Date Joined: 07/10/04
Pros: I'll second what most of the other 344 reviews here are saying... great, fast SSD. I'm a big fan of Samsung and their cutting edge products.
Overall Review: I just completed my latest build with an ASUS Z170-A board, Skylake 6600K OC'd to 4.6GHz and 16GB of DDR4 GSkill RAM along with Windows 10. I installed and ran Samsung Rapid Mode. Before enabling Rapid Mode my Sequential Read/Writes were both in the 500s, exactly where I'd expect to be.
But after enabling it, the benchmark cranked out over 8,175MB/s (as in over 8GB/s). I wish I could attach a screen shot. I love big numbers and great results, but this just seems too good to be true. I'm not sure I believe it.
Pros: Let's face it, there is no shortage of high quality companies making power supplies. And they proudly advertise their products too. I'm no different than anyone else and when I start my next build I always start my search certain I will choose one of those.
Then, I always seem to bump into Rosewill during the process. And once again, it becomes apparent to me their pricing is on the lower end. So I'm thinking quality must be sacrificed at this price point. Then I read the Newegg reviews and almost all the users are raving about them.
At that point I can no longer deny what I'm seeing, so I make the purchase.
Count me among the others... Five Stars.
Cons: The power supply has a built-in auto fan control, but the fan never turns off completely as it does, for instance, on my video card. I'm wondering if that's possible? The fan is quiet, but dead silent is even better.
Pros: Once again, another flawless experience with this company and their boards. I quickly updated the bios to 1101, then 1203 came out about a week ago. Point is, updating the bios is a breeze because of the outstanding UEFI, so easy. And the board immediately recognized all devices plugged into it including my flash drives with the bios updates.
An even bigger highlight though is their 5 Way Optimization software. One mouse click, sit back, relax, go make yourself a sandwich and watch your computer overclock your (unlocked) processor and calibrate your fans for super fast and dead silent operation.
I have a 6600K with base clock of 3.5MHz and I sailed to 4.6MHz on everyone's favorite air cooler (yes the Hyper 212 EVO).
For my money, it is both ASUS's UEFI and their 5 Way Optimization software that transforms their fine motherboards into a great experience.
If you aren't a big risk-taker and still want to overclock, this combination takes all the guesswork out it.
Overall Review: Make sure you watch J.J. from ASUS either on the Newegg TV channel or ASUS's own videos on youtube. Just search for '5 Way Optimization'. He is tremendous and gives you all the finer points for Auto Tuning and Fan Xpert.
Pros: I just completed my latest build and am very happy so far with this pair. In fact, I just ordered another pair from Newegg for a total of 16GB.
Cons: None, smooth as silk!
Overall Review: My ASUS Z170-A motherboard (also purchased from Newegg) booted up into auto mode of course and the Bios selected 2,133MHz for this RAM. It was very easy to manually select the 2,666MHz clock from a dropdown menu in the UEFI. None of my hardware protested this change, so everything is running perfectly at the G.Skill specification. All is good!
Pros: I didn't really want a touch screen interface, but was pleasantly surprised. It is very responsive with the lightest touches. The interface is very straightforward and easy to understand. It's a little too cartoonish for me, but it's still a sensible layout.
Cons: Fan controller outputs four (4) and five (5) were dead on arrival. At least the other three functioned normally giving me a chance to see how the unit's operation worked.
Overall Review: My PC case and components are already safely cool, but I didn't have any ability to slow my case fans down and reduce noise. I bought this with the sole purpose of running the fans in manual mode and slowing them down thereby reducing noise. I had no need to implement the thermal sensors, so I can't comment on how the unit performs running in Auto mode using the sensors.
Operating the fans in manual mode was simple and straightforward. My only complaint is you can only control the fan between 40% and 100%. If you try and go below 40% it shuts the fan off. Minor complaint.
I will be sending this back to Newegg for an exchange; if I get better results the second time around I will edit this review and give it a better rating.
