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Pros: Great little 1150 gaming board for those on a budget
+Green fit the theme nicely
+SATA port location is great
+On-board "Amp-Up!" audio is fantastic, great addition and a nice thing to see on a budget board, typically (in my own experience) these kinds of features are reserved for enthusiast and professional grade boards, but it's present and it works great.
Definitely a noticeable improvement in sound quality and clarity over your average on-board sound chip, very pleased. It's definitely not a novelty feature, it performs.
+Audio "path lighting" has got to be one of the neatest things I've ever seen on a motherboard, ever, and it looks awesome. I wasn't even fully aware that it would be so vivid and nice looking, I assumed it to be gimmicky so I had purchased this board almost outright disregarding this feature.
I was wrong, adds a nice green accent to an already black & green themed build. Excellent feature and I want to see more of this kind of thing on future board designs.
+Supports xfire/SLI if you have or want a dual card setup.
+Does everything I needed it to, if all you need is a solid gaming board without *most* of the frivolous bells and whistles, this is highly recommended. Watch for other reviews though, as it seems some other customers have experienced BIOS related issues and a few DOA boards.
Mine arrived fine though, and my 4690k slapped right in, posted first try. All is well some handful of months later and it's performing as it should.
Cons: -I'm really "not a fan" of the placement of the SYSFAN headers 1 & 2, it's just always awkward for me when case fan headers are in the center of the board. I like them at least somewhere near the side to aid in an easier wiring job as well as an overall cleaner system interior. I like the face of my board to be as free of cutter as possible.
-Input/output jacks are a real pain, especially when you're unfortunate like myself and your front panel inputs on your case are defective. Getting up in the dark to switch jacks or plug/unplug things, well... it would be nice if they were color coded. BETTER STILL! Add a little length of that audio path lighting to illuminate a small ring around the inputs/outputs! At the very least, illuminate the primary audio output jack please!
Other Thoughts: Took half an egg off for SYSFAN header 1 & 2 placement, it's just a pet peeve of mine that, although I was well aware of, still is worth complaining about. Put it near the edge, I don't mind cpu headers being centered as that's where they'll usually end up anyways, but case fan excess belongs behind the board, and when eventually the cables will have to cross the majority of the board to connect, it results in a poor presentation for systems that have display windows.
Also took half an egg off for lack of color coding on the audio inputs & outputs. I understand gold-plating and the purposes behind it, but there must be a way to either illuminate the jacks by color or something else to make finding the right jack in the dark a bit simpler.
It's a great budget board and I can recommend it, it would make a very solid board for someone's first build.
Pros: My knowledge concerning processors is pretty "meh", so I won't get into the technical side of things. What I will say though, is:
+It's fast. It's REALLY fast compared to the last gen of i5's I've built systems with
+OC'ing is a breeze, and for those like myself who don't intend to immediately, it's always nice to have the option down the road.
Cons: Nothing yet, really.
Other Thoughts: -Upgrade from that stock sink asap, I assume most who purchase this model aren't going to be using it to run HTCP or office systems, and if you're doing anything other than that with it you WILL want to upgrade from the included sink as soon as humanly possible. There's no downsides and only upsides to doing so, even a cheap $20 or $30 sink will likely do you a world of good and increase the lifespan of your processor next to the boxed intel.
Anyways, great processor and it's chugging through everything we've thrown at it. I picked it up on sale for I think around $230 or so during a sale and I'm very pleased with the purchase, would easily buy again at $260 if I was in need of another chip.
Pros: +Vivid green, looks great. For the first time in my experience, the "doctored" looking product image of it all lit up is more accurate to the product. Even when they aren't powered, the green is very sharp and neon, not as dull as it appears to me in some of the photos.
+As advertised, ultra-silent. They barely even hum, the only noise that is produced in my gf's case is that of the air from these fans passing over her fan filters, when they're removed the fans don't even make noise, I can only hear the bearings when I put my ear right up near them. Very impressed with the low dB's.
+Move plenty of air
+Cable is sheathed in a pseudo-rubber coating which helps if you need to wrap the wires around sharp edges or on sharp angles. It's a welcome feature.
+Pricey but you get what you pay for, if silence is a must, 140mm is a must, and green is a preference, this definitely fits the bill. Glow from the fans is also not piercingly bright, just a nice vibrant glow coming off of them which accents the inside of the case to my taste.
Cons: -I always feel bad when a PRO is also a CON, but...
The sheathing on the cables (which I do enjoy and endorse) does not make for a very nice visual presentation sometimes, if you're an enthusiast and like EVERYTHING in your case to be smooth, neat, and uniform, this may be an issue. It seems running these cables on anything sharper than about a 25*-30* angle results in a kink in the sheathing. It doesn't really affect anything aside from visual presentation and I'm sure it's not a big whoop for most, but I felt it's worth mentioning for those that like their cables to take a nice, SMOOTH turn to wherever they're being fed. It worked out fine in my case anyways, as with some fiddling I did manage to minimize the kink-age, along with a few (needed regardless of kinks) fan extension cables and splitters.
Other Thoughts: Great fan, I can definitely endorse these. I've owned many brands, models, and variants of fans, but this is only the second 140mm fan I've ever purchased, made use of and tested, so take my review with a grain of salt.
As of this review I'm being a bit more critical with handing out 5 eggs, so from now on a great product that meets all of my expectations is a 4, and I'll reserve my 5's for products that blow me away.
It's an incredible fan and does everything I need it to, so I'm giving it a 4. Time to get stingy with my eggs...
Great fan, works as advertised, is silent as an be and fits my gf's "Xenomorph" build very nicely. Keeps that air passing through as it should.
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