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1281  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


(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 )
1282  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?

1283  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

1284  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Help Me Build a New Gaming Desktop on: April 07, 2008, 03:14:08 AM

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.


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.
1285  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.

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.

1286  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.





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.
1287  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.


EDIT: Hmm.. they've modified the interface.
1288  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.


1289  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?

1290  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Legends of Norrath? on: February 15, 2008, 10:39:18 PM
1291  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.


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.

1292  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.

1293  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.

1294  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 ?

1295  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.


edit... and let's hope this machine behaves better than your typical experiences... biggrin
1296  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...  <-- 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.

1297  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.


PS: Who is this 'guy' you shipped it back to?
1298  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Serious computer issue ((Need help)) on: November 15, 2007, 09:02:55 AM
Any luck?

1299  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.


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.
1300  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.

1301  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.


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
1302  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.

1303  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.

1304  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.


*keeps his fingers crossed*
1305  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?


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)
1306  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?

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.

1307  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

1308  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.


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.
1309  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.


1310  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.

1311  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.

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.


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...
1312  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Random Lockup issues on: November 04, 2007, 01:22:46 AM
1st and foremost. Before spending money, disassembling, or otherwise, download yourself a copy of either memtest86+, or, even more comprehensive, is a copy of the ultimate boot cd, which also contains memtest86+, and run it. Preferably an overnight test. This will verify whether you've got a problem with your memory, of which you are describing symptoms (also symptoms of a bad psu, but that comes later. memory testing is FREE, and requires almost no labor smile )


After that, if the memory test seems to be coming back clean, you might try to beg/borrow/steal a loaner PSU to see if that fixes the problem.

You're saying it randomly locks up, but only when you're NOT playing games? That's really really odd.

Another thing you can do is a full disassembly/reassembly. Again free, a little bit of effort. don't have to remove the motherboard/cpu/etc, just pull the cards, drive cables, etc, clean everything, and rebuild from there. This can 'cure' a lot of ills. You might also pull, clean, reseat the ram.

Did the problems occur before you repasted? Any other symptoms than lockups? bluescreen? spontaneous reboot? <-- again, memory/psu possibility.

Reminder to do a thorough virus/malware/spyware scan. I prefer AVG antivirus because it's available as a free version for personal usage, as well as recently starting using Prevx 2.0 to help spot  malware, in addition to Spybot Search and Destroy, and Adaware SE, for spyware. And I use CCleaner for general cleanup and housekeeping. (which I could do by hand, but ccleaner is easier smile )

1313  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: PAR Files on: November 03, 2007, 05:59:25 AM
I used to use SmartPAR, back in my usenet days. It seems to have moved here...


Note the tutorial links...
1314  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Monitor or Graphic's card? on: November 01, 2007, 09:24:51 PM
Budget? I'm really happy with my gateway 20" lcd widescreen... 1680x1050 is a nice comfy resolution, easy for midrange video cards to drive at full speed for games, these days. And it has a plethora of different inputs... dvi, vga, s-vhs, composite, component. (got my dvd player hooked to it via s-vhs, and it makes for a very nice combo)

Samsung and NEC both manufacture their own panels, and have really good quality.

1315  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Monitor or Graphic's card? on: November 01, 2007, 08:31:28 PM
Smells like the internal psu is about to go boom. Seen it before.

Could be cheap enough to fix, like fixing a tv, but... given the price of decent lcd panels these days, you may be better off ditching it.

Definitely better for your eyes (no refresh strobe to give you a headache)


Go ahead and do something about it. If it goes boom while attached to the card, bad things might happen.
1316  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: vista-programs not showing up in start menu on: October 30, 2007, 09:47:38 PM
Don't use Vista, but in XP it would likely be the personalization settings. One of them is to hide unused programs after a while. It's available via the start menu properties.

1317  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Plug in USB... Reboot... on: October 30, 2007, 05:12:50 AM
Onboard usb ports, in my experience, have issues with having enough power available, and/or you might be running into an incompatibility issue, although you did say 'any' usb devices, which makes me think it's more likely a power problem. It's possible that the power drain on the onboard usb, is enough to trip other circuits internally, causing the reboot. Mind you, it of course SHOULDNT do this, but that's my current train of thought. It's interesting you can plug the mouse in, and not have problems.

Two things. One, from my experience working for xxxxxx (to protect myself from lawsuits). We were manufacturing a little wireless box, that let you plug a regular telephone in, and enjoy wireless pots, anywhere you had infrastructure setup. Which is kinda neat. However, the issue we ran into testing them, was that if you plugged in a telephone, or testbed, into the phone line, and then tried to boot the device, it wouldn't boot correctly.. because the brainiacs had forgotten to account for the drain of the telephone/testbed, and it's effects on the powerup on the device. Your's truly had to explain to them why they were having a problem. Mind you, I'd call this a product defect, since anytime a customer had a power interruption, and the device tried to reboot, they'd have been forced to unplug the phone, let the device power up, and then plug it back in. But anyways, that's not relevant.

The whole point was, that's the sort of issue you may be running into. Heck, it may be unique to your particular motherboard, I couldn't tell you without having several samples to test.

Here's another example. My current motherboard... if I plug in my usb headset directly to the front ports, which are hooked up internally via usb headers to the board... it won't boot correctly. If it's already up and running it's fine, but the first time you power cycle the machine, you have to unplug the usb headset, or the machine hangs on boot, every single time.

If I attach it to the usb header on my lcd panel, which passes through to one of the headers on the back panel of the motherboard... no problems.

My mom's wireless mouse/keyboard don't receive enough power from her onboard usb ports to function correctly... I was forced to attach them to a fortunately already owned usb pci card, where they function perfectly. (well, as perfectly as they're capable of... she gets regular messages that the wireless signal strength is too low, even though the keyboard/mouse are literally next to transceiver pod)

Anyways, that may be what your problem is. If you have a usb card, or a powered hub, you might try plugging that in first, and then plug your devices into the (powered) hub/ usb pci card.

1318  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Rediscovering MYTHOS! on: October 29, 2007, 06:37:41 AM

Quote from: TheAtomicKid on October 28, 2007, 12:12:03 AM

PS: Looks pretty nice for a free game. Better than dungeonrunners, imo.

I gotta take it back. I just fired up dungeonrunners again to check it out, and it's looking much better than when I started puttering with it. I'd say graphics are close to equivalent, though I think I like the overall setup with mythos better.

You know, it's too bad they're both.. like.. free. Kinda hard to be harsh on something that doesnt (at least currently) cost anything to play.

1319  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Rediscovering MYTHOS! on: October 28, 2007, 12:12:03 AM
Thankyou for reminding me of this one. I'd received a beta invite a while back, but passed over it as I was doing other things at the time. The screenshots and the journal have picqued my interest again. Account setup, and downloading the client install currently.

Atomic smile

PS: Looks pretty nice for a free game. Better than dungeonrunners, imo.
1320  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: DNF Goes Gold!!! on: October 27, 2007, 07:50:43 AM
Instead of beating the dead horse, perhaps we should beat Paulbot WITH said dead horse... smile

And for the record, I won't believe it until I see the box on the shelf smile

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