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Pros: - mATX design for 2011-3
- Looks good
- Good amp
- Support 2 M.2 slots
Cons: - USB3 issues on X99 Gigabyte boards under Windows 8.1 64-bit
- UEFI setting entry is picky on hardware attached, and will fail if it doesn't like any of your attached hardware
- Overclocking limit is somewhat lower than Asus boards
Other Thoughts: USB3.0 issue on Gigabyte X99 boards is well known, it's my bad not to research more before buying. It caused intermittent disconnect on any attached USB3 devices (front panel included) and there's no apparent way to fix it. The NEC driver is also hard to find and not listed on Gigabyte website.
The board has issues overclocking and limit is lower than ASUS boards (probably the patented socket that Asus had) even using exactly the same physical piece of CPU.
UEFI setup entry will hung if I attached my Samsung 2TB 2.5" HDD (SATA), or some of my USB thumb drives. But if I leave the HDD attached but not trying to go into UEFI setting it will work just fine.
Pros: 1. Fast
2. No special handling needed for installation.
3. Looks good.
Cons: 1. Boot sector issue with Windows 8.1 after a couple months of use. My rig is in UEFI boot and one day it can't launch windows and when I tried to fix the boot files using a windows USB it just blue screen saying it cannot find some boot files
2. Before 1 there were intermittent cases half a dozen times I need to re-reboot the rig to boot up successfully.
Other Thoughts: It maybe because of the somewhat higher case temperature (~40C) for my gaming rig with dual 780Ti and a i7-3930K, but my other Kingston SSDs that actually store game content didn't fail that way (knock on the wood). I'm now back to spindle world for my boot device...
I didn't even bother returning it because usual inspection will yield that it is a Healthy drive (since you can still get files out). But some of those files are actually in corrupted states (e.g. larger AVIs/MP4 videos) which has skipped frame or whatever. No trust in Intel anymore.
Pros: Small form factor.
Relatively quiet (still a bit of fan noise)
Easy to assemble (see notes below)
Easy on power.
Cons: Don't ever try, not quick enough for 4K decoding. (I have a Brix Pro i5-4570R to handle this
Price is a bit steep if you factor in the RAM and mSATA SSD cost. Not such a big issue if you go for just 2.5"
Other Thoughts: For the assemble part, choose your parts wisely.
Look at the gigabyte.us compatibility list for RAM, very important! I bought a GEIL but it wasn't on the list and even though it's 1.35V it wasn't supported. No way to boot.
Also, it can't handle 4K video playback. Tried a couple sources and it's 100% CPU usage with pauses. HD (1920x1080) should be fine.
I put it in my room, works so great.
Here's my setup:
Kingston 4GB DDR3-1600 CL11 1.35V SODIMM.
Hitachi 1TB 2.5" HDD
Intel 530 series mSATA SSD 240GB.