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Pros: My System: i7-4790k, G.Skill Trident X 16GB DDR3-1600 CL7 RAM, Maximus VII HERO motherboard, windows 7 ultimate OS
- This card bumped my firestrike up from 9,936 (video card was Club3D R9 290 RoyalAce on AMD Catalyst 14.501) to 15,722 (with the GTX 980 Ti Matrix on driver 359.06). Hangs close to the 60fps cap on GTA5 easily everything maxed, pushes over all other games no sweat.
- This card is probably without equal in the GPU world. Most benchmarks I've seen place the 980 Ti above the competition, usually the Gigabyte G1 Gaming. Haven't seen it compete with the MSI Lightning or EVGA Kingpin yet.
- The cards are made with Auto-Extreme technology, you should probably expect lower failure rates as a result of this. It might even mean that you can overclock harder, though I haven't done that yet.
Cons: - MOST OF THE SHROUD IS PLASTIC. There is a band in the center which is made of some sort of metal. But really?? Plastic??? We're literally buying your best of the best here. And you're giving us a plastic shroud. For shame, Asus, for shame.... I thought ROG meant quality, and you're giving me a $710 card made of plastic!? I'd have rather paid $750 for an aluminum/steel shroud. Even my cheaper Club3D R9 290 had a metal shroud!
- The card is very thick and wide. I'm sure that's probably how the ladies love it, but even in a giant case - I'm running a Cooler Master HAF X here - the card is too wide to fit within the mounting support bracket Cooler Master includes. Probably too wide to fit in the hard drive duct, though I haven't tried yet. And thick might be a problem in cases with other large peripherals, maybe a large PCIE SSD like an Intel 750 or an Asus ROG RAIDR.
- There are a pair of lights, one over each 8-pin PCIE power connector. They are pale blue and very bright. Don't know if it's a real problem yet but could be.
Other Thoughts: I would definitely recommend the card. Despite my exterior/aesthetic gripes they are minor. It's what's on the inside that counts. I heard stories about coil whine but I can say that it doesn't do that, I didn't hear anything amiss while I was benchmarking and playing GTA5 with all settings maxed.
I would indeed purchase this product again.
The one thing I would change would definitely be making it a metal heatsink and maybe even making a version with the older ROG red and black colors available.
Pros: - Pretty solid wireless range, from what I can tell. There are a few... weird... things about this thing's wireless that I will touch on in Cons.
- 7.1 surround is great. I don't have a sound card, but the fact that this is a USB headset means that I don't need a sound card. Everything sounds great. And for some games like XCOM that have weird issues with surround sound (namely, in XCOM's cutscenes for me), you can just turn it off with the flick of a switch, no having to open your Logitech software to do it.
- I'm no audiophile, only a gamer, but I like listening to music with this headset anyway. I've read in many reviews how many gaming headsets have weak highs and are bass-heavy. This headset is somewhat bass-heavy, giving it a great punch in games (explosions in GTA 5 and War Thunder sound amazing!). Right now I'm listening to Linkin Park "Numb" and while the highs aren't perfect, they are still very strong.
- Microphone is real good. I was using Skull Candy earbuds with an inline mic - the mic was good, but my clanmates on Teamspeak noticed the difference the first time I greeted them on TS with this headset. This mic is pretty good as far as sound quality is concerned.
- These headphones seal extremely well. In other words, they are comfortable. One thing that I was afraid of when buying this headset was that I would start sweating under the leather, but thankfully that did not happen. Trust me, if you like clean sound, you're going to want a headset with leather. It seals outside noise and keeps the inside noise, it really helps the sound vs my older headset with cloth. Also, the earcups fold 90 degrees so that you can lay them flat on your chest and it really is comfortable. I even wear them around my neck at the dinner table sometimes, putting it on after dinner. Overall, the ergonomics and wireless of this headset, combined with its impressive sound, make it great for just around-the-house use.
- Great battery life, I can push this for 7 hours and take 2 or 3 to recharge.
- This headphone has extra buttons and a volume control wheel. If I'm downstairs and listening to music, the extra buttons and wheel are incredibly useful. Also, the Logitech gaming software lets you easily add profiles for your different games so that you can automatically use the buttons for what you want to. I personally did not use the buttons for gaming, since I typically have my hands on the mouse and keyboard and don't need or want to reach up to my left ear region to press the buttons.
- The Logitech software's pretty good. It doesn't slow up my system and seems pretty efficient and effective. It tells you battery life, and helps you configure your headset. You can fine tune stuff but I haven't done that, I thought it sounded great already. And it includes a free voice changer! Great for messing with people over Skype or Teamspeak! Refer to Other Thoughts for my rig specs, though. I don't know how well it will run for you.
Cons: - Whenever someone is using a microwave within range of this headset, there is a loud buzzing static interference. Very weird.
- I mentioned how the headset easily pairs up with the base. Well, sometimes it has issues synchronizing with the base. The base comes with a green LED to help you keep track of the headphone's status, helping to alleviate this. My primary annoyance with this headset is that sometimes it just doesn't want to sync with the computer, especially just after I plug in the base adapter after using my monitor speakers. It keeps switching between monitor speakers and trying to use the headset. After a moment of frustration the headset turns itself back off and stops trying to sync. Eventually I have to unplug and replug the adapter, and plug the headset into the base to force it to sync, and it always works, but nonetheless, it's still really annoying. Not really Logitech's fault, it's just how USB headsets like my previous one work.
