Top critical review
One person found this helpful
Cross fingers you don't have to deal with Asus support
on May 5, 2014
It is a nice MB with a ton of features:
Pros: built in bluetooth, 3 PCIex16 slots, angled sata connectors, a power button right on the board, plenty of USB ports and as many headers on the board to connect more USB ports, many hardware switches, switchable graphics, comprehensive management suite to control OC, and monitor sensors.
- the bluetooth seems to be a class 3 - that is more than a few feet away and you lose all connectivity with your BT device, and you probably could connect a keyboard or a mouse (don't have any of these), but I know for certain that connecting BT headphones was a fiasco - after I installed the BT dongle drivers it did recognize the headphones and even allowed me to select it as the default output device, but the sound had very high latency and was terrible (I use the same headphones with my laptop and it works great). So unless you actually plan to use it for OC monitoring (like it was intended to) - it is pretty much useless.
- USB ports don't stop supplying power when the computer is off and there is no setting to control this, hence had a few harddrives that would keep spinning even after the computer was powered down...
- Switchable graphics - that is an awesome feature, I guess... I didn't have a power meter at the time to see if running my PC of the internal GPU while having a discrete GPU plugged in made sense, but since it only works with older GPUs and I don't have my 8800GTX anymore - there is no way for me check it anymore. And yeah, it is a con, because for me that was one of the features that I bought this MB for, but since I put in GTX670 the "switchable" part of the graphics broke (games that were set to switch to the discrete GPU would hang, crash do things that could not be classified as working) and having things the other way around made no sense since encoding on my GTX660 or even on the PCU itself was faster than trying to encode stuff using the built in GPU (GMA, and yes I did find a transcoder specifically supporting intel quickvideo encoding). So ended up just using my GTX670 all the time without the "switchable" thing as it didn't work anyway. (btw in my case the difference for idle is about 20W - the GTX670 when idle draws 20W more than the GMA)
- management suite - the Windows 8 version does not do anything, firmware updating kinda works, but that is about it.
So in the end, even though I bought it because of its comprehensive suite of tools and features in the end most of them turned out to be pretty much useless since they were not implemented properly, or simply since my plans somewhat changed (I was planing to buy a second GTX670 when they became cheap and I would not have enough performance for modern games - at the current pace I still have plenty of time before I run out of performance even with a single GTX670, they probably might release GTX970 by the time I start running out of performance for gaming :( )
- angled sata connectors turned out to be a nightmare in my case with the harddrive bay also being angled and less than an inch of space between the connectors on the MB and the wall of the harddrive bay, but that was a poor choice of a case and MB on my side, there are cases that do have an angled harddrive bay and also lack the wall around where the sata connectors are so it should not be a problem.
- it does cost money to send the MB back to ASUS, they do try to repair your MB, but apparently don't test it after they are done - after 2 years of good work it stopped booting one day (it would power up the fans, but nothing more than that not even a beep). So 1st attempt (after of 2 days of dancing on the phone: "did you try rebooting your computer? are you sure you did?") - it boots, but occasionally shuts down, and somehow it now lacks a thermal sensor?! 2nd attempt - it almost does not shutdown anymore, the sensor is still missing so I keep getting on each boot a warning that my MB temperature is -128C (-198.4F)...
I am not going for another ASUS product anymore - there are other better options, which hopefully have better customer support. But customer support aside the product does perform satisfactory most of the time, so it does deserve at least 3 stars.