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Darin W.

Darin W.

Joined on 03/09/05

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 8
Most Favorable Review

(Update) Great Overclocked!

AMD FX-8150 - FX-Series Zambezi 8-Core 3.6 GHz Socket AM3+ 125W Desktop Processor - FD8150FRGUBOX
AMD FX-8150 - FX-Series Zambezi 8-Core 3.6 GHz Socket AM3+ 125W Desktop Processor - FD8150FRGUBOX

Pros: This is just an update to my previous review. I currently have this thing OC'd to 4510MHz and it's much better overall. I have been running at this speed for a few weeks now with absolutely no trouble. With a Zalman ZNPS9900MAX cooler it stays under 65°C when loaded.

Cons: By default AMD Cool n Quiet downclocks this processor. This adds significant latency when load causes it to return to stock clocks. Turn it off in the BIOS/UEFI. If you're going to OC, also turn off turbo.

Overall Review: My OC settings are as follows: Bus speed: 205MHz Multiplier: x22 Vcore: 1.440V This is on my Gigabyte 990FXA-UD5 motherboard. I probably could push the voltage a little more and go higher, but I am happy with these settings and the 24hr stability.

12/12/2011

So good I bought a second!

ASUS Radeon R9 290X 4GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 CrossFireX Support Video Card R9290X-DC2OC-4GD5
ASUS Radeon R9 290X 4GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 CrossFireX Support Video Card R9290X-DC2OC-4GD5

Pros: I was surprised by the quality of this card. The cooler assembly is metal, not plastic. I really like the choice of either red or gold accents (or none). So many cards come in one color, and if it doesn't match everything else in your computer, you're out of luck. This is a simple but very nice touch. There is also a metal backplate which looks very nice and adds to the quality feel. The price on this is fantastic! I bought this card to replace a pair of HD 7950s in Crossfire. One of these has roughly 170% the performance of a single HD 7950, so I figured I would buy a second one. The performance scaling with 2x Crossfire is good, but will probably be better, see below. In heavy load these cards stay relatively quiet.

Cons: I have had no problems with either card.

Overall Review: If you get a second one of these, make sure you have an adequate power supply. I have an 850W power supply and thought it would be enough. It is not. You should have at least a 1000W power supply for 2x Crossfire. I have a 1300W unit on the way, and expect it to alleviate my issues.

12/27/2014

You get what you pay for!

LSI MegaRAID SATA/SAS 9280-8e 6Gb/s PCI-Express 2.0 w/ 512MB onboard memory RAID Controller Card, Single--Avago Technologies
LSI MegaRAID SATA/SAS 9280-8e 6Gb/s PCI-Express 2.0 w/ 512MB onboard memory RAID Controller Card, Single--Avago Technologies

Pros: Excellent performance--I have this card running an 8x 2TB hdd RAID 50 array. It gets sequential read speeds of over 400MB/s. Some sequential reads and writes are faster than my RevoDrive. The software for RAID setup is very nice, and Windows 7 automatically installed the needed drivers.

Cons: None

Overall Review: This version is more expensive than the card with internal connectors, but if you plan on setting up an external RAID array, the extra cables and connectors needed cancel out any savings. When getting a RAID card, you are paying for performance and driver support. Don't cheap out, LSI cards and drivers are the best.

Good for video, productivity

SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 5450 (Cedar) 512MB DDR2 PCI Express 2.1 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card 100291L
SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 5450 (Cedar) 512MB DDR2 PCI Express 2.1 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card 100291L

Pros: - Good video scaling and HD capabilities - Low power, low heat, no fan - Takes up very little room in my case

Cons: - Not for gaming

Overall Review: I bought this card to run a second monitor for productivity. I have and HD 5850 for gaming. It outputs to both DVI inputs on my iZ3D monitor, but since my second monitor doesn't have display port, Eyefinity won't work. This card is much cheaper than the active displayport adapters. If you need a card for an extra monitor or just to display HD content, this is the card for you. If you want even basic gaming performance, spend a little more money on something with better performance.

Great card, great price

SAPPHIRE Vapor-X Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card /ATI Eyefinity 100282VXSR
SAPPHIRE Vapor-X Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card /ATI Eyefinity 100282VXSR

Pros: -Outstanding performance -Vapor-x cooling keeps this card chilly, and quiet -Attractive cooler shroud design -Fits in my older case (just barely) -Works well on an Nvidia chipset (without crossfire of course)

Cons: I didn't get it sooner.

Overall Review: If you have been thinking about getting the Sapphire HD5850 Toxic, this is the card for you. It has the same cooler, and can overclock just as well as the Toxic, but costs less. I got this card to replace dual 8800 GTS's on my EVGA 780i mobo. This card outperforms them in SLI, and produces images of much higher quality. I also got an HD 5450 to run a third monitor (for productivity, not gaming), and both cards work well on my mobo.

S3D, Compatibility, Win!

iZ3D H220Z1 22" WSXGA+ 1680 x 1050 D-Sub, DVI-D 3D Gaming LCD Monitor w/ 3D glasses kit
iZ3D H220Z1 22" WSXGA+ 1680 x 1050 D-Sub, DVI-D 3D Gaming LCD Monitor w/ 3D glasses kit

Pros: Bright display, decent 2D performance, excellent 3D effects. With the new glasses and settings tweaked properly, ghosting is barely noticeable, and your brain will likely ignore it after awhile. I can play for many hours without headaches or other ill effects. Works with both Nvidia and ATI hardware.

Cons: Does not utilize SLI. I had dual 8800 GTS's and even though the driver will allow two display to function with SLI enabled, my framerates did not change when I turned it on or off. I suspect this is because the S3D mode displays to both panels, and SLI refuses to render just one of them; I don't know if CrossfireX will help. You need a decent single GPU card to get decent frames, but this is not necessarily iZ3D's fault. Also, cutscenes in games can ghost a lot. This is because many times the characters are much closer to the camera than what the convergence was set to. Autofocus might help, but it should probably be turned off after the cutscene is done; manual settings tend to work much better. Do not be afraid to play with the settings to make it look good.

Overall Review: Despite the cons, this is a great investment if you want 3D gaming. I had looked into 3D Vision, but this solution has better control of 3D settings, and also allows use on ATI graphics cards. Since only one of my 8800 GTS's struggled to produce playable framerates (20 or less in most games), I have switched to a Vapor-X HD 5850. Now the display is gorgeous and fluid in all my games, and in 2D mode, I don't get microstutter! Also, I use a second monitor for productivity. Instead of getting a displayport to DVI adapter (the active one needed is > $100), I got an HD5450 just to drive it. This has worked pretty well, since I do not need the rendering power for games on it. If you are considering this monitor, read all you can before getting it. Another review here on newegg really helps with setup and instructions for tweaking settings in-game.