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Pros: +FAST. Light for a 17incher.
+Excellent GPU for the price
+upgradable(ish, see below)
+screen is sturdy, matte, pleasant, can be crazy bright
+red backlit keys are cool... but (below again)

Cons: -check the dimensions - fit is tight in my 17 inch backpack. it's a little thick on the bezel, bigger than most 17 inchers
-Upgrade is a warranty voiding nightmare for the uninitiated - if you are not comfortable COMPLETELY disassembling a device (removing a laptop motherboard, not daughterboard, not through a screw bearing panel - complete disassembly) consider it "not upgradable"
-red backlight on keys doesn't shine through the "letter" which isn't a big deal, just struck me as weird. if you use the backlight to actually SEE the keys, it might upset you off more. Also, I wish it was amber.

Other Thoughts: So I have the 4th gen I7/860M version of this laptop. BOY WAS I SORE when 960m hit a couple months later, now it's 960m+6th gen i7. Ouch. I digress though. I've owned this laptop for just over 1 year now.
I love this laptop. Upon arrival, I immediately gutted it out, popped in a crucial M2 SSD, and some more ram, (VMs for work) and put it back together. This requires, on the 17inch model, that the board come out completely, as it must be flipped over to install SSD or RAM. This may have changed on the 960m board, but FYI, that was my experience.

The fans get audible when you're going full bore on a game, but for me, this is on a desk, table, etc. so it has never seemed excessively loud to me, "normal" compared to standard fanned laptops. Nowhere near as loud as a ROG can get.

The keys are mounted in with small melt-over plastic rivets. Probably 40 or so, it took a while to get apart so I could paint it without ruining the keyboard. Keep in mind though, if you mush a key REALLY hard and pop a rivet, it'll be very difficult to repair without expert hands and a good understanding of plastic adhesives. DONT mash a key. It is strange the keyboard isn't screw mounted anywhere, but at this price, I'm very happy.

The whole thing is about an inch thick at the thickest. With the keyboard light turned off, no one would know this was a gaming laptop, which is a boon in business environments when I'm doin' stuff. I do onsite SMB response and IT consulting, so it's nice to "look" professional with my most powerful portable.

ITS BIG. I recommend you handle a 17 inch laptop prior to purchase. I frequently reach for my surface pro out of convenience because you cannot safely hold this with one hand and type on it with the other, it's not balanced for it, and it's not effective.

The touchpad isn't good. at all. It uses a "rocker" switch with a single clicker and a contact on each side - so it's very difficult to right click, and all clicks feel "spongy." It's fine for browsing, but for any heavy use, precision, drawing, gaming I bust out a mouse. This is a de facto standard in most laptops, and all acer laptops I've touched and sold, but it's an important note - this is no exception. (still beats the surface pro 2's bizarre canvas touchpad missing a clicker, though)

That's all I can really think of to type. I really like this laptop, and I use it very frequently. I'd highly recommend it for a budget, professional looking laptop.

GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD5 AM3+ AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: less than 1 day

1 out of 5 eggs Won't post with fx9370 out of the box. 02/27/2014

This review is from: GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD5 AM3+ AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

Pros: None; unusable.

Cons: -Completely unusable for FX9370 build.

Other Thoughts: I assumed that because the board is compatible with a number of visheras out of the box that it would at least post, or allow me to update the bios. Not only is this not the case, it also doesn't generate any beeps or any information whatsoever. it also fails to post with no CPU, which I know is a longshot, but was worth a shot.

I don't even know if it's DOA or not. Fans spin up, lights go on, board gets power, but absolutely nothing happens. I tested multiple for sure working RAM modules and several different GPUs in several different slots. I have spent hours testing the blasted thing with multiple configurations but I'm up the river because I don't have a spare AM3 processor to upgrade my bios. I don't understand how they can advertise that it supports these gpus without mentioning that it requires not only a bios upgrade but that this upgrade is impossible without an older CPU. upgrading from an APU machine, I do not, and I am furious.

AVOID this board if you are going with a 9370 or similar, check the compatibility list on gigabytes website and make sure if you need a bios upgrade you have something that works!

AMD FX-9370 Vishera 4.4GHz Socket AM3+ 220W 8-Core Desktop Processor - Black Edition FD9370FHHKWOX with Liquid Cooling Kit
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 day to 1 week

5 out of 5 eggs as a gamer and heavy multi-tasker, this thing is amazing. 02/25/2014

This review is from: AMD FX-9370 Vishera 4.4GHz Socket AM3+ 220W 8-Core Desktop Processor - Black Edition FD9370FHHKWOX with Liquid Cooling Kit

Pros: free water cooling, outperforms my Cooler Master Hyper N520
Extreme performance for my needs.

Cons: doesn't grant wishes
does not taste very good

Other Thoughts: I run six displays over 3 GPUs. Rather than an ultra-wide setup or eyefinity thing, I just use a 55in screen for gaming/primary, and the rest host chat/monitoring/email/browser/etc. In a work from home enviroment this makes it very easy for me to jump from gaming to research to working to chat and back... I do not like alt tabbing.
My previous architecture was an APU as I was on a budget. While this performed very well and even gamed decently for the price, I had waited some time to upgrade as it meant a new mobo, new socket type, new cooler, and no onboard video backup.
But... the second I fired my system up, the difference between this and a 4 core setup was just mind blowing. Nothing I threw at it could slow it down.

It was a great buy and I'm super happy with the performance vs the cost.


Jacob C.'s Profile

Display Name: Jacob C.

Date Joined: 02/09/05

  • Reviews: 17
  • Helpfulness: 10
  • First Review: 07/13/06
  • Last Review: 02/02/16
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