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james k.

james k.

Joined on 10/06/08

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 12
Most Favorable Review

It arrived a little bit broken

Fractal Design Define R4 Black Silent ATX Midtower Computer Case
Fractal Design Define R4 Black Silent ATX Midtower Computer Case

Pros: If you are a hardware nerd like me, you will likely find this case to be beautiful in its simplicity. That's important to me when choosing a case, since that is the part I always have to look at. I'm happy to report the sound deadening works just fine. I'll be using this case for storage so there will be 8 hard drives in this case. There is plenty of room behind the drive bays for cable management.

Cons: It arrived broken. The plastic pins at the top that hold the front fascia to the metal case had broken off. There was also a dent in the metal behind the back panel. So minus 1 egg. The fans aren't 4 pin PWM. In a case that is supposed to be silent, PWM fan control is a must. I've got other fans, so not a big issue for me, but it would be nice to not to have to replace them.

Overall Review: Fractal has a pretty good reputation so I'm going to take the broken plastic pins and dent as a fluke. Likely they both happened at the same time. It's really not a big deal to me. The dent doesn't effect anything and i just super-glued the pins back in place. This case looks great and is aesthetically completely different compared to my current gaming rig. Which is packed with blue led's and UV lights to make the waterloop look good. The R4 isn't flashy, it just looks good. It's like a black suit. You get a lot of case for what you pay. I'll build a new gaming rig during the next year after the release of all the new hardware. When I do, this case will receive strong consideration. Or maybe an R5 if I get crazy.

Most Critical Review

It works? Sort of?

ASUS ROG STRIX X99 GAMING LGA 2011-v3 Intel X99 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 ATX Intel Motherboard
ASUS ROG STRIX X99 GAMING LGA 2011-v3 Intel X99 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: Nothing really sticks out as a huge pro. It lives up to expectations. The bios are easy to use I guess. I like the black aesthetic.

Cons: The BIOS became corrupted and the restore was a long process. For me at least. I may have been doing it wrong. A Windows reinstall was also needed after the BIOS restore. I had the 00 q-code and power on and off loop. The RGB lighting is somewhat underwhelming.

Overall Review: I did a USB BIOS flashback to 0601. It didn't just happen though. Like you stick a thumb drive into the USB port and BAM!!! You're up and running. No. It was sort of a strange and lengthy thing and seemed to need the right components installed to work. Starting with all hardware removed from the board. 00 code until the processor was removed. Quite possibly I wasn't doing it correctly. The motherboard manual doesn't describe the process. It would get through a few more Q-codes and hang each time it restarted. b6, d6, 66, 67 and four or five others. It finally stopped at 99 which has something to do with a display adapter not being detected. So that was weird. I had to dig out a VGA cable and use that. It wouldn't work with a digital output. It then wouldn't boot from the M.2 drive anymore but if i selected one of the other SSDs it would boot right into windows. I'm not really sure what was going in with that. Anyways, I've got windows installed on the m.2 drive again and everything seems to be working fine right now. I need to rebuild the waterloop before I can be sure. I think I was running 0801 BIOS when all this happened. I haven't tried the most current BIOS version. I attempted the BIOS restore without components installed on the mother board. This was based on a mention on one YouTube tech channel or another that it was possible. The motherboard manual doesn't mention this. So I'm not sure if it is a thing or not. But it worked. Everything is working for now but I would probably not buy this motherboard again. I recently had a FX970 Aura motherboard and I had a ton of issues updating the bios on that. If I'm honest, I'm kind of down on Asus right now. Intel customer support is fantastic. For some reason, I initially determined my processor was at fault. They were ready to send me a new one within 24 hours of my first email to them. Then I got things sorted so I didn't need it.

Maybe good for you.

