Joined on 06/24/11
Pros: -This drive speeds up absolutely everything; from boot up, to running common applications, to gaming (especially startup and level/content loading). -Achieves advertised read and write speeds when set up correctly (AHCI ... see below). -Gets a 7.9/7.9 rating in Windows Experience (not so much a pro, but it's nice to see every value maxed out when bragging to less nerdy people who are impressed my Window's opinion of your rig).
Cons: -This drive may be unstable and under-perform if set up incorrectly. -Due to the above, it may not be suitable to someone who is looking for plug-and-forget, and is not willing to go BIOS diving. -As far as I understand, the storage controller in the BIOS needs to be set to AHCI for the firmware to update correctly as well as to hit the maximum potential transfer speeds. This may mean a windows reinstall for some.
Overall Review: STEPS TO SET UP THIS DRIVE: (or ... what worked for me) #1: BEFORE installing Windows, set the Storage controller option in your BIOS to either RAID, or AHCI. (NOT IDE) - RAID will default to AHCI when only one system drive is present, so use RAID for maximum flexibility for the future. #2: Install a FRESH installation of Windows (I used Windows 7 Ultimate, and have no issues whatsoever) #3: Once steps 1 and 2 are completed, you should have no problems updating the firmware on the drive. Please do so with the most recent software from the ADATA site. I am one of those people who had problems with Windows freezing, with BSOD crashes, and random reboots. Ever since I have made the changes as listed above, I have had no problems. Side notes #1: If BSOD persists, make sure the other components are up to par. (Run prime95, memtest 86+, ...) #2: With a GA-Z68XP-UD4 motherboard, I found that using the Marvell 6Gb/s SATA ports gives slower read/write speeds than the In
Pros: --Smooth gameplay / High FPS at max settings in every game I play (League of Legends, Guild Wars, Aion, Deus Ex:HR, The Witcher 1 & 2, Oblivion, ..., etc.) --Quiet --Runs cool --Reasonably priced --Visually appealing packaging and card design --Cooling system dumps hot air outside of the case --Overclocking is made very easy by use of Trixx software
Cons: --As many have noted, the card is rather long --The power plugs being on top can cramp the wiring --Some people may need to adjust the scaling in Catalyst if the image does not fill the monitor (my screen was scaled down by 7% in the default settings)
Overall Review: --For those who say that the 6950 can perform just as well for less money: Yes, an OVERCLOCKED 6950 can perform as well as a STOCK 6970 ... do you see where I'm going with this? For that extra few dozen dollars, you are buying the potential which the 6950 cannot hope to achieve. --As for the people who claim this card is loud, it must have something to do with your case or wiring. I am running two of these cards in full towers, one in a RV02-E (best case, ever) and one in a NZXT Crafted Series ATX Full Tower. With both rigs not 10 feet apart, and running demanding games, they make less combined noise than my Alienware laptop. In other words, they are very quiet. Perhaps some cases (Mid towers in particular) cannot pump enough cool air to the card, forcing it to increase fan speed in order to keep the card temperature down.
Very fast and stable
Pros: This RAM scores a 7.9/7.9 on the Windows Experience scale at stock timing and with turbo disabled in the BIOS. I almost passed on this RAM in favor of the 9-9-9-24 version, which is $18 cheaper ... and I am very glad that I did not. This RAM works so well, that I ordered another set for a second system I am building.
Cons: The only downside is that the height of the heatsink makes for a tight fit with a Hyper 212 Plus cooler on a Gigabyte Z68XP-UD4 motherboard. This, however, is only a matter of slight inconvenience in installation, and does not reflect on the quality of the RAM sticks themselves.
Overall Review: As a note to Gigabyte motherboard users, you may need to switch the XMP manually from "Disabled" to "Profile1" in the BIOS in order to achieve the advertised 8-8-8-24 timing. I have read that some boards will do this automatically, while others (mine included) need to be adjusted manually. Also as a side note, switching the default "Turbo" mode to "Standard" in the RAM BIOS has improved my system stability while overclocking my i5 2500k, and has not adversely affected the speed or ratings of the RAM.
Cost efficient storage
Pros: This is a very fast and quiet hard drive, for a good price ... not much more to say.
Cons: It doesn't come preloaded with Guild Wars 2?
Overall Review: One thing of note is in response to a common problem some people seem to have when using a drive for storage. Many hard drives arrive with all of the space being unallocated, and thus may not show up under My Computer. There is a very quick fix to this by formatting the drive using Computer Management in order to assign it a drive letter.
Pros: Having been skeptical of this item due to a display of the same series being reviewed as having severe ghosting issues, I was very pleasantly surprised with the two displays I received. The brightness can be overwhelming, but is easily tuned down to a less blinding level. Just as easily, the contrast and saturation levels can be adjusted to yield a very crisp and vibrant picture, which can be viewed at a wide angle with little to no distortion. Thankfully, this model has virtually no ghosting, being it during gaming, watching movies, or performing more mundane tasks. While other displays may not perform up to their advertised 2ms gray to gray response rate, this display fulfills expectations. If you are graduating to this display from a smaller one, be prepared to have a completely different gaming experience. I have spent many years gaming on a 17" high performance gaming laptop, and this monitor has completely changed gaming for me, from higher immersion to better awar
Cons: +The built in speakers are quite unsatisfying, but do not really affect my opinion of the display. While gaming, a headset is preferable, in most cases, and anyone wishing for amazing sound will end up purchasing a speaker system regardless of whether or not their monitor has build it sound. +For the more finicky consumers out there, the stand may be a tad on the weaker side. Not to mean that the monitor has a knack for toppling over. It simply shakes a tiny bit when the desk is bumped.
Overall Review: Overall, an excellent display, especially considering the price and the amount of unappealing, and more expensive, alternatives. One recommendation I would make is to be certain you will be running the native resolution of 1920x1080. Lower resolutions just do not have the same crisp quality.