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Michael P.

Michael P.

Joined on 01/11/05

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I build computers for friends and family. Sometimes I build brand new PC's and other times I build with used parts.

Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 74
Most Favorable Review

The best Self Contained water cooler you can buy!

CORSAIR Hydro Series H100 (CWCH100) Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
CORSAIR Hydro Series H100 (CWCH100) Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler

Pros: Before you consider buying the H100 look at your case. You will have to mount the H100 to the top of your case. You should be able to mount this into a Antec 1200, NZXT Phantom, or a HAF 922 very easily. The radiator is 11" long. If you have 2x 120mm fan-mounts on the top of your case and 11" of room then you're ok. One fan & the rad is 50mm wide, with 2 fans it's 77mm. Stack some fans together to make sure your motherboard doesn't have a V-REG heatsink that's in the way. Obviously, these thing look way better than a chuncky, twin-tower air cooler. The biggest pro is a cooler like this won't get in the way of tall RAM heatsinks. With a push-pull fan setup the H100 will perform just as well if not a little bit better. The biggest pro of ALL. This thing will outcool the H50 by 10c or more. In this case you'd have to match the fan setup. I saw a 10c decline. Other people have reported a 12c decline.

Cons: Well... the guy who figured the real watercooling setup price is quite inacurate. There are real water cooling kits that are just $20 more than the H100. If you're willing to spend the time babysitting a watercooling kit then get it. The H100 is set it and forget it. Just clean the fins once a month. Keeping your house clean makes a big difference with the dust levels. Computers are dust magnents. If this thing ever goes on sale it will almost be unbeatable. To get the best performance you will need a couple extra fans. To get the ultimate performance, hollow out a 120mm fan and use it as a shroud in-between the push fan and the radiator. By the time you do that it will beat any chunky air-cooler. This will fit in only the best full sized ATX cases. If you have mounts for 2x 120mm fans at the top of your case you should be able to fit this. Th Block is still grainy. Why can't you guys get this right? Grainy Block = More TIM = LESS COOLING

Overall Review: There's quite a bit of extra work to do to these things to get the maximum performance out of them. You will have to go to the hardware store and buy some 6/32 screws. If you're looking to take your core i5 system to 4.5ghz 24/7. or you're looking to get to 5ghz with a good chip then this will work. My Core i7-2600k @ 4.8ghz H70, 71c H100, 66c IMO, it's not the double radiator that gives you the performance difference. It's the fact that the H100 holds a higher volume of lquid. These thing will mount onto an AM3+ motherboard. This should be listed in the specs for when a newbie is looking to build him/herself an FX system here in a few months.

Most Critical Review

Junk and more junk. Should have been called Crouching Tiger Hidden Junk.

ASUS P6T Deluxe LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
ASUS P6T Deluxe LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: Nice heatsink that covers the x58 chipset and VRM/MOSFET. I really wish modern board makers would still use the copper fins instead of these beauty blocks. Functionality over Form I never had any problems with the Marvell controllers but I never tried using them either. I actually like the Legacy IDE cable and that was very convenient. I was able to hook up a bunch of legacy devices into this board. Most x58 boards had this stuff. The reason I picked this board is because EVGA didn't properly list the specs of their x58 3way SLI board.

Cons: The board ended up failing right after the warranty period expired. Don't know why or how. It stated with random system shutdowns then eventually the system would not work at all. I put the q-code reader in the debug port and it reads F.F.. I tried three different 1366 processors, different power supply, different RAM, tried to boot up with the board on a table......Nothing. Dead. This board wanted nothing to do with overclocking my old Core i7-920 C0 stepping CPU. Even the most modest overclocks would cause the system to crash and I constantly got the "Overclocking failed" screen. It overclocked the Core i7-930 D0 stepping chip just fine but it wouldn't touch my C0 stepping chip. I tried BIOS updates and all sorts of tweaks to get it to work. Later on I bought a revised EVGA x58 3-way SLi board and I had no issues giving that Core i7-920 C0 stepping chip a modest overclock. In fact, when it came to the 930, the EVGA board did a better job of overclocking that CPU. I didn't burn the board up because when I had the 930 in it, I only overclocked it to 4.1ghz, reasonable voltage, and for a very short period of time (3 weeks). Then I came across another P6T Deluxe v2 board and it was no better. Another pile of junk. I ran two RX 480 cards in X-Fire with a Xeon x5690 CPU, and a Bug Chip towards the bottom of the board fried. The board still worked for a while longer but it died. The previous owner never overclocked and used the stock cooler. The Driver DVD came with bloatware and other useless software. It looked like my HP Pavilion after I loaded everything. The PC ran like trash at first but I bought a couple of those old Samsung F3 drives and put them in Raid 0.

Overall Review: Worst f'in board ever. This is the worst board I have ever bought. Excuse me, I'm going to drown my sorrows in a Pepsi.

