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Karen H.

Karen H.

Joined on 06/19/12

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Most Favorable Review

Great card, with mediocre memory cooling.

MSI Radeon RX 5600 XT 6GB GDDR6 PCI Express 4.0 Video Card RX 5600 XT GAMING X
MSI Radeon RX 5600 XT 6GB GDDR6 PCI Express 4.0 Video Card RX 5600 XT GAMING X

Pros: This is a great card, with great cooling outside of the memory. The cards cooling does so well I haven't seen the cards fans kick in, and the temps only reached 64c once. Turning the fans on manually I saw substantial drops in the hot spot and gpu listed temps. With this card, there seems to be great contact with the die as the hot spot and the gpu temps seem very closely linked with only a degree of change from one to the other at any given point. Moreover, my card had no blackscreens. Overall I chose this card because of the pretty amazing voltage control setup they use here. It's the same card that they use for the RX 5700 and the RX 5700 XT however with the RX 5600 XT chip installed. I did not need the power of the RX 5700 XT so I got this one. The VRM is one of the best there is for this gen amd, I think there is one better but you will only find it on the RX 5700 XT card I think from ASUS. The only other card I considered was the Power Color Red Devil/Red Dragon but this was cheaper, better VRM and GPU cooling, even if the mem cooling wasn't as good. The point of me talking about the VRM is because I was considering a upgrade that saved me power from the RX 570 Nitro + that had a TDP of 195/225 watts, a bit confusing but I did see the card reach upwards to the 190 watt level. It also idled at 48-60 watts. It's not that I even needed more power as it did great, however, it did use a lot of power for the performance. In my instance, since replacing the card, the MSI RX 5600 XT Gaming X uses 7-8 watts are idle at a monitor refresh rate of 120 watts. (As a side note, I so no improvement in idle or max operating wattages were seen at 60hz monitor refresh, however, 165hz saw in increase in idle wattage to 26-28 watts. AMD really worked on this card to make it more efficient, and I noticed that they set it up to have more steps for the gpu to scale with mhz wise.) Performance on this is much better than the RX 570/580 era, but it did cost me nearly 3x the price of what deal I got for my Nitro + 2 years ago. It is not 3 times the performance, merely nearly 2x the performance on average with some dips. I tested this using firestrike and time spy, and while the this card performed admirably, my CPU did not as it was paired for the RX 570 to match performance without a bottle neck there. I do not plan to overlock this card, but I highly recommend not using the undervolt option as this card will perform dismally at 1/8th the performance. There is an issue with the driver software related to undervolting as well. Timespy overall score was : 6360 with a GPU score of 7276 and a dismal CPU score of : 3713 Firestrike had a Graphics score of : 21552 which I thought was amazing. (Side note: None of the scores had overclocking done. Also, next upgrade will be the CPU as the Ryzen 3 3300X performs better.)

Cons: The main issue with this card is the memory cooling. While adequate, I saw temps for the memory exceed 80c in stress testing. Looking at the way it is arranges the cooling for the memory, it looks to be a black plate that makes contact with the heatpipes coming off the GPU using a rather thick thermal pad. Moreover, instead of contacting all the possible heatpipes, it only makes contact with two of the heatpipes. I also wish that they would add vent holes for the rear plate. They help with heat venting by offering a large gap around the entire perimeter though so I am not insulted. The rear plate also doubles as surface area for cooling and does get really warm to the touch, it almost seems like the Ram is cooling more through the backplate than the main cooler. I believe that DDR6 is flip chip so it is closer to the PCB than the black plate so I can see this being the case. I recommend not overclocking the memory on this card though. GPU has lots of thermal headroom for overclocking, but the memory does not.

Overall Review: Between this and the power color red devil/dragon, I would still recommend this one, despite my issues with the memory. However, it is because it was cheaper as of writing this. The Red Dragon was my first impulse, it has a simple shroud that was nice a clean, much like this cards, the vrm was great, and the memory was more directly cooled. However, this card was better for most parts as it kept things cooler, much like the red devil. The Red Devil was not a good look in my opinion, but it had a great cooling ability. I think power color really did well this time, but I think I like this MSI much better as the VRM is better, and the card is quieter at zero rpm and no coil whine. Maybe I will overclock it, just to see what it can do, but I am only using a 1080p MSI MAG272C monitor. As a side note, for monitors with 10 bit, you will have to make sure to enable the 10 bit pixel format. In my case, it turned my monitor for looking washed out to amazing. You can enable it by going through AMD's Driver software - > Settings Gear - > Graphics Tab - > Advanced - > 10 Bit Pixel Format. If you do this, you may not want to enable HDR as HDR on Windows makes everything seem washed out. In fact, I should probably redo the review I made for the MAG272C as I learned some things since I wrote that. Also if you do try to undervolt

