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Brendan S.

Brendan S.

Joined on 03/08/04

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 5
Most Favorable Review

Very nice mITX case

In Win BP655 mini ITX case with IP-S300FF1-0 H Haswell Ready power supply, 8cm Fan, Black, TAC 2.0, Front USB 3.0X2, HD audio
In Win BP655 mini ITX case with IP-S300FF1-0 H Haswell Ready power supply, 8cm Fan, Black, TAC 2.0, Front USB 3.0X2, HD audio

Pros: -Decent build quality -Fits stock CPU coolers -Decent power supply included -Fairly small footprint, size of game console roughly -80mm exhaust fan included

Cons: -No cable control -No dust control (see below, very easy fix) -Power button LED is way, way too bright

Overall Review: I bought this case right after I found that my Apex case wouldn't work for a mini-ITX build. The included power supply has worked great for just short of a year powering a Pentium G620 system. No heat issues at all, only using stock fan. Only a bit larger than an xbox360, fits very nicely into the entertainment center. Very easy to assemble, and my stock CPU cooler fit perfectly, unlike with the Apex case. No sharp edges inside. No cable routing, but I was able to decently route the wires anyway. The case includes no dust control, so I taped a square of fine mesh on the inside of the ventilation holes above the CPU, and I get almost no dust at all. This is a great case for a HTPC or basic Web surfing machine. Not enough room or a good enough power supply for a hardcore gaming system, but otherwise I've been very happy with this case for almost a year now.

12/26/2012
Most Critical Review

Good quality, but unusable design

APEX MI Series MI-008 Black Steel Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case 250W Power Supply
APEX MI Series MI-008 Black Steel Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case 250W Power Supply

Pros: -Good fit & finish -Elegant appearance -Small size -Power supply included

Cons: -Built-in 5.25" optical drive bay cover is horrible -Power supply placement is very poor -Won't work with standard Intel LGA 1155/1156 heatsinks

Overall Review: I had to send this case back because I can't use it at all. Should've paid more attention to the reviews. The power supply is mounted at the back of the case and hangs down far enough that the standard Intel heatsink that comes with the LGA 1155 & 1156 chips (Core i3, i5, etc.) is far too tall to fit inside the case, and nowhere does Apex's literature even mention this. I would've just got a low-profile CPU heatsink, but there was another huge design flaw that made me want a different case: the 5.25" optical drive door. You have to remove the front face & disc tray bezel to get a standard disc drive to even fit at all, but then the case's built-in plastic disc-eject button arm won't reach the button on the disc drive, and I tried two totally different DVD drives. The disc drive's metal enclosure pushes the case's plastic eject-button arm so far forward it can no longer bend in when you push the case's eject button. Good quality, but an unusable design.

Impressive little mobo

BIOSTAR TH61 ITX LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
BIOSTAR TH61 ITX LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

Pros: -USB 3.0 on the back panel and front panel -Lots of extra USB 2.0 ports -HDMI & DVI outputs work great -UEFI & BIOS work very well -Not one issue or problem so far -Affordable price for the features -Good quality construction

Cons: -Printed quick-start guide lists front-panel headers wrong -Back panel metal bezel difficult to work with, doesn't fit that great -Only one USB 2.0 front panel header

Overall Review: I used this to build an HTPC for my wife using a Pentium G620 and some DDR3-1333 G.skill RAM. It worked beautifully from the very first power-on until now. I use a TP-Link USB wireless network adaper, so I can't comment on the network adapter drivers some people have reported. I think that of all the computers I've built over years, this is one of the first that has been issue-free from the very first moment.

Okay for the price, but...

RAIDMAX Tornado ATX-238WR Black / Red SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
RAIDMAX Tornado ATX-238WR Black / Red SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Pros: -Low cost -120mm rear fan with a clip-on mounting bracket, makes reversing or replacing the fan a breeze -Side fan -Decent airflow

Cons: -Flimsy, warps VERY easily -Nowhere near enough room for a decent video card -No dust control -No cable control whatsoever -Useless optical drive bay -Not particularly quiet -Fixed hard drive cage runs to bottom of case (see other thoughts)

Overall Review: I had to cut out about 3 inches of the 3.5" internal hard drive cage to make a space for my MSI 260 core 216 video card to even fit at all. Was a real ***** due to only having some dull tinsnips available at the time. Cable control was very tricky due to the case having no provisions for this whatsoever. Otherwise, the case looks kinda cool despite being made out of what feels like thick aluminum foil. I would probably only recommend this case if you're building a low-end budget computer. Units like this one remind me why skimping on your case is not the way to go for a midrange or high-end system. But if you're going with low-cost components for the rest of the system, or don't mind when you dent the case just by sneezing on it, $40 ain't too bad.

Don't buy this thing!

ASUS 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-2014L1T LightScribe Support
ASUS 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-2014L1T LightScribe Support

Pros: Consistent (though very low) performance, doesn't burn coasters

Cons: NOT A 20X DRIVE! I used Nero CD-DVD Speed to measure this drive vs. a LiteOn LH-20A1H 20X unit, using Verbatim DataLife 16X discs, and the Asus started at 4.5X and only made it up to 12.0X! Alcohol 120% also gave me the same results.

Overall Review: Being that this is advertised as a 20X drive but only actually performs as a 12X drive, I would say go spend you $40 on something that at least performs as advertised.