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Pros: Easily the best motherboard I've ever owned. As my first ASUS motherboard, I was a bit worried to take the plunge. But I'm glad I did.
The entire package feels like a premium product. Such detail went into every piece... even the box. I was worried at first that the LEDs would be a bit over-the-top and gimmicky. But they look extremely nice. It is clear after getting the product why the price is so high.
In terms of overclocking... awesome so far. I've taken the CPU and GPUs as far as they could go on air, and the motherboard is rock solid. The UEFI/BIOS screen makes overclocking extremely easy. You can tweak just about everything you can think of, and ASUS even has auto-overclocking features (which I have not tried yet). Can't wait to get water into the system and see how far I can take it.
Cons: The ONLY con I have is the included DAC that fits in a 5.25" bay.
This motherboard is clearly a "showpiece" motherboard. The target audience for this motherboard is also the same audience that would likely ditch the 5.25" drive slots altogether to get a streamlined look. This is also the same audience that is likely to build a custom water loop in a case that doesn't even have 5.25" drive slots. So why ASUS opted to include a DAC that fits in a 5.25" drive slot is beyond my understanding. Would of been amazing to have had an external housing for this DAC so the user could choose to stick it either internally or externally.
Other Thoughts: The firmware that originally shipped on the motherboard's two BIOS chips is total garbage. Easily the worst BIOS I've ever encountered... I don't even know how it passed the QA testing phase at ASUS. Luckily flashing to a later version was extremely easy, and I personally have found the latest version (v1003 at the time of this writing) to be solid.
If you do buy the motherboard, the very first thing I would do is flash a new BIOS on it. As long as you do that you should be happy.
Pros: Yet again another high-quality Seasonic power supply. The third I've bought from them over the years, and year after year they keep bringing the absolute best quality.
Cons: The power supply has a "hybrid" mode. While in hybrid mode, the power supply's fan will remain idle unless the power supply gets too hot. After it reaches that temperature the fan will click on and start cooling the power supply. Super neat feature if you are looking for a whisper quiet system.
There is a switch on the back of the unit to turn hybrid mode on/off. On my particular unit, that switch is BACKWARDS from the label. Not a huge deal once I figured it out, but I initially thought I had received a unit with a defective fan because of it.
Other Thoughts: Honestly this power supply is fantastic, could not be happier with it. If this was any other power supply this would easily get a perfect score. That said, I decided to took off an egg for two reasons: The first is due to the backwards switch on my particular unit.
The second reason is because is because their so-called "Flagship" product is missing some premium features that they could of added to take it over the top. The power supply itself looks great, but the modular cables are the typical modular cables they ship with the majority of their power supplies. For a flagship product, I would have liked to have seem some premium cables. Perhaps individually sleeved cables or at least sleeving on the typically visible connectors, such as the motherboard & PCIe power cables. It is just missing that extra "oomph" to really make it feel like a Flagship premium product.
But otherwise... couldn't be happier.
This review is from: be quiet! DARK ROCK 3 SilentWings CPU Cooler 190W TDP
Pros: Managed to pick this cooler up on NewEgg's Flash website, so I was able to obtain it for cheaper than normal. BUT, I would have bought it again at full price if I needed to.
Temperatures are on-par or better than every other popular air cooler I've used, and the fan is whisper quiet. As an added bonus, the cooler itself looks fantastic. Easily the best looking air cooler I've ever used.
Cons: Instructions could absolutely use some improvement. They combined the instructions for both of the Intel sockets (LGA115X/LGA2011), and the AMD socket into a single set of instructions. The pictures are especially confusing, as they illustrate all three installation types in a single image.
The instructions weren't bad enough that it required me to search Google or look at a YouTube video... but I did have to take a few minutes assembling the cooler in a few different ways before I was able to figure out how they meant for you to assemble it. Luckily, once you do figure it out, the installation for LGA2011 / LGA2011-3 is rather easy.
Other Thoughts: My only other criticism is the non-standard fan size. be quiet! opted for a 135mm PWN fan, which from what I can tell, cannot be purchased separately. Just by looking at the bracket, it seems like you *might* be able to attach a 140mm fan if you bent the bracket a little bit, but I personally haven't tried it.
It isn't a huge deal, as I am perfectly happy with the stock fan they provided. But I would feel more comfortable if the option to replace the original fan with a standard-sized replacement was available should the original fan suddenly go bad.