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Pros: I became a computer-cooling obsessive sometime around 2004. Once you latch onto a priority like this, it will make your wallet leak more change. Back in 2011, I was building my Sandy Bridge system. N****a D14 was the talk of the town. Indeed -- a very good cooler. But the reality falls short of the myth that it is the best.
All of these coolers have a measurable effective thermal resistance. The lower the thermal resistance, the more effective the cooler, the more of a temperature reduction you can expect compared to the stock CPU cooler.
Hardware Secrets had posted a review of this EVGA ACX cooler not long after it was released, and three months or so after I settled into D14 wonderfulness. At that time, it was called the EVGA Superclock cooler. They reissued the same cooler of identical design, and renamed it the "ACX." Hardware Secrets produced results showing the ACX had 6C lower temperatures on the same thermal load platform.
Since I build ducts for my air-coolers which can result in a temperature drop of 5C, I chose to test this ACX cooler with one of my ducts, the same basic fans, same cases, same motherboard and processor, etc. Both test systems were ducted. It was D14 versus ACX. I controlled the peak "Package Power" reported by HWMonitor on both systems through overclocking so that the reported wattage was the same. Indeed, the ducted comparison is close to the review results: ACX was better by 4.75C.
Cons: They could improve the mounting hardware. It works "OK," but I'd like to see spring-loaded screws for the cooler-base hold-down bracket. The black-vinyl nuts used to secure the screws from the bottom of the board may have stripped threads after a couple disassemblies and remountings. But that doesn't matter, since they are essentially big, thick washers -- nothing more.
Other Thoughts: With Haswell, we're searching for cooling that is better than traditional heatpipes. At this point in the game, an AiO cooler might serve better for any mild but serious Haswell overclocking. We have now proven how to get the best out of a single-fan AiO: the same approach I use with my heatpipe coolers. With thermal power of 140W, my LinX and IntelBurnTest temperatures average in the mid-60's C. This is quite astounding. It beats many AiO's installed without attention to any improvements (fans, ducts, etc.)
It is also odd for EVGA. They are not a heatpipe cooler specialist company. The cooler seems to have style and design first and foremost, with blingy curves in its shape and a red LED pusher fan. That makes this even more astounding. Darn good cooler for heatpipes!!
Pros: Batteries seem to last. PSU switches in brownouts and preserves computer operability in blackouts -- or provides orderly unattended shutdown.
Cons: I have been using UPS hardware since 1993, when a violent storm in Northern Virginia killed or damaged some of my computer hardware. Starting with TrippLite, I've also used APC and Belkin. I tried replacing old batteries with new on these units and with some success, but decided the cost was too close to the retail UPS price to bother. Units at end of their warranty period or expected life get re-deployed to purposes that don't require as much concern over BSODs, orderly shutdown, or even monitoring. Dead units wait for the Saturday drive to the county recycling center.
NOBODY advertised or indicated that this model has incompatibilities with (some) Active-PFC-enabled computer power supplies (PSUs). This is confirmed by an earlier review by "Dan" who was able to provoke a response and explanation from Cyber Power -- very helpful but a bit late to some buyers..
NO . . . COMPUTER . . . ENTHUSIAST . . . is EVER likely to choose a PSU which DOESN'T FEATURE ACTIVE PFC. I have gravitated almost exclusively toward Seasonic PSUs, because of their review history and the simple emerging facts that they end up as rebadged units marketed by other makers of reliable power-supplies. For instance, PC Power &Cooling, which featured their 550W "Turbo" model some years back, began to offer "Silencer" models, while changing ownership to OCZ and at least another manufacturer.
I have been troubleshooting a very intermittent problem for at least six months. I went forward sooner with planned upgrades with new parts -- I had a budget; I tracked down every source of red or yellow "bang" events in my event logs and eliminated the OS or software as a possible cause; I reset my BIOS settings to stock or "auto" for CPU and RAM.
The event logs were all "blue" and the intermittent instability stopped occurring for a period of some three months 24/7 operation.
