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ASUS M5A97 R2.0 AM3+ AMD 970 + SB 950 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: Good price
Has all the features I needed for a good AMD-based system
More ports than I know what to do with
Supports memory beyond the standard 1600 MHz
Good overclocking features if you're into that
Stable if it's working

Cons: Began dying after six months. Dead after eight.

After about six months, the system wouldn't boot after I pressed the reset button. It didn't even initialize the keyboard or video card or finish the POST and beep. The fans and hard drive spun, but that was about it. I needed to cycle the power about 5-10 times before it would boot again. I thought it was a fluke, but it happened again the next time I shut it down. I tried to leave it running 24/7 after that, but every time I had to shut it down, it had trouble starting again.

A month later, I had my quarterly cleaning and disconnected the computer. This time it required 10-15 power cycles before it would boot.

Today, I foolishly hit the reset button and it will boot no more, even after 40-50 power cycles. Very disappointing. I tried disconnecting all the peripherals, using different RAM, etc. Nothing.

I never overclocked it, and kept it well-cooled. While it was running, it was completely stable. But it died after a couple dozen power cycles.

MSI Gaming N760 TF 2GD5/OC G-SYNC Support GeForce GTX 760 2GB 256-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 SLI Support Video Card
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Great value and fairly powerful. Easily overclocked, although I don't do that. Runs cool.

Runs all my pre-2010 games at maximum resolution and settings. Runs current (2010-2013) games at maximum resolution and pretty high settings. Overall, a great card for those who don't play cutting-edge games or who don't demand to run every game at maximum quality and high framerates.

Cons: I suspect it won't handle the next batch of games (i.e. 2015+) fast enough for most people and may need to be replaced. I'm tolerant of low frame rates in most games, so I probably won't replace it for quite a while, but other people may not be so tolerant.

Other Thoughts: The card is quite long -- 11 inches -- so make sure you have space in your case.

Rosewill CHALLENGER - Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Three Included Fans - 1 x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1 x Top 140mm Fan, 1 x Rear 120mm Fan - Two More Optional Side 120mm Fans Supported
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: Nice internal and external design. Decent price. Unused front and rear expansion port covers have holes in them to allow air flow through them.

Cons: The built-in fans are three-pin fans, so their speed can't be controlled and they always run at full blast. Although I can't say that they're loud, they're definitely a lot noisier than I'd like them to be. I'm thinking of replacing them all with four-pin fans.

The hard drive bay doesn't allow screwing drives in with screws. (You can screw them into brackets, but you can't screw them into the case. I'm not a big fan of screwless designs.) The bay for DVD drives, etc. does allow it using screws.

Doesn't have a connector for front-panel USB 3 support. (It can only plug into the USB 2.0 connector on my motherboard.) Doesn't provide a back expansion slot insert for USB connectors (so 4 of my motherboard's USB ports are unusable).

The metal is a bit flimsy, but not too bad.

Other Thoughts: The case is a bit small, but it (barely) fit everything I wanted to put in there. It handled the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO (just barely) and my MSI Gaming N760 TF 2GD5/OC video card, which is known be quite long.

I personally don't like the blue LED fan. I don't want my computer shining light at me. (I wouldn't mind if it was on the floor, but right now it's on the desk top.)


Adam M.'s Profile

Display Name: Adam M.

Date Joined: 10/04/04

  • Reviews: 12
  • Helpfulness: 2
  • First Review: 07/30/12
  • Last Review: 08/11/14
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