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81  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: GeForce GTX TITAN announced -GTX 780/770 on: August 03, 2013, 10:45:56 PM
I've never heard of them not working in an x8 slot....after all, that's all that's required for SLI. Are you _certain_ the slot you're plugging it into is x8? What you described... the furthest one from the main gpu... makes it sound like it's the extra x4 slot they like to tag on... which is fine as far as AMD is concerned, but nvidia has a tendency to turn their nose up at.

Anyone else want to chime in here? I have limited experience with multiple gpu's in a box. Anyone know if x8 is the minimum required even for just physx processing? (which would be insane, as it actually takes very little.... apparently an 8800gt is more than enough to fill any physx requirements... at least the last time I looked into it.

82  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: GeForce GTX TITAN announced -GTX 780/770 on: August 02, 2013, 05:03:38 AM
actually it appears the program is reading the gpu speed incorrectly, I'm sad to say.

I've monitored my speeds with several programs... none of the go over my rated 1006 mhz.... valley reads my card in the 1200's.

83  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: GeForce GTX TITAN announced -GTX 780/770 on: August 02, 2013, 04:10:45 AM
btw. nvidia control panel has an entry for telling the driver how to decide what physx hardware to use. It may be defaulting to the cpu, though I don't see why it would. Try forcing it to the 580, assuming it can see it.

84  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: GeForce GTX TITAN announced -GTX 780/770 on: August 02, 2013, 04:07:33 AM
Decided to futz with my card a bit this evening. Used a combination of gpu-z and afterburner to test it a bit using their windowed render test to keep the gpu at its top power strap while I futzed with afterburner, bumping the clock speed.

It's perfectly stable in windows, even up to +216 mhz (at 103% power budget for Boost 2.0 btw, don't forget that... free performance there)... however, it fails when trying to run the valley benchmark after locking in the upgraded speed.

It is, however, stable with no visible artifacts at +108 mhz, all the way through the run.

Albeit with NO interim testing to where exactly between 108 and 216 it becomes unstable, we can take away that the card can take a 10% overclock... which means the card is running roughly 90% of its actual capability in terms of gpu clockspeed.

Which, in fact, puts it smack in my personal comfort zone at the default settings. (If I overclock things, I tend to run them at about 90% of what they max out at, in order to boost longevity of the parts)

I could probably run it at the elevated settings, but there doesnt seem to be any real need for it anyways. I just bump the power budget to 103%, grant it my manual fan profile rather than letting the card bios do it, and everything else .

When you ran your valley run at 'max settings' did that include 8x AA, etc?

And did you remember to go into the nvidia control center and tweak the settings there? In particular the power management mode, tweaking from 'auto' to 'prefer maximum performance' will give you some free fps. There's also an optimization for single display vs multiple displays, though not sure how much difference that one makes.

85  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: GeForce GTX TITAN announced -GTX 780/770 on: July 30, 2013, 12:50:05 AM
Basically yeah, just keep an eye on the temps.

Btw... '80c or under during load' doesn't really mean anything. The silicon starts throttling at 80c, so in fact it WONT go over 80c unless something breaks. Ideally you want everything to max out just before 80c.. thus maximizing on the capabilities of Boost 2.0


edit: reading comprehension ftw. 'Below 80c' does not equal '80c or below'
86  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: GeForce GTX TITAN announced -GTX 780/770 on: July 29, 2013, 06:13:31 PM
Oh I forgot to mention!

I... uhh... caved in and pulled the trigger...

Reasons were due to a combination of reviews, expectations from the way the cooler is built, price, and clockspeeds....

The stock coolers are really good, but some of the aftermarkets cool better, even if they're not as snazzy. I was torn trying to decide between this model and the gigabyte windforce 3 model... went with this one because two large fans will have a tendency to run more quietly than three smaller ones, assuming similar amounts of airflow. Also, the black die in the fan blades will have a tendency to make the blades quieter... apparently clear plastic is more brittle? And to be honest the blades on the gigabyte unit don't look clear... more smoke, which indicates there is SOME kind of die in there... just not enough to make the plastic opaque. (which may or may not matter, and the GB unit may or may not be noisier in the end... I just went with the MSI)

Final results? Happy, though admittedly expensive. Thankfully, I've been saving up spare cash on the side of everything else to pay for computer upgrades... and it covered about 2/3rds of the cost of this card, so it's only partial misbehavior. Card runs very quiet as a matter of course. MSI has done an interesting thing with this card. It's a normal card in all aspects... but they've got an app released, which allows you to dumbset silent, gaming, and overclock modes. TBH, I haven't used it.

