Date Joined: 11/06/08
Pros: Low Cost, Does the basics for testing
Cons: Delivery takes a while depending where you live. It's only a simple: light on = works or light off = not working up to par, tester. So, no frills or data to work with. You get what you pay for of course.
Overall Review: I'm pretty sure one of the lights doesn't work on the one I got... the -5 volt light will not light up with the PSU I tested with but, can't verify that till I use it with a few more PSU's. Luckily... the -5v isn't that crucial, may not even matter? I'd only recommend this tester for the novice user that doesn't need to be testing PSU's very often. A system builder would definitely want one that gives actual voltage read-outs of course.
Pros: They are of good quality feel strong. Ordered 3, all 3 worked so, 3 out of 3. Have 4 pin PWM connector so the mobo bios can regulate them.
Cons: The name suggests super quiet fans but, they are not a super quiet fan. NOT loud but, noticeable with a desktop PC. Aside from that, no cons.
Overall Review: I have a bunch of 120mm case fans now since, I've ordered additional ones plus ones that came with a few cases. After running tests for noise level and total air flow, out of 4 different fans, these rank 3rd for airflow and tie for noise level under load with a cooler master fan that came with my N200 case. The cooler master beat these for airflow however. Unfortunately, the cooler master fans are not PWM type or i'd of used those as opposed to these. Conclusion: they are not the most quiet fans out of my batch but definitely not real loud either. I have some fractal design 2000rpm fans that sound like a jet and these are way more quiet than that at least.
Pros: Good cpu's, good amount of ram, fast data drive and decent screen size make these work fairly well for average laptop users.
Overall Review: Bought a couple of these as gifts last year for christmas. They are still enjoying them and haven't had any issues. I usually don't have any problems with Dell products but, if I did, they have decent customer support so, I don't sweat it. They were a superb buy when I picked them up on sale. Would do it again.... no regerts!
Pros: It's "BenQ" which is a big "Pro" right there. Has an IPS panel. Plenty of ways to connect. Buttons easy to access. Stand is sturdy. Bezel is super thin for those wanting a multi-monitor setup. Works right out of the box--automatically detects which connection your using.
Overall Review: First off, I've become a BenQ monitor fan with my last monitor because it gives me the best picture quality I've seen on an LED monitor that I've ever had with Asus, HP's, AOC's, LG's, etc.. etc.. So, when my wife's AOC started pixellating making everything look super foggy, I decided to get her a new one--handed over my awesome BenQ and picked up this one with the IPS panel. Honestly, this is my first IPS panel monitor and it may or may not be all that great for an IPS panel.... idk but, it looks awesome for me as a gamer. At the sale price point, you'd be hard pressed to find ANYTHING better unless IPS panel prices keep dropping.
Pros: It's "Semi-Modular" so, cable management is great. Came delivered in perfect condition and worked right out of the box with no problem--so far, so good. Will update if things change anytime soon. It's slightly smaller than the average "standard" size ATX psu so, it fit into the case without any problems. Cables are plenty long enough although I'm using it in a Micro-ATX build. Has all the typical safety features and efficiency most builders want. Came with all the needed cables.
Cons: None really. This isn't a con but, some might think so..... there's 3 cables built in (not modular) which is mobo main 20/24 pin cable, cpu power 4/8pin cable, and.... a 6+2 pin PCIe cable. Now some might think that's a con cuz it shouldn't be built-in but, I didn't see it as such because these days, I'm always going to be putting a dedicated graphics card into a build and using a 6+2 pin PCIe cable.
Overall Review: I was a bit skeptical after reading some negative reviews but, they were mostly the same ol problem of getting one that was defective.... which happens once in a while with EVERY PSU brand / model.... or, any PC part for that matter. And, at the price I picked this up (on sale).... it beats all the competition. Like I say, I'll update this if it turns out to be a lemon down the road, though, usually if one is faulty, you know it right away.
Pros: PSU mounts at bottom with no cage which means cable management is super easy. Plenty of air vent locations for up to 120mm fans--even can fit a 240mm radiator in front depending on length of your gpu. Front face comes off as a completely separate unit--no wiring to have to carefully pull out in process cuz the switches and ports are mounted separately to the main box itself! An ideal location for a 2.5" SSD directly under the 5.25 OD bay so the remaining hard drive cages can be removed freeing up lots of space for cables and longer gpu's. Easy to Assemble / Disassemble components.
