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This review is from: Rosewill CHALLENGER - Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Three Included Fans - 1 x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1 x Top 140mm Fan, 1 x Rear 120mm Fan - Two More Optional Side 120mm Fans Supported
Pros: This case was a fantastic value with the promo code and free shipping. I have purchased 3 different budget mid-tower cases over the past 1-2 years, and I like this one the best. Build quality was decent on all of them, but I really like the bottom-mounted PSU design on this one, as well as the hard drive slots (and rail mounting system) that run perpendicular to the length of the case. The blue LED on the intake fan is a nice touch if you like that sort of thing.
Cons: The front intake fan and top exhaust fans have regular 4-pin female molex connectors rather than the small 3- or 4-pin connectors that can attach to motherboard fan headers. Unfortunately, the fan molex connectors do not fit well with the male molex connectors of my Corsair CX500v2 PSU. They refuse to snap together, so the connection is loose resulting in intermittent power to the fans. I think the female molex plugs on the case fans aren't designed well. A workaround would be to use adapters to attach the fans to the motherboard headers. I wish Rosewill would have included a pair of such adapters, because they're $5 apiece if I want to purchase some.
Other Thoughts: Overall a very good case for the money. The fit issue with the power plugs for the fans is very annoying to me though.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: It's based on the PCI-e 2.0 spec, so it works with my Abit IP35-E (PCI-e 1.0)! Previously I had purchased a Radeon 5450 (PCI-e 2.1), but it was incompatible with 2 older motherboards with PCI-e 1.0. Turns out that some PCI 2.1 and 3.0 cards won't work in certain PCI-e 1.0 or 1.1 motherboards.
Cons: Performance isn't as good as the Radeon 5450 according to benchmarking / reviews, but at least it works in my old system!READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: - Passive cooling
- Good performance for the money (according to reviews)
- Low power consumption
Cons: Why PCI-e 2.1??? Incompatible with most of the target market! This card will not work (no video output) on my Abit IP35-E board or my old nForce 4 board, both with PCI-e 1.0. It works fine in a Z77 board. Some other manufacturers have PCI-e 1.0 or 2.0 versions of this card, which makes much more sense. Unfortunately, most are PCI-e 2.1, so PowerColor is not alone here.
Other Thoughts: Who is in the market for this card? I suspect it's mostly people who want a backup card or something to throw in an older rig. If building a new rig that doesn't require good 3D performance, it makes much more sense in my opinion to use the GPU integrated on the CPU, or get a motherboard with integrated graphics chipset. That being said, why would PowerColor choose to use the PCI-e 2.1 interface for this card, which is incompatible with MANY motherboards based on the PCI-e 1.0 or 1.1 interface (we're just a few years removed from PCI-e 1.x)??? It is not common not knowledge that this incompatibility exists, so people like me buy the card and find that it doesn't work in their systems unless they are lucky enough to have a motherboard whose manufacturer has released BIOS update to enable compatibility. Very disappointed.READ FULL REVIEW