Joined on 11/14/03
a thoughtful motherboard
Pros: - looks great, good design - lots of connections and ports - 5x M.2 slots - thoughtful layout - magnetic WiFi antenna base - all the thoughtfully included goodies like screwdrivers, 16GB USB drive with all the drivers and utilities preloaded, retractable cleaning brush
Cons: - no onboard power switch - no Thunderbolt 4 ports (only 3.2 gen 2x2 20Gbps) - Does have Thunderbolt connector for PCIe Thunderbolt cards, but MSI's version is super expansive and hard to find and only TB3
Overall Review: For a $400 12th gen Intel board, which is priced in the middle of the pack, but with more value than some of the more expansive boards, this is a really good board, both for overclockers and enthusiasts. I wish all the other manufacturers are as thoughtful as MSI, like the inclusion of the 16GB USB drive, screwdrivers and cleaning brush, things that doesn't cost MSI alot to include but are super nice to have. I love it so much I bought a second one, just so easy to build with, and works perfectly with the DDR5 RAM at XMP.
Good case, terrifyingly horrible software
Pros: -Good looking case -Great cooling with 4 included fans -Premium build, solid case -Really good cable management
Cons: -the "Smart Device" which makes this case its costly price tag is perhaps the biggest mistake NZXT ever made, more on this later -not designed to handle vertical GPU mounting -no USB Type-C or USB 3.1 Gen2 on front IO -no magnetic puck included for a $200 case (you get that with the older S340 Elite, very handy) -thumb screws are not thumb friendly, you will need tools -Smart Device requires an internal USB connection The CAM software you will need to download/install with a registered account and log into (so requires internet connection) is not only buggy, every update NZXT puts out seems to take away things that worked and then break more things. It is not compatible with so many devices that it is easier to list devices it is compatible with. It is also resource intensive, hogging system resources, and writes tons of data everyday. I was shocked to find out that in 120 days my brand new Samsung 960 PRO 512GB drive had more than 9.5 TB written, and upon investigation using Process Monitor v3.5 found that CAM writes over 10 GB of data in a 6-hour time frame. That's equal to over 40 GB daily. If you are using SSDs with average 150 TBW warranty, half of that will be consumed by CAM in the 5-year limited warranty period. the CAM software's job is to monitor your PC's performance by
Overall Review: The case is a great case , no doubt in my mind one of the best out there, if only NZXT would release a version without the smart device. The smart device also takes up an internal USB on the MOBO, so I had to purchase the NZXT usb hub to have enough internal USB connectors. It's a clean and elegant case, but one can really do without the smart device and the absolutely horrible CAM software.
Decent Drive, Questionable Company
Pros: My 4-Egg rating is purely based on product, not the company itself, and I will explain - Synthetic speed tested at or near advertised specs (3,230/1,977 MB/s Sequential Read/Write) - Front label is made of copper sheet for cooling (37C idle 44C under load) - Decent components: ------Controller: PHISON PS5012-E12S-32 ------Cache: Kingston D1216ECMDXGJD 2GB DDR3-1333 ------NAND Flash: Micron 9PA2D NW946 64-Layer QLC - Nice packaging, came in an all-metal case with dense foam for protection - Downloadable Acronis True Image 2020 with Active Protection feature
Cons: - No published data on actual warranty or drive endurance rating - Requires product registration to receive full warranty, in my case, it came out to be 5-years (after registration), otherwise only a 1-year limited - Nearly no information regarding the company can be found. Not a registered business under the brand name "Sabrent", but is located in Moorpark, California, and trademark registered under Nexark Inc. - No listed business address on company website (although not difficult to find through public databases)
Overall Review: While the product is decent, and it was made in Taiwan, the lack of product information regarding to MTTF, IOP, or TBW is alarming. And the fact that they don't publish warranty info or much at all regarding the company itself makes you wonder if it will be around to truly fulfill the warranty down the line. Only real world test and time will tell if Sabrent will be a brand you can trust. For now, I suggest not using Sabrent drives for mission critical applications, or be in the habit of setting up automatic backups. I will update my review if more info comes to light.
Easy way to bring 802.11ac to older laptops
Pros: Bought two of these to upgrade my wife and my Samsung Series 7 Chronos laptops we purchased back in 2012 because the laptops only supported up to 802.11n, and the difference it made was awesome! -easy to install (may vary in experience depending on laptop model) -tool included was magnetic, very handy -did not need the extension bracket but was nice to have it included -Windows 10 picked it up without any issues and automatically installed the latest driver -works as advertised, connects to 802.11ac 5.0GHz network at full speed
Cons: can't think of one
Overall Review: Do your homework and make sure your laptop is compatible with this network card. This is the fastest mini PCI-E wifi network card available for my old laptops (Samsung Series 7 Chronos NP700Z5A), the Intel 7260 chip is reliable and includes Bluetooth. I highly recommend this as a simple upgrade that will breath new life to your older laptops!
One of the Best GTX 1080 money can buy
Pros: 1. Exceptional cooling, stays in the 60s C under 100% load 2. Stays quiet at full load 3. The first two allows you to overclock this GPU without issues 4. The OCX software is easy to use and has tons of features, works better than MSI Afterburner for this GPU 5. RGB LED lighting looks cool Overall, great performance, handles all the latest games like a champ at 1080p and 1440p(2K), just make sure you get a G-Sync monitor with high refresh rate to full enjoy this GPU's power. Always pair a great GPU with a great monitor, or it's like buying a Ferrari but never take it on the freeway or race track.
Cons: It is not a 1080Ti...but it is the best 1080 from EVGA
Overall Review: If you plan on gaming with 1080p or 1440p resolution, this GPU will hit all the right notes for you at any current games you want to play. This is a solid card, you won't be disappointed.
Ideal PSU for mining
Pros: Quiet, efficient, fully modular, nice long cables, 10-year warranty, came with a mobo-bypass connector, perfect for ASIC mining machines.
Overall Review: I am using this EVGA G2 850W to power 2 of the Antminer S1 ASIC machines and it has been great. I was previously powering the minders with HP server 1300W PSU and it was pulling 1 AMP more and consumes 40W more at full load with the 2 Antminer S1 than the EVGA G2, so it is going to save me $5-10 on electricity per month for each pair of the miners I run.