Joined on 11/19/06
Does its job
Pros: These cables are REQUIRED if you're buying a Zalman 850W PSU with an Antec P182 case! Really, these cables are a good idea if you're building ANY system with a bottom-mounted PSU, as most PSU manufacturers don't take into account the extra able length required for case that mounts the PSU on the bottom. You'll most likely need them. Both cables are 6 inches long.
Cons: Cables are a tad inflexible, which might present a minor challenge when putting together a build.
WARNING: NOT for inexperienced builders!
Pros: Reliable, so far 3 USB headers Crossfire Fanless design, so there's no loud fan Has enough clearance for Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Lots of SATA slots Supports 1200mhz memory
Cons: Picky, picky, picky, picky, picky when it comes to memory (see other thoughts, below)!!! If you want a board that will just work correctly out-of-the-box after you put it together, this board may not be for you. However, if you're OK with performing some minor tweaks to your BIOS, then this is a decent board. -- You will need to remove the video card to remove your RAM. -- No LED status indicator, just a green light. -- This mobo DOES NOT come with an onboard speaker! Something to watch out for if your case doesn't come with one either and its one of those things you won't realize that you need until you need it, especially if your board won't post (see below)! -- If you don't want your CPU fan to be going at a loud full speed, you need to go into the BIOS and enable the CPU Q-Fan control. You'll find it under Power Menu >> Hardware Monitor and make sure that the CPU Fan Profile subsetting is set to standard as well.
Overall Review: A lot of people report having problems with this board not POSTing, either right away or after a few days (like my experience). After EXHAUSTIVE research, I've concluded the following. If this board will not POST: 1) Go to your RAM manufacturer's website (NOT Asus' site, its useless) and search for compatible RAM. I recommend Corsair. 2) After you make sure that your RAM is compatible, a lot of problems are solved by manually imputing the memory timing and voltages into the BIOS. Use the settings on the sticker on your RAM sticks. If you're using compatible RAM, try removing the board's battery and the reset jumper, putting them back, reseating the RAM, and turn on the PC. Press DEL to go into your BIOS and go to AI Tweaker and change the timings and voltages. Go on the RAM manufactuer's site to determine which settings you need to change. 3) Make sure to upgrade your BIOS to the latest version. Asus includes a software tool that'll let you do this via Windows.
If you want a quiet, reliable drive - this is it.
Pros: This drive is excellent for a quiet build. I've put this drive into an Antec P182 case, and after 6 weeks I've yet to hear it make a sound! That's right, its completely SILENT! From the research I've conducted, I believe this drive to be very reliable. Apparently this drive only uses two platters (the spinning discs that make up the storage medium of a hard drive), 320GB per platter. The fewer the platters, the smaller the chance for drive failure. 16MB cache is nice also.
Cons: Doesn't automatically stop viruses from infecting your system? Also doesn't make you coffee in the morning ...
Overall Review: At the time of this writing, I've owned this drive for about 6 weeks.
Excellent cooling; very quiet; short but tricky install
Pros: Excellent cooling. This PC has been on for about 7.5 hours, and the CPU temp (according to Speedfan) is at a steady 26C at idle, with little PC use. With heavy use (full screen streaming video, virus scanning, etc) can go up to 32.5C, but comes back down quickly. And this is all on the lowest speed setting (currently 993RPM). I haven't monitored it during gaming, but if the above is any indication ..... VERY quiet. I don't think I can even hear it above my case fans, which produce 25db of noise. Comes with a thermal pad of MX2 preapplied. And yes, I've used it for this installation. The installation instructions are actually decent.
Cons: The installation is short, but tricky. Mine took about 20 mins, this is including cursing and frustration time. But once you get all 4 black plastic pegs SECURELY into the holes on the motherboard, you're good. The problem is that, while all 4 pegs will go in, some of them will not be in all the way, although they will look OK. ALL 4 PEGS MUST CLICK INTO PLACE. The solution is to gently press down on each peg. If you feel some resistance, like its trying to push pack up, then that peg is not properly installed. Gently keep pushing on the peg until you hear a click. You'll notice no more resistance when pushing down on that peg.
