Victory Road  

Go Back   Victory Road > General > Technology

Notices

 
 
  #1  
Old March 31, 2016, 08:29:14 AM
Twiggy's Avatar
Twiggy Twiggy is offline
Kyurem
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Somewhere interesting?
Posts: 2,102
Default Adventures of using a backup motherboard

I had to get my desktop's motherboard serviced, and since I'm expecting that they're going to take their sweet time getting things repaired and/or replaced, judging from how fast/slow the retail shops handle warranty claims here, I've decided to also buy a backup motherboard so that I won't be stuck unable to use my desktop for the time being.

Behold, the ASRock B85M-HDS! It's an ASRock motherboard, based on the Intel B85 chipset, in the micro-ATX form factor. It's pretty basic as the feature list goes, with having the bare minimum equipment required to handle all sorts of Haswell, Haswell Refresh, and Devil's Canyon processors, two RAM slots (thankfully in dual-channel), and the bare minimum of PCI Express slots to get by with a common configuration of single video card and an additional expansion card.

There seems to be a lot of cost-cutting involved in this motherboard, but most of it were in the unnecessary fluff that you'd find on higher-end motherboards. The motherboard still retains some of the most important characteristics for reliability, such as solid capacitors, and it still has a USB3 header, so compatibility with newer cases sporting USB3 front panel connectors is assured.

This motherboard seems to be have a bit of a good thing going on with the SATA connectors on it - despite being traditionally-angled top-facing connectors, they're located really high up on the motherboard, so you should never run into clearance issues, even if you have a massive video card jutting out.

I think the motherboard is surprisingly pleasant to use all things considered. It's now powering my desktop happily, after reinstalling Windows, while my "real" motherboard is in servicing, and I haven't found any glaring issues. It is a bit uncomfortable to have to contort the audio header under the video card, but that's a fact that you'll have to live with if you're using this motherboard with a large video card. Also not so good: you have to plug in one of the case fan headers before putting a video card in the first slot, since most dual-slot video cards will block access to this header, though it won't make it entirely unusable.

The sore point of this motherboard would be the integrated audio, really. It works fine with speakers, but headphones sound rather washed out compared to higher-end audio solutions found in high-end motherboards and dedicated sound cards. Probably a matter of component selection and Realtek audio codec quality - the board doesn't do anything special with regard to its audio circuitry, and the ALC662 audio codec is extremely low-end. At least it works!

I think I might update the thread with new posts if I run into anything unusual, but things are mostly uneventful, outside of the fact that the previous Windows installation didn't quite like the new motherboard and suffered a huge performance impact.
  #2  
Old March 31, 2016, 11:18:21 AM
Cat333Pokémon's Avatar
Cat333Pokémon Cat333Pokémon is offline
Administrator

 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Nevada
Posts: 10,353
Default

Out of curiosity, how did Windows handle it, and do you have Windows 10? Windows 10 upgrade licenses are treated as OEM and are tied to the motherboard, while other versions of Windows may or may not accept the new motherboard depending on the chipset.
  #3  
Old March 31, 2016, 04:50:20 PM
Twiggy's Avatar
Twiggy Twiggy is offline
Kyurem
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Somewhere interesting?
Posts: 2,102
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat333Pokémon View Post
Out of curiosity, how did Windows handle it, and do you have Windows 10? Windows 10 upgrade licenses are treated as OEM and are tied to the motherboard, while other versions of Windows may or may not accept the new motherboard depending on the chipset.
It's Windows 8.1 Single Language, and the only version it comes in is OEM. Shouldn't be a much of a problem if I activate via telephone and ask about it, though, since they intentionally made the definition of an upgrade versus a new computer very loose. (IIRC, you can get away with swapping everything out if it's a desktop.)

Besides activation, Windows 8.1 mostly figured out how to sort out the drivers when I ran the SSD's previous Windows installation directly, and I did manage to get to the Windows desktop, but... well, performance issues that can't be solved easily. Easier to nuke the SSD.

Last edited by Twiggy; March 31, 2016 at 05:06:27 PM.
 
Thread Tools

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Victory Road ©2006 - 2018, Scott Cat333Pokémon Cheney
Theme by A'bom and Cat333Pokémon