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Patrick O.

Patrick O.

Joined on 03/08/08

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 18
Most Favorable Review

Good value, nothing amazing

XION XON-560 mATX/ ITX Meshed Mini Tower Case, USB 3.0, Black/Blue LED
XION XON-560 mATX/ ITX Meshed Mini Tower Case, USB 3.0, Black/Blue LED

Pros: USB 3.0 on front panel (but only one port?) rubber mounts for drives additional fan mounts filter/grill on front intake fan to catch some dust some space behind mobo for cable management, though a tight fit Didn't have sharp edges everywhere often characteristic to cheap cases

Cons: filter is limited only to front intake fan. rest of the case is a very open air design, so it will get dusty anyway. you get what you pay for here with build quality, it's a little flimsy.

Overall Review: Used this case in a build for a family member. Went cheap with the case so I could spend more on quality parts for the inside. You still sort of get what you pay for in terms of build quality yet at the same the case has some decent, modern features that give it a little more value and put it a notch above a lot of other budget cases out there. First thing I did was rip out the front LED fan (I've been done with glowing computer cases for a long time now). Wanted to try to improve the default airflow setup some, so I swapped in better 120mm front/rear fans, added a 120mm exhaust fan up top and added a couple 80mm fans on the side panel for addition intake to blow in front of the CPU and over the video card. Side panel can do either 4x 80mm fans or 1x200mm, was considering a 200mm but wasn't sure I could make it fit with my upright CPU cooler and the system isn't going to be producing huge levels of heat either. There's a bit of space under the mobo mounting plate for cable management. It's not the best but with some time and care I was able to get the cabling done pretty cleanly, leaving a nice open case for airflow without too much trouble. This case is probably going to need more frequent interior dusting than my nicer cases but in the end it gets the job done pretty well for a low cost.

Most Critical Review

You definitely get what you pay for

LOGISYS Computer CS301BK Black Solid 6.0mm SECC metal ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 480W Power Supply
LOGISYS Computer CS301BK Black Solid 6.0mm SECC metal ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 480W Power Supply

Pros: Cheap - The case was part of a bundle and I slapped it together to create a very basic system for a relative. Included PSU is a benefit since it was already so cheap to begin with.

Cons: Cheap - You definitely get what you pay for here. The whole thing feels cheap in every way. Some things just don't quite measure up right, for example on mine the bottom half of the side door sticks out though the top half lines up fine. Also, the 5.25" rails were a little wide and the optical drive had a noticeable gap on one side after being fastened in. The included power supply worked, but I seriously question it's overall quality. The amount of available connections is somewhat of a joke, only 2 SATA power plugs, so if you have more than just the basic optical+HDD you'll need an adapter. I also doubt the PSU is very power efficient, let alone 80 plus.

Overall Review: When it came to the combo I bought, this case was certainly the weakest item by far. But in the end, it worked for what I needed. I have a feeling I'll probably have to replace that PSU sooner than later, but who knows, maybe it'll last years. In the end, this case should only really be used for cheap, very basic setups. Anything more and you should look into investing more for a better case.

Great cooler, though not perfect

CORSAIR Hydro Series H100i Extreme Performance Water/Liquid CPU Cooler. 240mm
CORSAIR Hydro Series H100i Extreme Performance Water/Liquid CPU Cooler. 240mm

Pros: Great cooling. Better than most, if not all, air solutions. Mounting was not difficult at all. Link software allows you to create custom fan profiles. You set it and forget it.

Cons: Fans can definitely be noisy at high RPMs. I think after my bank account recovers from this last build I'll be replacing the stock fans with Noctuas. The link software is fairly robust but somehow also kind of clumsy and not incredibly intuitive. It's nice that I can set it and forget it but it always has to run in the background. In short, the software itself works, but it also kinda needs work.

Overall Review: The radiator + stock fans barely fit inside a Fractal R4 case. It barely cleared the heatsinks on my motherboard, which were about as tall as the standard release levers on the RAM slots. I wouldn't even be able to upgrade to a push/pull setup without switching to low-profile RAM. This is by no means a fault for the H100i, but I wanted to make sure I covered this for those thinking about going with this combo as this cooler and that case are very popular in the system building community right now.

