Joined on 09/20/04
Pros: This have to be the best sounding 2.1 System that I've heard. The ClassHD amplifier is extraordinarily clean. NEVER any hiss. Never any clipping. And the amp is always very cool to the touch. The Highs are very crisp and clean, mids are the same. The design of the speakers makes them produce a very accurate sound stage. The amp appears to monitor each of the drivers in the speaker system (5 total) and will reduce the volume or even shut it off if it senses a problem. (heat, clipping, etc)
Cons: Price. $400 is a lot of money for a 2.1 system, however if you want a system that you are really going to push - it's worth it. Speaker Placement can be tricky. If you have them too close to a wall, the imaging and sound stage will not be accurate. Following the instructions is a good thing.
Overall Review: A Digital input would have been GREAT. I'm not sure why they would put so much into the sound quality and only have analog inputs. It would have been really nice to just run an optical line and eliminate one more noise causing item.
Pros: Great board for the money. Very flexible with TONS of connections. Onboard HDMI with digital audio support. Seems very stable.
Cons: Putting ANYTHING into the PCIe x16 slot WILL DISABLE the DVI and HDMI. This INCLUDES a riser for a slim case. Avoid this board if you are planning on building a slim media center. or pick your case VERY carefully. This is the first time that I've been let down by an Asus board. Now I have a great media center with no tuner. Yes, even an Asus PCIe tuner in the x16 slot will disable the DVI and HDMI.
Overall Review: a different case would solve my problem, but I don't want a different one. Maybe Asus will release a BIOS update to correct this major oversight.
Stick to the lower models.
Pros: very fast transfers, flexible.
Cons: Useless now. The 3,6,9, and Enter stopped working making it completely useless. The touchscreen input was a great idea that went very wrong.
Overall Review: I actually lost data because of this. The device allows you to encrypt your data with a passkey. Once the keypad stops working, you can no longer access your data.
Great Concept, Failed Exicution
Pros: Fast USB 3.0. Virtual CD/DVD/BD. AES Encryption without speed loss.
Cons: The touchpad is awful. I have been spending 5 to 10 minutes each time I need to change an image. physical buttons would have saved this device.
Overall Review: This replaced my VE-200 that ran rock solid for several years, until it was stolen. The AES encryption on this one was a huge selling point for me. Unfortunately the manufacture chose to go with the "touch screen" style. It's hit and miss, the 6, 9, and Enter work only about 2% of the time. That is, 1 out of 50 taps MIGHT trigger it. Very sad.
Works well, with a small hack
Pros: Very fast, outstanding for a dedicated use box. I use these in 1U Atom based routers
Cons: It does NOT like PCIe/mSATA combo boards.
Overall Review: If you have a board that supports the mini PCIe/ mSATA combo slot, you need a minor hack to make this SSD work. Some electrical tape and an exact-o knife. Simple cut a strip of tape the size of a single pin. Then place it over PIN 43 on the SSD. This pin is supposed to be NC (No Connection), however, Mushkin has Grounded it. Once covered, carefully place it into the slot, and you are good to go. I can verify that this works on the SuperMicro X9SCAA.
Died after 9 months - Poor Tech non-support
Pros: Mac OS X support, hardware RAID controller, fairly quick
Cons: Will not detect arrays anymore. Must be pulled from the server for 30+ minutes to detect again. Tech support is useless. I've been jumping through hoops for 3 months now trying to get it replaced.
Overall Review: This is the first and last HPT controller I will use.