Date Joined: 08/24/06
Pros: Nice factory overclock, custom Palit design. The eight and six pin power connectors give it a little better power supply than just two six pin power connectors. Cooler is pretty quiet. Easy overclock to 850 core 1700 shader 4400 mem. Monitoring the voltage it appears there is a little voltage "tweak" built into this unit.
Cons: Exhausts most of the hot air in the case, so if you don't have a well ventilated case the fans might spin up a little and get noisy. My card(s) run pretty quiet and get up to 70 degrees under heavy load, and that is not a problem, but the extra heat makes my overclocked CPU run significantly hotter than when I had graphics cards that exhaust the heat directly out of the case. The MSI twin fan cooler is probably a little better cooler. No voltage tweak to try to push overclock higher.
Overall Review: I have a PALIT GT 8800 1GB sonic edition that has been a great card and very reliable. The quality is definitely good. I went with the SONIC PLATINUM for $20 more expecting that I was paying for a better binned GPU, but I don't know if there is really any difference to the non-platinum sonic edition other than a better factory overclock.
Pros: This is a great, high speed fan that moves a lot of air. Since it is a four pin PWM (pulse-width modulation) fan, it actually works well with the smart fan motherboard fan controller. I have it on my CPU heatsink, and when i had a different high speed fan withour PWM, it ran fast and loud all the time and I could not get the motherboard to sucessfully control it, from which I understand is a fairly common problem with rediculously high speed fans. This one works great, and unless it spins up in response to heavy loading of the CPU, it runs very quietly. With a scy1h mugen2 I get very good temperatures on my overclocked processor, significantly better than with the stock fan.
Cons: The power cord is rediculously short. I had to make an extender to connect it to the motherboard cpu fan controller which is not that far away. I could have reached it if I repositioned the heatsink to blow out the back, but my case blows up and out so I like to aim the heatsink up and that makes it just a little too far to reach. Seriously, a five inch cable for a $30 fan? The scy1h PWM fan that came with my heatsink has a cord that is probably 10 inches long.
Overall Review: This fan moves a lot of air and blasts it through my cooler and right out the top of my case with force. It made a significant drop in temp for both cpu, ambient air, and motherboard temperatures. with PWM I still am whisper quiet except when I need the extra cooling.
Pros: Fast card at an excellent price. The ICEQ cooler works well, and opposed to other 4870 cards, the stock fan setting keeps the card cool. The copper faceplate on the cooler keeps the memory nice and cool compared to my other 4870 card. Good memory and overclocks well ~ 820/1090 very stable. The cooler blows out the hot air and my case stays nice and cool.
Cons: The BIOS on this card does not clock down in 2D mode, so it runs at 770 1000 all the time. This results in a little more power usage. I have another 4870 that I use with this one in crossfire and there is a little conflict between the cards since they are clocked differently. I use both ri$va tuner and/or catalyst and I can control the clocks as I want.
Overall Review: Ri$va tuner has a lot more temperature measurements, from gpu core, to VRM 1,2,and 3 and memory. I notice this card runs cooler on VRM and memory than my other card. It is illuminating to check the temps with RT and hardware monitor and notice that there is usually one part of any card that runs hotter than the catalyst monitor will show. In this case, the gpu core is the hottest part and catalyst and hw monitor show the same as RT.
Pros: this cooler does a great job, my temperatures stay below 50c with a heavy OC of a CD2. The fan is fairly quiet. Replaced a larger heatsink with two 12cm fans and this one actually works better and crowds my case less.
Cons: The width is easy to accommodate, but the height off the motherboard is more than I expected. I had it pointing back and I had trouble with my side fan hitting it with an ANTC 900 case. I then aimed it up out the top fan and could get my case back together. It cooled equally well in either configuration.
Overall Review: The "direct touch" heatpipe design seems a little weird when applying thermal compound because it squeezes up into small gaps around the pipes and it seems you have to use litte more. Maybe I did it wrong, but it works amazingly well. The next size smaller might have worked equally well and I could have aimed it out the back of the case for better overall airflow in my case.
