Date Joined: 03/29/06
Pros: All copper, easy install, keeps temps 15c cooler than stock or ASUS V-Nardo on a Pentium D 940.
Cons: While the base had a mirror finish, there was an imperfection about the size of a raspberry seed on it.
Overall Review: Excellent cooler. To those confused about which way to mount it for airflow, there is enough space between the two sets of copper fins to see the fan itself. You want the concave side of the blades to be facing the direction you want air to be flowing.
Pros: Unique design, copper base and heatpipes.
Cons: The orientation of this unit is no good if you have an rear-to-front airflow (like a Lian Li A05, for example). You have to mount it backwards and one of the tabs interferes with the northbridge heatsink. Copper base not smooth, visible marks and flaws.
Overall Review: Had a Pentium D 940 idling at 60c with no overclocking. Might cool the Core 2 Duos better. Fan was also a little loud for my tastes.
Pros: Super stable, plenty of connectors, quiet, nice bag for extra cables.
Cons: Ribbon style cables are STIFF--hard to maneuver
Overall Review: This replaced a Zalman ZM600-HP that died on me. The wattage is rated lower, but all reviews of this PSU that I've found proclaim that it's a "true" 520W for whatever that's worth. I've noticed to difference in system performance.
Pros: Sleeved cables, quiet, uninstrusive blue LEDs
Cons: Lasted just over a month. It started clicking (the way it clicks when it shuts down) randomly, but system showed no signs of instability or lack of power. I powered off my system and it would not power up again--totally dead
Overall Review: I was iffy about this purchase in the first place. I replaced it with a Corsair HX520.
Pros: Price, good looking heatsink, acceptable timings, it just works!
Cons: Nothing! I don't do overclocking to tightening of timings, so I can't speak on behalf of that.
Overall Review: I bought some G.Skill notebook ram for an upgrade a few months ago. I knew little about the company and had never purchased their products before. The ram proved to be super stable and of excellent quality. Since then I've used the same ram in two other notebook, all awesome. Bought these for a desktop upgrade I was doing for someone and they've proved to be awesome yet again.
Cons: There is play in the fan blades, so if you mount this in an inverted ATX/BTX style case the blade sags and gets caught on its wires keeping it from spinning. Noise only acceptable on lowest setting (a measly 11 CFM) which is quickly offset by the heat generated by the LED in a hot case.
Overall Review: Modded it with a few zip ties to get the wires out of the way so that they fan would actually spin, but saw an INCREASE in case temperature. Antec used to impress me, but lately they've been very disappointing.
Pros: Nice size, excellent look, very spacious inside, reasonable price for what you get.
Cons: Hot to the touch! Running a Pentium D 940 on an ASUS P5WD2 Premium using a Thermaltake V1 heatsink/fan. MB temps usually 45c and CPU temps average 40-44 idle. An additional intake or exhaust on the top of this case would be a welcome idea. There is a space for the Lian Li BS-03 exhaust that comes on their more expensive cases, but I can find it for sell ANYWHERE!
Overall Review: All in all an excellent buy and setup, will just have to keep an eye on the temps.
Pros: Intuitive navigation, supports loads of video codecs.
Cons: Kind of bulky, see other thoughts.
Overall Review: I bought this device in late November of 2006. I had to RMA it to Creative in February because the display became corrupt. They replaced it with a brand new unit, but here we are about 5 months later and the display is corrupt AGAIN! I just sent it out for the 2nd RMA in an 8 month period. Totally ridiculous. Creative should stick with what they know (audio) and stay away from what they obviously don't (video).
Pros: Cheap, does what it's supposed to
Cons: KWorld's site sucks. The disc that came with the card could not be read from. Had to download drivers manually after navigating their horrible website
Overall Review: This product now supports Vista. Get the new drivers from their site.
Pros: 6 (!) fan headers, CMOS reset switch, onboard troubleshooting LED, SATA and IDE ports mount sideways (not straight down) making for easier cable management), nice BIOS options, good looking and unintrusive heatsinks/heatpipes.
Cons: Connecting the SATA cables was a bit tricky since my hard drive cage is less than 1/2 inch from the ports. Luckily my case had some nearby slits that I could route the cables through and wrap back around so that the cables wouldn't be bent.
Overall Review: I bought this motherboard on a whim because I needed something right away after my brand new MSI P6N-SLI Platinum croaked. I decided against SLi and to get something with more features. Man, did I luck out. This board does not disappoint.
