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Dmitri P.

Dmitri P.

Joined on 07/14/08

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 16
Most Favorable Review

Fast and Stable Memory with aRGB

G.SKILL Trident Z Neo Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin PC RAM DDR4 4000 (PC4 32000) Intel XMP 2.0 Desktop Memory Model F4-4000C16D-32GTZNA
G.SKILL Trident Z Neo Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin PC RAM DDR4 4000 (PC4 32000) Intel XMP 2.0 Desktop Memory Model F4-4000C16D-32GTZNA

Pros: I am running the memory at CL16-16-16-32-1T-1.39V @ 3,800mhz on my Ryzen 9 5950x. Infinity Fabric (FCLK) is up to 1,900mhz in order to run 1:1. This keeps my memory at a cool 45C (about 20C above ambient) during idle and coming up to a max 51C under load. The "A" at the end of the model number designates that this memory is the newer tighter timings on the original "F4-4000C16D-32GTZN" modules. The CL (Tcas) was the same at 16, but Trcd and Trp were at higher 19 ratings. This indicates even better binning of Samsung B-Dies, the gold standard for overclockers and tweakers. PCMARK10 score of 8028 (top 1%) 51gb/s throughput on UserBenchmark (146% of "best alternative") 58gb/s throughput on AIDA64 (ahead of most quad channel memory) So far, coming off of Corsair Dominators on an Intel system, these have impressed me as much if not more.

Cons: While I am not typically a fan of RGB, these modules are actually quite appealing. aRGB allows you to turn them off completely if you prefer, but I wish there was an option to lower the brightness a bit as well. This may be a software limitation of my MSI MEG motherboard, I am not sure.

Overall Review: In order for faster memory to be stable, especially Samsung B-dies, you need to run it closer to its rated voltage. I was only able to undervolt to 1.39V (-0.01V) and maintain stability. To achieve tighter timings in the future, I will likely have to overvolt the RAM anywhere from .03-.05V above rated. I have not tried the XMP/AMP 4,000mhz as this would likely include an increase to SoC voltages to keep the Infinity Fabric speed in line (important to maintain 1:1 FSB to DRAM ratio). I prefer cooler hardware to a 1%-3% theoretical benchmark improvement.

This is Quite Nearly the Perfect PC Case

LIAN LI O11 Dynamic XL ROG Certificated - Black Color, Tempered Glass on the Front, and Left Side, E-ATX , ATX Full Tower Gaming Computer Case, O11D XL-X
LIAN LI O11 Dynamic XL ROG Certificated - Black Color, Tempered Glass on the Front, and Left Side, E-ATX , ATX Full Tower Gaming Computer Case, O11D XL-X

Pros: This case has the room for a full E-ATX motherboard (it would fit an EEB as well, but some of the grommets would be fully covered rather than half covered as they are with an E-ATX). It is perfectly designed to fit custom cooling components from EKWB, and I highly recommend pairing this case with that brand's liquid cooling solutions. I am using their front distribution plate XL (from EKWB) which sits neatly behind the tempered glass front panel. The case is rugged and sturdy, and has tons and tons for room for cable management, radiators, pumps, reservoirs, the works. My ATX power supply was a little longer than normal, but still fit well into the back of the case. However, I could no longer fit the rear SSD-holder/separator mid-panel as a result (not that I need it). The case comes with extra rubber feet in case you rub one or two off while moving the case around, along with extra plastic snap-ins in case you break one while installing.

Cons: The hard drive enclosures are just that, enclosures; meaning no air flow as they are completely closed off inside their slots. There is some breathing room in there, but not much, and I cannot fit a 80mm fan in just in case. Should consider less heat-generating HDDs if you plan to use them (Hitachi/HGST or Toshiba). My drive runs at The bottom of the case has a 10mm high bracket which houses the 120mm fan/radiator mounting holes, below the bracket there are no mounting holes. If you drill your own holes, you will need to use low-profile screws as they will interfere with the dust screen movement. There is also a very annoying single screw, securing the back feet to the case, coming about 2mm up from the bottom of the case. This scratched up my radiator as I was testing some fits. Didn't see a compelling reason for it to be there as it could have been installed closer to the wall of the case to allow more radiator/fan clearance. Is this the reason the 10mm bracket even exists? In short, it would have been nicer to mount my 60mm high radiator a bit lower (by 10mm) for that additional motherboard i/o access. One final con is the small 120mm rear port. Normally you would want this to be a 140mm, but one would not have fit in this case even if they chose to go down that route. The reason you want a 140mm is in the event you have an AIO cooler for a graphics card which you want to rear mount (needs some extra room for tubing/encasement), you won't have the headroom to fit it inside the case and will be forced to externally mount (as I temporarily did while I wait for a 3090/3080TI to become available so I can add it to my custom loop.

Overall Review: This case is heavy, and will only be heavier once you install a custom liquid cooling loop. It won't be the best case to transport around to lan events if you still do that kind of thing. The finish that they went with on the aluminum is easily marred by the oil on one's hands/fingers; you'll need to wipe it down with some cleaning solution if you want the case to be pristine. If you go dual radiator (top and bottom) as I have, I recommend making the bottom and intake, with the top and exhaust, as well as there rear an exhaust. This way, you can set up 3 fans on the rear-side panel as intakes for your motherboard and component air cooling with positive air pressure inside the case (6 intake, 4 exhaust) which will keep dust accumulation from entering into the pores, nooks, and crannies that do not have dust filters. Speaking of dust filters, everywhere there is a fan there is a removable dust filter, perfect for pet owners. You will not regret this case.

Top of the line memory, top of the line price.

