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Pros: Benchmarks are up or better than a GTX 970. Actually has true 4GB RAM on a 512-bit bus unlike the 970's split 3.5 +.5 fiasco on a 256-bit. You have AMD's Mantle for games like BF4 which gives me a solid 15-20 extra FPS.
This XFX is reference design, so you can easily water cool.
Cons: Hot! Hot! Hot! Idles in my Phantom 210 case at 41 C. I've got 5 Corsair Air series case fans: 2 pull, 3 push, plenty of air flow and it still runs really hot. If the fan goes over 50%, it's extremely loud.
Other Thoughts: Returned my 970 in favor of this 290X because of Nvidia's false advertising regarding the 970. I used to be entirely for the green team, but a company with shady business practices like that will never get my money again.
Slapping NZXT's Kraken GPU bracket and a Corsair H50 to liquid cool this volcano.
Pros: Completely blows my old rig out of the water. Upgraded to this board from an ASUS M4N68T-M, which was much needed. So many USB ports on this board I don't know if I'll ever use them all. 2xUSB 3.0 on the back IO panel with an onboard port for your front USB 3.0 hub (if your case supports it). I'm still rocking a Phenom II 970 (quad) in this mobo, though I've got the option of upgrading to the FX series if it's ever needed. The audio quality is ear melting compared to a standard mobo's onboard.
Cons: Absolutely none. Wish it was the 990 chipset, but I've got no qualms with the 970. Runs flawlessly.
Newegg put the mobo box in the bottom of the Newegg packaging with the protective cushioning on the top, leaving the bottom completely unprotected from shipping bumps and mishandling. Luckily, everything came out fine.
Other Thoughts: Great for gamers on a budget. I wasn't looking to spend more than $125 on a mobo, and for $99 + free shipping, it was a no-brainer.
(2nd MSI product I've ever purchased and so far I'm really impressed. I hope MSI can maintain this level of quality. Added a MSI Twin Frozr III GeForce GTX 660 OC edition (which I picked up for $175, $155 after rebate) and every game I've thrown it's way, it eats it and spits it out in perfect, steady, resolute detail.
Pros: Plays every modern game I've thrown at it flawlessly. Power consumption is fairly low; only uses 1 6-pin connection. Idles at 25C. Highest I've pushed the temp is 46C. Fans are EXTREMELY efficient and quiet.
Caught this on sale for 30% off + additional $20 after rebate. Perfect for low- to mid-budget gaming builds. Will recommend this card to friends and family. I'll probably toss another one of these into an SLI setup if more power is ever needed.
Cons: None.READ FULL REVIEW