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Pros: - Amazing value
- Much faster and far less power hungry than the card it replaces (HD7970).
- Plays any game I've thrown at it @60fps+ @1080p res, high/full details.
Using this in a mini-itx Asrock M8 build. The PSU used to get quite hot with the 7970 sucking nearly 250 watts. this card however sips just 150 watts.
Cons: - Some may not like the blower style cooler, this however is a positive thing in my build since all hot air from the card gets exhausted. I set up a custom fan profile to keep the card at 75C and below so the fan does ramp up a bit but it never gets any louder than any other blower style card I've ever owned and is still quieter than a vacuum cleaner.
- DX11 performance is not as amazing as the DX12 and Vulkan performance
- the 8GB of RAM are not really necessary unless you plan on gaming at 1440p or above but at those resolutions you'd be better off with 2x of these in crossfire.
Other Thoughts: If you are torn between an RX480 and a GTX1060 then look at it this way. The GTX1060 excels at playing older or current titles. The Rx480 excels at playing newer and future titles due to the better low level API performance when using DX12 or Vulkan. So if you're planning to get more bang for your buck now and in the future the choice is the RX480. Nvidia fanboys will try to say differently but the facts are the facts. Just search for Doom Vulkan benchmarks. That is the latest game engine with the latest API. That is the direction PC games are going.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: No trouble to set up with Windows 7 media center. Plug the unit in, install the software, run the digital cable setup from within media center and you're done. The trick is getting your cable provider to activate and sync up the multistream card for decrypting the majority of cable channels. This was difficult with Comcast when setting up my first unit a couple years ago but now it is super easy. Comcast actually has a webpage to activate and pair your devices now and it works for cablecards as well! I didn't even have to call support and explain to them exactly what I was doing.
SiliconDust has amazing support! When one of my units stopped working they were quick to create an RMA through their support site. The unit was out of warranty and they still let me return it to them and replaced the unit. The whole process took about a week, which to me is great service! Major kudos to these guys on standing behind their product.
Cons: I had one of these units die after just over a year of use. The Ethernet port would not grab a DHCP offer and IP address and there is no way to assign a static address (as far as I could tell). So I had to send it in to SiliconDust, whom were very helpful and fast with replacing the unit. I did have to buy another unit prior to receiving the replacement unit since my whole home tv watching experience relies on these things. So I would suggest always having 1 extra if you cannot live without tv while waiting for another unit.
Other Thoughts: I officially own 3 of these units now, currently using 2 and have one as a backup since I did have one fail and had to buy another since I could not wait for the replacement unit.
If using more than one of these with media center be sure to download Tuner Salad. It enables more than 4 tuners in media center. Other notable software is DVRMStoolbox which can autoskip commercials on recorded programs, and My Channel Logos which adds channel logos to the media center guide, as well as allows you to expand the number of channel listings in the guide. Very handy!
Using these units with a Media Center server feeding tv to my xbox 360s is a much better experience than having to rent and suffer with the Comcast cable boxes. I can watch all of my recorded shows on any tv in my home and I've been doing this for years. The cable and satellite companies are just now catching up to this concept. Haha!
Pros: I believe I probably wrote another review about this power supply when I first used it in my build, prior to adding 3x Radeon 7970 cards into my machine. I figured I would write a follow up so that anyone else contemplating a power supply that can handle 3x 7970s would have some valid information. Prior to installing those vid cards this power supply ran cool and quiet. Now it runs very warm and the fan has to kick on higher rpm due to the increased load. If you figure each 7970 pulls around 250 watts then the graphics pull on the 12v rail is 750 watts. That leaves 250 watts left for the rest of the system since this is actually a 1000 watt power supply. It seems to be chugging along fine thus far.
So far I have only been using the current configuration for about a week now. I'll have to see how well this unit holds up over time. If it starts to faulter or fails I will be sure to write another post.
Cons: none so far, all of the cables that everyone complains about aren't an issue if you're using most of them. ;)
Other Thoughts: Here's my specs in order to give you an idea of what kind of power draw this power supply currently supports. (these are not for bragging rights, merely to help others with or planning on configuring a similar system.)
AMD FX-8120 @ stock frequency
2x 8gb DDR3-1600 G.skill
6x 120gb OCZ vertex 3 ssd in raid0
1x Samsung 830 256gb ssd
Samsung DVD burner
3x Powercolor Radeon 7970 crossfired
4x 12cm case fans, 2x 14cm case fans
PC P&C Silencer Mk II 950W power supply