Joined on 04/02/01
Pros: *Pretty quiet while playing DVD's *Short Form-factor *Good old Plextor quality
Cons: *Blinding blue activity LED on the front makes it of limited use in a media center *Could be quieter (at least on boot)
Overall Review: I ended up putting a tiny square of black electrical tape over the activity LED. Problem solved.
Great motherboard with a few quirks
Pros: Simple clean design Onboard power & reset buttons are great for building Debug code LED is nice BIOS/Setup is very full featured - basically everything is exposed for tweaking Installed windows fine off of a USB drive right to my m.2 drive XMP worked for my Corsair 13-15-15-28 16GB pair of DDR4, but it was a bit tricky to find the setting for it Had all the features I was looking for for a silent PC build: Room for a giant Be Quiet 250W TDP heatsink (so I could go fanless on the CPU) Overclocking designed components meant I had plenty of headroom for stock operation without fans M.2 support means no moving HD parts making noise, while still leaving my PCIE slots available Good fan speed support - only 1 fan runs at idle, and it's set to be nearly inaudible
Cons: Audio seems to pop sometimes when booting/resuming, as others have mentioned Audio has a noticeable hum with nothing playing (though I haven't isolated that to the MB yet - may be my speakers) Could use 1-2 more SATA ports for my file server build - it only has 6 total BIOS/Setup could use some better explaination for a lot of options. Most things you just have to assume are set right unless you want to spend the night googling everything. Speedfan seems to misreport CPU temps - I doubt my system is running at 0 C indoors with no fans. I think it's running the C -> F conversion backwards I installed Win10 on a Samsung 950 m.2 card. When I tried to add another m.2 card using a Syba PCIE card, the system wouldn't boot to the onboard m.2 drive anymore. I had to move the system m.2 drive to the PCIE board to boot, swaping the other drive to the motherboard m.2 slot. Windows then showed both drives fine once booted.
Overall Review: I have 2 of these now, and 1 of its cousin, the Gene. 1 is a gaming PC, 1 is my fileserver, and the Gene is my media center. I'll probably look at getting a soundcard for the audio issues. I'll also need a SATA card for my fileserver so I can run more than 6 SATA drives. None of this stuff is a dealbreaker, but it would be nice if these few rough edges were smoothed over.
Pretty good drive for the price
Pros: Quiet, & low power. Able to truely live up to the "I" in RAID (redundant array of INEXPENSIVE disks). Redundancy also lets you avoid some of the data loss others see when drives inevitably die. 3 year warranty is nice too when that happens.
Cons: A little slow and cheaply built, but not a big problem with redundancy & speed gains of a Raid setup.
Overall Review: Bought 8 of them to run in a Raid 5 set up over a year ago, and just had the first one start failing. Was only a read error with bad sectors though, so it didn't fail catastrophically. Not too bad considering it was up for months at a time. Shipping back for a free replacement this week.
Pros: *It just worked on first boot, no issues *Fanless design, yet only warm to the touch *No extra cables to connect like all those modern graphics cards :-) *PCI, so you can stick it in anything *Price *VGA and DVI Ports
Cons: *No Windows 2008 drivers (though really, they're not needed for a server anyway)
Overall Review: I may need to get a few more of these :-) Defintely would be useful for troubleshooting other computers. It would be nice if it was a small formfactor card, so you could really stick it in anything.
Pros: *Nice feature set *Easy set up *Very granular BIOS settings *Good component location *Nice case backplate
Cons: *No Windows 2008 Server drivers, (though I got the Atheros ethernet port working w/ Vista 64-bit drivers). It'll work well enough without all the drivers installed, but it's lame that it doesn't have even basic support for my OS, especially considering it's nearly identical to vista/win7 for most drivers. *No floppy drive connector. Yeah, yeah, I know - I still want one though. *Promise IDE controller is slow to detect drives (~10 seconds). *Shipped with a little cover over 4 pins of the 8-pin power connector. The manual said it wouldn't boot without all 8 pins, so it was weird that it was half covered.
Overall Review: Haven't played with it too much yet, though it seems pretty solid. Lack of drivers is certainly annoying, but not a deal-breaker since I can at least run ethernet reliably.
Much Improved over previous purchase
Pros: *Quick boot/raid detection (~5 sec w/ 8 2TB drives) *Full feature set of RAID/disk management features *Fine granularity of settings *8 Included SATA cables are nice & long, and have metal clips on one end to stay well fastened to the drives. *Windows 2008 64-bit drivers included & signed (couldn't say the same for my motherboard, which doesn't even have drivers for 2008)
Cons: *They don't mention the fanless heatsink in the documentation. I know I tried installing it on my old card, and it seemed to overheat with it on. As best as I can tell, it's only meant for operation where there are enough fans to cool it already. However, in such an environment, what would the addition of one more fan matter? I'd much prefer to either have a working passive heatsink, or none at all. *Along with that point, it would be nice to have a larger slower spinning fan. Though most server environments wouldn't care about noise, this is a home server, and I'd prefer that it was as quiet as possible. *Ear piercing beep on boot (though only once compared to the 4 on every boot for my old card). *Web Raid management UI is still pretty behind the times. It seems awkward to use a web-based UI when you're just accessing it on the host machine. *Price *SATA Cables would be nicer (at least in my system) if they had L bends on both ends instead of just on the card side.
Overall Review: This card is a large improvement over the previous card I bought ~3 years ago (ARC-1230). Not sure if it's a Firmware update or just a new card architecture now, but the old card used to not be able to boot without a fresh start (no resetting), and sometimes just fail to boot (heralded by even more beeps). The worst of it all was that it would lag out when copying large amounts of small files, and it would take out the network connection to boot. Not the best thing for the headless server it was running in. It always required a system reboot to fix it (usually using the power button). As far as I can tell, this new card exhibits none of those prior issues :-). Tech support also seems much better, at least in terms of documentation available online.