Date Joined: 03/16/13
Pros: I am a first time micro ITX builder in a Cooler Master Elite 130 case. This MB seems to be, and is, a great fit.
The main MB issue I had was flashing to the new 5600G BIOS file with the Q-flash Plus. Two of THREE USB drives with IDENTICAL FAT32 format and files were not recognized. A single LED flash and nothing after power on. The third USB went fine. Flashing LED as I expected the first two times. No clue so just be aware it seems to not be broken per say, but SOMETHING isn't compatible.
After that was figured out...or trial and errored into really, the USB ISO W10 file boot went just fine. All HW went in and was seen properly. Very easy initial system set-up.
For power usage set to economy in the W10 power plan the entire system sips 65 watts under my streamer use. Part of that is the AMD CPU seems to be real efficient but it all adds up. The cooler, CPU and case seem well matched.
The MB does have three headers, 2 system one in front and one in back, and one CPU so for a small case you can get decent fans help. Nice.
The on board m.2 set-up is fine for most users with one NVMe speed and one SATA speed on the bottom (no room above!). PLENTY fast. I can't tell read or write speed differences except with a test. The tests seem to say I should but I don't on typical files.
Cons: Here are some things to watch out for;
-) the AMD stealth cooler sits too low and hits the I/O header plastic. I had to take a grinder to the plastic AMD heat sink and trim up some clearance. Turned the other way and it blocks the first DIMM slot, even with low profile DIMMS.
-) The next larger sink clears the memory and I/O shield but it sits flush with the power supply above it. Mine is a zero fan and the bottom of it is SOLID, so no CPU cooler airflow.
-) the smaller cooler does better and the CPU hits 82C in a 83F room 100% core load long term.
-) the last weirdness is that the small "double" nut on the NVMe drive needs the TOP nut removed. It is tight enough to seem, "no way". There has to be a way as the drive won't fit the upper heat sink with it in place. The directions to remove it aren't real clear but all the right parts are all there.
-) the fan system headers are both different but not to worry like I did, look in the box for the adapter to fit the normal fan header pin. Again, all the parts are there. One way or the other you'll need an adapter on one of the system fan as the headers aren't the same. Not sure why.
-) sometimes if the PC gets shut down, or looses power all of a sudden, the GPU will boot a white noise screen with HDMI to the screen. Reboot and that sorts itself out.,
My guess is this is a integrated CPU + video issue and not really the MB to be honest. A driver gets corrupted until it is flusehd out at re-boot. Thunderstorm power loss. allowed me to test this a few times and it always worked after a reset. Never see it on normal shut-down and restart.
Overall Review: The user benchmark numbers are very good for the AMD 5600G , G.Skill AEGIS 3200 memory (set to XMP in BIOS no problems) and Samsung 980 500 GB NVMe SSD drive per their expected performance levels (no overclocking).
This is a music streamer PC with a Seagate NAS 6TB HDD and is whisper quiet with the "silent" fan setting. The BIOS is the nicest I've used to be honest. Very easy and set in logical screen frames. This is a first Gigabyte MB and I'm impressed. No issues with firmware or software updates except the strange USB BIOS update mentioned earlier.
I use the Ethernet and not wi-fi or blue tooth at this point so no comments on those systems. I also don't use the sound so again, no factual comments.
Would I try another Gigabye MB after this? Yes, I may build my wife the same B550 chipset system with a Ryzen R5 5600G CPU. Her i3 4330 is also End of Life after W10. Not sure if mini ITX or standard size but the B550 chip set is really solid and Gigabyte seems to be pretty good...no problems.
If you are looking for a fanless mini ITX MB with at least one high speed NVMe drive this is a good candidate. It is a solidly built little board.
Pros: Drive speeds work exactly as advertised for this 3D NAND SSD.
Cons: WD SSD dashboard software doesn't load limiting software set-up for over provisioning and the like. It seems my other SSD drive software (MICRON or SAMSUNG) won't assign THIS drive over provisioning space. This seems to be a consistent issue with the WD or sister company software.
Overall Review: I'll give the drive 4 solid stars as the drive performs just fine. But, the SSD dash board software not working after several YEARS is kind of not so good. I use this as a storage READ only type drive, but if you use it as a system or a drive that is read/write a lot over provisiong may be a benefit to you for wear. Maybe the WD SSD dashboard software doesn't like the other drive software loaded but who runs just one brand drive anymore?
WARNING!! on MB slot compatibility!
On my AS Rock X470 TAICHI the LOWER M.2 M2_2 slot will NOT recognize a SATA type drive ONLY NVMe drives! Yes, the manual says it will, it WON'T. The UPPER M1_1 M.2 slot will recognize EITHER an NVMe drive or a SATA III drive. I had to MOVE my ADATA NVMe drive to the LOWER M.2 format slot and put the SATA WD drive in the upper slot. OK, that's sort of dumb as the X470 TAICHI has the heat sink on the upper slot only! My fastest drive is bare. Who thought of this slot compatibility arrangement?
It was a pain to move everything around and all the darn mcro screws (who thought of this drive retention method?) but everything works at rated speeds. Just be aware that this MB is WEIRD and yes, it uses the latest as of 03/28/2020 AEGIS BIOS for the 3800X CPU power and boost micro code.
I doubt I'll ever use the drives hard enough to get them too hot anyway, either one. In quick test both M.2 drives run at rated speeds using either my MICRON or SAMSUNG SSD drive management tools.
Both show the proper interface, SATA 6GB/S or NVMe, as well.
BEFORE you return a M.2 form factor SSD drive, be sure your slots are speced right, mine weren't. And, this is not isolated to just this MB as I found the issue on ANOTHER brand and decided to switch the drives on my MB. Presto, drives are all there and the new one needs to be initalized before formatting.
Pros: - Easy to install in ANY direction to maximize where heat goes
- This cooler vents "up" ,and out the top of the case, the 1070ti hybrid radiator out the back. Cool air into the front of the case with two fans.
- Quiet per SPL readings, but be warned on the TYPE of nose the fan makes.
- Well made.
- Kind of “cool” looking if BIG is beautiful.
- It is smaller looking in your case, truth be told.
- Cooling for BIG AIR heat pipe based design is superb (not the fans).
- Clears my MEMORY sinks even turned such that the cut outs are NOT above the memory.
- Keeps my old i7 870 running for another couple of years!