Pros: Gigabyte makes excellent boards and this one is no exception
Cons: Why on Earth do manufacturers ruin their awesome boards by overpopulating them with PCI x1 slots?! In my opinion, there's a problem when there are more PCI x1 slots then PCI slots.
Overall Review: As awesome as it is, the board loses a lot of appeal by having very little room for expansion since PCI x1 slots are useless to me. Otherwise I would've bought and used this board in a second!
Pros: Removable motherboard tray, all aluminum, modular hard drive bay, above average (but not superior) stock fans, spacious, thumbscrews for nearly everything, so good looking in all of its simplicity, top-mounted power/reset buttons and usb/firewire ports
Cons: No matching mesh 3.5 device converter (for a floppy drive, for instace), front bezel pops off a little TOO easily (always pops off a little every time I try to move it), front intake fan makes a lot of noise blowing against 3 hard drives (I recommend dropping the voltage to mellow it out a little)
Overall Review: I'm glad that my die-hard Lian Li fanboy buddy talked me into giving Lian Li a shot. This is a high quality case and worth every penny. It's external simplicity and internal intricacy are unrivaled. The airflow setup is unique and effective. I have a Zalman CNPS 9500 facing down since the rear 120mm is an intake--the 9500 takes that fresh air and sends it through the heatsink and down toward the rear side exhaust. So far I have seen very good results. I don't think I'll use a different brand case again.
Pros: Nice layout, easy to work with
Cons: Lasted ~1 hour. Flashed BIOS using MSI's LiveUpdate utility, then rebooted to a blank screen with system totally hung up. Contacted MSI tech support online, they suggested to reset the CMOS. I did that, the motherboard was completely unresponsive--LED stayed lit, but fans would only kick on for a split second then die.
Overall Review: It is very clear to me that whoever responded to my tech requests at MSI did not read my problem thoroughly. They kept asking me to do things that I had no ability to do due to the state of the motherboard. It's like they have pre-written answers, and if your concern remotely resembles something then you get their lame, generic response. Too bad most manufacturers are plagued by the same horrible tech support.
Pros: For the money you can't beat this board. I bought this motherboard to assemble a system from existing extra computer parts I had laying around. This included a pretty new CPU (Cedar Mill 651), but old DDR400 ram. This MB supports them both without a hitch. Very pleased.
Cons: I could never get the onboard sound to work. I tried everything I could, but to no avail. Luckily I had an extra M-Audio card laying around.
Overall Review: Besides the onboard sound issue, this board is golden. Very pleased, indeed.
Pros: Faster and cooler than the chip it replaced (Pentium 4 HT 651 3.4GHz Cedar Mill). I couldn't keep my 3.4Ghz under ~50c on idle and it drove me crazy. So, decided to take the 0.2Mhz hit and give this dual-core a shot. The first time I fired up my machine it was running at 43c! The next day, after the thermal compound (MX-1) had some time to cure a bit, it was running at 38c idle. WOW! I'm impressed.
Cons: Newegg still shipping the version with B-1 stepping. Kind of strange since the C-1 stepping revision came out in April and my packaging date of the box of my CPU said 5/22/06.
Overall Review: I'm running this chip on an ASUS P5WD2 Premium (a board notorious for running chips hot) in an Antec P180 case loaded with Scythe 120mm fans. For CPU cooling I'm using Arctic Cooling MX-1 thermal compound (the best, imho) with a Zalman CNPS9500 LED
Pros: Fast. 2MB L2 cache, 800MHz FSB, and HyperThreading? At 3.4Ghz, that's nothing to sneeze at.
Cons: Kind of expensive vs. a comparible AMD. This processor also runs pretty hot; way too hot for the stock heatsink and fan to handle.
Overall Review: An aftermarket heatsink and/or fan is a must. With the stock HSF my temps creeps into the high 60s at times (Intel's site saying that the thermal max for this chip is 69). I had some luck with the Scythe Katana; it kept my loads at ~56c and idled ~49. Not good enough for me. I just purchased a Zalman CNPS 9500 LED in hopes of some reduced temps... hopefully it'll suffice.
Pros: Stable, good layout (for the most part [see cons re: PSU monitor]), lots of room for expansion.
Cons: (1) StackCool is a joke. Makes critical components 20 degrees cooler? Maybe if the engineering of this board made them 20 degrees warmer to start with, because the temps are nothing remarkable. (2) The PSU fan monitor pin connector is placed in a manner that if your PSU is below the motherboard, as it is with my Antec P180 case, the cable has to be routed over all of the PCI slots. If you have any high-profile cards, like any decent graphics card, then the cable touches the card. (3) I encountered extremely long boot times with the PSU connector attached. I did some googling to see if anyone else had suffered from these ridiculously long boot times (post seemed to hang after the RAM check) and found out that the PSU connector was the culprit. I disconnected it and it's fine now (guess that solves problem 2 then, eh?). (4) There aren't a whole lot of PCI x1 cards out there, so having two PCI x1 slots seems like a waste. I would've liked to have had just an extra regular PCI slot.
