Joined on 10/06/12
Pros: I've only benched a few games with this card, but I was able to play GTA V, Battlefront and Battlefield 4 on the highest settings available. Works great for any kind of other visual work you're doing.
Cons: I don't have any complaints other than it is very large. Make sure to check the dimensions. I had about 1/2 of an inch of space in my mATX case between the drive bay and the GPU when I put it in. I had bought a new case as I thought it wasn't really conducive to airflow.
Overall Review: I would like to note to others that the GPU is in passive mode (meaning the fans don't spin) until it hits 65c. I've read on a few other sites that people were trashing the cards thinking the fans weren't working. Don't make that mistake. I also don't think the fans are particularly noisier than other cards. I'm coming from an HD 7850 which made just about as much noise as this card.
Great specs if it worked properly
Pros: -Great CPU for games and running VMs. -802.11AC WLAN card is great for gaming if you don't want to be wired. Distance from router and latency may vary. -Intel HD 530 runs smoothly for light applications like web browsing, Office, etc. You just need to update the driver via Device Manager to make it stable. -GTX 960M runs pretty much anything that I've thrown at it on high settings, including games like ARMA 3, Elder Scrolls Online, GTA V, etc. -Great form factor to take with me on travel and doesn't feel too bulky. Easy to fit into a standard backpack. -The dedicated hardware fan control button is a plus.
Cons: -Originally designed for Windows 8/8.1, the drivers were not updated when they upgraded these machines to Windows 10. This caused system instability and removal of the previous drivers and installation of the newest ones. -Trackpad is garbage. Multitouch support may as well not even be there for finger scrolling as the driver crashes and you have to manually turn the trackpad off and on again with the Fn key to get it to work again. -Fingerprint/Grease magnet that's hard to clean. -Bloatware
Overall Review: It's a great machine for the price, but the hardware can only go halfway. MSI needs to QA their products better instead of just running the automated Windows 10 upgrade and hoping for the best. I spent more time getting this machine to run stable than I did actually using it the first 2 days of owning it. If you want to save yourself the time and energy, when you unpack it out of the box and turn it on, go to the Recovery settings and do a complete system reset with Windows 10 and reinstall the drivers manually instead of trying to fix halfway working drivers. Aside from that, I have found no profiles or a switch on this machine to dedicate a GPU. Often times I'll find it where it's running the Intel HD 530 by default for games instead of switching over to the GTX 960M. If there was a hardware switch to do this or at least a intuitive control panel to find the switch for this, that would be great.
Pros: -Large for an mATX case but small enough not to be hogging space -Cable management possibilities -The 2.5" and 3.5" drive bays -Window tint on side panels and the LEDs on the fans are not over-bearing -Fans are super quiet -Allows expansion for top fans and also has a filter
Cons: The only con I have to list so far is that the standoff screws suck. The screws provided either won't let me screw in all the way or they won't fit at all. I had to snag some standoffs and screws from work to mount my board in the case. Not a huge issue for me, but for people without that kind of access to those screws, it can be a pain in the rump.
Overall Review: I may not be qualified to give this such a high review based on the amount of time I've owned it, but I'm impressed considering the number of builds I've done with various cases.
Some Instructions Would Be Nice...
Pros: Comes with new video card.
Cons: No instructions on how to redeem, nor did I get an email with the code like others are saying they had received. Newegg also sent me a $20 gift card for Blue Apron. Is that their way of telling me they ran out of codes? Like come on, at least be honest.
Affordable laptop with moderate performance
Pros: In comparison to the last A8 machine I owned (A8-4555M), it is a large step up in performance. I am capable of running virtual machines with good performance, plays some games on medium settings with decent framerate and the laptop is upgradable to around 16GB of RAM if I ever needed it. Throw an SSD in here and it'll be zooming. After upgrading it to Windows 10, it's been a dream machine. I have since been using Ubuntu due to different needs, but it works well on both platforms. Bluetooth is a nice addition as well. I am able to make Skype calls with family, friends and co-workers with my wireless headset and don't constantly need to carry around a wired one.
Cons: -There is a bug with the Dell power settings where the computer will not wake back up from suspend in Windows 10. I have since switched to Ubuntu, not because of this issue, but I haven't had an issue with this on Linux. -The network card is more to be desired. It gets the job done, but don't expect to get performance like a dual band wireless card. It says it's capable of connected to 802.11 B/G/N networks, but the only ones that show up are 802.11 G. Really terrible if you're in an area with congested 2.4GHz networks. If I can, at least in a public area, I try to tether with my 4G on my phone's data plan so I don't have to get frustrated with it.
Overall Review: I would recommend this as a travel/work/light gaming machine. I originally bought this so I could travel for work, work on schoolwork and play a game every once in a while.
Pros: Works when it's not DOA.
Cons: I hadn't been able to get around to putting this set of RAM into my machine until today. (I ordered this about a month ago) Neither of the sticks worked in either of the slots on my mATX board, which this RAM supports. The RAM hasn't been tampered with as it's sat in the original packaging since it arrived in the mail.
Overall Review: Don't buy unless you're feeling lucky.