Joined on 07/24/07
M.2, the future is now
Pros: Worked. I mean M.2 is the future, this "stick" of memory is a freegin TB and it is barely longer then a USB thumb drive and thinner then my MoBo. To install, you just slide the contactors into place in the socket on the MoBo and put in a tiny retaining screw. Yes, if you are unfamiliar with these they plug into the mobo like a ram stick(sort of) there is no cables etc. They are also stupid fast. Seriously, like instantaneous data fast. What SSD speed did vs old school "spinning disc" HDD, these M.2 do to "old school" SSD. Data transfer is so fast, the rest of the hardware is still catching up(feels that way anyway) If your MoBo/rig supports this, you should be buying one, you will never look back.
Cons: Uh, I wish the pro's were priced at Evo price point? I dunno whats not to love here? if you showed this to a computer geek in the 90's and told them what it was and how much memory it held, they would put you in the loony bin. Pretty sure some time traveler brought these back from the year 2350 or something.
Overall Review: Do you have an M.2 socket? No? You bought the wrong MoBo! Yes you do? Why are you still reading this, just add it to your cart. or the pro version if you need it to be even faster because your time machine broke down.
A nice LG product
Pros: Works. Comes with required cable, dependable LG quality. I picked this up so I could avoid putting optical drives into my new Ryzen PC build. Works like a charm, I just plug it in when I need it. Price is nice too.
Cons: The opening mechanism is somewhat compromised by the units crazy slim profile. This thing is super thin, like squashed McDonald's cheeseburger thin. Like moths flying out of my empty wallet thin. Like smaller, and thinner, then the case for the DVD I am putting into it thin. Like wrap the cord around it and stick it in your coat pocket thin. While the compact size has many benefits, one of those is deffinatly not the luxury of having a nice disc eject system. You push a tiny slim button, it makes a whirring noise and the internal disc tray sort of springs part way out so you can get a hold of it to pull out the rest of the way. it works, but feels flimsy. I would have preffered an antique clamshell type design, or a thicker unit. Either way, it has pros and cons with it's ultra skinny design, to each their own.
Overall Review: I would recommend this, it works great and the price is nice. Again the size would be really handy in some situations, like shelf storage, if you work IT and need to carry it around, etc. I only docked an egg because my giant man hands make the disc eject system feel wimpy or maybe "overly delicate" is a more apt description and this also makes pushing the little almost recessed eject button a bit tedious. But that is just my personal situation, your mileage may vary.
Why not AMD?
Pros: Awesome card. Quality is evident. Fan/cooler design is brilliant. The LED design and control is great. Multiple HDMI outs, if you want to VR you can do so without messing around with cables. The quality of AMD's graphics display is underrated. Benchmark geeks love to do color coded bar graphs showing results of super intensive testing. Real world use: the Vega 64 is at least a match if not outright superior to the nvidea 1080, and nips at the heels of a 1080TI at worst.
Cons: Not a super big deal, but this card is MASSIVE. it is very heavy. i put this into my Ryzen/ ASRock Taichi build, my Taichi mobo has reinforced slots specifically for the purpose of dealing with these modern gigantic heavy GPU cards. If you do not have "steel slots" then make sure you get the screws in nice and snug! Also a "sort of" con, word is you need to tweek the voltage(in provided software so no biggie) to achieve advertised clock speeds. I mean if you are intent on benchmarking this card and insist on maximum performance, you will need to do this. See other reviews for relevant comments. Out of the box it is more then capable, so don't read to much into that.
Overall Review: At a price(still cringe worthy, but they all are) 2/3 if not less compared to nvidea's 1080 series cards, this card performs on par if not better. I was skeptical at first, but the proof is in the pudding, this card is performing brilliantly for me. Don't get sucked into the OC'ing benchmarker's hype charts. The Vega 64 is a great GPU.
Pros: Superb quality. Classy, understated, impressive visual appeal with subtle LED effects you can use to make it pop or just be ambient. Sound chip quality is no lie. You can find youtube reviews showing decible levels for mic input etc if you search, this mobo completely eliminates any need for a stand alone sound card. Layout of the mobo is very good, some redundant items are very nice and well thought out to allow for some variation in build layout/case design. The "steel slot" reinforced slots are perfect to offset the extrodinary weight of modern GPU. i put an ASUS Vega 64 ROG Strix card in which is the biggest, heaviest card i have ever seen and this mobo takes it in stride with the heavy duty slots. M.2 heatsink both works as advertised, and doubles as a clever way to hide the otherwise "ugly" m.2 SSD sticks. LED is subtle if you want it to be and ASRock's software works as intended to control it. Could use a tad more options, but I was pleased with the looks. This card has onboard graphics chipset. And not some 5 year old bargain barebones thing, it is AMD's Vega chipset. If you are a gamer, this won't matter. If you are not, this chipset is good enough you won't be forced to buy a GPU(and avoid the current, rediculous prices) as the onboard is capable, according to the literature, of displaying at 4k resolution and has adequate memory built in for most non gaming or otherwise super GPU memory intensive tasks. USB 3.0 built in, plus plugs for case/front header Built in wifi, no need for a seperate wifi card.
Cons: None really, maybe a little better format for the "quick install" book, had to search through it a few times and infer some info from diagrams that had little text, but that is very minor. BIOS is a little clunky, and the ASRock Shop little software bit could be nice but has a little to much (100%optional) bloatware loaded on the front tab. Again, super minor hardly noteworthy as it is an optional item.
Overall Review: ASRock hit a home run here. This mobo exceeded my expectations, even after being impressed by the amount of features while I was still shopping for my mobo. The quality is evident, the features are well thought out and where they decided to go for it, they went all in and put top notch bits in, like the onboard sound. This board will suit gamers(streamers should love the sound quality), but will also be a good fit for people wanting a home entertainment media hub rig, and is certainly capable of hard work. 5 eggs, all day. This is the board you are looking for.
AMD is back
Pros: FAST. Don't let the benchmark hardcore geeks fool you, this chip from AMD put them back into the game big time. If you are a hardcore custom building OC'ing ultra computer nerd, then you are likely going to find more hobby potential somewhere else. If you are everyone else, gamer, graphics design, whatever, then this is the chip for you. AMD's own fancy little algorithm does an amazing job of optimizing power use and boost clock performance without having to touch anything. It's plug and play speed.
Cons: None? I have heard these chips run hot, but i built my rig with a liquid cool set up from the get go so i couldn't say. The included air cooler is huge and fancy and looks like a part from a space shuttle or something, so odds are even if it runs hot AMD has you covered with that thing. I went liquid because I have in the past and IMO more stable temps also means more life and less fan noise. Especially the fan noise part.
Overall Review: Now is the time to give AMD a shot. This chip is bonkers. I picked up a Vega 64 GPU to go with it, a lot because of price but also because the (hard to find) unbiased reviews gave it very high marks on par if not exceeding the 1080's. I hope AMD can design a GPU to put Nvidea on it's heels like they did to Intel with chip. I put this into a new rig using ASRock's Taichi mobo. What a brilliant combo it has been so far.
Pros: Worked on first try. Put these in my AMD Ryzen/ ASRock Taichi build. Set the profile in BIOS, worked right out the box. The LED stuff, while I was at first dismissive, turned out to be really, really cool looking on these. Very eye catching design once you power them up.
Cons: None I can think of
Overall Review: Price was fair, these worked as advertised no muss no fuss and look cool as all get out, the picture does not do the little "light bar" across the top of the sticks justice. I will likely pick up another set to populate the other two slots on my MoBo soon.