Date Joined: 06/16/08
Pros: The second one worked. Not really, read below.
Cons: I had to RMA the first one. It throttled the CPU to .8Ghz, and nothing I tried was able to correct it. Updated BIOS version, changed settings, including OC settings and c-states. Even tried options under windows power management. The motherboard was stuck throttling the CPU to .8Ghz. This was a frequent problem with the Z170 boards from MSI as well. Many people suspected the slow mode switch. In the Z270 version, they replaced the switch with a set of jumper pins. Following their troubleshooting advice, I even tried jumpering and unjumpering the slow mode pins. No change. I contacted MSI, and in broken English they advised that I try the same exact trouble shooting steps I told them in the support ticket that I tried. It was like they didn't read what I told them. They even told me to toggle the slow mode switch. There is no slow mode switch on the Z270 because they replaced it with jumper pins.
I found the user manual to be uninformative and not organized very effectively.
Newegg replaced the defective motherboard and the second one worked fine without any unusual tweaking. But even after receiving a good motherboard, The MSI Gaming App software does not change the Motherboard LED colors at all, nor does it allow me to turn them off.
Edited review after using the replacement RMA:
Works fine when it works. About once a week I receive a message at bootup that a new CPU is detected and BIOS defaults to original settings. All OC settings are lost, XMP is turned off, Fan Profiles in Hardware Monitor are deleted. Even my preference that a certain sata drive be hot swappable is removed.
MSIDDR service occassionally uses a lot of CPU time. It is a random occurrence that happens at startup, there is about 15% CPU activity on all cores. When this happens programs like CPU-Z and HWMonitor take forever to load.
MSI Gaming App only controls the onboard lights about half the time. I have to manually change the color back to what I wanted then reboot my system and hope it sticks, otherwise I just shrug it off and put up with the default red. This is not the behavior I expected.
MSI Gaming App does not play well with CorsairLink. When installed and ran separately, the individual programs work ok. When both are installed, MSI Gaming App will not change lighting at all. And CorsairLink will always default to white at startup and need to be changed manually. I can't control both the MSI LEDs and the Corsair cooling block LEDs at the same time. So I opted for the motherboard LEDs only, and uninstalled CorsairLink and I've been using the onboard Hardware Monitor to set my fan profiles. Which brings me back to my first complaint about the RMA replacement. About once a week it forgets all my settings and the fan profiles return to default. (As well as my OC settings, XMP, Etc.)
The M.2 shield is useless. The coolest spot for my M.2 SSD is slot 1, above the Video Card. Slot 2 is a hotter spot in my case. In Slot 2 without the shield it runs 2-3 degrees cooler. In slot 1 without the shield it runs nearly 5 degrees cooler.
I bought this motherboard knowing that people complain about the bright red status LEDs on the motherboard. I vowed I wouldn't let that get to me, it's a little thing for all that this motherboard is supposed to offer. But now, it's bothering me. They should look like status lights. Not bright red glaring in your face something's the matter warning lights. They are too bright and alarming.
Overall Review: If I could rate Newegg separately, I would give them 5/5 eggs for this transaction.
When I contacted Newegg (After MSI failed to help me) They approved an RMA within minutes. I had RMA paperwork and a paid shipping label within minutes. The only delays were due to shipping.
When FedEx delivered the defective motherboard to Newegg's warehouse, I received a notification from FedEx and from Newegg. And 30 minutes later I received notification that Newegg had accepted my return and they were preparing a replacement shipment. The new motherboard was on its way the very next morning!
Pros: Installed on Intel i7 7700K, overclocked to 4.8Ghz. Reaches temporary peak temps of 80degrees while overclocked and stress tested. Average temp while stress tested is closer to 60degrees. Idle temp quickly drops to mid 30's
Cons: It's not the cooler's fault, but installed in an Antec Twelve Hundred with the optional side fan installed it physically interferes with the side fan. Motherboard is an MSI M7 Z270. I had to dremel off one of the corners of the side fan to get it to fit under the edge of the Cooler's heat sink.
Overall Review: Even if I was building a duplicate of this system, I would make the same choice.
Pros: Fast fast Fast!
