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Pros: When I was shopping for a video card to go with my new PC build, I wanted a video card that would last me at least 3 years, with the ability to run the games of the previous year at the highest graphical settings. The game I was basing my requirements on was Rome II Total War on a single 1080p monitor. And I couldn't be happier with my choice. I am able to run all the Total War games on high without any lag or stuttering. Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag runs at a steady 45-50 fps; all my simulation games such as FSX runs smoothly at the highest graphical settings--granted, that FSX is a CPU intensive game, so this observation really has no weight. I cannot comment upon first person shooter games such as Battlefield 4, Metro, Watch Dogs, etc because I do not play them; neither can I comment on its video editing abilities. So far, it has been able to handle any game that I have thrown at it--granted, I have not tried certain GPU taxing games such as Skyrim, Hitman Absolution, etc.
I choose the MSI brand for two reasons: first, I previously built a PC using the MSI 270X and was really impressed with its cooling and how silent it ran even under load. Second, my motherboard is the Z97 MSI Gaming 5 and I wanted to keep with the red dragon theme in my build--you cannot go wrong with a black and red theme light with white LEDs.
I think the only downside to its performance would be if you combined it with sub par PC components, such as an older CPU. I have a i5-4670K, SeaSonic 620W PSU, with 8 GB of RAM and a ASUS 1980X1080, 60 Hz, 2 ms monitor. The draw on my PSU under load has never exceeded more than 300W and I believe that it drew 300W only once. The temps under load are also very low--40C-50C; it idles between the high twenties and low thirties. This low temperature range could be due to my cooling configuration in my PC case (NZXT Phantom 410). I have dual 120 mm intake fans in the front, and single 120 mm exhaust fan in the rear and 2 140 mm exhaust fans on the top of the case--all running at the high RPMs. The MSI blade design can be attributed to the low fan noise of the video card's fans. Under load, I can barely hear it even though the case is at waist level about 2 feet away; at idle, you would think that it's not even working--I had to open my case and take a peek inside, it's that silent!!!
Overall, it is a good video card for $250 as offered by Newegg. An added bonus is the free Watch Dogs gaming certificate that they offer with your purchase. And since it is overclocked from the factory, you do not have to worry about extracting the most performance you can for the price you paid. In terms of overclocking, I cannot offer any feedback since I did not attempt to do so. I conclusion, for the price and performance it offers, you cannot get a better deal than the MSI GTX 760.
Cons: In my pros, I did not state its performance or lack of it on dual monitors or monitors with higher resolutions than 1080p. I will be adding a second monitor shortly, but probably will not be using it for gaming except for FSX. I guess the only concern using dual monitors would be the increase in temperatures since the video card has to power the graphics to two monitors. I know that due to its 2 GB VRAM, it limits its ability to smoothly project graphics on higher resolutions such as 2160p or 4320p (4K). You might be able to solve it with the 4 GB VRAM version of this card, but due to the lower bandwidth, it would be better to go with a GTX 770 or 780.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Originally thought about going for a higher watt PSU, but after reading articles and using various PSU calculators; got to love (though I really hate the misinformation factor) Google, I found that I really don't need a higher watt PSU. For those looking to gauge their builds with what they need, mine is as follows: i5-4670K CPU, MSI Gaming 5 motherboard, GTX 760 2GB, 120 SSD, 1TB HDD, blu ray optical drive, 2 140 mm fans, 3 120 mm fans, and a NZXT Phantom 410 case. My CPU cooling is the CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Plus.
Concerning Seasonic, I am totally sold on this manufacture. Previously, I used Corsair TX 650M, but had to return the first one due to it being faulty. The M12II worked right out of the box!!! Power is consistent and steady. It works like a charm. I think that everyone should make the move to modular simply for the sake of case management. And before you bring the question of price, I paid $90, so there really is no drawback.
Cons: The only "con" that I can think of would be running an SLI configuration. Even though it supports SLI, for me to run 2 GTX 760s I need an average of 550 W, which in my opinion, is leaving only a very constrained margin of overhead. I theoretically would like at least a 100W of overhead room. But realistically, I would probably never run an SLI configuration, so 620W is perfect for me. For a single GTX 760, I only need 440W.
Other Thoughts: This is the perfect product for those who build their own systems; really great for either either first timers or the experienced. And from what I heard/read, Seasonic is probably the best PSU manufacturer and I am glad that my experience is proof of that statement.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
Pros: Used it on a previous build. It's stable, works great for gaming and is a proven product. I honestly did not consider going the Windows 8 route simply due to the stability factor. This OS has been out for some time and has had most of the bugs sorted out. Some might argue against it in terms of future proofing. Since support for Windows 7 will completely end by 2020, I personally don't think anyone has to worry. I mean, I've had Windows XP on my old system for 10+ years and it still works!!! If you're not downloading torrents... you should be fine. For the mainstream user (casual browser/gamer) you really don't have anything to worry about. I plan to keep this OS until Windows 9 (fingers crossed, hoping it will be like 7 only better)
Cons: Don't really have any. I guess it probably would be the amount of RAM limitation at 16 GB, but really I think you would have to be hard pressed to find someone who even fully uses 8 GB
Other Thoughts: It's a proven OS. I've used XP, Vista and 8/8.1. Honestly I think for those who want just a basic OS without any of the "bells and whistles", Windows 7 is the best option. I really didn't like the tiles format on 8 (had a Windows phone and that was pretty good), but this is mainly because I prefer to have an uncluttered background. I mean I don't have a use for all the apps that come and really didn't fancy investing a substantial amount of time in setup up my OS. The only icon on my main screen in the recycle bin. In the same context, I really like the slideshow background feature of 7, so that was one of my main items for consideration.READ FULL REVIEW