Pros: Between the 2oz copper and heatsinks, the board stays pretty cool and overclocks well. In the bios it has a VDROP feature that you can enable that compensates for the drop in voltage when loading the core(s), and it works well. Intel ICHR10 recognized my raid array and I was up and running in a jiffy and able to recover my P35 system after my board failed (different manufacturer, by the way.) The layout of the SATA connectors and everything is perfect and works well without having connectors blocked by video cards and what not. Came with the latest version of the bios already installed.
Cons: Just the limitations of the chipset in terms of the number of PCI express lanes. But crossfire works well with the automatic switching from 16x to 8x.
Overall Review: The PCI express lanes are well positioned for dual card setups and allow good cooling of both cards. Overall design seems very well thought out in many ways.
Pros: The graphics look good and max out without taxing my graphics card. The different events appeal to the skate-boarder in me. Wrecking, stunts, and general mayhem, with NFS style shortcuts in a reasonably expansive world with a free roam atmosphere.
Cons: The game works better with a gamepad than a wheel, if that tells you anything. I didn't like the online activation of multiplayer features. EA links to your e-mail address and then if you don't fill your age out correctly will deny online access based on your age. I filled out sham information on the survey because I thought it was none of their business and kind of messed myself up because the activation was now expired and could not be reactivated. It says I'm not old enough for online content.
Overall Review: not for racing enthusiats, but for those who like to make thier car do a triple flip and then smash someone to smithereens. The physics are the worst I have ever seen with a wheel, but very playable with a pad.
Pros: the single player part is full of interesting races and cars, but what really pushes this game over the top is the multiplayer works better than any other racing game I have ever played and is very fun. The leveling system and record keeping makes your accomplishments easy to compare to others.
Pros: Excellent selection of cars and tracks. Interesting level system. Physics and graphics are excellent.
Overall Review: Using a G25 steering wheel the feel of the cars is one of the best I have ever played.
Pros: A good single player and multiplayer game. I like the way the physics feel, each footstep feels and looks firmly planted and the action is very upfront without the moonwalking and bunny-hopping of some online shooters. The single player mode has a similar detail and expanse to the original RB6 Vegas, but the terrorist hunt mode is expanded with the option for the AI squadmembers and relatively large maps that can be played at three difficulty levels. The sprint option has been added which makes for less frustration when evading grenades. The co-op mode is fun as well as the deathmatch.
Cons: Story mode is fairly linear. Some complain about the enemy AI spawning at random locations, but I think the variation makes the terrorist hunt maps nicely replayable. The gameplay physics do not allow jumping, but you can climb through many windows.
Overall Review: RB62 is improved in physics, gameplay, weapon variety, ranks, XP, and graphic detail over RB61.
Pros: The cooler is effective and at 60% duty cycle I could easily overclock it to speeds of 756 / 2106 / 1890 for a 3dMark06 score of 13248 without breaking 50c. The one gigabyte of memory is probably overkill, but you'll never wonder if it would perform better with more memory.
Cons: The cooler looks like it would exhaust the hot air out of the case, but it really doesn't. The air for the most part blows through a nice radiator grill style cooler with rather impressive copper heat pipes, but the hot air is largely expelled back into the case. This is not really a problem for me as my Antec 900 case has excellent airflow.
Overall Review: Eventhough the hot air is recirculated in the case, it's still a nice cooler and does an excellent job. At the stock setting the fan runs at 33% duty cycle for the most part and is very quiet, it makes a little noise when turned up to the settings I prefer to cool a decent overclock.
Pros: Nice contrast and an overall very crisp looking picture. The adjustable backlight is nice and gets bright enough for even very bright rooms. I like the matte screen better than the glossy because I have reflections in my room. The AIT delivery was quick and my box arrived without a scuff.
Cons: The matte screen does not reflect lights, but the glossy plastic case does. I think it would have been nice to make the case with a matte finish as well because I get reflections off the border. The lack of 120hz does not really make a difference for sports, but I do notice a little "judder" on 24hz movie sources. However, this is so minor it does not bother me.
