Date Joined: 11/12/07
Pros: Does exactly what is expected of it - supports a PCI card parallel to the motherboard. No BIOS/POST problems.
Overall Review: Currently in use in a 2U Gentoo box, supporting a gigabit-Ethernet NIC. The computer acts as a router for a dozen other machines, so the NIC sees fairly heavy use, and I've had no problems with the card, riser, or motherboard after several months.
I would've liked to have seen a 2U/3-slot equivalent - using this riser effectively limits me to one PCI card in the machine.
During use, the router has been through a couple power outages, and the riser hasn't ever been a problem in powering back up or POSTing - electrical work and construction seems solid. I don't doubt the other reviewers had problems, but I haven't encountered any of them.
Pros: This switch works exactly as advertised: gigabit speeds across 16 ports, auto-managed, per-port activity lights, 1U mountable (with included brackets).
Cons: The fan is loud, as other reviewers have mentioned.
Overall Review: As for the noisy fan: yes, it is _very_ audible. However, the switch casing will actually disassemble (probably voiding the warranty) to reveal that it's a standard 40x40x10mm fan mounted with two screws and powered by a two-pin connector attached to the board. Other (quieter) fans will mount in the same spot easily - just be sure to match the power supply level to it (clearly printed on the stock fan).
Pros: Bought twenty for use in a large storage array. None have failed; all support SATAII transfer speeds. No problems with the clip or 90-degree connector as others have mentioned.
Cons: None so far.
Overall Review: None.
Pros: I ordered four of these cards for use in a NORCO RPC-4020 case, and they work phenomenally well. I've had issues with other cards where using more than one breaks the motherboard's Option ROM handling; not so with these. It loads a single ROM, which will then detect drives attached to _all_ the cards in the system.
Right now I'm using the cards for a RAID6 array across 1TB drives (currently eight, expanding to sixteen soon) under Linux 2.6.30. The drives vary in manufacturer, but all are SATAII, 7200RPM, and have 32MB cache. Rebuilding the array with a new drive gave me 23MB/s throughput, and the system itself (a media server) played a 1080p video file (768kbit/s video, 128kbit/s audio) during the resync with little effect on the resync and no noticeable lag or jitter in the video.
The drives show up in the BIOS setup clearly, so you can keep a boot drive hooked up directly to your board and boot from that, or you can boot from any card-attached drive easily.
Cons: My particular Linux distro (Gentoo, using distro-specific kernel sources) liked to swap around the drive order on boot; the result was that the board would load the bootloader from the system drive, as appropriate, but then the kernel it booted would try to mount the root filesystem from the first card-attached drive. Compiling the card driver as a module rather than in-kernel fixed that problem, but it was a bit of a hassle to figure out.
The port layout on the cards is a little weird - two of the ports are towards the back, whereas two are on the side of the card close to the faceplate. Make sure your SATA cables are long enough, especially in bigger cases.
Overall Review: I haven't tried any of the onboard RAID functions at all - every RAID array I've set up has been using Linux mdadm. I also haven't performance-tested the cards with all sixteen drives attached, nor have I tested them at all under any variant of Windows.
Pros: Fantastic sound quality. Currently only hooked up via 3.5mm from laptop, but extra sound modes (stereo & 2x stereo) allow use of entire system even with a single stereo input. Excellent quality through the entire range of sound. Cables are sufficiently long for a dorm room setup (room is 10'x12'); speakers can be placed along the entire length of three walls and fill the entire room with quality sound. The remote is very versatile, allowing the user to remotely control all aspects of the system (e.g. sound modes and effects), not just volume.
Cons: The serial cable included to attach control unit to subwoofer is very bulky and somewhat short. The manual states extending this cable may void warranty; if that's the case, Logitech should provide a longer cable.
There is also a minor problem with using the remote; while functionally, it works fine, after using the remote the display on the control unit becomes garbled. No sound impairment, though, so it's not really worth RMAing the entire system for a slight display issue.
Overall Review: I would definitely buy this system again.
Pros: Very extensible - brings a 20" 2U case completely out of its rack, with space behind it. Quite sturdy. Holds ~20lbs at full extension with no problems. Complete extended length over 50". Slides smoothly. Mounts easily. Comes with plenty of nuts, screws. Outermost (of three) part detaches from rails for easy mounting.
Cons: Instructions are not so clear. Comes _covered_ in some kind of grease or oil - gets all over your hands as you mount it. (Wipes off clean, though - not a big issue.) For a 2U server, blocks all six mounting holes at least partially - makes it impossible to bolt the server to the rack (reason for losing an egg).
