When posting my reviews, I would like to both have a video and a written review. I know the quality of my videos may never reach LTT's level, but I feel as though I can help the most people by doing reviews in as many formats as I can.
Here is the new video with updated audio. It is still processing, but I am going ahead and posting it since I have to get some sleep before work.
What is the EVGA X79 Dark?
The EVGA X79 Dark is an LGA 2011 compatible motherboard which features support for the Sandy Bridge-E, Ivy Bridge-E and 2011 Xeons.
When purchasing a motherboard today, it’s more about the feature set and company that you want to buy from. For me, this led me directly to the EVGA X79 Dark and here’s why.
Today’s motherboards perform very comparably, LTT had a video on this when comparing a Z87 ITX board and the mother of all Z87 boards, the ASUS Maximus VI Extreme. Sure, you may be able to get 100-200 mhz more on some other board, but what if that company has a horrible warranty, are skimp with features, or are known for horrible BIOS interfaces? I’m not talking about any specific company, because I’ve had great luck with quite a few different brands.
Why did I buy the X79 Dark
So why did I personally buy the EVGA X79 Dark? The main reason was EVGA support. When I had to use them before because of a power supply failure, their support was not only courteous but quick. They had me up and running and even made sure I got my power supply the day before Christmas! I also bought the X79 Dark because the reviews were great for the board, but I did know that I was going out on a limb buying this motherboard. EVGA’s past motherboards have left a bitter taste in some user’s mouths. I can happily say that is not the case for me. The board is great and throughout this review I will go over the features that I feel are meant for the end user. There are some features that I will not mention simply because they are meant for a select few people like LN2 users. I am do not have the skill set to go over those features, so I cannot personally comment on them.
What are the Pro’s of this motherboard?
Great GUI for the UEFI
Proper features that are meant for a typical to advanced user in the UEFI
EVGA ELEET Support
Great quality components
Great support for LN2 users with dual 8 pin EPS
QUAD SLI support
DEBUG and CPU temperature onboard
Power and Reset switch on board
Xeon support for those who want to throw a monster CPU in there
Probe-It connector for ease of use when checking voltages directly from the board
What are the con’s to this motherboard?
Red. No, No, No, No
Voltage regulation options are less than optimal for vcore
Other aesthetics like the caps being silver and red
LEDs that I do not believe I can turn off in the bios.
Some of the the cons are personal preference. It’s called the Dark, and I feel like with a name like that it should be a completely blacked out motherboard. Some of them are a bit unacceptable but not a complete deal breaker to me. I wish there were more v-core voltage options for v-droop. 80%, 60%, Disabled, and Intel Spec are just not good enough. None of them properly show the voltage that I manually put in. Disabled makes voltage makes it go much higher than what I put in (to be expected), but neither 60 or 80% get it right where I put it, it’s usually .02 above what I put. Which is easily fixable by the user by manually putting it down .02 from the voltage you actually want, but I feel this is unnecessary for the end user. The LEDs can be tamed by lightdims or even some electrical tape, but again I feel this is unnecessary for the consumer. I should be able to turn all LEDs on the board off in the bios. I haven’t really seen any manufacturer do this, but it would be nice if everything, even the debug display could be turned off or at least would turn off once booted into the OS.
I have actually painted the heatsinks on my motherboard so as not to show the red because it doesn’t fit with my color scheme at all. It is removable paint so if I do need to send it in for repair, that can be handled without a problem. If you do elect to get the cross-shipping RMA service, then you could even swap the heatsinks like I did when my board died.
I just said my board died, does that scare you? It should not. Things happen, and eventually a board will fail whether it be in 10 years or the second day you have it, this is where EVGA’s wonderful customer support comes in. I had contacted an EVGA rep on a forum and he set up the entire process for me. After it was set up, within a week I was back up and running like nothing had ever happened. Sure, it was not the greatest thing in the world to have my main rig down, but it was handled professionally and quickly which is all that I care about.
That’s the end of my review, but I did want to make a small side note. As a prosumer, I’m starting to care less and less about the latest and greatest features a board or product might offer and start looking at the warranty provided as well as the usual demeanor of the people who currently own products from a specific manufacturer. I have nothing but great things to say about EVGA and their support team, and I rarely ever hear anything negative about them as well. Don’t take my horrible luck with products in account for their failure rates, because apparently I am an extremely unlucky person. Before writing this review, I went to go watch Netflix on my TV just to find out it died today.