Pros: There are significant performance improvements over earlier versions including Windows 7. Many people are upset with this new OS, but this is not Windows Vista all over again. Yes, it's a jarring change in the User Interface, but under the hood, it's a solid OS and a step forward.
Cons: I actually don't mind the Metro UI (see why below). I'm lucky though, I use dual monitors so I can have the best of both worlds in front of me all the time (Metro on one, Desktop on the other). But if you're only using one monitor, toggling between Metro and Desktop is as easy as one press of the Windows key, no big deal.
My two gripes are as follows. Moving your mouse to the corner of the screen to display the charms bar is a pain. I'd rather if it would react to the mouse at any point the cursor is along the right edge of the screen, similar to how the old hidden task bar reacted.
Secondly, what is up with the Windows Store? Oh sure, there are plenty of apps there, many look like fun or useful, many are free, and more are added all the time, but they are completely disorganized! There is no rhyme or reason to how they are ordered. Just rows and columns of random apps. But what's worse is there is no search option, argh!!! I just can't figure that out.
Certainly we can all agree that Windows 8 is a touch screen interface which they've used as the new skin for their OS, and some features are clearly more cumbersome than would be if using it in touch screen mode.
Outside of this though, my experience has been smooth with Windows 8.
Overall Review: Lots of 'other' thoughts here.
I use computers at work with proprietary interfaces, which might explain why I'm more prone to accept change.
But here is my overarching point. Many people are upset about losing the Start button. I don't mean to be unsympathetic, but seriously? I guess I'm showing my age here, but my first computer came home in 1992 and I was using good 'ol Windows 3.1. I actually grew to like it because everything you needed was always right in front of you on the 3.1 desktop in the various compartments.
Then along came Windows 95 and the Start Button. Honestly? I hated it. I don't understand the love affair with clicking the start button, which reveals a menu, then navigating to another cascading menu, let's see oh there it is, then clicking to a third cascading menu and wait, no it's not there. See my point? This is very inefficient, you are just used to it.
Operating systems are just launching pads, that's it. Whether you click a desktop shortcut, hunt for an app in the Windows Start cascading menus, or click a Windows 8 Tile, what's the big deal? By simply clicking on the Windows 8 search icon in the charms bar, it instantly brings up every installed app in your computer, including all the power tools power users love. Speaking of power users, the new Task Manager rocks!!
So you can pin or unpin anything you want from that master list to your Metro desktop for quick access.
Bottom line: If you're a Windows 7 user, that's still a great OS and you should not feel compelled to upgrade. But if you're retiring an old computer and starting anew, I'd recommend you accept reality and stay current - get Windows 8.
Pros: I have to be careful here, or someone is going to accuse me of being on the ASUS payroll. There are other excellent motherboard manufacturers competing in this arena as you know, but this company just continues to impress me in every respect, ranging from build quality, software and customer support.
The only broken piece of ASUS hardware I've had is when my daughter dropped a chair on her sister's Eee PC and smashed it. Oh, and ASUS repaired it *at no charge*. I was shocked! That's my experience with their customer support.
Just like the ASUS P8Z77-V PRO I used for my Ivy Bridge build last year, this board was another utterly pleasant experience. Thanks to all the other components working properly, the board fired up with zero problems or hassles.
After loading Windows 8 64bit, it was time to play with the outstanding AI Suite 3 software. First up, check the BIOS. My version was something like v980. Their main utilities are found using the dropdown menu at the top. Using EZ Update, it immediately found v1007, then downloaded and installed it while I applauded. However, I decided to go to ASUS's web site and look around anyway and to my surprise I found a newer BIOS version, v1205. It had only been there a few days which might explain why it wasn't picked up yet by EZ Update. Nevertheless, it gave me a chance to explore another utility: USB BIOS Flashback Wizard. So I downloaded the *.cap file onto a USB drive, stuck it in the USB flashback slot, fired up the utility, there was the file, click, done. Again, all this inside the Windows OS, no fuss, no muss.
The installation disk had the latest chipset drivers, so I didn't have to do anything there.
