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Pros: I had been doing my research on whether to get this card or spend a bit more for the HD 7850. Due to the fact that I'm using a 37" LCD as a monitor, I'm stuck at 1360 x 768 resolution, which is more fine with me.
Luckily for me, I happen to be doing some late night reading when I decided to swing by Newegg to see the reviews on another 650 TI card, when I happened to notice an open box unit for sale for $115. I immediately dropped it in my cart, paired with a $50 gift cert, and I was able to get this great card for $65; not bad. Now on to the review of the card...
Installation was a breeze. The card was longer than I expected, so I had to reposition one of my hard drives, but after that it was clear sailing. I plugged in my HDMI cable, popped in the installation CD (which came with monitoring and GPU tweaking software), and was up and running in a flash. The software immediately let me know that there were updates to my software and drivers, which was downloaded at the click of a button. On to performance...
The card sits idle at around 39 degrees, and after testing the card for a bit with Battlefield 3 on High, I rose another 10 degrees. Though overclocking is a breeze with the GPU Tweak software, I didn't overclock or increase fan speed, as I don't see the need to adjust these settings unless I see a need to ramp up.
Overall I'm very pleased with my purchase. My Windows Index rose from 4.9 to 7.4 for graphic performance, and all for $65, can't beat that! In the end, I've used ATI graphics cards exclusively in the past, and found that driver issues were a constant struggle. Though the 7850 is probably better value, in the end, I figured at my resolution I probably wouldn't see leaps and bound performance differences, yet more stability in regards to drivers, so I decided on NVidia and I'm glad I did.
Cons: The fan casing came off when I was installing the card, but this was my fault as I should've been holding the board instead of the fans, but I wasn't expecting it to come loose so easily. Was no biggie to put it back in place.
Other Thoughts: Will update if I have issues in the futureREAD FULL REVIEW
Pros: Installed, fired up my PC and like the title says, it "Just Works". Entered my system bios first, everything seemed fine. Started Windows, and everything ran smoothly and was fully recognized.
Other Thoughts: $50? great deal.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: Seagate FreeAgent Theater+ USB 2.0 / Ethernet HD Media Player Only STCEA201-RK
Pros: Plays any format that I have tried, good menu options, output options, video quality.
Cons: Your menu options (i.e. preferred output resolution) is stored in the device memory when selected, but it doesn't store the folder last browsed when you shut off the device. As someone earlier mentioned. This requires you to navigate to your movie's folder everytime you turn on the device. If your movies are stored several layers deep, it becomes a bit of a nuissance. Not a big deal, just a tad bit annoying.
Other Thoughts: I'm very impressed by this device. I did a ton of research before deciding on this one, and when Newegg lowered the price to $39.99, I pulled the trigger.
I own over 200 DVD's and wanted to begin going fully digitial, and keep all movies all electronic. I'm ripping all my blu ray movies to AVI-HD and I'm blown away by the quality. I'm a stickler for high quality video and I honestly feel like I'm watching the movie directly from my blu ray DVD player via hdmi (I'm connected to the media player via component cables).
I purchased a seagate 1TB external HD (coincidence, made by the same manufacturer) and I have watched several movies on this device, but have not noticed a single instance of some of the complaints of some of the reviewers (i.e. audio issues, hiccups in video). I'm guessing it's an issue with either their video files or their hard drives. I could not be happier with my purchase.