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This review is from: EVGA 04G-1972-KR GeForce GTX 970 Superclocked 4GB 256-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0
Pros: Runs cool, high performance, Runs anything I throw at it.
Cons: Somewhat noisy, Coil whine.
Other Thoughts: I bought this card from that other online retailer who also sell books because every other model that I'd want is sold out everywhere. EVGA was not my first choice despite there good warranty policy. The primary reason for that is that their cards seem to have endemic coil whine. I had an EVGA GTX 770 that I sold and replaced with a Gigabyte GTX 770 for that same reason. As my choices were limited I thought I'd give EVGA another go. The card performs as advertised. I've been using DSR while play testing Wolfenstein: New Order and Tomb Raider 2013. I don't have the stats for Wolfenstein but here's TR.
GTX 970 Stock speed no further OC, (no tweaks)
DSR Res 2560x1440
Tres FX On
Min FPS: 24FPS
Avg FPS: 42
Hi FPS: 59
Tres FX On
Min FPS: 42
Hi FPS: 71
Avg FPS: 59
GTX 780 1080p res,
Min FPS: 42
Hi FPS: 62
Avg FPS: 59
That's what I can recall from memory. FPS was, as would be expected, better at 1080p with Tres FX off. I'll redo the benchmarks hopefully tonight and update this review.
Now, more on why I"m on the fence. I was able to do two things to reduce the fan noise. One was to use the quiet fan preset in Precision X. That runs the fan at 30% up to I think 60c. That keeps the fan noise inaudible in-game under most circumstances. Tomb Raider really works a graphics card though with Tres FX on. It heats up the card fast and the fan kicks in within minutes. It's the only game I have that can do that. I'm coming directly from a Gigabyte GTX 780 GHZ edition. There is no difference in that respect. After what I'd read about the 970 I guess I was hoping it would handle the game better. It does, don't get me wrong, but the game still works it hard.
The other thing I did was was to cap the framerate to 60 in Precision X. I believe that also helps but I did it mostly to try and eliminate the coil whine. It helped to reduce it but it is still there. In-game I don't really hear it but on idle I can. It is not as high pitched but I can still detect it. I might be able to live with it but I don't know. I have another 3 weeks to decide.
I went with the blower style cooler to reduce my case temps because I've moved the computer into an entertainment center behind a glass door. The first day in the cabinet with the 780 installed told me I either need to leave the door open during gameplay or change cards. I have a Node 304 case and the first gaming session in the entertainment center saw the entire case hot to the touch.
The blower certainly reduced the temps to what I was used to when the computer was out in the open. At most it is warm now.
So, I've resolved fan noise and the card itself resolves the issue of case heat. The only issue that I may not ultimately be able to deal with is the coil whine. Why EVGA? Why can't you produce a card that does not sing like a tuning fork? I could chalk up one card that does that to bad luck, but this is my second EVGA card. I don't think
This review is from: CORSAIR Hydro Series H90 High Performance Water/Liquid CPU Cooler. 140mm
Pros: Keeps things cool. Price.
Cons: Not sure about the stock fan. I don't like the db rating. It would be nice to have included an extra set of screws. No updated instructions for 1150 motherboards. Though not obnoxiously loud I can hear the pump when the case cover is off, but only when I am within a foot or two. According to others that goes away after a short while. I'll monitor that to see if it gets any worse. If not then I can live with it.
Other Thoughts: I bought this cooler a few months ago on impulse because it was on sale. I was skeptical about water cooling because liquids, electronics, and electricity don't go together. However, as I suspected, once a better unlocked i5 or i7 processor came along I would upgrade from my i5-4670 (non-K). I upgraded to an i7-4790K and was not sure that my Noctua NH-L12 would be adequate so I broke out the H90. Right away I replaced the fan with a pair of Phanteks PH-F140XP_BK. I did a separate review on those. Suffice it to say that they are quiet and move a lot of air in push/pull config. Corsair only includes one set of screws so after searching around a bit I found that they are #6 32x1x1-1/4. I went to home depot and bought a set that was 1x1-1/2 because when I test mounted the radiator with one of the Phanteks it did not look like the 1-1/4 screws would be long enough to reach. It turns out that 1-1/4 is long enough. After the 1st day of use I took off the whole system to redo the cabling and discovered that the 1-1/2 screws had gone into the radiator fins and bent them. No problem though because the 4 points affected are tiny and did not affect performance. I added an additional washer so that there was no longer any contact with the radiator when I remounted the system. Now on to some numbers. Sitting idle the lowest temp. I've seen recorded by "Real Temp" is 23C. Typically though I see between 26C-29C. Under load/Gaming the highest temp. I've seen so far is 56C while playing Tomb Raider with Ultra settings and TresFX enabled. I could not hear the H90 over the my Gigabyte GTX 780 GHz Edition's fans, though I could feel a lot of hot air from the card being exhausted by the Phanteks.That's impressive. Mine is a Mini-ITX build in a Fractal Node 304 case. I haven't done an Prime95 stress testing yet but that's next. Perhaps tonight. I'll come back and update this review after I do that. Installation was relatively easy. The only problem I had was with the backplate. I'd read in other reviews that it fits 1150 motherboards but at first I did not think that it fit. It is plastic so it has enough elasticity to contort with out bowing out to get the pins into the mounting holes. I didn't use the foam pads that are supposed to sit between it and the bottom of the motherboard because they were too thick. Turns out I didn't need them anyway. After just now 3 days use I am very pleased with the performance of this cooler. I think it is well worth the price, especially if you can get it on sale. One last thought. I cleaned of the Corsair supplied paste from the water block and just used a generic Arctic Thermal 5 paste that was in my supplies that I got from C0mpUSA years ago.
Full System Specs:
i7-4790K 4.0 GHz
8GB GSkill Trident 2400 RAM
Gigabyte GTX 780 GHz Edition 3GB
Seasonic G-Series 750W 80Plus Gold PSU
128GB Samsung SSD for OS
1GB Western Digital Caviar Blue 2.5in for Games
Fractal Design Node 304
Pros: The processor is fast and runs cool. Also, will handle up to PC3 1600 RAM
Other Thoughts: At the beginning of the year I had this cpu in my mini-itx gaming build as a stop gap before deciding on which i5 or i7 to ultimately go with. I had planned to use it in another build for an HTPC. However, now it is going into a mini-itx gaming build for my daughters. While I was using it it was paired with a Gigabyte GTX 770 and GSkill Sniper 1866 RAM. The RAM was downclocked to 1600 and it worked fine. So the memory controller can handle RAM up to that speed. I tested the system with BF3, BF4, and Max Payne 3 and it performed very well. While staying cool. My daughters will be playing the SIM 2, 3, & 4 mostly so that will not be a challenge for this processor. This will go into system with an AsRock H81M-ITX motherboard, EVGA GTX 750, 8GB of the same 1866 GSkill Sniper RAM.READ FULL REVIEW