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Pros: Access: This case was easy to get into since it does have thumb screws for the side panels and they slide on and off easily. No bars or brackets in the way inside other than two drive cages, one in the top front and one in the bottom near the front.
Connections and Routing: The front panel connections are fairly long and were able to reach to the rear of the motherboard when routed behind the MoBo tray so it makes it a lot easier to have things clean and neat. The Audio connector is able to support HD audio or AC97 as two plugs are hooked to the same connection. The USB 2.0 connector is a standard size with two round cables running to the front panel, the USB 3.0 connection is a single blue cable with a standard Intel design this will however take the full header and only provide one USB3.0 port to the front. I was also able to route the main MoBo power behind the tray and bring it up through one of the openings to supply power. All the edges for the MoBo tray are rounded and smooth so I am not worried that the cables will be scrapped up or damaged in any way. I would have liked to see a single bonded cable bringing the MoBo controls and LED power to the front but they used four separate pairs to do this otherwise the connectors are pretty standard fair and all but the power led are paired connectors with the power led being single plug in case the connection needs a spacer pin. A small speaker is included to plug on to the MoBo header.
Front and rear Panel: The power switch is easily accessible and large enough to find by feel so this will be great for my mother in law if she needs to turn the computer on. The power LED is blue and the HDD one is red, they both shine at the same point so when the drive is being accessed it actually shows purple and blue the rest of the time. The reset switch is small and more protected so should not be inadvertently bumped. Four slots for the rear expansion that are held by one screw each so no breaking them out and having to find a blank later on should you need it. Single large fan in the rear top to vent though it uses a molex connector not a MB 3pin header.
The feet are a nice addition IMHO, since the PSU intakes through the bottom it will help insure that it has ample airflow and a minimum amount of dust and crud buildup. Bottom mounted PSU is nice and pretty standard now. The overall look of the case is pleasant and smooth with a gloss black finish the side panel intake is a matte grey. All of the intake points have a foam filter so dust infiltration should be a minimum. There are three caddies for mounting drives one in the top behind the front connectors and two in the bottom. The 5.25 inch bay is toolless as is the caddy above it. They sent a ton of screws and extra standoffs if you have a slightly larger motherboard.
Cons: The 4 pin Motherboard supplemental power cable needs to be about six inches longer. It has to go all the way to the top of the case on a lot of boards and it's too short to route nicely in my opinion. I tucked it behind the hold down on the pcie x16 slot and past the northbridge heatsink then around the cpu cooler and it just barely made it. With about 6 inches of extra cable it would have been able to route behind the tray and come up to plug in and stay out of the way and look much cleaner. And why only a 4pin I do not know, I would have expected a 4 pin plus 4 pin to provide 8 pin supplemental power to the board.
They sent four screws for a front fan to be installed and easily accessed from inside the case, this would be a 12cm fan just like the back which is very cool. The bad thing is the drive cage in the bottom of the case will prevent any fan that size from being installed unless you want to drill the rivets out and slide it back in the case about two inches and then drill new holes in the case so that you can insert the screws and barely be able to tighten them down.
The power supply needs a couple more sata power connectors. The case can support 8 drives but only has 7 power connectors included for drives and one is for a 3.5 inch floppy or a powered internal usb hub. Two SATA power plugs and four molex power plugs. Since most drives are now using SATA power you will burn up those two very quickly and will need adapters from molex to SATA. Plus with this case supporting multiple 2.5 inch drives you would figure that a lot of people would want SSD's and they need SATA power to function.
The back panel is flimsy and inserting the MoBo rear connector shield I had to be careful to place one hand to really support the area where I was pressing to get it to click into place and not deform the panel. The front panel blanks are a pain to get out if you want to insert a optical drive and don't want to remove the whole fascia.
It would have been nice to have an additional fan intake in the bottom for the case. And the side panel intake will probably be useless as you can not mount a fan to it unless you want to make a bracket for some 80mm fans. Why is the rear fan a Molex style connector? I would have opted for a 3pin to connect to the MoBo header.
No PCIe power connectors at all so if you need one plan to get an adapter or different PSU. The wires seem a little on the light side so I wouldn't plan to go throwing in a PCIe card that needs extra power and then install an adapter to pull the power from this PSU.
If you want to put in a memory card reader or internal USB hub that would normally fit into a 3.5 inch slot plan to get an adapter to make it work in this case. All of the front blanks are sized for a full size 5.25 inch drive, though the knockouts in the front have both the 3.5 and 5.25 inch variety.
Other Thoughts: Internal connector list:
USB 3.0 intel spec header x1
USB 2.0 header x1
combined ac97 and hdaudio cable with two connectors
24 pin MoBo power x1
4 pin MoBo supplemental power x1
Sata power x2
4 pin molex x4
3.5 inch floppy power x1
2x USB 2.0
1X USB 3.0
1X Headphone jack
1X Microphone jack
I installed a ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS with a Phenom II x4 965 and 8GB of G.SKILL Sniper Series RAM. Used a 80 Gb SATA Laptop HDD and an ASUS DVD burner. Cpu was a pull from an upgraded system, the HDD was a pull from a damaged system and the DVD burner was a pull from a system that was not in use. Both the HDD and DVD drives were sata powered and sata connected so that used up the two connectors available.
