Joined on 03/22/05
Happy to have it - with reservations
Pros: It does what it says, controlling up to 5 fans with an easy to understand, intuitive interface, all from a front panel. Temperature monitors for corresponding fans give accurate readings. The colors are bright (but not too bright) and vivid. Looks very professional and well built. It matches my Lian Li case perfectly (brushed black aluminum).
Cons: The display reminds me of an old LCD from the early 90's in that it loses visibility when you aren't within a narrow range of viewing (90 degrees max). The fan controls do not allow for bringing a fan below about 40% of its maximum speed (the fan will simply turn off instead). Very small fans (like the northbridge ones on a NF79 ultra) need to spin faster than 40% or they may not start spinning at power-up. In my case when the northbridge fan was set to 2100 rpm sometimes, at power up, I'd have to give the fan a gentle nudge with my finger to start it up - until I set the speed to at least 2400rpm. It does take up 2 bays, but without 2 everything would be a lot harder to see. None of these issues were deal breakers for me.
Overall Review: I did a lot of looking around before I bought this controller; currently it's the best multi-fan/temp front panel controller out there and it has a very big coolness/LAN-party appeal to it (thought I don't build flashy machines, just functional). You get what you pay for.
works - with caveats
Pros: works on my NF79 ultra motherboard at 7-7-7-20, but at 2.0 volts, not 1.9 - in fact it says 2.0 volts on the chips. These chips stay cool to the touch.
Cons: I got constant BSODs with these chips until I updated my motherboard BIOS to P07 (even with timings set manually in motherboard). Also, the Nvidia memory test, as administered by my NF79 MOBO, fails these chips at any speed beyond "fast" test. It will continue for hours, never going past 3.1 gigs of the test; it just starts over and over again - forever, until you change the test parameters in the BIOS. When I called Patriot about the issue to have their insight about it, no one called me back. I would love to use a patriot specific memory testing utility to be sure these sticks work properly.
Overall Review: The heatsinks stand very high on these sticks, so if you're using an aftermarket CPU cooler (like me) you may need to put in the memory before the cooler and/of the fans. In my case I used a Ninja Scythe SCNJ-CU1000 sink, and it was just the 120mm fan which ended up sitting above the first stick; it didn't cause any problems but gave me a real scare for a few moments. I may change my rating with an update later, if I find out these sticks pass another real memory test - or if Patriot decides to call me back and offers some help.
Exchanging - device not recognized
Pros: Very good sound. Probably overkill for most people unless you have excellent headphones and/or ones that require a lot of power to make this unit worth your while. I have an old pair of Grado GS1000's that sound great with this unit.
Cons: After a week my latop would intermittently disconnect from this unit. This was after I did the software and firmware updates. Eventually it wouldn't stay connected for more than a few seconds. Tried using on another laptop with the same issues. In order for me to get the software working properly I had to install it in safe mode. Very annoying to have to do this. I will exchange with Newegg and revise my review if the replacement works properly and stays that way. Be aware the unit gets warm even from casual use with a low resistance pair of headphones (the Grado GS1000s are a mere 25 ohms).
Pros: Solid: Flextronics internal components and soldering. stable. fully modular with lots of cables of adequate length. ball bearing 140mm fan. enough power for whatever you throw at it. excellent packaging. Robust warranty.
Cons: not as quiet as I would like at low power consumption levels, considering the 140mm ball-bearing fan and quality components. I deliberately chose this capacity PSU from Corsair because of the flextronics internal circuitry 140MM fan and plenty of headroom for wattage so it would stay cool even under my maximum power load. Having said that, even while under 600 watts at maximum load it still hovers around the low to mid 30dB range - though with what I do it will never, thankfully, get higher than that.
Overall Review: I found that the annoying high pitched screeching noise from this PSU went away after a few days - it seems to need a burn in period to get happy. My rig: * COOLER MASTER Sniper SGC-6000-KXN1-GP Black Steel ASUS Rampage III formula * Intel i7 980X Gulftown 3.33 (OCed at 3.6, stock voltage) * G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 24GB (6 x 4GB) DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) * LITE-ON Blu-ray Burner with 3D Playback SATA iHBS212 * CORSAIR Professional Series AX1200 1200W PSU * Auzentech X-Fi Prelude PCI Soundcard * Cooler-Master V10 CPU cooler/heat-sink * ZOTAC AMP! ZT-40202-10P GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 * Scythe Kazemaster KM02-BK controller * Intel X25-M G2 160GB SSD in AHCI mode * 2 Western Digital 2TB SATA drives (greenpower) * 4 Scythe S-FLEX SFF21E 120mm Case Fans * Windows 7 x64 Ultimate Should be pretty fast for another 4 years for my needs
Pros: The 5L06 update worked just fine. It burns BD-RE disks just fine and they play in my LG blu-ray player like they should. with the firmware update it supports just about every format on the block larger buffer than comparable BD-RE burners (not that it really matters...)
Cons: it's a bit pricey
Bring on the HD Video encoding!
Pros: The speed really is impressive: With a quad core Q9450 it took me 18 hours to encode/compress a blu-ray movie from 30 gigs to 7.95 (dual laver DVD size) in AVCHD format; the 6 core 980X (12 with hyper-threading) does it in 6 hours flat. I don't mind having spent an extra $550 for this kind of performance. Because it's an unlocked chip, I can step it up to 3.6GhZ without increasing the voltage (using a cooler-master V10). I can push it farther without a voltage increase but stability past 24 hours isn't completely reliable and I don't want to push voltage - yet anyway. This is the first chip I've bought that comes with a heat-sink that is actually adequate for the job. It's fairly quiet in low noise mode, but it's far too puny for my overclocking ambitions.
Cons: This chip is simply *not* worth the price unless you plan on utilizing the potential of all six cores - and very few applications do for the moment.
Overall Review: I won't try to add to the collective experiences posted here; if you're reading all these reviews you're obviously considering this chip - just buy it and get it over with.