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Pros: When it works it works pretty decently, it has a lot of eye candy.
Cons: - Not reliable. I've been through 4 of these boards now and each one has fried itself to some varying degree. 2 of them have had the same problem where the board simply just stops working and the system won't power on. You of course can RMA but it takes 3 - 4 weeks from creating a ticket and mailing it to them to get a new board.
- The audio drivers are awful. The creative chip works pretty well, but if you have a 5.1 system every single time you start your system you have to unplug your system and reset the software to 5.1. Only takes a second, but dear lord is it a pain.
Other Thoughts: I really wanted to like this board, but just these issues I've had has turned me off to Gigabyte as a brand. Their support is godawful and having to argue with them that the board is broken and yes I did this and that. I've had this board for less then a year and I've had 4 different ones now. No thank you I'm switching to Asus.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Really great memory, especially since I got it on sale. I have to of these installed for 16gb, and it works great!
Cons: None really. Price might be one. if you can get it on sale, great, but otherwise buy a dual or quad-channel kit to get the extra bandwidth and save money.
Other Thoughts: Make sure that if you buy 2 dimms of this, you don't install it in dual-channel mode. So, do not put it in the same-colored odd/even slot pairs, but next to each other. I got so used to dual-channel memory that I instinctively installed it this way and thought I had bad memory when my system would only read it as 8gb of available memory.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Having upgraded from the CM 690 II, I say with some experience that this case is worth every penny. I mean, it comes with a $60 water cooler.
Even without the cooler though this case is worth it. I love the configurable hard drive stack, removable top section to more easily install fans or radiator, extra space in the back compartment for wiring, and all the little touches that make this case so worth it. I was a little worried I wouldn't get as much cooling since it didn't have any side-panel fan-mounts, but especially with the water cooler my system is is running about 15-20C cooler, even with an additional .2ghz overclock on the cpu.
Cons: My only two complaints, which really don't affect my review, is that first of all the wire holes on the side of the board space don't have the rubber groments that they did in the CM 690 II. This really doesn't affect me at all, and is really only a aesthetic touch anyways. Secondly the screws on the removable PCI expansion slots aren't the thumb-grip kind that came on the 690 II, meaning you have to use a screwdriver to remove cards. Once again, not a big deal considering the value of the case.
Other Thoughts: For those wondering about the CPU cooler, it is not a cheap throw-in. It keeps my 4.8ghz @1.5V FX-6300 below 45C under load. It comes with AMD/Intel brackets and is actually easier to install then the my old air cooler was.READ FULL REVIEW