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Hardware Thread
Discuss computer hardware here.
Don't know which components to get? Don't know how to spend your upgrade money? Then ask here, and forum regulars will tell you to fuck off in a number of different ways!
I'm glad you made this thread, because I'm no pro when it comes to hardware. I've been looking into buying parts for my new computer and building it myself to save money but still have a great rig

There is my computer as I would order it (disregard that there is no keyboard, mouse, speakers, printer, or soundcard -- I have these things or will be getting them elsewhere)

Another thing, someone left a comment saying I couldn't use 3 sticks of that RAM. I dunno what he's talking about, but I really was shooting for 1.5 GB RAM so I don't have to spend an extra 80$

Any suggestions as to how it could be improved? Or advice for building?

... according to my little experience, there are some basic mystakes you must not do.. otherwize your PC can go to trash... I hope you are not a real beginner in PC building, and that you have done this at least one time already before... For example, when you will place the processor, sometimes you miss to add some thermic-glue for the heat exchange between processor and radiator... Another example is a badly placement of the processor without taking care at its pinout: at power up, the processor can burn... etc.. etc... And there are numerous things like this that can cause big damage to your PC.... I have just one advice: find a guy who had already built many PC, and learn: that's the better way to avoid PC burn... and the better way to kill someone instead of yourself if things goes bad :)
Another thing: to increase PC performances, and speed-up your processor, just place it into your freezer... It's well known that heat is the worst ennemy of processor performances... ;)

Enjoy !! 
LOL @ This Thread. 
I expect ProdXL just came in his pants =).

Good one though. For the time being I have little hardware interest as things are working fine and I can play D3, that's cool. 
512MB Video Cards 
Anyone knows when abouts these will be coming out?


I would expect that the "I couldn't use 3 sticks of that RAM comment was pointed at the fact that your motherboard supports 'Dual Channel'RAM, and to use that you have to use matching pairs, ie, you couldn't have 3 sticks, 2 or 4 yes, but not 3 
Everyone Please Upgrade Their Computers... 
...and then send the old parts to me. 
You'll need to get a heatsink for your CPU as OEM models do not come with one. This one seems like a good one:

Also, I'd suggest spending a bit more and getting a 256MB version of that video card. Otherwise, looks fine. 
100 Euro Video Card 
As some of you might know, I haven't been able to play Doom 3 because I had fans of 2 video cards fail on me within a short period of time. In a week or 2, I will be shopping for a new video card in the ~100 euro range. The card WILL be an NVIDIA one, since I want decent drivers on multiple OSes and ATI drivers for Linux and FreeBSD suck donkey balls.

I am currently looking at:
Gainward GF FX 5200 Ultra 128M DDR - 105 euro
Leadtek Winfast A340 Pro TD Geforce FX 5500 DDR 128M - 95 euro
Asus V9570LE/TD Geforce FX 5700 DDR 128M - 114 euro
Gainward GF FX 5200 256M DDR PRO/680 - 102 euro

Which one should I get? Any other suggestions? 
Personally Blitz, I would go with just 1gb ram, ditch the static wrist guard (unnecessary and a waste of money), and use that money to get the ati 256mb 256-bit radeon 9800 pro card instead of what you have in there already. Its like 266$ at newegg instead of 193$. Don't forget the games you'll want to buy too :P 
At 5 bucks you would be an idiot to not get an anti-static wrist band.

Blitz: you might look into getting someone else to mount the processor and heatsink. Everything else is fairly straight forward. It helps if you have a second pair of hands around. 
Doom 3 Buyer's Guide 
Anandtech has an article called Doom 3 Buyer's Guide. Might want to look into it if you're planning an upgrade, and especially if you're upgrading mostly just to play Doom 3. 
RE: Doom 3 Buyer's Guide

I don't get it, I purchased a ti4200 over a year ago and it's quite similar to the ti4400. AFAIK, fx 5500 is much more recent card. How come it is so much slower? 
You think I should buy a processor with the heatsink included? 
I Build My PCs 
I have built several - probably 5 or 6 or more. I get all my parts separately and haven't had a ready made machine since my used DTK 386-25. My P4 processor came with the heatsink and the thermal compound paste that you add between the CPU and heatsink. Another PC I built for someone used a thermal pad on the heatsink - it didn't require the syringe of paste. This was a P4 Celeron. From what I've heard, Intel chips get unstable when hot but AMDs can actually go up in smoke if there is a problem with heat removal. The Intels are more likely to survive a fan failure and if you build the system properly and don't bang it around, the heatsink should not dislodge. The spring retention system on the heatsink ensures constant contact throughout the operating temperatures.

If you take care and walk through the mainboard docs, I think that building a PC is really not difficult at all. I don't use a wrist strap, but I touch the metal case and take care not to present a static discharge risk to components. Handle stuff with care. Tie off unused power connectors so that they can't short on the case and neaten your cables to permit better airflow in the cabinet.

Don't rush either - take the time and do it right. 
Installing Cpus Are Simple. 
heck, my amd came with a step by step installation if a dozen languages. mind, that was a retail version.
still, my motherboard booklet had the same thing. don't worry about cpu installation. 
Depends on the differance in price and how confident you feel in installing the CPU. When I bought my A64 3400+, I went the OEM + heatsink route because it was cheap and I knew it'd be a simple install. Static Bracelet may be worth the few bucks, I've never used one, but have never had an issue to to the fact I have an area with hardwood floor and do all my hardware installs and upgrades on that. 
All upgrades and computer building should be done naked (it's just common sense :) 
Fun Thread 
I'll take a stab at all these posts and questions with some advice. Not end all be all, but a few hints and tips when it comes to purchasing hardare.

Looking at the rig you mentioned I had a few suggestions. First off, why the different HDs? If your going to put them in a Raid 0 setup, you should really just get 2 of the same. The Seagate gate one you mentioned is quailty by itself too, that's alot of space. Remember if you place a set of SATA drives in a RAID0, you get twice the performance because it splits the data across both drives. This however means if one drive goes bad, so does your other.

Also your videocard I think will leave you wanting more. You really should consider at least a Nvidia Vanilla 6800 if your looking at mainstream cards. It has 12 pipes and the core is only a little off the GT models. In Doom3 benches it even beat the X800Pro. It smokes the 9800 pro in all benches as well. If you got that 9800Pro you'd be GPU limited in a lot of games, don't handicap your rig like that if your going to spend the money. Perhaps just ditch a gig of that ram instead.

Processor wise, if your going to go Intel, and your intent on playing Doom3 alot you may want to actually consider a Prescott core instead. The extra L2 cache size does provide a performance boost. I believe I read it on Otherwise, in just about every other title I'd suspect the Northwood you chose would be fine. As mentioned as it is an OEM chip, you'll need to consider a cooler. I personally would just get a retail box that comes with a cooler if your not going to overclock. Otherwise, look at a Gigabyte 3D Cooler Pro. It lights up cool, and has great performance from every review I've read.

Do not purchase any of those cards unless you want to play Doom3 at it's lowest and ugliest settings. They all have slow clocks, and low memory bandwidth because of the 128bit memory controllers (or something like that). What kind of system are you running on now, if it's a older rig you should maybe look at a Nvidia 5700 , or 9600. The 9600s tho I believe are mostly just 128 meg cards. Performance wise you should read the articles on about mainstream cards and their performance in game. Save yourself some more money before purchasing a videocard.

You can look at the performance benches at . Blitz you should read that too.

As mentioned before there are a lot of guides out on the net for Doom3 performance on various topics. Below is just a quick list of links that you can read up more. Later I'll compile a list of HL2/Source benches that were done recently on the CS:Source port.

By no means comprehensive, but all those together should really inform you on upgrading your videocard if your mostly interested in Doom3 performance.

Till next time 
Clearin Up A Mistake 
When I said "twice the performance" on a RAID0 setup, I meant twice the space. Wanted to clear that up. 
Blitz, since this is your first self-built system, I wouldn't even worry about RAID. I'm guessing you aren't, considering those 2 drives are different capacities and makes.

Like prod did mention, if you are eyeing the 266$ 256mb 256bit radeon 9800 pro, for a little more you can get a generic 6800. Up to you really, unlike prod, the rest of us exist in a world where money _is_ a factor.

Personally, I just ordered some new athlon64 stuff, but will be waiting a little while to get a new video card. 
Blitz And Jago 
Yes, like ProdigyXL said, you should get the "Prescott", they say the performance is noticably better, and it doesn't cost much more, actually, here in Australia, it is actually cheaper than the supposedly slower "Northwood" CPU, so check it out

If you are stuck with those cards to choose from, I would go with the FX5700, although, you should get a 256MB version, it wont cost much more, and the difference will be worth it.

As for your ti4200 vs FX 5500, don't beleive all the bench marks/reviews etc. (it may well be true in this case, but) While I was waiting for my GF6800 Ultra to show up, I went out and bought a FX5700 256MB card so I would be able to play DooM3 with a DirectX9 card until my 6800 Ultra showed up. All the reveiws, benchmarks I read said that it would be slower than a ti4600. I had a ti4600 Ultra, so I thought that it would be slower again. Anyway, I went to the store to see what DirectX9 Nvidia cards they had in stock, they had a FX5700 256MB, I asked they person, and he said "no, you would be wasting your time, because your ti4600 ultra would be faster". But I really wanted a DirectX9 card for DooM3, so I bought it anyway. Turns out, the card IS noticably faster than the ti4600 Ultra, whether or not it is the 256MB vs 128MB or not I don't know (it wouldn't hurt) but it proved all the benchmarks/reviews I had read wrong, so I now take them with a grain of salt.
Anyway after all that my 6800 Ultra turned up 2 days later, so the FX5700 is now packed away in the cupboard. 
All of the CPU/Heatsink combo packages I looked had negative user comments saying that the processor got too hot with the out of the box heatsink. So I dunno =( 
My Ulterior Motive In Starting This Thread 
I'm looking for a PC for me to take to university.
The budget should be roughly �2000
It will be used for many purposes, but the most demanding will be gaming and mapping of course.
I'm looking for an all round system, with a good TFT and good speakers.
I lean towards wanting an AMD processor and a geforce 6800 (it wins for doom 3!)

I dont have the time to build the system myself, so it'll have to be prebuilt, and availible in the UK. I also don't trust myself with putting top-quality kit together to a very high standard :) . I have some choices i've already found, but I'd really like you guys to suggest some other options. These are some i've been looking at:

Scan Computers
Pros: Great manufacturer! Uses my dream case, great keyboard+mouse, cherry-picked components.
Cons: Expensive as hell! Ouch! I'd have to lower the spec in a few ways (they include an mp3 player for some reason :/). Also, have they got a 6800 ultra in stock?

Mesh Computers
Pros: a great Sony 19" LCD, fx53 cpu, 500 gigs of HDD, audigy ZS Platinum
Cons: case doesnt look too hot, has software and joysticks i dont need. Generally though, really damn good as far as i can tell.

Overclockers UK
"Ultima" Pentium IV 'Northwood' 3.4 GHz
Pros: experienced custom pc company, great components
Cons: have heard mixed reports on delivery times and customer service. The price doesn't seem too spectacular. CPU is a little crap?

Carrera PC's
configure this with some high specs and youve got a good pc i think
I really like Sharp LCDs too

To me it seems that the MESH is the best deal, if you can beat it, show me the goods! :) The only thing wrong with that is I dont want a case that shitty for 2000 quid, and I dont have great faith in their abilities to set up the system as well as someone like scan would.

these are just ideas, I'd love to see some more suggestions...
thanks for any help you could give guys 
You haven't really built a computer if you haven't used hammer at some point ( 'form factor compilant' PCI-NIC).
Buying brand stuff is for pansies!

And 9800pro being a bottleneck is pretty humorous in my opinion. 38fps at 1024 resolution in doom3 is plenty fast enough for me, espcially since in the game it doesn't go that low very often. 
Farking 'ell 
2000 squids to blow. I'd go for Evesham, I've used them twice and have been generally impressed with quality and reliability. They have a good reputation as well and they aren't DEll which is a big bonus.

I'd lean towards getting a good CRT for now, I looked into TFTs/LCDs but they're still not really recommended for gaming. Plus you save several squids that way for more ram/GFX etc.

Bollox to the case and shit. Evesham ones (not the fancy X shit, the normal ones) are pretty elegant anyway. 
Ok, Advice Needed 
Soon, I'll be plonking down �1500-2000 squid on a brand new desktop pc. Primary usage: gaming, mapping, Maya. At the moment, I'm thinking Alienware. Any thoughts? 
See reply to Starbuck. 
Don't buy Alienware. You're paying a ton extra to get a neat case. 
Really? Oh :( 
(me secretly wants the groovy case) 
case aside - they make spiffy systems, no? 
alienware makes nice stuff, but they are overpriced.

you'd be better off making the thing yourself. you can save quite a bit that way. and you can buy a nice case. ;) 
Choosing A Processor With Doom3 Specifically In Mind 
Given that most of the people on this board are specifically upgrading with Doom 3 in mind I thought I'd compile a couple links to benchmarks for actual CPUs recommended for the game. Many benchmarks that have been posted so far only take into account the graphics card and not that platform that the card is running on.

As I've mentioned before I read that the Prescott cores for Pentium 4s are faster and below you'll find evidence of that. Unfortantly many of these articles only account for higher end processors. Still they are very informative and will give you a guiding light in creating the right system for you.

Those are really all I could find but the Anandtech one is the most comprehensive. It says all that needs to be said about the CPU and Doom 3.

I am considering post a series on creating different gaming rigs on certain budgets. If anyone is interested let me know.

P.S. Don't by Alienware, there is a multitude of reasons, but most because they are just too pricey. 
For the record, I am very impressed with how well doom3 runs on my (new) athlon64 3000+ with only a geforce 4 (without tweaks). I run 1024 med and it just flys. I haven't seen a noticeable slowdown yet. I'm sure a gig of ram helps things also. I was planning on seeing how it ran with the gf4 before considering buying a new graphics card and I'm glad I did, I'll be waiting a while. Something to consider for those looking to upgrade methinks. 
I'm about to order my computer I posted above right now, so I'm wondering if there's anything else anyone noticed about it. (incompatibilities, nuances, etc.)

Also, scampie I looked at that heatsink you linked and it says it's only for 3.6ghz and over so I dunno if that'll work. 
it doesn't matter as long as it's for the proper socket, otherwise it won't fit.

i think they probably meant it's good for 3.6ghz and above plus everything below. 
yeah, evesham was definitely an option, but for the same money, MESH Computers win by a fair margin, and I see them as a similar company. I generally agree with the case statement, but that mesh case is just :P :P.

Also, you are of course right about CRT's but this is for my room at my halls of residence, and i want to have room to sleep.

As far as the "build your pc or you aren"t a real man" comments go. i haven't seen any spec that can beat that mesh for the same money if you buy individual components, and i've asked some smart clevor people. As i said before though, prove me wrong! 
Starbuck: Computers built by hand go faster, thus you get more for less. 
I run 1024 med and it just flys.

Try putting it on the high detail setting. You'd think it would run a lot slower... but for me, there is actually no difference in performance between medium quality and high quality (the resolution change made a big difference, but the change from medium to high quality made no difference, at least in timedemos). I have to run at 800x600 high qaulity (also with a geforce4) but my cpu is a good deal slower than yours. 
Try putting it on the high detail setting.
You mean 800x600 high like you run? I briefly tried 1024 high and saw a noticeable performance hit. I'm more than satisfied with 1024med but I'll try 800high or 1024high, maybe with those image cache tweaks, and see what its like. 
Nah, I wouldn't want to drop the resolution - if its running well at 1024x for you, then that's excellent.

I just meant that, regardless of the resolution, make sure you try all the settings (well, except ultra :)

When I first set it up I just assumed I couldn't run it well in high quality because the game recommended 'medium' for my setup - and from what I read on the web, medium was best for 128 meg cards. However, at least at 800x600, setting it to high had no performance hit. 
that completely depends on who's building it on both sides. Most people could beat Dell or something, but you must be having a laugh if you think you could build a better system than Scan or overclockers 
Getting Closer?

here's a post by moi that outlines two computers i'm considering, any advice? 
Okay, I'm Building My Own PC 
i've said things to the contrary to various people and forums for a week or two already, but i've decided to take the plunge, as no company out there seems to be willing to give me the option to choose the components i actually want. After some consideration and a lot of question asking, this is the spec I have ordered:

AMD Athlon 64 3500 (Socket 939)
MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum (Socket 939) Motherboard
2 X Crucial Ballistix PC-3200 512MB DDR RAM

Coolermaster Wave Master - Black
OCZ PowerStream 470W Power Supply

Leadtek WinFast A400TDH GeForce 6800 GT 256MB DDR3 TV-Out/DVI (AGP)
Western Digital Raptor 74GB 10,000RPM SATA 8MB Cache
Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 200GB SATA 8MB Cache
NEC ND3500 16x DVD�RW Dual Layer ReWriter

Viewsonic VX910 X Series 19" TFT Monitor with DVI
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS 7.1 THX
Creative MegaWorks 5.1 550 THX� Speakers
Logitech Cordless Desktop MX

If this thing lives up to my expectations, I think i'll be having some fun soon. I really splurged to create a fairly future-proof system. Lots of things in the spec shouldnt need changing any time soon. 
very nice system starbuck, your obviously richer than me. :P 
I Hate You All 
I am taking a break from building my PC -- so far it has been nightmarish at the very least.

I am only 10% done with it and stopped because outside of setting and resetting the CMOS1 jumper (which came with a jumper cap), I have no fucking idea which other jumpers I need to set and how. The manual talks about them, but doesn't say whether I need to set them or not (it did say so for the CMOS)

I hate you all for letting me think it would be relatively easy to do this =( 
There is no one in #terrafusion I can talk to right now =( 
well, when i installed my motherboard, i didn't touch any of the jumpers, beyond resetting my cmos. so i don't think you need to worry about that. unless the manual specifically says to do something, just leave it be.

the only jumpers you'll need to worry about are the ones on your cdrom and whatever drives. they need to be configured properly so that they are in either slave of master... don't fret so much! you'll get through it. :) 
Thanks necros maybe I will just let the rest of those be. I am seriously freaked out right now :o

Are you in #terradusion right now? 
Hey all. I have this motherboard: ABIT "IS7" i865PE Chipset Motherboard for Intel Socket 478 CPU

I'm at the part where I'm trying to install the processor and heatsink/fan (this one: ALPHA Heatsink/Fan for Intel Socket 478, Model "S-PAL8952M81") and I've hit a bit of snag.

The heatsink calls for me to secure it down to 4 holes in the motherboard surrounding the socket, but the Retention Module Base that came pre-installed with the motherboard is already using those holes and seems to be fastened in with some kind of plastic piece. Let me know what I should do here. Thanks

PS I asked this on a hardware forum, but I'm asking here in case some of you diehard hardware people can help me with it 
As Far As I Know 
you apply heat to the plastic piece, bend it down and remove it.
The way that people seem to suggest is using a hair-dryer, but that sounds a little scary to me. 
Yeah I'm Not Gonna Do That 
Ressurecting This Thread... 
I was going to create a new one but it was here all along! Question:

I use a Wacom Intuos 3 at work with a 6"x8" drawing surface at work. I guess I like it (except that i never use the buttons on the tablet itself) but what should I get for home use?

Is Intuos really that different from Graphire in terms of sensitivity, or precision?

Are there better brands than Wacom?

How much of a difference would a larger drawing surface make? (I usually just zoom in in PS when I need to.) 
Graphire 2 Here 
and as someone who tends to doodle a lot. I don't genuinely use it. I find its small drawing space very limiting and not very sensitive at all with photoshop. It behaves a lot better in some other programs however. Like alias sketchbook and corel painter.

i've considered stepping it up and moving to an intuous (when im not broke) also due to being left handed when I use the style all of a sudden i lost a large portion of my shortcut keys i'd be using with my left hand on the keyboard.

I am curious to hear from those who use the upper end models all day long. 
I Was Thinking About This Too... 
I still don't have a graphics tablet, and although I've never wanted to use one at work, I would like to try doing some painting at home.

The wacom Intuos seems a bit expensive, and I'd like to know what is as good/better for less money. Is there anything? 
and as someone who tends to doodle a lot. I don't genuinely use it. I find its small drawing space very limiting and not very sensitive at all with photoshop.

That's me 100% too and I totally agree. I hardly use my graphire 2. 
Depending on your intended use and the amount of time you will use it, go for one as big as you can afford with all bells and whistles, up to the size of your monitor screen. If you're not tight for desk space then 9 x 12 min, 12 x 19 max.

If you're not tight for desk space OR money, the Cintiq! 
I tried a Graphire and hated it.

I don't know if the Intuos line is any better in terms of sampling rates (the amount of times the mouse/pen position is scanned) but it's lower than a standard mouse, and thusly when you try to draw curves they're jointed and not smooth. Even if you draw at a fair speed - not nearly fast, and not achingly slow... apart from that, I totally hate that it registers the pen before it even MEETS the tablet - within like .5 of an inch you can start drawing and moving the cursor/brush on thin air - it really fucks with me.

It's too bad because a tablet would be a great asset, but I don't see myself getting one anymore. 
Phait: That was probably a small size (A6 or something) tablet if you couldn't draw a nice curve? About Intuos: The sample rate, resolution and pressure levels are twice as good for the Intuos3 as for the Graphire4. This means you can draw a lot more accurate. Intuos3 also has tilt sensitivity, btw. 
I've got an old Wacom Graphire 2 A6 which I've had for a couple of years, and it suits me fine. I use it for texturing and stuff in photoshop, as I hate doing freehand drawing with a mouse.

I've thought about upgrading to one of the Intuos ones as soon as I can afford it, but I wouldn't want to go to anything bigger than an A5 size. I tried out a mate's A4 sized one at work, and I just got pissed off with having to move my entire arm all the time. It's all in the wrist when it comes to smaller tablets! 
Any wacom tablet rocks totally in my opinion, very solid hardware, I've had my Intuos1 A5 for almost 6 years now and it still works perfectly, it's definatly the best 300 euros I've spent in my life.

I think graphires are fine too if you don't plan on using it alot, I use some every day at school, and althought I'm more comfortable on my A5, I still find A6 is enough space to do pretty much anything (many very talented digital artists use only A6).
As for larger than A5, I have an A4 intuos3 at work, and honestly, even though it is nice for some specific things (like drawing really clean lineart), most of the time I just find it a tad too large, and prefer my A5 at home.

Conclusion: if you're planning on using it alot, try investing in an A5, otherwise, graphires are just great for every day random doodlings.

Phait: I have no problem drawing curves on graphires, and the whole point of the tablet is that it DOES register the pen before it touches the tablet, or you wouldn't know where the hell you are on the screen, silly, it obviously only draws when you touch the surface. It obviously takes a little while to get used to. 
What The Hell? 
I thought these things were about 300 quid last time I looked. Turns out you can get a wacom intuos3 A5 for a far more reasonable 115 quid (25,000yen). Maybe they are much cheaper in Japan, but seeing that price makes me want to buy one right away!

Hmm, just checked the UK price and they seem to still be around 200 quid. UK sucks :( 
I'm hungry for calamari. 
So, I have a broken graphics card. I can't fix it or return it, it's totally shagged. I need a new card then it seems.

My current system is an athlon 3700(?) with 1gb ballistix ram, a MSI agp motherboard, yes agp. The card I have at the moment is a 6800gt and I'm looking for a cheap replacement that will give me similar or better performance. Any suggestions?

I probably won't be changing to PCI-express this upgrade as I am really strapped for cash.

P.S. I heard the BFG GeForce 7600 GS OC 512MB is good, is that the truth or a filthy lie? 
oh and please bear in mind I'n in the UK and posting cheap american component sites (newegg) only make me sad. 
I just got one and it's quite nice, keep an eye on ebay for one. 
So If My Brother And Dad's Laptop 
have wireless netwrok cards, and we have broadband internet, what do I have to get to setup a network ?

Just a router ? should I be looking for anything specific ? 
that was me above 
Wireless Router 
It's as easy as pie to setup. Basically first time you plug the router in it will appear as a local wireless device. Connect to it (using default password which will usually be printed on the bottom) and alter the settings to secure the network.

All the nitty gritty will be in the manual. 

anythign else to look out for ? 
Make sure to use WPA-PSK and not WEP for the wireless. WEP can be cracked in very short time. Hiding the SSID of the router is a good idea too, just setup the PCs manually.
And change the password to the router. If someone does hack into your wlan, he should not have access to it! Most people leave it on the default password which is a serious security flaw. 
Right MOFOs. 
I have realised that my PC is now an embarassing 3 years old! And although it runs most things fine - including Prey which it ran very well - I should probably think about upgrading.

The deal is, I am happy with the monitor / kb / sound card / CD write / DVD drive etc etc. What I would need to upgrade is: Motherboard, processor, RAM, and GFX card (at the moment I'm on a P4 2.8ghz, 1 gig RAM (dunno what sort), ATI Radeon 9800 pro 256 meg).

So, what do people recommend. Keep it simple please - me being able to understand it, and install it without royally fucking up my machine are the most important criteria. 
linux, duh!@ 
What Games Have You Had Problems With? 
With DX10 cards just starting to come in, I would wait until you start having problems running new games before upgrading. 
Are you lazy or smth? google or go to hardware sites for worthy recomnedation

if you ARE lazy then go buy any pre-built box with any core2duo, 3gb ram and any gf7900
that will do 
Make It 2gb :) 
Short Shambler friendly answer = wait

Long Techy Answer = Yeah, wait for the 1st line of DX10 cards to show up that would be a very safe move, also quad core cpu's are just around the corner which is also worth waiting for as games will be using multi-core cpu optimizations in the near-ish future (hl2 engine, crysis etc) so I would say wait a few more months and see what appears it will be worth it. As for ram I would DDR2 would be the standard by then and make sure you get at least 2GB in a matched pair (again this will probably be standard) As for motherboard I would probably recommend whatever the latest N-force mobo is at the time as I've never had any probs with them from the N-force2 all the way up to the N-force 4 SLI I have now. 
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo, not only the best bang for the buck, but also the perfomance kings leaving AMD in the dust right now. If building a moderately budget box, go for E6400, if you have the money, go for E6600 or better.

RAM: 2 GB of DDR2-667, CL5 for budget, 2GB of DDR2-800, CL4 if you are going crazy for perfomance.

Video: NVIDIA 7900GTO or 7950GT for budget or if you want CRAZY speed and DX10 goodness, go for 8800GT or even 8800GTX.

Note that for _ANY_ videocard listed above, a 400W power supply is a recommended minimum, a 8800GTX requires a 430W PSU.. 
Video Cards Of The Future 
I'm waiting for 9900GTX which comes with its own nuclear generator. 
The Powerconsumption Part Is Silly 
But it's pretty cool that it seems to be a big step in the evolution of graphics cards going from being actual graphics cards and becoming general computing monsters that should be prove very useful for things like audio processing and all kinds of funky stuff that it can do better than the CPUs. 
Which Makes 
the whole ATI+AMD thing seem remarkably prescient... :) 
And Valve Seems To Think In The Same Direction Too... 
"Hybrid threading has also proven to be an asset in the company's work with Microsoft's multi-core Xbox 360 console, and Valve says it sets them up nicely for what they believe is a "post-GPU" era looming over the horizon" 
Is Hybrid Threading... 
anything like hyper threading? 
hype threading ... 
Hybrid Threading Is... 
*drum roll* a hybrid approach for how to distribute tasks over multiple threads/cores on the software side. I guess I should have linked to the article in the first place but it wasn't really that interesting in my view but it's about how valve will tackle multi-core processors in the steam engine: 
but i wish they had more technical details. It read too much like a press release. 
Yes, That's What I Didn't Like About It 
It didn't really say all that much other than "valve took the hard way and did the best possible!" while providing no real technical insight. 
are awesome! 
stop buying new pcs... ps3 is future entertainment!

It makes baby dolls cry! 
I Still Haven't Seen That Ad 
Than: shouldn't you be spruiking the Wii anyway? 
stop buying new pcs... ps3 is future entertainment!

Core all the way, baby! 
I Would Totally Sex The Wii 
And it's a much cheaper gold digger than the PS3 anyway. 
its not out yet and already beaten by 8800 performance
nextgen... my ass

wii has no interesting games so far (except zelda maybe) 
The point of a next-gen console is not to have games that look better then its possible on the PCs. The point is to have GREAT looking games at a pricepoint noticably lower then what you would have to pay for it in the PC world.

In the PC world, 600 euro gets you a PS3 and 650 euro gets you a 8800GTX. But with the latter, you also need a case with a 450W PSU, a motherboard, a fast CPU, RAM, a dvd drive, a harddrive, keyboard and mouse and finally a monitor.

With the PS3, you just need a TV. 
The Games Themselves 
especialy for the PS3 are much more expensive. But then again video rental/trade in stores solve that problem ;) 
Or Buy 2 Wiis For The Price Of A PS3 
Netflix-style video game renting might drastically change how many games I buy. 
I think they do have something like that. I see commercials for something called GameFly... and there's GameTap... I think one of those actually mails you a game disc netflix-style. Not certain, though. 
I've Seen Those Ads, Too 
I also saw one online a couple years ago, but I don't remember if it was one of those. It was the same setup as Netflix, but I think it was more like $30 a month. It might still be worth it, though; especially for someone like me who generally only plays a game once. 
Speeds, no not lazy, just ignorant. I'm asking here because people might actually make sense here.


Daz, I take your point. At the moment I am playing stuff like Prey, Dark Messiah, etc fine. I don't think I'd have problems with anything released about now, except Morrowind2/Gothic3. So it is more for forthcoming games, Crysis etc. But having a 3 year old PC, oh the shame!!

But, how long do you think it will be before DX10 cards and Quad Core CPUs are reasonably affordable??

Also, if it's going to be a while, but it is definitely worth waiting for that, are there any intermediate simple upgrades I could do? More ram? GFX?

Jago, cheers for that, will bear that in mind, subject to the waiting/not waiting option. 
something to think about could be to get a SLI compatible motherboard and have 2 gfx cards going. 
As An Intermediate Step?? 

Wouldn't that be a bit much?? 
how much gfx cards are over in england. I wouldnt consider it here in oz, but it seems things are cheaper overseas. 
more ram always helps, its dirt cheap for a 1gb stick these days.

Thats about the only quick fix I can think of, as all the new GPU's coming out are PCI-E as apposed to AGP (you have AGP shamb??) then even something like a graphics card upgrade would mean buying a new motherboard at the least.

as for quad-core and dx10, its very close. Christmas / Q1-2007 will be the liftoff point I think, with prices coming down soon after, worth the wait imo, as none of the next-gen games are due until after then (crysis, hl2 ep2, bioshock, ut2007 etc) so may as well hang onto the cash and get a nice system just before these games hit. 
Yeah I see it's making sense. Q1 2007, okay, so delayed until Q2 2007, and becoming affordable in Q3 2007....I play more games in the winter anyway.

I presume I have there any sense in getting a good AGP GFX card, over sticking with the 9800 Pro?? 
No. Why would you invest money is a new video card now, if eventually getting a new CPU/mobo is going to force you get a new one anyway? Most (95%) of new motherboards do not even have AGP slot at all. 
what jago said, PCI-E mobo's dont have agp slots so it would be a waste. HOLD TIGHT SON 
I do have to mention that there are mobos that do indeed have both, it's just that they are rare. My current motherboard AsRock 775-DUALVSTA has both AGP and PCI-E slots. But if you definately do want to upgrade your AGP card now, be prepared that you might have to hunt for a specific motherboard when the upgrade time for CPU/mobo/ram comes. 
U Are Not Getting Much Of A Worthy Advice Here, Xcept From Jago 
sli - bs
quadcore- bs
dx10 - vista only. long way to go

tho 8800 is a killer and its great if u have huge moni with insane resolution and money to waste

again. for a new sys
_any_ core2duo and any 7900 (whatever money u are willing to spend)
if u want AGP upgrade - 7600gs is prolly the best u get - 150$ here. maybe u can find 7600gt, not sure. ~200 bux

Jago: 600EU would get me PS3 NOT. its just not being sold in EU\RU. Strong point, isnt it?
"just need a TV" - u mean HD TV that would cost more than entire _reasonable_ gaming system.
(what is plasma/LCD TV response time btw? )

at ps1 launch PCs were crap for 3d games
at ps2 launch PCs were much weaker (gf256 ddr was the absolute top card then)
prior to its launch ps3 is already behind PC

to me, the strongest point of consoles is that they have very good exclusive games. but I dont see many of those... yet 
See, it's worth me asking on here ;).

So, what do people say in response to Quadcore and DX10 being "bs"?? 
The Same Thing 
I said to the people saying dual-core and dx9 was bs...

It's All About Future Proofing. 
If you just played some games from time to time I would say just grab yourself a new agp card and be happy for a year or so (I have an AGP 7800gs and am very happy with it) but given that you have stated that you want a new pc primarily to satisfy an urge to just have new shiny things, I'd say wait until vista comes on the market.

Like you said, you can play the games you are playing at the moment perfectly well, so any upgrade now is unneccesary for your present needs, and just means that in a few months time when games come out that you would need an upgrade for, your computer will not be able to play them as well as if you had waited.

For comparison, I have a p4 3ghz, 1 gig of ram and an agp 7800gs and I'm planning on holding off on any further upgrades (except for getting an extra gig of ram in the near future) for 12-18 months. 
Okay yeah....except I don't have any urge to have shiny new things!! Just to make sure I'm getting the balance right with upgrading.

What 7800 Gs do you have?? 
Shiny New Thing 
order yourself a quake logo bling-bling! 

On current generation games I haven't had any problems with anything, I run Doom3 and Prey at 1440*900 with the settings maxed and it's still nice and smooth. 
What Meg is that??

I need to find some benchmarks for these things, ugh.

Basically I think it might be an idea to do as you're doing, spend �250 or so now getting a decent card and extra gig of ram, then not have to upgrade until next winter.

Lusting after Gothic3 has nothing to do with my decision of course... 
It's 256mb.

I like it, and got it cheap AUS$350 off ebay. If you can get ram that you can transfer over into your new machine when you do upgrade in a year or so it could be a good idea, just keep in mind that you are going to be buying a videocard that in a year no-one will want. :) If the ram will still be usable though it's not a bad deal. 
Nothing Is Future-proof 
they moved to ddr2 (bastards)
so your current ram (ddr1) will not fit into the new system
oh and there is sata2 replacing pata(IDE) complitely. as if pci-e and constant socket change was not enough ...

7800gs agp is like 350$ (USD) - overkill for an old system. but whatever 
Can get it for 200 notes maybe less , okay it's a fair bit but if it keeps me going for another year. I mean having not upgraded at all in the last 3 years...

Is there anything specific to it being "EXTREME"?

Thing is, yeah okay it will be hampered by the system but surely it's got to piss on the 9800 Pro a bit...? 
It will, I upgrade my 9800xt ati card fir an ati 7900GT and I would say peformance almost doubled.

A good example is doom3, with the ati I was running 1024x768 no AA with an average fps of 30 or so. With the new nvidia card I can run 1280x1024 with 2x AA at 30-40fps average frames per second, also games on source (hl2 etc) run great on it at 1280x1024 4x AA, HDR and 16x AF at a pretty constant 40-60 fps. 
The extreme part is just to do with it being factory overclocked, nothing special. That price does seem high considering how long you will have it for, like I said I got mine for a great price.

If the benchmarks make you think you will be happy with your systems performance for another year with it in though why not go for it, you're spending a bit extra now but then when you go the full system upgrade you'll be able to get a lot more power for your money for when you actually need it. 
DAZZ 1280x1024 with 2x AA at 30-40fps average is patheticly low for 7900gt. You have old cpu or what?

Doom3 and HL2 are quite heavy on CPU (D3 engine especially, and cases of physics frenzy in hl2)

btw, 350$ gets you low end sempron 3000+(it still onwns p4 3ghz or xp3200+) AND okish PCIE mobo AND 7900GS. go figure... 
these are numbers off teh top of my head, for all I know they could be higher.

For the record though I have a 64 bit athlon 4000+ overclocked slightly. 
Hmmm Okay. 
I have been investigatorising this a bit more.

Had a look at Tom's:

They recommend the 7600 GT over the 7800 GS for performance/value combined.

(As an aside, looking at some benchmarks, from last year and this year, 6800 Ultra pisses over 9800 Pro for most things, especially Doom3 etc at higher quality, and the 7600 GT is a bit ahead of the 6800 Ultra)

They also say "With this in mind, if you have the money to spend on an AGP card, you may be much better off purchasing a PCI-express motherboard, CPU and PCI-express video card.". Fair enough except that I can get a 7600 GT for �130 - - and I am sure as hell not going to get MBO, new RAM, CPU and PCI card for that price (not least since this is supposed to be a stop-gap and if I was doing the whole lot I'd got for a p1mper GFX).

