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Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3L 1600 (PC3L 12800) Low Profile Intel Desktop Memory Model BLS2K4G3D1609ES2LX0
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Sits flush with the RAM clips on the motherboard, allowing for plenty of custom CPU cooler configurations.

This RAM is clearly designed for compact systems, both in terms of physical dimensions and low voltage and other power consumption.

It looks great, too. Nothing flashy or obnoxious. Absolutely minimalist.

Cons: None that I can think of.

Other Thoughts: This is a niche product designed for compact systems with very specific requirements. Don't waste the $20 premium on this memory over other DDR3 1600 if you don't care about low voltage or height of the sticks.

SILVERSTONE ST45SF-G 450W SFX12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: This is the ideal PSU for my Fractal Node 304.

The fan is inaudible. I'm not sure if the fan speed is variable on temperature or load, but I certainly never hear it.

The SHORT cables are great for ITX systems. I don't have to worry about excess clutter or length I'll have to bunch up somewhere with zipties. This is what you want for an ITX system to maximize airflow and reduce clutter.

The included SFX to ATX bracket is convenient and allows me more room to tuck and hide non-PSU cables and wires than if I had gone with a traditional and utterly pointless ATX power supply. Seriously--this things is dramatically smaller than ATX supplies, in nearly every dimension.

450W is more than enough for my system, and probably more than enough for most single GPU systems.

The matte black paint finish is handsome too.

Cons: As others have mentioned, these cables are exceptionally stiff and too snug to completely plug into the PSU itself. They're in enough to function, but there is a pronounced gap between the socket on the PSU and the cable. Taking off a star not for the stiffness, but for the dysfunctionally-tight connections.

Other Thoughts: Lots of people here are complaining about the cables being too short, which I believe is unfair to blame Silverstone for. This is an SFX PSU, designed for compact systems where short cables are ideal, if not wholly necessary. If you have an ITX system (or something like it) but need longer cables, well, I'd probably be quicker to blame the engineers who designed the case for their oversight.

I don't own Silverstone's set of flat cables PP05-E but I would recommend them for almost any application, considering how stiff and tight the standard cables and sockets are. I am unsure if the PP05-E are any shorter or longer than the standard included set. I'd hope they're not any longer.

ASUS H97I-PLUS LGA 1150 Intel H97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 week to 1 month

4 out of 5 eggs A powerful board with the future in mind 09/07/2014

This review is from: ASUS H97I-PLUS LGA 1150 Intel H97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard

Pros: ASUS' fan control UEFI configuration is brilliant. This really allows my system to stay cool and quiet.

The board is handsome, and the quantity of USB ports is great.

More configuration options than most people would know what to do with. There's not really anything left locked or untouchable, which is perhaps dangerous for those who don't know what they're doing. Hell, some of these options require you to be an electrician for proper configuration.

I love the M.2 port, which I use for my SSD boot volume. This saves on cable clutter and power consumption. Based on my positive experiences with the interface itself, I can imagine this is the future of SSD storage. I'm glad ASUS thought to include it--it was the deciding factor in choosing this board over others.

Cons: The M.2 port I mentioned previously is a huge plus, but, unfortunately, its placement on the rear of the board means that I have to remove absolutely everything from my ITX enclosure just to get to the M.2 SSD. Also, the screw thing that would hold the M.2 SSD in place is so tightly attached to the board that upon attempting to unscrew it, the top of the screw instantly wore smooth and shredded. Now I can't get it out to move into the proper place for my SSD, which means my SSD is not properly installed, sitting on top of the screw mount rather than securely in it. Thankfully, the backplate of my case keeps the M.2 SSD in place. I'd love to hear back from ASUS on a solution for this. Very frustrating, and a star lost.

Is a bit slow to load the UEFI... I don't remember it being that way on the first few initializations. I set everything back to factory spec at one point, but that didn't fix the issue. It's not a huge deal, but expect to stare at a completely blank screen for five or more seconds after hitting F2 or DEL. If you're not loading to UEFI but instead booting the OS, you won't have this issue.

For a board over a hundred dollars, a colored/black backplate would've been nice. This is the same CRAРРY ugly one from ASUS' $50 line of AMD boards. Not worth losing a star over, of course.

Other Thoughts: As mentioned in the "pros," this board is tremendously configurable. I can't imagine what the Z97 variant has that this doesn't. If my chip were unlockable, I could overclock it despite this being an H97.


Elan B.'s Profile

Display Name: Elan B.

Date Joined: 05/07/09

  • Reviews: 11
  • Helpfulness: 6
  • First Review: 08/25/13
  • Last Review: 09/07/14
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