Great Card but don't expect free shaders.12/29/2011 12:31:22 PM

Pros: Very fast. The only game I've had issues with has been Arkham City and I haven't tried it since the update. Even people with GTX580s have low frame-rates on that one though. So I don't think it's the card. It comes factory overclocked to 850 Mhz and the MSI Afterburner software can take it higher although if I get crashes if I run faster that 890Mhz on Skyrim. You can also bump the RAM up to 1325Mhz. It doesn't really do much but it's there. Other than Arkham City everything else; Skyrim, BF3, MW3 ... all run Ultra at 1080p with no issues. Quiet AND Cool. The card is a silent assassin. I can't hear it at full load. True, it's usually running some game with load sounds but when idling it's quiet and I never have it run hotter than 61 Celsius. Ever. Very good card for the price.

Cons: The shaders cannot be unlocked. It's not a big deal but if you want to do that go with another card like the Gigabyte or Sapphire. MSI uses a custom BIOS and if you use RBE you get a dead card that you have to boot into DOS (like OG Windows 98 DOS) to do a manual reflash. it was a pain in the neck but my card is working again.

Overall Review: Do not buy this card if you want to unlock 6970 shaders and clocks. As of 12/29/2011, there doesn't appear to be a work around for this card.

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Great for my HTPC/Livingroom Gaming build11/14/2011 5:17:29 PM

Pros: Nice UEFI/BIOS interface. It boots everything up. Recognizes USB installation disks. This motherboard came with a terrific remote control which you CAN use to turn on your system from full OFF. Fantastic for HTPCs. It has enough bells and whistles to be able to function as a decent entry level class gaming rig. All it needs is a decent Video Card. I've got it running a i5-2500K with 16GB of 1333 RAM. Setup was a breeze although I had some trouble installing Windows 7 onto an SSD while my 3TB GPT drive was connected. All I had to do was disconnect the GPT drive and it worked. I think this is an error with Windows 7 and not the motherboard. I use it mostly for media and Internet. I haven't really tried photoshop yet but it did RIP some blurays at amazing speed. I tried Half Life 2 and Half Life 2-Episode One and they played rather well at 1080p with High detail and 4X Anti Alias. Very happy with the price point and features over all.

Cons: It doesn't have 7.1 sound output. That's only a con because this mobo is obviously geared toward HTPC users and 7.1 would have been an easy and fairly cheap addition to an otherwise world class deal. I'm not going to deduct an egg for this because it is very clearly listed in the descriptions.

Overall Review: The installation manual is full of errors and unintelligible English but I have yet to see a good one. For example Biostar had the Power savings features of the motherboard either described incorrectly or labeled incorrectly. MAX should be "maximum power savings" and PERFORMANCE should be "lowest power savings but higher PC performance". They swapped these two in the manual. Again, it's not enough to lose an egg over but a thorough breakdown and explanation of BIOS features would be great. BTW make wure to go to www.biostar.com.tw for the latest drivers and NOT www.biostar-usa.com.

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Flawless RAM that was mobo recommended!11/14/2011 4:32:19 PM

Pros: This RAM booted up and both DIMMS were recognized by the BIOS. These G.SKILL 4GB models were the only 4GB (per dimm) modules that were on the my motherboard's QVL and I didn't really want to hassle myself with RMAs... The fins look pretty great and they don't seem to have any kind of heat issues.

Cons: They're a little costlier than other comparable RAM units and I don't really see why.

Overall Review: They worked so brilliantly, I bought another pair for a total of 16GB!

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