Joined on 01/30/13
ASUS Z97-A LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Pros: Price Feature Set Stability Aesthetics On Board Sound Quality
Overall Review: This board is outstanding. Completely stable while overclocking - 5 way optimization is a very cool feature also. This board has everything you need, and nothing you don't. The software included is definitely an upgrade from Z87-A. Also, it differs from the Z87 - A because it actually has all 9 screw mounts for an Mid ATX board (up from 5). The UEFI has been completely re-designed, and really looks nice, (all black). The new UEFI is extremely dumbed down, however. Hardcore enthusiasts might not like how Barney style it is. Other than that, the board is flawless. As always, Asus delivers a motherboard at an attractive price point, and has features that you would expect at a lot higher price.
Intel Core i5-4670K Haswell 3.4GHz LGA 1150 84W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics BX80646I54670K
Pros: High level of performance in open GL applications (games). Runs all of the latest gaming titles (and all blizzard games) at a solid 60 fps*. with Vsync enabled 60hz 1080p monitor. *paired with my Asus GTX770 Direct CUII Comparing this chip to my FX8320 build, there is a relatively large leap in performance in games.
Cons: Unacceptable cpu temperatures. Unacceptable overclocking crashes/stability. Unacceptable voltage limitations There is absolutely no reason why I shouldn't be able to overclock any cpu to 4.5ghz using a Corsair H60 in push/pull with two Corsair sp120 silent fans. *see other thoughts
Overall Review: I have never had this hard of a time overclocking a cpu. I manually overclocked my amd chip just fine (all the way to 4.6, up from 3.5 stock) and it never reached over 88 degrees Celsius during a 2 hour prime 95 test. Having purchased the Asus z87-a motherboard, I utilized the AI Suite III software and auto overclocked the chip. It maxed out at 4.2ghz...are you kidding me? It also crashed at that speed as soon as I opened any gaming application. I then tried to manually overclock it, and absolutely would not overclock passed 4.3ghz. The cpu throttled after anything above 1.30 voltage. Again, are you kidding me? So, unless you have a custom water loop, or a H100i or greater, you essentially can't even overclock this chip. Overall, it's a descent gaming chip, but I regret buying it. I should have waited for broadwell. The thermal issues of haswell are too large to overlook. Normally, I could care less if something runs "hot", as long as it runs stable. This chip runs neither. Again, wait for Maxwell.
TP-LINK TL-WDN4800 Dual Band Wireless N900 PCI Express Adapter, 2.4GHz 450Mbps/5GHz 450Mbps, IEEE 802.1a/b/g/n, WEP/WPA/WPA2
Pros: Installation is simple and fast. Software included is comprehensive, and easy to use. Reception is great using the 2.4ghz chanel Works as intended; 2 in 1 wireless to power all of your devices, including gaming consoles and streaming devices. Docsis 3.0 will be compatible with future ISP speeds.
Cons: 5 ghz channel (See other thoughts)
Overall Review: Not sure why, but the signal strength is is 3/5 bars 10 feet away from the unit. I'm not sure if there is some kind of interference where I am, or if I need to change the 5ghz channel. Other than that, the unit is flawless. Having weak signal strength ten feet away from the unit is enough to doc one egg.
ASUS GTX770-DC2OC-2GD5 GeForce GTX 770 2GB 256-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
Pros: Very high level of performance (60 fps @ 1080p all triple A titles) *vsync 60hz monitor. Overclock ability is second to none Asus's GPU Tweak software is amazing Outstanding thermal performance Very, very quiet.
Overall Review: I'm extremely impressed with this GPU. I have ran synthetic benchmarks, as well as ran through multiple gaming titles (BF4, Bioshock, WoW, Skyrim), and this gpu is a beast. Scoring a 7.3k score on Firestrike 3D Mark at stock speeds is really unheard of. *paired with 4670k @ stock*. This GPU outperformed my 7870's in crossfire in 3D Mark - Firestrike! At first, I thought that it was an error; then I ran tests again. A single GTX770 outperformed x2 7870's at stock speeds? Just wow. This is the best single gpu as far as price/performance is concerned. As far as comparing them with other vendors/reference models, I find Linus's comparison a good one. In addition, this card overclocked to nearly 1.3ghz...and was stable in open gl applications and 3D Mark. I've never overclocked any card that far before. This card is definitely a good investment; you will not be disappointed.