Date Joined: 08/06/04
Pros: Easily the best designed watercooling case on the market - you might even call it 'revolutionary' in its thoroughness. It's so sleek you hardly notice how immense it is until you get inside and realize how many options you have. So much thought obviously went into the design and presentation, right down to the packaging and accessories, that $250 actually seems like a bargain.
Cons: It's big, & it's heavy. If you aren't building a watercooled system, you might want to ask yourself if you really want a case this big? There are 8 inches of space below the motherboard tray, which is perfect for a radiator but sort of useless 'dead space' otherwise. But if big & sleek with lots of space to build is what you want then this is the case for you.
Overall Review: This is Phanteks's debut in the pc case market, and with it they've announced their presence loud and clear. They really raised the bar with this one. A++
*note: check phanteks.com for comprehensive product info and FAQ
Pros: Requires very low vcore and runs cool at stock clock and up to about 4.2ghz.
Cons: Did not actually enable PCI-E 3.0, though this may be a failing of gpu or mobo, not really sure. Not overclockable past 4.6ghz at reasonable voltage (although IB-e has an inherent performance advantage over its predecessor, so 4.6 is a respectable oc)
Overall Review: Overclocked to 4.6ghz (100x46) @1.38v.
Pros: Consolidates your SSDs/HDDs to a compact space and provides directed airflow to keep them cool. Fan is virtually silent. Removable dust filter for easy cleaning.
Overall Review: You know those useless 5.25" bay spaces that just sit there empty in your pc case? This handy little device lets you keep your SSDs/HDDs there, allowing you to free up the space in the lower front portion of your case where uninhibited airflow is important to keep your pc internals cool. This is of particular value if your case has a removable HDD cage in the lower portion. Using this allows you to completely remove that lower HDD cage, thus allowing air to flow more freely from the front of your case to cool your chipset and gpu(s).
Pros: Loaded with features, super-comprehensive BIOS settings
Cons: OC Key doesn't work with 120Hz monitor (no dual-DVI)
Overall Review: This is quite simply the most impressive motherboard I've ever seen. It is so loaded with features you won't even know what to do with half of them, and the BIOS options are so overwhelmingly comprehensive, you'll be amazed at the level of control this mobo gives you. But that's not a bad thing -- when you're using the model that world champion overclockers use to overclock their systems, you've got plenty of room to grow. Asus scored a real win with this one.
Pros: Works with virtually any pc game and many applications; easy to install; easy to use; the glasses are comfortable and work fine over eyeglasses or contacts;
Cons: They aren't cheap; the 120Hz monitor that you have to buy to go with these isn't cheap and there are a limited number of models that are compatible (check the 3d Vision system requirements page on nvidia.com before you buy!); support from nvidia is spotty at best; there may be other potentially better options available very soon from large TV manufacturers
Overall Review: What was the last computer upgrade you got that felt revolutionary? Not just "incremental," but truly revolutionary? This is it. If you are a pc gamer, these will change your life. I've been using them for over a year and would recommend them 100% for any pc gamer.
Pros: Super-high airflow, quiet operation, sleek 9-blade design
Cons: Seized up and failed after just 2 months of use. These fans are brilliant when they work, but sadly they're not reliable.
Pros: Wow. Simply magnificent. This single card runs everything I can throw at it at max settings beautifully -- blows my old 8800GTS XXX out of the water. I can only imagine what 2 of these in SLI could do (and will find out as soon as the prices drop a bit).
EVGA Precision is a very user-friendly monitoring & oc tool (way simpler than RT, if not quite as precise); EVGA customer service, lifetime warranty, and step-up program are unparalleled. Best service in the industry.
Easily oc'ed to F.T.W. core & shader speeds w/ max temp ~70c with fan at 100%. Could probably go higher, but don't feel the need.
Cons: Fan is really loud at 100%, but this is to be expected.
EVGA Precision fan "auto" control doesn't work (may be addressed in future software update?).
GPU makes a whiney buzzing sound when stressed (i.e. folding, cuda, 200+ fps), but from what I can tell this is typical from all gtx285s.
Can't oc memory speed at all, any oc and system freezes & crashes within minutes.
Overall Review: Newegg, as always, rocks my world. Quickest delivery, best selection, lowest prices, and best customer service in the industry.
Newegg + EVGA = WIN. :)
Pros: This is an update to my previous 3-egg review. Since removing the 9900 and replacing it with a TRUE-120 I have indeed dropped a few degrees, but given the lower cost of the Zalman and the far easier installation (installing the TRUE is a pain in the you-know-what) I'm kicking my review up to 4 eggs.
Cons: The fan at full-blast is kinda loud; better cooling can be had from other manufacturers, but at a cost.
Overall Review: If you insist on *the best*, there's better cooling out there. But given the cost/performance ratio and ease of use and aesthetics, this might be the best all-around aftermarket cooler in the market.
Pros: Awesome sound quality, X-Fi processor, PCI-express connectivity, on-board X-Ram, sleek I/O panel & connectivity, THX certification. Really, the biggest improvement here over the last generation X-Fi is the aesthetics of the I/O drive; this gen has slightly less connectivity, but is much sleeker & streamlined. Also notable, the Titanium includes Dolby Digita Live and DTS decoding software settings (still not hardware decoding/connectivity) which was conspicuously lacking in the first gen X-Fi cards.
