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AMD FirePro W7100 100-505724 8GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 Full height/full length single-slot Workstation Video Card
  • neweggOwned For: 1 month to 1 year

5 out of 5 eggs Here's a novel concept: A review about the performance of the card. 09/20/2015

This review is from: AMD FirePro W7100 100-505724 8GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 Full height/full length single-slot Workstation Video Card

Pros: This card makes moving around large 3D CAD assemblies in SolidWorks so much easier, it seems subtle and you stop remembering you have a powerhouse at your workstation until you try another computer again.

For the price, a very good card. I consider this at the point of "Above Average" in the realm of pro graphics cards, with the W5100 probably being dead-average in the spectrum.

I came across the Newegg AMD Firepro page after clicking on an ad and then realized that none of the reviews so far actually said anything about the performance of this w7100 machine!

I'm somewhat partial to AMD FirePro over NvidiaQuadro because I'm always impressed by their value proposition. Seems like more bang for the buck by a strong margin. I also feel they're better for what I spend so much time on - 3D solid modeling. Which is ironic, since it seems like Nvidia's marketing team has most of the 3D CAD software vendors in the bag for exclusive deals. Regardless, AMD works just fine with SolidWorks and Creo, I've found.

I also have extensive experience using middle of the road (or lower) Quadro cards in both workstations and their mobile K-series pro cards in mobile workstations (used for years at a time over the last 5 yrs). Again, they're fine, but I'm always underwhelmed by their value proposition when compared to AMD.

I used to do a lot of workstation spec'ing and assembly, which I don't have to explain to this crowd. But over the last half-decade or so, I really haven't done much more than spec my Intel processor, and to add SSD as boot drive, to the IT dept. But this latest workstation I decided to take the reins and make some strong suggestions, which were obliged. One of those was the W7100 card.

Head to head benchmarking (can't remember what that benchmarking program is called...) for 3D CAD of similar cards usually shows the AMD card running away with it. When you then consider the price differentials, it's a no-brainer for me - better performance for substantially smaller fraction of the cost. It's hard to compare the core architectures, IMO, but you know when a W5100 is supposed to be competing with a K1200 because of similar memory size & interface - and AMD seems to almost embarrass Nvidia in these automated benchmarking YouTube videos I've seen.

So, in conclusion, my workflow has been improved by this card. I don't usually think about it, but that's the point - It's not lagging or causing parts to blow their polygons all the time, so you don't think about it - and that's on some rather large assemblies I've been working on (at least a thousand indiv. part numbers, not counting duplicates).

Cons: When I first started using this, I noticed a quirk - if an assembly's mates exploded after replacing a part, and so suddenly that part decided it was going to locate a thousand feet away from the rest of the assembly for some reason (Some of you will know what I'm talking about), then the surface painting would suddenly be ruined and look completely stupid and unusable. The trick I finally figured out was to get the far-flung part back where it goes, and everything suddenly rendered perfectly again. Apparently the driver has separation anxiety and doesn't want parts to get estranged. But keep your parts reasonably mated, and you're fine.

Also, often in SW2015, in drawings, the views will disappear suddenly until you save the drawing again. This isn't the card's driver though, as it does it in my Nvidia mobile workstation too. It's a SW defect for 2015 - they always fix or make a bunch of new features for annual release, and then a bunch of old stuff that wasn't broken suddenly is. Take the good w/ the bad I guess.

Other Thoughts: Really good pro card, at least for mechanical engineering software. When compared to Quadro, the value propositions are uncomparable.

LIAN LI Black Aluminum PC-C50B Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs Love this case 05/17/2011

This review is from: LIAN LI Black Aluminum PC-C50B Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case

Pros: This case looks great, is extremely well engineered, and I'm impressed, for the most part. Very happy with this case.

Cons: The long cables from the front USB ports is ridiculously stupid and obnoxious. They must have tried to help consumers capitalize on an extremely brief moment in computer-product-time where motherboards came out with USB3 ports on the back plate only, and no USB3 headers on the board? Did that ever happen for like 3 months in 2010? If not then I can't fathom an explanation.

Other Thoughts: There's a cross brace that connects front to back of the case, and the HDD and ODD cages hang off of this. When you unscrew it, install hardware, and then screw it back together, make sure you don't screw the front screws in too tight, because they will make outward dimples on the front panel of the case. Mine aren't noticeable unless I'm looking for it, but if you're the type to care about cable management, then you care about how your HTPC looks, so remember this tip.

Antec BP550 Plus 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Intel Haswell Fully Compatible
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Bought because it's modular, because it's Antec (seems to be a decent brand), and because of the ratings and price-point.

Good PSU, quiet, somewhat energy efficient, comes with all the different connectors I could imagine needing (most of which I don't).

Recommended for anyone wanting a value-priced MODULAR PSU.

Cons: Non-disconnect-able cords still a little too bulky/long. I realize that this PSU will usually be used in a ATX or mATX case, and is therefore appropriate, but would be nice if cords could be less bulky and shorter for cases like mine where I'm trying to cram hardware into an HTPC case.

Other Thoughts: No regrets


Kris B.'s Profile

Display Name: Kris B.

Date Joined: 05/30/05

  • Reviews: 36
  • Helpfulness: 18
  • First Review: 03/19/09
  • Last Review: 09/20/15
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