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PowerColor AXR9 270X 2GBD5-DH/OC Radeon R9 270X 2GB 256-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: - Short, powerful R9
- Single fan is quiet and efficient
- Crossfires nicely

Cons: - Doesn't include Crossfire bridge

Other Thoughts: I run two of these cards in a short case, and even with both of them going full-bore, the noise level is barely above a whisper. I haven't found many R9s that run a single fan, but these certainly do, and do it well. As mentioned, I crossfire these, and they do require a bridge, but PowerColor doesn't include one, and it's AMD's scheme to not include the bridge with the motherboard (like SLI does) but with the video cards. They support it, but you'll have to get a bridge from somewhere else.

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LIAN LI PC-A05FNB Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

4 out of 5 eggs Oddball case, great look 11/27/2013

This review is from: LIAN LI PC-A05FNB Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Pros: - All aluminum everything
- Nice black finish
- Surprisingly roomy
- Quiet

Cons: - Couple of cut fingertips
- Shortish power supply required
- Not sold on blowing heat forward
- Needs better insulation on the power supply extension

Other Thoughts: I got this case as a fun compromise in full ATX capabilities and small form factor, and overall, have been really pleased with it. It's got the Lian Li look of brushed aluminum and thumbscrews everywhere, and feels very sturdy while being remarkably light, though I wouldn't sit on it anytime soon. It's fully aluminum, which is rare enough in a case, but it's very thin aluminum, and I managed to cut myself on a few edges - don't expect the rolled edges of a steel case here. Aside from that, I did manage to wedge an entire ATX motherboard inside, and even managed dual R9 270's, creating one of the few Crossfires in this case - due to the power supply and hard drive mounting, you can usually fit one video card that is significantly longer than the motherboard, but if you go with more than one you'll definitely need a card shorter than a standard ATX motherboard - even as is, it's pretty tight in there. The case comes with two 120mm fans and has space for a 140mm blowhole (which comes blocked, but you can buy a grate for it), all of which run nice and quiet while moving a good chunk of air. One of the main selling points Lian Li makes is that the fans blow forward, sucking in from the back and pushing past the 3.5" drive bays out the front. I need to run more tests, but it's all sorts of backwards from the norm, and I'm suspicious of it. Lastly, I had once instance where I had the case open and the power supply switched off (but still plugged in, for grounding) and I touched the connector that runs from the back of the PC to the power supply, and lo and behold it bit me. I blame myself, but realize that even if your supply is switched off (which requires the front panel to be removed) there are still places in the case where 120VAC can be found.

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Intel BOXDZ87KLT75K LGA 1150 Intel Z87 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Intel Motherboard
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: - More bells and whistles than you can shake a stick at
- Support for the highest-tier hardware
- Great head spreader design looks awesome
- Comes with a free mousepad

Cons: - Misleading RAM speed support
- Lots of bugs in early BIOS revisions

Other Thoughts: Unless you've been hiding under a rock for the past year or so, it shouldn't come as news that Intel is getting out of the motherboard business - this is likely the last SkullTrail motherboard. But, they're going out with a bang - this mobo has everything you could ever ask for, plus some. It's like the engineering team got to have a party, and everyone was invited - GUI BIOS, 7-seg display POST diagnostics, power state indicator lights, firmware RAID, push-button BIOS reset, quick-boot support, full virtualization support, UEFI console, dynamic overclocking, you name it, it supports it. Sadly, quite a few of the aforementioned capabilities had issues with the unit I received, requiring many BIOS resets for what should have been a routine change (I should not have to reset to defaults after disabling PXE), and though my RAM was DDR3 2400, the board required me to set it manually (it defaults to 1600 - apparently, it considered that overclocking). Happily, almost every issue I had went away with a BIOS update (I was originally on the release firmware), and it's been ticking along happily ever since. I do a lot of hardware virtualization with Xen, and while VT-d is usually a crapshoot with motherboard support, this one came right up and supported everything right out of the box. Post-BIOS-update, I couldn't be happier with this board.

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Dane B.'s Profile

Display Name: Dane B.

Date Joined: 01/10/07

  • Reviews: 3
  • Helpfulness: 2
  • First Review: 11/27/13
  • Last Review: 11/27/13
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