Date Joined: 06/25/10
Pros: This thing cools like nothing else. After trying a few other solutions, I came back to this one and now its standard in all three of my gaming rigs. It just can't be beat when you mount the second fan.
Updating because I received a another one for a modern Gen9/i7 build.
This thing cools better than some liquid-based solutions. Its insane. Its keeping my 9700k at a steady 33 to 40C under load. and 22 to 25C at rest.
Use 2 fans for best results.
Cons: Their X bracket is still obnoxious, but when it finally works it'll get on there nice and tight.
My issue comes with my latest build, a socket 2011 i7-3820. The mounting screw sockets that fit the motherboard are about 1/2mm too long, and as a result it does not snugly seat itself on the chip. Also the fact that the bracket doesn't secure the rotation very well, means the heatsink actually wiggles on the board and will rotate a few mm left and right from where you want it with just a light touch.
The socket 2011 is the only time I had this issue, it fits snug as a bug on my socket 1155 and socket 1366.
Also note that despite the extreme wiggle, it still keeps my CPU about 60C or so under heavy load, and that's with "Silent" motherboard settings.
Overall Review: The heatsink is already cheap enough, so invest in a second fan and a 4-pin splitter while you're at it. I've tested a lot of heatsinks and nothing else even comes close to this.
Pros: - Excellent cable management
- PSU is in a good place, can reach anywhere on the mobo with minimum fuss
- Nice ways to hide/mount your HDD and 2.5 SSDs
- Included Strimer cable and magnetic dust shields are nice.
- Took my 3x120mm radiator like a champ.
Cons: - Horribly cheap aluminum top panel that holds everything in. This thing came warped just a bit and I can't get it to lie flush.
- Very little topside room for your motherboard, meaning not even 80mm fans can fit on the rear vent and water cooling hoses coming off the top of the GPU are squished really awkwardly. This was almost a deal breaker.
- White case has a matte steel half on the front side. I thought it was all white. It does blend my MSI sticker beautifully though.
- No reset switch.
Not considered in the rating because its in the description, my fault for getting too excited:
- No fans included at all.
- Front and side panel cannot have a fan mount, I was left venting my GPU radiator downwards.
Overall Review: This is maybe my 10th major PC build in my lifetime and I've become quite addicted to Coolermaster cases, being able to mount fans logically anywhere I want. This was quite a challenge as you're really boxed in to one kind of build.
Pros: Despite the warnings on the site, Windows 10 did install fresh very well. Cold boot time is about the time it takes to blink. The sheer speed and ease of install trumps the small cons listed below.
Cons: Trying to get a Windows 7 to 10 upgrade done was a massive 2 full day ordeal. Finally I ran across a neat trick that solved everything.
The card didn't play will with my case (CM Scout II), it was just a few mm off from being able to screw it down without putting tension on the slot...its just sitting there loose in the slot currently. I don't plan on moving my case, but something to remember.
Also runs a little hot based on temp readings, but its never come close to dangerous levels. With WC blocks on the GPU and CPU, its officially the warmest thing in the case.
Overall Review: The install hangs on a Win10 upgrade were obnoxious. Almost 20 separate attempts at ~40 minutes each and I was about ready to use a mechanical HDD to get the job done.
However, you can get the ISO Win10 installer and run a program that generates a "Genuineticket.xml" key on your Win7 install. You save this key to a USB stick, and throw it in your completely clean Win10 and everything verifies fine.
Pros: Sturdy and heavy! Rugged combat construction would not make it out of place in a miltiary field environment (with the backlighting made red or turned off).
Cons: Keys are actually very small and close together. Having big hands, I was constantly correcting my typing - fat-fingering the caps lock every time I tried to turn left. Keys are very heavy to click making you extremely slow when gaming. This heavy clicking also makes it loud enough your TS friends know exactly how you're doing, as well as you real life neighbors.
Overall Review: The Deathstalker, at half the price, is a superior piece of machinery for gaming - especially for us big and tall folk that have families that like to sleep at night.
Pros: Slim casing
Cons: This is probably one of the more expensive paperweights I've ever bought in my long time as a tech. For having a Cisco brand name and costing me nearly $200 I expected this thing to at least be reliable. Instead, I've fought this thing tooth and nail for about a year (E4200 model) and now I'm ready to pitch it.
