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Darin R.

Darin R.

Joined on 12/29/07

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Most Favorable Review

Impressive but expensive!

ASRock Radeon RX 6900 XT PHANTOM GAMING D Graphics Card 16GB GDDR6, AMD RDNA2 (RX6900XT PGD 16GO)
ASRock Radeon RX 6900 XT PHANTOM GAMING D Graphics Card 16GB GDDR6, AMD RDNA2 (RX6900XT PGD 16GO)

Pros: - Excellent frame rates at 3440x1440 - Runs relatively cool (mid 40's idle and mid 60's to high 70's depending on game being played) - RGB is tasteful - Arrived unscathed from NewEgg (good job) packaged well - Card looks and feels very well built.

Cons: - Card is massive and just barely fits in my Corsair Crystal 680X (seriously 1mm longer and it doesn't fit) - I dont care for the red highlights, I realize its AMD etc, etc...but manufacturers need to just make cards black or white or some combination of the two. - Polychrom Sync RGB software is not very good IMO. It works but its very slow to startup and once you set the colors I'd just unload the software - Very expensive for what it is

Overall Review: Ok so lets first address the elephant in the room, this card and all GPU's are massively overpriced in this crypto mining world we live in today. I really held out as long as I could and I landed this card for $1499. This is by far the most expensive card I've ever purchased. I'm upgrading from a EVGA 2080 which I paid roughly $700 for so over double in price and I'm quite certain I'm not getting double the performance. That said, I just wanted to build an all AMD machine and well I paid the piper. Also 6800XT's are going for almost as much and I just figured I'm already spending way more than I want to so I might as well just go all in. This card is huge and weighs almost 6lbs. The Corsair Crystal 680X was always going to be the case I built this system in and I was shocked when this card barely fit in it. I really thought I would have surplus space given how roomy this case is but wow, another millimeter and I'd be sending this card back. The card has a very slight sag on my Asus TUF Gaming X570 Plus MB. Nothing I'd be too worried about but I may slide a support in there if it kicks off my OCD too much in the future. The card feels and looks very tough and there is nothing cheap feeling about this card. It is performing very well at 3440x1440 and I'm getting great FPS on all the games I'm playing at Ultra settings. I'd say decent temps as well, I did play with the fan curves a bit but generally its running in the 40's idle and 60's to high 70's during gameplay. I dont have a 4K monitor to test out and I'm really not considering 4K gaming at this point in time. I think 1440p is the sweet spot for gaming right now and this card is almost overkill but what is wrong with that right? I'm not a fan of the Polychrome Sync software that you use to change the lighting on the card as its very slow and takes forever to start up. Once I have the color set though its easy enough to remove the software. I'm also not a fan of the red highlights on the card, I knew the color-scheme when I bought it but I'd prefer and all black or black and white card. Overall I think this card is a winner and if you're like me desperately trying to build a new machine in the worst possible market, this card is a fine addition and you shouldn't be worried about its performance. The pricing is insane and I realize I'm contributing to these high prices by purchasing this card but I wanted a new machine and it is what it is. This card would probably retail for around $1200 normally anyway so $300 over is pretty good in this market IMO.

12/15/2021

Smoothest build ever

ASUS AM4 TUF Gaming X570-Plus (Wi-Fi) ATX Motherboard with PCIe 4.0, Dual M.2, 12+2 with Dr. MOS Power Stage, HDMI, DP, SATA 6Gb/s, USB 3.2 Gen 2 and Aura Sync RGB Lighting
ASUS AM4 TUF Gaming X570-Plus (Wi-Fi) ATX Motherboard with PCIe 4.0, Dual M.2, 12+2 with Dr. MOS Power Stage, HDMI, DP, SATA 6Gb/s, USB 3.2 Gen 2 and Aura Sync RGB Lighting

Pros: - Nice clean board - Easy to install - Was updated to latest firmware and had no issues installing Ryzen 9 5900X - Mounted easy into Corsair 680X - Installed Windows 11 no problem - Position of RAM, NVME slots had no interference with other hardware - PCIe 16x slot is solid as a rock and zero sag from my 3 slot 2080 XC

Cons: - Only has 2 USB 2.0 headers - RGB is only on one corner of the board and under the video card...basically making it unseeable - Not a big deal but could do without the gold/copper accents and just go black & white but that is a stretch

Overall Review: Really had a smooth build this time around with a Ryzen 9 5900X. This board matched up perfectly in the Corsair 680X dual chamber case, there was no screw alignment issues at all. The Wi-fi and bluetooth were a nice bonus on this board. Seems to run pretty cool...30-35c... The board has tons of fan headers and two places to plug in RGB strips (I used none of them but its good that it has all this). The placement of the NVME slots is thoughtful but I wish they'd give you heat sync's for both slots. I was happy to see that the board came from NewEgg with the latest firmware already on it which made installing the 5900X a plug and play affair. Saw all of my devices immediately and I had no issues installing Windows 11 to the NVME once I enabled TPM 2.0. All in all a great board and I've never had an issue with an ASUS board. Maybe I just get lucky but they've never sent me a doa board ever.

11/20/2021

Simply Amazing

NZXT Phantom 530 White ATX Full Tower Computer Case Includes 1 x 200mm Front, 1 x 140mm Rear 2 x USB 3.0  Fan Controller
NZXT Phantom 530 White ATX Full Tower Computer Case Includes 1 x 200mm Front, 1 x 140mm Rear 2 x USB 3.0 Fan Controller

Pros: Beautiful, spacious and well thought out design. Excellent wire management spaces, great placement of access ports, fan header, SSD mount in the back, tool-less design. Endless fan locations.

