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Pros: - Performance
- Unlocked for overclocking
Cons: - Stock heatsink
Other Thoughts: Many reviews here list lack of hyper-threading or poor performance when trying to stream while gaming. An i5 processor is designed for solid peformance during gaming, but not meant to be used as a heavy load multi-tasking CPU like the i7 series. Encoding for game streaming is very hard on a processor especially if trying to get the best quality video. If you like to play games but have no desire to record/stream then this is a very good fit, otherwise get an i7.
I wish they would lower the prices by not including a heatsink. It just isn't practical for high performance processors.
With an after market cooler I was able to overclock to ~3.7GHz (5% OC) on a H97 motherboard while keeping the temperature in my ideal range ~76°C under load. I was able to push in to ~3.85 (8-9% OC), but the H97 couldn't push it much further. With a better cooler and a Z97 board I was able to get ~4.11GHz (17% OC) on air and ~4.42GHz (26% OC)
This review is from: ZALMAN CNPS9500 AT 2 Ball CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink
Pros: - Cooling performance
- Small footprint
- Unique look
Cons: - Mounting Hardware
- Sharp and thin heatsink fins
Other Thoughts: Cools a stock i5-4690k very well, but I wasn't able to get much of an overclock in before the CPU was throttling under load. However, it did perform well for an air cooler of it's size and price point.
I used this in an orange colored build and the copper fit in nicely and the shape draws attention.
I was incredibly disappointed with the mounting hardware/process with this model. I have used other Zalman coolers previously with no problems, but I had a very difficult time getting this one mounted. As a seasoned builder I had to look at the install instructions which showed installation the exact way I was trying. During install I ended up cutting my hand on the fins and bending a few in the process. They were easily bent back, but I shouldn't bleed when building a computer.
This is advertised as an "Ultra Quiet" cooler and in my opinion this is just a quiet cooler since it exceeds 25dB under load. My preference is under 20dB under load, but that is just my opinion.
Build this was used in:
i5-4690K @ 3.7GHz
Coursair Vengeance 8GB DDR3-1600
Gigabyte GeForce GTX980 WF
Seagate Barracuda 2TB HDD
EVGA 650W P2 PSU
DIYPC White/Orange Case
Pros: - Packed full of features/options
- NFC/Wireless Charge pad, Wireless-AC Adapter, and Thunderbolt Kit included for a decent price.
- Autoclock software pushed 4790k to 4.6 on air, tweaking from there I was able to get up to 4.97.
- RAID controller and setup
Cons: - A little pricey, but that should be a given when "Deluxe" is in the name
- Have to pick and choose features to use (can't do SLI, Thunderbolt, and m2 all at the same time)
- Too much software included
Other Thoughts: - Not being able to do SLI, Thunderbolt, and m2 is not the fault of the board design but limitations in PCI lanes available, so no egg deduction for that
- Users mention automatic installation of Norton...If you use the disc included and click the "Install All" option it will install Norton. Not all software included should be installed anyway. Builders should already be downloading just the latest drivers from Asus anyway
- I used i7-4790k integrated graphics during initial setup without any problems. Using dedicated card now.