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This review is from: DINO DCA106-HV HDMI to VGA Dongle
Cons: Who goes from HDMI to VGA
Other Thoughts: I got this sent to me as a stupid free add-on item for a video card purchase. It's so utterly useless that they have to give them away. I haven't connected a thing via VGA in 10+ years. Why would I want to go from HDMI to VGA?READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: One of the best looking boards I've ever used. I love the white, black and red theme. The lighting is pretty tight and I liked the rear lights on the IO panel.
I got it running stable with a i7-6700K @ 4.5GHz and 32GB of PC2666 DDR4. I'm pretty sure the mediocre OC is the CPU and not the motherboard. I seemed to have gotten a CPU is rather unspectacular.
The Creative on-board sound is a nice touch. It seems to be on par with the $100 Creative sound cards you can buy separately. At least my ears listening through a Sennheiser PC360 headset couldn't tell the different between this board's on-board and my Soundblaster Z.
I really like the metal reinforced PCI-E slots. Not sure if they really do much, but the effort in attempting to solidify the board is great nonetheless, and they do give a good appearance and sense of quality.
The BIOS has a lot of options. More than I need really. Still if you like to play with that sort of thing, there's a decent amount in there.
There's more good with this board. Unfortunately my experiences surrounding this board were less than ideal and didn't give me the good opportunity I needed to offer more in this review. Read on below to understand why.
Cons: The BIOS has a lot of options. More than I want really. I suppose it's better to have more than you need, things to configure. My problem is so much of it is undocumented as to what it is and what it does. At the end of the day you can get a decent OC with just a few changes, fine tune a better OC with a few more. From there you kind of get into crazy town. Maybe if you have the time to mess around and test every little setting, you could achieve that last few percentages of performance. But I hardly see it as worth it and struggle to accept that others do either. So having every little configurable thing there can do more harm than good in that it only serves to confuse and deflect from what really matters in getting performance out of the board.
The Killer NIC is unnecessary alongside the Intel one. The Intel NIC works just as well, is easier to deal with and is the one most people gravitate towards. Save the money and either skip the 2nd NIC or at least do 2 Intel ones.
I didn't really get the EasyTune software to work either. That's OK I guess as I'm more of a BIOS guy for making changes. Still if they are going to bundle it with the board and market it with the board, it should work straight up without concern.
Other Thoughts: So I had a lot of issues with this board that ended up not being issues because of the board, but a series of strange and unfortunate circumstances along the way. This unfortunately pushed the review further back over time to where I finally decided I needed to turn something in even if it wasn't really by best review.
When I first got the board I didn't have a CPU for it. That was OK because I had intended to purchase a i7-6700K for my move to this platform. Unfortunately you couldn't buy that CPU for over a month unless you bundled it with another motherboard. I didn't want to spend even more to get the lesser i5-6600K only to sell it later, or end up with a board I wouldn't want over possibly deciding on keeping this board. So that pushed things back until I could get my hands on a i7-6700K.
I'm not really sure it was wise waiting for this particular CPU as it ended up being a bit of a dud in that 4.5GHz is the OC it seems to be stable at. I can get it to run faster, but there are a few tests and seem to introduce instability at anything higher, even if those cases are rare.
I wanted to to try out some other new things USB 3.1. Type C connector. NVME M.2. I won't go into detail all those things, but summarize that in trying to test everything new and exciting, it only lead to issues having me extend. In the end I'm running most of my old hardware with this board. The drive is a SATAIII SSD Samsung 850 Pro. The GPU is a Titan X. And anything connected via USB is either USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 all using Type A connectors.
I also had issues with RAM. A couple of trips back and forth trading RAM after troubleshooting that was the cause of issues cost me a lot of time also. I've got 4 sticks of 8GB DDR4 PC2666 in now from G.Skill and it's working fine with XMP profile.
Today at the time of writing the review the board is running fine and performing as expected. But the path along the way was long and fraught with issues. Perhaps the board came with some curse or hex put upon it.
This review is from: G.SKILL RIPJAWS SR910 Real 7.1 Surround Sound USB Gaming Headset
Pros: I'm going to list a bunch of things. Some of those things are very subjective, especially anything concerning aesthetics. So I'm not going to list some of the same things in the Cons that I list in the Pros. At the price point these suckers sell at, no one is pretending these are audiophile grade equipment. So certainly other factors than just "how do they sound" come into play.
* USB Plug & Play Connectivity - I was able to just plug them in and they worked without any fanfare. I fired up a game and was going.
* Good inline controller - Normally I hate having a device half-way up the connectivity wire that I have to mess around with for volume and mic muting. However, this this is solid, sits firmly in place with rubber feet, is attractive in design and offers enough features to play with.
