Date Joined: 01/28/07
Pros: - 4c/8T i5
- 2nd M.2 (or HDD slot with adapter cable)
- 8GB RAM + 2nd slot
- Lenovo's better than average backlit (blue) laptop keyboard
Cons: - poorer quality screen given price (not a deal breaker). Brightness is so weak I have troouble using this outside and have to shut the blinds.
- lousy speakers (really bad)
- extremely hard to open to upgrade. As a seasoned IT repair person, I gave up the 1st time trying to put in 8GB RAM in slot 2 and a HDD. I almost broke the bottom case taking it off.
- Plastic case is prone to scratches
- If I am nitpicking, I could have gotten RGB (but I knew no RGB)
- NO Thunderbolt (so no eGPU or external PCIe accessories).
- VERY LARGE power adapter. Will not work on my 90w Lenovo power adapter I use for travel (small size).
Overall Review: This is a nice laptop for medium quality gaming without RTX. It has it's flaws. The 2 major flaws could deter someone from getting this: lousy sound and low peak brightness on the screen. Since I only use this indoors and game on it with headphones, not an issue for me. I don't like this is missing Thunderbolt, but this is supposed to be portable and cheap(er) so I forgive the omission. I LOVE that this has 2x M.2 or 1M.2 + HDD adapter. I LOVE that this has 2 RAM slots. I HATE that this is so hard to open that I almost broke the bottom case (and I used proper tools to get into it; the case gap was that tight). I will recommend this to someone who knows what they are buying and is willing to have a hard time upgrading. It is worth it.
Pros: - Stable
- Easy to build
- Nice lights
- Lots of FAN headers
- Supports RGB RAM
- Nice RGB features
- Supports CPU FAN/pump RGB 12v RGB
Cons: - Lousy overclocking in BIOS. I took one look at it and got scared. And I have overclocked multiple Intel and AMD systems. Probably will have to learn Ryzen Master software.
- Only 1x 12v RGB header, and it's on bottom left of board
- No SLI, (but 2x Gigabyte 1070 Gaming-8GD for example would cost almost $100 more than the build I used this motherboard in). So I stick to my EVGA 1060 SSC.
-Primary M.2 gets covered by GPU (as with most boards nowadays)
Overall Review: So far so good. I don't understand why so many people have had DOA boards or have had issues with this board. I generally just pop boards in the case and wire it up and hope everything works. This one did. Would I recommend this board to someone, only someone who might not OC or would only OC using the auto tuning built into Ryzen Master. If someone is looking to utilize both m.2 and a high end (1070ti or newer) GPU, and multiple PCI-e cards, like a wifi card and something else, that would be out of the question doe to PCI-e lane allocation (but I knew that buying this board because I had no need for anything but a WiFi card, GPU and the M.2). Lastly, OCing on this board is a literal joke. 3 stars for that alone. Don't attempt it in BIOS because there are SO FEW options and there is no rollback jumper or CMOS reset switch like on my Asrock Intel board. Overall, I am pleased with what I have and can live with the cheapest x470 board that isn't a piece of literal trash. Will I buy this again if I were to do it again? NO. I'd wait for something with better OCing in BIOS to drop in price.
Pros: It is virtually silent. It accommodates 8 PIN (4+4) CPU power and 24 (20+4) main power. It supports up to 4 PCI-e power connections for SLI or Crossfire. Blue light.
Edit. Great while it lasts.
Cons: My case is bottom mount PSU and the cables are too short to fit through the back of the case yet the cables are long enough to get in the way. As others have mentioned, the screw holes almost didn't align with my case. Also, the blue light shines out the bottom of my case.
EDIT. See other
Overall Review: This is a decent PSU for the money for a gaming rig. For the price, it can't be beat. Only time will tell how durable it will be. If cable management is a BIG DEAL for you, anf your case is bottom mount PSU, then look for a PSU that is modular and or has longer cables.
MELTED my SSD via a short in the cable. Knocking it down to 2 eggs for that alone. PSU till works one I cut off the melted sata power port. I don't know if I was drawing too many watts running an EVGA 1060 SSC OCed to the max and a 4790K at 4.7G and a sata powered AIO and RGB lighting.
Pros: This beast is FAST. It will turbo boost comfortably to 4.7GHz. With Water Cooling/AIO cooling, this thing runs cool. It is low power.
Cons: EXPENSIVE! Compared to a i5-4690K, the real main difference is you are spending $100 for hyper-threading and slightly faster sustained core speeds.
