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SAMSUNG B300 Series S24B300EL Black 23.6
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: One (out of five) that I got worked nicely and had the features it was supposed to have with a nice picture.

Cons: The other four had a horrible, washed out picture with terrible contrast and laughable black levels. This did not change through viewing angle, a firmware update, or any amount of settings tweaking or software tweaking.

Samsung says that these monitors have the Magic Angle feature (I use this feature at work on the Samsung monitors there), but it seems that they actually do not any longer. The one (out of five) that did have the feature was manufactured a few months before the other four.

Other Thoughts: I recently purchased three of these monitors on sale from my local store. Of the three, only one actually had the Magic Angle feature touted on the Samsung website for these monitors.

Samsung support was no help, and actually tried to convince me that the monitor didn't "need" the Magic Angle feature and that their website did not actually say that the monitors have the feature. It's clear to me that the Samsung website for the S24B300EL states the following at the top of the page: "24" Class LED Monitor with MagicAngle". The feature is again mentioned in the "Specs" section of the webpage.

The missing Magic Angle feature would not have been such a big deal had the two monitors without it matched the performance of the one that did, but this wasn't so. The two monitors without Magic Angle had a washed out picture with almost unreadable on-screen text. Contrast was non-existent, and the black levels were laughable. No change in viewing angle, software adjustment, firmware update, or settings configuration could save the monitors from the horrible display.

The story gets worse when after I exchanged the two monitors lacking Magic Angle with two other S24B300ELs at the store. The new monitors suffered from the same terrible picture quality and lack of Magic Angle as those that were exchanged. Samsung support was again no help, and the final decision to return all three monitors to the store was made. Upon returning the monitors, the returns supervisor was on hand and noticed that the two monitors without the Magic Angle feature had some marks of bad workmanship (badly assembled connectors and skewed Serial Number tags) that the monitor that did feature Magic Angle did not. My wife and I suddenly found ourselves as suspects of retail fraud as the store supervisor thought the we had counter-fitted the two horrible monitors. It was only after the supervisor opened another monitor from their stock and saw the same signs of bad workmanship that he absolved us of retail fraud and allowed our refund. That's an hour of our lives, full of frustration and worry, that we will never have back.

Ultimately, I think that Samsung must have changed the design of this monitor as some point down the line. The monitor that worked well had a manufacture date of July 2012, while the other four horrible monitors were manufactured in October and November 2012. I guess I just pulled a needle out the haystack in getting the good monitor when I picked up the original three. This probably was once a good monitor, as evidenced by the one good one that I did get (out of five), but now they are terrible monitors with terrible workmanship and an absolutely unacceptable picture. Buy at you own risk, and don't expect Samsung to be any help.

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EVGA 04G-P4-3685-KR GeForce GTX 680 FTW Standard, w/Backplate 4GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: The card is fast and runs cool under load (never above 70 C with a slightly tweaked fan curve). eVGA's included software is very intuitive and useful for tweaking the video card to you preferences.

I have an older system (i7 920 overclocked to 3.8 Ghz), and bought this to replace two 560ti cards in SLI. I can now run Battlefield 3 on Ultra (maxed out everything - 1920 x 1080 on a 55" LED HDTV) with the frame rate never dipping below 45 fps. My 560ti cards could never handle the Ultra setting at a playable level.

Cons: I suppose price may be a con, but it's the top of the line (as of this review), so I would expect it to be a bit pricey. I have no regrets with purchasing this card.

Also, the card can get a little on the warm side on the stock fan curve. It doesn't overheat, but it does get near the 80 C mark in my Coolermaster 932 HAF case. A simple tweak of the fan curve using eVGA's excellent Precision software will keep the card running nice and cool. This does make the fan a bit loud under load, whereas the stock fan curve kept it relatively quiet.

Other Thoughts: I was surprised at how much smoother this made all my games run compared to my 560ti SLI setup. I was not absolutely sure that the 680 would give me the bump in performance I was looking for, but it certainly did. I am very happy with this purchase.

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ASUS Rampage III Formula LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

1 out of 5 eggs Pretty Board, Cool Features, Doesn't Work 08/17/2011

This review is from: ASUS Rampage III Formula LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: The motherboard looks sleek. I really like the red/black color scheme. There are nice, illuminated power and reset buttons conveniently located near the RAM slots. Also included is an lighted "clear CMOS" button on the back of the board for easy access through the case when the board is mounted. The motherboard can run two PCI 2.0 slots at 16x simultaneously...sweet.

Cons: I've been through two of these boards now, both of them with the same deal-breaking issue. The boards would not post after changing ANY setting(s) in the BIOS. I verified that the issues were not caused by my components in that they came out of working Gigabyte motherboard setup. They worked fine again in the Gigabyte board after the RMAs (more on this in "Other Thoughts")

Other Thoughts: This board ended up wasting about 3 weeks of my time after two proved to be defective. Newegg was great with the RMAs and waived the restocking fee and even gave me a free UPS label to send the second board back for a refund. Asus support did answer the phone consistently after waiting only about five minutes on average. They quickly identified the issue to be irreparable and recommended RMA. I ended up with an MSI Big Bang Xpower board and everything is working great with a decent overclock on an i7 920 (2.67 to 3.8). I liked my Gigabyte board, but I needed more room from the PCI 2.0 slots for an extra video card. That board put the two cards right on top of one another, causing heating issues.

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Zachary P.'s Profile

Display Name: Zachary P.

Date Joined: 12/25/01

  • Reviews: 5
  • Helpfulness: 5
  • First Review: 07/12/11
  • Last Review: 12/05/12
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