Amazing case

Fractal Design Define R4 Black Silent ATX Midtower Computer Case
Fractal Design Define R4 Black Silent ATX Midtower Computer Case

Pros: What can I say that hasn't already been said about this case? The case has been extremely well thought out in every area - great care was taken when designing this case. Noise dampening, a ton of 140mm fan mounts, removable drive bays, cable management setup, aesthetic appeal, nothing wasn't well done. I've built hundreds of systems, and building in a case iike this is an absolute pleasure, you'll never went to go back to a standard $60 case after building in a case like the R4.

Cons: This case might not be the best for a liquid cooling setup. The top has mounts for a radiator but I was BARELY able to get clearance with the corsair H100i heatsink with a single set of fans. My motherboard, the ASUS z97-pro's heatsinks were thankfully flat on top. If rounded, it might not have fit! If I wanted to upgrade the H100i radiator for a push/pull setup, I would have to switch to low profile RAM for it to fit. I won't fault the case for that though, it was my own fault for deciding to go liquid cooling at the last second without research. So, food for thought, if you're going with a water cooling setup, this works but may not be the best option.

Overall Review: Despite the "con" above this is an amazing case, without question. Probably my favorite case I've ever built in to date. There's clearly a reason, or many reasons actually, why this case is one of the top recommended in DIY system builder forums and communities.

Very Pleased

ASUS Z97-PRO LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
ASUS Z97-PRO LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: In terms of features vs price, this board fit the bill perfectly for what I wanted. Having SATA Express and M.2 on the same board is fantastic, I want my system to be as future proof as possible, and if one of the emerging standards ends up being more popular in the end, I'll be set either way. BIOS is full of features, easy on the eyes, good OC capabilities. Spent a lot of time here tweaking OC settings. An unexpected benefit to this board was the heatsink design - the flat design on top of the heatsinks just barely allowed clearance when installing an H100i in my Fractal R4 case. They're only about as tall as the top of the RAM levers, which are of standard height. Any taller, or rounded tops, and it wouldn't have fit! Otherwise, The board has no lack of other connections such as SATA, USB 3.0, expansion slots, etc. Z97 chipset is also a big plus, support for next gen CPUs is a good thing, though with a 4790k in my system I seriously doubt I'll upgrade until I put together a whole new build.

Cons: No real complaints to speak of here. The back panel could have squeezed in a couple more USB 3.0 ports, but what's supplied is already plenty.

Overall Review: I'm the type that prefers to build one quality system to last for a few years instead of updating often, and this board fit the bill perfectly. Having both emerging storage standards, plenty of features, quality build, was everything I was looking for. Dropped a i7 4790k with H100i and on this board was able to achieve a nice stable overclock of 4.7ghz on 1.290v. I'm sure I could have pushed the CPU a bit more, but like I said I want my build to last, and this CPU @ 4.7 ghz isn't going to struggle with anything for a long time.

Solid, powerful CPU

Intel Core i7-4790K - Core i7 4th Gen Devil's Canyon Quad-Core 4.0 GHz LGA 1150 88W Intel HD Graphics 4600 Desktop Processor - BX80646I74790K
Intel Core i7-4790K - Core i7 4th Gen Devil's Canyon Quad-Core 4.0 GHz LGA 1150 88W Intel HD Graphics 4600 Desktop Processor - BX80646I74790K

Pros: Stock clock speed of 4ghz is great. Presence of VT-D in a k-series CPU is a welcome addition, as I may want to mess around with VMs. Ability to overclock is one of the main reasons to get this, though this high stock clock speed stands on it's own.

Cons: Intel boasted how it would be possible to get 5ghz on a high quality air cooler, but now that it's out in the wild it looks like that isn't realistically attainable without liquid cooling.

Overall Review: Beware of old versions of Prime95 when testing overclocks, all but the newest versions push haswell CPUs, including this one, to absurd degrees. I ended up using Intel's XTU to stress test. Cooling with a corsair H100i, I was able to get a stable 4.7ghz our of my CPU @ 1.290v, tested stable for 12+ hours and no problems in the month since I've had it. I feel like I could have pushed it a little further on this cooler but didn't want to push it too much, I want this new rig to be fast, but also last a while without issue. In spite of Intel's promises falling a little short on this CPU's overclocking potential, overall it still wipes the floor with just about any other CPU available until the next gen is released, and that's at stock speeds!