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This review is from: ASRock Z75 Pro3 LGA 1155 Intel Z75 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Pros: low price
good overclocking/undervolting options:
(I've had my 3570K up to 4.2 GHz stable, but keep it at 3.4 with no turbo, and undervolt it by .2V so that I can have a silent build with no CPU fan)
easy to use UEFI
still has legacy PCI slots - good for my old sound card
Cons: The PCI-E 2.0X16 slot isn't a true X16. It runs at X4 and cannot run my graphics cards at full tilt.
In an effort to get the graphics card closer to the bottom intake of my case, I saw my FPS drop by HALF when I moved my PCIE 3.0 HD 7850 graphics card into the lower 2.0 slot.
The PCIE x1 slot is too close to the hyper 212 evo cpu cooler I'm using.
It would be nice if the SATA ports faced the front of the case rather than the side - it's easier to manage cables, and you wouldn't have to worry about SATA cables hitting your GPU.
Other Thoughts: Been running this board with a 0.2V undervolted i5 3570K, hyper 212 evo cooler, HD 7850, two SSDs, 1 hard disk, and 2x 8 GB 1333 RAM, all with an 80 plus gold 450W PSU for almost 7 months with no hardware issues whatsoever.
This has been an incredibly stable board.
My only true gripe is the PCI-E 2.0 slot, which as I said earlier will significantly hamper the performance of the GPU in that slot as it cannot run at full 2.0 X16 speeds even on a 3.0 X16 card.
If you're still in the market for a 1155 CPU and a *single* GPU, this is a great, low cost board to use in your build.
This review is from: ENERMAX T.B. Silence UCTB12P 120mm PWM Function Case Fan
Pros: cheap. quiet
Cons: horrible blade removal design
Other Thoughts: This fan claims to have a detachable blade hub. It requires EXCESSIVE force to remove, and after reattaching it, it never would seat correctly and makes a loud clicking sound.
This is a good fan on all other merits, but do NOT attempt to remove the blades, it ruined my fan and could very well ruin yours too.
Pros: Low price for 240GB.
Performance is adequate and reflects the price.
For daily use and even gaming, it's still a fast little drive.
Cons: Bad advertising and disingenuous hardware choices have made the buying experience frustrating.
Other Thoughts: A major beef with the Kingston V300 series that everyone seems to be having is that it simply does not live up to the speeds that previous drives in the series have had, a result of Kingston using less expensive and less speedy asynchronous NAND in current models, whereas earlier models from mid-2013 or so used better quality and speedier synchronous NAND.
The SSD I received came with the 521 firmware, indicating that I got one of the slower models. Kingston tech support claims that these models do in fact meet the benchmark of 450MB/s with ATTO software.
After doing some personal tests with crystaldiskmark, I found that my drive's read/write speeds were not even 50% of advertised speeds on files OVER 1GB. When I ran the test with simulated 500 MB file size however, my V300 came back with 460 read / 481 write.
Now, of course benchmarks do not always equal real-world use, so I copied my 80 gb mp3 music folder from my 505 firmware v300 ssd to the new 521 one, and transfer speeds as indicated by Windows reached a peak of 375 MB/s. I did a similar transfer of a 4 GB game folder, and got similar results.
When using the SSD for playing a game of Hawken, the maps loaded in about 3 seconds.
ALL THAT BEING SAID...
I have suffered a bit of slightly unjustified nerd-rage and frustration over this whole ordeal, something that could have been avoided if Kingston were a bit more honest about the actual product they were selling. It's not a good customer experience to be left wondering about the quality of the product you will receive.
Final words: caveat emptor. I paid ~$130 for a 240 GB drive, when comparably sized drives regularly go for ~$200. A bit of cynical common sense should have told me not to expect great things, but I did have the previous experience of buying another drive from the same product line and having no issues whatsoever with Kingston's little hardware swap.
COMPANIES: Just be honest about what you're selling.
That's all we ask as consumers.
For the price and average performance, this is a 4 or 5 star drive. For all the headache and runaround for dealing with benchmark this and NAND that... eh, 3 stars.
Now I need coffee.