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1281  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Do i have a hard drive or external enclosure issue? on: May 03, 2008, 10:18:51 PM
Hook the drive up straight to the motherboard and see if you can still spot it, of course.

If you can't do that, due to port limitations (sata drive when your board doesnt have any, perhaps?), then an addin card would do the trick.

If you don't have that, you could have a problem. Although a decent one can be purchased for like, 20$, unless the prices have gone up.

Atomic
1282  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Dead PC - Need some help on: April 30, 2008, 08:50:46 AM
Well, you might go through the cabling just to be sure. I've seen at least a couple of boards that, when you reverse the cables, they won't power up at all... just like what you're seeing.

Atomic

edit: talking drive cables here, although you haven't mentioned if it was sata drives or what... that motherboard leans me towards sata though.. but I thought I'd through the cabling thing out just to be sure.
1283  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Well, it's about that time again on: April 29, 2008, 05:39:20 AM
Everything I've read is, 65c loaded and beyond is where you don't want to go. 41-46 is extremely reasonable.

Atomic
1284  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Dead PC - Need some help on: April 29, 2008, 05:33:05 AM
You might try booting it with no ram and see if it complains loudly at you as it should.

Am I understanding that the board doesn't power up at all?

Note: Could be a reversed cable. It was 'just a memory upgrade' but... what happened during that process?

Atomic

edit: do the system fans, etc, come on, or does it just sit there like a lump?
1285  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Dead PC - Need some help on: April 28, 2008, 05:03:46 AM
Try disconnecting the power, pulling the card(s), and while the cards are pulled, reset the cmos. Then reinsert card(s), power, and try for boot. My recent 780i purchase was refusing to boot for some reason.. just clearing the cmos wouldnt fix it, I had to pull all the cards first, THEN do it, and then go from scratch.

Atomic

edit: the fact that it doesn't even try to post, is not reassuring frown
1286  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Should I just upgrade my video card on: April 28, 2008, 04:59:17 AM
IMO, it's usually not worth it to pay for factory overclock on stuff. It doesn't seem to be as bad now, but back around the time the original 8800gts/gtx released, they were having real problems with oem's pushing the cards too close to the wire, and as a result, quite a few cards got out into the streets that wouldn't actually pass muster coming through the gate, with the factory overclock in place. Aka the cards failed when trying to use them in gaming systems. Bluescreens, artifacts, you name it.

Besides which, the performance difference really isn't that much. A few percent, usually.

If you really want to overclock, buy a stock card, and do it yourself, and realize the benefits (less cost, faster performance). The software is very very easy to use. And it's free.

My current recommendation given your existing hardware, at a quick glance I'd say try to pick up a stock 8800gt with 512 megs of ram. Don't go for the 256's, the performance drops in games that use even a moderate amount (in this day and age) of textures. Worse still if it uses a LOT of textures. Also, you'll have problems with higher resolutions/antialiasing. 512 megs is the sweet spot. No more, no less.

You might also check some comparitive reviews, etc, for equivalent cards... 3870, 9600, etc. It just depends on what you want to play with.

As for bottlenecking.. yeah, you'll get some. But it won't be completely choked. Your current cpu is dual-core, which is a nice help, in and of itself... it lets the OS use one core for background tasks when the other cpu is pegged out playing your latest games.. makes stuff like disk loads, etc, more smooth and 'in the background' as opposed to "Loading, please waaaaaaaaiiiiiiittttttt...." *shudders*

As for the rest of the system, you mentioned 2 gigs of ram. You didn't mention OS, so I'm going to assume Windows XP... in which case you've got enough ram, and XP can only handle 3 gigs or so without hassle anyways.

I will say, if you end up deciding you want to upgrade the cpu... dont know what your budget is, but consider upgrading board/cpu/ram as a package. If you do, my personal recommend is to stick with DDR-2 atm, as the price is still nice and low (but will generally be trending upwards from here on, I assume... DDR3 is coming, and Nehalem is due next year. Once it hits, DDR2 is finished, it will start getting less and less manufacturing time, and the price  will continue to climb.

