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1281  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
1282  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?
1283  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Serious computer issue ((Need help)) on: November 15, 2007, 09:02:55 AM
Any luck?

Atomic
1284  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.
1285  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
1286  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
1287  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
1288  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
1289  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*
1290  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)
1291  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
1292  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
1293  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.
1294  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


1295  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
1296  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...
1297  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 )

http://www.memtest.org/

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

Respectively.

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 )

Atomic
1298  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...

http://www.vcdhelp.us/smartpar/

Atomic

Note the tutorial links...
1299  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.

Atomic
1300  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)

Atomic

Go ahead and do something about it. If it goes boom while attached to the card, bad things might happen.
1301  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.

Atomic
1302  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.

Atomic
1303  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.

Atomic
1304  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.
1305  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

Atomic
1306  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: MechWarrior Intellectual Property on: October 27, 2007, 07:47:49 AM
http://www.iswars.com/

You might try there to get your fix. I haven't actually set it up yet myself, but they've been working HARD at it for quite a while. I get constant updates from the mailing list.

Alas, IS3025 (another multiplayer effort), doesn't seem to have panned out into anything solid (yet? *hopes*)

Atomic

PS: If you try it out, please post back here with your experiences. I'd be curious to hear some evaluations of it.
1307  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: H-Gate London Demo.....Can we talk? on: October 22, 2007, 03:24:33 AM
This was definitely an annoying read...

http://www.firingsquad.com/news/newsarticle.asp?searchid=17938

Just because they put it in the EULA doesnt make it right... legal, maybe, but still offensive.

Heck, I remember a long time back, when the EULA for Juno (free mail service)got updated to include the ability for them to use your spare cpu cycles, by requiring you to allow your machine to access the net, and to leave it on, even when you weren't using it. I believe that was the day I swapped my mom over to Netzero, iirc.

In any case, this is definitely disheartening to see. I don't mind the idea of in-game ads, but this is ridiculous. What's next, we reserve the right to scan your emails so we can target our advertisements better? When does it end?

Atomic

PS: If I'm paying for an elite account, do I still have to put up with the in-game ads? Do you still scan my system? Etc.

EXTREMELY annoyed. May be a deal-breaker for me.
1308  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: H-Gate London Demo.....Can we talk? on: October 21, 2007, 03:45:21 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on October 21, 2007, 01:18:58 PM


fwiw, the Diablo demo was 2 brown, dark, dingy, repetitive (albeit randomizing) dungeons under Tristam. Diablo II's demo and beta were the underwhelming caves and and featureless grassy plains of Act I (and I remember being aghast that it was still basically a 640X480 game that actually seemed to look worse than Diablo I). So I really don't think the former Blizzard North has a reputation for demos that visually blow you away.  saywhat Maybe it *should* blow you away, maybe it's more important now that Flagship's whole future relies on this game.


For the record, and getting slightly off-topic here... the reason diablo2 looked worse than the original, is that blizzard used really crappy resolution on the textures for the game, to save space on the discs. Otherwise the game wouldnt have fit on the three cd's it originally came on. Personally, I hated that particular design decision. It's extremely replayable and fun, within the limitations it's set for itself, but I no longer play it, because it looks like utter crap these days, even playing in a window. Everything's fuzzy.

Atomic
1309  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: System builder questions (should I buy this?) on: October 21, 2007, 01:11:49 AM
Good solid basics there. Overclock it if you think it's necessary.

Thought: Currently, faster, dual core cpu's are better for gaming. But having quad-core is starting to realize actual advantages (the new unreal engine makes good use of quad core, if I'm not mistaken, other games will start to follow the trend over the next year or two)

So the question is.. do you intend to upgrade again in the next year or two? mebbe the cpu? if so, perhaps a higher speed dual core cpu might be the better choice. Or perhaps not, if you can get that combo to stabilize at or around 3.2 ghz.

To be honest, I'm not sure how I myself would answer this question at the moment. And I'm due for upgrades, just havent had the spare money.

You also might wait 2 months or so, for the xmas season. Phenom will be on the streets, as well as price cuts, sales, etc.

