The Smallest ATX Case: Best SLIM and Compact ATX Cases Reviewed

I live in a small, two-bedroom apartment, and finding enough space for all of my stuff can sometimes prove challenging. This is why I used a small-form ATX case when building my computer.

These cases are designed to hold full-size ATX motherboards and components while still being small enough to fit into any place you wish to put it in. This makes them perfect for those that don’t have a lot of room afforded to them, such as myself.

If you are like me and want to build a computer using one of these cases, then you’ve come to the right place, as we will be taking a look at nine of the best, and smallest, ATX cases.

Cooler Master HAF XB II EVO

PROS
Four Slots for HDD or SSD
Includes two powerful fans
Easy to add or remove parts
Two handles for easy carrying
CONS
Included fans can be a bit loud
Cooler Master HAF XB EVO - High Air Flow...
  • A case quickly and easily transforms into a test bench ideal for enthusiasts and over...
  • Two durable trifle fans included in the front (also supports a 240 millimeter radiator) for...

The Cooler Master HAF XB II EVO is the picture of what we mean when we say “Smallest ATX cases, as this compact case can hold everything you could ever want in your computer.

To begin, thanks to a compartment-like design, adding and removing any parts in your computer should be a breeze with easy-open access to the inside of your rig. Speaking of the inside of your rig, the Cooler Master boasts the ability to seat up to four HDD or SSD inside of it, along with a full-sized motherboard, giving you much more internal room than it at first appears.

The Cooler Master comes included with two handles for easy movement, as well as two powerful fans. These fans are strong enough to keep even the most intense of gaming rigs cool under pressure and eliminates the need for purchasing other fans.

Surprisingly, the included fans also bring about the main drawback of this case, as the included fans can sometimes become a bit noisy. This can become a distraction to some, which can make you want to replace the fans with your own.

A little noise is a small price to pay for this case, however, as the Cooler Master HAF XB II EVO is simply one of the best, easy to use small ATX cases around.

Corsair Carbide Series Air 540

PROS
Direct airflow design
Includes front dust filter
Comes with three fans
Great cable management
CONS
Makes a lot of noise to cheap parts
No filters on top of case where you would attach an AIO
On the larger side of the list
Corsair CC-9011030-WW Carbide Series Air...
  • Dual-chamber Direct Airflow Path design for outstanding cooling potential
  • Clever, space-saving design still offers lots of internal volume; Case Windowed :Acrylic

Corsair is a name that is well known for its superior computer products. When it comes to small ATX cases, Corsair has an offering that can more than live up to its reputation in the Carbide Series Air 540.

This case is made for keeping your computer cool and clean. This is thanks to its direct airflow design, which helps to keep the most crucial parts of your computer cool when things get intense, and a front dust filter, which will keep dust and grime away from the inside of your computer.

The case comes equipped with three fans to help keep your computer’s temps as low as possible while eliminating the need for buying your own. Also equipped inside the Air 540 is rubber grommets, which help you to keep wires in place and reduce clutter.

If anything can be said bad about the Air 540 it’s how loud the case can be. This may be due in some way to the parts of the case itself, which appear to be cheaply made and easy to break under stress.

If you don’t mind a bit of extra noise then you will find a lot to love about the Corsair Carbide Series Air 540. With the ability to keep your computer safe and cool at all times, you know that this small-form ATX case will keep your computer safe for years to come.

Corsair Crystal Series 460X

PROS
Beautiful Tempered Glass design
Red or Green LED lighting options
Top-to-bottom dust filtration
Can fit multiple GPU
CONS
Poor cable management
Limited space
Sale
CORSAIR Crystal 460X Compact Mid-Tower...
  • Beautiful two-panel tempered glass displays every component of your build / clean, modern lines...
  • Compact Mid tower design fits full-sized ATX boards and multiple Graphics card configurations /...

Corsair is a name that you are likely to see pop up on this list of Smallest ATX Cases a few times. That is because Corsair simply makes some of the best cases around, such as this one: The Crystal Series 460X.

The 460X is one beautiful ATX case to look at, as it sports a design that covers it in tempered glass, allowing you a view of the insides of your computer. Adding to the aesthetic of this case is the option of red or green LED lighting on the front of the case, making your computer emit a nice and soft glow.

For protection purposes, the 460X is fitted from head to toe with dust filters, keeping all the nasty dust and dirt out of your computer. You’ll want this protection as well, as you are able to fit many parts, including multiple GPU, inside this case snugly.

I have to say “snugly”, as although there are slots for stuff such as multiple GPU, the room inside this case is actually very limited in comparison to others. Not helping matters is a poor wire management system, which can leave wires hanging around loosely inside your build.

But this is a small price to pay for the Corsair Crystal Series 460X, as the beauty and safety of this case are just too much to pass up on, even if there could be a bit more space inside.

Corsair Carbide Clear 400C

Corsair Carbide 400C
PROS
Easy-access window panel
Durable steel frame
Liquid cooling capabilities
Easy to clean filters
CONS
Latch to side panel opens too easy
front mesh makes cooling challenging
CORSAIR CARBIDE 400C Compact Mid-Tower...
  • Clean, modern lines with an all steel exterior: For those who want premium aesthetics, the 400Q...
  • Hinged and latched full side panel window: Easily access your components with a single touch -...

As I had previously stated, Corsair is likely to pop up a few times on this list. This time, Corsair offers another case from their Carbide series, this time with the Clear 400C.

Thanks to an easy-access window panel located on the side of the case, it is easy to get into your computer and add or remove pieces as you please… maybe even a little too easy. While the ease of access to your computer is certainly great, the latch to open the window panel will open with the slightest of touches, which may expose the inside of your computer at an inopportune time.

Luckily, the protection you can get from this case makes up for that problem, as the steel frame and liquid cooling capabilities of the 400C will help to keep your computer’s parts safe from damage while keeping them chilled out. Two dust filters also help to keep your computer safe and are easy to remove and clean when you may need to.

If you decide to order one of these cases, make sure to double check the box it comes in, as there are sometimes parts missing that you will need. Things like zip-ties, screws, and manuals can all turn up missing from the box, making it a necessity to have to take a quick trip to a hardware store.

At the end of the day, you simply can’t beat this case’s convenience and safety measures. It is for those reasons that we think the Corsair Carbide 400C deserves to be called one of the best small ATX cases you can buy.

Corsair Carbide Series 200R

Corsair Carbide Series 200R
PROS
Super affordable
Seven expansion slots
Ports for many external accessories
Liquid cooling capable
CONS
Full-sized motherboards will fit tight
Snug-fit for some components
Corsair CC-9011023-WWCORSAIR Carbide...
  • Maximum GPU Length : 420mm
  • Maximum CPU Cooler Height : 165mm

Building a computer is an expensive endeavor as it is, with there being many different parts that you need to buy just to get your system running. Thankfully with the Corsair Carbide Series 200R, at least you can save a bit of money on your case.

With a price point just around the $60 dollar mark, the 200R is one of the most affordable small ATX cases you can buy. This helps to free up extra money to buy other parts you may need, such as fans and GPU.

What you save in money you pay for in space, however, as there is a bit less headroom for full-sized ATX MOBO to fit, making it a tight squeeze. And speaking of a tight squeeze, some of the slots for your various computer parts may hug your hardware snug, with many parts feeling like they actually have to bend to fit.

Even so, you do get a lot of value with your money, including advanced liquid cooling capabilities and seven slots for expansions. This case is also great for those that have a lot of external accessories, as there are several ports for external hardware.

While not the best ATX case you can find, the Corsair Carbide Series 200R has a lot to offer and is a great choice for those building on a budget.

Rosewill ATX Slim Full Tower

Rosewill ATX Slim Full Tower
PROS
Lightweight
Slim build
Plenty of space
Multiple expansion slots
CONS
Weak design
tough cable management
Rosewill ATX Full Tower Gaming PC...
  • Spacious open chassis with ample room for expansion; great for performance systems and ultimate...
  • Extended ATX compatible; supports EATX 12 x 13in larger form factor motherboards with more...

Our next small-form ATX case comes courtesy of the folks at Rosewill with their Slim Full Tower. As the name suggests, this is one case that is as skinny as it gets.

While other small ATX cases are short and compact, the Slim is tall and thin. This design actually gives the case more room to fit larger motherboards and parts while still being small enough to fit comfortably into narrow nooks and crannies.

The case is also lighter than most, making it easy to move around if you need to. On the inside, you will find that you will have all the space that you could possible need and multiple expansion slots that can be used for your hard drives and fans.

Despite the extra space available to the user, the overall design of the Rosewill is very weak, with it being easier than it should be to break pieces off of the case. This issue can even happen before you open the box, with a lot of users claiming that they have received the product broken in the box and needed to get a quick replacement.

If you have a steady hand and think you can handle it, then you will get a lot of mileage out of the Rosewill Slim Tower. With a small size and plenty of room to expand, there are a lot of reasons to consider buying this ATX case.

Thermaltake Core G3 Slim Full ATX Case

Thermaltake Core G3 ATX Slim
Can be adjusted to stand both vertically and horizontally
PROS
Fairly affordable
Support for multiple ATX and non-ATX motherboards
Easy-access side panel
CONS
Not too much extra space
Bad PCI-E cable problems
Thermaltake Core G3 ATX Slim Small Form...
  • STAY SLIM A compact micro slim chassis design for the perfect fit at your desk or living room
  • LAN PARTY READY Perfect for at home or on the go, the Core G3 includes GPU padded braces and...

There are few small ATX cases out there that can give you a wide range of potential building options. There are even fewer that can do so at a low price, which is the case with the Thermaltake Core G3.

While not the cheapest case on this list, the Core comes to an affordable price of around $70 dollars, making it one of the better options for building on a budget. For the price that you pay, you get a ton of extra options for making your perfect build that you can’t get with other cases.

This includes compatibility with multiple types of motherboards from both ATX and non-ATX products, which can all be easily installed thanks to an easy-access side panel. Providing, even more, potential building options is the fact that you can set up your case to either stand vertically or sit horizontally, enabling you to place your computer in the perfect spot.

There is a major issue with the Core as it concerns the PCI-E cable included with the case. This piece has a fairly high failure rate, with the cable either malfunctioning after a short period of time or failing to work altogether. As a result, you may have to contact the manufacturer for a replacement sooner rather than later.

There are definitely some faults with the Thermaltake Core G3, but all things considered, the positives far outweigh the negatives for this case. If you want a wide range of customization options at a low price, look no further than the Thermaltake Core G3.

RIOTORO CR1080 Full ATX Compact Case

RIOTORO CR1080 Compact Gaming Case
PROS
Compartment design for better cooling
Includes Blue LED-lit fan
Multiple expansion slots
Supports all types of ATX motherboards
CONS
Tight fit for full-sized parts
Sale
RIOTORO Small Gaming Case with...
  • Full ATX support (small case) Drive Bays 5.25"x1, 3.5"x1, 2.5"x1, convertible 3.5"/2.5" x 1
  • Compartment design for better cooling, Water cooling Compatible. Includes 1 - 120mm RIOTORO...

On the surface, the RIOTORO CR1080 isn’t that much different than some other cases we have talked about, with it having a fan included and sporting multiple expansion ports like many others. However, there are certainly some things that help set this case apart from the competition.

For starters is the compartmentalized design of the RIOTORO. This design not only helps with cord management but helps to disperse heat and keep the computer cool even during high-strain.

The second thing that helps the RIOTORO step away from its competitors is its versatility. This case supports all types of ATX MOBO, from micro ATX to full-sized motherboards, making this a great choice for nearly every type of build.

While a larger motherboard is certainly capable of fitting in this case, the RIOTORO leaves little room for anything else. This makes it hard to fit both a full-sized MOBO as well as larger GPUs and other components in the same build.

The RIOTORO CR1080, with its support and technical capabilities, is one of the most versatile cases available today, giving you everything you need and more in one small package.

Conclusion…

When you are lacking the space for your new computer build, then getting a case that is small but can fit all your parts is essential. Any of these nine options above are some the smallest full atx cases available, allowing you to build the perfect, compact computer of your dreams!

If you think we’re missing any cases from this list or if you need any additional help on finding the smallest atx case for you, please feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll make sure to answer as soon as I can.

The Best Ryzen Motherboard: Top X370 and B350 Motherboards Reviewed!

We talk a lot here about building amazing gaming computers, as well as all the best components and parts to use in your build. But all the fancy hardware in the world does not mean a thing if you don’t have a good motherboard to support it. You’ll want something with power, something that can handle all the rigors of top-of-the-line PC Gaming.

Intel’s been considered the top dog in the PC industry for a few years now, but with so much success also comes complacency and AMD isn’t a company you want to get lax with. AMD’s new Ryzen CPU’s are proving to be just as good and in many cases better than Intel’s Kabylake series!

In today’s article, we will be looking at the best X370 and B350 motherboards that Ryzen has to offer, giving you all the essential information to get the best motherboard for your Ryzen processor!

Note: Click on the tabs to show alternate content!

What’s The Difference Between X370 and B350 Motherboards?

X370 and B350 are terms that refer to the kind of chipset that the motherboard in question supports. Both X370 and B350 MoBos have their own benefits that help out when making a custom gaming build.

In terms of features, X370 and B350 do have some things in common. For example, both chipsets use USB 3.1 Gen2 PCIe, as well as allow for extra overclocking performance while gaming.

In contrast, the X370 chipset also allows for 4x 3.1 USB Gen1 PCIe that the B350 can’t support. X370 also support multiple GPU better than B350, which can help to increase graphical performance in games.

That aside, both chipsets are virtually identical. No matter what your preference, you will be sure to get the most out of your gaming with either X370 or B350.

Best Ryzen X370 Motherboards

First off, we’ll be looking at the best X370 motherboards. These Motherboards are going to cost you a bit more than the B350 motherboards, but offer more features. If you plan on using SLI or Crossfire then I recommend going with an X370 motherboard. On the other hand, if not, I’d just save the money and go with a B350 motherboard as you get similar features for a significantly cheaper price.

My Top Three X370 Ryzen Motherboards

MSI X370 GAMING PRO CARBON 

MSI X370 GAMING PRO CARBON
  • Supports AMD Ryzen 1st and 2nd Generation/ Ryzen with Radeon Vega Graphics Processors and AMD...
PROS
Supports Unbuffered DDR4
High-Quality Audio w/ Noise Guard
Automatically Detects Fan Type and Voltage
Internet Accelerator
CONS
Not Compatible With Linux

With a name like Gaming Pro Carbon, you would expect that this motherboard would be all that a gamer ever needs for their PC. Luckily, you would be right.

The Gaming Pro Carbon is ready for everything modern gaming could throw at it. Thanks to support of 3-Way crossfire, four DDR4 RAM slots, and being VR ready, there doesn’t exist a game that won’t run perfectly while using this MoBo.

To go along with it’s gaming capability, the Carbon is also as strong as they come. Not only does the MoBo support a strong design, but the specially crafted PCIe slots on-board are designed to hold your PCIe components in securely in place, without the worry of potential rattling or damage.

If there can be any drawback to the Carbon motherboard, its that the on-board LED lighting can sometimes be faulty, with lights turning off and refusing to come back on. This is only really an issue if lighting is important to you, and otherwise doesn’t detract from the motherboard.

For the price you pay, you get more power than you can ever dream of. For modern and classic gaming alike, the Pro Gaming Carbon is an X370 motherboard that can handle it all!

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MSI X370 SLI PLUS

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MSI X370 SLI PLUS
  • Supports AMD Ryzen 1st and 2nd Generation/ Ryzen with Radeon Vega Graphics Processors and AMD...
PROS
Double-layered Grounding for Mounts
Easy-to-use Bios
Overclocking Capability
Great Price
CONS
None to speak of

MSI seems to be the go to brand for a lot of the best Ryzen X370 Motherboards. With MoBos like the MSI X370 SLI PLUS, the ATX, it is easy to see why that is.

Installing of the motherboard is very simple, with installation taking little time at all for those that know what they are doing. This in combination with the secure mounting holes on the board make for an easy to use and durable motherboard that will keep all your various components tight and in place.

The fast BIOS of the motherboard is a step up from some other boards, as it helps to make your computer operate at faster speeds that are otherwise not possible. For graphics support, a user has their options laid out for them, as there is crossfire support for multiple brands including NVIDIA, AMD, and SLI.

While multiple graphics card types are supported, there is a bit less support when it comes to DDR4 RAM brands. If you want to be able to overclock your games performance, you may need to take a quick visit to the MSI website, as not all DDR4 brands are compatible with this feature.

