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Frederick B.

Frederick B.

Joined on 01/30/11

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Most Favorable Review

Get it before it's gone

EVGA 03G-P4-2664-KR G-SYNC Support GeForce GTX 660 3GB 192-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 SLI Support Video Card
EVGA 03G-P4-2664-KR G-SYNC Support GeForce GTX 660 3GB 192-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 SLI Support Video Card

Pros: +Quiet +Efficient +Good size; fits well in mid-tower +Runs @ 70C~ with fans at 50-55% (cannot hear fan until it reaches 60% or higher) +3GB of VRam to handle next gen games +1080p strong performer

Cons: none at this time

Overall Review: If you are considering a 2GB 660 instead of a 3GB, please Read: - all GTX660 and 660ti video cards have 3 memory controllers. - 660 with 2GB vram is 1.5GB vram @ 144GB/s (512MB per controller), and 512MB vram @ 48GB/s by itself. - 660 with 3GB vram is 3GB vram @ 144GB/s (1 GB per controller).

Most Critical Review

Died after 2 months

Rosewill PHOTON Series 750W Full Modular Gaming Power Supply, 80 PLUS Gold Certified, Single +12V Rail, SLI & Crossfire Ready - Photon-750
Rosewill PHOTON Series 750W Full Modular Gaming Power Supply, 80 PLUS Gold Certified, Single +12V Rail, SLI & Crossfire Ready - Photon-750

Pros: - cheap - gold 80 plus certified - modular

Cons: - you get what you pay for

Overall Review: Died after 2 months, probably never pushed even past 400 watts load (I buy PSU's to hit the 50-60% efficiency sweet spot at peak load). A capacitor must have blown inside at some point, not sure when as the computer was always on. When I flip the switch and try to power on, even with a 24pin self power on tester, there's a short and barely audible buzz/fizzle noise from inside the Power Supply, and then nothing. flip power back off and then back on, and same short noise again. My guess is cheap caps being used.

A diamond in the rough

Aorus - 15.6" 240 Hz IPS - Intel Core i7 11th Gen 11800H (2.30GHz) - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU - 16 GB DDR4 - 1 TB Gen4 SSD - Windows 11 Home 64-bit - Gaming Laptop (15P XD-73US224SO )
Aorus - 15.6" 240 Hz IPS - Intel Core i7 11th Gen 11800H (2.30GHz) - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU - 16 GB DDR4 - 1 TB Gen4 SSD - Windows 11 Home 64-bit - Gaming Laptop (15P XD-73US224SO )

Pros: -Crisp and accurate display -Plenty of horsepower -Lots of outputs (USBs, HDMI, DP, Fullsize SD Card Slot, headphone jack, USB C/Thunderbolt 4) -Runs like a dream on Windows 10

Cons: -Comes with Windows 11 preinstalled and it's a hot mess (quite literally) -reference BIOS is locked and so bare-bones as to be near useless as-is -Ram is rated for 3200mhz, but cpu-z confirms ram is only running at 2933mhz. luckily it's an intel CPU so not a big deal, but still a waste. If you're upgrading RAM to 32/64GB, it's worth taking this into consideration.

Overall Review: I'd not upgraded any machines at home or work to windows 11 before now (and still haven't), so when I got this laptop I decided "what the hey, I'll give it a shot since windows 11 is pre-installed." After a couple days of use, I was sure I had a lemon because I was getting crackling audio from the speakers and from both usb and 3.5mm headphones whenever I'd pause a game or stay in a game menu for too long, or just sometimes when a sound or song was playing. Something also had the fans screaming and going nuts - even just from watching a youtube video or installing software, unless I forced the laptop into low power mode in the control center. Even enabling core parking and downclocking the GPU didn't help with the overheating and sporadic high temperature readings. I then wiped the drive and installed a fresh copy of windows 10, and wouldn't you know it that solved the problems I was having. Activation happened automatically since windows was already licensed to this machine. the GPU is clocking higher now, with temperatures in the realm of sanity while gaming, which translates to quieter fans now. The sound crackling/hissing is gone as well. Overall I have to give this laptop a 5/5 rating - with the caveat that it has to be running windows 10. Windows 11 might be more stable on this particular machine in the future, but it's not as of the time I'm writing this. Out of the box this laptop was a hot mess. I'm a little disappointed in whoever decided to update these machines to windows 11, and didn't bother to test stability before shipping.

puts most (if not all) AIB air coolers to shame

ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV Enthusiast VGA Cooler-nVidia/AMD, Triple 92mm PWM Fans, Patented Back-Side Heatsink, SLI/CrossFire
ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV Enthusiast VGA Cooler-nVidia/AMD, Triple 92mm PWM Fans, Patented Back-Side Heatsink, SLI/CrossFire

Pros: - it's an air cooler with liquid cooling levels of performance

Cons: - not an easy install, requires time and patience - quite long, drive cages may get in the way - large backplate fins might hit system memory heatsinks, some "alterations" to the fins might be necessary to fit around memory heatsinks.

