cover
Robert O.

Robert O.

Joined on 06/29/10

0
0

Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 11
Most Favorable Review

Coming From GTX 480

ASUS GeForce GTX 970 4GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 SLI Support G-SYNC Support Video Card STRIX-GTX970-DC2OC-4GD5
ASUS GeForce GTX 970 4GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 SLI Support G-SYNC Support Video Card STRIX-GTX970-DC2OC-4GD5

Pros: Popped it in and worked as it should. I honestly don't know where to start so I'll try this... Noise: It's non-existent. I seem to hear it above 70%, but that's also with a H80 right next to the card and 4 case fans. Even at 100% fan (not needed at all) it's still nowhere as loud as my 480 at 100%. Coming from one of the top 3 loudest cards on the market, it's an awesome change. Cooling: In Furmark I can't get it to work past 62 C. That is with my max overclock, and fan obviously stays low (I set my own). The fans will turn off when the temperate is lower than 40 C, but since I can't heat it I just run them. In games it is higher. Crysis 3 was hitting about 68 C, and Unigine Heaven hitting 72 C. All with the fan at 42% or under. Performance: Well, coming from a GTX 480 it's night and day. Sleeping Dogs (max) was ~110 FPS, Resident Evil 5 (max) is ~130 FPS (and ~100 FPS in 3D). Scored a 5682 in 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme with highest overclock. Unigine Heaven Extreme @ native, reference clocks (not the factory OC), is 50.8 FPS. With my overclock, it's 58.3 FPS. Crysis 3 (Max/4xMSAA) is around 45 FPS average in the opening ship area. Dead Rising 3 on average is between 55-60 FPS, while obviously dropping in cutscenes due to subsurface scattering to around 45-50 FPS. I would try more games in 3D, but it’s late as I write this and don’t have any good ones installed. Overclocking: As reviews have stated, overclocking is good. I've also found it easier with this card than with my 480. The top I managed was +215/+495 (1531MHz/4001MHz). I can go +220/+500, but the chance of artifact there is likely. So figured for games I'd play it a bit safe and reduce it a bit. For very demanding games, like Crysis 3, +150/+450 is much safer since a crash will usually occur. Form/Aesthetics: The 8-pin connector is reversed so you don't have to fight with yanking it out. Fan/Sheathing is literally dual profile as well. I was expecting the shroud to extend a bit over in terms of height rather than be near standard dual profile. Card isn't heavier than I expected. Normally with aftermarket coolers, you have warping PCB on the back of your head. Backplate also looks nice, but I can't say how much it helps since I don't feel like removing it. Other than that, in general it looks nice. Software: GPU Tweak apparently has an option to update the card’s BIOS when released, which will surely be appreciated. I use Afterburner, so that’s all I have to say about GPU Tweak.

Cons: Overclocking: Not really a biggie, but you can only increase the core by 37 mV and it’s only a one 8-pin design. Form/Aesthetics: The SLI connectors do protrude out a bit more than usual. The back end of the shroud with “STRIX” written on it is also abnormally large. Due to these two things, it may be hard to actually screw the card into the slot/bay area as these obstacles make it so you may have trouble fitting your fingers in the gap, and then coordinating them. Normally I can use my fingers, but I had to get a screwdriver and keep moving the card just slightly to match up the screw holes. This obviously differs based on your case due to the amount the case itself also protrudes outwards to hold the door on (HAF X here). Also, it’s possible the card may hit your northbridge heatsink; with my one it literally touches it, so any movement results in a metal on metal grinding/screeching (not as bad as I make it sound). Software: I just don’t like the flow of GPU Tweak. It works as expected though. The tray icons for both monitoring and the software are the same, unlike RTSS/Afterburner for instance. Packaging: The portion of the package involving a very basic manual and GPU Tweak CD are in an overly large box within the box, so it's tons of random space wasted. I hate it when they do this and don't try to cut back on those costs in order to hopefully charge us less.

Overall Review: If you want to try to get close or dead on to the reference GTX 970 clocks, I've done the following: 108% Power, -64 Core, -3 Mem. Make sure if you are using a program like Afterburner that you have a skin updated for when or after GPU Boost became used. Otherwise, new additions like Power Limit and Temperature will be missing. Of course you can use whatever software you like, I just like Afterburner. If you want to use GPU Tweak, there really is nothing wrong with it. You can register the card using its serial number on ASUS' support site. I guess there's no real reason to do so, but might as well imo. ASUS, MSI, EVGA, Gigabyte? From all that I've gathered, I'll try to make things simple. If you want the quietest card, get the ASUS. If you want the coolest/best overclocker, get the Gigabyte G1. If you want the in-between, get the MSI 4G model. Honestly, overclocks of others like the MSI one are 20+ or so more for core and is therefore trivial. Basically, expect the same performance for games across the board with overclocks. That 0.05 frame addition doesn't faze me at all. EVGA? After what was pulled, I wouldn't bother. Last but not least, Newegg really needs to moderate reviews. It's ridiculous that at the time of writing this, I'm the only verified owner, and the 4 other reviews are those promoting the product without owning it, or speaking out of no experience. --------------------------------------------------------------- For some of the things I mentioned earlier to clarify: I use a 120Hz 1920x1080 monitor with a 3770K on a GA-Z77X-UD5H. Since it's late, I wouldn't be surprised if I forgot to mention something worth mentioning as well.