All in all, the MSI X370 SLI PLUS is a great, if not a bit average, motherboard that can suit most people’s needs for fast and graphically intense gaming.

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MSI X370 XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM

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MSI X370 XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM
  • Supports AMD Ryzen 1st and 2nd Generation/ Ryzen with Radeon Vega Graphics Processors and AMD...
PROS
Studio Grade Audio
Various Performance Options In-Game
VR Ready
CONS
Cooling Issues
Slow BIOS

There are a lot of things that today’s gaming landscape will throw at us, and one of those things is VR gaming. If you have wanted to delve into this new dimension of gaming, then the MSI X370 Xpower is the Ryzen motherboard you are looking for.

As you might have guessed, the Xpower is ready for the world of Virtual Reality, thanks to an on board “VR Accelerator” chip. To make for an even more immersive experience, the Xpower supports 3-way AMD Crossfire, allowing you to seamlessly use multiple GPU and increase the graphical output of your games.

To help this gaming experience run smoothly, this motherboard also supports four DDR4 memory sticks, for a potential output of up to 64 GB memory. To keep all this gaming power from burning up, the MoBo also includes six fan headers, which allows for multiple cooling options.

A word of caution when choosing which brand of DDR4 RAM to use, as the Xpower seems to have some compatibility issues with a few brands, so you’ll have to make sure that you are buying the right memory for the motherboard. In addition to this being a potential drawback for some, there do exist a few design flaws with the Xpower that may bother some, such as location of the heat shield and BIOS issues.

If none of that bothers you, then you would have no reason not to love the MSI Xpower; a great X370 Ryzen motherboard that can tackle all of today’s gaming.

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Other Great X370 Ryzen Motherboards!

MSI KRAIT Gaming X370 Motherboard

MSI KRAIT Gaming X370 Motherboard
  • Supports AMD RYZEN Series Processors and 7th Gen A-series/AthlonTM Processors for socket AM4
  • Supports DDR4-3200+(OC) Memory. Military Class 4, Guard-Pro: Latest evolution in high quality...
PROS
Supports Studio Quality Audio
Bandwidth Management for Online Gaming
Supports DDR4-3200 memory with Overclocking
CONS
None to speak of

AMD processors are some of the most common in gaming, and for good reason as they provide top-tier performance to any gaming computer. With this offering from MSI, we have a Ryzen gaming motherboard that is made to support this processing powerhouse.

This X370 motherboard is one that gives gamers support where they will want it most: in the memory department. With support for DDR4-3200 memory with overclocking capability, the MSI Ryzen MoBo will allow you to get some of the smoothest, fastest gaming possible.

Speaking of smooth, thanks to the on-board bandwidth manager, you can easily adjust your internet connection to help support seamless online play. Helping even more with immersing the gamer is the MSI’s support for studio quality audio, which will surround you in the sounds of your gaming.

This is just the tip of the iceberg for what is a nearly flawless MoBo. Everything a gamer wants and more can be found with the MSI Gaming AMD Ryzen X370.

GIGABYTE AORUS GA-AX370-Gaming K7

GIGABYTE AORUS GA-AX370-Gaming K7
  • Supports New Generation AMD Ryzen Processors
  • Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs
PROS
Durable Design
2-Way Graphics Support
Built-in Performance Tuning
Many On-Board Color Options
CONS
Limited Features
Tuning Utility Can Crash

It’s Gigabyte’s turn to throw their hat into the X370 chipset game with this strong offering, the AORUS AM4 AMD.

The AORUS gives those building their own computer options right at their fingertips for their gaming experience. Supporting two-way graphics, the AORUS allows users to fine-tune their gaming and computer experience, thanks to an intuitive Performance Tuning utility.

This utility is a great way for gamers to adjust settings how they wish for their computer, but it isn’t without issues. The utility can sometimes crash on launch, meaning that you will may have to go into your task manager and close the utility before trying again.

While the tuning utility may be somewhat faulty, you can rest easy knowing that the AORUS itself is not as flimsy. This motherboard is built to last, sporting a durable design that can protect the motherboard and all components currently plugged into it.

While the AORUS may be a bit light feature-wise, it is a heavyweight in terms of performance and durability, and is something any gamer would love in their build. Plus it has tons of on-board lighting options, and who doesn’t love lighting?

ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero

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ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero
  • Powered by AMD Ryzen AM4, 7th Generation Athlon and HD 2000 series processors to maximize...
  • 5-Way Optimization featuring Auto-Tuning and FanXpert 4 provides automatic overclocking...
PROS
Optimization for Overclocking Performance
Strong and Durable Design
8-Channel HD Audio Options
3D Printer Friendly Mounts
CONS
Certain Drives Cause Unexpected Reboots
Some BIOS Settings Confusing for Newcomers

ASUS is a name that is well known in the computing world for its various products, which includes anything from motherboards to laptops. For Ryzen X370 offerings, ASUS provides us with the ROG Crosshair VI motherboard.

The Crosshair VI is a motherboard that is built to last. Using a patent-pending design, this MoBo has a frame, slots, and mounts that are meant to keep it and all the parts attached to it safe from damage. The secure mounts on this motherboard are also 3D printer family, allowing you to add a bit of customization to your board if you so choose.

Performance wise, the Crosshair VI is a force to be reckoned with. The board allows for optimization for overclocking, which allows you to fine-tune your gaming experience for the best performance. In addition to this is the on-board 8-channel HD audio, which will give you unparalleled sound that will completely immerse you in your gaming.

There are a few caveats to the performance aspects, however, as some drive configurations that may be used with the motherboard can cause your computer to reboot unexpectedly. The BIOS also leaves a bit to be desired for newcomers as well, as some of the settings included with the BIOS can be a bit confusing to use without doing some research.

While it may not be perfect, the ASUS Crosshair VI is a MoBo that most gamers can grow to love in their custom build, providing speeds and sound the likes of which can not be contested.

ASUS Prime X370-Pro Motherboard

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ASUS Prime X370-Pro Motherboard
  • Powered by AMD Ryzen AM4, 7th generation Athlon and HD 2000 series processors to maximize...
  • Two patent-pending Safe Slots feature an injection molding process that integrates metal...

The ASUS family of products brings us our next entry, the ASUS Prime, and it is equipped for protection during intense gaming sessions.

Thanks to the auto-tuning options available with the Prime, as well as the included fan controls, users are able to optimize their experience for the best possible gaming while also ensuring that your computer doesn’t overheat. For those using heavier GPU and other parts, the Prime also comes equipped with heavy-duty slots, which will hold even the biggest of parts securely in place.

The only drawback to these features is that they may not work. The Prime is unfortunately susceptible to failure right out of the box, as some units have shipped with faulty, out of date BIOS, or would just refuse to work at all. Thankfully, returning the Prime should this occur is fairly simple, and you should be able to quickly replace it.

In terms of other features, the Prime has 8-Channel HD audio to give you the best possible sound from games and other apps. For those that like lighting on their MoBo, the Prime is sure to please as well, as the product has several options of LED lighting available to the user.

While it may be a bit of a gamble, buying an ASUS Prime is a bet that can pay off in dividends. If you want to protect your computer while still having great gaming potential, than you may want to put your money down on the ASUS Prime.

ASRock X370 Professional Gaming

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ASRock X370 Professional Gaming
  • 4x DDR4-2667/ 2400/ 2133 DIMM Slots, Dual Channel, ECC, Non-ECC, Unbuffered, Max Capacity of...
  • 2x USB 3.1 Ports (1 Type-A, 1 Type-C), 10x USB 3.0 Ports (6 rear, 4 via headers), 4x USB 2.0...

The ASRock X370 Professional Gaming motherboard may be one of the more expensive Ryzen X370 offerings at nearly $300 dollars, but it is also one of the best motherboards that money can buy.

The ASRock sports a cool red and black design that makes it fit in with nearly every computer build imaginable. Once installed, the MoBo is easy to use for even the newest of computer builders, thanks to a very user-friendly BIOS interface.

For gaming purposes, the ASRock supports overclocking from nearly any DDR4 RAM, giving you great, latency free gaming. If that isn’t enough to sell you, maybe the whopping 12 USB slots that the ASRock has to offer will, as it gives you more than enough options for USB connections.

While pricey, there isn’t anything really bad to say about the ASRock Professional Gaming Motherboard. If you have the extra cash to spend on the item, then you won’t be disappointed with your purchase.

ASRock X370 Killer SLI

ASRock offers multiple options for Ryzen X370 users, but only one such option can be called a “Killer”.

The Killer is a motherboard that is made with hardcore gamers in mind. The MoBo is not only equipped to be VR Ready, but is also made to accommodate crossfire from multiple GPU types. No matter if you prefer to use AMD or Nvidia graphics cards, the Killer will allow you to play and game with top-notch graphical output.

Despite its name, you don’t have to worry about the Killer “murdering” your computer. The Killer is made using a special copper that keeps temperatures low at all times, and is also designed to allocate electricity evenly through the motherboard, which prevents power shortages.

For Ryzen X370 motherboards, it does not get too much better than this. For a great gaming experience and protection, you may just want to turn to a “Killer”.

Best Ryzen B350 Motherboards

If you’re looking for getting a more affordable motherboard for your Ryzen processor, then you need to pick up a B350 motherboard.

B350 motherboards come in both micro-atx format as well as ATX format making them very versatile. One major con with B350 is that they don’t support SLI (two Nvidia cards at once), but they do support AMD Crossfire.

Even with these cons, I’d still recommend a B350 motherboard for people who want a more affordable motherboard!

My Top Three Ryzen B350 Motherboards

Gigabyte AB350-Gaming 3 ATX Motherboard

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Gigabyte AB350-Gaming 3 ATX Motherboard
  • Supports AMD Ryzen AM4
  • Dual Channel DDR4, 4 DIMMs. BIOS : PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.7, WfM 2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0

Gigabyte brings us our next Ryzen B350 offering with their Gaming motherboard, which is made to give gamers the most out of their games and beyond.

The Gigabyte Gaming supports Unbuffered DDR4 overclocking, which will allow you to get the highest possible frame-rate from your games. To ensure that the higher frame-rate can be sustained during online gaming, this motherboard comes equipped with an “Internet Accelerator” utility, which allows you to optimize your internet for the best possible connection when online.

One of the cool things that the Gigabyte can do is that it automatically detects whatever fan is connected in the header. When it does this, the Gigabyte adjust the fan speed and voltage to accommodate whatever fan is in the header, allowing it to better cool your computer and avoid electrical shortages.

The biggest drawback of the Gigabyte Gaming is that it is not compatible with certain types of operating systems Should the user wish to run on a Linux OS, this motherboard will flat out refuse to boot up, leaving the user to find a different OS or motherboard.

For Windows and Mac users, however, you can get a lot of mileage from this Ryzen B350 Motherboard, with the Gigabyte Gaming being one of the most advanced B350 compatible boards you can find.

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MSI ProSeries AMD Ryzen B350M Mortar

MSI ProSeries AMD Ryzen B350M Mortar
  • Supports AMD Ryzen 1st and 2nd Generation/ Ryzen with Radeon Vega Graphics Processors and AMD...

MSI has provided us with many motherboard options in the past, and they do so once again with our next offering, simply known as the “Mortar”.

The Mortar is made to provide security to all of your computer parts thanks to its double-layered grounding mounting holes. This grounding will make sure that your motherboard and the parts attached to it stay firmly in place, preventing any potential damage from moving.

The Mortar comes made with an easy-to-use BIOS that makes navigating options for your computer a breeze. One of these options is easy overclocking, which will give you the latency free gaming that you have always wanted.

There really isn’t much else to say about this motherboard. Simply put, the MSI Mortar is a motherboard that anybody would be happy to purchase.

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MSI B350 Tomohawk Arctic

MSI B350 Tomohawk Arctic
  • Supports AMD RYZEN Series Processors and 7th Gen A-series/AthlonTM Processors for socket AM4
  • Supports DDR4-3200+(OC) Memory

The Tomahawk Arctic may not be the best option out there for B350 Ryzen Motherboards, with various known problems. That said, it is more than serviceable for what it can do.

Lets get the bad out of the way first: The Tomahawk does have a few issues when it comes to cooling and BIOS performance. Many users have stated having problems with overheating or slow BIOS, both issues of which can be less than desirable in an intense gaming build.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about what the Tomahawk does right, including being ready for Virtual Reality. If you have been ready to jump into the next dimension, than this motherboard can take you there, complete with immersive studio-quality sound.

There are even more features available to the user from the Tomahawk when in game. The Tomahawk comes equipped with various utilities, including “Game Boost”, which are available to the user at the touch of a button while in the middle of a game.

While there are some obvious issues with the Tomahawk Arctic, there exist some essential features that gamers will love and they can only get with this MoBo. It is for these features, as well as the great price point, that those building a custom computer may want to take another look at the Tomahawk Arctic.

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Other Great B350 Ryzen Motherboards

MSI B350M GAMING PRO

MSI B350M GAMING PRO
  • Supports AMD Ryzen 1st and 2nd Generation/ Ryzen with Radeon Vega Graphics Processors and AMD...

Are you building a gaming computer, but don’t have much money to spend? Then you may want to take a look at the MSI B350M Gaming Pro!

Sporting a great look and an even better price, this motherboard will only cost you around $90 dollars. For this price, you get a lot of features that are essential to a custom gaming build.

This includes an easy-to-use BIOS that, while slow on initialization, has a ton of intuitive utilities such as fan controls. Despite only having two slots for DDR4 RAM, the MSI B350M also has great overclocking capability, able to provide a boost to most games.

In order to use this feature, you’ll want to make sure that the DDR4 RAM you plan to use is compatible with the B350M. Not all brands are compatible and using the wrong type of RAM can cause your computer to crash, so you may want to take a look at the MSI website before installation.

If you were looking for an affordable MoBo option, you really can’t do much better than the MSI B350 Gaming, which gives you an intuitive interface and great gaming options on the cheap.

Asus Prime B350-Plus

Asus Prime B350-Plus
  • Powered by AMD Ryzen AM4, 7th generation Athlon and HD 2000 series processors to maximize...
  • 5X Protection III Hardware-level safeguards provide component longevity and reliability

As you may have seen in the X370 section, ASUS has a lot to offer computer users in terms of great motherboards. This time, with another offering from their Prime line of MoBos with the Plus, ASUS shows that it has just as much to offer for B350 users.

One thing that many people that are building on a budget will love about the Plus is the incredible price point. At just under $100 dollars, the Plus is a quality motherboard that won’t soon break the bank.

For the price you pay, you get protection that you can’t get in most other MoBos, as the Plus is built with special components that will protect your computer from damage. This is in combination with advanced fan controls, which gives you the power to adjust your computer’s cooling system right at your fingertips.

Although it may be expected from a budget motherboard, there is a bit of limitation in terms of how much you can overclock your system with the Plus. While overclocking is an option, you won’t be able to obtain the memory speeds that you may otherwise be able to with more expensive motherboards.

This can be forgiven for the price you pay and protection that you get with the Plus. While maybe not as advanced as some other MoBo, the ASUS Plus gives gamers more than enough of what they love.

MSI B350 PC Mate

MSI B350 PC Mate
  • Supports AMD Ryzen 1st and 2nd Generation/ Ryzen with Radeon Vega Graphics Processors and AMD...

MSI Gaming motherboards are some of the best motherboards that someone can buy when making their own gaming computers. With this offering from MSI for Ryzen B350 users, it’s easy to see why that is.

Setup and install of the motherboard is easier than you will find in most other MoBo. Even if you aren’t the most tech-savvy of persons, this MSI Gaming motherboard should be ready for boot up in no time at all. Should you be a bit clumsy, however, you may want to be extra cautious, as the board is also easily damaged if not careful.

Once you are ready to go, you will find that the MSI Gaming is a dream to use. BIOS utilities are easy to navigate, and overclocking is as simple as it comes, allowing you to achieve gaming speeds that are not possible with other motherboards in the same price range. To top it all off, the MSI Gaming has double bandwidth support, allowing you to game online with little to no latency.

While it is a bit simple, it’s hard not to love the MSI Gaming AMD Ryzen B350 PC Mate motherboard. Just be careful not to break it, or you may have to wait a bit longer to jump into the intense gaming that this motherboard can give you.

MSI ProSeries B350 PRO-VDH

MSI ProSeries B350 PRO-VDH
  • Supports AMD Ryzen 1st and 2nd Generation/ Ryzen with Radeon Vega Graphics Processors and AMD...

The Pro-VDH is our next motherboard offering from MSI, and this motherboard brings with it some features that our unique to the table.

