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Pros: If you got fed up with other brands, you should give this one a try. This is my second board from ASRock and I feel I have gotten a much better overall experience than I had from the other big motherboard manufacturers.
The Optical SPDIF makes my Steel Series Wireless Headphones work AWESOME! A home theatre experience! Watching great movies like 2012 really draws you in with such a setup! It is awesome!
The board is simple and full of features. I am the simple guy, but I will at some point in the future, get my hands on the SM951 to try in the m.2 slot! I started with SSD drives when the 64GB were over three hundred bucks, and I love how they make using a computer so fluid and quick!
I won’t go on about the specs. Everyone can read and everyone can see what this board is capable of. It happens to have everything I could want and then some, so it’s a great board for me. I still love how well ASRock works, I love the UEFI and how it’s Full HD now. I would have liked the Key Master, but I got a great Corsair mouse that already took care of that for me. There is still lots for me to explore and play with, but so far it’s awesome!
70 bucks and I could have a Thunderbolt AIC? Nice to know if I ever need it down the road, and hopefully that price will drop by the time I need it! IF I ever need it.
The potential improvements in cons are not real complaints for me as once I set my system up, it stays that way for some time. So the annoyances I deal with are far and few between. This board and the company ASRock is five stars in my book! I am glad to have taken the chance on them half a decade ago as they have made a much better impression on me than other motherboard manufacturers.
Cons: The clear CMOS button. It’s cool not having to deal with jumpers. Hitting a button is so much easier! You just might want to get in the habit of having a visual when you plug things in and not go by touch. Personally, I would like it to replace the jumpers on the board because I don’t over clock and have a need to “clear” my CMOS. The button, which I forget about till I accidently push it, is just an annoyance for me. For those who overclock, I reckon it can be useful for them, but once they find their sweet spot, then it’s redundant. I would seriously reconsider having this on the back of the boards in the future!
The HDD Saver. It is a great ideal, but I would feel much better if there was a physical switch for it instead of using software to turn it on and off. There is a switch for going from BIOS A to BIOS B, it is impossible to hack something that needs to physically be switched on. Using HDD Saver just seems to point the hackers as to where they need to hack first! What is very ironic is the BIOS chips, clearly labeled and right next to each other, are simple 8 legged IC chips which would be as easy to replace as the CMOS battery! No soldering would be needed! I wish more thought would have went into the development of HDD Saver. Maybe add the switch and call it HDD Protector.
The System Panel connectors could be color coded and easier to determine where the wires need to be connected.
The PCIE Power doesn’t float my boat any. My power supply has an abundance of connectors for video cards and I’m only using one. It’s all I have a need for. I reckon if you are trying to make a clean looking build, you could use it to power case fans? I just don’t see me using it myself.
Other Thoughts: As an expert item, I feel it would be wrong to complain about it not being perfect upon arrival. Opening a new product has a certain ‘wow’ factor and is usually the most exciting part. This unit must have been a return or used to demo, as it was opened. That alone wouldn’t have been a big deal, but whoever used it before me; messed up one of the pins, and I had to carefully bend it back into position to get it working properly. Had I not been one to admire a product before plugging things in, I could imagine destroying that bent pin beyond repair. If I have failed to portray the awesomeness of this board, that may have dealt a blow to my excitement. (Getting the runt of the litter syndrome? Perhaps?)
For memory, install into the black slots first starting at rear of board. I would have just plopped them all on one side, but I read in the manual that I can use quad channel with my memory. It is a good idea to read the manual! This one is short enough to figure everything out in a matter of minutes.
I recommend a visit to ASRock's homepage. The clean, informative design is worth taking a look at. You may feel more comfortable visiting it down the road when you feel the need to update firmware and drivers.
Great packing, great looking product! I like the small heat sinks letting my Deep Cool heatsink clear them with room to spare. However heat rises, so you might want to keep that in mind when you place your case fans. I boosted it to 1.35v and 2666Mhz just to see if it would work, but returned it to 2400. The difference will be unnoticeable for me, and if I’m going to not notice something, I rather it be energy savings and a lower energy bill. It’s just good to know that it can do more. Like your car; just because you can go 120MPH, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea! 3GHz is plenty fast enough for me and while an 8 core 4GHz machine with 64GB of ram sounds fantastic, I wouldn’t even begin to use that much computing power! 3.3GHz is plenty fast enough with 16GB of memory. At least that is what I’m telling myself as I refrain from getting another 16GB to run at 32GB. I may not need it, but it doesn’t change the fact that I want it!
I’ve had to use Corsair customer service once in the many years of using Corsair Products, and received excellent service. Corsair is a name I have trusted for years.
1.2v instead of 1.5v is saving energy right now. (Won’t be able to say that if I get another 4 sticks)
Cons: The only con I can point out is the little bit of discomfort when you try to make sure they are firmly pressed into place on the motherboard. SSD drives redesigned their whole look with the m.2 release. DDR5 should follow suit for better installation. Not something Corsair has a say in, but still a nice thought.
