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Antec GX500 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: less than 1 day

5 out of 5 eggs Antec outdid themselves this time! 01/21/2015

This review is from: Antec GX500 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Pros: I am extremely impressed with the features/price ratio of this case. Antec engineered this case extremely well, and it shows. The steel isn't the heaviest gauge, but that would cost more, and they had to balance it with the cooling capacity (its biggest feature, IMO) for a reasonable price. Combined with 3 120mm exhaust fans preinstalled, and room for 3 intake (which I purchased), I am confident that this case will last me for several builds.

Cons: As noted above, the steel isn't the heaviest, but you get what you pay for. Also, when installing the intake fans on the front of the case, keep a jeweler's screwdriver handy, as you may need it to fasten the fans to the case,

Other Thoughts: I was looking to replace the previous case, which was a mini-ITX case, the Cooler Master Elite 120. While the advertising said that it could fit a card such as the ASUS Radeon R9 270, the reality is that airflow goes effectively to zero, which leads to problems with overheating, which I found out most unpleasantly when my computer shut off unexpectedly. Fortunately, the thermal protection scheme kicked in, and no permanent damage was done. But it meant that I would need a new case, because a single 80mm intake fan, to put it simply, wouldn't cut the mustard. I was blessed to come across this case. I am simply amazed at the price Antec charges for such an awesome case. Well done, Antec!

ASUS R9270-DC2OC-2GD5 Radeon R9 270 2GB 256-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: less than 1 day

Pros: I bought this card for one purpose only, and that was to play the Darkplaces port of Quake with the Quake HD mod. For this purpose, it worked marvelously. I didn't see any reviews which used this game as a benchmark, and that was a shame, because the Darkplaces engine is a worthy contender to put the strengths of the newest generations of video cards to the test. I turned up all the effects (real world lighting, etc) for the express purpose of exercising this video card, having seen all the wonderful reviews of how this card handles all the modern games. Well, Quake isn't exactly modern, but the engine is, most certainly, and its settings set to maximum have most certainly shown off the virtues of the card: maximum beauty at maximum speed, all while killing the baddies. A first-person-shooter at its best.

Cons: As far as the card itself is concerned, I have nothing to report. However, as far as the case is concerned, there was a small concern. I have a Cooler Master Elite 120 mini-ITX case, and all the hard drive connectors were on the left side, where the PCI-E slot is. It wasn't a problem when I didn't have a monster video card to install, but once that happened, the wires became an issue, bunching up behind the video card, and bending the PCB ever so slightly. This was a problem, to say the least. I had to re-orient the hard drives' connectors so that they faced the right side. After this was accomplished, the video card went back in with ease (I had to remove the card to re-orient the HD's because of the card's length). Not really a con if you don't have a small case, but something to keep in mind if you have one that can fit this caliber of card.

On the software side, Darkplaces Quake does drop to a single digit frame rate in some scenes: rarely, and then only briefly. I suspect it has to do with the amount of rendering it has to do at a given moment. Again, not really a con, because the majority of the time, it runs acceptably smooth and looks gorgeous, with mucho detail and effects.

Other Thoughts: It would be best to prepare your system to receive the new card by installing the latest Catalyst drivers (14.12). This card worked beautifully, handily replacing the HD 6670, with the current screen configuration intact (I run LInux). I would definitely recommend buying this card if you want to run the newest games. Mine was an corner use case, and most definitely not common.

ASRock FM2A88X-ITX+ FM2+ / FM2 AMD A88X (Bolton D4) 6 x SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI Mini ITX AMD Motherboard
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: This motherboard has everything I could want in an extremely small form factor. This is the second time I have ordered this same motherboard, and the first one is still performing satisfactorily as my main desktop.

This second motherboard I ordered because I wanted a media center, and it seemed like a logical choice, given its track record. For those interested in the details, I am running XBMC with the Pandora add-on, on Slackware Linux. I am playing the music via HDMI audio, and it works quite well.

Cons: If there is any downside to this motherboard, it is the fact that the connecting wires to the integrated bluetooth/wifi module is so hard to attach, but that may be just a consequence of how it is designed. I do not think taking an egg off is warranted in this case.

Other Thoughts: For those wanting to have full functionality for basic tasks like a media center to a full-fledged desktop computer in a small form factor, you really can't go wrong with this motherboard. I am really pleased that I came across this superbly engineered little motherboard.Kudos to ASRock/ASUS for an excellent price/features ratio!


Matthew M.'s Profile

Display Name: Matthew M.

Date Joined: 01/18/13

  • Reviews: 10
  • Helpfulness: 5
  • First Review: 02/22/14
  • Last Review: 01/24/15
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