B-Die* & Works As Expected

CORSAIR Vengeance LPX 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3600 (PC4 28800) Desktop Memory Model CMK32GX4M2K3600C16
CORSAIR Vengeance LPX 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3600 (PC4 28800) Desktop Memory Model CMK32GX4M2K3600C16

Pros: - Samsung B-Die. - Sleek. - Can hit 3600 Mhz 14-15-15-31 with GDM on or 3666 Mhz 15-15-15-30 with GDM off. -- Or XMP on ASRock X570 Taichi. - Fan comes with additional faceplates (silver, red, blue).

Overall Review: Solid kit of memory. The kicker is either I'm at the limit of the memory timings or my 3800X's IMC is at its limit. I can only hit 1833 MHz with the IF, potentially 1866 MHz. Point is I have a feeling they can go even lower than what I have attained. Also of note I have extremely tight subtimings (secondary and tertiary). I've just gotten tired of running stress tests for months. *I've heard murmurs that this B-Die is a newer generation and not quite as good but dunno. Here's some Thaiphoon Burner data for anyone who wants it: Manufacturing Description Module Manufacturer: Corsair Module Part Number: CMK32GX4M2K3600C16 Module Series: Vengeance LPX DRAM Manufacturer: Samsung DRAM Components: K4A8G085WB-BCPB DRAM Die Revision / Process Node: B / 20 nm Module Manufacturing Date: Undefined Module Manufacturing Location: Taiwan Module Serial Number: 00000000h Module PCB Revision: 00h Physical & Logical Attributes Fundamental Memory Class: DDR4 SDRAM Module Speed Grade: DDR4-2133P downbin Base Module Type: UDIMM (133.35 mm) Module Capacity: 16 GB Reference Raw Card: B0 (8 layers) JEDEC Raw Card Designer: Micron Technology Module Nominal Height: 31 < H <= 32 mm Module Thickness Maximum, Front: 1 < T <= 2 mm Module Thickness Maximum, Back: 1 < T <= 2 mm Number of DIMM Ranks: 2 Address Mapping from Edge Connector to DRAM: Mirrored DRAM Device Package: Standard Monolithic DRAM Device Package Type: 78-ball FBGA DRAM Device Die Count: Single die Signal Loading: Not specified Number of Column Addresses: 10 bits Number of Row Addresses: 16 bits Number of Bank Addresses: 2 bits (4 banks) Bank Group Addressing: 2 bits (4 groups) DRAM Device Width: 8 bits Programmed DRAM Density: 8 Gb Calculated DRAM Density: 8 Gb Number of DRAM components: 16 DRAM Page Size: 1 KB Primary Memory Bus Width: 64 bits Memory Bus Width Extension: 0 bits DRAM Post Package Repair: Not supported Soft Post Package Repair: Not supported

12/27/2020

Exactly What I Expected

G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2400 (PC3 19200) Desktop Memory Model F3-2400C10Q-16GZH
G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2400 (PC3 19200) Desktop Memory Model F3-2400C10Q-16GZH

Pros: It's a low profile kit, and not too shabby looking too. The height doesn't interfere with coolers that I've used, mainly the Corsair H80, and the stock Intel unit (for testing). Great for a fast RAMDisk. The last test I did with it, which was a long time ago, I recall speeds reaching in excess of 14000MB/s for certain reads. Minecraft, not the only thing I use a RAMDisk for, runs exceptionally well on this kit. Source engine based games also like high speed RAM as shown by various online benchmarks, and I can attest to that; while not massive, at least a few frames or more. Heat isn't a concern. Unless you have extremely poor ventilation perhaps. All the XMP profiles work as I expect--no problems. RAM operates as it should, even when stressed, at 1.65 V no problem with vdroop taking effect as well. There is quite a bit of overclocking headroom from what I can tell. Like another reviewer, I was able to increase to around ~2500MHz on the stock voltage. tRAS and tRP timings can also be reduced dramatically on stock voltage, but obviously that may affect you adversely.

