Date Joined: 03/20/04
Pros: Solid case with lots of small features that are nice. Wire management capability is pretty stellar with lots of holes for mother board access.
Cons: Not as thick of metal as I would have liked on the front panels, the clasps are kind of janky and the whole front panel is cheap-feeling plastic. Button cover on the top is also kind of cheap.
Pros: Basic install info:
Proc: i3 3220
Memory: Crucial CT2KIT51272BD160B (2x4GB ECC 800)
Power Supply: Thermaltake 500w
Case: Antec GX700
Boot: OCZ Vertex
Storage 4x1TB Seagate Constellation (RAID5)
OS: Windows Server 2008 R2
Board does everything a basic server requires, but there are also 3-4 other boards in the same ASRock series if this particular one does not meet your needs and all are within a few dollars of each other.
I do not use the additional Marvell RAID controller for anything other than an optical drive, however the 6 ports available to the Intel Matrix RAID are nice and simple to setup whether you use the RAID BIOS or configure through the Intel Matrix software via Windows.
Check most BIOS functions to see if they act as they should without need for flash/update and all worked as expected.
Boot time to an SSD on the Intel controller is around 20-30 seconds with all optimizations on.
The Intel C204 is limited, but it's more than sufficient for server functionality and the drivers have been rock solid.
This board would actually work very well as a bitcoin miner having 2 full size PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots and even with double width video cards still leaves a x2
Cons: The only real downside I've found for this board is more of a caveat; note the placement of the 24 pin power connector and it's absence near the SATA ports like most standard ATX boards. It's not a game stopper or even a game changer if you use a case with solid wire management. In my GX700 I needed to weasel the 24 pin connector through a small hole for the cleanest installation, but the hole was originally just made for the extra 8pin Proc power connector so I had to be very careful getting it through. Just consider wire management when you are picking out your case and this shouldn't be an issue.
Pros: Case is very aesthetically pleasing and provides enough internal expansion space to handle large video cards and multiple HDDs.
Included case fan works well for the size of the case.
Cons: The integrated card reader is of low quality and due to it's polling nature does not allow the computer to sleep; after going to sleep the computer instantly powers back up because of the card reader.
The top mounting case screws are not the highest of quality and I recommend only putting the top back on after you are sure you do not need to access any internal components.
Overall Review: I would love to see a slightly higher quality offering of integrated components (card reader, LCD screen should be standard) and a higher quality standard of hardware (nuts/bolts) for taking the top on and off.
Pros: I purchased one card initially, and then went back and upgrade my power supply and bought another to run the cards in SLI. I've found no negatives and even with both cards next to each other, as long as you have even decent heat disipation within the case, won't hear the cards whether benchmarking or gaming. I've yet to run into any issues and am very pleased being able to run most any game I've played at max settings @ 1920x1080. I can't vouch for larger resolutions because I don't use over 1080P, but everything I've thrown at these guys this far has been positive, including Far Cry2 & Crysis running at high settings.
Cons: None that I have found yet.
Pros: Fantastic card with great performance all around.
Would definitely recommend, just not for $420!
Overall Review: Bought two of these because of the price to then run SLI which has definitely improved the FPS! Very impressed upgrading from a MSI GTX 460 768MB Cyclone. Over clocking is simple with the program provided although you really can't get a whole lot more from the card(s).
Pros: Everything works quite well, auto negotiates to 1Gb without hassle to Windows 7/8 clients and also auto negotiates to 1Gb with my Trendnet Green 10/100/1000 which is a bit more selective on who gets 1Gb and who gets 100Mb.
Cons: No status LEDs for negotiated speed: This was one drawback I noticed even before buying, but I figured I'd give Zyxel an opportunity to prove their worth for a $60 retail tag, although I got around $40 off through Daily Deals.
Pros: Everything about this little board is a positive. I've yet to have any type of software or hardware conflicts across 3 different OS' and with my HighPoint RocketRaid 640 as my main storage array, this little board has made a great server.
Cons: No noticeable flaws for a Mini ATX board.
Pros: Simple and standard layout, no special drivers - true plug and play, a few media buttons, full # pad, built very sturdy, backlit keys
Cons: No advanced functionality, large desk footprint
Overall Review: Great keyboard. Used it as a temporary before I got the MS X8 and just gave it to my cousin who is already praising it's name. For anyone that wants a simple, no nonsense gaming keyboard with backlit keys that is well built, this is your guy. Compared to the Logitech gaming keyboards I'd buy this one hands down over all of them, even compared to the G16.
Pros: Absolutely best rechargeable batteries you can buy! 2700mAh vs the rest of the market at 2400mAh. Worth the extra cash for longevity and per use time.
Cons: None that I have seen
Overall Review: I use these in my Wave Bird and Wii controllers and they live up to the hype. I compare them to the 2400mAh batteries that came with my MS Wireless mouse and they just spank it in terms of life. They are so good I'm buying a second pack of them, thus why I'm writing the review.
Pros: Mushkin is by and large one of the best memory manufacturers on the planet. They have consistent, quality products that last the test of time on all levels of computing (discount, mainstream, gaming, server). I've used many of their RAM upgrades and this is just another going into a home server running Win 2008.
Cons: None at this point.
Pros: Quiet, high capacity, runs cool.
Cons: None so far.
Overall Review: I purchased 3 of these drives to run in RAID 5 on a Highpoint Rocket Raid 640, and after a week of running them, I've had no problems. Items shipped quite solid so I figure it wasn't beat up to bad in shipping. It is true what they say, only 1.8TB when installed.
Pros: Simple button configuration and combos. Character selection spanning generations of Catlevania. Decent graphics for Wii. 3D stage environments with out of ring areas. Free walk before round starts.
Cons: Must manually face character before attack registers in the correct direction. Simplistic controls with only limited moves. Bad camera angles which limit view of opponents or self. Story is super weak. Beginning/Finishing animations limited and repetitive.
Overall Review: Seems like a "Soul Caliber" or "Tekken" style fighting game without the refinement. Could use some more localized content. Might be a good game for die-hard Castlevania enthusiasts.