But I had also been tracking other events during the months of troubleshooting: for instance, the timing of freeze-ups or BSODs -- often occurring some hours to as much as a day after a momentary brown-out and switch between AC and battery. All of this took time and patience. I made sure to test my Seasonic 850W "Gold" PSU with a testing device, but the software monitors also showed it to be rock solid and giving ripple-attenuated steady power for the three voltages and ample rails.
This last time, there was no other explanation than the problem cited by the other buyer and acknowledged by Cyber Power. Two brownouts in one day were followed some hours later by the familiar, otherwise infrequent freeze.
Other Thoughts: The unit is heading into its sunset years. I've ordered a replacement which had a spec sheet touting "compatibility with Active-PFC." The 1350AVRLCD will be redeployed for my Home Theater AVR and HDTV.
Good grief. If you left home for an hour, you wouldn't know when a brownout had occurred, allowing you to reboot the system to avoid instability. These things are expensive enough to warrant some patient testing before you choose to keep the product. Who would imagine?!
Pros: It DOES provide conditioned power to the items connected to it. On MY machine, it DOES "salvage" the computer's operability enough to shut it down properly during an outage. But . . . . [but, but but . . ]
Cons: If you had a career of "hands-on" computer experience -- building, programming, and "mainstream" apps -- you might have used at least a few of these devices with different manufactures: APC, TrippLite, Belkin. I think I first saw CyberPower units around 2004 or 2005. And I decided to try one in 2011.
For the last year or so, my system would have a hiccup about every 10 days on average -- sometimes after a month's lull. Since I had an upgrade plan in place for my SB-K i7-2600K system, I anticipated replacing my 4x4GB RAM kit with a 2x8GB, upgrading the graphics card, improving the storage subsystem.
So I began to troubleshoot my intermittent hiccup. Sometimes, it would BSOD. Other times, it would just freeze, with HDMI Audio stuck on a "note" with my locked up Live-TV Media Center. Keep in mind I investigated EVERYTHING: Disks, drivers, RAM -- certainly my OC settings. I cleaned up just about everything that wasn't "blue" in my Windows Event Logs. This time, it happened again, and I suddenly wished I'd kept better track of momentary power-outages and the unannounced crash or freeze within 24 hours thereafter.
WHO . . . WOULD NOT . . . build a computer without a top-end Active-PFC-enabled PSU? I've used Seasonic PSUs exclusively in a household of six PCs!! Perhaps I didn't research the specs for the CP1350AVR .. thoroughly enough, but there was nothing to warn me about the dropout that occurs with this UPS connected to a PC PSU with Active-PFC. And it appears the symptoms, though similar, might vary over different hardware configurations.
Other Thoughts: It gave me about three years, and an elusive, intermittent problem that caused me to spend money ahead of schedule on planned upgrades. CyberPower offers different models to resolve "Active-PFC" difficulties, and their advice on an earlier customer post is clear. But it wasn't apparent when I selected the unit.
I budget my money to replace these items eventually, and if the battery still holds a charge (more or less), they get redistributed after 3+years. So maybe it's time. I just don't feel so inclined to pay the few extra dollars for a CyberPower replacement, because this unit cost me a lot of time, effort and trouble. Either the Personal or business software versions seem adequate, but you'd think a hardware manufacturer for a computer accessory would have either been more specific about shortcomings with Active PFC PSUs, or simply made all their products Active-PFC compatible. And WHO WOULDN'T want a computer with Active-PFC? Really!?!
After months tracing the problem and tweaking the computer, it had now gone 4 months of continuous 24-7 operation, orderly power-down and reboot maybe every three or four days as desired or needed. Then, with some outages of some 10 seconds each, the problem re-occurred before the day ended. I was stunned when I looked into communications of other CyberPower CP1350AVR users.
I allocate used UPS systems to my HT/entertainment system. If they reset after a power outage, it has never been a problem. That's where this unit will now be deployed, after I decide whether to replace batteries in other household UPS systems or simply cart them off to the county recycling facility.