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Pros: GTX 980-class performance at 120W and under $300
Quiet and cool - I need to tax it to give a true evaluation here, but I was expecting a lot of noise based on past cards. I am not sure I'm hearing the card at all despite the vent being closest to me (top of my case which sits next to my desk)
I was actually very pleasantly surprised by how solid and well-built this card feels
Cons: The GTX 1060 launched, in general, without significant supply - not sure this card restocked with Newegg at all for a month after launch. General availability took nearly two.
Launched at $249, sold out, and not even a significant number of back orders were taken to get locked in at that price. Next time it was in stock, it was at $269. Must have had a significant bit of re-engineering since launch for that 8% jump. Maybe it's now 8% faster....
It isn't a $199, which is to say, if you need 1080p, and if more than MSRP won't help, and if you can find them, maybe you can buy a Radeon RX480 4GB. A GTX 1070 is a better bet for 1440p.
Other Thoughts: If you need a blower-style card (I do, 90-degree rotated motherboard and those wonderful aftermarket cooler heatpipes dont like to be completely vertical with their heat source at the gravitationally on top) in the $200-300 price range, this is probably the best you are going to get when you factor in cost, noise, heat, performance, and actual availability. I wanted an RX 480 4GB, but like the unicorn, it is a mythical beast whose legend is known only because it has been passed from stranger to stranger in hushed tones on cold nights around a campfire (or a purportedly 8GB-unlocked blower style reference version).READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Plug and play in dual-channel without issues paired with an MSI C236A workstation board and an E3-1245 v5 CPU. I tend to lean toward Crucial or Corsair for memory, but they did not offer the capacity, speed, and type that I desired (vanilla unbuffered ECC DDR4). I picked Kingston for their history and longevity in the market, as well as the insistence by Puget Systems that they are the best provider they have ever used. Still, as my first purchase of a Kingston memory product, I was somewhat hesitant, so it was refreshing that it worked so simply right out of the box (albeit without extra memory profiles or non-standard memory settings to match).
Cons: The product specifications indicate that this module has a heat spreader. It does not. The difference between this model and KVR21E15D8/8HA is the sourced memory chips. Their support informed me that this model uses Micron-B modules, while the HA uses Hynix-A modules. I asked their support staff to notify their web team so that the listing is updated. Because the listing was in error, but was not actually due to manufacturing fault, I did not deduct an egg.
Other Thoughts: My first experience with DDR3 was a nightmare (6 months of troubleshooting a new build to find out that the issue was the OCZ DDR3 memory but ONLY after a cold boot where the system was powered down/hibernating for at least 8 hours). My first build with DDR4, and my first build to ever use ECC memory, has gone without a hitch. After my previous build's issues as mentioned above, I decided to get something that I'm hoping should be a bit more rock solid in the long run. It wasn't the sexy choice, it won't be overclocked, and the system isn't built to win framerate, folding, compute or any other sort of performance contest, but I am more than pleased with the results. Besides, I finally went with my first SSD to host my OS, and even if it doesn't really matter or contribute to SSD stability in any way, having the ECC memory just gives me that extra feeling of security that data written from memory will be error free to the disk's controller.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Responsive, power-efficient, cool. Is there more to say? I guess I could add that the onboard GPU is there should I ever require it (more a plus for me as my personal computer doubles for work and a failed PCI-E GPU won't keep me from working/paying for a new one). First Intel chip in two decades as I was constantly chasing price/performance on a shoestring budget, and I could not be happier. Most may not notice or use the HT, and it likely is more the move to Intel than anything else, but every days tasks and system response in general seem snappier.
Other Thoughts: I initially purchased the e3-1225, but ultimately decided I wanted the extra bump in clock frequency and the addition of HT. Enthusiasts should pursue the i7's instead, but I wanted something rock solid for my new build after various issues getting my old system up and running and no plans to under/overclock or under/overvolt. With ECC memory and a server-grade motherboard and processor, I feel like this thing will survive anything, even if ultimately it only means a few corrected memory bits here and there or a few system events less over its lifetime.READ FULL REVIEW