G.Skill = The Good Stuff

G.SKILL Trident Z5 RGB Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR5 6000 Intel XMP 3.0 Desktop Memory Model F5-6000U3636E16GX2-TZ5RK
G.SKILL Trident Z5 RGB Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR5 6000 Intel XMP 3.0 Desktop Memory Model F5-6000U3636E16GX2-TZ5RK

Pros: -Samsung dies -Lifetime warranty... Earlier this year I filed an RMA with G.Skill for a quad-channel kit of DDR3-2133 memory that I purchased when Sandy Bridge-E was released (3930k+RIVE). About a week after I shipped that kit to G.Skill, they sent me a brand new kit of the same memory. It's nice that still honored the warranty of a 9 year old kit of RAM. -Edges on heatsinks aren't as sharp as the heatsinks on the Trident Z DDR4 memory -IMO the heatsink on these DDR5 sticks looks better than the heatsink G.Skill has been using with their Trident Z DDR4 sticks. Both are of very, very high quality and it looks and feels like a premium product. Aside from the RMA I had to file.... I've never had a problem with G.Skill memory. No matter what system I put G.Skill RAM into, it always works.

Cons: DDR5 RAM is really hard to find. I won the right to buy this kit through the Newegg Shuffle. This is a CON with DDR5 memory in general... I wish the notch wasn't located so close to the center. If you blindly pick up a stick of DDR5 memory, it's very hard to distinguish it from DDR4 RAM because the notch locations are only a few millimeters apart. In addition to that, it's tougher to tell if the stick is upside down when I'm trying to install it. I wish the notch was more offset to one side like DDR3. With any kit of G.Skill memory I have worked with, the product label has always been on the side of the RAM stick that's facing the CPU socket. G.Skill didn't put the manufacturing date on the sticker. I have a lot of kits of RAM and this has always helped me keep everything together. Now I'll have to go strictly with the S/N if I have to pair similar kits together. In the tests I've run so far, the performance difference between these DDR5-6000 cl36 kits is very tiny (less than 1%) in comparison to DDR4-4000 cl17 Ripjaws V memory.

Overall Review: This kit works great with my Asus Strix Z690-F board and 12900k. No complaints. I was able to fire XMP right on up and I didn't have to touch any of the IMC voltages. Be warned.... DDR5 memory can get hot but I'm not having any issues with this kit. Thanks to a voltage regulator being located on the stick, the RAM temps can jump up while the system is running a program that uses lots of RAM. In the past I never had to worry about what the temps of DDR4 memory were doing, but with DDR5 I have to keep my eyes on the RAM temps. I see RGB memory fan kits in the future. No.... despite what some Youtubers have said.... DDR5 and DDR4 RAM are not compatible with eachother. That guy should have known better. DDR2 and DDR3 have the same pin count as well but they're not compatible.... because the notch on DDR3 RAM is in a completely different location. Some of these Youtubers need a hardware history lesson.... and it shows when some of them don't even know what an 8800gt is.

12/30/2021

Great for Power hungry systems and such

Super Flower Leadex Titanium 1600W 80+ Titanium, 10 Years Warranty,  ECO Fanless & Silent Mode, Full Modular Power Supply, Dual Ball Bearing Fan, SF-1600F14HT
Super Flower Leadex Titanium 1600W 80+ Titanium, 10 Years Warranty, ECO Fanless & Silent Mode, Full Modular Power Supply, Dual Ball Bearing Fan, SF-1600F14HT

Pros: It's great that Super Flower is trying to get into the North American market because we've been lacking a choice of good power supply units. Choices of good power supply units has been lackluster since the 2018 Mining crash and the death of SLI+Crossfire. Another well known GPU company had been using Super Flower to make their power supply, but they've switched suppliers. I have previously bought a couple of these Titanium 1600w power supply units under the GPU company's brand name and they're built like tanks. They do not disappoint. When I saw Super Flower selling this under their own brand name, I didn't waste any time snatching one up. The cables that come with this power supply are very thick.... top quality. I have a couple of those high capacity Corsair AX units and I'm always running out of PCI-E cables with those things. With the Super Flower 1600w Titanium unit I have never had a problem with running out of PCI-E cables.

Cons: There are not cons really. The only con I can think of is the 1600w Titanium version was sold by the GPU Company had a very nice look. I loved the rounded edges and powder coated cover. The Super Flower version still looks nice but it's not as good as the one by the GPU Company. This is a really petty con. Not a problem for me but modern graphics cards rarely come with 6-pin power connectors. This power supply is only capable of hooking up four 3090's that have 3x 8-pin connectors. This would be alright though because this PSU could run 4x of those large 3090's comfortably.

Overall Review: Here's the thing, I know some people thinks it's okay to by an offbrand 1600w or larger power supply, and they're saving money which is great, but those offbrand units are not known for their reliability. Personally I'm not going to take a chance here and I'm going to pay a little bit more for something that isn't going to blow up or catch on fire. I've been building computers since 2008 and I've seen a lot of people lose money, in one way or another, by trying to cut corners. I've seen a lot of stuff blow up in my time and it's usually from poor circuitry, old outlets, power surges because the user didn't have a UPS, or a questionable Power Supply unit. This PSU is going to last and it's one of the best you can pick in it's class. Finally, if you're going to load this PSU up and use it near it's maximum capacity then plug it into a 20a outlet.