Cons: The case fans that come with it are ok but, PWM in bios wasn't able to modify their speeds. They just run same as if you plug them into a molex from the psu. Not worth knocking an egg cuz I didn't really expect the best fans on a budget case.
Overall Review: Just about the smallest footprint a Micro-Atx case can be before you run into space problems. I have to say, the N200 is my new favorite Micro Tower of all time. The metal is thinner like any budget case but, it still retains enough rigidity to feel stronger than some of the cheaper budget cases I've worked with. Was the easiest case to work in that I've dealt with in a long time. For a Micro-ATX build, it's perfect in every way since you can fit everything you'd expect to put into a Micro-ATX Tower. For reference, my build is an MSI H270M Bazooka Micro ATX board with I5 6600 and an aftermarket radiator style air cooler that rises 120mm up from mobo and leaves plenty of space for a 120mm fan to be mounted on the side case panel for extra air-flow toward the GTX960 gpu. 2 120mm fans in front (intake) with room to add a 240mm radiator if going the liquid cooling route, 1 120mm in rear (exhaust), 1 120mm on side (intake), and space still for another 120mm in top if I want another intake or exhaust fan there (overkill.) 1 5.35" OD and 1 512GB SSD. It all fits with lots of airflow room still. I would buy this case for EVERY Micro ATX build I ever do again.
Pros: I wanted to love this; It is very compact/small for this style cooler and boasts great performance. In fact, it does have pretty good performance from benchmarks I looked up online. It would be a great cooler for a mobo with no plate on back of cpu socket. I updated this review to reflect I'm using it now. See "Other."
Cons: These are cons not of Cryorigs fault so much as this new Universal backplate that many are using now. BEWARE!!! If your motherboard has a small plate on bottom of it that mounts the cpu socket, these new style backplates will NOT sit flush on backside of the board. DO NOT mount a cooler onto your cpu that can weeble wobble.. that's insane. Now the worst part of this is, despite claiming to be compatible with Intel LGA 115x boards, it will not be compatible if the board has the feature like mine (and so many more do.) So, you will have to box this unused cooler and ship it back at your own expense for a "PARTIAL" refund.
See Update in "Other"
Overall Review: Do NOT buy this unless you KNOW those new universal backplates will sit properly on the back of your motherboard or you will have lost half your purchase price to return it with nothing to show for it.
On the other hand, if it does fit your board, it seems like a great cooler and didn't seem to interfere with ram slots. Too many of this type do.
Since my cpu socket has transistors alongside it, it rules out many cooler mount styles. And, since my socket has a small rectangular metal plate on the back mounting the socket to board, the universal backplate design is not an option. This leaves me stuck with the awful traditional plastic push pin style..... ugh.
Let this be a learning lesson for the rest of you looking for an aftermarket cooler on an Intel 115x motherboard.
Update: I couldn't stomach the fact that a brand new item claiming to be compatible with my motherboard was in fact, not compatible. AND, I would have to pay to ship it back only to receive a partial refund despite being unused and no fault of my own for it not working. So, forget that... it might only be $12 loss but, it's the principal of it. Instead, I modded the backplate to sit flush on my motherboard despite the cpu socket backplate. In conclusion, I'm now using it and it works fabulously. My cpu stays under 38c during light use. I've yet to test it with some intensive game play but, I'm sure it should perform way better than a stock cooler. Could probably get away with light OC'ing without having to go water-cooled even. Just be sure to mount it so the fan pushes air thru the radiator toward the rear case exhaust fan--which sucks the air out of the case... thus push/pull system in effect. Works great.
Pros: Rubber bushings dampen vibration noise. Blade design moves air better than most designs I've used so far. Hydro type bearing is better than most for reliability and noise factor. PWM 4 pin power connector connects to motherboard fan headers and can be controlled in BIOS. Supplied screws go in easily.
Cons: No cons really. The holes where you drive the mounting screws in is a bit softer material than the hard plastic fans most of us are used to. This is both good and bad--easy to drive them in nice and straight but, I don't recommend too many times of doing this as it may lead to stripping out the hole.
