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Pros: Excellent upgrade over any HDD.
Performance was top-notch in both configurations I've tested. (see below)
I got it for an excellent price before the earthquakes/tsunamis. (48 bucks)
Cons: Lack of space. 60GB is enough for windows and a couple of programs. I recommend using it as cache with Intel Smart Response.
The speed can be a little finnicky. The rates speeds were tested on Atto, which I confirmed to be accurate. But Atto uses compressible data. Expect to see 100-200MB/s in many cases.
Other Thoughts: I've used it in two different ways. The first case, I used it as the OS and system app drive, where I saw maximum performance in certain cases, like boot speed.
However, it couldn't take advantage of the whole drive, and a lot of the data that WAS on there wasn't even accessed very often.
In the second case, I installed windows on my 320GB HDD RAID0 setup. Then I installed and used Intel Smart Response, and used the entire drive as a cache for the HDDs.
It now caches any small reads and writes, including those in games and other apps. Larger files take advantage of the fast sequential speeds of the raid0 setup, and smaller files take advantage of the fast access times of the SSD. And the entire drive is used for this process, providing the most benefit.
The caching method, for a drive this size, was by far the best option for overall performance. Still blazing boot times, but also fast game load times.
Also, the OS recognizes it as a cache, so defragging won't damage the drive. Just be sure to do it less often, since the drive would have to cache the new locations.
Pros: +Perfect upgrade from previous-gen cards. (I upgraded from 9800GTX+)
+Out-performs the 570 and is in the range of the 580, which costs twice as much.
+Excellent performance in most modern games. Expect to be blasting out FSAA in nearly every game you play.
+2GB memory overhead is great! Same as the 680. In Crysis 2 Maxed DX11 and texture pack, with about 4xAA, I still only used about 1.5GB. That's more memory free than all the memory of my previous card.
+Well-built. Love the HSF design, and quite sturdy build.
+Comes pre-overclocked, so the only thing the Ti beats it in is Shader Cores.
I'll have to see how the EVGA step-up program goes.
Cons: -Runs hot by default. I'm used to cards spinning up when they get past 65C. But the fan on this card only runs at about 40% when it reaches 82C (Unigine Heaven 4.0). Use Precision X to tweak the fan speed, and you're good to go.
-Where is the heat protection for the rear memory chips? The front set of chips are interfaced to the main heatsink, but the rear chips are exposed, and get pretty hot to the touch. I recommend Sticky memory sinks if you plan on overclocking. (I reached an 800MHz QDR overclock pretty easily in PrecisionX)
- ~400 fewer shader cores than the Ti. So about a third less. Luckily, it doesn't make as big of a difference as you would expect. Certainly not an $80 difference in performance. But it still makes it seem watered-down.
Other Thoughts: 3570K @ 4.5GHz
16GB Corsair Vengeance 1600
P8Z77-V LK motherboard.
PC P&C Silencer 750W
If you're thinking of changing the Thermal Paste because of the heat issue, I wouldn't recommend it. I hear EVGA is using Shin-Etsu on their cards, meaning the only thing you could really do is downgrade. The fan tweak should be plenty.
My room temp is about 75F (24C).
Pros: This processor is very fast with fairly little power draw. But of course, many of you knew that going in.
The memory controller is phenomenal. I'm currently getting 22GB/s (Sandra) on DDR3-1600 (Vengeance)
It's also a great overclocker. I started with the Multiplier, and made my final tweaks with the base clock. I'm running at about 4.7GHz
Although I'm running descrete graphcs, the HD4000 integrated is phenomenal. Intel is really stepping up their game on integrated graphics. Mind you, you won't play the most advanced titles at the most advanced settings, but from a general usage and gaming standpoint, it's great stuff.
Cons: Intel made a bit of a bad move by replacing the flux-less solder with thermal paste when mounding the the heat spreader.
As such, temps are okay under normal circumstances, but the moment you bump the voltage up, the temperature soars on even the best coolers. (Because the problem is not in the cooler.)
Other Thoughts: Because the memory controller is on the chip, too much voltage to the memory can cause breakdown voltage and reduce the lifespan of the CPU.
To counter this, you have to raise the VTT or IMC voltage by the same amount that you raise the RAM. I'm unable to do this on my current motherboard (ASUS P8Z77-V LK), so I'm unable to overclock my RAM very much.