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Pros: I picked up this EVGA Z68 FTW 160-SB-E689-KR at New Egg for the incredibly low price of $60. I did not read any of the reviews at the time I purchased this motherboard because the price was so good, and I have never had a problem with EVGA products in the past. Recently, I decided to unpack this motherboard and put a nice rig together.
I read every review on this EVGA motherboard here at New Egg and AmaZin Rover. I also carefully checked out the EVGA forums. And that is when my knees began to shake and tremble. Those were the absolute worst horror stories I have ever read about a motherboard and I read a lot of reviews, sometimes daily.
I did not want to even open the package after reading about all the terrible problems people were having with this specific motherboard.
After waiting nearly 4 months, I decided to open the package and try it anyway [all the bells and whistles on this motherboard kept calling my name every time I looked at it]!
Desperately hoping I would be one of the fortunate and lucky ones, I opened the package and began my adventure...
I installed an Intel i5-2500k, a ZALMAN LQ-315 Water Cooler, 16 GB of Corsair Vengeance RAM, a SeaSonic X Series X-850, crossed my fingers, hoped for the best, and hit the power button...all with my knees still shaking and my teeth chattering...
Result: Everything booted up and worked perfect!
Next step, I installed Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, permitted Windows to do all the critical updates, and again, everything has worked perfect.
So far, I am very, very happy with this motherboard.
I have left the BIOS at the same exact level it was when I purchased this motherboard: BIOS Version 689 1.05 x64
I have heard that BIOS version A05 does quite good too, but I still cannot find the courage to try it.
I have heard many horror stories on the BIOS Version R16 as I read at EVGA Forums. Supposedly a BIOS version R19 is in the making...but I tremble when thinking about trying any BIOS versions other than the original.
So, for now, my system is working A+++ and I am very happy with it. I will update later if I discover anything exciting or improved.
NewEgg rocks! A $300+ motherboard for only $60 with more bells and whistles than I have ever seen in my entire life? How did you guys pull that off anyway?
Personally, I think it's a miracle!
Cons: Only cons I can think of at the moment are all the negative reviews that strike terror in the hearts of system builders and enthusiasts alike!
Hey, I am NOT saying all the negative posts are inaccurate...what I am saying is all the negative posts scared the heck out of me and most certainly many other people, but for some reason, my EVGA Z68 FTW 160-SB-E689-KR motherboard is working perfect!
Oh, one more negative...now I wish I had purchased a lot more....as in several dozen of em'...
Other Thoughts: Is it possible, many more people had positive results on this EVGA Z68 FTW 160-SB-E689-KR and haven't posted their results?
Please, if you are a person who purchased a EVGA Z68 FTW 160-SB-E689-KR and had some good results, could you please even the score?
It is me,
Always looking for higher ground....
UPDATE: 03.15.2016 This EVGA Z68 FTW 160-SB-E689-KR motherboard is still performing like brand new and here we are, three years later. I have been extremely pleased with this motherboard.
Remember, this was a $300+ motherboard selling for only $60. What an incredible steal!
Not even a hiccup nor even a bump in the road. Newegg and EVGA totally rock!
Pros: With single applications, somehow this 7+ year old HP laptop runs as fast or faster than our i5 new laptop. Not even sure how this is possible. My wife and I were beyond pleasantly surprised. I did all the updates, did the cleaning, and this baby is like lightening!
I was a little apprehensive when opening the box...I was expecting to see scratches on the body, screen, and the normal wear and tear of a refurbished unit.
Not sure if they made a mistake or what, but every part of this laptop [both inside and outside] appears to be brand new. Cannot find even a single small or tiny scratch anywhere on this unit. Can't get much better than that!
Also, I was expecting the Windows 7 Home Premium to lag a bit due to only 2GB's of DDR2 RAM. Nope...this laptop screams fast, fast, fast. We do not need to purchase and install the extra 2+GB's of the DDR2 RAM as I had anticipated.
Did the temp tests and all is cool on the home front...running cool as a cucumber at 40c for most applications. Bottom of laptop is barely warm to the touch.