Next - overclocking my Intel i7-4770K Haswell. Back to AI3. In one or two mouse clicks I went from the stock 3.5Ghz clock to 4.3Ghz. Amazing, and it's so nice to know it's intelligently doing everything with no fear of smoking a $350 dollar processor. It optimizes and boosts the timings of other hardware too, such as the memory.
This is my second build using the ASUS Fan Expert utility, and it's my second dead-quiet computer. And I'm using air cooling, the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo. I'm also only using my two stock fans that came in my Fractal Design R4 case (front and rear). Idle temps are around 29C.
The Wi-Fi and Bluetooth work great, I'm using 5G. I've also tried various multi-monitor combos using all three of the outputs (HDMI, DVI & RGB) and they flawlessly come up every time.
There are so many features on this board I haven't referenced because I haven't gotten around to playing with them.
So I'll end by saying ASUS has once again exceeded my expectations, which is hard to do at this point since I expect nothing but the best from them.
Cons: The latest BIOS released by ASUS did not show up immediately in the EZ Update utility.
Overall Review: If you are thinking about buying one of these motherboards, you owe it to yourself to watch the Newegg channel on youtube. Once there just do a search for "newegg channel asus z87".
At this point you'll see a variety of great demos and tutorials that Paul (from Newegg) and J.J. (from ASUS) conduct.
For example, if you aren't highly technical, but still want to overclock your board, watch this video: ASUS Z87 AiSuite III + 4 Way Optimization OC Demo
It's really remarkable how far motherboards have come, and the day has truly arrived where they have made this kind of customization easy, and we can all participate in the fun! Enjoy.
Pros: If you're shopping for this part, you've likely read the professional reviews and analysis on the it, and you have now formed certain expectations as to how this chip should perform. Now you're wanting to hear from the real-world users. I'll do my best.
I installed this chip on the ASUS Z87-Pro board along with 8GB of Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600 ram.
But it's what I *didn't* install that's more important - no video card.
I decided to try and torture the on-board video chip built into the 4770K. First, I decided to throw three monitors at it. The central (primary) monitor is a massive 24" IPS Dell Monitor (1920x1200). I then flanked it with two Samsung 17" (1280x1024) monitors.
What's interesting is every monitor used a different video connection. Primary used HDMI, Samsung1 used DVI, and Samsung2 used the analog RGB connection.
I was certain there would be a conflict, or at least some weird artifacts with using the variety of video connections. None whatsoever. My three monitors blazed away and were easy to configure.
I am a meteorologist and use fancy radar software to interrogate thunderstorms. One thing the software does is it displays a 3D volume scan of the storm, and as I tilt and rotate the storm around on my screen, it must constantly render it. I have used this software on a variety of earlier generation computers (with video cards) and have easily choked them by doing this, causing the image to freeze or at least stutter. With this current setup, I am twirling my storms around like a ballerina, and the motion is smooth as silk. And keep in mind this is all while I'm still driving three monitors.
For my final setup, I decided to get another 24" Dell and am now using a dual monitor config with these two monsters. Breathtaking!
As per performance, thanks to the great ASUS software, paranoid people like me can safely overclock their hardware with just a click or two of the mouse. I'm using very minimal cooling in my Fractal Design Define R4 case, just the front intake, rear exhaust and the great Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO heat sink.
The ASUS overclocking software immediately bounced my speed up to 4.3Ghz, and that's where I left it. I can't imagine I couldn't have gone higher though because the chip isn't breaking a sweat. Idle temperatures are at 29C, and the highest I've seen so far with the proc pegged at 4.3Ghz (video sequencing) was 40C.
I can't recommend this chip any more highly.
Pros: What can I say that hasn't already been said? This cooler not only does the job extremely well, but you can't beat the price either!
Some details. I'm running the new i7-4770K overclocked to 4.2Ghz on the ASUS Z87-Pro board. My case is a Fractal Design Define R4. I am only using the stock fans that came with the case, the front intake and the rear exhaust. All that's left is the cpu cooler/fan. The fan's are running at a significantly reduced rpm too since I activated ASUS's 'Fan Expert' fan controller software.
