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1321  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.

1322  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.

1323  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)

1324  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.

1325  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.

1326  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

1327  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.

1328  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.


1329  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?


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.
1330  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.

1331  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

1332  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.


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.
1333  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.


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.
1334  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Which motherboard to get nowadays????? on: September 30, 2007, 10:39:06 AM
PS: Intel chipset means SLI is a nono... or if it does, they're gonna be new at it. You need something with nvidia written on the side, unless you really meant crossfire.

1335  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Which motherboard to get nowadays????? on: September 30, 2007, 10:26:44 AM
If you like that, and it's hard not to, note that newegg has several variants listed. Hint: Compare the memory spec's.

1336  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Argh! New PSP, WTF is this Black Dot?? on: September 08, 2007, 11:16:03 PM
Oh, as for the software apps. You of course wont be able to run them directly, but... the psp can playback some movie formats, yes? Hunt around, there are some video's available. if not, could always make your own on your pc with something like fraps.

1337  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Argh! New PSP, WTF is this Black Dot?? on: September 08, 2007, 11:13:11 PM
That's right, ah'm yo daddy smile

No warranty, be careful, your mileage may vary, and batteries not included. biggrin

1338  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: September 07, 2007, 10:35:48 AM
Personally I feel it has potential, although they'll have to work at it. Big guilds could take this one a long ways towards success, if they get interested enough.

1339  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: NCSoft freaking rocks. on: September 07, 2007, 09:24:41 AM
When you register the second cd key (for city of villains) you have the option to merge it with your first (heroes), so you end up with a single account with access to both games, and some minor bonuses vs a single game account. (you get more slots for characters, but not as many slots as two full accounts would give you). Can't remember specifically what else comes with. Somehow I screwed up mine, and ended up with two separate accounts. Quite annoying. But the theory is sound. One account, one fee, two games... but you can only play one at a time biggrin (1 login at a time, just like normal games)

1340  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: September 06, 2007, 09:22:45 PM
It plays fine on my machine. 2.2 Ghz Athlon 64 (single core), 1 gig memory, 8800gts/320. <-- plotting and scheming for upgrades, but frankly, I'm buying a new television first biggrin

1341  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: New vid card? What's the bang for the buck on: August 26, 2007, 10:51:24 AM
Is BTX, and now we know.

1342  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Internet explorer problems... on: August 25, 2007, 05:29:53 AM

Of these, Spybot is completely non-commercial, I trust it more than Adaware, simply due to that.

Prevx is a new find for me. I like the way their free trial works... (it's free til it spots malware... from there, you have 30 days)

Start with these, and see what they find?


You also might try HijackThis, if you're familiar with how to use it. It's widely regarded as a good tool.

... or it could just be a software issue... biggrin
1343  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Bioshock - SecuROM installing a RootKit (even the demo does it) on: August 24, 2007, 10:20:04 PM
Last time was a couple months back, I guess? It's not something I hunt for everyday, though I do keep two anti-spyware packages installed. Adaware-SE, and Spybot Search and Destroy.

I've been a little slack about using spybot. I had to use adaware for a work-at-home job I was considering a while back, and it's so easy to update and use that I sorta slid on using spybot too.

Bad me, might have spotted my little problem a lot sooner.

I actually spotted my malware manually. It installed itself as a windows service (FYL)... path to the file (via properties of the service) led me back to my temp folder when I got curious about it.

Here's the readout from prevx, which is about the only hit I could get back from google...

1344  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Bioshock - SecuROM installing a RootKit (even the demo does it) on: August 24, 2007, 10:11:50 PM
I'd like to throw in my .0187 after taxes here. I've had the bioshock steam demo installed for... 3-4 days? now? Pretty much since the first day. As far as I can tell, it hasn't installed securerom, or any other rootkit type software that I can find. I went over the system thoroughly after reading about this issue. Did find a piece of trojan malware though... with absolutely no clue how it managed to get itself onto the system. (I'm extremely careful in my surfing habits, antivirus, antispyware, etc.)


