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Eric H.

Eric H.

Joined on 12/03/12

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 3
Most Favorable Review

Neat

Noctua NH-L9a 92mm SSO2 CPU Cooler
Noctua NH-L9a 92mm SSO2 CPU Cooler

Pros: Keeps out of the way of RAM, but full size sticks with large heat spreaders may be right up against one side, restricting airflow a small amount. Bought myself a set of low-profile sticks to help a bit. Very quiet, normally (see cons) Surprisingly cool considering how very small this HSF is. One of the smallest I've ever owned. Needed a cooler shorter than 80mm so the extra headroom is a nice bonus

Cons: Every so often when the speed ramps up, I noticed a loud clicking noise as if the fan was bouncing a close wire or something. Checked and nothing was near it, so I pressed on the fan and rotated it a bit. Seems the fan was hitting the heat sink just slightly, but pressing on it made it stop. For now... Hugs so closely to the motherboard, heat doesn't seem to escape very well... About half a teaspoon of a red fluid drained out from the fan after the first week of use. I'm assuming it was some kind of oil to keep it smooth and quiet. It's a good thing I didn't have a video card installed yet, otherwise the underside of it would have been covered in the stuff!

Overall Review: Keeps my AMD APU A8-3870k cool enough, even for long gaming periods. Overclocking is a no-go however. If you'd like an idea of how closely this sits to the RAM, I have it installed lengthwise on a ASROCK A75M-ITX FM1, and the edge sits right against where the RAM slot begins. Again, low-profile RAM or RAM without a heat spreader will fit fine.

Most Critical Review

Burning Smell

ASRock A75M-ITX FM1 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI Mini ITX AMD Motherboard
ASRock A75M-ITX FM1 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI Mini ITX AMD Motherboard

Pros: Great board for the few months that it worked.

Cons: Extremely brittle PCB. I took it out of it's case this morning to change out the HSF with a much better cooler, and while gently tightening the backplate (Noctua style rectangle) there was an audible crack. Booted the pc up and started to hear a slight buzzing sound as if something had shorted. Turned it off, completely disassembled everything to inspect it, swapped to a different power supply and turned it back on. Same buzzing sound from the board. After about an hour and three more tries to locate the short, I could smell something burning and immediately unplugged the machine.

Overall Review: I would'nt say these are particularly BAD boards, but if you aren't treating them like very fragile old glass you will end up setting fire to the money you spent on it. Quite literally

Not THAT bad of a machine

GIGABYTE BRIX Gaming GB-BXA8G-8890 AMD Bolton M3 Mini-PC Barebone
GIGABYTE BRIX Gaming GB-BXA8G-8890 AMD Bolton M3 Mini-PC Barebone

Pros: Itty bitty form factor. The most power you're going to get in this small of a package Great for throwing into a bag and taking to work, hotel etc with a couple controllers or even a pico projector hehe Maxes out quite a few new games that I've tried @ 25-30FPS such as Bioshock:Infinite

Cons: If you have this thing sitting at your desk, prepare to game on with headphones... The cooling system desperately needs to be redesigned. Both the CPU and GPU on this machine throttle down to around 60% due to overheating after only 5 minutes or so of heavy use. This has less to do i think with this system in particular but needs to be said, in Saints Row 4 I couldn't get playable framerates no matter what I tried. Low settings were just as bad as high settings, getting anywhere from 10-22FPS. I checked to make sure that it was actually utilizing the dedicated GPU and it was. This could just be an optimization issue but it still seemed ironic to me being that there is a "Optimized for AMD" screen shown before the game starts...

Overall Review: I wrote this because this machine doesn't deserve the lone one star review. I have personally not had a single crash on this machine. The previous reviewer could have had a bad SSD (I recommend the Crucial drives) In case anyone is considering the much more expensive Nvidia Brix over this one, I ran Unigine Heaven and got 22.6FPS at the same settings as LinusTechTips in his review of the machine. (The Nvidia machine got 22.4FPS. Old drivers maybe?) It really seems like heat is the killer of both of these machines, and gaming performance is likely very very similar due to the thermal constraints Here are some bits I've collected if anyone is interested >100C GPU begins throttling - takes 5 minutes to get there in furmark, losing ~30% FPS GPU 925mhz core 1125mhz memory In the "Operation Mode" from BIOS setting, the CPU runs at a maximum 1.9Ghz, and scores 4800 with AMD Overdrive's benchmark In "Turbo Mode" the CPU will boost one core to a max 3.1Ghz, or two cores to 3Ghz, or all four to 2.8Ghz and scores 7300 with AMD Overdrive's benchmark Don't rely too much on the high temperature reports from most software, they are wrong. So far the only programs I've found to have correct readings are Speedfan for the Dedicated GPU (shows 0C when it's inactive) and AMD Overdrive for the CPU (reads thermal margin and not actual temperature) AMD Overdrive only shows the temperature of the integrated GPU though The maximum fan speed is 7000RPM and is excruciatingly loud