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Pros: Love this case-- Aesthetically, it can't be beat in the slim-uATX format. Extremely easy to assemble, nearly tool-less.
Form factor is extremely small. Measures only about 4" in width, smaller than most slim cases I've used.
Power supply is decent for most applications.
Cons: The 3.5" bay is extremely shallow. I think the manufacturer intends for the user to leave that bay empty-- they stick a fan about 4" back from the face of the case, not enough to allow a normal sized 3.5" card reader there.
Most cheap 3.5" internal card readers have a tiny 1" circuit board mounted in a full size 3.5" chassis, which is too big for this bay, unless you remove the only case fan.
I ended up taking an angle grinder to remove about 1 inch of the card reader chassis to allow it to fit in the space. That was a delicate operation-- you had to cut it awfully close to the screw holes, which [the screw holes] is the only way to keep the rear of the card reader secure.
While not a true con, this case is set up much different than other slim-uATX cases I've used. It was a head scratcher when I first laid eyes on it, as to how I was going to mount the drives... Tool-less design, plastic tabs here and there, hardly any instructions lead to a fair amount of trial and error till you finally figure it out. Once you build the first one, if you had to do a second, you could do it in one tenth the time.
Other Thoughts: Awesome looking case, no doubt about it. The four USB ports (two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0) are more than you find on most cases. Fit and finish are the best I've seen in this price range.
All-in-all, it's one of the better designed cases, and I've used just about every variety of slim-uATX cases on Newegg in the last 1-2 years.
The card reader mounting was a nuisance, given that the only internal case fan was blocking it. But I don't think I've ever found a single case where I didn't have to make a modification for the card reader. Usually though, it only involves tapping a new screw hole for a card reader (most cases are still set up for the 3.5" floppy layout, despite no card reader adhering to that).
I didn't gripe too much about the fan placement, as it is in a near perfect location-- in front of the memory, CPU, VRM, all the heat generating components, blowing past these toward the rear of the case. Genius idea, and a great way to conserve space by not having rear or top mounted fans.
This review is from: PNY Optima SSD7SC240GOPT-RB 2.5" 240GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Pros: Price, reviews.. trying hard to think of something else to stick here, but just not coming to me..
Cons: Slow, needs RMA. Other reviews seem to share my same experience.
Unfortunately this drive is going to need an RMA. Please see "other thoughts" before pouring on negative review feedback. I've built at least 90+ PC's with SSDs and this is the first time I've encountered this problem with any SSD. Did plenty of troubleshooting and no dice.
Other Thoughts: I was replacing a Samsung 840 256gb drive (the old drive is destined for another computer) with this one. I backed up important files and proceeded to do a CLEAN install of Win8.1 onto the Optima SSD.
Installed drivers for my AMD 990X chipset, graphics card, etc. etc. Things just didn't appear to be fast.. Windows took 50+ seconds to load, driver installation was slow, basically the whole rig felt slow.
Did an ATTO benchmark with queue depth of 4, and got a max of 60MB/s transfer read, and 45MB/s transfer write. Pathetic.
I popped the Samsung 840 256gb drive after quick formatting it onto the same controller and got 256MB/s read & write (still not the greatest results, but drive has been heavily used).
Okay, maybe an incompatibility with my system or AMD SB950 southbridge. I have a 4-port SATA/3 add-on card with a Marvell chipset, so I tried it on that. This 4-port card is on a 2 lane PCI-E slot with plenty of bandwidth, so the controller is not a factor.
Not being on the native AMD controller, the drive scored even worse. 35MB/s peak write, 41MB/s peak read.
No idea why the speeds are in the crapper, but I'll give PNY a chance at a new replacement, and I will post another review if speeds improve to "normal" on the new drive.
My system is an AMD FX-8350 w/ 16gb RAM
AMD 990X (ASUS mobo) chipset
Had no problems with Samsung and countless other SSD drives, except this.
Pros: Does what it's supposed to do. Quick / responsive tray eject mechanism, and takes only very light force to close tray. Response time from disc insertion to recognizing disc contents is faster than most. Seems plenty quiet enough.
Cons: ASUS does not make their own drives, so you're getting a rebadged drive with ASUS firmware. That's not a bad thing in and of itself, but you'll likely have to crossflash to one of the major brands in order to receive timely firmware updates.
For a long time ASUS used Lite-on drives, even on this model. However, the recent drives being offered now (the "a" revision) are rebadged Samsung SH-224DB drives, not the Liteon iHAS124.
This may not be a con per se, but I put this here for those that may be looking for a Lite-on drive-- they'll be disappointed.
Other Thoughts: The Samsung variant seems to work just fine, no different than the Samsung branded one. I have both the genuine SH-224DB and Liteon iHAS124 and I'd be happy with either.
One thing worth noting is that the most recent revision of the iHAS124 reduced cache size to 512kb, while the Samsung still sports 1.5mb. Not sure if this played into ASUS's decision to switch suppliers, or how the reduced cache size on the Lite-On might affect performance.
Either way I'm more than happy with the product.