Joined on 09/06/06
Superb Cooling But Size Can Make Installation of Other Components Difficult
Pros: - I have not been able to get my Intel i7-8700k (running at max without overclocking) above 55C in an ambient temperature of 21C. CPU idles at around 38C. And my case doesn't have particularly good cooling properties. - Great construction and quality. - Pretty quiet unless running at high rpms. - Includes good tube of thermal paste (no need to purchase your own) - Good printed instructions included. - Fan detaches for easier installation. You can also add another fan. - You get a nice metal-like Noctua logo sticker you can stick on your case. It's a bit bigger in size than the typical Intel sticker.
Cons: - The fan is a rather ugly color that doesn't really go with any modern post-1990s case/mobo - Obviously, this is not a cheap CPU cooler. - Huge size made it tricky to install/wire some other components on the mobo (details below)
Overall Review: I have this CPU cooler supporting my Intel i7-8700k in a Fractal Design Define R6 case (tempered glass version). I also have an EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW2 iCX GPU which also cranks out heat. My case is designed to minimize noise, often at the expense of cooling. That said, I haven't been able to crack beyond 55C on my CPU with this cooler installed, and have a 38C idle temp in a 21C ambient temp setting. I still have the top on my case (so no airflow there) and am just using the three stock 140mm fans that came with my case (two front intake, one rear exhaust). Honestly, without a high-end liquid cooling setup, I don't think you can do much better than this air cooler. So why not five stars? I have a ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero motherboard (with wifi, although that doesn't really change where things are on the motherboard). The Noctua website notes that this cooler is fully compatible with this mobo. Having installed the CPU, this cooler, and my RAM on the motherboard before installing the motherboard in the case, I spent upwards of an hour combined trying to plug in the CPU fan, plug in a fan hub, plug in CPU power, and install a PCIE M2 SSD. Why? Because there wasn't much space for my big hands to finesse the cables and the M2 SSD cover around the huge heat sink. It can also be tricky to get the top left and middle ATX mobo screws in with the heat sink in the way unless you have a really large case. You need a long and narrow screwdriver (the cooler does come with one, but there's no handle on it). While I was able to get my 1080 graphics card in without too much trouble, I think I'll have to uninstall the CPU cooler if I ever want to take it out...because I can't get enough leverage to push down on the tab and pull it back out (without pulling a chunk of the mobo with it) with the cooler's heat sink in the way. On the bright side, there's actually enough room to install more RAM (even those with large heat sink fins) without having to take out the cooler. Overall, this is an excellent cooler, but if I were doing it again, I would install the cooler after I installed most of the other components, especially the things near the CPU.
Performs Its Functions Fine
Pros: - It reads Blu-rays, DVDs, CDs (although it cannot play Blu-rays without appropriate software, which is not included) and can write to DVD and CD. - Its fairly nondescript design should fit well with most modern cases...or, at least, modern cases that still have an external-facing 5.25in drive bay.
Cons: - It's rather loud, especially when opening, closing, and when it starts reading a disc. - I wouldn't bother fiddling with the included software. Windows 10 easily found the correct drivers. - Only a one-year warranty, which I realize is the standard now for ODDs, but still a bit disappointing given that just about all of the other parts I purchased for my build came with a minimum two-year warranty.
Overall Review: I installed this in a new May 2018 build. I get the distinct impression that this product hasn't really changed in the past 5+ years. It pains me to say this, but this is quite possibly the last ODD that I'll ever install in a computer...not because this is a particularly horrible drive, but because the technology it supports is becoming obsolete. To avoid needless disappointment, be aware that you will need to acquire appropriate software to actually watch movies on Blu-ray discs. This software is not included with the drive. There are a few different companies that sell this software, but be advised that it's usually not cheap ($20 to $50) and is often rather buggy and archaic. As a few others have mentioned, Leawo Blu-ray Player can be downloaded for free..
Even With Air Cooling, Case Delivers on Quality and Quiet
Pros: - Solid construction for both the steel and glass...and it's unlikely you'd be able to cut yourself accidentally on a sharp edge since the case has great smoothed edges. - As promised, the case makes everything run quietly in the 30-decibel range...unless you've got your CPU and GPU fans cranked up. The three included 140mm fans also run quietly. - Not the best case for air-cooling, but I was still able to maintain reasonable CPU idle temperature in the 32-36C range for my i7-8700k and maxed out the CPU temp at 55C and the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW2 iCX at 70C...all with a closed-cased configuration (with top closed), the stock 140mm cooling fans, and a Noctua NH-D15S for the CPU cooler. Ambient room temperature was 21C. - Still has one external 5.25in drive bay if you still want an ODD. - Large enough that it should be able to accommodate just about any CPU cooler and GPU although you might need a long narrow screwdriver. - The side panels will stay in place even without securing them with the included thumbscrews (although you can and should). - Aluminum-brushed front panel with reversible opening and side vents for air cooling even when closed. - Dust filters for the front, top, and bottom. - The four USB front connectors (two 2.0 and two 3.0) work great. - Very good cable management...you can have a very clean-looking setup facing the glass and there are two built-in velcro straps on the right-side to hold cables in place. - Fan hub with 3 PWM connections (and more regular three-pin fan connections) is a nice touch and means less cables having to connect to the motherboard.