Card is advertised at 954/1006, and I've no doubts it can do that. It defaults, however, to 902mhz... which would be enough to annoy people, but not me... because Boost 2.0 has me covered. Card is boosting without help to 1006 when put to the test, so the app is completely unnecessary in my case. According to GPU-Z, my ASIC is judged as 'average', which is a little dissappointing, but it bodes well for anyone else picking up one of these, if average results in 'dont really need anything else to make it perform'

I'd have been happier if the card had been a little cheaper? But lets put this in perspective. At one time I had a gtx 680 lightning in this machine build. (intel 3820, x79 mobo, etc).... I happen to have run a copy of the Heaven 1.0 benchmark at the time and saved it... and Heaven 1.0 was still installed to the machine. This card is benching heaven at 25% better speeds. And it's a LOT faster than the GTX 260 I had in place. (the 680 failed, had to return it)

I thought about waiting for the '780 Lightning' from MSI, but it's another month away or so, and at a price premium to boot. I decided it wouldn't be worth it, especially with Boost 2.0 on the job.... it will tend to make up the difference for people automagically.

The only caveat I have for people... gpu's have a tendency not to max out their fans, and especially for the 780/titan this is a bad thing. At 80c, the nvidia firmware starts slowing the cards down in order to keep temps under control... but sadly, most of the firmwares don't use all of the fan available to help keep it cool... resulting in a card that runs slower and/or hotter than it otherwise might. If this bothers you, you can use a copy of MSI's Afterburner software, to manually alter your fan profile... you have to keep afterburner running for it to work, but it has a setting to tell it to start with windows, so it just sits in the tray with 5 million other things biggrin

(I set mine to slowly ram up, peaking at 100% fan when the card hits 77c... you can hear it when the card starts getting hot... but the only time it does this, is when you're stressing the card.... aka, heavy gaming... which means you're not really noticing the card... and THIS card is not particularly loud when you reach that point... the gtx260 before, by comparison, was a howler)

All in all? Satisfied. And the card is not exhibiting any bad behavior at all, so it's a keeper.

9/10 (based solely on 'personal feeling' rather than any technical measurements).

87  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Buying a new gaming rig on: July 19, 2013, 02:39:11 AM
You ever get any further with this? Hopefully I didn't put a damper on your project with my posts.

88  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Star Citizen, space combat simulation game (Chris Roberts' latest) on: July 16, 2013, 07:06:09 AM
Ahh ok I'm seeing it work now. I couldnt figure out why I could no longer purchase LTI ships, being that I would consider myself an original backer, if not by much. (I picked up the 35? $ aurora LX package when it was on sale.... LTI, alpha/beta access, etc.)

The trick of course being... you have to be logged into the site to see ships with LTI available.

89  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Buying a new gaming rig on: July 12, 2013, 09:00:42 AM
Having said all that, I'm going through some of the retailers. Actually kinda hard to find upgraded air-cooling on them. It's either stock air coolers, or water so far. Not really good.

90  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Buying a new gaming rig on: July 12, 2013, 08:47:16 AM
After conferring with a friend, I'd like to add something, because I didn't make it clear in my post.

The custom liquid cooled cpu setups and custom cases linked in those four builds, will NOT make the wimpy underpowered vs the cpu graphics cards go any faster. They also involve actual water inside your case, so if you have trouble with them... you have water inside your case. This does not mean watercooling doesnt work. But it also DOES mean it's not necessarily for the casual gamer.

More money towards the gpu's. Less money towards the bling, relatively useless watercooling setups, and unneeded platform expenses.

