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The Official Graphics Card and PC gaming Thread

Discussion in 'Building a new PC' started by abuzar1, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Jeezus Jeff, if I have ever said it before, I need to repeat it a dozen more times, you are an audiophile to the 10th level blackbelt.

    I almost think you could do professional headphone reviews on an ad hoc basis - like those magazine writers who aren't on payroll, but get paid per article.

    I wonder if Crutchfield would have any interest in having you review any equipment - just to see what you come up with? You could offer to do a couple of reviews for free to let them get a taste for the quality of your work - and then after that whatever the normal pay scale is per piece.

    I would say, just send them that last post as an example - but there are a dozen posts over the last 6 months just as good - and some of them even more detailed.

    Just a thought.

    Hey, come to think of it, didn't Sam, at one time maybe 5 years ago or so, pick up a gig reviewing hardware for somebody in England?

    DDP, being over 100 years old, with a photographic memory, do you remember Sam doing that?

    - Rich
     
  2. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    Hey guys,

    Yet again, sorry it's been so long. It seems so easy with a busier life to forget about coming to update this thread, I can only profoundly apologise for keep disappearing for such lengths, I'm really quite glad the conversation's still going on.

    I don't wish to divert things off-topic too far, but I'm going through a fairly painful breakup this week, and part of my way of dealing with it is making a commitment to re-engage with a few groups of people I spoke to more when I was single, so this seemed as good a place as any to begin! :)

    I can't say I remember having a job reviewing hardware, certainly not a proper one. I do work in the sector as an IT engineer and have done since 2011, but I've never done hardware reviews in any official capacity.

    With regard to games, I'm still playing fairly regularly with the group of people I got to know at university, the most common game is still Overwatch, but when more than 6 of us are about, in the past few months we've taken to playing the Garry's Mod mode 'Trouble in Terrorist Town' which is a good laugh.

    I'll spend some time catching up on the posts I missed and be sure to be as attentive to this thread (although probably not the forum in general!) as I used to be. Hope you're all well :)
     
  3. GrandpaBW

    GrandpaBW Active member

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    Hi sammorris! It is good to see you posting again.
     
  4. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    Hi GrandpaBW - good to hear from you again too!
     
  5. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Sam,

    Hi. I don't know if it was a job, but I sort of recall that you got some free hardware once or twice, in return for a review - was it a motherboard?

    I'm sorry to hear about the breakup. The good part of that story is that you did connect deeply with somebody.

    You're more likely to be guarded the next time - more hesitant. I'm not saying that is better - I'm just saying from experience that is what will happen.

    Jeff went through a breakup quite a while ago as I recall. Kevin too as I recall - close to when he lost his brother.

    I would like to have amazon uk send an inexpensive book to you by Ekhart Tolle, which I have mailed out about a dozen times. I sent one to Kevin. It's a fairly short work - but very profound.

    I have mentioned it before: The Power of Now. Maybe you could PM me with your address. Or send me an email. Remember that one time that I said I was going to stop by to see you - and I kept such a stiff upper lip about it you almost believed that I was serious. :)

    So PM me.

    If you are ready for it - you might get something out of it that will relate to what you are going through. If you aren't, don't toss it - put it on the bookshelf for later. In my case, later was 3 years later, and now I have been into it for about 7 years. It's not something you read and put away. :cool:

    ======================

    Game-wise, Jeff clued us in to an amazing shooter - Tom Clancy Ghost Recon Wildlands. Years back I had tried to get into the Rainbow 6 series - but it all seemed like a bunch of boxy rooms - whereas way way back I had tried the Ghost Recon Warfighter - down in Mexico - and I had kind of enjoyed that. But this Wildlands is unbelievable - and the one DLC, Fallen Ghosts, is also great! Just a few posts back, Jeff mentions one area on the map where he had his coop teammates stop and look around because the graphics were so beautiful.

    I don't know if you have the horsepower to run it in 4k - you probably do - I just wonder what that experience would be like.

    Also Call of Duty is out now with World War 2. I'm glad to see them come back from outer space. It won't be the same with the "real" Infinity Ward gone, but I liked some of the Treyarch work - I liked their World at War title very much, for example, so it will probably be pretty good. (I just checked google - this isn't World at War 2, but they said that Treyarch might do a sequel to that next year.)

