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4 out of 5 eggs Fairly decent, but still flawed 08/15/2016

This review is from: MSI K8N NEO3-F 754 NVIDIA nForce4 4X ATX AMD Motherboard

Pros: Mine ran nice and stable in my main (and only) computer for 5 years (2005-2010). I ran it pretty much 24/7 and only shut it down if I was going to be away for an extended period. BIOS fairly well organized. One of the few socket 754 boards to support PCI-Express X16 slots.

Cons: Chipset fan very loud (and ultimately failed when sleeve bearing failed), and doesn't provide very good cooling for chipset (mine ran very hot). Mine blew four of the capacitors that are used for power regulation to the CPU. They unfortunately used lower-end capacitors on some of these boards. Placement of 24-pin power connector is awkward for some case and power supply setups. The closeness of the DIMM slots to the CPU socket can cause problems with fitting some of the larger heatsinks of the time period when these were sold. Lacking in the RAM compatibility department, mine has trouble running with memory that I have verified to be working just fine in other motherboards and often fails to POST entirely with known good memory sticks.

Other Thoughts: Not bad for a low-cost solution, but it still has it's drawbacks.

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4 out of 5 eggs Indestructible 08/15/2016

This review is from: GIGABYTE GA-G33M-DS2R LGA 775 Intel G33 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: I've been using this motherboard in my main PC for a little over three years now, maybe three and-a-half. It has been rock-solid stable the entire time, with the exception of those times when I pushed my overclocks a little too far and didn't have enough voltage, that was my fault though and not the board's. What I've run in this board: E4400 at 3GHz, E4700 at 3.6Ghz, E8400 at 3.8GHz, and a Q6600 at 3.4GHz. It may be the G33 chipset, which is a limited version of the P35, but it's surprisingly really not bad for overclocking, it's stable most of the time. Also, I'm currently running mine with 4x2GB memory sticks (8GB total) at 907MHz (1066MHz sticks) and it is able to detect and utilize all of it with no problems. I note that because I've seen some users complain of LGA775 DDR2 motherboards not detecting all memory when 2GB sticks are used and/or system being unstable at frequencies past DDR2-800, mine has neither of those problems though.

Cons: Has terrible voltage Drop (vDrop) and voltage Droop (vDroop). vDrop is the tendency for the board to apply a voltage that is lower than what is selected in the bios at idle, and vDroop is the tendency for the voltage to droop below the "nominal" voltage (the voltage you would see at idle) when a load is applied to the system. For instance, with my board if I apply 1.35v in the bios, I will actually see anywhere between 1.25v and 1.31v in the actual OS with a monitoring program (HWMonitor). Also, chipset had a tendency to run hot, so I had to replace the passive heatsink with an aftermarket one that had a fan for active cooling (just to run at stock speeds). Didn't have any heatsinks for the mosfets/VRM's, so I had to purchase and apply some aftermarket heatsinks myself (not a big deal, it was easy to do). RAM slots are really close to the PCI Express slot, so removing any memory is nigh on impossible unless you remove your graphics card first (if you have one in place). Only two fan headers. Not nearly enough, especially when I have 9-11 fans in my case (big case). I know being a mATX form factor they can't fit as many components on the board, but I was hoping for at least three fan headers.

Other Thoughts: Really a decent board if you make a few minor upgrades to cool it better (heatsinks). Overall, I've had a very good experience with the board, but I'm looking to upgrade to a newer platform soon as CPU's have advanced far beyond what LGA775 can offer in terms of performance. Don't know what brand I'll go with for my next board, but this one has me sold on Gigabyte from a reliability standpoint, so there's a good chance I'll at least consider Gigabyte for my next PC upgrade.

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Cooler Master CM 690 II Advanced - Mid Tower Computer Case with USB 3.0 and Water Cooling Support
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: more than 1 year

Pros: Exterior styling looks great. It has good looks without being too gaudy. Really love the exterior drive dock. Being a computer technician, the dock has come in handy quite a few times for backing up files quickly and easily. Good amount of interior space. Can fit large CPU coolers and long graphics cards with ease. Was able to fit a 120mm fan in my three unused 5.25" bays to provide additional CPU cooling. Can hide most wires behind motherboard tray and drive cages for unrestricted airflow and cleaner looks. I have ten fans in mine (6x intake fans, 3x exhaust fans, and one fan I attached to the drive cage to blow cool air at my graphics card), and it's nice being able to fit so many fans. Tool-less drive locks for the hard drives and optical drives are nice. Case appears to be of good quality construction, and I haven't had any problems with the workmanship or materials. No sharp edges thankfully.

Cons: Not enough room behind motherboard tray for tying down and hiding wires, when I measured it I found there was only about 0.25" of space between the motherboard tray and the lip of the case. I have a lot of wires behind the motherboard tray in mine, and it takes a lot of force to get the side panel back on (I had to lay the case on its other side and put nearly all of my weight on the panel while sliding the panel to get it to close, and this is with every wire tied down the best I could). This is with a modular power supply, so I can't imagine how one would do this with a non-modular one. This is definitely not an easy task, and rather annoying. Can't fit a 240mm radiator and 2x fans inside the case, I had to mount my fans on the outside of the case under the top plastic panel to pull air through the radiator and exhaust it out of the case. Didn't come with an adapter to attach the USB 3.0 cable to a USB 2.0 port, which was a problem since my board didn't have an onboard USB 3.0 port, I bought an adapter to make it work though.

Other Thoughts: Overall it's a very nice case, but I do have a few nitpicks about some areas that could be improved. I don't regret buying it though.

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Evan B.'s Profile

Display Name: Evan B.

Date Joined: 04/02/11

  • Reviews: 32
  • Helpfulness: 12
  • First Review: 04/26/11
  • Last Review: 08/15/16
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