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SAPPHIRE DUAL-X 100370L Radeon R7 265 2GB 256-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 CrossFireX Support Video Card
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: - Cost
- Performance
- Low Noise (my CPU fan is louder than the GPU)
- Works

Cons: - You buy more games to see how good they look?

Other Thoughts: This is a huge step up from my Quadro FX 4500 (yes a workstation card so no gaming on that).

I've had this card about 3 weeks now. I've gone back and played through Crysis 1, 2, and 3. Here are my settings for each of those games and the overall performance (all games ran with V-sync enabled):

Other computer Specs that you may be interested in:
Gigabyte Z77 mobo
Corsair 16GB 1600MHz
Windows 7 Ultimate
The latest non-Mantle driver

1920x1080, MAX settings, MAX AA
60fps solid through 99% of the game (hard to believe that game is 7 years old now and still looks great)

Crysis 2:
Extreme Settings (2nd to highest), avg of 55-60fps with only slight drops to low 50s during extremely open environments.

Crysis 3:
High Settings, MSAA x2
I can tell the card starts to struggle with C3 (if you really want to say "struggle"). On average with these settings I saw fps dip into the low 40s during very open areas with a lot going on. For the most part the game stayed at 48-52fps during my playthrough. The dips weren't noticable enough for me to care. It may mean more in a multiplayer setting, but for campaign I was satisfied with some more fidelity over fps.

Haven't had the time to play much else, but you hopefully catch my drift. I've found that this card seems to do well as long as their aren't too many particles on the screen (such as dynamic rain, tons of bullets flying, grass blowing), so this card may have a hard time with TressFX, but I honestly haven't tried it. Don't plan on 4k gaming unless you want to play pong in 4k. This is strictly a 1080p gaming card.

Overall this card is a steal at $150. I would certainly recommend. The main draw for me was the 3 monitor support. I only have 2 at the moment but I'm waiting on my monitor to go on sale to buy a third.

I don't mine so I can't comment on that aspect of the HW.

If I didn't have BF4 for console I would try that. Looking forward to some more PC gaming.

TP-LINK Archer C7 AC1750 Dual Band Wireless AC Gigabit Router, 2.4GHz 450Mbps+5Ghz 1350Mbps, 2 USB Ports, IPv6, Guest Network
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: -Cost
-Good range on both 2.4 and 5GHz bands (see more thoughts)

Cons: -GUI seems to lack good statistics
-Occasional problems on 5GHz (see more thoughts)

Other Thoughts: I've had this router for about 3 weeks now, so I feel I've used it enough to do a fair and honest review.

To start, this router offers a lot of bang for your buck. At $100, to get external antennas for 5GHz and 802.11ac is a pretty good deal. Now for the record, I don't have any AC clients. But I didn't really buy it for that. I figured it would be nice to have if I acquired one in the next 2 years (on average how long I keep a router). So, sorry I can't comment on it's AC performance.

MY USAGE/PERFORMANCE: Here are the following devices that I keep connected on my network, and how they are connected:
1 Desktop PC - 5GHz
1 HTPC (always on and streaming) - wired
1 CableCard adapter (3 tuner) - wired
1 Xbox One - wired
1 Xbox 360 (as a WMC extender) - wired
1 Tablet - 2.4/5GHz
1 Work laptop - 2.4/5GHz/wired
2 Cell phones - 2.4Ghz
1 5 port Gbit Switch - wired
Router FW - 3.13

The HTPC and tuner are always running. Never any problems on the wired connections. I don't usually do file transfers via wirelessly, so I don't know each band's max throughput via wireless data transfer. As long as I get my max bandwidth from my ISP for my wireless devices, I'm happy.

The only thing I've noticed is that sometimes I drop my 5GHz band and my clients have a difficult time connecting back. Discon, recon fixes. It's just a few of my devices though. Haven't been able to pinpoint it yet. Not terrible though. FW may fix this down the road. This also has a Qualcomm Atheros chipset, NOT a Broadcom so there could be issues depending on the client chipset. I've heard this is mainly an issue with AC, but has supposedly been fixed in FW.

RANGE: I noticed a huge improvement over my old Netgear WNDR3400v1. Has to be at least a 2-3x improvement for both 2.4 and 5GHz bands. The auto-channel feature seems to work very well when trying to get me on a "quiet" channel. My house is roughly 2300sqft. The furthest distance from the router is a straight line 35-40ft through probably 4-5 walls. InSSIDer (google it if you don't know what it is) give my 5GHz network a link score of ~60 from that max distance. Not great, but I still get my 30Mbps that I pay for from my ISP. 2.4GHz actually seems worse, but I believe it's mainly due to contention from neighbor networks. I still get sufficient bandwidth on 2.4GHz from 30-40ft away from the router.

FEATURES: This part here is sort of a love hate section. I really like that you have all of these features, but it feels like there are a few missing. TBH, I don't really care about setting up all of these different features, but the one thing I really wanted was a good statistic graph. This one does stats, but it only displays in table form, and it only shows the clients IP and MAC. Better than nothing, but I really with it would at least show the machine name. Remembering a bunch of hex numbers isn't how I remember my machines.

Overall a great router. Gave it 4 stars due to the lacking stats and irregular disconne

TP-LINK TL-SG1005D 10/100/1000Mbps Unmanaged 5-Port Gigabit Desktop Switch, Power-Saving
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: -Cost (I got it on sale)
-Doesn't get hot

Cons: None I've experienced

Other Thoughts: I've had this for roughly 3 weeks. Upgraded my wired network through the house from 100Mbps to 1Gbps. I use this in a closet where I connect my HTPCs/extenders (house is wired with CAT5).

This switch is connected to a port on my router, the NIC on my main HTPC, and my Xbox 360 (used as an extender). Never seen any issues with this switch. Don't even think I've powered it off since I put it in.

It's paired with a TP-Link Archer C7 router. I doubt manufacturers make a difference, especially for the switch, but just thought I'd throw that out there for those curious.


Steven B.'s Profile

Display Name: Steven B.

Date Joined: 01/18/11

  • Reviews: 16
  • Helpfulness: 8
  • First Review: 05/24/12
  • Last Review: 04/14/14
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