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G.SKILL Ares Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-1866C9Q-16GAB
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: - Low profile
- Looks awesome
- Stable once you get the settings right

Cons: - Took me over 40 hours of tinkering with BIOS settings to get working correctly, almost was going to RMA this RAM

Other Thoughts: I've purchased RAM before and I've done my homework into getting into the higher speeds. With anything over 1600Mhz, you are getting into the "overclocking" zone of RAM. I have a custom built new PC with the following specs:
Gigabyte 990-FXA-UD3
AMD 1045t CPU overclocked @4.6Ghz (stock 2.7)

I previously owned (and still kept) G Skill 1333Mhz 8GB Ripjaw series RAM. I also own 1066Mhz G Skill RAM in my Toshiba Qosmio gaming laptop. It is the best RAM I've ever owned in both fields. With that being said, when upgrading my desktop, I decided to go with G Skill again.
The motherboard I just bought, the 990-FXA listed above, it's maximum supported RAM speed is 2000Mhz. I wanted to get get four channels at 16GB (and yes, I actually use the extra memory). Unfortunately there aren't many kits out there in 4x4 at 2000Mhz. Most of them are higher speeds and I didn't want to risk getting something faster and having issues underclocking it. And 1600Mhz just seemed kind of a low upgrade from what I had, and I wanted some future proofing as well as headroom for overclocking my CPU more. I decided to get this 1866Mhz kit.

At first, I was stoked to use this RAM. But quickly I learned it would be EXTREMELY DIFFICULT to configure. I mean, I've owned RAM before, overclocked it, and the works, this RAM gave me alot of issues almost to the point of returning it. I sat through HOURS of memtest, memory diagnostic screens, and benchmarking before I got this RAM stable. Before that, it was constant blue screens and I couldn't play BF3 more than five minutes without my computer blue screening. For anyone using an AMD system and similar motherboard, this is the settings you want to use.
- Keep the speed at or under 1600Mhz, yes, it's nonsense this RAM doesn't really run stable at 1866Mhz, but that's more so a downfall of AMD and higher speed RAM (also if you want to run at those speeds you can't really do it with four channels, only two on AMD)
- Increase your voltages: CPU PLL Voltage (this HAD to be raised on mine), Northbridge, and RAM voltage, this RAM is stated to run at 1.5v... I had to increase it to 1.675v to run stable.
- Timings: 9-10-9-28 / 2T, haven't successfully gotten better timings yet without blue screens :\

This RAM was very troublesome for me. If you are on an AMD system, honestly I think you're better off going with a 1600Mhz set unless you are willing to configure this RAM to run 100% on your system and you want RAM that will last year years down the road. I knew this going in, but I thought because of my successful overclocking methods (as well as overclocking my previous GSkill RAM) I thought this RAM would be great. I was a little let down. I'm still considering calling G Skill to see if they have any recommendations for better performance/timings.

Overall though, good product, still G Skill, no sticks were actually bad according to my test. Since I've gotten it stable it's worked great for all my high performance usage.

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NZXT CB-LED10-WT Sleeved LED Kit - White, 1 m
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs Sexy case lights 12/30/2012

This review is from: NZXT CB-LED10-WT Sleeved LED Kit - White, 1 m

Pros: - Adjustable levels of brightness
- On / Off power switch
- Great price
- High quality cable, easy to hide/bend around corners

Cons: - Double stick tape could be a little stronger for mounting in case

Other Thoughts: This light set is absolutely awesome. I got it for my NZXT Phantom full tower ATX case. I cut out the side and added a nice acrylic window to the case and wanted some new lights to set it off. I've had lights before including red/blue, colored fans, blacklight cathodes, and etc. from other companies. This blows them out of the water. The white lighting is absolutely stunning and makes my case look very professional and clean, especially with my water cooling setup! These lights are great, and the three settings are all noticably different than one another. Get sick of them during the night and/or they're too bright? There is an off button on the back.

I also love the PCI slot switch, I think it's cool so I always have easy access to adjust the lighting. My only petpeave is the lowzy 3M tape, came unstuck in a few places but not really NZXT's fault. I got the 1 meter kit (3 feet) and it was plenty enough to run through a full tower case around the window and accent everything nicely. Don't want to over do it with lights, this is just right!

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GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD3 AM3+ AMD 990FX + SB950 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

5 out of 5 eggs Love it, best motherboard I've bought yet 12/22/2012

This review is from: GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD3 AM3+ AMD 990FX + SB950 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

Pros: - Great quality board in a slick color
- Great heat spreaders
- Plenty of room, works great for SLI, fits well in any ATX case

Cons: - wish the clear CMOS jumpers were more accessible, minor complaint
- Wish it had PCI Express 3.0 slots but that is a shortcoming of AMD chips

Other Thoughts: This is my second Gigabyte motherboard. Got it for $110 for a black Friday deal and it was a total steal. This board kicks so much you-know-what that I can't say enough good things about it! Gigabyte makes great motherboards and I love the BIOS on these for overclocking. I happen to love the side-style SATA ports, I prefer them over the traditional top-down one's. 6GB sata, back SATA ports (hacker-style), USB 3.0 ports, dolby digital outs, high quality input/output sound,
Definitely not a "budget" board. This is a serious motherboard that will last year at least a couple years even if you are into gaming. I hope to keep it for a very, very long time.

I don't know, it's a motherboard! If you get a good deal on it grab it up, this is probably one of the best AMD boards you can buy in an excellent price range. Slightly dated now but still among the better motherboards out there. My only warning - WATCH WHAT RAM YOU BUY. Speeds past 1600Mhz on any board is considered "overclocking", and certain AMD chips, especially Phenom II chips, will not run at speeds past 1600Mhz stably.
I bought 1866Mhz RAM and was forced to underclock it. Stick to a 1600Mhz kit and you should be OK. This is a minor petpeeve of this board and kind of a marketing gimmick. It basically means it CAN support higher speeds but don't depend on it too much. For best results, go to Gigabytes website for this motherboard and look at the list of tested/approved RAM.

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Edward B.'s Profile

Display Name: Edward B.

Date Joined: 11/29/09

  • Reviews: 5
  • Helpfulness: 3
  • First Review: 07/25/10
  • Last Review: 12/30/12
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