    I already got the game but I didn't yet download it - I still want to finish Fallen Ghosts, and I still have not yet completed Assassins Creed Syndicate - about 75% through it.

    And my favorite, Arma 3 - which I don't let steam update - there are still 80-100 player-developed missions that I would like to explore. Some of my greatest Arma3 gameplay has come from those missions. I don't let steam update it because that will wipe out those 100 missions.

    A steam update would also wipe out my 10 or 20 save points for my grenadier challenges and other challenges on the "defend the counter attack" on the showcase, "combined arms." The latest of those is that I finally figured out how to make the double-scope into an actual 10X scope - you have to hold ctrl while you right-click it which I did accidentally in one mission - and then I couldn't figure out what I had done so I googled it.

    No wonder the enemy was able to sharp-shoot me almost as good as I was able to sharp-shoot them in the player mission, Irish Lass - where you go and recapture a prototype advanced-design drone, and then fly it north so your buddies can take control of it. (I played the heck out of that mission - and then I got the bright idea of NOT flying the drone home, but instead using it to see where the enemy was in the White Hot thermal mode. And then I played the heck out of the new "with the drone in the air" mission.)

    I thought they all had lousy scopes - I have a couple of screenshots where I ran over to one that I had killed after he wounded me, and I picked up his gun and scoped in on where I had been laying on top of a rock wall - and it seemed impossible that he could have been that accurate from so far away. I had no idea that the scope really zoomed in that high - I just didn't believe the scope specs - I didn't know about holding ctrl for that one type of scope that has a smaller zoom scope mounted just above the main larger scope.

    That's as bad as not knowing for a year or so that you could take a scope off of a rifle and put it in your pack, and then move it to another rifle. Nothing like playing a game and not knowing what I am doing, lol.

    So at the old reliable save point where we are just about to take over the FOB on the combined arms showcase - I ran around looking for that friendly scope on some of my dead comrades - and finally I found it! I had always wanted a high-power scope for that showcase - now I have one!

    Anyway, Sam, nice hearing from you again. How is work - same company?

    Rich
     
  6. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    My break-up was almost two years ago. Haven't dated since or even tried. Lately that sentiment is changing because I met a really attractive and smart one ;) Time to get back in the saddle. My biggest hold-up is this generation of Americans kinda sucks(or maybe just the people in my area). It's a hookup culture now, and I'm all about commitment and monogamy. Integrity is scary for people who haven't experienced it before.

    Keep trying Sam. Never give up.

    Rich, I have read The Power of Now several times. The author comes across as preachy, but makes a lot of really strong points. I've had to learn to let a lot of things go and move beyond them. I was an emotionally neglected and misunderstood kid, and also suffered some abuse. I've had to accept that I can't change how I was treated, and have learned to not let it affect my character. When I joined this site, for example, I was a pretty terrible person and stupid too. I said and did a lot of dumb stuff and you guys kinda just blew it off and treated me like one of the gang. It's easier to recognize those kinds of blessings now than it used to be. Sophocles, Nephilim, theonejrs(RIP) and many others here took the opportunity to correct and mentor me. That sort of kindness and patience is not easily forgotten. I feel like Afterdawn has always been another family for me.

    Have considered becoming more active on AD again. Only a couple posts a week for the last several years. Hijacking otherwise slow threads ;)


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    Sam, Ghost Recon Wildlands is demanding to say the least. I think you'll have some trouble with 4K. That said, if you like shooters or military themes at all, it's an exemplary game. Kind of a mix between Mercenaries, FarCry, and GTA.
     
  7. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    I, too, have dialed back the TD involvement - for me it got out of hand - these monstrous blogs loaded with colorful screenshots. It was kind of fun, but I am glad that I have restrained myself over the past year - otherwise I would already have several hundred hours worth of screenshot-loaded blogs about Wildlands - it is that awesome of a game.

    So you think Sam might have a bit of trouble on that title with 4k?

    Well, he might - his graphics card is not that much stronger than yours is it? Also Sam prefers really high frame-rates - his sensitivity to lag is more acute than my lack of sensitivity (low 20s seems to work for me most of the time.)

