Joined on 04/21/12
Great price for a Z170 board
Pros: -Beautiful BIOS. First time I posted I was very impressed at how simple to navigate it was. Haven't tried (and probably won't) overclock, so take my opinion with a grain of salt -Aesthetics are nice in my eyes. I like the metal circle where the chipset is, and I'm pretty sure the board has a very subtle orange light on the left and right edges when on. -Quality feels solid. Nothing felt loose or wobbly, and I'm optimistic it'll stand the test of time well. -Manual explains pins and locations well. Once you get a handle on the diagrams and which way your leads go it's a cinch to get everything working the first time.
Cons: -Ports are limited and why I deducted an egg. 2 USB 2.0 and 2 USB 3.0 means that a hub of some sort is highly recommended. For me this wasn't an issue, as my setup already included a 7-port USB 2.0 hub and a case with 2 USB 3.0s, but it seems silly that ASUS included so few. -IO shield was a bit of a pain. I found myself manually adjusting pins to get it to click together with the board just right, and then had to pull it back out to get one of the metal braces out of a USB 3.0 port
Overall Review: Bought as a combo with an i5-6600 and 16GB of 2400 DDR4 for $300, and the motherboard was the part I was least excited about as I might have gone for a slightly higher-end model but for an incredible deal that included this one. The board has its limits, but it's still a nice quality Z170 board with decent aesthetics, and I don't have any buyer's remorse on this purchase.
Great case for my first build
Pros: -Beautiful aesthetics; the grey is slightly darker than pictured, and it's absolutely gorgeous -Fantastic cable management. I didn't have to do much guesswork, and the included velcro means that I got a clean case without a single cable tie. -Interior aesthetics. Nice paint finish with a PSU/HDD shroud, and the cable routing holes are both large and high quality -SDD storage. The "hide away" SSD tray sits behind the motherboard (2 slots). Makes perfect sense and simply works -Filters everywhere that are easy to access. The front pops right off to access two intake filters, and the top filter is magnetically attached to the top. Even the PSU filter is smartly placed and slides out easily from the side with no case disassembly -LEDs are a nice (but unnecessary) touch; there are 10 colors and while RGB might be nice, the presets suit me perfectly well. -Side window is nicely tinted; I like that I can see my parts, but that the tint gives it a nice subdued aesthetic.
Cons: -Side panel isn't 100% clear how to remove; you have to undo captive thumbscrews, then pull towards the back of the case, then out. This is clearly shown in the instructions, which is fine except that.... -Hardware and instructions are hidden in the PSU shroud -Included instructions are also very bare-bone; the PDF copy available online is much more comprehensive -LEDs include an additional short lead for Phanteks's proprietary LED strip connector (1M or 2M available). This is only alluded to in the online instructions and caused me some confusion when I was assembling, as I didn't recognize the connector to know where it went! Partially caused by me being a first time builder, admittedly. -Stock fans aren't the quietest in the world. You're aware when they spin up, though not to the point where it sounds like I'm sitting next to a vacuum or anything ridiculous. I may replace as I see a deal arise.
Overall Review: I would absolutely recommend this product. Other than the minor cons, it's an excellent case for the price (I got mine for $69.99 with a $10 MIR), and it's extremely builder friendly. I'll probably build in this case again assuming it withstands the test of time.