Date Joined: 06/25/13
Overall Review: For a high-quality PSU, I got a good deal on this item. The cables look fantastic, everything is black. It comes not only with cable ties but with velcro, so kudos to SeaSonic for thinking of just about everything.
My only gripe (and it's unbearably minor, which is why I didn't list it as a con) is the way the labels are arranged on it. When the fan is facing down, as most cases will have the power supply, the less aestheically-pleasing sticker with the technical information is showing, rather than the sleeker sticker with the SeaSonic G logo on it. I took that sticker off with a credit card and rubbing alcohol and it looks much better (to me).
Pros: Solid, sturdy construction
Generally very good aesthetics
Cable routing solutions
Easy access side panels
Removable HDD bays
Cons: Tinted, holey side panel (knew that, going to make/buy a mod to replace it)
Rubber fan screw grommets are...imperfect
Overall Review: This is a spectacular case. It has everything you could possibly need for anything shy of a major work station or enthusiast build. I've worked with different cases with varying degrees of ease in their cable routing solutions, and this one is easily the best of them. Not only is there a mile and a half of space behind the motherboard tray, the large clips are able to hold 90% of the cables back there and can be released easily to allow for addition/subtraction/re-routing. Another ease-of-use feature is the easy-access side panels. I'm a tinkerer, always moving things, tweaking things, swapping things, and these side panels simplify that part of the process.
Overall, I really cannot say enough good things about this case.
Cons: Brown PCB
Overall Review: I purchased this board for use in an item not normally used as a computer case. Because of the heavy modding involved, I have had to put this board in and take it back out numerous times, and it has proven to be up to the task. I originally purchased it because of the price, but have ended up impressed with its durability, and would recommend it as an affordable mini-ITX option.
Cons: SATA II
Overall Review: I purchased two of these when they were on sale, undeterred by the "Refurbished" label. They have only seen very light use up to this point, but have functioned thus far. Time will tell, but thus far I remain enamored with the cost savings achieved through purchasing refurbished items.
Pros: Correct Size
Black (because you can totally see them under your motherboard)
Overall Review: This is another of the "pass/fail" category of items. Either it does its job, or it doesn't. There isn't much in between. I bought these so I can mount motherboards in things other than the usual computer cases. They have thus far served that purpose, and so they pass the test, and I recommend them for similar use.
Pros: Reasonable Price
Cons: Older generation
Overall Review: I got this for a HTPC-type PC, so I didn't feel like I needed anything high-end or current gen. It has so far served its purpose as expected without issue or complaint, and I would recommend it for similar purposes.
Pros: Good on-board graphics
Cons: Limited Motherboard Options
Overall Review: Because the APU is intended more as a value/budget-oriented option, the range of motherboards is going to be limited. I'd recommend something with good overclocking abilities to push this chip to its full potential.
If you don't want to invest in a graphics card, I definitely recommend this (or its lower-end options if you want to go a little lower on the price and performance scales).
Pros: On Sale
Overall Review: This is another of the "pass/fail" category of reviewable items. It works or it doesn't, and there isn't much in-between. My unit works and it was on sale at time of purchase. Recommended for those reasons.
Pros: Okay value
LED Fan that can be turned off
Cons: Low-Tier Reputation
Poor implementation of the "semi-modular" concept
Overall Review: This is a Tier 5 PSU, meaning it would be very unwise to run it anywhere near full load. I will not be doing that, so my concern level is low. I like that it has an LED for the fan and that it can be shut off.
Labeling this as "semi-modular" is bordering on a sham. The optional cables don't plug directly into the unit. Instead, there are short cables that stick out of the PSU that the modular cables plug into. Yes, it lets you eliminate some cable clutter, but it is u-g-l-y (it ain't got no alibi), and to me is a real stretch to have labeled "semi-modular."
Pros: Decent Value
Cons: Limited Overclocking Capabilities
Overall Review: Overall, this is a good board. It has the necessary components to build a functional, budget-oriented PC.
As this is a board for use with an APU, I was looking forward to boosting the APU's performance via overclocking. I found both the UEFI and included software to be lacking in these capabilities, which is the reason for the 4-egg review.
Overall Review: This isn't the sort of item for which one writes a detailed review. This is more of the pass/fail category of items. I purchased this kit to use in building computers in non-standard cases, and it is fitting the bill adequately.
