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MSI 970A-G43 AM3+ AMD 970 + SB950 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
  • Owned For: less than 1 day

2 out of 5 eggs Caution is advised! 08/15/2013

This review is from: MSI 970A-G43 AM3+ AMD 970 + SB950 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

Pros: Please see "Other thoughts."

Cons: Please see "Other thoughts."

Other Thoughts: Spent the bulk of last weekend at a coworker's home attempting to set up this motherboard. (He purchased this at Newegg.)

His CPU, a FX 4350, which has a TDP of 125W, *is* listed on the MSI website as being compatible with the G43. As of today, (8/15/13), ALL of the 125W Zambezi and Vishera CPUs are listed as compatible.

I had serious reservations about using the above processor on this platform, as this board has gained a bit of a bad reputation for having problems with overheating on the VRMs and insufficient Northbridge cooling.

Taking MSI's website at their word, we proceeded with the build, and, as an additional precaution, added an Antec SpotCool Fan that I had on-hand, (Newegg Item#: N82E16835209044), to provide some additional airflow across the voltage regulators.

All seemed well at first, but I received a phone call from my coworker later that night that the system had shut down abruptly, and there was a faint smell of something "burning."

When I arrived the next day, we discovered that the VRMs had apparently become so hot as to discolor the motherboard around their location. The board was toast, but didn't take any other components along with it, fortunately. By the way, the 4350 was not overclocked.

I'm not an electrical engineer, but personally, I wouldn't use this particular board for ANY processor rated with a TDP in excess of 95W, and even then, would *not* recommend any overclocking whatsoever. You may want to roll those dice; I certainly wouldn't.

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Hitachi GST Deskstar E7K500 HDS725050KLA360 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: I have some previous history with this drive model, and it was quite positive. That positive impression continues with this example. The particular drive I received has not exhibited any unusual level of noise. It has functioned as expected, and is a good match, performance-wise, for the system it was installed in.

Cons: These drives, as a class, have a reputation of running a bit "toasty." Nothing I would describe as being excessive, but not quite as cool as units of more recent design and manufacture.

They are, in my opinion, *not* a good choice if you intend to mount them in, say, close proximity of another hard disk, or within any sort of cramped enclosure. This is not a good practice with any hard disk. If you provide a reasonable air-space around the drive, and/or there is any sort of active cooling involved, (a fan), you should be fine.

As these are "multiple platter" drives, (5, in this particular case), and represent early examples of SATA 3.0Gb technology, they are probably not the ideal choice where blazing performance is paramount. They are solid units, but don't expect 2012-era numbers.

Other Thoughts: Eyes wide-open, ladies and gentlemen. These are refurbished drives, originally produced about 5 years ago. You should recognize and accept what it is you're considering buying, and how well it suits your needs. Given my past and current experiences with the E7K500, I'm quite satisfied.

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VisionTek 400326 Radeon HD 3870 512MB GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: While this is not current technology, it was a good match for an older, "2nd tier" gaming system that I needed an inexpensive video card for. Drawing only about 110W peak, I didn't need to upgrade the existing PSU. Uses current AMD drivers. Heatsink on VRMs, and "solid" polymer capacitors. Fan is barely audible.

Runs Fallout 3 & Fallout:New Vegas VERY smoothly at near-max details, at 1440 X 900, which is just what I was looking for. Not bad at this price-point, and, yes, I would buy it again.

Cons: Only a con *if* you have your heart set on the pictured heatsink and fan. Mine had the shroud and blower arrangement that exhausts through the rear of the card. Massive copper heatsink with two heat pipes, and heatsink contacts RAM, a plus. (See the VisionTek HD3850 for visuals.) Personally, I prefer this design.

Because this GPU is based on 55nm technology, probably not a great choice if you have a small, cramped case, and/or marginal air-flow.

Other Thoughts: NOTE: Cards are *not* described accurately.

This is not Newegg's fault; the cartons are incorrectly labeled by VisionTek as using "DDR3" memory, when, in fact, like any proper HD3870, they are equipped with DDR4 RAM. Clocks are 800MHz core, 1170MHz (2340MHz effective) memory. This represents a slight overclock from the reference 775/1125MHz speeds, but this is normal for the VisionTek HD3870.

Card is 9-1/8" long. (23cm.) Peak observed temperature under load: 72° C. Disc contains AMD Catalyst 11.11 drivers, (Nov. 2011), which will work just fine.

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John D.'s Profile

Display Name: John D.

Date Joined: 11/03/05

  • Reviews: 18
  • Helpfulness: 13
  • First Review: 01/07/06
  • Last Review: 08/15/13
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