So there is an option to get 7600 GT + 1gig ram for about �220 in total which seems like a fair choice for the next year?? 
Don't really know the benchmarks for it.

I's really just a decision on whether you want to spend more now or later, if you're happy with only getting it for a year then you should be able to run the games you want until you do upgrade. 
Possibly the last question or for today at least...

Ram (400mhz DDR):

I've got 4 slots and 2 x 512 in two of those slots already - any reason to go for 2 x 512 or 1 x 1gig?

Also, any makes to recommend or any to avoid? Have looked around t'web a bit, but don't really know who's who.


It is quite possible I might order something soon! 
I Just Read Something About That 
I think you better choose 1x1gig because then something does not need to be divided. Sorry, can't remember where I read it. 
Sometimes You Have To Buy RAM In Pairs 
sometimes not, depends mostly on the motherboard I think. Just go to crucial and whack your pc model (or mobo if you built it yourself) into their menu thingy. Also, buy your RAM from crucial. 
Cheers....I tried Crucial already, and I'm struggling to find my model there (EVolution something, can't find the model number), and all the ones that should be similar have a different number of RAM slots. 
Apparently ATI are pulling a bizarre move and releasing AGP versions of the X1950 Pro, don't know how the price compares but it could be worth doing a look around for information on. :) 
Shamber / DDR 
If you current motherboard supports dual-channel, it would be wisest to use an additional 2 x 512mb set assuming you can find and buy the EXACT same sticks you already have. If you can, great, all 4 sticks will work in dual-channel, if you can't then go with whatever ends up cheaper.

Dualchannel requires all memory sticks to be installed in pairs and requires all installed sticks to be from the same manufacturer and same ram model. For example 2 x 512mb ram will actually work 2-4% faster than 1 x 1gb ram. 
You seriously need to benchmark, with AMD 4000+ and any 7900 card you should be getting at least 120fps on those settings, not 30-40. 
Aye, I read that on Tom's - can't find the card anywhere though *shrug*. 
Cheers sir. Will try to get the closest I can then. Might phone Evesham. 
yeah, my 7800 gets better results than that. 
Hmm Ok 
so I ran 3 quick "timedemo demo1" in doom 3 just for comparison and the average fps is around 76.8 so I guess I underestimated the framerate. Thats 1280x1024 2xAA everything else on apart from vsync. Anyone care to post their results for comparison.

Might help shamb judge the performance boost by comparing our scores to his too. 
I`v Posted The Benchies 
of 20+ cards in D3 ...

sham I suggest u dont buy ram online, buy at some place where u can return and exchange it quickly, just in case your mobo gives you shit

Im not even sure you can have 4 sticks working in dual-chan... still worth having identical modules 
Dual Chan 
I have 4 sticks (2x 2 matched pairs) and it works fine. 
got a link for those benchmarks btw? 
Well a 7600 GT there gets 52 FPS @ 1280 x 1024, 4 x AA, 16 x Anis

With my 9800 Pro, I get 30-ish FPS typically @ 800 x 600, 2 x AA, dunno Anis (or similar with 1024 and no AA).

So an improvement.

Speeds, appreciate that suggestion about the RAM. Just spoke to Evesham and they say any manufacturer will be compatible, just buy the same specs obviously, and best in 2 x 512. 
Have Ordered: 
XFX Geforce 7600 GT 256meg - �130 inc postage.

Hynix (same as my current ram) 2 x 512 meg Ram - � 80 inc postage.

�210 overall, and should keep me going for a bit. I think a good idea seeing as I haven't upgraded anything in 3 years.

Will moan about problems installing, shortly ;). 
I would have posted mine, except they are nowhere near as good as they should be with the second monitor running all the time. :) 
The thing that always amazes me about upgrading components, is just how much fucking brute force is needed to get them in the damn machine. It's more like DIY than computing...

Finally after numerous abortive attempts, I wedged the bastards in the slots hard enough to have 2 gig Ram. Yay for me ^_~ 
ram is especially hard to wedge in there... and i'm always worried i'll snap one or something if i push *too* hard :P 

It's not a matter of weakness more a matter of being wary of hammering in delicate pieces of hardware.

Anyway, it appears to me, given that I am able to view stuff, that I managed to install the 7600 successfully.

BTW, XFX has the most complicated packaging I've ever seen. Is it supposed to modern art or just irony? 
yeah my mate bought a 7800gtx from xfx and the case was a nightmare to open, used a serrated knife in the end to just rip it apart, luckily the gpu was ok =) 
How is the new hardware shamb?

Give us your timedemo score in doom3 (best of 3) I am interested in the peformance as my mates wants to upgrade "on the cheap".

Oh and err, just in-case you are unsure, bring down the console in doom3 and type "timedemo demo1" and then just let it run. 

That's the one. You've got to unfold the outer X, then release the inner X, then open two flaps on that to get the box out, then seperate the card box from the manual etc box, then open those seperately, and finally get the card out of the plastic. Genius.

Daz, will do, can't promise it will be spectacular tho... 
1024x768, 4xAA, Ultra settings - 40.3 FPS.

Certainly better than with the Radeon where 1024x768, 2xAA, High settings wasn't playable at all (had to run 800x600).

If anyone thinks that is too low, don't bother whining about it "Omg Shamb u suxx", just tell me what I can do to improve it. 
Turn Off AA And Disable Your Second Screen? 
If you have one. 
Shiny Boxes Sell Things Faster, Obviously 
sounds right, good speeds there :)

have you tried 1280x1024 with 2x AA, imo that looks better than 1024 with more AA but its just my preference. 
Me Too! 
i'm a big fan of running in higher res with less AA. although, with my current hardware, that's not really good these days. :P 
it is a problem at times that my monitors native resolution is 1280x1024 when new games seem to chug a bit at that res and lowering the res creates those ugly resampling artefacts you get on tfts... 
have you guys ever heard of video card drivers causing a monitor to flicker and have strange artifacts?

ever since i installed the new ati drivers, my monitor has been flickering like mad every once in a while. but it also happens when i uninstall the drivers (running in that default vga mode or whatever when no drivers are installed) and when i installed omega drivers.

is it just a crazy coincidence that my monitor is going to die soon or can there be an actual reason from the drivers? (maybe some file that got installed with the ati drivers and didn't uninstall afterward?) 
TrackIR 4 
Just got a TrackIR 4. What it does is tracks your head movement via IR, allowing you to in realtime, use your head to look around in games. Mostly for flight/racing sims, but I know of one FPS that supports independent head movement - Armed Assault.

I've been using it in Falcon 4.0 Allied Force, MS Flight Simulator 2004, IL-2 Sturmovik, GTR 2.

You can also use it in games that don't support Track IR out of the box, by using mouse tracking mode, but I have not tried that.

Demo video, theres plenty more around: 
Rezzing This Thread... 
i had to replace my motherboard, and so that meant a fresh install of windows.

the thing is, one of my hard drives, a 300gb ata is showing up as unformatted (in fact, in disk management, it's showing as 128GB unformatted and 170gb as unallocated).

i don't see why that hard disk would have been erased, and i'd really like to get it running as it contains most of my games, specifically stalker with my current save games... o.o

is there something i forgot to install to make windows recognize larger hard drives or something? i have a 200gb ata that's working fine though. 
it's a 48-bit LBA issue:

If it is, you may need to apply XP SP2 before mounting the big disk. 
isn't that only something you do with new hdds?

as far as i can tell, there's nothing to mount, it's there, but whenever i try to access the disk, windows asks if i'd like to format it. 
I Just Meant 
connecting it so Windows detects it. If you were already running XP SP2 when the disk was detected, I guess it isn't a 48-bit LBA issue.

You also say that you have a 200GB disk working, which also implies that your system can handle disks >128GB. I assume you're using NTFS for all this.

Otherwise I don't know. 
It's Ok... 
i usually end up with the really wierd and oddball problems :P

i'll hang on a little while longer and keep searching, but eventually, i'll just cave and reformat the pos. :\

just fyi: i am indeed running sp2.

what really confuses me is why it got split up into 2 partitions, one of 128gb unformatted, and one of 170gb unallocated. before the reinstallation, it was just one huge partition.
it seems like it just somehow spontaneously blew up during windows' installation. o.0 
I had that. My 300gb was not recognised as one big partition, I just lived with the split.

No idea what causes it, but I think it's a MB compatiility with windows (without any of the sps) issue. 
so is there a way to recover the data on it then? 
I misunderstood, you just reinstalled windows.

My situation was when I was first installing the hard drive (which sounds more like what aguire described), windows wouldnt format it as one partition.

But if you can access it, cant you copy stuff off it ? 
That's Just It... 
it shows up alongside all my other HDDs, but when i try to open it, windows insists it's not formatted.
when i use the 'computer management' program, it shows up as 2 partitions, 128mb unformatted and 170mb unallocated.

i just can't understand how that happened or where all the data went.

is it possible for windows to some how not be reading it correctly?
the drive is less than a year old, and i highly doubt it's broken already. it was working perfectly fine a couple of days ago. 
You Could Boot To Something Else That Reads NTFS 
And check it out?

There are NTFS drivers for DOS, and liveCDs of various flavours that could do the job. 
What does your BIOS now show for that drive?

Maybe it is set for the wrong size - automatic detection may have failed for some reason. If so, you should be able to tell it what is fitted. 
Also... Back To Basics 
You have checked the master/slave and primary/secondary setup, and not inadvertantly re-connected the drives in the wrong order?

If the data on the drive is not backed-up somewhere, and you did not reformat the drive, don't give up. The data is still on the drive and it can be recovered. We just need to find the right solution to the problem. 
yep, master/slave jumper settings are still correct.

the bios is very wierd, at least to me. it's an asus p5w dh deluxe, and instead of what would seem normal to me (ie: primary ide master/slave for the 2 P-ATA HDDS and secondary ide master/slave for my two cdrom drives), it shows my S-ATA HDDs are IDE HDDs, complete with master/slave settings! o.0
also, the P-ATA HDDs don't even show up in the list (the list looks like this:
Primary IDE Master/Slave (Both CDRom Drives)
Third IDE Master/Slave (Both S-ATA HDDs)
Fourth IDE Master/Slave (Nothing)

there's no secondary ide master/slave set.
BUT the P-ATA drives do show up in the boot sequence menu.

Also, according to what i've seen in the bios, and what's written in the manual, you can't manually enter HDD information like in older motherboards.

i get the feeling tech has moved on, and left me behind. o.o 
OK. It seems that lots of people have had lots of problems with this board.

Here's one thread that mention some HD problems and solutions:

And another that goes into a RAID setup:

I'm on an old Asus and when I had problems with an new 300G drive, I simply changed the setting in the BIOS. It seems as though it is not quite so straightforward now.

I'm probably not being much help, sorry. 
the first article you linked was for a different motherboard, but i'm updating the jmicron drivers like it says anyway.

i also tried what blackdog said and got a bootdisk made to read ntfs from dos from here:
when i tried to take a look at the drive in question, i got the message: "Error reading sector #0 or Boot Sector is invalid".

so i thought maybe the boot sector got broken or something. apparently, ntfs also stores a copy of the boot sector at "the end of the logical volume" according to . i tried to figure out what they are talking about with dskprobe.exe, but i didn't have much luck... this kind of stuff is beyond me.

in anycase, gonna restart and see if the jmicron driver update helped. (wanted to write this down before i lost all the webpages again :P) 
it didn't help. :\

i'm running out of ideas here. :S 
wierdness... the new jmicron drivers i installed also installed some kind of raid configuration program. the wierd part is that it seems like it's made to make a raid out of my ide hard drives! is that even possible? what's going on here? o.0 
Did you manage to solve the problem?

If so, can you comment on why you chose that particular board - It seems to get good reviews, albeit that some users have had problems similar to your own.

I am going to upgrade to an Intel Core2 6800 processor and this board looks suitable. 
i didn't manage to fix it yet, sadly. i'm still holding out, and haven't reformatted it yet, but i stuck the drive into another machine and it showed up the same way. i'll probably end up formatting it soon. :S at least there wasn't anything irreplaceable on it.

in anycase, i chose this board for a few reasons...

first, i wanted one that could do xfire. i haven't gone there yet, but i want the option, so that when i recover from this expenditure, i can pick up another video card and go crazy.

also, i'm kind of a pack rat when it comes to data, and i like to keep all my stuff quickly accessible on multiple hard drives, and not burn DVDs, so having support for 3 S-ATA HDDs was great, as well as the possibility of having 2 additional S-ATA HDDs (with asus 'ez-backup').
also, my last motherboard had a decidely short number of usb ports (2...)
now i can hook up the game pad, joystick, mouse, keyboard and my ipod along with other stuff like flash drives all at once.

finally, according to some reviews and from what i've been told, it's a good board for overclocking, and though i haven't done much yet, i was looking over the bios, and there seems to be quite a bit of freedom there.

if anyone's interested, i'm currently running:
core 2 duo e6300
asus p5w dh deluxe
1gb 800/pc6400
radeon 1950pro 256mb

this machine absolutely destroys some older games. WoW runs at 60-100+fps in most outdoor areas, and never dips below 30-40 in crowded areas (shattrath...), D3 (and other d3 engine games) are almost always maxed out at 60fps at highest settings (1024x768)

i have been having trouble with stalker though... i keep getting a lot of disk activity as if the game was running out of ram. it's actually worse performance than before... go figure. :P i may try again by installing it without the patch... we'll see.
runs the pc version of jade empire very smoothly too, although, it's kind of an older game.

haven't tried many newer games yet (they were all installed on the hdd that is giving me trouble, and haven't had the chance to reinstall everything). also really want to see how it handles oblivion with the dynamic lighting and huge outdoor areas with all the grass and stuff.

i do definatly recommend this board, if only because of all the features it has.
i'm sure you've read this, but in case you haven't: 
what is xfire ? I thought it was some messager type thing for games but that last post by necros seems to indicate a video card related thing. 
that thing where you connect 2 cards together.

it's really called crossfire, but i'm lazy and tired. :P 
Stalker Performance 
It seems to run quite poorly across the board necros, dont think its anything to do with your hardware.

Strangely though, if you max out all the settings, the multiplayer will run smooth as silk, yet single player runs like a dogs arse :( Must be some slightly crappy single player code in there slowing everything down. 
this is something else. i mean, it's unplayable, not just poor performance. :P 

sounds like SLI for nvidia cards. 
Thanks for the info - it was helpful.

I may not go for the 6800 as it is a lot more expensive (in the UK) then the 67 or 66.

I'll have to see what the US price is. 
Newegg have the E6700 @ $509 (�258)

And I was in the States three weeks ago. I think I missed a trick there :( 
core 2 duo prices apparently dropped recently, so I'm upgrading to a e6600 (best bang for buck for conroe atm), and a 8800gts 320mb 8-)

Also, necros: if you cant get the drive going, try to recreate the partition in your chosen size(s) without formatting, windows may not do it but lot of other disk utilities will. At least that way you can typically run any freeware data recovery application and get almost all of your critical data back.

That being said, due to this happening to me several times over the years, and with harddrives being so cheap, I now keep everything I want to keep on a 250gb mirrored sata RAID array, with periodic backups of critical stuff to an external. Highly recommended. 
Guess i should have looked at the timestamps of those posts before replying. 
Ok, Time To Start Shopping For Bits 
I have absolutely no clue what hardware is up to these days. GeForces are numbered between 8 and 9 thousand now, Radeons apparently rolled over at 10k and are back to being numbered 1000-something. Have they invented AGP Express yet and forced everyone to buy new motherboards and everything again? What about RAM, what number do they have after the DDDR now? 32? I'm sure there's a billion new CPU socket types I have to make sure I match also. Anyone keep their finger on the pulse of all this dumb shit?

I like the independence and control of building my own machine, and that's about it. The rest is a complete pain. :) 
It's a great time to buy a new system. AMD have been making great CPUs for years now and are currently cheap-as, and Intel's finally ditched the ^%$#* P4 and their Core 2 Duo is a top notch processor.

With AMD, there's still 3 desktop sockets, and it's a little confusing.
If you want to use your AGP & DDR ram,
go for the old socket 754 or the newer socket
939 (make sure it has AGP though). If you're building a new system or want to have an upgradeable system, - socket AM2 is AMD's main platform, but it needs DDR2 memory, and PCI express (PCIe) Video.

If you've got lots of money and don't mind supporting chipzilla the Core 2 Duo is the bomb, with huge on-chip caches and a proper design. Just make sure you don't get confused by their marketing and buy a "dual core" pentium D. These are still based on the rats-arse Pentium 4.

(AMD also has a new generation CPU on the horizon. Their quad cores may even beat out the core 2's , but production is probably still a while away.)

OS wise - stay away from Fista if you can, it ~is~ beautiful ( but is riddled with DRM and the usual MS shit, and can even have major problems just copying files (
NV and ATI are also having problems just ~making~ drivers for it.

Thats what i reckon... Dunno about vid cards though. They are still making new AGP cards, so it's not dead yet. 
F***in' Links 
yeah, I put Vista Home on a pc I assembled for my aunt and cousin, in may. It was very slow to extract zip files for some reason! (With the inbuilt archive program.)

Also the ADSL connection at my aunt's place had some delay so they couldn't activate the windows in time and now it's locked up. I think XP had the same thing though. I hope they get it sorted out with a few phone calls to microsoft.

Also, I had trouble having the programs to appear in the menu. I installed em as admin but they didn't appear to other users and I dunno how or what I should do, I think I made some shortcuts by hand in the end.

There are not that many 64-bit native programs yet it seems. They haven't even compiled Opera for that, even when it's available for probably your kitchen microwave.
There is a 64bit Firefox port called "Minefield". Didn't try it yet. 
There is a 64bit Firefox port called "Minefield". Didn't try it yet.

I can see why, the very name doesn't exactly give one confidence. 
Awesome Steve 
now that's what I was looking for.

If you're building a new system or want to have an upgradeable system

Yeah, I'm on the last legs of the current upgradeable system, so it's time to put in the dough to step up to a new one. Is AM2/PCIe the kind of thing I can patch with new hardware bits for some time to come? if so, I'm off to newegg.

OS wise - stay away from Fista if you can

yup. I still use 2000 :D I'm building a new machine to finally upgrade to XP, now that its planned obsolescence is looming, so I can play this copy of Company of Heroes that's been whispering sweet nothings in my ear since november.

(lol @ vistula) 
I'm sure that going from 2000 to XP will be a comfortable ride but it's hardly an upgrade.

I've been using Vista for almost a year and had no problems at all. It found everything when I intalled it - 2 pre-release versions, 2 RC version and Ultimate - and I can't remember having to re-install anything, certainly nothing Quake related. There is no slowdown and boot times are much quicker, no network issues, I really can't think of anything I don't like. And it's pretty.

But it is different from XP and you have to learn these changes to use it effectively. Oh, and in my opinion, switch off the admin rights blocker (or whatever it's called), that IS a pain for people (like me) who constantly "fiddle" with settings, programs, registry etc.

I have a dual boot set-up with XP but use Vista as the default OS. 
I'm sure that going from 2000 to XP will be a comfortable ride but it's hardly an upgrade.

Which is why I never bothered. If games hadn't started "requiring" XP, I still wouldn't. 
> Is AM2/PCIe the kind of thing I can patch with new hardware bits for some time to come?

Not so sure about this... AMD and Intel play their cards pretty close, and the industry kind-of exists to force people into upgrading.

You can't go wrong though imho. With AM2 you're getting a mobo/cpu about half the price of Intel, but the core2duo is the current top dog. And both platforms have more expensive and higher clocked CPUs available for you to buy when the prices drop.

PCIe is probably a good choice though, and getting a mobo with lots of memory slots.
(I bought a socket 754 board cheap-as awhile ago but it only has 2 memory slots! Dumb &^* Still - the K8VM800M is a great thing - Fast, and a rock!)

> so I can play this copy of Company of Heroes that's been whispering
> sweet nothings in my ear since november.

ATI HD2900 
Does anyone have any personal experience with this card?

I'm not after comparing this card with Nvidia, and I have already read loads of reviews, so no need to quote any links. I'm looking for responses from anyone who has this card and is using it on a day-to-day basis. 
Fire GL4 
Does anyone have any personal experience with this card?

I have one, now, but I'm not using it for gaming or other work, but it could be worth a shot... 
agp cards worth anything?
I have an oldish Athlon 1800+ system. Thought I could buy a used card for this.
Nvidia of course, so there is opengl support. Is a 7000 series limited by the bus? I don't know anything about these modern things.
I have MSI 6830 mainboard. 
For a 1800+ AGP is the way to go. No idea about the 7000 series though. 
just some / any cheap nvidia card. 
I Guess 
Tom's VGA charts are the most useful to get a feel for the various chips: 
I'm having alot of trouble with my machine, it's always had some weird randomn reboot problems, but now it just reboots each time it reaches the windows loading screen, I can leave it on and it just continuously reboots... I've tried switching most of the hardware other than the mobo and cpu, with no luck, so I guess it must be my mobo or something?

If I wanted to get a new mobo+cpu in an ~300 euro price range, what would you people recommend? Core2duo I imagine? 
My brother had the same issue, and it seenms it comes either form a sector of your hard drive that is failing, or from your mother board that is almost dead... Just try to put the XP CD, and test a repair... if it works, it was the HD issue, if not, buyu a new mother board, or a new PC... sorry for the bad news :( 
Isn't There 
a boot menu with xp if you press f8 or sth when it starts, and you can go to safe mode or something like that? 
I already tried it with my brother's PC, and it doesn't helped much considering Bal's PC has the same problems... 
jpl: he said he tried switching most of the hardware so probably the hdd too

bal: maybe cpu overheating? you could try reattaching the cooler to your cpu? 
Calm down please.... 
some US government organization told Microsoft to press the "shut down French mappists" button. But they accidentally hit the wrong Lambert.
As you all know, there are backdoors in the operating systems.
(The same with cellphones, they send messages to them start acting weird after two years, so you have to buy a new one. Although if you have a phone from 1998 or so, they don't have this feature and work indefinitely.) 
Yeah actually a simple chkdsk seems to have 'fixed' the problem, but only up to a certain point, I'm still getting the weird random reboot, guess my main hard drive must be fucked for good, will have to look into reinstalling windows on a clean on. Thanks for your suggestions!

While this topic is active, do people here recommend switching to 64bit and Vista anytime soon? Was listening to some coders at work, and DX10 seemed to be worth the trouble of using Vista... 
If you haven't already, you could run a check on your system memory too with e.g. memtest86(+), sporadic parity errors in RAM can cause weird symptoms. 
Is it supposed to make somebody laugh ? 
Finally figured out what that loud pop noise was... one of the capacitors in my Antec Neo Power 480 Watt PSU exploded. -_-

i suppose it was mostly my fault... i was a little short on power-- probably running right at the limit, anyway.

dunno if this info will be useful to anyone... :P 
settled on a corsair hx620watt. it's even quieter than the antec was (in fact, i really only hear the case fans now), and the kit was very comprehensive.
i was watching the voltage for a bit, and they are rock solid.

i'd recommend it to anyone who's got more than a couple HDDs and a highend video card (or 2). 
you overloaded a 480 watt psu? o_O 
that's very doable 
Hate to say a dirty word, but has anyone tried switching to using a Mac+boot camp for gaming/mapping at all? How has your experience been? Compatibility ok?

XP is ok, but unless MS pull out some radical service pack for Vista, I don't think I'm going to want to go down that road. Also, all the drivers for NVidia and ATi cards seem to be shite lately, so maybe there is a chance performance could be better on Macs. Do graphics drivers etc. get updated often on the Mac like they do on PC? 
350W Enough ? 
Speaking of power supplies... I'm a little worried bout mine. I just added my 3rd hard disk - plus 2 CD's makes 5 disk drives (4 ATA, 1 SATA). Other stuff is a socket 754 90nm sempron (62W/1.4V) + athlonXP fan, FX5600 + Zallman VF900-Cu fan @ 1400rpm, two DDR400 simms and a PCI sound card. My Power supply is an so/so brand 350W. Is this ok. Seems to be fine, but i dunno much about power supplies. The BIOS reports the 3.3 and 12V lines are ok. I'm thinking of getting a silent power supply upgrade though, but do i need to ? 
So Question 
is an 8600GT better/faster than a 7900GT (what I currently have)?

asking here because I cant seem to get a straight answer of google. 
Cheers Daz 
I knew it was too cheap to be true :) 
the 8600gt is absolute balls. The 8800gt on the other hand though, wow. 
also, on the subject of nVidia's recent inability to name their cards properly, they're currently replacing the 8800 series... their naming scheme goes GT, GTS, GTX, Ultra in ascending order, but they're replacing the cards one by one with faster cards with the same name starting at the bottom.

So a month ago the 8800gt was released, which was almost twice as fast as the old GTS (which was supposed to be faster). A week ago they released the new GTS, which is much faster than the old one, so the new GTS is about as fast as the old GTX (which costs a lot more). It's such a huge mess, and if you aren't following graphics cards that closely, you could easily end up paying double what you need, without any performance benefits. 
Umm Why 
name it with the exact same name? It's not as if they're running out of numbers or alphabet?

Same with Nokia. 6110 is an all time classic, perhaps the best mobile phone ever made for just phone use. Many people still have a working model (or the cheaper sister model 5110). And the idiots released some GPS gizmo with the same 6110 model number this year or was it 2006.

Video Card Names 
Marketing gone mad.

It's an absolute joke when you can't even determine which is the better card without looking at an online guide. You can't even use price as an indicator, since stores will often try to keep selling older, superseded models at a higher price than newer, better cards (so they don't make a loss on the stock I guess).

It's particularly frustrating when they often put out gimped or crippled cards with very similar names to the better cards.

Nvidia really piss me off these days with their naming scheme. It's one of the reasons that the last card I bought was an ATI :)

They too (ATI) had gone a bit funny with their names (though usually the number of X's in the card's name indicated how macho it was). The good news is, they've decided to start being sensible again with their newer range of cards.

Here's the 2 new ATI cards:


Guess what? The one with the bigger number is the better card. I shit you not. No X's, no pro, no GT/S/X/MX/BOLLOX.

So we can all rejoice, for the return of common sense is nigh! 
Another Question 
can a 7900GT and 7900GTX work together in SLI mode or do you have to have two of the same cards? 
They used to recommend you used cards that were identical in every way (including the manufacturer). I think they've relaxed the restrictions a bit, but I'd be very surprised if you could mix cards with different chipsets. 
using 2 different cards (even if the only difference is GT - GTX) is asking for trouble really.

If your still wondering though, i'm sure any pc technology forum can help you out further. 
Cheers Frib And Daz 
I'll look into it but sounds like another "feature". 
Cluster (of Genitals) 
I'm toying with the idea of getting some computers together to do some parallel computing. A beowulf cluster, basically. I figure that I just need a couple of motherboards, dual core processors, one or two gigabit ethernet cards per motherboard, and 2gb of ram per motherboard. I'd like to do it for as cheap as possible... any suggestions on what combinations of parts look the most affordable? 
So My CRT Is About To Explode... 
seeing flickers and such along with 'tink' noises from inside of it.

so i'm finally caving and want to get an LCD display.

anyone have any suggestions? I'd like as big as possible, but it has to fit within i'd say 24" wide. widescreen is ok, but 4:3 (ie: like a crt) is prefered unless there's a good reason for widescreen.

it would be used for work and gaming. i've been told that 'ghosting' effect isn't a big problem anymore for lcds, refresh rates are in the 2ms and not retardedly expensive anymore, apparently?

any one have any suggestions for something less than 300$ (or only a bit over) CDN? 
I have a 19" widescreen lcd with a 8ms response time and I cannot see any ghosting effects at all, so anything less than 8 would be perfect imo.

And I would reconsider about not wanting a widescreen, pretty much all games support widescreen mode these days and I really prefer the viewable area over 4:3 any day.

As for makes and models, I can easily recommend anything by LG, I have had 2 crt's and 2 lcds from LG and they have all been perfect and had great features. 
You're still on a CRT? Anyone else still in the stone age?

I'll echo Daz's comment - I've seen ghosting and stuff on older LCD monitors, but on my 8ms monitor at home, it isn't a noticeable problem. Having said that, I find that I need to turn VSYNC on or it looks bad and hurts my eyes, whereas I didn't have to do that on CRT monitors.

You'll find that most LCD monitors have a refresh rate of 60hz though (don't worry, this doesn't look crap like 60hz on a CRT) so when you've got VSYNC on, you're capped to 60fps. Most people won't care, but if you want that faithful Quake experience, get a model that can do 75hz refresh (so you can reach the default max 72 fps for Quake). I have one of these, so they are available - check the tech specs.

Basically the only reason I can see these days to own a CRT is if you're one of those guys who feels the need to have vsync off and get 320 fps in Quake and such. There really isn't any other reason I can think of to buy a CRT at this point.

The prices have definitely fallen pretty dramatically and the LCD monitors are very affordable now. All of the other initial pitfalls (bad contrast ratio, colour reproduction, noticeable latency, price etc) are all much improved on new LCD monitors and aren't really a problem anymore. 
Widescreen Monitors 
Widescreen is superior for work (obviously) but not necessarily good for games. It all depends what games you play I guess. Most newer games do support it and I'm sure in many games it's a nice feature to have.

I personally don't want to buy a widescreen monitor for home right now simply because some of the games I still play (Quake, Diablo 2, etc) don't natively support widescreen, so I'm left with the choice of stretching the image and breaking the aspect ratio (unacceptable to me) or having the borders on the edges.

If you have an Nvidia card your drivers can automatically do this (have 4:3 images centered or letterboxed), but if you're an ATI user then I find this feature is absent or doesn't work: e.g. on this 24" widescreen at work, I have to go into the monitor's clunky menu and tell it to maintain the aspect ratio of the image every time I load a game and want a 4:3 resolution. At least this monitor has that option, some don't, so you'd be fucked in that case.

Plus, using a large widescreen resolution is obviously going to make your video card work harder, which might slow your framerate unless you have a $600 video card, which I don't. 
A Note On Dual Monitors 
Naturally if you don't need or want widescreen for whatever reason, having 2 monitors instead can kinda give you the best of both worlds, and might only cost the same price as a widescreen monitor would anyway (could even be cheaper). Sometimes it's better (having 2 monitors) and in some situations having the extra room on one monitor can be better also, it really depends what applications you use I guess.

I have a dual 4:3 monitor setup at home and find it's good for games and work. Occasionally I do wish I had the extra room that a widescreen monitor provides, but usually the 2 monitors are sufficient.

I have one of those 24" Dell widescreens at work along with a 19" 4:3. I have to say that I don't often use the 2nd monitor as the primary is big enough for work stuff in most cases. I don't like the widescreen monitor for games though, for the reasons outlined in the previous post - I still choose 4:3 most often even when the game supports widescreen, and it's a pain to get it to preserve the aspect ratio on an ATI card. 
Crt Monitors 
i still have one, in fact i got a new one on the 2nd week of december. its one of those huge apple studio display monitors (21") (for it got $25! haha).

i like crt monitors much better than lcd ones. i havent seen one in a store (except for those damn apple ones) that make me happy. maybe its the store lighting? i dont know. but i havent seen one that looks good yet. but its weird, because the screen on almost any notebook looks great to me. :)

i do crave the madness of widescreen monitors though, but until i find one that makes me happy, i don't think i'll get one so soon. 
(for it got $25! haha). --> hehe, sound so dumb. i meant to write "got it for $25" but yeah. :)

Yeah - Tube Monitors 
I think tube monitors are always going to look better. I have one at home (not because I wanted one particularly, but because it was given) and I think you get a better picture. Because the monitor also acts as a light source, the picture is always gonna look brighter!

At work Im using a 21 inch Xerox LCD (4:3) and a HP w1907v, which is a fairly large widescreen LCD, both of which give a satisfactory picture, I play games on the Xerox all the time, and it gives a great picture for Quake!!

For me the biggest attraction of an LCD monitor is that they save space, and use less power (I think). The space saving factor is a big one! A 21inch tube screen is gonna take up a hell of a lot of room!

Hah! If youve got $300 (dollars, Necros?) you wont quite have enough money to just go out and buy a HDTV!! Which is a shame! You could get a 32inch LCD HDTV for about £300 (pounds) over here, if you look in the right places, and they all seem to have PC connectivity! 
Thinking Of Buying A New PC 
Budget of about �600

Ive been looking at the Dell XPS systems, with Quad-core processor (2.4Ghz?) and a 256Mb NVidia 8600 GTS...

Any other suggestions? 
For An Extra �70 
...I could get a 8800 GT 512Mb...

? :-o 
Naah... Fuck That 
pcoption(dot) can do a 2.6Ghz Core 2 Duo with 2Gb and a 512Mb 8800 GTS for about �600


The 512Mb 8800 GTS seams to be the most attractive single graphics card, � for �...

Anybody got another angle here??! 
Don't Know Much About Modern Hardware But 
do indeed get a 512MB graphics card, not a 256MB one. 
I Guess So.. Or 
Im a bit confused. Im looking at this page here, seems the most attractive option to me at the mo:

and one of the sites features is system benchmarking! Which you would have thought would give you a good idea of what to/not to get. However, each system starts as one basic core, with customisable features, and as people request different components, they benchmark each system as they come of the line.

Check out the inconsistancies here
and you'll see what I mean! I think its cause they tell you what the systems processor and graphics card were, but not the motherboard, PSU etc.

I just worry that my choice might me one of the anomalously low ones... 
Think About The Planet, 
LCD monitors are way more eco-friendly than CRT (use less than half of the enevery a CRT does) = cheaper electricity bills. 
Of Course... 
there is also the waste produced, resources used, and energy used during manufacturing, and the waste produced when you dispose of the monitor (of course nowadays the law requires them to be collected and recycled, at least in places like california.) But then, even recycling takes energy and resources and produces waste.

On the plus side, I think LCDs are less likely to give you cancer... maybe? 
Is there really a reason to use vsync with lcds? 
As Lun said, the tearing that occurs is more visible on lcd's. 
I Find It Depends On The Game 
but usually I have it on.

And I can notice ghosting on my 4ms screen, although only in exteremly fast movement games like sport ones where there's horizontal panning all the time due to the camera. 
I have taken the plunge, and ordered (and paid for) a new PC :D

8800 GTS 512
Core 2 Duo 2.66Ghz
2Gb Ram

Crysis here we come... I hope.

:D :D

Now I just have to go home and reflect on what I have just done to my bank balance! And sweat over being ripped off by an internet computer company! And wait for like a week or something for it to arrive.

Just wanted to share with people. 
So When Your Previously Overclocked Video Card 
starts showing corrupt graphics even at the default settings, its likely to be dying yeah ? 
Well, it certainly doesn't sound promising.

You could try underclocking it, which doesn't sound particularly appealing, but it would be interesting to see if the problems disappear by doing so.

How old is the current card? You could use this as an excuse to buy a nice new one! :) 
yeah good idea actually, I'll see if underclocking below the default has any effect.

its a 7900GT, so probably around 2 years. 
8800 GT 512 Is V.good Value For Money ATM 
Which One Though? 
starbuck posted above about nvidia replacing their 8800gt line with newer faster model without renaming them.

bah, it should be a lot easier than this :) 
If I were going to buy a new card right now I'd go for the ATI HD3870. Supposedly the performance is about on par with the 8800 cards, and the price is pretty reasonable.

Of course, I haven't heard about these newer 8800 cards so perhaps that isn't the case anymore. 
The GT 8800 512! 
contains the g92 bits, very fast card, good value!

OK, there are

8800 GTS 320/640MB - erm 90nm chips, still more expensive than faster new models with similar names.

8800 GTX/Ultra - 768Mb - pretty fast, still quite expensive - not sure of chipset.

8800 GTS 512Mb - 65nm G92 chip - faster than old GTS 640Mb!!

new 8800 GT. *not GTS* 65nm G92 chip - almost as fast as new GTS 512 but less expensive. GOOD VALUE FAST DX10 SUPPORT!! :D :D

ATI - Apparently the newer ATI cards support DirectX10.1 which NVidia cards dont. But I think NVidia cards are faster for the money.

