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Pros: Front 200mm fan produces quite a bit of air and has three speed switches.
Hard disk bays are removable which helps airflow a lot.
PCI-e slot covers have air holes, although I just remove the slot covers.
Lots of ports for cabling and water tubes although there could be even more tie-down holders in various places for jury-rigging internal case fans and such.
Looks pretty nice. I prefer the white version but the lack case is also nice.
PSU has plenty of space for pulling in air and a filtered intake.
Can mount a radiator on the bottom of the case in front of the PSU or put a water pump/res combo there like I did.
No plexi window on the opposite panel so you can lay down the case to work in it without scratching everything.
The light switch is a nice touch, although I would like to see a second light inside the case.
Has good feet.
140mm exhaust fan instead of an outdated 120mm like some large cases still have.
Finger-twist screws for the side panels and for all the drive bays.
Cons: Fan controller is not PWM. It would be better to have the case fans on PWM.
The front portion of the top panel has no air holes so a 360mm radiator suffers. It is also tapered so if the fans are in pull there is little space for the first fan on the rad. Even in push there is not a lot of space for hot air or holes for it to readily escape through.
Front fan is somewhat blocked by the bracket for attaching the drive bays so even if the bays are removed the airflow is not optimal.
The compression fit of the plastic panels makes it noisy to get them on and off and sometimes rather sloppy (really having to yank)
There are no air holes in the panel for using a fan behind the motherboard.
The 5 1/4" drive bay is riveted in so you have to leave it, cut it out, or somehow undo the rivets.
Mine came with two "RESET SW" front panel headers and no "POWER SW" header but I figured out which "reset" was the power header.
Manual is minimalist.
No foam on panels to curb high-pitch noise.
Removing dust filters for cleaning is not as easy as it could be.
SSD mount behind the motherboard has minimal cooling, if any. I taped mine down right below the front intake fan after removing the drive bays.
I had to swap in all the standoffs from my HAF case to get my 970A-UD3P 2.0 motherboard to post. The larger ones in this case apparently aren't compatible with that board.
Other Thoughts: The high position of the exhaust fan, in comparison with the intake, seems to encourage heat from the GPU to be pulled upward through the case. I would think that having direct air paths would be more efficient. Why not have two 200mm intake fans, one at the top of the front and one at the bottom of the front and a partition to keep GPU heat away from the top half — with a second 140mm fan mount on the bottom of the back to pull out GPU heat? This would create two direct air paths.
I have no idea why the 140mm side fan holder is placed where it is. It seems like it would just interfere with the airflow from the front fan.
The ATX design is anachronistic. It's not good for cooling the VRM area or for dealing with GPU heat.
Pros: Overclocks well enough to 4.5 GHz with my FX 8320E.
Has a heatsink on the VRMs.
Has 8+ phase VRM.
Was very inexpensive bundled.
Cons: VRM heatsink is inadequate. Requires a fan right on it.
northbridge gets very hot. Needs a fan blowing to it.
BIOS setting to change hypertransport speed is bugged. Same problem when trying to change the FSB speed by itself. The only way to change these speeds is to change the BCLK. You one can't, for instance, set both the northbridge and hypertransport to 2400 MHz. It will cause the board to reboot.
Writing to Gigabyte about the BIOS bugs just got me the runaround. A forum said some tech was removed when the board was switched from 1.0 to 2.0 which may explain why the board is weak when it comes to adjusting the FSB and hypertransport speeds. It looks like the adjustment controls are still present but the hardware needed to actually make them work is missing.
Other Thoughts: I haven't used the machine much but with a noisy fan planted directly onto the VRM sink, a 140mm fan blowing air to the northbridge, and a 120mm fan behind the socket I am able to run at 4.5 GHz with my FX. The VRM heat problem is the biggest one in terms of noise-performance. I would have gladly spent $15 more on the board for a better heatsink for the VRMs and northbridge, like one of the heatpipe setups.
People overclocking FX 8 cores need to understand how much heat those things will produce. I think some of the board failures are related to people not monitoring VRM temps, for instance. My board easily gets to 90C and higher without a high RPM fan directly on the VRMs, even with big fans blowing air around. And that's without even going to 4.7 GHz or more. Too cool at 4.6 - 5.0 GHz speeds I think I'd need to put the VRMs on a waterblock.
This review is from: LIVA 32GB 2GB DDR3L RAM installed 32GB eMMC Storage
Pros: Fanless! and thus completely silent, very small and cute, quick to boot, compatible with Windows 10 preview, has a USB 3 port, comes with RAM/storage/wifi/bluetooth, only has one screw, dual core, heatsink takes care of the chipset not just the processor. VGA port is good for people who have old inexpensive VGA-only flat panel monitors they want to make use of. 22nm Intel chip sips power. eMMC storage is fast enough for general use. ECS didn't waste resources on Windows 7 or 32-bit Windows support (it makes sense to focus). Installing Windows 8.1 or 10 from an external USB DVD was a piece of cake.
Cons: The wifi and bluetooth antennae aren't preinstalled which is annoying. The included installation diagram makes it look like the plastic covers should be pulled off which will destroy the leads. Installing these antennae is quite annoying because there isn't much space to work with. Antennae aren't external, which reduces signal strength. A third USB port is really needed on this. Two is just one port too few. Everyone says it's difficult to open the unit once it has been closed, so one person sanded down the bumps. The website leads you to two dead-ends if you don't go to the LIVA tab when trying to get to the downloads for it. There are two driver installation glitches as noted below.
Other Thoughts: You don't need to use the CD at all, just download the drivers from the website. It's possible to install external antennae (see the Youtube video iS9gZkoRwsw for the walkthrough) which is what I am going to do. I think the white version looks nicer than the black. DisplayPort would probably be more useful than a VGA port. The downloaded bluetooth driver won't install unless you go into a subfolder (Win64) and run the "inst" application. Also, the UART driver may give you a notice that there is a newer version or the same version already installed. You have to ignore that and install the driver to get the bluetooth card to work. 32GB of eMMC is on the small side, but for $110 for everything this still seems like a good value for a PC. The BIOS update won't run in Windows 10 preview. All the drivers install fine.READ FULL REVIEW