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ASRock Z97 Extreme4 LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

2 out of 5 eggs Stay away if running Windows Server 11/23/2014

This review is from: ASRock Z97 Extreme4 LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: Ultra fast boot.
Pretty BIOS.
Internet BIOS flash.
MOSFET heatskins.
Many more, however...

Cons: Intel intentionally crippled the driver component of the network interface on this motherboard. They have an exclusion in the WHQL drivers to prevent their installation on Server, for no valid technial reason. It's a pure money grab, or "value add" for their ISV's that they can enforce thanks to locking down the bootloader with UEFI Secure Boot.

Well, Intel, you won't ever succeed trying to "license" my hardware on a "per-OS" basis. There's always a way to hack it, and as painful as it can be to with UEFI it still is possible. I'm write this from another computer with an Atheros interface. Perhaps ASRock should have done their testing selected an interface which works with at least all modern versions of Windows.

I'm vastly disappointed by the poor quality assurance from ASRock here and despite the great chips, Intel is shooting itself in the foot with this kind of nonsense.

Intel 7260HMW IEEE 802.11AC, dual-band, 2x2 Wi-Fi plus Bluetooth 4.0 Mini PCI Express combo Adapter - 867 Mbps+300Mbps - Internal
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: - Easily beats out the fastest USB 3.0 adapters I've found by nearly 2x on download (RX)
- Tops out near theoretical maximum of 433mbps in each direction
- Better range than USB adapter since it uses the entire antenna on your laptop which usually wraps around the screen

Cons: - Caps out on RX around 370-380mbps for me according to LAN Speed Test, slightly short of theoretical 433mbps
- Slower upload (TX) speeds around 280mbps, maybe owing to the antenna configuration on my particular laptop

Other Thoughts: - Same 2x2 as the fastest USB adapters but my laptop only has 2 antennas anyway
- Haven't tried simultaneous RX/TX since I don't see an option for that in LAN Speed Test but I don't doubt the 650-750mbps others are reporting
- My laptop (Acer Aspire V5) is supposed to be a difficult "complete teardown" for any kind of replacement. It's a breeze as long as you open it from the bottom. The casing pops right off without any cables or ribbons to unhook, making for an easy <15 minute install
- I have far more experience with desktops and I've only swapped an SSD into a laptop before. Don't let this scare you, it's not at all difficult
- The router I'm using is an Asus RT-AC68U, it's one of the newest as of Nov. '13 but still "draft" AC. 80mhz is needed on the 5ghz band to get these speeds

EDIMAX EW-7811UTC AC600 Dual-band USB 2.0 Wireless Mini Adapter, ideally for upgrading Laptop, desktop, Macbook or Ultrabook with 433/150Mbps data rates
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: No dorpouts with this adapter, clean driver install, no issues at all. The only surprise was that it was able to hit 250mbps which according to the 433/150mbps spec should not be possible, but it did max out there several times on Rx speed. Looks great too and doesn't get nicked like bigger adapters.

Cons: None yet


Rod B.'s Profile

Display Name: Rod B.

Date Joined: 06/19/06

  • Reviews: 11
  • Helpfulness: 6
  • First Review: 10/03/07
  • Last Review: 11/23/14
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