Overall Review: I purchased this to replace an aging AMD A8 system. Gaming on an A8 was awful. After building my new system, I have to say that unless AMD redefines the market again (i.e. AMD invented 64 bit architecture and single silicon quad core CPUs) I will not switch back. 5 eggs for performance and total package thermals.
Pros: This is a fairly large case for an ATX/mATX case. It comes with 3 fans. Supports a front or top dual fan AIO water cooling radiator. Fan vents have filters on them so I can use them for filtered air intake. Seems like it would have enough room for a massive air cooler. Case seems very rigid and sturdy. **update 1/18/116 The window has yet to scratch (knock on wood)**
Cons: The motherboard standoffs were a bit tricky to install, so I assume they knew that when they included the standoff driver. 1 of the side standoffs doesn't align with the motherboard. I wish the rear case fan was also blue LED. 1 of my USB 3 ports is flaky. Fully loaded, it is HEAVY. **update 1/18/116. SSD mount is useless if you plan to use 3 or more SATA devices: I have 1 HDD, 1 SSD, a Blu-ray burner, and will have a Swiftech h220x2 with a SATA powered fan header power distributor/ PWM controller.Can't use the SSD bracket without a cable extension. Powder coating flakes over time**
Overall Review: This is a good case for anyone looking to use dual fan AIO water cooling. This is also a good case if you are looking to use a massive CPU heatsink and have as many fans as possible blow in. **update 1/18/116 Upgrading to the Swiftech h200x2 will leave me without use of the SSD bracket due to standard SATA power cable lengths. Maybe some considerations should have been thought for SSD bracket placement other than below the CPU cutout. Also, I wish the case came with a 2nd SSD bracket. The specifications state that the case supports AIO liquid cooling, but nothing more specific; it should be more specific. It can support up to a standard 120mm or 140mm single dual or triple fan rad in the top or single or dual fan in the bottom. You could even go so far as to go with a dual 12omm or dual 140mm in the front or single 120mm thick in the rear as exhaust. so many water cooling options for both custom or AIO or "kit".
Pros: Great motherboard for gamers on a budget looking for DDR3 and the i7-4790K. It has built in power, reset, and UEFI BIOS default switches. It has a POST code display. Supports AIO water cooling out of the box with a 4 pin PWM power for the fan (2 fans require PWM splitter) and a 3 pin fan power for the pump.
Cons: The front panel audio header is near the audio jacks at the rear I/O, not at the front, so you have a cable running across the motherboard. 2 of the case fan headers are near the top PCIe 1x slot, so again, cables running across the motherboard.
Overall Review: As noted in the cons section, the 4 case FAN headers and the audio header are in what I consider odd spots. This is not as big a deal ascetics wise for me because I hid my 2 front case fan cables and the HD audio cable under my R9-270X and I hid the rear case fan cable under the expansion slot screws (untwisted the wires slightly). <br>**Updated review on 12/29.** I updated the BIOS and did some case cleaning WITH PSU DISCONNECTED. Normally, you connect a live PSU to the motherboard and power it on and the red post code light comes on; not the case as it took 45 mins of plugging and unplugging the PSU and booting/rebooting before the red lights came on (my way of telling whether this motherboard is fully booted and stable or not). Knocked 1 egg off for a 3 egg score because of unreliable boot after complete power loss, but I am still happy with this motherboard.
**Updated review on 1/3/16** Reverted back to stock BIOS (BIOS chip B) All I did was flip the switch to B, run the flash from B to A, flip the switch back to A, and then customize again. I DID loose some overclocking ability like base clock customization, but I never messed with that anyways, Since reverting to bios B, my system is the most stable it has ever been. I no longer get the red post code for "everything is working properly" but I like that better... no more red messing up my black and blue theme.
Pros: Decently fast for an Office PC
Cons: If you are aware of what its designed for, NONE
Overall Review: I warranty repair these. I see these in banks for tellers. I see these as cash register systems, signage controllers, customer interactive kiosks, and web/email/printing stations. I see these used as security DVR controller stations. Don't expect to game on this even at the lowest end. Don't expect to get a full GPU in this as it isn't big enough and doesn't provide enough power. This system is geared towards the professionals that want to get work done or for companies as a whole who need a cheap (as of this listing) system to fulfill a non-user specific task.
Pros: Cheap. Windows 7
Cons: These things can be slow. Needs a video card (Video card must be SFF compatible and cannot need PCI-e power.)