WHY I BOUGHT THIS COOLER
This review may be different than why most get a high-end cooler. I use a MSI P55 GB-80 MB with an i7-870 Lynnfield CPU. Yes, this is eight years old…or more depending on how you count recent iterations of components. To add USB 3.0 to my PHANTEK ENTHOO Pro M series case, I added a USB 3.0 daughter card that runs the front panel USB plugs. With a GTX-970 at stock speeds the CPU kept the GPU busy based on CPUID HW monitor data. The CPU was never 100% utilized but the GPU showed 100% utilization. So all was pretty well balanced up to now, and using a COOLER MASTER EVO 212 heat pipe cooler.
As GPU prices finally dropped some, and there was a 2X or more GPU advantage available with a GTX1070 through 1080ti range, I shopped for a new GPU. My PC room gets to 85 F in the summer, so COOLING was a concern, especially inside the case. I decided to buy an EVGA GTX-1070TI HYBRID cooler as it kept the price reasonable, and this design exhausts ALL the GPU heat out the back with the GPU radiator and VRM scroll fan. That leaves the inside of the case heated mostly by the CPU.
My take is this cooler is a VALUE because it allows me to keeping this PC until;
-) The newest and fastest PCIe spec is in use.
-) GPU situation with rasterized (current) verses ray tracing (new) lighting is better sorted out.
-) CPU’s are fixed in Hardware for SPECTRA issues and on newer architectures (7nm AMD and 10nm Intel).
-) Memory supply stabilizes for SSD and memory prices.
-) Monitors are true 4K and REALLY HD.
The next PC will be significantly different, even compared to a current AMD or Intel system.
I give the cooler itself, not fans, an A+. The fans are nearly not acceptable at all except I initially “force” a tolerable situation through fan limits in BIOS. The awful buzz that, to me, is a deal killer removes flexibility in your set-up. I can’t use the cooler to its fullest potential with the supplied fan UNLESS you realize the fan has a limitation on orientation (see below on cons). The cooler itself is so good 50% fan gets the job done (less than 60 C in and 85 F room!). I paid for better than that and didn’t get it until i had to figure out the fans can';t be used in a "push" configuration or they buzz. I had a 3 star review because the fans is so expensive and doesn’t work in any orientation. The directions should say "push" orientation only, as blocking the intake as a "pull" will make them buzz at higher RPM.
The good news is you can easily do this in-between the two radiators. Get the fan mounted the wrong way and use 75% or more voltage and you'll know.
Cons: - Visuals of the cooler may put you off (size and fan colors).
- Once it is in place, there is no easy place for your fingers to move things.
- Price, but in my case (pun there) it is a value as it does the right job as cheaply as possible.
- Better yet, sell it with NO FANS. I am not a fan of Noctua fans.
- One fan but two fans only improve the cooling 2-3 C per reviews, not worth the cost to me.
- Fans BUZZ horribly above 50% RPM speed. Better work at that or…get used to a major irritation.
- It isn’t magic so ambient CPU temps are as good as it can ever be.
- Need to ONLY mount the fan as a "push" configuration, with the intake clear of obstructions or they buzz louder and louder with RPM.
I had the NH-D15S fan wide-open as it was supposed to be QUIET. If you are TONE DEAF yes. In my installation the 140 MM fan BUZZES horribly, and this is REALLY obnoxious. SSO2 bearing be darned. I used a 120 mm NF-F12 on my GPU radiator and it BUZZES, too, but is not nearly as loud. It is wide open but the buzz is in the back of the case and thus is tolerable. Why the difference? One is horizontal, and one is vertical, so it isn’t orientation. A SPL meter may say it is quiet, but the TYPE of noise is hideous. But, I figured it out, and why the big difference between the two fans.
BUZZ KILL MOSTLY KILLED!
9/22/2018 EDIT - After experimenting around, I find the the FAN does NOT like the INTAKE to be against anything at all (pull through configuration). I moved the fan between the two radiators so it "pushes" air into the top radiator verses "pulling" air through the lower radiator. The BUZZ was almost entirely eliminated. I removed the fan and placed it against a screen, and duplicated the BUZZ if the screen was on the air INTAKE side of the fan and little buzz on the exhaust side. It seems that this fan design needs mounting instructions to make sure that the INTAKE side is 100% open and not against any surface. I doubt my fan is "weird" as it works just fine mounted differently. The buzz is there, but quiet enough to be trapped in your PC case and basically gone with the intake side open with no obstruction.
Now the fan, remounted as a PUSH, buzzes no worse than the same NF-F12 mounted as a "push" (intake if free of obstructions) on my 1070ti radiator. Yes, I noticed the weird buzz on both fans but it is quiet enough to not be heard once your case is closed. Mounted right it is more idiosyncratic to these fans than a problem.
so the REMEDY seems to be - mount the fan as a "push" only configuration with the INTAKE fully clear of any obstructions. The buzz will be slight, and of no significant concern mounted and used like this, even at full tilt. At 50% voltage they are dead quiet.
I had this marked 3 stars, but changed it to 4 stars. The fact that the INSTRUCTIONS do not properly show the best application of the fans knocks a star off. If you guess right, good for you! Guess wrong and are sort of ADD about it, you'll figure it out but WHY should you have to do this with such an $$$ product?
Several comments suggesting that this air cooler, or any air only cooler, can cool below ambient temperatures. They can’t. Ambient, which is still impossible, is as cool as it can get without water injection (think swamp cooler, not recommended in a PC) or with external energy added such as peltier thermoelectric types or active cooled water designs. So use some common sense when you read your temperature probes suggested temperature values.
Overall Review: Some quick HEAVEN 4.0 benchmarks showed the CPU 100% maxed out, and the GPU JUST getting to 100% sometimes. The CPU can’t really keep up with the new 1070ti, and benchmarks show a 50 FPS average using HEAVEN 4.0 maxed out at 2560 x1440. I use an ACER PREDATOR XB271HU 27” 2560x1440 monitor.
What to do? Well, over clock the CPU. Intel i7-870 has metal heat spreader and solder interface to get heat out well, but a 95W part has a LOT of heat to get out. I did a quick test at 3.5 Gig on the CPU (160 x22) with 1.25 volt Vcore (speed boost disabled). This, of course, OC’s the memory, too. I could cut the memory ratio and keep the 1600 speed or OC the memory, too. I use GSKILL DDR3 F3-1600C9D-16GXM R.
