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Christopher T.

Christopher T.

Joined on 04/26/05

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 22
Most Favorable Review

Great motherboard with growing pains

ASUS P5E3 Deluxe/WiFi-AP LGA 775 Intel X38 ATX Intel Motherboard
ASUS P5E3 Deluxe/WiFi-AP LGA 775 Intel X38 ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: Excellently stability and performance options in BIOS. Layout is nice. It has everything a high-end user would want and more. Another quality ASUS product that I plan to use for at least 4 years.

Cons: The padding on the I/O plate made it hard to seat my motherboard on the tray/mounts in my Silverstone TJ09 case. Had to use a screwdriver and pry off the padding (no big deal). USB, fan socket, and front panel audio plug at bottom of the board was difficult to get to with Crossfire slave card installed in bottom (black) PCIe slot. Those wires have to touch my ATI 3850HD card, which can reach 80C...makes me nervous. These issues are minor. The major issue is with the BIOS. I think ASUS is playing catchup with the BIOS right now to support new DDR3 memory and new CPU's. Default settings in the 601 BIOS that it shipped with did not properly recognize my Patriot 1333Mhz memory. After reading Patriot's specs, I manually edited the voltage and timings for my memory and it works fine. Beware of AI Transaction Booster in the BIOS. It has settings from 1-8, which is misleading. NEVER set it higher than 2 or maybe 3.

Overall Review: Continued from above: I set the Transaction Booster to 4 (middle option) and it rendered my PC a paperweight. BIOS (601) would not post. Monitor wouldn't even get a signal. Had to clear the CMOS and start over. Overall it's a very good board, but the BIOS has a long way to go to catch up with the new memory and CPU's coming on the market. Again if you're an expert (and this is an expert board), then you can tweak it to run rock solid at specs, but you will have to do some tweaking. Also, I would update to the 903 BIOS and then wait a while for another non-beta release.

Most Critical Review

Fast drive....when it works

Western Digital WD VelociRaptor WD6000HLHX 600GB 10000 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive
Western Digital WD VelociRaptor WD6000HLHX 600GB 10000 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive

Pros: Very fast drive. The next best thing to SSD's.

Cons: Reliability. I've bought 4 raptors over the past 3 years. Two have died in less than a month. Installed two of these drives on a new PC in RAID 0. After a few days I noticed the system lagging. Windows 7 was getting error messages from the drives. On the Asus P6X58D-# there is no way to get the SMART status when the frives are installed on the 6gb SATA 3 Marvel controller. Even in the OS I could not see or isolate each drive to check smart status. After one of the drives failed. Put both in separately and isolated the one that had finally failed. Will RMA tomorrow.

Overall Review: A certain large national retail electronics chain does not carry the WD VelociRaptors anymore. I won't say the name, but they no longer carry them in the stores and are not restocking them. They were in stock two weeks ago. Hummmmm....

Great router. Excellent signal and speed.

ASUS RT-AX89X AX6000 Dual Band WiFi 6 Router, 802.11ax 12 streams 6000Mbps , Lifetime Free Internet Security, supports AiMesh, MU-MIMO, 8 Gb LAN ports, Dual 10G ports (10GBase-T & 10G SFP+), VPN, Gaming & Streaming
ASUS RT-AX89X AX6000 Dual Band WiFi 6 Router, 802.11ax 12 streams 6000Mbps , Lifetime Free Internet Security, supports AiMesh, MU-MIMO, 8 Gb LAN ports, Dual 10G ports (10GBase-T & 10G SFP+), VPN, Gaming & Streaming

Pros: Great signal coverage. Tons of firmware features you just don't see on other routers Handled 25 connected devices well No dropped signals or instability (if properly configured)

Cons: Firmware needs to mature No Merlin compatibility, so stuck with Asus firmware Has features that cause bugs in legacy connections