Overall Review: I warranty repair these things. With the inclusion of a FULL copy of Windows 7, think of it as the PC is free with the purchase of Windows because the PC is surely not worth the price. I see these PCs used for secretaries, cash registers, signage controllers, interactive customer portals and the like. I personally would not use one as my daily driver, but as a backup PC, it is fine as a hold over till you can get something better. As an OFFICE PC, its cheap and gets the job done (just not as fast as some people would like).
Pros: Great viewing angles. Great brightness and contrast. Seemingly accurate sRGB
Cons: My only CON is that the stand is built directly into the monitor and the tilt assembly. As a result, to wall or swing arm mount this, you'd need to remove the entire tilt assembly.
Overall Review: Let me say that I own the M2060SW, which is identical except a 20in (19.5in) version of this and everything else is the SAME. I originally purchased this to be my primary monitor and to relegate my old Gateway 1600x900 monitor as a secondary/spare monitor. After seeing my monitor in action, I went out and purchased another. Would I recommend it to anyone? YES. Would I buy another? NO because I am looking to dual swing arm my monitors and this has a stand that is hard to remove.
Pros: Great airflow. Decently quiet (quiet enough to where other components in my system drown it out.)
Cons: Only con I can think of is that the LEDs light up from the corners pointing in so the corners are bright instead of lighting from the hub pointing through the blades so the blades illuminate. Also, all 4 LEDs are slightly different brightness.
Overall Review: For the price I paid for it, it serves its purpose. Would I purchase again? YES, but only as a rear exhaust. I would not put this fan anywhere you'd see it through a case window or fan grille.
Pros: Allows me to overclock (overclocking achieved via Turbo Boost) an FX 8350.
Cons: Allows an FX 8350 to just barely Turbo Boost/run with overclocked Turbo Boost. I would not trust this to keep ANY AMD cool under 100% Turbo Boosted load for more than a few hours... Probably not a good idea to use this on an AMD video processing rig.
Overall Review: This is a cheap air cooler. There is enough heat dispensation and enough air flow via the fan. For serious AMD fanatics that want to overclock their FX to the limit, I'd go with water cooling. If you are using AMD and looking for an upgrade to the stock cooling and looking to achieve maxed out Turbo Boost, then this is for you. 5 egg score because it serves its purpose of keeping the FX cool and quiet.
Cons: Its not the fastest SSD in the world.
Overall Review: Compered to a traditional HDD, this is much faster. Its not an M.2 drive, but it still is fast. Windows 10 boots in like 30 seconds on my Intel 4790K Z97 system. After getting this, I will never go back to regular HDDs again.
Pros: Can run most games but...
Cons: Although this can run most games, you really need 4GB of t RAM. Limited to DX 11.2 on-chip.
Overall Review: I own an IDENTICAL card that is marketed as the Sapphire R9 270X Dual-X. I rate this card 4 eggs for existing owners ONLY. If I were rating this card for purchase today, I'd probably rate this 2 eggs. Overall, for when I purchased my card, it was a good buy. If I were purchasing a GPU today, I would NOT get any R9 200 series card because they are DX 11.2.
Pros: Great card. Can run modern games designed for console, like Battlefront 3 and Fallout 4 at highest settings @1080P 60hz.
Cons: Games designed specifically to leverage PC GPUs, like Metal Gear Solid The Phantom Pain or Far Cry 4 or the newer CODs or newer Battlefields will struggle to maintain 1080P 60hz at medium to medium-high settings.
Overall Review: Overall, this WAS a decent card for the price when I bought it over a year ago. If I went back in time and was purchasing a GPU again, I WOULD NOT get this as the minimum RAM even back then should have been 4GB (This is 2GB). Overall a good card, but it will ultimately have a short life with me.
Pros: Keeps my AMD A8 within thermal spec. Easily clips onto stock AMD cooler clipping points.
Cons: The fan is OK at best. The cooler material is VERY thin and come of the fins appeared warped. The block is ever so slightly smaller than my A8 so it barely doesn't fit the APU. It overhangs 2-3 RAM slots, so low profile heat spreaders or non-heat spreader RAM is needed.
Overall Review: As others have said, if this is to be used for AMD, as it was designed, Cooler Master really dropped the ball. I bought this thinking it would be enough of an upgrade to allow me to activate turbo core. It DOES NOT provide enough cooling for that. I am starting to think that all FM2/AM3 AMD CPUs and APUs require water cooling to activate turbo. Overall, a lousy product. I will keep using it because its all I have for a CPU cooler. I WILL NOT be recommending this to anyone.
