Joined on 09/05/11
Pros: - Runs fairly cool: about ~35 degrees on idle with the stock cooler, up to about ~50 degrees from hours of gaming - Significantly better VALUE than most AMD options at the moment (especially for gaming)
Cons: - The stock cooler is not the greatest, a little noisy
Overall Review: My best advice for processor purchasing for the current i5 line-up: - Find whatever Haswell i5 is on sale and buy it. If the unlocked version (has a 'k' on the end of the name) happens to be on sale, you should get an aftermarket cooler so you can take advantage of the over-clocking without dealing with over-heating (assuming you have the Proper MoBo chip-set). - I personally believe that the best VALUE is to get an H97 motherboard (no over-clocking), buy a locked i5 Haswell processor (when it's on sale), and you'll be fine with the stock cooler. HOWEVER, if you're serious about minimizing the noise you'll want to get an aftermarket CPU cooler anyway, so this option might not be the best value for you.
Great deal for 1080p IPS
Pros: - IPS is definitely an upgrade from my TN panel - Has VESA mounting holes - Got it on sale, free shipping - was super cheap
Cons: - The stock stand is quite wobbly - The factory settings out-of-the-box were laughable at best. Fortunately, with some basic gamma tweaking and Windows color configuration I was able to get my desired settings. - No DVI or Display Port - HDMI and VGA only. - Came with the VGA cable only. - No built-in-speakers
Overall Review: This monitor was the PERFECT purchase for ME, but likely not everyone. Here's why: 1. (Wobbly stand). I haven't set it up yet, but I plan to use a VESA mount to hold the monitor. As a result it was okay for me to cheap out on the stand. 2. (No DVI, etc.). My other monitor has a DVI port so it was fine for me to have HDMI only. Also I didn't care that it doesn't come with the HDMI cable because I have a bunch of HDMI cables lying around. 3. (No built-in-speakers). I never use my monitors for sound because I like to use separate speakers. Basically, this monitor cheaps out on everything minus the VESA mounting holes - which is exactly what I wanted. The panel itself is as good as any 1080p IPS. In fact, LG supplies the panels for some of the other monitor suppliers (e.g. Dell), so don't worry about the panel itself.
Pros: - The card runs very cool (maybe ~50 degrees after hours of gaming) - Very quiet in idle - Comes with an awesome mouse pad if you need one - Comes with the Witcher 3, a legit 60 dollar value
Cons: - MSI's utility software (i.e. MSI Gaming app and MSI Afterburner) is a bit shoddy - Overpriced because of the "gaming" marketing differentiation with LED's and such
Overall Review: I bought this on sale for $200.00, otherwise I would have bought the regular MSI gtx 960 card, especially because my case doesn't take advantage of the cool appearance and LED's. Another note: some people have said that it's quite large and difficult to fit in their case. Wasn't an issue for me, but you should probably check the dimensions before buying.