It does seem kinda silly for them to distribute it with the demo. You WANT people to distribute the demo, etc.
1345  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: New vid card? What's the bang for the buck on: August 24, 2007, 09:26:18 PM
In a normally oriented case and motherboard, the card would take up the space for the slot it's in, as well as the one below it, not the one above it. The 'top' slot, is the one closest to the cpu, or at least that's always the way I've understood it. You're saying your card takes up the slot 'above' ? Between the slot it's in, and the cpu? ... nevermind. I'm just confused about your hardware.

What motherboard setup are you running, that this sucker doesnt fit?

1346  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: New vid card? What's the bang for the buck on: August 24, 2007, 09:21:38 AM
By any chance is your system based on a BTX motherboard?

1347  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: New vid card? What's the bang for the buck on: August 24, 2007, 06:31:56 AM
Having trouble picturing your problem. The card I thought you linked (the xfx 8800gts/320) is a double slot cooled standard 8800gts.

Yet you're claiming the card goes 'up' ? Confused.

1348  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Vista Partition? on: August 23, 2007, 09:09:53 AM
Hmm.. Tiny budget. Yeah, go with the partition, no idea how hard it will be. You gotta add in the 'Calvin Factor', unfortunately. In THEORY, it ought be straightforward. In practice, resizing partitions (unless you're just gonna format/reinstall) can be troublesome. Then throw a dual boot on top of that. I'd say you're asking for trouble, but.. if your system is still in a state where it doesnt matter if you have to reinstall, then now would be a good time.

I'll add in here, that vista is.. kinda expensive. Let us know if you decide to futz with it... I'd be curious to hear your opinion on it.

1349  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: MOH: AA Demo on Fileplanet on: August 23, 2007, 08:48:44 AM
Apparently you havent got those headphones yet... biggrin

1350  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: New vid card? What's the bang for the buck on: August 23, 2007, 08:35:47 AM
Also, at least at first, a lot of people were having problems with their 'factory overclocked' cards. Turns out the factory overclock, was a little too much. Even a local friend of mine here ran into it. They replaced his card, but he had to go through the process. Mines fine, thankfully biggrin

1351  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: New vid card? What's the bang for the buck on: August 23, 2007, 08:30:51 AM
One thing I'll add.

Given the die shrink on the g80's to 80nm, and the maturity of the process at this point... the stock cards are overclocking better and better. To the point where the only real advantage I got on mine at this point, was the nicer looking cooler. Which, btw, makes the card so big it blocks most of the sata ports on my motherboard... argh :/

It does look nice though, but it tops out at 621 mhz, and somewhere between 900 and 1000mhz on the memory... 1000 and artifacts start showing up. Some of the stock cards these days are quite a bit better than that. Approaching 700 mhz gpu/1200 memory iirc.

1352  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: New vid card? What's the bang for the buck on: August 23, 2007, 08:27:16 AM
I have one of these...

...and it's definitely a nice beast. However, experience since buying it, leads me to recommend that you spend money on hardware, not on a factory overclock.

I run at 1680x1050 resolution here, and the card holds up nicely. Where it falls short, and will continue to do so, is that it's going to lack in extra memory for textures. I find myself wishing I'd bought a stock speed 8800gtx instead. My card runs hotter than I'd prefer, even with the 'slightly improved' ac3 cooling solution. Every single one of these runs warm, unfortunately. That huge gpu cooler has a weakness... it's cooling multiple points on the card, and the manufacturing tolerances leave a lot of gaps between the heatsink and the components. If I had my wish, I'd spend some time breaking my card down, and putting in some copper shims. But it'll be hard to gauge what thicknesses I'm going to need to make it work correctly.

The other option is to get an aftermarket cooler.. in which case why again did I pay extra money for the slightly upgraded cooling solution? Meh.

It's a fine card, I don't hate it. But I wish I'd either just gotten a stock 500/1600 card, or spent some extra money on a either a 640 meg version, or a full 8800gtx. Not that I had it at the time, but.. I wish... biggrin

1353  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Vista Partition? on: August 23, 2007, 08:16:38 AM
You'd be safer spending a little money and simply buying an extra drive, doesnt have to be huge. Just pull your normal OS, drop in the 'test' drive, and install vista to that.

For convenience, setup a mobile rack so you dont have to constantly pop the case.

