1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

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

    Jun 9, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Sure, Kevin.

    Let me know if you have any trouble with it.

    Basically with task manager open, on Performance, go to the tabs - then to the right of the last tab, which on mine is "Users" just double-click that empty area and it explodes into a bar with a bunch of vertical windows - one for each thread. But you can re-size sideways down to just one composite bar, as well as shrinking it vertically - then you can make it the same size, 1" tall, 1" wide, as the old windows 95 norton utilities cpu bar graph. It's almost as good as that cpu/memory gadget.

    I hope it's available for you in Windows 10. You can expand it sideways at any time to see the individual processes - or to get back to the other mode, double-click an empty area again.

    You don't have to be only in the Performance tab - actually, on my business machine, I use the Processes tab instead of Performance.

    The act of opening task manger, should cause to be displayed in your system tray, a tiny bar graph of cpu utilization. You don't get red, just green. It's small, but you can definitely see it. (To make sure the bar graph is showing in the system tray, open the customization feature of system tray of course and make sure you change that one to "always show" - not just notifications.)

    Sometimes the tiny bar graph disappears. Just close that instance of task manager and open it again. I keep the shortcut of task manager on my desktop, bottom right, and then I lay the tiny footprints mode over that icon.

    Then with processes open, sorting by cpu, with a small window that lets me see part of the name of the process plus the cpu utilization (I drag the cpu utilization column to the left and place it next to process name) then I get two quick pieces of information immediately: 1. the tiny bar graph in the system tray shows me how busy the cpu is, and 2. the tiny footprints of processes sorted by cpu utilization (or by memory if you like) gives me the most busy processes in order.

    I had some trouble initially getting standby to work on my business machine (XP and W7 in another partition, but I still mainly use XP.) I documented all the various methods I had used, including booting into system recovery mode after every standby crash, running two chkdsk /p cycles to clear out any problems. I would still do that but no crashes in a long time - it seems like I finally have it working. It's now quite stable, and I can leave a couple of programs open - chrome with one tab, plus photoimpact X3 for scanning, and a few folders.

    But to be safe, before trying to go into standby, I make sure that System Idle is at least around 98% - I have the processes window shrunk to only show "System I...." but that's all I need to see, then I can go to log off, change user, then at the welcome screen I quickly hit the power button (which I have set to send it into standby mode.)

    On w7 of course, it's "sleep" mode - I use it on my w7 gaming machine. But on my gaming machine I sort not by cpu but by highest memory - that lets me know if a game is correctly loading or not. All my games are steam, like yours.

    What I mean by correctly loading - if it's a uplay steam game, like Far Cry New Dawn, first I have to see that the uplay offline mode loads, by seeing uplay.exe appear in the processes list, and then I can expect to see the farcrynewdawn.exe load. If not, something is stuck somewhere.

    Also, having steam.exe in processes allows me to change its priority to highest level - "real time." I do that because I want to be able to take screenshots when I hit the screenshot key - not 10 seconds later. (Windows cautions you that changing process priority might create instability, but I haven't found it to be a problem with steam.exe.) In-game I also run the tiny steam overlay showing me fps in upper right corner of the screen.

    Anyway, Kevin, congratulations again on 4k. Sam was out there first. Now you, Kevin. And maybe someday Jeff and I.

    But let me ask you guys, has 16:10 completely disappeared? I see 1440p, but I don't see anything at 2560x1600. I don't know if I would truly notice that "missing" extra 10% on height - but I really like my 16:10 current setup. But really - has 16:10 disappeared like the dinosaurs?

    Regarding a Ryzen cpu, Kevin, I like AMD, but I have never had an AMD cpu. So I think I would stay with Intel for now. And I believe I just read that Metro Exodus doesn't like HT very much - but I believe that you could always turn hyper-threading off in bios - but I seem to recall that games never have liked HT.

    Anyway, unless you guys tell me that I am mistaken, I would be thinking Intel quad core, with or without HT, motherboard with 16 gigs, cpu unlocked for overclocking.

    And the eventual gpu upgrade might be the Radeon 7 with 16 gigs, or whatever comes down the pike from AMD in a year or two, if Nvidia is not still the clear leader by then, gaming-wise - not all the other stuff that nvidia gpus are good at - just gaming.

    I don't presently care about nvidia ray tracing, and probably never will, or post-processing camera lens affects - I don't need to feel like I'm in a movie - unless Jeff, the "king of graphics" is able to convince me that I am wrong about all that. :)

  2. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

    Jan 18, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Haha thanks! It works awesome. I have super low temps with near total silence most of the time. Three front intake, one rear exhaust and two top exhaust. Everything matching and looking super nice :cool:

    I recently upgraded my secondary machine as much as I could. Maxed out the RAM to 8GB, new Corsair Carbide 200R case with 2 x 120mm fans, new Seasonic Gold X650 PSU, new Q9650 CPU, added some 2TB HDDs for $60 a piece, put one of my old GTX970s in it, and threw in my old 128GB Samsung 850 Pro for good measure. It purrs like a kitten, and runs relatively cool. It's not much of a workhorse encoding machine, but it's a perfectly capable HTPC and plays most games very well. Much cheaper than buying or building a second PC of equivalent spec. The CPU and RAM were the only legacy components bought recently and were pretty cheap used. Everything else would happily transfer to a newer platform. The downside is SATA 2 only and no UEFI so 4TB+ drives are a hassle. Otherwise it does a great deal of daily computing with lots of web browsing and the like with no issue. I just wish I had more CPU power for emulation. I will likely upgrade my main PC at some point in the next few years, and transfer these components to that build.

    Rich, Coffee Lake is excellent and you couldn't really go wrong buying one now or next year. It would be an incredible upgrade from your current CPU even at stock settings, and will still be considered a very fast CPU a year from now. That being said if you do a lot of encoding or other CPU heavy work, AMD's Ryzen 2 CPUs will give you more cores for cheaper and also offer very competitive performance. Again a vast upgrade from your current CPU. Neither Intel's nor AMD's flagship CPUs are a bad choice right now. And both Coffee Lake and Ryzen 2 are all around excellent for gaming. They wouldn't disappoint in that regard. Just buy what fits your budget and I promise it will be a totally mindblowing upgrade. Even if you just stick with the GTX1070.

    16:10 is still around but mostly only 30" 2560 x 1600 panels now. Dell makes some modern models as do a few others. The main reason they are falling out of favor is because 16:9 displays are an established international widescreen standard, whereas there never was one before. All of the tech, research, and manufacturing power go into the most commonly used displays. 16:9 is ideally a wider aspect ratio in-game when calculated correctly. My display is 32" 16:9 and is just as massive and impressive as a 30" 16:10.

    There's a lot to be said about raytracing because it can simulate light much more realistically than more common methods.

    In Battlefield 5 it means accurate reflections. Without raytracing it can only reflect what's on the screen. With it on, it can reflect offscreen objects accurately.

    It has a much bigger effect in Metro Exodus. It changes the way lighting radiates and bounces around, and vastly increases visual realism. It corrects a lot of the shortcomings of traditional video game lighting.

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ms7d-3Dprio

    It's really quite impressive. Notice how light radiates as it shines through a window or doorway, or how it diffuses through the trees and grass. No other video game in existence has lighting that realistic. And it's nearly as pretty without RTX as well. The Raytracing technology is great, but 4A have also put a lot of love into this game, so it still looks incredible without. If buying a new video card, I'd be considering dropping big bucks on a 2070 or 2080 for Metro alone.


    BTW I have put several hours into Metro Exodus now. It is certified incredible. One of the highest quality video games I have ever played. The visuals are absolutely mindbendingly authentic. Even without Raytracing it is by far the best looking video game I have ever seen, bar none. Everything is rendered with exacting detail. I have never seen such pure effort put into a game before.

    It has forced TAA in-game that is a little blurry, and disabling it via config files also disables the in-game lighting. Some fancy interplay of several effects to create the final image I'm sure.

    However I've discovered the secret trick of TAA on this monitor.
    Since Temporal AA antialiases edges at a subpixel level, I can turn the sharpness on the display or in-game up a notch or two. Since there are few to no jagged edges, the resulting image is exceedingly clean and crisp. My monitor has sharpness settings 1 through 4 with 2 being the default. I now have it at 3. The effect on video and the desktop is nice, and now a lot of TAA games look a lot better. On the Samsung I left sharpness all the way down, because even having it on was way too sharp. So hey look at that even better image quality with this cheapo monitor.
  3. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

    Jun 9, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    (Jeff, you and I were posting at the same time, so my real edit is at the bottom.)

    I was able to get Metro Exodus working on my rig at full 16:10.

