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81  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?

Atomic
82  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)

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6670/dragging-core2duo-into-2013-time-for-an-upgrade

Did you read this one?

Atomic
83  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.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6489/playing-with-op

Atomic
84  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Worthwhile upgrades... SSD and new graphics on: January 31, 2013, 11:37:15 AM
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6670/dragging-core2duo-into-2013-time-for-an-upgrade

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.

http://gamingtrend.com/forums/hardware-software-hell/new-desktop-pc-advice/  (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.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007709%20600315498%20600311818%20600286741&IsNodeId=1&name=3GB  (any of these would do ya, I lean towards the gigabyte unit for the cooler)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147193  butt-kicking SSD... many 'editors choice' awards, etc.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=20-227-916           same here. awards all over the place.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233398  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.

Atomic

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)


85  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.

Atomic
86  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

Atomic
87  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.

Atomic
88  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Intel Preparing to End CPU Upgrades? on: November 30, 2012, 07:23:01 AM
I must admit, when I purchase equipment these days, I do tend to buy motherboard, cpu, AND ram, simultaneously.

BUT... replacing a cpu, or motherboard individually, will no longer be an option, and thus more expensive/annoying when it does make itself necessary.

Atomic
89  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Building a single purpose gaming pc? UPDATE - Built! on: November 24, 2012, 11:53:15 PM
http://www.elpamsoft.com/?p=SSD-Tweaker

You'll want that. Especially since you didnt directly install to the SSD, it will set a bunch of things for you that you might want to/ought to already be set, if you had, in order to optimize windows to run on the ssd.

(also stuff there that windows wouldn't set on its own)

Atomic

You can do it manually if you like, but there's not a lot of reason to.

Btw, with 8 gigs of memory online, and I assume 64bit windows 7, you could turn off your pagefile completely and never miss it, unless you use some particularly huge piece of software that needs large blocks of memory... think photoshop.
90  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Building a single purpose gaming pc? UPDATE - Built! on: November 24, 2012, 11:13:05 PM
With your system, my strategy would be to focus on 'fast enough' for the cpu... amd's are good, but they just aren't super competitive on the high end of things, at least in raw performance... and spend more money on the GPU, where you can absolutely make a difference.

The 660ti is a good gpu to go with. It's the lowest tier of the 'performance' range of the 600 series, and practically speaking, going up in tiers to the 670 and 680 units, only nets you approx 5% or so on performance with each step. (varies depending on game, resolution, and eye candy).

The crucial m4 is a nice choice for the ssd. It's not the fastest beast in the woods, but it's in there, and there haven't been any significant issues I can remember cropping up with those.

Which OS? Are you planning to make the SSD your boot/system drive?

Atomic
91  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: problem with microsoft explorer stopping on: November 24, 2012, 10:56:20 PM
really _really_ smells like a memory error.

any other symptoms?

details of your memory checks. what software and for how long?

how often does the error show up?

Atomic
92  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Connecting PVR to home theatre and TV on: November 24, 2012, 10:54:20 PM
And yes, you're having a brain fart. Whooped by a home theatre setup. The shame. biggrin

Atomic
93  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Connecting PVR to home theatre and TV on: November 24, 2012, 10:52:31 PM
1: shouldnt both your pvr be feeding into the home theatre, and the ht then feeds the tv? same for the dvd player? (dvd player integrated into home theatre?)
2: were you perhaps using the audio out on the tv in some way to feed back into the home theatre? (probably only stereo out, so this solution is unlikely to work, at least as 5.1)

Limited knowledge of the inputs and outputs on your home theatre system prevent a clear answer, unfortunately.

Atomic
94  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: PC appears to be on last leg on: October 20, 2012, 08:25:20 PM
This is going to sound like a broken record because I mention it so many times but...

When you assembled the new machine... were the sata cable(s) new? So far from personal experience, and more than once while troubleshooting for others... the cables have been the problem.

If your sata cable is brand new with the machine, and of 'good quality'... (you'll have to be the judge)... then the cable is probably not causing the drive issues.. (it's disappearing from the bios if this is what is happening).

