Joined on 05/14/04
Pros: As advertised below - nice processor, expandable RAM, ability to use any SSD (including Crucial M500) - laptop arrived with only 80 hours on the hard drive, screen is flawless.
Cons: - Shipping times may vary (2 weeks in my case) - See below about keyboard idiosyncrasies - namely feedback which causes the touchpad to register a mouse click while typing and the key press noise; the former is definitely more of a problem than the latter
Overall Review: You can use this with a Crucial M500. Boot the Win8 off the mechanical drive and immediately create a system recovery disk (File History in Control Panel) - use 16GB or better flash drive. You then need to go into the BIOS and disable secure boot, then enable CSM mode (boot options page. Install the SSD (and RAM if you bought extra) - boot off the recovery media.Go to troubleshooting, command prompt. Run diskpart to create a partition and then make it active. Format the partition in diskpart. Run bootsect with /nt60 switch to make the partition bootable. Reboot and load the recovery media again, then go to the command prompt. Run the following commands: D: CD SOURCES dism /apply-image /imagefile:install.swm /swmfile:install*.swm /index:1 /applydir:c:\ (10-20 minute wait) Reboot, allow sysprep to finalize the new install, you are ready to go ** Be extremely careful when setting your password. The touchpad will cause it to misinterpret what you type. I ended up reinstalling everything after becoming locked out because of this. ** ASUS drivers for this laptop are at http://support.asus.com/Download.aspx?SLanguage=en&m=Q501LA
Excellent board, took a few BIOS updates
Pros: - Will run RAM up to 2933 stable - Supports Ryzen 7 (and all other) CPUs - Beefy VRMs with good passive heatsinks - Reinforced PCIe slots - Tons of BIOS options - Solid constructions
Cons: - Up until BIOS 0604 memory support was limited to JEDEC 2133 speeds; latest goes to 2933 no problem
Overall Review: With the F4-3200C14-8GVR 2x8GB memory sticks one can run the system stable (with a 1700X here) by setting the memory voltage to 1.36V and manually setting the settings to 14-14-14-34 for the RAM. The DOCP option will actually clock the RAM at 3200 MHz and it will boot but is currently not stable. I would recommend going to 2933 if you have this kit for now as it's pretty close to its maximum speed. ASUS is releasing frequent BIOS updates to address this and AMD has recently released improved chipset drivers as well.
Good card, better EVGA
Pros: I wanted to give EVGA props for their excellent support regards RMAs. I have a very similar card by them and the first one died about 1.5 years after I'd purchased it. EVGA immediately agreed to RMA it for me, no fuss, and the replacement has been running great ever since.
Cons: No cons to the card once it gets past the 1-1.5 year mark.
Excellent as a *BSD server/router
Pros: Relatively high performance CPU Dual NIC DDR3 (dual channel) support Proper BIOS support for 64-bit OS, including non-Windows Cool and quiet during "normal" load SATA 3 support Solid design
Cons: Active CPU cooling, fan could fail and require replacement
Overall Review: Almost RMA'd mine before realizing it needs a 24 pin ATX + 4 pin CPU connector plug in to start. It is now running FreeBSD 10 and will serve as a combo router/server/PBX system. I was worried about the Realtek NICs but they were stable in BSD during a week-long test run. Can boot up 64-bit FreeBSD properly when UEFI has CSM enabled. The CPU in this board is powerful enough to serve as an Asterisk PBX for a small to medium-size office.
Pros: Dual core 2.3 GHz AM3 Athlon CPU (running in an AM2/DDR2 socket mobo in this system) 2 GB DDR2 RAM as shipped Legit copy of XP for those who care 45W CPU TDP PFC PSU Price!
Cons: BIOS. It sucks with FreeBSD, I had to recompile the boot loader to get this to boot up correctly. Very limited options and AHCI cannot ever be turned off even if it is set to disabled. The built-in Broadcom NIC will cause issues with FreeBSD 9, though only after a week or so of use. Get PCIe NICs if building a router/server.
Overall Review: Snagged this (for somewhat less than it is selling for right now) envisioning a home router/server to replace the power thirsty 1U I've been using so far. Threw 4 GB of ECC DDR2 and 2 Intel NICs in, and now it's up and running. Could not have asked for a better deal at the price I paid for it.
Pros: AM3/AM3+ compatibility, 125W+ CPU ready, ability to OC and unlock processors, two full x16 PCIe slots in either SLI/CF configuration, onboard 0/1/5/10 RAID (actually does striping right unlike 700 series chipsets), SATA 3, decent passive cooling for chipset/VRMs
Cons: The Etron USB3 controller. Causes BSODs (already saw a few) and does so even on Intel boards. Not gigabyte's fault, but do not install the drivers or try to use the ports, unless you are ready for a big headache. The BIOS is slow to boot and you must use F4 or lower for Phenom CPUs, F5 or higher for BD. Otherwise it works well. The included Realtek 8111E LAN chip does not work in most Linux distros, even very recent ones. The only working one so far is OpenSuSE.
Overall Review: This is a good board, although there are a few known problems. For the price, I definitely recommend it. It will work with both K10 (Phenom II) and Bulldozer CPUs, and can do 2+ card SLI/CrossFire. It also does OC with ease for those inclined to try it. Has been very stable running continuously for weeks.