Loaded windows from a USB 3.0 drive. Never even saw the individual percentages between 0 and 100
Also I think I got one of the exceptional ones. According to a popular user bench, my particular drive is performing way above average for the same exact model.
Cons: It's so tiny!
I wish it was huge and bulky so I feel like I really got something for my money!
J/K I've got no cons!
Overall Review: Installed in a place where my side intake fan can add additional cooling to help reduce the chances of temperature throttling
Pros: It's pretty snappy. Overclocked on air cooling to 4.8Ghz with no issues.
Reaches temporary peak temps of 80degrees while overclocked and stress tested under a Cryorig H7 air cooler. Average temp while stress tested is closer to 60degrees. Idle temp quickly drops to mid 30's
Cons: None, I'm satisfied
Overall Review: I reduced my overclock to 4.7Ghz and the temps are even better.
Under stress test load, 74degrees temporary peaks, with average of mid 50's
At idle, lower 30's
Pros: Performs as expected. Runs so cool that the fan rarely turned on. I set the fan to a minimum setting using their onboard Corsair Link software just for the peace of mind of seeing it turn!
Fully Modular! All cables were long enough to reach inside a pretty large case, even routed properly for optimal air flow.
Cons: None, I'm satisfied with my purchase
Pros: Performs as expected. No cooling issues!
Cons: None, I'm satisfied with my purchase!
Overall Review: Some of the earlier releases of this card had trouble with the VRM burning up. The cards Newegg is currently selling all have the correct thermal modifications to address this issue.
I was able to register my video card on EVGA's website and search to determine if I had the updated card. My card was fine, and if you buy after I did, yours should be too!
Pros: Plenty of cooling space
Lots of options for internal or external drive bays
Good Cable management. It's been a while since I bought a new case, and maybe this is standard practice now, but this case had cutouts in very convenient places on the back plane that allowed me to use 90degree SATA connectors on the lower set of SATA ports to get the cable out of the way faster. Almost every wire was able to be immediately pulled into the side panel space without being in the way of air flow, then come back thru the back plane exactly where it needed to go. My case interior looks very clean despite having multiple drives and power wires.
USB 3.0 on board!
Every fan has a speed control knob or switch. I like the small blue knobs for the front fans. They are discreet and work well for on the fly adjustments, from quiet normal operation to somewhat noisier heavy use mode.
The Big Boy fan has a switch to turn off the LED light. I wish the other fans had this option too.
Cons: This is being totally nitpicking. No way worth removing even a fraction of an egg.
I don't like the texture of the case exterior. It's kinda rough, sandpapery, and grabs at clothing. Not that I will be rubbing my shirt against it now that it's set up, but it was slightly irritating during setup.
Not Antec's fault. Just bad luck with combinations of hardware. The CPU cooler interferes with the side panel fan if you add one. Very dependent on your choices of CPU cooler of course and what motherboard you have. I actually dremeled the unused corner screw hole and tab off a fan to get it to fit just under the CPU cooler! But the position of the side fan mount was ideal for getting extra cooling over my M.2 drive to avoid throttling. Hardware: MSI M7 Z270 motherboard, Cryorig H7 CPU cooler, standard Antec 120mm Tricool fan.
Overall Review: Would totally recommend this case for people who want the extra volume for cooling, and extra options for fan mounting, and don't intend to move it much once it's in place!
Pros: Large screen size, great graphics card. Runs Age of Conan on max settings even when connected to a 24" external monitor, and the frame rate is still greater than 30fps, often closer to 50fps. I love this keyboard too, nearly normal sized, feels great. Mine also came with DDR3 1333... others have stated this as well, perhaps the description is wrong?
Cons: This is a Con, with positive result: My ATI Catalyst drivers were just one generation older than currently released versions. There was a known issue with those drivers and Second Life (where I practically live). I contacted ASUS technical support, and in under 24 hours Lathan emailed me back with a link to download the most recent drivers, and got me back into enjoying my Second Life. This issue itself was not causing it to be unplayable, just annoying graphical errors, which are now gone thanks to their help.
