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Pros: - Dual graphics with both Crossfire and SLI supported
- 3 full length PCI-E slots
- Good audio foundation
- Good BIOS
- M.2 slot for storage
- Nice looking board with no extraneous LEDs
- No real layout compromises for medium/small form factor setups
Cons: - Board is a bit more flexible than competitions' boards
- Fan control seems a bit strange
- One of my PCI-E slot clips broke (not my fault)
Other Thoughts: This is a fully featured board for a decent price. The only other board that compares in features is the Asus Maximus VIII Gene, but that board is nearly $100.00 more expensive. Both this and the Asus board are two of the only Micro ATX Z170 boards that support both Crossfire and SLI, and have a fully featured set of PCI-E slots. All 16x "length" (ie. full length) PCI-E slots support Crossfire, so you can use the first slot for the first GPU, and the third one can support a second AMD based GPU. For SLI you have to use the first and second full length slots due to PCI-E lane limitations.
The BIOS is well laid out, with my only issue being that you have to press F6 to get into the fully featured, advanced BIOS setup options. Another neat option is to hook the board up to a network and update the BIOS over the internet without an O/S, which is also very nice. The fan headers can all be run with PWM or voltage control for 3 and 4-pin fans and can be custom set to ramp up based on silent, standard, or performance options, as well as a custom option that allows you to set various fan speeds based on a temperature monitor. For me, I set my two front fans on a chassis header at 60%. My only issue with this, is once in a while you boot up, and the fan control doesn't seem to work, and the fans are static at 100%. I will further look into why this is happening by testing 4-pin PWM fans in place of the 3-pins that I'm currently using.
In terms of aesthetics, the board is attractive, with a black PCB, copper coloured heatsinks, and a shroud over the I/O area. I also like that there are really no LEDs to interfere with my chosen colour scheme of blue and orange/copper. This is a very good board, my only real quality complaints are that it is more flexible than major competitors, and my second PCI-E full length slot suffered a broken clip, even though I made sure it was open when I inserted my second GPU. If I have any further issues, I will edit this review after a few months. But, ultimately, I would recommend this board for a micro-ATX Z170 based platform.
In addition, there have been complaints about installing Windows 7, but the issue is that Intel doesn't put USB3 compatible components in the 100-level chipset for Windows 7 (x85 or x64), so you have to go to the following page where there is a utility that can slipstream the USB3 drivers into a Windows 7 image to install it efficiently on this board. The page is here: http://asrock.com/microsite/Win7Install/index.html
Pros: -Excellent ventilation out of the box with quiet but powerful 200mm front fan
-Spectacular modular design with 60% of the case being removable
-Great cable management with rear mounted velcro straps to hold cables
-High quality grommets that don't come out easily when running cables through
-PSU shroud and side plate both functional and aesthetically pleasing
-Excellent air and water cooling options
-Great storage capability that can be expanded with additional drop-and-lock trays for behind motherboard use
-Nice powder coated interior and exterior finish
-Front mounted I/O and USB for desktop and floor placement
-8 PCI-E slots for triple SLI and EATX motherboard support
-Filtration on top, bottom and front
-Long graphics card support with water cooling and front 3.5" disk cages installed
-PWM hub turns 3-pin fans into PWM controlled and works fine with PWM fans too (although uses voltage to control speed)
-Price is best-in-class
Cons: -Case becomes fairly flexible with Phanteks labelled side plate removed
-PSU shroud has grommet in strange spot for running graphics card PCI-E cables
-PSU rubber pads come off easily
-Motherboard tray not as rigid as I'd like
Other Thoughts: If you are in the market for a super-flexible full-tower case, this is probably the best choice. I personally love the boxy exterior and the black model has a nice faux brushed look to the front and top panels.
