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Pros: I've been PC gaming for over a decade. I've used a lot of gaming mice and there aren't many that really stand out above the rest. These days even some of the cheaper mice perform well enough to game with. 5K DPI, decent laser tracking and a set of mouse thumb buttons is enough to satisfy the majority of gamers. For the vast majority of people, this mouse would be overkill. But for those of us who demand customization, features and performance, this mouse is an excellent choice. Especially for what it costs. It's very reasonably priced given its wide variety of features and customization.
For me, the main thing that I like about this mouse is the lighting features. This mouse matches my RGB keyboard. I have the lighting on this mouse set in sync with my keyboard. It's very impressive to see them both light up in sync. All my friends and guests are always intrigued by it. In the Corsair Utility Engine there are 4 preset lighting effects. But the only one I really like is the pulse effect that displays the rainbow colors in order. I also have my keyboard set up in a similar way. With all the keys on the keyboard, it's more of a wave effect. But with the mouse in addition it allows the effect to extend past the keyboard onto the mouse. The mouse has two different main lighting sectors. There's the grip section and the wheel section. The wheel section is really cool. The way it works, the light extends out from the front of the mouse like a light saber on your desktop. What would have been really cool is if Corsair would have included a laser with their logo that is positioned to display in the center of that light on your desk. You can also customize the lighting effects to match your own personal preference. For the mouse, it's quick and easy. But for the keyboards it's a time consuming process. But rewarding in the long run.
Another major benefit of this mouse is the insanely high DPI. 12,000 DPI. That's pretty crazy and pretty much useless 99% of the time. Although, when I first got my G9x, I thought its 5600 DPI was crazy and used a lower setting. But as time progressed I gradually got used to the maximum DPI and now I've become accustomed to it. Most other mice feel way too slow for me in comparison. Especially the mice on the computers where I work. However, for me there is one situation where a crazy high DPI like that is extremely useful. If you own a Xim3 or 4, this is the ultimate mouse for use with that. For those who may not know, a Xim3 or 4 is a device that you can connect to your Xbox 360 for the Xim3 or the Xbox One or PS4 for the Xim4. It allows you to use a keyboard and mouse on your console instead of a controller for gaming. There are profiles depending on which game you're playing. But it's actually a really awesome way to dominate multi player if you're good with a mouse n' keyboard. The higher the DPI on your mouse, the more like a mouse your movements will be. Since console games are coded for use with controllers, there are dead zones for the analog sticks to allow for a finer degree of control. Those dead zones make using a standard mouse, without any modification, virtually impossible. But the Xim devices are designed in such a way that it minimizes the dead zones effect on the mouse movements. Using this mouse with a Xim3 or 4 is significantly better than my G9x was with 5600 DPI. Of course, this is a FPS mouse and in the case of using it with the Xim, it works best with FPS. Trying to use mouse n' KB in a third person game using the Xim can be pretty rough, depending on the game.
This mouse comes with a system of weights designed to allow you to customize the feel and balance of your mouse. Personally, I prefer no weights. Just take them all out. I used this mouse for awhile with all the weights in it and I can see the appeal of that configuration. I just prefer the feel of a lighter mouse. The weight system is all about personal preference and it's something I recommend each user experiments with.
Cons: I don't like the placement and size of the sniper button. It's positioned where I normally grip the mouse with my thumb. Which I'm sure was their intention. But for me, I prefer to be able to grip the mouse without having to worry about buttons being pressed inadvertently. I would prefer to have it offset a bit so my thumb isn't constantly in contact with any buttons. On top of that the button is huge by mouse thumb button standards.
On that same note the other two extra thumb buttons are placed higher than I would like. I would have just liked to have had them a little lower. That way I don't have to move so far to hit them. To be fair, I have unusually large, meaty hands. I've worked with my hands pretty much my entire life so my hands are a lot thicker than the average person. On Corsair's website, they say they've done extensive research to design this mouses design and button layout to be used comfortably. So for most people, it probably would be ideal. But if you've got beast sized hands, it may seem a little disproportionate.
