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Pros: + Chip is an absolute BEAST. Destroys multithreaded applications no problem.
+ Overclocks like a BEAST. Currently have mine running at 4.3GHz at 1.35V, so a TON of headroom for further overclocking if I want.
+ Pricing like a BEAST. I payed $125 for mine at a local computer shop.
Cons: - Memory compatibility. Sadly, this chip has some limitations when it comes to faster memory. This is an architecture limitation, so no way this can be changed.
- Heats up a bit, but if you have good cooling it isn't a problem. Have a Kraken X60 and core temps never break 50C under 100% load.
Other Thoughts: Rig
Case: NZXT Phantom 630
MoBo: Gigabyte 990FXA-UD7
CPU: AMD FX-8320 (OC to 4.3GHz at 1.35V)
CPU Cooling: NZXT Kraken X60
RAM: 8GB Corsair Vengeance (soon to be 16GB)
GPU: Gigabyte AMD Radeon 7970 GHz Edition (1200 core, 1700 memory)
GPU Cooling: NZXT Kraken X40 (w/ Kraken G10)
PSU: Cooler Master 1000W Silent Pro
Lighting: NZXT Hue
Pros: + Gigabit ethernet
+ Decent wireless speeds
Cons: - NO OFFICIAL DD-WRT SUPPORT
- Default firmware is a joke. Supposed to be more user-friendly, but just an absolute PITA.
Other Thoughts: I bought this because it was a reasonably priced router with gigabit and it said it had support for DD-WRT. I didn't bother checking on their site, because I wouldn't expect Newegg to lie about something like that... Well, kinda lie. The WNR3500LV1 has full support for DD-WRT. V2 has been in "WIP" for well over a year. Development has completely stopped on it. Our only option is to attempt to compile it ourselves (seemed to work, but cannot flash standard BIN files after that, so pretty much stuck on whatever version you flash), or choose a different firmware. I found a decent build of Tomato with a lot of extra features (including OpenVPN, THE REASON I wanted DD-WRT), so I will see how that goes. That, however, does not excuse the fact that it is advertised as having support for something it doesn't. Newegg, you REALLY need to change that tag. Just put "open source support."
I am probably not going to return this, because it still gets the job done. But I am extremely unhappy.
Pros: + Great looking board, and decent board design. I have always loved the way Gigabyte boards look, and I have to say I don't really have a problem with the layout of anything.
+ Onboard power, reset, and clear cmos buttons. May be standard in higher-end boards, but I still love them.
+ 4-way SLI and CrossfireX. Not going to use anytime soon, as my 7970 does just fine, but nice to have the option.
+ Works flawlessly without the need for a BIOS update with Vishera processors. The motherboard I originally bought (M5A97) didn't like it, and needed a BIOS upgrade.
Cons: - First board was DOA. Called Gigabyte support and was on there for over an hour before he finally decides that it is an "unstable board". The board was halting on code "92", which has to do with the PCI sockets on the board. For the first 15 minutes he was telling me that the board just needed a BIOS update and that the processor wasn't initially compatible, and wouldn't listen to anything I had to say. I tried telling him that A) the board was halting on the PCI sockets, not anything to do with the processor, and B) I was getting the splash screen, and anyone who has worked with an incompatible processor (or anyone with general knowledge of BIOSes) will tell you that you will get NOTHING when attempting to boot. He proceeded to tell me that I was wrong and that it had to be the BIOS. I finally asked to be transferred to someone else and they understood what I was saying the first time. Really was disrespected by the first person, and really turned me off to using Gigabyte again. Second board worked fine out of box, so obviously it wasn't anything to do with the BIOS. Also should note, it's a Rev. 3.0 board, which has only 2 BIOS versions. Neither of which add support for any processors...
- Memory issues. My cousin has a 990FXA-UD3 motherboard with the same memory I am using, and is having the same problem. Other boards don't have a problem with the speeds (supposed to be 1600, but will not set higher than 1333). Tried setting the timings manually, tried upping the voltage, tried everything that I have read, and just cannot set above 1333.
- SEVERE vdroop. Have it set to 1.488, but drops to 1.368 under load. I have never seen vdroop this bad in a motherboard. Absolutely unacceptable for a board this price, and marketed to overclockers.
Other Thoughts: I have been with Gigabyte since my first true gaming build, including graphics cards and motherboards. After this experience, I don't think I will be able to go with them again. For a board this price, it shouldn't have any of the issues I listed (except DOA; that just happens sometimes). And their tech support should not talk to their customers like they are complete fools. That is just unacceptable by any company.
On a side note, Newegg's RMA process is flawless. Instant approval for RMAs is very nice. Thanks Newegg!