    At first it was only at 1440p - but then after a crash, I went back in, and 2560x1600 was now available. I don't know why it wouldn't see my monitor correctly before the crash.

    I played it at ultra settings - not extreme. I switched to extreme at one point to see if I could tell the difference, and my fraps framerates dropped from 50 down to about 32 - and some of my sound began to stutter.

    Did it look better? I couldn't tell - perhaps the colored stack of towels were a bit smoother with more AA post-processing - really I could not tell. I dropped back to ultra which was presenting me with gorgeous screenshots.

    Most of the time my framerates were in the low 40s. Once in a great while things REALLY slowed down, but never for more than 10 seconds - probably not more than 3X in total.

    It is quite beautiful - the parts especially when they reach the valley with the forest and the river.

    I don't feel it is quite as good as the first two titles, metro 2035, and metro last light, but once you get past the beginning and they are on the train - and out of Moscow, then things get quite interesting. Those first two titles are 9.5 or higher - this one is probably 8.5 or higher, still quite a good game and very enjoyable. The first two Metros are in my top 10 list - this one is probably in my top 50 list, above most of the recent Call of Duties for example.

    It isn't as good as Far Cry 5 or Wildlands - but almost. It has some of that same great Slavic atmosphere of the first two metro games - making it quite worthwhile overall.

    Regarding the train, I thought it was REALLY cool to be able to go and grab a small service locomotive, and then hook it up to a full-size passenger car, bringing it over to the main train so everybody could finally journey in comfort.

    I liked the chapter at the Volga River, with all the same types of beasts as in the first two Metro titles. Yes, I had to kill a - what is that flying thing that looks like a vampire? I had to do that in order to rescue a teddy bear belonging to the little girl who joined our small party.

    I liked the desert chapter. I had great fun burning up the mutants with the pneumatic rifle special burn bullet. They can't talk - but I swear I could make out "IT BURNS" as they rolled over and screamed in agony. After finishing the game, I went back to that chapter, crafted about 4o of those bullets, and ran around stirring up mutants. Hahaha.

    Lastly, I have decided to replay the forest chapter - probably on through to the end.

    I finished the game okay, but I was bummed out when the "rail gun" (which I got from Colonel Miller) jammed and was unusable partway through the very last chapter after the forest. I thought at the time - "Man! I should have just kept my crossbow (from the forest chaper) - and I should have not let my crossbow arrow supply get so low."

    Also, this time I am going to make sure my gas-mask filters last at least 10 minutes or longer - things were pretty desperate the first time through as I died several times from an empty gas mask, and had to replay - rushing at top speed to find filters.

    (I had encountered the same problem on the very first game, Metro 2035 - it's good to always keep extra filters on hand.)

    I picked up this title - which I think I had tried once before - I remember getting jumped in the subway. But this time I stuck with it, and I found out that the shooting really is good fun.

    They give you a crossbow - and I love those things. They also allow you to play around with radio-controlled cars with video cameras on them - and that is really great.

    I'm on my second play-through - this time I decided to try the pneumatic pistol - which is actually a mini-crossbow of sorts - totally silent and shoots a steel dart. It takes a bit of getting used to - it shoots when you let off the trigger, because the longer you hold the trigger the more pressure it builds up to shoot that dart. But if you hit the trigger quickly, you can fire off the 4 darts in each clip quite fast, and even though you haven't built up the pressure, it's usually a one-shot kill unless one of those enemies is the dreaded "heavy."

    The full-on crossbow will kill a heavy with two head-shots, at distance, but I don't know about the pneumatic pistol. Surprisingly, the little smg pistol-conversion will kill a heavy with less than one full clip of about 25 (or is it 40) rounds to the head, if you are within about 5 meters. This happened by accident when I was using the smg to kill some regular guys, and the heavy appeared suddenly. When he went down I was startled - very pleasantly so of course. After that I tried the smg on a few more heavies - it DOES take them down closeup - full on head shots. He turns around slowly, but once he starts firing at you with his LMG - you want to make sure he's too dead to pull the trigger. :p

    Anyway, it's actually a very fun $30 game.

    I have this one fully installed.

    I will be playing it when I finish with Homefront 2. Some of the steam reviewers actually said they liked this one better than Far Cry 5 - others who weren't as positive about the game, said it should have been an expansion.

    It looks like fun - I certainly do like the idea of splashy colorful textures.

    Jeff, that video about ray tracing in Metro Exodus was quite "illuminating" - no pun intended.

    I did think that the game was beautiful, especially in the forest where the ray tracing video was made, but I guess I really didn't know what I was missing since my hardware won't support ray tracing.

    So let me ask you, would I have been able to get the ray tracing with the GTX1070 and a coffee lake cpu - plus 16 gigs of ram?

    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
  4. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

    Jan 18, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Metro Exodus runs 40-60, average ~50-55 for me in easier scenes. Something like 35-55, average ~40-45 in more intense outdoor areas. I run full Extreme in Dx12 with low motion blur, and all extra Nvidia options turned ON. I have the FOV widened just a hair in the config file. It's smooth pretty much all the time, and handles all the fireworks and special effects well. It never really dips too low or gets really choppy, though it definitely gets into the mid 30s in very intense scenes.

    For how the game looks it's stupendously well optimized. Given the visuals, I am thoroughly impressed by how well my 1070 performs. What a monster video card. In general gameplay it is very fluid and mostly tends toward the upper range of the framerates mentioned above. Standing around on the train as it runs through the countryside, for example, likes to hang around 50-60FPS with FreeSync and is exceptionally smooth. And that's with several characters on screen with lots of detailed scenery rushing by you and rendering in the distance.

    Every inch of the game is dripping in loving, hand-crafted detail. In visuals alone, it stands above all others. Gameplay is likewise in improvement over previous games in my opinion. I quite like the updated gunplay, and the simple crafting system. The open nature of the levels is very cool, as they are still contained enough to be densely detailed. In my opinion it's the best in the series. I haven't been so outright impressed by the visuals and design of a video game since Crysis. And that's saying a LOT. I mean, many video games have definitely surpassed it by now, but none have been this ambitious in a long time.

    Nope. As of currently Raytracing is limited to Nvidia RTX cards, 2060, 2070, and 2080. I would however guarantee that the game would run much better for you with a new CPU.

    Yes, Raytracing is very impressive. It has been in use for decades for CGI but was always way too slow to render in real-time. This is one of the biggest steps to making video games look more like Avatar and less like cartoons. Ideally, all modern GPUs should be able to do real-time Raytracing, as there really isn't any special hardware in the Nvidia cards. They have just been optimized to run it well. There is more than one project to make Raytracing run on all modern GPUs, though I don't know enough about it to say much of interest.

    I wish there were more graphics options in the game than just the supplied presets. I bet there are lots of things that could be tweaked to help performance while preserving visuals.
  5. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

    Jun 9, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Okay, that clarifies things. So you're not really seeing ray tracing - but what you ARE seeing appears to your eyes to be the very best ever.

    Well, then, what is DX12 doing for you - that's a windows 10 thing, right? Plus you have all the nvidia things turned on. I guess I should look to make sure that I do also. I remember that I also turned motion blur to low.

    I don't think any of the following amount to spoilers - just a few tips.

    I just went back and re-played the entire forest area - The Taiga. One mistake I made - twice - was in the backpack selection - the second to the last choice - NOT THE LAST CHOICE - give you maximum ammo.

    It is counter-intuitive, because usually the last choice is the optimum version of the thing - the last choice of rifle barrel is the longest and most damaging shot - the last choice of rifle stock gives you the best anti-recoil.

    But on ammo pouches, if you take the last choice, you get maximum throwing ammo - but your rifle and handgun and crossbow ammo are cut in half!


    So unlike what I did, make sure you set a save point before you do anything major on the workbench - especially if you look at the ammo pouch options, and then hit tab and check your ammunition to make sure you haven't screwed up - I was shocked to lose half my hard-won crossbow arrows. I think they could have done a better job of clarifying the choices. Either that, or I'm just stupid.

    Another thing that irritated me about the game - I took the rail gun from Miller, and it killed beautifully. But then it refused to work - I still had 30 rounds left. The gun stopped working - and there was no place to clean it. It was ruined.

    So when I played The Taiga again, through to the end, I ripped apart his rail gun for parts, and I retained my crossbow - I didn't have as many arrows as I should have had, because I fooled around with the very first boat trying a new way past the pirates. That didn't work, and night turned to dawn and they could see me - and then I had to kill about a half dozen of them - I was trying to just knock them all out instead. But I still had enough, about 25 left, to defeat all the mutants in the basement with the rotten floor boards - and then I got all my arrows back - and they worked well against the slugs in the train carriages..

