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This review is from: AeroCool StrikeX-Air Black SECC Open Case Computer Case
Pros: Looks cool.
No really, that's the only pro. Seriously.
Cons: Okay, where to begin...
Oh so horrifyingly cheap craftsmanship. Chassis arrived dented and bent in many places inspite of the thick shroud of foam in the massive box. The PSU bracket is thick plastic, with thin clips that snap VERY easily. They included two spares, which means they are aware of this! There is no under-carriage panel to seal off your cabling under the motherboard tray. Motherboard stand-offs are not standard threading, they use M3 threading same as ODD screws. Top fan has annoying motor-noise that's roughly 25 dBa in volume. Unless you bend the core of the fan away from the mesh top, it'll clip it repeatedly at full speed due to pressure resistance caused by the mesh.
Other Thoughts: Overall, the only reason you should even want this chassis is the original and frankly rather immature/childish look. While aesthetics is personal opinion; I used to like this look. I bought it because I liked the look, and it functionally served the kind of water-cooling setup I wanted. The absurdly poor quality set me off and made me return it promptly after having taken the time to rebuild my current PC into it, then take it apart and rebuild back into the old chassis. That much effort is how much I disliked the quality of this chassis. Oh and it's INSANELY bigger than the images would have you believe. It's XL-ATX compatible and I'll bet an HPTX would fit too but no mounting capability. On top of that, there is clearance of about 60mm between an XL-ATX board and the PSU/drive tower on the left. Most CPU power cables WILL NOT REACH that far.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Let me first preface this with the fact I've had this since shortly after launch. I got one of the first runs Newegg received from Cooler Master. So I don't have one of the more recent units that many are saying are catching on fire or dieing in mere months. Now that that's clarified:
Plenty of power in the pump for a 3 block + 3 highflow rad loop.
Decent default fans. Pump, and fans are PWM.
LONG default tubes.
Quiet up to about 80% on either the pump or fans.
Near silent up to about 60%.
Mod-able design that I presume is allowed under warranty (within reason of course).
Cons: My primary con and the reason for the -1 egg is due to the AMD mounting method. It has a spare set of brackets and screws that mount to the existing Intel brackets. The problem with that is that most AMD motherboards allow VRM heatsink clearance closer to the socket that this kind of mount allows. Not because of the brackets, but because of the fittings on the sides. They extend out too far and conflict with most heatsinks on AMD motherboards. Rotating the block IS possible though, but not recommended since mounting to an AMD socket from there means the knurling on the screws will grind off some of the plastic from one of the fittings. I have no faith in reusing this block in future improvements, but it will suffice until I can replace it with something better like the new Swiftech Apogee XL and a dedicated pump.
Other smaller cons include that the pump has an audible sloshing noise like it's got air in the motor at less than 30% speed or more than 80%. I consider this small since Speedfan resolves that nicely and is on any tech enthusiast's required programs list.
Other Thoughts: I'm sure anyone reading would like to hear how well it performs in the pros. However my frame of reference is a bit dated even if it still keeps up with modern CPUs.
The kit at a mere 40% pump/fan speed keeps my 1100T OCed 4.5GHz just under 50c running OCCT in Linpack mode at an ambient of 15c. The 1100T's shutdown temp IIRC is 55c so YMMV.
Pros: Quiet and sleek custom HSFA(Heat-Sink and Fan Assembly). Wish waterblocks looked this good.
Full RPM is ~25dBa in an open-air chassis. I have radiator fans louder than that at full RPM. I can hear it, but it's the quietest noise producing thing in my system.
Like the R9-290X version, the XFX logo lights up bright pure white. It's also stainable acrylic, so if you use some colored marker, you can get whatever color you want. Be very careful with such a mod though. Not only will it likely void your warranty, but you'll go nuts if you apply too much. I do wish it was RGB LED backlit with an optional USB internal header to change the color in software.
Performance is grand. As long as I don't crank the AA to absurdly unnecessary levels like reviewers do, I can get 60+ fps in any game tested thus far. That's just without high AA; everything else maxed out at 1920x1200 which is 10% more demanding that 1080p. Albeit this is at my OC settings of 1100/5500. The highest I've achieved stable on the XFX HSFA is 1165/6000. I'ld link to my Firestrike benchmark, but that's not allowed. So take my word for it when I say I got 11411 graphics score with this card at those settings. I still get higher than a stock Titan at 1100/5500 though, so I'm quite pleased. Some few games in beta like Lichdom will have occasional artifacting at anything higher than those settings, hence why I keep it knocked down. OH! Almost forgot, the peak temperature DELTA is 60 Celsius. So if my ambient is 20C, it's 80C, and that's while running OCCT's furmark. I don't see more than 55C delta in games of any kind. Looking forward to seeing what it can do on water.
Cons: My only, and I mean ONLY gripe is with those two screws on the IO bracket.
They are pan-head. Which can conflict with some cases like mine. Fortunately, I yanked the countersunk screws that should've been used from my former card, and applied them in place of the pan-heads.
Here's how you can tell if they will conflict:
If the IO bracket mounting holes in the PC chassis have metal directly above or below all the way to the surface of the slot, check that it's not more than 1mm thick. Even then, you may have to remove the screws to slot it in, then put the screws back in after.
Other Thoughts: Reference model uses counter-sunk screws. All other brands I've checked use counter-sunk screws. Why at least this card comes with pan-head screws instead of reference/standard counter-sunk, is pretty much a complete mystery. However, that's just the admitted picky side of me. I won't let my subjective opinion influence my rating.READ FULL REVIEW