Joined on 02/14/07
Nice little case
Pros: Sturdy, good price, full size optical slot allows for resonably priced BD drive.
Cons: Seems as though the 80mm fan is getting louder.
Overall Review: The 3 pin fan is not objectionable but if its going in a quiet room you may want to plan to replace it with a silent fan.
Pros: The best HTPC layout. The slots let me run dual SLI and a third discrete card to run video projector. Plus a vid capture card and a Xonar for sound in the Legacy PCI. Exactly what I needed. Also. I like that there isn't any 'on board' audio. The space is replaced with an additional PCI-E(x1) adding flexibility.
Cons: Vista support very low resulting in dismal at best BIOS upgradeability. Performance of i7 and pcm 12500 mem not realized here. M-Flash utility is bugged in BIOS 1.0. They say to upgrade to 1.1 but I can't cuz 1.1 no longer available. Tried to upgrade to 1.2 in Vista but it just fails as it also does when trying to do it in the BIOS M-Flash util. Very frustrating.
Overall Review: Sadly, eventhough I like this board, I will have to RMA and get the EVGA and get an external USB capture device.
Best in class
Pros: Build quality, 140mm rear fan option, sizing/footprint, design, fit & finish
Cons: No cons really but I would move to a slim DVD/BD in a revised edition, possibly side mounted as the disc clicks into place. Providing external USB-C is a new need to be added. And a provision for supporting large graphics cards seems to be an inevitable need on the horizon.
Overall Review: I required this form factor and tried others from Thermaltake, Cooler Master, Antec, etc. The Fractal design is a clear winner. It is easy to work with at installation and when changes are required. It also produced a quiet(air cooled) finished product for everyday use. I would recommend this in any full ITX build.
Confirmed, Fan Specs ARE Wrong
Pros: Nice looking case with anti scratch finish should hold up well over time. Ample room to work inside case. Good cable management. Solid build quality. Fan control system is great. Second opening for top fan should allow mounting for a cpu radiator internally.
Cons: Tolerances are tight when opening the main door and hits the front plastic panel. Big cases should have big feet.
Overall Review: The fan specs are indeed wrong as stated by another reviewer. Top fan is 170mm and the side fan is 200mm. Case design is good and I would buy it again if they revise it to be socket 2011 friendly.
Very Effective Silent Cooling
Pros: Pre-applied silver oxide compound is very effective like other Artic compounds. Temps on my dual 8800GT install dropped from a noisy 65-70 degress to a steady silent 45 degrees and in SLI mode. Price vs performance is great.
Cons: The clips for retaining the cooling fins to the card seem to have been updated but the instruction sheet was not updated to show how the new clips get mounted.
Overall Review: Others have complained about the ram heatsinks not sticking. The instruction sheet clearly says that you have to use an eraser head to prepare the surface of the vram chips or the heatsinks wont stick. Following this advise I had no problem and the heatsink stuck properly. I found cleaning the eraser between prep of each chip also helped. I cleaned it by dragging it across a piece of scrap carpet.