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Tyler D.

Tyler D.

Joined on 08/21/05

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 29
Most Favorable Review

Stunning

SAPPHIRE Radeon VII 16GB HBM2 PCI Express 3.0 x16 ATX Video Card 21291-01-40G
SAPPHIRE Radeon VII 16GB HBM2 PCI Express 3.0 x16 ATX Video Card 21291-01-40G

Pros: - Great Aesthetics - Robust Build Quality - Stunning Performance - Great Software with frequent driver releases - Efficient when undervolted - 16GB of HBM2!

Cons: - Fans can be a bit loud if you leave them on automatic. Anything under 55% will make it just as quiet as other competing cards in this price range. - Cooler can perform better or worse than others depending on manufacturing tolerances. Do not expect this card to cool itself as bad or as good as some others in reviews or on forum websites. Each one is a unique experience.

Overall Review: Coming from a Watercooled Vega 56, the performance jump was extremely nice. I was a bit skeptical, but it didn't take me long to confirm that my purchase was warranted. Even at stock settings, the extra 20 FPS or so in most games that I play was immediately noticeable. Gameplay is smoother, and even with Freesync, the extra frames really contribute to a better gaming experience. Additionally, I can turn on any eye candy I may have left off before hand. This thing just trucks straight through it. I'm still in the midst of tweaking this card, as the communities built around this card grow and begin to discover. Driver updates are also pretty frequent; fixing and adding features and tweaks along the way. Right now I've undervolted this card nearly 120mV UNDER the stock voltage and have it running above stock clocks. With these settings, this card uses anywhere from 50-70W less than my Vega 56, which performing much better than it. I can push 100-144 FPS in Apex Legends and BFV runs like butter. No crashes, no nonsense. Plug n play, this card is not. You'll truly enjoy this card to it's fullest if you also enjoy tweaking your hardware (RAM Timings, overclocking, etc.). This is a beast of a card, and while I do wish it was a little cheaper, I think the price is warranted if you want the best performing card out there, with stellar driver/software support, superior image quality, and smoother frametimes than the Nvidia counterparts.

Most Critical Review

Great Quality for a Good Price

Fractal Design Venturi HP Series Black Fluid Dynamic Bearing High Pressure PWM 120mm Radiator/Heatsink Optimized Fan
Fractal Design Venturi HP Series Black Fluid Dynamic Bearing High Pressure PWM 120mm Radiator/Heatsink Optimized Fan

Pros: - Robust. Hefty, thick, quality plastic and rubber used. No seems or defects. - Quiet for the most part until higher RPMs - Aesthetically Pleasing - Good Static Pressure (great for intake fans or radiators)

Cons: - Not too loud until it faces restriction. Radiators and filters cause this fan to hum at 1300-1800 RPM. - Bit of motor noise as well. See below.

Overall Review: My other case fans, Arctic F14s, move quite a lot of air. When they make any noise at all, it's from the sheer amount of air being pushed through them. No motor noise. I did notice though, that these Fractal HP-12s make a sort of low groaning / ticking sound. The sound changes in pitch as the RPMs increase. Oddly enough, one fan is noisier than the other. However, this noise is only audible when 12-18" away from the case. I Googled this and found that many people mention this on other websites and forums. Honestly, it's treading into nitpicking territory for me, so it doesn't warrant the subtraction of an egg, but I thought I'd mention it as I understand the want for a quiet PC. UPDATE 5/31/18: Unfortunately what does warrant the subtraction of eggs is the noise these make when faced with moderate restriction like dust filters or radiators (which is what I bought two of these four). Two of these fans howling away at ~1400 RPM on a 240mm rad while trying to cool my Vega 56 can get annoying. I actually wound up replacing these a few months after owning them. Don't get me wrong, these are well-made, attractive, and affordable fans, but the noise they create can be bothersome to some users.

Fast & Easy

G.SKILL TridentZ Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4 3466 (PC4 27700) Intel Z370 Platform Desktop Memory Model F4-3466C16D-16GTZKW
G.SKILL TridentZ Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4 3466 (PC4 27700) Intel Z370 Platform Desktop Memory Model F4-3466C16D-16GTZKW

Pros: - Aesthetics. They look great and match my build perfectly. - Decently priced in today's market. - Fast (See Other for timing and speed info) - Samsung B-Die (Works great with Ryzen)

Cons: - None

Overall Review: UPDATE 7/15/2020: Forgot to update this a while back. Since upgrading to a 3700X and a Gigabyte Aorus X570 Elite motherboard, I've been able to run this kit at 3733 MHz 16-17-16-16-32-48-288-1T timings with Gear Down Mode enabled @ 1.42V. Lowering the timings any further causes bootloops or major instability, so these aren't as highly binned as 3200 CL14 kits. I see others have been receiving this kit with ICs other than Samsung B-Die, so you may not be as lucky, but I'm very happy with this purchase.