When I downloaded the utility software for this mouse, I noticed that the version I was using was only certified for Windows 8.1 and earlier. I'm using Windows 10 64 bit. When I went back a second time, I wasn't able to find anything that listed which OS's were supported in the utility download page. At that point I had already dealt with the compatibility issues. For anyone that may encounter that problem, the work around I was able to complete successfully was to right click on the installer, select properties and choose to run as admin and in compatibility mode for older versions of Windows. Before I tried that, the installer wouldn't finish. It would encounter an error and a message would pop up stating that I didn't have the necessary requirements. But after my work around, it seemed like the installer had stalled out after part 1 of the installation and a box popped up telling me to restart Windows. So I went to restart Windows and the installer told me that if I quit now all progress would be lost. So I chose not to restart and then the installer finished immediately after that. Of course the software didn't work after that, so I restarted my computer. Then I tried again and still it didn't work. So I found the main .exe for the Corsair Utility Engine and once again chose to run as admin and selected compatibility mode for Windows 8. After that, it worked correctly. Corsair does state this mouse supports Windows 7, 8 and 10. But didn't specify whether the utility would be compatible. Clearly it does work, since I was able to make it work. I just can't say for sure if I somehow managed to download an older version, or if there is no newer version.
Other Thoughts: One of my favorite things about this mouse are the programmable buttons. Using the Corsair Utility Engine you can configure custom profiles for your mouse. You can adjust the DPI of each individual setting. I believe there are 5 you can select using the buttons adjacent to the scroll wheel and the Sniper button in addition. You can also change the function of each button to virtually whatever you want. For example, if you don't use the Sniper button, change it to act as any key from the keyboard you desire. Or, what I like to do, since I have to type my email for nearly every website I visit. Is to set up a macro for my email address. That way, instead of typing it 10 times a day, I can just click that button really quick and have my email address pop up on screen instantly. You can configure as many profiles as you like and save them to your computer or have one saved to your mouse at any given time. The mouse will remember the saved profile even if you unplug it and take it to a different computer.
This mouse has excellent surface tracking, even on non-consistent surfaces. On my HTPC, I often find myself using my leg as a mouse pad. If I'm in a hurry to do something while standing. I have known of many mice that just won't work consistently under those conditions. But this mouse doesn't seem to care what surface it's on, it just works. I also have a really nice Corsair mouse pad. It's got two sides, each with different characteristics in regards to tracking. This mouse works remarkably well in conjunction with the precision side of that pad. There's no lag or stuttering. Just perfect flow.
I read on Corsair's website about this mouse's feet or glide pads as they call them. I never really gave it much thought, but I never realized how poorly my old mouses glide pads performed until I used this mouse. Its movement is remarkably fluid and precise. It feels really smooth and agile. It's a very pleasant experience.
This mouse has a very nicely braided cable and a really cool looking USB adapter. It's also covered by a 2 year warranty. It's been quite a few years since I've had a mouse die on me, but with all its programmable features, it's nice to know that this mouse will be covered in case of failure.
Using the Corsair Utility Engine, you can get optional firmware updates for your mouse. Although, personally I'm not going to risk updating the firmware. My mouse works correctly as is and I'm perfectly happy with it. I went on Corsair's forums for this mouse and saw a lot of topics based on firmware update related problems. So do some research before updating firmware, it may not even be adding or patching any features you care about.
Pros: I've owned a number of Rosewill fans in the past. Every one I've ever owned still works. I usually buy them because they're the most reliable budget brand. In a market filled with sub par, generic garbage. Rosewill stands out among the budget brands as one of the most reliable.
This fan is far from the best fan I've ever owned, but it's also far better than many more expensive fans. This fan is almost 100% identical to the Sickle Flow fans. Visually, you can only tell them apart by the sticker above the bearing on the Sickle Flow fan. I've primarily used the Sickle Flow fans as case fans and occasionally radiators for 7 years, ever since I bought my first liquid cooling loop. Which came with 2 of them. So to find an alternative that performs similarly for less, depending on the price at any given time, is pretty nice.
This fan has pretty decent air flow. I really don't recommend it for a radiator. But that's because I only use the best fans on my radiators. Fans with a high static flow pressure. However, I also prefer to use a single set of fans on my radiators. If you're running a push-pull config, then 4 of these on a 240mm radiator would probably perform pretty well. This fan does, however, make a great case fan. It all depends on what you need really. If you don't need super high air flow and you're just looking for a good inexpensive mid range fan for normal use, this fan is perfect for that.
