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Pros: • Has "OC" Socket, meaning all pins are available which helps with overclocking. Default Intel configurations don't require all the pins so many boards don't, either. This provides VERY Solid overclocking and general performance for the price-point. An incredible value since this board matches or beats boards twice its price. Overall, the circuitry on this board is almost entirely premium, top-tier components. Very well thought out.
• With a 40 lane CPU you can have X16/x16 SLI/CrossFire support. The slots are also spaced better than most other boards allowing these setups to breathe more.
• BIOs can be flashed with no CPU installed.
• Beautiful and well implemented RGB lighting across the board. So far it's my favorite implementation of RGB lighting on motherboards. It's just gorgeous and very flexible - also has beat and pulse modes, if not a bit ostentatious. There's an extra RGB header and cable so you can attach RGB light strips and control it along with the rest of the lighting. I really think this should become the norm; since if it's not your thing you can still turn them off and it's always nice to have options available.
• Almost everything on this board is reinforced. So no worries about heavy, long graphics cards sagging or memory DIMMs flexing.
• KIllerNIC E2400 and Intel I218V LAN controllers for the discerning gamer to choose between.
• Realtek ALC1150 audio circuitry is isolated to prevent any issues. It also happens to be a decent audio setup. Not the best, but pretty close. Also has OPA1652 headphone amplifier built-in.
• Additional CPU power cable provided by Gigabyte ensures your CPU gets proper power delivery for OCing regardless of how your PSU's rails are set up.
• Includes adapter for case header cables to make it slightly easier to install them. A nice little touch to add some convenience to an annoying chore.
• NVMe U.2 and second M.2 slot at full speed. (You need a 40 lane CPU to use U.2, but you can use U.2 and M.2 at the same time)
• Has Thunderbolt header on board.
• SATA ports are labeled on motherboard so there's no confusion or doubt which plug is which. Included Clear/Silver SATA cables are a nice touch to add a bit more unique flair.
• Simple, clean and intuitive UEFI BIOS menus and a nice refresh since their last UEFI look.
• Gigabyte's customer service seems to be improving and getting faster than it used to be. I can now cautiously recommend them.
Cons: • I would have preferred a second Socket 3 M.2 slot over a Socket 1 Wi-FI/BT slot. Make no mistake, you CAN'T use two M.2 cards on this board for SSDs, the first M.2 slot is for Wi-Fi/BT ONLY.
• While the RGB lighting is gorgeous you can't set up individual areas to be different colors. It's one color or nothing.
• Lack of Debug Error LED screen can be rather annoying should you ever be unfortunate enough to need it.
• Gigabyte software is a bit hit and miss (though constantly improving). I'd say ASUS' is still better all around but there are some areas that Gigabyte's shine, just not consistently. Though, it's worth noting that Gigabyte is probably tied for second place in the variety of software offered and supported.
Other Thoughts: I try really hard not to let my personal preferences get in the way of a review but this is the only motherboard that made me smile for longer than I ever should about a motherboard. It's beautiful. Highly functional. Feature rich. Very reasonably priced.
I couldn't find much wrong with this board from a technical or aesthetic standpoint and try as I did I couldn't get this board to not POST or error out on me. It's just incredibly robust and well designed.
The difference between the Ultra Gaming and the Phoenix board are shielding and slot colors, the Phoenix has the wi-fi card included and Dual Intel® GbE LAN. That's it. So it's up to you if that's worth the premium the Phoenix has.
I highly recommend this board even if you don't like RGB lighting (which, again, you can turn off). It's simply a powerful, well functioning board at a very reasonable price point given the CPUs it targets.
This review is from: Corsair Hydro Series H80i V2 Water / Liquid CPU Cooler. 120mm CW-9060024-WW
Pros: • Nearly silent cooling performance under "Quiet" mode. Pump is VERY quiet, hums quieter than a HDD spinning. Fans push a good amount of air in quiet mode, too. Chances are good that your graphics card's fans will be louder than this when set to quiet mode.
