Date Joined: 12/24/06
Pros: Nice blue LED fans that complement a case nicely. I bought another to go in my Thermaltake Overseer RX-1 case. I was sold because two already came with the case so I knew what they were capable of. These move a lot of air without a lot of noise. It does the job without issue. Mounting is quick and easy. Also in the box is screws for mounting as well as adapters to change the pin to molex connectors- handy if you are out of fan ports on your mobo but still need power to the fan.
Cons: I guess the blue can be obnoxious, if that's not your thing. There are cheaper fans, but you get what you pay for.
Pros: Great performance at a great price. Easily installed and runs without a hitch.
Overall Review: Haven't tried overclocking but will down the road.
Pros: Both side panels are removable. Lots of cable management options that allow you to feed cables through the side panel. Plenty of room to work in. Comes with plenty of fans. 200mm fans push lots of air and are very quiet. The HDD bay slots are super easy to insert and remove, as are the drive bays. The blue lights are cool, if that's your thing. I don't find them overly bright.
Cons: The top and front have long plastic covers over the fan bays. The plastic gives it a cheaper feel. Not docking an egg for this though- having it plastic cuts down on the overall weight of the case, and makes removing and snapping back in the covers pretty easy. I'm not sure if there would be a better solution but for the case to be all steel I wish that was too somehow.
Overall Review: Be careful when you pop the top plastic panel off- the top ports for USB have wires that are connected to the top and you could damage them if you are too forceful.
Pros: Great software. Great performance. Great temps. Great manual.
Cons: The placement of the PSU power connector on the mobo makes it impossible to route my PSU's power cable through the back of my case's cable management ports. It might be that the included PSU cord is too short, but because it's at the very top and the PSU is at the very bottom of the case it can't be routed through the back. Not docking an egg for this but I'm probably not the only one with this (small) problem.
Overall Review: Make sure to download the newest versions of the software from the website. The app control center is really cool and you can bring up OC settings from within windows.
Pros: Huge upgrade over the CPU I previously used- Q9450. This CPU runs a bit hotter, but the performance improvements are well worth the tiny bit of extra heat.
Cons: None. Fast and Furious.
Overall Review: Paired with a Thermaltake Water 2.0 liquid cooler. Temps run in the low 30s on silent setting. I haven't bothered with overclocking yet but will in the future for sure.
Pros: This is my first liquid cooler but the results are fantastic. It is way quieter than a Zalman CNPS9700 air cooler I had on a Q9450. On silent settings my temps stay under 40C under load. It also looks great in all black in my tower. The hoses are flexible, which is nice during the install.
Cons: The installation instructions are terrible. Installing this cooler took longer than the rest of the PC build put together. I had to dock an egg for this. On their website there are pictures, but it is still unhelpful. I bought this for a Haswell 1150 socket assuming it would work. It does, but after much force and numb fingers I broke down and had to snip one side of the underside plastic bracket for it to fit into the sockets on the motherboard. It didn't damage the integrity in anyway as it's still secured and stable, but I was fearful with this approach. Other than that, the Thermaltake fan software doesn't show my CPU temps (only the liquid), not sure why.
Overall Review: I highly recommend having a full tower case for this size of a cooler. In my full tower, the radiator barely clears the motherboard + memory sticks on the top. Despite what the instructions say (and keeping in mind that they're terrible anyway), I installed the radiator to the top of my case before attaching the heatsink to the CPU. This way, installing the radiator wouldn't tug on the placement of the heatsink. It worked well since I could see how much slack I had to work with on the hoses.
Pros: This card screams. I can run Battlefield 3 on Ultra, smooth as silk. Skyrim, even with the high-res texture pack, also has no problems. I think those are some of the most taxing things I can throw at it in a single monitor setup, and it chews everything up for breakfast. And it runs super cool and consumes less power. I call that a win win win.
I replaced a Visiontek Radeon HD4870; all the rest of my components are from 2008. The results are amazing.
Cons: The card almost didn't fit in my ATX Full tower case. It has less than a centimeter of clearance. You definitely need a beefy case to house this card.
Also, I could have waited for the price to stabilize a bit, particularly with Nvidia's offering just hitting retail. Still a worthwhile investment without question. Here's to another four years!
Overall Review: System specs:
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad 9450
Memory: 4GB DDR2
Motherboard: ASUS Maximus II Formula
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB