Pros: So I wanted to update my original review for a couple of reasons. The first and most important, was my grammar. I think I had a mild stroke when I wrote the first one. I looked back and read what I wrote, I was very disappointed in myself. So hopefully this one is a lot better. The second reason is that I wrote the review when I first got the mobo and I have now spent enough time to verify that it is indeed a great board. I bought this primarily as an HTPC build. I ha...
Cons: No USB 3.0, only one fan connection on the mobo, but this thing doesn't require more cooling. The only loud thing is the 40mm fan. Invest in a noctua fan. Again for the money this things kicks. The color scheme is chaotic, but this isn't really a showcase mobo so you can't expect a slick and pretty piece of hardware.
Summary: Been running almost 3 months. I replaced my old WHS with it. I added: - Only 4 gig of RAM (I've never seen more than 2.5 gig in use, and it's usually about 1.5) - A USB 3.0 card - 4 old SATA HDs and 1 external USB drive, powered by the board - An extra fan blowing on the HDs (not needed) - USB printer - An old 350 watt power supply (The whole rig only uses 50 watts!
Summary: - Chipset Heatsink -- this bad boy gets pretty warm. I'm contemplating using a 40mm fan on this and/or may attempt to install a new HS on it as well. I do not feel the heatsink on this is entirely adequate BIOSTAR (sorry). It may last, we'll see, I'm at the four month mark for all of these, two of which run 24/7. Granted, I do have fairly nice airflow through the case due to the addition of a 80mm fan that I'm using (and made note of above).
Pros: - Powerful little processor and a great deal (was a better deal the first build I made using it, by $10) - Reliable (though perhaps with conditions read the "other thoughts") - Produces 1080p just fine (albeit, I have not tried direct streaming from the Plex, only transcoded at 10Mbps at 1080p) - Two others running 24/7. One is a pfSense and the other is a, well, media grab box. Nuff said. The build (in all three builds): APEX MI-008 Black Steel Mini-ITX BIOSTAR NM70I...
Cons: - Possibly the chipset heatsink. Time will tell. BIOSTAR, if you revise this board, please, add a little height to the fins, I believe the extra 2 cents (?) per board production costs would behoove you.
Excellent Media Center or NAS motherboard - Strong performance in Linux...
10 October 2014
Summary: Purchased this with the intent of using it for a home NAS - this board works and performs extremely well running Linux Mint 17. The Realtek NIC (the only real question I had going in) gets near wire speed sustained to a software RAID 5 using (3) 3TB drives connected to the MB. Running the OS on an SSD on the 6Gbps port. Definitely outperforms my previous Atom 1.8Ghz (dual core) NAS motherboard.
Summary: I purchased this to build a new home media & file server. My Configuration: This Motherboard/CPU Cooler Master Elite 130 Mini-ITX Case 8GB Kingston HyperX Fury Memory CORSAIR CXM series CX430M PSU An old WD SSD I had lying around 2 - 2TB Drives from my old server Ubuntu Server 14.04 The first thing I did after assembling my system was install windows 7.
Pros: Small, powerful little board. Also supports audio pass through on HDMI which makes it an excellent choice for openelec or xbmcbuntu. Was thoroughly impressed at getting 5.1 channel to my receiver.
Cons: Gets a little hot, but was expected as it sits in my media cabinet with little airflow, temps on the CPU stay around mid 50's C in my setup.