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Pros: - Power - I noticed that when sitting at the desktop the card sat at around 200MHz meaning not much power use. It does require an 8 pin power plug. Card came with a dual 6 pin to single 8 pin adapter tho but no SLI bridge.
- Fans - The fans are pretty quiet. This model can shut the fans completly off when not needed. In my case the card ran at about 34C at the desktop and had no issues with the fans off. I was able to do anything I wanted including watching movies without having them turn on. When gaming I just set a fan profile that had them run at about 30-40% and that held the card around 60C.
- Performance - It crushes everything without really trying, as expected. Of course if you are running 4k res and whatnot then you will prob already be aware of the performance you can expect.
- Design - It's metal, feels sturdy. It has an open end in case you wanted to aim some case fans at it to provider some extra air. It lights up too, prob some software to change colors from the default white but who cares. I'm more interested in the graphics it produces looking pretty then the card looking good.
- Weight - It feels solid, cause it's metal, but it doesn't feel overly heavy. While not light, you should be able to get away without having to add additional support to prevent card droop and slot damange.
- Coil Whine - I'm posting an update on this issue. I still feel that in this day coil whine should not be an issue for any graphics card unless you are paying $5 for it. When I first installed this card it had A LOT of whine. Really loud whine that could be heard outside of a closed case. I mentioned that this could be a serious issue if you are going to use one of these for VR and needed those high fps rates. Because a few sites recommended it I swapped out my power supply with one made by the same company as the GFX card. One of those G3's of the 650 watt persuasion. It was said that having a PS with tight tolerences and low ripple can go along way to eliminate this noise. I can say that this worked for me. I have to put my ear really close to the card to hear any coil whine (at all) while doing 200fps in Doom 2016. I just wanted to put that out there for anyone is also having the same issue and is looking for a resolution. I now pretty much have no issues at all with the card except for it not being free :)
Cons: - Coil whine issues were resolved with a new power supply that had low ripple.
Other Thoughts: - Mine came with the "latest" firmware to fix the fan profile issue (I use precision X to set my own curve anyway). It also came with the new heat pads to provide better cooling. EVGA has a webpage you can type your card serial into to check your card.
- Did I mention coil whine already???? Because it can sound like cats dragging their claws across a chalkboard if your power supply doesn't have tight tolerances.
Pros: - Lightweight - The shroud on the card is plastic and not metal. It feels fine to me tho. In fact I prefer plastic over metal. The lighter the card the less issues you are going to have with card droop over time. Metal might "feel" better but there really isn't a need for it.
- Shroud design - I like that the shroud is open on the end instead of being sealed. This allows for the air from the case intake fans to blow directly on the heatsink at the end of the card. This card doesn't have a blower design which is designed to vent air out by the ports. Shrouds like this basically cool better but the hot air is left in the case. Something to think about if you want to use this in a small case.
- Fan noise - I use precision X with the fan curves set to "quiet" and it's basically silent. I used to use a lot more aggressive fan curve to keep the card cool but found I didn't need to. With good case ventilation this card will be able to give you sustained 80% GPU usage without going above 40% fan speed.
- Chipset power - It's a 1060. This card is the equivalent to a 980 (not TI) in terms of performance. I get good performance with this paired with a i7-6700. I'm easily able to run Dark Souls 3 @ 1080 with maxed settings at a solid 60fps with around 70-80% gpu usage. I get 120+fps in Doom with maxed settings using Vulkan.
Cons: It wasn't free.
Other Thoughts: My last card was a GTX660 so this is definately better then that. I'm happy with it and so far haven't had any issues.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Internet bios flash - You don't have to be running windows 10 NSA edition to stay up to date. You will need to use a FAT32 thumb drive to get that to work tho, but it's really easy.
BIOS based case and CPU fan speed controls - You can set them just like you'd set gpu fan speeds. It's really handy to help with keeping the fan noise under control.
BIOS Boot Manager - I scoffed at this at first but I really like it now. It allows for you to assign names to drives and then choose which drive to use to boot when the system is turned on. No longer have to deal with software boot loaders, I currently use it to switch between 2 SSD's, one with Win10 (for gaming only!) and one with Ubuntu MATE for actual computer use. I have plans to throw in a Win7 SSD at some point too and make it triple boot.
Intel NIC - They are all I use, all the time, in every machine. Realtek are ok, but I've had many randomly die that I don't rely on them. This board has 1 Intel and 1 Realtek. Why it's not just 2 Intel is beyond me, but I only really need 1 anyway.
Power consumption - Most ppl don't care, but I do cause I pay the bills. This board with 3 SSDs, no external GFX and I7 6700 uses less then 50 watts when stress testing the CPU :) The CPU scales all the way down to just a few watts (800mhz) when idle which is nice for power savings. With a GTX 670 in it I've had it go as high as 170 watts. Granted the GPU maxes long before the CPU so it's not at full bore. I'm easily running the whole system with a 500 watt PS even tho nvidia says they recommend 500 watt min for the card. I will be going to 1060 mini at some point in the future tho which uses even less power then my old 670.
Cons: Memory capatibility - I coupled this board with 32GB Gskill Aegis ram and was having some serious instability issues. The MB support 2133 ram and that's what I had. I found tho that I had to reduce the ram down to 1066 to make it stable which is a serious reduction in speed. I have noticed that there has been a lot of bios updates for ram compatibilty so I'm hoping this will be addressed in the future and I can switch the ram back to full speed.
Windows 7 compatibility - I get it, MS is trying to get rid of the best OS they have ever/will ever make. MB manufacturers shouldn't help them tho. There are USB 2.0 ports on the board but they don't work like normal ports so using them while doing a Win7 install is a pain. There is a BIOS option to help with that but it's a double-edged sword. Turning it on makes the mouse work, but will mess up a USB CDRom drive/thumb drive. In the end I wound up plugging in a SATA CD drive so I could get the OS installed.
Display port - Will just call this one a gripe since the board doesn't have one. I know it's a Mini-ITX but at this point in the game they should pretty much be on boards. Not having one was the only real negative I had when I was choosing this board. I'm running an external GFX so I have one, but at some point when I move to a new board I will be left without one.
Other Thoughts: I like this board. Like I said, it should have display port and they need to increase their RAM compatibility. Other then that, it's been working just fine for me. I haven't have any crashes or instability issues, outside of the RAM timing I mentioned. It's a good board :)READ FULL REVIEW