GSKILL F3-1600C9D-16GXM R memory runs at 9-9-9-24 timings @ 1.5V. On a hunch, I looked at the specs on the next level DDR3 1866 memory, specifically the HYPER X FURY HX318C10FRK2/16. This runs at 10-11-10-30 @ 1.5 volts. I selected the memory ratio of 6 in by BIOS and manually set the timings to the typical DDR3 1866 level. Presto, it runs at 1926 MHz and passes several MDSCHED.EXE windows memory diagnostic runs. I doubt that the speed difference is worth a hoot on this Intel system truth be told.
HEAVEN 4.0 tests show a score of 1572 and 62.4 FPS with the new settings and better yet, the CPU is never at 100% utilization with the GPU hitting 100%, so I get what I paid for on my current platform. It is as good as it will get, for awhile. After gaming for awhile I see 75 C CPU temps in my monitored values with the EVO 212 heat pipe cooler.
The COOLER MASTER EVO-212 can JUST keep up in a 70 F room, but as the GPU puts out as much heat as a hair drier on low, and eventually the room gets to 85 F, and the CPU reaches the, to me, limit of 75 C on most cores. The HYBRID cooled GPU is at no more than 48 C and this told me that I can get cooler in an 85 F room…somehow, with the CPU.
I didn’t want water cooling, as it is a NOISE and general hassle, as I’ve used it before. Worse, it is expensive ($120.00 average) and I don’t need the level of cooling the better units provide but want better than most single radiator versions. What does air cooling offer?
I did the typical search for AIR coolers and the NH-D15S seems the best of the bunch…the biggest, too. The data shows a 30 C advantage to the Cooler Master EVO 212. Another viewpoint is the best value but worst cooling cooler to the worst value but best cooling hierarchy model! If you need it, I guess it is a good value as it keeps my PC going several more years.
I moved the top case fan to the front of the case so I have two fans supplying cool air). I removed the radiator bracket from the top of the case then removed the weird screen on top of the case to allow better airflow. Finally I moved the GPU and USB 3.0 daughter cards to the next lower set of 16X and 1X slots to allow ample room under the cooler. I mounted the cooler so the fan faces UP towards the top of the case verses facing the radiator fan out the back. Cool air in the front with 2 x 140 mm fans and heat out the top and back with plenty of room under the GPU to feed the two fans cool air. So now I can KEEP the OC settings full time in an 85 F room and run the 1070ti to it’s fullest potential in my older set-up.
This cooler is EASY to install. One hitch. The two screws to mount the cooler to the two MB braces. The first one is easy to start…just DON’T turn the threads in too much. The second screw needs more pressure to PUSH the screw into the brace socket than you might think is right. Too much thread on the first screw only makes this situation worse. I check it over several times for errors. None found. I ditched the supplied screwdriver and got a real one with a decent handle so I could GENTLY press the screw into the socket and get it threaded. Then it is a matter of a turn on one then the other evenly tightening it up till the screw stops. Slightly longer threaded screws and deeper sockets to accept the screws would mitigate this. Not a big deal, but it does make you pause.
DOES IT WORK?
The Cooler Master EVO 212 hit 75C on max fans in an 84-85 F room with a 3.52 Gig OC and with DDR3 1920 MHz memory OC playing Crysis 3 at 2560x1440 with max details. I average over 60 FPS. With the NH-D15S the CPU hits 55-59 C running 50% fan! With the fans mounted right, so they don't buzz, I see 50 C - 55 C with 87% min fan RPM. GPU is still 55-57 C, same as before so I didn’t hurt that situation any with my CPU cooler orientation. So yes it works. The system idles at 38-40 C with a slow fan speed with 1.25V on the CPU and never gets above 60 C in any load test, so the 50% fan speed is still safely below 75 C, my upper safe limit.
Pros: To see what I think about where I am with the EVGA GTX1070ti SC HYBRID 8 MEG GDDR5 you need to know where I left! My old card was an EVGA GTX970 SCC version that served me really well @ 1080P gaming. No, not all games were at maximum detail, but close. I updated to a newer G-SYNC ACER XB271HU 1440P monitor and games were well below medium in most settings, not surprisingly. My main board is a MSI P55 GD80 1156 socket with an i7 870. Yes, nearly a ten year old CPU! I’ve changed the HD’s to 1TB Samsung 850 PRO and a 2TB Micron 1100 SSD running AHCI drivers. The SSD drive speeds are PLENTY fast to ignore $$$ NvME drive for now. The USB does use a daughter card for USB 3.0 on the computer’s two front USB sockets to get passed the slower native USB, for $8.00! 16 Meg of system RAM round it out. Why get the EVGA 1070ti hybrid GPU for this system?
I know the monitor I’ll be using, and the current CPU’s are “broken” until fixed in hardware. I’d rather wait till the new architecture is out before I change MB and CPU. Likely the 3 GHz hyper-threaded CPU can still supply the GPU with enough data at maximum resolution to get the job done just fine at 60 FPS or higher. If that’s the situation, there is NO REASON to spend $$$ on a MB, Memory, OS and CPU (or even a NvME boot drive). The GPU was technically too expensive as is but less aggravating than the 1080 hybrid cards. Did it work out that the 1070ti gets the job done at 1440P with this old CPU?
The GTX970 and the GTX1070ti are complete opposites when running. The zero fan GTX970 is SILENT (no fan!) at idle while the GTX1071ti VRM fan and radiator hum along at 1200 RPM. They seem fixed to one another and throttle together if you set the fan speed to 100% and listen. At idle the 1070ti hybrid is not loud at all, but it is indeed louder. The tides turn in 1440P games where the 970 hits 85C with ~ 85% CPU utilization on all cores in Crysis 3 @ 50 FPS (medium detail) and the two fans at full tilt. The GTX1070ti hybrid runs 46C and 85% CPU utilization with full detail and 70 FPS, fans not ramping up one bit from idle speed of 1200 RPM. Yes, it is indeed an upgrade. Could it be better with a 4 GHz CPU? Sure, but based on data with modern CPU’s @ 1440P it is less than 10 FPS. This card is ideally suited for 1440P gaming.
