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ASRock Z97 Extreme6 LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: * Z97 Chipset, Currently as of Mid 2014 it is the highest end chipset currently offered by Intel.

* Supports The Haswell Refresh (aka Devil's Canyon i5-4690k, and the i7-4790k)

* Will Support Broadwell (14nm shrink of Haswell Architecture) when they come out later this year Q4 2014/Q1 2015 (most likely will need a bios update for that)


* Great Build Quality
-Great Caps, 12K platinum capacitors with lifespans of at least 12,000 hours. 20% Higher then competing solutions.
-Chokes. The chokes are supposed to be superior to Ferrite chokes used in competing boards.

* Very Nice Layout. I personally like the Blue and Black.

* More SATA Ports then most will ever need. 10 of them!!!

* XXL Aluminum Alloy Heatsink Design. These are the big blue heatsink on the MOSFETs and Chipsets.

* New Ultra M.2 port, offering PCIe 3.0 x4 bandwidth direct from the CPU.
This technically suggests a theoretical maximum bandwidth of 32 Gbps / 4 GBps.

* Has Good Auto-overclocking features for the novice, and plenty of bios option to reach much higher overclocks for the experienced.

* Good software included for the board. A-Tune my friend and your friend.

* 1-Year of Free Cloud Storage provided by Orbweb ME. After first year it is 49.99 for a full year.

Cons: * The Ultra M.2 port is great but since it is so new, the amount of products out there for end users to choose from is very limited.

* Using M.2 disables Nvidia's SLI, this is due NVIDIA’s restriction for 8x lanes for each GPU. SO if you use One Nvidia GPU you are fine.

But if you normally SLI 2 Nvidia cards and Want to use the New M.2 port you may have to upgrade to a single more powerful GPU,
Swap from team Green to team red. AMD Cards do not suffer from this limitation in crossfire.

* The i7-4790 was not out yet when i received this board for review so i used a i5-4670k, and will update review once that comes in the mail with overclocking results

* Some of the SATA ports share bandwidth, so consult your manual to make sure get the most of your devices.

Other Thoughts: Board arrived. The packaging is different, in that the mother box has a handle you can hold. A nice touch I haven't personally seen in a long time.

Motherboard is packaged very well. Between foam insulation and the cardboard its nice a tightly packaged as should be expected.

On visual inspection this boards contains features anyone should expect from a mother board in the $150+ price range (nice layout, heat sinks, great Capacitors and chokes).

The board has 10 SATA ports, which should be plenty for most people.

The bios is nice and easily laid out. If you are used to UEFI bios menus, you will be no stranger to the layout.

Where this UEFI bios differs from other UEFI bioses I seen is it has a favorites menu. So you can favorite the bios pages you go to the most or access the most for quicker access.

AT first I didnt think I'd use this option much. But once I got into my intial overclocking It did save me alot of time to just favorite some of the bios pages (H/W Monitor,
OC tweaker, Advanced) this allowed me to adjust settings quicker then if i just navigated the UEFI bios normally.

The bios also has an ultra HD option. So if you are running a monitor above 1080p such as 1440p if you turn on this function the bios adjust and looks great compared to using the 1080p image and just simply stretching it.

The boards comes bundled with software the A-tuning was the only one I had time to really try. It provides many useful tools and monitoring options.

One for example is the dehumidifier option, which will keep fans running after the PC is shutdown for a period of time for your choosing.

The automatic overclocking works well. ANyone who used any automatic overclocking will never be as aggressive as manual settings, but it did get the 4670 within 200mhz of
i know the chip can safely do on after market air cooling after many attempts manually in 1 try by going automatic. So if you are a novice overclocker and just want to hit a button
and go this board can provide your chips (k-series of course) with a fast stable OC with no effort or guess work on your part.

XFast LAN, is software is to implement some form of network packet prioritization. So you can pick and choose what programs have prority bandwidth. For example I can pick steam, and league of legends
as program i wish to give pririoty too, so if i start downloading or streaming movies which may normally cause my pings to rise this prevents this from happening.
I also have a ASrock board that came with intregated Killer NIC, I will try to do a comparison between the 2 to see If I can see a difference between the XFAST LAN, and the KillerNIC they include in some other boards.


Overall there are alot of cool software tools in the A-tuning too many to right about in this review

The inclusion of the M.2 socket is cool, seeing how I would not expected this to be seeing this until next year.