* Attractive - They look really cool. The cup backs are smoked glass and allow you to peer into the inner workings exposing all 5 drivers per cup. Not only that, but the insides of those are fully lit with red lighting. The headband is matte black and decorated tastefully with logos and design. The head rest portion of headband is elastically placed and is decorated with red quality stitching.
* Solid - I'd be hard pressed to believe these are going to break in the common area of the headband. Its far too often a story told where someone has an expensive pair of headphones only to have the headband snap rendering them useless. I don't see how these would succumb to that. They feel well built.
* Comfortable (Sort of) - I prefer headphones are go around the ear as oppose to on the ear. These accomplish that. That being said, I debated on listing these as comfortable. When I first put them on, I thought they we quite uncomfortable and was convinced they might be some what painful over time. As I continued to wear them they became less noticable. In the end I declared them as "Not Uncomfortable". The cups buffer themselves against your head with a synthetic leather-type material, which for me did create a bit of prespiration. I prefer when a soft felt-like material is used for headsets.
* Mic - The mic can be slid away when not in use. It's basically a heavy wire with the mic on the end. I'm used to thick rigid plastic booms that place the mic near your mouth. This is rigid enough to stay in place, but flexible enough that you don't have to worry about hitting it and wrecking it. It could be a little longer though as it doesn't really reach far enough to get near my mouth. However this didn't seem to be a problem in receiving the sound of my voice.
Cons: * Size & Weight - I hate to jump on the band wagon with this one as I feel it's been mentioned to death, but it's not be be taken lightly by some. Yes, these are fairly large. I think with some of the design choices they made they have to be. The quality and durability of its construction lends to it's larger size. The cups containing so many drivers is another factor. The flashy appearance of included lighting, the cup swivel bearings, the separation of headband vs headrest all play a factor in keeping these things a tad on the large side. Weight, same story. There is just too much there in materials to keep them dainty. If they weighed any less they'd probably have to sacrifice the quality of materials.
* Sound Quality - They don't sound terrible. They sound good. But they don't sound great. And they don't really live up their cost. I've simply heard too many headphones at a better price sound better than these. If gaming is your only thing, these should work fine and I feel the concern of their sound is less. I used them for hours on end playing games and was never distracted in any way. When you think about how configurable a set with 5 independent drivers per cup with it's own dedicated software should be, you'd think that eventually playing around with the settings you could fine tune for better sound. I wasn't able to despite my efforts. If I described the sound in a few words it would be "muffled mids and lacking highs". The sound seemed cloudy and adjusting from the inline controls seems to do most with the sub-woofer channel and hardly anything else with the other surround channels.
Please note however that I am not a proclaimed audiophile guy. You know type. The guys that can't miss an opportunity to point out how flawed your opinion is as they drone on about headsets that cost north of $500. The guys that will publicly demean you if you happen to mention you like the sound of "Bose" (not that I'm advocating Bose). I've got moderate experience with sound. My normal headphones at my computer are Sennheiser PC360. So that is what I'm comparing to on all fronts here.
Other Thoughts: G.Skill is doing some really good stuff here. I like that they are building a quality constructed product that looks nice. Granted if you prefer a more reserved appearance these might actually serve to do nothing but annoy you. Still they have the start to something pretty unique and competitive, they just need to progress the product and iron out a few things.
One thing I wanted to talk about is the whole multiple drivers per can vs a single driver. The argument is usually using a single larger higher quality driver will sound better than multiple smaller drivers. From my experience I tend to find this to be true and in reviewing these headphones that assertion only affirmed. Of course the counter argument always goes back to how do you simulate surround sound then without all the individual drivers placed at the correct spots and orientations around the ear? It's assumed because one has to layout multiple speakers throughout a room to create surround sound that the same approach would have to be done in headphones. This is a flawed train of thought. In every moment of our life while listening with our ears, we are always doing so with only 2 ears. What makes us able to determine the direction of the sound is simply minute differences in timing and strength of the same sound reaching our two ears at different times and levels. Our brains then take that and decode it so we can determine from which direction the sound came from. So if it only takes 2 ears to determine proper surround, then at the close distance of headphones on one's head it shouldn't take anymore than 2 drivers. If our brains decode for sound orientation, then we can simply use software/hardware to encode the sound delaying it in time and intensity between the 2 drivers creating a virtual surround sound.
I've tried 2 or 3 surround sound headphones now using multiple drivers. I've also used quality 2 driver headphones using virtual surround. Hands down every time the virtualization approach wins out. It's just the reality of the situation.
That being said, I think they should take this product and revamp it. I think they should figure out a way to reduce the size and weight of the product without sacrificing the quality and durability of the construction, switch to a 2 quality driver approach and develop a good virtualized sound software driver. Swap out the synthetic leather around the cup with a soft felt material that doesn't make your head hot. Also one last thing would be to reduce the binding pressure applied from the headband. It's just a tad too tight and probably the biggest reason why I find them initially uncomfortable when putting them on.