Date Joined: 04/05/08
Overall Review: Works without any drama, seems about as fast in practice as my nvme drive while offering a lot more space. 3 year warranty sealed the deal.
Pros: Demolishes everything I've thrown at it. Crysis? Crysis 2 with the dx 11 and high-res texture packs? Nothing phases it. Stays relatively cool under load (Highest I've seen it get is 81 C). EVGA's lifetime warranty which is really desirable if you're spending this much on a card.
Cons: First unit I got had a defective fan and burnt itself out in under a day. EVGA's replacement policy was easy to work with and reasonably fast but still... It happens. Absolutely huge card. A bit of noise under load, not loud or distracting but definitely noticeable.
Pros: Nicely priced, lifetime warranty with registration, custom-board design does seem to make it a bit cooler and quieter than most GTX 470 cards. No problems with it at all (and in fact it fixed a number of problems that my old card was apparently starting to develop). Runs everything I've thrown at it like a champ. Highest observed temperature was 78C after running the Unigine DX11 benchmark on extreme for about an hour.
Overall Review: As another reviewer mentioned the card you're seeing on Newegg (generic 470 reference design) isn't what the card actually looks like. The actual card has half a dozen heat pipes (like most 480s sport) and a rather larger fan. Check the Sparkle web page or google for the madshrimps review to see it.
Pros: Tons of internal room, a side cubby to help with managing cables, very functional toolless design, excellent construction.
Cons: Oddly, they didn't include a pc-speaker. I had one from an older build I was able to toss in but honestly, how much can these things really cost?
Overall Review: Whoever thought up the little side panel that lets you access heatsink backplates without having to unscrew the motherboard deserves some kind of an award - even if it just barely reachable with a 1366 board.
Pros: A definite improvement in thermals, idle temps have dropped by 10c, load temps by 15c versus the no-name stuff I using before hand.
Cons: A real, gigantic pain in the rear to work with. Acts more like silly putty than paste. Twice I tried applying it the way you're supposed to, spread out a bit and then use a plastic card to even it out over the cpu, but the stuff is not at all inclined to spread and far more inclined to stick to the object you're trying to spread it out with - it's not a stretch to say that the cpu is the object it's least inclined to stick to.
Overall Review: I finally gave up on doing it the right way and resorted to the old stand by of the squashed pea - I don't know if it'd work better if I had managed to do it the way you're supposed to but the results have been quite acceptable.
Pros: Easy to work with, extremely effective, ample supply.
Pros: Nice litt-er, relatively inexpensive, power house card. Takes everything I've thrown at it like a champ, no stability issues, and if anything it's quiter than my old dual card setup.
Cons: It's really quite big. But all cards at this performance point are so we deal. Takes two pci-e power connectors so be sure yours can handle its demands.
Overall Review: If only there was more PhysX stuff out there...
Pros: Super sharp, super fast, super clear, full HD resolution.
Cons: Surely if you're only going to include one cable it should be the DVI-D, right? Who's going to be running a 1080p monitor using VGA? Having used both I can say it looks *much* better with the digital hook-up.
One point off for the irritation of waiting an extra 3 days for the DVI-D cable to arrive.
Overall Review: In addition to all the above, it's also a super dust magnet.
Pros: It works, it's cheap, it's Corsair. Perfect choice for giving the 4 GB nudge to an older system.
Cons: None. I've never had any issues with Corsair memory.
Pros: True X-fi chip, EAX 5 compatibility, price is certainly hard to beat. CMS3D is fantastic with headphones and sound quality is great when it's sounding like it should.
Cons: Very irritating pops, clicks, crackles, sound cut outs, weird sound pitch shifts, etc. in games. Creative blames dual video card setups for hogging memory bandwidth... but they also say they haven't seen the issue on X58 motherboards which I do have. I also have a very hard time believing that 1600 mhz DDR3 can't keep the card properly fed, even with two 9600 GTs.
Overall Review: Whatever happened to Creative Labs? My first sound card was an AWE 32 and I've been using their sound cards in every computer I've had since but this and their lack of response to it is disgraceful enough to make me wonder if it might be better to start looking elsewhere. The card's at least three years old now and they still haven't found so much as a workaround for the issue?
Pros: The "entry-level" i7 processor which is strong enough to make you wonder why anyone would bother with the other two. Or, for that matter, the equally expensive or even moreso Core 2 Quad processors.
Cons: X58 motherboards and DDR3 are still a bit more expensive than most of their good Core 2 counterparts, still the price difference is more than justified by the i7's performance and having a future upgrade path available.
Overall Review: Got some thermal paste on the pins when I was trying to double check the cooler, a little bath in Isopropyl and some gentle brushing with a toothbrush and it came through just fine.
Pros: Full featured i7 motherboard, six memory slots, 3 pci-e x16, SLI support, well-organized bios, etc. Doesn't have some of the features of the $300 boards but who really needs two nics?
Zero issues with it to date.
Cons: Still undecided about the sideways-facing SATA ports, I get that they help avoid issue with some of the enormous video cards out there but in my case once the motherboard was mounted it required unscrewing one of the front cages in order to be able to adjust them.
Pros: Decent tool-less design, case includes a number of fans, nice ventilation with air capable of coming through the front and sides.
Cons: Weak latches on the case sides, I've seen the motherboard end come down freely when the case was simply bumped slightly and the opposite end simply decided that it would be much happier seperating itself from the rest of the case. The front panel seems a bit poorly thought out too, the power button's hidden behind it too so it's not like you can just leave it alone and it can cause issues if something tries to open a dvd/cd drive while it's closed.
If you use a large cpu cooler most of the side fans won't be able to fit, also required some creativity to get the motherboard side panel back up into place with it there. Front panel connectors had a hard time reaching the Asus P6T motherboard, the hard drive led was unable to reach its connector at all.
Overall Review: Really lousy documentation.
Pros: I decided to go ahead and try updating my somewhat aged GeForce 6800 on my somewhat aging P4 3.4Ghz.
I was hoping for modest results but what I actually got was something else entirely. This will run the Orange Box games at 1600 x 1200 with all details maxed out and 4x AA to boot. This will do the same quite smoothly for Bioshock or UT3 which were slide shows at any settings on the 6800.
In short, that cpu/motherboard/whole enchilada. upgrade I'd been contemplating all of a sudden seems a whole lot less pressing.
Cons: The size of the card was a bit surprising, at least half again as long as the GeForce 6800 was. Fortunately, space wasn't an issue in my case but it is something to be aware of.
Overall Review: I wonder if that nVidia PhysX thing will pan out...