It's all about budget in the end. How much do you want to spend? A little? (250$ or less?) Get the new card and be happy. A moderate amount? 500$ say... start eyeing the heart transplant. 750$ and up easily buys you the heart transplant and the new kidney (8800gt style)

I recently picked up a q6600 2.4 ghz, a 780i evga motherboard, and 8 gigs of ddr2/800 for like 750$, total. And no, you don't need that much horsepower to run the latest and greatest. Windows XP, a nice dual core, and 2-3 gigs ram makes for a nice gaming platform. Moreso when you throw a pair of 8800 series on it in SLI. In fact, it could be argued that having the paired vid cards does more to smooth out games than pretty much anything else.

For a little cost effectiveness advice on the cpu... check which cpu is the cheapest with a given amount of cache... 2, 4 6 megs, etc. Overall clock speed is important, but the onboard cache makes a difference... aka, more is better. Aka, eyeball the new dual core wolfdales and see where your sweet spot lies at. (assuming they're in your price range). Same advice if you go with a different cpu. Anything from 2 ghz on up will do you in good stead. 2.4 GHz core2's are extremely popular because they overclock like a dream. See my info below on my q6600 that I bought. I literally don't have to do anything except change the multiplier in the bios, and bump the fsb on the motherboard, and it runs 3.2 ghz. no changes to any voltages, nothing. I can't stabilize it at 3.6 yet, but I wasn't thinking when I installed it, and I need to check the paste job I did, and after that, I may have to goose a couple of the voltages... if I bother. 3.2 ghz is extremely fast as it is. Not sure it's worth it to push the chip that much.

Cost effectiveness on memory... PROVIDED YOUR OS SUPPORTS ALL THE MEMORY YOU THROW AT IT... more, is better than faster. Fast ram is nice... as long as you have enough of it. Makes sure you have enough first, THEN start eyeing faster ram sticks. My 8 gigs of plain jane ddr-2/800 goes a LOOONG way running linux 64bit. And it was dirt freakin cheap. I like Corsair myself. Opinions vary. You might check if your choice of motherboard has a recommended ram list on the manufacturer website before decided on ram choice.

My personal argument on memory... buy as much as you can afford (again, with OS choice being kept in mind in terms of memory support). DDR2 in particular, is so cheap right now, it's inexcusable to skimp. I could be convinced to bring my processor choice down to a lower model, in favor of making sure the system memory were as large as possible.

Cost effectiveness on motherboard... hmm. tougher there. My general opinion is, buy a damned nice motherboard, if you have to choose where you spend your money. You can always buy half the memory up front, and add another set of sticks later. Asus is nice. Evga is nice. Gigabyte is nice. Foxconn is nice too (they make all the evga/xfx/etc boards for them anyways) MSI is nice. Oh yeah, and DFI. If you plan to overclock, keep an eye out for boards with all solid capacitors.

Last caveat. Be forewarned that if you choose to go with the new mb/cpu/ram, you'll probably end up having to look at a new PSU to go with it, so keep that in mind.

Oh yeah. Back to the beginning. Your current system is not crap... but if your cache on that cpu is only 512k per core for the L2 cache... between that and it being an older core, it's probably costing you some frames, even with the 7600. If it's socket AM2, you could consider replacing it. If it's socket 939, I wouldn't bother.

TheAtomicKid
1287  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Yet another reason to avoid Vista on: April 15, 2008, 07:42:35 AM
Yeah yeah, just remember to ask Daddy Gates for permission on your next OS installation smile

My main reason for getting away from windows, combined with the price of admission these days.

Which isn't to say I won't ever go back. I do keenly feel the differences sometimes. Currently fussing with linux 64 and my comment earlier about having to tinker with it is definitely holding up. It runs like a dream, but sometimes getting stuff to run ON it, is 'interesting'.

Atomic
1288  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Well, it's about that time again on: April 10, 2008, 06:06:49 AM
Thankyou for the document link. Hadn't thought to check on their website. It does make me want to take it apart and redo it again, though. I saw nothing in there about what the consistency of the compound should be, other than 'grease'.

In any case, we now return you to your normally scheduled thread. smile

Atomic
1289  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Well, it's about that time again on: April 09, 2008, 08:58:24 PM
Oh yeah. My q6600 overclocks to 3.2 ghz by simply dropping the multiplier down to 8x and increasing the fsb to 400mhz (1600 quad pumped)

no extra voltage needed, anywhere. the temps come up a bit though... I need to break my setup down again and rebuild it from scratch... my fans need more tuning/changing around, and I'm quite sure that last job of thermal pasting wasn't optimal)

Sorry for the hi-jack, but hopefully someone can give me a quick answer. Is artic silver ceramique normally thick and hard to smooth out? mine is, fresh out of the dispenser.. wondering if the end dried out, or I got a bad batch. next time it gets applied, I'm putting some on a piece of tile or something, and mixing it with some sort of plastic stick to try and smooth it out better.