Overall Review: It would of been nice to have an adapter for connecting to regular molex connectors in case you didn't have fan headers on the mobo to connect to. But, I bought mine specifically for connecting to my motherboard. And, at this price point, can't really expect extras... at least they supplied the mounting screws which is more than I can say for some other fan choices. They're fantastic color but, I can't see them when in my case now, lol. They are running super quiet for me so far. I have two for Intake at front of my case and I just barely hear them. If I had sound going from a game or video, I'd not even know they were working.
Pros: Better priced than most. G.Skill memory modules have never failed me yet, knock on wood. Very compatible--says they're specialized for Z170 series but, they work great on the 270 series as well and probably the 300 series boards. Like everyone else, plugged in and were read correctly by mobo bios without a problem in my 270 series mobo.
Cons: They don't have heat spreaders.... although the big bulky ones are ridiculous and can cause spacing issues, the thin low height spreaders are functional without causing hindrance. Are they even needed though? Good question... it's nice to have in case they are I suppose. But, I've never "burned" a RAM stick before so, probably don't need them anyway.
Overall Review: It would be nice to see RAM prices come back down to earth. I use to pick RAM up for between 15 and 45 bucks (USD) all the time.. granted the RAM capacity is much higher now.... it's still just one stick of RAM and probably doesn't cost the manufacture any more to produce than it used to when a 4GB stick was considered a large capacity module. You can buy a whole computer for the cost of a large quantity of RAM these days... say to max out 4 slots at 64GB of ram... sheesh.
Pros: Semi-modular (with main power and cpu power built in which are required anyways.) Sized correctly for ATX/mATX builds. Cables plenty long enough. Appropriate amount of cables for the average build. Exceeds 80 Plus Bronze--guess that's why they say "Plus." Seems quiet in my system despite benchmark tests I've read online. I caught this on sale (w/rebate) making it even more affordable but, it's still super affordable when compared with it's rivals... Corsair, EVGA, & NZXT.
Cons: Cable system is the flat ribbon cable style which can make it a little more difficult for cable routing. I managed ok but, my build isn't what some would want windowed for looks. Cable runs are definitely visible. Mine has a shield plate on the inside that blocks one of the screw holes for mounting it in the case--see "Other."
Overall Review: As many systems as I've built (over 11 in past couple years alone) I've never had a psu with a shielding blocking a screw hole. I asked manufacturer about it and they claim it shields capacitators.... which is rather ridiculous imo since no other psu has to do that for the screws to mount them in a case. And, if someone were to use extremely (incorrect) long screws to mount a psu.. they have no business building one to begin with. And, if you put a screw into the hole, it pushes the shield inward toward the capacitators...... seems rather counter productive to their claim of protecting the capacitators. I'm assuming I dealt with someone in customer service that doesn't actually know much mechanical science of a psu. It wasn't an issue for me though since I'm mounting it in a case where the psu sits on bottom and doesn't need support from the screws. 3 keep it tight against the case backing just fine. For anyone else, if having this same situation and mounting in top mounted case... might need to mod the shield to allow a screw in that hole or else chance it and see if it causes an issue.... The manufacture's customer service claims it doesn't cause an issue. I'll let someone else be that guinea pig. I really don't like the RMA/Return process myself.
Pros: Has all the proper connectors for every type of connection typically found in a gamers desktop PC. It's size is barely smaller than the average PSU making it easy to install (I've had a cx500 which is just barely larger than average and had to bend some tabs slightly to fit it in.) It's quiet and has great power consumption ratings (80 Plus)
Cons: Haven't found any yet.. have not been using a long time yet but, don't forsee any problems.
Overall Review: Using this in a slim build; 1 HD, 1 DVD drive, 1 GTX 650ti SC, & core2duo cpu.... doesn't need this much power but, puts me below the limit for achieving greatest efficiency of the 80Plus. 400w would of done the trick however cost me no more (if not less) than a comparable PSU of any smaller size.
Update: 2 years and still going strong without issue!
Pros: Very rich colors, crisp image, easy button menus, all the necessary connections, all cables come with, easy to assemble, sturdy base, excellent picture and customization ability, & Very thin bezel for anyone wanting to do a multi-monitor setup. So far this is the best monitor I've owned... hopefully lasts the test of time.
Cons: Speakers could be louder but, most people don't expect a lot out of monitor speakers. Not really a con since there is a connector to add speakers or headphones off the monitor.