Overall Review: UPDATE2: Have since purchased an ASUS AX wifi6 card and the difference is amazing. Average speeds in the network is 60-90MB/sec., which is far beyond our 400mbps internet speed. Cons below were addressed with the May 4 firmware, so a solid 5 star. Good signal, awesome speed, no dropped connections, it's a true beast. Still have not used it in a mesh system so that is an unknown for me, but maybe others can comment on that. We don't need mesh with this router. UPDATE; They released a new firmware on May 4. Added Smart Connect (probably helps with AiMesh). Also updated 160mhz instability, which was a problem I noted. Stable so far and faster. Upgraded to this router from an RT-AC3100. Wanted to hold off on a new AX router for a while, but finally decided on this one. Coverage has been consistent with our old router, which was excellent. No problems on VPN connections. Have a NAS attached that works well with it. We cut the cord long ago and use about 1.5-2TB of internet a month with 20-30 devices connected. Does well. It is about 10MB/sec faster than my AC3100 router with file transfers to/from the NAS. Up from 30 to 40MB/sec. using a legacy AC USB PC adapter. The only problem that I have encountered is with the firmware. Old router used Merlin firmware and was rock solid. Merlin does not support this router, so there are slightly less features . I have noticed instability when enabling 160mhz on the 2.4ghz band. Keeping AX features enabled did not cause any issues. Seems to be the 160mhz band option and/or DFS channels. Leave those off and it's solid and stable and still faster. QOS seems to work well if you let it run as adaptive. If you customize the settings, it can cause instability. One other thing, as good as this router is, it may be more beneficial to wait yet another year for WIFI6e routers to hit the market. The 6ghz band will add more speed, coupled with the AX specs on packet efficiency there may be a much more significant speed boost with WIFI6e versus wifi6. It also appears that WIFI6e will require hardware changes, meaning there may not be a firmware update to this router to enable use of the 6ghz spectrum.

Excellent Case for a High-End Build

CM Storm Stryker - White Full Tower Gaming Computer Case with Handle and External 2.5" Drive Dock
CM Storm Stryker - White Full Tower Gaming Computer Case with Handle and External 2.5" Drive Dock

Pros: Roomy - Tons of room and space to work with. You can fit almost anything you want in this case. Large GPU's, large CPU coolers, etc. Front Panel - Has 2 USB3.0 plugs and 2 USB2.0 plugs and HD audio. Also has a manual fan control button. LED fans can be turned on and off. Fans - 4 case fans provide ample air flow for standard builds. Also can add additional fans as needed. Storage Tray - At the bottom is a nice touch. Plug and play 2.5in SSD bay on the front panel is a nice touch. Handle - A very nice touch. Quality - Overall this is a very high quality case

Cons: Tight screws - I have noticed the paint for the case makes some of the case screws tight, to the point you need a screwdriver for what should be a thumb screw. Fan wiring - From the factory, this case comes with all four case fans wired into one fan connector which you can attach to the motherboard. While a nice touch, there is one problem. I can not monitor the speed of the case fans. Since they're all spliced together into one plug, the BIOS can not recognize a fan speed for ANY of the case fans. With a i9-7900X Intel CPU that's hot as heck, it would be nice to add the case fans into my fan settings in the BIOS. As it stands, I have to manually kick up the case fans on the front panel when I do CPU intensive loads. One day when I have time I will go in and rewire the case fans straight to the motherboard.. Instructions - The instructions were poor overall. If you know what you're doing it's not a big issue. But if you're building a PC from scratch for the first time, I imagine the instructions are horrendous. There's still one black two-pin connector that I can not find identified anywhere in the instructions. It has "wings" which appear to be clips of some sort on the sides. Any clues where that attaches on the motherboard? Hard Drive Trays - There are eight of them and they work well. Was not impressed with their cheap, flimsy plastic construction. They work, but are the only low-quality item in this otherwise high-quality case.

Overall Review: I would recommend this case to anyone who has built a PC before. For a beginner, it will take some time to figure things out. Overall it is an excellent case.

Excellent CPU Cooler

MSI Core Frozr L 120mm Hydro-Dynamic Bearing CPU Cooling
MSI Core Frozr L 120mm Hydro-Dynamic Bearing CPU Cooling

Pros: It keeps the CPU very cool It keeps a very hot CPU cool It keeps a slightly overclocked hot CPU cool enough DOES work with a LGA 2066 X299 Intel CPU Keeps my i9-7900X Intel CPU at no hotter than 68C with all 10 cores at 95+% running all 10 cores at 4.3ghz. Idle temps are around 28C for all 10 cores. And that is just with the single fan setup out of the box.

