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Pros: USB 3 ports in front and back
8 slots of ddr4 memory (up to 64gb if you can afford it!)
10 sata3 (6gb) ports
6 of them support raid
4 of them do not support raid
1 sataE (express 10gb) port
10gb LAN, I wasn't able to fully test this...while I have a 10gb switch, my routers while supporting AC1700 do not have 10gb LAN. But it was still smoking fast on 1gb over cat6
Onboard soundcard is overly sufficient and sounds amazing, there is no need to buy an add-on sound card with this board.
2 PS/2 ports for those old school gamers that still feel their ps2 keyboard is faster and better than their usb counterparts.
2 M2 (10gb) ports - one for SSD and one for wifi
2 antenna ports for wifi
Sweet southbridge heatsink with LEDs - the LEDs actually go all around the board and out the back i/o ports. This is a big draw for many and admittedly is quite sweet. However, I prefer a low profile rig w/out all the ostentatious 'bling'.
Dual BIOS. I love this feature as should any overclocker. I've used it since x58.
Support for thunderbolt add-in cards
The full mobo manual is extensive and has a lot of great information for BIOS settings. Things that i've never really learned that came about after the x48's.
Cons: With the 5820k you can only do 3 way SLI, 4 way is not supported with this CPU.
The spacing around the CPU necessitates a tall cooler, not a wide cooler. The ram and heatsinks are way too close.
RAM spacing is minimal, you need ram w/ tall heatsinks not wide ones. No space for a heatsink fan for ram.
No post code LED, this was a huge bummer for me, but something i've come to accept with my last couple gb boards. I haven't had post codes since my old dfi x48 board...oh how I loved that thing!
No CMOS reset button, there is a 2 pin short post jumper...basically they say mash a screwdriver on it while it's unplugged. How hard is it to give us a button? it'd cost an extra couple cents. Oh & have fun pulling your GPU if you have 3 or 4 cards. Luckily for me, unluckily for others...the 5820k while supporting 3 cards, bypasses that pci slot that covers the cmos jumper. But that lends to another con - something as simple as a different cpu means differing gpu placement?
No onboard video, while this is common on high end boards, I still like having a board w/ onboard video in order to diagnose graphics card issues or for those days when your gpu borks and you would still like to be able to watch movies and listen to music while waiting for your new gpu to come in the mail! Luckily I just grab one from inventory or a test bed pc and call it good...but many don't have that luxury.
Lastly, the fact that I am not able to get this thing stable with an overclock really slays me. I've even tried the dumbed down GB overclocking utility with no luck.
Other Thoughts: I'm replacing a GB x99 ud3 motherboard and the upgrade is sweet. A lot of value added features for a small price increase.
My setup is using the most updated f7c bios revision, 5820k, and dominator 1866 ddr4 in 4x8gb. I've got a 950w pc power & cooling psu and a single 780.
Overall, I'm completely stable at stock clocks, but once I try to OC it is hit or miss...i'll be stable for a couple days, but then the next day i'm getting BSODs on every single app load. It really doesn't make any sense.
But lets face it, this mobo is tailored to gamers...and gamers overclock...it's almost a necessity. So while this board would be a seemingly great board, w/out the ability to OC I feel like i'm missing the full potential. Things like the m2 ssd and 10g lan are great, but then I start to feel like i'm out of balance with a stock cpu!
Included in the box - mobo and...
6 sata cables, nice braided and black
1 1 to 3 power cable. Not sure what it is for, but it has 3 - 8pin inputs and 1 - 8 pin output. I assume this is intended to take 3 - 8 pin GPU power cables to create 1 - 8 pin cpu power cable?
5 different xfire/sli bridges
1 bridge for 2 way (1+3) for crossfire
1 bridge for 2 way (1+3) for sli
1 bridge for 3 way (1+2+3) for sli
1 bridge for 3 way (1+3+4) for sli
1 bridge for 4 way (1+2+3+4) for sli
Overall, the board has many sweet features, both hardware and software. I truly believe that we'll get some better BIOS revisions and it'll be stable eventually, which is unfortunate because i'm now relegated to having to use stock clocks on my cpu & ram (mind you that I paid extra to have faster ram for!) But all in all, this is a monster board, that is a definite improvement over my ud3 board and definitely worth a look at. If I could get stable overclocks, review would be a definite 5 star review...til then...4 stars it is...
Pros: Great speeds
Stable, 100% up time thus far, no issues
Rebate came quickly & easily
Sufficient amount of video out ports (dvi, hdmi, and dp)
Cons: Packaging was lackluster
No included adapters (for sli/xfire etc)
Pros: Very fast for hdd, see other thoughts for figures.
Easily accessible drives, if you want to swap in new drives.
2 additional USB3 ports to expand it even further or quick swap from usb3 flash drive.
Quiet drives and fan.
Cons: I believe I was shipped a bad usb3 cable, I am unable to utilize the cable I received with the drive. I have tried it on this drive with 3 other USB3 devices (2 computers & 1 router) and have tried to swap this cable into my existing usb3 drives & it does not work with them either. The WD cable worked with my usb2 ports, but not with the usb3 ports.
I was able to get the drive to work on usb3 after about 45 minutes of swapping drives, cables, devices, by using a cable from an existing (competitor's) drive.
Normally this would mean many people returning the unit, which is unfortunate but reality, and as such increases the price these types of things sell for...as most people do not have multiple usb3 devices/ports/cables to utilize in the capacity in which I was able to test.
This is the only reason I knocked the drive down to 4 stars, had it worked out of the box, i'd have had no issues.
Other Thoughts: Few examples of average speeds...
Transferring a 15.5 gb movie file from a normal 7200rpm Hitachi drive to this drive -
Total time to transfer - 1 minute 59 seconds
Average transfer speed - 142mb per second
Transfer speed range on average - between 135 and 169 mb/sec
Transferring 7 movie files of about 500mb each for a total of 3.92gb in file size from a normal 7200rpm Hitachi drive to this drive -
Total time to transfer - 35 seconds
Average transfer speed - 120mb per second
Transfer speed range on average - between 115 and 145 mb/sec
Transferring 406 picture files between 1mb and 3mb each, for a total file size of 888mb from a normal 7200rpm Hitachi drive to this drive -
Total time to transfer - 21 seconds
Average transfer speed - 46mb per second
Transfer speed range on average - between 45 and 88 mb/sec
A few raw figures...
testing 50mb runs in read speed / write speed in mb per second, in the following respective order, This Drive, a (currently) $75 120gb Solid State Drive(ssd), and the (currently) $90 2tb 7200rpm Hitachi.
188.8 / 105.4
222.9 / 139.7
64.88 / 61.7
testing 1000mb runs
233.7 / 169.2
230.2 / 144.2
69.82 / 67.55