You SHOULD be able to hit at least a 770 on a 2000$ budget. If not a 780.

91  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Buying a new gaming rig on: July 12, 2013, 08:38:16 AM
Given my experiences with the x79 platform...

If you do not intend to use it for a multi-gpu setup of 3 or more gpu's, it's not worth it. It is NOT worth it. For two or fewer gpu's, a z68 or newer mobo with the ability to run dual x8 pci-e slots is plenty. You'd just be wasting your money on the platform. I went this route, and I'm still using my gtx 260. (single) :/ Theoretically I can use two gpu's, and give them a full x16 slot each to play with. Theoretically. And it will make MAYBE 5% difference in the end. If I ever manage to upgrade my gpu. :/

Admittedly I like my 3820 chip. It's a real trooper.

You also will face shortcomings if you try to setup ssd's and raid. the x79 platform uses the enterprise driver set, and it doesnt support trim on raid. (yet)

go with the z68,z77, or z87 (makes sense to go with the latest, but you could save some money there if you wanted) platform, or even look to the amd side of things.

spend more money on the gpu(s) and less money on the cpu. In all but a few games, the gpu is the deciding factor. Going with Team Red, will definitely shave you a few bucks here.

8GB's of ram. Just do it. It doesnt cost that much. And remember x64 on the operating system. Your software will thank you for not having to swap as much. Or at all.

Try looking at a build based on either a bulldozer/piledriver build (am3+), or one of the trinity chips (fm2), with a higher powered gpu making up the difference on cash. You might like what you see.

For two grand, I'd think you could do a lot better than what you've linked so far. Gtx 760? 650? Meh. (the 760's hold their own, about gtx 670 levels). But 2 grand? It's a 250$ card.


PS: The case does not make it go faster biggrin

92  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Problems installing Radeon 2400pro on: July 02, 2013, 08:47:26 AM
Not sure.

Is this the driver you're trying to use?

93  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Problems installing Radeon 2400pro on: July 01, 2013, 01:37:59 AM
I wanted to say they might have dropped support for the card. But the 2400 is actually newer than the 9600. Damn these people and their confusing numbering/advertising schemes!

Recognizes original card.

Does not recognize new card, unless you install the omega drivers, in which case it works just dandy.

So it's not a hardware issue specifically, but for some reason the new cat drivers are not recognizing the card, yet the old ones are (since that's where the omega driver came from)...

Test: Find a copy of the driver version your omega's were created from, and see if THAT recognizes the driver.

I'm not sure what it would tell us, but it's at least something to test. You could, in theory, work your way along the driver series until you hit a step where it stops recognizing the card. Then figure out what changed.

94  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Star Citizen, space combat simulation game (Chris Roberts' latest) on: July 01, 2013, 01:32:19 AM
Who said no mining? Pretty sure mining was mentioned in the 24 hr livestream they just finished up.

For those who haven't pledged, you get a reprieve. Until I think it's Nov 26th, you still have opportunity to sign up for ships with lifetime insurance on them, and/or packages that allow you access to alpha/beta testing, if that is your desire.

I'm in for 30 so far from the Aurora sale... or was it 35? can't remember.

Btw, they just updated the website design as well.

95  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: What the Sam Hill... cpu / mobo problems on: June 27, 2013, 04:08:59 AM
Speaking of the video card...
96  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: PC component upgrade options? on: June 25, 2013, 11:15:45 AM
Definitely the GPU

For _only_ 150$ to upgrade with, however, options are somewhat limited. Even the 660ti still comes in ahead at around the 300$ mark. The rest of your machine is solid.

My suggestion: hold for more cash. Look for something around the 660ti level to match to the machine. (as a single gpu system, your real factor holding you back is the gpu)

My advice for futureproofing. 660ti, 3GB of ram, or better, along the curve. You can get by with 2GB atm, but the games are getting bigger and bigger. And it looks like you hold onto hardware for a while.
On the AMD side of the line, the rough equivalent is the 7950, give or take. An argument can be made for the 7870 GHz edition if you want to try and get by with 'only' 2GB of vram.

