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This review is from: ZALMAN CNPS9900MAX-R 135mm Long life bearing CPU Cooler Red LED
Pros: I did a review at the tail end of 2014, November time frame I believe, and I wanted to give an update as to my experience with this product now that I've had time to properly assess it's capabilities.
Firstly, temperatures remain very satisfactory with an average of 30C at idle and barely topping out at 40C, even during CPU intensive programs. Haven't had any issues with the LED or fans themselves; they continue to operate quite well, though the LED hasn't gotten any brighter. Still very dim. Dust has accumulated on the fans and heatsink fins, however are fairly easily disposed of with compressed air if attended to quick enough.
Cons: The fan has become louder over the past few months, to the point where it's fairly obvious when it's speeding up to combat an increase in heat. That said, I expect a fan to make noise and frankly am comforted to know that it's spinning at high RPMs in order to keep my stuff cool. But, even I have to draw the line somewhere, and I gotta say it's sorta distracting at times. It started out very quiet but over a somewhat short amount of time, four or five months, it has already started to become noticeable.
Not a total buzz kill, so I remain giving this 4/5 eggs. But I still consider it noteworthy for other potential buyers.
Other Thoughts: Another thought on the installation process, in addition to what I wrote a page or two back. It might be obvious to most, but just in case this fan CAN be installed backwards. The manual doesn't do a very good job distinguishing this, again in my opinion, and I only knew of this because of an instructional Youtube video. If that was painfully obvious to CPU fan installers, disregard that completely.
Secondly, I know some reviewers were noting that the top brace, the one surrounding the processor, doesn't screw in flush to the motherboard, as is the case with several other manufacturers. I was concerned as well until I realized that this is how the thing was designed. It looks odd but is completely normal for operation.
Pros: I know we shouldn't place emphasis on just looks, but I gotta admit this has to be one of the most appealing graphics cards I've ever bought. Aesthetically speaking, I couldn't be happier. The card itself feels extremely premium, and quite hefty which in my eyes is a good thing. The backplate, even if it doesn't provide anything positive on the thermal side of things, still adds to the look and feel and adds a sense of rigidness to the card. Upon installation, the power LEDs glowed red to indicate that the card was indeed seated correctly, but there was no power yet; once power was applied, the LEDs turned white to let me know a connection as present. It's a nice touch for problems down the road, since at a glance I could probably gauge if said problems are power related. Wouldn't rely a hundred percent on it, but it's still mighty helpful in my eyes.
It's extremely quiet even under gaming; the fans are spinning but only as fast as needed, and I haven't heard any coil whine...yet. It's a new card, perhaps that'll come with age. The load indicator LED is a nice touch and, assuming it's accurate, is a quick way to gauge how hard the card is stressing. So far it hasn't gone past yellow, even when GTA V is maxed out at 1080p. Impressed.
The GPU Tweak program is extremely helpful as well, letting me fine tune the card with a click of the mouse. I've gotten a stable clock of around 1550MHz and a memory clock of 7400MHz. This was achieved on air mind you, and without modifications to the voltage. I think this speaks volumes about the quality and design of the card. I know those numbers don't sound out of this world or anything, but I plan to test it further once I incorporate a water cooling system. Overall, I have been thoroughly pleased.
Cons: No real true cons as of yet. I can't even complain about the price since, as we all know, this is a 'premium' brand name company and are always going to be higher than most. I put that in single quotes since that name can be debated, but that's what they pride themselves on. Whether true or not, that's for each individual to decide. For me, as a customer, I knew that going in so wouldn't feel right faulting the product on it.
Other Thoughts: This was purchased to replace my aging GTX 680, and coming from that this thing is a definite increase. For my current needs, this thing is total overkill. I more than likely won't be using any kind of liquid nitrogen, and I'm not going to incorporate liquid cooling until at least later this year. But I wanted the absolute best in terms of quality and design, and after several reviews online the Matrix fit that bill. It's very expensive, no doubt about it, and maybe it's all just marketing, but I've had pretty good success with ASUS products over the years and they haven't let me down yet. For my current and near future needs (1-3 yrs), this thing will power me through anything I plan on throwing at it for several years, and I won't feel the need to upgrade for some time.