Easily recommend this board for anyone looking for a socket 1150

READ FULL REVIEW
TP-LINK TL-PA6010KIT AV2 600 Powerline Adapter Starter Kit, Up to 600Mbps, Gigabit Ports, Plug and Play, Power Saving
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Fast Setup. Takes under 10 minutes to setup on both ends.
Fast connection/Ping times.
Very High Data Throughput compared to other power line adapters I have used in the past.

Cons: Price compared to a wireless card.

Better then Wi-Fi in many situations.

Depending on the condition of the wires in your house, and overall quality of your electrical setup you may receive less than ideal transfer rates.

Remember it may say 600Mbps but your are still limited to how fast you can send data. Most HDs can only send at 100-200Mbps max. A SSD may be able to read at 500-600Mbps but writes are still way under the 600Mbps transfer speed. You need top end equipment to truly max this thing out.

Other Thoughts: I've had this to play around with for just over 2 weeks. This device has been a lot of fun and improved my ping times, and bandwidth compared to the WiFi card that is in the PC i was testing this on.
Where Power Line excels over Wi-Fi.

* No hardware has to be installed into your PC. Where with wireless you need a Wireless card.

* Provides Superior Ping times then wireless near equal to being plugged straight into the router.

If you live in a house or area where Wi-Fi can be spotty (randomly goes from 5 bars to 2-3) this powerline AV600 is a great solution.

My home used to testing is only 1900 Square Feet. The distance from router to outlet to Breaker Box to Outlet where powerlined hooked up PC is was less then 100 Ft. Because I have newer electrical lines, proper wiring throughout the house and newer box any possible interference was minimal.
This device is rated for 600 Mbps. I was able to achieve 550 Mbps through put. The limitation was the speeds the 2 PC drives could send data to each other (Raid-SSD to Raid-SSD using 1 large 2 gig sequential read/write file copies both ways. If I had A PCI-E SSD or a Raid SSD I could have tried to get closer to the Powerlines Limits.

My house has Wi-Fi issues so to speak I have few solid structures (fireplace in center of house) which has always been a cause of Wi-Fi signal degradation. This device allows my PC to use the internet and mt network to its full potential with no hick ups

Installation is fast and easy just plug powerline into your router then plug jack in, and do the same with other end jack into wall Ethernet to desired PC/Device.

If you demand low latency reliable connectivity this is a great device.

Please note some devices such as smartphone chargers can cause interference with the power line but I tested myself with 4 chargers plugged in and myself noticed no degradation in bandwidth or latency. If you have a larger house or your wiring is older you may have issues that I did not.

This device is now my primary connection instead of Wi-Fi for my bedroom PC. The difference in Pings and Stability has been phenomenal. Highly Recommend.

READ FULL REVIEW
CORSAIR CSM Series CS750M 750W ATX12V v2.4 and EPS 2.92 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: * 750 W Good for a Mid-range to Upper Mid-range

* 80 Plus GOLD (Has higher efficiency then 80+, 80+ Bronze, 80+ Silver)

* Well known Respected Brand. Doesn't matter if its RAM, PSU's, Cases, etc Corsair is well known for quality Products.

* Great Amps on a single 12v rail 62A. Great for powering 2 high end GPUs

* Supports Intel's Haswell C6/C7 Sleep States. PSUs that cant support these C States dont get the energy savings of these new modes.

* Extremely Quiet while under load

* Extremely Cool under load only a few degree above ambient room temperture

* Modular, use cables that you need, leave out ones you don't. Makes for a much cleaner look inside the case (and a lot less zip ties!!!)

* Cable Lengths are good and work well with both top and botton mounted cases.

* Contents come well packaged and secure. The PSU unit itself is encased in a good quality thick foam protective box.

* Great Customer Support

* ATX12v 2.3/2.2/2.01 + EPS12V 2.91 compliant included below are some notes from the Changes in the ATX12v Standard that each of these pertain to:
From Wikipedia
ATX12V v2.01
-A minor revision from June 2004. An errant reference for the -5 V rail was removed. Other minor changes were introduced.
ATX12V v2.2
-A minor revision. Specified High Current Series wire terminals for 24-pin main and 4-pin +12 V power connectors.
ATX12V v2.3
-Effective March 2007 and current as of 2014. Recommended efficiency was increased to 80% (with at least 70% required) and the
12 V minimum load requirement was lowered. Higher efficiency generally results in less power consumption (and less waste heat)
and the 80% recommendation brings supplies in line with new Energy Star 4.0 mandates.
The reduced load requirement allows compatibility with processors that draw very little power during startup.
The absolute over-current limit of 240 VA per rail was removed, allowing 12 V lines to provide more than 20 A per rail.
EPS12v
-Defined in SSI (Server System Infrastructure)used primarily by SMP/multi-core systems such as Core 2, Core i7, Opteron and Xeon.
It has a 24-pin main connector (same as ATX12V v2.x), an 8-pin secondary connector and an optional 4-pin tertiary connector.
Rather than include the extra cable, many power supply makers implement the 8-pin connector as two combinable 4-pin connectors
to ensure backwards compatibility with ATX12V motherboards.

