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ashley a.

ashley a.

Joined on 04/04/09

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 3
Most Favorable Review

This case tweeks standard design and nails a winner!

Fractal Design Define R5 White Silent ATX Midtower Computer Case
Fractal Design Define R5 White Silent ATX Midtower Computer Case

Pros: No windows, No extra lighting- Perfect for those who remember 2004 with disdain. I don't need my house looking like a rave anymore. Reminiscent of the beige box of yesteryear with an elegant simplicity and stark white color that fits in the modern home. Perhaps what the Mac Pro could have looked like in a sane world? Tweeks that show case design experience- There were little things that the photos may not have shown you. The front door of the case is reversible for left or right hand opening. When you open the back side of the case you see that the drive bays are set in about an inch and a half. This means you no longer require 90 degree angled sata connectors that get squished with the door! The vertical cable passthroughs in the center of the case are set at an ANGLE. This was no doubt not very cost effective, but kept my cables from having to make such a sharp turn into the back side of the case. A brilliant touch that I never would have known to ask for! The front fans actually do not vent out the front, they vent out of a tactfully in-plain-site vent panel on the side of the case. The case side release latch is something I have never seen before in a case. One push lever moves 2 pins that hold the side of the case on. They do a very good job at holding the side tight even without the included screws. If you are going into your case enough to be bothered by thumb screws than this is an amazing new feature. The bottom feet are RUBBER. Not plastic, not soft poly, rubber. The drive bays- Every single drive bay fits in at least 2 spots on the case, or can be completely removed without effecting the other components. this INCLUDES the 5 1/4" bay for those who do not sport physical media drives! For some reason the drive slides/holders are made out of metal. These do not feel particularly better than their plastic brethren, left small scratches and even seemed more difficult to slide in and out because of it. My personal configuration included NONE of the bays as I have a PCIe harddrive and an SSD data drive, the latter of which screws right to the bottom of the case. Cooling- Never have i seen so many options for fan and radiator placement. The manual states that the full size radiators (think H100 by Corsair) can be fit in the top, bottom, and front of the case, with multiple fans to boot! One place the Fractal Design Define R5 really stands out is not how they handle the fans spots you are using, but the ones you are not. There are myriads of plastic covers to seal and holes that don't have mounted fans. This offers a cleaner look, but in this white case, the cover on the side is quite a different shade (beige) than the rest of the case. The 3 top fan covers appear to be darn close if not right on colored, and fit together extremely well. As to be expected, the front, top, and bottom have filters. The only one I could figure out how to remove was the front. I don't think the others come out, even though they look like they should! Front/top USB and Fan controller- I love the multiple USB 3 and 2 options that exist on the TOP of the case. This is a very well laid out front panel with plenty of connectivity. It appears they only use 2 connectors to feed the 4 ports, but I could be wrong. The soundproofing- The first thing I noticed about this case was how heavy it was. I have hand some tankerly full size cases, but this beats their heft by far. This is because of the attention to soundproofing. This starts with the material of the case. It feels to me like the sides are made of a coated metal, not plastic. The coating deadens vibrations that happen in a tin/aluminum case, while keeping the strength and feel that no plastic case can provide. (No sharp corners either!) The deadening material glued in the side panels reminds me of something I would install in a car to eliminate road noise! It makes the sides heavy, but kills any fan noise or harddrive ticks. They go as far as including rubber mounts for just about everything. Even the bottom feet are a nice shock absorbing soft rubber! The included fans are a nice quiet high spec model. They are nice and soft sounding, especially when plugged into the 3 option fan controller that is built in.

Cons: For some reason the drive slides/holders are made out of metal. These do not feel particularly better than their plastic brethren, left small scratches and even seemed more difficult to slide in and out because of it. The only filter I could figure out how to remove was the front. I don't think the others come out, even though they look like they should! Beware of the weight. Don't be fooled by its small size. I picked the box up wrong the first time thinking it would be 1/3 the heft. This is not so much a con as it is a warning. See above for the very good reasons it is this heavy!

Overall Review: I cannot recommend this case enough. If you are a 20/30 year old with the proclivities of an adult then there are few reasons to purchase a different case. I purchased this for $109 on sale, but would gladly pay $200 for such a well built case. The ridiculously modular design, extreme attention to build quality and sound dampening, understated design, and innovative builder's features show that this was not designed by a think tank or bean counter, but by real geeks who get their hands in cases and said "I know a better way". 5 giant ostrich eggs out of 5.

Most Critical Review

keeps getting worse

CORSAIR Hydro Series H80 (CWCH80) High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
CORSAIR Hydro Series H80 (CWCH80) High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler

Pros: keeps my machine ice cold, was whisper quiet.

Cons: first day- plug fell of of the power wires, lucky i caught the wire as it did and was able to figure out which one was hot/ground second day- the power light on the pump goes out, no longer am able to use that feature. added bonus, the motherboard now throws me a CPU fan error at startup. second week- fan goes loud and crunchy, replaced. 5 months in- pump starts making grinding noise that is louder than all of the fans in my whole full size tower.

Overall Review: This is good for a show computer, or something that you can throw money at to use once a month at a lan party, but if left on or used every day, it will just kill itself slowly.

regular burner

ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 24X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS
ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 24X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS

Pros: works just as a burner should, its not silent, but no louder than any of the others i have. just a cookie cutter burner for a good price with the ASUS label

Cons: none

Overall Review: ASUS is a brand i like to display