There are others and stuff, I dunno..... 
9600GT g94 21.02.08 estimated price 160�

8800GS g92

Both a bit slower than 8800gt
But less expesnsive. I think I'll buy a 9600gt 
Ati has the better cards for less money at the moment.
3850 a bit more than 100� !!! but not tooo much slower.
3870 as fast as the 8800GT and also as expensive. 
has the sucky drivers or did that change? 
still waiting for shipment.... (sigh)

they claim 7 day delivery :-| 
The computer arrived this morning. I tried to turn it on and it said in BIOS "processor error" "processor temperature error", then would crash after a couple of seconds on the windows loading screen.
So I took the side off, and to my dismay the heatsink was completely free from the MOBO, except for the power supply leads.
The plastic casing around two of the four bracket-pins were damaged, as if it had been ripped off. I managed to re-attatch the two remaining pins, so the heat sink is on, but not quite as well-on as I would like.
The computer powers up OK now.
3DMark06 - about 6500
little dissapointed with that, I have to see if I can configure it a bit better.... 
The Company 
say they are sending me a replacement heatsink 
I now get a 3DMark06 score of (fanfare):


Those that know will know that for a single card machine, that is pretty good!!

Getting to that score on the other hand was a real ball-ache. After getting home last night and attempting to power up Crysis, I found that after a few minutes of playing the game (well, during the first in-game cut-scene actually) the computer would turn itself off.
I kinda figured out already that this was because the heat sink wasn't attached properly (sorta hanging on one side)
The pins on the heat sink were not in a good way. Two of them were broken (on one side) and two of them were not (on the other side). I managed to take one of the knackered ones off with a screwdriver (an arduous process) which completely broke when it cam off, and then, as if by some act of god, I managed to get one of the functional pins off intact, and re-attach it to the other corner. So now I have a functional pin on two opposite corners.
After attaching the heat sink with the two working pins (out of four) I thought it now seemed pretty steady.

The computer has worked fine since then, impressing me with a very high 3DMark06 score and running crysis playably in 1280x1024 with 2xAntiAiliasing and high details (DX9). He he, I'm gonna try the DX9 very high details hack when I get home...

So, 3 weeks after ordering the PC, after taking nine days for my money to clear in their account, another week to build and dispatch the machine, a wasted weekend due to them shipping it to the billing address last Friday, where I couldn't receive it, getting it yesterday only to have to partly re-build it due to shoddy workmanship, I now have a pretty stonking PC for not too much money (£600).

Would I recommend the company to a friend? Maybe, if the friend knows enough about computers to fix them up a bit, because It was very good value for money (would have been even better value if the build/delivery/machine had worked properly from the start... 
Ricky, what kind of jokers are you dealing with here?

I order hardware online from a couple of different places, and I usually get it delivered interstate the next day, especially from my favourite online store. As long as the stuff is in stock, it's generally 1-2 days (for loose parts).

Last time I bought a new PC I couldn't be arsed assembling it myself, so I has them assemble a near-complete system and ship it to me. Even a custom assembled system only took about 3 days to arrive.

I'm in Australia here, so I imagine the available services in the UK or the US is better.. so again.. wtf? I guess you've already worked it out, but don't buy from those guys again... :) 
out of interest, who do you use? 
...I used Infinity (Brunswick) several times when I was living in Melbourne. They were once 1/2 an hour late with a delivery, but apart from that good service, prompt delivery and decent range (otpions). 
I Wash It Was The Case Here.... 
...Google UK put these guys second on the list of results for PC deals.

Haha - their sales guy asked me to send them a picture of the broken heat-sink! Stupid - that is encouraging me to take it off of the MOBO again! I have sent them a snotty email.

I must admit it was a cheap deal. But you'd expect it to work out of the box, too!! And not take 3 weeks to arrive either.

Frankly, I feel like they were pretty shoddy. And they're joking if they expect me to send it back, after I have waited all of this time and now have it working!!

The computer itself is working fine. Pretty noiseless, runs everything fast as hell!
Ive been missing out! Tried Doom3 demo @ 1280x1024 (my monitors max), ultra detail, 8xAA and it runs flawlessly. I mean it runs at the monitors 60hz refresh rate. Its a step away from my Geforce2 anyway!!

Crysis - Im playing Crysis with the 1.1 patch and the very high detail DX9 hack in 1280x1024 with 2xAA and I find it playable, but its not going faster than the screen refresh rate. Very little stutter though, maybe 20-30 fps average...

Im loving it!! I just hope it doesnt blow up on me or anything!!! :D 
The main company I like to deal with is because they're very fast and professional, great service, very good online ordering and tracking system, etc. They're based in NSW.

On the flipside, they're on average a little more expensive than some other dealers (they offer free shipping on every item, but they factor the shipping costs into the list price I guess). If you're just buying one item it doesn't really matter, but if you were to buy a bunch of small items at once, you could end up paying more than buying it elsewhere.

I'm happy to pay a small price premium for excellent service though. They don't totally rip you off anyway (in actual fact, the last system I did buy, they assembled it and delivered it interstate for no extra charge... !)

I also like which is not quite as nice as Auspcmarket, but they're pretty good and often a bit cheaper. 
Link For Auspcmarket 
I'm happy to pimp them since I've dealt with them many times, and they've always been outstanding. Definitely recommended for anyone in Australia. 
Wish I Lived In Australia. 
I couldnt get much farther away! 
distrans and frib.

I've been buying parts from MSY who have very good prices but agonisingly atrocious service. 
New Valve` Hardware Survey Results

gamers are not embracing dx10.
and half of the people still use 3+ years old hardware. PC gaming is dying haha

if this is really representative, no wonder modern PC game dont sell that well - only minority (like ~20%) can run them 
That's likely because to embrace DX10 you have to embrace Vista and most gamers aren't willing to do that. 
Thing Is For Example Crysis 
Crysis looks very nice on high settings under DX9, and they said "to experience DX10 extra features you require Vista", but you can make DX9 run all of the extra features just by changing some digits in the config files!

So why bother getting Vista and DX10? Vista is not a hippo unless you have QX6600+ and 4Gb, besides it's only really the 9800 cards which do DX10 any justice at the moment!

People want games with good gameplay, Crysis was a very pretty game with very average gameplay - Assassins Creed - not dissimilar - er... is there really that much else which uses DX10 features to their potential? 
Thing Is For Example Crysis 
Crysis looks very nice on high settings under DX9, and they said "to experience DX10 extra features you require Vista", but you can make DX9 run all of the extra features just by changing some digits in the config files!

So why bother getting Vista and DX10? Vista is not a hippo unless you have QX6600+ and 4Gb, besides it's only really the 9800 cards which do DX10 any justice at the moment!

People want games with good gameplay, Crysis was a very pretty game with very average gameplay - Assassins Creed - not dissimilar - er... is there really that much else which uses DX10 features to their potential? 
"Vista is not a hippo unless you have QX6600+ and 4Gb"

Bollocks. A 2 year old Core2Duo machine with 1GB ram is going to run Vista SP1 just as well as it would run WinXP SP3, so stop spreading FUD please. Every OS is going to suck immideately after release due to shitty drivers and the like, Vista was no exception and WinXP was definately no exception either when it originally came out.

If you take a look at most recent perfomance benchmarks and compare gaming perfomance of Vista SP1 compared to XP SP3, you will actually notice that there are pretty much equal. 
So Does 
vista now copy files without taking ten minutes? 
Yep, that bug was fixed a long time ago. The fix is included in Service Pack 1. 
"Every OS is going to suck immideately after release due to shitty drivers and the like,"

Leopard ran like a dream right out of the box. Or are you talking about PC operating systems? :) 
Vista Versus SP3 
If you take a look at most recent perfomance benchmarks and compare gaming perfomance of Vista SP1 compared to XP SP3, you will actually notice that there are pretty much equal.

This is a horrible argument to make. Equal performance doesn't mean it's actually good performance. 
OS X 10.0 sure as hell didn't run like a dream. 
"This is a horrible argument to make. Equal performance doesn't mean it's actually good performance."

Whats your point? If Vista SP1 having equal performance to WinXP SP3 doesn't mean it's actually good performance, are you implying that both are shit and we should all be using MS-DOS? 
"OS X 10.0 sure as hell didn't run like a dream."

Sure, a complete architecture change and UI rewrite caused some hiccups. I guess I can concede that. 
OS Wars Huh? 
from the same Valve stats

Vista has shown a decrease in its share of users since November�s results. Six months ago it climbed from 7.99% to 16.91%. [this time]the operating system was reported as being on only 14.95% of machines. 
If Mac took the opportunity to capitalize on the weakness of Vista and filled the void for a reliable PC-gaming-oriented OS I think they could make a hefty chunk of change. Microsoft surely isn't doing shit for PC gaming, and Linux/Unix are generally too unreliable. And, if Mac did manage to do that, I would probably end up buying the OS. 
PC gaming is dead (or, at least, dying). I know that's flame bait for some people but pursuing the PC games market is a losing strategy at this point.

Consoles are for game and computers are for developing console games. 
PC Gaming Is Dead 
Is PC gaming being dead the reason why it has been enjoying double digit growth every single year since 2000? I also think developers like Blizzard and Valve would like to have a word with you, to laugh at you for a bit and the continue swimming in their pool of cash. 
PC Gaming Is Dead 
Blizzard killed it with WoW

and MS doesnt want x360 mmo for a reason! 
Yeah, World of Warcraft. And nothing else. PC gaming is kicking ass! 
I Think That 
Half-Life 1 *could have* been the pinnacle, no? 
As For Vista / XP 
OK, I admit I'm no expert, but I bought my PC with XP because it was cheaper! Also 4Gb of RAM is not necessary even in the most recent of games!

Assassins Creed was apparently going to recommend 3Gb, but I'm sure I read a box somewhere which said 2Gb!

Games/Software are running quite a way behind software ATM it would seem!

I play Quake still because it's a fun good game, and you dont need hundreds of people to make original content, so there is STILL original content coming out for it! The gameplay will never get old! It's fast and arcadey - a good challenge, good for the adrenaline! Kind to system specs etc etc

I love it! 
I Meen "running Behind HARDWARE" Meh... 
On The Other Hand... 
i think the home computer (PC and mac) is still the best platform for people making and sharing free/independant games and game mods. 
Open Source Or Die Thx 
PC Gaming Isn't Dead At All... 
Casual gaming ftw! 
Casual gaming on the PC is a stop gap. Eventually that will all move to consoles as well via XBox LIve Arcade and the Sony equivalent.

The ship's going down, boys. Don't wait until the last minute to grab a life boat. :)

PC's will devolve into a hobbyist platform and a great place to learn about game creation and collaboration with others. But it's not a place to make money anymore, by and large. 
I Ask Again 
is PC gaming being dead the reason it has been enjoying double digit growth year over year for god knows how long? Because that doesn't make much sense for a "dead" platform. Not to mention there are genres like MMO, RTS and flight sims that plain don't work on consoles at all. 
And More 
It is quite obvious that the PC gaming market is changing. You can no longer get away with releasing FPS games with ridiculous hardware requirements and expect to drive a whole generation of users to upgrade their hardware just for one game all of a sudden (see: Crysis). And it is also quite obvious that buying PC games in retail in dying out and digital distribution is the future (see: the enormous popularity and growth of Steam). 
PC gaming is showing good numbers because of World of Warcraft. Remove Blizzard from the equation and you'll have a very different picture. 
There are 2 or 3 franchises propping up the corpse. As more and more big name developers move away from the PC, they will be replaced by little indie guys making color matching puzzle games. That won't fill the void. I give the PC 5 years before you'll be lucky to see a handful of releases on it each year.

People defended the old 8-bit computers to the death as well - it didn't stop them from dying.

Developers aren't interested in chasing the hardcore gamers anymore with the latest video card of the week. Those days are going away and that was what spurned on most of the growth over the last X years. Hardware sales driving software sales and vice versa. That's essentially over now. 
I Used To Play Some Pc Games 
because console games were stupid. And of course nobody I knew even had a console. C64 games were stupid too but I was a little kid back then.

Nowadays I don't play anything.

Is the question that we are skirting around piracy? 
2012 = The Apocalypse 
There's no denying it, all current events/global situations spell inevitable doom!

Either that or in 20 years we'll all be walking around with digital contact lenses, and "computer games" will be a thing of the past, replaced by "virtual reality fantasy", about 1/2 a step from becoming Borg.

I am looking forwards to

Fallout 3
Aliens - Colonial Marine
Gears of War 2
Far Cry 2
STALKER Clear Skies (or whatever its called)
Duke Nukem Forever (lol!)
Half Life 2: Episode 3
Doom 4 (in the very distant future ?)
Rage (possibly - a bit sceptical - me likes foliage) 
Developers using piracy as an excuse for dumping the PC platform for consoles should look in the mirror and consider making games which people are interested in paying for instead of taking the easy route of only developing for a platform where piracy is harder. The huge irony about anti-piracy DRM is that in a lot of cases, pirates get a better product than the people actually paying for their purchase, because pirates don't have to deal with SecuROM, online activations or keep their game DVD in the drive during play.

Both The Sims and Oblivion had no piracy protection whatsoever and while the latter sold pretty well, the former is/was a licence to print money, on a platform that's supposedly being killed by pirates. Or is it perhaps that someone managed to make a game that is fun to play for a large audience and doesn't require a monstrous PC to run?

Now, from a business POV, I get it, it makes more business sense to develop for consoles because you can get away with releasing shit games and people will buy them anyway, because pirating a console game is much harder than it is to do on the PC, but at least have the decency to admit that you are doing it purely because you want to swim in money despite releasing shit games instead of taking the time and effort to create a title that appeals to a wide audience. 
"Developers using piracy as an excuse for dumping the PC platform for consoles should look in the mirror and consider making games which people are interested in paying for instead of taking the easy route of only developing for a platform where piracy is harder."

I'm sorry? Pirates don't care about the quality of the game. They crack and distribute everything and put it up on easy to search torrent sites. Good or bad doesn't matter. All PC games are cracked and distributed.

"The huge irony about anti-piracy DRM is that in a lot of cases, pirates get a better product than the people actually paying for their purchase, because pirates don't have to deal with SecuROM, online activations or keep their game DVD in the drive during play. "

Know what the cure for that is? Consoles. Every gets the exact same experience.

"Or is it perhaps that someone managed to make a game that is fun to play for a large audience and doesn't require a monstrous PC to run?"

Talk to the Crysis guys about piracy numbers.

PC gaming is dying. And calling developers names or calling them lazy or whatever isn't going to prolong it's life. It's dead, Jim. 
Doom3 - Runs With No Disk 
I have the 3xCDROM version

I was surprised to discover that you require no disk!
Pirates are shit. Ruin everything for PCGamers
I bought my copy of Quake from the ID website!
Best value game for �10 you can buy IMHO - weeks and weeks of downloadable original content! :D
The problem is with Steam that you need an internet connection to use it!
Whereas with consoles you dont.
But I like using a keyboard and mouse for gaming... 
Im pretty sure casual MMOs will keep the pc onfloat. wont die completely even in 5 years. MMOs arent games tho (Warren Spector told so!) - they are more of a social thing, like a chat.
And they still keep on releasing PC versions of many games, I guess its still worth it. Who knows when/if this trend stops as more and more people switch to consoles 
"I'm sorry? Pirates don't care about the quality of the game. They crack and distribute everything and put it up on easy to search torrent sites. Good or bad doesn't matter. All PC games are cracked and distributed."

Yet, there are still PC games that sell TRUCKLOADS, some of them are copy-protected while some have no DRM whatsoever. The only conclusion we can make is that DRM does not affect sales in a positive way on the PC platform, while the quality of the game does.

"Talk to the Crysis guys about piracy numbers."

Is it really such a shock that Crysis is pirated so much, when you take into consideration that looking at VALVE's most recent hardware charts, less than 20% of gaming PCs are capable of running it even on moderate settings? Everyone is interested in taking a look at the jawdropping nextgen graphics, but noone is going to pay for a game that runs at 20fps. 
I'm still enjoying PC gaming more than Console gaming (which I also enjoy, just less, as FPS are still better on PC), so I really don't see why I'd jump ship or whatever. If things change, fine, so be it, it's not a reason to rush to console only gaming right away.

Omg piracy discussion! Yeah it's bad. I'm not one to predict the future and how things will evolve, but I know quite a few people who pirate all their console games too, so I'm not yet convinced consoles is the real solution to piracy. 
Id Like To See The Last PC Game (not Mmo) That Sold 2mln+ 
PC game sales numbers any1??? I think we dont have those, cause PC games ony sell well in EU and there are no solid numbers for overall EU sales.
And withought any sales proof its empty talk.
And USA sales for PC games are abysmal.

Jago: you are right, you need to make a good game to get good sales. Except PC sales will still be smaller than console sales by 2-3 times. And you cant make much money with a shit title on a console either, cause the competition is very strong. Conclusion - ... ? 
"I'm not one to predict the future and how things will evolve, but I know quite a few people who pirate all their console games too, so I'm not yet convinced consoles is the real solution to piracy."

Of course it is. You can't play online with a pirated game and if caught, you'll lose your Live account. There's zero incentive to pirate console games unless you intend to play solely offline and in single player.

Even then, console piracy is very much in the hardcore realm. It isn't a matter of downloading an EXE and running it. You have to mod your console and/or create special boot CDs, burn the game to a disc, etc. And then you can't play with your friends over the internet.

"Jago: you are right, you need to make a good game to get good sales. Except PC sales will still be smaller than console sales by 2-3 times. And you cant make much money with a shit title on a console either, cause the competition is very strong. Conclusion - ... ?"

Right. A developer is going to work their ass off and create a killer game - they want to see some sales for their efforts. That means consoles. Look at the first week sales for Halo 3 and GTA4. Notice how those games weren't released on PC? There's a reason.

Sure, they might do a PC port in a year or so once the primary selling window has passed and they've made their money. At that point, it's a token gesture to the PC guys who just can't let go. 
How many "10+ million sold" titles can you count on the consoles and on the PC? I know of 2 on the PC, WoW and The Sims, but I have trouble coming up with even a single 10+ million seller on the consoles. PC games CAN sell VERY well, it's just that it seems to require a rather special type of game. Now the developers can adapt to the new PC market and thrive in it or they can take the easy route of doing what they've been doing for the past 10 years, but only on the consoles this time, since for the console gamers the whole FPS shooter business is still relatively new. 
I Wander When GTA4 Will Come To The PC? 
Im not arsed about Halo3.
I'll probably play GTA4 on the console. It wouldnt feel right on a PC.
I wouldnt mind some of those PS3 only shooters, like Haze and that other one, er, I forget... 
we already got over your precious WoW with its fenomenal success - its eating up the large chunk of a market.

btw Sims release date? 2004

and these two are the prime examples of what PC gaming has become = MMOs and casual games with low requirements and wide appeal.

And 10mln of wow subscribers is a bad thing - its 10mln of gamers playing WoW and only it. for how-many-years... These are the negative numbers, numbers of the consumers you arent going to get. So it PC market -minus 10mln WoW players. WoW is the heroin that contributes to the killing of the PC gaming, cause it kills the competition. Its the Wallmart of gamedev (in the same sense as Wallmart killed the smaller shops in every town it had come to)

but back to the mumbers: 2007

Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock 7.5M (miltiplatform)
Super Mario Galaxy (Wii Exclusive) 4.1M
Halo 3 8M (x360 exclusive)
CoD4 8.3M (miltiplatform - apparently ~6 mln on x360/ps3, cant find numbers by platform)

PC best 2007 I could find:
Burnin Crusade (wow expansion) ~3,5 mln
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl (1.65 million)

conclusion ...? 
I Think 
One reason why there are so many MMO's being developed these days is that you simply cannot pirate them, warez them, or whatever you want to call it them.

It is a very successful form of DRM, lol :)

Personally, I would not mind paying a subscription to a download service (say steam) and then being able to download any game I wanted at any time and being able to play it there and then. 
That Top100 List 
if you look at the better selling titles, it becomes very obvious that they're

1) good games. equal console/pc ratio
2) (mostly) bad games that have a cool name or franchise (console)

latter probably sell, because there's a) kids b) casual gamers c) parents buying them judging from the ads, the brand and the packaging. Oh, and word-by-mouth(?).

i guess in a few years the gaming market will be like the msuic market. the taste of the naive younger than 16 crowd will decide what titles will be released, because they're the majority, who still actually BUYS stuff and they certainly are console guys. 
More On Vista Memory Requirements 
My home machine is: C2D E6600 2,4 Ghz (2 years old), 2GB ram. This machine is running a VMWare virtual machine session of Windows Vista Ultimate x86 that is limited to using a maximum of 768 MB of my host OS system memory. This virtual machine runs basic home user tasks such as webbrowsing, media (both audio and video) playback, IM, etc etc without any hitches and I haven't made any changes to the default configuration, I am running all the default services, the stock candy UI and all that, so anyone saying that Vista "needs" 2GB of memory or more to be usable is talking out of his ass.

Yes, Vista uses much more of your RAM than Windows XP even when you have closed all of your applications, this is by design and is a good thing. Let me explain:

Vista uses a tool called SuperFetch, that basically keeps track of what applications you run and how often. After learning your usage patterns, it knows which applications are most likely to be relaunched soon and keeps a part of them cached in memory, in many cases allowing near-instantenous (1-2 second) launch times for a large application. This is what causes the supposed "OMG Vista ate all my memory!". Well DUH, would you rather have your 2-4GB of ram sit there empty and being of no use whatsoever or would you rather take advantage of it to speed up application launch times?

1) Should you launch an application that suddenly wants to use most of you RAM, like a game, SuperFetch will immideately free the memory from the precached applications to make room for the game you are launching.

2) If for some bizarre reason you still want to disable this feature, just disable the SuperFetch service and Vista will fall back to the same memory management patterns as in Windows XP.

3) By the way, most modern operating systems like Linux and FreeBSD have been using this very same approach for many years now. 
My Anecdotal Evidence 
These days, I sell consumer electronics. This includes computers. We also offer a service where we install the customer's computer for them, and take care of their software problems afterwards. I do most of the selling, less installing, but I come into contact with these computers weekly.

Having 1GB of memory compared to 2GB of memory means that these computers (usually laptops, mind you) will start considerably slower, and will take a longer time to perform tasks like browsing the web, music, or harddrive contents. Worse still, customers keep complaining that they can't really do anything with their computers since "they're so slow".

However, note that these aren't scratch-built computers, so they include a lot more (useless) software directly from the manufacturer.

Still, my old computer with a Pentium 4 3.0GHz and a single GB of RAM and XP SP2 will start up faster, load programs quicker, and handle basic tasks in a more timely manner than a laptop with an Intel T2310 dual-core and a single GB of RAM. 
Still, my old computer with a Pentium 4 3.0GHz and a single GB of RAM and XP SP2 will start up faster, load programs quicker, and handle basic tasks in a more timely manner than a laptop with an Intel T2310 dual-core and a single GB of RAM.

The laptop with Vista, obviously. 
On PC Gaming 
PC gaming won't die as long as PC sales don't die. It's really as simple as that. 
Maybe The Direction Could Be 
that PC gaming will get more indie and direct download. No publishers but word of mouth. The big advertised titles will migrate to consoles.

The music industry pays radio stations to play certain music and then people buy those records. That is, if you listen to the radio. I listen only to internet radio, since the analog radio almost never plays any music that I like.

Coca Cola spends probably more money on advertisement and market research than actually producing the drinks. It's all about selling an image.

PC people are probably different targets from what marketing people are used to working with.

The new people need to somehow take advantage of the internet. If you are a band producing something a bit different, maybe you should think whether signing up for a multinational record label is smart. What about games? Producing them of course costs much more than music. But could you pick your direction such that it would not be so costly somehow, and self publish on the internet?
Even id software started with shareware... 
"PC gaming won't die as long as PC sales don't die. It's really as simple as that."

I guess I should define "die" more specifically. By "die" I mean : cease to be a profitable avenue for large developers to sell games.

Yes, you will always have hobbyist games and indie games on the PC but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about never getting ports of big games like Halo, GTA, etc. 
well, its not 'die', more like degrade 
More like 'change'. 
Who Needs A Port Of Halo 
when it arrives 2 years late, looks shit next to all current titles and requires the latest OS just to run when it's amazingly obvious it could run just as well as it did on xbox on a 5 year old pc.

Mind you, I think Gears of War was ported nicely to the PC with new content etc. That's cool at least.

Personally I don't give a shit about publishers/developers like EA making ports of their sports titles and console franchises like NFS etc. They still have their primarily pc titles like Battlefield and the Sims, which strike me as being the only games they make that are interesting.

It would be sad if Blizzard, Crytek, id and Valve went console only, but I really don't think that's all that likely because they would end up being sad shells of the companies they are now. Part of what makes them great is the content they can include in their PC games that wouldn't work so well on console because the market is different. 
"It would be sad if Blizzard, Crytek, id and Valve went console only, but I really don't think that's all that likely because they would end up being sad shells of the companies they are now."

It would depend on the company greatly. Blizzard won't abandon PC because WoW is a money printing machine for them. And you won't see Valve going anywhere because of Steam. They want to own digital distribution.

But id and Crytek? It wouldn't surprise me. Crytek has said that they suffered terribly from piracy on Crysis and they're fairly bitter right now.

"Mind you, I think Gears of War was ported nicely to the PC with new content etc. That's cool at least. "

It was cool but numbers don't lie. It didn't sell tons of copies.

"Part of what makes them great is the content they can include in their PC games that wouldn't work so well on console because the market is different."

Really? Like what? I'm honestly curious because when it comes to games that are released on both platforms I'm not sure what content wouldn't work on the console that would on the PC. 
Aside from the release of dev tools and the ability to mod and tweak? 
You release first on console and then on pc, don't expect huge numbers with the latter for two reasons:
people may have bought it on console already and pc players think it's a console game made for the dumb masses.
Just speculation. 
Aside from the release of dev tools and the ability to mod and tweak?

That's exactly the point, aside from SDK-esque stuff there is nothing that can be added on PC that can't be done with consoles.

Patches, new content, mods, etc can all be easily distributed via XBox Live, et al, just as simply as for PC games in the past (look at the new level content for CoD4 on XBox).

I do think it'd be a shame if bedroom modding became a thing of the past, but I don't think it's a major concern as far as the publishers/developers accountants are concerned. 
And the advantage is that when you distribute new content on consoles, you can more easily stick a pricetag on it what with micro-payments and all, yay!

(Yeah I'm still pissed we never got the extra CoD4 maps.) 
Mouse Gameplay 
but I guess there is a mouse for ps3?

What about higher refresh rates not possible with teevees? 
I Also Think 
it's useless to try to think porting a console game to pc and expecting some improvement, when pc is a different platform.

If you design for console, then of course it works better on console.

Has Civilization been ported to consoles and enjoyed any success for example? (Haven't played civ4.) 
It All Boils Down To This: 
"Next-gen" games now simply cost too much to make.

The culture of PC piracy, and the ability (as Bal said) to easily nickel-and-dime content on a console are both contributing towards the fairly obvious fate that PC gaming has seen coming for a long time now. 
I Blame Sony 
yeah, fuck ps2 
Hardware & Coding 
I think that hardware on the PC really is the problem. Piracy, yes, is a big problem but I sort of had a moment of clarity this weekend on why PC gaming is dying when I was watching some old demoscene videos.

Back in the day, part of the success of your game wasn't just that you had the best graphics, but rather that your coders were talented enough to come up with clever ways to do neat things on existing hardware.

Remedy & Starbreeze are both full of former demoscene guys (and both are pretty successful companies) and in terms of graphical prowess I'd say they're arguably two of the best at getting good looking games running on limited hardware. Riddick was out the door a few months before Doom 3 and looking sexy as hell on the Xbox(!)

Another great example of this is the game Zero Tolerance for Genesis/Megadrive. I think people thought it was largely impossible to do an FPS on the Genesis but these guys did it.

Also, I'm sure if you asked John Carmack about why Doom and Quake were so successful, he'd tell you a large part of it was getting (assembly genius) Michael Abrash onboard at id to crunch a lot of the code down and optimize the shit out of it. I'm sure a lot of people probably did upgrade their computers to play Quake, but the point is that there was a great deal of effort to squeeze as much as possible out of existing hardware. I know that this just doesn't happen anymore for a number of reasons.

I'm sure Crysis for example was optimized to at least some degree but when you have a budget, a deadline, and the safety net of having partners in the hardware industry who want to use your product to sell the latest and greatest products, you don't have as much incentive to really get your game running well and looking good on lower end hardware.

It could be too that a lot of the optimization wizards are applying their skills to consoles where it's a lot easier to optimize since you know your end user's environment is always going to be the same.

Regardless of all that I don't think I'm as funereal about the state of PC gaming because PCs will continue to be a major part of 21st century life and people will always want to game on them. The developers who have the best gimmicks and hooks (like Blizzard and Valve) will continue to be the ones who snare the largest share of those people. And sometimes, just sometimes, all you have to do is make a great game (like the Witcher) and success will follow :) 
Blitz they do optimise games. But you just cant get modern looks on 4-years old hardware. Games have to scale to the stone-age tech, and some do. UT3 scales pretty well - you can play it on 2,5 year old cards (like gf 7800) or on modern low end (8600). Do I need to remind you its` PC version sales? - like 130k in USA :( Also that was the game that got released on PC prior to the console release. Didnt help either.

You guys forgot that Valve is not a PC dev anymore - its gone multiplatform too. Dont thik they`ll drop PC support anytime soon, but its a sign of time. PC alone doesnt cut it. And as soon as PC games sales wont even justyfy spending money on porting/supporting a PC version of a game - that will be it. Free casual MMOs with microtransactions...

and whats wrong with consoles... cant customize (some games dont even let you rebind keys), cant mod, controller that sucks for the fast and presize aiming/pointing? (lets hope wii changes it, maybe you can even do an RTS with wii mote controlls) some say that sitting 2 meters from a telly is less immersive than nose-to-monitor
Another thing I really dont like (and it gets overlooked) is the segregation - 4 active consoles (not counting handhelds), each having good exclusive games ;/ ffs

Indie/small games are coming to consoles btw - MS makes XNA more open, Sony will be(or already?) open to small devs as well . 
What you actually want to do is convince publishers that it's cheaper to license user generated content (check it, buzz words) than to pay professional developers to create it so that they allow network integration with PCs, then people could download a devkit to create content and stream it to their console.

Most (if not all) of the network hardware is already in these consoles, it'd just require software at either end (you'd need games that support it ofc).

Assuming the PC content files weren't to heavily restricted you could even have online distribution/'communities' (fairly probable, how else would publishers be able to locate and fleece users?).

And you could do all this without any risk of piracy since people would still have to buy a copy of the game in order to develop/play content. 
But Then 
you have to have both a pc and a console... I guess actually all people that have a console actually do have a pc as well...

It's really weird. Why couldn't you make games for those pc:s that people have anyway for the internet and office work, with integrated graphics and sound. Never mind if they're two or three years old, you can still do a lot with them. 
Heh - All I Know Is 
I wanna play fps's with my nose touching the screen and a mouse and keyboard! I prefer this to playing from my armchair on my xbox 360 and 32" 720p....

I dont really know why, I just feel more in control.... 
I used to feel that way. Now I want to play on my couch looking at a 55" HDTV screen. The control issue is a non-issue - modern games are designed with the controller in mind so it's perfectly fine for playing shooter games. The mouse took some getting used to at first when I turned it on for the first time in Quake. The controller does as well.

Sure, you can't do flick 180 turns or pixel perfect aiming but those things aren't necessary in games that are designed for the console. Also, nobody else can do them either so it's a level playing field. 
Well But 
yeah, since the controls are much worse, we make the game easier, and thus, problem is solved.


How about making the game about pushing just one button in rhythm. That way you can play it lying on the sofa with one eye open. 
Dont Get Me Wrong Here 
I played Gears of War (1) on my xbox, heh - Quake4 (360), Doom3 (xbox), COD4 (yippee - split screen deathmatch!), Halo/2/3 (also yippee!), er Bioshock, Orange Box...

I do like the control system in Gears particularly...

But playing Crysis and STALKER, UT3, HL2DM etc on my PC - for starters I love the picture I get on a 15" cr8 @ 1280x1024, and secondly I came up playing Blood, Quake, Doom, Jedi Knight2, Duke3D, Quake2/3, AVP (what a hell of a game that was!!!!) etc etc etc on my beloved PC...

It's a hard call to make I suppose, from a user's perspective. I can get along with both. I believe that my PC has more potential for graphical prowess (when it comes to sheers specifications/eye candy) than either the 360 or the PS3 does.

I dunno - I just want to play cool games! I really hope Aliens: CM comes out on the PC. A lot of that is to do with having played AVP on a PC, and like you say - you can do flick 180 turns etc.

Also online deathmatch really wouldn't cut it for me on a control pad, I mean no flick 180 turns ?!?! No pixel perfect aiming ?!?!? It would be like having sex for hours but no orgasm.

I dunno tho - Halo, Gears - definately happy playing SP on a console... 
"yeah, since the controls are much worse, we make the game easier, and thus, problem is solved. "

Nah, it's not like that. You design for what the hardware is. PC shooters play like they do because of the mega accuracy of the mouse. Console shooters play differently - not necessarily easier, just differently.

"It would be like having sex for hours but no orgasm. "

That sounds pretty good to me. Where do I sign up? Orgasm means it's over, dude. :) 
and I love the accuracy and the movement. You can pull amazing moves every now and then. 
How about making the game about pushing just one button in rhythm. That way you can play it lying on the sofa with one eye open.

Guitar Hero?

But I disagree with the idea that you have less control with consoles, you can still flick shot, etc if you set the sensitivity right and use the analog stick as... well... analogue (remember the running/walking/sneaking tutorial in Mario 64?).

(In fact, there are various games that couldn't be done without analogue control. The dual stick controls in SKATE (yes, I know, a skating game, but Ico was about dragging some bint around) are actual genius.)

Also, if you're playing online/splitscreen everyone has the same control system so it's still a balanced playing field.

There's no need to make games easier just because a few PC gamers can't learn a new control method.

I have some other points about how PCs are used now and the increased polarisation of software resource requirements but I'm in a hurry so I'll post them later.

Basically, console gaming seems to be all the same fun without the mess, kinda like having... (you see where I'm going with this ;)

Also online deathmatch really wouldn't cut it for me on a control pad, I mean no flick 180 turns? No pixel perfect aiming?

That's just losing some of the precise control, it'd be more like having sex with you hands tied together... 'Hmm' 
increased resolution, more polygons, better color depth, more fps. Those are good things.

But improved controls with better accuracy, high update rate, they are somewhat totally irrelevant, they don't matter as long as it's the same for everyone.

What about ping times in multiplayer?

I think this is why I don't play any new games. 
If It Takes You Three Seconds To Turn Around 
or a lot of time to position the crosshair on an enemy, ping doesn't matter much at all, so these things are very multiplayer friendly too.

I think even the third dimension could be dropped. Hell, pacman and snake are great. Why even buy new consoles anymore? You can play with your 8 bit nintendo just as well.

In other words, your argument for wanting shitty controls is total bollocks. 
I Was Always The Dominating One In Bed... 
Seriously though - my experience of PC's and gaming in the past has always been a bit rocky, but with these new 8800/9800 graphics cards, core2duo's, DDR3 etc - it seems to me that the hastle has gone from getting a good PC platform for gaming.

And simply from looking at the trends in the price of hardware, unless some massive GPU factories blow up I dont see PC's suddenly becoming un-affordable again.

Its crazy really I think.

I mean how about this; If you were an avid gamer and could only choose either a PC or a console, which would you choose?

PC - You can do more with a PC in general - post on func_, create documents & media, surf the web easier than any other platform - you can still play games and there are a couple of PC only games. Also each game is a few moneys cheaper to buy.

Console - You can play games, play online etc, games are a tiny bit more expensive, but the console is a *little* cheaper than a PC.

I mean LORD! How many people do I know who have consoles just to play FIFA and nothing else (these guys should have consoles and not PC's - it would be a crime to give them PC's)

And say what you will - I am an fps fan. I will be playing fps's on PC's for years to come. I will also have consoles to play the fps's which come out on consoles and not PC's, but I would rather play them on a PC with a keyboard and mouse. I enjoyed Gears and everything, it was well set up for a console controller, but my experience of COD4 on the console was not so sweet (for me anyway) and I should have played it on the PC...

Also I would have rather played Bioshock on a PC, and I even bought Quake4 on the PC even though I had already completed it on the 360.

Each to his own I suppose.

