Joined on 10/13/01
Airflow for your memory
Pros: If you're looking to cool your oc'd ram, then this is a nice-looking workable option. The CMXAF1 comes with a 3 pin connector for easy monitoring from your mobo or an aftermarket monitoring device. It sounds relatively quiet, considering the fans are smaller, higher rpm than some others in my system.
Cons: Now for the bad news...the clipping system seems an afterthought. These fans are basically relying on your memory clips to stay on--in other words, they aren't very secure. The fan assembly easily slides left to right on the ram clips. The screws used to tighten the fan assembly onto the ram clips leave a lot to be desired...I tried adjusting the thumbscrews several times, but had little success in securing the fan. So if you plan on transporting your PC, it's a safe bet to just leave off the fan until you reach your destination. Also, I couldn't say if the fan helped cool my ram a great deal since I am not oc'ing too high.
Overall Review: My install includes a Aw9d-max, Rosewill Z3 cpu cooler, 2x1gb Dominator pc28500 and a bfg 7950gt video card. The CMXAF1 fans seemed to fit snugly amongst these components, didn't have to remove anything to get this mounted. It seems likely that these Dominator fans can cool non-Dominator ram as well, as long as the heatsinks don't exceed the height of the Dominator heatsinks.
A DIY for patient builders
Pros: Good cable management has several rewards: improved airflow, reduced clutter and generally better aesthetics. Vantec's instructions were clear and concise. The kit contained several sizes and options to resolve most cabling dilemmas.
Cons: ...however, I wouldn't recommend this do-it-yourself project if you lack the patience or the experience trying to tame a tangle of wires with this project. You need the proper cutting tools so the sheathes don't fray, a nice hairdryer or blow gun that heats up the shrink tubing, and a good amount of patience and care to thread your cables thru said sheathing. Depending on your case, how many components need wiring and your expectations of neatness, you could spend hours trying to work this sheathing kit properly into your system.
Overall Review: As usual Newegg's delivery turnaround is on par with the best.
Saitek acknowledges paint issue
Cons: Paint wear issue
Overall Review: This is a followup to my early review regarding the paint wear issue. Saitek support replied after 8 days acknowledging the issue that some keyboards currently in circulation were affected. The support agent indicated that they worked with the manufacturer to change paint and was willing to supply replacement keys for my trouble. Too bad I already sent back my kb for replacement, only to be told that there are none left in stock. Looks like I'm going to wait on the MS Reclusa...
Pretty keyboard, but paint wears off!
Pros: A simple dogbone-shaped keyboard, with a nice-sized footprint and without all the media buttons and macro keys that tend to clutter up other competitor offerings. The adjustable blue illumination makes this keyboard stand out. But...
Cons: ...too bad that the keys are painted outside and the letters are etched into said paint. The paint wore off after 2 months of regular gaming use. Three bright holes are staring at me where my A, S, and D keys used to be. I've written a complaint to Saitek, but they have YET to respond to my support request. Also, the blue light is not evenly distributed to all keys, making some keys look dimmer than others.
Overall Review: Again, this a beautiful matte-finish keyboard, goes great with a custom blue-lit pc in a black case (I paired mine with a Thermaltake Aguila). However, I would not recommend this keyboard for regular use because of the paint wear issue. Unfortunately, the paint wore off after 2 months, or I would have returned this to Newegg for a refund.
Keeps my C2D cool
Pros: Six heatpipes, 92mm fan and copper base and the 4 pin PWM connector attracted me to this cooler. The thumbscrew design keeps it nice and secure on a vertical mount system board. It's keeping my EE6600@3.4Ghz cooled at 45C idle. The blue led matches my other case fans and the AW9DMax lights. Not too big, and not too small.
Cons: My AW9D Max board luckily keeps the the socket area clear of capacitors, but at least one of the screws was a little tricky to secure. Also at full load my C2D registers 55C, and hotter if measured with CoreTemp. Not sure if I recommend this for diehard overclockers looking to push the limits of air cooling.
Overall Review: I prolly need to reapply Arctic Silver 5 to see if I can get those full load temps down to a more reasonable number. That's going to take some work disassembling the entire system to remove the cooler...
Didn't work with AW9D-MAX
Pros: Well OCZ has made a name for itself when it comes to memory products, and I have several rigs running OCZ RAM but...
Cons: ...this pair of RAM would not oc at all on my new rig based on the AW9D-MAX. After 2 weeks of repeated tests, I found both sticks were underperformers, didn't want to oc to their spec'd timings, and refused to boot even at 1:1 (a known issue with the Abit AW9DMax--check the Abit and OCZ forums). They worked at default timings and that's about it...wouldn't push any further. Sure there's a possible fix from OCZ involving a spd flash, but I didn't spend $$$ for this not to work correctly right out of the box.
Overall Review: Returned the kit, got my refund, and went with the Corsair Dominators 8500 when it came into stock. Wish the OCZ had been compatible with the AW9D-Max, it just didn't work out that way. That's the risk of being the first kid on the block with new hardware...