<-- still trying to avoid vista. Other than directx10, which microgreed is deliberately restricting to vista in order to seperate us from our hard earned cash... is there ANYTHING left in it that would make it worth the upgrade? The only thing I can think of, would be 64 bit memory management, to improve beyond 4gig addressing. And even that is problematic, because nobodies writing anything joe-normal would use at home, that needs it... because that would dump winxp compatibility right out the window.

My prediction: The user marketplace, won't move to 64 bit apps for everyday usage/games, etc, until microsoft stops supporting windows xp and pulls it from the shelves. Until that happens, software houses will write code that's compatible with both... and that means 32bit code. Only rarely will you also find a 64bit version available. Too much development time involved in following two code trees. The only exceptions to this will be apps like supreme commander, that really really NEED 64bit memory addressing, cause they're crammed for space. And unless I'm mistaken, even SC doesnt have a 64bit client yet.


Man did I go off topic... but I'll leave it up for people to think about.

If you just want to test vista, I heartily recommend picking up a cheap drive. When you're done, you can stick it in a drawer for emergencies, or put it in the machine as a data drive.

You could also put it in the machine, and install vista to it as a dual boot config. It'll work, but the first way is more reliable about what's going to boot/machine not getting confused/borked/etc.

For a little more lucre, you could put together a test machine, I don't know what your budget is though.
1354  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Gaming headphones? on: August 23, 2007, 01:28:49 AM

I've got the .510's for when I need a headset, and they're great. They're not Senn's, but they come with a really nice microphone smile

Plantronics has been making voice headsets for... long time now. They know their stuff.

If you want pure audio, my recommendation rests with Sennheiser, as apparently some others have recommended to ya. I had a pair of HD570's until the left side died, ugh, and you could hear a mouse fart through them. Extremely comfortable to wear, too. Even for hours.

Vortex2 soundcard + hd570's +a3d audio in counterstrike = track people through walls by their footsteps, or spot people halfway across the map because you heard them reload their weapon.

I got kicked from more servers than I'd care to remember smile

Cables are nice and lengthy.

Newegg has an extensive list of senn's. Be sure and browse through the recertified section, some nice deals there. (many of them for half, or less, of your related budget).
You could pick up a set of recerts, and decide whether you liked the sound/comfort or not. If you do, sometime later on, you could lay out for a higher model/new set, if you wanted.

Bit of advice. Unless I'm misunderstanding. Cirumnaural phones sit ON your ear, Supra-Aural phones fit around it, aka the cups press on your head, not your ear. My 570's were extremely comfy because of that feature.

Dont bother with the 5.1 phones. Good headphone routines will give you excellent positional sound. I believe currently, that honor belongs to the x-fi cards, although I'd be willing to bet money a3d could _still_ smoke current software. God I miss Aureal.

1355  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: What should Semaj do now? on: August 18, 2007, 09:42:00 AM
Considering they backburnered/canned Imperator Online for it, Warhammer better come outta the chute preloaded with perfect MMO goodness, or I'm gonna be really really angry (for a while, I do like warhammer, but I was _really_ lookin forward to imperator online)

Sadly, EA owns Mythics soul now, and I suspect that, yet again, they'll screw the pooch and ruin what could have been a perfectly good game.

Hopefully not. Warhammer has a certain amount of inertia already going for it. It might be enough to overcome the EA taint and let it survive on it's own steam.

1356  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Whoa! ...BFG.....sweetness on replacement card on: August 17, 2007, 01:53:55 AM




1357  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Help Setting up 1080p HDTV as second monitor on: August 16, 2007, 06:10:14 AM
Hmm. You should definitely be able to setup two seperate monitors on that card with independant resolutions.

Weird. Might hit the nvidia forums and see what they've got.

1358  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Whoa! ...BFG.....sweetness on replacement card on: August 16, 2007, 05:33:38 AM
*shudders* Via chipset... K8T800 Pro to be specific.

*wanders off mumbling*

Definitely check that fast writes setting. It may be your problem. As far as the fan goes, removing the speed adjuster shouldnt have affected anything. One less think to break, if nothing else.

1359  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Help Setting up 1080p HDTV as second monitor on: August 16, 2007, 05:06:29 AM
What card you using?

1360  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Whoa! ...BFG.....sweetness on replacement card on: August 16, 2007, 05:04:15 AM
*ponders the T-R beta installer... what the heck?*


*continues thinking*

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