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Cons: -Top slot kept failing intermittently. Swapped cables, drives, ports, you name it. Was driving me nuts trying to troubleshoot.
-Build quality of the included SATA cables is quite poor. Connectors do not fit snugly. Tried them on another rig to be sure it wasn't this hot swap rack.
Other Thoughts: In the past, Rosewill used to be good to me. However, I have to say that in the last year, I've been getting nothing but garbage from them, and this is probably going to be the last straw.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: -On-board video that's separate from the CPU
-Shared RAM for video adjustable (rare for this type of setup)
-IDE and floppy interfaces
-Large array of CPU support
Cons: -Memory slots can only support one pair of whatever type of RAM you're using. There's two slots for DDR2 and two slots for DDR3.
-CPU fan controller only supports 4-pin fans. 3-pin fans will run at full speed regardless of settings in BIOS (even after BIOS update).
-SATA controller does IDE and RAID modes, but not AHCI. Not a huge deal since I'm using a PCI x1 add-on controller that meets my needs in this regard.
-Only one PCI x1 slot. A full-size ATX version of this board would be nice so we can have more of these.
Other Thoughts: Got this to replace the motherboard I fried in my data recovery rig; the IDE and floppy support make it perfect for this task. Plus the AM2/DDR2 support meant that I didn't need to get new CPU/RAM. What I have still works perfectly, and it plenty for what I use the rig for.
ASRock's motherboards never blow me away, but they've never died on me either. There's always little things that irk me though, such as everything I listed in the cons. Really can't complain too much given this is the only non-used motherboard option out there for AM2/AM2+ CPUs.
Pros: -35W @ idle
-65W @ 100% cpu (this i3 by itself is rated @ 65W, meaning the PSU and motherboard are incredibly efficient)
-Whisper quiet, even while running almost a dozen routers in GNS3
-Front fan duct designed well for keeping the internal drives cool
-Completely tool-less case design
-Best tool-less PCI slot system I've ever seen
-Nicely designed internal drive vibration mounts (not sure why people are complaining about this)
-More USB 3.0 ports than USB 2.0 ports
-Windows Server 2012 runs SMOOOOOOTH as butter with this hardware
-The lack of a hard drive reduces the price, and allows you to get ones you prefer instead of whatever brand they want you to have
Cons: -Tool-less external drive mounts are poorly engineered... just use the screw holes with some thumb screws instead
-COM 2 header does not take standard DB-9 harness connector (not a huge deal, but still)
-No RDIMM ECC memory support (but at this price point, you can't really expect that... at least it does UDIMM ECC)
-Front USB 3.0 harness header is not a standard connector
-Non-standard power supply connector, but same voltages and pin sizes and typical PSUs. Easy to adapt to an aftermarket unit (and if you think otherwise, you have no business being inside of a computer chassis).
Other Thoughts: If you plan on a 10Gb NIC or running a 12Gb SAS setup, be sure to use the 1st X16 PCIe slot for the best bandwidth. That one is a Gen3 PCIe while the other slots are just Gen2.
Also, I'm really shocked at how many of the one-egg reviews are way out of line, especially the guys using Server 2003 and non-R2 2008. If you value the security of your servers, you'd get smart and upgrade already. Lenovo did you a favor by not supplying drivers for those operating systems. Additionally, if you think this is really an enterprise class server, you should seek another profession. This is designed for specialty tasks and small business needs, not a datacenter. The specs alone should be enough to tell you that.
In closing, this server is perfect for things you would typically see an appliance for, like an IP camera security DVR, a small business database server, or even a firewall/VPN system. This would also be a good light-duty NAS, and also does ok with GNS3 (though I have since changed over to one of the Xeon-E3 models for Cisco training).
Also, these servers are made in Mexico, not China despite what another reviewer said. I guess nobody reads anymore.