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Alton C.

Alton C.

Joined on 10/23/08

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 36
Most Favorable Review

Great feature set for the price.

GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: Gorgeous matte black design. On board video, with HDMI, DVI and VGA outputs, giving you plenty of connectivity, and meaning you can make use of Virtu and Intel Quick Sync if you choose. 2 way SLI & X-fire support. The onboard audio is surprisingly rich. I don't feel the need to install a discrete sound card at all. Everything is clearly labeled so you don't really even need the manual when setting everything up.

Cons: Gigabyte uses legacy BIOS, which is a bit disappointing considering UEFIs are steadily becoming the norm. But, that is kind of offset by their TouchBIOS (which you can download from Giga's website) which gives you full access to BIOS tweaking from within Windows. The front panel audio header is placed in a really awkward position, just above the PCI slots near the rear IO. Unfortunately, that means it takes some fairly creative routing (and possibly an extension cable) to connect to it, and with a high powered gpu installed in the top PCIEx16 slot there is fairly significant static interference when running 3D apps. A word of advice, try to avoid running your front panel cables parallel to any active power cables. It should help reduce some of the interference, but IDK if there's any way to eliminate it completely with the positioning on this board.

Overall Review: For the price, you'll be hard pressed to find a much better value in the Z68 lineup. It has all the bases covered when it comes to features, and holds up well against much more expensive competing boards.

Most Critical Review

You get what you pay for...

LG IPS226V-PN Black 21.5" IPS Panel Full HD LED BackLight LCD Monitor 250 cd/m2 5,000,000:1
LG IPS226V-PN Black 21.5" IPS Panel Full HD LED BackLight LCD Monitor 250 cd/m2 5,000,000:1

Pros: This monitor has quite a few features for an IPS screen at this price point. HDMI in, audio out, and a standard array of calibration options. Also, the display panel itself is very slim and sleek.

Cons: Color fidelity out of the box was poorer than I expected, though thorough calibration did help. The one thing that couldn't be fixed was the horrible backlight bleeding this monitor suffers. On a fully black screen, nearly 1/2 of the real estate is taken up with massive blotches extending from all four corners. There is tilt, but no pivot or swivel, and the viewing angles seemed fairly narrow compared to other IPS screens. The base feels very flimsy, and the stand is made out of a very tacky looking neon orange plastic.

Overall Review: For the price, I can't say I really expected a premium quality panel. I also own two Dell Ultrasharps, which completely eclipse this monitor in quality, clarity, color reproduction and functionality. In comparison, this screen leaves a lot to be desired. It's certainly not something to be used for any kind of serious design work. But, it is still a step up from a standard TN panel, and given the price point, that seems to be what LG was aiming for. If you just want an IPS for casual use and don't want to break the bank, this is a decent option. For any kind of color critical work, look elsewhere.

SanDisk Extreme Pro 2.5" 480GB SATA 6.0Gb/s MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) SDSSDXPS-480G-G25
SanDisk Extreme Pro 2.5" 480GB SATA 6.0Gb/s MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) SDSSDXPS-480G-G25

Pros: -MLC Nand (3-5x as durable as TLC) -Performance that rivals Samsung's new 850 Pro lineup -Works with SanDisk SSD Dashboard to monitor the drive's life, writes, performance and even temperature -Also comes with free drive cloning software making transferring your OS a breeze. -10 year warranty!!!

Cons: Not a thing!

Overall Review: I caught this drive on sale for a ridiculously good price and it has been flawless. Very happy with the purchase!

12/12/2014

Tiny, Quiet Powerhouse

MSI GeForce GTX 750Ti GAMING 2GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 Video Card N750Ti TF 2GD5/OC
MSI GeForce GTX 750Ti GAMING 2GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 Video Card N750Ti TF 2GD5/OC

Pros: This card is silent. Dead silent. The Twin Frozr cooler is total overkill for a low wattage card like this, but that just means the fans can keep temps in check at ultra low RPMs. Even at max load the fans never really ramp up, so it's just as quiet at load as it is at idle, and temps never get any higher than the low-mid 50s. Also this one doesn't require an external 6-pin PCIE power connector, meaning it can fit in virtually any build with a 300W PSU.

Cons: It's big. Almost as big as my 780 Ti, which may be an issue in smaller cases. The stock clocks don't quite match the listed specs here. Mine was clocked at 1058MHz out of the box and required running MSI's Gaming App in "OC Mode" to get reach the advertised speeds. Not a big deal, especially if you're going to manually OC it anyway, but it's an extra step that just feels unnecessary.

Overall Review: I'm a long time buyer of MSI cards. Their Twin Frozr cards have always been top notch, and this is another excellent addition. The 750 Ti itself is a great budget option for 1080p gaming, and can handle most games at "high" settings with a few concessions here and there (like using post processing AA instead of MSAA, etc). All in all, I'm very happy with the purchase.

The quietest video card I've ever owned!

MSI GTX 780Ti GAMING G-SYNC Support GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 Video Card
MSI GTX 780Ti GAMING G-SYNC Support GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 Video Card

Pros: Several people have mentioned how quiet this card is, but I feel like it really cannot be overstated. With its stock fan profile, this card is essentially silent, even under 100% load. It's really quite amazing, even with my ear less than a foot away from the card I can't pick it out over the ambient room noise! As a long time MSI customer, MSI's Twin Frozr 4 has made some dramatic improvements over Twin Frozr 2 and even 3. The dual 100mm fans keep this Ti much cooler than the reference models with seemingly none of the noise. I've been running mine on a test bench and it's yet to even break 70c. Also worth noting is the factory OC on this card is quite high. In "OC mode" mine boosts to 1150 core right out of the box, making it one of the fastest Ti models available.

Cons: Price. But GPU prices have been inflated across the board this generation, and relative to other 780 Tis, this one is actually very competitively positioned.

Overall Review: I really can't say enough good things about this card. It's insanely fast, power efficient and backed by MSI's very reliable 3 year warranty. With its factory OC, it even outperforms the older dual gpu cards (GTX 690, HD 7990) in several titles. And manages to do so while staying inaudible. The people at MSI have outdone themselves with this one!

Unreal

PNY VCGGTX7803XPB G-SYNC Support GeForce GTX 780 3GB 384-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 SLI Support Video Card
PNY VCGGTX7803XPB G-SYNC Support GeForce GTX 780 3GB 384-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 SLI Support Video Card

Pros: This card is an absolute monster. So far this card has shredded everything I've thrown at it in 1440p. Including Crysis 3! With a tiny overclock it surpasses even stock Titan performance at 2/3 of the cost! The cooler is built like a tank. It feels incredibly sturdy, and is by far the quietest reference shroud I've ever seen. Even with the fan turned up to ~70% the motor is inaudible. Best of all PNY is the only manufacturer offering lifetime warranties on their GTX cards for FREE. That was a huge selling point for me, because honestly, if I'm dropping over 600 bucks of a graphic card, a good warranty is pretty important.

Cons: Price tag is still a little steep, but this and the Titan are in a league of their own for the moment and the top cards always come at a premium. The packaging is pretty bare bones, but for some that might be a pro. It came with a quick install manual, driver CD and DVI to VGA adapter, which is fine by me. I don't need a bunch of case stickers and posters I'll never use anyway.

Overall Review: This is the first PNY card I've bought and so far I'm extremely pleased. I bought mine off site, and got a pretty great deal, but even without it, it's hard to top PNY's warranty. Great card and great to see a manufacturer really stand by their product.