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This review is from: NZXT S340 Matte Black/Red Steel ATX Mid Tower Case
Front USB 3.0
Gorgeous Matte Finish
Easy to Remove Colored Bits (in case you want to paint them)
Plenty of Room for CPU coolers as Large as Hyper 212 Evo
Cons: Finish is easy to damage with screws.
Cable Management holes under motherboard are inadequately sized for the USB 3.0 plug and SATA power cables for SSDs.
Other Thoughts: I bought this case to replace my NZXT Source 210. I bought the Source 210 because it was cheap and had good reviews for the price. It's a really good case for the price point, but it also lacked a lot of features that I found myself needing.
Then came the S340. Absolutely beautiful case. I love the simple design focusing on cable management and the simplification of the inside of a standard case. Removing the 5.25" bays and the usual 8+ slot hard drive cage opens the case up for better airflow and/or radiators and reservoirs for liquid cooling options.
As someone who enjoys cable management and a clean aesthetic for the inside of a custom PC, working with this case was a joy.There's plenty of room behind the motherboard try and tons of hooks for cable ties to route your cables to where you need them. And all of the excess is easily tucked away between the PSU and HDD cage under the shroud. Out of sight and out of mind.
There are only two real issues with this case. The first being the fact that the otherwise beautiful matte finish (the only reason I purchased the black/red model and didn't get the all black one), is easily damaged by things such as fan screws. Overtightening the screws will lead to crumpled/torn paint around the edges of them. I found the best way to combat this was to use some small nylon washers. This isn't a huge issue though. I'm just a bit of a perfectionist.
The other issue is the poor design of the cable routing holes below the motherboard. These are obviously meant to be used for routing your various I/O cables, internal USB cables, front panel audio, as well as connecting your SSDs. The problem with these is two fold. They're too close to the motherboard and too small to comfortably fit the front panel USB 3.0 connector on full size ATX motherboards without either taking up more room in the case than it needs to, or without applying a LOT of pressure on the USB 3.0 header on the board. The other issue is that the holes are positioned about an inch away from where you will be plugging your SATA power cables into your SSDs. Unfortunately, most SATA power connectors are right-angle connectors, which means the wire comes out of the bottom of the plastic connector, once again applying unnecessary pressure to the drive. If the holes placed in the lower shroud were moved forward about an inch, it would solve both of these problems.
Neither of these issues are large enough to overshadow just how awesome this case is in general, however. So I still give it a 5 egg rating.
Pros: It Works
Cons: It's Slow
Other Thoughts: For an "average" performance HDD, I find the performance lacking. I wasn't expecting Velociraptor performance, to be sure... but I at least expected it to beat the 5200 rpm Seagate drive I had in my laptop.
I'll always buy WD, but I won't be buying Blue drives again. If I wanted mediocre performance, I'd have bought Green.
This review is from: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - CPU Cooler with 120 mm PWM Fan
Pros: Looks kinda cool.
Ridiculous low temps.
Cons: It's MASSIVE.
Poorly designed for AMD mounting.
Other Thoughts: I've had this cooler for 2 or 3 months now. Before I purchased it, I was getting idle temps on my FX 6300 upwards of 45c with stock cooling and no OC. Under load, it was easily hitting 65c.
So I picked up this cooler because it's the highest rated for the price. And when it comes to cooling, it deserves those ratings. Temps are fantastic. At around 15c ambient temperature, I get around 16-17c idle. The highest I've seen under load is about 35c, which is lower than the idle temps I had with the stock cooling. Temperature-wise, I absolutely love this cooler.
The only issues I have with it are the size, and the lack of mounting options for AMD. Using it on my Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3, and of course mounting it the way that you're meant to for AMD, it effectively blocks the RAM DIMM closest to the processor, and the plastic clips that attach the fan to the heatsink puts pressure on the second slot. I'm confident that low-profile RAM, or even normal RAM that simply doesn't have a heat spreader could clear the cooler just fine, but most RAM has a heatspreader these days.
None of this would be an issue if there were actual mounting options available for AMD, though. For Intel, you can choose between mounting the heatsink vertically, or horizontally. For AMD, you're practically forced to mount it horizontally (with the fan oriented upwards). There are cutouts on the heatsink that appear as though they exist to allow you to get tools to the screws if you were to try to mount it vertically on an AMD system, but that would require a screwdriver long enough to reach the screw from the top of the heatsink. If the cutouts on the heatsink were just a little larger, it would make mounting it vertically (fans pushing air out of the back), MUCH easier on AMD.
As a side note, the heatsink is also quite large. One of the heatpipes on the top makes contact with the window on my NZXT Source 210, which caused it to get scratched. Not only that, but the fan vibrates the heatsink ever so slightly while the system is under load (while gaming), which causes an annoying noise because of the contact with the window.
This is a 4 egg review instead of 5 purely for the lack of mounting options on AMD, however. The size is the size, and there's not much that can be done about that. If I had an Intel rig, this would be a 5 egg review.
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