Showing Results: Most Recent
Pros: Excellent good looks, excellent size for a micro-ATX build, light weight. I bought it on sale and got a Corsair rebate to boot. I got the rebate from Corsair in 4 weeks.
Cons: Don't count on removing the front fascia often and the instructions for doing so are a joke. The fascia is plastic and is held on by 6 plastic push pins. Those pins are thick and split in the middle to apply the holding power as they squeeze in then spread once in place. I had to pinch them in from the back to get them out because I feared just pulling on the fascia might break it.
There is plenty of room for your cabling inside but no help for cable routing. It's a narrow case with no cable room behind the side panels and there are no hooks or tie-downs.
Other Thoughts: I paired this case with a micro-ATX mobo and a Corsair RM650x power supply. A modular PSU is a very good idea so that you can install only the cables you need to save cabling room. There is room for an ATX mobo but I would prefer a roomier case for the bigger mobo, especially if planning to use expansion cards and definitely if planning dual video cards.
I decided not to use the included fan controller so I simply removed it altogether which eliminated a bundle of wires. In the front I swapped the included fan for a Corsair AF120 I had on hand. The included fan then was moved down to the lower front spot. That lower fan location is inside the fascia but mounts on the outside of the front case wall, not inside the case itself. I left the third fan unconnected until it is needed. So far I do not need it. My mobo has two case-fan headers and ASUS AI Suite 3 seems to control them nicely.
I have a full sized video card and a Core i3 (Skylake) CPU with stock cooler. This system runs whisper quiet and every time I check the temperatures they are under 40 C. The i3 will idle down just below 30 C at rest so the case's ventilation seems very good. That might change if you were using a more powerful CPU and gaming a lot.
Other than to install a third fan there is no reason to remove the front fascia. There is a minimal air filter built in to the fascia and it can be cleaned from the outside. Beneath the power supply is a better (finer mesh) filter that is removable for cleaning.
This case is quite light and is noticeably lighter, fully built, than a Dell Optiplex 760 Small-Form Factor machine.
The power button does not inspire confidence but I'm sure it will be fine. It does not have a positive "click" when you push it but oddly, the Reset button right next to it does have a decent "click" to it, and they seem to be exact twins otherwise.
I really like this case. I would buy it again for a Micro-ATX build and I recommend it for that purpose.
Pros: Loaded with features, Z170 chipset with DDR4 support, full speed M.2 slot,, SATA Express, Intel LAN, compact size.
Price is reasonable.
Cons: I would gladly give up the PS2 ports for another pair of USB3 ports. Not sure why we need the LPT and COM headers on the motherboard. The 4 PCIe slots seem a bit cramped.
Other Thoughts: Since this board and the Z170 are so new I was concerned about having the latest BIOS so I opted to flash up to the latest BIOS file before installing the operating system. I used the EZ Flash 3 tool from within the UEFI BIOS after putting the new BIOS file on a USB stick and the update flash turned out fine. I was a little worried when it decided to read the file a second time before finishing but that seems to have been normal. I had BIOS v.0505 (newest at the time) before installing the OS.
I installed a double-wide video card that covered the neighboring X1 PCIe slot, which I expected, but the card is so close to the next X1 slot (slot #3) I might not be able to use that one either. A card there may interfere with the airflow of the fans on the VGA card. I could use that third slot to install a USB3 adapter if I need more USB3 ports.
This is my first mATX mobo so I'm not sure if all of them are as cramped as this one. Maybe this is normal, or maybe my video card is a little thicker than others, but if you plan on installing additional PCIe cards you might want to go up to the full ATX sized board.
We've been using this system for three weeks now and it has been running perfectly. This system boots a tad faster than my 3 yo Core i7-based machine (Sabertooth Z77) and runs just as fast in everyday tasks. Though it lacks the horsepower of the i7 for gaming it was built mainly for heavy Web surfing, watching videos, and doing a little audio work (yeah, it's a little overbuilt but I had an eye toward a little light gaming for it in the future).
I would buy this motherboard again and I would recommend it to others.
Intel i3-6100 (Skylake) CPU
Crucial DDR4 2133 RAM (2 x 4GB) (their standard, no-frills RAM)
Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB SSD
WD Black 1 TB HDD
EVGA GTX 950 video card
Corsair RM650x power supply
Corsair Carbide 100R Silent Edition case
Windows 7 HP 64-bit
Windows Experience Index = 7.4 (CPU score was the low number, all others were 7.9)
Pros: Reliable, dependable RAM. Online compatibility tool.
Other Thoughts: I've been buying Crucial RAM for about 15 years now and I have always found it to be reliable. I use their online compatibility tool on the Crucial Website to find the right RAM for the application and it has always worked out well.
This particular RAM is their standard, basic RAM. I chose it for a build for which I wanted the simplest, most reliable components. It is for an ASUS Z170M-Plus motherboard. DDR4-2133 is the native RAM for this motherboard and it has worked perfectly for about three weeks now.
I would buy this product again and I recommend it to others.