One of said features is an interesting troubleshooting technique that you can’t find in a lot of motherboards. Using the on-board LED lights, the Pro-VDH will flash its lights in certain patterns to let you know if there is trouble with your computer, allowing you to know the problem and fix them immediately should they pop up.

Added to this is a unique audio-boost capability, which allows you to get the best, most immersive sound out of your games and applications when you want it most. Should you have USB components on your computer, the Pro-VDH also has the capability to boost the performance of these devices, giving you the smoothest and fastest experience when using USB attachments.

All this potential is housed in a shell that is impossible to break. Thanks to the use of high-end, military grade parts, the Pro-VDH is as durable as they come, and will not break under weight or pressure.

If this doesn’t sell you on the Pro-VDH from MSI, than nothing likely will. This powerhouse of a motherboard is easily one of the best Ryzen B350 Micro-Atx motherboards that money can buy.

ASUS Prime B350M-A/CSM

ASUS Prime B350M-A/CSM
  • Powered by AMD Ryzen AM4, 7th generation Athlon and HD 2000 series processors to maximize...
  • ASUS Corporate Stable Model complimentary Advance Replacement and long lifecycle

There exist strong, sturdy motherboards. Then there is this motherboard, the ASUS Prime B350M-A/CSM, which is possibly even stronger than the rest.

This motherboard is built to go the distance, with many design features that protect the motherboard and attached hardware. This includes a component safeguard which keeps various components from being damaged, as well as heavy-duty PCIe slots, which keep even heavier GPU units secure.

For those that like to add a little customization to their MoBo, this motherboard has you covered here as well. The B350M-A/CSM has a special fan header, which allows the use of fans with LED light strips, giving your computer the custom look you’ve always wanted.

Unfortunately there isn’t much space for all these components, such as fans, as the board is a bit on the small side, making components seem a bit cramped on board. This isn’t the only issue with this motherboard, however, as the motherboard overheats more easily than most may like, which means you may be looking for even more fan options.

This can be forgiven a bit when considering the low, $90 dollar price, making this a decent option for building on a budget. And for the level of protection that the ASUS Prime B350M-A/CSM gives you, your budget build is sure to last a long time.

Final Thoughts On The Best Motherboards For Ryzen CPUs…

That wraps up this list of the best Ryzen X370 and B350 motherboards. We truly hope that you’ve now found the best ryzen motherboard for your needs! There are likely even more motherboards out there that we may have missed, but we hope to have at least given you a good idea of what your are looking for. The Ryzen series has been absolutely amazing and I truly can’t wait to see what AMD does in the future with their processors.

I understand some of you might still have questions on what AMD motherboard would be best for you. If so, let me know in the comment section below and I’ll get back to you ASAP!

Top 10: Best WiFi Card For Gaming of 2019!

What is the best wifi card? There are so many options to choose from, you can lose your mind sorting them out.

Connecting to a hardwired ethernet connection when able is always the recommended option.

Sometimes though, the extra cords can get in the way, and become a real hassle when making room available for your custom computer.

With the right adapter, you can reach network speeds that rivals even the best wired connections.

That is where our list comes in today, as we’ll be taking a look at some of the best PCI Wireless Adapters that are available for purchase.

Also, if you’re on a laptop or looking for very portable wifi options, we have a post looking at the best USB WiFi adapters for gaming. We break down the different options for you in an easy to read method

These wireless adapters connect to any PCI port within your custom build, and allows you to connect to wireless networks with ease. With that in mind, let’s take a look at top ten PCI adapters!

So What Is The Best PCIe WiFi Card?

  1. ASUS 4×4 802.11AC Wireless AC3100 PCIe Adapter
  2. ASUS WiFi PCI Express Adapter (PCE-AC56)
  3. TP-Link AC1300 Wireless Dual Band PCI-Express Adapter (Archer T6E)
  4. TP-Link AC1900 Archer T9E PCI Express Adapter
  5. Gigabyte GC-WB867D-I Rev PCI Express Adapter
  6. TP-Link Wireless Dual Band PCI Express Adapter
  7. Rosewill 802.11N, N900 PCI Express Wireless Adapter
  8. ASUS (PCE-N15) PCI Express Wireless Adapter Card
  9. Fenvi Desktop PC Dual Band WiFi PCI-E Adapter Card
  10. TP-Link N150 Wireless PCI Adapter

To top off our best PCI wireless network adapters list today, we are showcasing an adapter that is not only a great fit in any custom build, but affordable as well. This adapter is the TP-Link N150 Wireless PCI Adapter.

PROS
Super Affordable
Compatible with the most wireless connections
One Press Setup (QSS)
CONS
Can Cause interference with other WiFi devices
Overheats after long use

9. Fenvi Desktop PC Dual Band WiFi PCI-E Adapter Card

Something that anybody wants out of their internet is more speed, and that is something that users will get with our next product, the Fenvi Desktop adapter.

No products found.

PROS
Dual-Band support for faster wireless internet
Detachable antennas
All OS support
CONS
Speeds can dip during downloads
Difficult setup

8. ASUS (PCE-N15) PCI Express Wireless Adapter Card

Our next adapter comes from the computer wizards at ASUS with their PCE-N15 wireless internet adapter. Much like any product you may come across from ASUS, this adapter is one that is sure to please many people.

PROS
Up to 300Mbps speeds
Microsoft & Linux support
Easy setup
Can act as a virtual access point
CONS
Weak wireless range

7. Rosewill 802.11N, N900 PCI Express Wireless Adapter

Rosewill may not have the name recognition as some others on our list, such as ASUS or TP-Link, but don’t let that fool you. The Rosewill N900 adapter is an adapter that can top even the best of adapters.

PROS
Dual Band connectivity
Great long range connection
Advanced security support
CONS
Takes some tweaking to get working properly

Our first entry, the TP-Link N150, while a great choice for those on a budget, was rather limited in features. That changes with our next TP-Link offering – the N900 – with their Dual Band PCI Express adapter.

PROS
Easy Installation
Up to 450 Mbps Speed
3 Antennas for good connections
CONS
Limited OS support

We now come to the bottom half of our list today, and with it comes more powerful wireless adapters. Such is the case with our next product, the Gigabyte GC-WB867D-I Rev.

PROS
Speeds up to 800Mbps
Strong antenna (even as a single antenna)
Bluetooth capable
CONS
Uses a USB port as well

The Gigabyte is capable of reaching speeds of up to 800Mbps, which allows for nearly seamless wireless internet (depending on your ISP). This means that you will be able to effortlessly game or watch videos, among other activities, with little to no lag from your network.

When you are downloading something online, the Gigabyte’s Bluetooth capabilities allows for a greater flow of data through your network. Keeping all that speed maintained is the powerful external antenna on the Gigabyte, which will help to prevent your connection from dipping and keeping it strong.

The only real drawback of the Gigabyte comes from the fact that to connect the adapter to your computer, you need the use of an extra USB port. While not a big issue, this can cause some problems to those building a custom computer with only a few USB ports to spare.

The Gigabyte, outside this one issue, is a nearly flawless adapter in every other regard. This makes the adapter a great choice for any computer user trying to get the most from their internet.

For the fourth spot, on our list of PCI Adapters today, we see TP-Link. This time, they attempt to blow the competition out of the water with another of their Archer models, the T9E.

PROS
Dual Band (5Ghz at 1300Mbps) (2.4Ghz at 600Mbps)
High bandwidth data transfer
Backwards compatible wifi
CONS
Compatibility with Windows 10

To start, this adapter is capable of lightning fast speeds. Capable of internet speeds of up to 1300Mbps across 5 Ghz band and 1300Mbps on the more signal friendly 2.4Ghz band.

With the adapter’s dual bands, the T9E is able to give users fast, uninterrupted internet while gaming online or during other activities.

If you happen to download a lot of stuff online, then you will like that the T9E offers higher bandwidth options, that reduces download times like never before. Even if you happen to be using an older wireless internet connection, you will still get the same great speeds out of the T9E, as the device is fully backwards compatible.

One major drawback that does come out of the T9E is for Windows 10 users which is why it drops to position 4 on ourlist.

There seems to be some compatibility issues with the device. While these issues can be fixed, the extra time and effort that goes into making the adapter work properly with Windows 10 can be more than some people wish to deal with.

I have found that while the driver hasn’t been updated since 2015, there is a recent video on TP Link’s website that describes how to get through some common troubleshooting issues.

Amazon users have shown some frustrations with connections with Win10, while others have had no problem.

Given the unreliability of them, they’re not worthy of the top 3 despite being one of the faster cards on our list.

All in all, TP-Link proves once again that they know how to make quality PCI network adapters. Dominating nearly half of todays list, if TP-Link is in the brand name, you know you will be buying a quality product. If you’re savvy computerwise, given the price and the speed that the T8E offers – I still think it’s worth it.

Once again on our list, we see the brand of TP-Link pop up, this time with their powerful Archer T6E model.

PROS
Prioritize data transfer for devices (hello gaming)
Heatsink prevents overheating
Pretty good range
TurboQAM to help boost connection speeds
CONS
For the price, none to think of

The speeds that the T6E are able to reach are the fastest on our list yet, with two bands capable of 867Mbps and 400Mbps respectively. This will allow for seamless upload and download speeds across your network, as well as latency free gaming and video streaming.

One unique thing about the T6E is that it is backwards compatible with some older wireless connections, including 802.11 a/b/g/n. Despite being backwards compatibility, the does not seem to be compatible with Linux operating systems, which seems like a slight oversight for an otherwise versatile adapter.

What is not an oversight is the wide wireless range of the T6E. Even if your computer happens to be on the other side of the house from your adapter, you can be certain that you will not lose connection thanks to the wireless network adapters large and strong signal range.

If you use a Linux OS, you’ll have to look elsewhere. For everyone else, however, the TP-Link Archer T6E is capable of giving your computer the strong wireless internet that you have been looking for.

We are now in the top three portion of our list, and while the prices may be higher with our next three adapters, we also get more features. Such is the case with this adapter, the ASUS PCE-AC56.

PROS
Dual Band (5Ghz at 867Mbps) (2.4Ghz at 400Mbps)
Backwards compatible wifi connections
Impressive wireless range
CONS
No Linux support

This ASUS adapter comes with a few unique features that we have not seen yet on this list, including being able to adjust your wireless signal to prioritize data transferring. This allows you to focus your connection on downloading and uploading, helping you to finish these task in no time.

Two other unique features of this adapter is the ability to prevent overheating, thanks to the adapter’s heatsink, and the design of the adapter itself, which helps to eliminate any wireless deadzones. If this wasn’t enough to sell you on this adapter, the fact that, thanks to  ASUS’ Broadcom TurboQAM technology, you are able to boost internet speeds even further, likely will.

All this comes with the fact that there is little to no downsides to speak of about the ASUS PCE-AC56, making the product near flawless, and a great way to kick off our top three products today.

While our number one pick for today, the ASUS PCE-AC88, may be a little daunting price wise for some, every penny spent on this adapter is worth it. This wireless adapter is the crown jewel other wireless cards aspire for (you know if wifi cards had feelings…)

PROS
Fastest Dual Band Speeds
External antenna maximizes connection
Compatible with aftermarket antennas
Heatsink to maintain strong connection
Longest range wifi adapter available.
CONS
Price
ASUS drivers could cause issues

As you can see above, this is quite expensive for a PCI adapter, so it’s natural to feel some apprehension when you look at the PCE-AC88.

If you decide to take the plunge and buy this adapter, you will be treated to speeds like never before, with 2100Mbps and 1100MBps available from the adapter’s dual bands. This, along with an external, multiple antenna base, give you more coverage and speed than most other adapters available.

Should something happen to the external antennas, or should you just wish to replace them, you will be happy to know that doing so is simple, as the PCE-AC88 is compatible with most aftermarket antennas. If you are worried that all the power of the PCE-AC88 could cause overheating, worry no more, as the adapter has a custom heatsink, that disperses heat and keeps the device nice and cool.

The Asus AC88 is the best long range wifi adapter in the game.

I’m not sure if the picture does it justice, but this card does something that nothing else on this list is able to do.

Move the position of the antennae.

The absolute best way to receive the fastest speed possible from your router is through a line of sight.

Have you ever seen in movies or someone in real life looking for the best coverage with their phone?

What do they do?

They either raise their phone up in the air or go to the highest point they can.

You can do the same with this router, the cable attached to the antennas is around 3 feet – enabling you to raise the receiving portion of your wifi signal.

Ideally, we could buy even longer cables, but regretfully, that isn’t an option.

Moving this away from likely the ground and up as high as possible makes the AC88 able to receive a signal the farthest than any other wifi adapter in this list.

While this ASUS model may be expensive for some people’s taste, the cost is more than worth it for the sheer amount of power that the PCE-AC88 puts right at your fingertips.

As a final note, if you do purchase this wireless card, make sure to just plug it in and let the computer fetch the appropriate drivers. There have been many complaints about installing the provided drivers or downloading the driver from the ASUS site. If this is true, first plug it in and if everything works as it should do as my Grandmother says “best leave well enough alone”.

Conclusion…

That concludes our list for today. With ten options at your disposal, you should be able to find the perfect PCI adapter for your custom build. Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you next time.

If you like what you read, please join our social media pages and subscribe for more great content.

Other Posts You May Like:
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Best Modem Router Combo – Top Picks Of 2019 For Crazy Internet Speeds!

Every year, we say goodbye to the old and welcome the new. Old worries are in the past, everything you’ve done now memories, and we look forward to the new experiences it will bring.

Much like people, technology changes with each passing year. For example, it used to be that to access the internet, you used to need a phone line, and the internet connection would move at a slogging pace. Today, however, we have internet that is available in high speeds both through an ethernet connection and wireless Wi-Fi.

However, even as convenient as internet connections have become, most people still use multiple routers and modems to connect, and it doesn’t have to be that way. That is where Router/Modem combinations come from. These products allow users to connect both through a wired and wireless connection, all in one convenient package.

These items look to become a hot commodity in the coming year, as the need for both kinds of connections become even more relevant. To help you stay ahead of the curve, we are presenting you with nine of the best modem and router combo’s for the coming year, to help you stay connected through 2017 and beyond.

9. TP-Link N300 Modem Router

Sale
TP-Link N300 Modem Router
  • Eliminate Your Cable Modem Monthly Rental Fee
  • Item is Cable Modem Router and great with Cable Internet plans up to 150Mbps
PROS
Easy setup
Great Speed through wired connection
Can support multiple devices with no latency
Affordable combo modem
CONS
Weak wireless range

Our first combination that we are looking at today is the TP Link N300. While this may not be the best on the market right now, that does not in the least make it a bad product.

Set up for the N300 is really simple, with the product being able to be set up and installed in a matter of minutes. Once set up, you can connect any number of devices to the N300, from gaming consoles to computer, through wired ethernet or wireless Wi-Fi… within a certain range.

Yes, while the Wi-Fi connection is reliably strong with the N300, it only is within a certain range from the device, and that range is not very great. Unfortunately, the effective range of this modem is fairly low, making it way to easy to move out of range and lose connection.

That said, the wired connection of the N300 is actually fairly strong, with speeds of up to 343 MBPS for downloads and 143 MBPS for uploads. And you get this speed at a relatively affordable $80 dollars, which is much cheaper then buying both a wireless router and modem separate.

Again, while not the best, especially in terms of wireless internet, the TP Link N300 gives you tons of value for the price you pay, and is a great way to kick off our list.

8. Netgear N300 Modem Router

Sale
Netgear N300 Modem Router
  • Compatible with Xfinity from Comcast, Spectrum, Cox, CableONE & more; Double firewall...
  • Three in one DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem + N300 WiFi Router+ 2 Gigabit Wired Switch. ELIMINTE...
PROS
Compatible with most major cable companies
Easy install and control of home network
Parental Control and Guest Network features
CONS
Mediocre Wireless Signal

Tired of using the same, slow internet modem that your cable company makes you rent? Well, for the same price as that monthly rental fee that your cable company charges you, you can own the much faster Netgear N300!

The Netgear N300 broadband/wireless modem is not only compatible with most major internet providers, but promises 8x the speed through wired connection then you would get with a rental modem. This will allow you to not only get the more from your internet connection, but will allow you to get rid of a rental modem, which saves you money in the long run.

Install of the N300 is as simple as hooking your coax cable to the back of the unit (and sometimes making a quick call to your cable company). After setup, you are given easy access to control all aspect of your internet connection, including setting up passwords and static IP addresses for the various devices in your household. You can even set up parental controls and guest networks, which helps to control what content can be accessed with your internet.

Unfortunately, much like the previous TP Link, the Wi-Fi connection of the Netgear leaves a lot to be desired. Signal strength is relativity weak, with some users claiming to lose connection several times a day.

