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This review is from: CORSAIR Hydro Series H100i Extreme Performance Water/Liquid CPU Cooler. 240mm
Pros: Great cooling. Better than most, if not all, air solutions. Mounting was not difficult at all. Link software allows you to create custom fan profiles. You set it and forget it.
Cons: Fans can definitely be noisy at high RPMs. I think after my bank account recovers from this last build I'll be replacing the stock fans with Noctuas.
The link software is fairly robust but somehow also kind of clumsy and not incredibly intuitive. It's nice that I can set it and forget it but it always has to run in the background. In short, the software itself works, but it also kinda needs work.
Other Thoughts: The radiator + stock fans barely fit inside a Fractal R4 case. It barely cleared the heatsinks on my motherboard, which were about as tall as the standard release levers on the RAM slots. I wouldn't even be able to upgrade to a push/pull setup without switching to low-profile RAM. This is by no means a fault for the H100i, but I wanted to make sure I covered this for those thinking about going with this combo as this cooler and that case are very popular in the system building community right now.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: What can I say that hasn't already been said about this case? The case has been extremely well thought out in every area - great care was taken when designing this case. Noise dampening, a ton of 140mm fan mounts, removable drive bays, cable management setup, aesthetic appeal, nothing wasn't well done. I've built hundreds of systems, and building in a case iike this is an absolute pleasure, you'll never went to go back to a standard $60 case after building in a case like the R4.
Cons: This case might not be the best for a liquid cooling setup. The top has mounts for a radiator but I was BARELY able to get clearance with the corsair H100i heatsink with a single set of fans. My motherboard, the ASUS z97-pro's heatsinks were thankfully flat on top. If rounded, it might not have fit! If I wanted to upgrade the H100i radiator for a push/pull setup, I would have to switch to low profile RAM for it to fit. I won't fault the case for that though, it was my own fault for deciding to go liquid cooling at the last second without research. So, food for thought, if you're going with a water cooling setup, this works but may not be the best option.
Other Thoughts: Despite the "con" above this is an amazing case, without question. Probably my favorite case I've ever built in to date. There's clearly a reason, or many reasons actually, why this case is one of the top recommended in DIY system builder forums and communities.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: ASUS Z97-PRO LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Pros: In terms of features vs price, this board fit the bill perfectly for what I wanted. Having SATA Express and M.2 on the same board is fantastic, I want my system to be as future proof as possible, and if one of the emerging standards ends up being more popular in the end, I'll be set either way.
BIOS is full of features, easy on the eyes, good OC capabilities. Spent a lot of time here tweaking OC settings.
An unexpected benefit to this board was the heatsink design - the flat design on top of the heatsinks just barely allowed clearance when installing an H100i in my Fractal R4 case. They're only about as tall as the top of the RAM levers, which are of standard height. Any taller, or rounded tops, and it wouldn't have fit!
Otherwise, The board has no lack of other connections such as SATA, USB 3.0, expansion slots, etc. Z97 chipset is also a big plus, support for next gen CPUs is a good thing, though with a 4790k in my system I seriously doubt I'll upgrade until I put together a whole new build.
Cons: No real complaints to speak of here. The back panel could have squeezed in a couple more USB 3.0 ports, but what's supplied is already plenty.
Other Thoughts: I'm the type that prefers to build one quality system to last for a few years instead of updating often, and this board fit the bill perfectly. Having both emerging storage standards, plenty of features, quality build, was everything I was looking for.
Dropped a i7 4790k with H100i and on this board was able to achieve a nice stable overclock of 4.7ghz on 1.290v. I'm sure I could have pushed the CPU a bit more, but like I said I want my build to last, and this CPU @ 4.7 ghz isn't going to struggle with anything for a long time.