Good job on that 860 build... that was the sweet spot on the cpu for a while. (the amount of cache provided, the speed, etc... not the fastest on the block, but one step removed, and much more economical biggrin )

97  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: What the Sam Hill... cpu / mobo problems on: June 24, 2013, 03:47:59 PM
Thinking through the logic on it. With new intel boards, chips, the gpu is connected directly to the cpu via the pci-e lanes these days. When you inserted the new gpu initially... you mentioned being careful in the vacuuming, but did you have everything unplugged etc? (and even so, it could have been static discharge at this point from your hand through the gpu, and into the board/pci-e lanes)... all you need is to have more negative charge than the motherboard, and it will happen, even if nothing is grounded. (which folks, is why those static straps you wear are grounded through a big resistor... the ground is to drain the static so everything has the same charge level as your local ground, and the big resistor is so you don't fry yourself accidentally, since _you are grounded_) smile )

98  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: What the Sam Hill... cpu / mobo problems on: June 24, 2013, 03:37:59 PM
Yes, the circumstances/details are not looking good for your cpu, although I too am a little confused as to how you might have slain the beast. But given that it's the only common thread... (question, have you ever plugged the new video card into the new motherboard?), it pretty much _has_ to be the answer, unless you can come up with another commonality.

After that perhaps a cheap cpu replacement is in order which would verify that it's the cpu causing your headache, although it's yet more money out of pocket.

If the cpu _has_ gone south, do you have a plan?

99  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: What the Sam Hill... cpu / mobo problems on: June 23, 2013, 09:30:54 AM
Are you testing the setups sans video card now?

It is unlikely that your ram sticks are putting your motherboard in a state where it cannot power up. It's possible, but unlikely, and you've already tested alternate configs to try and narrow it down.

Are the symptoms exactly the same with both setups, or is there any change between the two motherboards?

Do you have another machine you can plug the new video card into to certify that it is functional? Otherwise it's first on the RMA/return list :/

Trick to try, learned this with a difficult motherboard a while back.

Pull all the cards from the machine. unplug the drives, etc. Leave only cpu and ram. Now, reset the cmos specifically in this configuration using the (probably) external jumper/button (remember to have the mobo unplugged, and not just unpowered, during this phase...)

See if machine will boot now. If so, re-add new gpu and get yourself back in business.


(be sure to check those cpu sockets carefully for pins... it wouldnt be your original problem, but beware giving yourself an all-new headache)

(it's important to pull all the cards from the machine so that the pci/pci-e data gets cleared as well)

100  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: GeForce GTX TITAN announced -GTX 780/770 on: June 17, 2013, 12:35:28 AM
GTX 770/680   :256 bit memory interface... (4x64bit channels) 512MB/channel on each channel gets you 2GB of memory total.

GTX 780/Titan :384 bit memory interface... (6x64bit channels) 512MB/channel on each channel gets you 3GB of memory total.

GTX 770/680 with 4GB of memory uses 2 sets of chips per channel (backside of the card ftw!)

so a 780 the next step up is... 6GB... which is what you get on a titan. And eventually, someone WILL sell a 6GB 780 at a premium, no doubt.

All said? 3GB is more than enough atm. 2GB is sometimes not enough... 1 or 2 games currently are capable of maxing out a 2GB card with textures, etc. And deep levels of AA and anisotropy will also consume additional memory.

I was looking at the 4GB 680/670 units before the current cycle, but 3GB is going to be the sweet spot for some time to come. You'll note that AMD cards aren't offering any more than that either. It's just not needed, save in very special cases.

101  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Neverwinter on: May 22, 2013, 08:29:20 PM
Currently grinding up a GF, at least for now. My original choice for companion was the panther, but after I switched over to a dwarf (from human), I went with the.... defender or whatever its called. The AI still screws up, although it's not terrible. Since I'm in the thick of it, he usually is as well, and he actually tends to hold aggro better than I do, at least for now. It works fairly well.

102  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: RIP Margaret Thatcher on: May 11, 2013, 09:37:07 PM
The world will miss the Iron Lady. Chavez too, in his own way. He may have been disliked by some (most leaders are), but he did quite a lot for the people of Venezuela. As did Margaret Thatcher for the people of the United Kingdom...

