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This review is from: VisionTek 900331 Radeon HD 5550 1GB PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
Pros: + Affordable upgrade for most older OEM systems that only have onboard video.
+ Runs most games for people who don't mind playing with less than the "ultra" settings turned on.
+ Backwards compatible with PCIe 1.0 x16 slots (verified by email from VisionTek).
+ Fan and heatsink are adeqate for the card, and the fan is nice and quiet.
Cons: - It isn't the latest and greatest card. This is a poor-man's "high end" card... (Not a "con", really).
- * Instructions for installation seem to be written rather poorly. (See below) *
Other Thoughts: If you can save up for a better card, or just a whole new system, do it. There isn't a real good reason to get this if you can afford something better, but it WILL play all the latest Blizzard games without sacrificing too much for what it is worth.
I honestly don't know what people are talking about with regards to stuttering/jumpiness, but then again I'm not trying to play anything spectacular with this card. It fits what I need it for, at least.
* How I got my card to work (Continued from "Cons") *
I was having a problem installing the drivers for this card on "Windows 7 Home Premium OEM", so these instructions are only what I did to get the card working properly. Windows would not automatically recognize the AMD drivers that I downloaded for this card, and always installed the generic windows video drivers. You don't need to disable or stop Windows from doing this, but you will need to make sure everything else you normally do to install a new video card. (You should be sure to download the drivers for it, if you can, before installing the card directly from the AMD web page).
If you have "on-board" video you have to first uninstall it from the Device Manager, shut down the computer, then put in the new card. When you boot up your system and before the Operating System loads, you might have to disable the on-board video in the BIOS - (Check to make sure if this is the case for your motherboard, the one I installed this card into did not need this step).
If you have a version of Windows that automatically installs drivers on boot, just let it install the generic video drivers. You should then bump up the resolution a notch or two, so when you install the AMD drivers you can see the whole menu and are able to click on all the buttons. After the resolution is adjusted, install the program/drivers from the download or the provided disk.
After the drivers are coppied to your hard drive and the program for the graphics software is done installing, it might give you an error message like it did for me. The error message I got was that the actual drivers for the device couldn't be installed, because Windows automatically installs the generic drivers on boot.
At this point, go back to the Device Manager, right-click on the video card and select the Update Drivers option. You should now have the option to browse for the drivers yourself, for your specific type of system (32 bit or 64 bit, etc.), from the location they were installed to.
Windows should then recognize the video card, and your computer will restart with the new drivers loaded. I had a hard time finding this information, just thought I'd share if anyone else was wondering.
Pros: 27" of wholesome goodness. No dead pixels.
I got the luck of the draw with taking a chance at buying this refurbished product, but I was not disappointed at all. This screen was worth every penny (so far, anyway).
Though I've only hooked it up as of today, I played a few games and watched a video or two on it just to check it out. It looks great and doesn't seem to have any mechanical problems like a broken base or anything like that. It tilts on the base/stand just fine like it is supposed to.
Thank you Asus for refurbishing something so it works, and, thank you NewEgg for timely shipment and careful packaging. I can't dock an egg for UPS's service, because I do have a complaint about that, at least.
Overall, a great product. Very happy customer!
Cons: - Didn't come with a cable or two, but missing cables are easy to replace. People (at least in my case) usually have extra cables lying around. At the worst, they're not that expensive to pick up if you don't have one lying around. Can't dock an egg for something trivial like this, it still functions just like it is supposed to.
- Did not come with the monitor documentation. Not a big problem, since I usually throw most of that stuff away anyhow. It isn't like I can't find a manual for it online, so no egg docked for that.
Other Thoughts: I know this isn't NewEgg's fault, but the guy that delivered the package from UPS knocked on the door once, and when I was about to answer the door he was coming back from his truck with the package. I was amazed to watch him as he took the package and sort of "hefted" it onto my porch! Like, what the hell, seriously? Who does that?
THANKFULLY NewEgg provided ample packaging which kept it safe, but it is raining here right now and that monitor wouldn't have survived getting soaked. It looked like the packaging could have survived a little dampness, but prolonged exposure to rain would have ruined it.
I'm just glad I was here today when it arrived!
This review is from: ASRock A785GM-LE AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G + SB710 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
Pros: It is great for the application I needed it for. I had a bunch of parts and just franken-puter'd this thing together, and this board made it all work great.
The original board died on me, and was from an OEM/prefab computer anyway. The power supply died, and I lost the video card I had in it. Swapped a few parts in, and it turned right on like nothing ever happened.
I think I am now starting to see ASRock as more of something I can look into for future builds. I can even upgrade this thing to something a little more faster as it is also AM3 compatible.
Quite a shame this thing is out of stock as of right now, but if they ever get any in, you can build a fairly descent gaming rig, and still play most of today's popular games. Maybe on medium settings, but yeah that all depends on what you can spend to fit into this thing. I got a ~1 GigHz quad-core in it from the OEM. (Shhh, don't tell them).
It's got a few options to choose from, since it is an older board, but that is what a year or two does to technology. Games are still catching up to the hardware involved, but a lot of these older things are proven to work well. This is one of those things.
Cons: None so far, after about a year or so of having this thing. I mean, the on-board video isn't anything beyond browsing the web or whatever, it can run a few games on low setting... But it works just the same, and it is only an on-board video card.
Can't say I could honestly dock an egg for that with the price I paid for it. Fairly cheap, but well worth the price.
Not AM3+, but you can't see that far into the future.
Other Thoughts: I'd buy it again if I had to, but some of the new shiny stuff coming out is worth waiting for.READ FULL REVIEW