Joined on 12/30/13
Geared Towards Users With Some Linux Experience
Pros: This little box is great. With a Quad Core i.MX6 processor factory overclocked to 1.2 ghz and 2gb of RAM, this little thing stomps a mud hole in any currently available flavor of pis. This is a new product released this year and the online community is quickly growing. Solid Run has recently updated the setup to make things fairly easy by using an Ignition image. This allows you to boot the device and download a fairly vast number of Linux flavors directly to the SD card using an installer utility. This has vastly helped the members of the community that are not very Linux savvy and want to use something other than the default Android that is preinstalled on the sd card provided. The XBMC/Kodi and Android operating systems are quite easy to install and use. This device it also very small which allows for a wealth of maker opportunities. After figuring out how to get game emulation working on an ARM system, I incorporated mine into a gutted SNES console and it is working like a charm.
Cons: Support offered by the manufacturer is vastly limited. Most of the available support is community sourced. Since this product is new, the community is still fairly small when compared to other dev board communities. However, this will grow over time just as other dev board communities have so don't fret over it. Since this unit is overclocked and has no fan or venting holes, this unit does run at a fairly high temperature under load between (70-90 degrees celcius). If using this device in a maker project, this can be easily resolved by removing the external casing and pointing a fan directly on the hardware. Keep in mind though that even opening the case will VOID the extremely limited manufacturer warranty. Since this product is fairly new, if you are planning to use this device for anything other than the available operating systems provided in their ignition image installer, make sure you have a little bit of Linux command line knowledge or be willing to learn.
Overall Review: Please keep in mind that this device is new. Know that due to the hardware and performance that this device provides, the community will grow quickly and when it does, finding support for this device or available pre-existing image building projects like RetroPi or etc will be coming very soon. May be worthwhile grabbing one of these devices now before people realize it's potential and demand for it increases.
Rock Solid Platform
Pros: Used this mobo in combination with an AMD A10-6800K processor and AMD Performance 1866mhz DDR3 RAM. Was amazed with the performance out of the box without using a discreet graphics card or AMD's Dual Graphics capabilities. Of course, I won't be doing any major gaming with this setup but still I was amazed by it's capabilities, even before enabling any overclocking. The sound quality from the onboard Realtek THX was impressive. The BIOS preloaded on this board when I received it was compatible with the new A10-6800k processor.
Cons: None really.
Overall Review: I have used MSI products for the last 10 or so PC's I have built and I have not ran into any problems. Their build quality is top notch! I guess I am either extremely lucky or just successful by using proper techniques and extreme care when building a machine. There are too many videos out there on the web that demonstrate bad build techniques such as mounting the RAM, CPU, and Cooling solution before even mounting the MB into the case or not demonstrating using proper grounding techniques. Not saying that there is a 0 chance of receiving a DOA item from any manufacturer but following correct building practices will help minimize your risk of encountering problems during your build.