CORSAIR Dominator Platinum 64GB (4 x 16GB) DDR4 3000 (PC4 24000) Desktop Memory Model CMD64GX4M4C3000C15
CORSAIR Dominator Platinum 64GB (4 x 16GB) DDR4 3000 (PC4 24000) Desktop Memory Model CMD64GX4M4C3000C15

Pros: This is the most stable and quality memory your dollars can buy you. Please don't buy 64gb of RAM unless you intend to use at least 32gb in workloads. Ensure your motherboard can handle 16gb in a single slot. Ensure your processor can handle 64gb of quad channel memory, or you are overpaying for something you can't fully utilized. Prepare to blow through your specialized software in RAMDisk.

Cons: XMP is a deceiving concept. If you are going to buy memory faster than 2133mhz for <6900k or faster than 2400mhz for >6900k, please know that these are overclocked specs that your RAM is rated to be CAPABLE of running at. Whether or not your processor or motherboard can hold such a speed stably is entirely up to you. My former 3200mhz@C16 rated RAM was not able to run at XMP on my X99 board with a 5930k chip (perhaps a Z170 and 6950X could, I'll never know), however, I was able to run stable at 2800mhz@C15, which is far preferable to me in what I needed the RAM for. If you are not looking to crush synthetic benchmarks at completely atypical loads, I recommend buying RAM that is rated higher than the speed you intend to run it, then downclock the speed while tightening its timings. My current 64gb kit is running at 2800mhz@C14, stable.

Overall Review: There is a SKU weirdness between this kit and the CMD64GX4M4B3000C15 (henceforth B Kit, since the only difference between the two is that single character in the SKU). Corsair lists the MSRP for this kit at $549.99 and does not include fans (not that you need them), but the B Kit has a $70 lower MSRP, has the same timings, voltage, capacity, and somehow also includes fans. My best guess is that the B Kit was the launch kit and its MSRP was never updated after it was discontinued in favor of the C Kit which is priced during a NAND flash shortage, without fans.

Mileage may vary

CORSAIR Hydro Series H55 Quiet Edition Water / Liquid CPU Cooler 120mm (CW-9060010-WW)
CORSAIR Hydro Series H55 Quiet Edition Water / Liquid CPU Cooler 120mm (CW-9060010-WW)

Pros: A completely leak-proof design, just make sure you give it 12V of power, sometimes that can be tricky with certain BIOS'. Remember to have proper airflow in your case.

Cons: You may not get the performance you are looking for. AIO water-cooling solutions are largely dependent on case air flow, ambient temperature, and rad size. Because the rad size is quiet small on this, I recommend doing a push-pull configuration with pressure fans. I am not able to get my R9 290 below 70C under load, which was the overall goal of my project. Need a larger rad.

Monster Performance and Reliability

SAMSUNG 850 PRO 2.5" 1TB SATA III 3D NAND Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-7KE1T0BW
SAMSUNG 850 PRO 2.5" 1TB SATA III 3D NAND Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-7KE1T0BW

Pros: The design looks sleek and performs like a monster. I RAID 0'd two of these 1TB bad boys together and got 1044mb/s sequential reads, 956mb/s sequential writes, 201mb/s reads and writes at random 4k in crystal mark. At 100Gb of writes per day, these drives have an estimated run time of 56 years. You pay for the reliability.

Cons: I did not like the lack of presence for any mounting brackets or screws to convert the drive from 2.5 to fit 3.5 bays. This is a minor complaint, but at these price points I like to be wined and dined. There is no hardware packages at all with these and the packaging would not protect them from a face drop, only corner drops. Then again they are rated to withstand a ridiculous amount of G force.

Overall Review: I chose to do a large 128k stripe size but have my virtual drive's sector size at 4k to optimize specifically around larger jobs. Great for high res textures, not so much for things like Minecraft.

An Overclocker's Heaven

CORSAIR Hydro Series H110 Extreme Performance Water/Liquid CPU Cooler. 280mm (CW-9060014-WW)
CORSAIR Hydro Series H110 Extreme Performance Water/Liquid CPU Cooler. 280mm (CW-9060014-WW)

Pros: This AIO liquid cooler will truly open up the possibilities of your CPU or GPU. If you have a lot of heat, like I do, or live in a hot climate, liquid cooling is your solution. I overclocked my FX-8150 to a stable 4500mhz at a maximum operating temperature of 48C under load, a 25% theoretical performance boost with little to no heat increase from my former CoolerMaster Hyper 212. I got a stable 5Ghz in testing, but don't like running 1.45v through the CPU as well as having to overclock the bus as this messes with my overclocked RAM speed.

Cons: Installation, installation, installation. The installation on this piece is an absolute pain and the smallest of improvements could have levied these pains. I opted not to use the Corsair prepackaged fans and instead went with two static pressure Noctuas. They are just a smidgen thicker than expected causing the mounting screws to be too short for easy installation. They hold well, but compress the rubber grommets more than I would like. Having an extra 1-2mm on the screws could have easily levied this. Additionally, the manual is subpar. The pictures barely represents the actual way to assemble and caused me (an experienced user) to reassemble the mounting bracket twice. Also, the backplate is only frictionally held in place and does not actually mount to the motherboard (AMD, not sure of Intel) during installation. This will make it more difficult to remove when changing processors or general cleaning. I also thinking the mounting hardware was cheap overall. Non-solid plastic for the backplate which could have easily been an aluminum plate at this price.

Overall Review: Why do high end products continue to come with a layer of cheap thermal paste that no end user worth their salt won't just wipe off? Save the 5 cents in production cost please.