Joined on 08/11/04
Excellent effort by EVGA
Pros: I have built many, many PCs using Supermicro and Tyan quality workstation boards over the years - I look for quality and reliability so was hesitant about buying a product like this. No regrets - this motherboard is not a toy and was actually one of the easier ones to get up and running that I've owned. The board uses high quality components with well designed & dimensioned heat sinks, and has good connectors. Overclocking the Xeon processors is a brilliant idea well executed on this mobo. Kudos to EVGA for having the testicular fortitude to produce and market this unique board for computer enthusiasts.
Cons: I've been building PCs as a hobby since 1978 - these eyes have seen a lot. A few cost/benefit observations to pass on: (1) An upgrade has to improve performance by at least 50% to be noticeable for most real world use cases. (2) Never reuse mobo, CPU and RAM in new projects, they tend to evolve together in each new generation. (3) Always add as much memory as you can afford. (4) Always buy quality components, even if they are not the fastest. The only con with the SR-2 is that you are stuck with no way to build a noticeably faster machine, so the PC build hobby is on hold for a while...
Overall Review: * To get triple channel RAM working (which is a must) you will need 6 DIMMs (three for each CPU). I used 3 kits of Crucial CT3KIT102472BB1339 ECC memory with good results. * You will likely need a new case to fit the large HTPX form factor; I used the Lian Li PC-90 which works well with this board. * The Supermicro SNK-P0040AP4 CPU coolers fits this board + case perfectly, resulting in a very quiet PC even with moderate overclocking (X5675 CPUs). * Samsung 830 SSDs work with no issues on SATA 6. I do not use RAID on this machine so can't comment on RAID performance or issues. However, streaming video edits from one SSD disk to the other on this machine has to be seen to be believed...
Quality case with annoying flaw
Pros: Very solid construction (but see Cons below). The drives can be rubber mounted for ultimate silence.
Cons: My ownership experienced has been marred by the power button breaking repeatedly. The design of the button is poor, there is a plastic weld that holds it in place which breaks easily in normal use. When it breaks you cannot easily turn the PC on or off, so you have to take the case apart and glue the parts back together. I have not been able to find an adhesive that will work reliably in this small area/ high force/ slippery plastic position for more than 3-6 months at a time.
Overall Review: The annoyance factor outweighed the benefits for me.
Pros: Good feature set. Good integrated graphics plays blu-ray completely smoothly.
Cons: I have two of these boards, in different machines, using different RAM, CPU, and power supplies. The one thing they have in common is that they are both unreliable, with frequent crashing and boot problems.
Overall Review: It doesn't matter how good the feature set is if the computer isn't reliable. These boards are among the worst I've owned in that respect. I have used many $45 boards have been far more reliable.
Pros: Good feel. Reliable. Looks good. No unnecessary buttons or features. I have 2 of these and both have performed flawlessly for years.
Overall Review: I spilled a cup of coffee into one of them, so it had to be opened up. The switches under the keys are cleverly made of sheets of plastic, it was possible to take it apart, wipe the sheets clean, and get the keyboard working again in just a few minutes... - Very clever and effective design.
Great performance, great value
Pros: This is part of my first BluRay project and I am happy with it so far. The drive installed with no issue, and played the Blu Ray movie (Total Recall) with the included software (Power DVD 8 BD), I also tested the trial version of Power DVD 9 which also worked first time. The picture quality is amazing, and the drive is not too noisy.
Overall Review: The DVD drive in the HTPC that this will replace has played more than 3000 hours and still worked great. Hopefully this one will be as reliable!