Overall Review: For the money I expected better, though all-in-all it's really not a bad motherboard.
Relevant information: CASE: Antec P180; CPU: Pentium 4 651 Cedar Mill 3.4Ghz (not overclocked); PSU: Antec TruPower II 550W; RAM: 2x1gig Patriot eXtreme DDR2800
Pros: Awesome design, quiet fan, keeps CPU cool (as it should).
Cons: At idle the fan spins at 650-700 RPM, and my Asus P5DW2 often gives me a CPU fan error at boot.
Overall Review: I installed this HSF using MX-1 thermal compound and immediately my idle temps went from 60-65c to 47-51c. The design is perfect for my Antec P180 case since I can have this unit facing toward the read exhaust while the upper exhaust pulls heat from it as well.
Pros: Cost effective, does what's it's supposed to do.
Cons: Messy, but that's to be expected.
Overall Review: I've read a lot of people griping about the consistency of this product, saying that it's really thick and hard to spread, but I had no problem at all; I had more of a problem spread Arctic Silver. I installed a new HSF at the same time that I tried MX-1 for the first time, so I don't know if I can credit the HSF or the MX-1 for the nice decrease in temperature, but it's about 10c cooler at idle now.
Pros: Quiet and effective.
Cons: Only a 4-pin connector (unable to monitor through motherboard)
Overall Review: The con really isn't justified since it's not technically a case fan, it's a hard drive cooling fan.
I needed a slim 80mm fan for the VGA duct in my Antec P180 and I had a lot of trouble finding one. I decided to get this product and just yard the fan out and install it in my case, and it's prefect!
Pros: Small (14" tall), quiet (so very quiet), minimalistic, power supply included, sound dampening silicone grommets included.
Cons: The dual chamber thing is an awesome idea, but with a case this compact the wire routing is definitely a task. Trying to slide the panel closed around all the wires and cables took some serious finesse. If you're going to be using round IDE cables for the CD-ROM then beware that a 12" was _barely_ long enough to reach the motherboard. If you plan on using round IDE cables for both the hard drive (if you're using the upper chamber for the hard drive) and CD-ROM, or two CD-ROMs then be prepared to struggle with that sliding chamber dividing panel.
Overall Review: This case is so cool incredibly quiet. I have the exhaust fan on the low setting and my MB and CPU temps are in the mid-30s. There's space for two front-mount intake fans, but they're really not necessary. To put things in perspective (since I know Intel's typically run hotter) I am using an AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Venice 2.0Ghz with an ASUS A8N-VM CSM motherboard.
Pros: Big, but not too big (if that makes sense). More quiet than stock Intel 651 3.4Ghz heatsink/fan.
Cons: Thus far, this unit is actually keeping my CPU _less_ cool. I went from idle temps of ~54-60 degrees to high 60s, low 70s.
Overall Review: I used the thermal pad with this unit. I heard that it's a sort of wax compound that can take several days to completely do its thing and start consisently keeping the CPU cool. I'll review again if my temps drop, but for now I'm a little disappointed.
CPU: Intel Pentium 651 Cedar Mill 3.4Ghz, Motherboard: ASUS P5WD2-Premium
Pros: Fast RAM, super stable, no performance problems.
Cons: The heatsink on one side was not secure. When I went to install the chip, the heatsink just fell off. I was able to press it back on (just an adhesive strip that holds it) and hasn't given me any problems.
Pros: Slick look, tons of sound dampening rubber washers and gaskets, quiet, lots of room for upgrades (enough space for 6 hard drives?!)
Cons: I'd say the size of this case is above average, which is no problem. The only reason I mention it is that, given it's size, everything still seems a bit cramped. I guess there's no getting around it with any case, though.
Overall Review: I initially installed a WD Raptor 10k RPM 74gig in the main chamber. It wasn't "loud" per se, but definitely noticable. Antec recommends that you install your hard drive(s) in the lower chamber for better cooling and less hard drive noise. I added a second hard drive and decided to move the first hard drive to the lower chamber since I was already in there. Now, if it weren't for the HDD LED I wouldn't even be able to tell if there were any hard drive activity... so quiet.