Overall Review: This must be the 5th or 6th Accelero cooler I've bought in more than a decade; there's no other air cooler out there that performs this well. Most AIB air coolers keep the GPU just below the thermal throttling temperature, and do so with fans ramped up and audible even while wearing good headphones. Not with this cooler. This time I've installed the accelero on my EVGA 2080 XC that I bought two years ago. It's always been a loud card under load, with temperatures easily breaking past 80C without any overclock. Now temps after hours under full load will peak at 60C, and as soon as I exit a game the temps drop to 30C instantly. I cannot hear the fans either. This kind of cooling is usually only obtained with water, I don't know what kind of sorcery Arctic employs here, but it's still jaw dropping for me after all these years. My first Accelero cooled an 8800 GTX many many years ago, but I'm glad version IV exists with the large backplate, it takes the worry out of cooling the memory chips and power delivery components of modern power-hungry cards. That being said I'm not sure this cooler will be adequate for the raging hot GDDR6X memory chips on Nvidia's 3080/3090 cards. My advice to anyone installing this for the first (or 20th) time is to take your time and methodically follow the instructions. It took me a couple hours to install this time and I've done it before. Just don't rush it and you'll be fine.

Solid board

MSI B350 TOMAHAWK AM4 AMD B350 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
MSI B350 TOMAHAWK AM4 AMD B350 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard

Pros: - Intuitive Bios that doesn't waste your time - Metal support on PCI-E slot for those heavy Graphic cards - Nice red glow to compliment my Red LED build - Decent VRM cooling for moderate overclocking - Good on board sound with good software

Cons: - new platform, still some kinks for MSI to work out with memory support and stability - no CMOS jumper, but not an issue really - just bridge the two pins next to the cmos battery with something metal (house key, paper clip, gold tooth or whatever - 4 sata ports

Overall Review: This is a solid board for the money. There are only 4 sata ports, but raid cards or external raid enclosures are better for headache reduction anyway. As someone else pointed out here, there is no jumper to reset the bios, but the two pins are there and you just need to short them out with something metal/conductive like a key, or paperclip for about 10 seconds. I got the board with the 1.0 bios, but if you search reddit or other forums you can find links to beta versions of the bios until official updates are released. As of March 12, 2017 the latest unofficial release is bios 1.15. make sure you are using a usb stick formatted in FAT32 if you are flashing the bios from the bios. I paired this board with an R7 1700 and a Corsair H60 liquid cooler and 2x8GB of 3200Mhz Gskill Ram. The board with 115 bios is still having trouble hitting 3200, but is stable with 2933Mhz. It beeps incessantly at every startup, probably because I bought Ripjaws instead of Trident. I'm able to do 3.9Ghz on all CPU cores at 1.3125 volts, and 3.95Ghz at 1.36 Volts, so the board is definitely able to hold its own, but the VRMs heat up quick, need a fan blowing on them or replace heatsinks with copper ones. Sometimes the wrong core voltage is relayed to programs like cpu-z and HWiNFO64, that also needs addressing. All in all though, with all the problems I'm hearing from other people online with various different boards, the Tomahawk seems to be mostly problem free. With some updates to the bios, I expect this to be a go-to B350 board for lots of builders.

Kingston SSD's are solid

Kingston SSDNow UV400 2.5" 240GB SATA III TLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) SUV400S37/240G
Kingston SSDNow UV400 2.5" 240GB SATA III TLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) SUV400S37/240G

Pros: - Reliable - affordable

Cons: - It's not vertical Nand

Overall Review: The only SSD's I've never had a problem with have been Kingston. Even though reviewers snub at Kingston SSDs at times, I have bought quite a number of Kingston SSDs and never a problem with compatibility or performance. I've bought several other brands and have had one issue or another over the years, whether it was firmware or something faulty. I don't have any partiality to Kingston, but their SSD's have proven themselves.