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Pros: Destroys the 570GTX I finally upgraded from. I've been waiting for the next big thing and here we are. The 6s just weren't a huge upgrade. 7 was justifiable on paper, but I was still running most games that I played with great FPS, but prepping for future releases and the next few years? Can't go wrong with a GTX 970. I think the fans are quite nice, and a lot of people don't mention this card is actually much smaller than the 11 inch cards of past that barely fit in a "gaming" case. I had to remove the hard drive bay to install the 570 in the Antec case I have. Didn't need to this time. This thing ate up games like Crysis 3, Metro Last Light Redux, Metal Gear Revengence, and Total War Rome II all with max settings.. and obviously all the other nerdy strategy games I play. I expect to have another few years of solid gaming and look forward to Project Cars in 1080 with everything up! Temps are staying really low and I can't complain about fan noise like others.
Cons: If this lasts another few years, I really won't have one. I guess if I were trying to play stuff at 4k on dual monitors this card wouldn't keep up in the future, but that's why the x7x series exists for the in-betweens like me?
Other Thoughts: Not sure what the negative reviewers were going on about. Even playing Crysis 3 on "Very High" with the AA cranked up full the card wasn't heating up and the fans were not auto adjusting because they didn't need to. I'd check your case and the rest of your build if the fans were even having to kick past 40% anyway. Headphones or sound system during gaming and you are hearing a fan? Too fishy. I'm an audio producer by trade and if anyone was wanting to complain about this aspect it would be me.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Bought to replace an aging 6 core 3.2 and I always said that if they ever make a 4.0+ 8 core then I could justify the upgrade. Well here we are. I'm an audio producer and our CPU *is* our creativity meter. The impact this made wasn't surprisingly as dramatic as I hoped under load with a big project going, but I learned a lot about which plugins use mutlithreading and which don't. Rendering times are dramatically shorter so if anything it was worth the upgrade here. In gaming I don't notice too much of a difference because I still haven't gotten a new card, but I can only imagine the crunch time on strategy games will be much lower. The one big HUGE difference I did notice is that this thing just eats transcoding alive and wants more. PS3 Media Server went from me tolerating a skip or pause now and then on a 720p video to a 1080p full quality video transcoding in seconds. This is amazing considering I was told by so many people that my bandwidth was the reason this would lag or the devices weren't good enough.. those people were wrong and should feel bad. I think I would have paid the price of this CPU just for that ability alone considering how many devices we've gone through trying to find a reliable media solution that just worked with everything. Also OCed this to 4.3 by moving one setting and I"m pretty OC illiterate. I can see getting much higher with careful experimentation but that's quite enough considering its now over 1ghz and 2 cores more than my previous CPU.
Cons: Stock cooler went in the closet. Obviously no one serious about their CPU will use these ever.
Turbo sounds great on paper, but it's a nightmare with audio software and will cause audio program crashes and blue screens due to throttling. Disable it and slightly overclock (its super easy) if you really want the 4.2 and more stability to boot
Other Thoughts: Paired with Hyper 212 Evo nicely.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - CPU Cooler with 120 mm PWM Fan
Pros: I didn't even bother with the stock heatsink obviously and went straight for this as it came recommended for the 8350 and that recommendation was a solid one that I will stand behind. Idle temps around 25C and I've never seen about 48C even under extreme Prime95 testing for long periods of time. I don't see the point of water cooling when this is the case.
Cons: I've installed dozens of heatsinks on built computers over the years, but this is the first that humbled me with having to seek a video on Youtube. The boxed instructions might as well be in Japanese and really don't make sense till you see it visually. If you don't have any way to watch a video while you install this, I'd recommend obtaining one. This could be a "me" issue, but given the amount of views these videos have I'd say it's likely someone that reads this will face a similar issue. I wouldn't let that discourage you, but is worth noting as a con. Once I watched the video the device went on without a hitch.READ FULL REVIEW