Date Joined: 03/04/06
Pros: Great features, tons of room for components and upgrades, supports great memory standards and the best current processors from intel.
Cons: The layout is in all honesty.... poor. The usb 3.0 for the front panel is in a horrible location on the front edge of the board and it creates a ton of cable clutter being right there with the sata's and the power 24 pin.
Biggest con through is after a month my pc strangely started just randomly crashing. Not BSOD, straight up crashing as if it lost power. Resetting power cables, checking connections seemed to resolve it. Two weeks later it happened again but a simple boot into safe mode and some diagnostic tests fixes it. A month later and I think I have a power issue as it is becoming common. I replace my APC, no change. Maybe it is something in a windows update or anti virus? System restore no go. Perhaps it is bad memory, memtest says no. Finally I outright buy a new power supply thinking this has to be it. I even change out all the cables and re run them with the new cords on the off chance it was a bad psu power cord. No joy.
Here a little over 3 months after purchase this mobo will not only not post, it won't even power on in the first place past some activity lights on the ethernet port. MSI's response? Enjoy a 1-3 week RMA process where we may just send this same board back and might even charge you for a new one.
Overall Review: I have used MSI boards almost exclusively since I started building pc's something like 15 years ago. This is the first one I have had be a complete bust. I haven't lost faith in them but I will say you may want to shy away from this one for awhile until it seems more revisions.
Pros: Where to begin? This case has got some room. I can't imagine any component you could want to put in this thing that would not easily fit. There is even a near full inch and a half between the back of the motherboard tray and the side panel. You can fit tons of drives, fans, rads, whatever you want, it will fit.
Almost the entire case is aluminum, in fact, on the exterior of the case the only plastic to be found is the front panel button for the 5.4 bay, even the power button is aluminum. Inside the case there are just the stands for the side panels, their insert points, and two clips for the front fans (more on those later), everything else is all aluminum. Also while I am at it, that 5.4 bay cover is slick! Works great, keeps that all aluminum look on the front panel, and protects your 5.4 drive just as well as a case door without the hassle.
The locking mechanism on the wheels works great, they slide well, make no noise, and the case itself is vented incredibly well. Forget about the crazy amount of very high quality and sturdy dust filters, fan covers, and cool extras (like individually removable hd brackets) you get.
Simply put this case has almost everything you could want and is crazy high build quality, which I expect from Lian Li. Additionally Lian Li service is great and very fast on response time... more on that later as well.
Cons: Sadly there are some issues.
First off those plastic fan brackets I mentioned... You can't see it in the photos but the front fan rack is held in place by two plastic clips which slide into the front panel. Why Lian Li choose to use plastic clips to hold in a very large all metal bracket of fans I can't say... I wish they had gone for something more traditional. Why? Because they attach the fans in the case before shipping and due to all the shipping tossing and juggling the fan exerted too much pressure and both the clips in my case snapped. Thus I had to contact Lian Li for replacements.
They responded and got my replacements shipped in under 12 hours which is awesome. However if they had just secured the fan bracket to the mobo tray and the brackets with the case screws etc, or just used thumb screws to mount it, I wouldn't have had to get replacements in the first place.
Number two, the option to mount drives on the opposite side of the mobo tray is really cool. Maybe it is too out there though because due to needing attachment points for those rear mount options Lian Li has no room for grommet spots on the bottom side of the mobo. This isn't a killer but it makes running those long HD audio and power pins a tough deal, and cable management maybe slightly sloppier than it needs to be. No one will ever complain about having too many cable routing points.
Lastly let's be honest, unless your power supply manufacturer gives you the longest mother board power connectors to ever exist you have no chance of routing your cables behind this mobo tray, up the back, and back down from the top without extenders. Lian Li seeing this gives you one extender. One. Problem... lots of newer boards (especially enthusiast mobo's, like the people who spend 300+ on a case) need more than one 8 pin. Again not a huge deal, you can get good extenders for like 4 bucks a pop. If you buy this case plan for this.
None of these things are "huge" problems, they are all minor and if you plan ahead easily predicted. Heck you might not even have the shipping bad luck I did. But all of them together considering the cost of the case I have to take off one egg. If I could make it half an egg I would.