It should be noted that while I do overclock my components, I'm no where near the enthusiast that this card is more than likely aimed for. But, in addition to this being a part of a theme build, I would like to test the waters when it comes to water cooling and/or higher end stuff, so wanted a card that was for sure going to enable to have that experience.
Since it is early, I will update when I've had more time to test all my games and experiment with different speeds. This was more of a first impression deal with only minor tweaks. Looking forward to seeing how far I can push this thing on my current setup.
Core i7 4790k (air cooled, OC'd to 4.6GHz)
16GB 1600Mhz RAM
Intel 730 SSD
Pros: The packaging itself was impressive, looked like someone actually put some effort into making sure the product would arrive as undamaged as possible. Inside, I found more cables then I know what to do with, which is perfectly fine for me since I have no idea what the future holds, but am glad I'm probably more than prepared for anything cable-wise.
The power supply itself seems well constructed, solid and sturdy. The ribbon style cables is also a plus, for me at least, since they aren't as bulky and can be manipulated around my case easier than traditional cabling. It also matches my color scheme. Cables were easy to plug in and out, and I didn't have a problem 'clicking' the main cable into my board as others have stated; it went in easily and without fuss. The cables are also separated, with one group containing the more modern cables (PCIe, CPU, SATA) and the other with what I would term more legacy ones, like Molex. Thoughtful of them in my opinion. The soft shell bag was also a nice touch.
The hybrid selector is one the main points about this product that I enjoy; most of the time the fan isn't even spinning, which saves on the fan's life. When it does, during heavy gaming mostly, it's quiet as a mouse and there was one point when I had to take off the side panel to make sure it was still working. I hope this will aid in stretching the unit's life as long as possible.
For my needs, 860W was the perfect balance between 'overkill' and 'just enough', since I would like to expand in the future (hopefully within seven years), and don't wish to skimp on such an important component. Its platinum rating was also a major pro for me, since I wanted the most energy efficient unit possible, even if I did have to pay a bit more for it.
Overall, extremely pleased thus far.
Cons: It isn't much of a complaint, but I do wish the fan had come installed on the bottom of the unit, as my PSU is mounted on the bottom of my case. I would have preferred the unit drawing in air from beneath my case. But, since it is pulling air through the top, and because of the configuration of my components, my video card is basically supplying the power supply with warm air.
It should be noted that yes the unit CAN be installed upside down, but then the Seasonic insignia and all the writing are upside down as well. Again, this is more of a minor inconvenience and doesn't detract from the product itself, hence no eggs taken off, but still worth mentioning if others are as OCD as I am when it comes to stuff like that. If it doesn't bother you, then disregard that completely.
Another noteworthy thing is that the unit that arrived at my door was black, not silver. Not sure if Newegg's pictures haven't been updated or I just got the luck of the draw, but still worth mentioning. Not a big deal, since the unit still works as advertised, but still would have preferred silver since I wanted it to match my case.
Overall, these are just minor things that bug me; this thing doesn't really have any true cons thus far
Other Thoughts: This is my very first product from this company and I'm very satisfied so far. Of course it's longevity will be the ultimate decider, but with a seven year warranty behind it I can't imagine having an issue, or if I do at least I can get a replacement with minimal effort/cost.
Lastly, I had a 120mm bottom mounted fan that I had to remove because the cables wouldn't have enough clearance. This isn't Seasonic's fault mind you, but if someone has a midtower case with a bottom mounted fan AND power supply, it's definitely worth noting. My specs are below for a power-needed comparison; I've calculated mine to be between 400-450W, but like I mentioned above I wanted plenty of space for expansion which I plan to do over the next few years.
Core i7 4790k (OC'd to 4.6GHz)
GTX 680 (soon to be 980 in two-way SLI)
16GB RAM (upgrading to 32GB)
Intel 730 SSD
ASUS Maximus Formula VII
*Enermax Coenus Mid-Tower Case*
Display Name: Colin G.
Date Joined: 10/18/07
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