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Pros: I finally got this Haswell i7-4790k mildly overclocked to 4.5GHZ on a year old Asus Z87-Deluxe mobo using 2103 bios firmware. I share this with everyone on Newegg as it is a way of giving back to some very decent reviews I abundantly use prior to making any purchases be it Newegg or other vendors. Long story short, I spent in excess of 47 hours (on and off) attempting to upgrade the i7-4770k to a i7-4790k w/o any success. Escalated this to Asus and even though many forums members stated many other people were also "unable" to get a i7-4790 to play nicely with a Asus Z87-Deluxe using bios f/w 2103, it will work. Asus has 3 utilities to flash bios' .... EZ Flash2, Flashback, and finally BIOS Updater. EZ Flash2 does NOT perform a complete bios flash. You must use either Flashback or BIOS Updater the 2 utilities provided from the Asus web site or their DVD. Once again, Asus comes thru in support provided you allow 48 hours for a response from their Taipei support people. If you do use EZ Flash2 it deceivingly shows the updated version number (via cpuz or any of the many public domain utilities) but will NOT allow upgrading from 4770k to 4790k .... this one is worth remembering guys!
Cons: I've been a creature of habit using the same Asus EZ Flash2 utility user for over 10 years but no longer. Not too thrilled with using the Asus BIOS Updater since it is lengthy, drawn out, and prone to error. Asus Flashback, the proprietary bios firmware installer is amazing...easy to use, you do not need a processor installed ever to upgrade motherboard firmware.
Other Thoughts: Asus motherboards are expensive and have always been price that way. The extra dollars spent are well worth the money as I normally perform complete upgrades on alternating platform launches and squeeze every bit of life out of older platforms before new chipsetted upgrades. This last frustrating processor upgrade clearly illustrates why Asus is a top tier motherboard seller .... features, flexibility but more importantly real time support when you need itREAD FULL REVIEW
This review is from: ASRock Z97 Extreme3 LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Pros: Weeks have passed since I posted my initial review of this entry level ASRock Z97 extreme3 motherboard. Since then I have had more time to both this motherboard to use and production. Today, I currently have this ASRock Z97 Extreme3 mildly overclocked to 4.5GHz using a new i7-4790k with the factory released bios and legacy Zalman 9900 heatsink/fan ...something which I presently cannot do even with a more expensive Asus Z87-Deluxe motherboard 2102 bios firmware which upsets me greatly. Escalations and emails to Asus have brought no responses as yet which speaks volumes how terrible support Asus has gotten. More importantly it is a joy installing this ASRock MB over the Asus MB simply because the ASRock MB is NOT a full sized ATX format which makes it a easy task even for compact and mid-tower cases. For those who want to cost effectively upgrade to Devil's Canyon and wish to do this on a budget give some serious thought using this ASRock Z97 Extreme3 mobo....inexpensive, compact, easy to install/setup/overclock even with a anemic Intel heatsink cooler. My earlier gripes voiced in my earlier review also castigated ASRock why they would ever consider including a VGA port ... it's there evidently for a budget purpose! Include it for pc builds who are on serious budget constraints, have a love for the hobby, and wish to salvage using old but functional VGA flat panels or worse yet (ugh!) a CRT monitor with just VGA capability. Does everyone know the highest o/c this year was on a ASRock branded board? .... maybe Asus and Gigabyte should start looking in their rear view mirror because ASRock quality and reliability is right up there!
Cons: In my earlier write up/review I castigated the limited number of USB3/USB2 ports and lack of built-in wi-fi, Even though these are major hindrances for the serious enthusiast you can work around these issues by installing a cheap wi-fi card, for example, into one of the pci slots, install a external powered USB3 hub which for me addresses my major gripes about this entry level motherboard.
Other Thoughts: Even high end first tier motherboard manufacturers (are you listening Asus?) entitled to screw up occasionally such as the case where a i7-4790k is presently documented to work but will not work on a expensive Z87-Deluxe motherboard. Given time I am sure Asus will resolve this however this is a huge faux paux and black eye for Asus. I Asus wants in excess of $400 for a x99 MB they better do better validation testing on processors and bios fixes. Me, I'm going to wait a bit before I consider going X99 chipset platforms ...it boils down to be gouged for overpriced for DDR4 memory, flakey bios updates, larger wattage power supplies and waiting for the "smoke to clear" on X99READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: ZALMAN CNPS9900ALED 120mm 2 Ball Low-noise Blue LED CPU Cooler
Pros: Purchase this last Zalman 9900 cpu cooler in late 2009 and just had to update my 7/1/2009 review in the interest of info sharing with other pc enthusiasts. Until this month I had a total of 2 of these Zalmans but sold my oldest Zalman 9900 cpu cooler having upgraded to a refurbished Corsair H100i water cooling upgrade. I originally paid over $40 for the Zalman some 4+ years ago and sold it to a work associate who just wanted to mildly overclock his 4770k. Offered to let it go for $35 along the installation and he agreed. This was a "win-win" for all he was guaranteed a 4.2GHz o/c on his 4770k which I would guarantee and I would recoup $35 thereby lowering my out of pocket cost on the Corsair H100i to just $55. For those who are still on the fence about going with a air cooler you should seriously consider the Zalman products simply because the manufacturer supports all the sockets presently out there including the new Haswell-E's. Quality of Zalman coolers are top notch and the longevity of the ball bearing fans speak for themselves...4+ years and still going strong. All that's needed is the bi-annual cleaning with a good industrial air compressor. Just be sure and blow out both the video card fan, power supply fans and any dust bunnies you have accumulating with the mid or full tower case. Again, I avoid using toothbrush or any brush since it potentially introduces static which might occur. BTW, the bottled heat sink compound provided with the original Zalman 9900 cooler is among the best pastes out there. A few drops of rubbing alcohol (isopropol or grain alcohol ...whatever you having laying around) will remedy a infrequently used bottle of this paste). Should Intel come out with another never ending socket platform down the road a quick call to Zalman will get you a bracket kit to accommodate newer sockets down the road .... never ever had issues with Zalman support...top notch!
Cons: Zalman has both a aluminum and older copper finned cooler. I prefer Copper over aluminum .... why fix what isn't broken?. The Zalman 9900 has outgrown it's usefulness for aggressive overclocks but is still better than the stock Intel cooler
Other Thoughts: This cpu cooler plays nicely with Haswells for mild overclocks so if you have one of these legacy coolers think twice before you toss it out. It does help when dis-believers see a 5 year old air cooler happily chugging away overclocking a 1st gen Intel 4770k to the tune of 4.3GHz with no throttling whatsoever...YMMV!READ FULL REVIEW