Date Joined: 05/24/09
Pros: — Looks great, even though it won't match many color schemes. Try a Reeven heatsink for a good combo.
— I/O plate is sturdy and easy to install
— Tons of options to reset CMOS (button on I/O panel, jumper switch, and a vertically aligned CMOS chip for easy removal)
— Board feels well made, I had confidence that I wouldn't break anything when I had to install RAM or plug in the power cords.
— BIOS has a ton of options and a very comprehensive monitor tab.
— Onboard sound is incredible, far outpaces my much more expensive (and dated) $400 MSI board.
— Absolute boatload of Overclock options
Cons: — BIOS documentation is sparse, rarely useful when needed.
— This is a symptom of nearly all Z170 boards but the capacitors near the CPU are prime targets for a short to occur. I know of at least one Thermaltake heatsink that rests too close to these caps and has the potential to wear out the lifetime of this board quickly.
— More than 5 fan headers would be nice, there are boards in this price range with 10+ headers.
— If you install your video card on the lowest PCI slot you will have your card bumping into all of your front panel cords & blocking all of the neat onboard switches.
Overall Review: A common problem amongst Z170 boards is the refusal of the motherboard to recognize keyboard/mouse if you're running Windows 7. Make sure you enable PS/2 in BIOS and you have your typer and clicker plugged into the USB 2.0 slots. You can also check what devices are currently recognized by the motherboard under the System Broswer in the Tools tab. You'll see the PS/2 port highlighted even though nothing is plugged in.
Pros: See review "The Limits of Aluminum"
Cons: See review "The Limits of Aluminum"
Overall Review: After owning this case for a bit more and discovering what it truly has to offer, I decided to change my review. This is a 4 egg case, so I rated it 5 eggs to even out my earlier review.
Everything I said before still stands, I just misunderstood how to take advantage of this case. The top 2x120mm fans should be for silent fans or closed loop liquid cooling. Loud fans that push a lot of air are somewhat useless, as the air flows from the front of the case to the back. These fans should only be used to get rid of excess heat, and the quiet stock fans from my earlier cases work perfectly here.
The HDD column serves as a PERFECT mounting bracket for 3x120mm fans. You can slip some rubber pads into the HDD slots (just like you're installing a HDD) and zip-tie a fan through the 50+ holes in the HDD column. Just like that you have 3 silent fans that can finish pushing air from the front of the case to the vital parts.
I noticed no noise difference between using 2x120mm fans on top of the case and keeping the aluminum plates locked in. Take advantage of this.
Opening the door on the case does increase airflow (and noise). My idle temps drop by about 6 degrees C with the door open (after about 15 minutes of leaving it open).
Do NOT use the fan kits that come with the case. The metal screens that Lian Li supplies are extremely prone to vibrating and hitting the edge of the fan cut out. Instead use a generic fan grill; it looks nicer too.
Since you're using an aftermarket CPU cooler (most likely a very large one) you'll only be able to fit one 140mm fan into the side of the case. My side fan actually fits so snug that it touches the heat sink of my CPU cooler. Keep an eye out for 140x20mm fans, they'll give you more breathing room. The fan that I can fit onto the side panel sits right in front of my two GTX 560s, which is perfect for sucking that hot air out. If you have an XL-ATX motherboard you'll have the same luxury.
This case isn't silent, but it's close. The stock case comes with 4 fans. I'm using 10, and the case has impressed me with how quiet it is. It's about as loud as my mini fridge.
Pros: -Extremely easy to overclock with XMP capable motherboard. At stock speeds these guys run at 1600 MHZ, which isn't too slow either.
-LEDs were a nice surprise. They pulsate in order which is quite hypnotic.
-Kills any wait state to my processor.
Cons: -Not low profile, which would make sense since many quad channel kits are going into high end motherboards, which means a large CPU cooler.
Pros: -Idles around 24 degrees, performance ~ 50
-Cooling performance compares to coolers twice the cost
-Comes with just enough thermal paste
*On LGA2011 CPUs the cooler can be turned any which way you want for the best airflow. I used this to suck air up from my hot GPUS and out through the top of the case.
Cons: -As many have stated, this cooler is extremely large. See other thoughts.
-Even with all the screws tightened, the cooler still feels a little loose on my CPU. This hasn't hindered any cooling, so I'm not too worried about it.
