Joined on 02/14/08
Pros: This. Card. Is. A. Beast!!! Ran a good deal of benchmark tests, and I'm consistently getting only about -5% to -8% performance when put up against the (significantly more expensive) GTX 680. That is INSANE. Coupled with an i5 3570k, this card chews through Skyrim maxed out like a fat kid through brownies, makes Battlefield 3 never drop under 50 FPS, and slaughters Borderlands 2 in a total "come at me bro" kind of way. Some folks say that this card is a tad loud...but what they don't say is that if you put your ear down next to your case, you can hear that it's actually laughing at your games' system requirements.
Cons: It's slightly factory overclocked, but unfortunately because of it's reference model design, it's nigh-impossible to push it further without running into stability issues. Runs a tad hot on it's own, but if you have a couple of case fans trained on it, this is basically a non-issue.
Overall Review: MSI has never steered me wrong, and this card is continuing the trend. The plastic shroud is total reference design, and while MSI has better cooling options with their Twin Frozr II, III, IV aftermarket coolers, this thing still never gets all that bad temperature-wise. Highest I've seen it is mid 60's, and that was with Unigine Heaven running full bore.
Pros: Pros!? This case is a nightmare!
Cons: Did not come with motherboard standoffs. Missing screws. ATX mobo standoff holes ever-so-slightly off. Elevated standoff holes prevent certain motherboards (like the one I bought) from lining up without serious risk to bowing and breaking the motherboard. Was missing a foot insert on the bottom. Missing 1 of the 2 dust filters at the bottom of the case. Hard drive cage was a pain to work with. Extremely thin back doesn't take too kindly to the installation of a motherboard's IO shield plate. For serious! How does something like this get past quality control!? Even if the missing parts were included, the fact that the standoff holes don't line up is just terrible design. I've been building computers for years and years and I can say without any doubt in my mind that this has to be the most awful case I have EVER worked with. Bought it for the price and the saying "you get what you pay for" rings true. This thing is a piece of junk.
Overall Review: First impressions go a long way, and HEC has done a fantastic job in ensuring that I will never purchase another one of their products ever again. Way to go!
Good Power, Good Efficiency, Spoiled by Corsair...
Pros: Fully modular, high output, more than a match for SLI setups, very quiet, and comes with an absolute obscene amount of cables.
Cons: I've been spoiled by the Corsair modular leads. Those are flat, black, very low profile, flexible, and lengthy. The leads in this power supply are sleeved and therefore a bit more bulky, and the CPU 8-pin connector was shorter than I had expected. I was building my rig in a Corsair 600T case, and wanting to route the CPU 8 pin connector behind the motherboard tray to pass through the small hole at the top left was a bit stressful....I mean, there was practically NO slack whatsoever. By contrast, the AX 750 from Corsair has an 8pin connector that EASILY reaches.
Overall Review: This power supply is very well built, quiet, and comes with cables a-plenty. But I wish that the leads were similar to what ships in the Corsair HX and AX models. I picked this power supply up for $100 because of a promo code, and it's performing admirably, but in the future, I'll stick with Corsair simply because of their modular leads.
Water Cooling Results without the Water Cooling Price
Pros: I'm convinced that Corsair simply doesn't know how to make a bad product. The pump, waterblock, etc all come as one compact unit connected to a 120mm radiator by a couple of very flexible, yet very sturdy plastic covered steel tubes. Very happy with the results of this on my i5 3570k. I have yet to see temperatures exceed 45C under heavy load, and while I'm using a push-pull configuration for additional cooling, I'm more than confident that a single fan setup would be plenty even if you're going to be overclocking.
Cons: Install was a bit shaky. The backplate that comes with the unit simply didn't want to stay put, and I scratched the back of my motherboard a bit trying to force the alignment points into location. After that tedious (and somewhat frustrating) episode, the rest of the installation went fairly smooth. The fan that comes with the H60 does a good enough job, I suppose...but if you want to get the most out of this CPU cooler, invest in a couple of extra fans that push more air. At least one to intake air. The fan it comes with could be used on the inside of the radiator.
Overall Review: The H60 comes with a single 120mm fan, but seeing as how the unit is capable of housing two of said fans, it would have been nice to get more screws for the mounting. The screws are a bit of an odd size and shape, being 6-32" x 1 3/8 length with an unthreaded shoulder. I was unable to find said screws at a hardware store, and ended up going with 6-32" x 1 1/2. Because of the extra length, I needed to use a couple washers to get everything to fit snugly. Just a heads up.
Great Case Fan
Pros: Moves a good amount of air (61 CFM) and I have no doubt that that claim is accurate. The fan blades are blue, but the LEDs are white, making for a very subtle blue-ish tint that really stands out. They come with mounting screws and a molex connector as well. Very nicely made, not too loud, and seems pretty sturdy. Great buy.
Cons: None at the moment.
Performance well beyond the price.
Pros: I upgraded from a first generation AMD Phenom x4 and...wow. This this utterly obliterates it. Not overclocked yet, but running under a Corsair H50 and temps haven't reached 40C even after running games. It's plowing through benchmarks and coupled with my GTX 560, there's nothing this duo can't handle. A lot of benchmarks are saying that the 2500k is beating the first generation Core i7's, and this costs (sometimes) significantly less!