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Mark S.

Mark S.

Joined on 07/28/04

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Most Favorable Review

Very Satisfied with This Board

GIGABYTE B550 AORUS PRO AC AM4 AMD B550 ATX Motherboard with Dual M.2, SATA 6Gb/s, USB 3.2 Gen 2, Intel 802.11ac, 2.5 GbE LAN, PCIe 4.0
GIGABYTE B550 AORUS PRO AC AM4 AMD B550 ATX Motherboard with Dual M.2, SATA 6Gb/s, USB 3.2 Gen 2, Intel 802.11ac, 2.5 GbE LAN, PCIe 4.0

Pros: - Good layout - Plenty of USB ports of various versions - Sturdy - Worked the first time with the components I have - BIOS provides everything I need, and then some - Windows 10 Pro like it

Cons: - None thus far. - If anything, the available software utilities are the typical bloatware, but solved by simply not installing them.

Overall Review: I’ve been using Gigabyte MBs for years, since Asus had a capacitor QC problem over a decade ago. I have never had a reliability problem with Gigabyte. I am not used to assembling much of anything that works the first time. So, I am impressed that this build has worked right out of the chute with no backtalk. What I have thus far is: • Gigabyte B550 Aorus Pro AC motherboard • AMD RYZEN 5 3600 Processor • G. Skill Flare X Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4 Memory Model F4-3200C16D-32GFX • SAMSUNG 970 EVO Plus M.2 2280 1TB SSD • Noctua NH-U12S Chroma (bought elsewhere, they only had the Chroma model in stock) • EVGA GTX 1660 SC Ultra • Existing Corsair HX650 Power Supply • Fractal Design Define C case using 2 Silent Wings 3 140mm and 1 120mm PWM fans Everything went together, POSTed properly and booted the first time. It came with the F1 BIOS which I updated to F2 and later F3 without any issue. It passed numerous Memtest cycles, including a 24-hour test, and a considerable amount of time running Passmark. Windows 10 Pro installed without any complaints (other than the Resume on Alarm note below) and has not given me any problems thus far. This build worked harder on the test bench than it will in service. As for the motherboard, itself, the layout is good, it feels substantial, and the overall quality does Gigabyte proud. The layout looks to be a good design. It has plenty of fan headers. Overall, there is nothing I want that it does not have. The BIOS is easy to work with. The heatsinks included for M2 SSDs are appreciated, and fairly beefy for stock units. There are a ton of various USB ports on the back plane and headers on the MB. I don’t care about LEDs, other than the diagnostic ones on the motherboard (which work). The memory installed and was recognized fine, although initially at 2133 vs. 3200. I enabled XPM in the BIOS, and it responded with a memory profile with the correct timings and adjusted voltage, then everything was fine. That configuration is what Memtest and Passmark have run on without failure. I installed the device drivers from Gigabyte's web site, but not the utility software. I have used Gigabyte software before, and while some may like or want it, there is nothing there I need for my application and I don't want to install it for the sake of installing it. I set the fan profiles in the BIOS and don't want their software monkeying around with it. If anyone is going to use the Resume on Alarm function to automatically power the system up at a specified time, it did not work for me initially regardless of the BIOS settings. That turned out to be a Windows registry entry. If anybody is interested, make sure HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Power, HiberbootEnabled DWORD is set to zero. My installation had it set to 1 by default. This is not a motherboard issue, but a Windows feature that speeds startup but wreaks havoc with Resume on Alarm or Wake on LAN. Amazing what one can find on the internet! Based on what I have seen thus far, I have no reason to expect any hardware or compatibility problems going forward. While this build will not be worked hard, it needs to work reliably.

Reliable Product

Intuit TurboTax Desktop Premier with State 2021, PC Download
Intuit TurboTax Desktop Premier with State 2021, PC Download

Pros: - Like its predecessors, it imports the non-financial information from the previous year and will eventually ask i there was a tax related entry on some line the year before that is missing this year. - Various services like audit protection are available when it is time to file - Turns doing taxes into a fairly easy process that can be done as information and forms are received, rather than stacking them up and having to sort it out in one painful weekend.

Cons: None really. I guess they could offer similar product for trips to the dentist, DMV, or other painful tasks.

Overall Review: I've used TurboTax for probably 15 years, and it can turn what would have been a disaster of tax forms to research and fill out into a few minutes of data entry. There is not much to say about the latest version. It installed, ran, and has updated a few times since. A detailed review at this point is not possible since the only thing I have done so far is transfer over the personal information from last year. Anything that makes doing taxes as simple as data entry (with no knowledge of what form it should go on required) or importing information is a plus.

