Joined on 06/15/07
Pros: These fans really do push a lot of air. I bought this one and a Thunderblade (also by Tt) as my main system coolers in a mid-tower case by EagleTech. They do an AMAZING job of cooling and the two of them together are even quieter than the 140mm fan in my PSU at half speed. The cables are plenty long and are pass-thru, so you're not losing a molex. And maybe the screws are not the standard, but if you're switching out fans you probably have extras lying around... or you could just use ones off your old fan...
Cons: Not a con, but for those concerned about getting the least noise (and consequently, lower CFM) if you want to put them on a fan controller, you'll need one that can pass 6V min (or 7V max) to start the fan AS WELL AS the appropriate 4-3pin connector--or you could pick up the Vantec Nexus fan controller for about $20 and it has integrated 4-pin power and the ability to pass 0-12V. Better yet, if you're a gamer concerned about noise, spend some cash on a good pair of Noise-canceling headphones if you're only using the rig to game.
Overall Review: For people concerned with noise, realize that measuring noise levels isn't really standardized. Most places try to take measurements in an environment where the ambient noise is around <15dBA, and these measurements often are taken when the fan is unobstructed, so they do NOT take into account that the fan will be placed over the small holes of a case--forcing a large quantity of air through a restricted opening is a really good way to generate noise. Lastly, if you're that concerned about noise, you really shouldn't be looking at sleeve or ball bearing fans... Save your money for a little while and look at some good Fluid Dynamic Bearing fans. And just remember that typically: Larger fan=greater airflow=fewer RPM=less noise That's why the guy said two of these are louder than his 360mm fan... 6 or 7 inch blades on that monster are comparable to the size of a fan meant to cool a small (8ft x 8ft) room, whereas these 120's have blades less than 2.5 inches long.
Pros: Plenty of different connectors, no frills look, good price for a 500W unit. Worked well while it was alive.
Cons: Didn't do a very good job of "keeping the magic smoke in." The unit died quite suddenly after 8 months of light use (not on for more than a few hours a day). Thought it was my video card at first. It took it all of 12 hours to go bad once it showed the first signs of a defect: randomly causing my system to lock up. Turned off my system after 3 consecutive lockups (light load and within 15 minutes of each other) and I put it on a tester at this point. It was pushing less than 300W and once I got close enough to it, I could smell the smoke trying to escape. Needless to say, the supply was toast.
Overall Review: Well, it DOES have a one-year warranty. Wonder what Coolmax will do about this? The only reason I didn't give it one egg is because it shut off before it burned up my system. PentiumD 930 3.0GHz Dual Core 4x 1GB HP PC2-5300 RAM ECS PA1-MVP(v2.0) motherboard ATI Radeon X1550 256MB GPU USRobotics 56k modem Airlink Super-G wireless PCI card 2x 500GB SATA HDD in striped RAID 1x DVD-ROM 1x DVD/CDRW WindowsXP Media Center
Relatively cheap solution for a warm laptop
Pros: Three fans placed at some of the hottest parts of your laptop (in my case, at the junction between screen and keyboard and beneath the RAM/processor). Tilted construction makes typing feel a little more natural. Doesn't need a bulky external power adapter.
Cons: No fan over your battery (a real hot-spot on most laptops), though I'm sure one could be added if you're savvy enough. Plastic. Doesn't have a replacement USB port built in for the one it takes up. Downside to the tilt of the unit is that is causes the fans to make noise-- fans are meant to be mounted only at 0 degrees or 90 degrees and no angle in between. I'm sure some of the newer fans like the magnetic bearing Enlobal can get away with a tilted mount though since they don't have a physical axis they must rotate on, but ball/sleeve bearing fans make noise when they are tilted because it's essentially like a tire with a bent rim rotating on a crooked axle.
Overall Review: I actually opted out from this particular model and bought an aluminum version of it on a very popular auction site instead. The fans still make the noise, but if you keep them cleaned out and/or put something under the front of the stand to level it, the noise will go away. The big plus the aluminum one has is that it is essentially a giant heatsink--if the room gets cold, the aluminum cools down, and when my laptop gets hot, the aluminum spreads the heat out. Keeps my 15" Powerbook G4 ice cold at idle, and cool water cold at load. For less than $20, it's a very good way to prolong the life of you system without tearing it apart.
Pros: Crossfire support. Found a Dual Core Pentium D processor on newegg and it works like a charm. Color coded expansion slots for the completely inexperienced. SATA/RAID(mirrored or striped) support and up to 4 IDE devices so you don't have to junk older hard drives. Overclockable. Easy install, easy setup. 64-bit support. Useful software included. Seems to stay stable and cool under average use.
Cons: Like others have said, the board layout isn't conducive to having the biggest and best hardware crammed into every available port but it does nicely for a casual gamer, small business, or typical home user. FDD connector is located at the back of the board, PATA connectors could be better situated--they sit almost under the hard drive in a mid-sized case(not the full tower types like the Asus Vento) though I suppose that could be remedied by longer cables and relocating the hard drives to different slots, but that's more clutter in your case.
Overall Review: Included rear IO panel doesn't make perfect sense--when installed, it has a VGA or SCSI port style opening directly over the vented CPU exhaust fan instead of just an unobstructed path (probably a result of being a stock panel instead of a panel customized for this board). Does have an optional eSATA port, and an LPT1 style header/cable combo for printers, cash registers, point of sale systems, etc. Comes with plenty of cables and the pinouts for external USB/Firewire ports are reasonably easy to understand. Works great with XP 32/64 bit of all kinds, though I haven't tried Vista at all--M$oft finally gets XP more or less figured out and then they release Vista and basically start all over (wait a few years until Vista is stable and all hardware is shipped as Vista compatible and it'll be fine--I am sticking with XP until then). Finally, have some zip ties and a plan about routing your drive/power cables to avoid blocking airflow through your case and over your board.
Pros: Room for a 120mm fan both front and back, hide-able front panel audio/USB/Firewire ports, runs nice and cool, sturdy steel construction(fairly light considering the material), plenty of expansion room, door swings smoothly and latches tightly to conceal front drive expansion bays. Absolutely CANNOT beat the price I paid for this case--wish I could tell you what that was.
Cons: Nothing too bad. Had to reroute the front panel header cables through a different hole so I could fit a 120mm in front--had a little trouble getting the cables to reach all the way to the back of the case after that, but it was partially my fault for wanting a 120mm fan and partially because the layout of my MoBo.
Overall Review: I did have to break off the plastic pegs that held the stock 80mm front fan in place in order to get my 120mm in there, but that's a small price to pay. Manual says you can mount an 80mm fan on the side, but there are only 3 holes you might mount into on the side--I can hit the two holes directly over the side vent, but the third sits obtuse to them so having only two holes makes me think there'd be a lot of vibration noise if I did put a fan there. Overall this is a great case for the beginning builder, the modder, or just the person who wants to take their current computer out of the eye-sore sitting underneath their desk and put it in a more stylish case they can be proud to sit ON TOP OF their desk. The Snake Eye window is also a nice touch.