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Bradley C.

Bradley C.

Joined on 11/08/08

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 3
Most Favorable Review

Good features for the price

ASRock Z97M OC Formula LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
ASRock Z97M OC Formula LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: This motherboard is set apart from other items in the same price range due to having a very substantial 8-phase power setup to the CPU. At this price it also shares in features that every other manufacturer would include in a modern higher end motherboard. This would include a good audio chip, number of ports, bios options with monitoring software, and a good Ethernet solution. The layout of the motherboard itself seems exceptionally nice; I especially liked the number and locations of the fan headers on this board. Even in a not over-board system, it is nice to have a convenient place to plug things in. And if you do want a bit of craziness there are two CPU fan headers.

Cons: With windows 8.1 drivers are required to have functional networking (the ones that came on the CD were up to date though). 8-phase power delivery is somewhat unnecessary due to Haswell's efficiency. While it is very robust, for most people (including myself) it only maybe gives the motherboard VRMs a lower operating temperature. Display port would be nicer to have. Not important if you are using a discrete card, but I would definitely want a display port option if I were not planning to use a dedicated GPU.

Overall Review: This board has run very well for my system, although I cannot say it is being pushed (beyond XMP memory speeds). The software that comes with the motherboard is actually really nice, and on a feature basis it really does seem better than many other options. I think ASROCK is trying to make up for being a slightly less famous brand by offering a better price on a higher end feature set. This has been the most pleasant board I have ever built with (the user manual memory section is better than most DDR3 datasheets even).

A good price compromise

Asus VK278Q Black 27" 1920x1080 Full HD HDMI LED BackLight LCD Monitor w/Webcam 300 cd/m2 10,000,000 :1 (ASCR)
Asus VK278Q Black 27" 1920x1080 Full HD HDMI LED BackLight LCD Monitor w/Webcam 300 cd/m2 10,000,000 :1 (ASCR)

Pros: This monitor is a bit unique in having a solid VESA 100x100 pattern mount on the back. Beyond that it seems well constructed, and achieves decent colors for a WLED backlight based panel (which also shows up in the relatively low power consumption). Performance is very similar to other TN panels.

Cons: Limitations in color and backlight are expected in the price range of this product. TN + WLED will dictate the performance of any product in this range.

Overall Review: For the pricing, the panel makes for a good gaming/web browsing/ document writing / etc display. Its not for graphic design, and it would not all that good of a TV, but its performance is very good for the class. Going CCFL would probably gain slightly better color at the cost of size/reliability/power however, and should perhaps be kept in mind at this price point.

Works in Ubuntu 10.10

Rosewill RNX-N180UB, Wireless N300 Wi-Fi Adapter, IEEE 802.11b/11g/11n, (2T2R) Up to 300Mbps Wireless Data Rates, USB 2.0 Interface, WPS supported
Rosewill RNX-N180UB, Wireless N300 Wi-Fi Adapter, IEEE 802.11b/11g/11n, (2T2R) Up to 300Mbps Wireless Data Rates, USB 2.0 Interface, WPS supported

Pros: This part immediately works in Ubuntu 10.10. Performance is indistinguishable from wired.

Cons: None - As long as it continues to work, the device meets all of its stated performance specs.