Overall Review: I've owned this device for about 5 weeks now. Very happy with it.
Excellent PSU, if you plan ahead.
Pros: I've owned this PSU for about 5 weeks, and it is silent (cannot hear it above my case fans, which run at 25db) and stable. Runs my Q9550 (stock speed) and my factory OC'd GTX 260 for hours without any problems. For those looking for a powerful but quiet build, this is your PSU. My numbers may be off, but its been tested to operate at around 33db under full load. And I'm 100% certain that its the quietest PSU in the 700-950W range. 140mm silent cooling fan. Oh, and of course its semi-modular, so it'll cut down on the clutter to an extent.
Cons: 8-pin and 24-pin power connectors are too short if you're using a case with a bottom-mounted PSU such as the Antec P182. You WILL need to buy 6-inch extension cables for both. Luckily, Newegg sells an inexpensive pack that includes both. The unit is a few inches longer than standard. Make sure that your case will support it. Yes, it fits in the P182, but it was a tight fit and I had to remove the PSU bracket and a lower chamber fan to get it in. Also, the cables are hard to bend. I suggest equal parts electrical tape and patience, because you will have to westle with these a bit. Strangely enough, it has no "off" switch. The switch has something to do with turning off noise filtering. An odd omission.
Overall Review: This is an excellent PSU that will probably serve you well for years and give you more than enough juice to power your gaming rig, unless you're doing something ridiculous like tri or quad SLI. Depending on the case, cable management might pose a bit of a problem (see cons).
Pretty good case with some minor flaws
Pros: Attractive, in a minimalist-type way; included 3 Antec Tri-cool fans are quiet (lowest setting, haven't tried the others) and adjustable (25db on lowest setting, 28 on medium, 30 on high); front-mounted USB ports; air intake vents on the sides of the front panel, allowing air to flow into the case even when the case door is closed. Will take longer video cards like the GTX 260, but you'll have to remove the upper HD cage to do it. This case is great for people looking to build a quiet PC. It provides solid sound dampening on the sides and top. And this thing even comes with an honest-to-Bob spoiler : )
Cons: A few CHEAP plastic components! The plastic fan brackets are next to IMPOSSIBLE to remove without breaking them, especially when removing them for the first time. Fan bracket in lower hard drive cage, I'm looking at you. No removable motherboard tray Front door is sort of flimsy and operates on a strange dual hinge mechanism. To get the door to swing open a full 270 degrees (and it WILL, eventually!), gently push with your thumbs at the top and bottom of the first hinge. Eventually, you'll be surprised that the part that you thought was immovable swings back, allowing for a full range of movement. Front panel audio connector does not accept an audio jack very well. It doesn't click in and can pop out with very little effort. I'd recommend a USB-based headset for this reason. Included fans do not provide a lot of airflow at lowest setting, so if you're planning to put in a high-end video card, make sure that the temps are acceptable to you, or just increase the fan spe
Overall Review: This is a great case for a quiet build. I have a GTX 260 installed and it easily blends in to the background in this case at default speeds (40% fan speed) and is only moderately loud at 60%. This case has a few things that need improvement, but they are all MINOR. Overall, I'm very happy with this case. Also, Antec sounds like they really care about their customers. When I opened the box, there was a note from the manufacturer that read that a few of their case fans that were included may be defective due to some defect that slipped past QA, and so they provided me with 3 additional fans just in case, free of charge. A few more cons are listed below: -- Its HEAVY! This thing will easily weight 50-60 lbs when fully loaded. -- PSU bracket is too small for larger, non-standard PSUs. The Zalman 850w PSU is a tight fit, had to remove PSU bracket and also the lower cage fan bracket to make it fit. -- you have to remove your video card to remove/install RAM