Again, while not the best for wireless options, what the Netgear N300 does, it does well. Of course, this is to be expected from a major name like Netgear.

7. Zoom 8×4 Modem Router

Zoom 8x4 Modem Router
  • Combines a 343 Mbps DOCSIS 3 cable modem and an N300 Wireless-N router with 4 GigE LAN ports...
  • Certified by Comcast XFINITY and Time Warner Cable and other cable services for own-your-own...
PROS
Two internal antennas to increase wireless performance
USB Ports allow storage and streaming across network
Digital tuner allows you to get the most from your internet
CONS
Confusing setup and software

So far, the duel router/modems we’ve been talking about have not been as good with the wireless connection as they have the wired. That all changes with the Zoom 8×4.

Using two built in internal antennas, the Zoom 8×4 provides a superior wireless connection, as well as a 340 MBPS wired connection. If there is still not enough speed for you, the Zoom comes equipped with a “digital tuner” feature, which allows you to tweak you internet settings to provide you with the most speed possible.

While having this much speed in one convenient package is good, getting to use any of the Zoom’s features may take some time. This is because it takes a bit of time to install the Zoom, with the instructions being confusing and of little help. After it is setup, your troubles are not over, as the software required to use the Zoom are equally frustrating to get used to.

Once you get everything set up and ready for use, the Zoom becomes a dream, even including an interesting feature not seen in some of the cheaper combo options. Using the USB ports in the back (as well as a built in DLNA media server), users on the same network are able to easily save, stream, and transfer data over the network.

For being on the cheaper end of the spectrum for a modem/router, the Zoom 8×4 gives you more than many other options in the same price range. Providing good wireless and wired speeds and so much more, you can’t go wrong with a Zoom.

6. ARRIS SURFboard SBG6400

ARRIS SURFboard SBG6400
  • Approved on Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum (Charter, Time Warner, Brighthouse Networks), Cox,...
  • Two-in-one 8x4 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem + N300 WiFi Router
PROS
Backwards compatible with older internet connections
“Beamforming” technology for better Wi-Fi speeds and coverage
CONS
Issues with Comcast internet
Only two ethernet ports

If you are like me, most of the devices connected to your home network use a Wi-Fi connection, so you would naturally want your wireless internet to be super fast. Enter the ARRIS SURFboard SBG6400, which has the fastest Wi-Fi speeds of any of our Router/Modem combo so far.

How fast you ask? How does 343 Mbps sound to you? For the price range around $80 dollars, the ARRIS provides one of, if not the fastest, wireless connections of these hybrids so far. Increasing the wireless capabilities of the ARRIS is their patented “Beamforming” technology, which provides the most amount of coverage possible for your Wi-Fi, assuring you never lose connection.

That isn’t to say that the wired connection for the ARRIS isn’t good, providing download speeds of up to 343 Mbps. However, unlike all the previous entries on the list, there are only two ethernet ports on this device, which provides less options to wired internet users.

One cool thing that the ARRIS can do is it has the ability to be backwards compatible with older DOCSIS 2.0, 1.0, and 1.1 internet connections, providing that your cable internet provider is compatible with the device. Unfortunately for Comcast users, you may have issue using the ARRIS, as there seems to be some compatibility issues with this cable provider (although this is completely on Comcast and NOT on ARRIS).

If you have greater need for a wireless connection, but still have the need for a wired connection or to get rid of a rental modem, then the ARRIS is sure to give you exactly what you need.

5. NETGEAR N450

NETGEAR N450
  • ELIMINATE MONTHLY CABLE MODEM RENTAL FEES - Up to $156 per year
  • Two-in One DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem + WiFi Router with 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 2 USB 2.0...
PROS
Capable of 340-450 Mbps speeds
Simple install with some cable providers
Convenient power options on device
CONS
Weak Wireless Capabilities

Way back in the number eight slot, we mentioned that the NETGEAR name is a major one in the world of internet gear. So it should come as no surprise that for the second time on our list, NETGEAR makes an appearance, this time with the N450.

Featuring 8×4 bonding channels, the N450 is capable of obtaining internet speeds between 340 and 450 Mbps, depending on the connection type. This makes big downloads and gaming fast and free of the frustration that you may get when your connection starts to lag.

Install of the N450 is simple, so simple in fact that with a few internet providers, install is as easy as plugging the cable into the back of the device. Should you want to power off or reset your modem/router, the N450 actually features power switches on the device, making it easy to power cycle at will.

Unfortunately, much like the previous N300, the wireless signal is a little weak with this device, with some people reporting frequent cut outs in wireless connectivity. This may make the N450 a hard choice for people who rely mostly on wireless internet for their devices.

All in all, this is another great modem/router combo coming courtesy of the folks of NETGEAR. And with so many quality products under their belt, I have a feeling the the N450 may not be the last we see of NETGEAR on this list.

4. NETGEAR N600

NETGEAR N600
  • ELIMINATE MONTHLY CABLE MODEM RENTAL FEES Up to $120 per year
  • Two in One DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem + WiFi Router with 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 1 USB 2.0...
PROS
Dual Wi-Fi Bands, both 300 Mbps
Push button WPS Wi-FI connection
USB and DLNA data sharing
CONS
Only two ethernet ports

As I mentioned with the previous product, we would see NETGEAR again on this list, and such is the case with the N600. While this product does have a lot of the features of the previous N450, such as the convenient power switches and 8×4 channels, the N600 offers even more than that.

For example is the duel wi-fi bands that the N600 transmits, both in 300 Mbps, allowing for super fast wireless internet connections. This makes the N600 easily the best NETGEAR option so far for wireless users, as they can connect multiple wireless devices to the N600 without the worry of dropped connection or lag.

Unfortunately, where NETGEAR stepped it up this time in wireless options, it eliminated in wired options. Offering only two Gigabit Ethernet ports, wired internet users have less options with the N600 then their wireless brethren.

That said, connecting to the Wi-Fi of the N600 is quite simple, as the device has a built in WPS switch. This allows you to connect to your network with the press of a button, eliminating the need to put in your password every time you try to connect a new device. Speaking of your devices, transferring data between multiple devices on your network is easy as well, thanks to the N600’s DLNA and USB data sharing options.

Easily the best option for NETGEAR combinations on the list so far, the N450 is sure to satisfy nearly every internet user out there.

3. TP-Link AC1750

TP-Link AC1750
  • Certified for XFINITY from Comcast,Time Warner, Cablevision, and Bright House(certification...
  • Class-leading 680Mbps DOCSIS 3.0 cable download speeds, 16x faster than DOCSIS 2.0
PROS
Dual band Wi-Fi capable of speeds up to 1750 Mbps
680 Mbps Download speeds
Multiple antennas and amplifiers increase Wireless strength
CONS
Connection issues with some older devices

Yet another returning brand name for this list today, we present you with the TP-Link AC1750.  With this modem/router combo, the AC1750 takes us into the top tier of our list with what is our fastest modem so far.

This is because of the AC1750’s dual band Wi-Fi, which is capable of wireless speeds of up to 1750 Mbps (with 1300 and 450 Mbps bands). If this isn’t enough to convince you of the speed of the AC1750, then maybe the fast 680 Mbps download speeds are, which is capable of downloading even the largest files in a matter of seconds.

You never have to worry about losing your wireless connection with the AC1750 either. This is due to the six internal antennas, as well as multiple connection amplifiers, which ensure that you will always get the most strength and best possible signal from your Wi-Fi.

The only small drawback is that the AC1750 does not seem to be compatible with some older devices you may have. Items such as older laptops or wireless printers have trouble connecting to the AC1750, forcing users to either upgrade these products or find another means to use them.

With as much power as you get from the AC1750, this small oversight can be forgiven. Easily one of the best combination devices available, both wireless and wired internet users will be able to get the most out of the TP-Link 1750.

2. Motorola MG7550

Sale
Motorola MG7550
  • 16x4 DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem plus a built-in AC1900 Dual Band (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) WiFi Gigabit...
  • Requires cable Internet service. Approved by and for use with Comcast Xfinity and Xfinity X1,...
PROS
Amplifiers that increase wireless stregnth
16×4 Modem makes for fast downloads/uploads
Fast duel-band Wi-Fi
CONS
Some internet providers not compatible with device

Our number two spot today comes courtesy of Motorola, which is a well respected name within the wireless connections industry. With the kind of reputation they have, it’s not a surprise that our next combo, the MG7550, is one of the best options for wireless internet users.

Thanks to the dual-band setup similar to the one we have seen in some previous items, the Motorola is able to provide wireless users with some of the fastest Wi-Fi options available. Not only that, but the Motorola also provides users with superb wireless power, thanks to the devices “Power Boost” amplifiers, which allows for Wi-Fi with superior range that never drops out of service.

Adding to the value of the Motorola is the devices 16×4 modem. This allows for 16 separate channels for downloads, and 4 for uploads, which gives users quick transferring of data when using an ethernet cable.

Strangely enough, the only real flaw with the MG7550 doesn’t have as much to do with the device itself as it does cable providers. While most major names in cable are compatible with the Motorola, not all are, especially if the provider in question needs the use of a phone line for the internet.

This one small issue aside, the Motorola is one of the best Modem/Router hybrids that you can buy, with only one last device just barely edging out the MG7550…

1. NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900

PROS
Compatible with all high-tier internet services
24×8 Channel bonding which allows 960 Mbps download speeds
Easy, secure mobile connection
Wireless speeds of almost 2 Gbps
CONS
Price May Be Steep For Some

Here it is, the cream of the crop, the tip of the iceberg, the absolute best in Modem and Router combinations. Coming again courtesy of NETGEAR, the Nighthawk is like a dream come true for internet users.

To start is the ultra fast Wi-Fi connection speeds, which allows user to obtain unprecedented speeds of up to 2 Gbps. This will allow for near instant loading of any website, and provides lag free online gaming. Should you be using your mobile phone, connecting to your wireless network should also be lightning fast, with the ability to simply scan a QR code to connect quickly and securely.

No matter which internet package you currently have from your cable company, you will be certain that the Nighthawk will work for you, as it is compatible with nearly all high end internet connections. For the wired users among us, you will be glad to know that the Nighthawk has you covered as, with the help of 24×8 channel bonding, you will be able to obtain download speed of nearly 1 Gbps.

With all dreams, however, you eventually wake up, and the wake up call for the Nighthawk is the price. At nearly $200 dollars, this is easily the most expensive product we’ve talked about so far, but is also pennies when in comparison to what you will save on modem rentals.

In nearly every way, the Nighthawk outclasses the competition, giving you internet speed unlike any other. If you are willing to spend the $200 dollars to buy the product, then the NETGEAR Nighthawk will be your dream internet device.

What Would Be My Top Pick?

I understand that these lists with multiple products can be confusing. So to make your life easier, below I have my top recommendations.

On A Budget? Get the Netgear N300

If you’re gaming and using a wired connection this is an excellent option that also happens to be rather affordable. If using Wi-Fi I’d recommend getting something a little better.

In The Middle? Get The NETGEAR N600

While the NETGEAR N600 only has two ethernet ports, the WI-Fi signal is strong and the dual wifi bands makes for an awesome shared internet experience.

Want The Best? Get The NETGEAR Nighthawk

This Modem Router is easily in a league of its own. Not only does it offer insane wireless speeds, but it also has crazy wired connections speeds as well. Gaming, TV, it doesn’t really matter as the Nighthawk will handle it.

Conclusion…

With everyone looking towards the future, you will want to be ready yourself. Thankfully, with these modems, you will be ready for what’s next in our increasingly connected lives.  Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you next time!

If you have any questions about these Modem Router combos please make sure to ask in the comment section below!

Other Posts You May Like:
» The Best Wireless Routers Around (For Any Budget)
» The Best USB WiFi adapters around – small and convenient
» The Best PCIe Wifi adapters around

Micro ATX Vs. ATX Motherboards, Which One’s For You?

When building a custom gaming computer, there are many essential components that one needs to buy. A great graphics card to keep up with intense gaming, a good monitor to display those awesome graphics, and a sound card for the absolute best audio possible. But all these components mean nothing without a proper motherboard.

A motherboard is essential, as it is basically the central nervous system of a computer. It allocates your computer’s RAM, CPU, and many other elements of your setup, including the components mentioned above. It is for this reason that having the best motherboard is a must.

Two of the best motherboards around are the ATX and Micro ATX (also know as MATX) motherboards. These motherboards have been a staple in the computer industry since the 90s, and have been a mainstay in many gamers computer setup for years. But which of these motherboards is better, the MATX or the standard ATX?

Both of these motherboards, the MATX and the ATX, have features that make them unique, from size to cooling, ports to cost, making it hard to decide which one may be better. That is why we are here today, as we get ready to explore both the pros and cons of both motherboards before ultimately deciding which one will come out the victor.

Will the bigger, more powerful ATX motherboards win? Or will the more compact and efficient Micro ATX come out on top? Let’s take a look at both and find out!

The ATX Motherboard

The full sized ATX motherboards are one of the most popular motherboards in all of computer gaming. This is in large part because of the many features, which include multiple slots for ram and able to support high-end graphics cards, making the ATX motherboards a hands down favorite for hardcore gamers. All of the great gaming support does come with sacrifices, however, which may turn some people away.

PROS
Has four slots for RAM, making for a faster computer
Multiple slots for various add-ons, being able to fit whatever you may want to add in your unit
Great for hardcore gaming thanks to overclocking abilities and multiple graphics card support
Keeps cool thanks to larger size and spacing out of components
CONS
Large size takes up more room in your unit and requires a larger case
Generally pricier of an option than the Micro ATX
Many people will not use the full size and all the slots

As you can tell, support for gaming is great with this motherboard. Thanks to the amount of RAM that can be added, as well as being able to support more add-ons and graphics cards, the ATX provides many great options for gamers. It also helps that this motherboard stays relatively cool when in operation thanks to the spacing of the board’s components, and is easily upgradable with multiple ports for USB, PCI, and many others.

All these capabilities come at the cost of space. ATX units tend to be on the larger side, and as a result, take up more space in whatever room you may have the computer in (due to the need for a larger case), as well as in your custom build itself. And while the ATX does stay cool, when the unit is cooling it does tend to get noisy, which can bother some. The ATX is also a tough choice for those gamers on a budget, as the ATX can tend to get a bit expensive.

Recommended Case For An ATX Motherboard

My top recommended case for someone who’s looking for an ATX motherboard would have to be the NXZT Source 530. Not only is this case completely loaded with an insane amount of features, that will make upgrading your PC a breeze in the future, but it also has a sleek design that will make your PC stand out. The only reason I wouldn’t recommend this is if, you aren’t trying to spend a lot on case. You can see the price below, but I can assure you it’s worth it.

NXZT H500i
  • PREMIUM QUALITY: All-steel construction with the sleek H Series design; available in four color...
  • SMART DEVICE: Built in RGB and digital fan controller powered by CAM, delivers HUE+ and GRID+...

Looking for other cases?

A case is just something that holds your motherboard, so if you’re looking for something else I’d check out my post on the best mATX cases.

The Micro-ATX Motherboard

In the opposite corner from the standard ATX motherboard is it’s smaller cousin, the MATX. Unlike the ATX, the MATX is very compact and can fit in any space you may put it. Being smaller makes the Micro ATX easy to handle, but it does seem to lack in strength in comparison to the ATX.

PROS
Smaller size enables the MATX to be put into smaller cases and spaces, freeing up more room for the user
Very affordable motherboard, making it a great choice for those making a custom computer on a budget.
Most everything you may need is on board, meaning there is little need to buy extra add-ons
Can fit in both small and large cases, depending on preference
CONS
With fewer slots, there isn’t much room for add-ons
The smaller size makes the motherboard run at a higher temperature
Sometimes cannot support more expensive, high end graphics cards.

The Micro ATX is a great option for those people who are looking for convenience. The small size of the MATX allows the motherboard to fit into smaller cases, and takes up less room in whichever space it may be in, and can even be fit into a larger case if the person so chooses. Making the MATX even more convenient is the fact that you don’t have to break the wallet for these motherboards, with most coming at a cheap price, and the fact that most any component you need is already on board.

On the opposite end of convenience is the fact that the MATX has a tendency to run warmer than other motherboards, as a result of the closer components on the board. And the MATX also suffers if you want to add even more to your computer, as the MATX doesn’t have much room for add-ons, and sometimes is unable to run with more expensive, high end graphics cards.

Recommended Case For an mATX Motherboard

My top recommended case for an mATX motherboard would have to be the Nanoxia Deep Silence 4. The case’s design makes it perfect for an mATX build. It also offers great airflow and a good amount of space. These things coupled with the great build quality, makes this a steal!

