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Creative Sound Blaster Z 70SB150000000 5.1 Channels 24-bit PCI Express (x1, x4 or x16) Interface Sound Card
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: I'll state right up front, this blows away any sound card or onboard motherboard chipset I have ever owned or heard. Absolutely crystal clear and the greatest 5.1 sound separation between the channels. Excellent

Cons: Jacks are not labelled. Why can't F, R, C be used so you don't have to use the manual. sheesh

Other Thoughts: This is installed on an ASUS 990FX R1 motherboard, AMD 8350 and 32GB memory. I uninstalled the RealTek sound from device manager. Uninstalled the drivers. Downloaded the lastest drivers from the SB website. Restarted into bios, disabled the onboard sound. Restarted, then shutdown. Installed the SoundBlaster Z, swapped over the speakers cables and restarted. Installed the new drivers from the website. Perfect install. Use the SB app to tweak the sound to your liking. What sweet sound.

Musicians' Choice NC180 Headphone Plus Detachable ANC LINX Microphone LM1000 Bundle - Black
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: No real pro's. These headphones are not that great.

Cons: Average to disappointing sound. You really need to tweak the heck out of the equalizer to get a somewhat descent sound. If your device does not have a good equalizer I think you will be very disappointed. The ear cups are small. I don't think I have big ears and they do not fit comfortably over my ears. My ears become sore after a short time.

Other Thoughts: I think you can do better for the same price. The website makes these sound like an exceptional headphone but in reality they are just average sounding.

MSI X79A-GD45 Plus LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: The MSI X79A-GD45 Plus comes with want a builder needs. 6 very high SATA III cables, the case back plate, a NVidia SLI cable (Cross FireX is supported as well), 2 motherboard to front panel connectors, a driver and utilities disk, certificate of quality and stability, quick install guide, Software and Application user guide, Mainboard user guide, and finally a very nice quality Intel X79 Overclocking guide. The box comes quite full.
There is a lot to like about this motherboard, but unfortunately it does lack some advanced features seen on other manufacturer boars. The motherboard itself is extremely well built, all black with 4 dimm sockets and 3 PCIe connectors in gray making it an exceptionally good looking board. The back panel is well laid out and includes the old style keyboard and mouse connectors, a nice to have CMOS reset button, 6 USB 2 ports, 2 USB 3 ports, a single 1000mBit LAN jack and the 7.1 audio connector.
Also built in are 2 SATA III and 4 SATA II connectors, which limits your use of the faster SATA III hard drives and SSDs. The board is somewhat odd in that it provides 3 power connectors; a 24 pin main power connector, an 8 pin CPU power connectors, and the addition of a 4 pin power connector to provide power to the video card (this uses the old 4 pin molex connector used to power the older hard drives in the past).
A multi-bios switch is also provided in case the main bios gets corrupted, allowing you to recover the system. The manual is quick to point out the bioses do not have an Auto Recovery feature and you will need to keep the bioses up to date manually.
Sound is provided by the Realtek ALC892 audio chip including Lossless HD and Sound Blaster Cinema sound. Using my 5.1 Altec Lansing surround speakers the sound provided was close to amazing. Very nice indeed.
A front panel USB 3 connector is provided. Instead of this connector being placed near the front middle of the board it is located at the front bottom corner. This may cause some USB 3 front panel cables to come up on the short end, so be aware of this limitation.
A few interesting additions are also provided. An on-board power button is located on the lower edge of the board along with an Overclocking Genie button next to it. One press of the button will lock the board into overclocking mode another press will get you back to normal. The button should be pressed only with power off. Two additional jumpers (JCOLD1 and JCOLD2) are included for those using a nitrogen cooling system, which will be appreciated by those hard core overclockers.
The motherboard also has 8 DIMM sockets which can be populated and used in dual, triple and quad channel modes. The manual covers how to configure your memory for each mode. Several LEDs lights are placed around the board for status indication. The manual covers each LED for you. A TPM module, Turbo connector and Voice Genie connectors are available, but not tested as they are optional and not include

Cons: Well, here we are with a premium priced board which feels like a bare bones board. 2 SATA III ports and 2 USB3 ports really is skimping for the price. Take off the decade’s old keyboard and mouse ports and add a couple of up-to-date SATA III and/or USB3 ports.

Other Thoughts: The board runs very cool which is an additional plus, and very stable as well. You’ll have to weigh the price for the stability but lacking the ports you need for a truly fast system. Overall a very good, high quality built motherboard. On a scale of 10 I would rate the MSI X79A-GD45 Plus an 8. Remove the SATA II’s add 4 SATA III’s, and 2 more USB 3 port and you’ll have a total winner.


David S.'s Profile

Display Name: David S.

Date Joined: 10/09/02


  • Top 1000 Reviewer
  • 100 Reviews
  • Reviews: 112
  • Helpfulness: 51
  • First Review: 04/08/05
  • Last Review: 07/17/14
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