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Pros: - Butter smooth 144hz on an ultrawide!
- 2560x1080 requires a less expensive video card to hit your 144fps target than it would on a 2K or 4K display.
- Viewing angles are surprisingly good for a VA panel. It's very obvious there's a sweet spot in the center but it certainly could be way worse.
- It's way less ugly than the Predator monitors, in my opinion.
- Healthy amount of options in OSD menu, including to the ability to change the center LED to different colors and pulsing/breathing/on/off/etc.
- Movies in their original formatting/aspect ratio look awesome on ultrawide displays.
Cons: - GHOSTING, GHOSTING, GHOSTING. I debated taking off more eggs for this. Hardcore FPS gamers beware, this monitor is a blurry mess. I haven't owned the Z35 or anything so I can't make a direct comparison to that, but I have owned multiple 144hz gaming TN panels before this one. This was a huge downgrade in the amount of blur and ghosting. How noticeable depends on the game. Doom for example, has pretty complex screens, plenty of motion blur and a color palette that blends together. It's not too bad there. Other games like TF2 with simple, hard geometry and plenty of contrasting colors - it's impossible to miss immediately. It's a bit painful.
- I don't know if this issue is related to Displayport, video card or monitor issue, but powering off the monitor causes Windows to behave as if the monitor is completely disconnected. Once you power it back on, you can see all your windows on other monitors have been squashed onto it as if this (main) display had been disconnected. This wasn't happening before, but I also wasn't using displayport before. I'll do more experimenting with power saving options and cables to see if I can safely say this is a flaw with the monitor. If you're not or never will be using a multi-monitor setup, this isn't an issue.
- 21:9 support in games is limited. Unreal Engine 3 games are a simple console command away from it working correctly if it's not supported out-of-the-box. Some people want stuff to work perfectly with minimal effort, this monitor probably isn't for them.
- Pixel density isn't as great as other monitors out there, obviously. I care a lot more about refresh rate and motion blur personally, but I can easily understand the love for high PPI displays when I use them.
Other Thoughts: Overall I'm happy with the monitor. It looks brilliant besides the ghosting and blur. I will probably replace this monitor once 144hz ultrawide monitors mature to the point where they're nearly blur free like my previous TN monitors.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: -Like everyone has been saying, it's dead silent. Fans are completely off when the card is below 67c. Playing less intensive games like TF2, the fans only occasionally turn on so I'm sure for even older games this card will remain passive even during gaming. That's just plain awesome from a card of this performance.
-Good price for great performance, this is probably the new 8800GT that Nvidia has been shooting for.
-The backplate is very good at keeping the card rigid.
-I haven't experienced any of the coil whine some people are talking about, even when the card is stressed. It's a nice relief from my previous card.
-The card comes with both a "Gaming" and "Silent" overclock and underclock presets in GPU Tweak. I can't really comment on this cards overclocking ability but I pushed it past the "Gaming" preset quite easily.
Cons: -There's a power LED next to the 8pin power connector. It's rather bright and some people might find it annoying at night in an otherwise dark room. Not worth subtracting an egg and probably not an issue for those who don't have windows on their case.
-If flashy IS what you're looking for, the STRIX logo on the side of the card does NOT light up like the rivaling MSI Gaming 970. This isn't a con in my opinion but worth mentioning since some people might be disappointed.
-It's a somewhat large card both in width and length. It comes almost as close as my Prolimatech Megahalems to touching my case door. Not a problem for me and most people but something to consider if you're planning on putting this in a micro or ITX build.
-GPU Tweak isn't very good compared to the cards rivals, MSI Afterburner and EVGA Precision. If you're just looking to set the clock frequencies, there's nothing really wrong with GPU Tweak. However, if you use the program more in-depth (e.g. tweaking the monitor graphs) you'll quickly realize it's not quite as mature as the other two. Of course there's nothing keeping you from using the other ones so there's no need to deduct an egg. It'll be a sad day if any of the brands decide to start limiting their software to only their line of cards.
Other Thoughts: If you're struggling to choose between the MSI Gaming card and this one like I was, just pick whatever your gut tells you. They're both similar and fantastic cards. They're both quiet and run fanless when under low load. They both overclock great. You can't really go wrong.
While nearly identical, the STRIX 980 heatsink appears to be a tad larger than the STRIX heatsink on this card. I wish ASUS would have just given this card the same heatsink. I would assume it would help the card need the fans even less often as well as keep the card dead silent under heavy overclocking. Don't get me wrong though, the cooler on this thing is still fantastic and more than enough and if you're interested in extreme overclocks you're probably not planning to keep this thing on air anyways.
Pros: Reaches advertised speeds just fine with AHCI and SATA6GB/s. I get to my Win8 logon screen before my motherboard fully initializes my USB and turns on my keyboard...
This is also probably one of the few times I've really liked software that came with hardware. Samsung Magician is genuinely useful and easy for a handful of things.
Cons: Blue screened on me once. Checked for a firmware update in the Magician software and sure enough there was one.
Other Thoughts: This has to me addicted to drive speed now. I got to play with an Intel NUC with the SSD over PCIE. Kind of want to upgrade to that but it's almost complete overkill.READ FULL REVIEW