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Creative Sound Blaster ZxR PCIe 124dB SNR Sound Card with 600ohm Headphone Amp and Desktop Audio Control Module
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: The sound is incredible, and im not switching from on-board audio, im switching from an X-Fi Fatality Champion card, which was a wonderful card during it's 8 year lifetime.
Using the AKG 701 headphones I can distinguish sounds that I couldn't with the previous card and that's no small thing.
I miss the front panel of the previous card but the Volume Control Module of the ZXR makes up for it to some extent.
Its very well built, the control knob has a great feel to it and its very precise and sensitive. The incorporated stereo microphones are a big plus and you can plug two headphones for comparison purposes.
The software installed easy and worked fine without any issues....pretty basic compared to what the previous card had though....oh well.
Swappable op-amps is a great feature to adjust the "voice" of the card to personal taste.

Cons: No Alchemy and no EAX support despite the fact that there are EAX and Alchemy logos on the back of the box.
I sent an email to customer support asking about this but I got no answer.
The connector cable of the Volume Control Module while very good quality, could have been a bit longer. Its barely enough for me and my PC is close to the KB.

Other Thoughts: Its very hard to make a decent review for a sound card, there are so many variables in the chain: the recording, the player used, the headphones/speakers, and last but not least our subjective ears and mind perception.
For the first few days I used this card I didn't like it very much because I was so used to the way the previous card sounded, and it was a wonderful card indeed.
After giving it a couple weeks of heavy testing I love this card, for music listening its a definite improvement.
What I noticed is that the good recordings sound better with the ZXR but the average and bad recordings sound worse than the X-Fi. This is particularly noticeable with the AKG 701 headphones. The Sennheiser HD 280 are a lot more forgiving.

Its sad that EAX is not supported anymore, it was a great technology. According to Creative themselves EAX is "deprecated" but I don't understand how a technology can become obsolete when there is no new technology that can do even remotely what EAX could do.

Contrary to what they claim, SBX and Dolby are good for movies but NOT for games.

There are motherboards that claim to have top sound qualities including swappable op-amps...cool but don't forget you are paying at least $150 extra for this feature and when its time to change the motherboard....you have to pay again if you want good sound.
With a soundcard you just re-use it in your new rig.

READ FULL REVIEW
Corsair Vengeance K70 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Black - Cherry MX Red (CH-9000011-NA)
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Excellent type feeling and an impressive good quality overall. I was a bit reluctant to buy this model because of the red color, but im happy with it, has a very pleasant look.

Cons: No full documentation in the box, no documentation on Corsair site, quite a letdown especially on this particular keyboard that has a "mysterious" Bios switch with 5 positions. Also worth noting that Corsair has downloads on the support page for all K models (k30,40, 50, 60, 90) but nothing for the K70.
Volume control is badly thought/designed, the actual roll button is situated between two edges and that makes it harder than it should be to operate. On the Logitech 510, the whole button is operational not just the center part like on the K70.

Other Thoughts: I love the typing feel of this keyboard but its loud.
As for the non-documented switch near the place where the cable connects to the keyboard:
The switch selects between different poll timings (1,2,4,8) with 1 being the fastest and it has a "Bios" position for compatibility with older keyboards.
Depending on the polling mode selected, your operating system might not "like" the keyboard and the scroll lock led will start flashing. When this happens, the keyboard will still be operational with the exception of the windows-key disable button which wont do anything anymore. The solution to this is to turn off PC, move the switch to a diff. position and try again (sadly it wont work while the pc is on).
Disabling Logitech gaming software could also help with the compatibility issues.
One last thing: the so-called "reactive" mode (led lights on the key you press and fades away after) .....it might look cool in a very nerdy sort of way but the wear and tear it puts on the leds and the electronic components will shorten the life of your keyboard.

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Logitech M570 910-001799 Black 1 x Wheel USB RF Wireless Laser Trackball
  • Owned For: more than 1 year

Pros: Its the best gaming mouse money can buy. I started using this type of mouse about 7 years ago, i would never go back to standard mouse type again.
Comfortable and relaxing to use, almost feels like using a joypad.
Once you start using these, you wont go back to a standard mouse.

It requires regular maintenance (few secondss to remove the ball and clean the three supports) but its more than worth it.

Cons: Very bad microswitch quality.
I have owned many of these (both wired and wireless), bought from Newegg and local store, and they all without exception broke in the same way: either left or right mouse button wouldnt work properly anymore after less than 6 months.

Other Thoughts: If you use them lightly they will last long, but if you are an everyday gamer (3-4 hrs daily) they will not last 6 months, lmb or rmb microswitches will fail.
If you are a gamer, NEVER BUY THIS MOUSE WITHOUT AN EXTENDED WARRANTY.

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Katz B.'s Profile

Display Name: Katz B.

Date Joined: 02/10/07

  • Reviews: 8
  • Helpfulness: 5
  • First Review: 04/26/10
  • Last Review: 09/01/13
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