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Mark B.

Mark B.

Joined on 01/04/03

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Most Favorable Review

Decent sub $150USD card with room for improvement

ASRock Challenger Arc A380 6GB GDDR6 PCI Express 4.0 ITX Video Card A380 CLI 6G OC
ASRock Challenger Arc A380 6GB GDDR6 PCI Express 4.0 ITX Video Card A380 CLI 6G OC

Pros: Oversized fan and aluminum heatsink for cooling Runs relatively quiet Decent overclocking room Full Asrock support Good performance for price point compared to AMD and Nvidia equivalents

Cons: Buggy drivers still need improvement

Overall Review: This product has intrigued me since launch so when I was able to finally pick one up I did. The card itself is slightly bigger than most "ITX" cards I've encountered with a pretty beefy aluminum heatsink and a slightly larger than average fan. There is zero RGB on this card and it requires one PCIE lead for aux power. Using the newest (as of 8/27/2022) BETA drivers there are still some bugs to work out. I got a few errors trying to run the control software and certain benchmarking programs are problematic like Superposition which stutters quite frequently. Using Timespy, performance is right around 4400 GPU which places it solidly between a 1650 and 1650 super which actually is a good price:performance for this card. This was tested with an 11400 + 2x8GB 3200 ram. I played a bit of World of Warcraft and Fallout 76 at 1080p and performance was right in line which means solid but nor remarkable. 6GB of memory is very capable for 1080p. 1440p is a stretch for many titles depending on settings and 4k is unrealistic obviously. If you're looking for what I think is a solid 1080p card that is still ironing out early adopter bugs and issues, this is a solid choice for what it provides. If you want mature drivers and something that is ready to go across just about every game and suite and/or you seek greater than 1080p gaming, you might do better to look elsewhere. Solid 4/5

Most Critical Review

Beware

HyperX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Laptop Memory Model KHX8500S3ULK2/4GX
HyperX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Laptop Memory Model KHX8500S3ULK2/4GX

Pros: Nice heat spreaders. Passed memtest at rated SPD. Works great as 7-7-7-20 memory. Works fine in an OCZ Whitebook Xfire config.

Cons: Unfortunately adheres to JDEC SPD which is 7-7-7-20. Does not boot at rated XMP-1066 profile (5-5-5-15). As a result, your laptop needs to have a BIOS capable of manually adjusting BIOS memory times which is rarely the case with laptops.

Overall Review: BEWARE: Make sure to check your laptop BIOS to see if you can manually change your memory timings or you are potentially stuck with very expensive 7-7-7-20 memory which can be had for much cheaper. Intel's "Extreme Tuning Utility," is supposed to allow manual adjustments of memory profiles in Windows and is custom released by vendors, but there is no version available from Kingston (who sells this memory), and you are at the mercy of your laptop maker.

Fans do not light up. Poor cable management.

Rosewill SPECTRA D100 ATX Mid Tower Gaming Case With Tempered Glass Side Panel
Rosewill SPECTRA D100 ATX Mid Tower Gaming Case With Tempered Glass Side Panel

Pros: Excellent price for a 4 fan case Spacious front for components Vertical mount compatible Nice Aesthetics Great price

Cons: Fan hub does not power lighting to fans. (No lights) Poor/limited cable management space No vertical mounting system except nub type device

Overall Review: For the price of $60USD for a decent sized mid-ATX case and 4 full RGB fans is the appeal. The case itself is very visually pleasing on the eye with an all black theme. It does come with 4x 120mm RGB case fans but they are completely powered by a hub which in turn is powered by an old school 5v connector. My fans run but do not light up at all. The fan subsystem is completely controlled by the fan hub and the fans run at 100%. They aren't overly loud but noticeable. Since it comes with 3x intake and only 1x exhaust I installed 2x Arctic P14 140mm fans on the top for some extra exhaust since the GPU (2070 Super) radiates some serious heat. There is a large drive cage that basically makes it nearly impossible to install a modern PSU in there (especially a non modular) but it is removable. Overall for $60 the 4x fans make it a good value but the lack of wiring space and their non-functioning status (which I noticed in other reviews) costs it 2 stars.

