Joined on 03/29/05
Psuedo-budget semi-premium board
Pros: Z490 at this price is great and looks like the BIOS and VRMs has decent overclocking capability. Best for an above average or entry power user that likes moderate tweaking. XMP loaded flawlessly.
Cons: Lack of onboard USB ports. Limited SATA connectors gets further limited if using M.2. Building this I found the fan headers and SATA in awkward spots. Worst is that my board had DoA PCIe x16 slots. I tried flashing the BIOS multiple times to different versions, and multiple graphics cards but could not get the board to initialize PCIe graphics. Would be 4 stars if I didn't have to RMA it. I probably just got unlucky with a bad board.
Overall Review: It's budget Z490 board that has some sacrifices. I was unlucky and had to RMA it for dead PCIe x16.
Pros: Looks cool and has many features. Stable and fast with BIOS tweaks.
Cons: DOA ethernet port. I read of this problem with the 3.0rev but didn't notice any with this 3.1rev. Flashed the BIOS and tried multiple drivers and can't get the ehternet to work.
Overall Review: Would be just about flawless if the integrated ethernet was not dead. This was the 3rd Asus motherboard I've purchased, and will be the last.
Pros: Fast transfer speeds for a mechanical drive at a low price. Decently quiet.
Cons: No faults with the drive, so far. The drive itself should be 5/5. -1 egg due to the questionable packing. Drive was encased in a hard plastic folding sleeve (from Samsung) and then wrapped with bubble wrap. The bubble wrapping was a single layer on the top side and missed one corner completely. Fortunately my drive doesn't seem to be damaged. Packing may be adequate but is still unnerving when you open up the shipping box to see that.
Overall Review: Great drive. They sell out fast so the price may be increasing soon. If you would rather have 1TB, go ahead and wait for it to become available or just back-order.
Pros: Keyboard: Soft and quiet keys with a solid feel. Curve is comfortable. No frills, basic design. Does not possess the dreaded F-Lock function. Mouse: Basic MS Optical mouse, looks attractive enough.
Cons: Cord length isn't all that long (3.5ft-4ft maybe?) which could be a problem for some setups. The keyboard doesn't have much room to rest palms on so a wirst pad may be needed.
Overall Review: Cons above could be an issue, but this combination set is so cheap that I don't think the minor issues should warrant a 4 egg rating.
Pros: Easy installation - didn't have to fuss with it at all. Picks up more signals than my old (802.11b) adapter Hasn't dropped connection yet
Cons: None really... oh the system tray icon is kind of ugly I guess. That can be turned off, however.
Overall Review: I haven't used wireless much in that past, however I recently moved to an apartment that the hard line ethernet connection is well, not connected. So I had to pick up the complex's wireless for access until the hard line is fixed. With my old SMC adapter I constantly disconnected every 2-3 minutes, ran very slow and had poor signal. This Azio card has constant 4-5 bars and has not disconnected yet, and is very fast.