Cons: I hate "stylish" stickers on tech. I either want it plain or engraved/embossed. So the blue stickers, while they match, look...eh. Nothing bad to report otherwise.

Overall Review: I had to up my VTT by 0.10 V and up the "VTT Loadline Calibration", aka how much vDroop will occur, by a tad too to become stable. I also cannot lower the command rate to 1T on the stock voltage/stock timings. If however you wish to increase the DIMM voltage nominally, I managed to reduce timings enough to make a difference in benchmarks. "Any RMA's at all" you ask? Actually, the first kit I received had 2 bad sticks. But I am not listing this as a con since there's always the chance with advanced technology that you may be one of the unlucky few to get a bad part. Upon a quick RMA to Newegg, I got a new kit, and it's worked perfectly ever since. Even if this had occurred out of the Newegg return policy deadline, GSkill has always treated me well, so I'm not worried if I would have to go through them. I doubt though I ever will need to with this kit. ___________________________________________ This is all with a Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H Rev 1.1 BIOS F14 and a 3770K.

Nailed It With This One

Mionix AVIOR 7000 000MIO7000A Black 9 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Wired Optical 7000 dpi Mouse
Mionix AVIOR 7000 000MIO7000A Black 9 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Wired Optical 7000 dpi Mouse

Pros: Overall: the mouse is built solid, and has a decent weight to it--not too heavy, nor too light. It's perfect for people with smaller hands, like me. It is smooth to the touch, yet allows a good grip and doesn't cause you to sweat. The buttons work as they should: you don't have to push them any harder than expected, and they're not loose/flimsy. Has the right curve to it to make it feel very comfortable. The software: *almost* perfect. It has everything I need. Visually appealing and multiple sections for many individual settings. The amount of customization in terms of color is very nice, and so is every other trivial option, whether it be lift-off distance, individual axis sensitivity, scroll speed, etc. The macros are also a nice touch in the sense you can do nearly anything with them, and aren't restricted to keyboard based only macros, as is common with Razer based software (you can do macros including buttons on the mouse itself). Angle snapping was something I didn't expect to find, and since I do virtually nothing with graphic design, I never use it. Although when I do dabble in such things, it does turn out to be a useful feature. Multiple DPI profiles (3 to be exact, don't confuse with button/macro profiles of which there are 5) allow me to change the DPI on the go. There are games where you can abuse this like in Blacklight Retribution where mouse sensitivity determines turret rotate speed, so your speed is as normal as if you weren't in the scorp tank. Then it's also useful in other games like Battlefield. Yeah, BF has a vehicle sensitivity option, but obviously tanks are more stiff than say a jeep. Since I'm fine with leaving that sensitivity the same to my on foot sensitivity, and only wanted it higher for vehicles with turrets, DPI adjustments come in real handy. Customer Service: they don't seem to take too long to answer--usually within 6 hours; although I've only contacted them on a few trivial things. The Sensor: "How does the sensor perform" you ask? It's an ADNS-3310, which is one of a few on the market to have nearly every nerd/gamer agree that it's top notch. No matter how fast I twitch, it does as I expect. (I used to play competitively in twitch shooters, and while I don't anymore, those skills have stuck with me and so I want something to be able to keep up with me). Basically, ask anyone with experience that knows what they're talking about, and nearly any mouse with this sensor is suggested. There we're reports/rumors of +/- acceleration in the mouse's firmware/sensor (which apparently either was fixed or didn't exist). Anyhow, I never notice it and in software polling tests nothing goes wrong. There is acceleration if you want it...though I wouldn't recommend it. Drivers/Firmware: No BSODs to report. Unlike Razer software which causes BSODs for many and they don't even know it.

Cons: The software: There's a small bug where if it's left open, whether in the task bar, or maximized, every button (Mouse1-9) will revert to "Left Click". It doesn't actually take effect unless you apply it, so I just have to hit the profile I saved again to revert back then ok/cancel, or exit and reload the software. I wish it also had a boot at start option. The mouse on boot always reverts to DPI profile 2 (middle column) on boot, rather than the one you last used. Thumb buttons: I last used a Razer Lachesis (original) for...4 years. What was awesome about that mouse was how big the thumb buttons were (so you didn't have to feel around) and how your thumb sat right on them. They were flat too, so there were no accidental presses. With the AVIOR, they're above where your thumb rests (ignoring 8/9 on the right side if you're a righty). So to get to them, I obviously have to raise my thumb, but by this point I'm used to it. I do wish though they were more flat and didn't pop out so much. Scroll Wheel: This really is trivial, but I wish the scroll wheel thump as you move it up or down had a bit more "thump" to it, therefore a tad bit more to move it strength wise. I find if I'm in the middle of a hot situation in a game that I'll over scroll and when I mean to only scroll once, I scroll twice. But again, is something that doesn't really cause problems, at least for me.