Screen is brand new or, they installed a brand new screen. No dead pixels at all.
Sound is extraordinary. Still pinching myself to see if this is all just a nice dream...but I keep waking every morning, look at this laptop, and wish I had purchased many, many more.
Cons: Only con so far is that we didn't purchase a couple of hundred units at this price! Unfortunately, they sold out within hours...
Other Thoughts: Ok, saw this laptop for $109 here at the Egg. Decided to give it a try, even though it seemed like a foolish risk to purchase a refurb that is 7+ years old...
In its day, this HP was a top end business laptop. Now, it may be considered old and obsolete by many people [myself included].
After opening and testing this unit for over one full week 24/7, I now realize this was an absolutely incredible deal.
As I have stated above, only con for me is that these units sold out so fast and I did not order a few hundred of them.
We were gonna send this laptop to relatives in a third world nation...but decided to keep it as a back up for now.
If this unit goes on sale again for $109, we will be all over it....and this time for as many as we can get!
This review is from: ARCTIC COOLING A7P-75000023 92mm CPU Cooler
Pros: I picked up over 16 of these units [what can I say, free is hard to resist]! I am not a fan of push pins, so I was somewhat reluctant to even use the heat sink [I am a hard core computer builder that uses much higher end CPU coolers].
I originally picked these up because I like the fans very, very much. These 92mm fans are incredibly quiet, and produce a respectable amount of air flow [36.7 CFM].
The fan has a unique vibration absorption combined with an extremely low noise impeller producing an extremely quiet set up.
I used the fans only on the first couple of units. I modified the bracket so I could use the fan as an extremely quiet PWM controlled case fan. They get the job done and get it done well. I also used one of these fans to cool a GPU in a computer case with less than optimal airflow.
Next I modified one of these Alpine 7 PRO's to serve as a CPU cooler in an min-itx build. I cut off 3.4" off the top so the fan and heat sink would fit in a CM Elete 120 Advonced - Mini-ITX Compoter Cose.
The Intol G2020 idles at 23c, load at 37c, and the fan is inaudible, even when the BIOS kicks up the speed to maximum.
This unit is no match whatsoever for the stock Intol CPU fan. To be honest with you, I am deeply impressed with the Alpine 7 PRO's performance and extremely low noise levels. I was considering spending $40+ on a comparative Zolman CPU copper cooler for the mini-itx build, and now I am totally glad I didn't go that route.
Most people do not realize the fan is suspended on 'dualaxial' rubber shock absorbing posts and then re-suspended on Fluid Dynamic Bearings. That is why Arctic Cooling can offer a 6 year warranty...these units are built to last for many years. Not many manufacturers offer such a warranty because they know the normal sleeve bearing fans will wear out and die 1-3 years of continuous usage. Also, the rubber fan mounts reduce the chance of errant noises, and at the same time absorb or dampen some of the vibrations that are inevitably caused by minor imbalances in the impeller.
If this Alpine 7 PRO goes on sale for free again, I will not hesitate to stock up on more em'. I have yet to find a major fault with them. I find the unique vibration absorption design to be unique, effective, and incredibly quiet.
By floating the impeller alone above the aluminum component, there is no edge of the fan frame for air to flow over...and I know of no other manufacturer that has designed such a well thought out CPU cooler fan mechanism.
Last, and perhaps most important for many people, don't forget these fan are PWM controlled. You can set the speed via the BIOS to literally any level of RPM's your heart desires.
I am one satisfied buyer [or should I say "gift recipient" (remember, these Alpine 7 PRO's have been offered free by NewEgg several times).
Thank you New Egg for making this all possible!
Cons: Still trying to find a "Con" but haven't found one yet!
Other Thoughts: This Arctic Cooling Alpine 7 Pro has far surpassed my expectations in literally every way possible. I still find it hard to believe that New Egg keeps offering it free after rebate over, and over again!
One more thing to consider: The cooler stands 84mm tall. Be sure you measure your case if you are using a small form factor!
And remember, you can always modify the heat sink [I cut one 3/4" shorter] to make it work for you in a small mini-itx case.