Overall Review: Like the title of the review says it is worth the asking price. You may want to shop around for the side window version of this case if you want to show off your pc internals or just have to have that "all black" look. It is on newegg but currently sold out. There is also a silver version.
Side panels despite having plastic inserts and holders fit really well, they are also crazy heavy and durable feeling. I actually worry the panels may be too much for the plastic clips holding them in. So far so good though, just be gentle when opening and firm when closing.
Remove the HDD brackets you don't need and the air flow inside this thing is straight off the charts. Vent holes for the bottom where the PSU sit are sort of weird though. Unless you have a crazy long PSU the fan wont quite sit totally over the vent holes, more like 50-70% over them. Not a huge concern, but odd.
Pros: USB 3.0, 7 ports, a very attractive hub that looks nice sitting near a black monitor or a black case, port indicator lights are a nice bright blue that is easy to see but not so bright it distracts.. even the same shade of blue as my Lian Li cases power indicator. Easy to instal, no real need for drivers, it works plain and simple.
Cons: I put this here for safeties sake but the USB 3.0 cord from the hub to your pc is a little short maybe 2 feet long. For me the length was more than enough but you want to be aware of this if you are going to buy as you may need a usb extension cable based on your setup.
Overall Review: Worth every penny I paid, especially helpful if you use a slightly older tower like myself that has no front mounted USB 3.0.
Pros: It works straight up and simple. The coverage is very solid and I get better reception than my old wireless N router even on the 2.4 N band. My house to make a long story short is not a network friendly environment, previously to get reception to all devices I had to use a range extender. Not anymore.
It is very very fast. Even on my devices still using N I saw speed jump from 20-24 Mbps wireless to stable 30 Mbps. The setup wizard is simple, easy to use, and has all the bells and whistles.
Cons: The documentation is lacking to say the least. The installation guide is literally just a bunch of pictures and the warranty predictably turns into a giant paper wall you could accidentally bury yourself in. It also reads like it was written in latin by someone who was very drunk. Go figure.
Remember to set your internet adapter to automatically detect settings before you try to start the setup process. I forgot to do it myself and ended up scratching my head like a goofus for a couple minutes before I remembered to do so.
One thing that bears repeating even though another user already mentioned it. If you want to set up storage for this router it will only work with Western Digital products. Fortunately I only buy WD hard drives etc so it doesn't effect me but it is still a con.
Lastly it also doesn't prompt you to create your own admin password during the setup process. This is sort of a minor gripe though but you really need to do it since the default one is rather predictable.
Oh and I actually had to pay money for it. It costs a lot yes, it is also the best wireless ac router on the market right now. I call that a fair trade, if you want in on new tech now be prepared to pay the price.
Overall Review: So while the documentation is atrocious once the setup is started by visiting 192.168.11.1 or http://wdrouter getting everything up and running is pretty darn easy and fast. It took me less than 15 minutes to get it out of the box, installed, configured, and verifying all devices in the house were up and running with stable signal.
The drawback right now is while you can get some great bridges to work with this device (such as the currently sold out on newegg WD bridge I am using) the AC network adapters all seem very very par. Until some better drivers and newer software comes out for the AC adapters this thing isn't going to hit it's full potential.
That said even if you just want to start preparing for the AC future and not go the full monty yet this is a great buy. Even for 2.4 N it's performance is superb and an improvement over older router models. You really can't go wrong here.
Western Digital does more than make great hard drives and EHD's it seems.
Pros: I used this card to replace an aging EVGA 9800gtx. The EVGA ran around 65c idle in my case, no other component in my pc ever went above high 50's even under load. Tried it with the FFXIV beta client, it literally could not do it, after an hour of play it would over heat and crash out. Even when it worked it never peaked 40 fps under the best conditions at 720p.
Popped this guy in, installed newest driver from nvidia and well it was an improvement. FPS in games I used to get 40-50 on I now got high 50's stable. On FFXIV it is running in the 50's in most areas now and thats at 1080p, not 720, and with max AA. It even gets at least mid 20's in the worst congestion areas which regularly have 40 plus people on screen at one time. I haven't even started OC'ing yet.
