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Pros: It seems to be the future. 12Gb/s, 8643 connector. ZFS scrub now takes 3 hours instead of 7. Everything seems to work great.
Cons: difficult to get it working. Provided Debian driver is for 2.6 kernel, but wheezy is 3.2. LSI provides a lot of info, but it seems to be scattered. For example, which firmware is on the card when shipped? I couldn't find it in the manual. I finally found it on the LSI website FAQ. It ships with the IT firmware.
Other Thoughts: This was very difficult for me to get working. My distro of choice is Debian, and I apparently have gotten used to things just working. I originally thought I had some hardware compatibility issue, but Gparted live saw the card and loaded the module with no problem. I had to compile and load the driver in wheezy. I haven't done that in years. I forgot how. LSI provides a lot of documentation. That plus google, I was able to get everything working. I'm sure the next version of Debian will have the driver included, and this won't be an issue any more.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Purchased 4 of these for me and the guys in the office. These laptops meet all the specs we need: quad core, 16G max ram for vmware, Win7 64bit, decent sized screen and hard drive. The machine is very responsive running multiple virtual pcs in vmware workstation. Win8 DVDs in the box, I can use them to steady a table.
Cons: Needs more expandability. No esata, fw800, tb, only 3 usb ports. Depending on what you plug in, the 2 ports on the left side of the keyboard are a tight fit. For example, 2 thumbdrives might conflict physically with each other. The touchpad drives me nuts. I have adjusted every setting I can find, googled everything I know to google. In the end I, plugged in a usb mouse. Down to 2 usb ports. The screen connects to the body with two hinges at the corners, and the screen flexes in the middle where there is not support.
Other Thoughts: I looked very hard at certified refurbished MacBook Pros before buying these. These compare very well with the technical specs of a MBP, but the build quality is not there. These are, of course, a much more economical purchase. I'm not sure they are going to last nearly as long.
I purchased a 15" MBP for my wife recently (maxed the ram out to 16G as well). Comparing this laptop to hers side by side, it has me thinking, maybe we should have gone another route. Only time will tell.
Pros: Refurbished MacbookPro9,1 15inch i7 Mid 2012
Now with 16G!
Cons: NoneREAD FULL REVIEW