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Daniel P.

Daniel P.

Joined on 10/24/04

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 6
Most Favorable Review

Tricky with 12 Gigs

G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7T-6GBPI
G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7T-6GBPI

Pros: Fast, low latency, aggressive timings for the price. Runs great with XMP on my Gigabyte x58 mb. Benchmarks up there with the best of them.

Cons: I started out with 1 (3x2gb) which worked fine at 1600 for about a month. Purchased a second set to up my rig to 12gb, but there was a problem with the second set, would only post to 8gb, with effort and tweaking got it to 10 gb for a while. Checked each module one at a time and found one module bad. RMA'd newegg right away and got a new set. By the time I got them back, the original set developed a failed module. Rma'd to G. Skill, no hassle, got a new set, now all are happy together with xmp profile, 1600, working fine for now. I debated on dropping an egg, but since both Gskill and Newegg were so accommodating, and quick to respond, I leave it at 5. So don't give up if you run into this.

Overall Review: If you look on the web, you will find this is a very common problem with DDR3 of all brands, trying to get 12Gb working properly together. The good news is both newegg and Gskill were great in working with me to get me there.

Great MB

GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD5 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD5 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: 6GB/sec SATA (2), USB3 (2), esata (2), dual ethernet, lots of overclocking control (Much better than my EP-45 mb...Gigabyte is getting better at this), durable construction, great colors if you display the innerds, running well with core I920 at 2800...I know I can go higher but it screams already. recognizes 12gb Gskill DDR3 @1600Mhz with XMP profile (must set it to XMP in the bios, otherwise defaults to 1066). Very good benchmarks, easy setup. Very happy with this motherboard.

Cons: Raid controllers are a little tricky...not for the novice if you want to set up raid arrays. But with average experience with building rigs, not a problem. Not enough to cost an egg.

Overall Review: I had to stretch for even a slight con.

Great Cooler, Worth the Price

CORSAIR Hydro Series H50 120mm Quiet Edition Liquid CPU Cooler - Intel Only (CW-9060006-WW)
CORSAIR Hydro Series H50 120mm Quiet Edition Liquid CPU Cooler - Intel Only (CW-9060006-WW)

Pros: Works like a charm, with I-920 CPU clocked @ 2800 MHz running around 34C cpu case, 39 to 40c cores @ idle, max core temp about 60C torturing, I remove the stock paste and used Arctic MX-2...needed about a week to cure. Overall I saw over a 15C drop in core temps from my Zalman 9700 air cooler, which I think is significant...and the temps are still on the decline. Go to the Corsair web site a watch the installation video and you will have no problems with even an average mechanical aptitude.

Cons: Not a big con, but I had to drill new fan mounting holes in the back of my case (Of course I removed the motherboard first to prevent metal filing issues, vacuumed thoroughly). This is because thewater reservoir on the radiator that mounts to the fan hit my power supply (Armor MX case). So I moved the holes about 5/8 in away from the PS and I was in business. I suspect this will be the case for many of not most of you. Easy fix...can't even tell unless you really look close from the back of the pc at the slightly off-center cooling holes. So I'm leaving it at 5 eggs.

Overall Review: I installed both the original case fan, turned around of course, and the one that comes with the cooler, in a push pull configuration, blowing inwards per Corsair recommendation. I have had no ventilation problems, although this case has a large side window fan and a front fan...noticed no difference in video card temps. Because of the two fan sandwich, I had to go to the hardware store for longer fan/radiator mount screws (need four 6/32 by 1.25 inch), but easy to obtain.

Looking Good So Far

GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD5 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD5 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: Triple Channel Memory has proven to be very fast. Overclocks well with my I7 920. Haven't pushed the limits yet because I had to order an adapter bracket for my Zalman 9700 cooler, but even on stock intel cooler it stays under 65C. Once I activated the XMP in the bios it registers my GSkill DDR3 1600 memory properly, both frequency and timings...otherwise it registers 1066...very easy to do, just expect to have to do it. And you have to read the manual to get the raid controllers to work...far from intuitive, but they do work if you set them up right, so not really a con. This is a bit future proof also with USB 3, although I haven't purchased any USB 3 devices to try it yet.

Cons: The onboard LEDs are a bit of a mystery...the manual could be clearer. I will eventually figure them out. This is probably not a beginner board.

Overall Review: Until I loaded the W7 drivers off the included driver disk some of the features didn't work. I also flashed the bios to the latest using the @bios program...worked fine. The driver disk seems up do date...surprise! Once the drivers were loaded, everything works like a charm. I was even able to use my bootdrive that was set up for another Gigabyte board (EP-45-UD3P), on which I had recently done a clean install of W7. It booted with the new board, processor and memory, but, like I said, had to load the drivers from the disk. ( BTW if you use Everest Ultimate, you need to download the latest beta version or it won't recognize this board.) I am happy with this board...so far 4 gigabyte boards, four successes.

Great MB

EVGA 122-CK-NF68-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard
EVGA 122-CK-NF68-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: Well laid out, room for a large cpu cooler, relatively easy to understand bios setup, like the digital code readout during posting, pretty decent manual. I had no interferences with the 8800 GTS card. SLI capability if I need it down the road.

Cons: Lacks case intrusion connector...minor. No cons really.

Overall Review: Still with the original bios firmware, running Windows Vista 64. Had to update MB and Video drivers to get Flight Simulator X to load, AND to get the machine to come out of sleep mode properly...otherwise everything works great. Impressive overclocking features, so much so they can get you in trouble if you are not careful. My core setup in a Thermaltake armor full tower case with a Thermaltake Purepower 600W Cable Management PS: EVGA 122-CK-NF68 680sli MB, Intel Q6600 w/zalman 9700 cooler, 2x1gb corsair Dominator PC8500, single EVGA 8800GTS 640mb (all purchased at newegg...very pleased) Windows Vista Ultimate 64, base score 5.7

Great Case

Thermaltake Armor Series VA8003SWA Silver ATX Full Tower Computer Case w/ 25CM Fan
Thermaltake Armor Series VA8003SWA Silver ATX Full Tower Computer Case w/ 25CM Fan

Pros: Spacious, relatively quiet, massive cooling capability, attractive, very configurable front drive bays and covers, very solid construction.

Cons: Front "wing" doors are a little floppy, but magnetic catches make them OK if the case is level. Not wild about the plastic card slot retainers...backed them up with screws because I didn't trust them to stay closed. A little spendy.

Overall Review: I have this sitting on my desk, no noise issues. This case keeps everything cool and has room for some pretty sizeable components, including a Zalman 9700 cpu cooler, which had plenty of room and lined up nicely with the rear case exhaust fan. My Thermaltake RX Wo144RU 600W power supply fit, albeit tightly. The 25 cm side fan is suprisingly quiet. All in all, if you have the room for this, it will handle anything you want to put in it, highly recommended. My core setup: EVGA 122-CK-NF68 680sli MB, Intel Q6600 w/zalman 9700 cooler, 2gb corsair Dominator PC@8500, EVGA 8800GTS 640mb (all purchased at newegg...very pleased) Windows Vista Ultimate 64, base score 5.7