Atomic
1310  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: H-Gate London Demo.....Can we talk? on: October 19, 2007, 05:53:51 PM
I'd say it'll end up being good, in much the same way DiabloII ended up being good. Random dungeons, the loot system, (and loot runs)...

aka, the continuing quest to build the bigger better character.

I thought the texturing was pretty good, myself. Not seeing any glaring mismatch of edges, etc. Camera passed through a wall once while in third person mode, that was about it.

Now admittedly, I find the whole gamma thing a tad annoying. If you set it like they want you to set it, it's annoyingly dark and hard to see. After setting mine at or about the 50% mark, I was much happier, though it does take away from the atmosphere a bit. But for that 'style' of game, the atmosphere is annoying after the first few minutes. (at least to me)

Atomic
1311  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: H-Gate London Demo.....Can we talk? on: October 19, 2007, 04:33:14 AM
Anyone else having trouble with the demo? I get to the covent garden steam tunnels or whatever they are, past the street area, and then I simply can't proceed. Like the designers didnt put in the exit or something. There's a generator looking thing/room, but it's not interactible.

Atomic
1312  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: H-Gate London Demo.....Can we talk? on: October 18, 2007, 08:21:13 PM
Thanks KD, much faster than the original link for me.

Atomic
1313  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: 2.1 speakers on: October 17, 2007, 05:53:32 AM
Just wait til your neighbors start beating on your door at 4am smile

Atomic
1314  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Good headset for PC Gaming? on: October 15, 2007, 04:06:24 PM
Umm. Cannot make a product recommendation in that category/price range. No experience. Just remember, you get what you pay for (minus profit, unspoken but always there).

Plantronics makes several varieties of both usb and 'normal' headsets, and they've been making telephony headsets of different types for YEARS, starting in the office space. I'd say just look over their stuff and see if something makes you happy.

Atomic
1315  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Good headset for PC Gaming? on: October 15, 2007, 01:03:54 AM
The advantage to getting a seperate headset, is that you have two audio sources. one is your sound card, generally sending to your speakers, and the other is your headset, which can be fed via usb connection, rather than a soundcard.

the advantage to this is you have crystal clear voice comms, even when the game starts getting loud/intrusive, due to that huge raid/massive pvp battle, or because you turned the sound waaaaay up so you can't hear your little brother beating on your door, etc.

the disadvantage is when you get a game with built in voice software, that DOESNT understand it might be on a seperate device from the soundcard.

But, for instance, you can easily setup teamspeak to only use the usb headset for input/output, and let the game do it's normal thing via the soundcard.

I use a plantronics headset, and it's very very nice, imo. No echo on the mic, doesnt pick up breathing noises/wind/etc.

I actually have the DSP500's, but these are the most similar to mine, from newegg, at the moment. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826265014

Atomic

1316  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: explain this one on: October 15, 2007, 12:53:02 AM
Are the firewall/laptop preconfigured to allow the laptop through the firewall via say, a dmz setting? Perhaps the router is thinking the 360 is your laptop due to the shared connection, and is treating it that way?

Atomic

edit: you could put a vidcap card/usb/firewire piece on the laptop, and feed the xbox video out, into that, and do it that way.
1317  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Wireless router advice on: October 15, 2007, 12:50:17 AM
I've been extremely pleased with my dgl-4300 (dlink), however, the wireless isn't the strongest in the world. I use mine strictly in wired mode these days anyways, due to security concerns, although my new location inside the equivalent of a faraday cage would probably keep me secure against all but the most determined attempts. Anyways, the router performs extremely well, but the wireless signal isn't the strongest in the world. I guess it depends on what's important to you... you could always upgrade antennae to increase reception...

... but the firewall/nat and the gaming optimizations are really nice.

Atomic
1318  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: 2.1 speakers on: October 15, 2007, 12:24:07 AM
I personally have been using the klipsch promedia 2.1's for... a while now. Not sure exactly. They are VERY nice 2.1 speakers, with good solid base, and good definition. They may be a bit 'bright' for pure music listening, but for gaming, or movies/anime, they're fantastic. And they don't take up half your room, either.

Caveat. If you read around the web, you'll find several people complaining that the control pod either broke, or is delicate. It's definitely delicate. I've been extremely gentle with mine (fore-warned is fore-armed, or something like that), and I can definitely tell that, if I hadn't, I'd be replacing mine, as even with care, mine is still trying to come loose on me.