    But even if he found it was not workable at 4k, he could always put the game aside until he eventually picked up stronger hardware. It is a title that everybody should experience, I believe.

    Since you're familiar with it, do you think that book, Power of Now, would be something that Sam might get something out of?

    Well Jeff, beautiful AND smart - yeah for sure it sounds like you should get back in the saddle. o_O

    Rich
     
  8. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    Perhaps there was such an occasion and my memory fails me, but I don't recall getting any hardware for the purpose of reviewing it, certainly not a motherboard.
    Sure, I'm open to the idea of reading the book, I'll PM you an address you can send it to (easier than sending it to my home address as we often aren't in during working hours).

    Work is the same company as I've been working for since 2013, still tiny with me doing the majority of the work, though I do at least in exchange get a lot more freedom that I wouldn't have from other bigger businesses.
    There have been plenty of rough spots recently, accentuated by the reduction in capacity and increased sensitivty that the current situation causes. They'll eventually pass but it can sometimes be very difficult when the worst parts of your personal and work life happen to coincide.

    No problem with integrity here that I'm aware of, but unfortunately I just wasn't able to generate the level of interest a proper relationship needs and time was called on it before it became any more difficult.
    She was extremely intelligent, far moreso than I am, reasonably good looking, cheerful and emotionally, as far as I could tell, very stable. She seemed pretty much perfect from the outset, but as both pretty quiet and reserved individuals I think we were too shy to push the relationship forward enough. Fundamentally I hold myself responsible for its demise, not her.
    As things never progressed far enough to cause any lasting damage I'm actually arranging to see her next month once things have cooled down a bit to see if we have a future outside of romance. It's seldom successful in practice, but worth a shot I feel. Without the usual complications that romantic relationships having yet occurred, none of what we did together would really seem out of place in a regular friendship.
    It's my hope that by the time either of us find someone else that we have more success with, we're comfortable enough with each other to be supportive of that fact. We shall see.

    Although I mercifully can't relate to the abuse, I too said a lot of questionable things on here, both technically and personally, that of course I would be embarrassed by now, I still do to some extent, but yes, in its own way, aD was for a time in the mid 2000s rather like the social life I had yet to develop in the outside world.
     
  9. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    My IRL circle of people is pretty small. Maybe 2 or 3 regulars in my life. So reaching out and dating is hard to do. I have accepted that I have needs though, which extend in many directions. Emotional, physical, companionship, stability, etc, so continue to try the best way I know. No reason not to try again. I date with honest intentions, but unfortunately those I have dated have not. It seems if someone fulfills my needs at one particular end of the spectrum, monogamy is lost in the exchange. My own failing just as much as theirs in a roundabout way. I continue to search for a better match, if it exists...

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    So Schiit Modi Multibit DAC should arrive here this week. $250 direct from Schiit. The best version of the Modi family which starts at $100. Looong story behind what makes Multibit DACs different from much more common Delta Sigma DACs, and I don't know it well enough to explain myself. Suffice to say there is no filtering or up/downsampling done to the sound, and the precision of the conversion is very exacting. Schiit has chosen to use specialty chips not originally intended for audio, more intended for electronic instrumentation.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The budget-ish Modi Multibit uses the same DAC chip as its bigger brother the $600 Bifrost Multibit. The biggest differences are in the analog output stage and the power supply. Also, the Bifrost has an internal power supply, while the Modi Multibit depends on an external wall wart. All these little differences make for a noticeable difference in sound. However, with my own mid-range equipment, that difference is very small. I have demo'd both for a decent time, and found the Modi Multibit to be equally as good for my needs. Superior to other $200+ DACs I have tested. All of them equal to or better than the ZxR sound card in every way when it comes to reproducing music.

    This DAC combined with my Schiit Asgard 2 headphone amp completely replaces my sound card. No more Creative ZxR. The sound card also has a top-end Burr Brown TI1792A DAC in it, but the amp and output stages in the soundcard are simply not adequate for my needs. It's noisy with sensitive headphones when the PC is under load, and there are known deficiencies in both the line-out and the headphone out. Bass bleeding into other frequencies and treble distortion among them. Otherwise the chip itself is really quite good. I could maybe install some hugely expensive OpAmps on the card to fix the sound, but that would require more effort than I am willing to put into what amounts to an entry-level sound device. So the choice ended up being pretty logical for me. Remove sound processing from my PC entirely and move to external hardware where there are are vastly more choices. Leave the onboard sound enabled for the mic input but that's about it.

