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steven m.

steven m.

Joined on 06/08/10

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 4
Most Favorable Review

Very pleased so far

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB GDDR5X PCI Express 3.0 x16 ATX Video Card GV-N108TGAMING OC-11GD
GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB GDDR5X PCI Express 3.0 x16 ATX Video Card GV-N108TGAMING OC-11GD

Pros: Meets my needs and then some. I recently upgraded my TV to 4K HDR and I use this card in the hybrid gaming/HTPC that goes with it. I mostly play fighting games that I could previously not run at 4k with adequate frame rates. That is no longer an issue, but I could likely have achieved that with a number of other lower tier cards. I have been running Nier; Automata at 4k maxed out for hours (literally 6-8 hours straight) without issue and it is truly stunning. I don't think twice about maxing out settings on anything I play. I don't overclock and have no intention of going beyond factory OC in the future, as most of what I play will not likely require it. This card is right where I'm at as far as wanting a top notch card with the features I want but none of the over-the top extras you might expect from the auorus (sp?) or heavier OC'd cards available at the moment. I think of it as a sensible sports car. I don't think its for the hard core enthusiast, but it should be pretty future proof for the foreseeable future and maxes out settings with ease.

Cons: The fans definitely need to run to keep this thing cool, but so far I have not experienced any throttling even after hours at 4k maxed out. The fans move a lot of air so the noise is noticeable, but I do not hear anything I wouldn't expect to hear (coil whine, etc.) The card runs a bit hot, but not excessive. It should be noted that as I use this in an HTPC, it is installed in a somewhat crowded "silent" case (Fractal Define R2) that is not totally ideal for managing heat. This case is insulated with foam and while I run several case fans, I keep the airflow pretty low to keep noise down. Airflow is somewhat impeded by the added shrouding meant to keep the noise down, and I also keep the unused fan mounts blocked off, giving hot air nowhere to go but the one exhaust in the top-back of the case. The noise and heat I experience are all within what I would expect given the install and the way I run the machine.

Overall Review: Although I've upgraded to this 1080ti, the cpu its paired with is still an old AMD Phenom 6 core that I know runs hot as hell when pushed (not helping the case heat). I've still had no problems with bottle-necking or thermal throttling, so I will leave well enough alone for now. For reference: so far the loudest I've gotten the GPU fans to run during use is no louder than the old xbox360 I have setting right next to it (as heard by me sitting on the couch about 8 ft away). Not sure what it would sound like without the silent case. I think this is a great consumer level card. I chose it because I have had great experiences with Gigabyte products in the past (GTX 970 G1 gaming in my other machine, a couple of old mother boards that just won't seem to give up after over 5 years of abuse), and I don't feel the need for a more aggressively OC'd card.

Fantastic (re-branded ergotron LX)

HP BT861AT Monitor Arm
HP BT861AT Monitor Arm

Pros: This monitor arm is as good as it gets for home use. It is literally the same as the ergotron LX. Mine even has an ergotron sticker on it! I have the LX at work and can confirm they are the same, only this one is all black and costs $30 less. I have it sitting next to two ergotron neo-flexs now and it is VASTLY superior, to the point where I am considering replacing one or both of the nearly brand new ergotron models for consistency. Holds a 23" ASUS no problem (obviously, its in spec), but It feels solid enough to hold much more.

Cons: None to speak of.

Overall Review: REALLY wish I could go back in time and order 3 of these instead of the neo-flexs...

Noctua "killer" (or at least injure-er)

COUGAR Vortex PWM 120mm (CF-V12HP) Cooling Fan with Hydro-Dynamic Bearing and Pulse Width Modulation (Orange Version)
COUGAR Vortex PWM 120mm (CF-V12HP) Cooling Fan with Hydro-Dynamic Bearing and Pulse Width Modulation (Orange Version)

Pros: Absolutely the best price to performance available for quiet high performance fans currently. -PWM, with the right controls (Asus Thermal Radar does a good job), they provide just the right airflow for the temp you want -Move a lot of air at low speeds/noise, but can also be cranked up to blow your hair back if necessary -Good quality, not quite as solid as similar size Noctua fans, but still much higher than your average mid-price case fan.. -Surprisingly good static pressure, its not advertised very widely, but the spec sheet says somewhere around 2mm H20, which is good for the price (Noctuas are similar but 1-15 $ more). I have one a on a xigmatek Aegir and it performs wonderfully and silently on a 1090t @ 3.8Ghz.

Cons: I like to use the little rubber mounting nubs instead of standard screws... but man, those things will break your fingers without the right tools... I have an older non-PWM cougar 14cm fan (which I also love) that came with longer, easier to install rubber mounts which i really preferred... not sure why they changed. You really have to lean on the fan chassis itself to get the rubber pieces in the first couple of times, that being said, it does make me a little nervous that the fans can twist up a bit when trying to get the mounts in... like i said, these aren't quite as solid as some Noctua models.

Overall Review: Overall, I absolutely love these fans. I have 6 installed between a Fractal Define R3 (HTPC/mid-level gaming) and a Fractal Define mini (file server/backup) to replace fractals stock fans which are pretty mediocre IMO. I wanted silent operation with the option of moving more air for gaming (x-fire 6950s in the R3) and the spinning drives in the mini (3 2TB drives now, plans for 6 eventually). These fans do the trick perfectly. The PWM function (properly controlled) will give you just what you need when you need it without manual tweaking. Keep in mind, these fans WILL get louder if you run them at 100% (just from the amount of air they move, not mechanical noise), but the benefit here is that you don't HAVE to. They perform very well at low speeds. Noctua only recently began offering a PWM model, and they are including a lot of the same features that cougar has been using for years (control notches, fan focusing).

Outstanding

XFX FX-795A-TNBC Radeon HD 7950 Black 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
XFX FX-795A-TNBC Radeon HD 7950 Black 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

Pros: Outstanding performance, even on an outdated motherboard setup. After updating motherboard, this paired with 1090t can go toe to toe (with some extreme exceptions) with my x-fire 6950s (not unlocked)/i5 @ 4.6 setup. VERY quiet, even with modest overclock (1050/ 1450) (auto fan and voltage)

Cons: Weird note: Sometimes while sitting idle the fan will randomly pulse up to what sounds like 100% then immediately drop off. Startled me the first few times. I think it may be an artifact of power saving settings combined with the overclock... I could probably figure it out and fix it but it really doesn't bother me that much. Kinda weird though, definitely not worth docking any points for. Price (duh, but I'm impatient and didn't want to wait for Kepler related price drops...) Honestly, for a spare gaming rig I probably didn't really need this much power, if I wasn't so impatient it is entirely likely that upcoming 7800 series would do the job and then some, but I have no regrets whatsoever. Eventually, this will be crossfired and dropped into my primary setup...

Overall Review: For my needs I really don't even think the overclock is absolutely necessary, (factory overclock yes, my extra clocking no). Card is BEAST. I play at 1080p on both this and my x-fire 6950s, hence my comparison of the two being so similar. I can't speak to performance above that res, but given the cards 3 gigs of ram I would expect good things... this card definitely beats out the 6950s on simplicity and compatibility, although all annoying AMD driver issues still may apply to get things just right (removing old drivers finding new ones, no deal breakers there). I have always had good luck with XFX cards and support, and this is no exception. Build quality is excellent, you could beat a man to death with this card and it will still chug through any bench you throw at it (I'm a big fan of the aluminum design).