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ORION A.

ORION A.

Joined on 09/09/04

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 16
Most Favorable Review

Love it.

Intel Core i5-3570 - Core i5 3rd Gen Ivy Bridge Quad-Core 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 77W Intel HD Graphics 2500 Desktop Processor - BX80637i53570
Intel Core i5-3570 - Core i5 3rd Gen Ivy Bridge Quad-Core 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 77W Intel HD Graphics 2500 Desktop Processor - BX80637i53570

Pros: Yes, this chip is the non-K version, but it has two features that the K version does not have: Virtualization technology (VT-d) & Trusted Execution technology (Intel TXT).

Cons: Not a big deal, but runs a bit warm. Idles temps are 35C which is ambient +10C. With the same cooler (Noctua DH14) my 965 BE would idle at 31C.

Overall Review: Online stores usually just say "Turbo Boost 3.8 GHz" which is slightly misleading because you kind of assume by the way they phrase it that you're going to get 3.8 GHz across all cores. However, the max Turbo Boost of 3.8 GHz only occurs when ONE or TWO cores are active/being taxed. This particular i5, as well as the K-version, has a stepping pattern of 2/3/4/4, each step signifying the number of 100 MHz "boosts" that are available to four, three, two, and one active cores, respectively. Ergo, our max clock speeds, with Turbo Boost fully functioning, are as follows: 2 x 100 MHz for four active cores (3.4 GHz + 200 MHz = 3.6 GHz across ALL FOUR cores) 3 x 100 MHz for three active cores (3.4 GHz + 300 MHz = 3.7 GHz across THREE cores) 4 x 100 MHz for two active cores (3.4 GHz + 400 MHz = 3.8 GHz across TWO cores) 4 x 100 MHz for one active cores (3.4 GHz + 400 MHz = 3.8 GHz across ONE core) So, when you're hammering this chip in prime95 and CPU-Z only shows 3.6 GHz,

Most Critical Review
XFX GeForce 6600GT 128MB GDDR3 AGP 4X/8X Video Card PVT43ANDF3
XFX GeForce 6600GT 128MB GDDR3 AGP 4X/8X Video Card PVT43ANDF3

Comments: Got this to replace my 9500Pro, but unfortunately the board was DOA. Bad memory, I suspect, given the symptoms (blue lines across the screen, heavy, heavy corruption in Windows). Newegg was great with the RMA, though, and I had my money back in about a week. I'm sure this board is great but decided to use a GF FX5900 Ultra instead.

10/24/2005

Worthy successor to the Sapphire Fury

SAPPHIRE NITRO+ Radeon RX 5700 XT 8GB GDDR6 PCI Express 4.0 x16 ATX Video Card 100416NT+8GSR
SAPPHIRE NITRO+ Radeon RX 5700 XT 8GB GDDR6 PCI Express 4.0 x16 ATX Video Card 100416NT+8GSR

Pros: - Performance. Almost doubled my FPS in DX11 games like FFXIV. I can max out all settings now at 1440pand see 100+ FPS on my 144Hz FreeSync display. Made me laugh at first it was that good. - Build. Heavy, and solid construction. Jeez, this thing could be a murder weapon. Very performant cooling. Quieter than Sapphire Fury. You will hear the fans when maxing it out, for sure, but they're at lower pitch than the Fury so less annoying. Fans stop at idle/Windows desktop. Seeing 42c at desktop with fans stopped. Fury was about the same. In-game is 70's. - Dual BIOS. I haven't tried out this feature yet but there is a bios switch on the card which lets you toggle between flashed BIOSes, e.g. select performance/silence mode. Default is performance! Might help if you flash a custom bios and something goes wrong... or you just want to switch to lower clocks for some sweet hot weather no-AC gaming.

Cons: - Drivers. No deal-breakers for me, yet, but look at driver changelogs to see if there are any that would affect you. - Price. I saved up, but at this markup it's really pushing it... - Personally, RGB, but you can disable it by downloading and using the Sapphire Trixx app. - Size.1mm clearance in my Silverstone FT05. Check your clearance beforehand! It's freaking massive, honestly.

Overall Review: Coming from a Sapphire Fury, I waited patiently for Sapphire to drop this one. Son, I was not disappoint. Hoping this will serve me well for 4(+) years like the Fury.

Overall, good.

ASUS P8H77-V LE LGA 1155 Intel H77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
ASUS P8H77-V LE LGA 1155 Intel H77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: H77 chipset features are quite robust while being significantly less expensive than Z77. Google the differences and you'll see what I mean. I especially like the extra legacy PCI slots! Thank you! Seems to be a very stable board. Running with a i5-3750 (non-K, great chip, see my review of it), 120GB Kingston SSD, and 7950 GPU.

Cons: Sorry, ASUS, I know you've replied to others here about this issue, but I cannot get my 1866 RAM above 1600. I've tried XMP profiles, and manual settings, but it's still a no-go. I've instead set it to 1600 and lowered timings. Pretty much same net effect, but would be nice to have this RAM running at spec. My RAM is G.Skill ARES 1866.

Overall Review: This is my first ASUS board since the 90's and I'm pretty pleased. Used Gigabyte boards for many years, but this one had the features I wanted at a decent price compared to other H77 boards. Not sure the issue is with this board, but my PC can't enter S3 sleep mode. Power light just flashes, then ... reboot.

HIS IceQ Boost Clock Radeon HD 7950 3GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card H795QC3G2M
HIS IceQ Boost Clock Radeon HD 7950 3GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card H795QC3G2M

Pros: This has the latest BIOS (8/16/12) which enables 850 MHz base clock and can boost the GPU to 925 MHz. Nice boost in performance from my HIS 5870 from ages past. I like the look and build quality of HIS cards very much—they feel solid. Always good cooling solutions without looking too gaudy.

Cons: ATI Catalyst has come a long way, but still could be a lot better. Cooling solution is wide enough to prevent addition of a second PCIe x16 card.

Overall Review: This is physically identical to the other HIS IceQ 7950, but this one has the latest BIOS. If you are comfortable flashing the new BIOS yourself, get the older card which is 10 bucks cheaper. Otherwise, get this one.

Addendum

SilverStone DECATHLON DA650 650 W ATX 12V 2.2 & EPS 12V CrossFire Ready Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply
SilverStone DECATHLON DA650 650 W ATX 12V 2.2 & EPS 12V CrossFire Ready Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply

Pros: As an addendum to my review below, I'd like to add that Silverstone will be sending me a new cable free of charge. Can't beat that! In addition to their fine products they seem to have a pretty well-run operation. I'll definitely be using their stuff in my future builds.

Cons: Nope.