Overall Review: I seen where people complained about the button placement but, I think the idea is to locate them behind the screen to decrease the size of the Bezel so, it shouldn't be considered a con as this is the thinnest bezel I've seen so far. Also, the menu comes on screen to show you what each button does right next to the edge so you don't need to even see the buttons. Of all the hype about BenQ, this has lived up to my expectations.
Update: Two years and still fantastic picture with no issues!
Pros: My first set of RAM over 1600MHz and definitely impressed. Not super tech savvy at judging ram but, Windows Experience index rates them as 7.9 which is the max score for memory operations using that.... when looking at performance monitor, these are super low on read/write errors--there are always errors on any RAM (maybe more OpSys fault than ram?) but, these outperform any I've had in past.
Cons: Can't think of any. If they fail the test of time, I will update but, none for now.
Overall Review: Best part is these are on my Motherboards Qualified Vendors List for memory modules.... most likely will/should be for any general motherboard.
Update! 2 years and still going strong without issue.
Pros: It says SATA 3.0 even though I doubt there is a hard drive actually capable of any speed near to that..... it is however, the fastest Hard Drive I've owned. I use them in conjunction with my Sammy SSD's. I use their Magician SW to benchmark my drives. This has achieved the fastest sequential & random read/write speeds of any drive I've had. Seems reliable and only makes slight noise when in heavy use.
Cons: Out of all the hard drives I've owned, this isn't the quietest. But, it's definitely not real noisy so, I doubt I could actually claim it a con. It's a great drive so 5 stars. If it fails the test of time, I may add a con here later but, none for now.
Overall Review: If you want a really fast hard drive... this should be one in the top rankings imo.
Update: Couple years later.... I'm still using this hard drive in my HTPC and works flawlessly. Of course, it is a HGST so, what do you expect. I like this drive so well, I've picked up some more to use in other systems.
Pros: First, lets be clear, this is a "No Frills" psu. That said, I purchased this over a year ago (at time of writing) and have had no issues. That's a big Pro right there, test of time. There are just enough connectors for a basic system build. While this could be seen as a con, it's also a Pro because it's just that much less mess to deal with for cable management. Works wonderfully in a mATX Tower build.
Cons: I'm not knocking any eggs because it has no extra Frills but, these still maybe disadvantages. It is not Active phase power control.. there is a manual switch for switching between 120 and 240. I've never seen that as being an issue personally... I know how to switch it sheesh. It would of been nice to have more amps going to the 12v bus instead of the 3v and 5v but, I always choose a higher rated psu than what a system needs anyhow so.. wasn't an issue.
Overall Review: It would of been nice to have PCIe connection options, more sata and less molex but, did the job. Most importantly, it has been very reliable. People give terrible reviews for "DOA's" but, that can happen with anything and doesn't reflect properly for the product. It very easily could of been a poor shipping process. It's when they only work for a month or so then go poof that reflects poorly on craftsmanship. This has not been the case for this psu.
Pros: I can't think of any options that won't work in this case except maybe oversized cooling units. It fits the standard water cooler options and many cpu cooler options. The covers extend out a little for extra room should you have an aftermarket cpu cooler that stands tall. Has PSU mounting at bottom, no drive bays interfering with other components except the DVD and hard drive cage in psu compartment (neither of which pose any issue), good cable routing options, lots of places to mount SSD's and, fits multiple board sizes. The metal is thin like any budget case but, stronger than a lot... it doesn't bend cheesy easy like some of them I've worked with. The feet are great giving it plenty of clearance for the psu to draw air under it and they grip "ok" on my desk. The fans can be mounted on front to blow air into the psu compartment thus cooling hard drives!! Very nice. Multiple cooling accessory options. Additional cutouts for adding usb ports and fan controllers in the facial bezel. (modding might be required however unless the company makes accessories available?)
Cons: It only comes with one exhaust fan and you can only fit 2 standard hard drives in. These aren't really cons worth knocking an egg since I didn't need anything more and I prefer getting my own quality case fans anyhow. No accessory options on manufactures website? Not sure on that.. I may not looked hard enough and not a con to knock any eggs off for.
