Date Joined: 12/23/03
Pros: - 2C to 4C temp reduction. Yeah or Meh?
- Looks pretty. Anodized red aluminum is eye candy. May clash with personal taste.
- Snug fit all-around. Screw holes have surprisingly decent manufacturing tolerance.
- Height and length dimensions of heatsink are fine on an Asus Tuf Gaming X570 Wifi Plus mobo with stock Ryzen 3700x cooler.
Cons: - 2C to 4C temp reduction. Worth it or not?
- Installation instructions are near non-existent. You get 2 sets of thermal pads - one thin, one thick. You're on your own in figuring out which ones attach to bottom or top of M.2 SSD.
- Screws and aluminum cage adds to total width dimensions. This barely fit in an Asus Tuf Gaming X570 Wifi Plus mobo, top M.2 socket.
Overall Review: I was expecting spectacular temp drops with a Samsung 970 Evo Plus. Before the heatsink install, it was running 55C on average. With the heatsink install, it's running 51C to 53C.
Your mileage will definitely vary based on pc case size and fan cooling conditions, proximity to GPU/CPU, and even how HOT your GPU runs.
I won't be buying another one of these anytime soon. The Samsung 970 Evo Plus throttles at 70C. This heatsink gave me a whopping 2C to 4C temp headroom. Yeah, exciting /s.
Pros: - Fan runs quiet.
- +12V rail cable is long enough to reach the +12V connector in a Corsair 200R Black mid-ATX case and a Gigabyte Aorus Z490 Elite AC mobo.
Cons: - Only has 1 set of dual-connector +12V power cable. Good enough for my particular application.
- The SATA power connectors are upside-down. All of them.
- The included screws are chrome plated and super-shiny. They will look out of place on a pure-black pc case.
- Non-modular cables makes for a rat's nest, hence the -1 egg judgment. I've owned older 650W Rosewill power supplies that are semi-modular and sold for a cheaper price.
Overall Review: I was afraid of other reviews detailing how this particular power supply either arrived DOA or died within months of installation. But Newegg's been good to me and I have yet to experience any dead power supplies from them. This particular model would be the 2nd Rosewill-branded power supply that I've bought from its owner - Newegg.
So far, so good.
I'm running this power supply on a Gigabyte Aorus Z490 Elite AC, Intel 10400 cpu, G.Skill 3200 2x16 GB modules, and PNY Geforce 1650 Super, and a plethora of storage units.
Planning to get a Nvidia 3070 or AMD 6800 equivalent in the future.
Pros: Performs as one of your standard DVD burner. Operating noise is acceptable, vibration isn't an issue, and it writes on cdrs and dvdrs +/- solidly and without any major problems. Motorized tray runs smoothly along its tracks and makes a perfect seal against the front bezel every time.
All-in-all, it's decent for its price. Off-brand DVD burners at this price range usually suffer from jitter and noise that this unit does not have.
Cons: I've had previous ASUS cd and dvd burners that had fancy spring-and-dampener suspension systems to minimize both noise and vibration during high speed burning, so it pains me to NOT see any kind of noise and/or vibration attenuation other than sound-dampening foam material that acts as a seal when the tray closes shut against the front bezel.
The included Nero OEM burning software isn't that great - it's rudimentary compared to Nero 9. Advanced settings are inaccessible and it does not have a drag-and-drop interface. It feels like I'm using cripple-ware, and you'll be reminded of this every time you see the prompts that ask if you want to buy Nero's latest and greatest from their website.
Overall Review: The bezel's black matte finish melds well with my Antec Nine Hundred case. Front bezel as well as the tray's front cover are removable for ease of custom painting.
Pros: Runs stable on my P5E3 Pro, Q9650, HD5770 Diamond-brand Crossfire setup, Corsair 750W PS. RAM works great at 1600MHz - automatically detected by the motherboard's SPD to operate at 1600.
Each of the RAM modules has a nice plastic railing running along the top-edge. It's solidly attached, making for easy holding. The heat spreader is solidly attached as well.
Cons: None, but remain vigilant. ESD (electrostatic discharge) can always kill delicate RAM components.
These RAM modules are CAS 9. Buy CAS 7 modules if you want bragging rights, but the performance delta between CAS 9 and CAS 7 is hardly noticeable. 1% to 2%, at best, and that's only if you're truly working on software that utilizes fully-random RAM accesses. Most home computer RAM accesses are serial in nature and, thus, that CAS 9 RAM will perform on par with CAS 7.
Pros: I have a WinXP OS running 2 of these cards in Crossfire. I'll eventually upgrade to Win7 to experience the DirectX 11 over-hype, but in the meantime I'm loving every minute! It's my first dual-vid setup, and despite the fact that I've had Nvidia cards on my past 3 systems, a pair of these babies rock!
