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Kittyboy
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Location : City City, Canada
Registration date : 2008-06-19

PostSubject: Review of Computer Parts   Fri May 13, 2011 3:24 am

I'm mostly using this so I can submit these reviews to Newegg, but feel free to read as I post them if you want.


Motherboard:
MSi Big Bang - XPower (LGA 1366 / Intel X58) ATX Intel Motherboard : (8/10) -

PROS:
*Incredibly high-quality board.
*Looks great.
*Lots of features, including OC Genie for overclocking profiles, and debug LED screen.
*Power state LEDs for CPU, RAM, QPI, and ICH.
*Up to 24GB of Triple Channel DDR3, in 6 slots.
*6x PCI-Express 2.0 Slots, with full dual 16x pipeline in 2-way SLI.
*Dual gig LAN ports.
*USB 3.0.
*Included soundcard is PCI-Express 1x and supports 7.1 Channel sound with Creative EAX Advanced HD 5.0.
*High quality packaging, coming with tons of goodies. (MSi has never let me down on this.)
*Booted on the first try.

CONS:
*Northbridge heatsink gets very hot.
*SATA 6Gb/s is useless right now.
*Was incredibly unstable with memory in XMP mode, resulting in CPU voltage errors (I don't overclock, everything other setting was stock.)

COMMENTS:
In general this is a great motherboard, with very few complaints. Turning on XMP mode for the memory in BIOS resulted in Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit) BSOD on me multiple times. (The memory is DDR3-1600 (PC3-12800), 6GB in Triple Channel mode. 3 sticks of 2GB.) After researching a bit, I found out the error was a CPU voltage error, which probably could be fixed with some changes in BIOS, but I decided to disable XMP instead. I have seen no more BSOD since disabling it. The board is made of high quality capacitors, and the NorthBridge heatsink looks great. The Northbridge can run pretty hot, my case sensor has seen it reach up to 149F (65C), and I'm not sure if this is normal because I've never measured a Northbridge heatsink in the past. It doesn't cause any stability issues, so this isn't really a concern. The power state LEDs are neat, and the blue lights match my set up. It's a pity SATA 6Gb/s is handled so poorly right now, but I am fairly happy with my boot times on SATA 3Gb/s on a regular drive. Finally, don't buy this board for more than 2-way SLI (you can do two video cards + 1 sound card 16x/16x/1x without bottlenecking any pipelines) as anymore will bottleneck you, I personally see no point in more than 2 video cards anyway, and modern NVidia cards have built in PhysX capability. This motherboard came in a nice package, with tons of extras like an assortment of SLI and CrossFire bridges, FireWire and USB backpanel connectors, and an interesting tool used for OC Genie. I don't use this functionality of the motherboard so I cannot comment on it.

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Last edited by Kittyboy on Fri May 13, 2011 3:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Kittyboy
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PostSubject: Re: Review of Computer Parts   Fri May 13, 2011 3:42 am

Central Processing Unit (CPU/Processor):
Intel Core i7-960 Bloomfield 3.2GHz Quad Core - LGA 1366 : (9/10) -

PROS:
*Ridiculously fast.
*Runs very cool on my liquid cooling rig.
*Four cores.

CONS:
*Price (you get what you pay for though.)
*Was "loose" in box on arrival.

COMMENTS:
This processor is screaming fast. I can have high-end games running with many other programs open, such as chat messengers, 15 tabs of FireFox, and music playing in the background, and the processor usage will hardly go over 19%. I don't know if the thermal paste and heatsink included are any good, I didn't use them. When equipped with Arctic Silver 5 and the Larkooler Universal Liquid Cooling Kit, this CPU idles at about 89F (31C) and wouldn't go over 124F (51C) during a 100% load stress test. Intel is more expensive, but you get what you pay for. This processor is a total beast. Some others have claimed high overclockability, but I cannot vouch for that as I run at stock speeds (and these "speeds" handle anything I throw at it, Crysis, Crysis 2, intense compiling... anything.)