    By the way, that reminds me, in the wet basement of the school, after you kill the snake, don't overlook the night vision goggles the way I did once - they do come in handy at times - although I prefer to crank the gamma way up. But there are some areas that are pitch dark and gamma won't help.


    PS one final tip. The 3 sleeping areas in The Taiga seem to be just a one-shot sleeping area each - the sleep clock doesn't activate a second time. 1. the tree-house near the guy who makes the molotov cocktails 2. the cave that leads to The Pioneer settlement 3. the sleep area at the top of the church after the bear fight.

    If you want to use the first sleep area, you can't get back to it. Or can you?

    I missed the little fishing spot the first time, and when I got caught in the net I saw it about 10 feet away across the water. I threw myself into the water and tried to move to the other shore - AND IT WORKED. It might be a game glitch - I only tried it that one time.

    I don't know if I could do it again, maybe it was a fluke. As I said, I only did it one time.

    The advantage would be, as you get ready to assault The Pioneers - you could go back and use that time area, saving the cave time for later. You then defeat The Pioneers, and then use the cave to set time of day for the fight against the bandits. Then finally you could use church to set time of day to assault the pirates.
  6. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

    Jan 18, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    DX12 is on Windows 10 yes. It's generally better optimized than DX11 and helps games use your hardware better. Ideally it's supposed to run better than DX11 in a worst case scenario. In the case of Metro, it doesn't seem to do much. It may or may not enable some extra effects. That being said, I enable it because it doesn't make performance any worse. Some more research into this might be warranted.

    I enable every Nvidia setting, but like you I turn the Motion Blur to low. At low it is very subtle and unintrusive. Any higher and it becomes very overdone for the heavy performance load of this game. I imagine at 60FPS+ it looks much better with higher levels of motion blur. I'm getting pretty decent performance from Metro, but definitely not 60FPS. It's not perfect, but it runs WAY better than Crysis ever did at launch, so there's that.

    So I'm reasonably sure that my game installs drive is on its way out. Long story short, it's just not its old self any more. SMART readings look good and benchmarks are fine for a somewhat full drive. However, it is very unresponsive. The seek noise is deafening, and overall feel during usage is bad. Have swapped cables and SATA ports to no avail. The Green and Blue drives are noticeably snappier to use and do work on, even when mostly full. This drive used to be my fastest and most responsive drive by a large margin. The worsening noise coupled with the weird behavior, has lead me to look at replacements.

    The drive is a WD2003FZEX which is still Western Digital's current flagship 2TB Black drive. It's very fast, and reasonably priced at $120. Since HDD manufacturing has become somewhat unified, there are only a few major choices for high performance HDDs in this price/capacity range: The Western Digital Black 2TB, the Seagate FireCuda 2TB SSHD Hybrid, and the Seagate Barracuda Pro 2TB.

    Regular Seagate Barracudas and WD Blues and Greens, even 7200RPM ones, are pretty average in capability. The 2TB WD Black drive is VERY hard to beat and is nearly without equal for raw performance. That being said, I'd like to try something different, which may work out perfectly for my needs. 2nd Gen Seagate FireCuda 2TB 3.5" drive ordered and on the way.

    The only major issue with the FireCuda drives is that they're limited to just 2TB max, and there are only a few models to choose from. That's just fine for me because all I really need for the job is a reasonably fast 2TB. If reviews and benchmarks are to be believed, the FireCuda is intended as a direct competitor to the FZEX, and does the job very well. It is seemingly much faster in a large number of real world tests and synthetic benchmarks.

    The FireCuda is especially suited as a game installs drive. It's limited to 8GB of SSD cache, so using it as an OS drive can quickly overwhelm it if you use a ton of software. Then it'll just perform like the basic 2TB 7200RPM Barracuda it really is. As a games drive however, it can dedicate itself to singular tasks, where the SSD part of it can make a large difference. Faster game boot times, faster level load times, less stuttering being the main benefits.

    What I'm really looking for is an improvement in responsiveness when working with huge amounts of small files. My Skyrim SE install is about 94GB, most of it textures in loose files, and it maxes my video memory most of the time. There is a huge amount of data being processed and cached by the game at any given time. To its credit the game is definitely not stuttery now, even on the funny drive. It runs awesome. However there are still loading pauses occasionally and there is noticeable pop/fade-in when moving around the world at high speeds, say flying or riding a horse. You can get ahead of the game's ability to load and display new objects, then suddenly stop and watch the grass and trees catch up to the load distance in chunks. All while its locked at 60FPS and silky smooth. I'm curious to see if a different style of drive makes a difference there.

    Overall transfer speed and throughput aren't really the main concerns. Snappiness and immediacy are. For transferring a large 100+GB file and other strenuous workloads, I'm very sure the WD Black would always win. However, for moving files around internally, loading test levels, loading large amounts of streaming assets, etc, I have a feeling the FireCuda will be quite potent. Skyrim and other Bethesda games will be the main tell when determining this drive's true capabilities. They are almost always directly affected by storage. Short of going directly to an SSD, there can be big differences between different hard drives.

    Not too worried about reliability after a lot of reading and research. I've found that the FireCuda and my WD2003FZEX have a mostly identical failure rate from more than one source. Seagate have had a couple generations of SSHD now and have ironed a lot of the bugs out.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2019
  7. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

    Jun 9, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Wow, Jeff, you're becoming quite a hard drive expert. I have basic knowledge, and that's it.

    I see your point completely - raw transfer rates of large files being equal, ability of one drive to move lots of small files faster than another makes it better suited for your needs on Skyrim. So the drive has 8 gigs of SSD built into it - it's one of the hybrid drives then, is that right? I have kind of wondered about those drives. I will be quite interested in hearing how your experiment turns out.

    By the way, when you are flying - are you flying on a dragon? Have you befriended one? Or are you flying on some mythical bird perhaps?

    I will be quite interested, as I just said, on what you find out with that hybrid drive.

    I am running a 2 TB enterprise WD drive - enterprise because of the hot temperatures here in the trailer. I have another one installed, so that I can do a complete clone every 3 months. That was handy recently when my primary drive opened up with a massive chkdsk operation - rebuilding corrupt indexes, orphaned files, etc. This was on the Homefront 2 game - it happened after a crash - I think I forgot to turn some extra fans on and the computer got too hot.

    I then tested the drive with sfc /scannow, and it found integrity violations - it could not fix windows 7. So for the very first time, I cloned backwards. Now I am back to using the main drive, and it has a perfect sfc /scannow which I run in a command prompt window. I also have a 1 TB as my paging disk, and random document drive - I pulled it from my other everyday trailer computer, which had two enterprise 1 TB drives, when I put one of the $50 2 TB enterprise sata2 (not sata3) drives in it, from gohdd.com (they sell on newegg, and on ebay - I bought 5 drives that were brand new from them, and one older refurbished with about 30,000 hours.)


    Gaming-wise, I am now immersed in Far Cry New Dawn - the direct sequel to Far Cry 5.

    They have done some very interesting things. While very worthy, and some of the changes are really nice, in my opinion, I could not say that it is better than Far Cry 5. Is the New Testament better than the Old Testament?

    On Far Cry 5, when I teamed up with the foul-mouthed Jess Black, it was especially fun hunting with her - double-pelts using arrow - as well as racing down the beautiful rivers on the wave runners.

    For New Dawn, the LMG expert, Gina Guerra, is pretty interesting. She doesn't have all the foul language that Jess had, but she has the same attitude - with a Chicago accent. "I told you I would come for you, and here I am! I'm going to kill all you motherf*****rs for talking spicey about me." She used to be one of the Highwaymen.

    I have upgraded her to max toughness and the body count just builds up while I collect copper from all the corpses. (To my shock I ran out of copper early last night and I could not reload ammo - I have gone on a bunch of missions and recaptured a bunch of strongholds, and I have so much ethanol and every other thing - I stopped paying attention to what things cost, until I got last night's bizarre message, "not enough material to reload ammo.")


    So to re-build my copper, I took Gina out with me several times on the I.S.S space mission (Nevada crash site with debris from space station scattered about - once you reach level 3 hardness they vary the gameplay each time, with the "package location" in a different area) and we killed a bunch of enemies, all of whom I looted, and I built up to 4,000 copper - but it took about 6 hours.

    Also I read just now while writing this, that hares have 60 copper each, and there were rabbits all over the place last night, all of whom I ignored - with an arrow you get double pelts, so that would have been 120 copper, versus the 60-80 copper I was getting per body. Maybe I'll buy a hare map, and just do some hunting - that might work better.

    At one time in one of the battles last night, I had built up to 5500 copper, but we didn't get out alive - I have the game at max difficulty - I got greedy and overexposed myself and I guess I took sniper fire or maybe a shotgun. I went down, and for some reason Gina didn't revive me - that "not reviving me" seems to happen from time to time - I don't know why.