11/15/2020
Most Critical Review

Not bad

ARCTIC F9 PWM PST - Standard Low Noise PWM Controlled Case Fan with PST Feature, AFACO-090P0-GBA01
ARCTIC F9 PWM PST - Standard Low Noise PWM Controlled Case Fan with PST Feature, AFACO-090P0-GBA01

Pros: These fans operate longer than normal Sleeve bearing fans. Operation isn't as quiet as expected. Worked well for 3 years, but slightly noisy even in the Antec P180 cases. Replaced with Noctua Redux 92mm 1600 rpm fan, which did better with the same application as this fan. Pro's: -Cheap FDB fan (which does not follow the original plans for a FDB) -Lasts longer than normal Sleeve bearing fans. -Quieter than ball bearing style fans. -Better than most fans in the price bracket.

Cons: These do not perform as well as true FDB. (Like from the old Scythe S-Flex, or Cougar.) Or similar SSO bearing from Noctua. They have about 3 years before the bearings wear and start to make noise. (This is an improvement over the sleeve bearing design they are modified from.) Cons: -Dont seem to have the same static airflow of the Noctua Redux fans (except the 120mm redux fan which is not designed for static airflow.) -Shorter life span than other FDB style fans. -Louder operation than other FDB style fans.

Overall Review: I don't think I will buy another set of these unless I have too. They are not bad, but with my old Scyth s-flex fans lasting three times longer (2007-2016) and these lasting (2012-2015) before noises started. A little extra money will get you good fans that last a while, are quiet, and have better static pressure. This is not to say I dislike Arctic Cooling products. I love the MX-4 and their cpu heat sink products. But for current fan choice, I went with the Noctua Redux. I have four of them installed now. 92mm, 120mm, and two 140mm.

This is a beautiful, efficient PSU option.

Seasonic SYNCRO DGC-650, 650W 80+ Gold Power Supply, CONNECT Module Cable Management, SSR-650FA2, Must Use with Case Q704 to Function Normally.
Seasonic SYNCRO DGC-650, 650W 80+ Gold Power Supply, CONNECT Module Cable Management, SSR-650FA2, Must Use with Case Q704 to Function Normally.

Pros: This is a beautiful PSU that is designed to work only with the Seagate Syncro Q704. (Side note: I am sure you could work this into another case, but some modification to that case would be required as this is designed for this singular case.) But between that case, and this power supply, I have received the best wire management blessing ever. Between the from and rear, I only had to use a small number of ties to get this system to look awesome. The PSU is efficient and the components are well cooled throughout the system. Being able to separate out the 3.3 v and 5 v lines means that they can more easily and efficiently cool and operate those components allowing for the gold rating this has pretty easily. (Another side note: I am surprised they didn't try to push for platinum as it wouldn't be hard here.)

Cons: Big negative here is that you can't use this awesome design in other cases other than the Q704.

Overall Review: This PSU is great for what it is intended for, and while it does carry the downside of not working with other cases and serves this special place, I will say that the case and this PSU were the most fun and easiest to work with ever. On the engineering side, it is also exciting to look at and work with. Seasonic really did a great job here. Price though is steep but this is mostly because of the special niche it fills. In my case, I got the PSU for free with the case during a promotion, but that is no longer there. (I spent something like 115 for the case and PSU after rebates and the promotion.) This is a exciting case and PSU worth way more than I spent for it though.

12/29/2021

Excellent motherboard with lacking audio.