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Kittyboy
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PostSubject: Re: Review of Computer Parts   Fri May 13, 2011 3:26 pm

Power Supply Unit (PSU):
KINGWIN Lazer LZ-1000 1000W Modular : (9/10) -

PROS:
*Plenty of power.
*Modular cables.
*The glowing blue fan and connectors look nice.
*Price.
*80 PLUS Bronze efficiency.

CONS:
*Cables are stiff.

COMMENTS:
It was hard to find a good 1000W power supply in this price range, so finding this one on sale was great. Modular cables are a must for me, and help me keep the case as organized as possible. The glowing blue lights match the rest of my case, and 1000W is plenty of power even for my high end system. The cables are a bit stiff but this is easily worked around. There where enough connectors for SLI if I ever decided to upgrade to more than one video card, and plenty of extras for future drives and fans. I'm not sure about the rail load on this PSU, but I've never had any issues so far. My advice is to just be smart, you have plenty of lines to give all your components enough power.

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Kittyboy
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PostSubject: Re: Review of Computer Parts   Fri May 13, 2011 3:38 pm

Video Card:
NVidia (MSi) Geforce GTX560 Ti (Fermi) - Twin Frozr II / 1GB (1024MB) 256-bit GDDR5 : (10/10) -

PROS:
*Powerful video card.
*Relatively cheap for power.
*Looks great.
*Runs relatively cool with heat pipes and dual fan.
*Runs every game thrown at it.

CONS:
*In dual monitor mode, the card seems unable to exist 3D mode, causing it to idle hotter than necessary.

COMMENTS:
Wow, what an awesome video card. For the price you get an absolute powerhouse. StarCraft II, Crysis 2, any game thrown at it can be maxed in ultra with insanely high forced settings from the drivers (such as 32x AA) without a single hitch in frame rate drop, even in SC2's hardware intensive Use Map Settings game modes (!). I was able to use MSi afterburner to set custom fan/temperature ratios without a problem, but the card does seem unable to exit 3D mode. Some research tells me that this is because I'm running in Dual Monitor mode, and I'm not sure why NVidia hasn't addressed this problem. The heatpipes keep the GPU cool enough, down to 116F (46C) idle when the fans are at 47%, and about 142F (62C) under extreme gaming (with the fans running about 60%). The cooling design also makes it easier to clean dust out of when compared to the regular enclosure on high end cards like this. Make sure you have enough room for this card, as it's profile is the size of many other high end cards like the GTX580 and Radeon HD series.

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Kittyboy
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PostSubject: Re: Review of Computer Parts   Fri May 27, 2011 10:33 pm

Case:
Apevia X-Jupiter G Type (X-JUPITERG-AL FULL TOWER Extended ATX) : (7/10) -

PROS:
*Big.
*Looks attractive.
*Comes with plenty of fans and possible fan spots.
*Includes temperature sensor and fan control.
*Really good airflow.
*Lockable window and front door.
*Thumb screws, and easy-slide in connectors for drives. (This seems to be the norm now.)


CONS:
*To change temperature sensor to F you have to remove the front of the case (!). Fortunately this was not difficult. It comes default on C.
*Unable to change labels for temperature sensor on the screen.
*Two of the included fans don't light up. WHY MAKE THEM BLUE IF YOU AREN'T GOING TO PUT LEDS IN THEM?
*Cheap plastic part holder breaks easily.
*"Easy lock" for PCI/AGP/PCI-e expansions cards doesn't fit with anything I use. Fortunately it allows regular screws as well.
*Barely enough room for my water cooling kit's reservoir/pump.
*Top grill is WAY too close to power supply. Had to use a smaller fan as a result.


COMMENTS:
In general I'm really happy with this case, but a few of the problems really ticked me off. This is the United States of America, and we measure things in F. I don't care if C makes more sense, or if it's more scientific, I should not have to RIP OFF PART OF MY CASE to make it display in a normal temperature setting. This would have hurt the score a lot more if it wasn't at all changeable. Everything worked out, just had a struggle getting it together.

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