An if you cleverdicks who are working in the industry feel like turning around and saying "well, MATEY, tuff' luck for you because there wont be PC Shooters any more soon because big allabaster companies which make sed shooters wont support your beloved format anymore because they can make more money making them for consoles, because occasionally sports fans get drunk and buy shooters (which they then play once, dont understand and leave on their shelves for eternity), or have relatives which cant think what else to buy them for christmas so our sales figures go through the roof and we'll all drive 6L v8 RV's and watch 50" televisions...."

well you get the idea :-(


Im not talking about it ANYMORE!!! (screams)

(rolling around on the floor having a tantrum, breaking things - picks up 360, throws it into 32" LCD, breaks keyboard over knee, throws PC out of window, screams some more, then slumps in a corner, sobbing, staring at feet whilst playing with a razor, stroking it up and down his forearm...) 
increased resolution, more polygons, better color depth, more fps. Those are good things.

Not if they come at the (literal) expense of buying cutting edge hardware rather than a 200� console. (and tbh, have you seen the current level of graphics on consoles on a decent screen, and this is before developers have learned to maximise the hardware usage)

But improved controls with better accuracy, high update rate, they are somewhat totally irrelevant, they don't matter as long as it's the same for everyone.

Well, I tend to view a balanced playing field as a good thing, yes. The refresh rate on console controls is still very high and as for accuracy;

If it takes you three seconds to turn around or a lot of time to position the crosshair on an enemy, ping doesn't matter much at all, so these things are very multiplayer friendly too.

Try setting the sensitivity very high, that'll let you do fast spins if you push the stick full right/left, but you still have accurate aiming if you push the stick gently (it's called analogue control for a reason).

What about ping times in multiplayer?

What about ping times in multiplayer? They apply to both PC and console online gaming, so it's hardly an argument in favour of either, more a basic understanding of how the interwebiverse works. And given the speed of most gamers' internet connections, ping is generally an insignificant issue these days.

I think even the third dimension could be dropped. Hell, pacman and snake are great. Why even buy new consoles anymore? You can play with your 8 bit nintendo just as well.

Well, I like 3D, since; "increased resolution, more polygons, better color depth, more fps. Those are good things."

You buy a new console every 4 years or so, still cheaper than constant PC upgrades and at a lesser cost per year than the bill from my ISP and you get current level graphics and games that don't try to sell you hardware just to play them (got UT3 the other day, fun, but the number of hardware ads on boot scare me). How is that bad?

In other words, your argument for wanting shitty controls is total bollocks.

You said something I believe, possibly with needless profanity. As far as I can tell it was about not being able to learn to use new interfaces. 
I've used analog joysticks every now and then for probably twenty years. And those pads some too.

I don't know anyone who would argue they are better for pointing in an FPS than a mouse.

So, I think everyone agrees that they are worse.

Arguing that it doesn't matter is maybe true for some percentage of people. But not most.

The ping example was one too. By the same analogy, if everyone had 300 ping, then ping wouldn't matter since the playing field would be level. No matter that it makes pulling off good moves much harder or impossible.

The "it's a level playing field" just doesn't make worse things as good as better things.

And them being somehow "new" (which they arent) does not relieve them of their inferiority. 
All In All 
to be honest, a person could say this:

"Ok, analog sticks are clearly worse than the mouse for FPS. They deprive you of the ability to make quick awesome moves or precise control of the aiming or movement of the character, so we have to compensate by making the game easier. In a way, it's a step backwards to the days when people played with the keyboard. But we make more money that way, so it's all the same to us."

I don't say what you have to do. Game companies can go fist themselves all I care if they make money by doing that. But be honest about it. 
Just To Point Out... 
...I'm not really suicidal :)
it was a bad-taste point, tbh.

Ever seen that movie The Fisher King?

I'm not that guy. I was just stressing a point :-| 
"I don't know anyone who would argue they are better for pointing in an FPS than a mouse. "

I don't know anyone who would say either. What's being said, is that a game designed to be played with the controller is fine. It's a non-issue.

You seem to be (and correct me if I'm wrong) thinking that we're talking about dropping Quake onto a console and giving you a game pad. We're not. 
And just to pull the sales argument out here ... console shooters sell millions of copies. So that's many millions of people who don't have a problem using a controller. 
I Dunno Man 
Millions of people play FIFA and have mums and girlfreinds who dont know what to get them so they get them the game which had the add with the cool music on the telly.

Millions of games lie un-used on the dusty shelves in people's living-rooms.

"There be gold in them-thar hills, g-hyuk..."

Im bias, you're bias, everybody is bias. It's not safe to talk about hardware on this thread, there be too many people with big bonusses on their minds, who are gonna start trying to flog consoles.

People suck. Money sucks. Gimme ART! Gimme what >I< fucking want!

I am right, everybody else is wrong. 
I think you misspell, it's biatch. 
RickyT23 Very Funny... 
I am an fps fan. I will be playing fps's on PC's for years to come.
I played Gears of War (1) on my xbox, heh - Quake4 (360), Doom3 (xbox), COD4 (yippee - split screen deathmatch!), Halo/2/3 (also yippee!), er Bioshock, Orange Box...

if even an avid PC fps fan like you prefers to play multiplatform games on aconsole its already over :) 
"Millions of people play FIFA and have mums and girlfreinds who dont know what to get them so they get them the game which had the add with the cool music on the telly. "
Unlikely. Fifa sells millions of copies because people want it. Same with Madden. Same with shooters.

"Im bias, you're bias, everybody is bias. It's not safe to talk about hardware on this thread, there be too many people with big bonusses on their minds, who are gonna start trying to flog consoles.

People suck. Money sucks. Gimme ART! Gimme what >I< fucking want! "

Wait until you're 30. 
Mouse Support On Consoles.. 
..just how widespread is this?

i seem to remember you could use a keyboard & mouse on the ps2 via USB, although i never tried it & apparently it only worked on some games. i'd be more inclined to get into consoles & purchase a cordless mouse/keyboard if the majority of games supported them.

i guess it would pretty much null the analog-stick vs mouse argument to. i personally can't stand using the analog for aiming, to the extent that i wouldn't even bother trying to get used to it 
Eh Willem 
Fifa sells millions of copies because people want it.


e.g. i don't know anyone who bought a soccer/sports game. And germany must be a pretty big market. 
Come on, you're destroying your credibility here. You're telling me that sports titles sell millions and millions of units each year and nobody wants them? Is that your position? I want to be clear here. 

Nobody wants a mouse and keyboard on their coffee table. Controllers are the way to do on consoles.

"i personally can't stand using the analog for aiming, to the extent that i wouldn't even bother trying to get used to it"

Well, that's a shame. You're missing a lot of great games. 
I Got Used To It 
I dont mind playing a good game on a console with a controll pad. I remember playing Goldeneye on the N64 and getting my ass kicked. You quickly learn.

I'm just saying that I like to play on my PC more. I'd be sad if the PC shooter died out :-(

That's all I'm really saying here.

Willem you are a very self-assured person. Good for you! 
"Willem you are a very self-assured person. Good for you!"

Sorry if I come off a little strong. I just believe in what I'm saying and I can't stand by while people talk, in my opinion, nonsense like "nobody buys sports games" when they're selling millions of units every year. 
e.g. i don't know anyone who bought a soccer/sports game.

means one thing: you dont hangout with kiddies who like football and buy EA sports game. nothing else! 
You Have To Accept That People HERE 
are saying (well some of them are saying) that they like keyboards and mouses betterer.

It is a Quake forum afterall. You can make you're top selling console shooter (guaranteed hit) resting in the knowledge that us keyboard and mouse lovers are insignificant in your world.
You an the other hand will get to influence a game which millions will play and love! You've got it all coming.

Try not to rub our insignificant opinionated noses in it too much. Eat your cake!

You're the winner!

Im glad I played crysis on very high settings. It kicked butt! The gameplay was 80%, the graphic's were 100%. It was a teeny bit longer in play time than gears. Whoop de do.

my point is: nobody i'd ask for his opinion on a game wants them.

Stop behaving like such a prententious asshole. thank you. 
I Typed That While You Posted Your Reply 
touchez :-P

As for FIFA etc, I think the point is that people will buy that stuff wheather it is good or not. That's why people churn out sports game after sports game after sports game. Because they know it will make money.

Often there is very little difference between one version and the next, sometimes just the shirts and player names are changed, or whatever...

People will pay top whack for them not because they are good games but because that's all these people want to do: - play FIFA and drink beer. 
Its Hardly A Landmark In Computergame History 
or even creative. I don't respect it as art. 
Good God This Topic Is RED HOT!!! 
I enjoy a debate! :-) 
I think the point is that people will buy that stuff wheather it is good or not.


to spell it out for Willem: that's why i linked 
I May Say Some Nasty Things Seemingly 
but I mean nothing personal to any of you guys!

sorry if I upset anyone... 

"Stop behaving like such a prententious asshole. thank you."

Stop talking nonsense. You and your friends don't constitute the games market so stop acting like it.

This is from the post you've linked twice now:

"latter probably sell, because there's a) kids b) casual gamers c) parents buying them judging from the ads, the brand and the packaging. Oh, and word-by-mouth(?). "

Your opinion of gamers outside of your sewing circle is insulting at best.

Anyway, this is going in circles so all I'll say is watch out for that meteor guys. It's going to get real cold for you soon. 
your way of making everything personal isn't helping the discussion. 
and one extra post for czg. 
Now Everyone 
go map! 
Nobody wants a mouse and keyboard on their coffee table. Controllers are the way to do on consoles.

nobody isn't my name. 
"nobody isn't my name."

Good point. Another good point is that you are in the extreme minority. 
T'wouldn't Offend Me To Have A Mouse On A Table, Perhaps 
with a smaller keypad device for my left hand

People might say im crazy. Imagine if I'm still making quake maps in nine years time, under the visor of RickyT33 or somthing...

Then we'll all be crazy! 
Console games are easier to use.

press button, put in the silver thing, close hatch. Press play. Admittedly, it's not obvious which side of the disc is up, so that could be improved.

My dad plays console games. He doesn't play PC games anymore. There were too many problems with getting some of them to run.

He likes those tank and helicopter games, but has problems memorizing like 30 keys for all the little actions. A console controller has much fewer buttons. Granted the games have fewer options, too.

It's sad, but it's probably attributable to a general loss of skill, interest, attention span, and willingness to learn. Plus stress and lack of time. On the other hand, I can understand how a console game is more accessible and thus more fun (for a short while, admittedly.) And that's not bad.

It's like that with a lot of things. Many people prefer fast food over real food, even if real food is theoretically better and cooking is not only fun but also a basic human skill (we're losing it though.)

When people build a carport, they buy a kit instead of building it from scratch. They lost the skills to make proper joints and connections of wooden parts. Instead, the kit is assembled using pre-drilled metal connectors and nails.

With PCs, most older people never really learned how they work. They learned Windows, and MS Office, and Outlook. They didn't learn "PC". Among younger people, there was a time when it was cool or interesting to learn about PCs and networks. It was useful to impress girls by making their PCs work. It was necessary to play Doom multiplayer. But that time has passed. Most teenagers today are totally uncritical and expect things working out of the box, and things you can buy with money. Money = problem solver. Knowledge = tedious and time wasting.

PCs are too complicated for the majority of people. My parents can't get a cable LAN running, don't know the difference between a telephone and network cable, and need a tech support guy to set up their DSL connection. They watch TV (several hours per day), do some gardening (same), shopping or talking on the phone instead of investing time into learning how computer things work. My dad has never heard of DirectX and OpenGL. He just wants to play a car racing game now and again, so he bought a gamecube. And suddenly, Larry the cow was in control (like the Gentoo slogan goes.) I do love my parents, make no mistake, but they are pretty typical computer users.

He has a strategy/tank game (Battalion Wars) for gamecube, but almost never plays it because it has dozens of different units and slightly complicated key combos. Also the missions get pretty hard pretty soon.

I like that game, but I'm not normal. My dad likes watching me play it. Same with the car racing (NFS). My family thinks I have unreal gaming skills, but I didn't even beat those games yet. I never saw the helicopters in NFS :-/ and I lost interest in those games quickly, mainly because I couldn't edit them.

I remember playing Tony Hawk 2 long after I beat it, because I always built new skate parks and tested them.

Personally I think it's not good if companies own online platforms and distribution channels. It gives me a creepy feeling. I can't put my finger on it exactly, but I don't use or Steam. I prefer a game in a box that I can stash on my shelf. I also prefer a server run by the community in the Internet. I mistrust companies. I don't buy online much, but I use torrents occasionally (for legal things, gosh.) But I'm not normal.

I don't have a TV. Did I say I'm not normal? 
It's like that with a lot of things. Many people prefer fast food over real food, even if real food is theoretically better and cooking is not only fun but also a basic human skill (we're losing it though.)

It's far more than a theory. Fast food is, basically, poison.

With PCs, most older people never really learned how they work. They learned Windows, and MS Office, and Outlook. They didn't learn "PC". Among younger people, there was a time when it was cool or interesting to learn about PCs and networks. It was useful to impress girls by making their PCs work. It was necessary to play Doom multiplayer. But that time has passed. Most teenagers today are totally uncritical and expect things working out of the box, and things you can buy with money. Money = problem solver. Knowledge = tedious and time wasting.

That's old-fogey talk to be honest. We learned how everything worked because we HAD to. It wasn't a choice that anyone made. If you wanted to play Doom over a network you HAD to figure out how to make it happen.

It's easier nowadays and that's a good thing. The lower the barrier to entry, the more people will be playing.

They watch TV (several hours per day), do some gardening (same), shopping or talking on the phone instead of investing time into learning how computer things work. My dad has never heard of DirectX and OpenGL. He just wants to play a car racing game now and again, so he bought a gamecube. And suddenly, Larry the cow was in control (like the Gentoo slogan goes.) I do love my parents, make no mistake, but they are pretty typical computer users.

I don't know how my car works. I use it every day and have no idea how to fix it if something goes wrong. The only problem I know how to solve is - "the gas tank needs filling".

How many people here are car mechanics?

Why do we view computers as something that people should spend time learning the mechanical and low level details of? They SHOULD be able to just turn it on and have it work. That's why I switched to using Macs at home for computing and consoles for gaming. They work.

I don't have a TV. Did I say I'm not normal?

That's a shame, you're missing a lot of good shows. 
Not To Derail The Current 'discussion' 
but 'no video input' means video card is dead right? 
In Russia 
you have to be a car mechanic if you own a russian car :)

letss discuss what can be done to make PC gaming stay afloat 
it means no signal passes to the monitor :P maybe something else died in the 'box' (does it start at all) or the connection is broken 
computer boots up, but the screen displays that message and then nothing happens. 
512M 9800GTX is better than 512M 8800GTS? 
Its is! Extra 10+ fps in crysis, better DX10 support, faster clock speeds...

Heh - get a GX2! :-) 
yeah, like 10% (or less) faster and 150$ higher price 
here, it's $20 more :) 
and I dont have vista, so dx10 is out of the picture for now. 
Get A GX2 !!!!! 
Im Using A GTS 512 8800 
Its a fucking good card!!! I run Crysis in 1280x1024 with the dx9 very high hack, 0xAA and its pretty fast!

Everything else runs at that resolution at 60fps+ when maxed out on details.

But the 9800GTX is gonna run Crysis faster, it's more future proof and for $20 I would say it's worth it!

If you really want future proof though then get a 9800 GX2. Those things are mean! >:-\ 
there might be a slight misunderstanding, I wasn't trying to ridicule console users or computer illiterate persons.

I think we are basically saying the same thing. Notice how I said I can understand how console gaming is more accessible, and that _that_ isn't bad. I also said that the era of teenage computer mechanics passed.

:-) you're right. There. But I'm not buying a TV. I wouldn't want to pay a de facto TV tax (Germany, sigh) when I only play some console games and watch DVDs. 

Heh, OK, that's cool. Hey, sorry about getting so hyper in this thread. Some subjects push my buttons and I sometimes lose sight of the goal - mapping and having fun.

I'm not here to disrupt the community, I'm here to participate. Let me get back to my remix map. :P 
UK top 10

NPD PC chart (no numbers tho)

some revenue stats from Activision report
Segment/Platform Mix
Console $1,683,204
Hand-held 192,557
PC 115,870
( )

~15x times... these guys have the bestselling PC title - cod4 (#1 PC game in units and dollars in the U.S. and Europe for the quarter ended December 31, 2007)

meanwhile AMD 
Do Normal 
games still sell as well as they did before, it's just that there are these non-games (sims, wow, brain training) on top of that.

But since games cost more and more to make nowadays it's not feasible to continue advancing the state of the art in pc games. 
Depends what you call "normal games" but CoD4, Halo, and GoW probably fall into that category, and they all sold ridiculously well.

Games cost more and more, but sales are going up alongside that (on consoles anyways), so it slightly evens out probably.

It's not because the graphics are much better that the games are so much longer/harder to make. That's probably true on a large scale, but you can't ignore the fact that the production tools and workflows have also much improved, making content creation easier/faster. 
Was The Same For Me 
In Russia
#384 posted by Speeds [] on 2008/05/20 12:20:49
you have to be a car mechanic if you own a russian car :)

My first car was a late 70's model Mustang. A lot of real shit came off the assembly lines of Detroit at that time, and it didn't help that I bought it when it had over a hundred thousand miles on the odometer. I would find myself getting up early in the morning working under the hood just so I could go to school. 
are my eyes lying or have you turned slightly pink?

I thought Lada was actually a reasonably reliable car because of its simplicity. Though not as reliable as modern ones. 
Oh no, not at all. I blame Detroit troubles entirely on UAW decadence. Even today, it is impossible for the Big Three to retool plants for modern models without the exhorted cost of union hassles that make doing so unprofitable.

Or do you mean the car being girlie? I 'fess that is true, but then again it was given to me by my older sister. That car was a bright orange, flamboyant pumpkin that looked like it could have fallen out of George Clinton's hair. Possibly, the gayest thing on four wheels. 
Quick Question 
if video card's busted, should rest of boot process be as normal or will it actually stop boot process? 
I Think It Stops 
usually the mobo has some lights and it does some beeps during the boot process, you can decipher them with the mobo manual. No display card, no boot device are at least where it stops and shows some lights and beeps so many times.

But I dunno with the stuff nowadays, why would you need a display card for a box you can ssh to? 
Mother's Board 
disable the pci/agp slot mama and turn on the built-in video card if your motherboard has one (do they all have one?) and it should work. thats what i did when i killed my video card. :)

for me, pc froze before going into windows, but my brother told me i should turn off the pci-e slot, since i just had connected the monitor to the built-in video card, or something like that. i cant remember. :(

still, turning off the pci-e slot, made the problem go away.

i was saving for a new motherboard and a new video card, but i spent the money on ps2 and games for it :) 
Nice Vista Things 
I installed Vista as my main (and only) OS on my home desktop and I keep on finding some really nifty thing:

I was wondering why Vista took a very long time to shutdown, so I keep browsing Control Panel and I noticed the "Performance Information and Tools => Advanced Tools" part, when I opened it, it automatically highlighted an issue: "These programs are causing Windows to shutdown slowly: CTXFISPI.EXE, Vendor: Creative. Time Taken: 95,1 seconds". Whoa, nice. 
Sorry to come back to this whole PC dying thing, but here's an interview with Doug Lombardi that was posted on the shack earlier that was kind of interesting:

Obviously it's Valve, so you can't really be sure he's not slighly biased, as it'd be silly for him to claim pc gaming is dead, but it's still a nice read. 
Valve would never say that because of Steam. It would be be, frankly, retarded of them. :) 
Another Thing No One Mentioned 
bunch of the great hi-profile titles are made/published by "first party" - thats right - nintendo and sony themselves. And they stay exclusive and have zero chance of coming out on a PC

Lombardi tells how it is.
Miserable retail sales in USA (and consider no PC sales in Japan). And that means what? ~60-70% of the market would ignore your game by default if it comes out just on a PC.
Popcap and Blizzard enjoys great sales. And that means what?..

some1 find the sales numbers from steam 
Speaking Of Hardware 
Planning to get a video card soon to replace my dusty old 7900 GT. Lookin @ a 9600 or possibly 9800 or what not, up to $500.00 max, preferably less. Just wanted to know your guys' opinion(s). 
Well You'd Be Netter Off With An 8800 Than A 9600 

But if you can manage a wee bit more then get a GX2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
� name, clockspeed - - - - - - - - value/ performance /price
01. 8800 GT 512MB, 600/1512/1800- 1351 1123 205
02. 9600 GT 512MB, 650/1625/1800- 1330 1041 180
03. 8800 GS 384MB, 680/1674/1600- 1151 964 193
04. 8800 GTS 512MB, 650/1620/1940 -1097 1194 279
05. HD 3870 512MB, 850/850/2380 -1089 1047 227
06. HD 3850 256MB, 670/670/1660 -1066 860 166
07. HD 3870 512MB, 775/775/2250 -976 989 226
08. HD 3850 512MB, 720/720/1800 -971 938 210
09. HD 3650 256MB, 725/725/1600 -714 513 95
10. HD 2600 XT 256MB, 800/800/1400 -713 484 86
11. 9800 GTX 512MB, 675/1688/2200 -706 1224 450
12. HD 2600 PRO 256MB, 700/700/1400 -695 455 75
13. 8600 GTS 256MB, 720/1440/2200 -691 597 132
14. HD 3870 X2 2x512MB, 825/825/1800 -689 1260 484
15. HD 2600 XT 256MB, 800/800/2200 -636 536 116
16. HD 2600 PRO 256MB, 600/700/1000 -636 420 65
17. 8600 GT 256MB, 560/1120/1560 -631 485 90
18. 8800 GTX 768MB, 575/1350/1800 -613 1197 495
19. 8500 GT 256MB, 450/900/800 -576 385 54
20. 9800 GX2 2x512MB, 600/1512/2000 -548 1382 757
21. HD 2400 XT 256MB, 700/700/1600 -545 348 50
22. 8800 Ultra 768MB, 612/1512/2160 -438 1260 757
23. HD 3870 X2 CF 4x512, 825/825/1800- 431 1505 968 
Problem With His Reasoning... 
"pc games are doing well because popcap, valve, and id are going strong?"

that's like saying the economy must be doing well since david beckham has a good salary. 
Then why are those 3 companies also producing console titles? :) 
Two Sources Of Income 
Because they can make additional money like that. I'm not disputing that console games sell better at this time, but suppose that the markets were equally profitable. Then it would still make sense to market products to both industries because it's almost certainly cheaper to port something from one to the other than to develop something from scratch. So it's unfair to try and claim that them developing for both is evidence they couldn't survive without the console market. 
Oh, I'm not saying they couldn't survive without consoles. That wouldn't be truthful at all. But I am saying that even the big PC players have a keen eye on the console market and that's telling, IMO. Once you've tasted a piracy free environment with a black box approach to hardware (everyone has the exact same machine), it's hard to forget that rush as a game developer. 
Is it really that big of a problem? I mean do sales numbers decrease?
ThePirateBay just entered the top 100 sites on the Alexa list. It's a real problem. It joins it's good friend RapidShare which was already there. 
That is exactly not what I asked for. Exactly what the industry wants you to believe (tinfoil ahead!). Surely more people are pirating but also more people are buying as the market grows wider. Just like music, the industry whines crododile's tears yet their profits increase from year to year. Movies, same, records are broken.

When I had my first PC I only had copies. My first original was , I don't even remember, but it took years until I bought my first full-priced game (bought a couple of games on garage sales earlier) and until today I haven't bought more than maybe 4 fullpriced games. One of them was STALKER (radiation pack even) because I had good expectations and wanted to support the developers, I sold it 2 weeks later as it felt like wasted money to me.
I've grown up with copies, let it be games or music, later movies. In school one person bought or downloaded something and then it spread.
My dad's Apple ][ had nothing but copied games, same for all later PCs. And whereever I looked it was the same (the exception being stupid educational games that friends got as gifts from their parents and some mainstream music maybe).

You cannot blame piracy if people are not buying your stuff. You can only blame yourself for creating something the market does not want. For bad sales I think the review magazines and websites are much more to blame if they falsely underrate your work. I guess most people use those to decide what they get (apart from your marketing of course). 
Back On Board 
with a 9800GTx, looking forward to actually playing some games I've had for ages on max. 
All Games On Max :-) 
what is your OS? Crysis is meant to look fantastic on Vista under DX10 - i recon there will be some difference between the DX9 "very high hack" and true DX10 - benchmarks for Crysis on your card = "Really fucking good!"

It chugs a bit with any more than 2xAA on tho ;-)

"You cannot blame piracy if people are not buying your stuff. You can only blame yourself for creating something the market does not want. "

True for some cases. However, I have observed that games released on console make way more money than games released on PC. That's my experience, in real life. You can write that off as crocodile tears or what-have-you, but that's reality. 
And by that example, I mean the same game released on both platforms. Apples to apples. 
Console market = Different market = Not copying to blame if PC sells less. I doubt that console games would sell much less if they were easier to copy. 
eliminate the piracy completely (how about using the latest starforce, wich is virtually uncrackable? and online activation and what-not) and your PC games still wont sell in USA

And Im back with my UT3 example - which is primary a multiplayer game and has to be used with a legitimate cd-key to be played online. Didnt help either.

Sins of Solar Empire - top 10 pirated game on the same piratebay and mininova - still sells great (been in top 10, bight below the Sims, WoWs and Cod4)

console is not piracy-free btw (see the torrents of x360 games)

Everyone blaming piracy as the main reason for low sales of the PC games is wrong. It is just a part of the problem. I read some research that claimed when counting all who buy after pirating (if they like it) and those who`d never buy it leaves about 20% real loss. (Cant find the source now sry) 
I dont have most the newer stuff, I meant some of the older stuff on max which I couldnt do before. 
To argue that piracy isn't a problem in any way means we can't have a meaningful discussion about this. Seriously, guys, come on. I'm done with this thread. 
im sure you could fine Crysis on Piratebay or something!!! ;-P 
You misunderstand every now and then, I think you should read more carefully. Spede said piracy is a partly explaining factor but not all of it.

In my view it's just that people don't want the hassle of pc gaming. 
Willem just look at the facts. Thats all. 
~ridicule Willem
I thought you guys said ricky's thread was pointless because this conversaion was "over." 
Yeah Actually,... 
Sorry about that, when I posted the link to the valve article I should have posted it in that thread (or not posted it at all maybe -___-) 
Best Medium To Backup ? 
I just noticed quite a few of my old cd-rs (5+ years old) became unreadable/very hard to read.

What's the best solution, what do you guys use ? 
Hard Drives 
They are almost as cheap as DVDs really, and last longer, just keep them safe somewhere.

Paper is good too. =) 
I Use Dvds 
for backup, since the data layer is not as susceptible to scratching as cds. 
I use numerically named gmail accounts tbh... 
GnuPG is nice for encrypting backups before storing online (which I do too).

DVDs have the same dataloss by "age" as CDs do. Best thing probably is using a HDD and change to a new one every couple of years. Or USB-Sticks. 
External HD's 
8GB stick = 29.99 GBP
250GB external HD = 39.99 GBP

Uses 2 USB ports - 5400RPM

Buy one ;p 
Thanks for the tips; a friend suggested today to buy an usb frame for hdd's and just regularly changing the hdd.

But I'm somewhat paranoid about hdd's as well, had a fatal crash a few months ago, it was a 3 months old Maxtor...and loss of a hdd is gonna be really hard, in the case of a dvd I'd lose only 4 gig.

This really sux as there were many rare maps/mods/mp3s on those cd's, which were always kept in their cases. Some of them I've used only 3-4 times, no scratches at all. 
It's not cheap, but I just bought a Drobo unit ( I filled it up with drives and now have 2TB of redundant storage. If a drive fails, no big deal, just hot swap it out and it won't even hiccup. 
is next to impossible. It's horrible in this day and age. 
As I said, I use a Drobo unit in conjunction with Time Machine. I can restore my Mac to any date since I started running Time Machine. It's about as easy as backing up is going to get. 
There's Other Online Stuff

Don't know if I'd trust this sort of thing over time more or less than a DVD or USB stick though. There are arguments both ways.

I've been thinking about this recently. As I'm probably going to buy a home server rig soon anyway, I'm thinking of just buying a case with lots of room, several large disks and doing software RAID 1. And hope my house doesn't burn down :) (Bandwidth is too expensive down here on the bottom of the world to use an online solution for bulk stuff like photos or music). 
Just encrypt your backup yourself, then you can use any online storage/upload service for it. There are some sites that can mirror the file to multiple hosters for you. Then just keep an eye on those and reupload if necessary. Never trust any service where you upload it unencrypted.

Well, that's an idea if you are too cheap to even get a small webspace or vserver for it.

If you consider all your "media" (music, games, movies etc) backup worthy, well then you might be screwed... For me the important files are about 500MB. If you'd backup that once a month it would be manageble even with ISDN-speeds. Maybe do smaller backups of just the changes weekly.

Did I mention that Linux rocks for stuff like this? :) 
Yeah it's probably a good solution when looking at the spectrum of what is available.
But I mean the problem more generally. What about in twenty years? There aren't that many interfaces to read hardware from 1988 now, or odds of said hardware working well now. If you put your hard Drongo disks in a box and open it up in 2028 is it just plug and read? Or in 2048 when you want to show your grandkids something you mapped way back?
I think the most reliable way to document would be good prints and/or photos (with paper and ink designed to last).
A book like Pope's Brushwork project. If it was made on such paper with such a technique that it could last.
You still couldn't play it, but at least you had *something*.

Actually the odds of a quake engine being available on new hardware and operating systems is better, it seems to usually be the first thing that is ported thanks to John Carmack's far sighted idea of making it open source back in the day. Quake and SDL exist even on new from scratch OSes like SkyOS. 

I think it would require diligence on the part of the keeper of the data. Meaning that you would need to carry over anything you wanted to keep every time you changed your back up medium. Like, if I move to some sort of solid state device, I would need to be careful to copy everything from my Drobo. And then if I move to some sort of device that stores data in space using worm holes, I'd need to copy it from my solid state device. And so on.

I agree it's a problem but I think anything that you want to write to and store in a closet for 20 years is going to have to be incredibly low level and generic - like you said, maybe paper. But even paper needs to be protected from moisture, sunlight, etc. Nothing is really permanent in that sense. 
that drobo thingy looks cool. I am pretty much a sucker for anything with blue LEDs on it. 
My CRT is showing purple shadows on things like black text on white background. Slightly offset to the right.
I think this is a shadow mask tube...
Is it unfixable? 
It was a cable issue, fixed it... 
It's A Shame 
it's so hard to find good CRTs these days. when mine breaks, i doubt if i'll be able to get another one. :( 
Get Em While You Can 
there are people selling them on messageboards quite cheaply... if you have some space to store a few good CRT:s. (not too moist or temperature swinging) 
I'd love to get rid of my 21", 50Kg, 80W monitor and get a TFT. Wanna swap? 
50 Kg?!? 
Is that an IBM? Oh well they haven't done displays for ages. 
I just checked, the memory from the lasting moving it was a bit blurred, it's "just" 30Kg. But 120W typical usage. 
Fucking Hell!!! 
Whats the top resolution? 
Just get an LCD panel that can do 75hz, then you can get max fps in Quake with vsync on and you're all good. :D

No, it's still probably not enough for the die hard CRT fans, but it makes it a bit more tolerable. I do actually understand why you'd still want a CRT, I just feel that as long as the response time on the LCD panel is low enough, the benefits outweigh the downsides. 
GeForce 6800 
Bought an 6800LE from ebay today (35+10=AU$45). Anyway, looking at the box, i thought "That's weird. It says nothing 'bout LE". Anyway, it's a Leadtek A400 TDH, a vanilla 6800 i think. Better still, i just unlocked it to full 16 pipelines/6 vertexes, no problems so far. Sweet.

Quake 4 looks amazing in high quality too (never seen it before). GZDoom::Torment an torture runs nice... F-ing Darkplaces and Nsoe3 still runs like a dog though - laugh. 
... On Socket 754 
Anyway, tested it through and through with Q4. My socket 754 memory sub-system is the bottle neck now. Benching id_demo001, CPU is only at 70%, image quality settings make no diff, and removing my second 256 meg simm to increase ddr speeds from 333 to 400, i get a 4% speed up from 48 fps to 50 fps.

When i find a cheap nforce3 board (with PCI lock) i'll give my sempron 3400 a good overclocking. Its a 2GHz part, but people report getting 2.6, 2.7GHz without much problems. 
I Just Scored One Of These! 
From my long-suffering girlfreind....

I know its only 5ms response, but frankly I cant tell the difference. When I used to play Quake in the office it was on an 8ms response monitor, and I thought it looked fine!!

Havent got it out of the box yet though.... 
ATI ? 
I consider buying a 4670
Are there any known problems with quake and map editors especially Fitzquake/aglquake/QuArK ?

Or is Nvidia the better choice? 
Yes There Are Problems 
Whenever the problems

"your map looks very very dark on my computer"


"the 3d view on WC3.3 doesnt work properly"

crop up, its always on an ATI.

Directx 10.1 though..... which you cant get with NVidia....

Personally I wouldnt mind a 4870, but if I was trying to make a budget system I would go for a 9800 GT (which is basically an 8800 GT with a new name)

Look at this chart: 
ATI seems to have the better hardware at the moment.
Can't put a 9800gt or 4870 in my computer. My PSU would collapse. Thats the problem and the 4670 is really fast an consumes very little power.

"your map looks very very dark on my computer"
Really ATI related? I think its the screen.
Maps on the family Pc with a CRT used to look really dark. And On my TFT usually gamma 1 is bright enough.
Both nvidia cards. 
Well You Asked 
what PSU have you got?
Im running an 8800 GTS on a 450w?

As for it being the screen which causes map to look dark on computers, I'm afraid not. Heres my evidence:

OK, so the links are dead, but the shots were of my level, and they looked dark on EVERYONES screen, so it cant have ust been the screen, if you see what I mean....

Anyway you are right, the ATI 4850 and '70 are doing pretty well at the moment, but if you look at the charts you will see that the 4670 is "OK", and I dont know how many frames-per-watt you will get compared to other cards, if you are really on a low PSU, but cards like the 9600 GT or GSO are faster, probably for a similar price....

but like I say, why ask if your just gonna argue with us? Just buy the damn 4670, I'm sure they're great! :-) 
Ok I belive you that the map looks too dark on ATI cards. And there are more than quake glitches that speak against ATI like glitchy Linux drivers. Was very pleased with my nvidia.

The GSO has a g92 and consumes much more power and is not really much faster than the 4670. The 9600gt may work but I'm not sure. Maybe I should just try it out.
The PSU is 350W 10a and 15a on the 12v rails though. 
I see your predicament with a 350w PSU....

Maybe find an upgrade for that too.... ? 
Work fine for me in all versions of Quake that I care to play, works fine with Radiant, works fine with Hammer. (This is with Vista by the way, mileage may vary in other operating systems of course).

The sole problem I've had with Quake since switching to ATI cards was some display corruption in some versions that was fixed by setting gl_ztrick to 0.

Other than that, the main things I've noticed since switching from nvidia cards is better price/performance ratio, lower power consumption, more speed and stability, regular driver updates, better colour and "shit just working".

The one thing I miss from the nvida stuff is that they had more fully featured software (specifically management of dual monitors, they had some nifty features like shortcuts to swap windows between monitors and shit like that).

I had a 1950 pro and now the HD4870, very happy with both. Using ATI cards at work now too because I had some problems with Maya and our asset building tools using nvidia drivers which were magically fixed by swapping to an ATI card. 
Not trying to preach, just throwing it out there to counterbalance the anti-ATI stuff ;)

I don't have any problems with brightness in Quake or any game using default settings in both the driver control panel and the game options. As with everything else I've had far less problems (as in, basically none) with Quake than I had using nvidia stuff. 
You are on Linux (aren't you), you want nvidia. 
Heh - I Must Admit That NVidia Drivers Can Be A Bit Dodgy 
Like the 180.84 BETA driver which GTA tells you to install, and how it caused SYSTEM CRASH, LOSS of MOUSE and KEYBOARD!

I've never had any problems with their stable release though...

The only ATI card which I ever use is the X1300 in one of our work machines, which I think is fried, because I get some nasty distortions in Fitz and AGLQuake. But like I said, I think the card is a bit fried....

I must admit that unless NVidia bring in some cool features I will be converting to ATI next time I upgrade, because I want DirectX 10.1 - I like eye candy! And their anti-aliasing is unbeatable, from what I gather...

At the end of that day, I'm only really speaking from a gaming performance angle, it depends entirely what you want from a card.... 
I Must Admit 
that I say "I must admit" too much... 
Not sure about that, ATIs drivers improved a lot, open source and proprietary. There are still a lot of bug reports though.
Of course Nvidia has the better linux drivers at the moment.

