Joined on 04/03/06
Rock Stable at 2000MHz
Pros: I have had no issues whatsoever with this RAM in my Asus Rampage IV Formula motherboard since it was installed just over a month ago. With my 125x35 CPU overclock my RAM frequency options nearest to 1866 are 1666 and 2000. I've been running at 2000 from the outset and everything is rock stable. I did set the timings manually to 9-10-9-27 and 2T but let the motherboard set the DRAM voltage (which it set at 1.65). Also, the RAM looks really sharp. The pictures don't do it justice.
Cons: None at all.
Overall Review: Attempts to set the DRAM parameters with XMP were not successful. I believe this is an issue with the motherboard, not the RAM. This is my second ROG Asus motherboard and neither would POST with XMP. But, again, setting everything manually works perfectly and takes only seconds to do.
Pros: The cards runs very quietly and cool and my case is inside a cabinet and not particularly well ventilated. No coil whine whatsoever. Scored 7766 on Firestrike extreme compared to 6150 with the GTX 980 Strix that this card replaced. Needless to say this card glides through every game I have at max settings throughout at 1080p (including GTA V and Crysis 3). Never bought from Zotac before but happy so far. Card is actually fairly lightweight but still seems solidly built. I was holding out for the Strix to come in stock but I am not disappointed that I bought the Zotac instead. If this card holds up over time I will definitely buy Zotac again.
Cons: None whatsoever.
Pros: The drive is very fast and having 480GB of space (447 once formatted) means I don't have to have multiple drives. Initially scored 550Mb read and 520Mb write speeds on ATTO as claimed. However, the write speed has deceased to around 400Mb with use. Installation was fine but as I was migrating from an existing mechanical HDD it did take some work to get my partition aligned properly. Proper alignment is essential to achieve the drive's rated performance. If you are installing Windows 7 from scratch you won't have any problems as Windows will align the partition correctly. But if you are migrating from an existing mechanical drive as I did then you will have to address this. My PC now goes from power on to the desktop in only 12 seconds (seriously) and most of that is POST.
Cons: Only the price.
Overall Review: An occasional secure erase of the drive will restore its original performance (I verified this). This is not about writing zeros to the drive (which is actually something you do not want to do) but rather issuing the secure erase command through the drive's controller. Finally, you won't achieve anything near the drive's potential unless you have native Intel SATA 3 support (with a Marvell controller you'll see only 400Mb read and about 225Mb on write).
Could Be The Perfect Case
Pros: Just the right size for a case. Easy to build in but much smaller externally than the 600T or 650D. USB 3.0 connection to motherboard header a plus. Being able to remove the HDD cages is another benefit. Keeps my components cooler than my 600T was able to despite the 500R’s smaller size. Tremendous fan flexibility. Enough clearance on top of the case and under the mesh cover for two fans or the H100 radiator. Nice styling and quality feel. Good cable management (not quite as much room behind the motherboard as the 600T but that’s the trade-off for a smaller footprint).
Cons: Only two USB 3.0 ports because front panel space is wasted on a fire wire connector. Very little documentation. Standard fan mounting screws do not quite fit the 500R’s mounts but Corsair doesn’t include additional screws (regular ones will work if you’re very careful).
Pros: Awesome power in a single card. More than doubled the score of my old 5970 on both 3DMark Vantage and Unigine Heaven 2.5. More than doubled. Rips through Crysis in DX10, all settings very high at 1920x1080. Unbelievable. Handles Crysis Warhead with Enthusiast settings across the board at 1920x1080 with ease. Incredible. Runs S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat at maximum settings across the board at 1920 x 1080 without breaking a sweat. Awesome. For me it took the 11.6 drivers to really open up this beast. The 11.5 and 11.4 versions gave me some stuttering and flickering issues.
Cons: None. I originally wrote that the card was too loud but it turns out that was my problem. Two months ago I built a new system in a Corsair 600T case and the card is now, for all intents and purposes, silent. It makes itself known when under full load but even then I would not call that loud. The fan quickly throttles back down as soon as demand reduces.
Overall Review: In my case the card runs hot and will top out at 95 running Call of Pripyat, about 90 or so running Crysis or Crysis Warhead, but only 75-80 on most other games. For me that is not an issue and my case is inside a cabinet without the greatest airflow but I mention it only because some people complain about the temperatures. It isn't an issue for me and it doesn't seem to bother the card either.
Looks Great, Runs Great
Pros: I had no issues getting this to run at 1866 with my Asus Rampage III Formula. All I had to do was to specify the speed in the BIOS. I have had no issues maintaining that speed with a variety of different CPU overclocks. I have not tried, nor do I intend to try, overclocking the RAM itself. The provided airflow fan also looks really sharp but it's not really needed for cooling the RAM. However, I think it's an attractive way to get some additional airflow inside the case generally.
Cons: None at all.