Page 20: Supermicro
Supermicro is a company that has been making server boards for quite some time. They are not heavily into the desktop motherboard area, but have made quite a few. Unfortunately I haven't seen a AMD based board from them, as they are extremely slow to adapt to new technology. Being est. in 1992 makes them one of the younger companies around. Just a note, supermicro does not send out many boards for reviews, and when they do, its mostly their workstation boards that get reviewed, so I don't have a large sample set to work off of.
At the cost of performance, stability comes first for supermicro. This generally leaves their boards right on the bottom of the heap for performance, sitting right next to chaintech.
Well, here is where supermicro's lack of features pays off. Their boards are stable, and they are built to be stable as a top priority. My experiences with their boards have shown them to be quite stable, although a few review sites have ran into problems, but minor ones, which could be more software related.
This term doesn't seem to apply to supermicro. I think their dictionary is missing a page or something (mine is missing several). Even boards like the 440BX doesn't even have good overclocking features. Its really a shame, I can understand not putting them on workstations, but desktops are a must.
Comparing prices, you'll notice that supermicro is often hovering around the price of Asus boards, unfortunately for them, supermicro doesn't include the RAID, enhanced sound, and software packages Asus hands out.
Feature rich is not a good description of supermicro, at best, you are looking at cheap sound and onboard video. There might be an optional ehternet, but that is very rare. This company is losing points for using only intel and serverworks chipsets, along with no AMD boards. They rarely give you software, and I've heard of many complaints on extremely poor manuals.
Rating: 0/10 (I can't give negatives)
I have heard of few complaints, DOAs, or failing boards from supermicro. They do make quality boards, and their history is a good one. They lost points earlier for sticking with few chipsets, and non-AMD products. There are very few issues with their boards, and when they come up, they are not major.
First thing I noticed was the lack of drivers, there are bios files, but no downloads for drivers anywhere, which I feel is a necessity, as people that just don't know what they are doing should know, even if there are no drivers. There is a faq section, and the ability to email them, although it seems they wish to strongly encourage you to ask the place where you bought the board.
Products worth mentioning
They have a wide variety of well known workstation boards, but their desktops are rather boring. Nothing that gets me excited.
Overall Rating 4.1/10 If you want a stable, reliable board, then supermicro might be for you. But if you might ever be interested in overclocking, or having a good performing board, then stay away.
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