It seems very 'dry'.

Atomic
1290  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Yet another reason to avoid Vista on: April 09, 2008, 08:53:17 PM
* TheAtomicKid whispers Linux64 into everyones ears from behind a nice fireproof bunker... smile

Admittedly, you have to tinker with it... but it's free smile

Atomic

(will be the first to admit, there are definitely benefits to being the most widely used desktop OS, aka windows... among them the fact that most new software/hardware to come out, will probably have a working driver at release, and be coded specifically for said OS :/ )

(but it's still hard to beat free smile )
1291  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Well, it's about that time again on: April 09, 2008, 08:49:24 PM
Oh.. PSU. I'm not fond of antec, but you've got plenty of wattage to run that setup. Should be no need for an upgrade. I assume it has a 6 pin pci-e connector?

Atomic
1292  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Well, it's about that time again on: April 09, 2008, 08:48:06 PM
If it were me... and I upgraded recently, so it was, just a couple of weeks ago smile

Look at spending the extra bucks to change the cpu up to a quad core. I ended with a q6600, and it runs very nicely. It won't make a ton of difference for gaming, yet (the slight downclock in frequency to a q6600 for instance), but the extra cores come in VERY handy when multitasking in your system. Everything seems to run more smoothly. mind you, my experience is upgrading from a single core athlon6400/3500+, so it may be that 2 cores are 'enough'. That's about +70$ over your current cpu choice.

For the memory. I have 8 gigs of your current choice in memory installed in this machine. No troubles at all with it. It runs at default voltage/timings, as opposed to at least one reviewer at newegg. Not sure what he screwed up.

Good choice in hard drive. My current choice if I decide to expand my current capacity.

No opinion on motherboard either way. I went with an evga 780i, and whilst it's a good board, it was fairly expensive, and I'm not quite certain I shouldn't have bought something else. I dislike the way the northbridge heatsink is oriented... but that's the 780i, not your board. (it blows against the backside of PCIE-9 if you're curious)

Video card. Bang for the buck smile Don't forget to pan around and check out all the differeny options. It looks like you've learned my latest video lesson... aka, don't pay for factory overclock/custom cooling... (I suppose exceptions could be made)... A lot of the time, especially back when the 8800gts/gtx were first released, the suppliers were pushing the cards too close to the limit... there were quite a few cards that were failing out of the box because they were tuned too high. (I got lucky... my 8800gts/320 ACS3 unit from evga continues to run like a champ)

You haven't mentioned what OS you're considering. If you decide to go 64bit, consider doubling your memory. Ram is so cheap right now, it's hard to NOT buy it.

Not sure what your budget is, but my suggestions add less than $200 total.

I'm running 64bit ubuntu 7.10 on my hardware. It's definitely fast and smooth. AND FREE!!!! smile

You could always install winblows later smile

Atomic
1293  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Help Me Build a New Gaming Desktop on: April 07, 2008, 03:14:08 AM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136218

My current target of choice if I were buying another drive. It may YET make it into my system.

fast, quiet, and fairly hefty. It's a two-platter unit, so spindle noise/heat should be quite minimal. 320 gigs/platter will make with some nice throughput, should you run an app that needs that much... (they're at raptor levels for throughput, though seek times aren't as good)

Oh, and one vote for 64 bit linux and 8 gigs of ddr-2... smile

<-- installed a system with a q6600/8gigs, and got it running 64 bit with minimal difficulty, considering my linux noobishness. In a word, Nice. I suppose you could spend a few bucks and run 64bit vista instead.

The 8 gigs of memory makes a HUGE difference when you start loading up the apps.

