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ASUS Z170-P D3 LGA 1151 Intel Z170 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 month to 1 year

1 out of 5 eggs M.2 NVM Nightmare - Board Not Ready for Prime Time 07/22/2016

This review is from: ASUS Z170-P D3 LGA 1151 Intel Z170 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: Price, DDR3 compatibility, & Skylake.

Cons: If you have thoughts of making use of that M.2 slot, think again. Nothing but a nightmare and despite a call to ASUS Tech Support and a flash of the BIOS to Ver 0509; 11/26/2015, my 500GB Samsung 950 Pro V-NAND SSD remains unrecognized BY THE OPERATING SYSTEM (Windows 7). The drive is recognized IN THE BIOS, but what good does that do if you can't access it?

My original plan was to put the OS on the M.2 drive, but seemingly knowledgeable Tech Support says that is not possible, pointing fingers at Samsung. So, unhappy but planning to use for (fast) file storage, found that I couldn't do that either. Gimme a break!

Other Thoughts: The board is relatively small and things get really cramped installing - and after installing - a liquid cooler even in a full-size tower case.

7/22/16-Follow Up Review and Short Term Usage Report

(Five Eggs, But the One Egg Initial Review Still Stands)

Once the early nightmare of getting the M.2 drive recognized was solved, the motherboard (and entire PC) has been a bullet proof rocket ship. It was built specifically for video encoding and in its first outing – a 1-hour DVD – it was flawless and fast. The entire PC is more than fast, it is nimble, quick, responsive, a joy to use for simple or complex tasks.

My 2/9/16 review was harsh, but the finger-pointing reminded me of the early EDP days (I’m an old geek). Subsequent reviewers were gentle with me, e.g., stopping just short of calling me dumb for not knowing I was seeing a Windows issue, not a hardware issue. But this is another nice mess you’ve gotten me into, Ollie. I ask you, if you bring totally new hardware to market (the M.2-centric MB) without drivers to allow it to talk to Windows, albeit Windows 7 (50% market share), was your product ready for prime time or do you blame Windows (Microsoft)?

Although I stumbled into a solution for getting the OS on the M.2 drive, put Windows 7 on a SATA SSD first, I’ve since seen several questions by others with the same problem, with a certain “Max Mag” giving that exact solution, which they said they got from Asus.

Why does it matter? These M.2 and other PCI-lane drives are the wave of the future and wickedly fast. After all, do we REALLY need SATA cables? Every PC needs an OS (of some type), so slap that sucker on the MB!

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CORSAIR RMx Series RM850X 850W 80 PLUS GOLD Haswell Ready Full Modular ATX12V & EPS12V SLI and Crossfire Ready Power Supply
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

Pros: 100% modular – no permanently connected cables; comes with 12 cables counting the power cord. Cables are plenty long enough to reach anywhere in the biggest ATX tower, and although some reviewers report that they are stiff, I found them to be perfect in my build. Basic black unit including all cables that have nice, tight, mesh sheathing. Unit looks nice.

Cable connectors on PSU clearly marked and snap in smoothly, with a definite “click”. Gray-silver lettering will be right-side-up on the PSU no matter which way you mount the unit, i.e., fan up or fan down.

Silent, thermally controlled fan; great in a PC already quiet with closed-loop liquid cooling.

Seven-year warranty.

Admittedly, I’m partly influenced by the Corsair name; I’m a 71-year old geek builder and cannot recall a single bad experience with any Corsair product.

Cons: Unlike a few other users experienced, my unit was only mildly warm, even in the silent mode. Admittedly my build has modest power demands, and in a tight case with poor fans and ventilation, heat might be a problem.

Price may be a bit high, but in so many ways you get what you pay for.

Other Thoughts: Newegg specs? Maybe I’m not understanding what this means, but the Newegg listing specifications for this unit say, “ SLi – No, CrossFire – No, Haswell – No”. I’m not an expert on Haswells, but clearly this unit will handle SLi and CrossFire.

Just as an item of information, this PSU is big and heavy! Unit only – 4 lb 2.5 oz; 7” X 6” X 3-3/8”. Even the box is big – 15-1/2” X 9” X 6”, but it is double boxed with thick foam padding around the PSU. It should arrive in good condition if the UPS truck doesn’t run over it.

Three one-egg Newegg reviews sound “odd” and directly in contrast to all the other reviews; draw your own conclusions.

System:
Cooler Master Storm Trooper
ASUS Z170-P D3, LGA 1151, Intel Z170 Express
Intel® Core™ i7-6700K Skylake
Liquid CPU Cooler, Corsair Hydro Series, H80i v2
Corsair Vengeance 32GB, DDR3 2400
EVGA GTX 750Ti
512GB M.2 NVMe, Samsung 950 Pro
256GB, SSD, Samsung 840 Pro
2TB Western Digital

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Corsair Hydro Series H80i V2  Water / Liquid CPU Cooler. 120mm CW-9060024-WW
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

5 out of 5 eggs Quality Workmanship, Immaculate Fit and Finish 02/12/2016

This review is from: Corsair Hydro Series H80i V2 Water / Liquid CPU Cooler. 120mm CW-9060024-WW

Pros: A dandy cooling device, quality looks and feel, precision matched components, almost nothing not to like. Love the dual fan, push-pull configuration. Builders pay attention to the fine print Corsair recommendation to mount the unit pulling air IN, opposite to conventional rear fan mounting, but it makes perfect sense considering those radiator fins need cool air not pre-warmed case air.

Some reviewers mentioned fan noise, but my finished build was so quiet that I had to look to see if it was on . . . my house furnace blower makes more noise!

Cons: Anyone geek enough to want a liquid cooler is probably savvy enough to install one; however, the included directions are slightly worse than basic, e.g., some of the drawings are actually misleading.

The total setup, once installed, is big, so do some advance planning . . . some contra thinking to the way you might ordinarily assemble a PC, e.g., look at what will be blocked on your motherboard AFTER it is installed, and where possible, try to get to those items first, or at least while installing the cooler. The assembled unit is 4” thick, jutting out quite a ways over your motherboard, in my case an already somewhat smaller ATX motherboard, an LGA 1151 ASUS Z170-P D3.

Worse still, no matter what position I tried for the Pump Unit (CPU cooling block) it was “wrong”, e.g., it was so close to my inserted memory DIMMS that I ultimately had to forego using the included USB data link cable, i.e., it was too tight to fit and turning the cooling block to any other position either severely kinked the hoses or jammed the power cable connections against my DIMMs. Corsair is quite understandably proud of that nifty lighted top surface of the cooling block, but it might be time to consider a redesign based upon these newer, smaller motherboards.

Other Thoughts: Despite my seemingly lengthy list of “Cons”, they are mostly intended as helpful hints for future buyers/installers, and there is absolutely nothing serious enough to remove even one egg. The finished result is strikingly good. Forget the numbers – in my case, 28C – 30C degrees, and just sit back and listen to the quiet!
ASUS Z170-P D3 LGA 1151
Intel Core i7-6700K Skylake
Samsung 950 Pro M.2 512GB
Corsair Vengeance DDR3-2400MHz

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Michael S.'s Profile

Display Name: Michael S.

Date Joined: 01/15/04

  • Reviews: 51
  • Helpfulness: 26
  • First Review: 12/05/08
  • Last Review: 07/22/16
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