Were their solutions the only valid solutions? Of course not. But each in their own way, worked.

Scary thought for the day. I believe it was a Russian journalist who first labeled her the 'Iron Lady'. How tough you gotta be to impress a Russkie with your toughness? biggrin

103  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: computer upgrade question (AMD sockets) on: May 09, 2013, 05:10:29 AM
You might be interested in this article.

It's really focused on high resolution gaming, as opposed to something a little more sane. BUT.

The comparative info IS relevant when pondering cpu/gpu choices. Note the final page of the article, which contains notes and recommendations based on the NOW. Pretty sane ones just looking at it.

104  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: computer upgrade question (AMD sockets) on: May 06, 2013, 12:13:50 AM
I shall refer you to the Anandtech 'bench' department, whereupon you may plug in the closest possible comparison to your CPU, which I believe was a Phenom 2 X4 920, and compare performance to other cpu's that will fit the board.

The final answer is, it can make some difference, on some games. If it were me, I might go ahead with the decent gpu, and then do mobo/cpu/ram the cycle after that if the performance on your new gpu doesnt feel up to snuff. There's not a WHOLE lot of point long term to adding upgrades to a 'dead' socket/platform. (am3 vs am3+)


PS: I've mentioned before, and perhaps it will help you in the future. I tend to do my upgrades once a year. I'll do gpu one year, and cpu/mobo/ram the next. Or storage, or what have you. Basically, 500$ a year or so (sometimes more, sometimes less, but 500 or so), and upgrades with a mind for whatever it is to last for at least two years. It actually works really well, although bleeding edge parts quite obviously don't fit in that budget.
105  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Defiance (formerly One Earth) on: April 30, 2013, 04:24:23 AM
The secret to weapons is they have one level. Your gun can only take so much exp, and then it 'levels up'. Once it does this, you gain the bonus it lists for it, but that's it. It stops gaining exp... and YOU stop gaining exp with that weapon skill/that gun. Aka to continue leveling up your weapon skill... you need a new weapon of that type.

The real secret to weapons, is a good set of mods. You can add mod slots to any weapon, costs arkloot or whatever it is. The green stuff. Not scrip. When you're done with a weapon you've modded, use the matrix and retrieve your mods, which destroys the weapon. (do this after you have a replacement weapon, naturally).

Don't sell looted items... use the matrix and break them down into arkbits (again, the green stuff)...scrip is relatively easy to get... the secret to the game is having lots of the green stuff.

You use green stuff for things like modding weapons, and buying keycodes, which are used (with a little scrip), to buy lockboxes from the box vendor. Boxes contain items of different sorts. At least uncommon in type. Sometimes better.  (and linked pages) Handy. Very handy.


PS: If you get a piece of loot that appears 'stuck'... you can't delete it, you can't recycle it, etc... it's because one of your loadouts has it listed. Once you clear the item from all of your loadouts, you'll be able to do what needs doing.
106  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Question about PC graphics bottlenecks on: April 24, 2013, 06:12:02 AM
could be getting microstutter as well. try enabling triple buffering to see if that helps.

could be cpu throttling (easy to check cpu usage)

could be texture swapping slowing the gpu's down if the scenes are complex enough... (you need a tool to measure how much memory is in use on the gpu's over time)...


PS: For the record I don't remember the witcher needing major amounts of cpu horsepower... what cpu are you using to power those 660ti's ?

PS: Try googling The Witcher SLI problems... I came up with several relevant hits
107  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: World of ww2 tank mmo on: April 04, 2013, 04:11:06 AM

Quote from: TheEgoWhip on January 17, 2012, 10:19:53 PM

Anyone else still playing Tanks? After a break for a couple months I started it up again a few weeks ago and I have been really enjoying it.

13k games and climbing. Had a slow spell for a month or so, but playing more (again), looking forward to the 8.5 update. Path of Exile is currently occupying quite a bit of my free time. I _love_ the passive skill tree implementation.