Overall Review: Purchased four of these for moving several existing tower servers into a rack with 2U cases (specifically iStarUSA D-200-PFS from Newegg). Would (and will) buy again.
Pros: Very sturdy construction. Fits ATX, miniATX motherboards extremely well. Comes with tons of screws and standoffs - I have several spares from each case. Also ships with two keys. Takes standard power supplies that normally fit ATX cases. Hard drive, power supply, CD/floppy brackets all unmountable. Front panel locks, preventing access to power/reset switch, CD drive, USB, floppy drive. Power switch is a momentary rocker rather than a push-button like most tower cases. Reset button is bright red and very noticeable - all the better for preventing accidental resets.
Cons: Front panel doors are plastic, not metal. Awkward metal crossbar must be removed to insert motherboard easily (possible to do with crossbar in, but difficult). USB motherboard cables come with pins separated, not as a single four-pin or eight-pin unit. Case can still be opened without unlocking the front panel (hope your rack locks). Power supply is placed in the front corner of the case, making it difficult to stretch the main 20/24-pin cables to some motherboards. No hot-swappable drive bays.
Overall Review: Bought four of these to transfer existing ATX tower servers into a Compaq 9000 rack. Transfers went smoothly except for the normal rackmount caveats (none of which were this case's fault) - CPU fans too tall, power supply fan placed on the wrong side, IDE/SATA cables too long/cluttering case, need a riser card for the PCI slots, etc.
Also, I received the first one I bought without a shipping label or the screw kit. Newegg said they could only credit me shipping costs, and to contact iStarUSA for the parts; I did so, and they shipped me a replacement within the week.
Finally, the way the case handles the power supply is slightly strange: the rear power socket comes with a cable that connects it to the ATX supply, which is placed in the front left corner of the case. This means the supply itself must always be on (unless you want to open the case every time you need to switch it).
Pros: Does exactly what is advertised: reads and writes CDs/DVDs. Does it well and quickly. Excellent value for the price. Work well in tandem; I have three in my system. Comes with four mounting screws. Sustained 8x or greater speeds for both a drive-to-drive direct copy and a disk-to-drive ISO burn running in parallel. Burn speeds peaked at 13.5x.
Cons: Slightly noisy when burning, but no more so than any other DVD writer. Screws don't come in a plastic bag; they're loose but wrapped against the drive inside the bubble wrap.
Overall Review: Test system:
- AMD Phenom 9750 quad-core at 2.4GHz
- ECS Black Series A780GM-A (using onboard 3Gbps SATA for DVD drives)
- 5x Seagate ST3250310AS in RAID5 (using PCI SATA controller)
- Gentoo Linux with 2.6.29 kernel using k3b and growisofs to write
- GQ DVD+R 16x blank media
OEM drive, so remember cables if you need them.
Pros: Supports an AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ processor no problem. Plenty of SATA and USB connectors onboard. Came with back panel USB and IEEE1394 connectors. Offers a second PATA port - somewhat of a rarity these days (but be careful - see cons about this). Motherboard offers plenty of configuration options for dedicated systems builders and enthusiasts, and the BIOS update utility is both intuitive and easy to use - it even works with CDs, rather than just floppies.
Cons: No integrated graphics. Somewhat fussy with accepted graphics cards - the first time I plugged one into the PCI slot, it didn't work, but after a BIOS update, accepted just fine.
Speaking of the BIOS, the one that shipped was from 2006 and was 1500 revisions behind the current available from asus.com. Update immediately.
Refuses to boot from the second PATA port, no matter how hard I try. Will recognize as bootable only devices connected to the primary PATA cable.
Has both PCI-X and PCIe - this is possibly confusing, especially given that the PCI-X slots don't support older PCI cards (pre-PCI 2.3 or so). No AGP whatsoever.
Overall Review: I haven't tried to overclock this board at all. I also haven't checked the temperature inside the case after running it for awhile. It seems like an okay enthusiast board, but obviously I can't speak too authoritatively on that. Remember to update the BIOS!
Pros: I bought this memory for a new PC based on an ASUS M2N32-WS board with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ processor. It works great - recognized by the motherboard right away, usable in a dual channel configuration, and all available to 32-bit operating systems.
Cons: None readily apparent.
Overall Review: The system this went in was a mid- to high-range commodity PC, but was nowhere near enthusiast level. I don't know how well the memory overclocks, nor did I check the heat levels and dissipation.