By the way is it possible to use an onboard nvidia card in Linux and the pci-express card in windows? 
that Asus N10J netbook I bought for my girfreind for Christmas has switachble graphics - Intel GMA for long batterly life, and NVidia 9300 GS for gaming/performance. There's a button on the side to switch between the two. You then have to re-boot.

So there must be a way of doing it in a PC, just dont ask me how. 
Like the 180.84 BETA driver which GTA tells you to install, and how it caused SYSTEM CRASH, LOSS of MOUSE and KEYBOARD!

Just minor inconvenient side-effects then, no big deal. Reminds me of the anti-malarials i once took a course of: I read the booklet and was excited to see many hundreds of possible terrible side-effects, one of which being actual malaria. Well great. 
I Heard About A Guy Who Went Into Hospital To Have 
his stomach pumped or something, and ended up loosing both of his legs to MRSA... 
> By the way is it possible to use an onboard nvidia
> card in Linux and the pci-express card in windows

It appears so (as long as your bios supported it as some trashy bioses may automatically disable onboard video if another video card is found), but it mightn't be easy. You'd have to configure dual monitors under linux, and only use the onboard nvidia.

It ~may~ also be an anlternative to enter bios between OS reboots and switch primary video. 
Why should I configure dual monitors?
My onboard card has dvi and vga
my monitor too
I'v got a dvi and a vga cable

And if the gfx card has dvi and vga? 
Nvidia Drivers 
I cant even use the latest last few, they reduce my screen to 4 bit color in 320*240 for some reason. 
Ati Drivers 
seem pretty solid compared to nvidia. I know i was positively surprised with my first ati (9800something i think), until it fried after a year or two :( 
Yeah... you don't really want to mess with dual monitors. It's just the only way i can imagine getting windows to use one card and linux the other, as the bios will generally designate one video card as the main one. ... I've never actually done it.

Ati drivers are meant to be improving anyway, but imho Linux + Nvidia is great. 
Yeah I Don`t Really Like To Mess Up With Dual Monitors 
I just found out that there is a 9600gso with 256bit si and 48 shader units with a 55nm core. That card should be ideal for my psu. 
What's The Story With The Dual Monitor Hate? 
How is it bad?

It's kind of like going from dial-up to cable/dsl or whatever... you can't really go back once you've lived the good life!

In all seriousness, I've had almost zero issues with dual monitors in winxp/vista with either ati or nvidia cards/drivers.

Unless you're talking about linux or something, in which case well, of course it isn't going to work without extreme pain and misery, it's linux yeah? 
I had some issues with dual monitors and Windows XP on my Macbook Pro. The Apple provided Boot Camp drivers don't support it properly, so I had to install a hacked driver. NVidia, in all their wisdom, don't provide generic laptop drivers anymore, which sucks.

But then, I hardly use Windows and with the hacked driver, everything works great. I have to agree with Frib on how you can't really go back from dual monitors once you used them. Especially if you are a designer or programmer I guess. 
i've had dual monitors working on my macbook pro for months now. (i'm assuming you are talking about using the built in lcd + external monitor? not 2 externals?)

i didn't have to get hacked drivers either, iirc, i got mine off of apple's site (my mbp has an ati card). 
And Therein Lies The Problem 
It worked fine in my old MBP that had an ATI card, but doesn't work well in my NVidia card. You can activate dual monitors, set it to extend the desktop etc, but you cannot set the external monitor to be the primary monitor... 
I use dual monitors on my Macbook Pro in OSX and I would have a hard time going back. Just being able to do things like write code and debug on the main monitor and have the log file running on the laptop screen add so much to productivity. 
Boot Camp 
Sleepwalkr - Do you have Linux on the mac too ? How's it go. I'm thinking about buying a mac keyboard (to use with linux). Those new things are great.
Frib - Sure linux can suck sometimes. I dunno about dual monitors though, my desk is way small. 
No, I don't run Linux on my MBP and can't give you any hints. Sorry. 
Ok I Think This Will Be My Card 
"green edition" that uses less wattage? 
Yes does not even need a power connector 
external power connector 
Got myself a shiny new laptop recently, both for work and play (graphics card on the desktop melted, might actually play through recent releases now ;)

However, I have a problem. The graphics chip in it is an Intel X4500 with 128mb dedicated. This in itself isn't a problem, however, I do a lot of live music video mixing using fairly specialist software. The latest version of this software refuses to support the intel chipsets (since everything below the X4500 is complete arse, and I'll admit, the X4500 still isn't a great chip), however, I believe my chip is easily powerful to run the software.

Therefore (yes I ramble at 7am ;), does anyone know a good wrapper to convince the software my chip is a nvidia or ati chip? 
Video Decoding ? 
I just saw this note about the 4700, which suggests that the 4500 may not support all hardware video decoding.

� Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4700MHD small and light

Onboard (shared memory) graphics adapter that is integrated in the GM47 chipset. Technically a higher clocked 4500MHD and therefore a bit faster. The integrated video decoder can support the CPU in decoding HD videos (AVC/VC2/MPEG2).
Actually, maybe i misread that. It says a simliar thing about the 4500. 
I searched and searched for a laptop which didnt have an intel chipset graphics card of any kind. From what I have read they are all horrifically underpowered. Not for games..... Probably old games will run OK, but current titles I dont think are supported. S00ry :| 
Strangely it's not a gaming issue. Yeh, it struggles with very top end releases, but I have have a 360 for gaming tbh.

As I say, it's for video mixing. Version 3 of the software was developed for Macs with the PC port as a profitable afterthought. I just need to convince the OS that it's not an intel...

And yeh, finding a laptop without an intel chip for a good price was nigh on impossible, given it's more for image editing and video editing/mixing than gaming I just went for intel in the end. 
Weird Random Reboots 
Okay, i've got some strange thing going on here.

After installing windows xp sp3, the system just spontanously reboots once in a while. like, 2-5 times a week. I ignore it, because it's not THAT annoying.

Now in the last few days i have been using gtkradiant (1.4 at first), and this seems to crash it like crazy. like, what feels like every few minutes. If it does that two or three times in a row, windows already starts to reboot during the loading screen. I can wait a while, or boot into safe mode once or so, then it works again.

So, i decided to install a clean xp. At first i tried a version with sp3 preinstalled. it kept crashing during the installation, at the 'installing devices' stage, im pretty sure always at the same stage, but sometimes it would get farther and then crash later. eventually, i got through the whole installation, so i had a running system... which spontanously rebooted when running gtkradiant. The problem was still there.

This all started with Service Pack 3, right? Next thing to do: install an xp with sp2. reboots/hangs during the install, reboots/hangs with gtkradiant.

gtkradiant 1.5 seems to be better, but still crashes after half an hour or so. q3map2 runs fine, photoshop runs fine, opera runs fine, memtest didn't show an error (1 pass only though, need to let it run when i'm away), quake3 runs fine, stalker runs fine. fine as in 'tested for about half an hour until i get the feeling nothing will happen'. Then again, i've had these reboots once in a while before.

I'm out of ideas. Anyone got a clue why this system might be so fucked up? 
LINUX test wether it's a hardware defect or not. 
Take The Side Off 
and look at your heat-sink. If its covered with dust and stuff then it will be causing the processor to overheat, which would cause it to go off. I dont know if that would cause it to reboot though.... :| 
If it is overheating it will reboot. (At least, most CPUs and motherboards these days have protection built in that ensures the system will shut down if temperatures get too high, to prevent damage to the hardware).

Most likely suspects are overheating or failing/inadequate power supply, based on what you've said.

Another possibility is that perhaps some of the memory has gone bad - to test this, try running memtest86 or similar and if faults are detected, remove/swap the memory chips until you can isolate the problem piece. 
sorry, i forgot to mention: the temperatures look fine. All fans working, heatsinks clean. the only thing that might be hot without me noticing is the northbridge.

most voltages are a little low, but they have been since day 1. I tried increasing agp and cpu voltages slightly, so that they match the desired values.

I unplugged all unneeded components. Remaining: CPU, Board, Hd, RAM, floppy drive, GFX card.

Memory got through the first pass fine.

Linux: hmm, it's hard to reproduce the problem in windows already :(

I just tested stalker some more and it ran fine for an hour or so. Then, when i quit the game and it switched resolutions, it crashed :(

I think it's either the power supply or the gfx card, or the board, which has had problems with the ide controllers before. Guess i have to try to get my hands on other components and swap :( 
I experienced random reboots for a few months; it always seemed to be when the hard drives had gone to sleep and then tried to spin up. Then one day, instead of rebooting, my PCI-e got fried.

I'm fairly sure the problem was my power supply - I had a stock 300W, which was probably not adequate for extra HD's & cards. I've since replaced the PSU (with a 500W) and the mobo: no problems since then. 
To check the heat, simply open the case and touch the components after such reboot. 
Shuttle Question: 
I have a friend who has just offered me his old shuttle:

- Shuttle SN95G5 case + motherboard
- 2Gb RAM (can be upgraded to 4Gb)
- 500Gb HDD
- CD/DVD rewriter

Not sure what processor is in but I know it's dual core.

He says it will be a pretty cheap price second-hand.

Obviously this is quite an old spec machine, but currently I'm using: P4 2.8 G / 2Gb Ram / 120 GB HDD / CD writer only.

So if I can make a little step up at a cheap price, well, I'm pretty damn tempted. Saves me dicking around with components basically. The guy who had it is an uber geek, I'm trusting it's set-up well.

The main question being: He's only got an uber-basic GFX card in, and obviously I want a pretty damn good one for games. So, what is available for a shuttle like this, and what is recommended?? 
Assuming It Has Pci-express... 
You probably want something single slot and fanless to fit in the case and not overheat it. Dunno what would be, exactly. 
Can one recommend me some good comparison sites or give me some ideas here?? It's ages since I looked into this sort of stuff... 
Forgot about Tom's, that's quite useful.

Now, which one will fit in a shuttle and cope with it's power supply? 
Thats the million dollar question isn't it. Shuttles are not really designed as gaming pc's so I doubt you are going to be able to find anything that beefy that will work inside it.

Also there is the question of space, quite a few of the new graphics cards are quite large and barely fit inside a full size atx case. 
Being a barebone owner myself I strongly suggest you get a proper (tower) PC... 
sometimes, after playing the quake i got this in my pc

almost all icons look incorrectly
i'm sure this somehow alt-tab related, because
i'm using alt-tab frequently during playing
after rebooting the icons look correctly again
any solutions? 
Try running crap-cleaner registry cleaner. I've had that stuff before and I think its related to the registry (whatever the hell that is)

Brainy people will know more, but in the mean-time try this free program: 
i don't see anythig wrong with those icons. they're just monotonous. ;) 
Another Question: 
Laptop recommendation please.

For general stuff not particularly gaming.

Must be reliable, cheap (below �400), decent processor and RAM. Not bothered about fancy trendy kid extras on it. Non-widescreen would be an unlikely preference. Smaller the better too.

I Have A Dell Latitude C400 (quite Old) 
and i'm very satisfied with it, although the high age brings disadvantages like having only one usb1.0 slot :(

Keyboard is high quality with a good layout, small (12"), both trackpoint and touchpad, etc.

If it's your secondary computer mainly for carrying around, i'd always suggest smaller models over faster ones, unless you need the speed or good screens. 
and it came with external cd and floppy drives ;) 
Lenovo/IBM's Thinkpads are said to be amazing.

megaman: Doesn't it have a PCMCIA slot? I got an Dell D6x0 something and it only has one USB1.0 too. So I grabbed an PCMCIA card with 2 USB2 slots. It's very "fragile" though or it is the driver or Windows, transfers like to stall and I get some filesystem warnings (on my 8GB stick, 2GB one is fine I think).

And one (noname) card I got earlier froze the whole PC (from the hardware or low-level software side) when I put it in. Once I unplugged it, all was fine again... 
Lenovo/IBM's Thinkpads are said to be amazing.

They are indeed. I got to play with one for a few months while cleaning it for a business associate last year. Core 2 Duo model. While I didn't try gaming on it much, it did run Quake fine and I could edit half a gig PSD files without slow down...

They're fair spenny tho, model I had was retailing for over a grand when I looked. Depends how much disposable cash you've got and how much you value portability (they are very ickle and very light, especially for the power).

Using a Toshiba Satellite Pro now, which I'm very happy with. Runs everything except DX10 games fine and you can pick them up fairly cheap these days (altho I did combine xmas sales+recession to get mine cheap). Bit heavier/larger tho... 
ibm's are fine, too. that's why the quality of my dell surprised me so much. it's almost on par (and has more features).

if you can't spend so much money, get a used one and buy a replacement battery.

Spirit: hmmm, i had a card like that a few months ago, but it stood out of the chassis on the left (where the pcmcia slot is) -- i don't know how portable the laptop will be with something like that. Is your card smaller so that the slots are completely inside the chassis? 
Oh, it's perfect to leave a USB stick plugged in and accidentaly step on it... So, no, sadly not. It is also chunky and blocks the other PCMCIA slot (not that it matters for me). 
Yesterday my dad uncommented the lines with "hiddenmenu" and "timeout" in the menu.lst. And the next time he booted the machine the screenrez was too low. Doesn't that sound strange? What can be wrong with the machine? 
Win98 On A New Board 
Just spent over 12 hours this rainy easter trying to install Win98SE on my 4coredula-sata2/E5200. No joy though... I think it's meant to be possible, but perhaps i have to remove the SATA drive (I've got win98 on an IDE drive) where Linux lives.

I tried hyperion drivers 500A and 522A, and 4-in-1 drivers 145 and 143 i think, as well as 81.85_forceware_win9x for my AGP GF6800. But whatever i do i can't get my dvd on ide2 recognised, and no agp either i think, as the card is reported as installed but wont go over 640x480/256colors.

It's not a bad board actually.... I guess i'll do a clean XP install, but i
miss those old games running natively. Ho humm.. 
It is a shame that VirtualBox has no Guest Additions for Windows 98. Wine might be a better choice. I just recently spent a whole day testing and doing a bug report, heh. 
The AGP Card Is Possible Not Configured Correctly 
in the BIOS. Had a problem with my freinds computer where we had to "enable Plug and Play devices on the PCIe"

Until we did the card would only allow us 640x480, 256 colours.

So I would go through the bios and look for some sort of PnP AGP option or something..... 
Thanks Ricky, will try that.

Spirit.. I used to play with virtualiszation... but none of them have hardware accelerated openGL/directx do they ?? 
Sadly not for Windows 98. But for Linux and Windows XP it works very well. Just tick the "Enable 3D Acceleration" in a machine's settings. 
Oh Why Am I About To Format My HDD AGAIN!!!!!! 
And Its Done......... 
Yo Dudes. 
Back on the laptop tip here. Am considering a few options, par example:

(Noted what nntt said about Toshiba)

Naturally I still have questions and confusion:

2gig ram minimum, more wouldn't hurt. 160 gb HDD is probably enough. Maybe it is worth me getting something cheaper with lower specs and adding ram?

Processor, I don't know what's better out of Intel / AMD, are they roughly comparable?

Graphics, this confuses me too, in the above examples the HP has a small GFX card, whilst the Toshiba has intergrated GFX with more memory assignable. Which is better?

Also, Vista, I've never heard anything good about this, although I've used it at a friend's house and it seems a bit inferior to XP in useability but not badly so. What problems are there with software and shizzle??

Etc etc.

Ta :) 
Looking at tech 5 months after I bought stuff makes me sad :(

The Toshiba is almost identical to mine. From experience, it's a nice machine, runs all my apps without slow down and lets me edit stupidly over-sized PSDs without any lag. Does suffer as a gaming machine (altho not sure if you want a laptop you can game on). While it runs recent games fairly well (runs source engine stuff fine, been playing Demigod a lot on it recently without a hitch), it'll struggle with top end stuff (and sometimes flat out refuse to run (see DoW2)) as well as the occaisional old game that doesn't support it's API properly.

The HP model is easily better spec'd. Likewise, don't know how the Intel vs AMD chips stack up, but certainly for mobile gaming and ting it'll do better, not sure what HP's build quality is like, I imagine it's not terrible (and you're unlikely to take your laptop to a field for several days or have it sat on top of vibrating things ;) but mebe someone else has experience with them.

As for Vista, dunno about the HP, but the Toshibas come with an XP Pro disc since while they are contractually obliged to install Vista, they are well aware it's shite... 
Note, a lot of my points there relate to the different graphic chips more than anything. The Intel GMA just isn't a gaming chip (altho the 4500X does at least manage to cope most of the time, the older versions tended to fall over sideways a lot more). 
NNTT, that's the bizzle I'm on about.

Not bothered about gaming that much. Editing large PSDs n shizzle, yeah. Reliablity and stuff very important too.

Interesting point about Toshiba supplying XP, that could be handy. But I don't know how bad Vista actually is...

Ricky: Too expensive. �400 max, and I've got to include an optical mouse with that too. 
Those are hawt.

Spenny tho (not for what you get I'll admit, but for 'a laptop' as it were) 
I would go for a standard sized laptop if you can afford one because then you could by a better GPU at a later date if you so wished.

TBH the GMA 4500HD chipset isnt too bad. I got one to play Quake Live but on high settings it was 10-20 fps and on low settings it was a stuttery 30-40.

Heh - reminds me of my freind recently, ended up spending �600 on a new PC box. He came to me saying "what can you find me for �400" I said to him it was false economy because he might as well pay an extra �200 (�600 is still pretty cheap for a gaming PC) and he would have something which was a lot more futureproof and he would get a lot more use out of.

But yeah - your basically stumped. I would recommend Intel centrino/Core 2 Duo processors. And your not going to get anything much better than a Intel GMA chipset for that money, but they are OK for internet and old games. To a degree.

Don't you think that getting a blu-ray and full gaming capabilities for an extra �150 is worth it? 
Heres A Good One, A 13" Asus Which Will Run Most Games :)

Heres a good site for checking out your mobile chipsets with benchmarking: (I have found the benchmarks for the GPU in the afforementioned link) 
Don't you think that getting a blu-ray and full gaming capabilities for an extra �190 is worth it?

No. It's not intended for gaming (I'll update my home one for that) and I have no interest in blu ray, I don't know what it is.

I'd rather spend, say �400 getting a decent laptop, and �400 at some point updating my PC to run modern games well, rather than �600 on a laptop that will do games "okay" but still not be good enough for modern games.

The Asus looks quite nice, I was attracted to smaller laptops but now I'm not so sure. I could be tempted if there was a good value 14.4" though.

What about Asus / Acer as brands, though?? 
Asus Is A High Quality Brand 
Really, very nice.

They sell Acers in Aldi! Not so good TBH, although im sure they do a fine job really ;) Probably weigh more.

no interest in blu ray, I don't know what it is.

Blu Ray is HD movies. 4 or 9 times as many pixels on the screen as your average DVD, if you have a HD TV that is. You can reant a Blu Ray from Blockbusters and watch it on your TV using your laptop as a player. You need a special drive to read the disc though. PS3s have them in. You would connect your laptop to your HDTV using a HDMI cable (HDMI to HDMI) which also carries high quality sound :)

I can totally understand what your saying about playing games at home and needing "work" type laptop. The GMA 4500HD is a hell of a lot better than the GMA3100, but dont be fooled by the size of the intergrated memory, it has no bearing on the speed of the thing.

I would go for a good Intel processor. And a HDD with atleast 5400rpm. And RAM at atleast 667mhz.

As for which processor - well you want a "Core 2 Duo/Centrino" - Not to be mixed up with "Dual Cores". The Dual Cores kinda suck, although they are better than single cores.

Heres a thread which shows the full heirarchy of processors (keep scrolling after you hit the first part because they are in about four blocks down the thread) 
As For Upgrading Your Home PC 
Well the new ATI 4770 is a hell of a piece of kit and costs only �80 at most!

Just though I'd mention it, they only launched this week.... 
Totally Agree With Ricky 
Shambler, if �400 is a hard limit and there's simply no way you can go any more expensive (borrow cash from a mate, etc) then fair enough, but an extra �50-�100 can go a really long way.

I started out looking for a �400 laptop last summer, but ended up getting a �540 one. Incredibly glad I did, this will last me a while.

Coincidentally, I got a similar, previous version of the laptop Ricky recommended before.

I bought mine off Amazon and got a great deal, so I had a look if I could find a bargain on the 6930g there. Low and behold, here it is for �499
Saving of �70 there.

Alternatively, with no Bluray, and a cheap graphics card, there's this for �448:

I can vouch for the short delivery times and the general quality of the laptops, no complaints. 
lo and behold 
since this is the hardware thread, recently picked up a Logitech G9 mouse after lusting after one for a while. Holy balls this is one high-quality piece of kit. 
I want the laptop for the same sort of stuff I'm currently using my desktop for, except for gaming. My desktop is basically a 2003 PC, just with an updated GFX card and 2gb of ram. I am pretty sure the sort of laptops I'm looking at will not only be adequate but excessive for my needs. I'd rather spend a few quid less than a few quid more.

(And put the few quid towards updating this old clunker (which is still very satisfactory for everything except the Crysis demo)). 
Starbuck: Hmmmm 3650 Is A V Nice Gfx Card For The Price :DDD 
I want one :) 
fair enough. If you aren't using it for gaming and don't want a big screen then that's money wasted I guess. Had another look around and found another Acer for you, coming in at �391. T5800 Processor, 3 GB ram.

Also, you said you were looking for an optical mouse too, heard this is good on a budget but haven't used one myself:

Hope that helps.

Yeah I know man. Ridiculous how quick components drop in value and your existing kit becomes worthless! That laptop would play current games well, for �448. Crazy talk... 
Yeh, Shambler already proved I've lost 50� in the last 4 months for a start :( 
i see they finally brought back the forward/back side buttons on their mice, instead of just a back button alone.

i might finally buy a new mouse instead of always going back to mx500/518 mice, although i still think the mx500/518 was the best mouse design ever for comfort and utility. 
I'm still using my 510. Lovely blue turtle shell effect too... 
Is fine so far, there's some problems with compatability, but to be honest alot of the crap I'm having problems with was due to change anyway.

Also, I'm looking for a thumbtrack mouse - any suggestions? 
By thumb track I mean those that you don't move - they have a trackball, but a thumb operated one. They're pretty rare it seems, logitech had a few models.

I forked out 50 quid for my last one a few years ago. They're wierd to get used to but the precision and speed is worth it, as well as being able to operate with minimal movement being a bonus. 
I just set my face as my login password. Facial recognition FTW 
Never Give Jack Bauer A Reason To Access Your Files 
or he'll come and cut off your face. 
I Just... 
...set my ass as my log-in password. Or, rather, tried to. It gave me an error: "Password Rejected: Recognition already identified with user: "ijed"". Hmmmm.... 
Cheeky . . . 
speaking of hardware, my router sucks. It's a d-link WBR-1310, and I'm pretty dissapointed since all previous d-link routers/network adapters i've bought were trouble free. But this one can't keep a goddamn connection for more than a few hours, and needs occasional hard-resets just get re-establish a connection.

Anyone got a recommendation for a good, basic wireless router? I've heard linksys is good, is that true? 
not too basic... i would like a decent web-based admin tool, firewall, packet routing type tools. I just don't need the flashy "Gamer Xtreeeme Routers" that sell for $200 for no apparent reason. 
Will you not be doing any Xtreeeme routing then? 
In Any Case 
It doesn't want to work, and is anyway slower than just typing a password since the camera has to power up. Typical wave of the future. 
My Laptop 
Recognised me today. I'm guessing this is how I'll feel in a year or so when my kid calls me daddy. 
i was just wondering if anyone had ever seen something like this:

how it goes is that after some hours of use, i start to see wierd things happening with stuff related to the video card.

for example, games, geometry flicker and video files either show up black (with sound) or with a thick pinkish/gray line going horizontally at a random height. the line flickers but stays at the same position.

restarting the machine gets rid of the problem, so it seems it's video ram corruption? 
If It Was Mem Corruption 
it would occur more randomly, unless it only happens when overheating, but then I'd expect it to happen quite soon after the restart again. (same with most other problems)

vague idea: bug with mem management in driver? 
is obviously guesswork. I've seen the weirdest stuff happen 
Sounds Like Overheating 
similar stuff happened to with my old card 
looked into it a bit more by running different 3d applications at the same time.

when the problem has started, i've found that running 3ds max will stop the problem from showing up in videos but it will cause the flickering when running doom3 at the same time.
closing 3ds max will stop the problem in doom3, but the lines appear in videos again.

i don't really know all that much about memory management or really video cards in general though. i guess i'll have to spend more time on google. :S 
I would try older drivers (eg half a year old, then a year old). Well, unless your's are old, try the latest ones then. Some similar problems happened to me on Linux and I could fix it with different drivers. 
Here's some great photos and write up about ancient personal computers. 
Cheap SSD:s Would Be Nice 
Seriously Weird 
I had lots of problems with my 6600GT on Linux recently. Graphic corruption, crashes and freezes happening with OpenGL applications (it even corrupted Quake demo recording). I tried various driver versions with no luck. Then I reinstalled Windows XP on another partition to play some QuakeLive. I had some (very) minor corruption even there, some geometry flashes every ~5 minutes.

Now I am back in Linux and everything is fine. Windows fixed my Linux. Fuck! 
The Time For Capitol Investment Rapidly Approaches....... 
So Pope 
How's your new PC? Post pics of the surrounding environment of the monster. 
Sometimes hardware *does* seem to need resetting, though i've never seen what you're describing... and can't think of the reason either ? (I've got an original 6800 agp).

I suppose you've got nvclock installed.
It's got nice thermal monitoring as well as overclocking, etc. 
It Was False Hope 
I could play several hours over two days without problems. Now they are back and affect Windows as well. Well, somehow this is good because the chance of me buying some new PC rises. 
Finally - The "Next Gen" Is Here! :D 
Amazon Vs Digital Direct 
I ordered a tv from about 3 and a half weeks ago, and it was meant to take 3-5 working days to arrive, so after several interim phonecalls and PM with them, yesterday I called them and they announced for the third week running that it would likely be next week.
So I cancelled it. It will probably take 5 - 7 worling days for them to refund my money, but luckily I had enough to order another one.
I ordered the same model with 3 years warranty instead of 4 for �30 less delivered approx 24 hours ago (lunchtime yesterday) and it is now in my livingroom! Hooray for Amazon, boo-raa for Digital Direct! 
Amazon is amazing. It's the only place I go to order stuff anymore. 
Arrived Then 
Online is nearly always better for buying stuff.

In fact the only things come to mind as being better bought in reality are houses and cars.

And ice cream. 
When I Had To Return Something To 
to a third party retailer, I did ask the amazon online support for help with the process, but their answers didn't look like they even understood my questions. 
Finally Upgraded My Hardware... 
24" ViewSonic HDMI 1080p

(and a teaser) 
The Only Thing More Enjoyable 
than a huge monitor is 2 huge monitors. n1 :) 
Nice, A Tilling Window Manager? 
Oh, new map in the pipeline (ie finally VISed)? 
Need A New Screen 
One of my old ones just broke, so I need a replacement, and have absolutely no clue what models to look into.

Obviously, I'm into programming, gaming, and a bit of design, so I can't get a model with fucked up colors or lots of lag. (My second screen is an old 17" crt, so I still have a gaming/colour fallback.) The bigger, the better. What models do I need to look at? Can anyone recommend some model that works great for him? 
All I Can Say Is 
Asus over Samsung. The two Asus LCDs I have seen are really good, mine is a 24" 1080p with a 2ms response time. The two Samsung I have seen, this one I am looking at now has a dead pixel (only 1 TBF) but the one I got last January was dead by April..... 
Pretty Weird Ass S@#* If You Ask Me! 
Crazy processor prototype - paving the way to an in-advertant Skynet scenario all the more...,news-32351.html 
Placed An Order For New PC Parts 
Case: Fractal Design Define R2
PSU: Corsair 650TX 650W
Motherboard: MSI P55-CD53
CPU: Intel i5 750
CPU Cooler: Corsair Hydro H50
RAM: Corsair 2x2GB, DDR3 1333MHz
+ 1 x additional Noctua 120mm 700rpm 6,9dba case fan

Going to migrate over my old harddisks, audiocard and videocard. Hopefully I get my package before Christmas :) 
Yo So. 
Say I was hypothetically going to get a new computer soon (I need to get the whole lot, the only thing worth keeping off this old one is keyboard/mouse and audiocard ;)), and wanted a decent package that could run current gen games okay, any suggestions?? Gotta be available in the UK of course...

Thinking of something like this with an extra gig of ram: 
Dude That Sucks 

Not a very good gaming GPU.
If you cant be arsed to build one yourself (which is always the better option) try:

I got mine from there 2 years ago - good value for money. Pay by Direct Debit or Paypal though (heh - I payed by transfer and it delayed shipping by 2 weeks)

Or just get one from

Buy it in bits and build it yourself.

A Radeon 5770 is a Directx11 card with reasonable performace and a �110 price tag.

CCL have some ready built PCs aswell, I would recommend them, have bought many things from them in the past and the service and prices are good.

Problem with Dells and HPs, Compaqs etc is that most of the hardware is OEM - your GPU might not support new drivers as they come out, unlike if you buy retail versions. 
Don't Worry 
Jago has already bollocked me for thinking of anything with a 220 in it.

I know naaarthing about such things and I'm not going to try building one.

<ShambIer> +

This is another option - retail GFX card too.

Bear in mind that a lot of these specialist site systems come without OS and shit, like I just saw a decent looking one on that Desktop site but by the time it's upgraded to similar spec to the HP it's �100 more. 
I Just Ordered My Christmas Presents 
from my faince and me! :DDD

New case:

New PSU:

New cooler:

New RAM:

Gonna try and OC my current Intel C2D 6750, but I dont think my mobo will allow voltage tweeking so it probably wont go that far.
The case, PSU and cooler are in preparation for new mobo/CPU/RAM some time next year, or whenever it becomes worthwhile to upgrade.

But the next thing will likely be a new DX11 GPU some time next year, when Fermi comes out (if that ever happens)...... 
Yo. Hit me with headset knowledge. Listening to Biff's L4D2 drawl, I think I need to get one. Actually I only really need the mike bit, would be listening to the game on speakers but want a decent mike to talk into. Cheap and easily available in a real world store pls, ta. 
That might be a mistake as you'll get speaker noise in the mic ... 
Just get one of those cheap desktop mics and tape it on your headphones MacGyver-style. 
yeah, willem said it, but i'll chime in as well. nothing is more annoying than listening to someone one a mic without earphones. you not only get an echoing effect sometimes, but you hear everything all the sounds from their game as well. 
And Possible Feed Back 
nothing like a group of def people taking on a zombie army

i was thinking more fear and loathing in Las Vegas negke, the scene when he wakes up from an all night trip and he has the tape recorder strapped to his chest and the mike taped to his chin with a collender helmet 
Logitech USB desk mic is good. Not super cheap but not all that expensive either, and should be widely available.

I always use headphones anyway, but I'd still say get a separate mic as it gives you the flexibility to use it with any speakers or headphones. I don't like headsets.

While I kind of agree with these guys regarding using speakers + mic in games, it's not *that* bad for everyone else (at least hearing the game noises isn't so bad, the feedback does suck if it's there). 
What about a lapel mike?? Could that work?? I haven't got �500+ of speakers (admittedly accumulated over the years for �300-) for nothing ;). Having said that I've got a nice pair of headphones that might work, hmmm. 
Should Work. 
As for echoes and noise, the main problem is that, if you don't set the voice chat to only work with a key bind, it will automatically switch on the mic whenever it detects a sound. Obviously, using speakers will make it also catch ingame character voices as well as loud ingame sounds. I've seen that a couple of times - it's when players have that voice bubble icon practically all the time (though it doesn't always have recognizable effects - fortunate if such people have the mic boost option disabled). 
Let me get this right:

If I had a mic and used my speakers as normal AND bound the mic to a key, then it would only pick up the sounds (my posh British voice + potentially annoying game noise echoes) when I pressed that key??

But if I was using headphones I could keep the mic permanently on and it would only pick up my voice (plus assorted belches etc etc)?? 
Yep. The mic has to obey the laws of physics so if you're wearing headphones, it won't be able to pick up sound waves from the game. :) 
I went and bought a cheap mic from PC World :S, to use alongside my headphones. First impressions are that it's shit, almost completely quiet unless my mouth is 0.01mm from it, and that's with everything maxxed. Bleh. 
depending on your audio card, you may be able to boost the gain on your mic. i remember a creative card had a +20db boost setting buried in the control panel somewhere. 
Just buy a headset? They're cheap and work.

Just make sure to buy it online. 
Ijed Is Right U Know :P 
U know it to be true :PPP 
Eh? Woah! 
Didn't want to buy a headset as I already have a good set of headphones.

Anyway it's kinda sorted as with negke's moral support / mocking disbelief, I hacked apart the stand from the desk mic and cut a notch so it can clip onto those headphones, hey presto DIY headset. Apparently it works although the quality is quite poor. 
Well Done 
It remains to be seen if you're ready to face Biff in an Ellis competition. Maybe some of the things mentioned in the FAQ can help improve the sound quality to an acceptable degree.

At the very least, you can do classic 11khz Shambler roars now. 
Worked in game last night but apparently Biff was usurped by his nephew so didn't get to do an Ellis-off... 
This Is Awesome :D 
On Raid 1 Setups 
if you have a set of identical hdds, but one of them already has data from a non-raid setup, is it possible to create the raid 1 set without loosing the data without having a third hdd to temporarily store the data on? 
You will lose all data when you create the raid array. 
Ok, Thanks 
i couldn't find any information about what happened since most raid info pretty much assumed you were using brand new disks. 
Be aware that RAID1 is only protecting you from harddrive failure. It is not a backup at all. You do not want RAID1 unless you are running a highly important service. 
SSDs Are Crazy, Good SSD Are Better 
Playing with my 80gb Intel X2-M G2: 
For Comparison 
80gb Intel X25-M:
1,5tb Seagate Barracuda:

Note that the Barracuda isn't really a "slow" disk at all, its actually one of the better traditional mechanical disks, it's just that NAND media wipes the floor with everything. 
For A Second I Thought The Two Graphs Had The Same Scale, 
Then I looked at the numbers, hehe.

Past 16MB the HDD has the lead in write speeds, is that because of a larger cache? Does it matter? Rendered irrelevant through the huge difference in latency? 
SSD Writes 
SSDs traditionally lose in raw sequential write throughput, but dominate in read speed and minimal latency (we're talking a difference of 7-8ms to 0.1ms). There are SSDs that have excellent writes as well, for example the Intel X-25E and a few others that push above 190mb/s writes, but these are enterprise grade drives where a 80gb disk will cost you over 650-800 euro. 
As For MBs 
The numbers you were looking at are not MBs, they are KBs. The test reads and writes 256mb files in blocks of 0.5, 0.1, 2, 4, 16, etc. 
I Guess It Doesn't Matter So Much 
If you put your OS and favorite games on the SSD, then you would mostly be reading that data, not writing it. 
Lesson Of The Week 
No matter how smart and cunning you are when implementing your bulletproof storage solution, you are a complete retard if you expect "reasonable" performance from a disk controller card attached to a 66 Mhz PCI 32bit bus.

Individual disks on the controller: 75mb/s reads and writes
2 disks on the same controller in a mirror: 48mb/s reads and 28mb/s writes. 
Linux GUI

This is how you make a nonshit Linux GUI. 
this is if you want to start digging: 
SSDs Are Now Mainsteam 
100 euro gets you this:
Intel 40gb 2nd gen SSD, perfect for a budget performance system, great read speed, awesome 0.1ms seek time, but pretty low write speed.

200 euro gets you this:
Intel 80gb 2nd gen SSD, the true overall best consumer SSD, double the cost not only gets you double the space, but also noticably higher read and write speeds 
how could you consider that mainstream? 40gb is just barely enough for your os, and maybe a few content creation applications and a single game. 
I Prefer Stuff That Doesn't Share The Acronym For 
Super Self Destruct 
Err, Exactly 
That's what it's ment for, not for storing 1080p movies. 
SSD Drives 
You can get 6 times more storage capacity for quarter of the price compared to the Intel drive. Hardly mainstream yet. I could see them as supplemental drives, though, at the moment.

Even budget laptops these days come with 320GB. 
The general thought among the engine team here is that SSD will be common place in ~2 years. By then they'll have the kinks worked out, they'll be a decent size and the price won't require a bank loan to get a good one. 
You are missing the point and are comparing apples and oranges.