The XOC software is a mess. No directions, crashed in manual mode all the time, aggravating help bubbles that time out in three seconds, and it can’t seem to finish a “basic” over clock half the time. After several “automatic” sessions, and figuring out how to store a PROFILE for W10 @ start-up, I managed a 1607 MHz base GPU clock and an indicated +114MHz GPU over clock offset. I left the memory alone for now as little is to be gained there. Not a contest winner by any means but it is representative of a reasonable over clock. But wait, the software doesn’t really show what the GPU DOES in games! The new GPU’s have dynamic over clock and the water cooled CPU NEVER throttles back! It stays too cool so it goes to the maximum XOC over clock and sits there. How do you know? With the OSD, On Screen Diagnostics, you can see the real time performance on key variables. THEN you see the “ti” in action. And, I set CPUID Hardware Monitor, too, to capture the variables.
In Dead Space, an easier game to run, it reaches 110 FPS average at maximum detail and 1607 MHz GPU clock @ 30C. Stick a tough game in there like Crysis 3 at max detail, and it runs 75 FPS average and 46C with a constant 2020 MHz GPU clock. So yes, it does “over clock” to 1070ti territory, but you’d never know it from the software data front end. The fans never spin past IDLE speed (1200 RPM) the whole time in a 22C room. Can’t complain about that. The old i7 870 CPU load is ~85-90% on most cores with a few hits to 100%. The GPU is 98% load in both games.
The card is classy looking in a clean understated way with a white (not bright) LED "EVGA Hybrid" logo. I like it.
So there you have it. A ten-year-old PC with a modern EVGA HYBRID GTX1070ti runs fine, and I don’t have to spend a dime on the “greatest” CPU and support hardware. I already have the longest legged CPU in history. I’m sitting tight with this ten-year-old rig, and glad I bought the EVGA 1070ti hybrid GPU. It is QUIET in games, acceptable at idle and is a thin, light and easy to manage card that gets the lead out (the radiator/fan) so it doesn’t sag. If you have room for a 120mm radiator, to me this is the 1070ti series card to get. If this doesn’t cook your bacon…better look at the 1080ti for even a remote chance of added heat. But, that’s well over $400.00 more than the 1070ti and I can’t use 11G of Ram designed for 4K, which a 1080ti JUST manages decent frame rates in most games. 4K is the next round 4 years from now. I build behind the top of the curve at 1440P / 2K.
Cons: The downside is the price @ $150.00 over retail. It could be far worse, but the card saved me a new MB, CPU, memory, OS and NvME boot drive it runs so well with my i7 870 1156 socket system. This fact nudged it into the "forget the price" kind of purchase. Still, one egg has to come off as it isn't available for MSRP, even. It SHOULD be LESS than MSRP today.
Overall Review: The XOC software seems really buggy to me and doesn't show the upper limits of the GPU in game PRIOR to running the game(s). Most over clockers will have better luck with MSI AFTERBURNER. I don't overclock the last few MHz as the FPS are 10 or less, and to me that means a HUGE real improvement is needed. At real world price a 1080 might be justifiable overkill. Today's prices say to buy what you NEED and move on. An 11 Meg 1080ti is simply unobtainable performance increase for my system and resolution let alone the $$$.
Pros: I’ve been watching this AU Optronics panel for two years and finally decided to purchase one. The brands available are; ACER, ASUS and VOC that I'm aware of and all use the same panel.
Complaints are legion on ALL the models using this panel, which suggest that the process capabilities aren’t near a 1.0 Cpk (99.98% adherence to specs for each critical attribute). When you can’t meet statistical process center Cpk of at least one, you now need to sort production one at a time for defects, or, send then out anyway and let your customer base be the QA department! The more non-compliance’s there are to each specification the more likely you will get a monitor with an “issue”.
My selection was the ACER as it had a more stable looking stand and the USB ports are on the left screen edge, making them fit my desktop better. The AU Optronics panel and its QA shortcomings are still along for the ride. Since ACER and Unipac Optoelectronic merged together, I figured they might get a better “sort” on panels. Maybe after two years the process is better sorted out. Maybe.
My 27” Predator XB271HU Bmiprz looks pretty good. The screen uniformity isn’t spot-on, the left and right sides of the screen aren’t the exact same shade, but acceptably just “OK”. I have no dead or stuck pixels, and the back light bleed in the corners isn’t awful and yes, the lower right is the worst. But, it is hard to all but invisible in actual use. I use the ACER ICC monitor color profile and they seem pretty darn good. Before I loaded that ICC profile, I set the OSD to the best picture possible so games that ignore the W10 ICC profile still look very good.
The stand is sturdy and by far the best monitor stand that I’ve used. You can get the monitor where you like it. The OSD button controls are NOT and issue at all. Let me repeat that, the OSD buttons are NOT an issue! I went from a Samsung with the joystick (the best one out there) and going back to a five-button OSD system wasn’t a problem at all. The intuitive nature takes merely a minute or so to sort out and you are on your way. Hit ANY of the five buttons to get the main menus screen and the proper buttons are under each icon and yes, even in the dark it is easy to use the right button. I’m perplexed by the complaints on the OSD.
I use a GTX970 so I have to disable all the AAA features and a few shadow and light ray features to push FPS to 70-80. I set refresh to 144 Hz. The G-sync seems to do its thing, as I don’t notice any screen tearing or visual instability. Going from a 27” curved screen 1080P Samsung S27D590CS at “max” setting in the same game isn’t a comparison. The 2560x1440 resolution, even with items turned down run away with image quality. No, the move from curved to flat wasn’t even a noticeable detriment with a 27” screen size.
When the newer GPU’s are out, and 1440P can be run flat out at 144 Hz, you won’t need G-sync or free-sync so any GPU is then an option with this panel. For now, I do indeed use the G-sync while I wait for the newer GPU’s (and proper prices). The NVIDIA GTX1080 can’t run 144 Hz solid. Locking the upper FPS with V-sync can’t help me as I’m too slow to ever exceed the 144 Hz in a game.
The use of ULMB blur reduction needs a SOLID 85, 100 or 120 Hz refresh rate to stop screen tearing but if you can reach those targets, and the dimmer screen can be mitigated with brightness…it is far and away better than G-sync to my eye. You have to see near zero motion blur to appreciate it. To not go ABOVE the target Hz for ULMB, you need to turn on V-sync so the frame rate and monitor are always LOCKED to ONE frequency.
The screen has a nice thin bezel around the panel and build quality AROUND the AU Optronics panel is good. It is still plastic but has a decent feel to it. The USB options are good, too, on the left edge.
