Top critical review
17 people found this helpful
Great performance and value, but several issues if you care about noise or customization.
on April 21, 2015
Great performance for the price. I'd recommend this machine to most casual users, but I have some personal "power user" issues. This is the first computer I've ever purchased off the shelf, so I'm trying not to judge too harshly on things that could be fixed by "well build your own then".
It's even likely you'll read all the stuff I don't like and not care one bit about any of it. If so, great—you'll find a lot of value in this machine.
- Very good performance for the price. I'd steer my relatives toward this one.
- Killer performance with an SSD, which is super easy to install. Get one, they're like $60. You'll need a SATA cable too. Super easy install.
- About 10.25" of space for a graphics card (you'll need a better power supply if you add one).
- Standard power supply mounting, swapping in another is easy.
- Quiet fans.
Smallish stuff I don't like:
- I don't like the shiny front, lint sticks to it like it's trying to double as an air purifier.
- The front ports are inset way too far. Can be a pain removing drives/cards. And SD cards plunge so deep into the card reader I can't pull them out with my fingers, no joke.
- Some kind of MaxxAudio eq preset is on by default, and it is awful.
- Internal layout isn't super friendly. All hard drives must be mounted upside down, which works with their PSU but was not friendly to mine. Hard drives require 90° power connectors because they're in sideways.
- The chiclet keyboard. It doesn't even have little fold-out wings to adjust the keyboard angle, like, you know, every other keyboard that's ever been made.
- There's a weird divot on the top. It's exactly where I used to put an external docking station, but it sits crooked in this dumb hole.
- BIOS has no option to select the GPU. It switches to your card if you have one, and only switches back to the onboard if the card is removed. Only bad if you had some specific GPU computing in mind.
My actual bad stuff:
- Onboard NIC is a little slow. On a SSD, 'boot + login password + open Chrome + open webpage' will beat the NIC and say you're not connected (but only by a second or two). Annoying, and something I've never seen before. Doesn't happen with the stock hard drive.
- Hard drive and optical drive are a bit noisy. Really clicky, I can't stand it, but I'm a little sensitive. I was going to use the 1 TB drive for backup storage but it might be too annoying to do so.
- Electrical interference noise from the front headphone jack was terrible. I use my front headphone jack for hours every day and I was going to return the computer because I really hated it. I fixed it by sleeving the internal headphone in about a foot and a half of 3/8" tinned copper tubular braid (and then again in some nylon braid so it didn't short anything inside), which shielded it enough to get rid of the noise. Lots of work to fix a problem that shouldn't be there.