Atomic

The lesson I've learned most relevant to my recent build. You can NEVER have too much memory. And it's so cheap these days, it's almost inexcusable to skimp on it. If you have to choose between 2 gigs of faster memory, or 4-8 gigs of slower memory... TAKE THE SLOWER MEMORY smile

Mind you, if you're going to run 32 bits, there's no point in going over 3-4 gigs installed.
1294  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Media players question on: March 29, 2008, 07:40:30 AM
As usual, I offer up the nuclear solution.... although this is in a good way.

http://www.cccp-project.net/

It has, so far played everything I've thrown at it, with the exception of a couple of outdated intel video codecs.

However, your problem may not be directly player related... it could be a codec issue... or an issue with your sound device. Does your setup have issues with 5.1 sound out? Perhaps the channels are muted in the mixer? etc etc etc.

Give that a try though. It might do what you need. It was, sadly, one of the casualties when I made the swap to linux a while back. Mplayer is decent though.

Atomic
1295  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Sigh - Got a virus, cannot remove on: March 06, 2008, 06:29:44 AM
If an when, all else fails. dban is quite certain to be able to remove any pesky critters loitering on drives. Once again, this is the full on nuclear solution, but unless that sucker has managed to store itself in your bios or on a removeable media, it's toast. It will also securely wipe any attached drives that it finds, so be careful using it.

THIS IS A NUCLEAR SOLUTION, DO NOT USE IT CASUALLY!!!

http://dban.sourceforge.net/

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!

smile

TAK

PS: Personally, I recommend either NOT keeping a copy of this laying around, or, if you actually NEED an emergency erase ability, keep it in a safe, or some other secure holder, so it cannot accidentally find its way into your cdrom/floppy/usb drive/slot by mistake.
1296  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: What's your music playing software? on: March 03, 2008, 07:50:47 AM
I had to switch when I took my linux dive, so I'm using XMMS at the moment... however, for windows, I was using foobar. I like the interface, and the simplistic approach. In addition, I like the fact that it doesn't, at least unless you install mods, do anything to alter the music.

http://www.foobar2000.org/

TAK

EDIT: Hmm.. they've modified the interface.
1297  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: is Warhammer Online dead? on: February 22, 2008, 07:30:16 AM
I have great faith that Conan will eventually pop, at this point. Funcom seems to simply be using the extra time to put the polish on it. The latest videos look amazing. Not from the main site... follow through to the community site and check the videos their, instead.

http://community.ageofconan.com

Atomic

1298  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dead Marvel MMO Transforms Into Champions Online on: February 16, 2008, 10:37:14 AM
Be interesting to see where they go with this. The Champs system was quite unique... I wonder how far it will convert to the pc experience... or is it just the name?

Atomic
1299  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Legends of Norrath? on: February 15, 2008, 10:39:18 PM
*twitch*
1300  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Weird boot and network issue on: February 13, 2008, 07:41:20 AM
Across, along. Meh smile

Tell it to the rather large pile of equipment that slowly died on me after it happened. To include

motherboard (cpu fate unknown, socket a, didnt pick up another board to see if the cpu lived... the ram, however, did survive)
geforce 3
LCD panel attached to the geforce 3 (15 inch viewsonic)
the network card that was attached to the system at the time.. a netgear, iirc

Symptoms were a lovely time trying to isolate failing parts... since I was getting all sorts of intermittant failures. The lcd panel was lovely. It was an old analog panel, with the internal a-d converter... after the surge, it started showing 'fuzz' like it was unfocused, until it warmed up. Over time, it took it longer and longer to 'warm up' before it finally just stayed slightly fuzzy all the time... then, eventually VERY fuzzy all the time/unreadable. Lovely fun :/ aka, it damaged the a-d converter inside the panel.

As for the motherboard/cpu... I blame the motherboard first, as I started getting intermittant memory errors (and the memory later proved to be fine), also things like pci devices not showing up on boot, reboot, and they'd be back, etc etc. Bios dropped out a couple of times, forcing me to re-enter all the values again (admittedly, might have been a battery failure, but with all the other  stuff, I kinda doubt it)

Anyways, it was... 'fun'... shall we say.

I'm reasonably sure it came up the twisted pair, because I had the entire system barricaded inside a pretty decent UPS at the time. My theory is, it came up the cable line, through my cmodem, along the t-p, into the nic, upon which it started wreaking havoc. cmodem's are SUPPOSED to be shielded against this sort of thing, but.. you can only shield so much.

