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Pros: Removable faceplates (silver and black, helps address the one Con below)
Everything works out of the box (XP and 7, no problem)
Cons: If you like bright blue, always-on LEDs, then skip the rest of this paragraph. You'll love this card reader. But for the rest of us, as others have stated, the power LED is blue and always on when the unit receives power from the motherboard. Even if my case LEDs were blue, this would still annoy me. Only a card activity light is truly necessary. At the very least, this LED should be off unless a card is inserted.
Other Thoughts: Since the faceplates are removable, my fix only required a needle-nose pliers and one delicate squeeze of the power LED while the unit was off. Viola! No more annoying, always-on power LED. A small piece of strategically-placed electricians tape would probably accomplish the same.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Inexpensive ($40 on sale but still a great deal at regular price)
Decent cable management (not very common in this price range)
Lots of room for drives (4 x 3.5”, 6 x 5.25”, includes 3.5” to 2.5” adapter for SSD, includes 5.25” to 3.5” adapter for card reader or 5th 3.5” drive)
Plenty of louvers for airflow (will accommodate 2 x 140mm or 2 x 120mm up top, 2 x 120mm on side by video cards, 1 x 120mm in back, 1 x 120mm in front and has louvers on the bottom for power supply ventilation)
Lightweight! (Big plus to me. I grew tired of lugging around my Antec 900 to LAN parties and other assorted nerdery)
Front USB ports are 3.0
No obnoxious and always on power LED, just a reasonably bright disk activity LED (red)
Cons: As other have stated, the steel seems a bit thin, particularly with regard to the removable side panels. Because of this, getting all of the tabs in place on the side panels can be a hair more difficult than a beefer case like an Antec 900. Then again, one should expect this tradeoff with a 9.4lb steel ATX mid-tower case. The overall rigidity of the case itself seems fine to me though.
Other Thoughts: I cannot speak to the noise level of the front fan with the red LED that came with the case because I removed it for a non-lit one before the first power-on.
If you demand the fit and finish of a Lexus in your computers, look for something else. If you want an inexpensive case that’s lightweight but sturdy enough, holds a full ATX motherboard and pile of drives, while offering above average cable management, you will not be disappointed. I would definitely buy another Ranger.
Pros: ASUS quality and reliability
Loads of expansion (8x240pin mem slots, 2x6.0Gbps eSATA, 4x6.0Gbps SATA, 4x3.0Gbps SATA, etc.)
USB Flash BIOS update (All you need is the board, a USB drive and a power supply. No CPU or RAM is necessary.)
Built-in power and reset buttons (I have this board running sans case for now)
Cons: LGA2011 (Socket R) appears to be quite sensitive to how the CPU seats. For any LGA board, if you can’t get one or more RAM channels to work, PLEASE try to reseat the CPU before you RMA. I know it’s a pain, but it’s less of a hassle than an RMA. Try it two or three times if you have to.
Price is a little higher than I wanted to pay, but then again it’s LGA2011, not a budget build platform. I snagged one as an open-box for around $220.
For those not versed in building PCs or overclocking, the huge feature set can be intimidating when looking through the manual. The basics still apply though. Add CPU, RAM, video card, monitor, power and you’ll be fiddling with a nice GUI BIOS interface in no time.
Other Thoughts: I bought this board as an open-box Newegg deal. All I was hoping for was the board and the backplate for a case. Other than it being in a plain white box, everything was there, much of it never opened. Newegg ROCKS!
My build thusfar:
ASUS P9X79 Pro (love it!)
i7-3930k (stock clock for now)
Cooler Master GeminII S524 (very quiet and robust CPU cooler for the money, 120mm fan runs at 600RPM much of the time)
Radeon HD 5450 (passively-cooled, quite lame)
Team PC1333 4x4GB DDR3 (cheap Newegg stuff)
Kingston HyperX 120GB SSD
Plextor 12x eSATA BD-RE (used for Win7 Pro install)
XFX 650w power supply