Cons: The windowed main panel is slightly warped or twists a little when the thumb screws are removed and the panel is taken off.....not a big deal since when its secured in place its fine...but indicates that they could have perhaps used a slightly heavier steel to make the access doors.

Overall Review: Where do I start?? This is one of the nicest cases I've ever built a rig in. There are so many subtle details that I really appreciate like the slight bend inward of the MB tray that makes the access/wire management ports "just right" for pulling in SATA and power cables. The color matching of the plastic and painted surfaces is perfect. There wasn't a scratch on this case and everything lines up just right. Seams are tight. The magnetically secured front panel door closes and opens so nicely. The lights on the back panel were such a "Duh" moment for me....WHY DONT ALL CASES HAVE THIS?!?! Though I'm air cooling this rig...for now...it SCREAMS for water cooling as there are three distinct locations to place radiators and fans. This case is not overly big to my eye but has SO much room for everything inside. Its a great great design! Clearly they saved costs by going with a fairly thin steel for the side panels and the cost of that is when you remove them, they deform slightly....but its barely a con since...well...most of us keep the side panels on and if we dont then who cares? Bottom line, this is a great case, really well designed for a clean build and I would recommend it to anyone who likes the look of this case to begin with. I'm sure its not for everyone but I really dig this case and I think I'll be using it for many builds to come.

Black & White Hooray!

CORSAIR CX-M Series CX750M 750W 80 PLUS BRONZE Haswell Ready ATX12V & EPS12V Semi-modular Power Supply
CORSAIR CX-M Series CX750M 750W 80 PLUS BRONZE Haswell Ready ATX12V & EPS12V Semi-modular Power Supply

Pros: Sufficient clean power, quiet, plenty of cable combination options. Fits nicely in either orientation in my NZXT Phantom 530 case.

Cons: Have only had this PSU for a day but so far I have found none.

Overall Review: I bought this knowing that it was going to stick out like a sore thumb in my rig. I have the NZXT Phantom 530 case in White and all of the parts I selected matched that theme. Where I made my compromise was on the PSU thinking that I'd upgrade it when I could afford it. But, as if NewEgg and Corsair could literally feel my pain when I ordered this PSU, when the PSU arrived I was pleasantly STUNNED to find out that a) the exterior was Black & White as opposed to the Green / Black that is pictured AND b) the non-modular power connector that I was really not looking forward to with a multi-colored array of cables was ALL black as well! Assuming the PSU continues to work I have no reason to have to swap it out anytime soon which is great news! Kudos to Corsair for correcting this glaring flaw in the design and making all of the cables black.

Huge upgrade from 7950 - Great Card

XFX BLACK Edition Radeon R9 390 8GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 CrossFireX Support Video Card R9-390P-8286
XFX BLACK Edition Radeon R9 390 8GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 CrossFireX Support Video Card R9-390P-8286

Pros: Runs cool, fairly quiet under load, drives triple monitor eyefinity without any issues, nearly equal performance of the 390X for $100 less, roughly 100FPS increase over my aging XFX7950 in iRacing at max quality.

Cons: Card is very long and BARELY fit in my case (Antec 300 Two). Under heavy load the fans whine a little bit. Only get Lifetime warranty when bought at Best Buy (where I bought mine) as far as I can tell.

Overall Review: I spent quite a while researching this card, the 290X and the 390X. I also took a look at the GTX 970 & 980. I've had good luck with XFX and this is my third card. I've never had a problem with an XFX branded video card. This card, so far, has been trouble free. I had no driver issues, the card made an immediate and positive impact to my rig and looks to be another fine addition. I based this purchase on my long history of positive results with XFX and I could not find a compelling reason to go with the 390X as there wasn't a huge difference in frame-rates. I did entertain going back to Nvidia but at the end of the day Eyefinity is a well proven solution and a requirement for me personally to drive triple screens for racing sims. I figure why switch when I've had such a good track record with AMD's chips. So far, I do not regret it and everything is working really well. Driving my triple 27" screens and being able to broadcast to Twitch and still getting over 150FPS in iRacing is good enough for me. I would definitely recommend this card to those doing the research. The only caution I would mention is that this card is VERY LONG and BARELY fit in my Antec Three Hundred Two case. I really had to "jimmy" it in there but eventually I succeeded. When I first held it up to the case I was sure it wasn't going to fit. I have about 1mm between the drive cage, which isn't removeable, and the card.

Blazing fast!

SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-7PD128BW
SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-7PD128BW

Pros: Well packaged, easy to install on my MSI Z77-G43 and was picked up by the bios immediately. Was a new build and installed Windows 8 Pro. Literally only took about 8 minutes including reboots. Machine boots from power off to desktop in less than 10 seconds...pretty impressive. Included Magician software is extremely easy to use and with the over-provisioning options the performance gains were noticeable. All-in-all a very fast drive.

Cons: No included 3.5" bay adapter was kind of a bummer but I was able to find a decent one on newegg for about $5.

Overall Review: For the price, performance and reliability I think this a pretty good buy. I build gaming rigs for my friends and I've had my share of SSD's. this one performs beyond all the previous endeavors. I will be recommending it specifically on future builds.