Date Joined: 06/18/05
Pros: Runs cool, easily overclocks with the ASUS Maximus Gene V. This is my first I-7 build so I'm very impressed with the speed and low voltage.
Cons: I wish Intel would a) ship a better CPU Fan (better RPMs, low Db, more blades etc) and b) offer the better fan in two models, regular and low profile. I always replace the intel stock fan either because of its noise level or I want better cooling.
Overall Review: Love my new HTPC build!
Pros: This was for a HTPC build but I'm sure I'll be gaming as well. It is USB 3.0 ready, above average built-in HDMI and sound card. Power on button on motherboard really comes in handy while your are tweaking SATA port order and other add ons. Easy set up, easy install everything booted 1st time.
Cons: mPCI combo must be installed ahead of the MB install as it screws in from bottom. I'd prefer a marginal higher mount so it could be installed without removing MB. Although there are 6 internal SATA ports (4x6Gb and 2x3Gb) and Intel Raid setup has support for 6 drives, only 4 can be used for Raid selection (2x6Gb and 2x3Gb, intel), so you can't use the 4 6Gb SATA ports for raid as the Asmedia ports aren't seen by the Intel contoller. Worse, Intel "steals" control of the Asmedia port and you can't manually override it. I plugged my Corsair CSSD-F240GB3A into Asmedia Port1, planning making it the 1st boot drive. But it was instead shown as Intel SATA and the 4th Intel SATA connect to a Barracuda ST3000DM001 3TB drive became the asmedia. Going into the Raid configuration, only the SSD and two HD were visbile. So much for my plan of using the SSD as my boot drive, having 3 drive Raid 5 with a hot spare (and later expanding to 4 striped when needed). After trying various(cont below)
Overall Review: SATA port configs (both bios and device/port switches), My SSD is SATA1 6Gb, one HD is SATA2 6GB, the other 2 HD are SATA 3GB. My Plextor PL-LB950SA is connected to the Asmedia Port1 and my Lian Li PC-C60B front SATA port is connected to Asmedia Port2. This board is perfect for a HTPC build, despite a few limitations.
Pros: Modular, only add the cables you need for the devices you need. Runs very quiet and appears to run cool.
Cons: 24 pin MB cable is very thick and the connector itself with the 24 wires, sits higher than I'd like, but, really, that's a nit, not a con.
Overall Review: I am not using the front panel to control fan speeds as the ASUS Maximus Gene V MB can do that. However, if I had wanted to use it, I'd gripe that the provided fan cables are a different size/shape/ locking tab than the standard MB connecting pins and therefore don't connect easily to the standard fan connector (it's one of the reasons I'm using the ASUS MB and utilities to control the fan speeds).
Pros: Many bays, drive bays have some reconfigurability (4 stack instead of 3 stack), two 140mm fans w/ filters that are queit (both on same side) MB mounting pins already in place. Thumb screw access to remove drive bay cross bars (although the bays themselve take 4 phillips screws to detatch from cross bar and from each other. It has front panel USB 3.0 connectors, part of the reason I selected this model.
Cons: Although this is rated for ATX, I installed a mATX: ASUS Maximus Gene V. As with all HTPC profiles, it is very crowded. The Optical drive bay stack covers the MB 24-pin power supply plug in (and a few others). The Cool Master Silent Pro Hybrid RS-850-SPHA-D3 24-pin connector had to be severly folded and zipped tied down to the case floor for the Optical Drive bay to fit, without removing the 2nd bay (which is necessary to keep the blank cover on). A standard 140mm fan (grill is there, fan is bought seperately) will not fit in the opposite wall by the HD bays. I'll likely install a slim version. Although it comes with 6 3.5" bays (2 stacks of 3 bays on top of each other, running front to back on one side, top of all 3 bays (2 HD & OD) can be used as 2.5" bays), the 2nd stack must be removed for a larger ATX PSU. I couldn't not find a quiet PSU that would fit, so the 2nd stack is not installed. I estimate the actual avail room allowing for cable leads is 5.5"w x 5.5"L so 5x5PSU
Overall Review: HTPC are notoriously crowded due to their profile. I hope by the time I need the 2nd HD bay stack, I have found a smaller PSU with enough watts to fit. Also, the 1st HD bay blocks the airflow the vent on its side. That being said I like the unit overall. Accessories I wish they'd make. 5.25" LCD screen for HTPC, a RF receiver for remote control, optional cross bar to turn the HD bays lengthwise instead of widthwise.
Pros: Low profile, very quiet which is what I wanted in HTPC build. Poorly designed push pins (see cons) allow for installation with uninstalling motherboard.
Cons: The push pins or posts that push through the motherboard are rather flimsy and short. It was a real challenge to install on the mATX ASUS Maximus Gene V board. The pins would lock in place on one side then pop out as you tried to seat the opposit pin. Each time it popped I had to re-smooth the thermal compound. It would have gotten 4 stars if they had pushed in with a satisfying click and then easily turned to lock.
Overall Review: I installed this over a I7-3770S on the Asus Mamimus Gene V in a Lian Lia PC-C60B HTPC case. Although the case has 2 built-in 140mm fans, airflow is restricted due to the HTPC profile. The CPU tempature runs at 35-37C on idle and 40-50 on a larger load. No real improvement over the "free" stock cooler, except in noise level. I'm not positive I'll have to add a more effecient CPU fan once its in the restricted A/V cabinet.
Cons: I purchased the RCA Audio System RS2058 from newegg.com on 6/24/007, It arrived July 1, 2007. It would only play a few seconds of a cd before skipping to the next cd. In single mode, it would only play a few seconds of the first track before it thought it was finished. In random mode, a few seconds a play for any track. I emailed RCA support about its mal-functioning on 7/5/2007. RCA retuned the email and had me call an 800 number and also per page 29 of the manual explaining the warranty, I took it to a authorized repair center in Houston, TX, where it sat till Jan 2,2008 .unrepaired.
Overall Review: RCA changed the warranty after the fact to mail in repairs only, so I paid to mail it to Venture Electronics, their case #US002404w. In February 2008 they sent me a single cd player as a replacement (value $60) for my 5 cd changer (value $178). This was unacceptable and on Feb 29, they sent me a UPS label to return the single player unit(1ZR188379072309533). Venturer called March 30 and asked me to call them. I returned their phone on March 31 and was sent to voice mail. I called twice weekly till April 3 when I attempted to contact AudioVox (who has taken over RCA/Thomson Electronics), and they referred me back to Venturer Electronics. I have been promised multiple times my unit will "ship the next Friday" but so far it has not.