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Alastair D.

Alastair D.

Joined on 11/11/05

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 5
Most Favorable Review

Cool cooler, LOUD fans

Supermicro SNK-P0048AP4 CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink for Socket LGA 2011
Supermicro SNK-P0048AP4 CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink for Socket LGA 2011

Pros: Easy install Fan moves a TON of air Fan (60mm) was surprisingly easy to replace

Cons: Fan is super, super loud, but hey, it's a server cooler. I'm just using these in a home server application, so I replaced the stock fan (~0.5A) with a 60mm Noctua (~0.15A) which moves considerably less air, but is much, much quieter.

Overall Review: I used a pair of needle nose pliers to push out the four black pins that lock the fan to the mounting bracket. The bracket is mounted with 2 phillips screws.

Most Critical Review

Many minor issues

MSI A55M-E33 FM2+ / FM2 AMD A55 (Hudson D2) HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
MSI A55M-E33 FM2+ / FM2 AMD A55 (Hudson D2) HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

Pros: Small footprint

Cons: Keep finding new quirks and minor issues. The two biggest to date have been 1.) NIC fails under sustained, moderate loads. On my previous build, I used a Windows share (Samba) for 90% of my storage needs. Doing that on this board causes all networking in the OS to fail. 2.) I reset my BIOS by pulling out the button battery. Since then, any time I reconfigure my SATA connections, my 120GB Kingston SSD stops being recognized by the bios. I can correct this by a very convoluted sequence of steps, but that shouldn't be needed. I updated to the newest bios and saw no change.

Overall Review: NIC issue work-around: Copy everything in 1 shot instead of many small copies. SSD work-around: - Unplug SATA and power from the SSD - Boot into BIOS - Plug the power cable into the SSD - Plug the SATA cable into the SSD - Use the reset button (or ctrl+alt+del) to reboot - Boot into BIOS and use the board explorer to confirm SSD is now detected - Reboot into OS.

Thoughtful desgin, snug fits, loud rear fans

NORCO RPC-4220 4U Rackmount Server Chassis w/ 20 Hot-Swappable SATA/SAS 6G Drive Bays (Mini SAS Connector)
NORCO RPC-4220 4U Rackmount Server Chassis w/ 20 Hot-Swappable SATA/SAS 6G Drive Bays (Mini SAS Connector)

Pros: The folks at Norco clearly put a lot of thought into this design because even though the fits are snug (EEB form factor), the case is still pretty easy to work in

Cons: Rear fans are pretty loud, but hey, it's a server case. Fans to cool the drive bays can conflict with the SAS cables (I'm using reverse SAS/SATA cables) but it's workable. 4 pin molex powers the drive bay fans, so there's no speed control, but hey, it's a server case. Front USB ports get clogged with dust, but I got some silicone USB cap port cover thingies which has fixed the issue.

Overall Review: I replaced the loud rear exhaust fans with 80mm Noctua fans which have rubber pads on them to absorb vibrations. Those rubber pads made it difficult to replace both rear fans because the tolerances are so tight on this case (read: no wiggle room), but with some finesse (read: brute force), I got the new fans on without needing to remove the rubber pads.

Works great

Ergotech 320-C14-C024 One-Touch Counterbalance Dual Monitor Arm (2 links per monitor)
Ergotech 320-C14-C024 One-Touch Counterbalance Dual Monitor Arm (2 links per monitor)

Pros: Does the trick with my two AOC displays.

Cons: Uh, It's kinda' heavy I guess, but hey, it's not like I'm schlepping this thing everywhere.

Overall Review: Newegg shipped in the store packaging, and didn't tape the box shut. They didn't tape the box. wth? Yeah, it tore open in shipping and there were parts missing. Newegg did right by me and RMA'd it, but if the same thing happens to you, double check that all the parts are accounted for.

Cooler Master Sileo 500 RC-500-KKR3-GP Black Aluminum Bezel, SECC Body ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply
Cooler Master Sileo 500 RC-500-KKR3-GP Black Aluminum Bezel, SECC Body ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply

Pros: -Good sound insulation -Fans with 3pin mobo connectors and comes with 3pin-to-molex adapters. -Nice brushed stainless steel front. -Quiet power supply -Blue LEDs (power and reset buttons are light pipes for power and HDD activity, respectively) aren't blinding to look at. -This is the second case I've bought with the hard drive plugs facing out, and the only one that really had enough room for the SATA/IDE/Power cables to stick out that direction.

Cons: Cooler Master always makes a great product and does something silly. In this case, three things. -apparently they think I'm only going to have a maximum of 3 hard drives, but I might have as many as 5 optical drives. - According to the directions, you have to take the full front of the case off to take out a faceplate. To get the front off (without breaking anything) you have to take off both side panels. The second panel does not have thumb screws, so you need a screwdriver and that's where the whole "screwless" design collides with fail-boat. HOWEVER, once you know how these (somewhat flimsy) face plates come off, you can likely cheat and reach around through the inside of the case to take them off. -The clips to hold the expansion cards (graphics, etc) in place are really cheap plastic. Really, Cooler Master, would it've busted the bank to use the same plastic Nalgene uses and keep this case at the same price point?

Overall Review: I would not have bought this case if I hadn't seen it in person first. It is a *little* bit nicer than the pictures led me to believe. A 1 egg review for this case (without the power supply) suggested that only the face plates are brushed aluminum. The whole front face is aluminum, it's just very thin and mounted on plastic which I think is the appropriate thing to do here. After all, why waste resources on 1/4in aluminum when 1/16in gives the same effect? Another 1 egg reviewed complained about increased vibration noise from the screwless design of the hard drive mounts. Not only do the sound absorbers more than make up for any extra vibration, but frankly, they're as snug as they would be if I had used screws instead. Even if they weren't, all I'd take is little rubber matting between the clips and the drive to dash the hopes of any rouge vibration noise.