Cons: I have no complaints on how this panel works so far. I think that the color needs to be spot-on out of the box for what you pay. The edge bleed seems to be an artifact of higher refresh rates but so far it isn’t an issue. The Samsung 27D590 had it across the entire screen so it hides in plain sight. The UNIFORMITY made it seem “normal”. The XB271HU is so much better across 85% of the screen area that those corners are now “not normal” to your eye with an all black screen in the dark. So it’s improvement is sort of obvious. In desktop use, the clarity and richness and depth of the colors are just plain beautiful. I see color shades on stuff I never even knew were there with the Samsung. That may be simply 1440P verses 1080P but this screen has color gradients well in excess of what I used before, and the Samsung was a consistently nice screen. I will mention that as the panel is on awhile, the uniformity shifts across the screen on mine. Not a lot, but it is there. The left is a touch truer to white than the right, which captures a tint of blue coolness. This isn't a graphics panel so I'll let you decide what that means to you. It beats a TN panel on colors, but is an OK IPS panel. You buy this panel for gaming seamlessness and typical desk top work, not color perfect photo work.
For $500-$700 it shouldn't be there to have meaning. $450.00 maybe it does. Stuff is getting out of hand on price (too high) and quality (too low) of late. You can't seem to get things that 100% works and that make the higher price seem like an after thought once you have the product. High price should mean it flat works on EVERY unit and for every feature.
Over all I have to say three eggs as the CONSISTENCY of the experience isn't obvious to a buyer and the price isn't matching the consistency. Get a good panel and it is a knock out (good to the extent of the corner bleed being "normal"). I just decided what the hell and ordered one. I got an OK panel with slight color uniformity across the screen issues (well known) and slight corner bleed that is invisible in normal operation (typical), and one I'd say I wish I had for years, too. I had to wait two years to get one to say that. THAT is the problem! This was an expensive purchase with too much anxiety and possible mediating the hassles getting another panel. But it gets far worse when New Egg customer service kicks in (see below).
Overall Review: I can’t say that this panel is a good value as it seems to be too inconsistent, and customers seem to be the QA department. Good companies don’t do that to you. That’s not a value to me. I have an OK display but took the gamble that the panel had typical corner bleed issues that aren’t too bad and hopefully with no stuck or dead pixels. Color calibration on this panel seem good with the ACER supplied ICC profile. Use them AFTER you set the OSD so game that ignore W10 profiles still look good. Set the OSD colors as close as you can to get a nice even WHITE…not bluish white or yellowish white. Once that's done the other colors seem to fall into place. Set the desktop to an all white background in "right click, personalize, picture, solid color". For a fast gaming display colors are really nice but they should be out of the box nice.
The price dropped from $700.00 to $550.00 a week later on most web sites. It seems to be a better value @ $550.00 but be careful with New Eggs price match, it won't cover manufacturer's web sites, even though they seem to be a valid retailer. I submitted a price match to one of their listed retailers at the ~ $550.00 but no activity so far. I didn't get a price match email validation guarantee on submittal, odd, so I did a screen prints of everything, and Email time stamps. This process, although seldom used, should be much more seamless.
Pros: Tactile feel of the buttons is really nice, and consistent button to button.
Cons: I never got used to the "feel" of this mouse, It never disappears in your hand.
It is a heavy mouse, too, so you know it is there.
Overall Review: I hate to admit it, but the new old stock RAZOR G3.5 DeathAdder BLACK edition I bought for $30.00 replaced this $$$120.00 mouse. As good as many things are on the G900 it simply feels awkward in hand and all the time. Gaming with it was OK at best, but let me warn you...not everyone feels like I do on the feel. The G3.5 simply vanished in my hand...even with a few mushy buttons and the G900 does not.
What's good on the G900? For 1440 displays and even three displays the 12,000 DPI is a must. On a 1080P monitor it isn't at all, I use the G900 mouse set to 1500DPI with a 6 of 11 in the W10 mouse settings and no acceleration. More important is the 1000 Hz polling and 1ms response time both mice have. The G900 mouse never stutters or acts unresponsive. The sensor is definitely superior to the G3.5 when you get off the mouse pad. It is virtually the same mouse where the G3.5 simply turns turtle on you. So if you are a big arm movement gamer, and may slip off the mouse pad, the G900 mouse won't get you killed unless you were going to die anyway. Inferior sensors may freeze you up or act wonky. The G900 seems impervious to slip-ups off the mouse pad. I used it on a bare fake wood grain desk and it could care less. I can't say the difference in acceleration ( RAZOR G3.5 @60-120 inches per second and 15G verses the G900's 300 IPS and 40G) was ever noticed. The weight of the G900 mouse seems counter to FAST arms swipes, though. I have BOTH mice going at the same time and switch back and fourth but I can't tell the IPS response between the two at all on my 1080P monitor. You'll need way more than 1080P before the specs catch-up to the hardware. I'm not a big mouse movement gamer, but get along fine on a medium sized mouse pad. If you are a 800 DPI gamer, the high IPS rating may be useful to you with 1440 or higher monitors.
The Logitech Software is easy to use to get the most out of the mouse and the DPI setting buttons on the mouse are super handy where they are located. But, once I settled in I never went away from the 1500 DPI. If you do change DPI the G900 mouse is really nice. All the lights can be adjusted to suit.
Physical configuration is nice, as it is a lefty or righty mouse. It will be as good for either handedness as it is symmetrical. I don't think anyone will complain about the basic quality of construction of the "shape", It gets there in Mercedes fashion. The cord is strain relief at the mouse is a nice example of the details in the construction Logitech wanted to reach.
But in the end, my HAND likes the new old stock G3.5 RAZOR DeathAdder BLACK edition mouse much better and even with the inconsistent button feel. They all work fine, but they just don't have that, "thought of everything", consistency of the G900. No, the G3.5 DeathAdder isn't as technically as wide a monitor resolution mouse with 3500 DPI. 1080P is the G3.5 Death Adder's domain, but it "goes away" in my hand when I use it. The G900 never does. Funny, many older Logitech mice were superb feeling. The G900 wins on paper, not in your hand. Until I have to have a higher DPI count the "cheap" $30.00 mouse I bought as a spare five-button mouse is my favorite mouse.
