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ASUS M5A97 LE R2.0 AM3+ AMD 970 + SB950 6 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), gray USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: UEFI Bios have an awesome interface
Asus software makes overclocking and updating bios a breeze
Price, Price, Price
Neat looking black PCB

Cons: Quality assurance not up to snuff
Becoming a date motherboard very quickly

Other Thoughts: It does the job, that's for sure. I love the UEFI bios and how easy that makes everything. I only ran into two hiccups. The first was that the cpu wouldn't seat easily, and behaved as if the socket itself is somewhat warped. Must have been a quality assurance issue to let something like that sneak through. Nothing a little more pressure than normal didn't fix. Second is that I spent a great deal of time trying to install my OS on an SSD in AHCI mode. For some reason, it repeatedly failed to boot in AHCI. I ended up having to switch to IDE mode in order to install the operating system (significantly slower SSD peformance) and then go into Windows and manually enable the AHCI driver before rebooting into bios and changing SATA modes from IDE to AHCI so that I could utilize my SSD to max potential. No biggie, but it was frustrating to have to do my own research to discover this trick. Delayed build completion by a couple hours at least. I had almost begun to believe my motherboard was bad.

The other thing that kills me is that I accidentally booted with my SSD disconnected today and that somehow managed to just completely wipe the SSD from my motherboard's recognition. After reconnecting it, my SSD was no longer listed in the boot priority list. The only way I could load my operating system was by pressing F8 during post and manually selecting to boot from my SSD every time. I was eventually able to get my motherboard to automatically boot from the SSD by disabling the CSM feature in bios and letting the thing post with errors. Upon reset, it recognized the drive again, and I was able to reenable CSM and resolve the automatic boot problems. Not really sure why that fixed it, but it did. Suddenly my hard drive was listed in bios again and I was able to set it in the boot priority list.

So, it has bizarre issues, but nothing impossible to work with. Given its strange hiccups, though, I have to admit that I'm probably not going to be buying an Asus for my next build.

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RAIDMAX Super Hurricane ATX-248NWB Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Price
Build quality
Aesthetics
Cable Management

Cons: None

Other Thoughts: I reviewed this case once already but I don't think it went through. I apologize if this is a duplicate.

I bought this for a budget build not expecting much for the price. I've used this brand in the past so I knew that the quality would suffice. I was pleasantly surprised! Cable management was a lot better than I expected, and you can easily access cpu cooler backplates without having to remove the entire motherboard. Plus the case is downright sturdy! I think some of the negative reviews aren't really justified. This goes above and beyond for a case priced so low. The steel is thick and the side panels don't have any real flex in them at all. The frame is rigid, and the abs plastic front bezel feels pretty solid, not hollow and cheap like you might assume for a case this price.

The description was accurate, and I got all the hardware and literature needed. I'd definitely buy this again. Probably the best deal for a case at this pricing point. Not so radical that it looks like a spaceship or something next to my desk, just kind of modern/custom and a little aggressive.

So just for those of us that might be without a USB 3.0 front panel header on our motherboards, they do make 20 pin USB 3.0 to 9 pin USB 2.0 header adapters. You obviously won't get 3.0 speeds out of that, but it will at least allow you to convert that unused 3.0 front port to a usable USB 2.0. Those adapters typically run you under 10 bucks.

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SAMSUNG Galaxy Tab 2 GT-P3113GRSXAR WiFi 7-inch Tablet Bundle with Case - Garnet Red
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: Seems awesome. Speedy, looks slick, decent sound.

Cons: The protective stickers that were placed on the smooth surfaces were full of lint, dust, and sand. Consequently every where a piece of sand was trapped there is a scratch. I bought this new. I expected it to be like new. Not repackaged.

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James M.'s Profile

Display Name: James M.

Date Joined: 07/31/05

  • Reviews: 15
  • Helpfulness: 3
  • First Review: 11/09/05
  • Last Review: 05/19/15
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