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Good Value with Some Caveats
Pros: Well built system with good performance for the money. Definitely a price contender vs a Core i3 with similar specs. Case is very nice, and definitely scalable, including two hot swap bays. Ventilation is very good, with the ability for expansion if you so desire.
Cons: Case is capable of usb 3.0 on the front, but mother board isn't, leaving one usable usb port on the front. Rear case fan is slightly loud. The front and side case fan use bright blue leds for lighting... Not my cup of tea, but easily disabled with a pair of side cutters. The hot swap bays are not pre-connected to the motherboard with SATA cables.
Other Thoughts: I bought this system for office use. I spend a good deal of time video and photo editing, and wanted a system that would leave me with less downtime during rendering compared to my last system. I look forward to the scalability of the case, and I could definitely justify the price vs performance. I will likely add a 1x usb 3.0 card to enable the front 3.0 ports... One front port isn't enough for my use, as well as replace the loud rear fan with something a little quieter. I am very pleased with my purchase.
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“Well built system with good performance for the money. Definitely a price contender vs a Core i3 with similar specs. Case ...”— 3/19/2013