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For a value product this board did well. It is not as fast as others, but the differences are marginal. Using your PC on a daily basis for Web surfing, working, watching movies and listening to music, you won't notice any difference. The biggest disadvantage compared to other boards is the odd placement of the 24-pin power connector. Inside a smaller case you will need be very careful not to hinder the air-flow, especially your back fan. We also think the aluminum heatsink on the Northbridge is inadequate.
If you don't plan to overclock, this board will make an excellent choice for an HTPC, and moderate overclocing will work without a problem. If you plan for higher overclocking you want to be on the safe side and change the aluminum heatsink with a product from Noctua or Thermalright.
The only drawback is the missing RAID option on the ICH9. The more expensive ICH9R would have been a much nicer choice , especially for gamers who do RAID0.
This board costs around €79,- which is an excellent price, despite its layout. Thanks to very good power consumption values we recommend this board to a wide range of users, and due to its affordable price it gets our top value award.
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