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ASUS Z170-PRO LGA 1151 Intel Z170 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

4 out of 5 eggs Solid Z170 offering from Asus! 11/20/2015

This review is from: ASUS Z170-PRO LGA 1151 Intel Z170 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: + Nice layout
+ On board water pump header
+ Unoffensive color scheme
+ Intel LAN
+ Easy overclocking
+ USB 3.1
+ M.2 Support
+ Realtek ALC1150
+ 3 year Warranty
+ Easy to use Bios
+ Provided SLI Connector

Cons: - Only 6 rear USB ports
- Ext_fan 5 pin header instead of normal 4 pin (con for me)

Other Thoughts: I have owned several Asus motherboards in the past and I was anxious to see if the Z170-Pro lived up to my past experiences. I paired it with a i5-6600K, 16GB of Corsair Vengeance DDR4-2666, MSI R9 290X, Windows 10, 256GB Adata SX900 and a 2TB Seagate HDD.

Upon unboxing, I was pleased with the simple looks of the Black PCB and white rear I/O port cover. No bling other than the LED's when powered on. Installation was easy as expected with no surprises. I was pleased with the included Q-connector which makes header install so much easier and why every motherboard does not offer it is beyond me. Of note, the Z170-Pro is a full ATX, so it is a little wider than some ATX motherboards. Also the motherboard only has 6 rear USB ports, which on near $200 motherboards I personally would like to see 8 rear USB ports.

Windows installed without issue and the bios had no problems recognizing the Corsair's SPD settings. This is my son's computer so I limited my overclocking, but the easy to navigate UEFI bios allowed for some quick multi and small voltage adjustments that allowed for a rock stable 4.5Ghz on the 6600k that survived 24 hours of stress testing. Since then, the A170-Pro has been running for the last week 100% stable with no issues.

The Z170-Pro Audio is provided via a ALC1150 which seems to be the de facto standard for motherboards in this price range. It is a solid performer and audio amplifier is a nice addition. Also noteworthy is Asus's wise choice to use the Intel Ethernet instead of the sometimes used Killer NIC.

Overall I have been pleased with my time using the Asus Z170-Pro. Time will tell how reliable it is, but I have yet to have an Asus board ever die on me and the provided 3 year warranty is a nice length of time just in case. Pricing at $185 is fair, but there are several other similar specced options for cheaper. I give it 4/5 eggs.

G.SKILL RIPJAWS MX780 USB Wired RGB Laser Gaming Mouse
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

4 out of 5 eggs Good job G.Skill! 10/01/2015

This review is from: G.SKILL RIPJAWS MX780 USB Wired RGB Laser Gaming Mouse

Pros: + Customizable DPi settings to 8200 DPI
+ Programmable buttons and lighting
+ Ambidextrous design
+ Adjustable weights
+ 2 Year warranty
+ Braided cable
+ Aluminum bottom

Cons: - Only 2 4.5g weights
- Button layout slightly awkward
- Driver Software not included

Other Thoughts: First of all, the mouse is aggressive looking. I personally like it, but some may not. After adjusting the palm height, it feels pretty good in the hand although I personally like a more rounded profile like on my tried and true MX500. The mouse scroll button is slightly stiff, but I liked the action and the texture of the wheel. The laser was very accurate and with the adjustable DPI settings, offered a great gaming experience. Except, the side buttons near my pinkie are in a slightly awkward position and were sometimes accidentally pressed. My son, who tried the mouse as well also was impacted by accidental side button presses.

The programmable lighting is great. I had fun messing with the different lighting zones and setting them up to match my environment. It my be a bit gimmicky, but I like it. The mouse does had the two 4.5g weights that can be added. I personally would like to see a little more heft, but this is a minor complaint.

Overall I think that G.Skill has done a real good job with the MX780. My only real complaint is the side button placement being awkward for me personally. Other than that, it is a very solid offering.

AMD Radeon SSD Radeon R7 2.5
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: + Nice 4 year warranty
+ Solid physical design
+ Great performance
+ Comes with Acronis and Adapter tray

Cons: - None

Other Thoughts: The current SSD market is saturated with similar performing drives currently, so it is important to stand out. The AMD R7 Radeon 480GB, which is built by OCZ, does a good job of it by offering an attractive design and tank like construction. On top of the sturdy build, it is one of the rare drives that come with extra's like Acronis and a 3.5" mounting tray and a excellent 4 year warranty. So far so good.

On top of design, a SSD needs competitive performance and the AMD R7, while not offering top tier speeds of a Samsung 850 Pro, is very respectable. To test I did a fresh build of windows 10 and compared it against my 256GB Adata XPG SX900 (also on Win10), which is a older, but solid MLC SSD using a Sandforce 2281 controller. Test performed with 3 passes of a 1GB file.



With the tests, you can immediately see the superior write performance of the R7 and fantastic Q32 4K read performance compared to my SX900.

Since I have only had the drive for 2 weeks, I cannot comment on long term reliability, but thus far it has worked flawless running 24/7. My only concern, while nit picky, is the current price of $209. While certainly fair, exceeds that of the similar performing $179 Crucial 512GB BX100 and is substantially higher than the 480GB OCZ ARC 100 which does perform about 10-15% worse, but is only $140 after rebate currently. That being said, I am very pleased with the AMD R7 480GB. Great build quality, fast performance and great warranty = recommended. *****


Jason H.'s Profile

Display Name: Jason H.

Date Joined: 03/11/03


  • Top 1000 Reviewer
  • Reviews: 98
  • Helpfulness: 61
  • First Review: 04/16/03
  • Last Review: 11/20/15
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