Nanoxia Deep Silence 4
  • A mini tower for compact and silent performance systems, with modular drive cages and space for...
  • Silent PC case with thicker than normal metalwork, dense sound dampening materials, rubber...
  • Space for full size GPU (with 2 of 3 HDD cages can be removed for installation of the largest...

Looking for other mATX cases?

If you’re not really feeling the Nanoxia Deep Silence 4, or just want to see some other options, check out my top 10 best mATX cases.

Winner? You Decide

Both the ATX and the Micro ATX have their benefits and drawbacks. If you are looking for something that can do more and has more gaming potential, then the ATX is the choice for you. If you are more concerned with price and size, then without a doubt you will want to go with the Micro ATX.

The issues on both the MATX and the ATX are not exactly deal breakers either. For example, while the ATX can be noisy while cooling, it rarely gets warm enough for that to be much of an issue. And while the MATX has trouble supporting high end graphics cards and add-ons, what the MATX can do is more than adequate enough for modern gaming.

In the end, there is no clear winner, as both the MATX and ATX are great motherboards. As a result, the best choice is really up to the person building the custom unit, and which motherboard fits their needs best.

If you are in the market for either of these motherboards, there are a few particular ones that are better than others, so to help with your purchase, here is the best of both the MATX and the ATX.

Top 11: Best Gaming Monitors Under $200

If you’re a hardcore gamer like me then you’ll want to build a computer with all the best parts that you can find. From graphics cards to processors, the price of these parts can get pretty expensive.

So chances are, after you have everything you need, you are likely a tad strapped for cash. Problem is, you still have yet to buy your gaming monitor.

If this is the case, then this list may be for you. In this post, we will be looking at 11 of the best 2019 gaming monitors available, and all for under $200 dollars! 

So if you need some ideas of what kind of good, and cheap, gaming monitors there are, then please read on as we bring you the top eleven gaming monitors for under $200 dollars.

If these monitors seem expensive to you, then I recommend you check out my post on the best gaming monitors under $100.

11. Acer Gaming Monitor 24.5″ KG251Q

Best Value Gaming Monitor Under $200

Calling all budget gamers who are looking for the best value monitor under $200!

I know that’s a lot of you guys so I’m putting the Acer KG251Q right at the top of the list. This monitor is INSANE for the price!  Check out the full review below!

(This Monitor Also Comes In A 27-Inch Version That’s Also A Great Deal For $150)

Asus VS248H-P Gaming Monitor
  • 24.5" Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen TN Display with AMD FREESYNC Technology
  • Response time: 1ms
PROS
Really Good Price
Beautiful Design
Screen Can Be Amazing
1 MS Response Time (Amazing For Competitive Gaming)
All Major Ports
CONS
You need to calibrate the monitor (which is easy, but still annoying)
Has Built-In Speakers, But They Suck

10. ASUS VS248H-P 24 inch Monitor

On A Very Tight Budget? Check This Out!

Although the Asus V248H-P isn’t the flashiest monitor, it’s very affordable and a pretty amazing buy for gamers considering it’s specs. If you could care less about looks and just want something that’s just value, this is it.

Asus VS248H-P Gaming Monitor
  • Slim design 24" Display with 1920x1080 resolution and quick response time of 2ms (GTG)...
  • Smart view technology can adjust color parameters to deliver the same image quality and colors...
PROS
2ms Response Time
1080p HD Monitor
Asus’s Auto Adjust Technology
Very Affordable
All Major Ports
CONS
Stand Could Be Better

9. Samsung SE330 Series 27-Inch FHD Monitor

For the price, the Samsung SE330 is easily one of the best 1080p gaming monitors you can get under $150(at the time of this writing ). Considering that it’s such a steal I’d have to recommend to people who’re just looking for the best bang for their buck. This is truly a great monitor.

Samsung SE330
  • 1ms response time delivers crisp images during fast motion scenes
  • Game mode delivers dark blacks and optimizes screen colors and contrast for gaming
PROS
1ms Response Time
Full 1080p Gaming
27 Inches Around $200
Very Slick Design
Eye Saver Mode
CONS
No DVI Port

8. BenQ ZOWIE RL2455 24-Inch Gaming Monitor

For those who want a gaming monitor that has all the bells and whistles, BenQ’s ZOWIE gaming monitor is a great choice. It’s specifically made for gamers and has just about everything a gamer could want, but at a steep price.

BenQ ZOWIE RL2455
  • 24" 1920 x 1080 (1080p) Full HD Display supporting up to 75 Hz (configure through GPU...
  • 1ms Response Time (GTG) to eliminate ghosting and lag, providing you the optimal console gaming...
PROS
1ms Response Time
Built-In Speaker
Auto-Adjusting
All Major Ports
Great For Console Monitor
1080p Full HD Gaming
Low Blue Light

CONS
A bit pricey for a lower end gaming monitor
60hz Refresh Rate (Not The Best For Shooting Games)

7. ViewSonic VX2776-SMHD 1080p Monitor

IPS monitors are arguably the best monitor that offers superior display quality and viewing angles. The VX2776-SMHD from ViewSonic provides you just that.

ViewSonic VX2776 Gaming Monitor
  • Form & Function: with ultra-slim frameless design, Full HD (1920x1080p) resolution, and premium...
  • Amazing at any angle: A super clear IPS panel ensures stunning views no matter your vantage...
PROS
Superior 1080p Monitor
IPS Panel (Looks so much more clear)
Consumes minimal energy (saves you money)
Really Affordable for an IPS Monitor
27-Inch Monitor (Pretty Big!)
CONS
No HDMI Port
60hz Refresh Rate (Not ideal for anyone doing any competitive gaming)

6. Acer R271 27 inch Gaming Monitor

If you wanted to get a cheap monitor but with good quality the Acer R271 bidx is a monitor to consider. A very close second to our best 27 inch monitor under 200.

Acer R271 27 inch Gaming Monitor
  • 27" Full HD IPS Widescreen with 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • Response Time: 4ms
PROS
Modern Aesthetics
Clean Design
Extra Wide
A Very Stunning IPS Monitor
27-Inch Monitor (Pretty Big!)
CONS
No HDMI Port
60hz Refresh Rate (Not ideal for anyone doing any competitive gaming)
4 MS Response Time

5. ASUS VG245H 24 inch Gaming Monitor

Best FreeSync Monitor For Radeon GPU’s

If you are looking for a monitor with Freesync technology for your Radeon GPU; the ASUS VG245H is for you.

Sale
Asus VG245H Gaming Monitor
  • 1ms response time featuring ASUS Game Fast Input Technology and dual HDMI ports for a...
  • ASUS Eye Care technology with flicker free and blue light filter to minimize eye...
PROS
Designed Specifically For Freesync
1 MS Response Time
Really Adjustable Stand
Super Cool Looking Monitor
CONS
Only 75hz refresh rate at a steep price
A Bit Pricey

4. ASUS VE278H 27-Inch Gaming Monitor

Best 27 inch monitor under 200

Another entry in our quest to find the best gaming monitor under $200, and again it comes from Asus! Now, with this monitor you can go and stop looking for a monitor that fits your gaming need.

If you’re all about size and aren’t doing any competitive gaming then this is the most stunning 27-inch monitor under $200

ASUS VE278H Gaming Monitor
  • Panel Size: Wide Screen 27.0"(68.6cm) 16:9, Resolution : 1920x1080
  • Signal Input: HDMI x 2, D-Sub, HDMI-to-DVI cable, Stereo Speakers: 3W x 2 Stereo RMS
PROS
1ms Response Time
Asus Smart Contrast
Good Built-In Speakers
Full 6HD Presets
All Major Ports
CONS
The Height Can’t Be Adjusted
Thick Bezel

3. LG Electronics 25UM58 25-Inch Monitor

Best IPS monitor under 200

LG Electronics makes some of the best gaming monitors out there, and the UM57 is easily one of the best monitors under $200. If you’re looking for an ultrawide monitor and don’t mind the missing DVI port, this is a great option.

If you’re looking strictly for a great IPS monitor for an affordable price, this is the best IPS monitor under 200.

Sale
LG Electronics 25UM58 25-Inch Monitor
  • 21:9 UltraWide IPS Display
  • sRGB over 99 percent
PROS
sRBG Color
Ultrawide (2560 x 1080)
Great For An Immersive Gaming Experience
IPS Technology (Colors Pop!)
CONS
No DVI Port
Not A Competitive Gaming Monitor (4MS, 75hz)

2. AOC G2460PF 24-Inch Free Sync Gaming Monitor

If you’re looking for something that has everything a gamer could want, low 1ms response, 144hz refresh rate, a very stylish design, and so much more. The AOC G2460PF Gaming Monitor is very close to the best gaming monitor under 200 dollars.

AOC G2460PF Gaming Monitor
  • 24" Class LED Monitor (24" Viewable) Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution, 144hz Response Rate
  • AMD FreeSync technology provides the smoothest gaming experience. Height adjust amount- 5.1...
PROS
Freesync Tech
1ms Response Time
All Major Ports
144hz Refresh Rate
Awesome Design
CONS
Expensive
Have To Mess With The Monitor Settings To Get It Perfect!

1. Acer XFA240 24-Inch Gaming Monitor

Best Gaming Monitor Under $200 of 2019

If you’re a really competitive gamer who needs the best gaming monitor on a budget, then the Acer XFA240 is hard to beat. This to me is the best 144hz gaming monitor under $200

Sale
Acer XFA240 Gaming Monitor
  • 24 inches Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen TN G SYNC compatible display
  • 144Hz refresh rate using Display port | response time: 1ms. Input Voltage: 120 V AC, 230 V AC
PROS
1ms Response Time
144hz Refresh Rate!
Comes With Displayport Cable
Fully Adjustable Stand
Awesome Design
CONS
Expensive
Colors not as good as some IPS Monitors( TN Panel, what can you expect)
 

Conclusion…

All these monitors, while great choices, are barely even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the staggering amount of gaming monitors that are available. Thankfully, with this list and some research, finding the right monitor should be easier and you will have the monitor that’s right for you in no time.

Visuals aren’t anything without good sound. Check out the best headphones that we’ve found for under $100

If this at all helped you I ask that you share this with others, also if you have any lingering questions please add a comment below!

Top 10: Best 120mm Case Fans 2019

I think it’s safe to say that being able to relax for a long gaming session is one of the best things in the world. Being able to immerse yourself in virtual worlds for hours on end, and escape the worries of the real world, is really a great way to cap off a busy day.

Too bad that intense gaming sessions can also heat up your gaming computer if you don’t have the right components. And if your system overheats, you are looking at computer crashes or worse. But overheating shouldn’t be something you have to worry about if you have a good fan.

Fans are important to have in your gaming rig, as without them, your components could heat up and in turn cause harmful damage to your gaming computer. Seeing how important these fans are, it’s essential to have the best one possible, and that’s why we made this list today.

In this list, we will take a look at ten of the best computer case fans for your PC, which will keep your system cool and you gaming longer. Along the way, we will look at the pros and con of each fan so you can better understand the best fan for you.

If you’re looking for a case fan with even more airflow and size, check out our posts on the best 140mm case fan and the best 200mm case fan.

Did I say this was a top 10?… well I lied it’s actually a top 11!

What Are The Best Case Fans?

  1. CORSAIR ML120 PRO LED Case Fan
  2. Noctua NF-F12 120mm Case Fan
  3. THERMALTAKE LUNA 120mm LED Case Fan
  4. ARCTIC F12 PWM REV. 2 120mm Case Fan
  5. CORSAIR AIR SERIES AF120 Case Fan
  6. ASIAHORSE SOLAR ECLIPSE 120mm Case Fan
  7. COOLER MASTER JETFLO 120mm Case Fan
  8. ROCKSOUL Cool Killer 120mm Case Fan
  9. HBT+ AXE 120mm Case Fan
  10. NXZT FZ-120mm AIRFLOW Case Fan
  11. THERMALTAKE RIING 120mm Computer Case Fan
Thermaltake RIING 120mm Fan
  • Twin Pack x 120mm Red LED Computer Case/ Radiator Fans
  • Noise Reduction Level by 24% from 24.6 dBA to 18.7 dBA.

Chances are, when you are buying fans for your computer case, you are going to want to get more than one, as it helps to maximize cooling. That makes the the Thermaltake RIING fans a good place to start, as every purchase of these fans come in packs of two.

Not only will you get more for the money you spend, but these fans let off a high amount of airflow (up to 51.1 CFM). It does this using the Thermaltake’s “Concentrated Compression Blades”, which optimizes the direction of airflow for the best performance possible.

Despite the power of these fans, the RIING runs very quietly, barely emitting any sound while in use. And using the RIING’s anti-vibration mounting system, these fans are easy to use and can fit perfectly into most computer cases.

Should you want a single fan, the option is available to purchase these solo. However, if you do buy the duel pack, it should be noted that there has been a few issues where the “duel pack” has only come with one fan. While this may not be an issue with the fan itself, it would not leave the best taste in your mouth if you paid for two fans and only got one.

If you want a quiet fan that keeps your system cool, the Thermaltake RIING is a great choice. And with the ability to fit into most gaming cases, it’s certainly a purchase you won’t be disappointed with.

NXZT FZ-120mm Airflow Fan
  • Dimensions 120 x 120 x 25 mm / Voltage 12V DC / Current 0.21A (rate), 0.30A (safety) / Input...
  • Air Pressure 0.71 mmH₂O / NOISE 26.8 dBA / Bearing Long Life Bearing / Life 40,000 Hours

Our next best 120mm case fan, from NZXT Technologies, is the type of fan for those gamers who want more out of their fan, but may be on a tighter budget.

This is because the NZXT series of fans all run fairly cheap. Ranging anywhere from $13-17 dollars, these fans are some of the most affordable computer case fans available. Don’t let the cheap price fool you – despite the affordable price point, these fans are super durable. These fans have power that will last for years, making that little amount of cash you spent stretch even further.

In terms of specs, this fan is capable of cooling an entire system all by itself. With a minimal airflow of 1200 +/- 20% RPM, this fan puts out a high level of airflow (up to 65 CFM), and does so while maintaining a low decibel level of around 26.8 dBA, making the fan quiet as well. And if all this isn’t enough, the NZXT is available in a variety of LED colors, allowing you to match up with the color fan that fits your system best.

Granted, while this fan isn’t very loud, it is louder than a good portion of other fans on the market. On top of that, while it may not be too much of an issue for everyone, the LED color lights on the fan tend to sometimes be dim.

Besides these relatively small issues, a gamer will love everything else about the NZXT fan. With great price, durability, and airflow, what’s not to love?

No products found.

In my opinion, one of the coolest looking fans that you could get for your gaming case is the HBT+AXE 120mm computer case fan. But while this fan does have a cool, sci-fi look, this fan is much more than just a pretty face.

To begin with this fan’s features, the HBT+AXE is made with a fluid-dynamic fan bearing. This bearing allows the fan to both run quiet, and increases the fan’s durability. Adding to this, the design of the fan blades help to increase air flow, and you have the perfect storm for what makes a great computer fan.

And the price? I can’t believe they’re as inexpensive as they are – what’s not to like about that.

To make this fan even more quiet, the HBT+AXE comes with anti-vibration pads around the screws, as well as a noise limiting adapter. These features help to make this one of the most quiet fans available, leaving you with less noisy distractions while gaming.

As of right now, there are not many negatives to speak of about the fan, so you won’t have many regrets buying one. For a nearly flawless, and quiet, fan, HBT+AXE has got you covered.

ROCKSOUL 120mm (120x120x25 mm) Blue LED...
  • Gaming Pc and Normal Pc Cooling Fan with 4 scews included
  • Optimized for extreme airflow 120mm fan with minimal speeds of 1800+/- 10% RPM.

To look at the Rocksoul fan, you may think the fan is as generic as they come. It don’t come in many colors, and the transparent look leaves a bit to be desired. But if you can get past the aesthetics, you will find a fan that can live up to the competition.

Easy to install, the Rocksoul comes in a 120x120x25 mm frame, which allows it to fit into most gaming builds. And should this fan be in your gaming build, you will have little to worry about in terms of cooling. This is thanks to the minimal fan speed of 1800 +/- 10% RPM, which allows for extreme airflow (up to 64.6 CFM), keeping your gaming rig cool while in operation.

What makes all this even better is the super affordable price of the Rocksoul. If you are a gamer building on a budget, then you will be more than pleased with the price of the Rocksoul, which you can see above. This means you can get a good gaming case fan for barely more than a Starbucks coffee.

