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Christopher A.

Christopher A.

Joined on 07/10/07

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 8
Most Favorable Review

Saved an old laptop from the junkheap

Intel Core 2 Duo T9600 2.80 GHz SLG9F 6M L2 Cache 1066MHz FSB Socket P Mobile laptop CPU
Intel Core 2 Duo T9600 2.80 GHz SLG9F 6M L2 Cache 1066MHz FSB Socket P Mobile laptop CPU

Pros: Upgraded the CPU in a Lenovo SL410 from a 1.8 Ghz single-core Celeron to Dual core @ 2.8 Ghz. The machine runs much faster now and is capable of running a modern OS.

Cons: Shipped from China, so took longer than the other parts I bought for this laptop.

Overall Review: Received an old Lenovo SL410 since the original owner bought it in its minimal configuration and bought a newer version when this one broke. I replaced the dead 40-GB hard disk with a 60-GB SSD, the DVD / CD-RW drive with a disk bay and a 2 TB hard disk, the 2 GB of DDR3-8500 RAM with 8 GB of DDR3-10660 memory. I'm now using the machine as an OpenBSD development box. Compile times are less than a quarter of the time they took on the old processor.

Most Critical Review

Decent server if you don't need RAID

SUPERMICRO AS-1012G-MTF 1U Rackmount Server Barebone Socket G34 AMD SR5650 DDR3 1600/1333/1066
SUPERMICRO AS-1012G-MTF 1U Rackmount Server Barebone Socket G34 AMD SR5650 DDR3 1600/1333/1066

Pros: Server runs quite well and is a very small package. Performance is good

Cons: The Integrated RAID card is marked as being the AMD SP5100, but it runs Adaptec code and there are no drivers available. Creating an array succeeds but during OS installation (Windows Server 2008, 2008 R2, or 2012; ESX server 5.0, 5.1) it will present all four disk independently rather than the array volume. I tried contacting SuperMicro, AMD and Adaptec for drivers, but nothing fixes this issue. I am buying an LSI 9260-4i to replace the internal RAID on this system.

Overall Review: If you need RAID, buy a separate card. I can't say enough bad things about the integrated RAID

Worked right out of the box

ENCORE  ENMAB-8CM 7.1 Channel USB Audio Box - Retail
ENCORE ENMAB-8CM 7.1 Channel USB Audio Box - Retail

Pros: This worked right out of the box, I plugged it in one of the USB ports on my machine and Windows 8 Pro 64-bit recognized it and started pushing sound through it

Cons: The Mic inputs are labeled for Left and Right

Its RAM, it works, what else is there?

Kingston 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Unbuffered DDR3 1600 Server Memory w/TS Model KVR16E11K4/32
Kingston 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Unbuffered DDR3 1600 Server Memory w/TS Model KVR16E11K4/32

Pros: Using a couple set of these in conjunction with a SuperMicro 5037-H8TRF 'MicroCloud' server. Each kit fills the system in terms of both physical slots and maximum supported RAM for a very good price. I ordered 9 kits expecting one or more sticks to be bad, but none were.

Cons: None.

Excellent card

LSI MegaRAID SATA / SAS 9260-4i 6Gb/s PCI-Express 2.0 w/ 512MB Onboard Memory RAID Controller Card, Single--Avago Technologies
LSI MegaRAID SATA / SAS 9260-4i 6Gb/s PCI-Express 2.0 w/ 512MB Onboard Memory RAID Controller Card, Single--Avago Technologies

Pros: Card was easy to install and with 4 SSDs in a RAID-10 I get 800 MB/s in sequential read and write for several seconds before exhausting the cache and dropping down to 150 MB/s. I am using this array for booting and storing Windows 8 virtual machines on my VDI server and I have yet to hear any performance complaints even while running 20 machines from the array.

Cons: None.

AMazing server with what I needed and nothing I didn't

SUPERMICRO SYS-5037MC-H8TRF 3U Rackmount Server Barebone (Eight Nodes) LGA 1155 (per node) Intel C204 PCH DDR3 1333/1066
SUPERMICRO SYS-5037MC-H8TRF 3U Rackmount Server Barebone (Eight Nodes) LGA 1155 (per node) Intel C204 PCH DDR3 1333/1066

Pros: This server is easier and is much cheaper than putting together 8 separate systems with identical specs to each node. Plus having each system dual-connected to power while only using 2 plugs for all eight nodes makes this ideal for those with few plugs. This system is also very light on the power requirements, a node with full RAM and the CPU running full out at 100% only puts the power consumption at about 110 Watts per node and that is with 2x 7200 RPM HDDs in constant use. All this in a small machine. I am running about 10 VMs on each node (Mostly Exchange, SharePoint and System Center VMs with SQL server back-ends) and they just fly like they are running on independent servers. The integrated RAID is very solid despite an odd cosmetic bug (See other thoughts) The integrated low-profile slot makes it highly upgradable despite its tiny size and you can still keep the dual gigabit adapter in it as well. I barely had to use the KVMS dongle that came with it; only needed it to configure the IPMI interface, which only took about 5 minutes per machine, the rest was done from the IPMI, everything from BIOS configuration to OS installations to system administration tasks.

Cons: Other than the cosmetic RAID bug, nothing.

Overall Review: The RAID system will mark the last-loaded drive as bad but will show as fully healthy in the BIOS-based configuration utility and removing the disk marked as good does not break the RAID, I am running the core edition of Server 2012 Datacenter and can't install the Intel RST utility in the OS. Since this is merely cosmetic I am still giving this system 5 stars. Contrary to what another reviewer has stated, this system comes with all the normal power control features you would expect from a standard server, and just like any other server out there, requires at least a mid-range UPS if you want auto-power off during a power outage (Just like you'd expect from any other machine)