Large and in charge

ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3080 V2 OC Edition 10GB GDDR6X PCI Express 4.0 x16 Video Card ROG-STRIX-RTX3080-O10G-V2-GAMING (LHR)
ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3080 V2 OC Edition 10GB GDDR6X PCI Express 4.0 x16 Video Card ROG-STRIX-RTX3080-O10G-V2-GAMING (LHR)

Pros: Superior PCB design 95% of 3090 performance at less than half the cost Fairly quiet under load Great temps when gaming No coil whine

Cons: Pricey You're gonna need a bigger boat....I mean case Average at best RGB

Overall Review: I wanted to downsize from a 3090 as I wasn't using it as much as I thought I would for gaming and I figured I could save some $$$ and still game adequately. I tried a 3070 and a 3070ti but they just weren't getting it done. Luckily, I hit the Newegg Lottery and was able to pick one up at MSRP without being tied down to a combo deal. It is big and powerful and handles my 4k WoW gaming just as well as my previous 3090. My card has no meaningful coil whine like some other cards I've owned so that is a plus. It runs pretty quiet under load too. I do wish the RGB design was more original and that the Geforce RTX lit up but it is what it is.

My favorite mouse

EVGA X17 Gaming Mouse, Wired, Grey, Customizable, 16,000 DPI, 5 Profiles, 10 Buttons, Ergonomic 903-W1-17GR-KR
EVGA X17 Gaming Mouse, Wired, Grey, Customizable, 16,000 DPI, 5 Profiles, 10 Buttons, Ergonomic 903-W1-17GR-KR

Pros: Futuristic aesthetics Nice RGB Good hand feel Decent but not overwhelming array of buttons Lightweight braided cord Good scroll wheel

Cons: Left inside buttons could be more recessed.

Overall Review: I actually picked up one of these elsewhere to have a full "EVGA" build at the time and fell in love with using this mouse. The longer I used and gamed with it the more I liked it. Pleasing ergonomics with a nice swath of buttons and functions. Love the RGB (especially the front lights) and a very night braided cord doesn't hinder play. Only complaint would be the two inside lower buttons. I found I kept accidentally hitting them. Luckily the EVGA software gives you complete control over the mouse and I was able to just turn them off. I like the mouse so much that when they went on sale on good ole Newegg I bought 3 of them as backups!

10/27/2021

Sound issues and inconsistent CPU clocks are a deal breaker

GIGABYTE Z590 AORUS PRO AX LGA 1200 Intel Z590 ATX Motherboard with 4 x M.2, PCIe 4.0, USB 3.2 Gen2X2 Type-C, Intel WIFI 6, 2.5GbE LAN
GIGABYTE Z590 AORUS PRO AX LGA 1200 Intel Z590 ATX Motherboard with 4 x M.2, PCIe 4.0, USB 3.2 Gen2X2 Type-C, Intel WIFI 6, 2.5GbE LAN

Pros: Low key RGB look in a good way Feels relatively well built

Cons: Continued problems with Sound chip and random sounds and sometimes complete static noise Board will not hold steady CPU clocks and GPU simultaneously erratically versus other boards BIOS could be a bit more intuitive

Overall Review: Very pleasing to the eye and easy installation. I've been using this board for over two months now and a very well known audio issue still persists even with the newest BIOS update. Sometimes you get heavy thuds or noise randomly via analog (worse via digital). Sometimes the audio will cut out and is replaced with a soul jarring white static noise. Another problem are unsteady CPU clocks when pushing the GPU (gigabyte Eagle 3070ti) and CPU (11900k running stock). Independently, both work fine, but when benching both or heavy gaming, the CPU will plunge momentarily for 2ghz and performance tanks. I've tried both components on two other motherboards with the same memory and PSU and no problems at all (Seasonic 1000w and EVGA 850w). This is the 4th different Gigabyte board (2x Z390 1x B550 now 1xZ590) this year (2021) that I've had problems with that are deal breakers (Defective HDMI ports, Defective USB ports, now Defective Audio and CPU clocks). I'm done after this with their motherboards for good.

10/27/2021