    So the next replay produced only about 500 copper, and as I mentioned, I ended the night at 4,000.

    For hunting rabbits, I could use sniper rifle, but I wonder how much copper I use to reload 10 sniper rounds. I know it's not 600 - maybe it's about 60 copper, so it would be worth it. Of course an arrow is free - you get the arrow back - but they DO hop around, and once you kill one they probably all scatter, even though I have every single perk including the hunting and fishing perk which means that animals don't tend to run as often. I'll give the rabbits a try. :)


    I like what they have done with the point system applied to weapons and enemies.

    For example, early on I was short on titanium. But I found out that the black bears give you a bunch of titanium. I also found out that my basic bow and arrow had a damage rating of only 100, and the bear has a health of about 2500 I think- that would have been 25 arrows and you can't carry more than 16. I couldn't even hardly kill the things with my LMG at the time - and at the time I didn't have my health built up like I do now, with my total of 7 health packs, each one at 250%.

    You get revived for 20 seconds - I don't even know what that means.

    Does it mean that no matter what damage I am taking, I'll be guaranteed to be alive for the next 20 seconds if I can survive the long animation of popping the cap off the bottle or wrapping the swab around my arm? I say "if" because I have been killed many times after pressing the health button - that total animation is a long 5 seconds so usually I am running for cover during that time.

    I think it means you mostly won't die in the next 20 seconds from normal pistol shots or explosives. But I tested it, took the health, let it take effect, then jumped off a tower. Blam I was dead, not even revivable. So it has its limits. But yes, taking the health then making an enemy-bullets-filled dash to the helicopter, does seem to work okay

    Anyway, back to a few days ago when I was green and weak with a 100 damage bow:

    Being out and about, I happened across a sign announcing bears, so now that area appeared on my map, and so I took a jeep there with a mounted 50 caliber machine gun. I threw bait out in front of the jeep, then ran around back and climbed into the gun, and killed the bears that way. I usually killed the bear before he ran away. I could not kill the cougars though, they ran away too fast. The wolves never got away - they also have titanium so I didn't mind when a wolf came.

    But now, flash forward to NOW:


    I have the elite bow and arrow, which I upgraded to 1200 damage per arrow.

    I can now kill the bear with 3 arrows - and if I hit him in the nose as he charges me - which is a 3300 point shot - he goes down instantly of course. Even if not, I have built up my health to max, and a bear can never kill me now before I can kill him.

    That is handy because one settlement that I like to repeatedly recapture, the Broken Forge, has a bear sign nearby and I get attacked often - and I don't want to shoot with my LMG because I start out in stealth mode trying to take out the signal beacons. (I discovered that you can shoot them out - use the silenced sniper FIRE bullet - as long as you can see the flashing green light of the signal box at the bottom of each tower, the fire bullet will cause collateral damage - a fire - and that will usually destroy the beacon so they can't bring in reinforcements.)


    All my other weapons are elite also.

    I finally got the M79 Vietnam-era grenade launcher, which takes the place of the handgun, and which comes with a damage rating of 700.

    The problem is, the level 2 enemies have a health of 800. So before when I used a grenade round on them, they would fly up from the concussion, and then get back on their feet again - but with low health. So I might have to shoot a second grenade.

    A couple days ago I upgraded the damage - at the cost of a lot of materials - to a damage rating of about 1000 - now they go down and they don't get back up again.

    I similarly increased damage on sniper rifle and and bow and LMG.

    The elite enemy, with a golden crown, and massive health, has, I believe, about 1500 health. He switches weapons, I think - either to a sniper rifle, or to an RPG. I can take him down with one sniper round with armor piercing ammo, which registers 1800 damage. My new trick is to try to immediately shoot his writhing body to kill him - dead - before he gets rescued, if I can focus in on the smaller prone target while the revive circle slowly unwinds.

    And to my surprise, I found my bow takes him down with only two arrows. That makes sense, of course, but for some reason I didn't think I could take an elite enemy down with my bow.

    By the way, I finally tried the LMG flame bullets just last night. Wow! Let me say it again, Wow!

    I have the elite "blunderbuss" MG - with a super-fast fire rate like the Nazi WWII mg, I recall about 1100 rpm, and 125 damage per round - I may have it up to 200 by now. That was an upgrade from the level 2 LMG, an M249, with a damage of about 85, and fire rate of about 600 rpm or so, as I recall. Don't hold me to those numbers.

    So right away, between fire rate and damage, it was 2 or 3 times more powerful than the level 2 gun. So as I said, I tried the flame ammo, and for that you only need to just fire a short burst - they aren't very badly damaged - but then they catch fire and the fire finishes them off. They scream beautifully - really nicely done screams - but then half the time they run at you flaming out - and you have to run away or you will take fire damage. If Gina is nearby she'll LMG them for you.

    (Gina carries the M249, and she keeps it going with unlimited ammo - when they get real close she swings it at them and takes them down that way. Very rarely does she go down - but when that happens I spring into action and start shooting enemies like I mean it, and get her back up. She is my meal ticket and on the missions we are a couple thousand miles away from Hope County, and I don't think I can revive her in the Roster menu. Gina's infinite bullet count has no effect on my copper supply and all the bodies that stack up around her reward me with 60-80 copper each, if I can stay alive and complete the mission.)

    So, again, in regard to the new flame LMG ammo - you have about 380 flame rounds - your belt is 200 plus an additional 180. That sounds like a huge number, and it is, but there are so many enemies - so I try to keep it at a very short burst.

    I can't set it at single shot - if I could, I would - I tried - it's fixed at full-auto, so it's up to me to tap the mouse lightly. But I have to admit, that is now my favorite close and middle distance anti-highwaymen technique. It is VERY effective.

    Regarding the elite enemies, however, the fire doesn't have much effect on them - they don't light up - their armor prevents that - but the raw 200 damage of course does affect them, and under 10 rounds will do the trick. And as I say, if I can catch them while I am sneaking around within bow and arrow range - within 10 meters - only 2 arrows are needed with my 1200 damage elite bow.

    (Wait a minute - I should build that bow up to 1550 damage - it builds at 5% increase each time - that would be about 4-5 upgrades - using about 500 ethanol, and a bunch of other stuff - I might have enough material. I should get the bow up to enough power to take down an elite with one shot. Right?) - The elites are 1600 life - I did the 1550 and he got back up again - I did one more upgrade to 1620, and he stayed dead.

    I already upgraded every part of the fort to level 3 - taking massive amounts of ethanol - which I received by repeatedly taking out forts that had upgraded to level 3.

    That's another change they made, you can give up the fort, and receive ethanol, and then re-take it, receiving a big chunk of ethanol as a bonus. As an example, if you hijack a gas truck and deliver it to the closest friendly fort, you receive a nice 75 ethanol bonus. If you relinquish a level 3 fort, and take it back with no alarms, you get 150 for giving it up, 75 for no alarms, and 300 for the recapture, a total of 525 ethanol.

    I can recapture a fort in 30 minutes for 525 ethanol. I might muck around a long time before one 75 ethanol gas truck shows up. Plus unless I am with Nana, who will target the driver and kill him/her instantly - the other guns for hire will blow up the truck, so if hijacking a truck is my main goal of walking around the roads - I have to be with Nana, but I prefer the company of Gina. Nana isn't bad - I am almost used to hearing her yell "If I can't die in luxury, then I won't die at all!" (I won't say it's the most annoying thing I have ever heard in my life - but it probably ranks #2.)

    For fort recapture, I especially like the Broken Forge fort, to the left of the main Chop Shop fort. I can take out those beacons.

    But lately I also like the chop shop fort - which if you look closely, is the original main town of Hope County - the town of Fall's End. The ruined church is nearby, and the chop shop is where the bar used to be. I have never tried to take out those beacons - I just try to stay where I can keep my eye on the mortar - if I can keep killing the mortar guy, Gina and I can usually deal with all the enemies that show up.

    For the Broken Forge fort, I used to use my sniper expert - the old lady, Nana. There isn't a better shot in the whole game - she is dead on. If you spot the enemies for her, with your binoculars for example, targeting just under the enemy triangle, before you hit the attack button, she will kill them super fast, even if moving. So if you have her some distance off to the side, and the enemies are moving in on her location, you just keep targeting and hitting that attack button, and they are all dead with head shots. And that includes the elite enemies. A one-shot head-shot kill.

    But then more recently, when using Nana started to become too easy, I began to do all my own sniping, bringing Gina in to help me finish up. It really was too easy with Nana (but of course there was no drain of my copper supply using her.)

