Date Joined: 09/24/08
Pros: It maybe a refurb, but when it arrived it came packaged safely with just the laptop and power supply in a brown box. No fancy packaging included.
I was worried about spending this type of money for a refurb, but glancing over the laptop I find no flaws or scratches. It looks brand new.
No dead or stuck pixels.
No items inside the laptop like I have read in other refurb reviews that the SSD or RAM were missing. All is here as advertised.
Getting a GTX980m at this price point VS. your typical GTX960m or 950m. Performance is awesome at 1080p and the GTX980m does have headroom to overclock from what I have read. Using Fan controller software even helps with cooling if you want to be brave and overclock.
G-Sync does provide a great experience if you drop below the refresh rate of the monitor. Although not true desktop G-Sync, it's more like AMD's freesync in which uses software to utilize adaptive refresh rate. Still a step up from tearing nonetheless.
Great IPS screen and rumors of being overclockable refresh rate to 100Hz from 75Hz easily.
Great backlit keyboard chicklets. Wish it had the anti-ghosting keyboard like the newer Asus laptops though.
Saved $1500.00 from the original price point in my neck of the woods.
Cons: Sound. While its good, it doesn't compare to my old G74sx with THX sound. Even some owners have complained about imbalance of sound coming from main speakers and mini sub. Have to scour to find proper audio drivers to alleviate issue. I thought I read the headphone jack supports 680 Ohm cans since it had a built in audio amp but don't have a headset that could confirm that.
Non-User serviceable battery unlike my old G74SX. I had to take one egg away for that one. That's a no-no for any laptop. This is not a tablet. At least I could replace the battery in my G74SX when the time comes, however surprisingly it's still going strong.
Although this does have a M.2 slot, it is not for NVME drives from what I read. Just regular Sata 6 (AHCI mode) M.2 type. I have read some have managed to get Nvme working, but only at Pci_e Gen 2.0 x4 not the capable Gen 3.0 x4 for higher bandwidth. Plus if you only get a laptop with a 2.5" SSD, Asus does not include nor sell a brace separately to hold the M.2 drive in place.
Overall Review: I would definitely recommend saving some money and picking up a refurb. I'm glad I pulled the trigger to get an very capable GPU for gaming and G-Sync to boot for the usual cost of a lower end GPU that only wishes it could keep up with a GTX980M. Sure it's not the full core 980 that came out shortly after for laptops but you'll be spending a lot more even if you can find one used or refurb. And it's replacement the GTX1080 would be sweet to own but I couldn't even imagine how much for a laptop GTX1080 would cost. Even with the laptop's cons, it's still a very good deal if you want to be able to game at 1080p with very high settings. It is a worthy upgrade from the G74SX that has endured the test of time with it's GTX560m.
Pros: It looks so good in person
Hits the speed as advertised
For fans of RGB only
It's RAM, not much more to say besides the aesthetics
Cons: Nitpicking here only, should have had the software available at launch of these sticks
Grey on one side of the heat spreader, should have had black on both of them
Stepping up from my 2666Mhz, I had to adjust BCLK to 125 to reach the advertised speeds on my 5960X. Not fault of the RAM, but still had to make more than usual adjustments in BIOS to reach higher speeds. That should be said all memory will have this effect for my particular setup.
Overall Review: As mentioned before, it's should be only for fans of RGB only and if you plan to put it on display or it's a waste. If you don't plan on putting this on display, save some money and buy cheaper RAM without all the bling. I can't wait for the adjustment software to come out to set it the way I want, but for now watching the rainbow glow is very appealing. At least to me.
Update March 1, 2017 - Disappointed to wait for the control software for more than a month and it comes out on the last day of February only to find out the beta software still does not support X99 chipset. Not happy. I should take some eggs away.
Pros: 4k IPS screen
10 bit panel
Great colour with some tweaking
No need for Anti-Aliasing
Low input lag for IPS (even has a setting to improve it as best as it can)
No Stuck or Dead pixels
Scaling down to 1440P or 1080P look pretty good from native 4k
Cons: Freesync is only targeted from 40hz to 60hz
Little bit of ghosting and light bleed, but it is an IPS panel
Need beefy cards to run at 4k
touch sensitive control buttons
Overall Review: My first attempt with 4k was with the ASUS PB287Q for a week. I couldn't stand the TN panel even though it was the best I've seen for one. It advertises as a 10 bit panel, for the life of me I couldn't get it to work with my 290x. It also didn't have Freesync which now that I have it, I couldn't live without it.
So it went back, and I took a chance on this monitor. I'm glad I did, and bought it during the Black Friday sales that were going on. Worth the money in my opinion if you can drive at 4k. I own three 290x cards in Tri-fire and for the most part I definitely can at highest settings and really no need for Anti-Aliasing. Also works just fine in 10 bit with my 290x.
I can't explain in words on how good Freesync or Gsync for that matter is until you experience it. It is definitely a must for any new purchase for a monitor if you do gaming. I ran 120hz 1440p before, and now with Freesync, I really don't miss it. I find it so smooth even at 60hz. The only downside is this panel only has a span of 40hz to 60hz for freesync to work, however I found a website that you can modify the monitor driver to lower it to a possible 33hz to improve the range. YMMV.
It took a while to get all the settings dialed in with using the touch sensitive buttons, it takes a little getting used to. Once I did, I was glad to see no stuck or dead pixels.
Resolution wise, going from 1440p to 4k wasn't a big leap as I though it would be. If I was at 1080p I would definitely say it would be worth full price. However on sale and knowing I can downscale to 1440p without the usual blurriness if I can't run a game at native resolution, I would say it's worth the money, especially with Freesync included.
Pros: None that I can think of now. RMA is pretty quick.
Cons: Not reliable whatsoever. Back up data daily if you wish to keep it. Costing more to send back for RMA replacement because I live in Canada.
Overall Review: The 1st one died as mentioned in my past review set up with RAID 0 after 2 months. Now the 2nd one is starting to die. It is throwing errors and I can't back up files as it keeps crashing. Sure it's great to have warranty but the cost to ship back every 2 or 4 months at a time is ludicrous. This is my last OCZ product ever, I will ensure I to keep friends and family away from this and future product.
Pros: Performance as promised
Smooth framerate @ 5760x1200 in xfire
Very cool under watercooling
Overclocks to 1.1Ghz GPU (no throttling) and 1300Mhz Memory (Hynix brand)
Driver improvements out of the box (had to wait a month for full performance on a HD5970 when purchased on day 1 of release)
No xfire bridge needed!
Cons: Oh great! I buy 2 of these on release day and now AMD comes out with a BF4 Holiday game bundle for all R9 series cards. I'm now out free games :(
Drivers, please AMD don't screw them up. Already had to clear out drivers and reinstall when I set the overclock settings too high and it would not go back to default.
Rather use afterburner to overclock, but even that when it crashes because of too high settings I have to readjust desktop for eyefinity.
Overall Review: I cannot give it a reduction egg for sound and heat since day 1 I replaced the awful cooling with a waterblock. So noise is 0db and heat is good at 41c max temp at full load and overclocked.
Retired a Tri-Sli GTX670 setup that these 290's in xfire can match or even easily beat in eyefinity.
I haven't had any issues that have been in the forums lately with other owners having black screens while playing or crashes. I guess I've been lucky, but it could be the power supply as these guys are hungry when performing. I have a seasonic X-1250w which thankfully can tame these beasts.
If you are going to watercool these cards, I see no point in purchasing the 290X as you can get pretty darn close performance numbers when it's overclocked properly