Overall Review: I wonder if I have two usable drive bays or not? There are conflicting stories on these comments pages, and I haven't looked yet.... It would be nice... I don't know what I would do with the extra storage tho...
Pros: Slim and forgotten. One of those things you hope to never see fail. Price was great.
Cons: Two of my transformers were long, and would have blocked four of the center strip outlets. I opted to keep those two on the plain power strip they were on previously. If the transformer outlets were just another half inch away from the center strip, they would have worked.
Pros: Enough wattage capability to never worry about smoking this one
Overall Review: I'm glad my PC has a door to cover the drive bays. Those lights would get to me otherwise.
Pros: Looks great, very nice monitor. Buttons handy and menu easy to navigate
Cons: One pixel is permanently green. It's down in the quicklinks section of my window and doesn't bother me, but it is there hiding among those little icons.
Overall Review: The screen was longer than I expected... but that's my fault for getting 1920 x 1080 mixed up with 1920 x 1200
Pros: Topped of a 32bit XP machine to 3GB with these in dual channel mode. Works great.
Overall Review: Used with a pair of 1GB sticks just like these to get 3GB total.
Side note, this is an AMD build, with ASUS MB. I 've had none of the issues others have had, and this is the second build I've used these and the 1GB sticks on.
Pros: Works great
Overall Review: Set up two of these in RAID0. No issues with installation, as long as you have the SATA and RAID drivers handy before you try to load the OS.
Pros: Works better than expected. Although it was not my intent to do so, I can play Age of Conan with very few issues.
Overall Review: I didn't intend to play AoC with this adapter, it was only intended to let me have internet access anywhere in the house, and I would connect using a wire to play that particular game. However, it does work, so I'm happier.
Pros: The hardware worked, I was able to see the full drive capacity, and read/write to it as one would expect.
Cons: The software is not compatible with 64-bit operating systems.
Although this may not seem a big deal, the software also sets up the power save features, and if you let it go for 15 minutes unused, it turns off. Only unplugging it and plugging it back in brings it back on.
Some have suggested workarounds, but I don't feel I should have to set up power save on a 32-bit machine just to use it on my 64-bit system.
I have never rated anything this low, and I'm sorry to do it. But I was very disappointed with this drive.
Overall Review: Another poster raised a question about it's Cache size. Good question....
It's not advertised on the box, nor on their website.
I would imagine if it had 32MB, you would proudly display that information.
Pros: Red anodized heat spreaders ;)
Totally matches my case, and are visible thru the clear sides.
Seriously tho, this is the second build where I used these, and I'm pleased. Timing setup automatically, and runs great.
Pros: What all can be said when a board does what it's supposed to do? I'ts just a great board, hands down.
Cons: Other than the form factor being small?
Uhh... But that's expected...
Wait? Isn't that a pro since it fit my cute LAN case?
Overall Review: I'm really starting to love ASUS. Have purchased three MB's, a laptop and a monitor and loving all of them!
Pros: I bought this for looks. It's cute ;)
And since I'm taking it to LAN parties and house sitting jobs, I wanted something more portable than my regular gaming PC.
Cons: Power supply is insufficient for my gaming needs.
I knew from other reviews that I would need something more reliable, but I tried to get by till a few more paychecks. I didn't make it six days. 500W should have been enough for my system, but the included power supply is of poor quality.
Had to change out the cooling fans (perhaps accelerated the PS failure). The original fans just did not move enough air.
Overall Review: Reused components left over from my PC update. This portable PC got the CPU, Video card, and HD from the PC and a new MB, RAM, and Optical drives.
Temperatures are slightly higher, due to reduced air flow, reduced volume, and smaller CPU heatsink (Zalmans in both cases)
Pros: Upgraded from a Velociraptor. Paid less for a pair and getting so much more out of these in RAID0 setup.
Was easy to setup and do a fresh install of Vista64.
Just make sure you have the RAID drivers ready, and the SATA drivers wouldn't hurt either. I got both from my MB utilities disk and put them on a USB flash drive.
Cons: Perhaps buying another Velociraptor and RAIDing two of those would have been even better (speed-wise, certainly no size advantage), but I wanted to re-use the Velociraptor in a LAN party case.