- $160 USD? Well, darn. That's expensive. I got it during Cyber Monday for about half that, though, so I'm pretty happy. It's worth it, but $160 is still pretty steep, and I was considering this headset out of my price range until it went on sale.
- I mentioned how the 7.1 surround sound is amazing. And it is. But don't have extremely high expectations for normal sound without surround. And remember, this headset was designed and meant for surround sound. Don't use this outside of surround sound unless you're having issues with surround sound in a particular application. The regular sound is, quite frankly, underwhelming.
Other Thoughts: CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K
Mobo: Asus Maximus VII HERO
GPU: Club3D Radeon R9 290 "Royal Ace" (not available on Newegg)
THE BOTTOM LINE:
This is a great headset. While the price tag can seem awful steep, the headset compensates for the price tag by having some pretty good wireless (as long as you don't have a microwave frequently operating near you) and great 7.1 surround sound quality. Overall the build quality (which I didn't have room to mention under Pros) is as expected. I haven't had any problems with the physical build quality whatsoever. I wear them when I'm at my computer and when I walk around, controlling stuff like music and volume on the fly whenever I want. I hang them on my flatscreen monitor when they aren't in use. They're in perfect condition after half a year of use. Even though they have some minor issues with microwaves and wireless syncing, these are only minor annoyances rather than deal-breaking problems. Five eggs for this amazing piece of gaming equipment!
And you can get them elsewhere for less than $160. I don't want to breach the Review Guidelines, but if you look hard enough, you can still get almost a good a bargain as I did.
This review is from: CM Storm Spawn - 3500 DPI Optical Gaming Mouse with Durable Omron Microswitches
Pros: Very ergonomic, if you are the kind of gripper that Cooler Master is targeting with this product. More on that later on. There is a comfortable spot for every finger on the hand - what makes this mouse look weird is its special rest for your fourth finger. I like holding it with my pointer on the left-click, middle on the right-click, fourth on its special ledge, and my pinky contacting the right side of the mouse. It's incredibly comfortable and once you get used to it, very easy to take for granted until you use another mouse.
Scroll wheel provides solid, but not preventative, feedback. I like how it clicks into notches, instead of being free spinning like my previous Logitech M325.
The extra buttons (MOUSE4 and MOUSE5) are very well-placed. All it takes is a casual flick of the thumb to hit either one of them.
The scanner - it has three basic settings, with the "DPI on the fly" feature. I will say that it's not just made to sell. Sometimes if I want more or less sensitivity all I have to do is hit one of the quick-switch buttons.
Cons: If you're not a claw-gripper (a claw-gripper is a gamer who uses his/her fingertips or fingers to manipulate the mouse) then this mouse might not work for you. I believe palm grippers need a long mouse to exert more force on. This mouse is short and wide, and it wasn't designed for it. Not worth taking an egg off for, because it's designed for claw gripping. If you're a palm gripper, this mouse isn't meant for you. Who knows, though, maybe you can learn to use it. I have heard of some people who did.
The "Switch DPI on the Fly" function won't always work. Some games, mostly fullscreen ones such as Civilizations 5, Mass Effect 3, and Team Fortress 2, don't appear to allow you to change DPI on the fly. It's not Cooler Master's fault, you have to at least give them credit for thinking of and semi-successfully implementing this function. But in my experience, you shouldn't rely a match on whether the quick-switch DPI function works after some thorough testing.
The quick-switch DPI buttons are slightly in the way. I can't say I know a better place to put them, but if you ever want to click the middle mouse button, make sure your middle finger doesn't press the sensitivity increase button.
Other Thoughts: I never use the 3500 DPI setting - at least, I haven't found a way to use it yet - and only sometimes its lowest setting. I find 1700 DPI a happy medium.
I know I put out some cons about the quick-switch mode - the buttons and the fact that it won't always work - but it IS a bit of a luxury to begin with and you won't die without it. In the situations it works in, it's great. In the situations it doesn't work in, be it a software limitation of the app or because your finger hit the wrong button, your reticle went a few pixels too far and you missed that headshot, well... you might rage, but you'll get over it. It's not a deal-breaker and in my opinion, if you plan around it - which is easy - then it's not worth taking off one egg.
The feel of this mouse will be love hate. I can't recommend this mouse to a palm-gripper. But for a claw-gripper like myself, this is the mouse for you! It is relatively inexpensive compared to certain mice by a certain sharp gaming company, and even compared to some of CM's other offerings (I think. Don't take my word for it.) I sort of stumbled on this mouse at random. I was using a Logitech M325, a slim wireless that was really made for mobility more than it was for gaming. I never thought I'd have cause to spend money on a mouse "designed for gamers". So for Christmas of 2013, my aunt, who had given me cash the previous year, took note of my newfound PC gaming hobby. I guess she went out at random and grabbed the first nice-looking mouse that wasn't cheap nor pricey, which happened to be this mouse. The Spawn showed me what it really is to have a gaming mouse. You have to love serendipity, huh?