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Pros: - Cheap
- Good color
- Good construction
- Easy-to-use configuration
Cons: - Viewing angles are meh
- Brightness is WAY too high by default
- Not the best stand, but adequate
Other Thoughts: For a cheap monitor, this is more or less about the best that you'll get. The colors are good once you tweak the brightness, the monitor itself feels solid (but the stand seems a bit cheap, but not dangerously so), and the on-monitor settings were easy to navigate and use.
By default, the brightness is WAY higher than it needs to be. In a low-normal lighting area, I actually found setting the brightness to 0 was the best option. With it much higher, it started to wash out the colors a bit and it simply didn't look as good, but on low brightness, it looks quite nice. However, if you stray too far from looking right at it, you quickly notice that the viewing angles aren't all that great. Colors and contrast quickly become problematic.
Still, though, for a cheap monitor, this isn't too bad. It's much better than not having one at all for sure, but I think I'll continue to personally use my 27" AOC IPS-panel monitors... :3
Pros: - Solid construction
- Nice blue color
- Plenty of room for expansion
- 4 USB 3.0 ports on back panel
- Plenty of on-board video options if you use it
- Straightforward layout
- Most drivers were easy to get set up
Cons: - 24-pin ATX power was a little tough to get connected
- One of the USB 3.0 drivers was problematic (see notes)
Other Thoughts: Overall, this has been a great board. It looks, feels, and works nicely. The construction is solid, setup was straightforward and easy, and the room for expansion this board offers makes it a good choice for the price (getting it on sale is better though :D). There are only two minor cons I found...
The motherboard power connector was a little difficult to get connected. I tend to have an issue with this anyway for some reason, but it was very time consuming to get the cable to clip onto the pin housing.
Other than that, after installing the board and the system (running Win7), I decided to go online and get the latest drivers instead of pulling the driver CD out. Perhaps I just wasn't looking in the right place, but I actually never managed to find one of the USB 3.0 drivers on MSI's support site, and I had to resort to using the driver CD (which ended up working perfectly anyway) for that one driver. Maybe I just missed it, though...
Overall, it's a great motherboard, and I look forward to seeing how it does in the long term.
CPU: Athlon X4 860K
RAM: Corsair Vengeance LP 8GB (2x4GB, 1600Hz on CAS9)
SSD: Kingston SSDNow V300 120GB
HDD: WD Blue 500GB
GFX: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950
DVD: Random DVD Drive
CASE: Rosewill Galaxy-03
Pros: - Stable at advertised speeds
- Looks nice
- Fast (as per advertised speeds of course)
- Blue :D
- Solid construction
Cons: - Not CAS 9
Other Thoughts: To be honest, there's not much to say about this memory. It does everything it's supposed to do quite well, and my only complaint is that it's not rated for CAS 9. Still, because of how reliably and stable it has been at CAS 10, I may push it to CAS 9 and see how that goes. Even so, I haven't even noticed an actual difference in speed over my old CAS 9 1600Hz memory. :)READ FULL REVIEW