Overall Review: Looking at the big box store, this is one of the nicest looking LCD's out there. I use it with my PC for gaming and the response time is sufficiently fast and it looks great in "game mode." The dynamic contrast looks great in the stores where they have the settings really jacked-up to make them "pop" for the consumer, but I never actually use it because for computer and gaming the dynamic contrast doesn't look good to me.
Pros: At the current price of less than $200, this is an excellent card. It can be clocked pretty high-- I run mine at 675mhz core, 1458 shaders, and 999 memory. It can get pretty hot, but with the fan turned up using RIVA tuner the heatsink allows you to keep it at reasonable temps
Cons: Only 320MB of memory will kill your framerate at very high resolutions and does not allow for efficient use of anti-aliasing. However, it still handles COD4 at full 1920 x 1080 no hic-ups without anti-aliasing.
Overall Review: For higher resolutions, it's better to go with something with more memory, especially if you want to run with anti-aliasing. At 1280 x 1024 no anti-aliasing, I got a 3Dmark06 score of 12218 with the clock set at the above settings.
Pros: Fun game with intense action. The taking cover mode works very well. The game is very in your face and produces the effect of watching a movie. Works great with both keyboard and xbox controller. Fun scenes that are worth playing more than once.
Cons: The game is a little short, but you get your money's worth in a series of very fun episodes. I could not finish it in 8 hours, but more like 16 to 24. I had some problems with choppy play in VISTA 64 and tinkered with driver updates and settings and could not resolve the issue, but I installed it on an 32 bit XP system and it works fine. Graphics are detailed and smooth even though my XP system is not "bleeding edge." Someone had the same problem on 64 bit system and changed WDM or some settings to get it to work fine, but I could not figure it out but did not really try very hard.
Pros: A lot of copper goes into this robust high performance board. I have read about the horror stories of people trying to flash the bios. Mine came with bios version 1.0 and it would run but had some stability issues. On the MSI forum there is a usb memory stick utility to flash the bios in XP or VISTA and I recently flashed BIOS version 1.7, which is a much nicer bios and correctly works with my hardware. The BIOS flash went very smoothly but you can't find this utility without searching the forum.
Cons: The support at the website is sketchy and I can see how people can have troubles. But the forum seems to have a lot of good information if you dig a little.
Overall Review: I have the coolermaster gemini CPU cooler which sports a massive array of copper cooling pipes going up to a huge radiator with two 12cm fans and with all the copper on the motherboard, it looks pretty hard-core. I have this paired with an E6750, Crucial memory, Vista Ultimate, and have good stability up to about 3.6ghz with only mild overvoltages.
Pros: This game has excellent graphics and the physics of driving is better than any of the previous Need for Speed titles. I've enjoyed playing this game for many hours. I like the straight up racing style without the tedious cop chases of Most Wanted and Carbon.
Cons: It requires a powerful system to run at max settings.
Overall Review: I like the grip races the best. I don't really like the drift races, but the speed races have grown on me. I use a logitech G25 wheel and can really appreciate the better gameplay physics.
Pros: Bought for a christmas present and the person never got it to work. I tested it and could not get it to work. What a waste.
Cons: Doesn't work.
Overall Review: I have a couple other brand MP3 players and have never had a problem with any of them. This one was a lemon.
Pros: This drive is whisper quiet and the tray ejects quietly as well. I do a fair amount of music and video editing, so being able to produce reliable products and secure backups is very important. This burner can be trusted.
Overall Review: Replaced another dvd burner that that was noisy, jammed on ejecting, and had trounble playing some games. For the same price, this product is vastly superior.
Pros: This burner is fast and the burns are reliable.
Cons: The spindle was coated with some kind of sticky substance that causes discs to jam when ejecting. This has lead to numerous scatches on game DVDs and on important data backups. Has trouble with some games and cannot read the anti-piracy sector. It makes a "clicking" sound when trying to load Crysis. Cannot find firmware update which might fix this problem.
