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SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC128D/AM 2.5
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: Good all-around performance. It may not win many benchmarks, but it's one of the best real-world performers. Good bundled software with the upgrade kit, including Norton Ghost backup software. Also includes a 3.5" to 2.5" adapter, but I found it was impossible to use with my case's drive mounting system.

Cons: I paid too much for it - the price has dropped significantly in the last couple of months.

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Seasonic SS-460FL2 Active PFC F3, 460W Fanless ATX12V Fanless 80Plus PLATINUM Certified, Modular Power Supply New 4th Gen CPU Certified Haswell Ready
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: Fanless and fully modular.
Extremely efficient.

Cons: The usual price is very high.

Other Thoughts: I was intending to buy the SS-400FL since I don't really need even 400 W, but then I saw this on a Shell Shocker deal and snapped it up. I wish SeaSonic would make a similar model in say, 250-300 W as most PCs these days don't require as much power as they did even a few years back.

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GIGABYTE GA-Z77-DS3H LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

3 out of 5 eggs Decent hardware, but bad software and UEFI problems 09/02/2012

This review is from: GIGABYTE GA-Z77-DS3H LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: The motherboard itself is decent, and it's reasonably priced.

Cons: The whole system would lock up at random intervals with the F2 UEFI that shipped with my board. Flashing to the F4 version did not help - I was about to contact tech support again when I saw that the F5 version was available for download. Flashing to F5 solved the problem.

The included software is poor quality. I generally try to install just what I absolutely need. I did install EasyTune6, just for the ability to have some rudimentary fan controls, but eventually decided I didn't really need it. However, this package installs its own copy of the Flash ActiveX control, and this control could not be removed by the uninstaller or by Revo Uninstaller. Tech support suggested booting to safe mode and then uninstalling. This did not work either. I finally gave up and secure erased the SSD and reinstalled OS and apps.

There is no way I have found to disable MCE in the UEFI other than disabling TurboBoost.

The UEFI documentation is rather spotty.

Other Thoughts: I would not recommend buying a Gigabyte motherboard until they can solve their software and UEFI problems. If you do buy a Gigabyte board, the first thing you should do is flash to the most recent UEFI.

More about the MCE issue: it's not documented anywhere that I know of, but Gigabyte essentially overclocks the CPU without telling you about it. My Core i7-3770S is normally supposed to run at 3.1 GHz, but with TurboBoost on was running at 3.8 GHz (*continually*). I run all cores at nearly 100% CPU utilization 24/7, and the Ivy Bridge CPUs run very hot even under less stress. This should not be a problem for most users, but I fault Gigabyte for (a) not telling you what they are doing, and (b) not providing a UEFI setting to turn MCE (only) off.

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Mark J.'s Profile

Display Name: Mark J.

Date Joined: 06/11/09

  • Reviews: 6
  • Helpfulness: 2
  • First Review: 09/02/12
  • Last Review: 09/02/12
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