Date Joined: 06/13/05
Pros: Excellent build construction/quality. Body is made of a magnesium alloy (lid/screen is standard plastic).Comes with actual installation discs for Windows 7 pro AND Windows 8 pro, along with driver discs for each. Upgrading is very simple compared to other laptops, everything is immediately accessible after removing the bottom cover. Quiet. The fan doesn't even turn under light loads.
Can even handle light gaming thanks to the 384 shader cores in the integrated graphics.
Cons: Throttles under very heavy loads (prime95/furmark). Seems it could use better cooling. Haven't seen it throttle for anything else, though. Has Displayport instead of HDMI, and a non standard ethernet port. Cheap Displayport-to-HDMI and low profile ethernet cables are cheap and easy to find online, though. RAM limited to 1600 MHz.
Overall Review: Never used the hard drive that came with the laptop. Installed a 480 GB SSD to keep things snappy. Docking station and battery "slice" available through HP.
Pros: Excellent cooling capacity, currently being used with an FX-9590 without issue. Comes with top quality thermal paste.
Overall Review: The bottom of this cooler is grooved from the manufacturing process. I lapped the nickel plating off the cooler to smooth the bottom surface and remove the extra layer of thermal resistance, however this made no difference to cooling performance.
Pros: Fastest AMD processor you can currently buy, roughly equivalent to an i7-3770K as far as performance goes.
Cons: Can't seem to overclock. This problem is twofold in my case. The ASUS Sabertooth R2 either suffers from significant voltage droop under full load, or ridiculously high thermals. Can't seem to strike a balance between the two.
Overall Review: Doesn't need water cooling, currently using a Noctua NH-D14. Idles at 30°C, tops out at 62°C after running prime95 for 8 hours (Assuming ASUS' AI Suite thermal measurements are correct, AMD Overdrive shows 20°C thermal overhead after 8 hours of prime).
Can be had for $270 if you are patient and wait for the deals.
Pros: Cheap server grade HDD.
Cons: None so far.
Overall Review: As others have said, SMART diagnostics stated that the drive has had 20k or more operational hours logged on it, but this is probably just because the refurbishment process didn't reset the controller.
The drive I received had DELL branding on it.
Pros: High airflow, relatively quiet considering the amount of air it pushes.
Cons: No equivalent that comes without the LEDs.
Overall Review: The LED settings are remembered after power cycles. Nice feature I didn't see advertised anywhere.
Pros: Works, good amount of bios options that allow you to enable/disable individual hardware, including wireless LAN and bluetooth. I haven't run across these options until this board, but this is also my first UEFI BIOS.
Cons: I initially ran into freezing issues when trying to save in BIOS. I got around this by hitting F10 instead of trying to click on the "save and exit" option. It would be nice if MSI allowed sysfan speeds to change based on motherboard temperatures, instead of only allowing for a fixed speed. This is worth taking off an egg in my opinion.
Overall Review: Many people have mentioned that the CPU runs at full load in BIOS. This is true of every AMD board I have owned, and I don't think it is a "BIOS bug", but just the way AMD hardware behaves. I have seen this on AM3 processors with 790FX and 880G northbridges as well.
Pros: Silent, size is compact compared to other fanless configurations.
Cons: When connected to HDMI, the text on the POST screen is green instead of white. This makes me suspect the quality of the card, as the Saphirre HD6670 Ultimate that this replaced did not have this issue. However after the OS is loaded, all the colors appear correct.
Overall Review: Replaced this with a Sapphire HD6670 Ultimate to rid myself of clearance woes characteristic of Silverstone's Sugo SG06. Haven't had any heat issues with the card, but I do have a 40mm Noiseblocker fan blowing directly on the heatsink to provide some amount airflow.
Paired with an Asus M4A88T-I motherboard and undervolted/clocked 1100T.
Pros: Works at 1333, as advertised.
Overall Review: Using this with an ASUS 1215B. Wasn't sure if it would run at the full 1333 rated speed, but according to the POST screen it does. Bought this based on the ZBOX review above.
Pros: Good price/performance ratio. These cards are one of the few higher OC'd 4890s that are almost always available.
Cons: These cards can run extremely hot in crossfire mode without adequate case cooling. I had two of these in a Lian Li midtower case and they would overheat (MEMIO would reach 110 degrees C and then the PC would freeze/crash) while playing Call of Juarez. This would happen even with the fan speeds manually set to 100%.
Overall Review: Currently using a HAF 932 case and watercooling two of these cards, brought temps down to 40C idle and 76C full load.
MEMIO temps generally read 10-20 degrees higher than the Shader and DISPIO. Removing the factory thermal paste and applying some IC Diamond brought all three temperatures within 5 degrees of each other.
Pros: Cools well. Sturdy construction, comes with all necessary brackets/clips.
Keeps my Phenom II 955 (@1.40V) around 45 degrees idle and peaks at 62 degrees with an ambient temp of 30 degrees.
Cons: The bottom seemed a little rough compared to my old Zalman 9500 cooler, may have to lap it. The fan may be too loud for some.
Overall Review: Wanted to get a Xigmatek HDT cooler but it was the wrong orientation for my case and would have messed up the direction of airflow. This is a good alternative.
Pros: Had this supply for over a year with no problems. Recently installed two Powercolor PCS+ 4890s rated for a maximum TDP of 199W each. Ran Furmark with no shutdowns.
Cons: Manual doesn't specify what is connected to each 12V rail.
Overall Review: System specs:
Phenom II 955 OC'd to 3.6ghz @ 1.40V
Asus M3A32-MVP Deluxe motherboard
2x WD 640 GB in raid
1 WD 1TB
4 GB Corsair XMS2 1066 DDR2 ram
2x Powercolor PCS+ 4890 in crossifre