    I also start that one out with the dog, Timber, to tag all the enemies, and identify the beacon boxes. He gives a loud annoying bark, when you first send him off, but after that he is silent. I used to hang with the original dog, but then later I got irritated by the growling. This new dog has the exact same growls and barks. As Grace used to say in the original game - "you should put that animal down - he's dangerous." Jess Black never said that - she said "Nice dog, but he kind of smells."

    So back to the new game, on the Broken Forge, after I destroy the beacons, I then have him, Timber, target one of the two attack dogs - if its explosives go off - he bounces 30 yards and then he gets right up again - so then I have him go target the other dog. Then I call Gina - which makes Timber run off - you can only have one gun for hire in this iteration of Far Cry 5 - placing Gina about 30 meters away so we both don't get exploded by a mortar shell if those start coming before I can snipe out the mortar guy.

    So in conclusion, I highly recommend this Far Cry 5 sequel - they took the original concept and twisted it a few different very interesting and fun ways.

    If a person were to hate rap music, they might not like the New Dawn.

    But at friendly outposts they play all the oldies, like My Girl - "other girls, like to run around .... but My girl, has more fun around, and she'd rather be with me" including the original Louie Louie - and yes it's the original XXX version, the parts that are drowned out by the heavy guitar - however, I know the dirty lyrics if anybody is interested. Hahaha. :D

    -- I completed the "find all the music players" to add more titles - don't bother - now one of the new titles is Beautiful Dreamer - written 160 years ago by Steven Foster. Cripes Ubisoft, talk about not wanting to pay royalties! I hate most of the oldies - thank goodness for the rap music.


    Wow, I just experienced 7 hours of the most fun bow hunting I have ever enjoyed, of either Far Cry 5, or of this new sequel, Far Cry New Dawn.

    I said, above, that in 6 hours, two days ago, I built up 4,000 copper by looting corpses on the I.S.S. space station mission - the crashed space station in Nevada. Well how did my 7 hours of hunting go? Here's how: I now have 28,688 copper, a whopping 24,688 ADDITIONAL copper - that's right, more than 6X the amount of copper in just 15% more time.

    Where: just outside the chop shop - the ruins of the original Fall's End town center. Make that the first outpost that you liberate - it's closest to Prosperity so that makes sense.

    How: strictly bow hunting.

    What: wild boar, wild dog, and raptor - including wild turkey and hawk. To my surprise, a wild turkey brings in 4 feathers, EACH OF WHICH is worth 60 copper - so that's 240 copper per bird.

    What else: hares - worth the same as boar or dog - you can only kill 3 with bow, giving you a total of 5 pelts. To find the hares, you have to go way out to the lone tree next to a swing set and a green slide - go to the top of the slide and use your binoculars - it will tag the nearby bunnies with a little white tag - also any raptors that are eating corpses - sometimes I can successfully shoot the little hawks right from the top of the slide.

    Here are your two binocular points. Close by the broken windmill, just down from the corner of the Fall's End road, and the main highway with the gas station, is a very large rock about 10 feet high, and about 12 x 15 feet in size. You can get to the top of the rock on one of the corners - try it. On the rock you are protected from the boars - any rock will do - but mainly it is a great area to use binoculars. If you are looking at the rock, having come from the Fall's End chop shop, as you approach the rock - you're heading in the direction of that main highway with the gas station - if you now look way to the right about 400 meters, you will see a lone tree, and if you look closer, you will see the swing set and slide. That is where the bunnies are. You will also be getting closer to some bears - which bring titanium - but no copper. Also - the occasional buffalo - but no copper, and the occasional wolverine - but no copper. Finally, you will also come across the occasional Highwayman: bad guy (or girl.) - I killed about 50 total in the 7 hours. They are level 1, so they only bring in about 38 copper per looting, for maybe 2000 total of the 24,000.

    YOUR PACK IS VERY LIMITED: you can only carry 7 feathers at a time - for 420 copper - and 5 dog and 5 boar pelts, for 300 copper per animal type (total 1020 copper with max dog, boar, and feathers) before you have to trade in your pelts, either to a wandering shopkeeper, or back at the chop shop.

    I was initially trading in my pelts, and I was receiving upwards of 900 copper. I had shot dogs and pigs, and an occasional turkey. The math didn't add up. I asked myself - "where did all the extra copper come from?" So the next time I shot a turkey, I looked for turkey in my inventory, and there was no picture of a turkey at all, but then I noticed that there were 4 feathers. "Ah hah, and I was shooting those turkeys just for the pure fun of it!"

    You kill a hawk, not by trying to shoot them in the air - wait until they land on dead prey, or on a dead corpse. The raptors are screeching all around you, particularly in one area that I will describe - so just let one land and stealthily get close enough to it to shoot it with the bow. One perk lets you crawl faster - get that perk. If you use a gun on a raptor or turkey you'll get two feathers, not 4. All your pelts are doubled if you use a bow just like Far Cry 5.

    Where exactly is this rich trove of hunting?

    When you liberate the chop shop, you will realize that you have just liberated the old town of Fall's End from Far Cry 5. Stand in the middle of the main road, facing the chop shop. On your right - just a short way down the street, on the same side of the street as the chop shop, is the green Fall's End church - still recognizable.

    On your left, the road you are standing on gently rises about 600 meters to a major highway that it intersects at a right angle. As you cross over that highway, on your left is the old gas station - and you can still climb to its roof - in fact you can now drive a quad right up there - there is so much sand piled on one side of it. On your right used to be the standing 50 caliber machine gun position - it's no longer there.

    That intersection, for both games, will yield all the weapons and all the bad guys you want - you can get all your perks from kills on every weapon - shotgun, flame launcher, everything, right there at that intersection.

    Where exactly regarding hunting area?
    So the hunting area I am talking about - as you stand in the middle of the street facing the chop shop, with the church on your right, is the area from where you are standing, up to that main highway where the gas station is. But sometimes the turkeys are actually out on that main highway - the boars too, and also the wild dogs are sometimes right at the gas station, so keep that in mind.

    The most beautiful:
    As you go up the Fall's End (chop shop) road, toward the highway, on your right is the most beautiful area of sand dunes, and then little streams, where you will also find the rare blue flower that is needed for every health pack - I had only 12 left, now I have about 112. They keep re-spawning those flowers for you. That is where you will find most of the dogs, most of the boar, and an occasional turkey, and occasional bear, and occasional bison. Also the hares - if you go all the way to the right, where the swing set and green slide are.

    Raptors and wolverines:
    As you go up the Fall's End (chop shop) road, toward the highway, on your left you will find some nice hunting - more turkeys, some boars, especially in the thick flowers, and more of the raptors, the hawks that are worth the same feather count as a turkey. Turkeys are much bigger and they don't fly, so they are easier to hunt - sometimes they will even attack you. When you hear the melodious "gobble gobble" - head toward the sound - a beautiful big blue easy-to-kill turkey is just waiting for you to come shoot it before it attacks you.

    The wild dogs look like pets, until they bite your leg. So shoot them first.

    But now that I found the swing set and slide, I never go to the left of the Fall's End road - that whole area to the right is enough variety and quantity of hunting - and the little hawks or even vultures, can be easily shot with a bow, if you move slowly, and send your ally off somewhere else so he/she doesn't scare the game (or shoot it which robs you of the double pelt arrow kill reward.)

    Which gun for hire to take:
    For this hunting I took Gina - the LMG girl from Boston - but I kept her about 50 meters away from me unless I encountered too many bad guys and I needed her close by. If you want gas trucks, or supply trucks, or jail trucks (one perk point each time you free a prisoner) then take Nana with you instead - target the truck by aiming a gun or your bow at it, and pressing the attack button. Nana will expertly kill the driver. Don't take Carmen except in the beginning before she upgrades to dynamite - she will then dynamite the gas truck. The first time she did this I shot her. Don't take Gina - she will blow it up with her LMG. I shot her too. Last night I used Nana for a while, but her very loud cackling "I'm gonna die in luxury, OR I'M NEVER GONNA DIE" finally got to me and I shot her also. The least annoying of all of them is Gina. The Pastor is not bad either - he quotes from the bible all the time - but don't let him use his shotgun on prey. Of course you would never hunt with Hurk - you won't get any pelts at all, just burnt meat. Similarly I didn't like hunting with The Judge - he is totally absent any personality at all - he is mute. And I don't really like hunting with the dog Timber - he charges ahead and scares the game.