    This does pretty much permanently limit me to stereo sound. However, I can do everything I need to within my music/video player software. I give up EAX support for the older games that use it, but all of my games should sound better than ever. I don't use any of the ZxR's unique features. The only thing I bought it for was output quality. This DAC should meet or exceed that, or at least that's the plan. Many MANY good reviews for the Modi Multibit. General consensus being that it offers unparalleled price to performance. A totally off the charts DAC that ticks all the right checkboxes.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------


    Using a 40ft HDMI cable for my receiver so it can be totally disconnected from my PC when needed. That offers the advantage of BitStreaming lossless surround, and is far more than enough for watching movies on my TV. Bombastic picture and sound all around. I don't use the receiver for critical listening, I use it for entertainment. It is plenty for that. Separating the receiver from my PC, and allowing two separate setups has allowed me to greatly refine the sound on my PC, while still enjoying my other hardware.

    I've also recently upgraded my older LGA775 PC with some newer parts and a new Corsair Carbide 200R case. It's now a much more suitable HTPC than it was before.


    -Intel Core 2 Quad Q9650 @ 3GHz(1.25vid stock)
    -Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo w/ 2 x Scythe S-Flex SFF12F 120mm 1600RPM fans - push/pull
    -Gigabyte GA-X38-DS4
    -8GB(4 x 2GB) Corsair XMS2 DDR2-800 @ 800MHz CL4-4-4-12-2T 2.1v
    -Gigabyte GeForce GTX970 G1 Edition 4GB
    -1 x Western Digital Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200RPM 32MB Cache SATA2(OS)
    -2 x Western Digital Green WD20EZRX 2TB 5400RPM 64MB Cache SATA3(Storage)
    -2 x Western Digital Green WD10EARX 1TB 5400RPM 64MB Cache SATA3(Storage)
    -Seasonic X650 Gold-Series PSU
    -Corsair Carbide 200R Case
    -2 x Thermaltake Riing 12 Blue 120mm 1500RPM case fans - front intake, rear exhaust

    The Q9650 was a $50 Ebay find, works great in the board. Noticeable improvement from the overclocked Q6600 at 3.4Ghz. Runs cooler, lower voltage, lower wattage, roughly the same performance maybe a hair better. The fans on the cooler and case throttle down better, and the PC is generally a little quieter despite using much higher performance case fans than the cheap RaidMax Smilodon it replaced. Less strain on the aging board is probably better as well. It's been holding an overclocked Q6600 no problem for a long time! It still held 3.7 stable but I dropped it to 3.4GHz for the sake of longevity. The newer CPU can use SpeedStep as I can leave it at stock settings, and not worry about overclock stability. MUCH better for all components involved!

    One of my GTX970s cycled back into my possession for a song. $100 plus the GTX760 OC 4GB previously in the PC, take it or leave it. Happy to have one of these cards back. They run Nvidia CUVID which gives better playback quality, and are a nice step up in gaming power from the GTX760. There was definitely a noticeable improvement I might add, so the CPU had some power left in it. This also means more power for CUVID and DXVA decoding, allowing the older CPU to support all the video tricks my main desktop does. Cool and quiet, with enough overhead to run everything I throw at it. Very high bitrate 1080p with SVP framerate interpolation being the most common.

    The RAM, PSU and 2TB drives were all purchased within the last year, and slowly swapped in with the intention of this overall upgrade. It works great for my multimedia needs. Happy I kept it around and in use. With 8GB of RAM I figured it was time to step it up to Windows 10, so it's just gotten a fresh format of that as well!
     
  10. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    I have much the same problem - I met this girl through eharmony, although by the time she approached me I'd almost given up on it to be honest - an overwhelming number of people coming up with, most of whom I felt I had little in common with.

    A bit of nostalgia at the X38-DS4, as far as I know mine failed a year or so back after attempting to return the PC it was in back into our office. The X48 still worked when it was retired. The Q9650 was an excellent CPU so I can totally understand continuing the use of that machine with it.
     
