Date Joined: 08/07/03
Pros: Runs at advertised speeds, no problem
Overall Review: I've liked Team RAM ever since I bought a couple of sticks to use with my first gen Ryzen 1600 and they worked just fine even though the Ryzen chipsets were notoriously picky about RAM and those weren't on the approved list.
This time, I was building a PC for a friend who was on a pretty strict budget, so I went straight back to Team. It was a little less expensive than the other brands, but worked perfectly in the Ryzen 3700x system I built for him. Installed the RAM, loaded the XMP profile and that was that. No muss, no fuss.
Pros: -Work with Ryzen with no hassles
Cons: -A little tall for some coolers*
Overall Review: I haven't tried overclocking this RAM so can't speak to that, but was pleasantly surprised that it worked out of the box in my Ryzen build. Just popped it into my ASRock B350M motherboard and set the XMP profile and it was good to go. Please note, that this particular motherboard doesn't really do DDR4 3000, it goes from 2933 to 3066. It set this RAM to 2933 right away.
While this isn't the tallest RAM I've used. it isn't low profile by any stretch. I'm iso g a stock Wrait Spire cooler so it's not an issue. If it is too tall for your setup, you may be able to remove the second heat spreader. It's just screwed on, and probably doesn't make much of a difference when it comes to heat anyway. That would knock it down to low profile height, but it would also void the warranty.
Pros: -Fast! (Boosts much higher on its own that advertised!)
Cons: -*Occasionally there is some light (and I mean VERY light) coil whine. It's so light that if there's anything else in the room making any noise at all I can't hear it. There seems to be two things triggering it, which I'll explain below.
-Probably could have gotten away with getting the Windforce version for $30 less, given how fast these cards boost on their own.
Overall Review: UPDATE: After using the card for a while, the coil whine has gotten more noticeable, but it only happens at certain times--most notably when the framerate shoots through the roof (way above what my monitor is capable of) or if I load a game and then alt-tab out so the game is still running in the background. For the most part, it is still much more quiet than my old MSI GTX 970.
This might get a little lengthy, so skip to the end for the TL/DR.
Still here? Okay, here we go!
There really isn't much need to overclock this card at all. Description says boost clock is 1822mhz in OC mode and 1784mhz in Gaming mode. However, with the card in Gaming mode (which is default) it boosts to just under 2000mhz (literally 1999mhz) on its own when under full load. Even at that speed, the highest temperature I have recorded is 65C. That tells me there's plenty of overclocking potential with this card should I ever need it, but it doesn't seem necessary so far.
The package includes Gigabyte's "Extreme Gaming" software, but it's probably best to download the latest version from the website rather than install from the disc. (Of course, you should install Nvidia's latest drivers, too!)
The Gigabyte software has everything you need for overclocking, custom fan curves, and it also controls the LED logo on the side of the card. There are several settings for the LED--constant, flashing, breathing, etc-- and you can set the LED to any color you'd like to match your system build. You can also have it cycle through all of the colors.
The Extreme Gaming software also appears to have everything you'd need to overclock the card, with voltage offsets, etc. I have not used it. Like I said above, the card does pretty well in that department on its own.
I have not found a need to use the custom fan curves, either. With its default settings, the fans don't spin at all when the card is operating at less than 50C. Pretty much any game will send the temperature into the 50's so the fans will come on, but I have yet to hear them. So far, I have seen the card ramp up to 1999mhz and that had the fans going at about 1900rpm. At that speed they were inaudible in my case (Fractal R5) and kept the temperature at 65C.
Given those stats, the Windforce version of this card MAY be a better deal. It's $30 less (at the time of this writing) but should boost its speed just like the Gaming does. However, it would likely run a little louder since it only has two fans. It's also a little bit. The Windforce card is a little taller though, which may be an issue for some narrow cases.
Finally, a note on the coil whine. I have to emphasize that it is very light, and does not happen all the time. As stated above, two things seem to trigger it:
First, you can hear it when the card is cranking out WAY more FPS than my 60hz 1080p monitor can handle. Turning on V-Sync pretty much eliminates it in this case.
Second, when I ALT-TAB out of a game, I can hear it for a few seconds and then it goes away.
I plan to buy a 1440p G Sync monitor soon, and it will be interesting to see if using G Sync makes the coil whine disappear. If it really is related to the card outputting more FPS than the monitor can handle, I suspect it will.
Okay, for the TL/DR crowd:
You really can't go wrong with this card. It runs faster than advertised without you having to touch overclocking settings, and it stays cool and quiet while doing it. Any coil whine is minimal. Just be prepared to want a better monitor if you're running 1080p 60hz like me! It is a somewhat long card, but not so long that it should be a problem in most ATX cases. If you think the length may be a problem, check out the Windforce or Mini versions. In theory, they should run just as fast as this card, though possibly a little warmer or louder.
