Joined on 07/26/10
Awesome case, minor design nit-picks
Pros: -Plenty of space, especially for cable management. -Love the Black w/ blue accent (inside and out!). -Handles even the largest of GPUs and CPU coolers. -Custom fans are cool (figuratively and literally speaking), but hard to come by. -Easy to service. -Built-in filtration. -SATA3 dock on top! -USB3 ports on top!
Cons: -WAY too easy to accidentally remove a panel. -Filters seem to fray too easy and they don't exactly keep all the dust out. -Tricky wiring for the top panel.
Overall Review: I had to learn how to hold the case when accessing/moving it because it was Way too easy to accidentally grab a panel for support only to have it break away and leave me scrambling to keep it from dropping. This almost needs more/larger filters because there are plenty of spots where the vents are simply open-air. The filters themselves aren't exactly built for repeated (Read: More than annual Maintenance) insertion. I'm already having most of them fray at the points where they contact the trays. The top panel was rather tricky to handle as you have to hold it in just a certain way when adding a fan to the header. Since I maxed out the fans in this, I wanted it to control all four fans for both speed and lighting. This lead to some Very tricky caballing, a couple splitters and not being able to simply remove (and set aside) the side panel (one with the window) because of the limited length of the fan wires. The one draw that this case may have to people is the neat multi-color (with options) fan configuration. It was more of a novelty to me, but a chore to acquire more fans when I decided to max out the cooling as only the custom fans would work with the controller (couldn't mix & match while keeping the colors). Overall it's Really whisper quiet when not under stress and fans on low. When on high, the fans are still quite quiet, but you know they're on (yet not distracting). The lights can be turned totally off if you're not into that. Note: Make Sure you've got the top panel SATA doc connected to a hot-swappable header!
3rd Time's the Charm?
Pros: 1) It actually fits with little fuss; 2) Worked out of the box; 3) Simple to use; 4) By design (non-digital), it will return from power loss to exact settings upon return of power 5) Will fit in the window withOut requiring the removal of your screen. 6) Electrically, independently reversible!
Cons: 1) Nearly cried when I didn't see the left side expander, but my hopes were restored upon checking the box; 2) The left side expander is Really flimsily attached; 3) I think I just found it cheaper on the manufacturer's website. >.<
Overall Review: So to be fair I've had it about 30min and my room is around 93.2F (down from 95F all day yesterday). This is the third attempt at purchasing a non-digital device that will fit in the window. My first attempt was at Lowes, but I ended up with a digital model and floor model to boot (online pickup). It even ended up breaking when I expanded the sides. My second attempt was only online from Home Depot and the thing was extremely thick. It was as if they used the same mold for both halves of the device. Needless to say, this was my Last chance and it met both criteria to a T. While I'm not sure the app measures db the same way most do (my EE relation seemed cross when I quoted db in -XX terms), on full bore exhaust, it raises the noise level of the room about -15db (I have a PC with like 8 case fans on full). I think the measurement was around -58db according to the app. I'm going to give it an hour or so to exhaust, but with the outside temp at around 90F, there's not much room for it to lower the temp. I think I may move it to a smaller room and break down and install an AC. -1 egg because I don't think it's moving as much air as the other two I'd tried out, but overall I think it will be a good unit.
Works as advertised, but I haven't given it a harsh test either.
Pros: -It's an APU and was Brand new at the time. -Simple setup and installation. -No APU related crashes. (IE: No CPU scrambling and no GPU screaming in pain)
Cons: -Needs 3rd party cooling for stressful situations in a non-AC environment. (Not out of the ordinary, but thought I'd point it out)
Overall Review: Being an APU, it allowed me to keep working until I can afford a dedicated GPU. I actually tested this on City of heroes to see just how many 'instances' I could run. I had the game set to what it decided on (not Ultra, but still HQ) based on my hardware. I managed about 7 instances and the only 'issues' were the fact that my FPS was being split 7 ways. This is a side effect of my (excuse for) bandwidth (1.5Mbps) and the fact that this is Not intended for that usage. On a single instance I 'think' was at like 30-60 FPS depending on whether I was idle or in a RAID. This was all using the stock cooler in an environment without AC. I've set my temperature alarms for 80C and using the Stock cooler I would hit that when running a full system AV scan or 8 simultaneous threads of the BOINC application. Now that I've got 8 fans in this case and a dedicated cooler, I rarely see above 60-70C under the same load.
Great value, may need to tweak BIOS
Pros: -Hands down, these were the best value when I was researching. -Simple setup, but needed to tweak the BIOS for advertised speed.
Cons: -Nothing so far.
Overall Review: Ok, I'll admit...I picked these up because I'm an Aries and the correlation was hilarious. That aside, I've had No issues at all that are the fault of the DIMMs. I did have to change the multiplier in the BIOS because it defaults them to 1333 instead of the full 1600, but that was a known thing about the board I bought and Not a big deal.
Best card for multi-OS configurations!
Pros: -Works as advertised -Simple installation -Compatible with ALL modern OS' with little to no software actually being needed.
Cons: -Nothing so far
Overall Review: The only 'issue' I've had with this so far is that it needs to be atleast 2ft away from a 2.4Ghz wifi adaptor when running in 2.4Ghz mode, but wait...that's Why I bought it, because it has the 5Ghz radio! When planning this build I wanted something compatible with OSX as well as Windows. I don't recall Needing to install the software/drivers in Windows, but decided to since there are some benefits/tweaks available. OSX did Not require anything extra and I found out that Linux works 'out of the box' as well!