  11. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    I'm very happy with the Q9650. It's turning out to be a nice little step up from the Q6600 in a lot of different scenarios. Even given the difference from overclocking. It's remarkably still adequate for gaming. Plays all the newer games problem free. With better minimums than the Q6600 to boot. Can't complain given the age of the hardware.
     
  12. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Wow, Jeff, your audio looks really dialed in now - you've completely taken the PC audio out of the equation. Yeah, the 9650 sound better than the highly overclocked 6600.

    I'm still limping along with the 9450 - at about a 30% overclock. It crashes once in a while - Hardware Monitor shows a value called cputin - which is not a core temp, but supposedly a cpu container temp - and it hit 124 C the other day on a hot day when I was doing a handbrake encoding - 100% cpu load - reducing a large 1080p video to a 720p at about half the size.

    It was a warm day but that's way over boiling.

    Googling says that might not be an accurate temperature - other people have noticed that high value - hardware monitor tries to read all motherboards but may be off on that one - however I have had the computer crash when gpu and cpu temps were all within spec, so I would not be surprised if there wasn't something getting really hot - and it might be this item - but maybe not exactly THAT hot.

    Occasionally I blow extra fans at the tower, and that does seem to help. It crashed a few days ago after a couple of hours during a huge fight within Fallen Ghosts, the really great DLC of Wildlands, and it was a cool night, but I didn't have the extra fan blowing on it - I turned that on, and no more problems on that particular night.


    I started trying the other Wildlands DLC - Narco Road - again last night. It starts out with a monster truck and you're supposed to smash 4 cars belonging to another rival narco gang. You're solo in this game - no more buddies. I might give it one more try but the airplane flying is totally weird - it doesn't feel like flying a plane at all - why they didn't take the exact same mechanics from the main game, I have no idea.

    They want you to do huge jumps - the gang cars are fitted with a nitro boost - are you getting the idea that maybe it is not really a shooter? In fact, the more I think about it, I guess I'll pass. I played Monster Truck Madness - that was enough monster trucking for me.

    The next time I play in a couple of days, I'll move on over to AC Syndicate and finish that one up - and then COD WWII.

    Sam I sent the book - it should show up in a couple of days. I signed in to Amazon UK to facilitate things - so they could figure out all that extra stuff on the address you gave me.

    I put it all in there - just as you told me - BHU and all - nothing was left out. :)


    Jeff I don't know if you have tried Fallen Ghosts, Wildlands DLC - but it is almost a better game than the main game - it's the same map but just a reduced version of it - same car and airplane and helicopter mechanics. They added some cool stuff - a bit tougher enemies - one has an invisible suit - so you really need to switch to thermal a lot of times to make sure one of those idiots is not going to sneak up on you with his silent blowgun. They offer to let you use that blowgun - or maybe it's a crossbow - but I never tried it - I have always been happy with the loadout I had - but come to think of it I should have tried it, because occasionally my not-so-silent weapons give me away when I am trying to be more stealthy.

    That Fallen Ghosts DLC was so good, however, I will probably play it again in a few months, and I'll try the cross-bow this next time. I'll play it again as the girl character - like playing Tomb Raider - and I like how she screams "WHAT TOOK YOU SOOO LONG!" when she gets the adrenaline shot revival. :p

    Rich
     
  13. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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    I have the same cpu on this tower & a slightly slower quad on the upstairs tower but double the ram.
     
  14. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    I'm pretty sure a temperature that high isn't permissible, the PC should be shutting down if it goes much over 100. Those temperature monitors rely on a Tjunction value, the data fed to them from the sensor is simply an offset from the maximum value. If the maximum value it gets from the CPU isn't correct, the temperature displayed will be wrong by whatever difference there is between the CPU's actual TJunction value and what the monitor thinks it is.
    Fundamentally, a stock Intel system shouldn't crash regardless of how hot the CPU gets, it should just slow to a crawl. However, an overclocked machine being unstable at very high temperatures is certainly not unusual. Only if the machine is unstable at stock settings do you need to be concerned really.

    Many thanks, look forward to receiving the book :)
     

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