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Noctua NH-L9a 92mm SSO2 CPU Cooler
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs Works great for HTPC 04/08/2014

This review is from: Noctua NH-L9a 92mm SSO2 CPU Cooler

Pros: With minimal effort, it works perfectly with the A10, Mini-ITX board and case I paired it with. Temps in the mid 70's (C) under heavy load.

Cons: I had to reverse the fan to draw air up through the heatsink (as the PSU for my case mounts directly over the CPU on the board and also pulls air in this direction). I had to use a dremel to remove some of the plastic from the screw holes as one side of the fan has recessed holes, and the other did not. Now both the CPU fan and PSU fan are moving air in the same direction, and this setup is working perfectly.

Other Thoughts: I'm not taking an egg's rating for the fan, but it would be nice if I hadn't had to whip out the Dremel to make this work in my case. (Case is a Lian-Li PC-Q11B, but many other mini-ITX cases also mount a PSU directly over the mobo as this one does)

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G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Solid RAM that runs at advertised speed and voltage (1066mhz, 5-5-5-15 @ 2.0v) in my GA-MA785GM-US2H at work. 24 hours Memtest86+ and 48 hours of Prime95 testing with 0 errors at the 1066 speeds.

Cons: No complaints

Other Thoughts: The GA-MA785GM-US2H motherboard will not automatically set the voltage on these to 2.0V, so go into BIOS and do it manually. This occurs both with the F11 and F12a (beta) BIOS revisions. If you do not manually set the voltage, the mobo will default the RAM to DDR2 800 at 1.8V. Once the voltage has been set properly, the motherboard BIOS built-in power "checker" will display something like POWER OPTIMIZED or OPTIMUM VOLTAGE DETECTED or somesuch, at which point you'll be ready to rock.

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XFX HD-489X-ZSFC Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Pretty box.

Cons: This card ran amazingly hot from the moment I put it in my system. All other temps in my case max out at 70C (under 100% loads for times measured in days + hours). This card shoots straight to 80+C in every game, no matter what, and promptly fails. (I managed to get almost one hour of STO gameplay out of the card with *minimum* video settings.) Monitored voltages are always within 5% tolerances (no overclocking).

XFX support is garbage by the way, and the "double manufacturer lifetime warranty" means nothing. Why would I say that? Here is why: I went through the hassle of registering the card, creating a user account, and writing ~2000 words worth of explanation in a new support ticket to XFX. I have not received *any* response from XFX after a week, and when I checked their site (which I did every day during that week), my ticket was conveniently "not there anymore". If the warranty is the deciding factor for your own purchase, save the hassle and just buy another brand.

Other Thoughts: Since the warranty is obviously useless, I'll be voiding my warranty myself to attempt repair of manufacturer idiocy. I have a hunch the thermal paste between the GPU and the heatsink is faulty, as many other people have reported that problem with XFX HD4800 cards, and because of the jaw-dropping rate at which this card goes from warm to near-boiling.

To be fair to ATI, when the card is not boiling hot, it runs like a monster (high fps with max settings on every game I own at 2048x1152). ATI's driver support seems to be getting better since the X1900 I owned a couple years back. It is too bad the drivers drivers can't make up for ATI allowing their products to be built by clearly inferior manufacturers.

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Luke A.'s Profile

Display Name: Luke A.

Date Joined: 08/04/07

  • Reviews: 7
  • Helpfulness: 6
  • First Review: 06/11/09
  • Last Review: 04/08/14
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