MSI MPG B550 GAMING PLUS AM4 AMD B550 SATA 6Gb/s ATX AMD Motherboard
MSI MPG B550 GAMING PLUS AM4 AMD B550 SATA 6Gb/s ATX AMD Motherboard

Pros: This is a great motherboard overall, with a lacking component. For the price, which was 108 when I got it, this checked all my boxes. Which include: -Good 8 phase VRM. (Though this is not the most efficient one being a upper and lower setup. Which is cheaper but still very effective.) -Good cooling for said VRM. (Improves longevity.) -Two NVME ports. (I have two 1 tb NVME drives.) -8 USB ports. -Working Ethernet Port -RGB controller. (For some tasteful rgb accents.) -USB-C Front header. -AIO Pump header next to the CPU header. (Though some motherboards allow for all headers to be compatible with pumps.) -Loads of System Fan headers. This board came in looking great with no blemishes and all components in place. I went as far as looking over the components as I received a motherboard, from a different site, that had some of the capacitors removed in just a way that the board still functioned but not 100% with PCIE lanes not working, ethernet not working, and computer unable to wake from sleep. (The capacitors missing were to the CPU via three from the VRM and 4 under the CPU.) Honestly, the redundant power system that Gigabyte B550 Elite had allowed it to still work and surprisingly with little problems until recently which is why I thought of other issues with hardware first.

Cons: My only personal issue with this is the Realtek 897/892 audio codec that they use in this. I do wish it was the 1200 or the even better 1220. You can get that by getting any of the MPG boards above this one as this is the lowest cost performance model they have. (The P in MPG is performance.) There doesn't seem to be any RGB controllers for Ram on this board and this is a mild disappointment.

Overall Review: This board is a updated MSI Pro B550 board, with RGB installed on the southbridge and a built in I/O Shield. The heatsinks are similar but are styled slightly differently while offering the overall same design. The RGB on southbridge is minimal but still good, offering little lights around the perimeter and can change to the colors you want. Though this style is not as good as a ring and doesn't diffuse as well as some higher end options, I still like the implementation offered here. My system consists of: -Ryzen 5 3600 -32gb (4x8gb) Klevv Cras Ram. -2x1Tb NVME drives -4TB HDD -360mm AIO from Coolermaster. (Received for free to review elsewhere and I am using Sycthe Wondersnail fans instead of the cooler master ones now.) -MSI RX5600xt Gaming X -MSI B550 Gaming Plus. (Now that is.) -Seasonic Synchro Q704 Case -Seasonic Synchro 650 PSU (This PSU is made for the Synchro Case and is beautiful when paired.)

12/29/2021

Amazing case.

Seasonic SYNCRO Q704 Case, 2021 iF and Red Dot Design Award Winner, Cable Management Design to Create Quality & Clean Look, Use with SYNCRO PSU Highly Recommended
Seasonic SYNCRO Q704 Case, 2021 iF and Red Dot Design Award Winner, Cable Management Design to Create Quality & Clean Look, Use with SYNCRO PSU Highly Recommended

Pros: First, this was the first case to really impress me since the P180 over a decade ago. Sure, there are lots of good cases, and some that came close. But the impressive part mostly happens when paired with the Syncro PSU. This was the easiest case to wire and setup. I took my time anyways, but the whole computer was assembled within a hour. I used a Gigabyte B550 Elite motherboard (not the V2, but I got the V1 for 79 dollars when it is normally over 160.) Ryzen 5 3600, 8x2 gig units of Klevv Crass RGB ram, Coolermaster Mirror 360 AIO (This looks good, but isn't the best AIO does the job well though), RX 5600 XT Gaming X, P5 1 TB NVME, another 1 tb NVME unbranded one that was still good, and 4 TB HDD. The HDD cage is really good, the density of the material the cage is made up of and vibration dampening means I can no longer hear the clicks and spinning verse what I used to have. The hard drives stay cool too, and I think that is mostly because of the awesome fans that come installed. Speaking of fans these come with Nidec fans branded as seasonic, the total value of those 4 fans is roughly 90 dollars, which make up most of the price here. They are great for static pressure, and low rpm. On high, those fans are loud, but on medium speeds or lower, they still push a lot of air at high pressure, moreover they are super quiet at medium or low speeds. The fans are controlled by the PWM fan hub that is built into the PSU Syncro bar. So are the fans from the 360mm AIO. You can map the speeds needed from the system fan header or cpu fan header of your motherboard. Because of how the power wires go through the system, wiring this was really easy. After it was done, I was able to tuck and group all the wires and that was a beautiful site. This was the cleanest computer to wire, and make beautiful while doing it. There are three filters install on this case, one long one on the bottom, that you can pull out from the front, a front filter and a top filter. All of them are easy to remove, and all of them slide back in and retain via magnets which I love. Well the top one drops back in but magnets are still involved.

Cons: The only issue I have, is that you have to open the side of the case to remove the front filter for cleaning.

