Joined on 02/03/05
Pros: This card has some of the best out of the box performance you can currently buy and with minimal effort you can coax even more performance out of it through overclocking. I bought this card to push BF4 to the limits and it did just that (Ultra settings @ 1080p, 125% superscaling.) It runs extremely cool, even with a modest overclock (average ~76C in my system.) At the moment, in any game out there you can safely set the video options to maximum and sit back and enjoy.
Cons: The $100 premium over ATI's MSRP due to the current situation with crypto-currencty mining.
Overall Review: Even with the current LiteCoin craze causing a +$100 premium, this card is still a great value in comparison to it's contemporaries (Nvidia's 780.) If you're looking for a top of the line card right now, this is it. The Hawaii based GPUs have the best performance at 4K as well right now, due to a focus on pixel fillrates. My system's main components are: Core i5 2500k @ 4.4ghz 8 gigs DDR3-1600 ram Sapphire Tri-X R9 290 Through testing in the first few days of ownership, I've got the clock rate up to ~1100 and the memory up to ~1365 mhz. The card has been stable except for a few DirectX errors crashes in BF4 when pushed beyond these values. I've yet to determine if I've hit a hard limit on either core/memory. This is a rather modest overclock, and some of the figures out there suggest some chips have a much higher limit, such as the guy in the other review stating he hit 1200 core/1600 memory. It's possible I just received a dud. Even with that possibility, this thing is amazing. After the overclock I average 80-90fps in BF4 with the aforementioned settings in the Pros section. Stock out of the box it was more like 60-70 fps. My previous set up consisted of dual Radeon 6870s. This generated a ton of FPS, but did not have the memory to generate higher levels of detail. The quality difference with the 290 is amazing. If you're looking to spend about $500-600 on a video card right now, this is the card to get.
*The* mouse pad to get
Pros: If you need a high quality mouse pad, this is a great option. High quality and not expensive, it especially shines in gaming.
Cons: None. Some mention the smell of the pad out of the packaging as being horrible, I didn't notice anything unless I literally shoved it up my nose.
Overall Review: It is GIGANTIC. I have a keyboard try and fully half of the mouse pad is underneath my keyboard. You could probably cut this thing in half and get two mouse pads out of it if you don't require much mousing space.
Pros: After searching around for the right option, I settled on the Antec 1100 and was not disappointed. The enclosure is spacious and easy to work with and comes with the all the pieces needed to assemble your machine. After I finished, I noticed my ambient temps dropped by around 5-8 degrees Celcius at idle and load. This is just with the stock fans, there is room for 7 more 1200mm fans in the case! In addition to getting better temperatures, the enclosure actually is rather quiet compared to my old Lian-Li case.
Cons: You may need some cable extenders to connect some of the 120mm fans. Also, the cables from my power supply were stretched pretty hard to get routed behind the motherboard. Make sure you have some long power cables to make use of this feature.
Overall Review: Wonderful case, I couldn't be happier with this. Previously I had my i5 2500K at 4.2ghz and didn't want to push it any higher as I was just above 60C at load. If I wanted to I can now push the processor more now.