Joined on 12/26/07
Very good performance for price
Pros: Almost identical to the C2D's but much cheaper 1066 MHz FSB is nice Has VT, which was important for me (running virtual Linux box for Folding@home) Was able to OC it to 3.6 GHz on a Gigabyte G41M-ES2L
Cons: Only 2 MB cache, but I knew that going in, and it's part of the lower price. It dropped $7 since I bought it
Overall Review: Haven't noticed any drawbacks with the smallish cache size. Cooled by AC Freezer 7 w/ Arctic Silver 5, it only hits 45 C when running Folding@home
If you want a server without the server chassis, this will work with some modification
Pros: Massive motherboard tray. I built a 4P Intel server for Folding@home and didn't want to buy a server chassis to house it, mainly because of the noise. The motherboard I used was a SuperMicro X9QRi-F+, which measures 16.8" x 16.4". Needless to say, this case didn't have the matching standoff holes for the proprietary form factor that uses, but I was able to do a decent job of drilling my own. I'm certainly not deducting for that, as it doesn't claim to support it. With the mobo mounted about as close to the front of the case as possible (my choice, didn't think I'd be able to line anything up with the back anyway), there was somewhere between a quarter and a half an inch of space between the back of the mobo and the rear of the case. Can fit two 200mm fans on either the top or bottom depending on where the PSU is located. I like the little fan header mounts. I could only fit one in there, but it was handy for some of the fans. Price is good considering how big it is.
Cons: As many have mentioned, the HDD cages. I don't know why they couldn't do a side-mount setup like so many others, nor why they couldn't go with tool-less rails. My situation is out of the norm, but I cannot remove either of the HDD cages with the motherboard in there if I'm trying to get them out the normal way by pulling them towards the back of the case. The bottom one almost makes it out, and probably could be removed with a more normal-size motherboard, but I'm somewhat unsure if the top one could be removed with normal components in there. I didn't try to remove either cage from the front, but apparently that's also a pain. It's rather unfortunate that the manual shows HDD mounting after it tells you to install the motherboard, as it's much easier to remove and re-insert the cages when there's nothing else in the case. No top/bottom fans included. I get that this is more aimed at the watercooling crowd, so they're probably using all that space for radiators, but the HAF 932 that my desktop is housed in has more cooling by default. Of course, it also costs more, so the low price I mentioned probably has something to do with that. I installed Cooler Master MegaFlow 200s in the top and bottom (2 top, 1 bottom, PSU on the bottom). The bottom one, in push orientation, cannot spin if the bottom dust filter is in place; a couple of the little tabs of filter that hold it in place stick up into the fan. Seems like a bit of an engineering oversight.
Overall Review: All the water pipe/cable management holes made it impossible to drill all 13 new standoff holes for the motherboard. 2 of the standoff spots will be over water pipe holes no matter where I position the mobo. They're probably rather useful with a normal setup, though. I really only deducted the egg for the terrible hard drive cages. The $50 Rosewill Challenger that my previous dedicated folding rig was housed in has much better HDD management. The inability to remove the cages means I can't clip the LED wires on the front fans. I really dislike fan LEDs and normally make sure they're off. It's heavy. With the 2 front fans, one bottom fan, and one side fan pushing; two top fans and one rear fan pulling; and SNK-P0050AP4's on the CPUs, my temps are around 60C while folding with the E5-4650's I have set to constantly turbo boost.
Do not buy Open Box
Pros: New units are quite tasty and have a 62% flavor performance edge over other eggs in SiHard Boiled (great benchmarking software, by the way). When paired with a couple strips of bacon in CrossFrier, my breakfast just flies (down my throat).
Cons: Open box units are not to be trusted. All three refurb units I purchased were either broken to begin with or broke in my hand and got all over my clothes. The stench was unbearable, to boot- I think being shipped to the original consumer, being shipped back, and then being shipped to me must take too long.
Overall Review: For an even better price, wait for combo deals with bacon and/or biscuits. With a couple other good deals on coffee and sugar you can put together a pretty sweet breakfast setup for under $8. Who'd have thought 10 years ago we'd see such great performance at such low prices?
Nice little mobo, although I had to unplug DVD drive to OC
Pros: Good price Allowed me to OC my Pentium E6300 to 3.6 GHz (stable) PCI-E slot isn't in front of anything- I have a GTX 260 in there and it doesn't hit anything Good BIOS options that allow for reasonably fine control without being extremely detailed, which was good for a novice overclocker like myself
Cons: RAM slots are a little close to the CPU socket if you're using a non-stock HSF. I had to rotate my AC Freezer 7 90 degrees clockwise (blowing air towards the top of the case) since in the suggested position (blowing air towards the back of the case) the CPU fan was blocking one of the RAM slots. But I have a fan on the top of the case (Antec Three Hundred), so it's all good. The board wouldn't overclock even a few MHz normally. I tried what a previous reviewer said and unplugged my DVD drive, and it was able to go up to the aforementioned 3.6 GHz.
Overall Review: I might go for a full-sized ATX board in the future, but this is a good value for what you get
Keeps CPU very cool
Pros: It keeps my Pentium E6300 (OC'ed to 3.6 GHz) at around 45 C when running the Folding@home SMP client. Even when I was stress-testing it with StressCPU2 it barely broke 50 C.
Cons: The fan blocked one of the RAM slots on my mobo (Gigabyte G41M-ES2L) when I placed it facing the direction that the instructions said (blowing air towards the back of the case), but I rotated it 90 degrees clockwise (blowing air towards the top of the case, where there's another fan) and it doesn't block anything. When I bought it, I think it was $37 and no free shippping instead of the $32 and free shipping that it usually seems to be at.
Overall Review: Using Arctic Silver 5 thermal compound