108  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: It's finally time to retire my AMD components on: April 03, 2013, 07:52:27 AM
Pick your poison on motherboard, all the name brands tend to perform within 1-2% of each other. Find one that you like either by looks, features, or whatever, and then go read a couple of reviews. Rinse/repeat until you're happy with what you see. Personally I like Gigabyte these days, but that's just me, and they're not 'perfect'... bios could be a bit better.

CPU? Since you just picked up a GTX 680, I'd say you need to look along the lines of an intel 3570K, which will currently run you approximately 219$ plus or minus a tad. (the 3570's have hyperthreading support disabled, which means it will run slightly faster in some games, since the cores don't get loaded up as much (remember, hyperthreading emulates extra cpu cores by using 'spare' resources on each core when they're not in use by the primary load)).

You can get a slower cpu if you want, but at most you could save a hundred or so? without cutting it down so much that game performance starts to drop... and it won't be as futureproof that way. You really don't want to drop below four cores if you can avoid it. Two cores will run your game, but they'll pretty much stay loaded up whilst the game runs, and if the system starts to do anything background-ish, you'll feel it.

Might be better served here by updating your post with a price range. 'Mid-price' means different things to different people.

What's the rest of your rig like?

109  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Samsung Series 9 Monitor on: March 24, 2013, 05:03:56 AM
How much of a sale was it on? Showing 999$ at the 'egg.


* TheAtomicKid is still running his perfectly serviceable LP2475w and is not really feeling much envy for higher resolutions yet...
110  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Blizzard's Next MMO: Titan on: March 23, 2013, 06:39:04 AM
I believe I read somewhere before that Blizzard claimed 'Project Titan' was an entirely new IP...

This product would not seem to qualify based on that.

edit: Bleah. Comprehension failure from the newsblurb. 'Duh' indeed. Posting when tired from work... not good.

111  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Star Conflict on: March 08, 2013, 03:15:08 AM
A few days in (and the steam dlc packs poorer *blush*), I must say I'm enjoying it, at least for now. I could have lived without the paks, but the long term benefits drew me in. The extra loot attempt alone is quite valuable. Not so much early game, but later on I see it being quite nice.

The bonus storage is nice, but can be ground out for cash in-game.

Real benefits long term? The gold, the permanent rep and exp bonuses, and the ships you would otherwise be unable to access. And the artifact scanner that grants a free loot attempt.

I am unable to find a way to view active bonuses in-game yet, so I am unsure if I'm getting my VIP benefits or not.

However, when I picked up the packs they apparently piled on a free 217 day merc license. (premium time)

Merc time isn't listed anywhere, so not sure if it's a mistake, or I missed something somewhere, or if it just wasn't listed properly.

I'm sure they'll get it sorted out eventually.

112  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Star Conflict on: March 05, 2013, 10:17:55 AM
Put enough time in on this to grind up to Rep 5 with the Tech faction. Overall it's a pretty decent game, and it's certainly not pay-to-win, and in fact, the premium modules are only as good as the 'blue', or 'faction' modules that you can purchase through market, or find as drops. Which is one step removed from the purple modules that apparently are the final word in module coolness. Those are dropped only. Haven't seen one yet.

You _can_ buy some ships for gold that you otherwise cannot get, similar to world of tanks. Not sure if the premo ships come with income or rep bonuses, or anything like that.

They DO start out at full synergy, which basically means that you can't 'level up' the ship... synergy levels improve the ships statistics slightly... what you see is what you get.

Overall? I like it. There does not appear to be 'one way to win'... teamwork is important, and it appears there are several paths to success, in terms of personal strategy. (faster, tougher, and hit harder, all seem to work fairly well at this point)

It doesn't hurt that the game looks pretty good smile

113  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Path of Exile on: March 03, 2013, 01:29:54 AM
Necro'd (sorta... it's a relatively fresh grave)...

This went open beta in Jan. It's got a decent feel to it, especially for a free game. Graphics style reminds me of Titan quest, mostly due to the slightly 'wet' look they use for moisture, oil, metal, etc. It does look good, especially so given that it's not put out by a major studio.

