speed regardless of CPU loading. Thus, I can have "auto" turbo control or forced high freq turbo - not both. This is not a real "con" just something I noticed.
Other Thoughts: Great board. Does exactly what I needed it to do - run my i5-4690S CPU at low power draw, high freq 3.5-3.9 GHz and remains stable. No motherboard related crashes.
Note that I am dual booting Windows 7 for my games and Mac OS X for my DAW / Logic Pro X workstation. No problems with Mac OS X install, no stability problems at all.
Pros: Low power 65W part. Quad core. 3.5GHz Turbo at4-core loading with 3.9GHz Turbo at single core loading. Mac OS X compatibility.
Just as fast or faster in every regard compared to the AMD CPU it replaced.
Intel Enhanced Speed Step worked as advertised. CPU idles at 800MHz and boosts up to 3.5-3.9 GHz depending on CPU loading. Compared to the AMD system it replaced, the computer uses 50-75W less power overall and idles at 50W compared to 90W.
Cons: Didn't make me breakfast. Doesn't overclock. Doesn't have hyperthreading. I understand that this CPU didn't have those features nor did I care to pay extra for them.
Other Thoughts: Good CPU for all circumstances. I picked this part specifically because I wanted a lower power (65W) CPU, quad core, and didn't need Hyperthreading nor did I want to overclock it. This CPU is cheaper than the K version. My build was focused around a stable digital audio workstation running Mac OS X and mild gaming under Windows. With this CPU I've accomplished my goals.
I used a Gigabyte GA-B85-HD3 motherboard. The CPU worked right out of the box, but I did update the BIOS after regardless.
The CPU is a replacement for an AMD Phenom II X4 965BE. Comparing this Intel to the AMD in my games (Skyrim and X-Plane) I didn't see a big improvement. Maybe a few FPS. Both games ran very well on the AMD processor.
The biggest reason I went with the Intel was for Mac OS X compatibility and low power draw. In that frame of reference, the Intel CPU works just as fast or faster in every task and still allowed me to install Mac OS X without any issues. My overall computer system power draw is 50-75W less. Even under full load my peak power draw is 200W compared to 278W for the AMD system. The CPU fan (Cooler Master EVO 212) runs at idle speed (about 700 rpm) unless I'm running a CPU benchmark, then it speeds up to 850 rpm. In other words, it's completely silent. The system temperature is about 5-10 degrees cooler, and the fans stay at idle (which they did in the AMD system). CPU never overheats and I've managed to top the temperature out at about 50 C.
My GPU temperatures went up a bit, and I believe this is because the CPU can feed more data to the GTX 660Ti compared to the AMD. This also explains why I get more fps and slightly higher gaming performance.
Overall I am happy with this CPU. I can run Mac OS X now and still maintain my Windows install to play games at a high level of performance.
8 GB Corsair RAM
Samsung EVO 840 SSD
Gigabyte GTX 660 Ti