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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!
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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. 
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