Atomic

Edit: Oh yeah. The geforce 3 also ate a slow death. Steadily increasing artifacting, spontaneous rebooting, etc. The netgear nic was noted to be dead upon discovery of the.. err.. incident.

1301  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Something wrong with my speakers.... on: February 12, 2008, 04:48:58 AM
Also verify the location of your cellphone recharger. One of the noisiest (electrically) pieces of equipment available. I've heard of them being used to test circuit isolation sometimes. surge suppressors/power strips, that kind of thing.

Atomic
1302  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Weird boot and network issue on: February 12, 2008, 04:45:56 AM
And yes, a power surge CAN travel across twisted pair. I've had it happen.

Atomic
1303  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Something slowing me down...but what? on: February 12, 2008, 04:43:58 AM
How's performance, etc, on other games/3d applications ?

Atomic
1304  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Upgrading Laptop Memory on: January 27, 2008, 11:43:36 PM
Figure out the machine specs, and see what package/speed/type you need, and then start hunting. Newegg has a nice laptop specific memory section once you know what you're hunting for.

TAK

edit... and let's hope this machine behaves better than your typical experiences... biggrin
1305  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Random crc errors when loading programs on: January 27, 2008, 11:24:59 PM
So you've reformatted, which means you've obviously reinstalled windows in some fashion, either standard, disc image, or what have you. And you have no troubles doing that? Yet you have troubles with games. Especially patching, which doesnt require the optical drives at all, usually.
* TheAtomicKid ponders
 
Think my first step would be to run memtest... http://www.memtest.org/  <-- try to run for an extended period of time. Overnight would be optimal to allow for thorough testing.
^
|
|
Definitely run this step first... it's totally free, and requires zero physical labor.

After that, try checking all your cabling, etc.

Also, look for firmware problems between your cdroms, and your motherboard on the respective forums. Perhaps there's something there. Do you happen to remember if you've updated the bios on the mboard, or the firmware with either optical drive, and if so, was it near the you started having issues?

My suspicion is you have a faulty ram module, given your description. You also might have had one come slightly loose in the socket, which can allow it to still function, but give errors sometimes. USUALLY it'll just give a couple of angry beeps and refuse to boot.. but not always.

If memtest comes back positive for errors, try reseating both modules, and double check the timings, voltage, etc. Try running them at defaults, even if slow. If any of these steps solves your problem, then you have a place to start when deciding whether something like replacement needs to be done.

TAK
1306  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Serious computer issue ((Need help)) on: November 16, 2007, 03:46:47 AM
Double verify your thermal path across the cpu, and I personally would reset the bios and redo the settings. You never know what might have happened to cause the 'overclocking failure'... something sounds really screwy. Note the part about resetting it, which is the goal here.. if you just go through and eyeball the settings manually, it may look ok to the nekkid eye, but if they did something weird like reflash the bios at the last minute without resetting it to default first (before you purchased/sent it in for repairs), it could still be screwed up, internally. Resetting it will fix that. (I'd follow up buy loading optimized defaults, and then going through the bios manually to insure all the settings are working properly)

Once I had it up and running trouble free, then go through and tweak/tune/etc.

Atomic

PS: Who is this 'guy' you shipped it back to?
1307  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Serious computer issue ((Need help)) on: November 15, 2007, 09:02:55 AM
Any luck?

Atomic
1308  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Serious computer issue ((Need help)) on: November 13, 2007, 05:08:11 AM
As usual, my first recommendation is to download thyself a copy of memtest86, either cd, floppy, what have ya, and run that sucker for an extended period of time, to see what, if any, failures it spits out.

http://www.memtest.org/

Atomic

PS: If you never figured out what happened with the first computer... how are you using it now? Did it get replaced? Did it start working spontaneously? Etc.
1309  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: PC won't power on after new vid card install on: November 12, 2007, 05:17:15 AM
Possibly related. When you change out parts on the pc, always be sure and unplug the psu from the wall... cause even when the pc is 'off', there's still standby power running, at the very least once you've turned the psu on, for the first time. That's how you can do cool things like those front panel buttons to turn on your pc, etc.

Found this out the semi hard way, when working on a mac at one point. Well, actually, a friend was working on it. Got it all back together, and it wouldnt turn on. He'd been working on the thing with it plugged in, and apparently there's a built in micro circuit breaker on the motherboard that got tripped when he started adding/removing bits.