This fans power cable is 15-16 inches in length. It also comes with a 4 pin Molex to 3 pin fan power adapter. That additions makes it a better value value. The adapter is pretty well made too. I have owned so many cheap Molex power adapters with loose and crooked pins. However, the pins of these adapters are straight enough to connect on the first try every time.
This fan comes in a decent box, that should provide adequate protection for shipping. It also comes with 4 standard fan mounting screws.
I've read a lot of other reviews for this fan. Many other reviewers say this fan is noisy. For me, the fan runs silently. If you're fan has to force or pull air through something, then it's going to be noticeably louder. My fans are just cooling a large aluminum heat sink, so the air pressure is neutral. When a fan has to fight either positive or negative pressure, that's when they tend to make more noise. Just sitting out in the open, the fan is quite literally silent.
Cons: None. The sale price was fantastic. The usual price isn't bad, but these would sell like crazy if they were a little less expensive.
Other Thoughts: There are fans similar in price and higher in price that are just horrible. They're either noisy, have poor air flow or fall apart quickly. Those are the low end fans. Then are the high end fans, fans that have excellent air flow while maintaining near silent operation. Then there are the mid range fans, that is the category this fan falls into. There are fans in this category that have decent air flow that don't get too noisy, but aren't totally quiet. Or fans that have extreme air flow, but are also extremely noisy. The low end fans should be avoided altogether. The high end fans are good for radiators and enthusiasts. Mid range fans are the best solution for a variety of situations, depending on what you want. For a best of both worlds situation, where you're getting adequate airflow without too much fan noise at a reasonable price, this fan ranks very highly.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: In my opinion the Gigabyte G1 Gaming 990FX is the best value board for the AM3+ platform. It's not the most expensive 990FX board, but in all the ways that really matter, you get way more bang for your buck with this board than any of the more expensive boards. When I bought this board, price wasn't a concern. I was ready to buy the most expensive AM3+ board I could find if it were worth the money. But after extensive research, I decided this was the better board to suit my needs.
This board natively supports the FX 9370 and FX 9590 CPUs. It delivers power to the CPU with an 8 pin power connector. In a visual comparison to other 990FX mother boards, its heat sink is among the best of them. There really aren't any other 990FX boards with a significant amount of more capacitors or voltage regulators. Giving this board about as much overclocking potential as any of the 990FX boards. In truth, your CPU will be the deciding factor when it comes to maximum clock speeds. It's really the luck of the draw unless you have some method for securing a cherry chip.
I am running an FX9590. I was able to get a max stable clock speed of 4.9 GHz with 1.525v CPU vCore, 1.2v NB vCore and 2.6v CPU PLL. I am running an H100i V2 closed loop cooler and it keeps CPU temps around a max of 52C, with Prime 95, with no other board components reaching above 48C. This board has a decent set of heat sinks with a heat pipe connecting them. As long as you have a decent CPU cooler and good air flow in your case, you should be able to keep your CPU and board cool enough to run similar clock speeds if your CPU will allow it. The way the boost clock works with these CPUs, you pretty much have to leave your CPU at stock settings to use it. I found it was better to disable boost and all the power saving features. Sure the CPU runs a bit warmer, it won't last quite as long as it might have and my electric bill will be a little higher. But, I'm running 4.9 GHz on all 8 cores all the time. Which is a decent amount faster than it was at stock settings. Since boost rarely even kicks in. The only benchmark I've run so far has been Geekbench 3 and I got a single core speed of around 2900 and multicore speed of 15200. My 4790K at 4.8 GHz on the other hand. decimated the FX 9590 in single core performance at 4900 with multicore performance at 18330. So in truth, the multicore performance of these AMD CPUs isn't bad considering they cost 2/3 of the price of the Intel chips, but their single core performance leaves much to be desired.
