Joined on 11/16/06
Fantastic RAM for either platform
Pros: Running this in an AMD rig myself, but I have friends who've had great luck with this ram in i5/i7 builds. It'll hit rated speeds easily if you follow the specifications as listed on your DIMMs. Note that DIMMs are tested in pairs and can vary slightly, so you may need more or less voltage than others have noted here. You could relatively easily OC these to 900 (ddr-1800) or even 1000mhz (ddr-2000), although honestly there's no need to do so, these @ 1600 or just above will usually hit a 7.9 experience index, depending somewhat on your cpu clock. The spreaders on these modules do work pretty well, you probably don't even need a cooler unless you plan to OC it at some point. The more cooling the merrier, though, I say.
Cons: This could be a con for some -- you do have to go into BIOS to get it to run at the rated speeds (this is a standard thing for quality RAM with lower latency), but honestly if you've never seen a BIOS before you could probably still get it running - these guys are not fussy. Important note for AMD builders - if you've got a Deneb or below, you probably can't run 4 DIMMs (i.e. 4x2 for 8gb) of this at its full speed potential due to a limitation with the onboard mem controller. Thubans can stack 4 DIMMs to whatever speed you can cool.
Overall Review: Running this at standard 7-8-7-24, 1.65v @ 1600, under my old Corsair dominator cooler (go figure) System: ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO doubled my order on these for 8gb AMD Phenom II X6 1090T @ 3.6 MSI Radeon HD5870 Lightning II everything on air, still have plenty of room temp-wise to OC these guys if I wanted to
Not bad, Not great either
Pros: Cheap, comes with a PSU, has pretty good drive bay setup. I like, for instance, the fact that even though it has only two front fan mounts rather than the 4 in my other case, it positions two HDD bays right in front of the fans so your hard drive cools better. Side air duct is a plus. Loved the snap-in installation for optical drives.
Cons: Doesn't cool as well as I had hoped, but thats not to say it cools poorly. Only 80mm fan slots, no 120mm side or rear fan like my other case, which consequently has much better airflow. Shipped to me with the front faceplate cracked. Not a big problem, though. Also, the way in which they instruct you to remove the faceplate caused me to break some parts of it. I'm also kind of a big dude though so that may have contributed to the breakage. But with some duct tape, it fixed right up! :P
Overall Review: For my mobo, the side air duct was oddly placed--about 2 inches mis-aligned with my heatsink, but it wasn't that important. If you don't game, keep the PSU. If you're a gamer, I DONT CARE if your card says it will run on a 350W. Buy an aftermarket PSU. Please. If you are a gamer, I really don't see why you would buy this case, and in fact wouldn't recommend buying any PSU/case combo. Buy a case without a power supply, and pick up a nice, big, double-fan aftermarket PSU.
AMD = awesome, as always
Pros: Well, everything really. Price is ridiculous for a chip of this quality, BE means you can push this guy to any speed that you can successfully cool, being X6 will keep it relatively future-proof for the next several years. No need for silly, gimmicky OC apps, these things will clock up no problem if you have any clue what you're doing in BIOS. Easy 3.6 on air for me, temps barely changed (don't think it's passed 45C under load). That's probably all I need for now. Finally, most programs still don't utilize multicore very well, but I went with this guy over an X4 mainly because I do a decent amount of video rendering. These little guys are very efficient at spreading load in programs that are designed to handle several cores; rendering is a snap and it doesn't strain my CPU too much.
Cons: Most of you should expect this already, so it's not worth an egg: Get an aftermarket cooler. Someone earlier mentioned wanting an OEM version of this, and while I'm not sure we'll see newegg do that any time soon, I'd be happy to see that as well. Using a processor of this caliber with the stock cooler pretty much kills its versatility, and there's absolutely no reason to try to OC with one.
Overall Review: Cooling this with a Zalman 9500A, which has been a holdover throughout each rebuild of my rig. Get a quality fan and you'll probably never need another one, it's worth the investment. To each his own, but I would strongly urge any potential buyers to grab a good mobo as opposed to a cheap-o one to go along with this chip. Having a pretty future-proof CPU doesn't help if your mobo can't keep up, it'll save you that extra rebuild in between.
stomp stomp stomp
Pros: These cards destroy everything. Haven't seen a game I can't max yet. Good airflow will keep this card topping out in the low 50s (C) no problem - the cooling unit that comes attached is pretty quality. BFBC2, Farcry 2, Stalker Complete (go pavel) all run flawlessly and look great.