While it is affordable, some of the features of this fan are just as cheap. The fan, for example, can be quite noisy while in operation in comparison to others, and sometimes the LED lights in the fan just flat out don’t work.

Don’t let the lower star rating fool you, with only a single 1 star review dragging the rating down (LED lights not working); the overall sentiment is very positive.

If these aren’t big issues to you, however, and you are short on cash, then the affordable and high performing Rocksoul 120mm fan is what you are looking for!

COOLER MASTER JETFLO 120mm Fan
  • Ultra-thin yet extremely strong fan blades - 800 to 2,000 RPM (PWM) +/- 10%
  • High performance motor and fan blades - generating up to 95 CFM airflow +/- 10%

If you are trying to build a gaming computer using a smaller computer case, your options for fans may not be as great. But luckily, should this be the case, we have the Cooler Master JetFlo 120.

The JetFlo is designed to save space, with the fan and the blades ultra thin design. This design means that the fan won’t take up any room in your gaming case, leaving more room for any other parts you may be putting into your computer. Despite this small design, the JetFlo is capable of pretty good airflow (generating up to 95 CFM), with a range between 800-2000 +/- 10% RPM.

The JetFlo is also extremely durable for a small fan, and can even resist dust and water damage, giving you a fan that will last a long time. Should something get caught in your fan’s blades, you won’t have much to worry about, as the auto-resume function of this fan makes it go back to working normal after said obstruction is removed.

On the downside, there are complaints about these computer fans being loud. This is something that can be quite the distraction to some – but what can you expect from a fan that can push out such a huge CFM? This computer fan noise ranges from 12-36 dBA.
You can also fix the fan speed at 1600 RPM (28 dBA) or 1200 RPM (19 dBA) to limit the sound with the included silent mode adapters.

Despite the noise, the Cooler Master JetFlo picks up the slack in nearly every other area. The JetFlo is small and powerful fan that will be sure to last as long as your gaming computer does.

ASIAHORSE Solar Eclipse Fan
  • 1.Asiahorse PWM MIRAGE model white Led Fan for Computer Cases, Long Life CPU Coolers
  • 2.The size of 120mm, compatible with various types of chassis, suitable for CPU type...

Other than the Logo (which can be peeled off!) I have to admit that the Asiahorse Solar Eclipse is a sight to behold. Anyone who’s looking for a case fan that’s just outright mesmerizing should check this out.  The Eclipse comes in four colors, blue, green, red, and white. So whichever color scheme you’re going for should be covered here.

First of all, there are many colors to choose from – my preference is either the blue or red. This allows you to really create the look you want for your computer build.

While all of these aesthetics are amazing, they are little more than fluff. What we really need to know is the performance of the fan. The fans are set at 1200 RPM, but you’re able to easily adjust this to fit whatever you want. The Eclipse is also very silent compared to most other mainstay fans out there. With silence typically comes with lower airflow, however, and these fans generate up to a max of 48.6 CFM. As a result you won’t keep your build as cool as others on this list.

You also get a choice of either a 2 pack or a single fan purchase option – in case you only need one fan.

All in all, you get a quiet stylish fan that’s hardly going to break the bank. For anyone looking for a great 120mm case fan that’s going to take their build to the next level, this is a good choice.

There is an old adage that says “Variety is the spice of life”. If this is the case, then the Corsair Air Series AF120 may be one of the spiciest fans available…pardon my humor.

The AF120 line of fans come in almost any color LED light imaginable. From red to purple, to even no light at all, whatever the user’s preference in color choice is, they can find it with the AF120. Not only that, but each color is sold in packages of either one or two fans, allowing you to mix and match your fan colors if you so choose.

But what is color in comparison to performance? Luckily, the Air Series are made to do that as well, as these fans are made for high-volume cooling. This means you can game for hours on end without the worry of overheating. It performs this feat thanks to its ultra thin blades, which also help to reduce the fans noise and vibration (they provide a max CFM of 52).

There are little to no hardware issues with the Air Series either, except for a few issues with some users and the brightness of the fan’s LED lights. This issue really is an isolated one, however, as it seems to be something that has only afflicted a select few.

With the rarity of that issue, this fan is nearly flawless, making the Corsair Air Series AF120 one of the best 120mm case fans money can buy.


ARCTIC F12 PWM REV. 2
  • INNOVATIVE DESIGN ENABKES QUIET AND EFFICIENT VENTILATION: The innovative design of the fan...
  • PERFECT CASE FAN REGULATION WITH PWM: The PWM function allows the motherboard to run the fan...

Want to keep you computer ice cold? Well… probably not, because that could damage your computer. But if you want to keep it just cold enough, what better name to trust then one called Arctic?

With the Arctic F12 PMW Rev. 2, you get a fan that runs between 500 and 1350 RPM. This makes the fan great in cooling down your case during gaming sessions. However, this is also lower than a lot of other fans available, so it may struggle a bit if you have a system that gives off a lot of heat.

For most gamers with a custom computer build, this amount of airflow can be more than adequate (a respectable 53 CFM). The Arctic is not only more than capable of cooling your system, but does so while remaining as quiet as a mouse while in operation (22.5 dBA). Not only that, but thanks to to the fluid dynamic bearing that the fan is made with, your fan will remain in operation for years to come.

That value is even further magnified when taking into account the price. The Arctic is one of the most affordable fans on our list. And should the worst happen and the fan does malfunction, the fans come with a six year warranty, making them easy to replace if need be.

While maybe not as cold as its name implies, the Artic F12 PWM is still an amazing fan. And at an unbeatable value, the Artic is worth every penny spent.

THERMALTAKE LUNA
  • Anti vibration mounting system. Air flow - 50.44 CFM. Noise level - 20.7 decibels
  • Long life bearing

For the second time today, Thermaltake takes their place on our top ten list. But it isn’t without good reason, because the Luna is not only one of the best 120mm case fans, but best looking fans available.

To start is the Luna’s anti-vibration mounting system. This system allows the fan to fit snugly into place in almost any computer build, while eliminating any vibration that not only emits noise, but can damage the fan. The frame of the fan is also enlarged, which allows for greater airflow going to your computer (50 CFM), and preventing overheating.

The Luna fans are not just great to keep the temperature low, but they are also beautiful to look at. The design of these fans is, simply put, stylish, and with a variety of colors, they may be one of the most aesthetically pleasing fans available.

Unlike its brother, the RIING, the Luna can run a bit noisy. This is the only drawback to an otherwise great fan, which is also very durable thanks to the Luna’s self lubricating hydraulic bearings.

Yet another great fan by the people at Thermaltake. No matter if you choose the Luna or the RIING, if Thermaltake is in the name, you are sure to get a quality fan.

Sale
Noctua NF-F12
  • Premium quiet fan, 120x120x25 mm, 12V, 4-pin PWM, max. 1500 RPM, max. 22.4 dB(A), >150,000 h...
  • Award-winning 120x25mm fan with FocusedFlow frame for high static pressure and superior quiet...

This list wouldn’t be complete without giving a nod to the Noctua brand of computer case fans. You don’t get the flashiest fan, but with the lack of color, you get almost everything else.

Professional without all the flash, the Noctua just gets down to business. It is difficult to find many negative things to say about this fan – and I couldn’t find many poor reviews about it elsewhere either.

The name Noctua just sounds silent, which is one of the big features this fan has going for it. The Noctua F12 has a low noise adapter than can reduce the fan speed as low as 1200 RPM if you choose. Continuing with the silent features, the Noctua F12 has Integrated silicone anti-vibration pads to ensure the only sound you hear is the hum of the motor. So what does that mean in terms of decibel rating? The range is between 18.60 and 22.40 dBA.

Reliability is another factor with this fan – Noctua is continuously striving to perfect their fan. In this generation, Noctua has changed the location of the magnet, which is supposed to make the fan more stable (and further reduce noise) and I believe they have succeeded.

Noctua’s focus on air flow has also not gone unnoticed. This is a “heptafan” which is just a fancy way of saying it has 7 fans which help push the air out with minimal RPM. The fan is able to push out a reasonable 44 – 55 CFM, which is impressive given the low RPM this fan produces. You’ll notice that the Noctua case fan has stator guide vanes which are designed to direct the air in different directions. By pushing air in different directions you can create inefficiencies in the airflow as mini vortices can be created. The Noctua fights these mini cyclones by using what they describe as “vortex-control notches” – which are meant to reduce the turbulence the direction changes produce.

All in all, this is a great fan – it’s probably more like a 1b in the list – you will not be disappointed with this wicked computer case fan.


CORSAIR ML120 PRO LED
  • Magnetic Bearing: harnesses magnetic levitation technology to provide lower noise, higher...
  • Custom Rotor Design: delivers the perfect balance between high static pressure and high...

If you’re looking for pure quality then it’s going to be hard to beat the Corsair ML120 Pro computer case fan. Not only do these fans just look absolutely amazing, but they also fan performance that is next level. The fan comes in four different colors, blue, red, white, and black. So they really cover most bases, when it comes to design, but what about performance?

These fans have magnetic bearings which simply put, makes the fans better and longer lasting.
You’re also able to customize your fan’s RPM – ranging from as low as 400 RPM all the way up to 2,400 RPM which is essential to any good fan.
Furthermore, with this range of RPM options the CFM ranges from 12 – 75.

How about noise? Again with such a RPM range this fan is able to be one of the most silent computer fans out there (16 dBa), at the highest RPM this fan goes up to 37 dBa which is equivalent to a babbling brook or a library – but noise is to be expected at a higher RPM.

With you getting all of this stuff, you’re going to be paying a hefty dime, which is to be expected as they’re just amazing. There isn’t a fan I’d pick to cool down my gaming PC build over these. If you want the best, then I’d definitely give the ML120’s a look.

Conclusion…

With so many options, finding the right case fan can feel overwhelming, but I can assure you that if you get any one of these 120mm fans you’ll be in good shape.

While my top choice would be the The Corsair M120 Case Fan  a very close second is the Noctua F-12 Case Fan , every fan on this list is more than good enough to cool your gaming PC build.

Looking for the fan with the highest airflow/CFM? Choose the The Cooler Master Jetflow 

Looking for the fan with the most color options? Choose between the Corsair AF120 or the The Asiahorse Solar Eclipse

Again, If you’re looking for a case fan with even more airflow and size, check out our post on the best 140mm case fan.

If you think I’ve excluded any really good fans or just want to talk about case fans, leave a comment below and let’s discuss!

Other Posts You May Like:
» Best 200mm Case Fan
» Best 140mm Case Fan

Top 10: Best Micro ATX Cases For Gaming

Even if you have the best graphics card, the most high end of sound cards, and the best Micro ATX motherboard money can buy, all these things are useless without a place to store them. If you want all these components to function, and without a huge mess, you need to buy a case.

These cases, or towers, are what houses every piece of hardware for your computer and also provides a means to power your unit.These cases can also provide additional services for your computer, such as cooling, and are essential to own if you want to use your custom computer.

If you are running your computer using a micro ATX motherboard, then the best case you can get is a Micro ATX case. These cases are specially designed to house MATX motherboards and related components thanks to the cases size and features.

If you happen to be looking for one of these MATX cases, then this list is for you, as today we will be looking at the ten best Micro ATX cases. These cases come in a variety of prices and features, and this list will sort out the best of the best to help you to buy the best MATX Case for your needs.

At this point, must seem like I’m rambling, so without further ado, let us begin our list.

Best Micro ATX Cases For Gaming

10. Apevia X-QTIS Micro ATX Case

If you’re looking for something cheap that has a clean design and don’t mind the messy cable management, then the APEVIA X-QTIS micro ATX case is something to consider.

Apevia X-QTIS Micro ATX Case
  • APEVIA X-QTIS Micro ATX Gaming/HTPC Case with Tinted Side Window - Black
  • Support Standard Power Supply, Micro ATX / ITX / Mini ITX Motherboard
PROS
Minimalist Design
USB 3.0 at a low price
Solid Build Quality
CONS
Cable Managment Isn’t That Good

Our first Micro ATX case for today comes courtesy of the folks at Apevia with the X-QTIS. Specifically designed with custom gaming builds in mind, the X-QTIS is a case that is sure to please.

The X-QTIS is designed with a sleek black outer shell and blue LED fan, which gives this case a very sleek and futuristic style. While certainly stylish enough to make you the envy of your friends, this case can also hold many different kinds of motherboards. Even if you choose to use an ITX or Mini-ITX motherboard as opposed to the Micro ATX, this case will be sure to accommodate your board of choice.

This case is more than able to support your other components as well. With the case able to fit graphics cards up to 340mm in length as well as 135mm fan and many other components, such as USB ports and mic ports, this case is almost a one stop shop for all your computing needs.

The power button on the case has caused issues for some users, as it has a tendency to come unattached. And if you are looking to use multiple CD/DVD drives, you will need to look elsewhere, as the X-QTIS only has a port for one external CD/DVD drive.

Overall, however, the X-QTIS is a great place to start for our MATX case list, as it provides many features gamers love. Spacious, stylish, and affordable, the X-QTIS will be a purchase you aren’t soon to regret.

See The Apevia X-QTIS Micro ATX Case 

9. Rosewill Micro ATX LINE-M Case

A great alternative to the case above, that provides much of what the other case has in an even more refined package! If you need something that is very portable with man USB ports and 5 expansion for space, then I’d recommend giving this case a better look.

Rosewill Micro ATX LINE-M Case
  • Type: MicroATX Mini Tower
  • Motherboard Compatibility: MicroATX
PROS
4 USB Ports (2 3.0, and 2 2.0)
Extremely Portable
Cool Look
CONS
Not That Durable

If you are like me, you may sometimes find the need to travel often due to work or other reasons. It is for this reason that I suggest our second case today, the Rosewill Micro ATX Mini Tower.

I make this recommendation due to the Rosewill’s super sturdy tower construction, which is done to provide protection for all your computer components, even under pressure. If you find the need to move across the country, you can be sure that the Rosewill will protect your computer for the entirety of the trek.

As for which components this case will support, no matter what you choose to put in the case, from 300mm graphics cards to your Micro ATX motherboard, the Rosewill can house and support it. In addition to this, the Rosewill also comes with a pre-installed 80mm fan in the rear and supports an ATX PS2 power supply.

On the lower end of the spectrum, the Rosewill’s PCI slots are a bit on the sharp side, and can’t be replaced. This can be a dangerous issue for those who are not careful. The case can also sometimes be a snug fit for slightly larger components, so it’s advised to pass on this one depending on the size of your MATX motherboard.

While those negative aspects do exist, the majority of hardware you may buy for your custom rig will be supported. And if you are looking for a nice, sturdy case that can hold up to an ever-changing lifestyle, then the Rosewill is for you.

See The Rosewill Micro ATX LINE-M Case 

8. Thermaltake CORE V21 Micro ATX Cube

First off, I just want to say that the Thermaltake Core V21 has one of the coolest designs on this list. If you’re looking for a case that’s an attention grabber than this is going to be hard to beat. That coupled with the fact that it has great airflow and it’s very durable. It also has 2 USB 3.0 ports on the front of the case.

Thermaltake CORE V21 Micro ATX Cube
  • Supports M ATX and Mini ITX Form Factor Motherboards
  • Designed for use in either a vertical or horizontal orientation on the motherboard
PROS
Compact Case
Very Sturdy
Great Airflow
Really Stylish Design
CONS
On The Heavy Side

Of all the MATX cases we will be talking about today, the Thermaltake Micro ATX Cube certainly has the most… unique design. Despite looking more like a mini refrigerator than a computer tower, the Cube may be one of the best Micro ATX cases around.

The cube shaped design of the Thermaltake is actually a very good design choice, as this design gives you more space to work with when building a computer. This chamber-like concept provides more room for your computers parts, and helps to promote easier cooling thanks to the spacing of parts within the case.

To help even more with cooling, this case comes equipped with a pre-installed, 200mm front fan, with more cooling options available. And if you happen to want to change around the panel on the Thermaltake Cube, all the panels on the unit are interchangeable, allowing the user to customize their tower as they wish.

While there is more spacing throughout the Cube for your various computer components, there isn’t much headroom for longer parts. This means, much like our previous case, the Rosewill, if you happen to have a larger motherboard or other part, you may need to look elsewhere.

Unique in design and a great choice for cooling, the Thermaltake is a case that is great for computer gamers and media lovers alike. Just make sure you don’t accidentally try to store drinks in it… it may end up bad.