* Powering my system like a champ under Load without issue for 9 days now (these reviews have to be in quickly, will update at 6-month and 1-year mark but I expect no issues)

Cons: * Does not have a bag for the unused cables. Some PSUs out there come with a nice bag to store unused cables.It helps you from losing them.
This Particular model does not come with any such bag, not worth removing an egg but it would be nice.
The higher End Corsair PSU do come with such a bag.

* Does not have the Digital DSP control like the Corsair AXi Series.

* The Cables are initially Stiff,

* If you are into the cryptoCurrency Fad you will want a higher wattage Power Supply for 3-4 Graphics cards.


Not a con of this product, but if price is not an option, Corsair does offer AXI/AX Product lines which are 80 Plantium which is of coarse a higher level of efficency then this model.
Product. So if price isnt an issue you can see more efficency between Gold/Platnium Standards.

***NOTE THIS CHART is for Reference to 80 Plus Standard***

Efficiency level certifications for 80 Plus Standard, a PSU must meet or beat this level of efficency to recieve its gradings

80 Plus Test Type 115V internal non-redundant 230V internal redundant

%%% of rated load 20% 50% 100% 20% 50% 100%

80 Plus Gold 87% 90% 87% 88% 92% 88%
80 Plus Platinum 90% 92% 89% 90% 94% 91%

Other Thoughts: Received this product for review. Package came undamaged. After removing the plastic wrap opened the package.
The contents are put in nice and tightly. The power supply itself is covered by a thick 2-piece high grade foam to prevent damage in transit.

Seeing how this unit is Modular,the PSU comes with plenty of cables more then enough to wire even a full size ATX tower with room to spare.
Cable length is generous, and the cables are initially a little on the stiff side.

Tried the PSU in a few different cases to get a good feel for it ranging from Full ATX to MicroATX cases. Top and Bottom PSU mounts. Worked well in all situations.

While at load the PSU was only 3c above ambient room temp.

To test this system. I used a few different CPU configurations. First my I7, then an I5, Then a FX-8350. For video card is used 2x Radeon 7870's(aka r9-270's nowadays).
I played Tomb Raider/Battlefield 4/and Call of Duty:Ghosts all on 1080p Ultra in order to stress the system and put as much load as possible on this power supply and get as close
to its max rated 750w in order to test reliability. I took FX-8350 (since it is the more power hungry of my CPU's) overclocked it to 4.7ghz, and plugged in extra DvD-Drives, and hard drives.
I was able to get my systems power usage 738w under full CPU and 2 GPU's at max load. So 12w shy of the maximum load of this PSU, I then played All games mentioned above for 3 hours stretches, 5 days in a row.
I had no failures or power spikes, or frame drops related to insufficient power. Over the past 20 years I had the chance to build, upgrade, or fix over 200+ computers so I seen every part imaginable fail.
This PSU survived what I could throw at it with the limited time I had(under 2 weeks).

I wish the package came with a bag for the cables like Corsairs higher end models, but I am organized so its not a huge deal, but it would have been a plus.
Overall for the price and performance of this power supply, you can not go wrong. For 90% of builds out there this unit will meet all your needs. Only ultra high end configurations, or bitcoin/litecoin miners would need a higher wattage supply for 3-4 Very High End GPUs, or

This unit is backed by a 3-Year warranty, and my personal experience with Corsairs support division has been excellent, compared to other brands which I will not name and shame.
There is a reason Corsair has a solid reputation for well over a decade. Quality of its products, and the support they give. Those 2 things are a rare combination.

A solid unit, It will be in my steambox to be used lets just say alot. Will update review if any problems happen.

The only true con is if money is no object there is Corsair's AXi line with 80+ Platinum rating, not to mention new Digital DSP. A tech nerd can dream.

READ FULL REVIEW

John P.'s Profile

Display Name: John P.

Date Joined: 04/20/05

  • Reviews: 52
  • Helpfulness: 31
  • First Review: 05/11/05
  • Last Review: 06/29/14
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