Overall Review: I used rubbing alcohol on a CD and inserted and removed it about 50 times with alcohol cleaning on the center area that the spindle grips onto and have almost eliminated jamming on ejecting. I had to clean off all the DVDs I put in the machine as well since they all had a sticky residue deposited in the inner hub area.
Pros: Great graphics. I appreciate the blue sky and variety of colors. So many other shooters look monotone by comparison. I like the nanosuite control method, it is fun creeping around cloaked and then whacking people. It's one of my favorites for now.
Cons: On some DVD players, mainly Samsung and lite-on, the anti-piracy technology causes a clicking sound as the machine attempts to read the disc. Check the official forum at EA for details, but, my LITEON 20x SATA DVD was permanently damaged and now will not verify authentic disc status for other games that worked perfectly before playing CRYSIS. Granted, this took about 50 times of inserting the disc to play the game after it clicked for a while. I put an old 4x IDE TDK DVD burner in my system and it doesn't click and all my other games load up fine. However, many will still not play anymore on the LITE-ON since about 50 loads with the clicking sound.
Overall Review: I should have taken action because the clicking did not sound healthy, but I didn't think it would actually be permanently damaged. Some have recommended firmware update for the DVD player, but I looked and couldn't find any that I trusted enough to undergo the slightly dicey procedure of a firmware flash memory upgrade.
Pros: The plasmid system makes for a fun and adaptable style of gameplay. The graphics look great, and this game runs fine even without bleeding edge technology. Works great with xbox 360 contoller. The vintage, art nuvo style, intertextuality to Ayn Rand, and multivalent parallelism to contemporary issues of genetic modification and plastic surgery add depth and perhaps a chilling comentary on our society and value system.
Cons: Story line becomes relatively linear, but it still rewards a second play.
Overall Review: Here is a game that really shows how good a gamepad can work. The way the bumpers and joysticks work to toggle between weapons or plasmids is quick and convenient. When controller sensitivity is set to 100 (default is 50), you get a very responsive feel, and the force feedback adds a lot without being overused and annoying the way it is in some games.
Pros: Graphics look great. In max settings you can see dirt and beads of sweat on the guys brows. Works great with xbox 360 controller.
Cons: To play at max settings you need a ton of power. This game takes about the same amount of power as Crysis, but should run fine with lower settings on most systems.
Overall Review: I run 64 bit Vista and I was getting some hiccups here and there because I didn't have enough memory. I had 2 gigs and took another 2 out of a different machine (for 4 total) and that smoothed things out nearly completely.
Pros: The graphics look good, almost like watching a high def movie.
The alchemy system is easy to use.
Cons: Will not work with gamepads. I know people say, "if you want a gamepad, get an xbox 360," however, my game system is faster and higher resolution and the majority of PC games now allow use of gamepads. I use a keyboard and mouse all day at work, and when I get home, the gamepad feels more comfortable and relaxing. I wish manufacturers were more clear about what support they intend. Rumors are that such support might come in the 1.2 patch, but nothing is definite.
Overall Review: I think the mouse and keyboard are superior in terms of competative play, but I play games for fun and find the ergonomics of the xbox controller work great and do not aggravate the repetative stress injuries I get at work mousing 40+ hours a week at work. For that matter, analogue inputs such as the xbox contoller, on games such as Rainbow Six Vegas, allow you to calibrate the sensitivity setting to be incredibly responsive and more fluid since it allows you to apply a little or a lot whereas a keyboard is just on or off. A lot of the people who hate gamepads probably have only used the logitech ones which do not callibrate with the sensitivity of the xbox 360 controller.
Pros: Graphics look great. Xbox controller support excellent with nice sensitivity fine tuning available. Fun flow of action.
Cons: Multiplayer action rather sparse compared to Xbox version.
Pros: If you like the rough and tumble racing of Flatout, this game improved on the racing physics and adds in more options for tuning and car damage. A great simulation for dirt track and motocross racing.
Cons: Uses a lot of graphics and processor power. The recommemded system includes Core2duo at 2.66mhz.
Overall Review: I had to set up a customized setting for my Logictech g25 to get the stearing to feel right.