Joined on 05/17/08
WOW what a case!
Pros: one word: ROOMY! If there is anything you can't fit into this case, I want to know about it. One review I read commented on how wide this case is, which is the reason I tried it. You can put the tallest HSF on your CPU and the fattest vid cards in this case and there is still room for the side case fan(s) to supply them all with cool air. Also plenty of room to hide excess cables behind the tray.
Cons: Supplied fans are weak. I could just barely feel any air moving from them. Not a big deal for me, as I had planned for and ordered 12cm fans to put in it anyway, as I needed fans that I could attach dust filters to. Which brings me to another con - no dust filtering on intakes. The last - this case is big! Don't underestimate it's size. It IS a full tower, but it's also wider than any other case I've seen.
Overall Review: Comes with extension cord for 8pin cpu power - not needed. Hole in the CPU tray came in very handy when installing HSF. Product descriptions here and at CM's website are missing a few really good tidbits: 1) There is a second PSU mounting spot on the top end (traditional location), and the cover plate for that one can be moved to the bottom. 2) The descriptions state that the top fan can be replaced by 2x12cm fans, but what they missed is that there is a spot for a 3rd 12cm fan on top that can be installed without conflicting with either of those options. 3) The front case fan can be replaced by a single 12cm fan (could be mod'ed for 2) 4) There is support for 2x12cm fans on the bottom. Note: PSU placement will affect fan configs, the PSU will block one fan hole in the bottom, or one on the top (including the big stock fan), depending on it's placement.
Mold in the water? Swiftech calls that Plug-and-play ready?
Pros: Looks to be a very sturdy unit. It felt very solid, but I couldn't even bother trying to plug it in.
Cons: As soon as I pulled the AIO unit from the box, I noticed a HUGE chunk of mold growth in the water line. Looking further there were mold clusters all over in the system. Since I ordered two of these, I expected this to be an anomoly, but when I opened the second one it had the same thing! Mold can happen in any water system, but Swiftech advertises that these are Plug-and-Play ready. Having to purge, clean and disinfect, and refill the entire system before being able to use it isn't my idea of Plug-and-Play. Swiftech also claims in their FAQ that a loop should be able to go 2 years without needing to change the water, and suggests going completely worry free for six months before even needing to check for discoloration in the liquid. This was brand spanking new and already molded, though.
Overall Review: That one egg in this review is earned purely through Newegg's customer service. Both of these moldy units are already on their way back for an exchange. Woe be to Swiftech if the second set comes to me with mold in it! I *might* amend this review if the replacements are good2go.
Pros: Power efficiency. I replaced a pair of 9800gtx+ cards with a pair of these. Same power consumption and just one of these doubles (or more) the performance fo those older cards. I am absolutely blown away by the power efficiency of this chipset. It is a far improvement over previous generation GTX #60 cards, too. This card has identical specs to the FTW Signature2 (02G-P4-2663-KR) version of the card, without the pretties and is priced accordingly. *wink, wink*
Cons: Not really a con, but you should know: Newegg's title on this card is incomplete. It's actually one of EVGA's FTW edition cards, but it is NOT a signature2 series. If you look at the product pictures, you'll see the FTW logo on the front of the box in the bottom middle part. The product title on EVGA's own site says FTW in it.
Overall Review: The ACX cooler is a mixed bag. For me it worked out well because of my case design and environment. Some people don't like the fact that it exhausts inside the case, but it helps me maintain a dust free case. I run positive pressure flow with filtered intakes in my cases because of the dry, dusty environment where I live. I have tried other similarly cooled options, but the fans didn't last. I can't ever recall an EVGA fan failing.
Pros: Newegg tried to warn me, with the list of compatible cards, but the information on the manufacturer's site appeared to be more up to date.
Cons: Unable to mount it to my cards. Here's the problem, Xigmatek has remade this cooler to fit more reference card designs, but they still use the VD1065 designation. Go to their website and look at this cooler you will only see the new version, while this is the old one. Attempts to contact Xigmatek were not returned.
Overall Review: It seems that there is a HUGE information gap between Xigmatek and their distributors. Looking at their website, this product no longer exists, and has been completely replaced. Look through their entire list of dealers, no one on this continent seems to have the newer version in stock.
Pros: Worked well and stayed cool, when the fans worked.
Cons: I have three of these. On two out of three, one of the two fans stopped working within a few weeks of each other.
Overall Review: The 560 heat sink uses a non-standard format for mounting holes. Finding a replacement that doesn't cost almost as much as the card is becoming a chore. I don't want to start a brand war, but I have owned cards from many different manufacturers and this is the first time that any fan has stopped working. I can't call it coincidence that two of them from the same manufacturer died within the same relative time frame, after having so many others never fail with much longer periods of use.
Pros: Overclocks like a dream. Allows you to set CPU multipliers above Intel's max.
Cons: Careful of the Atheros L1e ethernet. It is unsupported by Linux or Free BSD. Really wish I had done my homework ahead of time on that one. The fact that the VRM's to the north of the CPU socket don't have a heatsink on them (even though the mounting holes for one are there, and marked for it) has me a little worried - but time will tell.
Overall Review: Is an awesome board and well supported, as long as you're using a microsoft OS. I bought it to be a dedicated numbers cruncher with CUDA under Ubuntu. I ended up having to trade it out with another board and use this one in my gaming rig.