Other possibilities are vagaries with the boot order in your bios settings. I personally set my bios to whichever optical and/or drive I'm interested in seeing the computer from... and I specifically remove/disable all other devices from the list, in order to prevent things from getting confused. Removing the vista drive from the bootable possibilities via the bios, and leaving everything else alone... if it fixes your problem, and nothing else ever occurs, then it was simply a boot order preference issue in the bios. If you do this and one day you come home with a message from your comp saying it couldn't find a bootable drive... now you KNOW the ssd is dropping out from the chain.

Technically it's possible the SSD is dieing. It's not likely however, given that it has been working for months without an issue.

Check the bios.
Check the cables.
Re-check the cables. They're only made for 50 insertions or so, and given human nature, both on the manufacturing and user ends, that number can sometimes go waaaaaay south from 50 before they wear out.

If you want to order new cables, you can get some good ones from Newegg (or elsewhere, of course). OKGear, Nippon Labs, I've personally used both, and are very suitable.

You could also go to a place like http://www.monoprice.com/ for good quality cables.

Just re-read your last post. Seems the ssd was showing in the bios, but had been removed from the boot order for some reason. That, to me, much improves the odds of it being a bios issue and not a hardware issues. It's not set in stone though.

scenario: computer is on, cable wiggles, drive drops from the chain
computer reboots, drive is still not showing, bios removes ssd from listings
computer boots to vista drive because it's still in the chain, achieves partial boot
You come home, find the computer, shout at it, touch it, press buttons, whatever
Cable wiggles again
You reboot computer, SSD now showing in drive listings, but still not set in the boot chain because you haven't manually put it back yet.

I suffered from a version of this (using hard drives) for... a couple months (and that's all I'm admitting to)... before I figured out what was going on :/

Start with the BIOS... it's cheaper and easier. Once you rule that out, suspect your cables. Then, and only then, suspect the SSD.

Trick: Assuming you use a sata optical drive... swap the cable from it, to the ssd. And swap the one on the ssd to the optical. Now watch for a while and see if your optical drive disappears, which WONT crash the computer.

Atomic
95  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Mechwarrior Online - reserve your name on: September 22, 2012, 07:00:38 AM
Btw, in spite of my previous posting about an email, apparently the founders packages are still available.

At the very least, the links are still up on the main page of their website as if they are.

Atomic
96  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Mechwarrior Online - reserve your name on: September 22, 2012, 06:58:49 AM
Mechwarrior, Mechwarrior 2, Mechcommander, Mechcommander 2, Mechwarrior 3, Mechwarrior 4, Kesmai Battletech, MPBT3025, Battletech Solaris (or was this the Kesmai version, I never played.)

We're way past '2' biggrin

Don't feel too bad. My playing has been sporadic as well. I login and drop a few times every once in a while, but without global (or at least faction) communications, all it really is is random and semi-random matchups online. It'll get better, it will just take time.

Atomic

PS: Not to mention some of the really oldies, like Crescent Hawks Inception/Revenge.
97  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Firefall Invite Thread on: September 06, 2012, 08:32:41 PM
Faide invited.

Atomic
98  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Firefall Invite Thread on: September 06, 2012, 04:29:57 AM
I currently have two invites available. Send me a PM with the email address you want the invitation sent to, and I'll send one along.

Atomic

Lockdown, you still haven't accepted your invite. Don't make me take it back biggrin
99  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Mechwarrior Online - reserve your name on: August 22, 2012, 04:52:25 AM
Per email this evening, Sept 6th will mark the end of the Founders program. Pony up or forever hold your peace, warriors.

http://mwomercs.com/founders

Atomic
100  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Firefall Invite Thread on: August 14, 2012, 08:18:06 AM
Two more invites available here.

btw, they're promising no more exp wipes at this point.

Atomic

PS: Due to thread inactivity, Lockdown received the first invite at request. Still have one left though.
101  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Interesting trick for those with boot sector HD issues. on: July 28, 2012, 10:22:32 PM
http://www.tech-forums.net/pc/f128/ssd-tweak-guide-236563/

http://www.techspot.com/downloads/4926-ssd-tweaker.html  (also linked at bottom of article, repeated here for easy access)

Handy little bugger. Decide which, if any, of the tweaks you like from the article, etc.