Overall Review: I lucked out when I bought a motherboard that has 4 DIMM slots on either side of the CPU. The heatsink left just enough room for the 2 outer slots on either side. Make sure you buy low profile RAM if you're thinking about getting this cooler.
Pros: - Extremely Quiet, much quieter than my old PSU. Allows better stealth when quietly destroying the Spider Queen's minions.
- All cable sleeves and plastic fittings are black. This will look good in nearly every case out there, and is much harder to see at night.
- Built for SLI (many PSU's claim they're "SLI ready" but they dont have the four PCI-e power connectors needed for many SLI setups today. This one has four) Doesn't aid in quest for Spider Queen, but makes my computer look cooler.
-Motherboard power cables are very long, giving my weapons much more range against the Spider Queen.
-7 year warranty, meaning I may use as many of these as I need to completely annihilate the Queen.
-Black bag that comes with PSU is cute, somewhat helps to organize the 5 year collection of SATA, Ribbon, and miscellaneous Power cables that most computer owners have accumulated. Doesn't aid in quest for destruction of Spider Queen.
-Build quality seems very solid. The Queen's final
Cons: - Manual is a bit short leaving little to know about the Spider Queen's behavior. Only 7% of owners even read the manual, so this is a minor issue.
- Cable management can be a bit tricky. All of the cables are set up in ribbon form, and when you need to twist or rotate a power connection (such as a SATA port) it can be a little annoying. Your hands will suffer, not your case, so not enough to take an egg away for.
- Doesn't come with Sting.
Overall Review: Just a word of advice: most users find that the higher the wattage, the better the PSU. This completely depends on the demands of your computer. A normal gaming computer (3-5 case fans, 2 HDD's, GTX Video Card) runs on about 400 W.
I'm running two GTX 560's, 3 HDD's, 6 case fans, and a mid-end motherboard. This PSU handle's that load perfectly, and quietly.
The moral: don't spend too much on a PSU that you'll only use 40% of.
Pros: -Extremely fast card for the price
-Idles at 28°, Under load it's around 45°. Compared to my old GTX 260 (in the same case with the same airflow) which ran the same games at 55° idle and ~78° under load.
-Overclocks like a boss. Streched the core clock to 950 mHz with no problems, I imagine it will get up to 1000.
-Runs almost all games at ultra/max settings (albeit BF3, GTA IV)
-First time I've ever been able to put on maximum Anti-Aliasing AND Anisotropic Filters without melting my card.
-Looks Nice. Helps me pick up women. Watches TV with me.
-Comes with Installation manual that doubles as a good looking coaster.
Cons: -I wish the VRAM were higher. It has the computing power to tackle almost any game, but the memory is the main thing holding this card back (this is the only reason that GTAIV won't run on max settings).
-Fans do not double as a Slap Chop™.
Overall Review: I use EVGA precision to automatically balance my card temperature with fan speed. It has never exceeded 55% fan speed. It's not silent, but it's MUCH quieter than my children, and my old card that had just one fan.
Pros: Easy installation. Drivers are intuitive and simple.
The driver's are simple enough (as compared to Creative) where you aren't required to download 3-4 programs you absolutely don't need.
Even with a 2.1 sound system (like the average computer user will have) this card delivers full force. I upgraded from Creative's Sound Blaster X-Fi (released 2005) to HT Omega due to the X-Fi being outdated and running into problems with more modern games.
The differences I notice are the Claro delivering a much more crisp and honest sound than the X-fi. My songs are not drowned in a flood of bass, nor are do they sound as though they are lacking with a lower bass setting. Even at an abnormally low volume, MP3s & WAV files still carry a hefty weight to them. The biggest difference I noticed were the mid-higher tones being much more punctuated with the Claro. This is arguably the most important quality that I was missing with my previous soundcard, and I'm never going back.
Cons: Price is mentioned by a lot of others. See other thoughts.
Software has some cool "look what I can do" features (such as the Underwater filter), but lacks some qualities I've seen on other products (such as bass boost). No reason to subtract an egg though, this is just personal taste rather than an objective flaw.
Overall Review: As noted by other reviewers, make sure you remove your previous soundcard's drivers before installing the HT Omega driver.
This card is pretty expensive. However, I view it as a long term investment. I don't see a reason to purchase another soundcard for another 5-10 years with the Claro, so long as they keep up with the drivers.