Overall Review: I chose this since it only has 1 dvd bay slot... I didn't want/need more than one so why have a giant cage blocking other things. I also didn't need an array of HD's thus no need for a HD cage except the one in psu compartment (holds 2.) I really only have one SSD and didn't need so many places to mount one. I'm also only using an mATX board and didn't need such a huge (mid?) tower. But, I wanted room for expansion should I end up with a larger board in the future. This is definitely a future proof case with all it's options. Trust me, if all you are building is a mATX system, this tower is overkill. I usually go with smaller cases but, wanted the room to work this time.
Pros: Has each component needed for a standard gaming or every day use PC. Set up went pretty smoothly unlike the old relics I've worked with. Of course, the option for the Newest Intel cpu is why I bought it... along with my experience being awesome with the companies customer support in the past. Also picked this one as the PCIe x1 slot is far enough below the PCIe x16 slot so I can input a dual slot gpu and still fit in my wifi card.
Cons: Only one chassis fan header...
Edit: See "Other" for update on problems with the 100 series boards by ASRock and their lack of professionalism within their customer support team--which I had never experienced before, tis a shame.
Overall Review: I would of liked there to be more chasis fan connectors but, I'm not knocking an egg since it's typical for a lot of mobo's to only have one. I just feel there should always be two..... one for Intake and one for Exhaust controlled by mobo.... maybe someday....
After a while, I started having an issue of my mouse not seeming to work when starting up my PC. This was also the case when doing a system restart from within Windows--which needs done when doing updates. It is very random--meaning sometimes there is no issue and sometimes it is. I usually just depress the reset button and things work like normal again. But, I have had to reset it more than once on occasion. I did troubleshoot the issue and found it to be limited to USB mice/keyboards. It was not faulty mice or keyboards. Definitely a fault of the board powering the USB ports.
Up till now, I had liked ASRock customer support. When bringing up this issue with them, they just ignore me. Their first response was a generic answer about USB devices not working when first installing Windows unless you add the driver to the installation disk. I NEVER said anything about "INSTALLING" windows and when I replied to clarify that, they no longer responded.
No longer will I use ASRock. I found after extensive research, issues with these 100 series motherboards is NOT uncommon. These USB issues were supposedly resolved in the 200 series BUT, from what I've seen in complaints... they have NOT been fixed. And, to be completely ignored by customer support is a no go for me. I will not do business with them anymore and I'm a system builder.
Pros: Decent price as far as memory goes these days. Heat spreaders that DON'T interfere with spacing (very nice.) Best of all, they were immediately recognized and, set to proper settings automatically upon first start-up. No tuning necessary within the Bios screen. Work great. Gave a 7.6 in Windows Experience Index (out of 7.9) which is fantastic for ddr3 memory at stock speeds.
Cons: None so far!
Overall Review: Will see how they do for the test of time but, they have a great warranty anyhow. I'm using them in an Asus P8H61M series motherboard. 1600 MHz is the MAX speed for that board without oc* yet, the board had no issue with registering them automatically at 1600 MHz. I point this out because past experience with other brands... they auto set to 1333 and I have to manually set them to 1600 or the XMP profile. These didn't require such which is great for novice PC users that may not want to brave the Bios tweaks.
Pros: Bottom mounted PSU!! Drive bay layout creates a little spare working room. Optional SSD mounting spot!! Easy to disassemble/assemble. Front Panel options--all the basics!! Fantastic color/design. Cable management..
Cons: The supplied Intake fan mounts between facia plate and case. This is ok unless you plan to install your own Intake fan that has magnetics to it. I had to use tin snips and cut out a hole so my Intake fan motor wouldn't magnetize itself to the case. Not knocking an egg since supplied fan is fine enough for most people. OH, BEWARE! If you plan to put a large 220/200 mm fan on the side.... the thickness of the fan must be under 25mm or it will hit up against your psu... unless you have a freakishly small psu like my mini.
Overall Review: Overall, I'm pretty impressed with this case. It has USB 3.0 on front, more drive bay slots than I need, bottom mounted PSU, and has a slot for the SSD. With a little time and patience, cable management is good. Best of all, it looks nice even if I leave it on top of my desk.
Pros: XMP feature, low power consumption, & slim design. These should fit most any build style as the heatsinks are not bulky or obtrusive. Also, they have faster dram timings than some of the other choices.
Cons: They've worked perfectly so far so, none at this point.
Overall Review: I bought this set as it was the best deal available at Newegg matching my QVL for my ASUS board.