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Pros: -The motherboard worked from day 1 without issues, and it was fun to build a new system again after years. Even with XMP mode my memory didn't overclock, so I ended up doing so manually. I also overclocked my 6700K manually. I realize most enthusiasts OC manually but I mention it since I've heard so many reports of people using MSI's OC tools and I'm not impressed (not that they're bad for those who know more than me, but I found manually overclocking was easier.)
Cons: - I figured my system would be faster in daily tasks than my I7-920/X58 system, but there's no noticeable difference when I'm not pushing it (obvious to enthusiasts, I know). I naively installed all of the tools and addons from MSI's install disk initially, since I didn't figure MSI would push things that impact performance, but the startup time was anywhere from the same to slower than my old system. This includes the MSI fast boot, which doubled the startup time from my old system by itself (from 25-27 second startup back into the 50's like when I was running a HDD only). It also takes 2 minutes to start up google chrome from the time my desktop is ready as opposed to 15-20 seconds max with my old system with the same wifi. If MSI comes through with the rebate I may upgrade my rating if further testing makes my daily tasks more productive than my old system, otherwise the small step forward is disappointing, so I may sell the system to a friend who can use a second system for photo and video editing and wait for the next major enthusiast chips to come out, at which time I may have more time to actually play with and push the system so my review can be about more than comparing startup times (and horrible rebate policies as I describe below).
- MSI has the shortest period for submitting mail in rebates I've ever seen, and they don't advertise that of course. It wasn't until I had time to fill out the rebate paperwork that I found out they have a 21 day limit, much shorter than the holiday return period, let alone the 2-3 months I have seen (if there's a limit at all) from other companies in various industries. If the rebate form was attached to the product or otherwise easily visible as opposed to me not knowing until I searched for it I wouldn't mind and would take the loss, but it wasn't, and so I wasn't aware of the short time frame. If MSI responds to this I will consider their products in the future, but otherwise I will go with EVGA for graphics and Asus for motherboards.
Other Thoughts: - I apologize to those looking for performance related reviews, but hopefully this helps those that need to take price into account when building. The rebate in this case would have taken another 12.5% off the already reduced cost, and that's significant enough that I would have either bought a new motherboard or used that and the MSI 1070 rebate I missed out on and bought a 1080 instead. Hopefully MSI is the kind of company that comes through for customers and either changes their policy or advertises the short rebate periods actively in the future.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: ARCTIC COOLING Accelero XTREME GTX 280 Fluid Dynamic VGA Cooler
Pros: Lowered my temps at idle by 10-12C (up to 14C with fans at 100%) and at least 20C while gaming. I used this on an EVGA gtx 280 and all parts fit as described.
Other than the lower temperatures, the fans are much quieter than the stock 280 fan (which wasn't bad itself). I don't hear these much under 70%, and if I needed quiet for watching movies or working rather than gaming I can lower it to 50% or lower and not hear it at all. Also a plus is that it didn't raise any other temperatures due to not directly ejecting heat out the rear of the case anymore, although that's definitely more case design than anything.
Cons: The tape included didn't hold very well to the ramsinks, although it seemed to do better after heating up once and I haven't had a problem since. The backplate also became "unstuck" in one or two spots (but firmly held overall) even though it seemed perfectly flat on install. This leads me to believe it may have to do with the fact that the card sags slightly with this heatsink (compared to the EVGA case-like stock cooling system, which makes the card feel like a strong, solid, one-piece unit.)
Other Thoughts: For the price and performance of this unit, I believe this is a great unit. It is only about .5" longer than the evga card stock, not any higher, and about .5" more depth. The last point may be the worse of the three since motherboard spacing is more set than anything. As far as those with case problems, I've found several HTPC cases I could fit my setup with this in, just look around, there isn't any true standard on how the space within any case is used, only the motherboards they will fit. Personally I currently use a HAF 932, which has so much room and access that everything is roomy and easy.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Price, especially with all the features
built in tuner
picture, features, etc.
Cons: dust does gather on the frame and base.
Other Thoughts: I was running an asus 26 and samsung 22in monitor before buying this. I found that when I was using the asus to play my dvd's and/or using my computer and found it was big enough to sit across the room but no remote meant it was the only part of the system I couldn't control wirelessly from across the room. That and the open box deal I got on the 260HD put it at the same price point, only now I don't need a tv card either!READ FULL REVIEW