Joined on 12/02/02
Get card for the money
Pros: Excellent bang for the buck. The MSI version of this card performs better than cards that stick strictly to the reference model, so it's a good pick if you're looking at this series of card. The cooling on it is decent, and not deafeningly loud. Performance is why you'd spend the money for this thing, though, and it delivers there perfectly for the price point; it was a solid upgrade from my 8800GTS 512.
Cons: It's a large (and long) card, so plan accordingly. If you have a small case you will want to check dimensions before you pick one up and try to install it. The 8800 I had before was a large card, and this one is actually slightly longer still.
Overall Review: Download and use the newest driver package from ATI's site for the best results.
Don't waste your money.
Pros: Decent CD/DVD drive and burner. PowerDVD8 comes with the drive and works fine for movies. Win7-64bit detected the drive fine, software works well with it.
Cons: Three of the first four Blu-Ray movies I tried on it don't work; thought it was defective at first, but finally found one it played perfectly. Seems certain discs just won't read at all in it, which kind of defeats the purpose of the drive. No firmware updates available.
Overall Review: Twice as expensive as a standard CD/DVD burner with about the same functionality, unless you get really lucky and the movie you want to watch actually works in it...and who wants to deal with that?
Great case for the price
Pros: This case is about as good as it gets for the price. Not a huge case, but still roomy enough for all your components and everything is laid out as well as it could be. Looks fairly sharp, has decent fans and well placed mountings.
Cons: Side panels are a bit tight, but nothing unmanageable.
Overall Review: Can't do better than this for what it sells for. I didn't see it listed in the specs here, but it had a 2.5" mounting already in the case's drive bays for an SSD.
Pros: Installed in new Sandy Bridge build on an i5-2500k using the configs for the LGA 1156. It keeps the processor so cool that idling at the desktop it doesn't run any hotter than the motherboard sensor does, and it's quiet. Backplate and screw post design is easier than the stock Intel push-pin fans.
Cons: None. Works better than I had thought it would.
Overall Review: Had anticipated a bit of a struggle based on other comments, but install was a snap even by myself. Watch the video, take your time, and it's fast and easy. Be careful not to overtighten the posts when attaching the X-clip to the backplate.
Solid board, great BIOS
Pros: Clean board placement, makes it easy to install larger CPU coolers or video cards without bumping into things or covering ports. Solid performance, lots of tweaks and easy to use, BIOS utility the best I've seen. All around great board, really happy with it.
Cons: Nothing really.
Overall Review: Update the BIOS on the board when you get it to the newest rev on Asus' site. You may need to manually configure RAM timings and voltages if you use 1.65v DDR3 to have it run at full supported speed, although I suggest going with 1.5v DDR3 if you're looking to build a new SB rig with this board.
Side fan connectors
Pros: Great case.
Cons: None here.
Overall Review: Review as a side note to joe's mention of the fan connectors for the side fan; the case comes with a card that sits in a PCI slot with a variable fan speed control. The fans' proprietary plugs go into that card rather than into the motherboard, and use standard molex connectors for power. This way you can adjust the fan speed using the dial on the card mounted in a PCI slot. The front fan's speed control is on the bulge on the side of the case rather than using that card.