The lesson paid for, I bought both mice, is don't overspend your monitor's performance and feel wins out in the end if you have enough DPI, polling rates and G-force for how you game. I give this mouse a four of five because the shape will NOT bother so many, and everything else is excellent for high-resolution gaming. The G900 is a WAY out there in performance three monitor mouse in search of the right, or left, hand that agrees with it.
Pros: Shape is excellent. Immediately feels "right", or probably "left" if you get that version.
Cons: Side buttons and scroll wheel roll feel need some work...and newer model may be better.
Software nags at you to keep logging in just to use the mouse profile you set.
Overall Review: I have a Logitech G900 wireless mouse and the RAZOR G3.5 BLACK DeathAdder. The G900 feels smaller, and weird, to my hand. The G900 never feels "gone" to me like the DeathAdder shape. I've never gotten used to the G900. The G900 buttons are to die for, though. ZERO play and all work with super precision. The G3.5 has mushy side buttons and has more slob and indecision than actual "click" travel, giving them a much more wobbly travel than I like. The 1 and 2 mouse buttons are fine, and the scroll wheel is just OK, as it turns with a mushy feel, but the wheel depresses with a nice feel and firm click. Weird. Not much thought went into the button consistency, it is all over in feel and precision. If I could have the G900 button precision on the G3.5 DeathAdder black with a pinky grip on the right side, now THAT would be a great mouse! Maybe the newer version RAZOR mice are better?
The cloth braided cord is a good bit smaller than most mouse tethers, so it is light and doesn't drag much. It could prove fragile, though. The sides of the mouse is SLICK black plastic, and the right far side is sloped towards the top of the mouse, so it can be slippery to lift and set on the mouse pad in gaming if you fingers are wet with anticipation! Not sure why the right side isn't slopped from the top down, or provide a small depression, to give more lifting grip. The left thumb side is fine, as it is sloped the right way. The mouse is LIGHT to use, which is nice, and helps the issue with grip. The G900 is a heavy fella by comparison but it has plenty of side grip as the sides are sloped better.
The software is fine, and the driver loaded fine, I can run both mice at the same time with no issues. What I DO NOT like, is that once I register the mouse, and am not working with profiles switching, I should be able to go in off line mode and STAY there till I create a new profile, FOREVER. As is, you have to keep logging in, or tell it to keep you logged in. I don't like the constant unnecessary connection. So it works with your profile only logged in, then you can go "offline" from there but WHY can't it just remember the profile and be done with it (no internal mouse memory?) unless you need to change it? So logging in and going offline is a drag. I turned the pulsing LOGO off, and left the thumb wheel on to orient the mouse if it slips in game play.
Overall, I like the shape so much I've switched to this mouse, and keep the five button G900 for a back up and / or other things. Yea, the $30.00 mouse beats the $125.00 mouse, as it is so ergonomic. With a 1080P monitor I have MORE than enough pixel resolution with 3500 DPI and both mice have the more important 1000 Hz poling rates (always use this setting) and 1 ms response times. I use mine set to 1500 of 3500 DPI and 6 of 11 in the W10 mouse pointer speed (linear tracking setting and no acceleration). From there I make a small adjustment in the games pointer speed. My precision in 2016 DOOM is pretty good with this mouse, I die (a lot) fair and square. No mouse skips or stutters. Just a Cacodemon eating my head off, again.
The G900 sensor is way superior off the mouse pad, I detect no difference off the pad on a fake wood grain desk, so if you don't want to use a mouse pad, be careful with this mouse. The G3.5 sensor just stalls out terrible and doesn't respond at all well off the mouse pad. I just got a slightly bigger mouse pad to use, problem solved in games.
The buttons as inconsistent but they are all working even if the thumb buttons and roll wheel lack the "MERCEDES" feel of the G900. The software is fine and easy to set-up even if it nags at you to sign in. Trust me, I'm not that important. For the money a new old stock G3.5 DeathAdder Black is a good choice for games on the cheap with a 1080P monitor. If you have a 1440 or larger monitor, you'll MAYBE need higher DPI values above 6,000 or so. Three monitors and a mouse with 12,000 DPI will be needed to span three screens quickly, though.
One last note, I was concerned about Chinese knock-off. RAZOR said that the software WOULD NOT recognize a counterfeit mouse.
So four of five eggs, as the buttons are inconsistent, the grip could be better and the software nags you to use your profile. For thirty buck its a good buy, above that...not so much.
Pros: Price and the performance of the PLS panel getting close to TN for games yet like an ISP for colors. Power draw is next to nothing @ 20 watts or so compared to the 19" Trinitron @ 135 watts!
Cons: No swivel or height adjustment. Stock height seems low but, better than too high as a reem of paper can fix too low.
Comes with the WRONG cable (VGA). Most will buy this 590 model for two HDMI ports. So send at least ONE HDMI cable, please.
Mine has TWO "soft" pixel that I can only see it if I hunt themdown with a white target field. Still, these should be 100% by now on panel quality. This issue does NOT apply to JUST this brand, either.
Don't let this get in the way of this models strengths. The pixels are so small that they unnoticed with any sort of desktop. And, if needed, send it back till you get a good one if necessary.
Overall Review: I bought this monitor to replace a 10 year old DELL 19” Trinitron, and to hold me over until the Dynamic Refresh rate wars are over between NVIDIA and AMD. I DO NOT want to have to be locked into a monitor AND video card. So, I looked and looked for a decent 1080P monitor that my AMD 6870 (for now) can run well. I won't buy a video card until they match-up to a monitor that can, hopefully, run BOTH G-Sync and FreeSync. I selected this model as it has TWO HDMI slots over the 390 series. Other than that, they seem the same model to me.
So did this monitor do the trick? Yes, it did, to be short. The 24” screen seems HUGE off of a 19” CRT. BUT, I still like my wife's 16:10 monitor verses the 16:9 screens. That extra inch top to bottom is VERY nice to have on a PC. A true PC should have a 16:10 ratio but oh well, we get TV stuff hand me downs. It did take me several hours to appreciate this monitor it's SO different.
Set-up was easy EXCEPT (no fault of the monitor) for finding the screen size controls as the screen was NOT filling all the monitor but it was on the right resolution. Once I found and set the scaling option to 0%, away we go! It's hidden in the Properties (Digital Display) on AMD driver software.
This monitor has VERY good color temperatures. Bright (I use 55) and vivid (I set contrast to 100%). OK, maybe the model is not photo correct but you'll never starve your eyes with it. I have done little tweaking, and have a nice picture. Turn HDMI BLACK level setting to normal.