12/15/2021

Excellent Compact Mid Tower Case

Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact Black ATX Flexible High-Airflow Mid Tower Computer Case
Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact Black ATX Flexible High-Airflow Mid Tower Computer Case

Pros: • Typical Fractal Design quality • Well laid out and easy to work with considering its size • Full power supply shroud with removable panels, if desired • Good airflow given it is a compact mid-tower • Includes two 140mm intake and one 120mm exhaust fan • Good cable organization options • Plenty of fan and radiator options • Roomy enough inside, especially when considering length for graphics cards • USB-C and 3 ports • Convenient access to ports/controls • Looks good

Cons: • A bit narrow, which limits CPU cooler height and leads to tight cable space behind the motherboard plate • No HDD LED, which is becoming increasingly rare among cases • Fans are not PWM

Overall Review: I’ve gone with Fractal’s compact mid towers for the last few builds I have put together. As such, I am used to some of the space constraints from the compact versions. Handling it is not rocket science and a few minutes organizing the cables solves the problem, and is a good idea for airflow. The Meshify 2 Compact is sturdy. Airflow is good, keeping temperatures down. The unit lives up to my past experiences with Fractal cases, which has been good without exception. I resolved the lack of an HDD LED by installing one of my own. The LED I used had a 16" lead which was nearly the perfect length. The power LED bank is white, so I used a blue 5mm LED for the HDD activity, attached a black cable tie mounting pad to the underside of the power LED bank, and tied the LED to that. Problem solved, and it looks good centered under the white LED bank. The mesh front helps tame the LED brightness. A picture is attached to this showing the results. There are plenty of options for mounting 2.5” SSDs, and a couple of spaces for 3.5” HDDs in the tray in the power supply bay. The tray can be removed, and should be if you are not installing HDDs since it will provide more room for power supply cables. I would recommend removing it before you install the power supply and cables. A modular power supply will also help alleviate some of the clutter in the power supply bay. If I were going to change anything, I’d probably add about another half to three-quarters of an inch of width to give a bit more cable clearance behind the motherboard and some additional clearance for the CPU cooler. For now, if the extra space is needed Fractal offers the Meshify 2 which is both wider and deeper. But, if your CPU cooler fits within the specs, the Meshify 2 Compact is an excellent option.

So Far, Flawless

G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin PC RAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) Desktop Memory Model F4-3200C16D-32GVK
G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin PC RAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) Desktop Memory Model F4-3200C16D-32GVK

Pros: - Typical G. Skill quality - Worked well in an MSI MPG B550 Gaming Edge WiFi - No problems

Cons: - None really, but memory is either stable at the speed it should or it doesn't

Overall Review: I've been using G. Skill in builds for years. This set is in a Ryzen 5 3600 setup, on an MSI MPG B550 Gaming Edge Wifi motherboard. It is on the MSI compatiblity list, which is why I chose it. Plus it was on sale when I needed to buy memory, otherwise I may have gone with G. Skill Flare X, which I have used before. Memory was recognized right away as 2133. Went into the BIOS, selected XMP Profile 1, rebooted and it came up as 3200. It has passed several MemTest sessions with no issues, and also did its part in PassMark burn ins, again with no issue. I am yet to have a problem with G. Skill memory, which is why I stick with it.

No Problems with Gigabyte B550 and R5 3600

G.SKILL Flare X Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin PC RAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) Desktop Memory Model F4-3200C16D-32GFX
G.SKILL Flare X Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin PC RAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) Desktop Memory Model F4-3200C16D-32GFX

Pros: - Worked the first time - About two months later, it still works - No issues in Memtest, Passmark, or in operation - Good value for 3200 memory

Cons: - None that I can find

Overall Review: The biggest issue I had was with the motherboard initially identifying it as 2100. When I enable XMP the correct settings came right up, and it has been trouble-free since. I need stability in this system, and the memory is holding up its end of the bargain quite nicely. It resides in a build with: • Gigabyte B550 Aorus Pro AC motherboard • AMD RYZEN 5 3600 Processor • G. Skill Flare X Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4 Memory Model F4-3200C16D-32GFX • SAMSUNG 970 EVO Plus M.2 2280 1TB SSD • Noctua NH-U12S Chroma (bought elsewhere, they only had the Chroma model in stock) • EVGA GTX 1660 SC Ultra • Existing Corsair HX650 Power Supply • Fractal Design Define C case using 2 Silent Wings 3 140mm and 1 120mm PWM fans

Good SSD

Western Digital WD BLACK SN750 NVMe M.2 2280 250GB PCI-Express 3.0 x4 64-layer 3D NAND Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) WDS250G3X0C
Western Digital WD BLACK SN750 NVMe M.2 2280 250GB PCI-Express 3.0 x4 64-layer 3D NAND Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) WDS250G3X0C

Pros: - Easy install and it works

Cons: - None

Overall Review: Installed in an Intel NUC being used for video streaming. I normally use Samsung, but this system is not critical, will hold next to no data, and Samsung's equivalent were not in stock (anywhere) and noticeably more expensive (the WD was on sale at the time). No regrets, it works fine and has given me no problems.

seller reviews
  • 2

Good Seller

Ordering Noctua Cooling products from Newegg is transparent. The shipping and order processing is identical. No problems at all.

On-time
Delivery
Product
Accuracy
Customer Service
Satisfactory

First Rate Experience

Ordered a case for a Plantronics 5200 from PartsCom along with several items from Newegg. The case arrived in the same time frame as the rest of the order. Good quality product, as well as fast shipping. I would have no hesitation to order from them again.

On-time
Delivery
Product
Accuracy
Customer Service
Satisfactory