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Brian T.

Brian T.

Joined on 05/28/08

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 4
Most Favorable Review

Strong Board

ASUS TUF GAMING Z490-PLUS (WI-FI) LGA 1200 (Intel 10th Gen) Intel Z490 (WiFi 6) SATA 6Gb/s ATX Intel Motherboard (Dual M.2, 12+2 Power Stages, USB 3.2 Front Panel Type-C, Intel WiFi 6 & 1Gb LAN, Aura Sync)
ASUS TUF GAMING Z490-PLUS (WI-FI) LGA 1200 (Intel 10th Gen) Intel Z490 (WiFi 6) SATA 6Gb/s ATX Intel Motherboard (Dual M.2, 12+2 Power Stages, USB 3.2 Front Panel Type-C, Intel WiFi 6 & 1Gb LAN, Aura Sync)

Pros: The board has a ton of features. The weight of the board feels strong and solid. Plenty of headers and are well spaced out. Reasonable price point compared to other brands. WiFi had no issues when using included Antenna.

Cons: SATA Port 6 on the far right edge is disabled when using a m.2 drive parallel to the left. You won't know this unless you read deep in the manual and wonder why a drive isn't detecting. WiFi Shark Antenna is kinda janky/gimmicky although some might like it. Screws on easily but I prefer straight antennas that can be hidden behind the case. Would be nice if it included both. Could have included a FAN header near the 12V power.

Overall Review: Recommend this board for general purposes or gaming. Build consisted of: i7-10700 32GB RAM 1TB m.2 ssd 10TB SATA Data Drive 550W Power Supply ATX Case Windows 10 Pro

Super Fast SSD NVMe Drive

SAMSUNG 950 PRO M.2 2280 512GB PCI-Express 3.0 x4 Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-V5P512BW
SAMSUNG 950 PRO M.2 2280 512GB PCI-Express 3.0 x4 Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-V5P512BW

Pros: Extremely Fast Incredible Speeds - Over 2k read and 1600 write on CrystalDiskMark Size of a stick of gum Easy packaging Seems to be solid 5 year warranty

Cons: Annoying to install Windows 7 as Samsung does not provide a driver when installing Windows. There is some Reddit page that has a download link. Depending on your machine and other factors, you may not notice the speed compared to a cheaper SATA based SSD.

Overall Review: If you can do it, buy the 512 to begin with. I bought the 256 first and ended up sending it back. I upgraded mobo, cpu and ram and this all the same time. This spec appears to be the future and its well worth it.

Awesome 1151 Board.

ASUS Z170 PRO GAMING LGA 1151 Intel Z170 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 ATX Intel Motherboard
ASUS Z170 PRO GAMING LGA 1151 Intel Z170 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: 1.Has every feature you need and none you don't. (Fancy plastic covers and wifi are not what real games need imo.) 2. BIOS is actually good looking and was almost straight-forward for Windows 7 setup. 3. Plenty of USB ports. Not sure why there all USB 2 as they don't really work anyway until drivers are loaded. 4. Layout is good. Plenty of fan headers and usual features aren't in weird places. 5. Lights up red and you can control it. Not needed, but the lights do make it look cool. 6. All hardware worked right out of the box. Did BIOS update right after all drivers.

Cons: Haven't ran into any as far as the board itself. I learned my lesson from my last ASUS board and did the drivers individually. I had to anyway because for whatever reason, the driver CD Autoplay refused to load on a brand new install of Window 7. Drivers from website are more up to date. Windows 7 is harder to load, although this isn't the fault of the board.

Overall Review: I build computers everyday at a computer store. When it comes to hardware for my personal machine I do a lot of research. I always use the same brands and myself, have never had a bad piece of hardware out of the box. For this build I used: i7 6700k Crucial Ballistix Tactical 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4 Samsung 950 Pro M.2 256 GB Yes I still use Windows 7. I hate Windows 10 even though it might be a tad faster. If you want to do Windows 7, do your research as they intentionally make it difficult. You'll need a Windows 7 CD with a SATA optical drive, flash drives will not work. The USBs are funky and you'll need to change a setting in the BIOS (xHCI handoff) after loading the drivers or you'll get nothing. If you are using a Samsung 950 Pro, you'll need a special NVME driver that Samsung does not provide and you'll need it on a CD during installation. I kept receiving various errors and ended up putting the NVME driver on the same CD as my windows 7 CD. You'll need pure CSM in the BIOS (no UEFI). I imagine doing Windows 10 will be a breeze compared to 7 although I wanted the challenge. This apparently will be last line of CPUs to officially support Windows 7. If you still like it like I do, upgrade before the new hardware comes out this summer. Everything is super fast. Even faster than Haswell. If you are thinking about it, just do it.

Great Mobo Great Price

ASUS Z97-A/USB 3.1 LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
ASUS Z97-A/USB 3.1 LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: The board has a decent layout, everything fit where it should and nothing is squashed. BIOS seemed to be easy enough to configure. Plenty of USB 3.0, and USB 3.1 seems to work without any problems on Windows 7. Price was just right for a Z97 mobo. Loads very quickly with M.2.

Cons: Obviously no board is perfect, just a few annoyances... Backplate was very thin and flimsy. I prefer them to have some strength to them with a bit thicker shielding. No USB2 on the back. Not a big deal for me as my case has 4 on the front. Driver CD took forever to load drivers. I didn't expect 30 minutes to load 7 or 8 drivers with 3 restarts. M.2 description is very vague. Unless you have dealt with M.2 before, you will never know which is the correct to buy. As in SATA M.2 or PCIE M.2. This board only supports PCIE M.2 and I did buy the wrong one at first. It should be much clearer in the description in order to avoid buying the wrong thing and being stuck with a no return policy.

Overall Review: I spent a long time researching boards and many different brands as I am very choosy. I arrived at this one due mainly to the features I wanted as the system I built was to be 100% new. Features including, m.2, usb 3.1, intel nic and onboard optical port. This board had all the features I wanted without all the extra unneeded bells and whistles like wifi and silly plastic coverings. I am very happy and would buy this board again for clients as I work in a computer shop. I put in i7-4970K, Crucial 16GB RAM, Enermax ETS-T40-BK as my cooler. Also GTX 970 and was honestly forced to use Plextor M6e M.2 as there is little else to choose from.