Date Joined: 12/27/04
Pros: I have a love/hate relationship with Antec. This case is on the love side. Beautiful paint job if you like gloss black. Plastic on the front isn’t bad, just run of the mill. The on off button speaks “quality” when pushed. Blue LED that seems to be popular nowadays is there. Nice cable management system made it easy to hide all but one cable from view. The front access panel to HDDs, media drives, additional fans (not included), and additional cable routes is nice. I like that the case includes ways to tuck away unused parts as if Antec expects that you will want to open up the case again after the initial build to add new toys… go figure do it yourselfer! The side panel sound dampers do tone down the fan noise noticeably (not completely). I typically choose 120 mm fans for my builds. I did break down and get an extra 92mm HDD fan for this build with the ability to set it on medium low. I don’t have any 80 mm or smaller in this case.
Cons: I had a problem lining up my ATECH multicard reader using the 3.5 inch cage with the front of the case and had to jerryrig it – bummer. This actually was the longest part of my build and I have a problem charging my time for stuff like this which frustrates me. The 5.25 Lite-On DVD I chose lined up perfectly… why oh why did the 3.5 not go as smooth! I just needed 1/4 inch more sliding room to attach the reader - could have been easily designed with that breathing room. Dimension limitations for my build dictated no larger case than this one. Now, don’t misunderstand, this is not a small case by any means but as others have said the case is a tight in some areas. My only work space problem was the initial entry of the ATX motherboard. After some Houdini magic I was even able to save my fingers for another build. I installed a SILENCER 610 PSU from PC Power & Cooling easily.
Overall Review: I have built enough PCs to know what I want physically setup on my motherboard prior to attaching it to the case. If this is your first build expect that you will need to pull out your motherboard after realizing you missed a step or two. Try to save yourself hardship and read your manuals first, online before your purchase would be even better. I promise it will be worth the time spent! My build was heavy based on the components I choose. It’s my fault and I knew it was happening as I chose parts. This case is heavy. I count it as quality and this PC is staying put. The soft pads underneath the case were a nice surprise as I’m sure that they reduce vibration that might otherwise be audible. I didn’t use the rubber band HDD system although I probably could have done so. I just don’t like having any parts that could potentially move from where I set them especially since this build was not for me.
Pros: I purchased the board based on its Intel P35 chipset and compatibility for 45nm quad-core. Its FSB and RAM support options didn’t hurt me either. I chose my RAM from the approved list (Corsair) found at the web site and am pleased with the decision. My build had Windows Vista as a requirement and thus influence the decision for this board over others I was considering. This is my second Gigabyte purchase having used another popular brand exclusively in the past. I will purchase Gigabyte again in the future. The heat distribution system is a nice touch. The side effect of this heat sink system is weight gain. If you are building with weight limit constraints be sure to check out specs. Gigabyte’s attention to detail has impressed me. The software set is well designed and flexible enough for novel tweaking. The web site was easy to obtain the latest updates. I have not needed to call their support.
Cons: This build did not need dual graphics so I didn’t make my decision based on Crossfire compatibility although this may excite some. Please refer to the manual about dual graphics capabilities as they didn’t look impressive to me. I installed a single EVGA 8600 GTS superclocked and it works beautifully. The only cable I couldn’t make near invisible is the darn HD audio cable. I run into this with most boards seemingly there is that one cable that sticks out its ugly head!
Overall Review: I use non-stock CPU cooling fans (Zalman 9500 usually) so I needed to detach the CPU heat sink from underneath the motherboard. The directions for doing this could be a little better for the visual learner such as me. TIP: The SilentPipe piece is glued on so it simply peels off with some coercion. Once you unpeel this decorative piece you have access to the last screw that you need to get the CPU heat sink off. It’s up to you if you want to reattach the decorative piece. I worry a bit that it may fall off towards graphics card.
Pros: Great concept. Easy initial setup. Seems to have most features that I wanted in a surveillance camera.
Cons: The camera crashes routinely within a day if you use the recording features. Resetting the camera makes it work again but the you loose your settings and reliability isn't cutting it. I tried this crash and reset routine for 4 days in a row attempting several different ways of achieving my surveillance camera goals, and am tired of this one. Tech Support only helped me reset the device which is clearly in the manual so that wasn't much help. I don't want to daily reset the device, I want it to work. IPView SE hard crashes the PC if you use ALT-TAB to switch between programs and land on it.
Overall Review: I'm not happy with this purchase. The cost of the camera to feature ratio is okay but the product is not ready. Perhaps a firmware update is needed. I don't have any more time to spend on this product unfortunately. I'm looking elsewhere.
Pros: For a basic small form computer this unit is worth a look. It comes with just about anything a standard user could want plus some extra nice touches. I really enjoyed this build. I built three SFF PCs with this Asus T2 PH1 and will purchase again specifically because of the Quiet Fan technology. I recommend reading the manual available online at ASUS web site prior to purchase to see if it will meet your needs. There isn’t much you can do wrong with this system if you are new to building PCs.
Cons: The SATA hard drive is a little tricky if you don’t follow the directions exactly. Tip: Use the included SATA cable and visualize how it will connect to the hard drive and you will find there is only one logical way to fit the drive. If you do that, it will fit just right. The processor fan was much quieter after I updated the BIOS so I would recommend that you see if your unit needs a BIOS upgrade, especially if it seems like your fan kicks in to high gear with basic computer usage (and you’ve ruled out any CPU installation error on your part :-)). It is easy to upgrade the BIOS and there are several methods – I chose floppy drive method. The power supply is sufficient for a standard computer. I would like it to have just a little more juice but haven't had any issues.
Overall Review: As with any build you have to decide the purpose. If you don’t want to piece together every single component but do want to have some fun putting together a SFF computer picking out your preferred RAM, CPU, HDD, and Optical Drives then this is worth your investigation. I will purchase again.