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Pros: Upgrading from an old Radeon HD 4770. My motherboard only support PCI Express 2.0 (not 3.0) so this GTX 560 is about the best I can find on Newegg. It's benchmarking (using 3dMark) at about 2x the performance of my old 4770 so I'm pretty happy, especially at a cost of $109 shipped.
So far I've run Battlefield 3 and Mass Effect 3 on it and I'm getting smooth gameplay at 1680 x 1050 with the highest quality detail settings.
Under load the card runs at about 75-80 degrees C. I can't really speak to the fan noise of the card because the stock AMD CPU fan is so dang loud that it drowns out any other case noise.
The card does require two 6-pin PCI-E power connectors. My power supply only had one, but I had an extra 4-pin to 6-pin adapter and that worked fine. The manufacturer recommends a 450W power supply, but mine runs fine with a 400W power supply.
I haven't experienced any driver crashes or "pink screens" that some of the other reviewers below have. Maybe Nvidia's latest drivers fixed the problem, or maybe I just got lucky on got a good card.
Cons: I thought the card was DOA at first because all I got was a black screen all through boot up. The computer would start, Windows would load (I could hear the starting sound), but my monitor said it wasn't receiving a signal. Turns out that the DVI cable I was using with the old 4770 just wouldn't work with the GTX 560. When I swapped it with a new DVI cable everything worked. Strange.
It's not really the fault of card, though. I only mention it on the off chance that someone else runs across the same issue and reads this review.
Other Thoughts: My system consists of:
AMD Phenom II X4 945 3.0Ghz 95W CPU
ECS Black Series GF8200A (V1.0) Motherboard
2 x 1GB CORSAIR XMS2 DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
2 x 1GB G.SKILL DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
Western Digital Caviar SE16 250GB SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
ASUS 18X DVD±R DVD Burner
FSP Group ZEN 400 400W Fanless ATX 2.2V Power Supply
Pros: I bought this power supply in April of 2007 while building a passively cooled silent system. It has worked flawlessly since then.
I'm no longer running a silent, fanless system. In fact, I've replaced virtually all the major hardware components since 2007, but this power supply remains.
To give you an idea of what kind of load the power supply handles, I'm currently using it with:
* AMD Phenom II X4 3.0Ghz (95W) CPU (stock HS/fan)
* ECS GF8200A motherboard
* 4 GB DDR2 800 memory
* Radeon HD 4770 PCIe video card
* 16x DVD-R
* 250 GB Western Digital SATA II hard drive
* 500 GB Seagate SATA II hard drive
* Four USB devices (scanner, printer, wireless keyboard/mouse, wireless NIC, USB hard drive)
* two 120mm case fans
Cons: Kinda pricey.
Other Thoughts: It's expensive, but it's been rock solid reliable for me-- not to mention dead quiet!
Now that I'm back to running a traditionally cooled (read: loud) system I'd probably go with a cheaper fan-cooled power supply today. But if silence is golden to you then this power supply is worth the extra cost.
Pros: AM2+/AM3 support is a big plus. Yeah, it's limited to 95W processors, but AMD has released 2.8Ghz and 3.0Ghz Phenom II X4s so you won't be for want of speedy processor options.
It autodetects everything. No need to do any digging in the BIOS to make things work. (see Cons below of the exception).
Cons: The latest BIOS still defaults to AHCI rather than SATA, which will cause blue screens of death in Windows XP. Perhaps not a con for many (most?), but if you're running XP as I am you need to make sure you change this setting.
Apparently, you can't adjust any of the CPU settings without a "Black Edition" processor. This means no tweaking FSB or vcore voltage. If you want to overclock this is not the board for you.
Other Thoughts: As I just installed a new Phenom II X4 3.0Ghz 95W and another couple sticks of memory, I figured I'd come back and post an update of the review I wrote last year. I haven't found any problems.
For reference, I am using 4GB of DDR2 800 (four 1GB sticks, two Corsair, two G.Skill). I have not tried DDR2 1066. I'm also using a Radeon HD 4770 video card, a 250GB Western Digital SATA II hard drive, and a 500GB Samsung SATA II hard drive.
The board doesn't have all the bells and whistles, but it fits my needs just fine.
Display Name: William A.
Date Joined: 05/21/02
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