As a simple test I popped in Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. The use of Turbo is the only reason I still play that game, simply because of the stunning sound it creates. With this new card I expected a lot. When I hit that turbo button, the only thing I could say was the legendary Keanu Reeve's "...woah". I crashed immediately, but couldn't stop smiling.
Pros: -Incredible Display, still impresses me despite the onslaught of HD monitors over the past couple years.
-Easy to use Menu
-Stand is sturdy, easy to adjust
-Bright, and no problem with colors
-Lasted me 6 years with very little problems
-Glare is well controlled. Unless you're living next to a supernova or face the monitor into direct sunlight the display comes through crystal clear
Cons: -Starting to die out a bit, not too sad though considering I have another sitting in the basement
Overall Review: -Many users give monitors a 1-2 egg rating because they found the monitor to have dead pixels. RMA it, its not that difficult.
Pros: -For a $7 keyboard, this has an immensely Solid feel
-High slope making it much easier to type and game
-Deep keys deliver that cathartic *click* instead of that diabolical *squish*
-Doesn't slide around
-Costs less than a trip to the cafeteria on campus
-FAR more comfortable than my old $50 keyboard
Cons: -Lettering will most likely fade out over time
Overall Review: I bought two of these to get the most out of my shipping cost and I'm glad I did.
Pros: -VERY cold case, my video card temp went down 5 degrees Celsius from my old Antec case. My room is no longer a sauna when I turn my computer on.
-Cable management is a breeze
-Tons of airflow
-Case styling is absolutely incredible, the interior itself kept me from putting this case under my desk for 4 months.
-There are very few parts of the case that actually require tools. The PCI slot covers are easy to use and pretty fun to look at. Video cards are especially easy to install.
-No vibrations or loose parts to worry about. The PSU clamps feel like they could hold a jet in place.
-Dust is easy to clean out of the front dust collectors.
-Water cooling friendly
Cons: -The USB ports on top of the case are too narrow for my needs. I have to unplug my USB headset if i want to plug in my USB drive.
-The reset button is flush with the rest of the panel, making it easy to accidentally hit.
Overall Review: Not really a con but more of a check of common sense. Make sure that your PSU cables can reach the vital motherboard components considering that this case is very large and has a bottom mounted PSU.
Pros: -Comfortable, the right hand portion is especially nice to rest your hand on if you need to use the numpad.
-Works extremely well with keyboards that have a high slope, its much easier to type and game now.
-Stays in place well on a glass top desk
-Style flows well with any black keyboard
Cons: -While using my old Saitek LED keyboard this wrist pillow became a pain to use. I had to put the Saitek on two DVD cases in order for my fingers not to have to bend down to reach the keys.
-Takes some getting used to. After a half hour or so I don't even realize its there but untill then I have to constantly adjust my wrist to get it comfortable.
-The packaging was an absolute riot. The UPS box this wrist pillow came in was large enough to fit two full tower cases. Shipping was $12 because of this for something that weighs about one pound.
Overall Review: If newegg does give free shipping on this item sometime in the future, get it.
Pros: I saw that Newegg had an open box deal on this mouse and jumped on it as soon as humanly possible, 36$ off isn't too bad. For what I paid, this mouse is incredible.
The Mionix NAOS 5k is comfortable enough to hug your hand yet light enough to controllably flick across the mouse pad. The mouse also comes with an optional 40g of weight you can add, with 5g increments. One of mine didn't quite fit in the designated slots so I just left it out, but the mouse feels solid as a rock with those weights in.
The sensitivity is also astounding. My MX518 had driver issues with windows 64bit so the sensitivity was hardly anything to brag about. The NAOS however is so sensitive that It's almost mandatory I keep it on the lowest of the three presets. Although this sounds like a flaw I find it to be enjoyable considering there is massive room for improvement in my playstyle through this mouse.
In the words of my girlfriend "It feels like chocolate for your fingers"
Cons: The plastic caps that hold the weights in can be a bit flimsy, one of mine doesn't close all the way but the mouse still works just fine.
Anything on your fingers such as food grease or water are easily left on the mouse buttons. You can even see a perfect imprint of your fingerprint half the time. Just be careful before you start using the NAOS
Overall Review: I'm not too sure if it's due to the NAOS or just poor judgement but my operating system seemed to slow down when I plugged this mouse in. This includes games and media players lagging, along with some games glitching out in bizarre ways. If the NAOS is the cause of all this, that's darn impressive. Despite this, I still wouldn't let this deter potential buyers from passing up this mouse.