I'm running WOW at 1600x1200, 8x Aniso, 4x AA on a Q9650 and I'm maxing out at my monitor's refresh rate of 60fps. COD4:MW2 was maxing out at 1600x1200, 4x Aniso, 4x AA 45-55fps.
I'm mostly interested in Diamond's reliability. No overheating issues, no flickering, no banding, no stuttering.
Card's short length, relative to older models, is very welcome in my already-tight Antec Nine Hundred case.
Solid card all around.
Cons: I've always admired ATI's dedication to driver completeness. My one and only gripe is the REQUIREMENT to install Microsoft's .NET framework to benefit from the latest ATI video drivers.
It confounds me as to why I have to install enterprise software BEFORE I can get full functionality of ATI's Catalyst drivers. In fact, on my past 3 systems, this pain alone was actually strong enough to push me over the edge when I'm comparing Nvidia and ATI cards of the same price and performance. I mean, why bother with ATI's video card that requires the .NET framework when Nvidia saves you the headache of having to install a piece of software that most home users don't even know nothing about?
Heck, do you know what the benefits are of installing Microsoft .NET framework on your computer? If you're like most home users or casual-to-hardcore gamers for whom this video card is targeted to, then you're most likely reply is:
".NET? Huh? What's that?"
Overall Review: ATI Catalyst drivers, as of ver. 10.3 , do not have any means to visually indicate Crossfire performance. Aside from seeing, first-hand, noticeable performance increases via synthetic tests or gaming fps measurements, you'll never know if your Crossfire-configured cards are running at their optimum.
With Nvidia video drivers, Nvidia is kind enough to include some kind of visual performance metric to notify you of SLI activity and load. ATI, on the other hand, leaves you in the dust in this category and makes you wonder what activity and load their GPUs are put under.
It's not that bad, but I still want to know if my ATI GPUs are doing the best that they could. Just knowing that I'm +20FPS above a single-card setup is not enough. I want to know if the ATI GPU is maxing out, and ATI can start by showing me GPU load.
Pros: I usually do not overclock, but I'm still impressed by the flexibility of this board. It has a quirky overclocking AI that I'll get to in the "Cons" section below, but for the most part the overclocking options are robust. FSB and memory speeds can be incrementally adjusted in values of 1, which is nice. Voltages are easily adjustable as well. I like the BIOS recovery whenever POST fails - the motherboard automatically lowers FSB and multiplier on next boot-up!
Both 4-pin and 24-pin connectors are easily reachable and are unobstructed. The placement of the 4 SATA connectors on the edge of the board is a nice gesture towards folks with very long video cards.
Hmm, the X48 chipset is why I bought this in the first place. I wanted to run SLI, but the dearth of mobos that could run my Intel Q9650 LGA 775 1333 MHz Extreme forced me to go the Crossfire route. Other Intel chipsets that ran Crossfire only operated at X16/X8 pairs, so that was a no-no. (continued to "Cons" section)
Cons: Besides, HD5770s were going for $160 versus the $210+ GTX 260s (video cards that are somewhat on par on performance with each other). With an existing processor, it was far cheaper to go the Crossfire route than the SLI route at the writing of this review.
Now, for the ASUS overclocking AI built into the BIOS -- it's utter cr-ap.
My advice to you is to set this BIOS feature on MANUAL to free yourself of any headaches. Set your CPU FSB and multiplier (on unlocked processors) manually, and set your memory frequency manually. Of course, I don't OC as much, so I set mines at stock CPU/ram speeds.
During my first few moments of Windows installation headaches, I received TONS of BSOD errors. Page fault, IRQLs not less than or equal to, etc. You name it, I got every single memory error out there. Only after troubleshooting did I realize that the stupid BIOS is AUTOMATICALLY trying to OC my CPU.. and HIDE IT (not on purpose, though).
(continued on "Other thoughts" section)
Overall Review: Sick of staring at non-ending BSOD sessions, I finally took one look at the BIOS settings and saw the CPU FSB set to 1600MHz and multipler set at 7.5 for an effective 3.01GHz speed by the ASUS AI Overclocking feature. I immediately screamed "B-S!"
Stupid mobo OC'd my CPU FSB, dropped the multiplier, and didn't even compensate for voltage. A delta of 267Mhz effective requires a voltage bump that this feature effectively failed to perform.
But it's easily correctable. I forced this feature to manual, forced the FSB to 1333, forced the multiplier to 9.0, and even dropped the 1600-Mhz-rated Corsair 2x2GB memory speed to 1333 to match FSB. Yeah, yeah.. I like my FSB to match memory speed... so sue me. Friends in computer science and computer engineering teach me the virtue of cpu/memory parity. :)
And, LO AND BEHOLD, IT WORKS! It's stable - with that stupid ASUS AI Overclocking BIOS featured turned OFF!
So, yeah... it's an awesome board, but turn that BIOS AI OC Option OFF!