Cons: - No USB-C connector (sold separately, with limited availability, as a substitute front I/O panel). - No GPU vertical mount (sold separately)...although I wouldn't recommend this anyways due to heat unless you plan to do liquid cooling. - A few of the various screw-holes in the case (about 1 in 10) required some force to get screws tightened. - The PSU shroud is fixed and can make it a bit tricky to get power cables plugged into the back of the PSU, once you've already installed in the PSU in the case. - Has room in the case for 10+ 3.5in drives, but only has holders for 6 of them. - Heavy and no handle or good gripping points for moving; you'll probably want a harness if you plan to move it around much. - No case speaker. - Quality costs money, and this is not a cheap case.
Overall Review: This is my first Fractal Design product. Previous cases include a Cooler Master Storm Trooper (circa 2012) and a Raidmax Smilodon (circa 2007). The CM was/is a good case, but I have to say, I like the Define R6 better. I have the "black" version which has white accessories (white case fans, expansion slot covers, and drive caddies) on a black case; it's a nice look. I have the case in a "closed" configuration with the top completely on. It took a little bit of time to find the accessories box, which was secured between two of the lower 3.5in drive bays. Don't lose your extra parts. The screws for HDDs are unusual in size to accommodate the rubber rings (included with the case) that dampen noise and vibration from the HDD. I installed the following in this case: - ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero (w/ wifi) motherboard + Intel i7-8700k CPU + Noctua NH-D15S CPU Cooler + Intel 760p M.2 NVME Internal SSD + CORSAIR Vengeance RGB 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4 3000 - EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW2 iCX - EVGA SuperNOVA 750W G3 PSU - ASUS 5.25in Blu-ray/DVD/CD SATA drive - 2 HDDs (5400 RPM and 7200 RPM) The Noctua NH-D15S CPU cooler has a huge heat sink. It comfortably fits in the case, but its size, coupled with this case's size, did it make it difficult to install/wire some components, particularly screws and connections at the top of the ATX board. I had to temporarily remove the pre-installed rear exhaust fan in order get things connected. There is no RGB or LED lighting (except for the power and HDD indicator lights, which are LED). This might be a negative for some buyers, but the tempered glass window already showcases all the RGB and LED lighting of your components. Overall, while the higher price reflects the quality of the case, this case delivers on quiet performance without overheating the case too badly, even just with air cooling using the pre-installed case fans and a good CPU cooler.
Solid Value for a 1TB M.2 PCIE 3D NAND SSD
Pros: - I was able to max it out at around 3,200 MB/s read and 1,600 MB/s write. - Recognized immediately by my ASUS Maximus X Hero (w/ wifi) motherboard when installed in my first M.2 PCIE slot, with no need for BIOS updates or other drivers. Windows 10 Pro installed without a hitch. - Good value given form factor, capacity, and speed. - Five-year warranty.
Cons: - The 1TB version is a very new product with limited availability as of May 2018...and for right now, the cost per GB is about the same as the 512GB version (with the same read/write speeds). - Not the fastest write speeds versus similar products.
Overall Review: I am running Windows 10 Pro and using this SSD as my boot drive in a new desktop I built in May 2018. It takes Windows a couple of seconds (literally) to boot to the login screen and about 10 seconds (or less) after logging in before all of the startup programs are running and the computer is ready to go. In comparison, my Windows 7 Ultimate installation booting from a 7200 RPM SATA HDD —on a desktop I built in 2012 that preceded my new one—had a boot time measured in minutes and not seconds. This SSD is my first internal SSD, 3.5-inch or M.2, and I'm definitely never going back to HDD for a boot drive. This SSD has a five-year warranty and is rated for 576 TBW before failure. Provided this rating holds true and even assuming you write 100 GB/day (about the max size for even the biggest AAA video games today) daily to the SSD, it will take over 15 years for the SSD to die. I've only written about 200 GB to the SSD so far, but provided the lifespan works as advertised, this SSD provides a healthy 1TB of storage for a reasonable cost. It's a great entrant into the higher-capacity SSD consumer market that has been somewhat lacking in competitive options.