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Pros: I love how the case looks and feels. Since this is sitting on top of a desk I didn't want a tower. So I went with this, knowing it wouldn't be the easiest build. The extra effort was definitely worth it. It's impressive and can be a top-notch gaming machine. You do have to be aware thought that this will either take some case modification or trial and error with parts to get things inside just right. Since I don't like messing with cases I tried 2 motherboards, 2 video cards, and 2 CPU heatsink/fan combos and finally found the perfect fit. Specs below
Cons: Silverstone, why wouldn't you include a necessary adapter? You have to use a slim ODD, and all the ones i found use slimline SATA. Why not provide us with the $5 dollar adapter instead of making us get one. I was dumb and didn't get one right away so didn't have the ODD working until later. Makes installing everything more a pain. But you can get one so it's not worth an egg, they just make it annoying for the builder. Also, I would recommend a right angle adapter on an extending cable if possible. The fan comes right up against the back and if you get one that goes straight through it wouldn't fit.
You have to really do some cable management in order to make things look and work properly. In the end things get into place, but I highly recommend using zip ties otherwise you could end up with the noise of wires hitting fans. Advice, i fed the SATA power chord for SDD and ODD around from the front, under the ODD with first plug going into SDD, last plug into ODD. This cut some of the wire clutter. I did the reverse with the front audio since the ASUS MB has the sound in the back basically under the PCI-E slot (stupid). But this really helped with the amount of cables hovering in the middle of the case.
Not everything fits this case. Be aware of that. Even if you get things that fit the dimmensions, it might not fit perfectly, so you'll have to toy with things. The hardest things to fit were the videocard and aftermarket CPU cooling. More in the other's section.
Not taking an egg off for any of these because they are all manageable and more annoying than an actual problem. You have to know when you decide to go SFF that it's just not as easy to build as a big tower. You can work with this stuff though.
Other Thoughts: Specs:
Case - SILVERSTONE Sugo Series SST-SG08B Black
MB - ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe
CPU - Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz
Heatsink - Prolimatech PRO-SAM17 CPU Cooler
CPU Fan - Noctua NF-F12 PWM 120mm Fan
RAM - G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 2133
GPU - MSI N660-2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 660 2GB
SDD - Corsair Force Series GS 2.5" 360GB
ODD - SAMSUNG Internal Slim 8x DVD Writer
Hardest parts to fit were video card and heatsink/fan combo.
length and thickness are not a concern. You could even probably get away with a thicker card if you wanted and would just not have the dust screen on the case. The height and placement of the power cord is the problem. It will all fit until you put the fan in place. If the connection from PSU to Graphics card is in the middle, the chord will hit the fan. You then can force it down, but you will be severely bending the cord and stressing the MB, not recommended. The first card I tried was the EVGA SuperClocked 02G-P4-2662-KR GeForce GTX 660. This had that exact problem. As another commentor stated, he sawed off a piece of the fan (non-moving part obviously). I considered this, but thought that I'd prefer to just see if I could find a very similar performing card that had a different placement. Set further back, there is a gap between fan and ODD. I found the MSI used above and it fits right into that gap. No problem. No mods needed. And it works great. Took a while to find but I love how it works out in the end.
Since I want to OC at some point, I needed a MB that could do so and an aftermarket fan to cool the CPU. The case has a low ceiling, so only low-profile heatsinks will fit. This is where i have to switch from the ASRock z77-E itx to the ASUS. ASRock puts PCI-E right next to the CPU slot so you can't actually fit a really good aftermarket fan (they all bump into the dedicated graphic card). As for the fan/sink combo, silverstone makes one that seems pretty good, but I heard the fan on it wasn't great. I wanted the best because i figured with no place for exhaust fan that this case might get hot. So I looked at the Noctua NH-L12. I like it's push/pull combo and Noctua makes the best fans. It looked like it should just fit for its height. And it did. But the side to side was the problem. It only fit in one arrangement with the ASUS board, and that had it hitting the side of the case. Just wasn't going to fit with the lid on. So I ended up with the Prolimatech PRO-SAM17 Samuel 17 heatsink and Noctua NF-F12 PWM 120mm Fan. This combo is awesome. Running the overhead intake on low, i have idle temps around 30 degrees for both the CPU and GPU (not OC'd yet). With this setup, the thing is silent. Can't even hear a whisper. Running hard temps don't get higher than 60, and usually hover between 40-55. I will be OCing in the near future. I do want to experiment with turning intake into exhaust but haven't done that yet.
Love this machine and the case. Have f
Pros: I actually really liked this motherboard when I first tested it. Easy to install and setup. No driver problems. BIOS setup and interface were great. I love the board map in the BIOS that allows you to see what is connected to where. I never saw this before and it makes it really easy to troubleshoot hardware problems. I also really like the actual interface. It's just intuitive. The price is also $40 or so below what I see as it's biggest competitor the ASUS p8z77-i (although the ASUS has bluetooth 4.0). Surround display allowed me to simultaneously use both on-board GPU and PCI-E card.
Cons: After a day or two I started to regularly received an error message saying there was a power surge in the USB 3.0 ports and they got shut down. Had to restart to get them working again. This seemingly cut off the 4 USB ports on the back of the card. So basically all your peripherals get cut off. I have had all of these peripherals plugged in to other motherboards and even laptops with hubs without a problem, so I don't know why it caused a problem with this board. All drivers were up-to-date. The hub seemed to cause the conflict, but doesn't on any other board.
I was going to just deal with it (or do an exchange for one that worked better) but then I realized the other fatal flaw of this board. It doesn't fit either of what I consider the two best low profile heat sinks (Prolimatech Sam 17 & Noctua NH-L12) if you have a video card installed. If you are buying a z77 board, you're typically getting it to overclock. If you're getting a mini-ITX you're putting it in a small case that will typically get hotter and need a better CPU heatsink. You can't do that with this.
It seems like they just missed their target audience with this product. Software is good and construction seems solid, but people buying your top of the line product geared towards those who OC are going to want to use the PCI-E slot and have a solid aftermarket heatsink. You can't do it with this board. ASRock, just move the CPU location away from PCI-E connection so we can fit aftermarket fans and this will be golden. ASUS did this and you can fit any fan on the board (pending your case)
Pros: Was setup and running in an afternoon. I am an amateur when it comes to networking but this was very easy to put together and get all the features working. Really great system, i love having my own server that is accessible from anywhere.
Cons: Be aware of the drives that you buy. I originally had western digital green drives that were said to be compatible with the system. However, the cache wouldn't enable. This led to really slow times read/write times. I did some research and found out that this happens with a few drives (synology has a list on their website). I switched to some seagate drives that work great. Not worth an egg because research can avoid this problem.READ FULL REVIEW
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