    Spending perks:
    For perks, spend your perks initially to get an extra weapon, then two extra weapons, then more lung capacity so you can quickly run back to the chop shop (to trade in your pelts) if no vehicle is handy. Later on, add the repair torch, which opens safes, then later add the dexterity, which speeds up all timed activity, like capturing an enemy supply drop. Then finally use 4 perks per health pack, to start adding them beyond the initial 2 - I think 7 is a very good number to carry when you start building so many perk points that you have nothing to spend them on - even 10 health packs might be the best eventually. By the way, spend your ethanol first on upgrading the health, just next to the weapon bench - that is the one that gets you finally up to 250% health. If you upgrade the other one, you go from 5 seconds, up to 10, up to 20 - I still don't understand what that means - upgrade it last. By the way, I like the sidecar motorcycle - but they are a little tricky to drive, and I noticed they are not as fast as the quad. (The game allows you to compare weapons and also to compare vehicles.) That slower sidecar speed means that sometimes the quad enemies will catch up to you.​

    THAT REMINDS ME - VEHICLES - low Harley rumble vs high-pitched whine
    From Far Cry 3 onward, including Arma3, I have always liked the quad. But I noticed here in New Dawn, that when you drive the motorcycle (tri-cycle) which has the mounted 50 on the back, it is using a V2 Harley engine - and the low rumble is a very nice change of pace from the higher whine of the quad. This low rumble is also characteristic of the side car motorcycle, but not the thin-wheeled sidecar you may capture from an enemy, which has the high-pitched whine. The low rumble of the main sidecar - the top choice in the vehicle menu - makes it very pleasant to drive. I prefer it over the quad - but the caveat is - the enemy quads will catch up to you. (So when you see that white directional vision thing pointing behind you, and staying behind, meaning they are following you, you may want to suddenly veer off the highway, and bail out of your vehicle, Far Cry 2-style, before they catch up and knock you off the road.)

    No, just get into the sidecar, and let your gun for hire "drive" by setting a map point. Then deal with the idiots who try to come up from behind - like maybe with a very fun proximity explosive that blows them to smithereens!!

    Beyond the stream area, you will also find the enormous buffalo (bison) but unless you have at least a level 3 bow at 800 damage, you will have trouble with that animal which I believe has about a 3000 health level. With that level 3 bow, after the first 800 damage arrow - then as he charges you, hit him in his massive head, for a triple-effect punch of 2400 which should take him down.

    I only shot them yesterday for sport - you get massive amounts of stuff but no copper. I also shot bear which gives titanium. I think bear is 2500 health - a nose shot plus one more will do it.

    If you are brand new, take the Pastor or Nana with you but not Carmina with her dynamite. When they shoot the animals, try to finish them with an arrow for double-pelts. You can be helping with your bow while the animal is attacking the ally - so use the "attack" command to get the animal to focus on your gun for hire while you shoot arrows from the side.

    This is also, by the way, how you kill the monstrous buffalo which are a little further away - about 200 meters past the streams. Have Nana or the Pastor target the animal, with the attack button, which has the animal focus on them, while you target the weak spot.

    Handgun slot upgrades:
    Upgrade your handgun to an SMG - but to be able to be in the handgun slot 1, it must say "handgun" - and then it will say "smg" or it will indicate full auto smg by the high rounds per minute. You might get good at killing the driver yourself - but you will never get as good as Nana. (However, if you carry a tiny one-handed smg, even though it is not in the #1 handgun slot, the game will let you shoot it while driving - and that is way faster to take out the driver from the side than the one-shot early handguns. Most of the smgs take two hands - but you will see the little tiny smg - level one I think - that carries 30 rounds and is obviously one-handed. But it won't go into the handgun slot - but the idea of carrying it, until you get the later handguns which fire auto - is to be able to rapidly fire while driving.)

    When you finally get the elite grenade launcher you will see it fits in the handgun slot. But each 40mm grenade launcher round uses 40 units of copper, so for hunting, maybe just keep a handgun, or handgun-smg with you instead. But for expeditions, take the grenade launcher. For re-claiming forts, also maybe carry the launcher. (By the way, you can shoot down a helicopter while piloting your little buzzer, with the grenade launcher. Or you can have your gun for hire pilot the buzzer - just put a location to fly to on the map.) And don't forget, once you upgrade your bow to the elite bow (maybe the level 3 bow also has this) which will shoot flame and explosive arrows, you can target a distant vehicle with an explosive arrow for almost the same effect as your grenade launcher (which is better at close-in support - out to maybe 20-30 meters.) I can't be accurate with the grenade launcher at 50 meters, but the bow will easily take out vehicles 100-200 meters out - especially the elite bow with the distance scope. I have forgotten this a few times and ruined at least one expedition mission because in the escape, I couldn't take out the blocking enemy vehicle with mounted 50, using the grenade launcher - I totally forgot about the explosive arrows.

    I started using the explosive arrows so much, I stopped carrying the grenade launcher and went for a silenced 30-round handgun that is really an smg - it actually does take smg ammo. It came with only 200 damage, but I wanted the silencer - I upgraded it like 20 times to about 600 damage so a very short burst of 3 rounds even kills an elite. It's faster to use than the bow and better in a quick getaway if several enemies show up suddenly.

    Bow upgrade:
    I just talked about this in the paragraph above. But it's worth mentioning again. Upgrade your arrows to explosive, and you will have nearly the power of an RPG with 9 rounds, not just 4. I tried killing two snipers out about 300 meters across a canyon on one mission, and they kept moving and getting behind cover - dodging my sniper bullets. Finally I pulled out the bow, and it took a couple of shots to get the range, then I killed them both with explosive arrows.

    I said 9 rounds - I earlier didn't realize you could keep applying the perks and continue enlarging your explosive carrying capacity - now I carry about 30 explosive arrows!!!

    When you get to elite level, get the elite compound bow that shows slightly greater accuracy than the other elite bow - the difference is that it has the distance gauge on it. At first I didn't like it, but I was stuck with it having spent a lot of materials to get it. But now I do like it better - you start to get a feel for how far enemies are from you. (Unfortunately, the binoculars are not range finders - they should be but they aren't - so you have to practice.) By the way, before you get to elite, the 800 damage level 3 expert compound bow is a very nice, very powerful weapon indeed, and I believe it does offer both flame and explosive arrows just like the elite bow. For level 2 amateur there is no bow, but the slingshot fires arrows at 400 damage, so that was a great upgrade from the beginner level 1 bow (100 damage) that you start with. In fact, I think the slingshot will also even fire flame and explosive arrows.

    So, in order, the level of bows is: beginner 100 damage, amateur slingshot 400 damage with flame and explosive options, expert bow 800 damage with flame and explosive options, elite bow 1200 damage with flame and explosive options, and elite compound bow has additional added distance gauge for increased accuracy out to almost "sniper rifle" distances.

    - end of "bow hunting for copper" edit -
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2019
  8. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

    Jan 18, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Rich, you should look into maybe writing some game walkthrough guides. I don't know anyone else who analyzes each section of gameplay as thoroughly as you do. You like to try every possible method, just to see the results. You like to examine every weapon and give everything a try. In my opinion that's a really "zen" way to enjoy games and I'm glad you get so much out of every game you play. That's a rare gift.


    Just kind of a short think-piece for you guys.

    Since I have so much love for my consoles, I went ahead and got a bunch of the "in-generation" Call of Duty games for PS3. That is, the games that aren't an inferior/watered down version of Xbox One or PS4 games. I have been mostly pleasantly surprised by how good they look and how well they play.

    To start with I bought the Modern Warfare collection for PS3. This is a box set of the first two Infinity Ward Modern Warfare games.

    Both Modern Warfare titles run at 1024 x 640p, which is a little bit dire. Most PS3 and 360 games manage 720p at least. Modern Warfare is a different story altogether from some other 640p games though. Both consoles run the MW games at 640p, with the PS3 version upscaled to 720p and using 2xMSAA. It provides a way cleaner image than Red Dead Redemption's terrible quincunx blurry garbage. Drastically so. Modern Warfare 2 is even more impressive. Still rendering at 640p with 2xAA but now upscaling to 1080p. It gives great image quality at TV distance, and the graphics are equally high fidelity. MW2 is really well done on the consoles.

    What really makes these games a small marvel for the consoles is that they're 60FPS targeted games. Of course they don't manage 60 at all times, but both consoles do a very good job, and the games feel absolutely fluid and wonderful to play. MW/MW2's lack of complex shaders and special effects means that the consoles do an impressively good job of getting close to the PC versions visually. Of course, that 640p is a large compromise. However I've found myself continuously amazed at how clean and playable it really is. Jagged edges are very much so under control and image fidelity is quite decent. The image you see on screen doesn't suggest 640p at all. Really impressive stuff. Honestly some of the better looking games on the console.