ASUS Prime X670E-PRO WIFI 6E Socket AM5 (LGA 1718) Ryzen 7000 ATX Motherboard (PCIe 5.0, DDR5, 14+2 Teamed Power Stages, 4x M.2 slots, USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C, USB4 Support, WIFI 6E, and 2.5G Ethernet)
ASUS Prime X670E-PRO WIFI 6E Socket AM5 (LGA 1718) Ryzen 7000 ATX Motherboard (PCIe 5.0, DDR5, 14+2 Teamed Power Stages, 4x M.2 slots, USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C, USB4 Support, WIFI 6E, and 2.5G Ethernet)

Pros: Everything you need. Nothing you don't. Asus Prime boards don't have a bunch of extra stuff you don't want. They look good. VRM cooling is good for an R7 7700X. At least, according to AI Suite. Asus BIOS are easy to navigate and use. Initially, boot times were long. Just like AM4. But it's not so bad once you get the system up and running.

Cons: Changed to 1 egg from 2. It's been frustrating. The Clear CMOS button does nothing. As noted by another reviewer. Maybe there is a trick to it? This isn't my first Asus board and not the most complex I've used. They've got it right in the past. A functioning clear CMOS button shouldn't be an issue. If you want to overclock, this is a bit of a pain. At the end of the day, the board doesn't work as advertised. Less of a big issue, the CPU_OPT fan header seems to be linked to the CPU fan header. It's not an individual fan header you can control. Maybe there is a way to change that but I could'nt find it. The manual is not clear. Why would I want one less fan header that I can do whatever I want with. Maybe this is a thing, but I've not come across it. Some things about this board didn't work out of the box. The Wifi and bluetooth. They needed drivers. Not a big deal if you have a second computer to download drivers. But if you don't and you need the Wifi to work, you're going to be frustrated. The manual states: "The M.2_2 shares banwidth with SATA 6G_1&2 ports. When M.2_2 runs at PCIe x4 mode, SATA6G_1&2 will be disabled." Fine. I don't know if that actually happens beacause I have drive in M.2_4 and at PCIe x4 and that disables the SATA ports. Which is it ASUS? Pretty awesome when you follow the manufacturer directions and have to immediately jump into troubleshooting.

Overall Review: As noted in other reviews, this board is more silver than white. If that matters to you.

We're going to need a bigger case.

MSI Gaming (MSI) GeForce RTX 4090 24GB GDDR6X PCI Express 4.0 Video Card RTX 4090 GAMING X TRIO 24G
MSI Gaming (MSI) GeForce RTX 4090 24GB GDDR6X PCI Express 4.0 Video Card RTX 4090 GAMING X TRIO 24G

Pros: Runs cool. The fans are quiet. With default fan curve, Gpu hotspot never exceeded 80.9C at 430ish watts. Headroom for overclocking is there. It almost seems like the cooler doesn't need to be this big. See below.

Cons: It's easy to look at the size of the 4090 cards and joke around. Until you find that you can't put your side panel on unless you shell out extra cash for a vertical gpu bracket. But the vertical gpu bracket wont allow you to use the bottom radiator you planned on using. Har har har! Lol at the size. Case is a Lian Li O11D. 4 eggs because the coil whine is intense at times. I wear headphones. If you don't, be prepared to have that noise burrow into your brain. But that is the coil whine lottery. Sometimes you win it. Sometimes you don't.

Overall Review: It's a good card. The seller, HIDevolution US, got it out on time and I recieved it at the same time as my Newegg Marketplace orders.

Works well

MSI A68HI AC FM2+ AMD A68H SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI Mini ITX AMD Motherboard
MSI A68HI AC FM2+ AMD A68H SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI Mini ITX AMD Motherboard

Pros: Everything works well.

Cons: This board would not boot with an Athlon X4 845 without a BIOS update. This is a processor that was released in the last month or so. Not a huge deal for me. But it may be for others. It was fine with an A10 7850K.

Overall Review: This board is ideal for an HTPC build. If you want to overclock, look elsewhere.

Perfect

ADATA Premier Pro SP900 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) ASP900S3-128GM-C
ADATA Premier Pro SP900 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) ASP900S3-128GM-C

Pros: I have windows and many other programs on this drive. Would buy again.

Cons: None yet.

Overall Review: If you are looking for a lower capacity drive to install windows on, this works well. But you could probably find a cheaper drive. Even if an alternative is a little slower, it is probably not enough to be noticed.