Other Thoughts: I would probably be more comfortable with overclocking if everything wasn’t so expensive. I find a great deal of comfort in sticking with default settings. (Lot less troubleshooting that way too!) This is a great price range for getting good DDR4 memory. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to save their cash and still get great memory.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: DEEPCOOL Gamer Storm CAPTAIN 240 CPU Liquid Cooler AIO Water Cooling Ceramic Bearing Pump Visual Liquid Flow with Dual120mm FDB PWM Fan Rubber Coating Deep Silent Support LGA 2011-v3
Pros: 120mm meets a lot of case designs out there. If you have 2 120mm fans together, this should work just fine in your case as long as you have a little over two inches between where you want to mount it and anything else that may smack into it. I’d highly recommend getting a hold of 2x 120mm fan grills to protect any Sata wires or whatever else may run nearby from getting chewed up by the spinning fan blades.
It looks great and I love the concept, but there are a few improvements needed before I will feel comfortable with using this. I love the hub that is included. Simply plug the pump into the 3 pin connector on my motherboard and the hub into the 4 pin one and it takes care of both fans plus one.
The product was packaged well for me and I was really excited to try it out. After a visual inspection, that changed. I hope the feedback I provide will help improve the product for everyone to get excited about.
The pump/cpu heatsink is pretty awesome! Even with my con, it’s slick and looks really cool! The fans are awesome. The cons I listed can be fixed.
Cons: I don’t like the glass tube and how the 90 degree part at the bottom isn’t at a perfect 90 degrees. I don’t like that micro screw that appears to connect the tube to that slightly off from 90 degree base. I couldn’t tell if it’s liquid I’m seeing in the slight gap that appears since the base isn’t perfectly aligned or if it’s glue. Since it didn’t spew liquid (Thanks to a previous warning, I just tried plugging it in on a fan header before even starting the whole project) I’m not sure what to think about the visual imperfection there.
(--- Use Polycarbonate instead of glass for up to 100x more strength? Acrylic for 10x more strength? ---)
I don’t like the tubing. While I’m not a pro with water cooling setups, the last one I did play with a few years back had a half inch tube setup. This gig had very small tubes and while the pump seems to be moderate on the flow, I can’t help but picture a sprung leak being pressurized! So I’m not even comfortable with an upside down mount with this. The ribbed sleeve feel like cheap plastic and it’s got my mind going to similar material in older vehicles that has turned brittle and crumbles. It measures a quarter inch in width, and I would hope that it’s a protective sleeve over a much better quality hose beneath it. I believe that’s wishful hoping on my part.
(--- Select a hose that will let people pick this unit up and not feel they have to treat it like a newborn baby! Let it SHOW it has strength and will not leak! EVER! ---)
While the fans look awesome, I don’t like the lack of protective grills for them. I mounted them as shown in the instructions and there is no protection from the fins. If you reverse them, you got a wee bit (Like 4 plastic bars) of protection. The instructions are just pictures and it would be wise to alert users as to which way to mount the fans! Are we trying to pull heat away from the Rad or blow air on it? Which way are we supposed to mount the fans? I’d like to push cool air onto the Rad, but… I just don’t see that being possible with the heat the HDD’s and GPU put out inside the case. The 12” doesn’t give enough play for a front mount which would be a better solution for bringing in cooler air to push over the Rad.
(--- Provide some answers to potential questions for more simple people. While it may be a personal opinion on which way to mount fans, give a pro and con of each way so they have some education on their choice. Include proper protection for the fans. (Use this as a way to advertise like others. Put your company symbol/logo on the protective grill! ---)
Other Thoughts: The tubes from CPU base to Rad are 12.5 inches for those that want more detailed and important specs.
The Rad has screw mount holes on both sides. One on each corner (4x) and two at the top middle and bottom middle (4x). You will void the warranty if you change the hoses, but if you are alright with taking that risk among others, outside the case mounting would be possible. Half and half mounting may be possible as well if you put the Rad inside and mount the fans from the outside to it. That will all depend on how far your 2 120mm fan mounts are from your mainboards CPU. If you can make it work with the 12.5” tubes (Plus the 1” for the Rad). You would only need to make a hole for the fan connectors to go through.
With a Dremel and some skills, you may make this work out pretty good for you. As stated before, the tubes are about a quarter inch. Which probably is just fine for the CPU itself. When I was running half inch tubes in my previous water cooling setup, it was cooling the CPU, GPU and North Bridge/South Bridge chipsets all at the same time. Still, I’d like to have seen much better quality tubes on this where you can SEE the red dyed liquid doing its thing from CPU block to Rad. (Actually, I’d prefer green or blue over red. Red just seems destructive!) Green would make me think antifreeze and I’d probably be most comfortable with that.
Water cooling provides much better cooling results, but results will vary depending on each build. If you got a GPU that heats up your case by 20 degrees, you will have much different results over someone that just uses the graphics integrated on the CPU. A system with 4 HDD will provide different results over one with 4 cool running SSD drives. (Some SSD drives run hotter than others. I’ve tested enough to know that to be true!)
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