Date Joined: 05/02/05
Pros: The card sounds amazing compared to previous SoundBlaster sound cards. The headphone amp is a noticeable upgrade and the sound is excellent through my PC 360 Sennheisers.
The software and drivers provided worked without a glitch and installed easily on Windows 8. The RCA female jacks for the front speaker output allow more cable choices when running self-powered monitor type speakers. The software works and has a good interface which is fairly intuitive. You can leave the headphones connected all of the time and use the software to toggle from speakers to headphones. The remote control for the headphones and mic allows for either size of male connectors and feels like a solid unit.
Does not require additional power connector for operation. No noticeable interference or noise.
Inserted cards, hooked up cables, installed software and the cards worked as advertised. How can you complain about that???
Cons: The included instructions are not great but the install was so simple maybe not a big negative.
Overall Review: Just a heads up. Make sure you look at the outputs and inputs on this new card as they are not typical of a sound card. The included cables will work with most components but it may be an issue for some systems. The included cable for connection of the two cards may be too short if you are running several video cards and your slots are arranged to force separating the cards too far. The good thing is this is not a proprietary cable.
Can usually find on sale if you are not in a hurry to build.
Hybrid mode a plus when trying to reduce computer noise.
Modular design and cables are excellent.
Overall Review: Every Seasonic power supply that I have purchased has been excellent with no issues.
Pros: This case is large for a mid-tower.
Case is also deep which aids in installation.
The case is very easy to install hardware. Plenty of room.
Very solid case.
Thermaltake Water2.0 Extreme fits in designed push through fashion at top of case without clearance issues with top cover. Clean install.
Shipping container top notch. If damage occurs, shipper should be ashamed.
Great feet on case.
Larger than standard ATX motherboards will fit.
Cable management options excellent.
Cons: Filter for power supply requires removal of power supply to clean filter completely.
Overall Review: Make sure you check the case dimensions before ordering if you have size restrictions.
The X dock trays and doors on Coolermaster HAF XB are far better than this system.
Filter on Coolermaster HAF XB for power supply much better design.
Pros: Easy to work on motherboard.
Cools very well.
Well built and very sturdy case.
Good customer service on questions about case before purchase.
Cons: Can not mount Thermaltake Water2.0 Extreme in standard push thru fan mounting with large video card. Works in pull thru layout.
The mounting of the power supply and hot swap drive back to back leaves little room for wiring. CM offset the power supply mounting out the back about 1" as they must of realized the problem they created. Still a bummer to work on after assembly even with the nice removable side panels.
Once the motherboard is installed you can not access wiring in the lower section very easily. If you build this case make sure you have all your Sata and power cables planned out and attached to power supply prior to installing motherboard. A real pain.
The case is huge. That is a good thing I guess but the use of the space is not well thought out. They could have easily made the case shorter and narrower with better planning. The case is so large it causes problems on how to set on or below desk.
Overall Review: Make sure you have room for this case in your current arrangement. This is a big case. I have already replaced this case with a Coolermaster HAF XM which was far easier to install and easily accepts the Thermaltake Water 2.0 Extreme. There is room for E-ATX boards in this case but you will reduce the room for a all-in-one water cooler and reduce room for wire routing from bottom section.
I wish I would have built a cardboard full size model of this case before purchase. If you have the room, this is a very good case except it is a little tough on installation but very doable
Pros: Very stable
Excellent total modular setup
Excellent cable selection
Cons: None well maybe one minor.
Hard to see gold ID labels on back of PSU for modular cable location.
Overall Review: Great PSU for Corsair 500R case install. PSUs are becoming more important as RAM and SSD voltages become more critical to stable system operation.
Pros: Great fit on 1155 boards
Quiet at lower settings
Cooling not a limiting factor for overclocking i5-2500K
Cons: Only adequate install instructions
Loud fans at max setting but they do move a lot of air due to the high RPM.
Overall Review: Poor install instruction solution is to visit Corsair forum. Excellent install topic for H100 install. Explains all electrical connections and options for various setups. Good explanation of how system works. A must read.
Great fit for Corsair 500R case. Reverse flow of case rear exhaust fan to maximize cooling.
Pros: Great layout
Best solution for H100 install
USB 3.0 on front panel
Better than average cable management
Plenty of room for Video Cards
Easy hard drive and peripheral install
Cons: Side panel retaining screws low quality. Much better systems out there.
PSU install requires attention. Two rivets at bottom rear of case need to be filed down to clear bottom of power supply. The rivets hold the bracket for the bottom air filter. They are aluminum rivets so the material removal is easy. Remove material on rivets until PSU slides in without hitting.
Overall Review: Other than 2 issues mentioned above, case is an easy install. Install manual could be better.
Pros: Easy install
Blazing fast as boot drive
Updated firmware (1.3.3) installed
Overall Review: Worried about using Sata 6 SSDs for boot drive. Corsair forum has excellent info for setting up SSDs as boot drive and maximizing performance.
Was shocked when Windows 7 took less than 15 minutes to load and configure.
Pros: Everything works!
Overclocking a breeze
Support information excellent
Bios and factory settings excellent for using SSD as boot drive
Cons: None so far
Overall Review: I was worried about using a Sata 6 SSD (Corsair Force GT 180GB) for boot drive with all of the bad reviews. The New Egg videos on building a computer and ASUS product info helped select as well as set up equipment. Corsair forums were excellent in explaining how to set up SSD boot drives and Windows 7 to get maximum performance from most setups. I was shocked when it took less than 15 minutes to load Windows 7 and comfigure setup. Thank you New Egg, ASUS and Corsair for great products.