Did we mention it's free to play? 5G download, so it won't break the bank.

Sign up and start hacking/blasting/piercing/etc.


PS: I believe I read somewhere that they've done their final character wipe at this point.
114  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: GeForce GTX TITAN announced on: February 22, 2013, 03:16:22 AM
It's not a thousand bucks, it's TWO-thousand bucks... because there's no point in buying just one of the things.... (well, almost no point. two card sli works pretty good these days, though there ARE cases where it doesn't)

Kudoes to nvidia. They've put a lot of work and effort, and quality, into these cards, regardless of the 'ridiculous' pricing.
* TheAtomicKid twitches
* TheAtomicKid calculates budget... 500$/year upgrade budget, means I would need the cards to last at least 4 years to break even on the normal cycle... that's extremely achievable in this case.... anyone else notice the upgrade cycle is slowing down?

115  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Worthwhile upgrades... SSD and new graphics on: February 08, 2013, 03:52:11 AM

Quote from: lex on February 08, 2013, 01:55:43 AM

Do you feel the new video card is being bottlenecked by the Q6600?

I have a 4 year old system (Q6600, HD4850, 4 gb RAM), and AMD currently has a buy a video card get two games promo going on, which I might be interested in.

You can get Bioshock Infinite and Tomb Raider with a 7800 series card or Bioshock Infinite and Crysis 3 with a 7900 series card.

My system runs fine with a SSD as a boot drive (I have an ASUS M/B and an ADATA SATAII SSD)

Did you read this one?

116  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Worthwhile upgrades... SSD and new graphics on: February 01, 2013, 05:46:17 AM
The 7870 is a good card, you'll do fine.

You want the SSD. You know you do.

AND DON'T SKIMP ON IT WHEN YOU FINALLY CAVE. Or you'll defeat the purpose.

117  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Worthwhile upgrades... SSD and new graphics on: January 31, 2013, 11:37:15 AM

Note: your cpu is a quad core, which will help with some games. However, the per-core output isn't as fast as say, an 8400. So good for games that use the cores, but not as good for pure keeping-up-with-the-gpu drivers.

Using an SSD as your system drive is pretty much what you want to do. It will give your comp an overall more responsive feel. Actually, you can read this as 'everything else will feel broken after you start using one'. You can use one for game installs, but the benefits are very specific... aka, loading times become much quicker.

Note that this WILL increase the responsiveness from your games somewhat, simply because having your OS on one drive and your games on another, allows you to access both at the same time. A trick I've been using to great extent for a while now.

If you want greater framerates for your games, a new gpu is the order of the day. Given the age of your system, which can be basically read as 'I tend to keep parts in service for an extra long time', I definitely recommend that whatever purchase you make, you make it with an eye for the future. I recommended a 3GB version of the 660ti to someone else recently, and it would almost certainly be appropriate for you as well... and it falls within your budget range. 3GB is more than most games need at the moment... but 2-4 years down the line, 2GB is going to stop being enough, and start becoming 'budget'.

Also as I recommended the other day, increase your ram to 8GB if you can. The kits are getting pretty cheap, although if you're using DDR2 on your rig you may have trouble finding a good kit at this point. (and also if you ARE using a DDR2 based board, be aware that your ability to carry this ram forward will be limited, so don't spend a fortune here... the other stuff is more important.  (thread from the other day)

Second monitor: If you want it you want it. Money spent here won't make any games go faster though biggrin

As for your sata ports... I believe all socket 775 mobo's were limited to sata 3.0Gbs.. which is Sata II spec. Sata III is 6.0Gbs  (Ignore this, and buy a Sata III drive, it will last long enough you'll be carrying it forward to a new mobo, barring some accident of fate.

In order.

1: New gpu will give you better framerates on games, and dx10/11 capability.
2: SSD replacement of your system drive will give you overall system responsiveness and superb reliability.
3: More ram/replacement ram, if it can be managed in the budget. Definitely last, 6GB is 'enough', though not extravagant.  (any of these would do ya, I lean towards the gigabyte unit for the cooler)  butt-kicking SSD... many 'editors choice' awards, etc.           same here. awards all over the place.  sleeper butt-kicker ssd. check the reviews.

the trick is to get a good quality ssd... especially if you're getting one for a system drive... the lesser quality/older units tend not to hold up as well due to all the read/write activity.


