Date Joined: 09/05/14
Pros: I came for the 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD. This thing boots up in under 5 seconds, so I was very pleased.
Ryzen 5 is solid with 6 cores/12 threads, it'll handle anything right now
The laptop is also very light.
I like the keyboard layout, nothing weird and has a full numpad
Cons: 8gb ram is a little light, but it'll do since this isn't gaming focus. Would have preferred 16, but that would have probably been overkill. the world needs a 6gb stick for 12gb total.
Wish the keyboard had full dedicated multimedia keys, but this seems like a thing of the past.
The power button being on the keyboard is different, i'm undecided if i love it or hate it.
Overall Review: Absolutely a good buy at $600 bucks, just don't expect to game on it. I gave it 5 eggs, but it's 4.5 for me.
Pros: Lies flat (instead of upright tower)
Awesome airflow design, keeps everything cool
Plenty of room inside
Removable motherboard tray
Handy carry handles on the side.
Cons: It's huge. Seriously, measure twice, build once.
Blindingly bright power light. I get it, you're on, where's the dimmer switch?
The biggest flaw with this case is it calls itself a test bench but goes out of its way to actually not be a test bench. The only thing that is easy to swap in and out are the front hard drives, because the case offers a peripheral to quickly swap those in and out, but the rest is a pain in the... fingers. Seriously, this review hurts to type.
Let's say you want to swap the PSU, Okay a very long job to start with I grant you, but with this case, you have to remove the video card, all pci cards, then the motherboard, because the PSU is UNDER the MB, so that's the only way to get in there and disconnect all those little modular things like the fans that you had so nicely wrapped down. Same goes for swamping out rear hard drives. It is NEAR IMPOSSIBLE to plug in a hard drive in the rear or even a ROM drive with the motherboard in the way. You simply can't reach under there without scraping flesh from fingers. I bled for this case, no joke.
Now let's talk about those easy swap front hard drives. Actually not so easy. You have to screw them down into a sliding bracket that clicks them into place and connects them to the MB via the peripheral. So if you bring your broken hard drive to me, I have to unscrew my old hard drive, screw yours in, then slide it in. how is this faster than a non-test bench? Same story with the PSU. You have to screw a bracket on it's back to mount it. So instead of screwing in 4 holes to hold it, I get to screw down 8 holes, yay, and of course testing PSU's would be hell on earth with this case. Testing ROM's would suck too unless you have the hands of orphan Annie.
Let's talk about those awesome little screw nuts that are all over the place. So these take the place of standard screws. So instead of using a drill with a magnet head to hold small screws, I can use my fingers? Oh yes, much faster! /sarcasm
Overall Review: Bottom line is this, any changes to the under side such as PSU, hard drives, ROMs, requires you to take the entire thing apart. If you prefer this case for great cooling, size, and space, and don't intend to make a lot of changes, stick with it. Otherwise, move on.
Pros: Verrry fast
Cons: it does not crossfire with the R9290
A little loud, but it it never went over 60*c for me, so i didn't mind.
it's big, but shocker, all cards are big these days. I say make the cards bigger and force the case manufacturers to make bigger cases!
Overall Review: This is such an awesome video card. You can get this card and need nothing else. This is absolutely THE BEST card you can get at this price point. I' know because i've searched the internet far and wide!
That said, I bought an R9290 (aftermarket deal), and learned the hard way it does not crossfire with the r9280. The R9 280 (this card) uses a crossfire bridge, but the R9 290 does not use a bridge, it uses CF through your PCI slot. Some snarky readers might be saying "Why would you want to crossfire this card with an R9 290 anyway!?" Well, live and learn.
So if you want to crossfire this card, do so with another of this card, which is what I wish I had done. But I compared this card with the r9 290 and the difference was marginal, maybe 10% or 20% faster.
Final take away is this: The r9 series of cards are very good quality, very good price, very good performance, and the r9280 is the sweetspot.
Cons: Doesn't overclock, but i'm not really into overclocking because i think the performance increase doesn't warrant the strain, and i've heard far too many horror stories about burned chips. Wait, is this still a con?
I actually had some trouble with the fan. The cord coils around the outside of the fan and plugs into the MB, which was fine, but when i started it up, i heard some racket. Took me a minute to realize the fan was hitting the wire. I uncoiled it from around the fan and tie wrapped it up nice and neat, but it annoyed me that it didn't coil properly without hitting the fan nipping the wire.
Overall Review: I think next build i may try an AMD processor. Price point vs performance, i think AMD can beat intel. A lot of what you're paying for here is the brand name. Not to say it's not a great processor, it is, but i think a similar processor might save you $50 to $75 on the AMD side. Search for some benchmark tests and decide for yourself.
Pros: Easy BIOS setup
Input Labeled well
All round good motherboard
Cons: The sata ports are directly under the PCIex16, which can make changing sata a pain when you have a large video card, but I don't know where else you might put the sata ports, so I'll let that go.
The board is not as wide as full form ATX, which means it does not sit on the 3rd screw slots. So the motherboard hangs off a few inches from the 2nd screw slots. This makes me nervous when plugging in a 24 pin power connector. You really have to press down hard, and I worry I'm going to snap the thing. Same goes for the USB3 connector. But I didn't snap it, so maybe it can take the punishment.
Only 1 pci-e x16 slot, but I knew that going in, so if I wanted 2, I should have shopped around more. In hindsight, I should have gotten a MB with two pci-e x16's. I set up a crossfire, and performance is less than what it could have been. If you intend to set up crossfire or SLI, keep shopping.
Overall Review: I saw a few of the other reviews about the M2 set up, which I'm not too worried about. I mean this thing has like 6 SATA slots. How many does the average gamer really need? For me, just 3. an SSD and an HDD, and a BD-Rom. I'll cross the M2 bridge when i come to it.