Not sure if you did or didnt unplug, you didnt mention... but thought I'd bring this up as food for thought.

Atomic
1310  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: P5K-E + Q6600 + 4GBs of Twin2X2048 - 6400C4 Ram = Crap Performance? on: November 12, 2007, 05:07:46 AM
Tis possible your old psu was simply overtaxed in terms of power draw per rail. 550 watts is plenty to drive an 8800gtx + system... but unfortunately, most psu's dont tell you which rail which connectors are attached to (for the 12v stuff). I have a 510watt rated psu from pc power and cooling, and I wouldnt hesitate to throw a full gtx into the mix (currently running a gts)

850 is definitely overkill. If you hunt around, there are at least a few brands (pc power and cooling, silverstone, surely there are others), that put out single rail (12v) psu's. They simple have to ignore part of the atx spec's in order to build them that way (there's a power limitation per rail, for 'safety', which most manufacturers get around by building multiple rails in order to carry enough juice)

Anyways, unless you return the 850, this won't actually help, but mebbe it sheds some light on the issue.

Atomic

PS: I still stand by my original clean install recommendation, which apparently you accomplished by switching back to XP. It never hurts to do all the 'free' steps first. Then, only then, resort to spending additional money to fix the issue smile
1311  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Anyone else getting tired of the bugs in Hellgate London? on: November 12, 2007, 05:00:01 AM
Hmm.. the demo didnt seem to have anything truly annoying in it, other than the fact that you just sorta reach the end, without the game telling you... you just can't go any further once you reach a certain point. I've been told the full game, you proceed on to the next station shortly after, but apparently that exit got removed, or something.

Definitely no lockups after 30 minutes.

Still haven't bought the full game (yet), money's tight.

Atomic
1312  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: P5K-E + Q6600 + 4GBs of Twin2X2048 - 6400C4 Ram = Crap Performance? on: November 11, 2007, 03:19:59 AM
Generally speaking, anytime something I'm working on reaches the point where I have to drop a new motherboard into it, it's time for a clean install. I've NEVER upgraded a motherboard without reinstalling, that I didnt have some serious pains at some point or another. It might run, but that doesn't mean everything is optimally configured, as far as the software (os+drivers) is concerned.

It's a pain, but dealing with the hassles is even more of a pain. At least the reinstall, you're done fussing with it in a day or so, depending on how much software you have to reload, etc.

It's also an opportunity to jettison excess software that you don't really use that often. Just reinstall stuff as you need it... if you never need it, obviously it needed to go at some point anyways smile

There's also the entire registry + bloat issue, although good cleaning software can help that quite a bit these days.

Atomic
1313  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Delayed on: November 09, 2007, 11:15:56 AM
With any luck, Mythic will break Imperator Online back out of the refridgerator, and give us some loving. Probably not until after Warhammer get's released though. The ideas they had going into development made me itchy to get my hands on it. 'small, highly detailed, highly interactible environments', was one phrase I remember being tossed out... I have the feeling they were aiming for singleplayer levels of interactivity, but combined into a pve focused mmorpg. Which frankly, would be seriously nice.

www.imperatoronline.com

Atomic

*keeps his fingers crossed*
1314  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Random Lockup issues on: November 08, 2007, 10:40:39 AM
Read somewhere else recently that straightforward freeze issues CAN be a symptom of the card either going bad, or heat. You might triple check your temps, move the card to another machine for testing, etc, before spending money. Wouldnt think a 7900gs would overheat though, at least not easily. Anyone?

Atomic

The fact that it's doing it reliably when you move large files, and the problems flashing the bios, make me think it's memory.

Tis possible to have multiple issues, of course. Had it happen to me before (the box in question, as far as I can tell, ate a power surge. nothing immediate, just more and more failures over a period of some months, of differing kinds. Was quite maddening. Even lost the lcd panel to it... it apparently got the analog-digital converter inside... just kept getting more and more fuzzy for longer and longer periods, til it finally just stayed fuzzy all the time)
1315  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Look at this setup... on: November 06, 2007, 08:00:47 PM

Quote from: Destructor on November 06, 2007, 02:55:18 PM

As far as I'm concerned (as I just bought that motherboard for my gaming rig), there's nothing wrong with that motherboard. It runs great, supports anything you can throw at it (short of DDR3), and overclocks VERY easily. Yeah, it doesn't support SLI or has as many SATA ports or other doodads as other motherboards might have on it, but why get it if you won't use it?