Atomic

(Which drive did you get?)
102  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Interesting trick for those with boot sector HD issues. on: July 27, 2012, 03:43:23 AM
Interesting workaround. We like.

So what's the plan for the drive?

* TheAtomicKid firmly recommends a modest sized SSD for the OS these days.

Atomic
103  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Mechwarrior Online - reserve your name on: July 27, 2012, 03:40:40 AM
 ninja

biggrin
104  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Mechwarrior Online - reserve your name on: July 23, 2012, 02:00:08 AM
I do like the way it's kind of unobtrusively built into the corner. Close it up and it becomes non-obvious for guests.

Atomic
105  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: cpu temp on: July 11, 2012, 09:05:06 PM
Ivy Bridge runs hotter than previous, due to them using thermal paste for the heat spreaders, instead of soldering them in as they used to do. (solder transfers heat better, apparently).

From looking around, apparently intel raised the TJ MAX for ivy bridge to 105c from previous chips, so you're in the safe, and average, zone.

Atomic
106  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: We had a moment of weakness... on: July 09, 2012, 02:16:31 AM
I'm going with my rule of 'never let newegg ship you a replacement of anything'

From a manufacturer RMA, sure. FROM THE MANUFACTURER... but the 'egg has a bunch of trained sock puppets doing the equivalent of 'hmm, it looks ok so it must be ok... sell it again'.

When I shipped a gtx 560ti back to them previously, specifically noting the problem (it had a bad fan... ramp it over 50% or so and it started ticking like crazy... basically a big red flag that the fan was going to go bad, and annoying as hell as soon as you fired up a decent game)... they restocked it and charged me the 10% saying 'no problem found'.

If they can't find the problem when I specifically tell them what the problem is, and how to replicate it, then they don't WANT to find the problem.

So sanity has prevailed, for now. With a little help :/

Atomic
107  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: We had a moment of weakness... on: July 07, 2012, 12:34:41 PM
Or the card could start generating corruption on a regular basis, two weeks in. Did some testing, but it appears the card is dieing.

Back it goes. 'Old Reliable' is back in its slot, and doing its thing.

Will be returning for refund. 'Egg is infamous for sending out used replacements that it thinks there is nothing wrong with.

Atomic
108  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: We had a moment of weakness... on: June 29, 2012, 06:10:48 AM
Actually, I'm really liking the framerate targeting feature than evga's Precision X software features.

Give the card extra power budget, set 60fps target, turn off vsync in your game, and personally I turn on triple buffering because it prevents any image tearing you might get, and presto. Instant, smooth, 60 fps gameplay, with little variation if your card is strong enough that it normally runs higher than that.

In particular, World of Tanks is behaving very very nicely with this configuration.... and no overclocking was necessary. I set the extra power budget to insure the card didn't try to boost and then throttle, if the scenes got complex with additional tanks, for instance. Given how overbuilt the card is, I'm not concerned at all... and I'm pretty sure the extra 1/3rd power budget is 'safe', after reading around, and having both P-X and MSI's Afterburner offer this level.

Atomic
109  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: We had a moment of weakness... on: June 28, 2012, 07:54:49 PM
Yeah it works. I get a zero smile

Atomic

(apparently it's a bug in the latest patch with d3)
110  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: We had a moment of weakness... on: June 28, 2012, 08:32:52 AM
Oh and for the record, it'll do 1.4 GHz with very little fiddling. Haven't tried more yet. Seems terribly unnecessary atm.

Atomic
111  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: We had a moment of weakness... on: June 28, 2012, 06:08:29 AM
1: BIG. Not a little big. BIG big. Just shy of not fitting in my Antec three hundred case big. Part of the card up into the drive bays big.

2: Quiet. Very very quiet. It CAN get loud, but it hasn't done so while gaming yet. It's on the same level as my GTX260 SOC, which is extremely tolerable until the fans ramp up above 60% or so.