Cons: This is not exactly a con, considering this card probably comes with the best manufacturer standard cooling solution that I've seen, however I have to say that you CAN improve its cooling performance if you go with a good aftermarket cooler (or if you go liquid, obviously). Not even close to being worth an egg, though.
Overall Review: I tend to stay away from anything that's manufacturer-OC, because I find I usually see better results when I do things myself. However, this card performs great and I don't mind it in this case. Not too much room to OC it more, though, as if there needs to be. If you plan to crossfire two of these, be aware of your CPU. Due to the higher-than-normal speed of this card and the additional power of crossfire in general, you might see frame drops which indicate that your CPU is lagging behind and needs to be OC. You shouldn't have to go above 3.6 I imagine, but you might need to get there.
Brought me back to Asus
Pros: Price, for one, it's hard to find motherboards of this quality without paying more. Extra features may be a pro for some (as I understand, most of them work as advertised), but I tend to stay away from most OC/tuning apps -- it's easier and more stable to do it yourself usually. Unlike the last Asus board I owned, this one will run a pretty wide variety of RAM at or above their rated speeds with minimal tweaking. Bios setup in this recent gen of Asus boards is much improved over previous ones.
Cons: Ideally I'd like to see one more SATA connector onboard, but as it is I'm not using all of them yet anyway, so very, very minor annoyance. JBOD will eat those slots up though, having the 6th one is almost always a plus. Nowhere near enough to drop an egg, though.
Overall Review: Immediate POST, minimal tweaking, I'm running this board with: - 8gb G.Skill F3-12800CL7D - [4x2gb] 7-8-7-24 2T @ 1.65v easily stable @ 800mhz(DDR3-1600) - Phenom II X6 1090T @ 3.6 (+.4) - MSI Radeon HD5870 Lightning II (1GB), will probably crossfire another one at some point It's all sitting in a CoolerMaster HAF 932, air-cooled (most fans aftermarket), load temp around 40C, 45C highest recorded peak
You probably know if you want it already
Pros: I was trying to think of a game to compare Brutal Legend to, but honestly this game isn't directly synonymous to anything I've played. There are standard elements that you'll see in just about any game, but the amount of time spent to make this game stand out in a crowd proved to me that Double Fine put serious effort into this title. Graphically, this game is not that impressive. But graphics are not the same as visuals. If I wanted to see highly realistic people or terrain, I'd play Metal Gear Solid 4. Visually, though, I would have to say Brutal Legend is much more impressive than games that focus only on reproducing reality. The landscapes in this game are fantastic and awe-inspiring, and some hardcore metal fans may recognize references to some classic album covers. Combat is somewhat formulaic, but the variety of units means that it's not monotonous, because you'll be constantly changing your fighting style. Also, the soundtrack is awesome...if you're into metal.
Cons: The main plot is pretty short, and doesn't require a whole lot of sidequesting/upgrading. You could run straight through it in a matter of a few hours. That said, the game provides a decent amount of exploration objectives and sidequests that I would say this is not a major con.
Overall Review: Anybody who liked Psychonauts (how many of us are there anymore?) will enjoy Brutal Legend, unless you have an aversion to heavy metal. It's very similar in mood and mentality--if you appreciated the humor and levity in Psychonauts, there's more of that to be had in Double Fine's latest title. It's hard for me to recommend or not recommend this game. Obviously, I enjoyed it very much. However, it's definitely tailored to a certain audience. Chances are, you already know if you're in that category or not. If you feel like you need convincing or have no clue what this game is like, download the demo and give it a whirl. If you really don't like the demo, most likely Brutal Legend is not a wise choice for you. If you're strictly a mainstream gamer and prefer familiar territory when it comes to games, you probably want to think about taking a pass on Brutal Legend. In other words, go look at another product, die-hard Halo fan. That's not an insult, I'm saving you time and $$.