If you read further down in my post, you'll note that I comment that the gigabyte boards are highly regarded. I wasn't saying the board was bad, I was emphasizing that you could get a high quality board, instead of something more watered down/off brand. The comment wasn't directly aimed at his choice of board. Sorry I wasn't more clear. Also, I wasn't referencing his list as I went, just throwing out general advice. I guess in that regard, I failed to stick to the topic, which was a specific request for improvements while keeping the price under 500$. Sorry.

Quote from: Kratz on November 06, 2007, 06:25:35 PM

What graphics card?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010380048%201069609641&bop=And&Order=PRICE

Pick your poison. that should be sorted by cheapest first.

You mentioned you wanted something you could upgrade over time. My suggestion was really just a way of making sure the base components (the motherboard/cpu/psu) were as good as possible. That way you could upgrade the rest of the system over time to much nicer components, than you'd necessarily afford up front. Cause once you start looking at 'upgrading' the motherboard, it starts to get annoying. You start needing things like full reinstallation of the OS, etc. and if you upgrade the cpu, you've got a cpu sitting doing nothing. In theory you could simply add ram, without having to park the old stuff on a shelf, though.

My personal habit, these days, is to treat the motherboard/cpu/memory all as a single component, btw, rather than trying to upgrade an existing setup. I have a small bag of old/spare 'junk' ram, that no longer gets used because it's old spec... anyone remember edo (extended data out) ram? Hehehe smile Older stuff too. Just kinda annoying to buy it, and then have it sit because I upgraded away from it. Not sure how well this idea will work for you, though.

The reason I'm not fussing about having a video card parked somewhere, is that it can be really really handy, to have a spare one. If you wake up one morning and your system won't boot for some reason, you've at least got a known good vid card you can pop in, and try to get the system back up and running.

Atomic
1316  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Delayed on: November 06, 2007, 09:10:47 AM
* TheAtomicKid has great hopes for Warhammer Online.

Mythic has the advantage of being able to pull from literally reams of material that's already made for the world it's set in... all they have to do is focus on the engine to display it on, and converting the materials to graphics/etc that the game will use. And they've got tons of experience from developing Dark Age of Camelot to draw from.
* TheAtomicKid also has great hopes for Age of Conan for the same reasons.

There's TONS of Conan stuff out there to pull from. And Funcom definitely likes to 'stick with it' in terms of their product... look at Anarchy Online's history as an example. It's not a perfect game, sure, but the first year it released, it was awarded the most improved game of the year. Tons and tons of updates since then.

About the only thing I'd say was 'wrong' with it at this point, is the graphics are getting pretty dated, and I'm not fond of 'feel' of the controls... admittedly, WoW has spoiled me in that regard. The game itself is pretty solid. Many character class/'race' combinations to choose from. Many and varied types of equipment. Crafting system, etc. You name it, and Anarchy Online probably has it. Hopefully they'll invest the same, or more, effort into Conan.

Somewhere, someday, someone will develop the perfect MMO. It'll have the clustering system that Eve Online uses. The face/body modeling system of Project Entropia (I've never seen one with more detail than this) The streamability of Guild Wars. The item system of Anarchy Online, World of Warcraft, Diablo and DiabloII, combined. It'll have a solid, open ended experience system, multiple varied crafting systems, and many types of gameplay to choose from. Sci-fi, Fantasy, FPS, RP, etc. It'll probably even have a 'real life' option somewhere tucked away, where you can pretend to be yourself biggrin

And it'll all be perfect at release biggrin

Mind you, I'll be dead by then, but I'll have to remember to leave a stipulation in my will for my attorneys to sign me up for an account smile

Atomic
1317  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Look at this setup... on: November 06, 2007, 07:45:39 AM
Here's another idea for you.

Instead of trying to squeeze everything into the budget at once, try getting the nicest motherboard, cpu, you can swing (value for money of course), then throw in some ram, doesnt have to be overclocking ram or anything, just good reliable ram. There's your 500$ or so. Add to that, el-cheapo graphics card that will get you by for a couple months. THEN add the 8800gt.