I bought this panel for several reasons after extensive looking;
PLS response is in between TN (1-2 ns) and IPS (8-12 ns)
Input lag is 17.2 ns which is great for games.
PLS colors and viewing angles are both good for everything.
Price is closer to NT panels without the strange color shifts and more pastel look.
24" @ 1080P is all I'd ever want to try to run on my AMD6870 video card with games.
Two HDMI inputs are handy.
I'm perplexed by the confusion over the jog button. This thing is SUPER easy to master and you can fly through the setting in nothing flat over button ofter button. Turn it off? I simple push in and toggle to OFF and hold two seconds is too hard?
On games, I ran Far Cry3 BLOOD DRAGON on full 1080P and it look super. I REALLY wished I played the game on THIS monitor verses the 19” Trinitron! I saw no terrible ghosting or input lag in this pretty fast paced shooter. The far cry3 game engine is pretty demanding, too. Colors and vibrancy are over the top compared to the Trinitron. I tried to see screen tearing, but I couldn't. I'm told tearing is an issue when your video card goes over 60 FPS. My 6870 won't exceed that most of the time, so I can't say I saw any stuttering or tearing after twenty minutes of gunning down dragons. Yes, I did sense some low frame rate jitters but barely.
Pros: PLENTY fast for a desktop system.
Cons: None for what it is billed to be.
Overall Review: I built my wife a desktop type system when her (my old) gaming ASUS SLI-Deluxe PC died. As gaming PC's are WAY overkill for Email / web usage and light games, I decided to built to suit her real world use;
i3-4330 3.5 GHz CPU
ASRock X97 extreme 4 MB
Onboad CPU graphics
8 MEG GSkill 1866 RAM
SAMSUNG 850 PRO 250 Gig SSD
W7 64 bit HOME
I used an 850 pro as I can max out its performance and ALSO expect a decent life as an OS drive. I keep my PC's for YEARS till they die, so life is as important as speed. Cost is now reasonable, too, on this sized drive. Her old 1 TB Seagate went to the file position as a data drive.
The 1866 memory is overkill 1600 would be fine except that the 1866 was the same price for some reason. I set it to XMP for 1866 only. No CPU overclock.
Does this system work? MUCH better than I expected. Compared to an MSI P55-GD80 1156 socket i7-870 SATA 2.0 W7 64 bit system, it matches it in all but accelerated graphics used in my game PC (AMD 6870 card)
Her is the data; i7-870 then the i3-4330;
CPU 7.5 / 7.3
MEM 7.5 / 7.7
W7 7.8* / 6.7 - *aided by 6870
Gaming 7.8* / 6.7 - *aided by 6870
HDrive 7.4 / 7.9 - BOTH are SAMSUNG 850 PRO SSD's
Of course, heavy duty work will use four cores verses two (both with hyper-threading) but still, this CPU is an ideal design for a decent desktop home system. A few seconds to encode a music RIP isn't an issue at home. Maybe twenty a day, but not casual use. STOCK fan and runs at 30C.
Also, the on board Intel 4600 graphics are excellent, finally! I bought the almost the "best" i3 CPU to get the 4600 series graphics and it paid off handsomely. The PC is a X97 ASRock Extreme 3.0 motherboard with ZERO daughter cards. Can you say NO NOISE. Can you hear me now? Yes, you can!
So if you are Leary of an i3 CPU, or are afraid they can't perform, don't be. At least with the 4330. Check the performance and be realistic to your needs. EVEN if you are a gamer, adding a graphics (AMD or NVIDIA in cross fire / SLI if you must) daughter card, this system will ROCK. Most games are card limited over CPU anyway.
So kudos to Intel for the better desktop graphics. Yes, I have an NVIDIA GTX260, but why add the NOISE and power draw? I also have a Creative Labs Audigy sound card but heck, the MB sound is more than fine with her speakers.
So this i3-4330 is excellent used as intended. Makes my older i7-870 feel the heat on the home network, that's for sure!
Pros: Nice features for the money.
Cons: Well, the HD activity posts are dead. I checked the LED on the PWR button and it's fine. The MB is bad.
Overall Review: Not a real heavy duty feeling MB piece. The ATX isn't full size, and the front of the case edge of the Mboard has NO support to push the ATX PWR cord into the socket. I stuck a post-it note pad to the right height under the board while I pressed the connector into place.
The on board Intel video feature with an Intel i3 4330 is VERY good for HD desktop use. I have the PC all onboard audio and video with 8 MEG RAM and it's great. Quiet and plenty fast with as SAMSUNG SSD 250 Gig 850 pro drive and a mechanical Seagate 1 TB data drive.
The EUFI bios is TERRIBLE. WHY is this a video game? Lets get the BIOS to do the right things in a SIMPLE and easy to see format. Gigabyte allows a "legacy" view!! and after this mess, I know why. But, you're in and then out on a office desktop PC. The BIOS is a great PLACE TO LEAVE.
If you get a 100% working Mboard, this is a nice one. The CORSAIR MX600M power supply arrived DOA, too. QA isn't what it was in the past. It's just too much of a pain to return it. I HAVE to return the power supply, though.
Pros: Looks nice. Large FAN. Like the semi-modular design.
Cons: DOA in new PC build. Used my older supply...and all is fine. The CX600M would not stay booted. A short spin of the fans and then nothing.
Overall Review: This is MUCH more cheaply made than I expected. Very light duty feeling. I would not buy this supply had I seen it. I'll test the replacement and set it aside and keep my much more solid Silverstone SST-ST56ZF in service.
Pros: Works as expected with 24 bit sound enabled. Good software set and W8.1 sees it every day. The onboard sound (RELTEK AC97) was not initializing reliably with W8.1 for some odd, and never figured out the reason.
So, I replaced the ASUS A8N SLI Deluxe MB onboad RELTEK AC97 CODEC sound with this card, and now we're good to go again.
This is advertised as BASIC sound at or above onboard sound at the time the card was designed several years back so no, this won't be an Xgamer extreme or higher level of sound on newer Creative onboard sound chip enabled MB's. The sound quality meets the old MB's sound.
It still PLENTY good for most all casual PC based uses and games with PCI based sound. So overall, the fit is perfect and as advertised. Can't complain. 24bit 96KHz sound is plenty good for basic PC usage.
