First I need to thank pcpartpicker.com for providing a very helpful database and the members here for helping me as questions arose. This really is a one-stop source for building your own PC.
This was my first attempt to build a PC and my first experience with Linux. I primarily built this for fun, just to see if I could do it. I hope it will replace my weakling Samsung Win 8 All-in-One that is being used as it's monitor.
I am currently running Sparky Linux 64 bit on it with no hardware issues. Sparky is based on Debian testing, and I use it for all my PC needs except the World Of Tanks game. In the near future I intend to install Win 10 preview also.
This was far easier than expected, I started around 8AM and was running by 11am on Thanksgiving day; including reading all manuals to be sure I wasn't gonna make obvious errors. It went together very easily and in 6 months I have not needed to change anything.
- Reviewers complained about working in a case this small. I don't know why. I am not a small guy and I had no issues other than the annoying yet handy thumb screws that hold panels on. They tend to leap from my fingers.
- There is just enough room to route cables under the board and hide excess/unused cabling in drive area unless you need 4 drives for your uses. Some custom cables would be nice upgrade to avoid this.
- A fully modular power supply would be a also good choice to avoid so many unused cables in the first place.
- Some of the switch wiring is not labeled, the important ones are but none the less I was not sure and hoping for no smoke at 1st power up.
- There is alot of airflow! All 4 vertical sides are open with removable screens. Mounts for 3 fans are available, 2 on right side and 1 in front. Get a black case fan so it doesn't look dusty through the screen all the time, that white fan is too visible.
- There are (or were) very few FM2+ mobos in this form factor. I got the case at a sale for cheap and quickly realized this problem. If you want Intel you'll do better.
- The front USB ports are upside down ??? I'm not sure why and it isn't a problem really, just weird.
- It works fine. It's a lightweight Linux distro so I have no issues with speed. I plan on getting a GPU when I install Win to dual boot but I have had no graphics problems that I can attribute to the APU.
- Heat is minimal, although I cannot read temps directly as the mobo does not report them in a way Linux can understand. I often unplug the case fan to reduce noise and have never even worried about temps.
- AMD proprietary drivers (Catalyst) for Linux are not always stable, open source drivers seem fine but no Crossfire or tweaking.
- It fits...
- Plenty of USB ports on rear.
- It is a small board, choose your parts carefully. I do not have a GPU on it but the single slot is close enough to the APU that my horizontal CPU cooler may cause concerns when I put a GPU in.
- Gigabyte has no Linux support so things like getting temps and OCing are not simple.
I'll try to answer any questions that anyone has. Drew
Fine for what it is.
Not going to be equal to a good CPU + GPU set-up for games.
Has powered my Linux PC with no problems at all.
Keeps my APU cool. A little large for a mini ITX board. Quiet enough but not silent by far.
Small, compact, tight... call it what you want but it fit my case.
Total lack of Linux support annoying. Lost a star for that.
Once I chose Mini ITX and AMD my options were few, but this board has worked fine.
Fast drive. I am happy with it so far after 6 months. I use it for primary OS, most of my storage is in the cloud now after a series of failed spinning drives. With Sparky Linux my boot times are a few seconds until sign on. Wish I had bought another as the 850 Evo has had bad press.
Easy to build in.
Get a modular PSU to avoid cable clutter.
Lots of airflow.
3 possible case fans.
Front USB ports upside down. Power light way too bright!!!
It provides stable power. Can deliver way more than I need but the extra capacity is nice for future uses if needed.