See The Thermaltake CORE V21 Micro ATX Cube 

7. BitFenix Micro ATX, Mini-ITX Case

Another case with a cool albeit slightly flashy design. The BitFenix Micro ATX case is a case that people will compliment you on and then go on to ask you where you got it. Not only is it a good looking case, but it’s also very durable. It also comes with 2 USB 3.0 ports. However this case also has some faults, the USB and audio ports are on the side of the case instead of the front making it a hassle to plug things into the case.

BitFenix Micro ATX, Mini-ITX
  • Steel, Plastic
  • Motherboard Sizes: Micro ATX, Mini-ITX
PROS
Really Cool Design
Very Compact
Lightweight
A Lot Of Color Options
Has Optical Drive
CONS
Weirdly Placed USB 3.0 and Audio Ports.
Expensive

Another case with a unique design, the BitFenix case has a similar look to the Thermaltake with its glass paneling but also has a more traditional, tower-esque design. But what this case can do is more than just “traditional.”

First off, the sheer amount of components that can be packed into the BitFenix is just staggering. With support for ten drive bays (5 x 2.5, 4 x 3.5, and 1 x 5.25), five PCI slots, multiple USB slots, and support for both MATX and Mini-ITX motherboards, you can pack this case with whatever components you want.

Even if you do pack this thing to the brim, the BitFenix’s design is made to promote space, so none of your computer parts will seem cluttered or too close together. To add to the case’s appeal is the multiple color choices, with a broad range of options to give the user a case that most matches their style.

The major drawback of this case, however, is the price point. With the BitFenix running up to around $85 new at this time, this case is one of the most pricey options available today. And even with all the options, this case can provide, those on a budget may not find this to be the best choice.

If you can pay the price of admission, though, you will be treated to one great MATX case. The options that this case gives you for both design and computer parts makes the BitFenix a computer case well worth the price.

See The BitFenix Micro ATX, Mini-ITX 

6. Xion Performance MATX Tower Case

While this is one the lower side on this list in terms of quality, it is also the best case in terms of price. For those of who need something that is dirt cheap, then this is your case! Considering that it costs about 1/3rd of a triple A title, I’d have to say that it’s a good buy. The Xion Performance is also really portable for those who’d rather having something that won’t take up a lot of space. Not all is good with this case though, it’s missing an optical drive and the quality is slightly lower than other cases on this list.

Xion Performance MATX Tower Case
  • Fits Micro ATX Motherboards and Power Supplies
  • Unique Hybrid Mesh High Performance Mid-Tower case
PROS
Super Cheap!
Decent Airflow
1 USB 2.0 and 1 USB 3.0
CONS
Airflow isn’t the best
Poor Cable Management
No Optical Drive Bay

As is the case when I make these, whenever I put a more expensive option on the list, I like to provide readers with a much cheaper option to contrast with it. This is the case with our next pick today, the Xion Performance MATX Case. And, as is also the case when I make these picks, this case will provide users with more than their money’s worth of features.

To start is the towers support for motherboards, which can fit various sizes of MATX motherboards, as well as their power supplies. It does this while also supporting some larger graphics cards, with support for cards up to 330mm in size, making this an excellent choice for those that want more space for their computer.

The Xion supports all these components inside its case without sacrificing cooling as well. The hybrid mesh design, as well as support for larger heat sinks, makes this computer case ideal for gamers who may heat up their computers otherwise through longer gaming sessions. And you get all this while staying around a modest, $23 price point (prices do change).

On the downside of things, there are some things missing that you would get with other, likely more expensive, MATX towers. This includes things such as some additional ports and support for CDs/DVDs. The metal is also not quite as durable as some other options, so you may want to be careful not to accidentally hit the case too much.

While these negatives may be bad to some, if you are short on cash, then you really can not go wrong with the Xion. If you need a cheap case that can support your gaming habits, then the Xion is the way to go.

See The Xion Performance MATX Tower Case 

5. VIVO Micro ATX Mini Tower

While this case is definitely on the bigger side for a Micro ATX case, I’d still recommend this for someone looking for something that’s just a little bit smaller than a mid tower case. The airflow of this case is great and it also has enough features to really make it worth its price. The build quality of the Vivo (Case-V06) leaves much to be desired, but for those on a budget definitely check this case out.

VIVO Micro ATX Mini Tower
  • Multiple Fan Mounts: 2 front 120mm LED fans (Preinstalled), 2 top 120mm fan ports (Optional), 1...
  • (x1)USB 3.0 and (x2)USB 2.0 front ports
PROS
Spacious
Between Mid-Tower and Micro-ATX
1 USB 3.0 and 2 USB 2.0 Ports On Case
Great Airflow
CONS
Not Very Durable
No Optical Drive Bay

Not satisfied with the Xion? Are you looking for a different option for an MATX tower that still won’t break the bank? Then we’ve got you covered with our next entry, the VIVO MATX Mini Tower, which also comes with a pretty low price point. And unlike the Xion, the cheap price does not mean cheap features.

The VIVO is a case designed for long nights of gaming with it’s many cooling options. The VIVO not only comes pre-installed with a rear, 80mm fan, but the case also has fan mounts for a 120mm fan in the front and on the sides, allowing for 360 degree cooling of your unit. This is great for those that may have computer parts that tend to get warm while running.

The VIVO has support for three USB ports (one 3.0 port and two 2.0 ports), as four expansion slots. If you ever find the need to switch out parts, the VIVO has made that easy for the user as well, with easy access, thumb screw panels, making maintenance a synch.

Much like the previous Xion, the VIVO does have a few construction issues with the case. Some users have had issues with the build of the case, stating that it is flimsy, while others have claimed sharp edges on the case, both issues being ones that mar an otherwise perfect MATX case.

Some design choices aside, the VIVO does give people making their custom computer everything they may want, and then some. And at an affordable price point, the VIVO is one of the best cases available for the money.

See The VIVO Micro ATX Mini Tower 

4. Rosewill Slim Micro ATX Case

If you’re not going to be doing any intense gaming and are looking for something that is going to be geared toward an HTPC, then this is a great case that is very sleek and stylish. It also comes with an optical drive which is pretty nice as well. My only main issue with this case is the fact that it only comes with one internal drive bay. If you’re looking for a video card to go with this build check out my post on the best low profile video cards.

Sale
Rosewill Slim Micro ATX Case
  • Slim Desktop Case: The computer case with 300 wattage power supply has a slim body for any user...
  • Convenient I/O Port: The small computer case with power supply includes 2 x USB2.0 and Audio...
PROS
Slim Design
Solid Build Quality
Adequate Airflow
Has Optical Drive
CONS
One Internal Drive Bay
Not Good For Gaming
Can’t Fit Regular Graphics Cards

With our next entry on our list, we come back to Rosewill with the Slim Micro ATX case. This enough to fit into the tightest of spaces, the Slim lives up to its name, and then some.

As stated, the Slim model of Rosewill case was designed to be… well, slim. The tall and narrow design of this case makes it able to squeeze into spaces that some of the bulkier cases may not be able to fit in, making this an excellent choice for those that don’t have the room in their office to fit one of the bigger cases.

Don’t let the thin design fool you, though, as this case is large in features. With compatibility for Micro ATX boards and various sizes of Graphic cards, as well as four expansion slots, two USB, and many other ports, you can add and attach whatever you may like to this case. And to help keep all these parts from overheating, the case comes with an 80mm top fan.

With the slim size does come sacrifices for space. Components of your computer can be a little cramped due to the smaller size. And while the 80mm fan does a decent job of keeping the case cool, you may want to invest in additional fans due to the unit running warmer due to close components.

Chances are if you want a small size case, you are already planning on how to get the most out of the space provided by it. In that case, the Rosewill Slim is a great case that can hold all your computer parts and fit wherever you may wish to put it, making it a great choice for space-savers.

See The Rosewill Slim Micro ATX Case 

3. Corsair Obsidian Series 350D

If you’re just looking for a very high-quality micro ATX case that isn’t flashy then the Corsair obsidian 350D is something you should check out. If I was in the market for a case and had a bigger budget this would easily be one of my top picks. Not only does this case have great airflow, but it also has five expansion slots and 2 USB 3.0 ports on the front for convenience. While this case isn’t as portable as some of the other options on this list, it is probably one the best-built case on this list and is still pretty light compared to mid and full tower cases.

Corsair Obsidian Series 350D
  • Micro ATX and Mini ITX motherboard compatible
  • Brushed Aluminum Front Panel
PROS
Very Well Built
Minimal Design
Has Optical Drive
Great Airflow
2 USB 3.0 Ports
CONS
Expensive

Our next case, from the fine folks at Corsair, is a case that is more on the expensive side at nearly $100 dollars. But with Obsidian Series 350D, the price you will pay is more than worth it.

To begin with, you can pack this computer case to the brim with all the greatest technology if you were to so choose. Not only does this case support nearly everything a lot of the previous cases supported, such as both Micro ATX and Mini ITX motherboards and multiple tool slots and expansion ports, but the Obsidian is also SLI/ CrossFire ready. This makes the case a great choice for gamers who want many graphics options.

If style is something that is important to you, then you should also be happy with the Obsidian. With a sleek, black look made of brushed aluminum front panel, the Obsidian is a case that not only gives you what you want, but looks good while doing it.

A rather odd issue that the Obsidian can come across is that the HDD bays can seem loose. Due to the fact that these HDD bays are “Tooless”, even when properly secured, the bays can make an annoying vibration noise, which may be bad to some people.

The Corsair Obsidian, while pricey, is worth every penny you spend. For gamers that want everything and more from an MATX case, $100 dollars may seem like a small price to pay for near perfection.

See The Corsair Obsidian Series 350D  

2. APEVIA X-QPACK3-GN MATX Case

If you’re looking for case that has a good amount of room, but still has that compound form factor than the APEVIA X-QPACK3-GN is hard to beat. The case has two USB 2.0 and 1 USB 3.0 on the top, and an optical drive. You also get 5 drive bays which is amazing for those who need a lot of memory. This isn’t even mentioning the fact that the case just looks really cool. It is a little bigger than most micro-ATX cases, but that means that you can fit most full-size cards in this case as well.

APEVIA X-QPACK3-GN MATX Case
  • Apevia X-QPACK3-GN micro ATX cube gaming/HTPC case with 2 x green tinted side windows
  • Top 2 x USB2.0 / 1 x USB3.0 / HD audio and mic ports, 4 x expansion slots and 5 x drive bays
PROS
Very Spacious
Light
Good Build Quality
Includes Optical Drive
Many Bay Drives And Expansion Slots
Looks Awesome
CONS
Little Bigger Than Most Micro-ATX Cases

Our second to last Micro ATX case for today is another one with the “Cube” design, this time from the APEVIA brand. While similar in design to the other cubes, the X-QPACK3 still does enough to set it apart from the competition.

To begin with, the APEVIA cube may be one of the coolest looking cases around. With tinted windows and designs that come in various colors, the APEVIA looks like something out of a sci-fi film with it cool, glowing colors. No matter what your personal preference may be, there is a design of APEVIA that will be right up your alley.

Not only does this case look great, but it also provides many awesome options for people building a custom computer. The APEVIA supports Micro ATX, ITX, Mini ITX, and has multiple bays and ports available for USB, HD audio and mic, and your HDD drives. And instalation of these parts are made easy with the APEVIA’s flip open design, which allows for easy access and maintenance of your computer.

The internal size of the APEVIA is huge as well, meaning that all the parts of your computer won’t become cluttered. While this extra space is great, some may feel that the APEVIA is a bit on the large side for Micro ATX motherboards. Despite this, all components are still able to fit securely inside the case, making this a mute point.

While it may lack some fancier features of cases like the Nanoxia case, what the APEVIA does provide it does so in spades. And with a decent, $60 dollar price point, this cube may be the most well rounded case available.

See The APEVIA X-QPACK3-GN MATX Case 

1. Nanoxia Deep Silence 4 Micro Case

While this case doesn’t look as stylish as some of the other cases, for those of you who just want something that just has anything and everything you could ever want out of a micro ATX case, this is easily my top pick. Need space? Well the Nanoxia micro ATX case has so many bays that you won’t ever have to worry about running out of places to store more data. The case also has great airflow as you can install up to 6 fans and is very and I mean very solid. My only grudge is that this case is easily one of the heaviest cases on this list.

Nanoxia Deep Silence 4 Micro Case
  • A mini tower for compact and silent performance systems, with modular drive cages and space for...
  • Silent PC case with thicker than normal metalwork, dense sound dampening materials, rubber...
  • Space for full size GPU (with 2 of 3 HDD cages can be removed for installation of the largest...
PROS
An Insane Amount Of Internal Bays
Fantastic Build Quality
Good Cooling
Has Optical Drive
Excellent Cable Managment
Beautiful Minimalist Design
CONS
Heavy

With our final case, we have something that can literally do it all. No matter what you are looking for in an MATX case, the Nonoxia Deep Silence will satisfy your needs.

This Nanoxia case is not called the “Deep Silence” for nothing, as the ultra-thick chassis of the Nanoxia helps to keep your computer running silently. This thick case doesn’t only provide noise reduction either, as the thickness of the case also makes it one of the most durable cases around, making sure all your computer components are protected. And to add to that protection, the Nanoxia comes with several, pre-installed fans to not only keep your computer running silently but coolly as well.

Adding to this case’s value is the fact that the Nanoxia literally has enough room to make any computer you so choose. With support for multiple graphics cards, many ports, an insane amount of slots for HDD, and much more, if you can imagine your dream computer, you will be able to build it.

This case is a little on the pricier side, but if you take the plunge, then I promise you won’t be disappointed. The most versatile of MATX cases, this case, is the stuff of legend.

See The Nanoxia Deep Silence 4 Micro Case 

Conclusion…

That wraps up our list for today of the best available Micro ATX cases. We have provided aspiring computer builders with enough options in this list to help purchase a great MATX case, so now the power is in your hands. With these options, and many more, available, what are you waiting for? Get out there and buy your perfect case!

If you have anything to add to this post or any questions please feel free to leave a comment below!

Zotac GTX 1060 Mini Review, The Compact Monster

Video games are one of the greatest new pastimes in the world. Breaking the barriers of the imagination and requiring skill that no other form of media requires, gaming is probably one of the most immersive experiences in mankind, and one that transcends cultural and language restrictions.

At the forefront of this amazing form of media is the world of PC Gaming. For years, PC gaming has offered gamers with the richest and most vibrant worlds, with better and more powerful capabilities than their console counterparts. And recently, a new wave has been going through the PC world, namely in the area of Graphics Cards

We at PC Gaming Builds would rate this graphics card at 93/100 given the price

Compact, Ultra 1080p Gaming, What Else Can You Want?

PROS
Capable of both 1080p HD Gaming and Virtual Reality gaming while maintaining good graphical quality and framerate
Most realistic VR gaming to date, using new technology to help create the most immersive experience
Obtains unbelievable benchmarks for a budget graphics card, making it an affordable powerhouse
Low energy consumption, only running on an average 140 watts
Small in design, taking up very little space inside your unit
Also has a 3GB model available for people looking for less Memory.
CONS
Suffers from a coil whine that can make the card quite noisy when in operation

Zotac 1060 Mini In-Depth Review


By now, most PC gamers are aware of the newest Nvidia graphics cards with the GTX 1060. These graphics cards have swept the PC world by storm, being a powerful and affordable graphics card, and are sold out in many places online.

The reason for this popularity is well merited. The GTX 1060 graphics cards by Nvidia are amazing powerhouses of gaming, bringing to life vibrant HD gameplay and virtual reality in a way that has been seldom seen before. These cards are also capable of delivering superb framerate and speed, achieving high benchmarks easily with most games available today.
With so much power right at your fingertips and in a convenient little package, it’s no wonder that these graphics cards are in such high demand. But, as is the case with most Nvidia graphics cards, there is such a wide variety of GTX 1060 cards available that it can be hard to find which model is the best.

Today, we will be taking a look at one of these many models with the ZOTAC GTX 1060 Mini. One of a few different models of the GTX 1060 available from ZOTAC, the Mini provides all of the great, high-quality gaming benefits and VR capability that you want from the Nvidia GTX 1060, but delivers it in a small, space saving package.

The ZOTAC GTX 1060 Mini comes with many of the great features you are looking for not just in a GTX 1060 graphics card, but any graphics card in general. Easily better than older Nvidia graphics card models, the ZOTAC mini has more memory, better refresh rate, overclock speeds, and many other features that put it ahead of the pack.

Not all is sunshine and roses when it comes to the ZOTAC mini, however. Noise issues seem to haunt this graphics card, as well as some technical issues that can be more than minor inconveniences. And there is also the ever-present price gougers lurking in the shadows.

To give you a better understanding of what the good and bad are for this graphics card, let’s learn a little more about what’s great about this card and what isn’t.

