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IN WIN H-Frame Mini Blue Aluminum Mini-ITX Computer Case 180W Power Supply
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: * Low mass
* Excellent cooling design
* Optional glass top looks really sleek

Cons: * Cabling can be pretty tricky to route and keep hidden
* PSU requires use of the CPU power connector (4-pin) so VIA boards aren't an option (found that out the hard way)
* Calculations suggest PSU is only in the 70's% efficient

Other Thoughts: Using this for an open source IPS using Snort, Barnyard2, Sagan...I forget the others at the moment.
PSU exhausts a lot of hot air. Running an ASRock mobo with AMD A6 APU w/stock heatsink and fan, 16GB RAM, Intel mSATA 30GB SSD OS drive, Samsung 840 Pro 512GB logging drive, and an Intel 4-port NIC. Measured power consumption is averaging at 32.5W. Calculated average power consumption (without PSU losses) is 22.9W. 10W of only heat...nothing accomplished by it being there.

That said, once cables are routed (and that can be really tricky), and the glass top is on (instead of the aluminum one pictured), the build looks really slick. I have this in a room with a modern/industrial decor and it blends well and is whisper quiet.
I got another piece of glass cut for only a few 10's of dollars and used it as the back cover and now I think this is my favorite rig (aesthetically).

AMD 100-505635(100-505842) FirePro W5000 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 CrossFire Supported Workstation Video Card
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: * Low power consumption
* Fantastic color rendering
* Quiet

Cons: * Artifacts on screen

Other Thoughts: I'm using 2 of these in CrossFireX mode. I could not be happier with the performance. I have a fairly small case (BitFenix Prodigy M), and an Adaptec 6405 just above the second card. There isn't a lot of room so the second card gets toasty and everything but my cards are water cooled so there's little air flow. When the second card has been operating at significant capacity (Solidworks, Rhinoceros; turbine assembly) the card will overheat and artifacts are all over the screen. This is my fault for not getting the card proper air flow. I'm getting 2 EK FirePro water blocks to add to the water cooling setup for these cards and that should permanently resolve this issue.

A small number of artifacts do appear in normal operation of Windows 7 Pro (x64). By normal operation, I mean web browsing, watching videos, working with spreadsheets, etc. It is for this that I docked an egg. The cards are not stressed at this point and I expect operation to be flawless.

On the up side, the color depth is impressive. I find even the icons on my desktop to be smoother compared to my W530 using the same monitors (NEC EA244WMi x2). Oh, and Skyrim looks phenomenal and is completely fluid (no mouse lag!) even with large textures and complex ENB mods. There is some flicker in game though as artifacts become present and then are drawn over correctly.

LSI MegaRAID SAS 9341-8i (LSI00407) PCI-Express 3.0 x8 Low Profile SATA / SAS High Performance Eight-Port 12Gb/s RAID Controller (Single Pack)
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: Um...It was easy to repackage.

Cons: * Could not initialize array
* Was not detected by Windows 7 during install, not even after providing a driver disk.
* Computer became prone to freezing up while attempting to perform device detection in the above mentioned install.
* UEFI initialization during POST took a long time while this card was installed (about a minute and a half) before the actual OS booting process could begin, but the card was evidently being skipped.

Other Thoughts: I don't like giving negative reviews. In fact I tend not to. I'll address the cons one by one. This is the second LSI card I've tried in a week. I've already replaced it with an Adaptec card and now this project is WAY over budget. I need RAID5, and I need SAS and SATA support for only 4 drives, but I'm not going to spend days or even hours troubleshooting a build of this level. This isn't a Fiber Channel SAN with multiple LUNs, this is a CAD workstation that will also see some light gaming (EVE, Skyrim, FallOut 3/NV)...a pretty straight forward build.

ASUS Rampage IV Gene (X79 chipset is the main thing here)
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB x4 (on LSI's supported hardware list)

Array initialization: Forget initializing the array, I couldn't even get into the card's BIOS to create the array. The option never came up. I kept smashing Ctrl + C (the key combo to get into the LSI RAID BIOS) like it was obsessive compulsion, hopping to make headway but could not. This is likely an ASUS implementation of UEFI, not an LSI card issue. UEFI on this mobo is real finicky about hardware. I didn't dock an egg for that, but I am mentioning it for posterity.

Windows Detection: self-explanatory. Windows simply couldn't see it. Linux could (kernel 3.8+ required in this case. Tried 2.6.38, 3.2, 3.7, 3.8, 3.10, 3.11 and 3.13), but couldn't do anything with it. But this is supposed to be a Windows-only box (at least until AutoCAD supports Linux. I'm joking, that will never happen.). No dice. I did not have this problem with the other LSI card I tried (but it also made the system unstable.) -2 eggs.

Computer instability: A lot of LSI cards have this complaint. LSI used to make great stuff. Now when I hear hardware uses an LSI chipset, I cringe and proceed with caution. I imagine when there are a group of engineers working on tightly controlled hardware for a complete system, LSI's chipsets will get the job done, but I'm still weary now. But I have no way of knowing how one piece of hardware will behave with another in a consumer context. LSI should compensate for that. -1 egg.

UEFI initialization: This computer boots in 8 seconds without this card. I expect a RAID card to make boot times increase because it will do it's own hardware checks and bring the array online. Fine, but 1 minute tops. But 1 minute, 38 seconds without an OS?! I'm subtracting the 11 seconds it takes to load a windows installation disk off my USB drive. Even High Point cards add only 20-30 seconds. -1 egg.


Dee C.'s Profile

Display Name: Dee C.

Date Joined: 08/24/04

  • Reviews: 42
  • Helpfulness: 25
  • First Review: 12/20/06
  • Last Review: 03/27/14
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