Joined on 10/05/11
Pros: Awesome look. Hole under motherboard with the included standoffs makes for excellent cable management. I paired it with the Asus Z77 Sabertooth motherboard, which looks great out in the open. Handle on top is actually a handle and strong enough to carry the computer around. Open design is super easy to tweak things on the fly. Add ram, swap the processor, adjust fans, all in a matter of seconds, not minutes. The PCIe supports look cheap and flimsy in the pictures, but are actually designed excellent and very sturdy. Holds my 6770 nice and tight. My CPU runs around 55c, gpu runs around 50c, and motherboard ambient temp is always near room temp, all thanks to the open design.
Cons: Assembly instructions were annoyingly generic. There are simply too many pieces to assemble to not have a good instruction manual. There are youtube videos on how to assemble, which I used. Once the case was assembled, everything else was a breeze. Also the rear leg which supports the whole unit from potentially falling backwards is weak. One must be careful when moving case around to not put too much backwards pressure or it will bend the metal support.
Overall Review: After owning the case for a while, I would say it is a little on the expensive side (I paid $89). I still like the case though, and would buy another one. Keep in mind, everything is exposed, so if you care about aesthetics like me, try and match the color of the power supply, motherboard, drives, and cables. I went for an all black scheme, including the power supply, cabling, drives, case, and gpu.
Pros: This board has every feature you could imagine. As a placeholder I bought a Celeron G530. I was able to overclock it a little, and bring it from 2.4ghz to 2.585ghz without any issues. Has 3 PCIe slots. Has every possible monitoring and overclocking feature you could imagine. Fans in the thermal armor are neat. Keeps chipset cool. Lots of fan headers. Lots of USB 3.0 ports and other USB headers. The power connectors for the board are on the very edge, so I was able to run the power cables under the motherboard (standoffs are tall enough) making for excellent cable management. When you look at my case, no wires are visible. This board is well thought out. The first day I had my new system running my power supplies started to show signs of failing (had a power surge through the +12v line). My motherboard immediately shut down and booted back up with a descriptive errror message of what had happened, letting me know which connector it was and everything. Buy it now...
Cons: Haven't found any yet.
Overall Review: The board itself is black. The thermal armor is also black. So to keep with the theme, I bought a black PSU, ram, case, and drives.
Pros: Installed this as an 1155 placeholder in my system until I can gather the funds to purchase one of the K processors. I can play GTA 4 with all settings on high, and shadows on Medium, and get 50+fps. This processor is pretty impressive. I overclocked it from 2.4ghz to 2.585 and saw a little improvement in frame rates (not a whole lot though).
Cons: For the price, I can't think of any...
Overall Review: Get a good chipset so you can overclock it. You will only get a little out of it, because the multiplier is locked, but still. Also, fwiw, the gpu this is paired with is an old 6770.
Pros: Appears to work for the most part. Usually these generic supplies only supplies are shaky above 250 watts. This one seems to hold out okay. My gpu says 450w minimum power supply, and it doesn't show any issues running FurMark and Prime95 simultaneously.
Cons: About 3 hours after installing I got an error message from my motherboard (Z77 Sabertooth) stating there had been a power surge detected in the +12v line of the power supply. The computer had been idling, so I'm not sure what happened, but against my better judgement, I rebooted, and the issue never came back again. Maybe just a sensor too sensitive? That's why I docked 1 egg.
Overall Review: PSU is gloss black. Looks good in my case.