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This review is from: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - CPU Cooler with 120 mm PWM Fan
Pros: - Works very well
- Quite inexpensive for the performance
- Includes mounting brackets for another fan
- Performance is an order of magnitude better than any stock CPU cooler, and is on par with the smaller closed loop water coolers and competitive with some of the more expensive air coolers.
Cons: - It's physically large and has the potential to cover your RAM on some boards, if you have RAM with tall heatsinks, there might be some clearance issues
- the included instructions are pretty bad
- the mounting system is a bit awkward, it's not terribly difficult, but I don't think the movable X-shaped brace thing was necessarily the best option they could've gone with.
Other Thoughts: This the default "go-to" CPU cooler for many people for a several reasons, it's cheap, it works well, and while a bit fiddly, the installation isn't particularly difficult. There's really not much wrong with it, and the minor grievances can be overlooked given it's price point.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Blazing speed,
Cons: It runs hot. Maybe I'm just spoiled from my i5-2500k that never got above 80C even when running at 4.6 Ghz, but this thing definitely runs hotter. Even at stock clocks with 1.25 vcore it was hitting 90C+ whilst running Prime95, and that's with a Corsair H50 cooling it. I threw on a 212+ Evo and it ran a bit cooler, only getting up to 85C in Prime95 at 4.6 Ghz , but under typical gaming conditions it never gets above 75C, which is acceptable, but my old Sandy Bridge still ran cooler at the same clock speed (and yes I know that Haswell/DC is around 15% faster clock for clock than SB). . It seems that Intel's improved TIM might sound better on paper than it is in the real world.
Other Thoughts: This is a very fast CPU, but it doesn't appear that it's the overclocker's dream that Intel was making it out to be. Even those with exotic custom water cooling loops are having trouble getting more than 4.8 Ghz out of this CPU (without delidding). There's simply not as much headroom as Intel was claiming. Realistically you might be able to get out extra 200-300 Mhz without running into significant heat issues. Sandy Bridge on the other had had tons more overclocking headroom, on some chips getting any extra 800 Mhz -1 Ghz was doable without hugely impressive cooling solutions. Maybe for Broadwell Intel will bring back the solder that they used with Sandy Bridge.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: - Good looks
- Even the box it came in was pretty nice, plastic rather than cardboard.
- Gigabyte's UEFI interface is getting better and better, it's still not quite as good as Asus's latest, but it works well and is easy to navigate
- Supports up to four video cards with the PLX chip
- Plenty of ports for extra fans and such
- Plenty of USB 3.0 ports both internal and external.
Cons: - It's not cheap
- No Sound Blaster hardware on this board, you get the SB software suite, but the audio is handled by the Realtek ACL1150, which is fine as far as on-board sound goes
- The first PCI-E X16 slot is positioned high on the board, if you used a closed loop liquid CPU cooler, this can cause a problem with radiator mounting locations with some cases. Depending on the case the radiator mounting location may result in the radiator blocking the top PCI-E X16 slot
- defaults to way too much CPU voltage with the i7-4790k, every with the latest F5 BIOS. At stock clocks it defaulted to 1.39v. That's ridiculous. I dialed it back to 1.28 volts at 4.7 Ghz and it's stable and runs significantly cooler, though the i7-4790k tends to run hot anyway.
- replaceable OP AMP is pretty gimmicky
Other Thoughts: I've used Gigabyte boards exclusively for my last 3 builds and the last few builds I've done for other people. They perform well and are built pretty well too. The GA-Z97X Gaming GT has some minor issues, but overall it's a pretty good board so far.READ FULL REVIEW