12/28/2021

Works for me... Glad I bought it

Intel Core i9-12900K - Core i9 12th Gen Alder Lake 16-Core (8P+8E) 3.2 GHz LGA 1700 125W Intel UHD Graphics 770 Desktop Processor - BX8071512900K
Intel Core i9-12900K - Core i9 12th Gen Alder Lake 16-Core (8P+8E) 3.2 GHz LGA 1700 125W Intel UHD Graphics 770 Desktop Processor - BX8071512900K

Pros: Takes the frustration out of trying to save and compress large PDF's... I mainly move large Blueprint files from PC to PC.... This CPU is super helpful at doing that. I tested this with a 3080ti and a 3080 and the 1080p benchmark scores went up. With the FFXV 1080p benchmark, a stock 8700k and the 3080ti would score above 18000, and over 21000 when the 8700k is overclocked to 5.1ghz..... the 12900k and the 3080ti score over 23000. I've also tested with a tuned 5950x and a tuned 9900k at 5.1ghz and they both go above 22000. The 12900k kills RPCS3 but only when the e-cores are disables..... might as well go with the 12700k here. If emulators are your thing then look at Alder Lake. The IMC seems decent. I had no trouble running DDR4-4000 cl16 RAM with XMP enabled and I didn't have to touch the System Agent or I/O voltages. Also, I had no trouble running the XMP 3.0 profile for DDR5-6000 cl36 RAM. I didn't have to touch the S/A or I/O voltages here either. The memory controller seems to be good.

Cons: I've tried overclocking this CPU but to no avail. Maybe I got a lottery loser. I couldn't even get a 5.0ghz overclock right with the 12900k. However, I have had no trouble overclocking my 8700k, 8086k, and a couple 9900k CPU's to 5.0ghz or above while passing stress tests. My 12900k is cooled by a custom loop setup but the boards I've tried using are the MSI MPG Edge DDR4 and the Asus Z690-F Strix. With my coffee lake processors I have the z390 Aorus Master and Maximus X Apex. This CPU isn't easy to cool if you're doing more than gaming. Originally I had this cooled with a D15 because the bracket for the D15 arrived when I got the CPU and motherboard. For gaming the D15 works fine, however I had to make sure the BIOS limits were set correctly for an Air-Cooler. Once my waterblock arrived I set up the loop. Temps in gaming and simple benchmarks that don't run AVX instructions fell, but after BIOS adjustments the CPU was chewing up more than 280w and the temps were getting quite high while running more intensive tasks. If you're going to do a side by side comparison between DDR4 and DDR5 or you're going to jump platforms, make sure to do a clean install of the O.S. if you're transferring drives. My benchmarking scores went up after a clean install. However, I only tested with Win11. It would have been nice if Intel had found a way to include 20x PCI-E 5.0 lanes instead of 16x PCI-E 5.0 lanes and 4x PCI-E 4.0 lanes in this CPU.

Overall Review: It's great for what I do, which is compressing and decompressing large PDF's, some Gaming, and benchmarking. Although, the 5950x may be better for file compression or worse in some cases. Here's my 12900k setup: Custom, soft tube loop with GTR360 rad and Velocity2 block i9-12900k Strix Z690-F board 32gb G.Skill DDR5-6000 cl36 RAM EVGA RTX 3080 FTW3 1tb Samsung 980 Pro 1kw Seasonic Prime PSU

12/28/2021

Decent budget case.... looks good

DIYPC Shadow-H3-ARGB Black Steel / Tempered Glass ATX Mid Tower Computer Case w/ 3 x 120mm Halo ARGB LED Fans Pre-Installed
DIYPC Shadow-H3-ARGB Black Steel / Tempered Glass ATX Mid Tower Computer Case w/ 3 x 120mm Halo ARGB LED Fans Pre-Installed

Pros: It's a decent looking case.... I can't complain about it too much. It wasn't hard to manage cables and make everything look good. I had an old 4790k, GTX 1070, z87 board, and 16gb of DDR3-2133 lying around and I wanted to make something happen with it. This case is a good fit for that system. The GPU temps never got too hot and neither did the CPU temps.

Cons: The metal used to make the case is rather thin.... almost like popcan thin. This is forgivable because I got this on a Black Friday 2020 sale..... which was last year. Then again, the budget cases from 10 years ago used to be made with thicker metal. The only reason I can forgive for this is because I bought a $150 Fan Techs case that was made with some super thin metal... that same as what this case uses. The fans were a bit of a pain to set up, and trying to find a 4th RGB fan for the rear was impossible.

Overall Review: I'd recommend it to you if it's on sale and you're looking to build a budget system or a scrapyard build with used parts.

12/20/2021