Pros: This thing is FAST! Its AMD, so its plug and play. It has built in Radeon 7000 series graphics cores.
Cons: This thing runs HOT! The Stock heatsink is decent at best. I tried a used Cooler Master AMD heat pipe heatsink and still doesn't do justice to this. With Turbo Core turned on for either the CPU or the GPU, PC will crash within 30 seconds of hitting 100% load and full turbo (hits 110C+). This WILL NEED a water cooler like the Cooler Master H120 or the H240 to maintain full turbo.
Overall Review: I ended up retiring this system after about 2.5 years because I was unable to game on it via air cooling. I wasn't willing to spend $80+ on a water cooler for this just to get Turbo Core to work. I DO NOT consider this a bad purchase at the time of purchase (May 2013) because I only spent about $300 total on my build including this. Do I recommend this or any AMD APU? NO, not unless you need a CPU combined with Radeon cores and you have the $$ to spend on a high performance water cooler.
Pros: "quad core" performance. Decently fast. Can game on low to low/medium settings on DX11 games.
Cons: This thing runs HOT. In my original review, I said it ran fine gaming, but I had turbo boost/turbo core turned OFF and locked the multiplier at 36x. When I turn on turbo core using a stock AMD APU cooler or a Cooler Master vortex style AMD FX cooler, the system dies in 2 mins at full turbo. When I run Prime95, system reboots after like 15 minutes, and with turbo core turned on, it reboots after like 2 minutes.
Overall Review: I ended up retiring this system after 2.5 years because I couldn't game with it without the system randomly rebooting due to overheating issues. I even tied a massive Silverstone AR02 and still overheats and dies. To the reviewer who said the CPU will never get over 90C, YES IT WILL, but only for like 10 seconds or less before the system crashes or reboots.The only way to get decent temps and stability is to water cool it.
Pros: See my previous review... Works great and it is powerful while it is plugged into continuous power
Cons: Not as reliable as I would like. Takes several tries to power on once the capacitors in it and motherboard fully drain (like after 30 mins disconnected from the wall). I am NOT blaming Corsair for this. 2 egg rating for the unreliability.
Overall Review: This is a decent PSU. I just wish I didn't have to fight with it after every time that I work on my PC. I tested my system by way of plugging in a "well used" 500W PSU and system boots every time. With this it takes a few clicks of the power button or even jumping the PSU to get the system to power on. I will NOT be buying a recertified PSU ever again. Since it still powers on my PC, I am not going to go through the RMA process because my 500W PSU is insufficient to power my PC at load, so I'd be down waiting on the replacement. Not only am I not blaming Corsair for this, but I might even purchase one of their AX series fully modular PSUs NEW RETAIL if the price is right.
Pros: Great cooling for a i7-4790K when overclocked to 4.7 GHz (I only set overclocking to activate in turbo boost mode). Keeps my i7 stock speeds between 26C/78F to 30C/86F. Max temps gaming are about 45C/113F.
Cons: LOUD!!! What more can I say other than the fans that come with this are so loud (at standard speeds) that I had to activate "silence mode" (low RPM and low power mode) on my ASRock Z97 Extreme4 CPU fan controller. I WILL NOT be setting the fans to auto mode EVER due to noise.
Overall Review: I use this top mounted with the fans mounted below the radiator pulling air down and through. It was the cheapest dual fan rad I could get. With cheapness comes cost cutting measures with the fans. Since this is on my desk in my bedroom, I will be getting some high flow/high pressure silence optimized fans.
Pros: Sturdy aluminum case. Decent read/write speeds for USB 2/SATA 2. Looks cool.
Cons: The case is too big for 7mm drives as it was designed for 9-12mm drives (before 7mm drives were common). The only things keeping the drive in the cage are the pressire foam pad on the front keeping the drive pushed into the SATA port.
Overall Review: This has served me well since 2010 and I am still using just the USB to SATA adapter portion. Rated 4 eggs because it serves its intended purpose well. That being said, in 2015, I would not recommend this with a NEW HDD/SSD. Instead I recommend a 64GB or larger USB drive. And, if you have drives that need data pulled off them, get a USB 3 hot-swap dock.
Pros: This processor is fast. I built the system for photo processing and the CPU rendering is phenomenal for the price. Games great at medium to high settings (as long as it isn't a physics demanding game).