Overall Review: I wish more cases were made like this one, and more PSU's were made like the one that works with this. You don't have to use a Syncro PSU, as it comes with a wire duct that works well for running and concealing your wires. You will still get a good experience building with this case as it has loads of loops for zip ties for tidying up your wires and it is still a super easy case to work with. Loads of room, and I like the fact it is a inverse ATX setup, which works well with purging the CPU block of air in AIO setups which happens to be a problem with some front mounted AIO setups. It also works awesomely with tower coolers with a very directly front to back airflow always giving fresh air to your components. I saw a huge drop in temps verse my old case. (Small upgrade of motherboard from a X370 and transferring parts to new build.) I am looking to see additional drops once I replace the AIO fans from the scythe fans I am using now. (I am using the not so good for AIO Sythe Kaze's because the coolermaster ones made too much bearing noise and scythe were all I had. Scythe is good for case fans and for fin arrays that aren't as dense as AIO's are plus they have some of the longest lasting bearings with only Corsair Maglev and Noctua SSO2 bearings doing better.)

Great overall case, some issues though.

Rosewill PRISM T ATX Mid Tower Gaming PC Computer Case with Tempered Glass, 4 Pre-Installed 120mm Fans, 420mm / 360mm / 240mm Radiator Support, EATX Support, Bottom Mount PSU Shroud and HDD / SSD
Rosewill PRISM T ATX Mid Tower Gaming PC Computer Case with Tempered Glass, 4 Pre-Installed 120mm Fans, 420mm / 360mm / 240mm Radiator Support, EATX Support, Bottom Mount PSU Shroud and HDD / SSD

Pros: First, this is a spacious case, great for clean builds and illumination. (Like RGB) It's easy to organize the wires and create a clean build. The tempered glass is tinted, and pins that hold it have rubber sleeves to prevent chatter or noise transfer. The tint does dull any light, but does not take away from color. So you may need brighter LED setups if you want rainbow puke. Overall, the case is surprisingly quiet. Part of this may be due to the thick gauge metal, dense tempered glass and off center ventilation and intake for top and front respectively in my configuration. This means that there is no direct path out and the dense materials will prevent the high frequency sound from leaving the case as easily. This is a seriously sturdy case.

Cons: The case breaths well overall, with loads of options for fans. I found, too late, that three 120mm fans are better in the front than two 140mm. My case is still cool, but part of the pressurized setup is lost in the case because of the 140mm setup I have. There is a built in fine mesh for the very front and very top of the case, however, the vent slats on the sides do not have any mesh, and I think they should have, so no filtration happens. Paired with large gaping holes at the rear top and bottom front also prevent filtration. This case will need frequent cleanings. But this also poses a positive as well, with maintenance, this case will have better airflow than many cases that use fine filters that can choke intakes. There is a filter on the very bottom of this case for the power supply, it is over sized, and seems to accommodate the inclusion of a fan on the bottom, however, this does not seem like a good place for a fans. It's good to have a filter for the power supply though. Cleaning the filter is problematic as the lengeth of the filter paired with it only coming out the back is an issue. Because you will have to move this case, there is another problem you may have to face, the rubber feet do not want to stay on, the rear ones to be exact. The front slid a bit while positioning my case but the rears disconnected and refuse to stay on. The double sided tape remains, but the rubber washer/spacers are unable to stay on. The case is still fine, and if I had more moving parts, this may be an issue, but it has not impacted the noise level, so I did not return the case. This case is not transport friendly, it is not so much heavy, but awkward to move, the front plate and top plates come off easy with a nice pop off, and easily and reliably pop back on just as easy. But this also means you can't do a quarter turn to hold from the two opposing sides, and only directly from the bottom. Make sure to remove the psu filter first as that likes to slide.

Overall Review: With the long paragraphs in the Cons, and shorter ones in the Pros, I would think someone may look at this as a bad case. Really, the only thing that really bugged me was the rubber feet detaching in the rear, I have them sitting in a storage cup next to me as I contemplate what I can do to fix this, like flexible glue options that may work well. It really bugs me. So to summerize: -Pros: Great airflow Sturdy case Quiet case Great wiring paths and anchors Easy working with for installing all sorts of configs of fans and water cooling. Clean layout Easy to dust, a good compressor, compressed air, or shop vac set to blow cleans it out in seconds. Looks amazing -Cons: Easy to remove rubber feet on accident Not easy to transport Lack of filtering Fans on bottom under shroud? 140mm fans are not best option for front intake You need to create positive pressure in this case to help combat dust settling inside of it. Would be better if there was filters for this effect.