Joined on 10/31/07
Felt like I was gambling...and won! I love this board.
Pros: Features:Price Ratio Installation Guide* 20/24pin mobo & 4/8 CPU pin PSU compatability. All the 'cons' of this board are ineffectual. Someone else here said it but you CAN use an old PSU with this mobo (20pin in the 24pin mobo slot and 4pin in the 8pin CPu slot). If you do then you should be sure that all your power requirements are still met by your old PSU. Pin backwards compatibility has absolutely nothing to do with the actual power consumption of YOUR setup. Unlocked my fourth core (which wasn't stable). OC'd my PhenomIIX3 (720-2.8Ghz) to 4.2Ghz with factory BIOS' SmartOC to %50. Ran up to 41C stable in Mprime (Linux version of Prime95) for 4hrs but I wouldn't do that continuously without buying more cooling. BIOS is as easy or difficult as you would like it to be. At this time I don't think any other board supports DDR3@1600mhz & ACC in this price range. Full Featured clocking bios to boot. IDE/PATA support to salvage my DVDRW and data from my old PATA
Cons: They muxed their colors up in the guide. Their pictures are of purple RAM slots and they call them blue (and they are blue) but they talk (and show pictures of white/purple) about blue/white PCIe slots but they're actually green/orange. The Orange slot. Seriously, 4x4x is a joke. Either go 8x8x (%99 performance vs 16x16x) or just don't bother with Crossfire/SLI support. Anything going into that slot is gonna suck bandwidth from your video card. Waste of space/features for a price that could have been brought down another $10. No one who knows what they're doing is going to use this function on this mobo. If they need/want CFX/SLI support they're going to buy a different mobo. (Borrowing from OT space) This is the first time I've bought a computer from scratch and also the first time I've bought a mobo (have heretofore used a lot of hand-me-down stuff).
Overall Review: I was hesitant to buy anything but Gigabyte when i went in but the price of this mobo for DDR3, BIOS OC features I couldn't resist the gamble. It paid off. I believe ASRock is making a name for themselves and I've read some bad reviews on both Biostar and ASRock (versus significantly fewer on Gigabyte's) but I think that if ASRock plays their cards right they will be...if they already aren't...a major player on the mobo market. Build (from Newegg): Crucial 2x2Gb Ballistix 8-8-8-24 Powercolor passively cooled ATI3450HD PhenomIIX3 Heka 2.8Ghz OEM (not from newegg) HITACHI 2Tb Sata CoolerMaster HyperN520 (Shoulda' Coulda' Woulda' bought from newegg -$10) Salvaged - Sony IDE DVDRW, unbranded Chassis & PSU This entire setup runs off a salvaged 400w unbranded PSU (COLORSit?) from a local B&M M&P shop with only a single 12v 18A rail. It has so far run my old AthalonXP 1.7ghz for almost 6 years now. All in all $520 considering I also salvaged a PSU, Chassis & Optical.
Pros: Entertaining joke. It's not pre-installed...In which case it would cease to be funny and become bloatware.
Cons: I'll put it like this, I wouldn't install this if it was Free as in FREE BEER. That said, fyi there is software that is Free with a capital F that does all this without asking you for personal information.
Overall Review: Offering free DivX optimization is like offering to speed up your betamax deck, if every betamax also ended with "This tape will self-destruct in 5...4..." ....and then blows up your betamax player because you 'forgot' to return that video you totally didn't rent from that room behind the bead curtain.
Cons: I hope this piece a shabby didn't burn out my circuits. Can;t find a non APFC PSU that isn't some no name scum sucking brand conning you into buying their superglued leftover junk.
Overall Review: Ran just long enough to escape being RMA'd go %&(*P) Figure. <- is mad Sure, i won';t buy this brand again. But they'll rename themselves and manage to con me into buying more of their excrement.
Install Properly the first time
Pros: Great product that works as advertised. CFM:dBm ratios for the price make this a niche market product sized fan.
Cons: The rubber plug 'screws' will eventually partially melt. If you pull them through too hard they'll also eventually break. Installing them perfectly isn't easy and must be done right. Little attention to the threshold and its importance was given in any of the included material and l found out after a few months that I had messed this part up as the vibration made the fans very loud. Removal to install the metal screws means ripping apart the rest of the plugs that have melted to the slot. So not only do you have to install them correctly the first time, but you'll never be able to remove them without buying more or switching to the slightly noisier metal screws. The difference is noticeable.
Overall Review: I'm only taking one egg off for the lack of documentation and information about the nature of using these screws that are crucial to achieving the advertised CFM:dBm ratios. Also, if you plan to use a filter (like I do on the intake set) then look carefully at the filter's design and how removing the filter to clean it will take place regularly. The first time I did this three month in, the rubber 'screws' had melted to the filter. It wasn't drastic as they pulled apart with no residue left on the filter; however, I had actually installed my front fans rubber screws correctly and wouldn't have needed to replace them with metal screws if this weren't the case. Again, I'm only taking 1 egg off for lack of documentation explaining the significance and proper use of this aspect of achieving the advertised CFM:dBm ratios. They do work as advertised if you install and use them properly with consideration given to peripherals. My issues are otherwise user error (and cheap filters)
Pros: Probably works in W7 as advertised. Not like I care.
Cons: Doesn't work in linux despite the repeated assurances that it does. Apparently some have gotten it to work with a bit of hacking but that's not the sort of hardware i want to support and promote to the people I am proselytizing the act of revitalization of old computers with linux.
Overall Review: Will make a nice paperweight until ralink decides to pull their head out of their armoatherapy and practice support for the future. To cheap to even bother returning and I should have known better than to buy a ralink chipset. Won't happen again.
Works in linux
Pros: Works in linux with an up to date driver from RaLink website.
Cons: Takes manual installation of the driver to get it to work properly so look for an atheros chipset if you want out of the box functionality.
Overall Review: There is an excellent tutorial on the ubuntu forums to make this chipset work and that tutorial will work for any distro.