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EVGA X99 Micro2 131-HE-E095-KR LGA 2011-v3 Intel X99 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: -All black PCB, socket, and caps is a welcome choice for theme builders.
-The Micro 2 employs a longer M.2 slot to accommodate standard SSDs - longer than the original X99 Micro.
-Simple EUFI (BIOS) has everything you need, nothing extra.
-Good price, in the X99 board range.
-Black aluminum I/O top cover, which is a slick addition for a blacked-out look.
-Rear I/O plate is also black.

Cons: -Every cold boot I made with an M.2 SSD failed. (Drive confirmed good on another board.) Restoring defaults corrected it, until the next cold boot.
-Audio isolation line is backlit by a white LED, but appears yellow - odd choice for this board. White is OK, yellow is not. You'll wind up disabling it.
-"Dark Mode", while claiming to disable "all LEDs" in the manual does not disable the boot code display in bright red. Several requests for EVGA to change this in their forums.
-No Windows fan control software included - you'll need Speedfan or similar, or keep jumping into BIOS to use their SMART fan settings.

Other Thoughts: I should have read previous reviews more closely before buying. I am not the only one to experience M.2 drops with this board. This price and aesthetics are great, but ultimately not worth it. This was my first non-Asus board ever (in 20 years), and I regret it.

About to start an RMA process.

Phanteks Evolv PH-ES515E_BK Satin Black Aluminum / Steel ATX MidTower Computer Case
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 day to 1 week

4 out of 5 eggs Great Case - Minor, Minor Concerns 03/14/2016

This review is from: Phanteks Evolv PH-ES515E_BK Satin Black Aluminum / Steel ATX MidTower Computer Case

Pros: -Great fit and finish.
-Swapable front LED colors.
-Clean front panel (behind flip plate), subtle power button on top.
-Huge side window.
-Handy fan hub.
-Lots of cable routing options.
-Tons of flexible drive options.
-Doors swing open on both sides.
-Lots of radiator options and capacity.
-Great airflow.

Cons: Minor, nitpick concerns:

-There are 10 painted rivets on the rear of the chassis. About 5 of mine have paint at least partially scraped from them - one is fully shiny metal. (See detail below.)
-If you opt to remove the bottom drive cage, it leaves 4 holes, a couple of which had paint removed due to previous screws. (See detail below.)
-White rear slot covers, and fans are a tough choice if you are building on a color theme. (Black would be more neutral.)
-While my windowed version is not ideal for a seriously silent case, but some sound insulation on other panels is something they could add for a case at this pricepoint.

Other Thoughts: I'd like to be clear: this is a fantastic case. I come from builds on Lian-Li and Silverstone, and this Phanteks is absolutely on par, if not better than both in terms of fit, finish, and practicality. Any cons that I've listed are minor at best, and should not prevent anyone from purchasing this case.

In terms of the rivet piece above, in most placements the back of the case does not matter. Even in my instance, where the rear is visible, I'm not bothered, and if I bugs me I'll just touch them up with black paint. However, it is an odd flaw, given the otherwise high quality. I suspected it was a fluke with my sample, but noticed in an online video review that the back of that case also had some shiny rivets on an otherwise painted surface. If nothing else, I hope Phanteks sees this as a minor materials, or process improvement - and I mean minor. (Check your rivets though - I'm guessing this is common.)

I have no need for the bottom drive bay, so I thought I'd remove it to allow more room for PSU cables, and perhaps more airflow as that's never a bad idea. Removing it is easy however it leaves 4 holes in the top of the PSU cover (the area just above the Phanteks logo). The only problem is that the 4 top screws, have scraped off the paint on the cover, and it is in a very visible area of the case. You cannot simply put the screws back in, as they just dangle in the hole, as the drive brackets have the thread. I'd suggest you just leave the drive bracket in. As a second, minor process & materials recommendation for Phanteks, I'd recommend a washer be inserted under those 4 screws to protect the paint should users decide to remove the cage, as advertised.

Again, please take these minor cons for what they are: tiny. However, if you spend a lot of money on a case, and specifically buy one with a window to showcase your build, you don't want to see scraped paint items, especially if easily avoidable.

RAZER DeathStalker Chroma Membrane Gaming Keyboard
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 week to 1 month

3 out of 5 eggs Great Build Quality, Great Support, Fatal Flaw (For Me) 03/14/2016

This review is from: RAZER DeathStalker Chroma Membrane Gaming Keyboard

Pros: -Keyboard build exudes quality. It is sturdy, and has an expensive look and feel.
-If you like Chiclet-style keyboards, the key feel is true to this type.
-Smooth palm rest material allows hands to move freely across the board.
-Even RGB lighting, with plenty of effects.
-Solid software package, Synapse.
-Attentive support from Razer included.

Cons: Just one, but fatal for me:

-High-pitched whine when lighting enabled.

Other Thoughts: I build near-silent PCs, and noticed a faint, high-pitched whine noise. I'm probably overly sensitive to this, but certainly it was there. I had just bought a new PSU and GPU, so suspected a coil issue, and tore them out of my PC - no change. After checking countless things, I was playing around with the Synapse software, and temporarily turned off all lighting - BINGO. It could have been just my sample, but it emits a noise when lighting is on. I tested the keyboard on multiple machines, and the same issue. It is faint, and may not be noticeable if you have a louder setup, but it was certainly there on this unit.

Razer support was quick to respond, and had me test a few things, but ultimately suggested I RMA the keyboard. I've opted to return the unit instead. There support was great, and I don't believe there would have been any cost to me with the RMA, which is also nice.

I will repeat that the build quality, and quality of materials is impressive. The shape and design is clean, and every element is well thought out. It is a shame to return it.

Next, I'm not commenting on whether this key type (Chiclet) is ideal for gaming or not. If you prefer mechanical keys, this is not the board for you of course. Key feel, and general typing is exactly what you'd expect from this type of key switch.

One last unrelated bit on the Synapse software. Yes, you must have a Razer account for initial setup, and to ultimately store settings with Razer, but you can certainly put things in offline mode thereafter. I understand some of the concern around the Internet requirement, but don't believe it is a deal-breaker.


Rob T.'s Profile

Display Name: Rob T.

Date Joined: 05/31/05

  • Reviews: 20
  • Helpfulness: 14
  • First Review: 11/13/09
  • Last Review: 03/19/16
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