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Pros: When I bought this card this was the least expensive 7850 available.
The cooler was incredibly easy to remove, just 4 screws in the back.
7870 is an extraordinary card. It lags behind the 7950 a little bit in terms of performance, but that the 7950 is $50+ more dollars. A slight overclock with MSI's afterburner program will put this card on par with the 7950.
Cons: Ugly blue PCB. When not on sale price is the same as other cards.
The packaged software is useless. I tried to use it and it tells me I can't. If you want to overclock this card, or any 7950 for that matter MSI has an excellent program called Afterburner. It's available free and is much better than what HIS gives you. Also I don't recommend overclocking this card unless you have an aftermarket cooler.
I'd only recommend getting this card if
A. This is the cheapest 7870 available and
B. If you plan on adding an after market cooler. Like water cooling.
Other Thoughts: Let's face it. Every single 7870 out there is pretty much identical, except for the cooler. This card is equipped with probably the worst I've ever seen. It's a dingy little aluminum cooler with a 50mm fan and an enormous shroud. Also there's nothing cooling the ram. Currently on Newegg there is a 7870 made by Asus with the excellent Direct Cu II cooler, I definitely recommend you take a look at that before making your decision on a purchase.
But yeah, 7870 is the way to go in terms of sub $300 cards right now.
Pros: Just ran HD Tune Pro
Got an average speed of 349.5 MB/s
Max of 399.7 MB/s
Min of 246.0 MB/s
I also have a Samsung F3 the average read of that is about 130MB/s
Cons: Personally this drive is a bit expensive, and I wouldn't buy one unless there was some kind of special going on.
Other Thoughts: It's a pretty good drive. You don't notice that it takes 2 seconds for Chrome to load until you realize it should take less than 1.
The first time I turned on my computer with my OS loaded on it I was really surprised by how quickly my windows loaded.
I'd recommend one of these to a friend with little hesitation.
Pros: Price. I got it on sale for a really good price and so can you!
I've got a really good signal off of a Linksys WRT54G2.
The card seems pretty stable. I haven't randomly disconnected like other people have been stating. My ping in World of Tanks usually runs from around 90-200s. 200s only when other people are using their computers.
When I first encountered the Encore brand a few years ago I was a little on the fence about getting it. I've never heard of it before and I was pretty skeptical since the products were so inexpensive.
But I took the plunge and now I swear by it. I have a router, and a PCI slot card that they no longer make and they have both worked flawlessly for years. I'm sure this card will be the same so I definitely recommend this card.
Cons: None that I can think of so far. Windows 7 didn't automatically install the drivers but that's what the CD is for. No reason to knock off an egg.
Other Thoughts: I'm not sure what other people what other people's problems are with the drivers, but this is what I did.
1. Installed the card into a free PCI-E slot - doesn't matter what length.
2. Turned on the computer and popped the CD in.
3. Start -> Right click My Computer -> Properties -> Device Manager.
4. Under Other Devices you'll see Network Controllers. Right click that and click Update Driver.
5. Click Browse my computer for driver software.
6. If you're running a 64bit system Find the path: (CD Drive) D:\Driver_Utility\ENEWI-1XN4x_2XN4x_Driver_Utility_W4EN101104\RTL8192_CE_Driver\VistaX64
If you're running a 32bit system you need to find the x86 folder.
7. Keep clicking yes or next until it's installed.