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This review is from: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit
Pros: I purchased Windows 7 for a new PC build. I've used Windows 7 since it came out and it's a fine O/S. I briefly considered Windows 8 but I believe Win8 has significant issues. I'm very glad Windows 7 is still available. Otherwise, I would have switched to a Mac.
I have Windows 7 installed on an SSD. It is blazing fast with the Haswell i5 CPU and an SSD.
Cons: Windows 7 is getting a little old. But, I'll wait until Windows 9 to upgrade.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: I'm using the AX 760 with a Haswell i5 CPU and an ASUS Z87 Pro motherboard. I selected the AX series because the PS is over 90% efficient, even at low power levels. This unit can also run fanless, although I do have the fan enabled. The fan runs at very low speed and isn't audible.
From what I can tell, the build quality of the PS is superb. The PS uses large heat sinks which should improve reliability of the unit.
The AX series is fully modular and you only use the cables you need. I used a Corsair modular PS in an older build and modular cabling is the only way to go. The modular cabling keeps the cabinet clean and improves air flow in the cabinet. Corsair provides a nice pouch to hold the extra cables. It's a nice touch that shows that Corsair thinks about their owners.
Cons: None.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: ASUS Z87-PRO LGA 1150 Intel Z87 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Pros: I've used ASUS motherboards for over 15 years and I've found that their motherboards perform well and last a long time. So, ASUS was my first choice when I decided to build a new PC based on a Haswell i5 CPU. I selected the Z87 Pro because I wanted a solid, general purpose motherboard with the latest features. Some of the advantages I found with the Pro model include:
- Outstanding build quality. The MB heat sinks are large and the board is well laid out. It was easy to install everything and cabling wasn't a problem.
- The UEFI BIOS offers a much improved UI compared to earlier BIOS versions.
- You can flash the BIOS directly from a USB drive. You can also directly boot into the BIOS via a switch on the MB. These features saved my bacon when I encountered the initial setup problems mentioned below.
- Provides diagnostic LEDS in case there's a problem
- Excellent quality video output using the graphics built into the Haswell CPU. I liked that the board provides both HDMI and DisplayPort outputs.
- The motherboard runs cool in my Antec case. The board temperature is averaging under 25 degrees C.
Cons: Setting up the machine the first time was surprisingly difficult. When I first booted the PC, I received a "99" error in the on-board LED. The monitor also displayed a CPU fan speed error during the POST. I was not able to by-pass the fan error and wasn't able to enter the BIOS.
After hours of troubleshooting, I realized I was dealing with at least two issues. First, my PC used an SSD. The boot time with the SSD was so short that the BIOS was not recognizing the "DEL" key to enter the BIOS. Second, I was using a very efficient CPU cooler (Noctua) that resulted in a low CPU fan speed. The low fan speed triggered a boot error and hung the machine during the POST cycle.
All of the troubleshooting information said to start with a BIOS upgrade. Fortunately, the ASUS MB allows you to flash the BIOS directly from a USB drive. I was able to successfully upgrade the BIOS to version 1707. After the BIOS was upgraded, I was finally able to directly boot to the BIOS.
Once in the BIOS, I made several changes to fix the boot problems. I increased the default "POST Delay Time" setting to 5 seconds. I disabled the "Wait for F1 if Error" setting. And, I lowered the CPU fan speed threshold to 300 RPM to avoid spurious error messages during POST.
The MB has been completely stable after making these changes. But, these issues point out that ASUS has some problems with the default settings in their BIOS. I should not had start-up problems because I was using a fast SSD or an efficient CPU cooler.