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ASRock Z170 Extreme4 LGA 1151 Intel Z170 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

4 out of 5 eggs Strong contender but W7 installers beware 08/21/2015

This review is from: ASRock Z170 Extreme4 LGA 1151 Intel Z170 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: Great board with overclocking features necessary to get the job done as good as anything else your above average Joe could possible need.

Cons: CHRISTIAN R. is 100% correct with his issues as I experienced this just the same.

ASRocks reply to his review that this is not an issue with installing W8/8.1 is also correct and thank goodness I had a copy of that on hand too.

Other Thoughts: I'd rather have USB 2.0 ports on the back instead of PS/2. Just make sure you plan ahead as this is something that can be easily overlooked.

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GIGABYTE GA-Z97N-Gaming 5 LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

2 out of 5 eggs All Bios are in Alpha and needs serious attention 03/01/2015

This review is from: GIGABYTE GA-Z97N-Gaming 5 LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard

Pros: This looks nice and has bolt-on heatsinks. The Soundblaster audio could be very nice.

Cons: Every Bios from F2, F3 and the beta Bios F4e is flaky at best. Forget setting XMP 9 out of 10 times. Don't power it down/put it to sleep either or be prepared to troubleshoot. This is with optimized defaults. After fiddling about for 10+ hours, if you set the PCI-e lane to gen 2 it seems to work well enough as if this were a beta bios. But, the jury is out on this yet. I went back to F3 bios because the beta didn't change anything over the latest "certified" bios.

Then there is the realtek audio drivers combined with the Soundblaster driver/software. What a headache. Just when I get things working correctly, I get "does not recognize audio device" garbage. Following the directions per Gigabytes site is correct (install Realtek first, reboot then install Soundblaster software) but that's only half the battle. There are a few settings within windows that you'll have to sort out before this is stable too and not giving you incompatibility messages every time you boot up.

Also, 2 fan headers is lousy but I knew this going in. However, I did not see this one coming...the USB 3.0 port on the board is extremely close to the pci-e lane. Now the plug itself pushes on the back of the GPU putting unnecessary stress on the pci-e lane. All of the other Z97 itx boards have their plugs a bit farther away. I'll remember this for next time.

Other Thoughts: This build is using an i3 4160, GTX 960 G.1, 2 x 4 G.skill 1600 mhz ram and a Seasonic X650 psu.

My 2 egg rating is generous and only shows my desire to badly want this board to work. I like what it could ultimately offer if it worked like it should. But as of right now, stay away and if you're considering this board, send me a message. I'm on OCN with the same user name I use to review this board. Feel free to check my experience level on OCN too. I know my way around all of this hardware.

You can do this Gigabyte! Put down your smartphone, get off of facebook and get to work. I have faith in you :)

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Raijintek All-In-One Open Loop Liquid CPU Cooler - w/ New Pump, Water Block And Tank Design, 2* 12025 Fans, 2 LED Lights, Fan RPM Controller, Solid Mounting Kits, Sturdy Installation - Blue
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: The all-in-one closed/open hybrid loop this great to look at, offers easy expansion into further cooling options and keeps your CPU as cool as the best AIO coolers while looking better doing it.

Cons: The CPU block cracked in shipping. So a quick message to Raijintek on their facebook page, a few short emails and a few days later...I had my new replacement part and I was good to go.

Other Thoughts: Raijintek is a stand up company that has made an excellent product and stands behind it. Their fast communication and speedy service has won my two thumbs up. I'm a big part of some very high traffic computer forums and when a company makes things right the way they did, I make sure the right people know about it.

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Harold B.'s Profile

Display Name: Harold B.

Date Joined: 02/03/05

  • Reviews: 16
  • Helpfulness: 12
  • First Review: 03/13/12
  • Last Review: 08/21/15
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