Traditional SATA mechanical disks, which do ~110-115mb/s reads with 8-10ms seek time are not exactly in the same category as SSDs with 0.1ms seeks and 200+ mb/s reads. Neither are laptop drives that are even slower. 
...if you are using an SSD as your only drive, and filling it up with rips of The Wire, you are a giant failure of a man.

These are crazy awesome value now, I bought a Raptor about 6 years ago for the same reasons, and it was ace. 
The cost of RAM per density is and has been dropping on a curve similar to Moore's Law. For the near future I'd see a co-existence of both systems, cheap terabytes are nice. 
No Sound In Quake? 
This is the weirdest thing. Pandora and Windows Vista can make sounds just fine, but iTunes, MediaMonkey and Quake are silent. This is on my Macbook Pro.

Any ideas? I've never seen anything like this before... 
Is Quake running under Windows or Mac OS X? 
Windows Vista. I also don't have sound in games like Peggle Nights. It's absolutely bizarre. 
Actually, never mind. I uninstalled the audio driver I had in here and put in the default Boot Camp driver. All is fine again. I love Windows! 
Taking A Break From Macs Willem? 
Yeah, fooling around on PC for awhile. I wanted to do some WPF coding/learning, so while I'm here ... :) 
yeah, you probably know this by now, but always always use boot camp drivers. :) 
I normally wouldn't deviate but I was really trying to get UnrealEngine3 running here so I could work at home and I installed some other drivers. I have been properly flogged and will stick to the script from now on. 
Do I Dare Buy My First Ever ATI Card? 
Let's preface this with a bit of history. I've been an NVIDIA user since Geforce 256 and a pretty happy one at that. I've never ever had any signifiant driver issues with NVIDIA products, so I sticked to it, especially considering I've been hearing of and reading about multitudes of compatibility, stability and general driver issues on the ATI front over the years. The one time I had decided to make an exception was (I think) about 4-5 years ago where I had recommended a specific ATI card to a friend after having seen it receive a few good reviews. Except that we could never get it to work: the system would power up, give video, boot, etc, but not a single ATI driver package would recognise the card so we were stuck with the generiv video driver. After several days of battling with installations and reinstallations, we said fuck it, took the ATI card back to the store, brought an NVIDIA card with us and it "just worked". Needless to say, that had only reinforced my idea that I should just stick with NVIDIA.

Fast forward to today and NVIDIA Fermi GTX470 and GTX480 cards launched and they're a huge load of poo poo in regards to it's power draw and temperatures and full load operating noise levels. I've been holding up upgrading my videocard for a long time now: I am still using a 8800GTS, all the rest is modern (i5 750, X25-M os drive, 650W PSU, etc) as I have been holding out to see what Fermi ends up being like. Now I am at a crossroads. I had been considering going from 8800GTS to the GTX470, but when you compare it to the ATI 5850, it becomes a really really hard sell: the slight improvement in performance is directly offset by the slightly higher price, the power draw at load is 120W (!!!) higher, the load temperatures are 15C higher and the accompanying increased noise levels are obvious. The second major issue are the reports that Fermi cards do not really truly idle if you have 2 monitors attached to the card (which I always do), see this: resulting in absurdly high power draw and temperatures even at the desktop. All in all, this all sounds like some serious package of black humor.

So I am very tempted to bite the bullet and just get an ATI card, the 5850 sounds like very good value, BUT... browsing around dozens of forums I am still seeing that on average, ATI users seem to have a lot more compatibility, stability and driver issues than NVIDIA and I am still having shudders remembering that time I had to troubleshoot that ATI card I had recommended to my friend years ago. There are supposedly some flicker issues with some ATI cards, some issues with Bad Company 2 rendering glitches, etc etc all really stupid sounding things that should've been ironed out in a quick fashion a long time ago, but yet people still seem to have to deal with these things.

What's a man to do? Should I just suck it up and go for the 5850 and potentially deal with annoying retarded driver issues on a common basis, but sleep soundly knowing I got myself good performance for low cost with reasonable power draw and temperatures or do I value my sanity and driver stability and reliability more and just go with the GTX470, despite it's very obvious shortcomings? 
I can only speak for myself but I just got a new machine with an ATI 5870 in it and it's amazing. I haven't noticed any weirdness at all. I played the 'Just Cause 2' demo yesterday with everything absolutely max'd out (from resolution to effects) and it never dropped a frame.

I used to steer clear of ATI but they're fine these days. 
I have a love/hate relationship with ATI/NVidia as I too am looking forward to owning an HD 5850 soon to replace my GeForce 9800GTX. Hopefully I'll have similar results to Willem, as for some reason L4D2 does not seem to run as fast as I thought it would in my new computer. 
Oh right, L4D2 was another game I tried .. max'd out, runs amazingly well! I can't speak for the other models, but the ATI 5870 is a god-like video card. 
Yeah I Used To Be A Green Team Fanboi 
With my 8800 GTS 512Mb, but I got a 5850 and I game @ 1080x1920 and everything i maxed out (even crysis), and my editors work and everything.

Also Catalyst Controll Center allows for some overclocking, but you can use third party software to overclock even further than CCC will allow you. And these 58XX cards overclock up to 40%.

The 5850 is a real good value for money buy, and the 5870 is compared to GTX 470/80.

Just buy one, you wont be dissapointed :) 
Jago... ATI 
I have been buying ATI cards for a while now... they're great. I have a 4870 at the moment and I love it. Their newer cards have great performance for a good price, supposedly the power consumption is low and the cards are quiet.

The driver support is good, they release a new set every month with performance improvements and bug fixes. I can't recall ever having any major problems with any games or apps, honestly (I'm sure it happens but I haven't come across anything myself).

In short, the newer cards are great and the driver support is good. Given your comments above I'd say just get one. 
New Videocard 
After reading some reviews, I ended up placing an order for the Sapphire HD 5850 TOXIC (see one of the reviews here:

The fact that it's factory overclocked, averaging a 9% performance increase over the reference card in addition to using a non-reference HSF that simulatenously results in noticably lower load temperatures won me over pretty big. 
I have a geforce 5900, i knew the 50's would eventually come back into fashion! 
Jago that's the one I wanted but it was sold out on newegg :( Maybe by the time I get some money it'll be back in stock and we can be videocard bros :D 
Good Choice Man! 
Depending on your PSU you can have fun with AMD GPU Clock Tool, MSI Afterburner and Furmark. And overclock the shIIIIIT out of it!

JF - Get a 5970!!! 
I Remember 
That Nvidia used to have better OpenGL drivers than ATI. Not sure if that is still the case. 
Oh it sure is. 
But Intel has the best!

I have to try a driver roll-back to see if I can get geometry picking to work again. On the plus side the latest drivers actually passed all the tests for OpenGL 2.1 compatibility for the first time. 
New Desktop Advice Please. 
Budget: �800 max TOTAL (including updated GFX card).

Primary use: Gaming, goat p0rn.

Important things: Reliability, simplicity, gaming suitability.

Must include: Monitor, good GFX card (even if bought seperately)

Have bought Evesham in the past and been happy with them but they've disappeared now. Considering Dell and HP, subject to factors above. Advice please. Jago you recommended Overclockers, are they GOOD as well as fast?? 
Word Yo 
asus p6t mobo, i7 950 (massive price reduction just happened, so its only 230ish) any 6gb ddr3 3way kit. Nvidia 460gtx 1gb. Perhaps a new psu if you need it. Should be around 600-650 for the lot. 
Pre-built stuff please, word. I need everything, literally the only things that are still usable are the keyboard/mouse and sound card. I'm upgrding from '03 shizzle, yo. 
Dell Sucks Balls Do Not Get A Dell 
Why don't you just buy your parts and build it yourself? I don't see how that isn't simple. 
Get A Machine From Here:

They are in Manchester, there general prices are unbeatable from my (recent and varied) experience. Be sure to check the Superspecials part.

Something like this:

But get them to include a copy of Win7 and possibly upgrade the 768MB version of the GTX460 with a 1GB version.

But yeah - Shambler - Build it yourself. Get the i7 950 CPU, and 6Gb of XMS3 PC12800, and a 1TB HDD, get one of those new OCZ PSU's (good VFM), a bloody Coolermaster Elite case, and a GTX460 1GB, a Gigabyte motherboard, and built it yourself. There's not that much to screw up. The CPU's don't even have pins on the bottom anymore :) And the socket 1366 motherboards support SLI and Crossife. 
Thanks But... 
Some Help Please 
I havent paid any attention to the latest video cards but know that sequential numbering doesnt really mean sequential quality. Which of these is a good card, ie can play most games at a reasonable resolution, and is good value for money?

Nvidia s250
nvidia s450
nvidia gtx 465
nviia gtx 47
ati 5570
ati 5670
ati 5770

And monitors too:

21.5 LG E2240V
21.5 Samsung bx2240
24" samsung bx2440

thanks, any help would be appreciated. 
Some Quick Googling 
shows the 24" samsung bx2440 looking reasonable. Thoughts? 
The 5770 is good, the GTX460 is better :)

Dont get any of the other ones.

The GTX460 is quite power efficient. The others GeForces arent 
I Got A GTX460 In My New Box. 
Haven't really pushed it yet but it seems fine. Jago reccommended it so you can blame him too. Also it has some massive heatsink action on it. 
Ok Cool 
but just some clarification, the system I was looking at has a gtx 465, not 460. Is that different/better to the 460?

TBF it's all in here.

There's power consumption, and performance. Doesn't look like a great difference. But the 460 is basically slightly less power hungry, overclocks better, and just as powerful as the 465. So get a 460 if you can, gbut if not the 465 is prob gonna be just as fine :) 
Thanks Ricky 
will check those links out later. 
I Bought A Sandisk Sansa Clip+ 
Anybody care for thoughts on that? 
Excellent! I have one too, 11 months or so.

I highly recommend Rockbox on it. You get per file bookmarks, better track "navigation" (ff/back) and many other goodies.

If you are listening with normal ear plugs and are not a "audiophile" I also recommend transcoding to something like Vorbis Q3. I can't hear a difference if I am on the run and it saves quite some space. 
Already Installed Rockbox 
but the navigation is clearly worse than the original firmware... most of the stuff, e.g. switching artists, is more complicated, I'm not really satisfied with that. I wish there was a way to restructure the menus. Other than that, Rockbox is nice. Especially that you can run doom on it :D

Hardware wise, the clip+ is nice, the only thing that bugs me is that the buttons for the volume control are hard to press (esp. because the phone jack is on the opposite side of the case so you can't easily hold the device) 
and is there a "lock" function with rockbox? on the old firmware, it's just hold the home button... 
Manual says "home+select". The manual is handy!

I usually navigate by files. But sometimes I use the database thing too. If you do not return to the homescreen it stays in the last used "directory" so you can simply go back a step or two for choosing another artist. I dont really understand what your problem is.

Previously the jack was on the same side like the volume buttons, THAT was bad. I have not any problems with the setup now. I put my thumb below the jack and use the index finger to click.

You can boot the original firmware by holding the home button btw. 
Just Bought A Sandy Bridge CPU 
And an exploding MSI motherboard and some new RAM. I know that there is a 20% chance that the SATA2 ports will fail after 3 years, but I got a good deal on a mobo with 4xSATA3. I couldn't resist the idea of getting 5Ghz on a quad core which goes like poo off a stick. Core i5 2500k is what I ordered, with for �162 is just a phenominal amount of power. Anyone else thinking of getting Sandy Bridge? 
I Just Bought A BLT 
The hold function is easy to use and I didn't even need the manual - usage is very intuitive.

I'm looking forward to the next series, but for the morning at least, this one almost exceeds requirements - highly recommended. 
A Bacon Lettuce Tomato? 
Yeah - I heard about those. Meant to be pretty good. Im not sure if I can afford food now though. I just spent all of my money on hardware. 
A 1981 Album By Jack Bruce (formerly Of Cream)? 
Hehe Awesome

All of these are bizarre with "I bought a..." in front of them. 
5ghz quad core = vis madness? 
Thoughts Please :) 
My friends pc when playing games will seemingly randomly crash back to the desktop with no error messages whatsoever. All games are affected and he is getting his rage on! :) His specs:

amd x2 3ghz black edition (but not overclocked)
4gb ddr2 memory (I think its Crucial branded)
nvidia 260gtx
windows 7 64 bit.

I should mention that this has been happening for quite a while but he only just reached the point of insanity =) I've looked at the pc several times but just can't seem to work out whats causing it, if I was a betting man I would say the memory could be faulty but I don't want to tell him to buy new Ram if it could be something else.

The pc is perfectly stable with standard windows tasks, its just games that are affected. Any ideas? 
also, sometimes the best way to find problems is to just plain swap out parts. :( 
SIMULTANEOUSLY (oops capslock) and see if the CPU overheats under load. 
What's Been Said 
check temperatures of both GPU and CPU
update drivers
burn a memtest CD, boot from it and run the tests for 12+ hours

If none of the above gives any definite answers, start replacing components 1 by 1. 
Cheers all, I'll certainly try all the suggestions. 
Les Bridges Silents 
so Ricky, are you happy with sandy one of yours? I was thinking of a version with integrated graphics so the box wouldn't need much ventilation. But the DRM stuff keeps me wary. And it needs to run in Ubuntu. 
Well Im Loving It. 
95W TDP = good, 4.8Ghz @ 1.38v = good.
Crysis is running on Enthusiast DX10 8xAA 1080p @ 50fps (!)
But im no linux user (or atleast not out of choice) and I got the P67 board so there's no on-chip GFX there. But remember the most you will get as an overclock on a H67 board is the FSB which apparently can give up to a 5% boost, but it overclocks your PCIe frequency. Which is bad.
If you plan on running 3D GFX (games etc) then get P67. Im a Windows user.

Apparently the onboard GFX (the 3000 series I think) is about as fast as a Radeon 5450. 
Natty (out in April) should run fine on sandybridge. Maverick sorta works, no 3D support. 
So what do you guys think of SSD vs non-SSD, and 32bit vs 64bit Windows?

Thinking about getting a 120gb SSD for the extra performance, but they're not cheap. And it means storing most crap on a different hdd.

As for the 64bit, I know I'll only be able to run 4gb memory max, but the fact most software is designed to run on 32bit is a bit scary. Any software that's more than 5 years old won't run on 64bit, so I'm bound to have some programs that won't work. Shit even Flash and Java doesn't have an official release for 64. I'd rather just sacrifice some memory and get proper compatibility. 
There shouldn't be any problems with 32 bit apps on a 64 bit system. 64 bit cpu's include the entire ia32 instruction set (don't quote me on that), so there shouldn't be any problem. I don't know who told you any software that's more than 5 years old won't run on 64 cpu's but they're retarded. The software will run (mostly), there may be an incompatibles because the software hasn't been updated, but for the most part it will run. I'm pretty sure flash and java both have versions that are 'official' for 64 bit, as i have them installed. There's no reason to not go 64 bit. 
The solution is this:

Dual boot!

I haven't really had any problems running Windows7 64, even though I have another HDD with XP on it. I haven't booted to XP for ages.

The SSD thing - Dont get one of those Kingston ones. They are cheap but I read a couple of reviews and whilst they are fast in some areas, they don't seem to be anywhere near as say OCZ or Crucial. The OCZ Vertex 3 is really fast! Like FUCK ME!!!

But anyway, I have an 80GB Intel SSD at work, and the computer is really quick to boot and load apps. And yes - I have a Samsung Spinpoint F3 SATAII 1TB drive (excellent drive, cheap, massive and fast) as a storage disc with two partitions. I want to put an SSD in my home workstation, but I'm gonna wait a little longer to see if they suddenly get bigger and cheaper. I'd be looking at �170 for something worth having - a fast 120Gb drive. It's damn tempting...... 
apart from a few older 32 bit designed games (or rather 32 bit desgined installers and/or copy protectin programs), my windows 7 64 bit install hasnt had too many issues.

Plus it is far less susceptible to rootkits etc. 
Look At It This Way: 
If you buy an SSD and a 64bit OS then you can still keep your old HDD with your old OS on it. Unless you replace the motherboard then the old OS is gonna work if you boot to it, so you're not loosing any capability really.

Depending where you are, there is a bloody good deal on Windows 7 Ultimate on Amazon:

If you get the retail copy (Full Version) then you get a 32 bit disc and a 64 bit disc in the box. And you can carry the OS over to any new systems you might purchase in the future with the same license (unlike OEM versions, where you only get 1 disc, and you are only allowed to use on one motherboard).

If you are in the UK, the above deal is a no-brainer. Its significantly cheaper than the Retail Version of Windows 7 Home Premium! God know's why. Maybe it's because the service pack came out, and now they are trying to get rid of old stock. And no-one bought Ultimate cause it was really expensive. 
Well I just assumed, since 64bit systems didn't really come out until around 2005 with XP. So any software before this couldn't be made for a 64bit system. From what i've read, programs need to be 64bit compatible in order to run?

On the Flash thing, I just installed Flash on a 64bit system a week ago, and it said "Flash does not support 64bit systems" but they had a beta preview of a version that will support it. If Flash doesn't even support it, then there must be a lot of other programs out there that haven't been built with 64 bit support? 
Great deal, but every second comment says they're pirated copies with serials that don't even work. Do you know if ANY of those retailers are selling legit copies? It would be great to get the 32+64 win7 for that cheap. Here's in NZ it's $500+ 
If you can order the SSD from a place where you can return it without reason. I was glad I could because the small speed gains I measured was definitely not worth the money for me.

jt_: don't be so grumpy and exaggerating all the time. 
Yes, most software works. Only very old or very odd programs don't. The only ones I remember running into trouble with were either DOS-based (Quest, Quake installer) or certain OS-dependent drivers (my ancient scanner, some of the Audigy2 tools).

If you get Win7 Pro, you can use Virtual XP mode to run many of such programs, though it's not very comfortable to use as it takes long to load. Every time I reinstall I regret not simply downloading it somewhere which would probably be faster. :P 
*reinstall Quake 
I don't know where you're getting your information from, but it's so wrong that it's scary. Forget whatever stories you've been told. Do you want to know the single difference that matters between 32 and 64 bit?

You get access to more memory. That's all.

Honestly, in practical terms, for the average user, that's about it. As has been mentioned here, programs and even drivers can run in 32 bit mode, and rarely exhibit any problems. I have yet to encounter a single problem that I couldn't fix.

I run old-ass games like Diablo 2, I run all the old Quake tools and editors, flash works of course. I have no complaints.

There may be some highly specific scenarios for certain people where they must have access to a 32 bit OS (can't imagine what they'd be) but for random home users like us, there is simply no reason not to upgrade if you have 4gb ram or more. Fuck dual booting or getting both 32/64 bit. Just get Winows 7 64 bit and be done with it. 
I dont know if you can get Ultimate at that price in NZ :( I wish I did. As for them being pirated - well the retail version comes in a sealed box. I trust Amazon to sell me the right thing, and if they didnt - well their customer service would handle it well, I'm sure. Amazon are a trusted seller in my eyes.

Im on Home Premium, but I have a friend who bought the Ultimate disc just last week, and I dont know if he installed it yet, but it did come in a proper sealed box.... And I know that if it was pirated he would have called me by now :) 
I Wasn't Exaggerating 
Ah Yeas - The Flash Thing: 
Basically there is a 64bit version of IExplore which requires the 64 bit Beta verion of Flash. But you can still run good 'ole 32bit IExplore/other browsers on the 64bit Windows, so its a non-issue. 
Why Would You Want To Run Internet Explorer? 
Pathetic Trolling 
If you think really hard you might come to the conclusion that a web designer needs to test his work in the main browsers. 
The version of IE which is included with 7 is quite good (ugh!) compared to previous versions.

I ran it for a couple of months before it started to rot, and then got Chrome, which is amazing :)

And yeah - as a web designer I have to test on IE because AFAIK it is still the most used browser (and the one with the most standards discrepancies) 
GTX 460 
What's a good driver to use? I'm asking because something's wrong here. Currently I have the latest driver installed and Stalker CoP + Complete mod doesn't run smoothly at all, even with some settings lowered. In fact, in some situations it slowed down to a crawl. The mod doesn't seem this excessive.

Haven't tried Crysis 2 yet, or any other modern game for that matter. I did notice that Tronyn's new Quake map doesn't run that smoothly, either - of course way better than with the card I played it on, but still a tad choppy in places.
This is on Win7/64. 
What Kind Of CPU Do You Have? 
Also have you installed the latest patch for STALKER COP?

And finally have you tried enabling/disabling VSync?

The SSAO settings and the sun shafts/sun quality settings are a real hog. 
There are some tips and a hotfix for the MOD (is this the mod you are using) - see the FAQ section and the red text just after it: 
Quadcore 2.3ghz. There didn't seem to be patches for the English version of CoP. SSAO settings are disabled and so is vsync.

The Complete mod does add quite some strain, but I didn't think it would be this extreme. I remember when I first played Risen (on a different card), it ran like shit. Then I read somewhere that some older driver version was recommended and that one actually allowed me to play it on max settings without a hitch. Hence my question - maybe it's a similar case now. 
Ah, I See 
Will try the things from the FAQ. I didn't realize there were hotfixes for the mod. 
I read somewhere that ie9 actually passes more javascript tests and does better on the acid 4(might be 3) test than firefox. MS did a lot to ie9 to add all of the latest 'standards.' It's still significantly slower than all other competing browsers, though. I still prefer chrome, which has a much better UI. 
Re 64bit 
just chiming in here to say that i haven't had any problems with w7 64bit so far that were show stoppers.

i got the professional edition because i was a little paranoid about older programs not working and such and while i have used it every now and then, it was a lot less than i thought i would need it.
the xp mode virtual machine integrates automatically with w7 itself and seems to work very well. 
The hotfixes didn't help, but using the 10.7 driver did improve the performance enough to allow for acceptable play on dx11 max settings. The end battle was choppy again - basically every time I encountered a larger number of enemies.
So still not sure about the optimal drivers and setting -; not that there's a lot of choice, for 64bit anyway. Will have to see.

Nice game, though. But stupid ending, especially the Strelok thing. 
Okay check this out, new computer i'll be getting I think. Seems to be the best buys at the moment. Anything you guys would do differently, without spending too much more?

Core i7-2600K 3.4 GHz, Socket 1155, Sandy Bridge
Motherboard P8P67 LE, Socket 1155, Intel P67 Express Chipset
Corsair (CMPSU-650HX) 650W
6GB A-Data DDR3-1600G Triple Memory Kit
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560
Intel 120GB X25-M 34nm SSD
2TB Western Digital WD2002FAEX SATA3 HDD
Cooler Master HAF912 Mid ATX Tower Case
Lycosa Black USB Gaming Keyboard
Microsoft� Windows� 7 Pro Premium (64-bit Edition) 
That Looks Sexy As Fuck 
I've got the HAF 932 and they are mint. Really good. Make sure you get a B3 stepping motherboard. It will say that somewhere if it is one. Get the Dual Channel 4GB or 8GB (2x4)kit, 1.5v RAM, 1600Mhz or more. The 6GB kit is for the socket 1366 motherboards only. You still only really need 4GB. But 8 could be a bit futureproof I guess.

Also the 6950's will be good. I think that with the dissapointing price/performance of the GTX 590 in comparison to the Radeon 6990 pretty much proves that you are better off with the AMD GPU. Having said that the NVidia ones are really close. And might have better drivers for all I know but I never really noticed any difference.

Be prepared to spend a reasonable amount of money on a big heatsink. I wold recommend getting a Scythe. Or a Noctua or a Thermaltake. 
Thanks Ricky 
Yep it's got B3 stepping, whatever that is. I'll get the Corsair 4GB (2x XMS3 2GB) PC-12800 (1600MHz) XMS KIT. DDR3 For MB i7 / i5. It's basically the same price as the A-Data triple kit, and 2gb ram, sweet!

Do you think i'll need extra cooling beyond factory cooling? If so, what should I get... just a 120mm fan to do the whole case? I wasn't planning on overclocking it.

The 6950 I did a fair bit of research on, but it seems to be very similar in performance to the 560, but just slightly more expensive. The GTX has a better rep as well. I am still undecided between the 2 though. 
Look If Youre Not Going To Overclock It 
Then you might aswell get the H67 board and the 2600 CPU rather than the 2600K. The ONLY difference between them is OVERCLOCKING.

With that kind of PSU, CASE and a good COOLER, you are BEGGING to OVERCLOCK IT!!!

Serioulsy the K series CPUs will overclock to 5Ghz on air, and the 2600 (non-K) version will still turbu at up to 3.7Ghz. So save yourself the money, dont get a P67 board but a H67 board because it will be cheaper, dont get a case with a bunch of massive fans included, and dont get a 'K' series CPU. Because those things are DESIGNED for overclocking. There is NO OTHER DISCERNIBLE DIFFERENCE.

Sorry, it just frustrates me that you would buy something like that and not even read the basic information about it! You must be loaded with $$$ 
By The Way 
It is easy to overclock with a K series CPU, you can easy hit 4.5Ghz without bumping any voltages other than the CPU VCore, and maybe the CPU I/O and PLL. You leave the power saving features ON (serioulsy) and all yu have to do is increase the multiplier from (in this case) 34 to 45. Big increase, hence the added value over non-K CPUs which have a locked multiplier.

But you can have 4.5 Ghz now with probably about 1 reboot, it's so easy on P67. And 4.5Ghz wont cost you very many volts, about 1.25 maybe (!) 
And Kona 
The 6950 is unlockable by a firmware update and can be made into a 6970, literally. IF you get something like an MSI Twin Frozr fan or similar then it's no issue....

Also there are some great deals on the GTX480 at the moment.

But still, the GTX 560 Ti is a nice card :) 
Actually, let me rephrase that. I don't intend on overclocking 'at first'. A couple years down the track I would consider it, hence why I was getting the 2600K as I didn't want to leave myself stuck with a system that can't be overclocked. Reason being I don't see much need for overclocking now, when all the games I play are 2007/08. They'll pretty much all run on full on this system without overclocking. But when Crysis 3 hits in a few years and I'm getting problems running it on full, then I might overclock it. Then again, if it's as easy as you say to overclock it, perhaps i'll do a little bit. 
Hehe - Yeah Sorry For The Rant 
Anyway that CPU will go to 5Ghz no problem, But they do like good coolers. Besides a big fancy rig like that with the red-LED fans and the SSD and such - it deserves a good cooler. By the sounds of it you wont need one at first, but it might be more convenient to put one in at the start... 
B3 Stepping Explanation 
The first batch of motherboards had the P/H67 chipset on them, but after the OEM customers got their hands on the chips to put on their mass-produced motherboards (dell, Hewlet Packard etc) their testing uncovered a bug where after 3 years of use, approx 15% of chips would have SATA2 controllers failing. So there was a mass product re-call back in February. Cost Intel apprx $700'000'000.00 (!!).

The B3 suffix means that the motherboard has the 'fixed' Cougar Point SATA2 controller, and is one of the motherboards made from March onwards.

Incidentally my board is a 'faulty' one, with the non-B3 stepping. Haven't had any problems (yet)...... 
if your 460 is having trouble running a Quake map then something is very very wrong indeed!

I'm currently using version 267.24 on my system and they are fine, these were the beta drivers released for Dragon Age 2 but I've not had any issues in any other games while using them.

Are you un-installing your old graphics drivers correctly before installing the new ones? Uninstall the current graphics driver from your add/remove programs, then reboot into safe mode and run your preferred driver cleaning program (I use DriverSweeper). Then reboot once again and install the new updated drivers.

Sorry if you already knew that :) 
About Cooling 
i find it's worth getting 'fancy' cpu coolers just for noise reduction.
i got a thermaltake spin q vt and it cut the noise down from my machine in like half (i have super quiet case fans too).
the only thing left now for noise would be to get SSDs but even the WD HDDs i have are pretty quiet-- just a sort of low key mumbling when they are reading/writing. 
If it is affecting performance in multiple games then it could be a PSU problem. What kind of PSU and Motherboard do you have? How old is your motherboard? 
No, it was only Stalker with that mod. I can run Crysis 2 on max with a smooth frame rate. Although for some reason it keeps freezing the entire system after a while, complete with artifacts and sound failure. Using one detail level below seems to work fine. 
Anyone In The UK? 
Just Wondering 
anyone here who's had an SSD for a while now? how it's holding out and is it still awesome?

prices have been dropping and i've been thinking about picking one up for an OS drive. 
I have an Intel 120gb which runs as my OS. I wouldn't consider anything under 120gb... i've only got 30gb left on mine and there's still some big programs I don't have installed, like most of the Adobe Creative Suite. No games go on it either.

I've only had it for 4 months, but no problems so far. The Intel ones aren't the most expensive, but they're definitely not the cheapest either.

I don't really know how much of a difference it makes to the computer, but it starts in about 20secs which is cool. 
that's not the overwhelmingly positive response i expected, tbh.

i can probably hold off on a full upgrade for another year i suppose. guess i'll wait and see. thanks for weighing in. :) 
I sav a 120GB OCZ Vertex 3 a little while ago on - 500MB/s Read speed and 450MB write. That is really fast. SATA 6Gb/s interface recommended. My point is that it was �140 which really wasn't bad. I was tempted. But I doubt I would put Steam on it, though I maybe could. I would want my OS on it, for the general performance increases, and slow loading apps like GIMP probably. And Quake, obviously..... 
I Have And SSD And It's Freaking Awesome 
Although it's in a laptop, and laptops have traditionally had slow drives, and I haven't had it very long. 
AMD Buldozer Released Today 
Dont Know Where To Post 
just one question, is it worth to switch to win7 ? currently im still on xp 
yes, very much! I use Linux and don't even have a copy of win7 but whenever I get to use it for some repairs or teaching it is a bliss. 
Yeah it probably is. Not so much if you have Vista, but XP is little outdated. I like win7. Get 64bit though, not 32bit. 
Building New PC - Need Help/ideas 
My PC is seriously out of date and I'm just getting poor performance and such in my games lately. My old specs as follows;

Asus P5VE VM Motherboard
Intel Pentium D 3.40GHz Dual Core
Radeon HD2600XT Pro
450W Powersupply

I've been looking around and putting together an idea for a PC build that seems within a good affordable price range and pretty modern (?) I have a preference to Radeon because I've been using them since I remember. Results of this are below, I'm wondering if this is pretty decent or if there's anything I should know about? Wish to get a new PC together as soon as possible, but any pointers is helpful since I'm a newbie with hardware (besides the setup part)

Case: Corsair Carbide 400R Mid Tower Case
Card: ATI Radeon 6950 2048MB GDDR5 PCI-Express
Board: Asus P8H67-M Intel H67 (Socket 1155)
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.30GHz
PSU: Corsair Builder Series CX 500W or 600W (slightly more �)
Win: Win 7 Pro
RAM: Two, Corsair XMS3 4GB (1x4GB) DDR3 1333MHz
Fan: Zalman CNPS9900-MAX Blue LED CPU Cooler or Zalman CNPS11X Extreme CPU Cooler, depends on price/availability
Monitor: Asus VE228H 22" Widescreen LED

heh, your old rig is better than mine. :P

that said, is there any reason you don't want an SSD? even just for your OS? to buy all those toys and stop short of one... 
Actually, good thing you reminded me. I had my eyes on an SSD after reading up on them, simply for the OS, but the thought went off my mind while I was looking up all the other stuff. Cheers. 
All Looks Fine Except For One Thing 
The 2500K is a monster of a processor (good taste in CPUs BTW), but it is predominantly designed FOR overclocking. You dont need much cooling either to get it up past 4Ghz. I have a crazy cooler, and mine is running at 4.6, although I was running is at 5Ghz for a long time.


Your motherboard is a H67 motherboard, which is a chipset which is designed for Sandy Bridge CPU's but it doesn't support overclocking.

You need to pair your CPU with a P67 or Z68 motherboard. Then you will be able to overclock it.

If you dont want to overclock, then you might as well get the i5 2500 (non-K), because it's exactly the same thing, but it has a locked multiplier.

The P67 or Z68 motherboards compined with a K series CPU allows for very easy overclocking. You can get surprisingly far by only adjusting about 2 settings in your BIOS.

Don't skimp on the RAM either. Especially because 1600Mhz RAM is so cheap! You will gain performance from the better RAM in this instance. Sandy Bridge CPU's like 2133Mhz RAM, but that is a little more pricey, but you might aswell go for atleasy the 1600Mhz stuff. Just make sure it's 1.5v or less. 1.5 is fine.

I would go for the 600 watt PSU, but im sure you could even overclock on the 500 if you wanted to. 
Cheers For The Feedback, Much Appreciated! 
Since I don't think I'll be overclocking, then the 2500 should sit well enough for me. it also answers the question I've been wondering about the 2500/2500K difference. Though I've never overclocked before, so I should do some research into this and tweak my choices where viable.

As for RAM, I was playing it safe since I'm a little confused in that area, whether or not the motherboard I chose will work with the RAM or such. So many numbers. So I should be safe with choosing 1600Mhz or higher for my board choice then? 
Yeah - 1600Mhz is ideal

Overclocking is a lot less intimidating then it used to be. With Sandy Bridge K CPUs you leave most of the settings as they are, you just adjust the multiplier and you will get quite far. I think you disable speedstep and increase the multiplier. You wont have to adjust any voltages to get to around 4Ghz. You only have to adjust a little bit to get a little bit further. Multiplier of 33 gives 3.3Ghz because the bus is locked at 100Mhz. So you just increase the number to 3.8 for example.

Then you get Coretemp (free), and Prime95 (free), run the blend test (default) on prime95, and check your temps. If it's less than 65degrees (70 is probably fine TBH) after ten minutes, and the test is still running, then you know you are OK.

The RAM. You want dual-channel DDR3, 240pin 1.5v 1600Mhz 9-9-9-27 or 9-9-9-24 are gonna be the timings. The lower the numbers, the faster the RAM. The last number should hopefully be 24 and not 27. The other three will be 9. If the last number is 27, it will still be fine.
You want to buy a 4Gb or an 8Gb kit. 4Gb is still OK, but a couple of games claim to be able to utilise more than 4Gb. 64-bit OS for more than 4Gb.

The same RAM will work with most of the AMD motherboards, the Intel socket 1156 and 1155 motherboards, universally. The 1156 RAM was 1.65v. But most 1156 mobo's will take 1.5v RAM, just not the other way round. YOU are buying 1155. This does NOT like 1.65v. It is designed for 1.5v or less. 
Actually Im Wrong 
If you go with H67 you are limited to a max speed of 1333 Mhz. If you went P67 or Z68 than you could use up to 2133.

But if you are going to stick with that motherboard then you might as well get the 1333Mhz stuff. 
Thanks A Ton Ricky 
This is some useful, clear info. Makes it easier to see where I should go from here. Cheers man! 
i think what stops me from upgrading all the time (my machine is almost 6 years old!) is having to relearn all the hardware stuff every time.
most of ricky's post i'd never heard before, and i've been building my own machines for like almost 15 years now. 
Yeah it is a pain having to learn and research what all the latest best hardware is. It changes so fast.

I think the 6970 Radeon is only slightly more expensive? Get a 120gb SSD if you can, then all your programs can go on there too. There's some cheaper brands out there.

And get 600w power supply. 
I switched to a 600w PSU, changed the chipset to a P67, grabbed an i5 2500K and picked out a 60GB SSD. I already went over my intended budget so I didn't want to spend too much over that which is why I stuck with a 6950, but I think this should be worth it. Already have a 2TB HDD which I can now use primarily for games (partitioned for XP & Steam atm) Ordered it all and everything besides the fan has been dispatched. Hope they have a fan instock or I'll have to try elsewhere.

Cheers for all the help guys. 
Sounds Like Youre Gonna Be Laughing 
the 6950 overclocks like a dream, too. And crossfire isgenerally like 90-100% or some shit man, srsly 
It's pretty similar to my system quakis - 8gb ram, p67, 2500k. Except I got 120gb SSD, 700w power, and GTX 560 which I wouldn't recommend - out of the box it had issues which weren't resolved until I underclocked it. I didn't get any extra fans or cooling for it though.

Make sure you get 64bit win7. 
Persistent Technical Problem 
right, this may not be the 100% most correct thread to post this in, but i put it here under the suspicion that the solution may involve some kind of hardware upgrade...

basically on HL2/portal and doom 3 (so two completely different engines) i've been getting extremely annoying bouts of slowdown, where framerate plummets to something like 3-4 fps, for periods of 30-60 seconds. this happens regularly every 5-10 mins or so, regardless of the type of area i'm in, and continues even when i escape to the menu and move the mouse around. after a while it just snaps back to normal speed as if nothing happened

now my comp isn't exactly great, but it was decent enough in 2008 when i bought it and i managed HL2, both episodes & portal back then without a hitch, but now it isn't having any of it, despite me not making any hardware changes since then.

i'm wondering if something could be knackered... gfx card, memory, cpu.. but thought i'd throw the problem out here to see if anyone's heard of it before and might be able to narrow down the possible causes! 
could be a heat issue? If something is overheating it will throttle itself (cpu,gfx card) in order to not explode :) Check your fans etc to see if they are spinning freely.