Overall Review: I got these for a great price just as something to have on hand, so I admittedly haven't tested them in a case yet. I did remove them from the box to test that they where functional, which they all were. They certainly seemed quiet. Not silent, but quiet. Just a good simple set of fans without any frills for a reasonable price.
Multiple pre-installed fans
Adequate cable management
Overall Review: All the key features are here. It's easy to work with, solid construction, sufficient room behind the motherboard tray for cable routing, etc. I got it for a great price, and I'm not sure I'd pay full price, but if you can catch it for $40 or less, I'd say it's a decent value.
My only dislike, and the reason I gave it 4 eggs was simply because it doesn't look that attractive. I acknowledge that this is kind of nitpicking, and ultimately, I highly recommend this case to anyone looking for a solid, affordable, well-equipped case.
Easy to install
Doesn't look hideous
Overall Review: It's large. This isn't a con because the specs are listed in the description. If you want performance from an air cooler, it needs to be bigger. If this is your first aftermarket cooler, I could see where installation might be a touch difficult, but for anyone with a little experience, this should be easy. If you can fit this cooler, I highly recommend purchasing it. For what you pay, it performs exceptionally well.
Easy to setup
Appears to print accurately
Refurb = Savings
Overall Review: Don't let the word "Refurbished" scare you away. Maybe it is a crapshoot and I've just gotten lucky, but I haven't had any issues purchasing refurbs up to this point, so I say give it a chance and you just might be pleasantly surprised.
Overall Review: RAM, as always, is not so much graded on a scale, but on a pass/fail basis. My unit passed and did not fail.
Pros: On sale
Function as advertised
Pros: Works right out of the box
Came with extra accessories (we didn't need them, but it's always nice when a company provides them, just in case)
Overall Review: Would not seat properly in the Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus, but I'm fairly certain it was an issue with the case, as it seated properly in the external build, as well as when put in a different slot.
Front looks nice
Cons: Cable management. There is none. Okay, there's some, but it's really lacking.
Only one included fan. I know you can do better than that, CM.
Breakaway expansion slot covers (front and back!). As long as you plan properly and don't remove stuff later on down the road, this isn't so bad.
All of these I knew coming in because I'd watched the video and read the reviews, so I did what I could with the resources the case made available to me.
What I didn't anticipate was that I would have trouble seating a firewire card in one of the expansion slots. It was definitely an issue with the case because it seated fine during the external/POST build and would also seat fine if put in slot #1. The slot where we had it, however (slot #3, I believe) it simply would not allow itself to be completely tightened down. That said, we did our best and tightened it enough to where it didn't wiggle and still worked fine, but it was still an unnecessary hassle.
Overall Review: First off, I'd actually give this 3.5/5 eggs because it comes a little shy of 4, but isn't really that bad that it deserves a 3. For what you pay, you could do worse. On the flip side, for what you pay, you could do better.
Ultimately, while this isn't a bad case, I'd recommend going in a different direction because there are similarly-priced cases (especially if you wait for something to go on sale) that offer superior quality.
Pros: Heavy-duty construction
Plenty of connections for everything
Cons: UEFI I felt was a bit lacking. It does the job and ultimately I have trouble putting my finger on just what I didn't like about it. I just feel like Gigabyte could've stretched out a little more here but instead just stuck to the old standards.
Overall Review: Overall a quality product here at a reasonable price point. I'm a big fan of Gigabyte's quality, and if I could only knock off a half egg for the UEFI I would because this is a good motherboard that I'd recommend.
Pros: Solid Construction
Overall Review: Corsair makes a lot of quality products (oops, my fanboy is showing), and this is no exception. Even their low-end products like this one feel like they're a step above similarly spec'd/priced competition.
Pros: Premium price gets you premium performance
Overall Review: First off, I didn't get this for myself, it went in a build for a friend who does audio composition, so I don't get much first-hand experience with it. He says it is fantastic, though. It does run a little warm, but it's right there in the product specs, so you can't dock an egg for that.
Pros: Worked fine from the start
Overall Review: I wouldn't mind the face to be a little less busy. Just put your brand on there and be done with it. No reason to dock an egg, especially since it wasn't for my build, but it's just my "other thoughts."
Pros: Seems fast enough
Overall Review: Worked great straight out of the package, no issues.
Pros: Quality Construction
Overall Review: Put this in a GIGABYTE GA-X79-UP4 and it read the XMP straight out of the box, no tweaking necessary. G.Skill does it again with terrific quality.