Joined on 01/07/04
It CAN play Crysis... very well
Pros: The performance of this card is utterly ridiculous. I just loaded up Crysis Warhead (16xAA, 16xAF, 1920x1200, all enthusiast settings) and the 480 chewed it up and asked for more. No slowdowns whatsoever in anything. On my GTX280, even when framerates were good, they would sometimes dip, and feel a little choppy. This isn't the case at all. Also, the card is much better at handling things like tesselation and anti-aliasing than the Radeon 5xxx series. Hardware review sites often don't test with the benchmarks set to high enough detail levels to show a significant difference. EVGA has amazing customer service who will help you register your product and assist you with any problems you have. They will even help with overclocking (although this is through the forums since they technically can't do it on the phone).
Cons: The GTX480 runs a bit hot, but honestly, the stock 8800GT ran just as hot and nobody complained. Also, it requries a lot of power - but makes up for it with performance so you can't really fault it here. These are the two "semi-cons."
Overall Review: The GTX480 is an excellent video card. Just make sure that your power supply can handle it and that you have good airflow in your case before buying it. Other hardware I'm running: Core i7 920 @ 4.32GHz EVGA X58 SLI Classified 760 6GB Corsair Dominator GT @ 6-6-6-18-1T
Works well... in the end
Pros: Cools decently. I have an i7 920 doing 4GHz at 1.24v and load temps are around 73C, with idle temps around 40C. Also the cooler looks pretty cool. The included fan pushes a decent amount of air and if you set your BIOS right it can be pretty quiet most of the time.
Cons: Installation is a total pain. I need to get my brother to help me because I didn't have enough hands, which is not acceptable. Also, it's much harder to get a good mount - it took me a few tries to get temps where they are now. You can't simply put the thermal grease on the CPU and then mount. You have to apply the grease to the bottom of the cooler, put it against the cpu, and wiggle it around for a little to make sure it makes good contact and spreads evenly. The first 3 times I tried to mount this cooler I had load temps around 86C under Prime95 and as high as 95C under LinX. The fan can only be mounted once the cooler is on because otherwise you can't reach the screws. However, if you have a tall chipset cooler (like the eVGA Classified does) it's very hard to reach the bottom fan mounts. I ended up attaching only the top two since I'm using the cooler upright outisde of a case (not sideways as it would be in a case). Also the included fan can get loud at full speed.
Overall Review: The cooler itself does a good job and is not too expensive, but the installation is a hassle. Fan has some white LEDs that aren't too bright but may contrast with your case theme. Not a problem for me since I'm using it as a temporary cooler.
Pros: Incredibly fast, even at stock speeds. Overclocks insanely well. Was able to achieve a 45% overclock to 3.86GHz with NO increase in voltage. On my EVGA Classified and with water cooling I was able to hit as high as 4.4GHz with absolute stability.
Cons: Stock cooler is garbage, even at stock speeds. Tends to run REALLY hot, even with a high end air cooler.
Overall Review: This processor is priced right. It can easily be overclocked to match even the 975 in stock speed, making it the ideal choice in the i7 family for non-business users.
Pros: Oozes quality. All the components are high end, and the build quality is very sturdy. Overclocks very reliably and efficiently... takes low voltage to hit high overclocks. I was able to overclock my Core i7 920 to 3.86GHz (1.2GHz increase) on STOCK voltage (1.18v) and with Speedstep enabled. So far I've managed to get my CPU up to 4.4GHz on water cooling with relative ease, and I'm still aiming for higher. Also, EVGA offers EXCELLENT customer support, and although they technically do not support overclocking, their techs are always willing to help you out on the EVGA forums (which is helpful since they design the boards).
Cons: The northbridge heatsink is a bit tall and can make it hard to attach the bottom part of the CPU fan on some air coolers. Also the mosfets can get pretty hot if water cooling is used and there isn't any air directed at them. Expensive!
Overall Review: The board is expensive. Unless you're using water cooling or better, you likely won't see the benefits of this board, as the Core i7s will hit their thermal limit pretty quickly on air. For a high end water cooled system, this board is perfect.
Great little chip
Pros: Great little chip! Runs great at stock speeds, but overclocks nicely too. Also heat output is not much greater than my old E8400, which is a dual core. Running at 3.83GHz on my 750i board 24/7 and no issues.
Cons: 8.5x multiplier is a bit limiting, and the Q9650 is a little too expensive considering Core i7 is out. If you're not overclocking there are no cons, so I'm not removing an egg.
Overall Review: 3.83GHz and 2 BFG GTX280s gets me a 3DMark Vantage score of ~24.5k. Crysis (and all other games) run smoothly at 1920x1200 at 4xAA and all settings maxed out.