This board supports up to 2133 MHz DDR3 RAM without the need for increasing the base clock. You can run 2133 MHz by simply boosting the memory multiplier. This board also supports XMP memory profiles. Which makes setting up your RAM about as simple as turning that on and you're done, assuming your memory is XMP enabled. This board can run stable memory speeds as high as 2400 MHz+, but that will require a bit more skill and patience as you'll need to overclock the base clock to do it. I actually have my memory running at about 2200 MHz.
This board has 3 PCI-E 2.0 x16 slots. It supports 2 way SLI and Crossfire. What's great about this board is it supports 2 way SLI and X-Fire at full x16 speed. The third PCI-E x16 slot actually runs at x4 bandwidth. It could be used for a PhysX card or a PCI-E SSD. But if the other two PCI-E slots are populated it will default to x2 speed.
This boards PCI-E x16 slots have a very nice metal shield around them. I've never seen that feature before, but it's something I find extremely practical. Not only because it looks so nice, but because it's perfect for people who run liquid cooling on their graphics cards. I have a full custom liquid cooling loop on my graphics cards, with full coverage water blocks. With a water block installed, a graphics card can become very heavy. I've always been nervous about breaking off a PCI-E slot. Securing a graphics card to your read IO port on your case can be frustrating and many times I've dropped the anchor screw, letting the card drop. Putting all its weight on the PCI-E slot. But with these metal shields, the PCI-E slots on this board have 1.7 times more protection from vertical shearing force. That's a feature I hope to see become more common in the future.
Like most Gigabyte mother boards going back quite a few years, it has dual BIOS chips. This is a welcome feature. I had a Gigabyte 790X UD3 board back when the AM2+ Phenom quad cores first came out. It was one of the earlier dual BIOS boards. I somehow managed to corrupt the primary BIOS during an attempted update and if it wouldn't have been for the back up BIOS, the board would have been bricked.
Cons: Most of the issues I have with this board are not really specifically related to this board alone. They're actually more of a universal problem with all of the 900 series boards. This 990FX G1 Gaming onboard audio uses Realtek drivers, like most mother boards do. Realtek has been the bane of my existence for years. The audio sounds good and the analog surround sound works perfectly. The digital sound, however, does not and has not for a long time. Sure, it supports 5.1 DTS and Dolby Digital via optical out. But there is no option to select 5.1 as the native output. You can only select 2 channel stereo output, with an option to allow other software exclusive control over the output setting. Which works some of the time. But many games, browsers and video players simply play sound at whatever your default output setting is. Which will always be stuck at stereo. There is software that allows you to choose your output setting, such as Power DVD and far more games support that option now than there were 5 years ago. But not all and it would be such a simple thing to patch a fix for a 5.1 setting. To my surprise and everlasting gratitude, my z97 board has that feature. It uses Realtek drivers, so why doesn't this board have that option? Actually, I've found that my graphics cards typically have superior audio and more features when compared to most mother boards onboard audio. I can get digital 7.1 output to my home theatre via HDMI with my GTX 980 and even many older high end graphics cards. The GTX Titan and GTX 580 also support the same audio formats. I can also enable 7.1 as the default configuration, giving me surround sound all the time without having to worry about individual software settings.
This board has 4 USB 2.0/1.1 ports, which I believe is excessive. There really should only be two 2.0 ports and the other two should be 3.0. Most USB 3.0 devices these days are backwards compatible with older versions. But, speaking from experience, the speed of USB 3.0 is so much higher than 2.0 that I would prefer as few of the 2.0 ports as possible. This board also has a PS/2 keyboard port. Seriously? If you have a PS/2 keyboard or mouse it's time to ditch it and get something newer. I recently got a new mechanical keyboard and it's epic, well worth the cost. I can understand adding a PS/2 port so the user won't have any conflict issues with BIOS access. But I haven't used a board in many years that wouldn't recognize a USB keyboard, regardless of make or model.
This board has 4 fan headers. I would have liked to see more. 6 would be better. I don't like the placement of the fan headers on this board. They're all bunched together in the same general area. They should be more spread out so you have access to one from each side of the board.
This board supports up to 32 GB of DDR3 RAM. The 970 version of this board supports 64 GB. I don't know what that's all about, but it's not really a con. I can't see running 4x16 GB sticks of DDR3 anyway. Besides 2x16 GB sets of RAM are obscenely expensive.