Cons: I really don't have any issues with this card at all. Yes, there is some software to fiddle with, but hey, you at least HAVE some flexibility! So if some settings bother you, you'll need to fiddle at least ONCE and then leave it. Be sure to set it to studio quality 24 bit sound!
I wish standard bass / treble were more easily found, though. It's not to be found. Odd.
Overall Review: I'm perplexed by others expectations of a $30.00 sound card. The speakers (cheap Chinese 2.1 verses Altec Lansing ACS500's) I use have a HUGE impact on sound way more than the card limits it. Fiddle with speakers and see.
Pros: Well, I went ahead an did it. I bought a SSD drive. Prices have come down, and reliability have gone up, especially for the Samsung 850 Pro 1 TB unit. The price on this unit hits $550.00 on occasion so I took the plunge and got one at that price. I didn't really get this drive for THIS PC (a 1156 socket i7-870), but to use in my NEXT PC. Yes, better SSD drives will be around by then but, this is still a nice sized data drive later on. So much for a killer drive in an older PC. And, it's large enough to fully retire my mechanical drive.
Was it worth it? Well, my Windows 7 performance score went form 5.9 to 7.4.
No, W7 does not open in a FLASH, but it is quicker.
Enabling performance mode and using the RAPID mode makes things FLY;
Random read /writes went for 17,000 to pegging the chart to 70,000 write / 98,000 read.
Sequential read / writes are 3438 / 3145 up from 240.
This drive even with SATA II is still crazy fast.
Programs open instantly.
Games save instantly.
Large files open near instantly.
So far, it's a nice change. I've kept my old mechanical hard drive in the PC, unhooked but ready to go if needed. As large as this drive is, and I'm not using my PC any where near the daily limits for ten year life, I think the mechanical drive is simply saving space in the closet by sitting inside the PC!
So I did set everything to performance mode (RAPID, over provisioning ETC) as I'm using SATA II which pegs out at 240 Meg/sec without RAPID mode. But smaller files really fly with RAPID mode, every bit as fast as SATA 3.0. True, it is software so a crash will lose data in the bus.
So with an i7 870 1156 socket CPU with 8 meg RAM on an MSI P55-GD80 mother board things are good.
Now for the part I wish I knew up front. No, you don't need the USB to SATA 3.0 cable to drive image your old drive. Yes, they seem to show ONLY this method of drive image. Too bad, as it wastes desktop users time and patience. Here's what I did ( see cons);
Cons: What they don't tell you;
-Mechanically Load the drive into your PC, add the power and SATA 3.0 cable. Get a 3.0 cable as it is backwards compatible with SATA 2.0 so you have a nice cable for the NEXT PC. But, a SATA 2.0 should work, too.
-Plug it into an available SATA port on you MB. Try to use the exact same controller port as the source drive to avoid Windows problems.
When windows boots, you will NOT see the drive on Explorer, it's not formatted or “there” yet.
You WILL see the drive in DEVICE MANAGER, though. OK, so you're good to go.
-Load the SAMSUNG software that came with the drive. I had to load each separate as the programs fails to “load all” when selected. So manually load the Image software after it loads the magician software.
-Start the drive image and it will show the target (new SSD drive) and source drive (your old drive).
-This is super simple if you move no more data than the new drive holds. If not, you will be asked to delete copy folders until it all fits.
Once you select your partition sizes with the slider if any, and get it all to fit, start the copy process.
Wait about an hour or more for the process to complete.
-Turn off your PC and REMOVE (I unhooked power and removed the SATA cable, but left the mechnical drive as a back-up) the old source drive and place the new drive in the exact same SATA port the old source drive used.
I used the exact SAME SATA plug as the old drive to improve the odds it all goes well. Some PC's (mine) have different SATA controllers and I didn't want W7 to see anything different. So, I made sure I used the same Intel P55 SATA II controller port.
-Restart the PC. Bingo, it's all there. I had my old partition drive letter legacy to “F” for some strange reason I can't remember, and it made it “E” on the SSD image drive. This is a pain as ALL my games are “F”. So, I used drive manager in W7 to rename it back to the old drive letter “F' from “E”.
-If you have boot problems, it's most likely your BIOS needs the boot order change to the SSD.
So there ya go, no external cables needed.
Overall Review: So that was really all there was to it, and no silly external USB to SATA 3.0 cable to buy. I really wonder why they don't tell desktop users this. So all that remained was to set TRIM in W7 (it's usually “on”), RAPID mode, over provisioning, turn on W7 system restore for the new drive and partitions and set W7 to maximize performance. I figure as light duty as my PC is, I'll never wear this drive out.
Do I say get an SSD drive? Yes, my PC is closer to quiet, and it is snappy in service after W7 boot. Just don't expect it top turn on like a light bulb, it still takes time but a little less, which is good. Don't get in a tizzy about performance, ANY SSD will kill your old HD. And, if they really last as long as they claim, get one to cover a couple PC's. So out of DURABILITY(1), SIZE (1) and PERFORMANCE(.5), getting 2.5 out of three ain't bad. No, you don't need SATA 3.0!
On last item, I haven't figured out AHCI on this MB just yet but performmance scores say maybe I don't need to. .
Pros: Heavy seemingly durable design. Price and ALPS name make it seem like a good choice for a basic keyboard.
Cons: This keyboard simply does not work well. The keys are creaky and have a LOT of stiction when depressed making typing frustrating. It is plasticky and noisy, with the keys lacking any tactile feel. The keyboard had several keys stop working all together a short time after I started using it. Now, the enter key sticks down, and stay down till you shake the keyboard to release it.
Overall Review: My experience says to stay away from this keyboard. ALPS used to mean "quality" but not so much any more. They make and sell models at a price point that hurts their reputation.
Yes, they did offer to "fix" the keyboard verse replace it. Sometimes it has to work first time and every time or the cost just isn't worth it to send it back ($$$) with the wait. And fixing verses replacing further added doubt to the experience. I trashed it and am looking again.
I had an older NMB brand keyboard for 15 years that worked excellently until it was goofed-up in a moving van box. I guess they don't make them like that anymore. Key silk screening wearing off in just a year, poor tactile feel ETC. Is making a poor quality item doing the planets resources any good?
I give it two stars IF IT WORKS. Some must, so that's my rating. With keys sticking down and not working at all, it can't even rate one star.