Great Processor.1/6/2012 5:28:57 PM

Pros: -Simply the best processor you can buy for gaming until Ivy Bridge comes out. -Drop it in to a quality MB and it works. -OC to 4-4.2ghz is a breeze even on a stock cooler.

Cons: -Neweggs price isn't the best. I picked mine up for $180 at a well known brick and mortar establishment that is known to sell intel procesors at a discount. -Would like to see intel step up their cooler quality, I know its never going to happen and the cooler works well enough for stock clocks and ever moderate overclocks but it wouldn't kill them or cost very much to implement a better cooling solution.

Overall Review: Dropped one into an ASRock Extreme3 Gen3 with two 4gig sticks of 1600 g.skill RAM and it booted right up. Less than $400 (including a case!) for simply one of the best gaming systems you can casually throw together right now (minus video card) is hard to beat. Another $150-250 on a quality GPU and you're looking at a rocking system for ~$600 assuming you already have a PSU and HDD/Optical drives.

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Quality RAM for not alot of money1/6/2012 5:19:33 PM

Pros: -Pretty cheap -Fast at low voltage. -As much memory as 95% of people would need. -Heat spreaders aren't TOO obnoxiously large -Plugged it in to an ASRock Extreme3 Gen3 with a 2500k and it picked up the correct speed/timings/voltage/dual channel without me having to touch anything.

Cons: -Simply will not overclock. Any changes to timings/voltages/memory clock cause system not to post requiring CMOS reset. -I'm not a fan of current trends in RAM heat spreader design. They're made larger than needed for whatever reason to look cool, usually just ends up interfering with CPU cooling on most boards which REALLY matters.

Overall Review: Spent about an hour and a half toying with the ram trying to get it to overclock before I gave up because its a pain to reset CMOS on the Extreme3 Gen3 with GPU's in. Wish I would have bought the 1866mhz kit g.skill sells but newegg was out of stock when I was ready to order. Can't complain too much though 1600mhz is plenty fast, just wish I could tighten up the timings. Reluctantly took one egg because they tought their ram as overclockable. But overall a high quality kit that delivers on its baseline promises.

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Manufacturer Response:
. Dear Customer Thank you for your G.Skill purchase and review. Glad to hear you got a great deal on this memory and it is working well in your system. For overclocking performance, we recommend the RipJaws or RipJaws X series memory. The low voltage kits can be tricky to overclock, so we recommend a 1.50V+ kit. For any questions or issues, please feel free to contact us directly. Thank you GSKILL SUPPORT Quality and customer service are our top priorities. Tech Support Email: ustech@gskillusa.com RMA Dept Email: rma@gskillusa.com G.Skill Forum: http://www.gskill.us/forum/
The standard for performance on a budget.1/6/2012 5:08:25 PM

Pros: -Everything you need. -Nothing you don't. -Pci-e x16 slots have two slots worth of real estate between them to allow proper cooling of both cards(as opposed to them being right on top of each other, starving the top card of air). -My first board with uefi bios, I like the idea but tend to still use keyboard while interfacing with it. No mousewheel support makes scrolling through long lists of voltages a pain and better suited to keyboard key holds. -Every option you'd want for overclocking is present. Ready to take your sandy bridge to 5ghz and your ivy bridge possibly beyond. -Option to upgrade to ivy bridge this year and pci-e 3.0 leaves a tad bit of future proofing in this board extending its service life somewhat. -All black heatsinks/pcb goes well with my g.skill sniper RAM and video cards.

Cons: -Not EVERYTHING you need. No IDE bus means you're older drives are out of luck. I didn't notice this until after I bought it, not the boards fault, but mine for sticking with antiquated technology and forgetting I still had an IDE drive in my old system. $15 IDE to SATA solution can be had on newegg so no big deal. -extra real estate between pci-e x16 card slots eats up all of your pci slot real estate if you're using two dual slot GPU's (CF/SLI) -Heat sinks on chipset are not secured very well, this seems to be par for the course nowadays with motherboard manufactures, be careful when handling the board. -Large amount of useless utilities on the driver CD. -One of my monitors doesn't like the integrated graphics HDMI connector producing a particleized artifacty fuzzy picture unless its !just! right that reappears at random. Dunno if its the board or the cable but it never happened on my previous computer.

Overall Review: I've never bought an ASRock board before but I'd feel confident buying again in the future. Has all the features I wanted (IDE bus notwithstanding) for less money than the typical brands I'd buy from (asus, gigabyte, evga). I was able to put together a 2500k, 8gb 1600mhz ram, SLi rig for less than $400 that's capable of playing anything I throw at it on medium with this board. As soon as I get some more money a quick GPU upgrade will allow ultra settings for ~$200 more. Gaming on a budget has never been so good.

