Date Joined: 11/22/05
Pros: Does exactly what it should: it cools your CPU magnificently.
Cons: - Requires 3 hands to install.
- The person who wrote the manual has never installed this heatsink, is incapable of giving instructions, and only speaks Engrish.
- It's quite large; it fits in my Antec 900 by just a hair.
- If your RAM has a big, flashy heat spreader, you may run in to problems. It depends on your motherboard layout. I had to raise my fan up slightly to get it to fit over my RAM.
Overall Review: I love this thing. Bought it to replace the useless hunk of tin Intel shipped with my i5 2500K. Stock heatsink and stock settings, Prime95 was sending my 2500K to 183*F. With this heatsink, I'm down to 135*F. HUGE difference.
Intel i3/i5/i7 users: buy this heatsink. Don't use the disgraceful paperweight Intel shipped with your expensive CPU. Even if you don't plan to overclock, the stock heatsink is the worst I've seen in my life.
Pros: Extremely fast at stock speeds, so much so that I haven't even tried overclocking it. You simply don't need to, this CPU is overkill.
Cons: Instead of a heatsink, you get this funny little paperweight. It works fine if you're not overclocking, but if you do plan to OC, throw that little hunk of tin at your neighbors yapping dog. Don't worry about hurting the dog, the tin lump is much too light to hurt anything.
Also, for any AMD converts: LGA 1155 is extremely scary. Many mobos have a HORRIBLE crunching sound when you lower the CPU arm, which, by the way, takes a scary amount of force. If you have a weak heart, have someone else install your CPU. I really miss the days of pins being on the CPU, my poor heart....
Overall Review: Seriously, I want my pins on my CPU, not my mobo! My heart can't handle the terror-crunch!
This little CPU is a MONSTER. With my old Athlon X2 5200+, I struggled to break 30-40fps on most maps with minimum settings. I thought it was my video card. With this CPU though, I'm struggling to get BELOW 30-40 with maxed out settings. This little beast takes everything you throw at it without so much as blinking.
- Intel Core i5 2500K @ stock
- Biostar TZ68A+RCH
- GeForce 9800 GTX+
- 8gb G.Skill DDR3 1600
Pros: The motherboard does exactly what it's supposed to do - just friggen' work. I haven't tested OC potential since it's really unnecessary, the 2500K is overkill for just about everything at stock speeds. The onboard power \ reset buttons are a very nice touch, and I love the layout of the board.
Also, the remote that came with it was nice. I didn't notice it in the pictures or the board info, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that in the box.
Cons: The only complaint I have is the drastically low amount of built-in features. No 5.1 \ 7.1 audio integrated like most other boards do, and only 4 total onboard USB plugs? I haven't seen that since my old Athlon XP 1800+. But I knew this before I bought it, so I'm not exactly shocked.
- The mounting screw holes are in irregular positions. Be prepared to move some standoffs, or even leave a hole or two empty. That's what I had to do.
- TERRIFYING "crunch" sound when lowering the CPU arm. This terror is multiplied exponentially by the surprising amount of force needed to lower that arm. It's not unique to this board, but for someone who has used nothing but AMD for 10 straight years, it's extremely scary.
- The rear USB fights me every time I want to unplug something.
- The integrated ethernet plug is extremely sensitive if your ethernet cable has a broken clip. One tiny, tiny nudge and it's disconnected.
^ Remember, these are all tiny nitpicks.
Overall Review: Like I said, it does what it's supposed to do: work without causing any problems. You know it's a great motherboard when all you can do is nitpick the tiny little things. This is the first mobo that I've had in years that I haven't learned to absolutely hate after one week, so I'm quite pleased.
Biostar mobo with a long model name
Intel Core i5 2500K @ stock speeds
GeForce 9800 GTX+ (it's old, but it still plays Skyrim with everything short of AA maxed out)
8gb G.Skill DDR3 1600
500w Antec Earthwatts PSU w\ a 4-pin to 8-pin CPU power adapter
Pros: The BIOS looks nice, installation was easy, the layout is nice, lot of features for not a lot of dollars.
Cons: First board was 100% DOA, refused to power up at all. On the replacement board, both of the front USB connectors are defective, the rear USB hiccups like mad when the system is under any kind of stress (which makes gaming impossible), and the clock refuses to synchronize correctly which makes the Netflix DRM very angry.
Overall Review: Returning this board and ordering something from a better brand. Newegg customer support is absolutely the best in the business. They took care of my return in under 5 minutes, and even included a pre-paid shipping label and a waived restocking fee. 6 stars for Newegg.