An attractive and affordable option, but you get what you pay for.

VIOTEK GN27D 27” HD Gaming Curved Monitor – Seamless Performance w/ 144Hz & 1440p; FPS/RTS Optimized & Samsung VA Panel
VIOTEK GN27D 27” HD Gaming Curved Monitor – Seamless Performance w/ 144Hz & 1440p; FPS/RTS Optimized & Samsung VA Panel

Pros: - Price - Solid Construction - Samsung VA Panel - 144Hz FreeSync - Fantastic USA Based Customer Support

Cons: - Not as bright as some competitors (although, they're more expensive too) - The manual does not explain a few of the features available on the monitor like DCR for example. - Poor Gray Uniformity / Dirty Screen Effect (DSE) - 1 Year Limited Warranty - Freesync Flicker may also be an issue in some games. - Limited product information availability* - UPDATE (6/22/2020): DSE has worsened - UPDATE (6/22/2020): Screen Burn-In Issues - UPDATE (6/22/2020): Ghosting in games seems to have become a real issue.

Overall Review: I had been waiting for a 27" 1440P 144Hz FreeSync Monitor that wasn't absurdly priced for quite some time now. When I saw this pop up on Newegg, I made a quick call over to Viotek for some more information, as much of the information here is wrong / copy and pasted from another model. After speaking with some of the support staff who, by the way, seem genuinely enthusiastic about this model, it was confirmed that this is a VA Panel monitor and they source their panels from Samsung. I decided to bite the bullet and pick this baby up. The monitor was nicely packaged, construction was straight forward and quick, and a 5' DisplayPort cable comes in the box. The Monitor sits nicely on my desk and barely wobbles if I accidentally bang into my desk. The buttons for the OSD make a crisp and rather loud noise, providing a bit of tactile feedback, but I will admit they do feel a little cheap. No big deal. There's also a blue power LED that shines downward towards the desk but it is in no way annoying or too bright. The OSD menu is easy to navigate, and isn't too confusing, and I made sure to enabled FreeSync right away, as it is OFF BY DEFAULT. Additionally, there are no drivers or ICC profiles provided with the monitor nor are there any on the website. Radeon Settings picks it up as a Viotek GN27D, but Windows simply refers to the monitor as a Generic PnP monitor. I hope this changes in the near future. This is my first FreeSync monitor so I didn't know how different the experience would be from my BenQ GW2470 (also a VA panel). Right off the bat, the monitor looks crisp and sharp, colors don't seem too inaccurate and generally on par with my BenQ. Contrast appears to be about the same too. I did notice that the monitor isn't quite as bright as my other monitor, but it's not a deal-breaker and I knew going in it was about 50 cd/m^2 dimmer than what I already had. Colors aren't as saturated either, but I corrected this Radeon Settings. The jump from 60Hz to 144Hz is tremendous in it's own right, but FreeSync is fantastic. It really is a great experience. Whether I'm playing Battlefield, The Division, or PUBG, the fluidity and responsiveness is almost uncanny. I ran around the Battlefield 4 Test Range and marveled at how smooth it was. It almost felt weird at first, but I settled right in after a few minutes and I can safely say I won't be going back to non-Adaptive Sync displays. One more thing to note, I didn't touch the overdrive settings, nor did I really tell a difference in game, I have to play around with them some more. But on the default setting, I did not notice any ghosting or overshoot that people sometimes associate with VA panels. Overall, I love this monitor. It's solid quality and performance for a great price and I would recommend this to anyone, especially AMD video card owners looking to elevate their experience from a 1080P monitor. I wish I could give this 4.5/5 Stars. *I reached out to Viotek a second time before writing this review to see if I could get more information on this monitor as far as FreeSync range and whether or not there would be firmware updates, drivers, etc. released for this monitor. They informed me that more information would be available shortly and the representative was more than happy to agree to emailing me more documentation on the GN27D when she received it. UPDATE June 25th, 2018: I've noticed while browsing websites with moderately dark gray backgrounds that there is a pretty noticeable dirty screen effect. I didn't notice this right away because not many sites I frequent have this color background. Basically, any large parts of the screen with one uniform color of dark gray will appear to look blotchy, with the shade of gray becoming lighter as you move closer to the center of the screen. This isn't noticeable in any other situation, but I do find it rather distracting at times. UPDATE June 22nd, 2020: Almost at the character limit, here, so I need to be brief. Screen uniformity, DSE, and ghosting in games has increased to a level that I can no longer tolerate. Playing games like Wildlands or Black Mesa really reveals how slowly this monitor's pixels respond and it seems to have worsened over time. For example, there is extremely noticeable overshoot and ghosting on bullet tracers and powerlines in dusk / night areas of Wildlands. Adjusting the response time in the OSD exacerbates the issue. Additionally, I'm facing some burn-in issues. I left this monitor on overnight and the next day while browsing the web, I could almost swear that my Firefox window was transparent. Nope. My wallpaper had burnt into the screen, which took hours to subside. This was the final straw, and while I still maintain that this is an attractive and affordable option for those who are looking for a 144 Hz, VA, Freesync, 1440P Monitor, I've decided to move on and purchase a more up-scale monitor. As is usually the case with TVs and Monitors, you get what you pay for. -1 Egg.