    Worth noting that while the PS3 has noticeably worse textures than the 360 in some parts of MW1, a streaming texture system was introduced for MW2 that brings both games in line visually. However, the 360 does seem to just plain run all of the Call of Duty games better, and it becomes more and more apparent on later titles. Modern Warfare 3 is the last Call of Duty title to get the all star treatment on PS3. Black Ops and later kind of fall apart.

    The other one that has impressed me so far is World at War.

    I remember this earlier Treyarch title as being both visually and mechanically inferior to the Call of Duty game before it; MW1. On console that inferiority is much smaller. It has many hallmarks of being a console game first, and a PC game second. This console targeted development explains a LOT about its visual inferiority to the Modern Warfare games on PC. In fact, it's a much better looking game on the PS3 at TV distances than it is on PC at desktop distances. Shockingly so. The weak texture and particle work is far less apparent, and the shoddy control feel from PC is gone. The game was very obviously designed as a gamepad title for TV distances.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019
  9. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

    Jun 9, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Haha - thanks Jeff - some games really inspire me to blog like there is no tomorrow - the only thing that saves me spending weeks at a time is that I don't post screenshots anymore - but when I get revved up and typing fast, I can go for hours until I look up again.

    I am a bit surprised by what you are finding regarding the Treyarch title, World at War.

    Of course, compared to MW1 by the original Infinity Ward - THE MASTERPIECE!!! - what can compare to that? Nothing.

    But when I first played World at War on the PC - I already had my 30" 2560x1600, and I had just gotten the animator's old 9450, along with his Nvidia Card, an 8800 gtx with 750MB of vram, as I recall. I thought the game was unbelievably gorgeous! I wasn't expecting too much, being Treyarch, but I was very pleasantly surprised.

    I discovered nvidia's digital vibrance on that game, and as they used a lot of flamethrowers - the flames were so colorful! I couldn't play any of the Crysis titles - that had to wait for the 3 gig 7950 two years later - but I liked World at War so much that I played it a second time just a few months after finishing it - usually I wait a few years. :)

    I actually have played a few times on a game console - I can't remember which one - I had to get used to the controls - I was very clumsy - oh yeah, it was over at somebody's house. I have never invested in a console. I guess it's a bit of a different experience, one you can play on a big-screen TV 10 feet away, leaning back in an easy chair. I doubt I will ever get a console - so I can't quite relate to what you are talking about - but as YOU do like consoles, and I think all of you guys, like Sam and Kevin, also have consoles, it makes sense to me what you are doing in terms of upgrading the quality of your console titles.


    No blog coming, but I have been playing the hell out of Far Cry Primal - I can't really recommend it - first of all it's only a 12 gig download - so you bet - ZERO high-res textures. Still, it has a basic charm - you can have almost any animal as a Gun for Hire - through your Beast Master power. And you can ride a few of them, like the sabertooth tiger! At first I thought that would be gimmicky - but you go really fast - at least twice as fast as running - maybe 3x as fast - and as the topography is UP and DOWN - with switchbacks everywhere - so you don't really know - "should I go right or should I go left to try to find the switchback leading to a higher elevation?" - when you are on the sabertooth and whizzing along - okay go left for a while - doesn't work? - fine, turn around and whiz right for a while.

    It reduces the frustration of moving across the map - you are going really fast, and the only noise is a bit of the sabertooth's heavy breathing. And then later you direct your sabertooth to try to kill a rhino, or a mammoth - and while he is trying, you are tossing spears into the thing. If he gets killed, you can revive him - go ahead and take a bit of your high-speed food potion - you might have to try to out-run a rhino or wholly mammoth to revive your ride and not get run over by those giant angry animals.

    0. I can't play any of the AC games, like Egypt, or Odyssey - they won't run on my cpu - so AC is out for now.
    1. I'm almost ready to return to New Dawn which I totally love.
    2. And there is a new Tomb Raider out, the Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
    3. And there is Rage 2. I know you guys didn't like Rage as much as I did - I thought it was brilliant - but I bet Rage 2 is also brilliant - I'll let you know when I start playing it.

    - Rich
  10. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

    Jan 18, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    I grew up in the era of 3D consoles and the PS3 and Xbox 360 are really the last consoles from my teen years. Dual analog gamepads are second nature for me and I can switch between control types effortlessly. I quite often use a wireless gamepad for my PC.

    Newer consoles such as the 360 and PS3 aren't really worth the investment long-term. Eventually these consoles will lose their online support and update servers, and many games will be left in very poor condition. Collecting for older consoles can be more worth your time, however emulation has made a lot of older hardware totally redundant.

    - The PS3 has a bunch of system exclusives that I want to preserve as long as possible. Landmark games and first party titles intended as hardcore tech demos for the PlayStation 3. It's also my console of choice for many non-exclusive yet console-only franchises. Additionally it includes very good quality remasters of many Playstation 2 games and is my living room Bluray and Netflix player which makes it very useful indeed. Will be staying around until online support for it disappears.

    - The Xbox 360 has very little worth noting. Gears of War Series, Red Dead Redemption(Grand Theft Auto Wild West basically), and the Halo Series. Halo is soon going to be replaced by a full remaster of the entire series for PC. The 360 will probably end up in a cardboard box or sold at some point.

    - My original Xbox is absolutely jam packed with exclusives, and is nowhere near being properly emulated. I play this console quite often, and it's a permanent part of my collection. It has many of my favorite games. Since none of the games relied on updates or online functionality, this is a great console to collect for.

    - I have a custom modded Nintendo Gamecube, but the Dolphin emulator has advanced far enough so as to make it totally redundant. My PC plays Gamecube games great. The Gamecube will be sold at some point and is already boxed up in my closet.

    - My Nintendo 64 has become completely redundant as well as N64 emulation has taken giant strides in the past few years. Like the Gamecube I no longer have need of the console and it lives in a box in my closet. Will be sold eventually as well.

    - My PlayStation 2 is long gone. I've kept a few major games as collectors items, but emulation makes it largely redundant.

    So in short, consoles aren't really that useful if you have a decent gaming PC. I don't consider any of my consoles, save my Xbox, to be permanent. Eventually I intend to sell off much of my collection, and migrate everything I possibly can to PC.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019
  11. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

    Jun 9, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Oh yeah, I forgot that about the PS3 - the bluray player aspect. I almost bought one, now that I recall, because it wasn't much more than other bluray players, and you got the whole gaming rig.

    Wow, you are master of consoles - you know your way around almost all of them it sounds like. But I see what you mean - emulators on the PC allow you to play those console titles, so in several cases the hardware is redundant.


    The Far Cry Primal was sort of a blast, but at only 12 gigs download, I don't think, with maybe a couple of exceptions, that there were any high-def textures anywhere. It was hard to see enemies who were attacking you - they were 100 meters away, but the amount of triangles dedicated to their models was so minimal - "Where are those arrows coming from?" was my usual question to myself. I was not used to that. Regular Far Cry 5 has enemies popping up at all times, at distances of 100 to 150 meters and more, but you don't have any problem seeing them at all.

    Arma 3 has enemies that are 300 meters away - and they are extremely tiny at that distance, but still quite easy to see and as the game lets you scope in at about 2x even without a real scope, you can pick them off

    So that aspect of Primal, the general lo-def and tiny bit of triangles devoted to distant enemies, was a bit of a turn-off. Close up the models weren't that bad.

    What was good was the beast-master idea - you can even tame a saber-tooth tiger, who comes running back to you after slaughtering your enemies, anxious for a toss of some meat that he'll catch in the air if you throw it up (the meat feeding is an animation that you have no control over of course) and after a while you get attached to him as you would to a puppy. He might, in fact, be the really ferocious one that killed your whole hunting party at the beginning of the game - he still bears the scars of that encounter, including your own knife cuts. But now he's "Fido."

    I saved the 2 major boss battles, and 1 very nice outpost, Roshinin, which have good replay, those 3 areas.

    This was not a bad Far Cry 5 DLC. The major drawback is that it is pretty short, and is mostly a stealth game, but not bad at all - and you end up with two buddies, on the G and H keys, like Far Cry 5. A bow is one of your weapons, but you also have pistol, shotgun, and AK, or M16. The graphics are good - medium to high-def - the North-Vietnam trucks near the end of the title remind me of the trucks in Far Cry 3 - very good models.

    This one, the third in the reboot, did not have as much combat as the first two. The combat it did have was not bad at all. The tomb puzzles were tricky - several times I fell back on YouTube to help. I had combat set to HARD, and puzzles and exploration both set to Easy. But several times, the HARD combat was almost impossible - so I dropped it back to Normal, or even Easy - until I got the hang of it, then back to HARD. So I did like the fact that you could change difficulty at any time back and forth - good feature.

    There were some jumps that Lara had to make that seemed to be almost impossible. In particular three times it seemed like I couldn't progress.

