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David M.

David M.

Joined on 08/01/06

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 6
Most Favorable Review

Core X9 = endless possibilities

Thermaltake Core X9 Black E-ATX Stackable Tt LCS Certified Cube Chassis CA-1D8-00F1WN-00
Thermaltake Core X9 Black E-ATX Stackable Tt LCS Certified Cube Chassis CA-1D8-00F1WN-00

Pros: +case is massive. +good quality on all the stamped bits, molded pieces, rubber grommets. +room & layout allows for any mods you can dream up. +hiding wires is easy if you're the slightest bit creative. +so much airflow potential to allow for silence & performance at the same time.

Cons: -case might be too massive for some people. -screw holes/threads are a bit rough. -perforated side panel & filter were dented in shipping, & felt pad under 1 foot was borked. 1st contact with TT i felt like the guy told me to f-off & go through NewEgg for a full replacement (when i'd only asked for the 3 parts, cause i felt shipping cases back-n-forth would be wasteful). 2nd contact went fine (no hassle, nice) & replacement parts were perfect.

Overall Review: * airflow isn't directed over all components, so if you're super-@nal like me, you may want to fab up some baffles to push a nice breeze over RAM & VRMs. * if you go with conventional default fan placement, you will likely have negative pressure (200mm in, 2x140mm & 8x120mm out). * to solve negative air pressure... i added 4x120mm in the bottom that are guided over the top of the mobo/RAM, turned both rear 140mm fans into intake (lower/rear cools the HDD bay while the top/rear has a baffle to cool the VRMs), & added a 2nd 200mm up front. going with two 360mm AIOs in roof/exhaust (1 for CPU, 1 for GPU) with another pair of 120mm over the MOBO/GPU. this easily creates positive pressure to help control dust. * made sure all my fans are PWM (Arctic F12/F14 w/PST feature), so i can run silent while still cooling far better than any case i've owned in 20yrs. * last case i'll ever buy ...unless they find/make enough improvements somehow ...or if i buy another for each new system in the future.

Good Value

APEVIA CF12SL-UBL Blue LED Cooling Fan
APEVIA CF12SL-UBL Blue LED Cooling Fan

Pros: Nearly silent, so much that you have to wonder why the specialty "silent" fans cost over twice as much. Move a decent amount of air at 1200rpm. it's not a wind-tunnel in there, but they definately create a negative vaccume and circulate the heat out. Very nice deep blue color LEDs. Not dim at all, but still provide a decent glow w/o reshaping the curvature of your eyeball if you happen to look directly at them. Overall better value than most fans available.

Cons: Had to -minus an Egg due to one of the 3 fans i ordered having a power wire fall out of the molex connector before i even unwound it from itself. Nothing to RMA or bother the manufacturer about ...i just pulled the pin out and re-soldered the wire back in myself.

Overall Review: Still trying to figure a way to replace the two 92mm howlers on the back of my case with fans like this one... just not enough surface. Will prolly pick-up atleast one more of these on my next order, or when i go Crossfire. installed with: Gigabyte 890XA-UD3 mobo AMD Phenom II 965BE Quad 125w CPU OCZ SpecOps Ed DDR3 1600 2x2gb RAM Gigabyte ATi HD4850 512mb GDDR3 W.D. Raptor 10k 36g HDD Antec NEO HE 550w PSU Light-On iHAS324 24xDVDR Antec FullTower - highly modded case

Best mid-range mobo

GIGABYTE GA-890XA-UD3 AM3 AMD 790X SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-890XA-UD3 AM3 AMD 790X SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

Pros: Posted-up and ran through stress-test w/o an issue. Recognized all hardware on 1st boot - only needed to set the RAM from 1333 to 1600 in the bios...which is very well designed and easy to navigate. Also has plenty of adjustability for the wrenchers without being too complex for the plug-n-play crowd. Supports everything from early 939 Athlon through flagship 6core CPUs. USB 3.0 ports have 3x the normal power. SATA 3.0 6gb/s and DDR3 1866+ support. 16x for one Vid card, or 8x + 8x for 2 Vids cards in Crossfire (no real performance hit vs 16x +16x according to Tom's benchtests). Empty slot between Vid cards for breathability. Massively thick/strong dual-layer copper PCB and solid quality Japanese capacitors. Dual bios w/auto recovery and back-up your bios to the HDD. Win-based bios flash utility. 1 click power-save idle utility. LAN cable diagnostic function tells you distance till dead. Tons of USB/F.Wire/eSATA/Audio ports and options.