Cons: Need to update the packaging/instructions. Newegg, and others said this was compatible with the LGA2066 chipset. When the package arrived I freaked because nowhere did it mention LGA 2066 on the box or even in the instructions. I followed the mounting instructions for the LGA 2011 and all was well. Size. It's large. But I knew that. Could have issues with the fans hitting RAM sticks on some boards. Also, be sure to plug in your ATX12V plugs at the top of the motherboard to your PSU before setting this CPU cooler. Once it's in, you may not be able to access those plugs. I learned that the hard way.

Overall Review: My Build: Intel Core i9-7900X Skylake-X 10-Core 3.3 GHz LGA 2066 140W BX80673I97900X Desktop Processor ASRock Fatal1ty X299 Professional Gaming i9 XE LGA 2066 Intel X299 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 ATX Intel Motherboard (2x) G.SKILL TridentZ Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) Intel Z170 Platform Desktop Memory Model F4-3200C16D-16GTZ - total of 32GB of memory. Samsung SM961 1TB (NVMe) SM961 MZVKW1T0HMLH-00000 MZ-VKW1T00 Gen3 M.2 80mm PCIe 3.0 x4 1TB SSD TOSHIBA X300 8TB Desktop Hard Drive 7200 RPM 128MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Retail EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 DirectX 12 08G-P4-6684-KR 8GB 256-Bit GDDR5X PCI Express 3.0 SLI Support Video Card EVGA SuperNOVA 850 G2 220-G2-0850-XR 80+ GOLD 850W Fully Modular EVGA ECO Mode Includes FREE Power On Self Tester Power Supply MSI Core Frozr L 120mm Hydro-Dynamic Bearing CPU Cooling CM Storm Stryker - White Full Tower Gaming Computer Case with Handle and External 2.5" Drive Dock

Perfect (Versitile) CPU

Intel Core i9 X-Series - Core i9-7900X Skylake-X 10-Core 3.3 GHz LGA 2066 140W BX80673I97900X Desktop Processor
Intel Core i9 X-Series - Core i9-7900X Skylake-X 10-Core 3.3 GHz LGA 2066 140W BX80673I97900X Desktop Processor

Pros: I do two things a lot. Gaming and video editing. Gaming thrives on few cores, and raw speed. Video editing thrives on multiple cores with lower speeds. Intel hit a home run with this CPU. It offers the raw speed needed for gaming, but also has 10 cores that can churn multi-core applications, like video editing. This CPU sips power when idle at 1.2ghz. But when you need it, it can run the clock all the way up to 4.3ghz on 10 cores, AT STOCK. Plus, I have yet to see any heat issues doing anything with this CPU at stock settings. I've run all 10 cores at 4.3ghz editing videos and benchmarking and the highest temp I've seen is 68C with all cores at 98%. You can basically do anything you want at stock settings with this CPU with the MSI Core Frozr L CPU cooler and a Cooler Master Storm Stryker Full Tower case with stock fans.

Cons: Probably not the best gaming CPU or the best for overclocking. When you moderately or heavily overclock 10 cores, heat WILL become an issue.

Overall Review: Intel Core i9-7900X Skylake-X 10-Core 3.3 GHz LGA 2066 140W BX80673I97900X Desktop Processor ASRock Fatal1ty X299 Professional Gaming i9 XE LGA 2066 Intel X299 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 ATX Intel Motherboard (2x) G.SKILL TridentZ Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) Intel Z170 Platform Desktop Memory Model F4-3200C16D-16GTZ - total of 32GB of memory. Samsung SM961 1TB (NVMe) SM961 MZVKW1T0HMLH-00000 MZ-VKW1T00 Gen3 M.2 80mm PCIe 3.0 x4 1TB SSD TOSHIBA X300 8TB Desktop Hard Drive 7200 RPM 128MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Retail EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 DirectX 12 08G-P4-6684-KR 8GB 256-Bit GDDR5X PCI Express 3.0 SLI Support Video Card EVGA SuperNOVA 850 G2 220-G2-0850-XR 80+ GOLD 850W Fully Modular EVGA ECO Mode Includes FREE Power On Self Tester Power Supply MSI Core Frozr L 120mm Hydro-Dynamic Bearing CPU Cooling CM Storm Stryker - White Full Tower Gaming Computer Case with Handle and External 2.5" Drive Dock