It drops connection randomly on the wireless. The WMM feature was designed by monkeys that didn't understand they didn't need to throttle wired connections to prioritize the wireless. I've put this thing through every firmware upgrade and downgrade you can do, and tried nearly every feature on and off.
At one point I got a solid 3 months of use out of it before having another big fight. Generally it works randomly for between 5 minutes and 1 week.
Overall Review: If you own one of these, pass it along to someone you don't like very much.
Pros: Looks neat. Pretty blue lights look fairly slick.
Cons: Initially very uncomfortable compared to my 5+ year old Razer Copperhead I was gifted to replace. The buttons had a very springy quality and the coating material overall felt "sticky".
After about 8 months or so, it failed miserably. The entire series (and similar models) as well as select models of other manufacturers will degrade on their button fuses, causing them to "double-click" on a single press. This leads to hours of frustration to do some of the most simple tasks until you're tired of fighting it and take a screwdriver to its guts to put it out of its misery.
Pros: Excellent quality case and reliable power supply. Everything went in fairly smooth, though had to knock off an egg (see cons). USB ports are well spaced throughout, as are the internal hdd racks.
Cons: Knocked off an egg for the following:
* Extreme contortions were made to get the graphics card and motherboard mounted in tightly. Mboard base was warped just enough that the graphics card still doesn't sit properly.
* Power cable to motherboard should be about 6" longer, as of now it has to basically sit over the heatsink to reach the motherboard plugs from the PSU. Not a big deal, as I don't think it will melt, its just an annoyance.
* More SATA power cables would have been nice at longer lengths to reach the top internal slots.
* 5.25" drive door cover is nice, but it prevents you from installing 3rd-party fan kits in those drive bays.
Overall Review: Still an excellent value for the money, but if you plan on really loading your system with a lot of internal components, at the very least get some modular PSU cable extensions or go for a top mount PSU case where the manufacturers of other hardware expect it to be.
Pros: Installed easy and booted right up.
Cons: None with the drive itself, my issue is more with how Windows 7 defaults to this drive (running this and 2 x RAID 0 arrays) for both its install and default storage place for data and programs. 30 GB can fill up very fast unless you tweak Windows 7 by hand.
Overall Review: The included software is pretty useless, but Windows 7 and XP both recognize that its a SSD and do the right thing with hardware settings.
Pros: Quiet enough that your graphics fan should cover it completely.
Installs very easy on socket 1366 with included bracket.
Included Cooler Master thermal grease is top of the line, and includes enough to re-grease some of your other processors.
Probably best cooling deal for the price for an i7.
Cons: Fan wiring is awkward, runs to the opposite side of the fan controller.
3 pins is also annoying, but not a deal breaker.
Overall Review: For all those having issues installing this thing...here's some magic words:
"Honey, could you hold this for a sec?"
Took me about 2 minutes to mount the whole thing without issues as my wife held the heat sink in the brackets while I got a diagonal pair of screws started. Sometimes you just have to swallow a bit of pride and get an extra pair of hands.
That being said, mounting it solo shouldn't have been that much more of an issue, just would have needed a pair of bookends or other heavy objects to hold the board vertical just long enough to get the screws started.
Pros: This is actually for the older 390w version that came with my Cooler Master case. I replaced it with an Antec 1000w about 3 years ago, which promptly blew up 3 months later. Put this one back in, meaning to replace it, and promptly forgot about it for nearly 2 1/2 years.
For those years, it ran my gaming rig beautifully with nary a hiccup, except when I tried to OC it even a little bit. What do you expect for 390w though?
Cons: Doesn't hold enough residual charge to keep BIOS settings after a power outtage for more than 10 seconds. Could also be an issue with the mobo, not sure.
Overclocking is nearly impossible, but keeping stock settings is no problem.
Overall Review: My gaming system:
Asus P5K-E w/Intel Core-2 Duo 3.0
2x Seagate HDD (RAID 0)
Asus 8800 GTS 640 MB Nvidia
Asus DVD ROM/Writer (IDE)
2x1GB DDR2 800 RAM (forgot brand)
This power supply ran this setup beautifully.