Cons: BIG CON is that this is advertised as an 8-core whereas when I run CPUz, it shows 4 physical cores with 8 total threads (You cannot nor would you want to turn off threads 5-8). Runs VERY HOT but considering the case has 2x 240mm fans sucking hot air out and 1x 240mm fan sucking air in, it should be fine
Overall Review: I have always been an AMD fan. I personally exclusively build AMD everything systems because I consider them the best value. This system belongs to my Dad. I built it for him because he is a photography nut and needed an upgrade from his AMD Athlon dual core (original). This nearly tripled his photo conversion speed from RAW to JPG (no loss of quality). For the average gamer, this processor when paired with 8 GB DDR3 and an AMD R9 video card will serve well for the foreseeable future. For someone looking to play Far Cry 4 on ultimate with motion blur, AMD is not there yet.
Pros: FAST! Scored a 505 in Cinebench whereas my custom AMD FX-8350 black edition system only scored around 450, and the Z600 cost me half what my AMD build did.
Cons: Wrong processors installed. I ordered the Z600 version 2 with the Xeon E5600 series processor but I got a Z600 version 1 with the E5520. Video card is advertised as a fire MV with DVI and and it needs a DMS-59 adapter (not included). The hard drive is a bit small at only 250GB, but I popped in a 1TB 2ndary I had a lying around and am good to go.
Overall Review: The system I received had 2x E5520 instead of the 2x E5607. The case also had minor gouges and scuffs in the aluminum panels (not a big deal as I bought it for specs alone.) The video card was useless and I had to swap to an AMD HD4650 I had lying around. I have on order a matched pair of Xeon E5620s and a 6 pin PCI-E power to dual 8 pin adapter for my AMD R9 270X. I also plan on getting Windows 10 running on this as well. I will update after Windows 10 has been installed with whether or not the new Processors and video card work or not.
Pros: Great sound. Long (excessively) cable. Separate mic and headphone cord. Volume and mute button on clip. Looks nice. Fits my tiny head. Sounds great for music, even better than my $100 "studio" headset.
Cons: Must use the USB adapter or similar adapter to achieve full potential. I can't tell where the individual audio channels are except when I know the specific sounds corresponding to each channel.
Overall Review: This headset requires a decent audio output device and a decent DAC (as well as high quality audio source). Sure, a phone or MP3 player is compatible in stereo. Sure a standard 3.5mm audio output from a laptop or PC would work, but you'd be loosing some sound quality by not using the USB adapter. Overall GREAT buy.
Pros: Mouse is non-slip. Keyboard has a decent recoil in the keys. I like the size, shape, and angle of the keys. Has media keys. Looks good. Has decent range. You can actually turn off the mouse and keyboard when not in use (might not need to if it lives up to its 18 month battery life claim)
Cons: Missing the num lock and caps lock indicators. Most wireless keyboards do not have indicator lights as that costs battery life if left on. I had to use the Logitech software to pair the mouse and keyboard to the PC/receiver.
Overall Review: If I had not stumbled upon the Logitech software, I would probably have returned this as defective. Thinking about it for a minute, I can see why Logitech made it necessary to have the software installed; security. Not a pro or a con for me, but the mouse is VERY sensitive and the keyboard the keyboard might ever so slightly lag behind for the fastest of typers. Overall, for the money, this is a great wireless combo set.
Pros: PSU mounted on bottom. 4 5.25" drive bays (who ever has more than 1 optical drive?) comes with power supply. Tool free removal of drives. Decent cable routing through the back of the case and behind motherboard tray and drive bays, Nice window so I can admire my gear. Nice top 2 fan vent. Supports external pump and reservoir water cooling as well as the all-in-one water block/fan units..
Cons: My only cons relate to the PSU, but I guess you get what you pay for(FREE). The power supply is only 500W. The cables are a bit short. If the power goes out, then I have to unplug the power cable and then back in to get the PC to turn on. As being gamer oriented,, I would have expected the PSU to have 2 PCI-e power adapters, but it has only 1.
Overall Review: I have had this case for like 13 months and have to say that I like this one. I like that the case has a large top mesh area that supports the all-in-one water CPU water block/fan cooling units. I like that it has a window. I LOVE that the USB, front audio, and power button are on the top. I think it supports decent air flow (as long as your case fans blow in the right direction). I would not hesitate to buy one again as long as the price was right (I got mine on sale).