PS: a big chunk of your performance issue with games currently, is the half gig of memory on that 8800gt. Not enough memory means it has to constantly swap textures in and out of memory, from the drive. A new card with at LEAST 2GB on it, and as I mentioned, preferably 3GB, (or more, but that's really not in your budget range), will alleviate that tremendously, not including the sheer speedup of the new gpu hardware.

PS2: I linked the 240/256 GB versions of those drives for a reason. Basically, the next size down is 120/128 GB.. which isn't really enough room left over on the system drive if you end up installing anything else to the SSD. My current box has 209 of 239 GB free on the primary drive, but that's because it literally has almost nothing else installed. Web browser, etc, is about it. If you start piling stuff up on your desktop, downloads folder, etc, it will fill up fast. (if you use a smaller drive)

118  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: [contractor costs] Replacing gas furnace and air conditioning in condo on: January 27, 2013, 12:48:30 AM
Feels a little high. I had a water heater replaced in 2011. To remove the old unit, recondition the area a bit, and install a new, high efficiency unit, was right at a grand. And I've been quoted at roughly 5G's for the new AC I'm probably going to have to put in this summer, and certainly by 2014. (basically, for what you were quoted, I'm saying you could probably expect a new water heater out of the process as well, not just remove and replace)

It's a bit indirect, with some apples and oranges thrown into the mix, but, it feels like you could do better.

You certainly could shave a few bucks off if you wait until you're not in the middle of winter (or summer!), to do any related work.

119  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: New Desktop PC Advice on: January 16, 2013, 07:11:00 AM

Quote from: KC on January 15, 2013, 02:48:33 AM

I'm not inclined to tinker by overclocking, so I would want to spend a little more to be set for a few years.  I don't need the latest and greatest graphics, so I was thinking $800 to $1000 for just the CPU box w/o the monitor.

Given this, my advice, especially given that you intend to use the box for gaming.

1: more ram (8GB seems to be a fairly easily achievable number... you might be enabling the pagefile before you retire the box, but it's plenty for now)

2: more gpu vram. 2GB is the current 'standard'.  A couple of games currently are capable of going over the limit with textures and such. More if you start including extreme amounts of AA, super high resolution gaming, etc. So get at least 3GB for 'futureproofing', which will save you from an upgrade cycle or two down the road. Right now it won't net you much. 2-5 years? Probably. A 3GB 660 TI would be a good solid choice here, as long as you're not trying to game above 1920x1200.

3: SSD. Barring a failure, I'm inclined to the opinion that an SSD system drive is one of the best things you can do for a computer. Reliability is much higher than an HDD when you have zero moving parts, so unless you have an electronics issue which can happen to either a hard drive or an SSD... the SSD comes out ahead. Also, things can get dropped. Hard drives don't do so well in that regard, especially while running.

As a personal example, my current box runs on ssd's. In fact, it runs on two raid-0 arrays built from two SSD's in each array. It has been that way for a couple of years now. In that time frame I have had zero events with the raid's that resulted in anything longer than waiting a few minutes on boot while the OS does cleanup. (unexpected shutdowns are the most likely cause, has happened twice in two years).

In addition, you cannot beat a quality SSD in terms of system responsiveness, for the OS drive. There is absolutely no contest, and once you start using one in this regard, every time you go back to using a machine running on a standard hard drive, you will _know_... because it's going to feel like the machine is broken.

If you're wanting to save money, put your game installs on a secondary hard drive. Keep it defragged, and you're fine. Most gaming access is going to be texture loads anyways, which are inherently pretty sequential in nature if they've optimized the datafiles.

4: 64bit OS. Just do it. Don't sweat compatibility issues, you're not likely to have any. 32bit is OVER. biggrin

120  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Gaming through a Virtual Machine configuration on: January 16, 2013, 06:45:24 AM
It would help if you gave us the hardware specs the VM is running on.

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