At idle, cpu temps hover around 29/30C. Ambient temperature in my house is 74F. Thus, even at 30C (86F) the cpu is only 12 degrees warmer than the air in my house.
Then, I ran a video compiler which took hundreds of jpg images and sequenced them into a video (I make time lapses). With Windows 8 Task Manager open (far more sophisticated than any previous task manager) I was able to watch the cpu clock speed, while watching cpu temperatures using ASUS's AI Suite 3 software.
I observed the cpu clock speed jump right up and peg 4.2Ghz, although utilization (average across the cores) was only about 18%). Nonetheless, the cpu temps only jumped up and hovered around 39/40C. Quite honestly I was shocked. I was expecting temps at least in the 50s, if not the 60s! And of course once the process completes, literally within one second the temps dropped right back down to 30C - talk about heat dissipation!! I wish I could give this thing more than five stars.
Cons: The mounting screws on the bracket have two positions, depending on what slot you're using. I always have the hardest time getting those screws to slide from one position to the other. I'm probably doing something wrong, could use a clearer tutorial on how that mechanism works.
Overall Review: Normally I use a more 'esoteric' thermal paste for my builds, but decided I'd try the Cooler Master thermal paste that came with the cooler . Obviously I'm happy with the results.
Pros: It's cheap! But it doesn't feel cheap. Oh sure, it has a plastic disc tray, but what would you expect? Importantly, there's no undue noises, rattles, vibrations, or anything else that might give it away while reading discs. Highly recommended.
Pros: I just completed my 25th build and I've had my hands in a lot of cases. First, this case is gorgeous, pure and simple. Obviously it appeals to someone wanting a minimalist look and not a fire-breathing dragon facade. The brushed metal door is well-built, sturdy and shuts with a nice magnetic latch.
Secondly, the sound proofing is fantastic. I'm only using the stock fans, no additional. The other fan vents are covered in sound proofing until of course you decide to remove them to install additional fans. The air flow with only a front fan, cpu fan, and rear fan must be very good because my overclocked i7-4770K (4.2Ghz) runs cool as a cucumber, again with just air cooling.
A big reason for good air flow is the case is a bit wider than most, allowing for running all your wires behind the motherboard which I did. It's a great feature yielding a great-looking build along with cooler and quieter operation.
The drive trays are removable, allowing for easy installation, and no adapters were needed for SSD drives.
Overall Review: Still can't get over how quiet it is, of course that's also thanks to my motherboard's fan controls. Case fans are running around 440rpm, the cpu fan hovers around 720rpm.
Pros: Flawless, delighted again with Corsair.
Overall Review: Seems like Memory either works the way it should, or it arrives defective. There isn't much in between here. I've been lucky over the years; I've never had a defective stick as I knock on wood.
Pros: I haven't noticed it, which is the way I like my Power Supplies. It's dead silent which was important, this build put a priority on a quiet machine. It's not under much load right now, even with the i7-4770K overclocked to 4.2Ghz. I'm using the integrated graphics core, so no video card in this box right now.
Pros: Has streamed flawlessly every video and audio file I have thrown at it. Why on earth would you hassle with a HTPC?
Very flexible too. Can use ethernet or wireless (have not needed the wireless capability), internet access, usb ports for direct connections to external hard drives, HDMI output... very nice.
User-friendly interface, really easy to use.
Cons: Possible design flaw with their RF Filter, if they're even using one. See thoughts below.
If the remote breaks or you lose it (quite small) then what? You might want to back it up using a learning remote.
Overall Review: I had to knock off one egg for this. The device is apparently leaking enough RF to completely disrupt and render my MX-3000 Home Theater remote useless. I tried locating the WD device in several locations in my home theater closet, same result. My home theater remote was no longer communicating with the IR repeater in the closet.
Once I removed it, the home theater remote worked perfectly again. So I moved the WD device up to my family room where I have another surround sound setup, but no RF remotes, and everything works perfectly. It turns out, we're using it much more this way anyway since we rarely go down to the theater.
If you're not using an RF remote I can't recommend this unit more highly.