Date Joined: 06/29/02
Pros: - Good modern feature set.
- Dual full speed M.2 is great.
- Lots of fan headers. Good layout.
- Large M.2 heat sink (but, see cons about this).
Cons: - Support (web site, manual, etc.) is total amateur hour. Basic and necessary pinout-type info is not in the manual. The website driver page literally does not even list this board at this time. What it does list is poorly documented.
- Awful method of getting drivers... No info. No report of what version is installed, as the klugey app that delivers drivers (and tries to sell you stuff) disappears anything from the list once it is installed.
- M.2 heat sink is a nice thought, but you can't use it if either of your two m.2 drives has it's own heat sink, etc. It's one piece for both slots. Also, the padding is way-thick... I can't imagine that being remotely efficient at conducting heat. (Would love to see specs that prove me wrong, but it appears to be more about looking useful rather than being useful.)
- Why all the LEDs? It's a computer, not a billboard. Can someone please make a high end motherboard that is designed to... You know... Compute maybe?
Overall Review: I have been having stability issues with this... 1 crash per year is not acceptable, and this has crashed twice in 4 days. So it will be going back and the 4-egg review is going lower if that keeps up.
Unfortunately, I have had trouble diagnosing if it is a build problem, a driver problem, or a defect because the manual is so weak and the driver info is so sparse. There does not appear to be a utility for monitoring temperatures form the desktop, so I'll have to look into whether Motherboard Monitor is still around.
In short, I've built computers using everything from Y2K SuperMicro server boards with redundant PSUs, and Gigabyte, Asus, MSI and various bit-players' boards along the way. I have never run into a situation with such poor documentation and driver/utility support.
I'd give this 3 1/2 if I could. But giving it 4 eggs for now because it does appear to be a heck of a board if all the kinks can be worked out.
Pros: - Well implemented Z270 motherboard.
- Physical build is great.
- Loads of fan headers
- Good Layout
Cons: The big "con" first... The board does not support booting from an SSD while also having a non-boot RAID. At least not with a Samsung 960 Pro. The SSD works great with RAID off, but as soon as RAID is enabled, it drops out of the boot options. Other boards have had issues with this, but there was always a work-around such as setting the one extra (boot) drive as a one-drive JBOD. But the M.2. SSD just disappears from much of the UI as soon as RAID is enabled. (I suspect it might show up again if you had two of them, as this appears to be a misguided attempt to only show you drives that are capable of being turned into a RAID.)
Additionally, the BIOS is full of eye-candy, but weak on features. Specifically:
- Limited control over slow vs. fast boot... Can disable fast boot, but there is no visible mem test or boot sequence display to be enabled..
- EZ RAID is not really easier than the Intel UI (which is really easy). It's just a no-value marketing gimmick.
- USB voltage adjust is marketed in a way that makes one think it just works. But it's a manual thing you would have to calculate and set. It's not just going to kick in automatically if you plug in a long USB cord.
Overall Review: Not calling this a con because some people apparently like it, but I really wish someone would make a board without all the junk... LED lights and weak "EZ RAID" are the motherboard/BIOS equivalent of bloatware. Can we just have some really high performance, boards without that bloat please?
Single 12v rail and all the other things listed in the description.
Nice and plentiful cables, with a bag to store the excess.
Cons: None so far.
Overall Review: My system was a touch unstable and I had a feeling that it was a failing power supply. Since replacing with this, all is well.
Pros: Once you figure out the undocumented or poorly documented process, it does a good quick job.
Cons: Some very important and non-intuitive things are hidden from the user.
Overall Review: This is an update of a recent negative review. It turns out there is a way to make it work for what I needed. It involved an additional free download, and it ended up working smoothly once I figured it out.
In short, if you are a typical user wanting to migrate your one and only readily available boot drive to an SSD (the whole reason for this software), you will need to also download "Paragon Recovery Media Builder". This is a free add-on. NOTE: The add on states a requirement of Win 7 or later.
Once you download and install that, you can quickly make an .iso and then burn that to a bootable CD. Or you can make a bootable thumb drive. Boot to this new media and you are a few clicks away from the cloning process just working as it should have in the first place.
A simple message in the main program, or a relatively small engineering task to just merge these two utilities together would have saved me hours, and would have garnered a 5 star review straight away. But the software probably saved me more than $15 anyway.
Pros: Fast, light weight, convenient, small.
Cons: Good drive with worthless migration software. I didn't take off a star because it wasn't advertised as including this. So basically it was a bonus that turned out to be worthless. But the drive, as advertised, is great.
Regarding the drive migration software, the only way you'll get it to work is if: 1) You are not booted from it 2) The drive you are copying from is less than 80% full. 3) the amount of data you are copying is less than 80% of the size of the SSD you are copying to.
In short, you cannot clone a mostly full 250GB drive onto a 500GB SSD with the included cloning software. You cannot copy 420GB of actual data from a 1TB drive onto a 500GB drive with this software. And you cannot clone any boot drive onto the SSD unless you have already made a different boot drive from which to run the cloning operation. Seriously?
Overall Review: Pretty happy with the hardware, but pretty unhappy with the current options for OS cloning to migrate to SSD. It seems nothing works smoothly including packages designed only for this purpose. This is a great drive. Just be prepared to re-install everything.
Pros: * Fast
* Frequent updates
Cons: * I notice attempting to use the web immediately on startup doesn't work. Kapersky appropriately blocks it until it is running and able to secure the connection. This can feel awfully slow, though it probably adds less than a minute to startup.
Overall Review: I've used just about every AV software out there... From Disinfectant on a Mac years ago to several versions of Norton, to McAffee, etc. Kapersky is elegant, comprehensive, and introduces way less lag than anything else I've used (except perhaps Disinfectant, which no longer exists and which didn't do 1/10th of what modern AV software does.)
I use both the "Kapersky Internet Security" and their "Pure 3.0" product (due to pricng and multi-computer deals at the time). I prefer "Internet Security" as it covers the need without adding bloat. Though either one is actually very good.
Comments: I bought this because of all of the great reviews here... I guess I disagree. The 2" +/- speakers can't handle the treble and midrange like the 3" speakers of some of the competitors.
The sound was tinny. I did like the color of the LED light (though it was like a laser if you turn the lights off at night. Anyway, the main thing is that the sound wasn't what I expected, even considering the low price. The $25 AVS 300 here sounded more full and still had okay power.