I added a 80mm fan to the front and held it with one screw for some added airflow especially to run across the hdd and make sure it stays cool. Later I will probably add a 120mm fan to the front and move the drive cage in the bottom back so it can fit and change the rear fan to a 3 pin MoBo header fan.
This was a pretty much spare parts build to get my Mother in Law off of a 2.8ghz p4 Dell with 2Gb of ram and minimal expansion capabilities. I may toss an SSD in later on to give it a little more pep and could get her off the integrated radeon 3000 graphics but I doubt she will need that. As it all sits she is still doing a lot better than she was. She got a new computer and I am overall happy with the build. This case was easy to work with for the most part and has clean lines on the outside and easy routing on the inside.
This review is from: PDP Afterglow Wireless Headset Universal Headset for PS3 Wii XBox 360 BLUE New
Pros: The sound is really nice, deep bass that makes you feel like a sub should be thumping nearby. Decent comfort and truly circumnural. Will work with multiple devices including pc, your cell phone as a wired headset among other things. If you have a tv with a headphone jack and USB port it will work wirelessly with it as well. The battery lasts a long time.
Cons: The ear cups could be a bit larger around for me. After a couple hours I get a sore spot and have to take them off. If you want to make sure the battery lasts longer you will want to shut down the "color led" on the ear cups, the bad thing is it only turns off for a fraction of a second and then begins to cycle. I have actually shut off the exterior led once in multiple tries on two headsets. The USB sound is not all that great and when you do not have sound coming through there is a constant high pitched whine that is just audible enough to become annoying.
Other Thoughts: Bought two at a brick and mortar. Got home and was slightly worried that it would not work well with my computer. Got it plugged in to the soundcard and USB and found that the USB provides power as well as a mono headphone and microphone for the "chat" function. Your soundcard will still provide the audio for most things and it is in stereo and sounds great. My wife and I use them for a few hours at a time and it's really nice when you are raiding and go to take a break and are afk, you can still talk and hear what is going on even if you are not right there. We have found that we enjoy streaming music while playing and enjoying. Set up a vent server in the house so we can still converse cause with them on and the music turned up you can't hear a thing.
I can not say about the use with a playstation or xbox as I really have no need for use but the connection seems to be a bit odd and if you have a TV with a headphone out I would just get an extender for that to control the sound rather than buying an adapter to break out from HDMI among other things to get rca connectors so you can hook up the sound.
Pros: More than enough cores to run multiple apps and not bog down. No "virtual" cores via hyperthreading so no worry about slow downs due to two threads competing for the same resources. Decently fast, slightly slower per core than a Phenom II x4 965 running @4.07 Ghz when all threads are at 100%. But unless you are going to be maxing all the cores at the same time this cpu will outpace the 965. In WoW with the 965 I was getting around 40 fps average with the settings at good with the 8350 I am getting about the same frame rate with the settings at high and a few at ultra outdoors. Indoors I was getting around 65 fps with the 965 and I am now getting around 105 fps with the higher settings. Running 16GB 1600Mhz ram, 890fx chipset, ssd, and a pair of 6850's @ 850 Mhz core. The stock cooler idles around 14c to 19c depending on the room temp. My GPU is idling around 35c with one card shut down.
Cons: The cooler is WAY undersized for the heat this thing can pump out and extremely loud when the fan spins up. I ran the Phenom II overclocked on the stock cooler and did not have any issues of overheating, this cpu overheats just being ran at 100% and factory clockings.
I have pretty good airflow through the case and while I am going to pick up a couple more 120MM fans by no means should it be locking up or shutting down. The factory cooler just will not cut it on this one unless you get a water cooled edition. Auto clockings and voltage this thing is going up to around the mid to upper 70's c, my gpu's are getting to around 62c max.
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO OC WITH A STOCK COOLER/PASTE, in fact if you buy this cpu buy a better cooler to begin with even if you are not going to OC. I have a feeling part of the problem with the stock cooler is that the air being vented from the cooler is being pulled back into the fan and recirculating. I would rather have seen a cooler boxed with the cpu more like the 212 EVO where the air can be pushed through straight to an exhaust fan.
Other Thoughts: I just bought a 212 evo to throw on this after seeing comparisons showing the temps I am getting on stock at 70c to 80c and the evo on the same loading is getting 45c to 50c.
It is a little arbitrary to talk about the per core performance being slightly slower at the same clock speed but I will try to elaborate a little. I ran a x11 miner on the Phenom II @4.07 Ghz and received ~ 250 khash/s or 62.5 khash/s per core, the 8350 at 4.1ghz in turbo mode runs ~ 400 khash/s or 50 khash/s per core at a slightly higher clock speed. Both done with one thread per core so the hexacore cpu vs the quad core at nearly the same clock speed is slightly slower. With that said running less than 8 threads on the hexacore does yield nearly the same performance so this may be due to the overhead of managing twice the threads and if you are going to overclock you can get the performance higher.
I have not done a lot of other testing but I think what I have outlined should give you an idea of performance comparison. When the 212EVO comes in on Thursday I will be doing some more and see if everything holds true.
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