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MSI Z97S SLI Krait Edition LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

4 out of 5 eggs MSI Krait Edition Z97 is a nice looking budget board 03/27/2015

This review is from: MSI Z97S SLI Krait Edition LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: Offers a good selection of options for $130.00.
Awesome black & white color scheme.

Cons: No optical audio port.
Only 6 sata ports.
I\O plate is a very generic plain stainless.

Other Thoughts: Seems to be a very generic board with a very nice color scheme. Seems to be lacking some of the options I've become used to with all the mid-high range boards I've used over the last 10 years.

Very disappointed that there's no optical audio port. I had just become accustomed to having one on every board I've used and didn't even think to investigate before purchase.

Matches perfect with my Corsair 500R total black\white setup. 4790K & DDR3 2400 running great.

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Phanteks PH-F140XP_BK 140mm PWM Case Fan
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs Phantek 140mm PWM Fan 03/16/2015

This review is from: Phanteks PH-F140XP_BK 140mm PWM Case Fan

Pros: high quality 140mm for <$20.
white blades (matches system theme).
very quiet. at full power just makes a low, deep, "whoosh". still barely audible over other components.
moves quite a bit of air. noticeably more air pouring out of the back now vs the Corsair fan it replaced at same speeds.

Cons: ~$20. still haven't found a fan yet that really seems to me worth more than $10-12.

Other Thoughts: there are lots of "cheap" fans floating around and some get some awesome reviews around the web. i just don't want to be doing trial-and-error through multiples so i try to go with a known quality brand at a medium range price.
this one is a good choice.

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PowerColor PCS+ AXR9 290X 8GBD5-PPDHE Radeon R9 290X 8GB 512-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 CrossFireX Support ATX Video Card
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: 8GB! One of the few >4GB GPUs to be found.
Very effective 3 fan cooling. Doesn't pass 55° while heavy gaming.
Maxing out every game's settings with AMD's VSR 1440>1080p resolution and getting steady 60fps.
Fairly quiet fans.
TressFX for Tomb Raider.
Is a decent looking card from the side window. Pretty beefy looking but still kinda cool design. Glad manufacturers are putting more into the aesthetics of their GPUs now.

Cons: Huge. Not exactly a con for me, it fits nicely in a Corsair 500R but does cover a motherboard fan port I would've otherwise used.
Catalyst does not allow 2160>1080p VSR, currently stuck with 1440p. Not really a con for the card itself but for the software holding it back?
No PhysX.
Would like it to idle a few degrees cooler. Am used to ~25° and this stays ~35°.
Price is too high. Would only purchase these "open box" or bigtime sale.

Other Thoughts: I was very reluctant to purchase an R series card after all the reports of extreme heat generation and power usage. Don't believe the hype! Fight the power, uhhh. Maybe it is just PowerColor's PCS+ cooling but this card stays very near to the same maximum temps my 4GB Windforce 3X 770 did, ~50°.

If you're having problems with low vram errors with a 4GB card or just want to run Shadow of Mordor at it's highest possible settings then don't doubt the 8GB R9.
Have had no driver issues, like many complain about AMD, or any problems with the 10 or so games I've run so far. Gets 10-15fps more than the 770 it replaced but am still limited to the 60hz of my displays.
On to search for a 120hz, >1080p, 27"+ display.

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Marcus A.'s Profile

Display Name: Marcus A.

Date Joined: 02/12/05

Achievements:

  • Top 1000 Reviewer
  • 100 Reviews
  • Reviews: 107
  • Helpfulness: 56
  • First Review: 10/07/07
  • Last Review: 02/26/15
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