Cons: Driver disk can hang on Express install... better-off doing each seperate. ...Not enough room in the "Pros:" section...

Overall Review: Every Gigabyte mobo i've built a system on has proven solid and reliable...expect nothing less from this one. I'm not for/against Intel or AMD, but it's been really nice to upgrade my CPU 4yrs in a row w/o having to change my mobo... AM3 might not last that long, but AMD's next chip (bulldozer) is likely to be an AM3+, and run on this with a quick bios flash. installed with: AMD Phenom II 965BE 125w CPU OCZ SpecOps Ed DDR3 1600 2x2gb RAM Gigabyte ATi HD4850 512mb GDDR3 W.D. Raptor 10k 36g HDD Antec NEO HE 550w PSU Light-On iHAS324 24xDVDR Antec FullTower - highly modded case

Hopefully Useful Info

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition - Phenom II X4 Deneb Quad-Core 3.4 GHz Socket AM3 125W Processor - HDZ965FBGMBOX
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition - Phenom II X4 Deneb Quad-Core 3.4 GHz Socket AM3 125W Processor - HDZ965FBGMBOX

Pros: Great gaming CPU with lots of OC'g headroom, even on air. Keeps-up with, and surpasses the new AMD 6core models for most gaming. High reliability, stability, value and performance. Stock 3.4ghz gave me 1-3c over case ambient temps with a lapped heatpipe-tower cooler + ArcticSilver at idle...10-12c at full load. Bumping up to 3.7ghz actually had less effect on the spread than wether-or-not my home's A/C was running... 1c difference from OC, vs 5c difference from fresh air in the room.

Cons: Stock fan is superb for basic needs, but not as quiet or cool as some people will require (OC'ers and media centers).

Overall Review: Reviews with actual temps are somewhat pointless given all the variables in building a system, and room-temps. Best results will come from proper air handling in your case, and thermal transfer to your coolers. installed with: Gigabyte 890XA-UD3 mobo OCZ SpecOps Ed DDR3 1600 2x2gb RAM Gigabyte ATi HD4850 512mb GDDR3 W.D. Raptor 10k 36g HDD Antec NEO HE 550w PSU Light-On iHAS324 24xDVDR Antec FullTower - highly modded case

Cheap, because it's Ugly.

OCZ Special Ops Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3SOE1600LV4GK
OCZ Special Ops Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3SOE1600LV4GK

Pros: Cheap, Stable, Cheap, OC's a little bit w/o cookin my abient temp, Cheap, and VERY colorful...if you're into that sort of thing.

Cons: Must be the ugliest design i've ever seen on a stick of RAM. -Minus 1 Egg for stickin out like the lone fat cheerleader in my otherwise beautiful new Rig.

Overall Review: OCZ was once the rising star of the RAM-world, but now gets mixed reviews. i've never had issues with my older sticks, so picked these up in a combo for cheap. the look of these remind me of old DFI mobo's...which i always thought were designed by circus clowns. installed with: Gigabyte 890XA-UD3 mobo AMD Phenom II 965BE 125w Gigabyte ATi HD4850 512mb GDDR3 W.D. Raptor 36g 10k-rpm Antec NEO HE 550w PSU Light-On 24xDVDR iHAS324 Antec FullTower - highly modded

18x Samsung replacement

LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model iHAS-324-98B
LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model iHAS-324-98B

Pros: Quiet - opens/closes/reads/writes smooth and nearly silent (just a light *thunk* at close) Fast - burns 700mb CDs in under 3min... 16x DVD+R 4.7g in 5.5min... 8x DVD+R DL 8.5g in under 13mins with my 3yr old system. Reliable - no issues from any Light-On drive i've ever owned or added to any system i've ever built, and so far the same with this drive... just ordered a 2nd for my new system. Runs cool - i've had other drives which ran hot enough to increase my internal case temps, but not from this one. SATA connection with cable included. basic Nero 8 disk included.

Cons: black is slightly grey compared to my various cases, but not noticable in the dim lighting of my computer room. this is pretty common for all makers tho, in my experience.

Overall Review: built this system 3yrs ago with a Samsung DVD burner because it was cheap with a combo. it started failing about 8mo ago... thought it was my iDE controller because a) problem was intermittent, b) ASUS' M2N-E mobo has been a lemon [replaced 7 times!]. installed with: ASUS M2N-E mobo AMD Athlon X2 5600+ 1152kbX2 cache OCZ Plat DDR2 800 2gb kit RAM Leadtek 8800gts Extreme 320mb Vid Maxtor 500gb SATA HDD W.D. 200gb iDE HDD Antec NEO 480w PSU