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Quality Budget Case1/6/2012 4:42:38 PM

Pros: -Quality durable construction given the price. -Internal/external paint is attractive and durable enough. -Attractive minimalist appearance was just what I was looking for. -Plenty of air cooling options. -Cable management is simple but effective.

Cons: -USB sockets are iffy, tough to insert cable into and loose when it is inserted (connector is not sufficiently located in plastic bezel giving up/down/left/right play). -Minimal space between top fan locations and motherboard. I had planned on using my two very powerful fans in a puller arrangement on top but their thickness(~1cm thicker than the included fan) interfered with mounting the motherboard requiring me to go a different route. -No 3.5" bay. Many new cases seem to be phasing out this standard and I was aware before buying. Case manufactuer's should include at least a matching adapter to convert a 5.25" bay to a 3.5" as there are still many peripherals that still use the standard. Instead we're required to hunt for a solution that might kinda match the case or choose an inferior case. -PSU WOULD NOT FIT. be warned if you have a slightly oversized PSU it will be a tight if not impossible fit. My 1000 watt unit was too tall to fit under the motherboard/tab.

Overall Review: Love this case other than the minor (and somewhat major) naggles. Currently having to run my PSU external until I get a smaller solution (yes, I like the case enough that I'd rather buy a PSU to fit it than the other way around) Case did not come with enough hardware. Only came with 4 black fan mounting screws requiring me to use my typical silver ones for case fans leaving it a bit unsightly. Wish they'd included at least three sets of 4.

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Good card, soured by driver issues and defect.1/6/2012 4:24:47 PM

Pros: Powerful card of decently high value if you get one that is unlockable. Included bios switch makes reflashing a nobrainerbut its difficult to get to with the card in the case.

Cons: Card was not bios unlockable via switch or RBE reflash. Shaders were hardware disabled reducing the value of this card considerably. The unlocked shaders are a bonus and should not be relied on when calculating the value of this card. ATI drivers had several hiccups when installing, got to the point where there would be no video output with this card and I had to reinstall an old card to install the necessary drivers to get it to output. Not a knock against the card itself, but more against ATI/AMD and possibly my windows install. Had to RMA the card because it would randomly shift the screen 1/3rd to the right (and wrap the picture to the other side of the screen) during 3d gaming requiring a reset of the resolution in windows to correct. Reinstalling drivers brought on the aforementioned driver install problems which despite the headache, didn't correct the issue.

Overall Review: It's a good card for a decent value but there are cheaper 2gb 6950's out there (powercooler) with potential to unlock. Heatsink/fan setup isn't the quietest but it works. It gets very loud when cranked up but keeps the card cool at stock and mild overclocks at ~30-40% fanspeed which is barely audible. Heatsink design partially recirculated exhaust air back into the case which isn't that big of a deal unless you already have an airflow/heat problem. Knocked one egg for RMA headache on defective card but I'm confident it is an isolated incident. Sapphire is one of the best GPU companies out there right now.

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Verified Owner
Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
Great idea, great keyboard, poorly executed power/wireless.1/3/2012 11:36:12 PM

Pros: I loved the key design, actually a favorite and I'm looking for a keyboard with a similar setup. Battery hassle-free wireless is a good idea...

Cons: I was skeptical of the solar power and thought it might be a gimmick, but for the first month or so I never went below 100%. Awesome I thought. Two months in it would start dipping as low as 85% while gaming, no big deal. usually charged back up to 90-something percent with regular use. Soon after it began dropping to ~50% charge and refused to charge unless it was in use. Turns out this is a known (and unintended according to Logitech) issue. You can put the keyboard in 500+ lux direct sunlight and it wont charge unless you're typing on it. Use requiring constant key pressure(such as gaming) drains the battery quickly, ~10% battery per every 1-2 hours of play even with it under a desk lamp providing 130+ lux. Final straw was when it stopped registering key presses when under constant pressure while gaming. While walking forward in game (holding W) it would stop detecting/reporting the keypress, this happened for all keys. Probably a connection problem.

Overall Review: If Logitech made a wired version (or even a disconnectable cable-charged version) for a reasonable price I'd buy it in a second. Unfortunately the solar power idea isn't ready for prime-time and Logitech's wireless hardware seems to have connectivity problems after a while even with keyboard within ~2 feet of the usb dongle (several USB ports were tried). The overall keyboard design is great, one of my favorites actually. I actually considered wiring up a USB power cable/resistor to keep it charged and working until I experienced the connectivity issues. By that time I was over it. Overall quality was good except that the black plastic top sheet/cover was not fully attached/glued down and had 'waves' in it in relation to the white plastic frame. Smooth black plastic top also likes to attract hand oils making a daily wipe down with the included microfiber cloth a necessity.

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