Pros: -144hz (overclockable to 165hz)
-A little less expensive than similar offerings from Acer and Asus
-IPS so colors are beautiful and viewing angles are good
-Very good stand. Little wobble, even when typing on a keyboard that is right next to it. Height and tilt adjustment are welcome and work flawlessly--no worries about raising the monitor up only to have it sink back down when your desk vibrates.
-Speakers aren't COMPLETELY terrible as with some other monitors
Cons: -It's an AUO panel (just like similar monitors from Acer and Asus), so you're playing the panel lottery here
-Mine does have some quirky (but not quite "dead") pixels. I'll explain below.
-Not really VESA compatible
-Bezels are a little bigger than on the similar Acer and Asus model (but not much)
-Speakers may not be COMPLETELY terrible but they aren't that great, either. Still, who uses built-in speakers on a monitor like this?
Overall Review: My reviews tend to be long, so here's the TL; DR right off the top--the Viewsonic XG2703-GS is a very good monitor, and certainly worth your consideration if you need a 27" monitor with IPS, 1440p resolution, and 144z refresh rate (easily overclockable to 165hz). It is NOT perfect, but all 144hz IPS monitors are a lottery and if yours is like mine, the imperfections are barely noticeable. To see what I mean, you'll have to read on.
Overall I'm happy with the purchase, but I want to emphasize one thing--when it comes to backlight bleed, you are still playing the IPS panel lottery when buying this monitor just as you would be buying similar monitors from Asus or Acer. That's because it's using the same AU Optronics panel that those monitors use. You really don't have much of a choice here--when it comes to 144hz 1440p IPS GSync panels, AUO is the only game in town. LG makes their own panels, but they're pretty much all Freesync. What I did NOT notice with this monitor (nor have I heard of other people noticing) are any of those "smudges" on the backside of the screen that you'll hear about with other, similar monitors.
The IPS glow is minimal, but there is a little bit of backlight bleed on mine. Yes, there is a difference. IPS glow is usually uniform around the edges. Backlight bleed is brighter, often yellowish, and is not consistent across the screen--it is much more noticeable in certain spots, usually in corners. If you set your screen to be a completely black image in a dark room, you'll see what I'm talking about.
My XG2703-GS does have some backlight bleed. It's in the lower right, and it IS noticeable on a completely black screen in a dark room. It is NOT noticeable if room lights are on, or if the screen is not completely black. In other words, if you're actually using the monitor you won't see it.
The XG2703-GS I received also has some minor pixel issues, but that isn't quite as bad as it sounds. Hear me out. Dead pixels are another aspect of the panel lottery. One monitor may have none, another may have 4 or 5. Some monitors may have stuck pixels, that will only display one color. My monitor technically has no dead or stuck pixels. It does have 4 or 5 pixels that behave strangely--they will not display a certain shade of green. When the monitor first arrived I ran a color test. These are available online and all they do is turn your screen one color after another, just to test the pixels. This monitor was perfect except in two instances. First, was one shade of bright green. There was a cluster of 4 or 5 pixels that just would not turn that color. They were in a cross pattern in the lower right and they stayed black. This only happened on one shade of green and on no other colors (except for one of those pixels, and I'll get to that in a moment.) I have to admit that I have never seen this before. Usually either pixels don't work at all or they're stuck on one color. These 5 just don't like that one shade of green. Fortunately, this hasn't been a problem as that shade of green doesn't seem to be very common.
However, one of those pixels has another problem--it won't turn white, either. Honestly, this is more noticeable for me, since it stays black on any web page that doesn't have text or an image in that spot. Fortunately, most do.
Are these problems enough for me to return the monitor? No. I know most people will say if you spend this much money on a monitor at ought to be perfect. Here's the thing--there is NO SUCH THING is a perfect IPS monitor with 144hz refresh rate. ALL IPS monitors have the potential for backlight bleed, and all monitors in general have the potential for dead or stuck pixels. Combine these things and the chances of finding a monitor that doesn't show any problems at all is astronomical. If that bothers you, go for a TN panel and hope for no dead pixels. As it is, the monitor I received has no issues that are noticeable during everyday use. And really, if there are issues you never see, are they really problems?
Going by the countdown on Viewsonic's website, this monitor was 6 months late. There was also a Freesync version that seems to have disappeared. Whether that affects your decision is up to you, but it certainly is strange. I was hoping to eventually buy a Freesync version of this monitor as well, since I use two monitors and no monitor does both Freesync and GSync. I go back and forth between Nvidia and AMD depending on which has the better offering at the time, so it seems sensible to have one of each monitor. I'm hoping the Freesync version still comes out, but at this point am not holding my breath.