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EVGA 04G-P4-2978-KR GeForce GTX 970 4GB 256-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 SLI Support FTW ACX 2.0 Video Card
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: This GTX 970 card from EVGA has a considerable factory overclock in place, 1216 MHz base, 1367 MHz boost, and 7010 MHz effective memory clock--reference spec is 1050 base, 1178 boost, and 7000 memory. It is cooled by two extremely quiet fans.

Physically, it was surprisingly a smaller and slightly slimmer card than the Radeon 7950 that it replaced. It requires 2 6-pin PCI-E power connectors.

This is an extremely fast, very quiet card. My case is a Rosewill Blackhawk, and I got used to hearing the fans on the 7950 ramp up when under load. In the same case I don't notice the 970's fan sound at all.

I am using a 1080P monitor. I can play World of Warcraft at "ultra" detail with both SSAA and CMAA antialiasing with only very rare drops below 60 fps. I can also run at twice the resolution using DSR (3840 x 2160) with automatic downscaling instead of using AA, and framerate never falls below 60 fps.

Despite the initial concerns over nVidia having published the wrong specs, this card still represents tremendous value for the money.

Cons: No real cons yet noted. I did have some initial difficulty which is now resolved, see "other thoughts," below.

Other Thoughts: After initial installation, I was getting horribly distorted sound during game play. I also noted hearing fast continuous clicking sounds coming from the graphics card.

I resolved this by replacing the PCI-based sound card I had been using with a PCI-e sound card.

Since changing to the PCI-e sound card, no further clicking from the graphics card has been noted, and sound is crisp and clean with no distortion, even when the graphics card is heavily loaded.

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SAMSUNG 250GB USB 3.0 Portable SSD T1
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

4 out of 5 eggs Good SSD, with limitations 03/19/2015

This review is from: SAMSUNG 250GB USB 3.0 Portable SSD T1

Pros: Very small, attractive, well-designed unit. Tiny--smaller than you'd think it would be, about the width of a credit card and about half an inch shorter. Made of a very lightweight plastic.

Large capacity and reasonably fast when connected to a USB 3 port. Does have backwards compatibility with USB 2 but only at USB 2's slower speed.

I tested the unit at 280 MB/s read and 302 MB/s write on USB 3. Using with a USB 2 port, speed is reduced to 35 MB/s read and 33 MB/s write.

Built-in data encryption helps protect your data--important, as this drive is small and would be all to easy to slip into a pocket without anyone noticing.

Cons: There are some "cons" with this unit, though perhaps nothing too serious, depending on your desired use.

The drive includes a small USB 3 cable and has a USB 3 micro-port on the drive itself, which seems potentially fragile to me. I would prefer a built-in USB connector.

Only supports Windows and Mac--Linux not supported at this time.

For fastest possible speeds, requires USB 3 with UASP support and Windows 8+, as Windows 7 doesn't support USB 3 with UASP natively. Note that the unit does work with Windows 7, at slightly reduced speed compared to Windows 8 or higher.

The unit feels quite fragile--I don't suspect it would be likely to survive rough handling.

Other Thoughts: This is a great product for someone that needs a very portable and very fast external drive to use with Windows or Mac systems that support USB 3. If you are needing something you can slip in a pocket, look no further.

Just be careful not to lose the cable or break the connector.

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TP-LINK Archer T8E AC1750 Wireless Dual Band PCI Express Adapter IEEE 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11b PCI Express Up to 1.3Gbps Wireless Data Rates
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: less than 1 day

Pros: Small size and easy install.

PCIe x1 interface for desktop systems

3T3R MIMO technology means 3 radios and 3 external antennas for faster connections.

Dual-band for operation with ac wireless routers as well as a, n, g, and b equipment as well

Cons: No serious cons noted. A minor irritation is no automatic driver download and install, but the install is fast and easy from the included resource CD. The driver can also be downloaded online.

Other Thoughts: For the purposes of testing, I tested this unit alongside TP-Link's AC1200 USB adapter.

When both units are in the same room with the router, they both connect on the 5 GHz band at the maximum speed provided by my router, 877 Mbps.

When the adapter and the router are four rooms away from each other, the difference provided by the antennas really shines through: while the USB adapter's connection speed drops to 290 Mbps, the AC1750 is still connected at 877 Mbps with occasional drops to 700 Mbps. Given the number of walls in between, that is impressive.

On the 2.4 GHz band, the desktop adapter can connect at 450 Mbps, where the USB adapter is hardware-limited to 300 Mbps. Both adapters hold their maximum connection speed on the 2.4 GHz band for the entire length of my house.

Conclusion: if you need to connect a desktop system with an available PCIe x 1 slot to an AC wireless network, this adapter is capable of giving you maximum speeds with very impressive range.

While this adapter is not inexpensive, the flexibility it gives you in placing your computer anywhere in your home without having to run wires or sacrifice bandwidth earns this adapter its five star rating. For its capabilities, I find its price quite reasonable.

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James P.'s Profile

Display Name: James P.

Date Joined: 01/12/05

Achievements:

  • Top 1000 Reviewer
  • Reviews: 86
  • Helpfulness: 45
  • First Review: 04/12/08
  • Last Review: 04/06/15
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