If its not that, then perhaps a rogue process in windows that routinely hogs the cpu for something every few minutes, could by spyware or a legit program, keep an eye on task manager while the game is running and see if any other apps sudden rise to 100% cpu usage. 
Does it do it for newer games? HL2 and D3 shouldn't be that graphic intensive. My first guess would be check it's not overheating. Get a little program that checks temperatures. 
Only Assuming You Haven't... 
Cleaned out all that dust? You'd be surprised at how much of an improvement that makes, all that stuff clogging up the heatsink/fans and any vents. Can really turn up the heat. Otherwise, just ignore me.

Few years back, this never occured to me for some reason and upon actually checking and doing a thorough clean made a huge difference.

'tis the only suggestion I have. 
No idear - but are you using up-to-date drivers? 
i don't have anything newer than those kona, save for portal 2 (which is basically HL2 from a technical point of view) ..yeah i'm a little behind the times ;)

temperature app seems a good idea, i shall obtain. gave the fans a bit of a dust too :D

right now i'm testing it from a different system HD. hopefully that will help determine whether it's a software or hardware thing... 
Radeon 7970 
Released today.

Fuck me, it's a fast graphics card. 
not sure where to post, so i'm posting here . i'm looking for a decent player for win7. winamp 5something sounds like shit or i can't properly configure it. So maybe i should move to another player. Any advice?
2.95 was great for XP 
The GUI looks like shit (underdone, looks like 'generic windows XP' kinda), but I would highly recommend it. It has a lot of features and plays almost anything. And the sound quality is superior to Windows Media Player, I can guarantee that. Winamp never seemed too bad to me, but VLC sounds better for sure. I'm using some cheap 40watt desktop studio monitors, and I can really tell the difference between VLC and Media Player for sure. 
don't listen to Ricky. get foobar. 
It's good, been using it for years.

No bullshit media player. 
but to be honest, if a media player sounds bad to you then there probably is something terribly wrong with your system or player config. 
Thnx Guys 
gonna check that.

but to be honest, if a media player sounds bad to you then there probably is something terribly wrong with your system or player config.

i have two OS on my PC , win7 and XP. and on XP the sound from winamp 2.95 much better and richer. in seven i'm using winamp5 as i cant launch 2.95 for seven 
Argh :( 
okay, so portal 2 worked absolutely fine when i tried it on a different HD containing a fresh windows install (albeit a service pack & numerous updates behind) and i got a good day or two playtime out of it before i had to go away for christmas. however on returning and loading it back up i find the problem has resurfaced, only worse this time since it doesn't snap out of the slowdown unless i close the game and restart (and it kicks in after less than 5 minutes now)

drivers have been updated, temperature monitor has been installed (cpu is running a good 10 degrees below apparent average) and task manager shows nothing untoward. but it was actually working! then it wasn't! i can only assume an xp automatic update broke it? :(

something is obviously fucked. tempted just to thwack a load out on a new machine but that means no summer holiday next year!! 
3D NVidia GFX 
Decent Specs For A First Time Low/mid-range Pc Gaming Rig? 
i should put everything into perspective first, though:

graphics cards:

i don't mind fps going below 50. obviously anything below 10-15 is unplayable.
the current graphics card in my mac is an nvidia geforce 6600.

a friend said the below specs are a good start for me:

'intel core 2 duo' is better than processors marked as 'intel dual core' or 'intel core duo' (although they do exactly the same thing 'intel core 2 duo' is the most recent and generally better). aim for one that is at least 2.2 ghz (games like stalker need processors of this speed or above to run smoothly)

windows xp is generally better for gaming although there are games appearing that will only run on vista/windows 7

2 gb of ram is perfectly sufficient for almost all games.

i'm all ears! 
I'm No Hardcore Gamer... 
But that mostly sounds like advice from about 4 years ago. Current intel tech is sandybridge which I think gets sold under names like "second generation core i7" and is at least two generations on from the core 2 duo. The intel GPU that can accompany sandybridge chips actually has decent performance for an integrated gpu, but you'd want something gruntier for games I'm sure.

I don't understand any reason for limiting yourself to 2 gigs of RAM. I have 8 gigs in my laptop which would cost me all of US$45 currently.

Can't comment on vista vs xp vs windows 7, but have heard that windows 7 is actually reasonably nice... 
first of all, fps below 50 in what game? quake? sure, you can get away with almost anything. crysis 2? different story.

core 2 duos are great cpus, i had one for 4 years iirc, before i got an i5. you do notice the higher clockspeed though, so i agree that you'd want to stick to at least 2.2, 2.4 or 2.6 would be even better of course. my core 2 duo was one of the really early ones and it ran at 1.8ghz and that definitely hurts performance. if you're getting a dual core intel, than price is going to be low across the board, so you may as well get the highest clockspeed cpu you can.

2gb of ram is tiny. on top of that, ram is super cheap. i picked up 8gb of pc3 10666/ddr3 1333 ram for 45$ (CAD).
you should get at least 4gb, 6gb would be better.

in general, i'd stay away from getting winxp this late in the game. especially if you plan to get more than 3.5gb of ram. if you can nab the winxp 64 version that's fine, but i don't know how fiddly that version is compared to 64bit win7. 
cheers guys,

didn't know about intel i5 or above, i'll watch for that in my perusing.

so, a core 2 duo with 2.2ghz is not too bad?
it sounds like a good starting point.

i will probably look to have at least 4gig of ram, like you mentioned.

going back to graphics cards:

compared to my nvidia geforce 6600 in my mac, what would be a good step up from that?
i'm looking to spend �50 max, so i'm quite happy to hunt for a good deal if i can find one. 
In a nutshell:

socket 1155 - Z68 chipset

Intel Core i5 2500K or 2550K, or if u have loads of money a 2600K or 2700K

min 4GB RAM (pref 8GB - not expensive, 64bit OS)

GTX 560 is good value for money. GTX 560Ti is faster.

New Radeons came out, and are really fast, but too expensive. But NVidia will surely release their '6' series cards soon.

If you have the money, get a 120GB SATA3 Solid State Drive. Look for 85K IOPS+ and 500MB/s+ read AND write speeds. To install your OS. 
just wanted to chime in and say that the difference of having the OS installed on an SSD is really amazing.
just make sure you find and follow a guide for installing windows 7 on an SSD.
you usually need to enable ahci on your ssd otherwise the installation will not install drivers needed to maximize performance, and fixing that AFTER windows is installed is a pain (i had to do that). 
and find a guide that talks about changing the default windows directories for things like program files and my documents so you can put that on your normal hard drives. 
Did you try running Windows games using Boot Camp? Because usually the games are much faster in Windows than they are in Mac OS X due to driver optimizations. 
@ SleepwalkR 
i can't. i have a ppc.
one of the reasons i'm looking at getting a pc gaming set-up for games only, nothing else. the mac will be for everything non-game related. 
what is your budget and games do you want to play? 
Might Also Consider 
upgrading to a more recent iMac, which can run many games just fine. Probably more expensive though. 
Price Check 
"i'm looking to spend �50 max"

For the graphics card, for the processor, or in total?

If you are not going 64 bit OS then stick to 4Gig of RAM because 32 bit cannot access higher than that. Vista 32 bit is apparently marginally better at handling memory than XP. The restriction is on total addressable memory, so it is not RAM alone that affects things and as necros says, you will not actuall have all 4gig at your disposal anyway.

But �50...? 
More Like �250 Total. 
i was thinking about �50 on ebay for the graphics card.
a friend has sent me some ebay links for pc's for about �150, but in need of a better graphics card.

i always run a few years behind the times, even with consoles. i'm not impatient with the need to have to see the 'top' games straightaway.
i'll be happy playing stuff that was new up to about 3-4 years ago. fps, adventure/sneak stuff.

Crysis is always mentioned when talk goes back to having a modern set-up.
i will probably leave titles like that until the hardware i need to run it dirt cheap (a year or two down the line!). 
�250 = ~500$CAD (i'll just work with CAD for now)

cpu: intel i5 2500 (NON k)
- 190$
mboard: asus p8h61
- 90$
memory: anything, it's so cheap... ex: patriot 2x4gb pc3 10666
- 45$
video: not too sure... but any of the older nvidia gt/gts 200-400 cards are probably around 100$ - 130$?

this will come to about 455$.
Now you just need some HDD (SSD is nice but it's not strictly necessary)
50-100$ can probably get you 250-500gb

this is all brand new stuff. i'm sure others will have better suggestions, but you can get quite good stuff for your �250.

you can probably run even crysis 2 fairly well with that. not maxed out at 1600x1200 of course, but better than 800x600 with everything on low too. 
This Is What I'm Probably Going To Get:

what do you guys think?

a good starting point, and when the other previously mentioned higher spec stuff comes down in price, i will upgrade to that. i shouldn't be needing to do that for a year a two. 
I don't see why you would want to get a Core 2 Duo this badly. Quad core processors aren't expensive, either, and I consider them low- to mid-range standard these days, whereas dual core seems somewhat antiquated already. Also, I'd suggest a graphics card with more memory - there are many 9600GT models with 1024MB. 
For The Money, It Aint Too Bad. 
9600 - �40 maybe
250SATA - �25 (atm)
That case - �20 lets call it
PSU - �30
DVD - �10
RAM - funny one to value - expensive to buy still but verging on obsolete - �20
Mobo - �20

Then u get Vista, another drive, a floppy drive, wifi adapter.

I guess �179 aint too bad.

If you check out the motherboard and cooler, then if you buy some new DDR2 1066Mhz RAM, u can overclock probably. 
..and the bloke's coming round 2moro morning to deliver it personally! 
A Floppy Drive? 
Why even bother with one? 
so he can install the drivers for his 28.8 modem 
Yeah that is pretty cheap, it'll do if your playing 3 year old games.

Nice lookin case, although those blue lights would irritate me. 
Not A Bad Deal 
personally i'd feel like I got gypped out of the joyous computer building stage though. Plus, warranties! 
once in a while, after booting up, one of my harddrives is extremely slow. it takes ages just to get file info listed in explorer.
rebooting fixes this.
should i be looking at a new hdd? 
OK, Could Be 
i have it turned off for that disk, so it's not indexing or anything.
also, i've experienced the type of slow down during indexing before and rhis is a _lot_ slower.
you can't even watch a video because it'll constantly stall waiting for frames. 
Is it defragged? How much free space is not the drive?

If the answer to those questions are 'yes' and 'plenty' respectively, then PANIC!! Get new drive, and back that shit up pronto!!!

Or at least that's my gut reaction. 
Not = On 
yeah, i'm starting to worry a bit. it's not really fragmented, but there's very little space left on it.
still, if these were the problems, then it would always be slow.
I do have a backup, but i wanted to be sure before i go out and get a new one. :) 
what do the SMART values say? monitor them for a while to see changes. 
thanks for reminding me about that. speedfan shows a few categories as being in the 'watch' level (as opposed to very good or normal......)
so i'm not sure how to really interpret these values.
not much on google about this either. i suppose it varies between manufacturers? 
A single look at SMART is useless, you would need to monitor the values. I use Munin. 
More HDD Problems :P 
This time on a different disk then my last post.
Been getting a lot of 'bad block' error events alongside long (10-20s) lockups during disk access.

I've backed up all important data on it and am currently running a chkdsk /r (will probably take all day to finish...)

I've read conflicting opinions about this, some say it's just a simple fix of running chkdsk and reallocating those blocks and others say a bad block error is the herald of impending doom and the HDD is bound to fail.

any opinions on the matter? 
Mobo Chipset? 
bad sectors can be caused by the motherboard? i thought they were physical errors on the drives themselves.

the board is a p8h67-m (revision 3), the hdd is a WD15EARX or WD15EARS (locked in chkdsk so can't check atm) 
the windows 7 jumplist had stopped working and i see there was a bad cluster in that exact file... weird.

still going... man chkdsk on large hdds take forever. 
harddrives are disposable storage, better have backups. badblocks do not mean that complete failure is imminent. they are no definitive sign for anything really. I have some flash memory that had badblocks from the factory. runs without problems for 2 years now.

always assume your media will be unreadable tomorrow. 
yes, that's how I feel about hdds these days; I have two seperate backup hdds now.

so far chkdsk has replaced two separate instances of bad clusters on the drive.

badblocks do not mean that complete failure is imminent
the drive is a little over a year old, but does get heavy use. i shall definitely err on the side of caution for this and i'll be picking up a replacement tommorow. 
Run Spinrite On The Drive. 
You will have to acquire a copy if you don't want to pay for it. It's saved me a couple of laptop hard drives. 
Bad Clusters 
If chkdsk has replaced bad clusters, there is almost certainly nothing wrong with the hard drive itself. A bad cluster is simply the DFS ignoring it for use because of (probably) data corruption within those clusters. Remember, clusters are not sectors.

Presumably, chkdsk saved the data from the bad clusters in e.g. file001, file002 etc. If so, the disk can clearly be read. You can open those files and see if you recognise where the data comes from, which may help you understand what happened. Chkdsk will have also made the data space that those clusters occupied re-available to the DFS for normal use i.e. your available space does not continuously reduce through getting bad clusters as long as chkdsk is finding them.

Most common causes are power loss, or otherwise terminating a program in the middle of a file operation, which results in the DFS not 'understanding' the contents of the clusters and losing track of where they fit into the great scheme of things. Because of that, those clusters are not allowed to be overwritten by normal file operations.

Of course always back up your data but if the drive is only one year old, unless it was second hand when you bought it, or it is some obscure Chinese crap, you cannot have exceeded its working life no matter how much use you have given it.

Catastrophic failure is entirely different, is not foreseeable, and is really, really annoying... 
well, the actual problem was bad blocks, which, as I understand it, is a physical problem.
chkdsk was reallocating bad clusters which I'm assuming were on the bad blocks (which is the same as bad sectors, which is not the same as bad clusters... at least in my limited understanding).

anyway, being paranoid about loosing data these days, i've already gotten a replacement. i just don't have enough experience with this kind of thing to make a better guess on the matter. 
If a hard disk gives me any read errors i just turf it. Not worth any messing around imho. 
wow, cloning the drive took forever; must have been almost half a day.

everything seems to work correctly now and i can get back to quake stuffs. ^_^ 
RE: All Looks Fine Except For One Thing 
The 2500K is a monster of a processor (good taste in CPUs BTW), but it is predominantly designed FOR overclocking

You are confused. Intel doesn't design CPUs for 0,001% of their usebase. 
What Did You Use To Clone The Drive? 
I've always wondered what you have to do to do that.

I've got a 10y/o drive at work with all our admin on it, and i wanna replace the drive by cloning it onto a new one. 
You are wrong. About the 2500K and 2600K and the new 3###K's not being for overclocking.

I mean have you read some info before crapping on my 'claim', which is public knowledge?

You can buy a core i5 2500 (no K here), and a 2500K, the only difference between the two is that the K one is designed to be overclocked and about $5. You can't change the multiplier on a non-K CPU, but you can on a 'K' one.

I'm not even going to find some links to back my 'claim' up, but good troll BTW. Look at my rant ^ (!) 
Semantics, Or What? 
The K options have an unlocked multiplier; the non-K have it locked. But you can change the BCLK on a non-K, so actually, both are "overclockable". So which was designed for what or are they both the same design, with the K versions just having some extra like a heated front windscreen or low profile tyres? Other than that?

Still, think I'll go Ivy Bridge and drop the graphics card (tee, hee, hee). 
That is true, but it's been proven that because of the way that Intel have designed their architecture, and due to the fact that the FSB is synched with the PCI bus directly, you cannot achieve a stable FSB overclock of more than about 5%. But if you use a 'K' series CPU and a motherboard chipset that supports overclocking in this way, overclocking via the multiplier will achieve results of stable 50% overclocks. Which is a factor of 10 times more than using the FSB.

As per usual, Intel are just 'disabling' the functionality for overclocking in their non-K CPUs rather than adding the functionality into the K series ones.

But the fact remains that the ONLY benefit (ahem) you will get from a K series CPU is the ability to overclock by up to 50% using the multiplier. So the affinity between the two means that Intel have released a range of CPUs which are designed specifically for the overclocker. QED.

Also, the onboard GPU is actually not that bad.
I have an i3 2330 in my laptop with HD3000 graphics, and I can actually run Skyrim on it. With super-low settings. It runs UE3 pretty well, Fallout New Vegas fine, even on med-hi. 
So the affinity between the two means that Intel have released a range of CPUs which are designed specifically for the overclocker. QED.

Either I didn't understand a word you just wrote or you supported what Mike said: It's the same CPU sans the lock. The only difference is that the overclockable CPUs have passed more quality tests in the factory. 
...that's the point. Were they designed FOR overclockers or were they designed to allow overclocking? I would suggest that in use, far more will not be user-overclocked than will be. Of course, system-overclocking is another matter.

By the way; God Save the Queen - it's pissing down. 
Yes Mike You Are Probably Right 
Lots of people will buy K series CPUs and not overclock them. Which IMO is dumb. And the customers that do that are silly. Because they would be just as well buying a non-K CPU. FFS.

I mean who the F would buy a higher performing CPU just to under-use it? Get real. By the time a non-K CPU has burned out, it will be totally obsolete. People just don't think like that.

They don't. 
I Agree 
When buying a greenhouse, buy the biggest you can afford because once you start using it, you are going to fill it no matter how big it is.

But if you are only growing tomatoes for your summer salads, just put a couple of grow-bags on the patio. After all, you can only eat so many tomatoes.

Besides which, you can buy tomatoes at your local supermarket, and you don't have to water them everyday, or hoe the weeds, or squish the bugs, or watch out for bottom-end rot. Kind o'like sorta thing...

It's still pissing down and she's still smiling and waving. Go girl. 
i got a non-k 2500 specifically because i did not plan to overclock. :P

as for drive cloning, i used the one that WD gives for free, Acronis True Image WD Edition...

It seems like it is only usable if you have a WD hdd so I don't know if it will work otherwise.

there are other free alternatives though that i remember seeing on google while searching.

Something to keep in mind is that the cloning process takes the machine out of commission for the duration of the clone. it can't seem to do it in the normal windows environment and has to reboot to run it's own software.
This makes sense though, because you wouldn't want someone adding or removing files on the disk while you're trying to make a complete copy of it. 
ricky: clonezilla 
will work too. 
CPU Benchmarks
I was looking at that site. Was wondering what cpu benchmark would best describe what to expect from vis.exe performance? 
Getting A New Pc 
is an i7-3770k with 16 GB ram and a gtx 680 enough for the next 2 yrs or so? 
Crystal Balls 
I do all of my map compiling on a Pentium 4 2G. I also use it for music, photography archiving, surfing, and spreadsheets. I did not believe that would be the case when I bought it all those years ago.

I also have an i7 laptop running Windows7 @ 64bit, which I use for 'proper' work such as spreadsheets (2M+ cells) and photomanipulation.

No point in buying the i7 K version unless you are definitely going to overclock - last time I looked the plain version was cheaper.

Apart from that, yes it will easily last for two years provided that you do not look at all the releases in the meantime and convince yourself that you must have the latest otherwise the sky will fall in. 
Yeah - Good Spec 
If you get a good PSU and Mobo you can do a SLI after that lol.

Mike is right about the overclocking - unless you are going to overclock there is no need to get a 'K' series CPU. Haswell is half a year away too. Not sure if that will use the same RAM and socket as the Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge 1155 stuff.

680 is a beast, but if it's value for money you are looking for then look at the 660Ti or 670.
The performance goes down, but the VFM goes up. 
yeah looking to get a system that will be overclocked to 4.3 Ghz.

Mike, dont need the latest etc was just trying to make sure I can play some of the newer games at decent settings over the next 2 yrs. Doesnt have to be at max settings or be every game, but would be nice not to worry about it if I want to get some titles.

Ricky, yeah might go with 670, it is about $150 cheaper in otherwise the same system. 
16gm ram? Shit a brick. I think you'll be able to continue playing games for a lot longer than 2 years with that spec. I usually upgrade once every 4-5yrs. 
Video Card 
I have read a few articles on old systems with new video cards. They play games well. Seems the video card slot is what will obsolete a system build. If a new slot spec comes out. 2-3 years out a video card update is all that you should need. Get a 4 memory slot board so if later you want to do 32 gigs memory you can.

BTW anyone use a SSD drive?

Another thing get THE BEST power supply you can. Every computer failure I've had was a failed power supply. Either random shutdown or out right shorts and blown capacitors. 
Excellent things! I have two at work. Both machines boot to the desktop in <30secs. Having the OS and core applications installed on the SSD makes for a much smoother experience. Everything loads almost instantly.

For my home rig I am waiting for the 480-512GB ones to drop a little more, so I can happilyu instal all my steam games on it, and not worry too much about the downloads file getting full.

And yes - a good PSU is worth the money. Corsair, Antec or OCZ, Cooler Master or XFX. 
blown capacitors
had this happen once... scared the shit out of me. 
I've been using an SSD for over a year, got all my programs and win installed on it. Indeed sub-30sec startup is great. I don't install games on it though, I'd need way bigger than 120gb for that. 
"If You Are Not Using A SSD You Are Wasting Your Life" 
Single best upgrade you can do. If you are upgrading or building a new system, I would prioritise this over everything else (even if it means making sacrifices in other areas).

Even a 120gb drive is enough to have OS + apps + a few games on it. Programs like SteamMover make it easy to manage (so you can move games back and forth between the SSD and your mechanical dinosaur). 
I love my SSD. My old Core2Duo conked out last fall and I had to build a new machine. I decided to go with an SSD and I'm very happy I did. That sucker boots to the Windows 7 desktop in less than 16 seconds, and most of that is the BIOS starting up. From BIOS beep to the desktop is only about 3 seconds.

I also have an HP Microserver with over 4 TB of storage and I run gigabit ethernet, so the small size of the SSD in the new computer is no problem (it's a Crucial M4 120GB). It also has a 1 TB WD Black that was the data drive in the Core2Duo. 
I bought a new laptop with a SSD and it is awesome, boot up times are crazy fast, it is silent and creates less heat. Downside is the size, I have 120Gb and it is tiny for storing games and apps. 
I think they are even more important for laptops because otherwise you get slow 5400 rpm hdds. :( 
Am I The Only One Who Basically Never Reboots His Computer? 
so boot times are one of the most unimportant things ever :-) (at least in the desktop pc) 
Well, I think boot times are something people use just as an example because almost everybody can relate to waiting for Windows to load. Pretty much anything that uses the disk is going to run a lot faster. When I double-click on Firefox, my homepage pops up in one second. Save games load very, very fast if the game is on the SSD. 
Not Doom 3 Though... 
I shutdown/restart my computer only for applying Windows updates, but I do use sleep very extensively and SSDs provide a major boost to sleep/resume speed. 
i shut mine down everyday 
I Shut Mine Once... 
... but it never rebooted... still have to buy a new one :( 
Ah Shit, Too Bad To Know That Doom3 Loading Time 
will not benefit much from installing the game on a SSD...

Just ordered one online yesterday and was hoping that it will make loading a savegame in Doom3 as fast as loading in quake1 or doom2. 
Well, it did not for me but try it. If it works better for you, please say. 
Yeah, Will Report Back 
when it arrives and gets installed in the system. 
Yeah, Doom3 Loading Time Is Not Helped Much 
by installing the game in a SSD. Definitely so.

I estimate that loading time is shortened by 1/3 or 1/2, but you still would notice that it is being loaded looking at the bar progressing visibly. 
GPU Upgrade 
Recently upgraded to 16GB ram, I thought of maybe plugging 32 just cause I can, but 8 was already plenty -- had to upgrade since some of it was faulty. I love how cheap RAM is nowadays. But now I really want to upgrade my GPU, it's just not cutting it anymore for the newer stuff. Right now I'm on some cheap ass 240GT, passive cooling tho, which is nice. What's the best bang for buck Geforce (sticking to nv) in the 100-200$ price range? GTX660 with dual slot fans seem to be coming up in the pricelists. 
That's it I guess. Though the '7 series has just started to launch. The 770 looks like good VFM. Maybe there'll be a 760 Ti or a 760 which could be worth witing for? 
The 770 is way over my budget though, I'dd never pay that amount for a gpu. I don't mind being behind on the curve a bit either. The thing with the waiting game is you never know how long it might take, and 'the next big thing' is always around the corner :P 
GTX 760 Hitting The Market Soon, I'll Wait A Little Longer... 
Mac Mini (late 2012, I7 2,6 Ghz) 
The Mac Mini actually seems suprisingly decent at running some light games, I was expecting to be only able to run stuff at low resolution, lowest details and still only get a barely playable fps due to only having an integrated Intel HD4000 GPU, but it's much better then that.

Playing in OS X, at 1280x720 (which is my native res cut exactly in half, so there are no distortion artefacts), details high to medium, Starcraft 2, Diablo 3, COD: MW all run smoothly without any issues 
I've Got An HD3000 
Running on a dual core Sandy Bridge at 2.1Ghz, and yeah, they game. Still no-where near to a proper graphics card, but functional. 
Mr. Richard 
I'm asking you as a guru of the modern hardware etc/

So actually whats the differens between gtx 670 and 770

i know - gtx 770 it is basically upgraded 680, but

its seems i cant handle to upgrade my card third time in a few years :) 
10% Faster Clocks 
And 192 more 'shader units' (think like a core in a CPU) in a 770 than the 670. The clocks are also faster than the 680, though it is kinda the same card.... 
Right Now, In The UK, I Could Get A GTX 760 For �190 
That is a good deal. 
Hey, does anyone here do any laptop component replacement?

I have an oldish HP 4520s with a regular 2.5" HDD and I want to replace it with an SSD. (and probably replace with more ram while I'm in there).

Am I right in assuming that apart from the hardware and case differences, there should be no problem with hardware compatibility and such with laptops?

Any words of advice? 
^ Following On 
I've swapped out the stock HDD for my HP 4520s for an intel 530 SSD. When in any operating system, it performs perfectly. The bios was already set for ahci so I didn't need to do the registry key trick to get it going.

There's only one problem: every *other* time I boot up, the drive is not detected at all. It does this consistently:
Drive detected
Drive not detected.
Power off, Power on, (note, won't detect if I Ctrl+Alt+Delete to restart)
Drive detected

This happens no matter what OS I boot into, Windows 7 or Ubuntu (from a flash drive).

I transferred the old data from my HDD (500gb) onto the SSD (180gb) using the dd command on linux.
I had to shuffle some partitions around (as well as shrink one) to get it to fit on my SSD.

Here are the paritions:
[300mb system partition]
[400~gb C: Windows partition]
[15gb HP recovery crap]
[2gb HP tools crap]

Because the C: partition was in the middle, i had to do these steps:
Using windows disk management, shrunk C: partition to 95gb.
Booted into Ubuntu
With GParted, Moved HP recovery and tools partition adjacent to the end of the C: partition
Used dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb to clone entire HDD to SSD

Any ideas? 
btw: I did get an error from dd saying something about no space left, but by the time that error occured, it would have been writing unallocated sectors anyway. 
I am no expert. I recently installed a SSD in my desktop and will never go back to HDD for the OS drive.
Does the drive show on the POST screen? Then does it get lost to the OS or is it hardware not found in bios? If you boot from a USB stick is it the same?
A quick google search shows you are not alone with the problem.

I found this
Firmware might be the fix.
I'd suggest you have a good backup until you can trust the drive. 
When it happens, the drive is completely undetected and doesn't show up in the BIOS.

When booting to a USB Ubuntu, if the SSD was not detected, then Ubuntu bootup would usually hang right at the start right after the GUI is loaded, otherwise it boots up normally (and the SSD shows up normally).

I suspected it might be something firmware related, but I really wanted to confirm that somehow before trying to update that. Unfortunately, whenever I find a post about it, it doesn't seem to match exactly what I see myself. 
PC gaming is dying. And calling developers names or calling them lazy or whatever isn't going to prolong it's life. It's dead, Jim.

watch out for that meteor guys. It's going to get real cold for you soon.

This happened. 
But We Have Natural Selection 2 
PC gaming has never been better! Also I don't like control pads. So I don't see me (or any other PC gamers who dislike control pads for that matter) moving over any time soon. 
I've just been playing Two Worlds II. I've got at least 33 keys on the keyboard mapped out and are keys I use, probably several others I haven't needed so maybe 40 in total. OH plus the mouse buttons.

How the FUCK would I map 40 keys to a gamepad? I'm looking at the ps4 gamepad and it has 14 buttons, no mouse. How on earth do people prefer this to a keyboard when you have all these shortcuts you can press?

Plus the fact that real gamers will play the game at the optimal quality, which will always be on PC.

So I don't really see PC gaming ever dying, as long as people still buy desktop computers. 
I prefer to play on pc.

But if the game needs more than 20 keys (including directions) then I'm prejudiced. 
Macbook Pro Display 
Very hot here today (34 degrees). Giving my 2011 macbook pro 15" a little work, i noticed a single vertical line on the display. No system crash and it's cooled down now and line has gone.
At the time, cooling was going fine - about 6000 rpm - and GPU never got above 60, though CPU was at times up to 85.

Is it likely to be an LCD or GPU anomoly. 
Screen Hardware Fault 
will only get worse 
On The Plus Side. 
Console gaming is pretty much dead since PS4/Xbone did fuck all to be interesting gaming platforms. 
New Macbook, Dongle Not Included 
Re my screen hardware fault - Yah... Most of the summer i had a screen line. So i've been looking out for a 2011 display for <= $200 (I can do it myself). But it's turned cold tonight and it's disappeared. :)

Has anyone checked out the new 12" Macbooks ? It has one freaking port. 1! Even by apple's standards, that's pretty amazing for a whole thirteen hundred US bucks. Some new USB thing for power and usb and video. Also has a retina display, a new keyboard getting mixed reviews, and a super low power Intel Core M with a decent turbo speed of >2.4GHz 
New Rig 
Well, it is time for me to build up a new rig to catch up on 5+ years of PC gaming. What I can't decide on is what LCD to buy. I'm opting for 1920x1080 ones, preferably a 120/144Hz one. The thing is, no matter which one I'll choose it looks like I won't get the clarity and contrast of a high-end CRT (which I still use one way or another). It's clear that the newer tech has still its shortcomings. Still, no other options on the market so the step must be taken. So, do you guys have any recommendations? 
I Got 
the Asus VG248QE on Daz's recommendation. It's a great monitor, it's 144hz and will make it impossible for me to go back to 60hz. For gaming I cannot recommend it enough, it may be even more true for older games since they don't tend to limit their frame-rate to 60hz.

Truly it is the best monitor I have ever bought, in a lot of ways it's superior to the 4k TV that I own.

The monitor isn't without it's faults though. The default settings are terrible, you will spend 20-30 minutes trying to get the brightness/contrast etc perfect. I have no idea how people without a monitor already do this, I used my tablet as a reference to get the colours right.

Also the monitor appears to have a very bizarre dithering problem. I don't have a clue why it uses colour dithering in some circumstances as it clearly has an excellent range on it. You will see it on some games more than others. After a while you won't notice or mind it but it is jarring at first. 
Check threads 
New Build 
erc what'd you decide on for your build? My computer is also 5 years old so I'm about to build a new computer too. Trying to keep it below NZ$3000 (USD$2000), which it's right on now. Anyone else just got a new computer?

Intel Skylake Core i7 6700K 4.0Ghz 8MB LGA 1151

Asus (Z170 PRO GAMING) Intel� Z170 ATX Motherboard

SAMSUNG (MZ-N5E500BW) 500GB 850 Evo Series Solid State Drive, M.2

Asus (STRIX-GTX970-DC2OC-4GD5) Overclocked STRIX GTX 970 DirectCU II 4GB GDDR5 SLI,

G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4 2666Mhz

Corsair Carbide 500R White Mid-Tower Case

Microsoft Windows 10 Home, 32/64-Bit USB

EVGA SuperNOVA 650 G1 650W 80+ Gold Full Modular Power supply

Corsair Hydro Series� H110i GT 280mm Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler

Plus install/build is only $80 so I reckon I'll get the shop to do it for me.

Already got the mouse, kb, extra hdds and monitor. I went and bought a cheap LG 27". Maybe should have looked into one of these 4k ones if they're that much better. 
Looks Beasty! 
I would seriously recommend looking at getting a 144hz monitor. Especially for games, the difference in smoothness is unreal. 
Looks like a great machine there Kona. You'll definitely be able to run ad_swampy at 30-40fps on that rig. ;)

Also, DaZ is right. Get a high refresh rate monitor. They're incredible. 
Never cared about refresh rate after going lcd, but I do have a 27" @ 1920x1080 and I find it very low res. 
Screen size is everything for me. I agree with Necros, I've never noticed refresh rate after switching to LCD. Makes no difference to me.

I have a 30" Apple screen and it's fucking phenomenal ... I've had it for, like, 4 years now and it's still my favorite monitor ever. 
Actually, probably closer to 6 years ... this thing is a tank. 
For me the refresh rate was just to avoid the annoying flickering @ 60hz on CRT.

I did play games at 120hz back in the day of CRT and it was OK, but it wasn't a top priority for me.

You can get high refresh but it costs you. I'd rather spend that cash on monitor size or resolution. 
"For me the refresh rate was just to avoid the annoying flickering @ 60hz on CRT."

Yes! Exactly. 60hz or lower and my file explorer window would be flickering constantly. 
1920x1080 Is Starting To Get A Little Pokey 
I mean, that's the resolution my phone has, I think. I didn't go all the way to 4k though, I have a 2560x1440 25" I'm pretty happy with. 
lol @ 1080 being described as "pokey"...

I guess it's dependent on how close you sit to your screen and how big your screen is. One of my friends has a 30 inch screen at 4k but sits about a foot away from it. I can't imagine that being a good experience.

I believe the panel I am using is 22-24 inches (at the most) and 1080p is perfectly fine. I can barely make out the pixels. It's more noticeable in games but I would much rather have a lower res and a much higher frame-rate. I mean, games still look stunning in 1080p IMO.

I guess 1440 is becoming a new pc standard. I don't see a reason to go much higher. You're going to pay a huge performance cost unless you have a beast of a pc to go with it. 
lol @ 1080 being described as "pokey"...

I guess it's dependent on how close you sit to your screen and how big your screen is. One of my friends has a 30 inch screen at 4k but sits about a foot away from it. I can't imagine that being a good experience.

I believe the panel I am using is 22-24 inches (at the most) and 1080p is perfectly fine. I can barely make out the pixels. It's more noticeable in games but I would much rather have a lower res and a much higher frame-rate. I mean, games still look stunning in 1080p IMO.

I guess 1440 is becoming a new pc standard. I don't see a reason to go much higher. You're going to pay a huge performance cost unless you have a beast of a pc to go with it. 
It's all about screen real estate for me. I want huge viewports in my 3D apps. The larger the better. 
Not much different than yours, I'll be going for this next month:

Mobo: Asus Maximus VIII Hero / Intel Z170
CPU: Intel Core i5-6600K / 3.50GHz
GPU: Asus Strix GTX 980
RAM: Kingston HyperX Fury Black DDR4-2666Mhz / 2x8gb
PSU: Corsair CX750M / 750W 80+ Bronze
Case: Corsair Vengeance C70
HDD: WD WD1003FZEX Caviar Black / 1TB
SSD: Kingston HyperX Fury / 240GB
CPU Cooling: Corsair CW-9060021-WW H100i GTX Liquid
Case Cooling: Noctua NF-F12 PWM 120mm 3000-750rpm (x4)
Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster ZxR
OS: Microsoft Windows 8.1 64bit
Monitor: Dell U2414H 23.8" 1080p 8ms 60Hz IPS

I've looked into LCD monitors much and for the time being, decided for an IPS panel: they're slightly behind in response times but better in color reproduction. It seems that 120/144Hz panels with GSync/FreeSync are still using more-or-less experimental tech and more prone to err. Besides, they're way more expensive than a quality 60Hz panel (at least in these parts) and apart from a certain ASUS product, all of them use TN panels which are worse in color reproduction than the ones that are utilizing IPS panels. Still, I'll be considering a second monitor of that type next year, when hopefully they'll be more affordable and better in terms of design.

