Date Joined: 03/24/08
Pros: Very fast and tiny form factor. Beats my Samsung 840 Pro SSD by 70mb/s on my ASRock x99x with a i7-5930k
Cons: I've had four cases of OS files becoming corrupt needing a full reinstall in the course of three months. Sadly going to fall back to the 840 and find some other use for this.
Pros: The layout is great, I'm using with a Cooler Master HAF XB EVO case and the board fits like a charm. Plug access works perfectly with the included 90 degree SATA cables. I used a Hydro H105 on the board running the water pump power to the post labeled 'PWR FAN' since it can't be controlled by the ASRock app but the CPU1/2 and Chassis Fans can be, so I assigned the water radiator fans and rear case fan to those posts which makes the entire thing near silent until you put it under a heavy load.
Cons: The M.2 port sits *directly* under the 1st PCI-E slot so any video card is going to totally cover that port. It's a gripe for me as I would like some additional airflow over my M.2 as it's the primary boot volume on my rig and my fluke laser thermometer shows it gets quite warm.
On a side note I'm not sure if this would have any impact on any m.2 based radios except for making antenna connections near impossible.
Not a deal breaker for me, something to be aware of.
Pros: Unable to install, who knows.
Cons: Easily the most frustrating heat sink I've attempted to install. Consistently unable to get an even contact with the CPU. The directions are pathetic to say the least even though they attempt to be easy by being drawing-only (no written directions, with the exception of the plead not to return the product).
After 5 reinstall attempts I looked around the forums for help, seems installing this thing is hit or miss for many people. And I'll say it again, this is a true exercise in futility.
After the last attempt (three days of testing and even switching back to the air cooler) the supplied posts broke from trying to tighten it too much. (frustration had set in at this point).
So the unit is unusable. Most likely going to call it a loss and write this off as a bad choice and go back to my air cooler.
Sad to see the money down the drain however.
Overall Review: 16 years in the tech business I've seen my share of different CPU sockets and coolers. I find it hard to say that air coolers have been around longer and are thus more matured and able to avoid these types of install issues since the concept of holding a cooler to a CPU should be universal.
Maybe you'll have better luck with the unit, but be sure to read about the install problems, google is your friend prior to spending the money on it.
Pros: Modular cables are the way to go. This power supply works great with the EVGA 790i and nVidia 9800 GX2. Has a lot of cables and runs a high end system while staying cool. The large fan is very quiet, and there is nothing in the rear of the PSU to obstruct air flow, and you can very clearly clean with canned air.
Cons: Systems with more drives might need more cables, and you could also run into problems if you try to SLI two 9800 GX2s (or more than 2 normal cards)
Overall Review: Running an EVGA 790i Ultra, EVGA 9800 GX2, Intel Q9300, 4x 250gb SATA II drives.
Pros: 50 FPS in Crysis on high detail, 220 FPS in Eve Online Premium, and 120 FPS in Supreme Commander max detail. All at 1920x1200
Cons: This card runs HOT. Note that updating to the latest drivers upon install is a must. Also download the EVGA Precision tool to take manual control of the fan and crank it up to 55% idle, and 90-100% when playing games. The base idle temp with auto-fan control is 70c, getting into 90c. If you crank the fan to 100% it sits at 65c under load (Crysis high detail 1920x1200)
Overall Review: Make sure you have a high end board and CPU to feed this monster. I’m running a EVGA 790i Ultra, Intel Q9300, and 8gb of DDR3 1333. This card is not the bottle neck on this system ;)
Pros: The board it’s self is well designed, has nice options such as a POST LCD display on board, on board power and reset switches (little buttons on the MB), good lay out and spacing for the drive connectors, and enough room around the CPU for a massive heat sink.
Cons: I’ve had quite a few problems with this board and Vista 64 Ultimate. The report released that nVidia drivers cause 25% of all Vista crashes is warranted because it is a constant issue. I’ve upgraded to the newest P05 BIOS, have the latest drivers from the nVidia and EVGA site, and have Windows patches current, still random Blue screens and core dumps. Mind you 24 hours (and 15 cycles) of Memtest and 24 hours of Prime64 Multithread edition show no CPU or Memory errors, there are major problems with the SATA drivers. ALSO be warned that the on board RAID is susceptible to data corruption. I had to reinstall vista 4 times on a RAID 5 array before I gave up and just used the 5 SATA II drives individually.
Overall Review: With any luck some future BIOS updates and new drivers will resolve a lot of the issues I’m running into. I’m running 8gb of Patriot DDR3 1333, Intel Q9300, and a EVGA 9800 GX2. All temps max around 60C under load, and 40s-50s idle. Vista 64 Ultimate and nVidia just don’t seem to live well together at this point.
Pros: All aluminum construction. There is not any plastic in this case. The Power Supply is modular and has thumb screws holding the plate in, so you don't need to remove the Motherboard if you've got a large heatsink/etc to get the PSU out. Amazing air flow for being so quiet. The 3 front 120mm Intake fans have a slide-out washable screen filter for dust but you can expect to clean your case from the smaller particles. The front door uses steel ball bearings to hold it closed and has “weather stripping” along the sides to keep the air flow from the fans going in. The harddrive mounts have rubber O-Rings for vibration dampening. Even the audio cable supports several MB connector styles.
Cons: Only con is the maximum harddrives you can put in this case with the supplied hardware is 3. The rest of the bays (entire front of the case) are configured for 5” drives (DVD, etc). It would be nice if they had an easy order option for another hard drive rack, as I’ve got 8 hard drives for my system, and two DVDs. This would really be a welcomed option.
Overall Review: This case fits huge heat sinks just fine, as a matter of fact the ASUS Triton 79 Amazing heat sink fits on an EVGA 790i motherboard and blows air directly into the 140mm exhaust fan in the back of this case, there is 0 heat escaping the heat sink into the case, absolute perfect design.