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This review is from: NZXT Kraken X40 RL-KRX40-01 Ultra Performance Water/Liquid CPU Cooler 140MM
Pros: Easy to install on my Socket 2011. Hoses long enough you can mount cooler where you want. Low power draw so you can go off a fan header. Keeps my 4930K cool. Sleeved wiring is nice touch.
Cons: The radiator can block the first PCI-Express slot if you mount the radiator at the back of the case. My case allowed mounting over bottom cooling fans so no issue. Since the fittings are sealed you can't route the hoses out of the case.
This may not be the quietest solution out there, but I don't expect whisper-type sound levels with my systems.
Other Thoughts: I've build about a dozen water-cooled systems over the years. I was skeptical about this unit, but ended up being pleasantly surprised by its ease of installation and overall performance. No worries here about fittings, leaks, test runs, etc. And with the current prices of simple water loops, it's hard to build one for less than $225-$250 if you buy parts yourself and install them. That being said, I know this unit would not keep up if I was a heavy over-clocker.
As near as I can tell, if you don't install the software and provide full power to the fan header that powers it, the unit just runs full out. I have yet to install the software, so I can't speak to what it might or might not allow.
The unit comes with thermal compound on the block. I cleaned it off and used my own, but you don't need to buy extra if you don't want to.
I would definitely buy this unit again, or the dual-fan step-up unit if my case allowed.
This review is from: ASUS P9X79-E WS LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 SSI CEB Intel Motherboard
Pros: Lots of PCI-Express slots. Dual Intel LAN. Lots of USB ports on the back. Legacy PS/2 connector. Lots of fan ports. Non-Intel ports seem to have good performance on them.
No bad surprises with things like chipset blocking PCI-Express cards, etc.
Cons: Lack of internal USB headers. At this price point there should be 2x as many. If you have internal USB devices you may be short after you hook up the typical MB case headers.
If you have a PCI-Express card in the left-most slot it can crowd top header row of USB/FW/Com hookups.
Other Thoughts: My board arrived without the right BIOS for my 4930K. I took a USB stick and put the .cap file on it. I had to re-name mine "P9X79EWS". The manual is not clear on this. Anyway, with the computer powered down but plugged in, put the stick in the crash-free USB port and push the recover button in for a few seconds. If all goes well, after about 5 minutes of a blue-blinking light you will have the right BIOS. My machine then rebooted and immediately recognized my Ivy Bridge CPU. I think this is a great feature. No need to have a cpu or memory installed to do this.
I can't speak to the whole PCI-Express 2.0 vs. 3.0 thing. My 2.0 video cards worked great.
For my needs (SOHO and enthusiast uses) this is a great board. I have had great luck with Asus boards. I will continue to use this board as I standardize my builds.
This review is from: AZZA Genesis 9000 CSAZ-9000B Black 0.8mm SECC ATX Full Tower Computer Case
Pros: Cavernous. Great ventilation. Deep; my CEB MB went in without a hitch. Nice drive bay and HDD setups. Would lend itself to multiple water cooling scenarios. Tool-less 5.25" bays see to work well. Power supply can go in front or back of case. 120V AC pass-thru cord to allow front mounting. I put a front-load 1200 watt PS in and still kept both bottom fans at the back. Nice to have plenty of PCI brackets if you want to hook up rear headers or for SLI configs. Plentiful variety of top ports. Nice to take back panel off to route cables and access CPU area. Even with CEB MB no problem getting at back of CPU.
Really easy case to work inside of. Depth means you don't have to worry so much about SATA connectors needing 90 degree adapters. I would imagine this could handle about any graphics card length you wanted it to.
I like that they did not cheap out on the fans. Just an optional 230mm if you want it, but there is great ventilation already. The vertical fans aid in keeping liquid-cooled MB chipsets and memory ventilated. All in all, they have you covered pretty well.
Cons: There is a fair amount of plastic on this. I don't think it would lend itself to being moved around a lot or to constantly having stuff swapped out on it. Edges can be a little sharp. That being said, it's 1/2 to 1/3 the price of high-end tower server cases. As always, you get what you pay for, but with this case you really do get a lot for your money.
As with any case that puts buttons and ports on top vs. front, you need to give yourself vertical clearance to access them and you need to be mindful of hitting the power button more easily.
Other Thoughts: I'll standardize on this case as I begin my next round of upgrades. It has about everything I want and is easy to work in.
One thing - this case won't fit under a standard office desk