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Xuehao Z.

Xuehao Z.

Joined on 12/18/03

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Most Favorable Review

Good ram, good compatibility.

G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 2400 (PC4 19200) Desktop Memory Model F4-2400C15D-32GVR
G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 2400 (PC4 19200) Desktop Memory Model F4-2400C15D-32GVR

Pros: Just out of curiosity, I tossed a pair on X370 motherboard to see if they work with Ryzen, The answer is yes. I am fully aware G.skill has made a new product line called Flare.X specifically designed for AMD Ryzen processors, But I am always curious if other product lines work.

Cons: The price of those almost doubled since last year.

Most Critical Review

Read this before you make the wrong choice

CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 650W ATX12V/EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply
CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 650W ATX12V/EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply

Pros: A Shadow of its former glory

Cons: Where does the nightmare start. I purchased four units in the past month and they were all the older version (missing V2 on the top right of the box, missing V2 from the model number on the label). If those were the same quality 650TX I purchased last year, that would have been fine. Unfortunately all four of them have fan issues. They spin up for few seconds when you power on, and go off and won't turn on again unless the power supply gets extremely hot. To give you an example, the fan will only spin briefly when I am pulling close to 400W from the PSU using a benchmark test. Unless the parts inside are made to withstand like 120C I doubt it's going to last long. Upon close examination during a benchmark test, I noticed right before the fan spins up, the wattage it draws suddenly drops from 400W to 100W (which is close to idle for the system) , then the fan spins for few seconds, the wattage goes back up to 400, soon the fan stops, wattage drops back to 100W and fan starts again. Needless to say what this huge power surge can do to your components. Three of the four units make a high pitch coil whine when load ~300 watt, its extremely annoying and can't be ignored even if you tuned up the value during gaming. You will notice this high pitch noise on the back ground which can't be overcome by your speakers.

Overall Review: Absolutely the worst power supply I have seen in 10 years as a system builder, and it's from Corsair. I really miss the legendary HX520 and HX620 from Corsair made by Seasonic, now Corsair products are just a shadow of its former glory. Save yourself some money and pick a different brand like Antec who is much more consistent with their quality control.

12/11/2012

Good starter board for LGA 1700, has pretty much everything you need.

MSI PRO Z690-A WIFI DDR4 LGA 1700 Intel Z690 SATA 6Gb/s ATX Intel Motherboard
MSI PRO Z690-A WIFI DDR4 LGA 1700 Intel Z690 SATA 6Gb/s ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: 1. Double the M.2 slots (four total) compared to previous motherboards (Z490 and earlier only had two), this is huge as M.2 is becoming main stream 2. Eight 4-pin fan headers is more than generous. 3. MSI BIOS is easy to work with, also MSI has the best fan settings among major brands. It's so easy to select each fan and corresponding temperature source, then choose between PWM and DC mode, and set your own fan curve or run at fixed speed. This is way better than ASUS and ASRock's three step and w/e Gigabyte was using. 4. 2.5GHz LAN and 802.11ax WiFi. 5. VRM seems competent.

Cons: You see some cost cuttings here and there, but most you can live with: 1. Out of eight USB ports on the I/O, four of them are USB 2.0. Six USB 3.2 plus two USB 2.0 should be more standard today. 2. Out of four M.2 slots, only the top one has a heatsink. 3. Lack of motherboard manual, which is something you see on sub $100 motherboards. 4. Realtek ALC897 instead of ALC12XX

Overall Review: You don't need to connect both 8-pin CPU powers for the computer to run, just the left one is fine. Connecting both will not boost CPU turbo performance based on my test with a 12700K. It's kinda crazy we are paying $240 for a "budget" mainstream motherboard nowadays, back in the days (late Core 2 Duo early 2008) a decent overclocking motherboard can be had for less than 100. Finally MSI's weird M.2 tool-less lock is pretty hard to aim and get into.

It's pretty meh.

THERMALRIGHT TRUE Spirit 140 Direct - CPU Cooler with 140mm PWM Fan
THERMALRIGHT TRUE Spirit 140 Direct - CPU Cooler with 140mm PWM Fan

Pros: Tower heatsink seems to be good quality, included fan is not bad.

Cons: Installation is not the easiest, those four rubber dampers for the fan is annoying to insert and they can still come off easily.

Overall Review: You can see many cost cutting trade offs at this price point, my biggest complain is the contacting surface. Yes yes I know "direct heat pipe contact" is meant to be cost saving, but the contacting surface is just too small and there are huge gaps (relatively) compared to other similar coolers. Unless you apply a huge amount of thermal paste, you can clearly see there are spaces between each heat pipe contacting area after you remove the cooler. This poor contact surface is the direct result of pretty meh thermal performance.

Corsair does not know anything about custom liquid cooling

CORSAIR Hydro X Series XD5 RGB Pump/Reservoir Combo - D5 PWM Pump - 330ml Reservoir - Ten Individually Addressable RGB LEDs - Temperature Sensor
CORSAIR Hydro X Series XD5 RGB Pump/Reservoir Combo - D5 PWM Pump - 330ml Reservoir - Ten Individually Addressable RGB LEDs - Temperature Sensor

Pros: Cheap, and it's D5 pump. After some complains, they actually provided a proprietary 3 pin to motherboard ARGB header adapter cable to use the RGB in the reservoir, so you don't have to buy a commander pro.

Cons: Disasters everywhere and too much corner cutting: 1. Housing is cheap plastic instead of Acetal. You know there is a reason reputable brands use acetal for pump housing or waterblocks, because it does not crack like plastic under pressure nor it gets stripped eaesily. 2. There are six ports total on this combo, two are used for inlet and outlet, leaving four to be plugged, but Corsair is too cheap to provide four plugs instead you only get three, three cheap plastic plugs too. 3. That U shaped metal bracket the pump goes into, is supposed to be able to mount above a fan using a H shaped metal bracket underneath. Somehow they mis-drill the mounting holes on the bottom half of the U shaped bracket, so it's not compatible with the M3 thumb screws they provided, nor it's compatible with any screw they provided or I tried. So say goodbye to bottom mount, your only option is side mount.

Overall Review: Stay with other brands that actually knows something about custom liquid cooling.

Good, definitely an improvement over the TT 360 Riing RGB Liquid Cooling

Thermaltake Water 3.0 360 ARGB Sync Edition CL-W234-PL12SW-B Water Cooler LGA 1700 Compatible
Thermaltake Water 3.0 360 ARGB Sync Edition CL-W234-PL12SW-B Water Cooler LGA 1700 Compatible

Overall Review: Pros: 1. Obvious Asetek OEM, solid construction and very familiar mounting mechanisms. 2. Comes with three PWM fans and a splitter that can connect all three fans to a single fan header. 3. No additional SATA/Molex power required. Fans are directly connected to a fan header via splitter and pump only needs the power from fan header. RGB cables are daisy chained to a 5V standard RGB header you will find on most motherboards, including Gigabyte. 4. All the cables are good length so they can go around even the largest cases. I suppose it can also be a con meaning cable management will be messy due to its length. 5. Cooling performance seems to be slightly better than similar products. 6. You get a little tiny controller with three buttons if you are not connecting to the motherboard RGB header. Con: I still prefer the RGB effect on newer Riing fans or Corsair LL fans. The ones come with this model radiate the light from center through white fan blades, sometimes you can still see the actual LED bulb in the center.