Temp wise, 33c idle, 55 under load. When idle it is now my coldest component in the case. It is also run's quieter under load than the 9800 did idle... My CPU fan is louder.
Cons: Newegg demanded I actually give them money for it. What's up with that Newegg?
Overall Review: One of the best value cards on the market, I have tried stressing it with various apps, 3d mark, etc. It will not go over 55c and it performs very well. You can spend more and get a stronger card, but it will run hotter, take up more space in your case, and need more wattage to work. Tom's hardware themselves have shown this card to be within 5 fps of the 465 at high resolutions, lower than 1080 they are basically the same.
If you are looking for the best performance per dollar graphics card right now you will have a very hard time beating this one. This MSI version has the best stock cooling and the highest ratings for 460's on Newegg. To sweeten the deal even more when I bought it I got (and I think you still can) a free coupon for a Just Cause 2 download from Steam with it.
If you are in the market for a new gfx card and you don't need the best of the best sir it is a no brainer.
Pros: Where to begin... Easy to install into, more than enough room for components even oversized GPU's, all aluminum, quiet as in my HD write noise is louder than the fans but both get drowned out by my neighbors dog. Excellent cable management, if it weren't for the odd placement of the audio connector on my gigabyte mobo there would be no cables at all over my mobo itself other than the ones used for fans. Also it looks cool, and thats all that really counts right?
Cons: I had to RMA my first one because I got a bad header on the pin to connect the power switch to the mobo. This sucks but sometimes things happen considering the condition the box was in might not have even been a manufacturing issue. Thanks UPS :)!!! By the way newegg I hear Fed Ex delivers things fast too, just saying...
Overall Review: Bottom mounted psu makes it hard to connect cables to your mobo's power (4 or 8 pin) as length may be an issue. The previous user is dead on about his assessment of the 8 pin as well. Hd cage will not have enough clearance to be removed after you install the power supply, just something to keep in mind for those looking to expand in the future. With the 40 dollar special I ordered this with the value is pretty much through the roof. If it weren't for the RMA I would give it 5.
Pros: they do what they are supposed to do and the price is as good as you will get. The print quality is also good. To get good printing you need to understand how to configure your lightscribe software and labelling ap to get good contrast and darker colors not to mention how to make a good label.
Cons: They werent free?
Overall Review: Vinpower is listed on the actual lightscribe website as one of the makers of lightscribe disks and their website is linked to, HP is not. The fact that the images they show on their own website are of HP box sets tells me that these guys are the ones making the disks for HP but in large quantities they sell under their own name for some reason. Either way these are not "defects" or "off brand ripoffs".
Pros: if you are getting a 360 this is it, it has fable 2 and halo 3 bundled both of which are at the least good games (fable 2 is great if you ask me) and the 120 gig hard drive. Also bear in mind this is one of the only ways you can currently purchase the new jasper chipset (the current highest end architecture of the 360) in an elite package. Disks are not that loud and yes if you install to the hd the noise becomes basically non existent. With 120 gigs you have plenty of room for it too.
Cons: No wireless adapter packaged which is sad, the controller is also not rechargable which is one of the few things ps3 does right that xbox doesnt.
Overall Review: If you need the adapter it does cost but then again it isnt like this package is cheap to begin with so you can probably afford it. Honestly this is one of if not the best deal in home consoles right now. If you have thought about a 360 but waited this is probably as good as it will ever get.
Pros: Big storage space, retractable usb connector if you like that configuration, small/compact.
Cons: Poor construction. Tapping it with little force causes the plastic to creak. If anything with real strength behind it hits the case kiss it goodbye. Unbelievably slow. The reformat DOES NOT WORK. If it did for you grats, you were the lucky exception not the rule.
Overall Review: If you want to use this for long term file storage have good choice. If you use it to transfer large amounts of data like me take your money elsewhere. My older and smaller space usb flash drives could do 2 gig transfers in 25-30 minutes. This thing? 2.5 to 3 hours. My time is worth more than the extra space the drive gives. It was my mistake for trusting the reformat to work, live and learn.