What’s Great About The Zotac GTX 1060 Mini?

As said above, the ZOTAC GTX 1060 Mini is capable of running almost any modern game you can think of. Witcher 3, Doom 2016, and many others run beautifully off of this graphics card, with not so much as a single dip in framerate to be seen, always running at a consistent 60 fps.

But let’s say you want to push your graphics card even further. How well does the when overclocked into ultra settings?

rsz_2screenshot_16-06-08_12-39-49-000

Well, to answer with one word: Amazing. When pushed to its absolute limits, the ZOTAC Mini performs admirably. When playing a game like the super popular Overwatch, the ZOTAC can be pushed up to the 115fps mark, all while maintaining the same 1080p quality and never dipping below 85fps.

This is helped out by the ZOTAC mini’s boost clock. Having a base clock of 1506 MHz and being advertised with a boost of 1708 MHz the clock can also be boosted, and maintained successfully, at 1936 MHz, which is insanely fast for a low-end graphics card.

While on the topic of the Benchmarks, outside of what has been mentioned above, the ZOTAC Mini is capable of other significant numbers. During gaming at ultra settings with 1080p and 8x anti-aliasing, the ZOTAC Mini rarely breaks 65 degrees while gaming and the fans only go up to 45%. This is great temperature and function for a card capable of such high-end gaming.

If Virtual Reality gaming is something you have been dying to get in to, seeing as it is at the height of its popularity at the moment, the ZOTAC Mini can provide you with quality that few others can. Boasting reduced latency and enhanced features such as audio, video, and haptics, the ZOTAC Mini strives to give gamers the most realistic Virtual Reality experience that they have ever had in their lives.

And what else is amazing about this is the Mini does these things while maintaining relatively low energy consumption. While needing at least a 400-watt power supply, the ZOTAC Mini generally runs at a modest 140 watts of power. This is awesome for those that need to save on the energy while gaming.

If space is an issue with all the other components in your custom build, then you won’t have much to worry about here. The ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1060 Mini has dimensions of only 4×6 inches, making the Mini live up to its name and take up a minimal amount of space within your gaming computer.

What’s Could Be Better About The Zotac GTX 1060 Mini?

rsz_61idw4b6h3l_sl1500_

As is the case in both gaming and life, nothing is ever perfect. As such, there are a few drawbacks that come with the ZOTAC Mini.

To start, while the ZOTAC mini is in operation, the Mini can sometimes emit a “Coil Whine”, or electrical noise, that can become quite loud. It doesn’t seem to happen all the time and it isn’t really known what the cause is or what settings make the noise happen, but when it does it can be quite loud, which may be an issue and distraction to some.

The memory also comes into question a bit. While by no means does the ZOTAC Mini have any issues with its RAM, the unit does come with 6GB as opposed to 8GB which some other GTX 1060 of similar price have. This is by no means that big of an issue, as the Mini runs just fine off of 6GB, but some users may think it is an issue.

What is an issue that causes problems, however, is that there have been isolated cases of some of the ZOTAC Mini’s being defective. While not affecting every unit by any means, some consumers have received defective units that needed to be replaced, with one case in particular stating that it messed up their whole gaming computer. While it isn’t known if that last case was just something that happened to one person or not, it should make buyers take a bit of caution.

Another thing that should make buyers take caution is the hiked up prices showing up on some websites, not just for the ZOTAC Mini, but any of the Nvidia GTX 1060 models. Due to the limited supply at the moment, many sellers have been trying to sell GTX 1060 cards at ridiculously jacked up prices. While this will likely pass with time, if you are buying this card now, under no circumstances should you have to pay more than $270 dollars.

Overall, the ZOTAC GTX 1060 Mini is one awesome and powerful graphics card that any gamer should be glad to have. Beautiful HD gaming, realistic Virtual Reality worlds, and much more will make this buy more than worth the money spent.

Conclusion…

And with that, we conclude our review of the ZOTAC GTX 1060 Mini. Now more than any time before, it is an exciting time to be a gamer. With online and high definition gaming, as well as Virtual Reality, gaming worlds are becoming more alive and realistic than ever before. And with the ZOTAC GTX 1060 Mini, gamers are taking their next big step into the future.

The Best Sound Cards Of 2019 (Internal & External) – PC Gaming Builds

Today, we will be taking a look at ten of the best sound cards for the PC. These sound cards may range in price, features, and aesthetics, but one thing is true for all of them, and that is that they will be just what you need to not only play a game, but to experience a game.

We also have the best external sound cards around, which you’ll find below our top 10 internal sound cards list.

So What Is The Best Sound Card?

  1. ASUS PCI-Express x1 Sound Card XONAR ESSENCE STX II
  2. Creative SoundBlasterX ZxR – Best Soundcard for gaming
  3. Creative Soundblaster AE5 Gaming Soundcard
  4. ASUS STRIX SOAR Sound Card
  5. Sound Blaster Z PCIE Gaming Sound Card
  6. HT OMEGA CLARO II 7.1 Channel PCI Sound Card
  7. Creative Sound Blaster Audigy PCIE RX 7.1 Sound Card
  8. Asus Xonar GHX PCIe GX2.5 5.1
  9. Creative Sound Blaster Audigy FX
  10. StarTech 7.1 Channel Sound Card PEXSOUND7CH

10. StarTech 7.1 Channel Sound Card PEXSOUND7CH

StarTech.com 7.1 Channel Sound Card
  • Add hi-fi digital optical 7.1 surround sound to your computer through PCIe
  • 7.1 Channel PCIe Sound Card

If you can get past the StarTech 7.1 Sound Cards looks, then this is a very affordable 7.1 Surround sound card.

It’s a very versatile device, that will allow you to use it in many ways, while still maintaining a small size.

PROS
7.1 Surround
Small Form Factor
Optical, SPDIF & 3.5mm outputs
CONS
Not the best design
No EMI Shield

9. Creative Sound Blaster Audigy FX – Amazon Besteller and Cheapest Sound card

Sale
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy FX 5.1 Sound Card
  • Easily converts the PC into a cinematic entertainment system by providing a compelling 5.1...
  • Advanced Audio Processing with SBX Pro Studio, a suite of Sound Blaster audio processing...

If you’re just looking for something cheap, then the Audigy FX should be your go-to option, as you can see below, it is easily the cheapest option on this list.

That’s not to say that it’s bad, as it features 5.1 surround sound and actually impressive sound production. For someone who just wants to try an interal sound card, the Audigy FX is a good choice.

PROS
Best seller for a reason
Supports 5.1 Surround
Very Affordable
CONS
Don’t use the CD, download driver from creative
No EMI Shield

8. Asus Xonar GHX PCIe GX2.5 5.1 – Best sound card under $50

ASUS Xonar DGX PCI-E GX2.5 5.1 Sound Card
  • Built-In Headphone AMP. Powers up every sound detail in gaming. 3 headphone Amp gain modes for...
  • Dolby Headphone for an immersive 5.1 surround imaging

Overall this is a very good sound card for the price, depending on the time of year there may even be mail in rebates to drop this price even further.

As it’s from Asus, you get a good software package that is bundled with the sound card.

PROS
Cheap (with rebates too!)
5.1 surround sound
CONS
Need to download driver from website (Win 10)
No EMI Shield

7. Creative Sound Blaster Audigy PCIE RX 7.1 Sound Card

Sale
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy PCIE RX 7.1 Sound Card
  • Advanced chipset is designed to process the legendary EAX reverb engine for powerful enhanced...
  • Immerse yourself in full cinematic 7.1 multi-channel audio, perfect for games, movies and music

At such a cheap price, the Creative Sound Blaster Audigy should be at the top of your list if you’re looking for something on a budget.

For the reasonable price, you’ll be getting 7.1 surround sound for your games at the cost of one triple A title.

If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, then the Audigy is hard to beat.

PROS
Great Value
7.1 Surround Sound
Affordable
CONS
Lousy software (but improving)
No EMI Shield

6. HT OMEGA CLARO II 7.1 Channel PCI Sound Card

HT OMEGA CLARO II 7.1 Sound Card
  • CMI8788 Audio Processor
  • 24-bit/192kHz AK4396VF front channel

I’m a huge fan of the HT Omega CLARO Sound Cards design and sound.

The CLARO’s straightforward and elegant design help it stand out It also has a very good audio processor that just brings out an amazing output from both headphones and speakers.

Regretfully, I downrated this soundcard as it only has PCI connectivity.

PROS
Great Audio Processor
7.1 Surround Sound
Linux and Windows support

CONS
No PCI Express support

5. Sound Blaster Z PCIE Gaming Sound Card

Sale
Sound Blaster Z PCIe Gaming Sound Card
  • Includes an external high quality dual-microphone array standard with card. Supported operating...
  • Features Sound Core3D Audio Processor for accelerating advanced audio and voice technologies

If you’re looking for a stylish sound card that has earned the trust of many gamers, then the Sound Blaser Z PCIE, is a sound card to look out for.

The only complaint I have with the Sound Blaster Z isn’t the hardware itself, but the software. It doesn’t support Linux and even Windows has some issues.

This card annihilates any onboard sound card that’s on the market and has truly earned its place as one of the best sound cards for gaming.

PROS
Reasonably Affordable
Built in Mic
Easily switch between headphones and speakers
CONS
Software isn’t the best

4. ASUS STRIX SOAR Sound Card

ASUS STRIX SOAR Sound Card
  • Crystal Clear Audio - 116dB SNR and ESS SABRE9006A DAC for supreme audio performance and...
  • Innovative audio software - Sonic Studio lets users intuitive control all audio aspects and...

The Asus STRIX SOAR sound card fulfills all the points of a high-quality gaming sound card.

The Sputs out some amazing sound for a decent price, but where this Sound Card truly stands out is not in the hardware, but the software.

Asus’s Sonic Studio has to be one of the best software I’ve ever seen for sound cards as it allows you to completely tailor your sound card to your specific values.

PROS
Great Software
600 Ohm headphone AMP
Great Sound
CONS
Needs external 6-pin connector to power

3. Creative Soundblaster AE5 Gaming Soundcard

The newest soundard on the block is aimed directly at gamers – with RGB lighting and specialized software.

2. Creative SoundBlasterX ZxR – Best Soundcard for gaming

Sale
Creative SoundBlasterX ZxR
  • CrystalVoice Voice Enhancement and Clarity Technology, express yourself and be heard crystal...
  • CrystalVoice FX, forge your own unique team identity in crystal clear audio; match your voice...

Overall, the SoundBlaster ZXR, while expensive offers as many features as you may need.

Packaged with an Audio control module for easy volume adjustment is a great addition and only quality parts are used in this gaming soundcard.

PROS
Great sound quality
Far better gaming audio than onboard
Built in microphone
CONS
only 5.1 surround
Daughter board isn’t always used
Expensive

1. ASUS PCI-Express x1 Sound Card XONAR ESSENCE STX II

Best Sound card – Internal Configuration

Sale
ASUS Sound Card Essence STX II
  • Keeping the audiophile spirit and philosophy alive
  • Legendary audio quality that just got better

If you’d like a high-end internal sound card that brings out the clearest of sounds in speakers and in headphones, then I’d recommend you get the Xonar Essence.

If you’re looking for an audiophile quality internal soundcard, then this is the one to get. It’s going to cost you some money, though. If you are an audiophile, then looking to an external sound card (or DAC) is likely your best bet.

Best External Sound Cards

We also need to speak about the opportunity to also have external sound cards for gaming.

We will categorize the difference between a digital analog converter (DAC) and an external sound card.

We assume that anything that is capable of producing a surround sound will be an external sound card. A DAC has a sole purpose of delivering sound out to a speaker or a headphone in stereo format.

Certainly a big benefit you would want to consider getting an external card is to further reduce the electrical interference produced from all the other components within your computer.

This interference is what causes that annoying buzzing sound you can hear.

The internal sound cards above do their best to protect against this interference by shielding their components as best they can.

We’ve outlined 6 of the best external sound cards at varying budget levels.

All of these are USB Sound cards.

So What Is the Best External Soundcard?

  1. Creative Sound BlasterX G5
  2. Creative Sound Blaster Omni
  3. ASUS Sound Card Xonar U5
  4. Sewell Direct Soundbox Pro SW-30415
  5. Creative Sound BlasterX G1
  6. Startech External Soundcard

6. Startech External Soundcard

Sale
Startech External Soundcard
  • 7.1 SOUND CARD: This 1.7 USB sound card turns your laptop or desktop PC into a 7.1-channel home...
  • COST-SAVING UPGRADE: With support for analog and digital audio output for stereo to 7.1 channel...
  • BUILT-IN FEATURES: The external sound card features easy-to-use volume control and two external...

This external sound card turns your ordinary laptop or desktop into a 7.1 channel home theater-ready system.

It’s wicked cheap, but will provide very good sound for the price you’re paying.

PROS
Dual-Mic input
Ten ports should be enough for anyone
7.1 Surround Sound support
CONS
S/PDIF limitations
Mic quality not ideal
No software provided

5. Creative Sound BlasterX G1

Sale
Creative Sound BlasterX G1 USB Soundcard
  • Supports true 7.1 channel audio input signals for realistic virtualization of gaming effects...
  • Enhance your gaming experience through the headphone amplifier, capable of driving a wide range...
  • Powerful and fully customizable BlasterX Acoustic Engine, powers the Sound BlasterX G1 to...

A super portable and effective external sound card.

Creative is geared traditionally towards gamers, with software packages. But this soundcard is a very good choice for anyone looking to upgrade their sound on the cheap.

PROS
Affordable
Portable and pocket-sized
7.1 virtual surround sound
CONS
No volume controls
No separate mic/line input

4. Sewell Direct Soundbox Pro SW-30415

Sewell Direct Soundbox Pro SW-30415
  • Supports 7.1 channel output; front RCA connectors, 3 x 3.5mm stereo outputs: rear R/L, side R/L...
  • Playback supported at 24-bit 192/96/48/44.1 kHz, THD at -90 dB and SNR at 100 dB
  • Recording supported at 24-bit 192/96/48/44.1 kHz, THD at -85 dB and SNR at 100 dB

Being one of the only external sound cards on this list that has RCA connectors, this is a great all around device that offers basically every connection type available.

PROS
High sample rate
7.1 surround sound
Good resolution
CONS
Low supply, can lead to expensive prices

3. ASUS Sound Card Xonar U5

True 5.1 Channel output in HD, you won’t believe it can come from a compact USB powered device.

ASUS Sound Card Xonar U5
  • True 5.1-channel HD (192kHz/24-bit) surround sound from a compact USB-powered device
  • 104dB signal-to-analog ratio (SNR) ensures pure sound
  • Sonic Studio provides complete control over loads of sound technologies

The ASUS Xonar U5 is an external sound card that’s capable of delivering true 5.1-channel surround sound.

Primarily it is aimed at audio starved gamers using laptops. It has a simple design, but it comes with a bevy of connectivity features that made this device a strong option in its price range.

PROS
High sample rate
5.1 surround sound
CONS
Not many (unless you need 7.1 surround)

2. Creative Sound Blaster Omni

Sale
Creative Sound Blaster Omni
  • Hear the power of sound blaster technology on your PC and Mac with our SBX Pro Studio and...
  • Advanced audio technology that delivers 5.1 discrete channels of vibrant sound for your digital...
  • Easily converts the PC into a cinematic entertainment system by providing a compelling 5.1...

This small device is able to include everything in a small package.

If you’re looking for great sound, and have an included microphone – this is the device to get.

PROS
High sample rate
x5.1 surround soundx
Built-in microphone
CONS
Not many (unless you need 7.1 surround)

1. Creative Sound BlasterX G5

Sale
Creative Sound BlasterX G5
  • Native 7.1 Surround Sound Support
  • Immersive 3D PC Gaming Audio
  • Best-in-class Console Gaming Audio

7.1 Surround sound headphone output, this sound card can also give you an edge when playing games.

While focused more so at gamers, this sound card offers very good sound reproduction for other uses as well.

Another impressive external sound card from Creative.

PROS
Audiophile quality Digital Analog Converter (DAC)
7.1 Surround
Great sound
CONS
Volume knob in awkward location
Not many connections available

Conclusion…

So which do you choose, internal sound card or external?

Personally, I would recommend the external sound cards – as they provide an even greater chance of eliminating interference and they offer more flexibility (installing on laptops, other computers etc).

In addition, you can usually find a better external sound card for less money!

What do you think; External or internal?

Other Posts You May Like:
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» Top 10: Best Gaming Headsets under $100
» The Best Headphone Stand From Style & Function to DIY