Joined on 11/21/09
Just a Clarification
Pros: Great OS.
Overall Review: This review is just to clarify for people who are uncertain. You can buy this OEM version of Win7 and install it on your new build with no problems or hassle. There is a lot of MS legalese written all over this product which is meant to discourage casual users from buying it. The primary difference between this OEM version and your retail version is that you cannot easily transfer this OS from one computer to another. If you buy this version, it will install, activate and run just like the retail version. The OPK kit which is mentioned by MS is NOT required; this is only needed if you intend to resell the computer as brand new after you have installed and configured Windows. There really is no reason for the average builder to pay for the retail version.
Could Be Better.
Pros: - Lots of room inside. - Well ventilated. - Color change fans are a nice touch and the controls are simple. - A contact on the side door connects to the case frame to power the side fan when the door is closed. This means you can remove and replace the side door easily, without having to disconnect the side fan cable. This is a really useful feature, which should be used on more cases. - Plenty of space behind motherboard tray and drive cages for cable management, if you're into that sort of thing.
Cons: - The USB connectors from the case are four single ones, instead of two double ones. Every new motherboard has double pin connectors. Maybe this was done to support legacy motherboards, but this is a high-end case, legacy should not be an issue. - They gyp you for fans. The case should come with two colored front fans and two colored top fans. It would have been worth a little more money if it did. As it is, it looks like it's half finished out of the box. - The "tool-less" drive bay system on this case is terrible, clunky, and in my opinion does not work well at all. I am a tinkerer who rebuilds computers constantly. Drive bays that are difficult to work with and do not hold fast-spinning disk drives securely is a big problem for me. I would not recommend this case for people with lots of high performance disk drives or any who likes to change drives out often. If they had just used a traditional cage and supplied a bag of thumbscrews, I would have been happy.
Overall Review: This case would probably work fine for some people, but it fell way short of my expectations. I am, frankly, quite surprised that it was recommended by Tom's Hardware. It has a nice layout and design, but I think the drive bays are utterly useless, so I'll be looking to replace this with something more manageable. I will give this case to a friend who will never be taking it apart. This build: Win7 64 Thermaltake Element V Thermaltake TR2 850W Intel Core i7 960 Asus X-58 Sabertooth G.skill Ripjaws 24.0 GB DDR3 @ 1600 MHz Gigabyte HD 5870 2GB DDR5 2 x OCZ Vertex 120GB RAID 0 2 x Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB
Great buy for the money.
Pros: Easier to install than most heatsinks this size. I installed it with an additional fan in a push/pull config and it dropped the idle temps on my i7 960 from 48C on the stock cooler to 32C. My temps under load have never been observed to go over 50C with this cooler.
Cons: None really.
Overall Review: I can't stress enough how nice the installation of this thing was. It's not fool proof, but better than any other heatsink I have used.
Exactly What You Need at a Good Price!
Pros: They are exactly what they claim to be. I have a couple full tower gaming rigs that won't fit under any desk, so I use these extensions to connect mice, keyboards and anything else that sits on my desks to the full towers. You really cannot beat the price.
Overall Review: For $5.99 you can't go wrong anyway.
Does What it Says
Pros: Easy installation with Win7 Pro. The drive is definitely fast. It's great to have a system drive that requires no cables!
Cons: Seems overly expensive compared to typical SATA SSDs. I knew that going in so I can't rightly dock any eggs for it.
Overall Review: This drive is not noticeably faster in most cases than my other rig running Win7 Pro on 2 OCZ Vertez 2 120GB drives in RAID 0. Don't get me wrong, the drive is indeed faster, it's just that for most uses it will not actually appear any faster. If you are building a high-performance gaming rig, consider going the less expensive route. Your load times in games are not going to differ much at all between this drive and a good SATA SSD. This drive will benchmark higher, and certain intensive applications like media encoding or loading very large files (like huge PowerPoint presentations) will be faster. But for most uses, SATA SSDs will give you the same apparent performance. This Build: Win7 Pro Intel Core i7 960 @ 3.2GHz ASUS Sabertooth X58 g.skill DDR3 24 GB @ 1600 MHz Gigabyte HD 5870 (2GB version) OCZ RevoDrive X2 240GB Thermaltake TR2 850 Watt CoolerMaster HAF X
Possibly the Best Case Ever Built
Pros: Roomy and spacious even for a full tower. Rugged, heavy-duty construction. Very stylish. Excellent cable management possibilities. I also like how all the cable holes in the case have rubber grommets to protect your cables. Top notch cooling for high temperature systems running on air. I like the fact that all the included case fans have either 3-pin or molex fan connectors. I happen to have a motherboard with enough 3-pin fan connections to accommodate all the case fans, so I have no molex connections in my case! This is the first build I have ever put together that did not require any molex power connectors. Can I get a hallelujah!
Cons: If I have one bad thing to say about this case, it would be that the documentation provided by CoolerMaster is atrocious. It would have been nice to have a better user manual, but it wasn't enough of a gripe for me to dock an egg. This case is the best I have ever owned, and I have built six new gaming PCs in just the last six months.
Overall Review: If you are on the fence about which full tower to buy, look no further. There are plenty of good cases on the market, but this one is a cut above guaranteed not to disappoint.