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Pros: - Working solid for two years now
- Provides all the computing power I need (not overclocked and no problems with maxed games like Tomb Raider, AC: Black Flag, FarCry 3, Alan Wake; builds a Dwarf Fortress 2014 world pretty quickly as well). That is coupled with a 7970.
- Works just fine out of the box
Cons: - Some people complain of heat, I have a Zalman CNPS9700 (which I will nickname "the finger shredder") that keeps my temps just fine all the time.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Nice solid budget buy: Solidly built, plenty of extra screws, lots of space, decent modularity, nice black color scheme.
Plenty of space for mounting drives and the grated front panels remove easily, but aren't that flimsy. MB was kept in place easily.
Removable central HDD cage saved me by being removable; my HD 7970 would not fit otherwise. Wide enough to fit a behemoth Zalman 110mm with a 1.5inch deep fan mounted on the side.
Case seems designed to be open and modular, so if you're not using one of the large brackets/cages you can remove it or turn it for better air flow.
Cons: The instructions are terrible; they're cluttered pictures with poor legibility. If you want to find out how something works you're better off watching the NewEggTV video.
Some of the Molex/fan connectors had bent pins and were unusable (but I didn't plan on using them anyway).
Speaker for the MB dropped out during unpacking and I didn't find it until after I'd put everything together and closed it up.
The keyword is supposedly "high airflow" but the 2 included 120mm fans are pretty lackluster in that department. They get the job done, but don't move all that much air.
Other Thoughts: You'll probably want to cover the top grill to keep dust out unless you've got fans to put there.
Someone said there's space for a 140mm fan on the top. Unless you're securing it through the grill instead of the screw holes, I don't think that's possible. The only 140mm mounting location is the side panel.
Make sure any fans you buy for the front have thin enough. There's only about an inch of clearance, so anything to big will not fix.
I found that routing cables and getting them to look clean was sort of difficult (especially in the tiny SSD cage), but I am terrible with cabling. I just tried to get it to the side and tie it down and there are plenty of lash down points.
This review is from: ZALMAN CNPS9700 LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler
Pros: i5 3570K (not yet OCed) runs at 34C (...or 41C if it's 95F outside) using the included Zalman thermal paste. This is coupled with the 2 less than stellar 120mm fans included in the HAF 912 and a 140mm on the side.
I omitted the fan controller and my case is - for all intents and purposes - silent. My refrigerator and traffic/birds/people outside end up making more noise than my case. I can hear it at night when there's less noise, but it's far from loud (especially compared to my old HD 4850's cooler that sounded like a jet taking off).
Has a bracket for AMD and Intel sockets. Mine had 2 extra tiny washers for the back of the MB, which I'm not sure is really a pro, I don't foresee ever using them.
Blue LED goes nicely with my black and orange motif.
Cons: This is a huge pain to install.
The manual recommends you wear gloves to get it in without cutting yourself; that is most likely not going to happen. You are going to need all the dexterity you can muster and you're probably going to end up cutting yourself.
The heatsink blades are are so long that it's almost impossible to reach straight down to get the bracket and frame bolted together. It can also be a huge pain to make sure you have the metal bracket properly set in the circular nub on the heatsink, especially when you're trying to get the second screw in.
Thermal paste application is probably going to end up spotty because the thing will twist/rotate while you try to get the metal bracket lined up with the plastic frame while pressing it down hard enough for the screw to catch.
The paste in my case is probably not applied well, but you'd have to pay me to reinstall the beast.
Cleaning will be a hassle.
Other Thoughts: It is big and heavy; I believe the manual recommends removing it for transport (that is NOT going to happen). It's also bulky, but I've got more than 2 inches to spare in my HAF 912, which is 8.5-9 inches wide. Depending on your MB layout it may be more difficult to get to your RAM slots or the actual screw holes to install it.
The paste has a small brush which makes it easy to brush a light coat on. Either I am that awesome putting thermal paste on for the first time myself, or it's not all that worth it to burn $15 on "high quality" paste.
It will keep things cool but you will have to fight to install it.