Cons: PCI-express connectivity has no obvious advantage over previous gen PCI X-Fi, you will not hear a difference. Creative driver support leaves something to be desired, as usual. Still no hardware Dolby or DTS decoding support. Front panel mic settings are much more difficult to manage than on first gen X-Fi (no idea why, something about the pci-x bus maybe??). "What You Hear" recording capability is restored in the newest driver release from Creative (after many months of complaints by users!). Still no real point in the onboard X-Ram, but that's not the card's fault -- game manufacturers just haven't caught up to make use of it.
Overall Review: If you're upgrading from an Audigy, on-board sound, or a mid-grade card from another manufacturer, this card will be the best thing you've ever heard.
However, if you already have a first gen X-Fi (pci) it's really not worth your money to upgrade yet. For now, until the technology matures, pci-express connectivity for soundcards is little more than a gimmick to boost Creative's sales while the X-Fi 2 is still on the drawing board.
Pros: All-copper construction, pretty blue LED fan. Easy installation, effective cooling for stock cpu speeds and idle/low-load use.
Cons: If you're planning to overclock your cpu (and really, why would you be spending this much on a heatsink if you weren't?), the effectiveness of this unit doesn't hold up at high speeds... it can't dissipate enough heat for an overclocked i7 at load (not sure how it performs on a Core2, but according to most reviews it's comparable to performance in an i7 system).
For the price of this unit, you can get better.
Overall Review: I'm RMA'ing this in favor of a comparably priced True Ultra-120 which outperforms the Zalman at every level. Newegg, why don't you carry the True?? I hate having to go elsewhere for my pc needs. :(
Pros: Fast, powerful, and sexy! Bought this intending to OC it up, but so far I haven't even felt the need -- it's fast enough to tear through anything I can throw at it with overhead to spare. The i7 is to the Core2Duo what the Core2 was to Pentium -- it just blows its predecessor away.
The extra 2 cycles on the 940 (over the 920) along with Intel's built-in speed moderating technology put this one nearly on par with the 965 Extreme Edition (24 cycles) for half the price.
Cons: Intel's stock heatsink and fan are sub-par for a cpu of this magnitude. Pick up a third-party cpu cooler to protect your investment.
Overall Review: Intel isn't coming out with anything better than this until at least mid-2010, so don't look for prices to drop anytime soon.
Pros: High-speed quality DDR3, quality heatspreader factory-installed. XMP programming makes these easy to tweak in BIOS.
Cons: Price? But if you want the best you have to pay for it. If you have a system that will run this RAM, chances are you already know better than to cut corners on memory.
Overall Review: Intel's i7 processors downsample this RAM to 1066 (8-8-8-20) speed right out of the box despite its billing as DDR-1600. Do your homework and make sure your mobo has the capability to let you manually set it to 1600 (9-9-9-24), otherwise the extra power in these high-end modules just goes to waste.
Pros: Every connector you could possibly need (and then some), plenty of juice. The blue LED for the fan is a nice touch.
Cons: Too many cables and the casing is too thick making it difficult to manipulate their placement. Fitting this psu into anything less than a full tower is awkward; I wouldn't even attempt to use this psu in anything less than a large mid-tower.
Overall Review: This psu would be much better if it were modular, but as they say ''you get what you pay for''. If you've got enough room for it in your system, it's a good deal for a monster power supply.
Pros: The airflow construction on this thing is magnificent -- the mesh front and top along with the fan vents keep air flowing through this box better than any box I've ever seen. The tool-free construction Cooler Master puts into these should be INDUSTRY STANDARD -- once you build with this, you'll never want to pick up a screwdriver again. Box is slightly roomier than an average mid-tower, but not oversized like a full tower.
Cons: The power & HDD lights are on the right-hand side of the box, which makes them kind of hard to see from above (assuming you keep your tower on the floor). These would be better placed on the top by the external connector ports.
Overall Review: If you're debating between this and any other case, just click BUY on this now. You'll be glad you did.
Pros: Powerful board, quality construction, functionality for experienced builders & user-friendly and stable enough for first-time OC'ers. This thing handles whatever speed RAM you throw at it, so future upgrades will be possible down the road without scrapping the mobo.
Cons: PCI-express x1 slot is too close to the primary PCI-express x16 slot. Beware if you have a X-Fi Titanium PCI-express soundcard -- the proximity to gpu causes interference & static. Moving the X-Fi to another pci-express x16 slot may alleviate this, I haven't tried it yet.
Pros: Excellent performance (the level of detail in the rendering this card provides is astonishing!), fast rendering, easy installation, easy & detailed software UI. Save the $200 you save with this card vs. the 9800 or 8800GTX -- this is the card to get.
Cons: The card is physically huge (definitely requires a full-size tower case & takes up 2 pci slots), fan can be somewhat loud when under strain (which goes with the territory, really)
Overall Review: Great cost vs performance ratio, I'm extremely pleased with this product. And as always, newegg.com is the place to get it for the best service & fastest delivery!