A large, high quality 200mm PH-F200SP fan is included in the front and another good PH-F140SP fan is included in the back for exhaust. You can go whole hog on it by putting two 140mm fans in the front quite easily by just removing four screws on the 200mm fan, sliding the 140mm fans in, and connecting them to the included PWM fan hub behind the motherboard tray. You can also use the top fan slots with up to 3x140mm fans as intakes for extra ventilation without worrying about dust because the top is filtered.
The front supports dual 140mm radiator with the optical bay and disk cages removed, or even a triple 140mm radiator if you don't attach the top fan to the case, as well as a top triple 140mm radiator for super water cooling. Since the optical bay, side plate, and all disk cages are removable via screws this is quite easy to do, and I have had an Alphacool Monsta 85mm thick 360mm radiator in front with a top mounted Alphacool 3x140mm (420mm) radiator up top. Top radiators only support push but that isn't an issue with the huge amount of water cooling available. If you want to keep some of the 3.5" disk cages you can remove the bottom drive cage and use the bottom dual 120mm fan mounts for another 240mm radiator. You can probably do a dual 140mm (280mm) radiator but I haven't tried that yet. The top of the case is fully removable by snapping off the front and top plastic panels and removing all the retaining screws for those water coolers who want to open the case, install their components and DiY loops and then re-install the top panel.
I love the black satin powder coating of the side panels and interior, and the finish is smooth and not glossy. The PSU shroud does a great job of helping to hide extra cables and there is ample cable management space behind the motherboard tray with a number of velcro straps to hold the cables tight to the motherboard tray so you don't have to force the right side panel on. My only issue in cable management is the cable grommet on the PSU shroud which is in a weird spot. I'd expect it would be top facing so that PCI-E power cables could be run straight to the video cards.
I've had dual water cooled Sapphire Tri-X R9 290X video cards in this case that are 290mm long and had ample room for a thick radiator and reservoir in the front, which is quite a feat.
My only gripe with the case, is that the motherboard tray is not as rigid as I'd like, and general case rigidity could be better. If the Phanteks labelled side plate is removed, the case twists a bit more than I'd like when the side panels are removed.
Also, the black version comes with a clear acrylic side window, but the white one with a tinted one, which is weird.
Otherwise, awesome case, easy to use, and joy to own.
-Feels generally well constructed
-Compact with nice proportions
-With a Mini ITX board fits up to 8 fans in motherboard chamber or up to dual 240mm radiators
-Large acrylic window
-Dual chamber design in a smaller form-factor than the Air 540
-Lots of storage options
-Three different orientations
Cons: -Too compact, needed to be between 1 to 2 cm wider
-Flimsy side panels
-Average filters in motherboard chamber
-Dual chamber design doesn't seem to keep a lot of things as cool as it should
-Scratch friendly acrylic window
Other Thoughts: First things first, they made a HUGE mistake in making the motherboard chamber so short! They needed to add 1-2cm in height as most normal video cards with top mounted PCI-E power cables have the cables touching and scratching the acrylic window! How did this pass design QA? Also any video card with a common water block will likely not fit in the case, or if it does, the top mounted water ports also scratch up the window. They needed to put a slight bulge in the side panel, side panel window, or just make the case another 1-2cm wider. I guess they just thought everyone would use an AIO with one of their HG10 brackets (which weren't available at the time this case came out) and it wouldn't be a problem, but they were wrong.
The side panels are pretty weaksauce, and sometimes vibrations can cause them to resonate a bit, so you have to make sure they're properly fastened, sometimes a bit tighter than usual. Also the PSU/storage chamber needs better airflow. Be careful of orienting the case with the PSU on the bottom and the window on top, as the warm air might rise into the motherboard area, which isn't a big deal if you have good exhaust fans, but be warned.
It's a very good-looking, possibly even cute case that has a lot of potential, but if you're going to go Mini ITX just get a Graphite 380T which is a better built, and generally better thought out case than the Air 240. If you are heart-set on getting a cube case, the Fractal Design Node 804, while a bit less attractive, is a much better designed cube case that has fewer compromises with Micro ATX boards, supports lots of cooling, and is generally a lot easier to work in.