Joined on 12/30/01
A Value Micro-ATX Case of Adequate Features and Build Quality
Pros: Basic micro-ATX mid-tower case with adequate features, build quality and attractive appearance. Case is spacious and easy to work in. Case can accommodate up to four internal harddrives, three 5-1/4 optical drives and two 3-1/4 inch drives. Case was well packed in double boxes with fore/aft Styrofoam supports which isolated the case. Case finish is matte-black lacquer finish of excellent quality. Front panel is made of ABS plastic of excellent fit and finish. Front panel not designed for regular removal. Right side panel was secured with two thumb screws for easy removal. Left side panel is removable but secured with screws that are replaceable with thumb screws. Case internals have folded over edges that lend strength and safety. Case comes with an easily removable generic motherboard rear panel shield. A serial port punch-out is also provided. A 120mm case fan is provided which moves a considerable amount of air through case. Case allows a second front mounted 120mm fan.
Cons: Motherboard is attached to indents on the motherboard pan instead of standoffs more expensive cases offer. This proved not to be a problem with motherboard grounding. Case internal structure and side panels are of 0.5mm steel while case back panel is heavier 0.7 mm steel. Despite this, case is light and remains sturdy. Nothing rattles after assembly. One card slot is open and only one slot cover is provided. This upper slot is normally occupied by a graphics card. Remaining card slots are closed with metal tabs twisted off when these slots are required. If you want to shield and open slot after removing a card, you have to provide slot covers. Instruction sheet is very minimalist, single page, measured 6 x 8 inches, and printed on cigarette paper. Case fan is an ARX FD1212-S31333E, a 120mm sleeve bearing fan rated at 2100 RPM, 73.7 CFM and 38 DD. This fan is audible and replaced with two Coolermaster R4-S2S-124K-GP 120mm fans rated for 1200 RPM, 44.7 CFM and 19 DB. It’s silent.
Overall Review: I am well satisfied with this case. It’s a nice case that I use for a low-power PC I keep off-line for privacy where I maintain a journal/diary and private correspondence. Case is attractive, looks good on my desk, and provides the basic functionality I need. I gave this case four eggs because it is not as nice as a Lian-Li or Silverstone case and I have to keep perspective. However, for $25 it’s hard to beat the value of this case. This case provided better value than the Thermaltake VI5000BNS which has identical case body and finish but a nicer front panel for about double the cost. I plan to buy more of these cases for private builds I do for friends and family.
Was Quiet for the First Six Months
Pros: What I liked about this 40mm fan was its quiet operation, air flow and cost. For about six months this fan was very quiet. I mounted this fan on a specialty Intel MCH bracket that attaches to the large aluminum heatsink of the northbridge chip. At 6.24 CFM, this is plenty of air to push through the northbridge heatsink to keep this chipset cool. It comes with screws and a three-to-four pin adapter for Molex connection.
Cons: After six months of usage, the bearings of this fan became noisy (a faint rattling) during the first ten minutes after the computer booted. After ten minutes, these fan bearings quieted down. For awhile, I though my harddrive was beginning to go bad until I investigated and discovered the faint rattling was this fan. I verified this by placing my finger on the rotating blades, which stopped the rattling noise.
Overall Review: I am disappointed with this fan and will replace it with another model – even if I have to pay significantly more for it. Other than the very disconcerting noise, this fan did what it was suppose to do and I am going to give it three eggs. Keep in mind this is a ball-bearing fan and these do get noiser with time.
Good Case for An Entry Level Workstation
Pros: A large ATX case that is perfect for an entry level workstation. Excellent cooling capability. Comes with removable filters for the front fans which blow over the harddrive cage. The internal hard drive rack can accommodate up to six hard drives with an effective sound deadening. Internally, this case can handle long graphics cards.
Cons: The aluminum feels a little flimsy compared to a Lian-Li Case I purchased in 2002. Fitment is not as tight as the older case.
Overall Review: I purchased this case for an engineering workstation build featuring an ASUS P8C WS, an Xeon E3-1250V2 CPU, 32 GB of DDR3-1600 with ECC, a 970GT EVGA graphics Card, a Pioneer Blue Ray Burner and a 10 GB RAID 5 harddrive array.
Pros: Very fast chip. Ivy Bridge 22nm, 4-Core, 8-Threads, ECC capable, disabled graphics, its actually cheaper than its desktop equivalent without ECC by $50. Great Value.
Cons: No cons I can seriously gripe about. CPU runs hot when under Stress testing on all 8 threads because of thermal paste issues. But for the usage I subject this CPU under, this is not a issue to deduct eggs over. Its hard to find fault with a CPU that works out of the box.
Overall Review: I purchased this CPU with an ASUS P8C WS (with C216 chipset) and 32 GB Kingston DDR3-1600 ECC memory because I wanted ECC given there is so much memory on my new build. Operating under Windows 7 Pro for over a year, I have not, REPEAT NOT, experienced one Blue Screen Of Death. With ECC, this is a very stable system. Application crashes are extremely rare.
Decent Motherboard for Graphics Design
Pros: I found this motherboard to be reliable for a workstation build I have been running for over a year. Pleased with this motherboard except for a glaring pro. Accepts ECC memory with E3-1240 V2 Xeon Processor. I am currently running 32GB of Kingston DDR3-1600 memory. Very stable. Very, very few crashes with Windows 7 Pro and Fedora 20.
Cons: The sound chip picks up interference from the Video Card which is very annoying. For a motherboard of the cost that ASUS commands, I expected better design of the sound circuitry having better EMI resistance. A separate Creative Sound Card fixed the problem. This costs an egg in an otherwise flawless performance.
Overall Review: Once the latest BIOS is installed, this motherboard is very reliable and accepts all of the devices I have attached to it.
Works Fine for Asus P8C WS
Pros: Flawless performance and reliability. Tested with Memtest86+ for five passes (all available tests) with no errors. Enjoyed my workstation for about a year with virtually nil crashes.
Cons: Its a bit pricy but quality costs.
Overall Review: Asus P8C-WS Intel E3-1240 V2 32Gb Kingston DDR3-1600 Sapphire HD 7850 Windows 7 Pro 64-Bit Pioneer Blue-Ray and DVD burners. 8TB RAID 5 Array.