You end up with the new system, albeit you dont get the graphics til later. You end up with an extra backup pci-e graphics card, and, possibly, some extra ram, if you end up replacing the stuff you get by with.

You spend more than your 500$ budget, but it's not all at once. No idea what your limitations on budget are over time, though.

In my opinion, these days, having a really good rock solid psu, (and you seem happy with yours), and a really decent motherboard, are the cornerstones of a good solid system. If you have a weak link with either of those, it's like asking for problems with the rest of it.

Advice: Stick with ddr2 for this round. We won't start seeing any significant performance difference for a while longer, methink. And ddr3 is still really really expensive.
More advice: General recommendation for gaming is to get the fastest dual core cpu you can squeeze, either by paying through the nose, or via overclocking a lower end part. My general advice is, games are starting to notice the extra cores. If this system is intended to last more than a year, consider a lower speed, quad core part, instead. It'll save you some time vs upgrades later. (and the 2.4 ghz core2 quad parts overclock nicely, or so I've heard... which would get you some MORE time later on, if you decided you needed more speed)

I believe you can pickup a 2.4 ghz c2 quad, and a _good_ motherboard, for about 400-450... leaving a few bucks leftover for some value ram, and the gimme graphics card. I'll let you do the hunting around, since you know better than I what you'd like.

Oh, more advice. Later on, when buying that new graphics card... don't spend money on a factory overclocked part. Especially be careful of custom cooling solutions.... it's far too easy to overclock yourself these days, especially graphics cards, and custom cooling, if it doesnt work out well enough to suit you, would end up getting replaced anyways... why spend money on it?

Basically, subtract the video from your wishlist, upgrade the cpu, and play for a little time and add the gpu later. Your motherboard choice looks pretty good to me.. the gb p35's are pretty highly thought of.

Just some food for thought.

Atomic

PS: Avoid the old GX2's... it's a neat idea, but they run hot, and they're not futureproof. (directx10)

I'm wishing I hadn't upgraded my own system now.. I picked up an 8800gts/320 last year, one of the evga ac3 units.. it performs nicely, I admit, but the new 8800gt trashes it utterly, and for 80$ less money. And it runs warmer than I'd prefer... but.. custom cooling, complete with artic silver ceramique, supposedly hand assembled. So now I'm afraid to try and reassemble it myself, cause my backbrain/innerchimp is worrying itself that it won't get me any increase in cooling, and or it might get worse. And swapping to a third party cooler is.. well like I mentioned, it's like throwing money away since I already spent extra on the ac3 cooler when I bought it. (to be honest it's not much of a custom cooler.. just a different shaped shroud. what I really paid for was the custom hand assembly/ceramique :/

Besides which, if you wait a little while on the 8800gt's, the process will 'settle' and the cards will get a little more overclockable as they make improvements.
1318  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Start-up sequence questions? on: November 05, 2007, 05:03:27 AM
To secure the port(s) the operating system leaves open, you have to disable the service, or block the port via firewall. Not sure how prevalent it is anymore, but there used to be tons of spam sent out over that sucker, and a lot of people had no clue how to prevent it from popping up with the latest, whenever it hit.

The messenger service is there for programs on your machine, or administrators in your network, to pass messages to the user. Unfortunately, people figured out how to use the open port to pass spam to the hapless users, as well.

All that said, I see you're point. He's referring to a different piece of software than I was. I've no idea if the two are related. Steam, however, is easily configurable. view/settings/interface, uncheck the box.

Atomic


1319  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Start-up sequence questions? on: November 04, 2007, 04:44:00 PM
Part of Windows Messenger runs as a service in the background. It is a common thing to disable that service in order to secure a system. You might try having it run manually instead.

Atomic
1320  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Random Lockup issues on: November 04, 2007, 02:35:45 AM
I prefer PC Power and Cooling, or Seasonic, if you end up going that route. PCP&C, if you need absolutely quality, and Seasonic, which is still stellar, and makes for some VERY quiet psu's.

www.silentpcreview.com

I'm sure there are other good brands out there, but those two I have absolutely no qualms about recommending.

PCP&C is a bit expensive though.

Atomic

PS: You didnt say, but do you get any other types of errors like the bluescreen or random rebooting? Any video artifacting? Is the system overclocked, perhaps? If so, try setting everything to default, etc.

Freezes moving large files, eh? Hmm...
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