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This review is from: MSI 760GMA-P34(FX) AM3+ AMD 760G SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
Pros: This motherboard is very compact. You won't get a ton of RAM slots or PCIe slots, but you can still build a great gaming PC out of it!
The Realtek audio ports can be reassigned in software, so if you need a plug for front and rear audio, you can plug into any 2 ports (even mic-in) and use the included software to configure which port is which.
There appears to be a lot of heatsinks on the chipsets, I'm not worried about it overheating.
I was able to upgrade my AM3 setup to AM3+ using this board and I couldn't be happier.
Cons: There are a few issues with this board you should be aware of before purchasing.
First is the SATA ports. If your video card is longer than about 8 inches, you're going to need to get SATA cables with low profile 90 degree plugs, or ones with mini plugs and flexible cables. The video card WILL block the top row of SATA ports otherwise, and straight SATA plugs simply won't fit there.
Next is the PCIe port. If you have a 2 port tall video card, which is most any card these days, you'll lose your PCIe1x slot.
Finally is the SATA III 6.0Gb/s ports. These are on a different controller from the main 6 SATA II 3.0 Gb/s ports. This means you can't see them in the BIOS screen, only the first 6 SATA II ports, but you can still boot from them. The controller for them is kind of confusing at first, but I believe it can be used to RAID your drives if you are into that sort of thing!.
Other Thoughts: The Rosewill RCDV-11011 SATA cables worked well to fit behind my video card with this board. The 90 degree plugs tend to have a higher profile and can actually bend the board back when the card pushes on them. You'll only get 5mm or so of clearance behind a long video card.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: Rosewill 19.7” (1.64 ft./50cm) SATA III Cable w/ Locking Latch Model RCDV-11011
Pros: These were an impulse buy, but a lifesaver. The new micro-ATX motherboard I purchased has the SATA headers right behind the video card. These cables make it possible to actually use the SATA connectors without having to bend the motherboard.
Also they support SATA III!
Cons: They look flimsy, but they work fine so what does it matter how they look?READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: NZXT Kraken X60 RL-KRX60-01 Ultra Performance Water/Liquid CPU Cooler 280MM
Pros: This cooler is simply amazing. It performs better in "silent" mode than the corsair coolers, and it's possible to drop your idle temp to 30c with it. Prime95 only brought my core up to about 45c with the lowest fan settings.
This cooler is a beast, and the included sets of screws (long and short), as well as washers, made my hack-job of an installation a breeze.
The control software is alright, nothing amazing, but it does it's job, also allows you to set custom colors for the cooler's LEDs which animate and can change based on temperature.
Cons: NZXT should have included some sort of 20mm-15mm fan spacing bracket. MAKE SURE that your fan spacing is the required 15mm fan spacing. Even if you get an NZXT case, it might not fit. I had to ream out my fan holes to get this in there, and then use the included washers to stand my fans off the case because they were scraping on the fan grills.
The fans can be really noisy at full blast, but you'll never have to run them at that speed as the lowest fan setting still cools better than most air coolers.
If you're not okay with modifying your case to fit and you have 20mm fan spacing, you may want to consider the x40 or another cooler with a 120-140mm radiator instead.
Other Thoughts: The radiator and fans wouldn't fit in my NZXT Tempest 210 without putting the fans outside my case and the radiator inside. Luckily that specific case has a punchout square near the top-rear which can be used to run the cables back into the case.
NZXT stands behind their hardware though, in regard to reaming the fan holes to make this fit, they replied: "This will only void any sort of full return warranty. We'll still cover you if anything else in the case malfunctions. ;)"