Joined on 06/16/03
Pros: UEFI BIOS makes booting extremely fast. 10 seconds to Windows 7 desktop from cold boot, 6 seconds for a warm boot. The Windows logo doesn't even have time to show! Relevent specs on my system: * Intel Core i5 2500K Processor (3.3Ghz / 3.7Ghz Turbo Boost) * G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 Memory Modules * Corsair Performance 3 Series CSSD-P3128GB2-BRKT SATA 3 Drive * Biostar TH67+ LGA 1655 Intel H67 Micro ATX Motherboard * Antec Earthwatts Green EA-380D 380W Power Supply 80+ Bronze I'm using the built-in Sandy Bridge HD 3000 video. Here are the Windows 7 ratings of the hardware: Processor: 7.5 Memory (RAM): 7.6 Graphics: 6.2 Gaming: 6.2 Hard Drive: 7.7 This is without overclocking. Also, this system runs very cool. Processor on stock fan is currently running at 38 C. I don't even have case fan installed yet.
Cons: It doesn't look like Jessica Biel.
Overall Review: On initial setup, you need to set some items in BIOS. The SATA Controller should be set to use AHCI, and UEFI Boot need to be set to Enabled (under the boot menu in BIOS). Also, disable unnecessary hardware such as CIR and Serial port. This is before installing Windows 7. Not sure if previous versions of Windows support UEFI, so this is only for Windows 7.
Pros: Very quiet and compact. Suprisingly fast and powerful. Lots of USB ports (4 on back, 1 on top), media card reader, built in 802.11n wireless networking. Windows 7 scores are Processor: 3.5, RAM: 4.9, Graphics: 4.7, Gaming: 5.4, Hard Disk: 5.8. Very small, around 6" x 6" x 1"
Cons: Does not include optical drive (but I bought a usb powered HP DVD drive for $35 that works nicely). Processor not able to handle full screen non-graphic accelerated video, such as Flash (hulu/youtube) without some choppiness. Silverlight appears to be smooth, however. Several items of crapware to remove.
Overall Review: I removed the junk software using a nifty free program called decrapifier (Google it.. it's worth it). Overall impression is that this is a very nice mid-level machine, especially for things like work processing, email, spreadsheets, etc... However, not powerful enough for media use. There is potential for gaming, but I haven't tried this yet. I would suppose it would depend on how hardware accelerated the game was, as the ION chip appears to be decent.