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This review is from: ZALMAN CNPS7000C-AlCu 2 Ball CPU Cooler
Pros: this is a great cooler for mid - lower wat cpu's. it will cool a more powerful cpu, but there is a biger version of this you should consider for higher watt cpu's. -----SEE OTHER THOUGHTS-----
Cons: don't use this to cool one of those 6-8 core beasts. that would be like pulling a horse trailor with a passenger car. not a good idea. common sense people.
Other Thoughts: now- to the guy who was concerned about it not covering the whole "cpu" because the "cpu" was much larger--- the part you see is what is called a heat spreader. all cpu's (except laptops) have this heat spreader. the cpu is actually much smaller, usually located in the center. do an image serch on cpu with heat spreader removed and you will see how small the cpu really is. a heat sink doesn't need to cover the whole heat spreader- it really needs to be over the cpu mainly. the first time I used this was back in the old pentium 4 days, and it was smaller than the heat spreader, but cooled that chip very well. having a heatsink that covers the whole heat spreader will not be any more effective than one that coveres the cpu die area if the heat sinks are of identical heat dissapation capabilities. what makes these coolers so good is they dissipate heat exceptionally well for their size. I would have no problem using this on an intel i-5 or amd mid-range cpu.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: had the board for 4 days now and it's been rock solid stable. I had no compatability problems (will give list of hardware incase someone else has similar equipment). had plenty of room for everything and it's very fast. Boots up in bout 12 seconds, plays games flawlessly all at max res and settings. I had a very hard time going with onboard sound because I have this connected to some sound gear that cost more than the whole computer, BUT I am pleasantly surprised on how far onboard sound has come! I typically have used an expensive sound card, but for the first time in years, I am happy with onboard sound! I was also nervous about a "NOT intel" NIC. The killer chip kinda scared me, but it works great! I don't know that it's any faster than a good intel NIC chip, but for those of you who are wondering- YES, it's good and I have no problems at all with it. Great board, and I would buy again!
Cons: the bios could be a little better, but i admit that i am not use to it because i have not delt with an msi board in over 5 years. I had a hard time overclocking BUT I have little experience overclocking and I admit that it was probably more me than the board. Wish it had a "overclocking for dummies" setting. The setup was slightly more difficult because I had to load the NIC (ethernet port) driver by usb, but was very easy. Just went to the theros website and loaded the most recent driver and it's done!
Other Thoughts: This is a great board. I have done about 6 weeks of research on which board to use. Everyone has their oppinions, but the reality is that most boards in this price range perform bout the same. There might be slight differences between all the benchmarks, but I couldn't see a real difference.
32 gigs crucial balistix ddr1600 ram (4-8 gig sticks)
samsung 840pro SSD 512 gig
corsair 630 watt psu
cooler master stacker830 case
This review is from: HT | OMEGA eClaro 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Express x1 Interface Sound Card
Pros: sound quality is superb, and this is my second sound card from them. Both sound cards work flawlessly and have given me years of service.
Cons: I contacted HT Omega about some general questions concerning optical out. Their response was cryptic, and so I sent an email back asking for a number to call so we could have a brief conversation because i have about 30 questions concerning the interface of their card, how it processes sound and how the optical thruput arcitecture functions. Their response was this: 30 questions are too many and that I should send them another email prioritizing the questions. Really? With a $180 price tag for just a sound card, I would expect their customer service to be phenominal. I would expect them to appreciate their very small customer base that is willing to spend as much as a motherboard for just a sound card. For shame HT Omega. The whole tone of the email conversation from HT Omega seemed like they were irritated that I even contacted them.
Other Thoughts: Their niche is very small to start with because very few will ever consider a sound card like this. This may be a great sound card, but I will not purchase something from a company that doesn't even give average customer service. Their Niche just got one customer smaller.READ FULL REVIEW