That said, I definitely recommend the speakers, though I do wish klipsch would make that control pod a little sturdier. The part that's the problem, is the two volume controls, on mine at least, are becoming a little fragile, like they want to come loose inside the housing. I sometimes get a little static changing the volume, but it goes away once I get it settled where I want it.

The reason I chose these in particular, is that there are no extra 'frills' on them. No fancy digitial gadgets, no remote control. All the money went straight to the speakers, and Klipsch has ton's of experience in designing them. And it shows.

Oh yeah, there's enough power in those suckers to get your neighbors up in arms. 200 watts in a 2.1 system will definitely shake the walls. Did I mention I live in the equivalent of a bunker? Filled cinderblock and concrete construction, with wire mesh reinforce on the surfaces... looks like stucco a bit. biggrin

Atomic
1319  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Which motherboard to get nowadays????? on: October 12, 2007, 08:32:37 PM
Right now, these days, ddr3 doesnt really make that much of a performance edge. In the future it will, as cpu's start to need more bandwidth from the memory, etc.

The difference is there, but so far I've only seen a very few percent advantage... 3% perhaps?

Now admittedly, you can buy ddr3 now, and carry it over to another board in the future... assuming your ram is still fast enough that you're happy using it.

Me, I've come to the conclusion that upgrading a system, generally involves mb, cpu, and ram, all at the same time. And tbh, I'll be buying future systems with this in mind. The tech is changing so quickly these days that... any ideas of carrying parts over to another rig later on... it's doable, but... the odds are good there will be new parts on the market that you'll want instead.

If you buy mb/cpu/ram, and treat it as a 'single item'.. with the possible exception of a cpu upgrade or ADDING ram later, imo you're better off. Just allow for the fact that you'll be spending more cash at that one point in time, instead of smaller purchases, more often, as you upgrade individual pieces.

All that said, relating to the original question. My recommendation would be a non-bleeding edge core2duo setup, probably based on the p965 chipset to reduce costs a bit (there's a lot of choices available here. p965, p975, p35, x38, etc.

If cost is more of a concern, and you dont need the greatest possible performance, you could also look into an amd based setup. I myself keep eyeing a particular nvidia 590 based mb, and a couple different cpu choices. (the new 5000+ black edition, based on a new 65nm process), or else an x2/opteron at 2.8 ghz. The 3.2 ghz x2 is also tempting, just for the convenience of dropping it in and not having to overclock.

I'd say your best bet, is to set yourself a budget, and then see what you can 'fit' into your budget. then decide if that makes you happy. if not, add some budget, etc, until you get what you want. That's what I'm doing, and my budget is... 'around 500$', but flexible. That'll get me a decent setup, whichever way I decide to swing.

Also food for thought, is the fact that the new phenom based amd hardware, ought to be hitting the streets around christmas, so you might want to hold off a bit for that. The question is, would you be better off with a more refined 'current' hardware, or with a newer, less refined, phenom setup.

Atomic

PS: Currently, clock for clock, advantage is still with intel. AMD can compete up until intel hits about 2.4-2.5 ghz, at which point, amd runs out of room. (3.2ghz amd is about equal to 2.4 ghz intel, give or take... I may be being a little generous here, but not too much, methink)

But intel also tends to be more expensive. Your mileage may vary.
1320  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Which motherboard to get nowadays????? on: October 03, 2007, 08:20:11 PM
I agree. In my opinion, the concept of SLI is somewhat flawed. The idea behind it was, you buy one card, and then, a few months later, when you want a performance upgrade, you buy a second card.

But, by the time you're ready to buy another card... a new product release has gone out, so you're stuck with buying another 'old' card, or just upgrading your original.

At the highest of the high end, you can buy two cards... and also, if you need more performance from a passive setup (silent gaming anyone?)...

but for joe average.... I'm not so sure it's actually a good deal. It's just my opinion though.

Atomic

All that said, the SLI and Crossfire capable chipsets tend to be on the high end/expensive series motherboards... which also offer the best in options/connectivity, high quality parts (solid capacitors anyone?), etc. I'd just have to think more than twice, before considering actually using it with dual cards.
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