As for resolution, I opted for 1080p. Considering the limitations of LCD tech, it's clear that the monitor one uses directly effects the life of the actual rig - owing to the 'natural resolution' fact (which wasn't a problem with CRT's). If I choose a 1440p monitor, my rig needs to be powerful enough to run that res at 60Hz constantly. If I use a 1080p one instead, I decrease that need by a notch - where acceptable, I'll use AA, wherenot, I'll be a able to squeeze at least a year more from the same rig by simply not using AA. 
yeah, gfx card power was one of the reasons I went with a lower native res on a 27". At the time, I had a lowly GTS 250. Now with the GTX 960 I would be fine with a 1440 display.

otoh, erc, i see you are going for a 24". My last monitor was a 24" @ 1080 and that was more than enough to look crisp, but i would say 24" is about the max before the pixels start to be pretty visible.

but the 30" Fifth was talking about earlier? It needs to be 1440 at the least. 4k is probably excessive. Also windows doesn't scale fonts properly the way mac OS does, so you can end up with a lot of subtle broken UI elements. 
I think 1080p with a good refresh rate, 144hz and up, is the sweet spot for now.

Use that saved money to get a gtx 980 or greater and DSR/downsample everything and it might not seems so "pokey". 
Yup, I figured out that anything above 24" won't look good enough on 1080p. Besides AA, there's also DSR that KillPixel mentioned - using those methods I think I'll be pretty happy with what I get. Crispness of the image wins over bigger screen size for me. I have been using 17"/19" CRTs for over 15 years now - never had the urge to go bigger. 
You run the 30" at 2560x1600 ... am I taking crazy pills here? 1080? The hell? :) 
I wonder what they'll try to sell us after 4K. Isn't that close to the resolution limit of the human eye?

I don't understand the infatuation with liquid cooling. I see little need to overclock these days and the stock Intel fans are all but silent except under heavy loads. It's not that liquid cooling isn't a little better or less noise, but the improvement doesn't seem anywhere near worth the added complexity and cost. 
Tubes filled with water inside your computer ... what could go wrong? 
is where the next 10 years are... and augmented reality after that. 
VR won't be a real, useful thing for at least another 2 years ... IMO. It'll be a toy for rich kids until then. 
And in terms of doing WORK inside of VR ... that's a ways out yet. I'm just talking about games that really leverage the platform properly. 
is probably only going to be a thing for pc gamers. The current gen of consoles will only be able to do 4K if the game is very simplistic looking due to the extra horse power needed.

If I was optimistic I'd say consoles need about 5 years. But I'm a pessimist so I'd say consoles need 10 years. 
Liquid cooling is what happens when the kind of young man who puts a spoiler and blue underlights on a Toyota sedan is more into games than he is into cars. 
I had kind of forgotten about VR, but I agree it's probably the coming thing for a lot of video games. I don't see watching movies or TV with it though.

Maybe a real video wall will become practical. I can certainly see the value of 4K monitors if they're 80" or larger and hang on the living room wall.

I think I may have to upgrade my video card this year. If I do, I can probably squeeze another year or two out of that computer. 
I could definitely see VR head gear taking the place of current iMax/3D movie theatres. 
I wonder what they'll try to sell us after 4K. Isn't that close to the resolution limit of the human eye?

It just depends on the monitor size. 4k @ 40" might be a stretch. 
Oh you guys don't think liquid cooling is necessary? Perhaps I'll downgrade it to the H80 instead, save $70. The CPU cooling is like the 4th most expensive thing I think!

Looked into pricing on monitors that go above 60hz and they're double the price. Yep think i'll just stick with my 60hz. or I could get a 60hz 4k 28" monitor:

But I don't think the image quality is worth the price. 
I used to be an AMD person and aftermarket coolers were pretty much a necessity. In 2007, starting with the Core2Duo, I switched to Intel. I've always just bought their boxed processors. They come with a heatsink and fan and a 5 year warranty. I've not had any problems at all. 
Strictly for overclockers IMO. A good quality aftermarket fan cooler is all you need! Don't use the stock cooler that comes with Intel CPUs they are shit 
The stock Intel coolers are fine. I've used them on every computer I've built since 2007 and there have been zero processor or fan problems. 
I pretty much overclock everything but never watercool. Too much money, time and maintenance.

Configure your case correctly, use quality fans, sinks, etc. and you'll be just fine.

The first thing I did when I got my 4790k was delid it, level it via sanding and applied liquid ultra and OC'd it to 5ghz with great temps. That's probably a little excessive and not for everyone.

I just recently got my gtx980 to 1.5ghz core / 8ghz mem!!! the thing is a beast!!

@ Rick - In my experience, intel coolers are fine for typical consumer use in a well configured case. They tend to last quite a while. However, for anything beyond that, the performance simply isn't there. 
i still have one of these:

been with me for 5 years (or more? it's been so long I can't remember). excellent cooler, super quiet, used on 3 CPUs so far. i'll be sad when the lga1150 socket goes away. 
"typical consumer" Lol, well that pretty much describes me and everyone I've built a computer for in the last 20 years.

Games, movies, music, YouTube and random web browsing... yep, that just about covers it. 
Signs Of HDD Trouble? 
Maybe this is a software question rather than a hardware question, but here goes:

So I've been playing a few Quake 3 Arena maps for inspiration (and curiosity to see what some people whose Q1 maps I know have done for Q3) and then suddenly two of the maps I had in my baseq directory stopped working, as in, the little preview screen that you normally see just showed a Q3A logo and the map name was scrambled and the game wouldn't load the map. I tried deleting the maps and replacing them with fresh downloads but no dice.

Then I read on the internet that if files randomly become corrupt, that can be a sign of the start of HDD failure. Might this be the case? Or is Q3A (I run it via ioquake on Linux) known to be quirky?

I also heard some disturbing noises at one stage, but this was months ago and went away: a sort of a krrr-click, krrr-click. I thought back then my HDD was about to die, but as I said, the noises went away and never came back. 
Also: if I do need to replace the HDD, is it worth going for an SSD when the laptop isn't that great to begin with? Will it help at all (in terms of speed) with mapping, or is mapping more reliant on memory + CPU? 
If you don't have a good back up, make one now.

There are utilities to scan and check hard drives.

If it turns out that it needs replacing, go for an SSD unless you need a really large capacity (over 500 GB). 
I tried deleting the maps and replacing them with fresh downloads but no dice.

can you also try this:

rename the broken map to something else
unzip a fresh copy
try to run the fresh copy

i think if you overwrite a file and the size is the same, the hdd will just reuse the same sectors instead of writing to a new place on the disk. if you rename, the original will keep the sectors it is using and the hdd will need to allocate a different part of the disk to the fresh copy of the map.

if this makes the map work, then that definitely indicates that the original copy became corrupted on the desk.

have you tried running a disk scan? also, try getting speedfan and then checking the SMART info on your hdd to see if it is reporting errors of failing health checks.

regarding ssd in any computer: in all but the first piece of shit computer, and ssd is going to be a huge performance boost. it is the single best upgrade you can do to your computer; plus, ssds are quite cheap now. 
first = worst

why are words failing me. :S 
Thank You For The Responses, Rick & Necros 
Ok, you've sold me on the SSD option. :)

I think I have the most important stuff backed up, but I'll double-check (I'm not on the computer with the suspect HDD at the moment; I'm using my really shitty backup computer at the moment that's only good for light internet usage as I was afraid of sudden catastrophic hard-drive failure on my main computer without a proper plan of action at the ready).

speedfan is Windows-only, I think? But it looks like badblocks will work for checking the HDD under Linux. And thank you for the tip about renaming the map files; I'll try that too.

I've heard that with HDDs, you should try not to use too much of the drive's capacity, as in, your HDD shouldn't be 90% full, as this will slow down the system. If true, is that the case with SSDs as well? I'm just asking because on my budget, I'm looking at SSDs with a smaller capacity than my currently 60%-full HDD... 
No noticeable slowdown on my ssd when it's full. 
Thanks :) 
The manufacturer of the drive should also have utilities for checking for problems and reading the SMART info.

The only issue I can think of with a too full drive is that Windows Defrag requires some free space to run. That's not an issue with SSDs because defragmenting them is not recommended. 
well, i don't know if it's still like this for ssds, but you should partition the disk to something like 90% for the actual usage, and leave 10% unpartitioned to give the drive room to move things around. i forget the details but you can google that.

also, look into using linux on a usb stick to do a complete drive copy bit for bit to your new drive. you can continue where you left off like you never changed hardware. 
Thanks For All The Info And Advice, Necros, Rick & 5th 
Can I Pick People's Brains Some More? 
Still haven't got round to sorting out my primary computer (thanks again for the responses!), but my back-up computer (an old netbook) has some odd issues too, and as I haven't been able to find answers on the rest of the internet, I thought I might ask here...

So the odd thing is that whenever I start up the netbook, it opens a few applications automatically: a File Manager window, an image viewer programme and one or two other things. Basically, it behaves as if it's remembering the last few things I had open before I last shut the system down. The problem is, these are not things I had open; I had them open a few months ago when this started happening -- it's as if the system keeps restoring itself to a state from a few months ago.

I'm using Linux Mint, and under System --> Sessions and Startup I've made sure that none of these applications are set to auto-start, and that the system does not save my session when I log out.

So I've been wondering whether this is a hardware problem, and to my complete layperson's mind, it seems like there could be something wrong with the ram? As in, it never gets cleared and keeps "remembering" stuff it should long ago have discarded? Or is that a laughably misinformed idea? 
Ram forgets everything as soon as power is cut. Sounds like a software problem to me. 
Looking at start-up preferences would be my first guess but you did that.

sudo sed -i 's/NoDisplay=true/NoDisplay=false/g' /etc/xdg/autostart/*.desktop

Apparently that command will display ALL startup application preferences. You could see if it is hiding in there. 
Thanks For The Responses So Far 
Bloughsburgh, that command does nothing on my system, unless I'm missing something. Am I supposed to get some sort of output in the terminal? Because I get nothing... 
I think that command un-hides the hidden preferences in the startup applications section you referenced. Try looking there now that the command has been ran.

That's about as much knowledge as I can provide. 
Ah, Understood 
Thanks. It seems not to have un-hid anything that wasn't previously unhidden, though. Oh well.

Thank you very much for trying to help. 
The system probably seems to restore an old saved session and this has nothing to do with ram and probably nothin with autostart applications.

See if there are files in $HOME/.cache/sessions and try to move them away then reboot.

Restoring a session is done by your login manager which in Linux Mints case should be MDM if I'm not mistaken. Try too google for disabling session restoring. It's probably some old session config laying around in your homedirectory and would be fixable by moving these files away so the system regenerates them from a default one. 
Thanks For The Extensive Response, Flp 
I just rebooted and the problem seems to have resolved itself, but I have no idea how that happened.

I looked in ~/.cache/sessions as you suggested, but it had nothing except for a single .png image image file. After rebooting (with the system finally starting up again as it should) I looked again and saw a new .state file, which seems to have been newly generated; there was nothing like this when I last looked. So it's as you said it would be, only I didn't remove any old session config files...

Didn't manage to find anything on disabling session restoring via MDM.

In any case, thank you very much for all the information. 
Anti-static Precautions? 
I was just wondering, do any of you use anti-static precautions when swapping out computer parts -- in particular laptop parts? Is it crucial when swapping out an HDD/SSD, or are those things shielded already? How about RAM chips?

The internet seems to be full of very conflicting opinions on this, ranging from "it's the most important thing ever and you'll destroy your computer otherwise, often in insidious ways you won't notice immediately" to "eh, I build pcs for a living and do so in woolen slippers while rubbing a balloon on my head".

Also, lots of conflicting advice on what do do, ranging from effectively plugging yourself into the mains via a specially-made device (the instructions seem specifically aimed at people living in the US, though, which I don't) to touching the metal chassis of the computer once in a while (which doesn't help in the case of a laptop). Some say the former method will do more harm than good; others say the latter is completely useless. So I'm pretty confused and scared (which is the human condition, I guess).

So what do you do? 
Assembled boards are not as susceptible to ESD damage as their individual components are, but the risk is still there. The computer industry is a cut throat business. They wouldn't waste money on static protection packaging if it wasn't necessary.

If a computer has a power supply installed and it's plugged into a grounded outlet, then touching the metal case immediately before handling or installing parts may be good enough.

I always work on PCs in the kitchen where there is no carpet and frequently touch the water faucet to get rid of any static build up. Remember to only handle cards and memory sticks by the edges and stay away from the contacts. Never touch the pins on the processor.

Also, it's true that ESD damage may not show up immediately. 
I recently killed a raspberry pi by casting lightning from my finger tips. The danger depends a lot on your environment and clothes. Touch some grounded, blank metal (heating usually works). To be double safe, undress beforehand... ;) 
Wear rubber shoes with as little tread as you can, only stand on shagpile carpet, make sure that you lubricate the case with water for easier fitment of devices and Wear a tall metallic hate while building the computer in a lightning storm outside. 
"Metallic Hate" Is A Good Map Name. 
He He He 
Metallic Hate... is what just became Metallica :P 
if you can nab an antistatic bracelet thing, they are pretty handy... I put an alligator clip on the end of the wire and just stick it on something grounded. 
GG WP Nvidia Driver Auto-detect.... 
Why the hell is Nvidia even using Java? Nobody should allow that crap on their system. 
What the actual...? 
Thanks For The Advice, Rick, Spirit And Necros 
Finally managed to replace my cranky HDD with an SSD. Hopefully didn't break/damage anything in the process, though time will tell, I guess. Now I just need to reinstall all the stuff I had before (started over with a fresh OS install) and then I can finally get back to mapping... 
Make sure your alignments and TRIM are set up correctly 
Thanks! I was just about to ask if people have any advice on SSD-optimization on Linux. According to what I've read, Linux Mint 17.3 (which is what I installed) automatically enables TRIM -- is there a way to test whether this is the case?

What do I need to do with alignment? Is it too late if I've already started copying data over onto the SSD? 
Hey... Does anyone know if there's a way to fix led screen backlights not turning on? I can switch input modes a couple of times and that fixes it,.but if the screen is off for an extended period of time, the backlights don't turn on again until I switch modes again. 
likely a bad capacitor in PS. 
I'm having the same issue with my old as fuck 2004 monitor. Have to spend 10 minutes or so turning the monitor on and off again before it decides to stay on.

Fun times! Any recommendations for a cheap as fuck 2nd screen? Ie < �100 
If cheap is your criteria, you should be able to buy an Arduino kit with a LCD display (among lots of other components)... hard to beat that price :) 
I had a similar problem on an Asus monitor. Seems like that kind of problem must be really difficult to fix, because I sent it back to them for warranty repair three times and they never managed to do it. I finally got tired of fucking around with the back and forth shipping hassles and just tossed it. Not sure if I'll ever buy another Asus product. 
I Had Forgotten We Had A Hardware Thread 
...opening it i now realise I created it. 12 years ago.
WTF I'm so old
After replacing the SSD in my living room computer back in July, I've discovered I can now get into the BIOS and even access the boot menu during a restart.

I have no idea why a bad drive would cause the BIOS screens to freeze, but that's what seemed to be happening.

Since everything appears to be working correctly, I'll probably keep it another year or two.

Now may be time for that new video card. 
And... I finally got around to looking at that bad drive and Western Digital's SMART utility is telling me the drive is fine. ?!?

The damn thing wouldn't boot without four dozen or more retries. I put a new drive in and it booted right up. 
Guess This Is The Right Place. 
I'm getting some annoying horizontal tearing playing a few games on the external monitor connected up to my laptop. It's a bit like the classic tearing but not as jaggy any more ripply. It's much worse on the external monitor rather than the laptop's own screen. I also got it a bit on a couple of youtube videos with quick vertical panning.

I've checked the HDMI cable and tried another one, no effect.

I've turned G-Sync off (external monitor is not compatible and lappy needs a bios tweak to use it anyway)

I've turned triple buffering on and tried V-Sync on both On and Adaptive modes.

No effect....

This didn't seem to be happening on Doom4 nor Dark Souls3 on the external monitor before, and definitely wasn't happening with Battlefleet, Solus, nor Metro 2033 Redux on the laptop screen. I'm wondering if it could be a problem with going >60FPS??

I will try new drivers and tweaks tomorrow, but in the meantime....HELP!! 
Is a curved monitor a horrible idea??

On a Benq 22" at the moment, was good at the time, but contrast is noticably worse that my laptop screen, and I wouldn't mind a couple more inches oooh errr missus. Was tempted by a 144hz but then saw this curved one and wondered if it would be a fun experience:

I sit 2.3 to 3.3 feet from the monitor if that helps... 
I don't see too much point to a curved screen when it is at 24".

The point of the curved screen as I see it is to maintain optimal viewing so you do not have to turn your head to either side.

For reference I have a curved 34" monitor and I do not have to physically move my head to see the very edges.

So I guess as long as it isn't jacking up the price, it's always a fun conversation piece. The more important features would be the increase refresh rate though. Definitely go for that criteria before others. 
I'd ditch the curves and put the money into a higher refresh rate and lower response time. I think those provide much more value than curves.

60hz/4ms? Ew. 
I mostly play games on a PC connected to the TV in the living room. I was looking at new TVs at Walmart the other day, and there is a huge difference between 1080p at 60 Hz and 4K at 120 Hz.

The biggest problem is that you would almost have to use scaling in Windows if you want to read text and tell which icon is what. Some programs have problems when scaling is used, but they are usually fixable. 
Cheers Bromies. 
I did think it was a bit of a gimmick and 144hz is the sensible option. 
It's one of those things where it sounds kinda meh, but once you use one you can never go back. NEVER 
Yes, Go 144hz 
depending on your budget, this could lock you out of getting an ips panel :/ 
Something I've often wondered is does 60hz look as good on a 120/144hz display as it does on an actual 60hz display? or will you get tearing/other issues? I have a 980 and there are very few modern games that I can drive at +100fps. 
it looks the same as on a native 60hz. The issue is that 60hz doesn't feel smooth any more once you get used to 144! 
I Hope No One Turns Up To Say That The Eye Can Only See 24 Fps 
I Can Tell The Different Between 50 And 60hz On A Monitor. 
On a static image anyway. But I'm not too bothered between the difference between 30 and 60 FPS, in most games there's waaaaay too much stuff going on to notice. 
from time to time 60fps or 60hz seems laggy for me

i have to wait a few minutes to stop noticing that

now i want one 144hz monitor. but it's too expensive for me right now. it costs around a monthly average income here. fucking country.

i can see that i am the kind of person that will notice the difference right away. 
i have an old CRT 19" that does 1600x1024 at 75hz, and 1024x768 at 120hz, i can tell the diff going from that to a lcd at 60hz even with maxfps at 150, it still choppy, so i use motion blur to hide that. 
Wonderful, My New Video Card Does Not Work 
in my old computer.

Two options, neither are all that great.

Build a new computer that will (hopefully) work with the new video card.

Attempt to flash the BIOS in the old computer which may or may not allow it to use the new video card.

Considering the computer works as it is, I'm more inclined to build something new, but I need it to run Windows 7. 
a bios flash is usually pretty simple, what's the mobo? 
Why Does It Not Work? 
I take it is fits in the slot right...PCI-E x16 2.0/3.0? You have the correct power connections on it? 
I had to flash a bios once before and it bricked the board. That was long time ago, maybe things are better now.

The board is a GA-Z77X-UD3H. The processor is an i5-3570K. I think this is still pretty good for everyday use and even gaming, though it's close to 5 years old, but I didn't put the greatest video card in it when it was new and a GTX 550 Ti just won't cut it for newer games.

With the new card in, a GTX 1050 Ti, it hangs during boot. Pretty badly too. I had to reboot using the onboard Intel graphics before I could get it to work with the old card again.

I was looking at new parts and wow, DDR4 memory is expensive. I'm not sure at this point how new I can go without having problems installing Windows 7. 
that's a good board and flashing should be straightforward. There is a chance, of course, of bricking the board if you interrupt the flashing process. Gigabyte probably provides a flashing utility along with the bios, might find it here. There's been a number of compatibility updates for this board, what version are you running now?

I'm assuming mobo/card drivers are up to date, the card is properly seated in the first slot and the mobo is properly configured? Have you tested the card in another system? It's not super uncommon to have a faulty card...

Anyway, I'm sure the issue can be solved with minimal grief. However, building another system is always fun too :P 
I'm not sure it's actually possible to "brick" this board. It has dual BIOS, so I think recovery is always possible, but their documentation is lacking and actually getting it to work is kind of hit and miss.

There were a couple of occasions when I was having trouble booting from a certain SSD that it proclaimed the main BIOS was "corrupt" and restored it from the back up BIOS, but knowing that I never even went in to the BIOS to change anything I'm at a loss as to how it magically became "corrupt".

At the moment it's running fine with the old video card and I don't really have a viable fall back machine for playing games so I'm reluctant to mess with it anymore.

I guess now I'll try and dig my way through all the FUD and see if I can figure out just how modern of a machine I can assemble and still have no problems installing Windows 7 on it. 
I'm reluctant to mess with it anymore.

I understand that. upon further research I think a bios update should do the trick. however, I get you don't feel comfortable doing it.

see if I can figure out just how modern of a machine I can assemble and still have no problems installing Windows 7 on it.

Even the latest enthusiast mobos will have win7 support, general mobos might even have vista/xp support. It should be listed in the specs. If you shop from newegg, for example, the supported operating systems are usually found at the bottom of the spec page. If you don't see anything listed for a particular mobo you can always go to the manufacturer's website and see what drivers are available for that board.

good luck! 
Reread Your Post 
knowing that I never even went in to the BIOS to change anything

well, that could certainly be an issue. most of the time you will have to configure at least some things in the bios for proper performance. 
That 1050 Ti happen to be a Zotac card? 
I put it together, installed Windows, installed the drivers, and it all worked. Maybe I could have tweaked stuff and it would have been a few percent faster, but I never really felt it was necessary.

Other than the one SSD issue and now this video card, it's been working fine for almost 5 years. I guess I've turned into one of those "if it ain't broke" types. 
That 1050 Ti happen to be a Zotac card?


I don't think it's the video card, it's the motherboard. The BIOS is just old. The Gigabyte splash screen shows up just fine, it just locks up at that point. 

I recently upgraded my video card(to a (gtx 1060) in a PC older than yours. The card had issues seating in the slot. It took a few times of reinserting it before PC was bootable.

I thought maybe you had that issue as well.

Good luck for a fix. 
For what it's worth, I also have a gigabyte motherboard and you can update the bios using the windows utility from their website and it will automatically find, download and update the correct bios for you. It's completely painless. 
Yeah, I'm probably going to have to break down and try the BIOS update. It's currently using version F11 and the latest available non-beta is F18. I don't really see anything in their descriptions that indicate fixes for video problems though.

I poked around a bit in the BIOS settings but everything is set to the default and nothing much looked like it would affect an add in video card.

After an hour or so at Newegg it looks like I can build something new for about $600. I guess the worst thing about that is the GTX 1050 TI was intended as a cheap upgrade for an old computer, it's not really what I'd want to put in something new.

And there's the added hassle of making a Win 7 install disc with USB 3.0 drivers included.

That's someone with a different Gigabyte motherboard, but also a 1050 Ti, and a bios update solved a case of "not booting" for them, so I'm guessing a bios update will fix it? 
there's no guarantee a new system won't need a bios update or some other tlc :D

no need to buy a new car when you just need an oil change... 
Okay, the BIOS is successfully updated to version F18, which is the most recent non-beta version (still dates from 2012 though).

There were apparently 8 BIOS updates during the board's first year, then nothing until some kind of audio fix in 2014.

I guess I'll use it for a day or so to make sure there's no problems. I'm not really looking forward to digging it out to replace the video card - again. It's the living room entertainment machine and it's hooked up to tons of stuff, so there's a lot of cables to plug and unplug. 
Upgrade to Win10, see if that helps? 
There may come a day when a game I really want to play will only work on Windows 10, but until then it is far more trouble than it's worth. 
The F18 BIOS update for the GA-Z77X-UDH3 did fix the problem. Internet was down last night (for the second time in a week), so with nothing better to do I went ahead and installed the new GTX 1050 Ti video card. It booted right up. So yay.

I've never used HDMI much before and to me it seems ridiculously bright with over saturated color. I lowered the color from 50 to 40 on the TV and that's better. I used the Windows color calibration to drop the gamma to the absolute minimum. Now the desktop and programs look about right, but had to increase it in some games and VLC to compensate.

I also noticed some strangeness in Quake where occasionally an entire surface would flash bright white or maybe just inverted color. Hard to say since it happens so quickly, not a major issue in any case. 
when you use hdmi with nvdia cards it defaults to a limited dynamic rang (16-235). To fix this, go to the nvidia control panel, select "adjust video color setting" at the very bottom, then check "with the nvidia settings" then set the dynamic range to full (0-255).

Not sure why nvida throttles the display range by default with hdmi... 
it will look dark/dim/desaturated because you calibrated your display to compensate for the limited range. after setting it to full range you'll have to recalibrate which, of course, will be well worth it. 
Shit, Im An Idiot 
do what I said in #978 but do this in addition:

nvidia control panel > display > change resolution > output dynamic range. set this to full.

now everything should be groovy :D #978 was specifically for video playback. 
#980 screws up the Win7 Aero theme yes? 
nope. may have to reapply it worst case scenario.

modern nvida drivers actually require aero be enable. otherwise, video playback wont have vsync, for example. 
Hrmmm.... I tried reapplying it :(

I'll look more... 
make sure color is set to 32bit, not 16.

you wouldn't happen to be using 2 displays, would you? 
Thanks KP 
Fooking nVidia control panel, wth!

It changed 32 bit to 16 bit.. then get this, when I changed it to 32 bit and hit apply... screen was all jacked as it changed it to 8 bit!!!

But all is fine now, thanks. 
glad it's all good! 
I looked and everything in the Nvidia control panel is set to "other applications" control. The setting is there though. I'll have to fiddle with it later because...

I just got off the phone after spending over an hour with Comcast trying to resolve an intermittent internet connection problem. I have probably suffered permanent brain damage and cannot handle anything technical right now. 
Moar Hardware 
well, this doesn't seem to be a very active thread, but I figure I'd share a sweet grab I made today from a local dude cleaning out his garage:

Hitachi CM801U for $30. This thing is MASSIVE (70lbs!) but in great condition and the picture quality is superb. La Croix can for scale.

I also picked up an old gaming rig for $15, it really had some great stuff inside: asus abn32-sli mobo and amd athlon 64 fx-60 complimented by a bfg 7950gt oc, ocz platinum edition memory and a soundblaster live 5.1. The case and psu were pretty meh, luckily I happened to have those two things laying around.

Anyway, I got it all cleaned up, assembled (even used AS5 on the cpu for old times sake) and up and runnning, then... pop. lost a capacitor on the mobo :( I found a local repair shop, maybe they'll do a quick recap for cheap tomorrow. If all goes well, that cpu should clock over 3ghz on air.

Anyway, it was a good score IMO! 
Before, with VGA I would set brightness in Fitzquake to 3 clicks above minimum and everything looked fine. Now, with HDMI the status bar and menus to appear too bright compared to VGA. I have to set brightness at minimum to fix this, but playing maps at this setting causes them to be too dark to see almost.

The actual picture quality is better, but trying to get all these brightness issues worked out is getting tedious. I'm beginning to think this HDMI is more balanced for impressive pictures on TV viewing and not so much for computers. Though it may well be just the way my particular TV was designed.

One good thing is that the Sharpness setting is available with HDMI, so now I can set it to minimum and get decently sharp onscreen text. On the VGA input it was at 50%, grayed out and not adjustable. 
Got It Looking Okay 
I kept thinking something was wrong when the desktop seemed to need excessive gamma adjustment to look right and started changing other things.

I finally realized that any changes to the TV's HDMI brightness or contrast made Quake look really bad. I put them back to the 50% default (same as what the VGA input was set at), and just used the built-in Windows DCCW to set the gamma to whatever it took to look right.

The DCCW slider has no numbers, but if the default center position is considered 50%, then where it looked good on the GTX 550 was no lower than 40%. The new GTX 1050 needs more like 20-25%, which seems like a big difference to me.

I did leave the TV's color setting down at 30% because the default was way oversaturated. Whether that's due to the TV, the video card, or just the difference between VGA and HDMI, I don't know.

Those occasional flashing surfaces in Quake are somewhat annoying. I've even seen some completely disappear, but only for a instant. It's random and doesn't repeat no matter how much I move around near the same spot and viewing direction. It almost has to be some kind of driver issue. 
Rick, I haven't seen you mention which Quake engine you're using. Or is it really ol' Fitzquake 0.85?

With the latest NVidia drivers I had a flashing issue for some builds of Mark V, but not the latest build. I don't know if Baker did something explicitly to fix it.

I've never had that flashing problem with the latest couple of Quakespasm builds. I do see it occasionally with ezQuake 3.0.

So there's something about the Quake engine renderers that can trigger the issue. 
Correct. I've only looked at Fitzquake so far. I also test stuff on Quakespasm but haven't had a chance yet. My copy of Mark V is probably not the latest version. 
can i7 3770K CPU PC use better GPU than GTX970 or would the performance from any better GPU be bottlenecked by this old CPU? there is no better CPU form my MoBo socket than the i7 3770K, which MoBo/socket to get nowadays? (play mostly DX9 games) thanks 
3rd Gen Intel could probably be fine with a 980ti. I am not sure about Pascal as I haven't done my homework for that yet.

Although upgrading from 970 to 980ti may not be worth it if you are gaming at 1080p 
I think whether or not to upgrade, and what to upgrade to, depends on what you are using now. 
No, your 3770k will not be a bottleneck in a system with even current gen cards (gtx 1080/Titan). You may lose a negligible amount of frames in very CPU intensive games, but that's it.

If you're on a budget I'd recommend giving your CPU a little OC and consider the gtx1070, which is about 25% faster than your 970. 
Almost $400 for a 25% improvement does not sound like a good deal to me, but then I'd never spend more than $300 on a video card even if it was for a brand new computer.

I never thought I was a tightwad. I guess I was wrong. 
$400 isn't cheap (might be able to find one for $300 on ebay). Sadly, that's the most economical performance boost atm. He's already at the price/performance sweet spot so any increase in performance from that will be premium dollars. Even if he spent 4x that much on a new build he would still only be at about a ~50% performance increase (in gaming).

My advice if you don't want a small upgrade to tide you over is to just save $$ until the next generation of cpus/gpus release (not ryzen, think icelake/volta) then buy after the first price drop.

play mostly DX9 games

Then upgrading probably isn't critical atm. I'd just wait. 
"if You Are Gaming At 1080p" 
1920x1440@85Hz of course 
I agree with Killpixel wait - especially at that resolution and DX9.

One word of advice: you will never regret saving up and building a top end system. They last longer as you waste less time and money upgrading over the years. I think it's better to "suffer" for a while and save up for a very powerful system paying attention to CPU/MoBo/GPU trends. Watch out for GPU price drops when nvidia announces new tech. I've gone the cheapskate route where I've bought a decent MoBo and then every few years upgraded CPU and video card but that's actually proven pretty wasteful overall. Save up and go big when the timing is right, I've never regretted it. 
AMD Live From Computex Tonight 
AnandTech on Threadripper

Ever wanted to compile a sock map in 3 seconds? 
Should I Get The Ripper Of Threads? 
I am considering a hardware upgrade, but a new CPU now would mean a new motherboard (because fucking sockets are all over the place in shape) and then probably also a new OS.

I want to stay on [B]indows 7 for as long as possible. It's what I am currently using for my workstation.

Why can't anything be easy? 
if you can afford it, I'd say do it! getting win7 to work will take a little tlc since microsoft is only supporting the platform on windows spyware edition :( 
Oh Shit 
I don't want Windows 10.

Well, I can afford it, I'm just wondering if it would be worth it. I see that for 3D-rendering and stuff it's quite good, which is what my main purpose for using it would be. 
Win Your Dose 
I don't want Windows 10.
I don't think we're gonna have much of a choice in the very near future: we're starting to see games announced for Win10 only. 
Just bought a Razer Lancehead for $80 USD. Im coming from a Logitech G400. I had a SteelSeries Rival 300 for a litte bit but returned it.

The Rival line of mice suffer a fatal flaw, in my opinion. Mouse1 and Mouse2 buttons are designed in a way that allows them to rub into each other and can inhibit the travel of the opposing button. It blew my mind that this was allowed to happen.

The Razer Lancehead is ambidextrous so any of you who are left handed may like it.

Only complaint would be the side buttons are a bit too low so I accidentally hit them. A little bit of grip retraining is in order. 
I use small ambidextrous laptop-size mini-mice. I find they offer good control and the size is best for wrist (no rsi) compared to these oversized heavy gaming mice/Razers with a million buttons... anyone else use mini mice? 
Mini Mice 
are fine for those who don't rest their palm on the mouse. I use Logitech's ergonomic mice, they're just perfect for my hand. I've owned a MX-510 for years now and TBH I'm quite amazed it's still working... 
Razor Diamondback 
I still own and use my original 2005 era Diamondback. It's smallish and has always felt right to me. I don't pick my mouse up while playing games. I use a high sensitivity. I don't like the more "ergonomic" mice these days. Feels like I have my hand placed on a rock. I never use the side buttons.

I guess the newer version was overpriced and not well received. 
I recently trashed my mx-518 of 5 years and replaced it with a G400s - it's essentially the same mouse with better optics. I'm not a fan of the razer mice I've tried (love their keyboards though). 
I use a "vertical" mouse that I bought from Anker on amazon:

It's pretty great so far, but the plastic it's made from has not always held up that well in the long run - back in like, 2010 or so I owned a Razer Abyssus that was made of similar stuff and ended up "peeling" from sweat. Pretty gross!

The vertical mouse is really comfortable in my experience. It's supposed to be good for your wrist since having it perpendicular to your desk rather than parallel is a more natural position. I never had wrist problems before, but I also don't now so I can testify that it doesn't cause them... 
Mugwump yeah true, I use a wrist support glove on both hands: 
@Pritchard A vertical mouse, interesting... I had this idea some 15 years ago to somehow jam a joystick on top of a mouse but never got to make it.

@Kona Didn't know such gloves existed. I use a silicone pad as wrist support. 
There Are Much More Joystick-like Mice Out There...

The only complaint I have about my mouse is that it's not necessarily the most precise tracking - it's got a pretty consumer-grade polling rate/DPI.

Also it's tall and I knock it over sometimes...

Speaking of wrist pads, I really wish someone would make a big mousepad with a gel insert. all of the ones i've seen are tiny and I'd probably slip off of it a bunch... 
big mousepad with a gel insert.
I remember reading a review about such a thing a few years ago. Can't be more specific but a quick Google search might provide answers. 
My Specs: 
Pentium III 933Mhz
Riva TNT 16MB graphics card
Creative Monster 3D Voodoo 2 12MB (soon to be x2) 
Time traveller? 
That post reminded me of my '99 rig. P3 933 with 128 megs of SD-RAM coupled with a TNT II (which I used to swap with a Voodoo 3 3000 whenever I wanted to play Unreal). Good times. 
Neh Not A Time Traveller 
just a bored eBayer. Got the second working Voodoo2 yesterday. I have two that don't work properly now. And two that do. 
Is My Pc Rig Good Enough To Play Most Games At 60 Fps? 
Hey guys,here is my rig which I am going to build soon.Here are the parts

AMD Ryzen 7 1700X
(Mobo not decided)
16GB DDR4-2666 
Depends On The Resolution 
I like to watch benchmark videos on YouTube (Hardware Unboxed is my favourite), and based on my experience, for 1080p gaming your rig should be plenty fine for 60+ FPS on ultra settings.

I think it might be suitable even for high refresh rate gaming (144+ FPS), at least on lighter games such as CS:GO or Overwatch.

Now if you were to play 1440p, your rig might still be good enough for 60+ FPS gaming, at least if you cranked down the details on some more demanding titles. If you wanted to play 144+ FPS, you'd have to crank the settings to very low and/or play light games. I'd recommend Quake. ;)

You might not want to take my word for it, though, and check some benchmarks that are all over the net. 
Nvidia And Linux In 2019: A Bad Idea? 
I'm in the market for a new Linux laptop and am tempted by the Dell G5 15, which has an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050.

I've read and heard mixed things about Linux and Nvidia, though. Does anyone here have a Linux system that uses an Nvidia card -- even better if it's the same card -- and wants to weigh in? Am I going to make my life unnecessarily difficult? 
Depends on your distro. Nvidia drivers are harder to maintain since they don't use the regular stack (dri/drm, kms, mesa). So if you're using some obscure distro, don't buy nvidia. Otherwise you're probably fine. Maybe. 
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