3: Temps are much cooler. Loaded temp on the GTX260 could hit 92C... 680 is tons cooler. Idles at (started at 30c, ramped up from there. After exiting gaming, etc, it's back down to 35-36c... ambient should be at or around 25c) (remember, this is also inside my fairly crowded case which I HAVE optimized for cooling as best possible)

4: WoT now running at 120 fps base. Need to fuss with my CPU and see what that can do. (WoT is fairly cpu limited for some reason).. my cpu currently at 3.6 GHz with no turbo enabled. If you'll recall from my previous threads, the GTX260 ran World of Tanks at a rough base of 70 fps in this computer, so basically added about 40% to the framerate by swapping up, with no other changes.

5: Diablo 3 doesn't display framerate atm. Getting a zero. Expect it will be quite high.

Reasons I bought it? GTX260 getting long in the tooth. And tbh, glad to get that fireball out of the case. It was made to work at those temps, but it made everything else that much warmer. Plus I was getting occasional gpu resets which I'm attributing to age + temperature... although at least a couple of those resets occurred at the desktop. The SOC units are rather massively overclocked... 576 MHz base speed, and the unit we have came from the factory at 680. It's actually faster than a stock GTX 275. Also throw in DirectX 9/10/11 compatibility and performance and my relatively recent upgrade to a 1920x1200 display, at which level the 260 was starting to suffer.

Reason I bought it over a stock GTX 680? Massively overbuilt. Backplate, oversized fans,  extra copper, 'military class' msi branding. Basically, quality, quality, quality. Plus the extra clocks right in the bios don't hurt one bit. I've never ever ever owned a card this far ahead of the curve.

Worth the money?  A relative statement. The card is worth 600$ as much as any gpu might be. Basically, it's a toy. A toy that ought to last me two years, but a toy nevertheless. If you don't want to spend 600$, but might consider spending 400$, take a look at the GTX 670 Power Edition, also from MSI. Same concept as the lightning, but on the 670 framework. Even uses the same backplate. Fans aren't quite as big though... biggrin

Atomic





112  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Powerline problems on: June 25, 2012, 04:21:11 AM
Sounds like you have noise on the line NOT coming from the air conditioning.

Cellphone chargers are notorious for this.

Tell us more about your setup.

http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/

Atomic

PS: A powerline surge could theoretically have damaged one or both of your units. Also I don't know how they work for signal filtration, if any... as a comparison, the little DSL filters you have to install between a DSL enabled phone line and any POTS equipment installed... those wear out. When they wear out you start getting real connectivity issues with the DSL end for some reason. Which is weird, because you would think that the only result would be that you start hearing noise on the POTS equipment due to the filter being blown...but no, the DSL equipment will start having issues as WELL as having noise on your phone.
113  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: We had a moment of weakness... on: June 22, 2012, 08:25:48 AM
If you running mult-imonitor resolutions it can start to make a difference. *innocent whistle*

Atomic
114  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / We had a moment of weakness... on: June 22, 2012, 08:01:43 AM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127693

It was my elbow, I swear! I turned to look at the cat and when I looked back....

Thank you for shopping at Newegg.com.

We are happy to inform you that your order (Sales Order Number: xxxxxxxxx) has been successfully charged to your Bill Me Later and order verification is now complete.


It's not my fault!

But since the damage is already done, now I just have to figure out how to pay for it in between everything else...

Did I mention my water heater developed a leak and is 17 years old? (11 years in the box though, only 6 installed... the water heater is relatively fine, but the fittings above it started leaking because the contractor cheaped out during the installation. Plumber won't touch it without replacing it, and after his explanation I understand why. (scenario: plumber replaces plumbing, and three months later, the X year old waterheater craps out and dumps water all over someones house. They scream at plumber to 'come fix your screwup'. So he doesn't touch anything over 6-8 years old without full replacement.)).

Yeesh. Seriously though, I've been sorta waiting for the 'perfect' gpu for me, and this is as close as it comes, at least lately.

Thought about getting a gtx 670 power edition, but it wasn't quite enough to overcome my 'trying to be good' mentality.

