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Matthew N.

Matthew N.

Joined on 08/02/21

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 3
Most Favorable Review

Missing driver in Windows 11

MSI PRO Z690-A DDR4 LGA 1700 Intel Z690 SATA 6Gb/s ATX Intel Motherboard
MSI PRO Z690-A DDR4 LGA 1700 Intel Z690 SATA 6Gb/s ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: - Great build quality - Easy to install - Good bios and software support

Cons: The necessary ethernet driver is not included in Windows 11, and Windows 11 demands to connect to the internet in order to finish installing. The driver must be downloaded from the MSI website, loaded onto a USB stick, and loaded during installation. There's a "load drivers" button on the screen where you choose which drive/partition to install to. Do this in advance, because if you make it as far as the network connection screen (as shown in the instructional video on the MSI website), you will not be able to install the driver (the command line method on the Microsoft website doesn't seem to work), and you will need to boot from the disc again and start over.

Overall Review: The driver issue is not a deal-breaker, it is just not very well documented. I spent far too long troubleshooting this issue.

Most Critical Review

Wifi good, bluetooth bad

ASUS PCE-AX3000 WiFi 6 (802.11ax) Adapter with 2 External Antennas. Supporting 160MHz for Total Data Rate up to 3000Mbps, Bluetooth 5.0, WPA3 Network Security, OFDMA and MU-MIMO
ASUS PCE-AX3000 WiFi 6 (802.11ax) Adapter with 2 External Antennas. Supporting 160MHz for Total Data Rate up to 3000Mbps, Bluetooth 5.0, WPA3 Network Security, OFDMA and MU-MIMO

Pros: Easy to install, and wifi works perfectly.

Cons: Bluetooth connection is unreliable.

Overall Review: This is actually two devices in one: a high quality pcie wifi adapter, with a basic USB bluetooth adapter stuck on. The bluetooth chip even requires you to run a separate cable to an internal USB header - it does not communicate through the pcie interface, and I don't think it makes use of the antennas. I purchased this to use with a bluetooth Xbox controller, but the connection is so unreliable that it fully cuts out every minute or so and has to reconnect. I've had to keep the controller connected by a USB cable instead. I'm keeping the product for its wifi function, but I'm going to have to buy another bluetooth adapter.

Almost perfect

Fractal Design Define 7 Compact Black Brushed Aluminum/Steel ATX Compact Silent Mid Tower Computer Case
Fractal Design Define 7 Compact Black Brushed Aluminum/Steel ATX Compact Silent Mid Tower Computer Case

Pros: - Good sound dampening - Good ventilation options - Easy to open and set up

Cons: - The cable storage area behind the motherboard is a bit too shallow, making it difficult to close the back panel once it's full of cables - The panels stick on gently with magnets and cannot be securely latched, making it difficult to keep that back panel closed with too many cables stuffed underneath - USB 3.0 plugs on the front of the case do not supply USB 3.0 levels of power for fast-charging devices (although it's possible this could be a motherboard issue) - Front LED is obnoxiously bright while blinking in sleep mode

Overall Review: If you can get all your cables to lie flat, this is a fantastic case. I might recommend getting a power supply with flat ribbon cables as opposed to bundled round cables. Even with bulky cables, though, it will do the trick - it will just take some fiddling to get everything in its place. Highly recommended if your priority is reducing noise without compromising ventilation.