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This review is from: Antec Performance One Series P193 V3 Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
Pros: It's big, easy to work inside, spaces to route cables under the motherboard, and fairly customizable. The dust filters/screens on the front are easy to clean, and there is plenty of clearance for filters that could be attached by velcro or simply wedged behind the screen doors.
The case is fairly quiet, even though I added two 120mm fans to the front. It is noteworthy that I only really needed one fan in the front for my 4 HDD RAID array. There's an extra fan slot buried between the HDD's and PSU which is pretty neat for those who want to keep the HDDs while optimizing acoustic levels.
The large side panel fan could have obstructed a CPU cooler had it been any larger but luckily it just made it in terms of clearance. Sure if I push hard enough on the side panel I am able to make the fan blades kiss the copper heat pipes on my CPU cooler but it's not something I've done by accident nor do I expect to.
The big side fan is of excellent help if you are operating a dual-graphics board configuration of any kind. When it's crunch time, those GPUs kick off plenty of heat to warrant the presence of this type of fan.
Cons: The front USB ports are all blue are in fact USB 3.0 ports despite the specs stating that there are two 2.0 ports and one 3.0 port on the front. On the inside, there is a single plug with two cables attached to it that go to 2/3 of the front ports. This single jack and the two cables that are fused to it go straight to USB 3.0 header. The remaining jack has a single cable going straight to the last remaining USB 3.0 port on the front but since my motherboard does not have an additional USB 3.0 header I cannot use it. Perhaps I can butcher the cable to make it compatible with one of the USB 2.0 headers on my board, or I can get a hard to come by splitter.
Not the end of the world, and since it's my own PC I'll manage. If it were for a customer, I would have had to come up with a solution sooner than is necessary for my own purposes. On the flip side, this is a good opportunity for me to perform a practical mod.
The last but most significant con; the price. I got a reasonable price when I ordered this chassis from Newegg, but now it's out of stock here and does indeed cost a pretty penny more than it did when I purchased it. Would I have still bought it at the higher price? Probably, but I would've shopped around some more before committing.
Other Thoughts: Fans wobble at low RPM, but this is NOT a con in my opinion because the manual is pretty clear about this and how to prevent it.
I prefer avoiding plexiglass side panels; why would I want to showcase how much dust my PC can accumulate? Still, if you have one of those motherboards wit the 8 phase power LEDs on them or something, the top fan grills allow the light to shine through in a subtle manner.
I opted to install Antec tri-cool fans in the front and these fans happen to come with blue LEDs. I picked these fans because they said they would be quiet on the packaging/spec and because the LEDs would allow me to judge how much dust is on the front. They also compliments the overall ambiance of the chassis.
Regarding price, if you're building with AMD and not Intel, you can take some of the proceeds that you've saved not buying an overpriced Intel CPU and compatible mobo and put it towards this now pricey case.
Put some thought into your fan situation, you might need to get some cables or adapters. If you directly connect the included fans to your motherboard's fan headers be sure to read the manual and not lower the power to the fans from the mobo by too much. If you do opt to use fan headers on the motherboard without reading the manual, set the switches on the rear panel to high speed for all three fans. Don't even connect the big boy side fan into the mobo headers; it just doesn't seem standard enough to do that.
Pros: Such a great value. I typically run it with Windows 8.1 and sometimes VirtualBox. Some video encoders don't utilize more than 30% of the resources. When Handbrake is using 100%, I still find other applications tend to run fast and well and are very usable.
Cons: The very first time I powered it up, it ran very hot. After power-cycling my system once, I never had trouble again. My guess is that this had something to do with BIOS auto-configuration or some CPU detection mechanism.
Beyond that, x86-64 ISA is a bit of a mess. That is not AMDs fault, it's the type of thing that happens in the world of Wintel market acceptance.
Other Thoughts: I don't put TDP/power consumption in as a con because I purchased this CPU fully expecting it to be such. As there is a 42% increase when going with the comparable (lower power consuming) Intel CPU, this was a no brainer of a purchase. As of 1/17/2014 I am somewhat perplexed as what would be considered newer.
The stock cooler is definitely sufficient, but some people may encounter damage to the neighboring memory module as the hot air gets blown directly onto the module. It may be a good idea to go for a cooler that blows the hot air away from the RAM banks, but bear in mind that some models will lean up against the nearest RAM module.
Though I have dual graphics cards, I generally keep crossfire disabled because I drive three displays (2 LCD, one larger PDP). I don't play games often, but when I do I have nothing to complain about.
I bet it would be very interesting to use this CPU in conjunction with DragonFly BSD.
This review is from: MSI 870A-G54 AM3 AMD 870 6 x SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
Pros: Meets all of my expectations, needs and wants. The back of the box says if you over clock, the board will last a little under ten years. If you don't overclock it, it says it should last forty years. Supports chosen CPU, the pair of USB 3.0 ports was a bonus when I got this two years ago and are great to have for the one 3.0 peripheral that I do own.
Regular PCI slots alongside conjunction with your modern expansion slots!
Has cool lights.
If I was into tinkering beyond my understanding, the OC nob is an interesting toy. I like that on the occasions that I did play with the OC features and whatnot, if something didn't work right, the BIOS always self recovered to working state.
Cons: There was a control and monitoring utility for Windows that didn't work properly, but eventually MSI released an update that resolved the issue. This was a non-critical update since it didn't affect the normal operation of the board and it's reliability.
Other Thoughts: I opted for a Phenom II dual-core in a time where quad-cores were becoming an affordable option. This was because of the reduced heat output. This keeps my fan RPMs low, as well as reduces dust build-up. After a few years with a hot running Pentium D @ 3.0ghz, it was time to quiet it down a notch.READ FULL REVIEW