Joined on 12/22/07
Sub-$450 Gaming Computer?
Pros: With the 2.8 5400 Athlon and this board I was able to put together a pretty nice system for my son. I was surprised that it could play Bioshock at decent Frame Rates on High Settings with some on Medium. Looked not to far off from my own Computer which was quite a bit more in dollars. I haven't had a chance to really test it out on Crysis but from what I have done it has played at Medium.
Cons: Before the 780 Chipset you would of been hard pressed to build a computer or buy one that could play the latest games for under $500.00. Anybody complaining just doesn't understand how much value they are getting for the Price Tag. My video Card alone cost me over twice as much as this board did.
Overall Review: You can easily put together a Gaming System including Vista 64 Home premium for under $450.00 with this board. This doesn't mean you will be able to run the newest Games on Max settings but it does mean the Games will look good and they will be at decent Frame Rates. You can then save up for that good Graphics Card so you can run it at those magic settings. Just remember your not paying $350.00 for a Graphics Card but $99.00 for a MB that does more than that Dell does for $700.00. Another pretty cool feature is that the MB has tons of clocking features giving you plenty of expandability down the road.
Pros: See my first review. There will be quite a few cons but first the positives. MB installation was easy as the Hard Drives. My Blu-Ray Burner I ordered was DOA so wasn't able to test that function. The fans are quite to the point that it's hard to know if the computer is on or not. They can get loud but that requires them to be running at max speed. CPU is a 2.8 X 3 Phenom and runs at 32-33C which is the coolest out of all my computers. System runs at 36C. Directions were spot on that I would have to remove the Optical Drive and Swap Bay to install MB. I did try to get around it but immediatly saw why. With a modular flat wired PSU wiring wasn't a problem. Smart design and had it not been for the significant issues I ran into this would be a five star product.
Cons: First major problem was the cable that is used to power the LCD screen isn't long enough. I had to cut the tie's and reroute the cable along a different path. The Swap Bay on the left hand side requires you to push down on the back just a bit and lift the Swap bay in just the right balance to get it in. Once you find the right balance it goes in easy... It's finding that balance is the hard part. To get at the one screw in the HDD bay you need to open the middle HDD compartment. Now the big screw ups. After installation I turned on the computer and the LCD screen on the front was upside down... There is a little dot that is supposed to be in the window for the Remote. I'm not familiar with these types of LCD screens on computers but if I was working for you I would. Upside down... Then there was a missing bolt on the bottom wheel that controls the lowering of the door. The gear fell out when I decided to fix the above problem instead of sending the case back.
Overall Review: I took the case apart to fix the LCD screen problem. You have to take the sides off first which requires you to lift these hook things. Took a few to figure it out but after some sore fingers I did it. There is also some hidden screws on the inside at the top so make sure you get those if you want to break it down. Inside where the LCD screen was one of the wires is kind of long. Who ever did it just kind of pushed it in. When I was taking it apart and the gear fell out I was kind of in amazement. Almost a $300.00 case and pieces of it are falling out. I fixed it but I shouldn't of had to fix anything. Would I buy this case again? Yes. Besides the two big problems and the cable not being long enough the installation was easy. Cable management was easy to do and had nice hooks to tie them down. The case keeps the equipment cool. It's silent. HDD's don't vibrate... Could of been a five, should have been a five, but alas it's a two. Still happy and so is the wife.
Kicks Serious (censor word)... Doesn't take names.
Pros: If you have a NWME M.2 slot then this little (censor word)puts your computer into hyper drive. Near instant boots after Post. Click on an Office Program and BAMMM it's open. I used to have long load times for Star Citizen. Now, it is down to a few seconds at most. I still have another M.2 slot open and saving for the 2 TB Evo Pro.
Cons: I guess the shipping of it. The little box was munched but the drive was fine and I threw the box away. As long as the drive worked I was happy. Did I mention that it kicks (censor word)... Neweggs censorship bot is a huge bummer. Really jamming the vibe man.
Overall Review: If you have a NWME M.2 slot then hell yeah I would recommend this product. I have zero regrets besides maybe not going bigger... Hell... I wouldn't be be an American if I didn't want it bigger. So, I'm going bigger boys. I'm going bigger.
Customer Service is Great
Pros: On my last review I had stated that the Power Supply died two days after I recieved it. Seasonic took the MotherBoard and CPU tested it and checked the lanes. Sent the items back fixed. The Power Supply was replaced with a new one and has been running steady ever since.
Cons: Besides the week that my computer was down really no gripes. I couldn't contact anyone through the phone but the company RMA guy did stay in contact through email.
Overall Review: Did everything I wanted and a little more.
On to Customer Support
Pros: It's really solid, looked really well built, cables are very sturdy, easy locking mechanism. It's fairly easy to work with and the directions on the case are easy to understand.
Cons: After three days of use, the computer suddenly shut down after a distinct snap could be heard coming from the Power Supply. Upon trying to restart the computer MB LED's would light up and the computer itself would boot for a second then shut down. There could be heard a definate click inside the Power Supply. After hours of testing it turns out that the new Power Supply I just bought is broken, it killed my MSI 790FX Motherboard, the 965 125 Watt AMD Processor may or may not be dead (I haven't tested it yet), and the Mushkin Blackline RAM is showing errors. The Graphics Card is fine but the PCI-E lane it was in is shorted out. I understand these things happen but after working on computers for 12 years this is a first of a new Power Supply killing my system.
Overall Review: These things happen to even the best companies and obviously other people have had different experiences. I believe that SeaSonic should be held to fix the problem that their Power Supply caused thus I'm not sending the Power Supply to NewEgg... yet. From reviews I have heard nothing but good things from Seasonics Customer Support. I look forward to meeting with them and I am sure that they will take care of the damage their Power Supply caused to my system. This was going to be an Upgrade to the Computers I make for customers as I'm always trying to get the best quality one can buy. Being disabled, loosing the best computer I have is kind of stressing but if I am going to start using Seasonic Power Supplies then Customer Support will be a big factor. I will be posting a second Review detailing the Custormer Support.
It's an AM3 Board
Pros: Negate the bad star rating from above. This is an AM 3 Board thus AM 2 Socket CPU's will not fit in this board. AM 3 CPU's can fit in an AM 2 socket but not the other way around. Just about to order this board.
Cons: There is an issue with some AM 3 Boards not being able to start with a 965 Black Edition 125 Watt CPU due to the CPU not being supported by that BIOS edition. As new shipments are making their way through the system this problem is becoming less.
Overall Review: I was a Giga-byte MB user but decided to go with MSI on my last purchase and was very pleased with the purchase. Nothing bad about Giga-byte but just wanted a board that went with the theme I was designing. Over all I was very happy with MSI products and will be using them again