Overall Review: To sum up everything, I'm extremely pleased about the mouse. I was worried I was going to have to return and search for awhile before finding a mouse that fit me. The software is easy to use for newbs and power users alike. I forgot to mention the S.Q.A.T. feature, huh? Yeah...it's worthless and seems to be a marketing gimmick. Basically follow the rules of sensors: Optical mice "see", so a detailed surface helps, one that has texture to it (whether it be smooth or soft). SQAT gave me a 90% once on my Razer Goliathus pad, then suddenly a 60%, so it's eh. It gave a 100% on a Razer Destructor 2. Again, don't buy it for this feature alone. "Shouldn't I just get the 8200 since it's newer?" No. Unless for some weird reason you need a 8200 DPI mouse (DPI =/= skill), stick with this. The 8200 also uses the ADNS-9800 sensor, which appearance has some consistency/tracking/acceleration problems. Other than the sensors, both mice are the same. I have a feeling Mionix has my business for years to come, as long as they keep putting mice like these out.

Never did regret

EVGA GeForce GTX 480 (Fermi) 1536MB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 SLI Support Video Card 015-P3-1480-KR
EVGA GeForce GTX 480 (Fermi) 1536MB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 SLI Support Video Card 015-P3-1480-KR

Pros: Its a great overclocking card. Been using it since it was released in June 2010. Still works flawlessly since then and I'm usually using my heavy OC. Highest hit at v1.138 (highest allowed by stock BIOS), most of the time they'll hit 875/x2/2000. Modded BIOS can get them up to 900mhz+. I run it at 875mhz most of the time. An overclock can easily match the gamimg performance of a 580. Good quality circuitry as well, which the 580 lacked (people were removing parts and saudering them to 580s to achieve better OCs, became known as Frankenstein cards).

Cons: Fine....it gets hot. Not like its not managble. Ok it consumes power, again something that can be managed. Yeah its loud, but with a headset on, and other things on you'll barely hear it. Sits 85C (demanding) and lower.

Overall Review: I have yet to come across a game @ 1920x1080 (120hz) that I can't max out. Bf3 ultra for example usually sits around ~55fps. Metro, as with the 580 at highest is ~32fps. The card is fine with dual monitors, don't let someone's bad card dictate that. Its designed to be so. Its temp. Threshold is also 105c, not 110c as some said. For $300 you can't go wrong. Only game to use all 1.5GB of VRAM is skyrim with all the "2K" textures (creates a vram bottleneck for me). ----------------------------------------- ^ card Crosshair IV Formula Phenom II X6 1055T @ 3.85ghz 12gb Corsair XMS3 1600mhz CM HAF X Antec Truepower 650w Power usage is ~520w at the most with said OCs and other SSDs in mind. That's in demanding games such as BF3, and others I cant think of. ~450w is usually usage. Many good aftermarket cooling products out for it. Always would've gotten a second, but got AMD instead and still smack myself over that since it can't SLI Nvidia's.

Worried, but is perfect

OCZ Vertex 3 Series - MAX IOPS Edition 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) VTX3MI-25SAT3-120G
OCZ Vertex 3 Series - MAX IOPS Edition 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) VTX3MI-25SAT3-120G

Pros: - Super fast - Sturdy - No issues - Ready to use within seconds to minutes - I'm the envy of anyone I know with older SSDs :D - Games and maps load up at the snap of a finger - Windows 7 (with the tweaks) boots up and is ready to use in 5-7 seconds.

Cons: The price? Honestly, the only thing I can think of is the firmware of the drive cannot be updated if it is the primary drive. Either boot off a secondary if you have it or do it via BIOS.

Overall Review: So I bought this back in October for the release of Battlefield 3. At first I was worried about getting nothing but issues from this drive since all you heard about were crashes, BSODs, etc.. Then I saw that SF released the v2.15 firmware for the controller, so I said I'd give it a try. And like many others I've had no issues AT ALL with v2.15 (never tried the earlier firmware so can't say about those). Been running as smooth as the day I got it and ATTO gave me the speeds exactly as advertised. It also came preloaded with the v2.15 firmware which was convenient. Considering buying another one soon for a RAID 0 setup. If you're new to this Sandforce controller driver series or new to SSDs, be sure to follow OCZ in their forums as they have many useful FAQs for the Vertex 3 series. Be sure to use with SATA 6G/b's or else it's a waste of money. I'd recommend this drive to anyone looking to splurge. ---------- Using with Crosshair IV Formula 890FX/SB850 Win7 Home Pre. x64