Overall Review: AMD Phenom II x4 940BE OCed to 3.3GHz.
ASUS Crosshair II Formula w/ nForce 780a.
G.SKILL 8GB (4 x 2GB Dual Channel) DDR2 1066.
2x Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA in RAID0.
EVGA GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI-E 2.0 x16.
Vista Ultimate 64-bit.
Pros: Lets me have use all the RAM my motherboard allows ;)
Very pretty. I like eye candy and this has it.
Compatible with the Hybrid SLI feature, that lets my system run a little cooler when I'm not gaming.
Cons: User Account Control.
Either you let it warn you everytime you use a program, or you turn it off and let the security alert remain in your taskbar indefinately.
Overall Review: If doing a fresh install, have your drivers ready ahead of time. I needed RAID drivers and SATA drivers on a USB drive. Fortunately I had both, but spent hours stuck at the same point, looking at an error telling me my CD drive required drivers, when in fact it wanted the SATA drivers that I had ready with my RAID drivers. I found the needed drivers on the installation disk provided with my motherboard.
Pros: I can finally use shader 3.0!
Upgraded from a 9850BE. Noticeable performance increase when playing Age of Conan.
Runs cooler. Have it OCed to 3.3GHz and with an ambient temp of 23C it reaches only 46C while gaming heavily, and 34C at idle.
Cons: Purchased somewhere else for about $50 more, because I had a gift card I would never have used otherwise.
-in other words, no real cons that I can think of ;)
Overall Review: AMD Phenom II x4 OCed to 3.3GHZ
ASUS Crosshair Formula II
8GB DDR2 1033
2x Barracuda 500GB 7200rpm in RAID0
EVGA 896-P3-1260-AR GeForce GTX 260 896MB
Pros: Runs great, cool. Big plus, IMO, was the manufacturer PR, responding to the comments here. That gave me useful info for setting it up that I didn't have to search for elsewhere
Cons: *not a problem with the memory itself* more inexperience/user error: I overclocked my processor and got it stable before setting my timing on the memory. When I set the timings later, I got no post. Took some time to figure that one out, but apparently when using the OC profiles in my bios (+10%), the memory gets OCed as well. So to get it to work, I had to set the memory back to 800.
It may be possible to OC by adjusting the cpu multiplier and leaving my FSB at 200, but I have not experimented with that yet.
Overall Review: Despite the above "con" I plan to buy this memory again when I upgrade to Vista 64. I just feel better knowing I can set it to 800, and OC my cpu to it's limit without worrying about the memory keeping up.
Pros: Keeps my AMD Phenom 9850 BLACK EDITION 2.5GHz at 41C at stock clocking, no matter what I do for loading (case is nicely cooled to aid it's success)
Cons: Take with grain of salt, I am newb here, but the specifications and packaging never listed Phenoms as a compatible cpu. I talked to so many people out there, and finally decided to take the chance, perhaps recklessly. (7 of ten people say it's ok, 1 says no, 2 undecided) So far no ill effects. It fit tight, but then again so does the stock cooler provided with the CPU. Bent one fin when it came into contact with the housing of a 200mm fan in my case door. Not bad, but it comes pretty dang close. (Antec 900 case)
Overall Review: This item is reviewed by a newbie, in case other newbies want to know what the average person thinks!
Pros: Modular cables! My other build did not have these, it's nice to use only what I need and keep clutter down. It included the adapter for my 3.5 floppy!
Cons: None that I can think of...
Overall Review: Part of my first build. As a newb I can say it was pleasant to work with and I loved the modular cables.
Pros: Nice Appearance, Removable Motherboard tray made installation much easier, Drive brackets stored behind bay covers, they won't be getting lost!
Cons: Door hinges not as sturdy as my Antec case, door does not swing completely out of the way, door snaps closed and is bothersome to open and close repeatedly when you're working and need access to the drives frequently, since it's either closed or open and in the way.
Overall Review: This is part of my first build. Found it easy to do and understand where everything went. Still trying to figure out how to read the gauge on the front panel and what the information means for me...
Helps keep a fairly stout system cool, CPU temps normal even in the first 48 hours of normal use.