There are a couple problems that I've found that aren't specific to this board, but this board still has them nonetheless. It tends to run your CPU at a significantly higher voltage than what's necessary. The default voltage for my FX 9590 is 1.535v. Way higher than what's needed. If you have the skill and patience, in the interest of your hardwares life span, I recommend stability testing with lower voltage than what the default sets it to. The other issue is also voltage related. The load line calibration, or Vdroop, has 4 settings. This is a very important feature if you're into high overclocks. But the highest setting doesn't work. If you set it to extreme, when the CPU is under heavy load, the screen will turn black and it will crash your PC.
When I was stability testing, the CPU kept throttling the clock speed. In the BIOS there is an option, HPC Mode (High Performance Computing). It just basically stops the CPU from throttling under load. The board will throttle the clock speeds to reduce power consumption, or heat if that's your problem. So I enabled HPC Mode and that allowed me to determine my max stable clock speed. Although, once I started getting into the really high clock speeds, above 4.8 - 4.9 GHz, I started seeing the multiplier being reduced to x7 under heavy load. That is a BIOS issue, which is pretty much universal to all 900 series boards. I did find a work around. I installed AMD Over Drive. In AMD Over Drive I enabled Core Control, which allows you to set the multiplier by each core individually. Then I disabled it and closed Over Drive. After that it stopped throttling my multiplier to x7. It doesn't actually do anything, it's just a quick work around that keeps it from reducing the multiplier to x7.
Other Thoughts: This board has 6 SATA 6 Gb/s ports with support for RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10. It also has an M2 SSD port. The M2 port is a welcome addition as well. One that I haven't yet been able to take advantage of. But I plan to in the near future. Its maximum bandwidth is much higher than a standard SATA port. Its position and compact size would make it an excellent source for your main operating system drive. Without the need for 2.5 to 3.5 in. adapters for standard SSDs. The only down side of the M2 port is its placement. Making it difficult to access, crammed behind your graphics card. If you have liquid cooling, tearing down your rig to troubleshoot or replace it would be a nightmare.
This board has a few additional features that many of the mid to high range boards lack. It's got an LED debug display. One of those displays can make night and day difference when troubleshooting if your board won't boot to BIOS. It also has a set of Power and Reset buttons for bench testing. There is a reset CMOS button as well. That is an absolute necessity if you're into overclocking. There's nothing worse than trying to reset your BIOS using a jumper with all your hardware in place.
This board has a single standard USB 3.1 port and a single USB 3.1 type C port. I have yet to see anything that uses a USB 3.1 type C port. But according to my research, that's the standard everything will be headed to.
This board features an Audio Gain Control switch. It's an interesting addition, that I can see only being useful for a small percentage of people. It is very interesting however. I've never seen this feature before. When I first saw it, I rejoiced, I thought it was a switch to enable or disable the PCI-E slots. My z97 has that feature and it's extremely useful if you're trouble shooting or running benchmarks with multiple graphics cards. But this one is an audio gain switch. It's pretty much like the gain knob on a car stereo amplifier. It increases the power output of your audio signal. There are OP-AMP upgrades that you can install that allow you to customize the sound of your audio output. From what I've seen, they appear to be marketed mainly for music. It doesn't say anything about gaming on their web page. Gigabyte claims there's a wide variety of optional upgrades, but there are only 3 and they come in a kit together. I can't see any reason to buy them, especially given what they cost.
This board also comes with the very convenient G Connector. It's just a nice little adapter that you can pre-connect your front panel cables to. Making your front panel cables into a plug and play adapter. What's nice about it in addition is that some of my older Gigabyte boards have the same front panel header configuration. So I could use one of these on even an older board and conceivably on newer boards yet to come.
If you're trying to decide between the 970 and 990 FX, If you're into overclocking or if you're running SLI with a set of high end graphics cards, then the 990FX is the better choice. It has the better heat sink, more bandwidth on its PCI-E slots and supports faster CPUs with better capability for overclocking. If you're trying to decide between the 990FX boards, then consider this one. The price is fantastic. I've never had any trouble with any of the Gigabyte boards I've owned. With the difference in cost between this one and the more expensive models, you're not going to be getting your moneys worth out of that transaction. Especially given its sale price.