A Good Decision

SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 5700 XT 8GB GDDR6 PCI Express 4.0 x16 ATX Video Card 100416P8GL
SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 5700 XT 8GB GDDR6 PCI Express 4.0 x16 ATX Video Card 100416P8GL

Pros: - Tremendous value. The price and performance when compared to other models is top-notch. - Great Build Quality - Great Cooling (GPU Core and Memory) - Quiet in most circumstances - Dual BIOS - Heatsink fins are oriented length-wise, allowing it exhaust hot air out the back of your case. - Fans are easily replaceable.

Cons: - The fans can make quite a bit of noise, similar to my Radeon VII, if overclocking or pushing the power limit. - The backplate might not be for everyone, though it doesn't bother me. - Red "SAPPHIRE" LED cannot change colors or be turned off. - Sapphire TrixX software is nearly useless in terms of controlling the lights or fans on this model.

Overall Review: I've owned this for two months and I've decided to finally write a review. I gave it 5 stars because I've had no problems with the product and it's performed exactly as intended. Even exceeded expectation. It's cool, quiet, and performs brilliantly. Any problems people are having with this card usually come down to the iffy drivers that AMD has released thus far and therefore effect every 5700XT card, not just the Pulse. Overclocking and Undervolting: I've been able to achieve 2100 MHz @ 1134mV Core (Stock voltage is 1200 mV), stable. Power Limit: 0%. Power Usage: 201W. Core Clock hovers around 2000 MHz while gaming. Pushing the Power Limit up even 5% achieves even higher clocks, but heat increases exponentially. I'm only able to overclock the memory to 910 MHz. Anything higher results in black screens. I don't know what memory chips my card has because I haven't disassembled the card. With these settings and good case airflow, the card ramps the fans up to around 2000 RPM, which is definitely audible. It's a bit unpleasant but with headphones on you shouldn't hear it too much. Alternatively, I'd recommend undervolting the card instead. I've been able to achieve 2000 MHz @ 1060mV stable. Power Usage: 185W. Core clock hovers around 1940 MHz. This results in at least a 6°C lower junction temperatures during benchmarks and only a slight hit the framerate (2-3 fps). Because of this lower junction temperature, the fans don't ramp up as much, resulting in a less power hungry and quieter gaming experience while maintaining nearly the same performance as the overclock mentioned above. Lastly, the fans: The PULSE's fans in my Fractal Design Define R6 (Tempered Glass Side Panel) case become audible at around 1500 RPM. At 2000-2200 RPM, the fans are easily the loudest fans in my computer. As mentioned above, it'd still be comfortable with headphones, but these fans get loud quick. If you want a quiet rig, ensure your fans don't exceed 1800-1900 RPM or so. The best way to do this is to have good case airflow and undervolt. Overall I'm happy with my purchase. It's not the NITRO+ or Red Devil, but at this price it's a great choice if you're in the market for a 5700XT.

Great D-Die RAM - Works Well with Ryzen

G.SKILL TridentZ Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4 3000 (PC4 24000) Intel Z370 Platform Desktop Memory Model F4-3000C15D-16GTZ
G.SKILL TridentZ Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4 3000 (PC4 24000) Intel Z370 Platform Desktop Memory Model F4-3000C15D-16GTZ

Pros: - Looks fantastic - Relatively Cheap (RAM prices are awful right now) - DOCP/XMP should work out of the box with an up-to-date AM4 BIOS - Runs cool

Cons: - None

Overall Review: Currently running this on an AM4 platform. Ryzen 5 1600 with a Gigabyte AB350 Gaming 3 Motherboard. After a few rounds of BIOS/AGESA updates I was able to get this kit to boot with XMP enabled. It's been this way since AGESA 1006 released around the beginning of summer '17 or so. I'm actually able to get this kit to run at 2933 MHz and 14-13-13-13-33 Timings. Rock solid. Even tightened up the subtimings as well. Very happy with this kit, especially considering it's not the coveted B-Die that everyone is after (It's Dual Rank Samsung D-Die). It performs very well and also doesn't break the bank. Update 10/24/2018: Got a new motherboard, an ASUS ROG Strix X470-F Gaming. With the ver. 4024 BIOS (1.0.0.2 AGESA) I'm able to get this kit stable at 3000 MHz, 14-15-15-15-35 Timings, and very tight subtimings. I cannot overclock any further, 3066 MHz POSTs but throws tons of errors in MemTest. Given today's DRAM prices, this kit is some of the best value on the market.

10/24/2018