Summary: I've been building systems since the 486 days, and have usually gone with AMD CPU's for their value. Yes, they generally run hotter than comparable Intel CPU's, but they are almost always more bang for the buck. This one is no exception.
Pros: Good value (CPU/GPU >$45) FM1 socket (what I needed for my MSI MB) Low power consumption Was PnP for unRAID (modified Slackware Linux)
Cons: FM1 socket is basically a dead socket type (not really a con if you are looking for a "deal" on a budget system)
Summary: I build a rig with this APU about 8 months ago for about $200 and have been happy with it. With out a graphics card it can run World of Warcraft on the middle settings and Starcraft on the low settings just fine. Larger games like Skyrim it has some really issues with.
Pros: This is a Cheap APU, and is fairly quick for the price. It is able to handle light gaming with out a graphics card no sweet. The graphics cards it can crossfire with are really cheap, making it a cheap rig to play with.
Cons: The FM1 is a dead socket type, and the GPU on the card is dead and graphics cards that can crossfire with it are not going to be able to match a current graphics card even without the cross fire ability.
Summary: This came installed in my hp touchsmart 320 pc it was at 2.7ghz but with amd overdrive I got it to 3.6ghz and is stable and stays pretty cool, I'm thinking about upgrading to a A8 to get some better performance for some games.
Pros: Default clock is 2.7ghz but got it overclocked to 3.6ghz, stays cool never goes over 36c.
Pros: works reasonably, no issues, can be over-clocked
Cons: sluggish when 10+ tabs of chrome/IE open, video starts being choppy (may be the inbuilt graphics system is not so awesome) handles moderate load pretty well. Not good for MS live movie maker / adobe premier elements.
Summary: It seems most boards are going to the integrated peripherals, which for me is not a big problem. I can still plug in my Sapphire Radeon if I want and my IEEE1394 Firewire card appears to be supported by the available hardware.
Pros: Nicely arranged/organized microATX board with plenty of room for a hobbyist/moderate gamer to get their money's worth. Connectors are fairly well laid out and there is room to place/space cables and peripherals without being all over oneself.
Cons: I know it is 2012 and the SATA revolution is upon us, but some of us did not just start computing yesterday. A little respect and legacy support for IDE drives would have been nice. I knew going in that I was going to have to get adapters for those drives, but a single IDE channel (supporting two...