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This review is from: Nokia Lumia 520 Unlocked GSM Windows 8 OS Cell Phone - Black
Pros: I purchased this phone because I was pushed into a pool, my Galaxy Note 2 was in my trunks pocket, and well it didn't survive the plunge. I got this phone on sale for $60 and was expecting a sluggish device in both UI, feature set, and browsing speed. I was pleasantly surprised by most accounts.
UI - WP8 runs surprisingly well on this phone, even for it's budget specs. Aside from app load times, the phone moves seamlessly through the UI and even multitasks well. This is my first Windows Phone, and although this is just for temporary use, I found it amazingly easy to get accustomed to.
Features - Being a budget phone there are some sacrifices here. No LTE, but HSPA+ or whatever it's called on At&t I'd say the speeds are tolerable. Camera is rather lackluster, no flash 5mp, small lense. The biggest surprise to me was that there are absolutely no Google apps, and not that many good apps at all anyway. The big ones are there (FB, Twitter, Instagram (beta)). No real Snapchat app (use 6snap if you're looking for one). But I guess if this isn't your permanent phone you can get along fine knowing that the main ones are there.
This phone also does have a MicroSD slot I have a MSDHC 32GB card and it works fine.
I found it rather annoying that, like Google with GMail, with this MS phone you need to route everything through Outlook. I didn't feel like having my gmail forwarded to Outlook, so I just pinned the browser shortcut to GMail on the Start screen.
Battery life has been pretty good, you can easily get a full 12 hour day out of this phone with moderate app/browsing and brightness set to medium.
Again, I got this phone on sale for $60.00, and coming from a 5.5" Galaxy Note 2 to this 4" WP8 I've really kind of enjoyed it as a pleasant change of pace so far.
Cons: While I have been impressed in some areas, there are definite weak points about the phone-
Camera: small lens, no flash, no front-facing camera, you get the point.
Apps: Actually lack thereof. No Snapchat app, WatchESPN, HboGO, Hulu. I have most of my music on a MicroSD card. There are NO decent music players that are just geared toward playing local music. The default Nokia app is geared much more toward streaming and downloading, you can't create local playlists or anything like that. There's Xbox Music, which plays local files, but again lacks many of the convenient features of Android's default music player. That has definitely been a point of frustration.
No Google Apps - Not even Gmail.
IE Mobile - Browser is garbage, there aren't any big name alternative browsers i.e., Firefox, Dolphin, Opera, etc. Browsing with IE takes me back to days when I used a Blackberry Bold and thought I was cool.
Other Thoughts: I purchased this phone as an At&t Go Phone, not completely unlocked as a straight Nokia device. So, I can't comment on whether it will work with any carriers outside of At&t.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: I purchased this card before the prices jumped everywhere, so at $399 this card was a steal. Price to performance ratio *at least* on-par with GTX 780.
My experience with the card has been great so far. I have to preface with the fact that I game at 1080p, a lot of people on forums said this card was overkill and I can tell you that they are 150% wrong. If you game at 1080p and like to crank the settings up as high as playably possible (who doesn't), then this is an excellent option.
My pc specs are in other thoughts, but I haven't experienced any of the problems prior reviewers stated. When I first installed the card, I was completely focused on creating a fan profile that wasn't too loud (it's a jet engine at anything about 70%) and kept the card cool. By keeping the fan at a constant 55%, the card never got above 58C for me. So I decided to OC it a bit. I'm sure I could have pushed the core clock higher, but for me I'm stable at 1050 / 1300 instead of stock 947/1200. I increased fan speed a little bit to 60% and I never break 65C. I didn't monitor power consumption at all, because that doesn't matter to me.
I was coming from 2 HD 680's in crossfire and this is leaps and bounds better than those 2 cards. Before I was running Battlefield 4 on low/med. With the 290 I run it all Ultra 4x msaa (2x msaa in multiplayer). I believe my cpu is bottlenecking me in multiplayer, but my fps never dips below 45-50 frames and that's specifically in 48 player or larger games on outdoor maps like Golmud Railway. It maxes out Far Cry 3 well, as well as Bioshock Infinite around 60-80fps. Just to clarify again this is at 1080p.
Cons: I could say the one con is obviously the reference cooler, it does blow the hot air outside of the case instead of swirling it in like most 3rd party board coolers will. This lends itself well to multi-card configs, but it is relatively loud. I don't have the case right next to me in my set-up so it's not bothersome. I can see how it would be to some people who strive for a quiet pc and that's why I'm listing it as a con. I personally don't mind the sound. To me it's like having an Aston Martin with a quiet exhaust, if I have the power I want to hear it to some degree. But yeah, just try to keep the fan 60 or under and it's no louder, in my opinion, than my hd 6870 crossfire setup.
Other Thoughts: For my fan profiles I used afterbuner. It luckily doesn't mind that this is a Gigabyte card. My first profile is for general pc use: 30% fan, with stock clocks. My second profile is for gaming: 60% fan 1050mhz core clock, 1300mhz memory clock. I could push these higher but I'm satisfied with the performance / heat production right now.
I just ordered Arctic MX-4 thermal paste from the Egg and will be replacing the stock TIM with that to see if that makes a difference in temps at all. If it does I will add another review with the results.
AMD FX-8350 @ 4.4ghz (air-cooled: Hyper 212 Evo)
2x 8GB Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR3-1600
750GB WD Caviar Black HDD
1100W ABS Majesty PSU
InWin Dragon Rider Black Tower
(Replaced 220mm side intake fan with 4x 120mm fans)
Pros: Runs Cool.
Power usage less than competitor Nvidia cards.
Great performance for the money, upgrading from my evga 8800GT (See other thoughts)
The XFX Double Lifetime Warranty is great.
Cons: Catalyst Drivers aren't great.
I have an Xclio A380 Tower, which has a tool less case design, and the card doesn't work with the clips for the pci / pci express slots, but I can't remove an egg for my case choice.
It's given me an issue using HDMI, when connected to my Samsung 23" monitor, text and icons look pixelated, and in games and videos the black levels are noticeably bad. I've tried reinstalling the drivers, and using the newest 10.12 drivers, and buying an entirely new hdmi cable. Nothing worked. But using DVI everything looks fantastic.
Other Thoughts: Coming from an 8800GT purchased when it was an equivalent price, this is a huge step up. Playing Black Ops on the 8800, I couldn't run it at 1920x1080 on high settings and especially not with aaf or aa enabled. So, I upgraded to this card, and wow..such a huge difference, Playing with everything cranked and getting over 100fps constant. CS:S is almost a constant 299fps.
Also ran the benchmark for Final Fantasy XIV, scored about 5600 with my 8800. Ran the benchmark with the 6870, scored 14,800.
Games like Dirt 2 run well over 100 fps using Direct X11.
Xclio A380 Tower
650 Watt BFG Tech Power Supply
AMD Phenom II X4 955 OC'd 4.0GHZ
4gb G.Skill DDR3 1333 Ram
Gigabyte GA-MA770T AM3 Motherboard
750GB Western Digital Caviar Black HDD