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Derek E.

Derek E.

Joined on 06/24/13

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 6
Most Favorable Review

Just what I needed

Thermaltake Riing 12 Series High Static Pressure 120mm Circular Green LED Ring Case/Radiator Fan CL-F038-PL12GR-A
Thermaltake Riing 12 Series High Static Pressure 120mm Circular Green LED Ring Case/Radiator Fan CL-F038-PL12GR-A

Pros: These fans move quite a bit of air through my 240mm radiator without making much noise. Vibration-dampening rubber is pre-mounted on all corners. The LED lighting is enough to light up the inside of my build without making it visible from space like a lot of other LED fans.

Cons: The included long screws for radiator mounts are way too short. They barely clear the other side of the fan. I had to buy different screws.

Overall Review: If only these were PWM-capable, but that's just me being nitpicky. I really like the aesthetic design of these fans and will probably buy more later on.

Most Critical Review

Nice design but terrible build quality and packaging

Corsair Obsidian Series 900D (CC-9011022-WW) Black Brushed Aluminum and Steel ATX Super Tower Computer Case ATX (not included) Power Supply
Corsair Obsidian Series 900D (CC-9011022-WW) Black Brushed Aluminum and Steel ATX Super Tower Computer Case ATX (not included) Power Supply

Pros: - Big - Like, really big. Bigger than full towers. Fits a 480mm radiator and dozens of fans. - Nine HDD bays with relatively easy installation - Four fans included - Lots of USB front panel ports - Did I mention how big it is?

Cons: - Flimsy motherboard tray - Extremely flimsy HDD trays - Owner's manual is a joke - Bottom doors won't stay closed because of cheap magnets - Side panels are a NIGHTMARE to open/close - You need the world's shortest screwdriver to remove the expansion slot covers - Cheap-o powder coat scratches with the slightest touch

Overall Review: I've been a Corsair fan for a while but this case was a huge disappointment. For starters, after waiting for it to arrive late, I take my huge 900D case out of the box to discover it is badly damaged. The box has 6 holes in it and there is almost no protective packaging. The case itself is dented and broken in several places making it unusable. For $350, I shouldn't be able to bend the MB tray with almost no effort. Just unscrewing the standoffs scratched the black paint inside. The front panel has a busted fastener and will not stay on. The bottom doors keep falling open because of the cheap magnetic closures. The entire front metal frame is horribly dented. It looks as though my package were dropped from the truck. The side panels are a pain to get off- They're supposed to have this "quick-release" button that just makes them pop off, but in reality, it takes the quick-release button and being pried open with a screwdriver to get it off. In general, this is a complicated case; however, the manual is two pages. No instructions or anything. I first thought there was some trick to getting the side panels off, only after looking it up online did I realize it was stuck/broken. The manual is just some pictures of the screws (incorrectly labeled I might add) and a confusing 3D diagram. It even comes with some extraneous "mystery screws" not mentioned in the manual. I've yet to discover what they're for. The whole thing is just so cheaply made that it got damaged so easily, This case is unusable for my build, which will now be delayed at least a week. And now I have to go through the hassle of returning this monstrous case... won't that be fun.

Great cooling but installation is tricky

Be Quiet! Dark Rock 3 CPU Cooler LGA775/1150/1155/1156/1366/2011 FM1/FM2/AM2/AM3
Be Quiet! Dark Rock 3 CPU Cooler LGA775/1150/1155/1156/1366/2011 FM1/FM2/AM2/AM3

Pros: - Impressive performance. Keeps my 6600K (4.0GHz OC) as low as 21C idle. - CPU temps rarely crack 45C under full load. - Adjustable-height fan to resolve RAM clearance issues, and it comes off easily for cleaning. - The included fan is dead silent at full speed. The brand name isn't an exaggeration. - Looks great.

Cons: - Non-standard fan size (135mm). - Installation on LGA115x effectively requires two people because of how the screws need to be lined up. - If you have to install it by yourself, take your motherboard out of the case first.

Overall Review: Overall a great cooler, highly recommend. Keep in mind that this cooler is awfully big. That's a 135mm fan; unless you're planning to OC like crazy, you don't need the pro version, this will do fine. It fits in mid tower cases. But like I said, you're either going to want 2 people for the installation, or take your motherboard out to do it. You have to tighten it down from the back after putting thermal paste on, while keeping the screws aligned. I've been building PC's for 5 years and this stumped me.

Finally, a simple functional fan controller

Sentry Mix 2 Fan Controller
Sentry Mix 2 Fan Controller

Pros: Looks good on just about any black case, high watts per channel, can change LED color, isn't some over-complicated graphical touchscreen nonsense, 4-pin fan connectors long enough to reach the back of the case

Cons: You can't turn fans off completely, which I was hoping for. I'd like to be able to shut off the less-critical fans like my front and side intakes when the system is idling to reduce noise.

Overall Review: It needs 2 Molex connectors for power. You can use just one, but you might underpower your fans if you hook up a bunch of them.

Fits HAF 932

BitFenix Spectre Pro BFF-LPRO-23030G-RP 230 mm Green LED Case Fan
BitFenix Spectre Pro BFF-LPRO-23030G-RP 230 mm Green LED Case Fan

Pros: Nice appearance, LED's are not too bright, fits the front 230mm mount in Cooler Master HAF 932

Cons: None, really. Don't know why I can't leave this blank.

Overall Review: You have to take apart the front panel to install it in this particular case. It has a FAN_LED cable but I'm not sure what it's for. It's a jumper/switch, not a power input, so don't hook it up unless you are sure you won't fry anything. I just left the jumper on mine. Might mod the case with a little switch for it later.

Decent

Creative 51MF4115AA002 Creative Inspire T6300 5.1 Speaker System for Gaming
Creative 51MF4115AA002 Creative Inspire T6300 5.1 Speaker System for Gaming

Pros: The sound quality is impressive. The speakers are small and feel hollow, but the sound is great- crisp highs and pronounced lows. Rivals my 1980's speaker cabinet system. 5.1 surround for gaming (I'm a PC gamer) is excellent. If you aren't hearing sound from all the speakers make sure your PC is configured to play 5.1 audio (control panel > sound > playback devices > speakers > configure). This is REAL 5.1 positional audio- none of that "virtual" garbage.

Cons: The speaker cones including the sub are exposed, leaving them susceptible to physical damage. Not a big problem with the down-firing sub, but a simple wire cage over the speakers would have been nice. Also, the speaker wires are a bit short. They connect to the amp via RCA cables though, so extending them is not difficult. A long RCA cable and 2 couplers it all it would take. The two speakers intended as the rear satellites have longer wires (about 12 feet), the front and center speaker wires are about 4 feet. The build quality is decent. It's already had one "episode" where the front right speaker got quiet and eventually stopped working. Process of elimination showed that the 3.5mm audio jack was the culprit (not the speaker itself, thankfully). Reconnecting it seems to have fixed the problem, will update later if this becomes a recurring problem. The 3.5mm input wire and the remote are hardwired into the unit which can be a hit of a hassle when connecting it.

Overall Review: If you're looking for an inexpensive 5.1 speaker set for gaming, this is one to look at. No headset that claims to be surround can hold a candle to positional audio from speakers. Make sure you have a surface behind you to place the rear speakers on- if not directly behind you then get some cable extenders to place them farther back.