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ASUS VG248QE Black 24
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: more than 1 year

Pros: The fluidity is crazy. If you are a gamer, this is hard to beat. Very hard. If you have a system that can drive high framerates at 1080p, you're going to have a great time with this screen. Now, on to the details. The build quality of the monitor is excellent. The stand is fully featured, with full height and tilt adjustment. It doesn't feel cheap either. There's even cable management clips. Mine arrived with zero stuck pixels, and still has none more than a year later. LED backlight is brighter than the sun. I run at 22/100 brightness. That's supposed to be ~150cd/m2. At 100 brightness it puts out nearly 500. That's crazy. Make sure you don't turn this on for the first time in the dark. The included features are also very cool. The on screen crosshair is pretty cool for games that don't have one natively, like Killing Floor. Almost feels like cheating. The timer is also useful if you're like me and forget you put laundry/food in its respective place once you get into a game. Lightboost is also AMAZING. The clarity is jaw dropping. The motion blur is literally non existent. (For those unaware, lightboost is essentially 3d mode being used to strobe the screen each refresh, it's not supported officially by nvidia or Asus, but it's easy to find out about on Google so I consider it an additional feature).

Cons: Colors are bad. Whether this matters to you or not, it's a fact. I personally couldn't care less about the saturation and gamma curves, I just want butter smooth image. Just be aware that this is far away from an IPS based screen. It can be adjusted to be decent, but that's all you're going to get. It's the main tradeoff to get this kind of refresh speed. The other complaint is that the uniformity of the pixels isn't that great. Many of these units have a spot in the upper left (and all the edges for that matter) that are darker than the center of the screen. It becomes invisible after using for a while, but it's always there.

Other Thoughts: Vroom vroom, fast.

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Creative Sound Blaster Z PCIe 116dB SNR Gaming Sound Card with 600ohm Headphone Amp and Beamforming Microphone
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: more than 1 year

Pros: Blows away onboard in terms of sound quality. Rich feature set. Included microphone is good quality. Comes with some nice bonuses like Creative Alchemy (fixed EAX support in older titles on Win 7 and up). Not much else to say, really. It's definitely the best add in sound card in the hundred dollar range. I got it when it came out, and it's still being awesome.

Cons: The software is much better than standard Creative offerings, and I've generally had no problems, but there are still niggles here and there. Recently had a problem where the input would switch back and forth at random. Fixed by re-installing the software. Also had a weird issue where the sound quality would take a dump (I'm talking like 8-bit NES quality sound) and the volume increased to 100% until a system restart. May have been a motherboard incompatibility though, as that's not happened since changing PCI-E slots.

Other Thoughts: Having a dedicated headphone amp is great, although it really can't handle the resistance it claims. Anything up to 250Ohm resistance should work perfectly however.

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Creative Aurvana Live! 3.5mm Gold-Plated/6.3mm Connector Circumaural Headphone
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: more than 1 year

Pros: Excellent sound quality for the price range. I'm fairly certain these are unbeatable at this budget. They're rebranded Denon's with Fostex drivers. They're also very durable, and the cord is long enough to reach anywhere (with the included extension). Mine have lasted over a year without any issues. They're also extremely comfortable, even for glasses wearers.

Cons: Headband could use some more padding. Discomfort in the band area can be noticed after 5+ hours of wear.

Other Thoughts: I still can't believe just how great these are. The balance is excellent. If you have a neutral or slightly bassy preference, these are the ticket in this price range.

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Ryan S.'s Profile

Display Name: Ryan S.

Date Joined: 12/25/09

  • Reviews: 57
  • Helpfulness: 25
  • First Review: 12/30/09
  • Last Review: 05/23/14
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