I know it may not be ideal, but DDR2 is quite an old platform... If you can find a cheap DDR2 kit then by all means upgrade to 6-8GB, but I would highly suggest upgrading your motherboard and CPU as well and get on DDR3. Unless you plan on upgrading to DDR4 when it comes out later this year. ;)
My problem with curved TVs is using it in a living room with multple people. I feel like viewing it at angle would not be an enjoyable experience. Sort of like when 3D first released. 3D was an amazing experience if you were the only one looking at it and were dead center. Moving to an angle reduced the experience greatly.
While below I have a written review, I know a lot of people enjoy watching videos rather than read so I have also included my video on this review.
(I don't remember reading anywhere that posting our own reviews could not include a video review as well, so I am including unless a moderator let's me know that is not allowed.)
Okay, so the title is a little silly, but when I switched to this mouse... I honestly felt like I was aimbotting. The switch was so significant I am actually gaming better. This is not marketing fluff saying that your K/D will rise 300%! No, it is just honestly a great mouse that felt comfortable in my hand and because of that, I played much better.Backstory and ComfortI was coming from a UtechSmart 8200 which uses the Avago 9800 sensor. The m95 does as well. However, the M95 has been updated to the latest firmware, so the acceleration issues that have plagued this sensor are not present on the M95 like they are on the UtechSmart.The M95 is also a very comfortable mouse. It fits my hand well and I have medium-large sized man hands, but your mileage may vary. Someone with an extremely large hand may not like this mouse due to it's size. However, it will fit well with people of "normal" sized hands. I also play with a hybrid grip, so to find a mouse that fits me so well is very, very appealing. I actually plan on buying another one for my second system.The side buttons take a bit of getting used to because they are fairly hard to press at first, but that's coming from a mouse that used very sensitive switches for the side buttons as well as the left and right. So, it really just depends on what you are coming from as to how it will feel for you.The Button LayoutThere are 9 ergonomically placed buttons on the side. Unlike a lot of the competition,these are placed where you don't have to adjust to hit them. They just feel natural. Sure, some competition out there has 12 or even 15 buttons on the side, but with that many buttons the size has to be compromised and it basically just being a grid of buttons. You will probably end up hitting the wrong key, and in the middle of a battle or reloading, that's life and death! I rarely hit the wrong button. The buttons are that well placedOne thing that I do miss from my UtechSmart was that it had one button where you would normally place your pinky or ring finger depending on the style of grip you have. It's not that big of a deal though. I mean, how often do you find yourself pressing four different buttons your mouse? For me, that would mean crouching, ADSing, shoot, and some other function at the same time. Obviously that's not going to happen, so while I do miss it as my grenade button, I've adjusted to using just a different side button easily.There are two more buttons near the left click that are, by default, a profile switcher. This makes it much easier to switch in between games and have everything set up the way you like it per game. You can have up to 6 active profiles. Which should always be enough. I don't know anyone who plays more than 6 games actively. There is also an LED indicator so that you know which profile you are on.ConsI've already gone over the pros of this mouse, so what are my cons?At this price point, I would have liked to see the option to have RGB colors. I've spent a lot of time and effort into making my build match, and it would be nice if my mouse matched as well. However, this is a small concern and isn't worth thinking about getting another mouse for.It would have been nice to see a weight system so the user can customize the weight of the mouse to their liking. I personally prefer a fairly heavy mouse, so it would have been nice to make the mouse a little more hefty. Some people prefer a light and fast mouse, and this mouse is by no means sluggish, but it has an aluminum plate on the bottom, so it's not the lightest mouse out there. However, the mouse is a good in between for someone who doesn't have to have the lightest mouse in the world, but doesn't want something overly heavy.Another thing I would have liked to see is an extra set of feet included with the mouse. Eventually, the mouse feet are going to wear. Whether that is in 1 year or 10 years from now depends on use, but they definitely do use a high quality material for their pads, and I definitely appreciate that.ConclusionSo, is this the 'be-all and end-all" mouse? No. Is this the best mouse in the world for everyone? Probably not. Is this the best mouse for me? Honestly, I'm going to have to say yes as of today. Why? Well, because it's side buttons are so well placed, it's got a great weight to it, I don't have any issues with comfort, and it's made by a company I know will fix any problem that I could ever have with it. Do I expect it to break? Heck no! This thing is built like a tank. It's definitely well constructed, but let's face it, things break. At least I know Corsair will have my back if anything ever does happen.
Awesome giveaway! I'm new to the site (obviously) but I'm very active when it comes to forums. Expect to see my post count skyrocket over the coming months!
I'm glad to see that they are including all black cables now. The 1000w and 1300w G2 comes with red VGA cables. That is my only complaint with those PSUs.
It's also nice to see that they are incorporating new features like "ECO mode" on their newer PSUs.