• Very well designed, looks wonderful installed. Tubes are sleeved and very robust. Tubes don't come out the side so you don't have to worry about memory slots getting in the way.
• Very easy installation and highly compatible.
• 10C cooler under stress testing than my 6 pipe air cooler and only a touch louder never getting hotter than 58C for me.
• Tubing is just long enough for most to be able to position this cooler anywhere they want including the front of the case, but just don't bet on it making it to the front for all cases.
• Corsair software is well done, almost making it worth plugging in the USB header cable.
• Very well packaged, No concerns about damage or shifting during shipping.
• Corsair customer service still remains among the best. Fast responses, good RMA processing (I didn't have to RMA this cooler, though), and this cooler has a 5 year warranty putting it above the standard but below the highest of 6 years that NZXT provides.
Cons: • Anything above "Quiet" mode is audible and probably too loud for most people. When set to max the fans are easily among the loudest I ever heard. Balanced mode may be quiet enough for some, but still very audible.
• Not the best solution if you want to have this to overclock your CPU while not having a loud fan whoosh.
• Some may not like the idea of using the USB cable to use Corsair's software to adjust the cooler's RGB lighting and fan control, but it's entirely optional.
Other Thoughts: Overall, I view this cooler as being meant for stock CPU performance or light overclocks for people that want near silence and board compatibility without worrying about the heatsink hitting memory modules or other heatsinks on the motherboard. For that purpose this cooler excels very well and is indeed nearly silent, including the pump.
However, if you're looking for a solution that will overclock well and remain quiet I don't think this cooler will be enough. If you don't care about sound then this cooler still performs well enough to hit most modest overclocks without getting too hot but there are definitely better solutions.
Some also might not like how stiff the tubing is but I think that's a bit non-nonsensical. If you make the tubing too flexible you're far more prone to leaks with these AIO coolers, so it's either leak risk or stiffer tubing. I'll take large, stiff tubing any day. As it stands, you can maneuver the tubing well enough if and it's able to handle tighter spacing just fine.
Bottom line, if you're looking for something that beats huge air coolers and you want near silent performance at stock or light overclocks; you definitely can't go wrong with this cooler.
Pros: • Price to performance ratio is on par.
• I've written 2.2 TBs of data to the card in stress testing and it still performs as it did when first opened.
• You can contact Silicon Power through e-mail, phone, or live chat. All three were helpful in their responses to my queries.
Cons: • The imaging on the card to make it look white (the actual plastic is still black) is tacky and sticks slightly in certain devices. Nothing too serious but it's not worth the look, either.
• In real world applications, copying random files of different sizes, (same files used to test both cards) this card actually performs about 40% worse than Silicon Power's 32 GB Elite MicroSD card.
Other Thoughts: -----------------------------------------------------------------------
CrystalDiskMark 5.1.2 x64 (C) 2007-2016 hiyohiyo
Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/
* MB/s = 1,000,000 bytes/s [SATA/600 = 600,000,000 bytes/s]
* KB = 1000 bytes, KiB = 1024 bytes
Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 19.398 MB/s
Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 8.389 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 4.627 MB/s [ 1129.6 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 0.654 MB/s [ 159.7 IOPS]
Sequential Read (T= 1) : 19.084 MB/s
Sequential Write (T= 1) : 8.180 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 4.238 MB/s [ 1034.7 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 0.662 MB/s [ 161.6 IOPS]
Test : 1024 MiB [F: 0.0% (0.0/58.2 GiB)] (x5) [Interval=5 sec]
Barely makes it to the minimum spec of UHS-1 and for a larger card these numbers should be slightly better.
I personally wouldn't use this card for more than anything beyond media storage for playback but when on sale it's a good bargain card. When not on sale it's a poor value. I'll update this review if the card ever fails on me while it's still being sold.