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Pros: -Unknown, as I am unable to get the unit to output to a display
Cons: - If you open the case, under any circumstance, from that point forward you are responsible for any manufacturing defects the system may have
Other Thoughts: Out of the box, the unit will not output to display. I tried VGA, DVI, and HDMI on multiple monitors. They don't even detect that they are plugged in to a computer. Most likely, the graphics card is bad or just needs to be reseated. After reading the other reviews and the official responses from ASUS regarding the warranty, I decided to call ASUS support first before opening the case. After going through troubleshooting multiple monitors and cables, they wanted to me to RMA it. I asked about opening the case and at least trying to reseat the graphics card. I even told them I have no problem replacing the graphics card myself, because I have a client that needs a functional PC by Monday. The support rep noted that the ASUS turnaround time was only 3 days, but I told him that they need it THIS Monday not NEXT Monday.
--I was told that opening the case WOULD IN FACT void the warranty.--
They did give me some doublespeak about how they would still honor the warranty, but I would have to pay for any repairs. So I gave them a very possible scenario:
Q - If I open the case and reseat or even replace the graphics card, and it still doesn't output to a display with a replacement graphics card, indicating a PCI-E slot or motherboard problem, would they repair or replace the unit if I returned it?
A - If I break the warranty seal and send it back in, they WILL repair or replace the unit, but I would have to pay for the repair/replacement.
I don't know about you, but that sure sounds like voiding the warranty to me. I asked to speak with a manager to try and get permission to at least reseat the video card before sending it back in. I was told there were no managers available, but I am scheduled for a callback within the next 24 hours. I will update this review as necessary.
Until then, buyer beware, if you purchase this system you are getting a black box that you cannot upgrade, modify, or repair without being on the hook for any possible manufacturing defects that could crop up in the future. Even if there's just something rattling around inside annoyingly, you HAVE to send it in to ASUS support for them to check out because if you open the case you involuntarily claim responsibility for any pre-existing defect that the product might have.
So if you don't know jack about computers and need to be forced to have someone thousands of miles away be responsible for even minor maintenance and repairs, feel free to buy this system.
But if you have at least a passing amount of tech knowledge, or just want to see what the inside of your new computer looks like, DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT.
I did get a call back from ASUS that night. The new rep told me that they would cover the cost of the repair even if i opened it, as long as the damage was not caused by me. I pointed out that making such a determination could be very difficult. So take that for what it's worth. I decided not to risk opening it, and it's a good thing I did because a little while later, hours after I had unplugged the system, there was an extremely loud POP from the computer. I can only presume it was the PSU, based on another reviewer's experience. I could still hear a slight electrical buzz from the PSU, but there was no burnt electronics smell and when I plugged it back in it everything powered up. Still no video, but the lights and fans came on. Having had my fill of this faulty unit, I opted for a refund since I don't have time to wait for an RMA. Good specs and a good price though. Wish my experience had been better.
This review is from: zBoost SOHO Dual Band Cell Phone Signal Booster for Home and Office (ZB545)
Pros: Cheaper than the alternatives
Cons: Everything. This product is garbage, IMHO. I noticed no discernible difference in my cellular signal when using this booster. Of course, when I called customer service, they informed me that, due to the fact that I did not get good service OUTSIDE my house, I would have to purchase a directional antenna for the booster to work properly. I had already spent over $200, so I decided to cut my loses and give it to a family member who does have good service outside their house. When I visited them a few months ago, I noticed the zBoost sitting in a pile of wires on a table. When I asked why they hadn't hooked it up yet, they told me that they had, but it didn't improve their service AT ALL so they took it down. I had even given them some decent RG7 coax, since the cable that comes with this device is utterly useless.
Other Thoughts: Save yourself some time and trouble, and go buy the Wilson brand booster instead of this one. That's what I ended up doing and it performs as advertised.
I have managed to get some use out of this unit. By installing an aftermarket directional antenna and some more robust coax, I was able to get enough signal for the unit to function and provide coverage for my garage. As such, I am revising my review upwards slightly.
Pros: Comes with an awesome Crown Royal-esque bag. Modular. Visibly superior build quality. Plenty of power, no inflated specs. I'm running an AMD FX-8320 overclocked to 4.7GHz, 32GB RAM, dual ATI HD7870 Sapphire GPUs, 5 hard drives, 1 SSD, six 120mm fans, one 140mm fan, one 200mm fan, and one 230mm fan. PSU generates almost no heat. Quiet, with the option of running it fanless. Amazing price (on sale)
No coil whine (See other thoughts)
Cons: Expensive (if not on sale)
Coil whine at first (see other thoughts)
Other Thoughts: My old system started producing coil whine when I upgraded the FX-6350 to a 8320. Gigabyte GA-970A-DS3 with a Corsair TX-650 PSU. Upgraded to ASUS M5A990FX PRO R2.0 with this Seasonic 660XP2 and it still produced coil whine. I was quite distraught, until one day I took the system out to the garage because it was around 10 degrees outside that night and the cold garage was a perfect place to do some overclock testing. Plugged it in, powered it on, ZERO coil whine. Took it back inside, coil whine returned. It was the UPS. The one in my office was an older APC, while the newer APC that the servers were on in my garage actively filtered the power, rather than just kicking on when there was an outage.
So to anybody having coil whine problems with this PSU, try testing on a different UPS. Possibly one with AVR. I know I installed an identical PSU in another server I maintain, and it produced zero coil whine when plugged into a CyberPower Pure Sinewave UPS. This is a premium PSU and seems to require clean power to function properly, kind of how you wouldn't put regular unleaded gasoline in a Ferrari.