Then these popped up.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/GTX_680_Lightning/

Basically, they're MSI's answer to Gigabytes Superoverclock series. With bells on.

Oh, for reference in the review. The GTX 260 isn't listed, so, roughly, the HD5770, which is.

Atomic




115  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: HDMI Sound on PC Help Needed on: June 07, 2012, 08:31:00 PM
Think of it as an opportunity to invest in some nice speakers, as opposed to settling for whatever crap they include in your monitor bezel.

The port on your display is probably a pass-through. Try hooking your speakers to that, or you could just hook straight to the sound card (remember to set the sound outputs properly)

Atomic

(woops, looks like I'm a little redundant here. but perhaps some additional clarity.)

(quick thought: would it be standard stereo out on the pass-through, or is it digital sound, which would make hooking it to a set of speakers more complex?)
116  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: building a combination Linux media server/mythTV and Windows gaming machine on: May 27, 2012, 10:22:01 AM
SFF, so mini-itx?

I used a Silverstone SG06.. (though with the 300 watt sfx power supply) to build my mom's mini. She likes it, and it's nice that it doesn't take up a ton of space. Any GPU installed will have fairly nice ventilation from the fairly open side perforations, although I might tinker with the fannage if i were going to install a high power gpu.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163172

That one has the upgraded PSU.. be sure to choose it, rather than the older variant, for a gaming machine, if you plan to utilize a modern gpu.

Be warned that most slim optical drives, will utilize a micro sata connector cluster. You'll need a converter to connect it.

Be sure to do some research on the available power connectors from the psu as well. Believe the 300 watt psu has 1 pci-e connector, iirc.

Atomic
117  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Recomend a Free DVD Decorder on: May 24, 2012, 08:15:19 PM
http://www.cccp-project.net/

The only thing you need for... well.. almost anything. And it doesn't install a crapload of ... stuff... on your computer, either. Slim and trim.

Now.. if you want a more home theater experience... try

http://xbmc.org/

Atomic
118  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: nVidia GTX 680 - GTX 690 & GTX 670 join the club on: May 16, 2012, 05:33:47 AM

Quote from: Misguided on May 15, 2012, 02:28:41 PM

Quote from: Zinfan on May 15, 2012, 12:14:45 AM

Well looks like the 670 is the card I've been waiting for, just ordered one from Newegg for $399.  Should be a slight step up from the ati 4870 that I have in there now.

Not seeing what makes it so special. Toms had it running hotter and louder than the 680.

Well, it's 95% of the performance at 80% of the cost, is the part that's making it worthwhile.

They could have made the cooling system more quiet, though. But all you have to do to fix that, is get a card with an aftermarket cooler.

I'm sensing an MSI PC (power and cooling?) edition soon. Basically, with a switch to either run in OC mode, or in Silent mode.

I had really good luck with my Gigabyte built GTX 260 SOC (super overclock) edition... although it is gifted with a 'stock' cooler, rather than one of their new windforce setups, which I felt was a little flimsy on the gtx 560ti that I ordered once upon a time and returned. (defective fan). (GB gifted it with a bios tuned for silence)

Atomic
119  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: What is it with DVD drives in my system? on: May 12, 2012, 10:39:46 PM
Any revelations from the testing? Really curious as to what your results were, as this problem crops up on a fairly regular basis in one variant or another, so anything I can do to refine the troubleshooting lets me do it better for others, not to mention myself.

Atomic
120  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: nVidia GTX 680 - GTX 690 joins the club on: May 08, 2012, 01:10:41 AM
I hate being broke. There was an Asus branded gtx 680 in stock at newegg earlier. It even has the 499$ msrp pricing. I had to let it slide. For now.

The good news is my gtx 260 is holding up remarkably well with everything I currently play. World of Tanks (which hardly strains it), TERA, which plays nicely in spite of what should be moderate strain, Skyrim, which does ok, etc etc etc.

* TheAtomicKid soldiers on.

PS: /me has pondered the gtx 580 route... can get them as cheaply as 389$ these days.
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