    1. The first one - I watched the YouTube, and how they made the jump, and on my PC she jumped PAST the second grapple wall every single time. I got upset and virtually decided to put the game away - maybe remove it - and then thinking about it later, I realized that perhaps my half v-sync was the culprit - the slight delay from v-sync causing the jump command to extend beyond what it should do. I remember that Sam told me one time to turn off v-sync when it seemed that I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with my shooting. So sure enough, I turned off v-sync and all was okay after that.

    2. There was another point, when you have to jump and throw the grapple - and I researched it because it just would not work. On a steam forum, one guy had tried it 40 times and he was frustrated and angry. The advice was - "Look right at the wall that you are trying to hook - the game should give you that hint." That immediately worked.

    3. Another jump, taking a run and timing it so the blades have risen allowing access to the other side, after successfully completing the tricky tomb, I experienced about a dozen fails in a row. There was an upper rock in front of me that seemed like a possible grapple point. But it may have been put there just as a trick. Finally instead of running, I just stood at the edge and jumped, looking right at the rock - but I think I may have forgotten to hit E to throw the grapple - because suddenly there she was just barely grabbing onto the opposite ledge. Was that my problem the whole time - hitting the E when I didn't need to? The rock did seem too smooth for the grapple, but why was it right there? - the distance seemed a little too long for just a jump. Those devs are devious.

    I am not particularly crazy about jumping across canyons, running through circling blades and timing it perfectly - that kind of stuff.

    What I do like is combat. I saved some combat, including the very end boss battle, and I have played that for the last couple of nights - pretty enjoyable.

    At the camp before the final boss battle, which is one of my save points, I got the idea of Fast-travelling to a little Mission town where they sell a repeating shotgun, and that works very well in the boss battle as I discovered last night.

    Also, in the boss battle lull after I kill about 5 Inca enemies armed either with bow or with machete, who are hanging around while the main bad guy and 3 of his buddies take part in the ritual to give them ultimate power over everything, I used the poison lure arrow feature of the bow to lay "traps" on about 12 trees and even stone pillars around the elevated short map of this final battle. I laid as many as I could until I ran out of poison because random Inca soldiers re-appear after each main confrontation with the boss.

    As it turned out - that did help - I noticed one of them getting killed by the poison at one moment - it just reduced the amount of extra bad guys to deal with, because while you are shotgunning the main bad guy, those other ones can kill you and often that is how I have died - so I made it kind of a rule to not try the shotgunning until I am fairly certain there are no more secondary warriors alive at the moment.

    And in regard to that, killing the secondary warriors, I found to my amazement that AK - or the single-shot version that I am trying - seems to have no effect on those guys. I think this is actually a game glitch, or it may be a result of my under-powered cpu. To my astonishment, I am shooting shot after shot at the Inca soldiers, with no effect. Sometimes, yes, they do react and their mask falls off, and then a head-shot takes them out - other times no effect at all. So that turned me off on using the assault rifle at all.

    What worked better was the following:
    1. After shotgunning the main bad guy and then knifing him as he then attempted to recharge in his ball of spatial energy - after which he knocks me away, and some new secondary warriors magically appear
    2. as I run and jump away, I make sure to reload my shotgun, and take aim while I run - which causes my HUD to show me how many total shells I have and how many are loaded - making sure I have at least 10-12 shotgun rounds loaded up (if I am low on ammo there are 3 shotgun ammo containers on the map)
    3. and then I switch to pistol until I am able to get rid of the secondary warriors and go back to shotgun.

    Yes, screw assault rifle, I switch to pistol. Why? Because I bought the flare gun skill. Those flare rounds are awesome. I can craft them as I am running - to a maximum of 5 at a time - when I get low I can craft some more. Then, when I take a split-second pause in front of a secondary warrior, aim the pistol and shoot with middle mouse key to fire the flare - it hits the guy and sets him ablaze. He screams and writhes around and gesticulates to no avail - it's hopeless, he's a living torch.


    I love it when that happens. Those guys have killed me so often .....

    From a distance you CAN kill them with arrows - it might take 3.

    One thing I have totally forgotten about is to use fire arrows - I might try that tonight. Seeing them light up in flames warms my heart. The fire arrows should produce the same effect. Again, you can craft them as you run around.

    But, as opposed to popping off a flare round, the bow requires drawing the arrow back - which might add 1/2 second of delay to the process - and that half-second might get me killed - because all the while the main bad guy is trying to blast me with lightning bolts.

    But I need to try it out. I can implement the timing delay potion - it slows up time - it's called FOCUS - so that should allow me more time to aim the arrow and shoot. I don't really need the FOCUS with the flare gun - but I do sometimes use the FOCUS when I am shotgunning the boss - the repeating shotgun shells slow down, and I have more time to slightly back up as he swings his fiery machete so as not to get knocked down so often and thereby induce him to retreat into his recharge ball faster, so I can knife him quicker.

    The knifing is good, because in the very first attack while he was in his recharge ball, the animation shows that I actually pulled his magic god-knife out of his sheath, and that's the one I am now armed with - it glows - so I am killing the SOB with his own weapon. Lovely. :rolleyes:

    Yes - fire arrows. I have already used all the poison lure arrows to trap the map, as I mentioned. I did try the hallucinate arrows, but they don't seem to cause the guys to shoot each other which is the intended effect. So the only special arrow that is left are the fire arrows, and they should set those guys ablaze just like the flare rounds do - and they should work at greater distance than the flare round, and using FOCUS, I should be able to get the round off and still have time to jump and escape the continued lighting blasts of the boss. I'll try it out tonight. :)

    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
  12. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

    Jun 9, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Hi guys - well my motherboard has decided to stop booting, so I guess it's finally time to get a modern cpu.

    (Btw - if you guys get Shadow of Tomb Raider - I suggest make a save at least at every camp fire - there are about 30 so that would be 30 saves. The game has not limited my saves - I have about 50 - I don't know if there is a limit. The reason is that there are several places that offer good replay value, and if you have a save at every camp fire, you can go back through the game and find your best highlights, without having to take a lot of time to find the situation. Then you can bump up Conflict to Hard, and finally master the challenge. For example, I have played the final boss battle about 10 times - it's really well-done - you progress in about 3 segments, and it's quite challenging. I don't know if I have yet played through without getting killed at some step of the way. There is another very difficult section where you are attacked by very aggressive ancient natives - I dropped to Easy in order to beat it - but on replay later I finally learned to master it at Hard - but it's still very challenging and more than a bit "scary" - I only play it when I'm mentally ready for something super intense. Similarly, the jaguar kill bow challenges were hard for me, but I finally mastered them - however I didn't really enjoy them that much and don't play them any more - and there were some puzzles also that were super hard - the eagle climb - the mirror challenge. I have saves at all those points. )

    Okay, so my vintage 2008 mobo suddenly won't boot - it's an asus P5E - the green light on the motherboard doesn't glow solid green - it flickers very rapidly. I had the computer in sleep mode and I came into the trailer a couple days after my last gaming session, and the light was no longer flashing. Now with the computer open on a test bench, I see the light on the motherboard - but it's not solid green - it's flickering rapidly.

    Googling, it could be a bad power supply, or a bad cpu - but it's probably the Asus mobo - as Sam says "all things Asus."

    For PSU I have the Toughpower 750, but I would be inclined to think that it is still okay. It is sending enough juice to the mobo to get the light to glow, but as I said the light does not glow steadily, but flickers rapidly. I guess I'll pull everything off the mobo, including the cpu, in steps, trying to get a steady light. Maybe I'll even place it outside the case on some cardboard, if I can't get that light to stop flickering. I have a few smaller PSUs like an Antec 450 that I could also plug in to try to isolate it down to just the mobo, and not the PSU. Maybe that's the first thing - unplug the 750, plug in the Antec, see if the light glows solid. Since I'm down to only 1 graphics card, I wonder if the Antec 450 would power my rig?

    If the PSU is bad, I'll get another one - maybe used on eBay.

    Even if the mobo turns out to be good, then, especially if I have to pull it out of the case, I probably should take this opportunity to throw $600 into the hat for an upgrade, that amount being roughly what I paid for the 1070 two years ago.

    Can I get mobo, cpu and ram for that price - around $600?

    I haven't touched the motherboard since I took it from the smaller Sonata case and put it into this full-tower spedo case, adding a boat-load of 140mm fans, which was at the end of July 2012 - 7 years ago. It has served me well, and I would never have been given it, if it hadn't acted quirky, causing the animator to receive a different cpu, and elevating me to a much more powerful gaming platform. So I can only thank what Sam always said about "all things Asus" - but has my luck run out - has it really bricked itself this time?

    8 GIGS RAM OR 16?
    For ram, I think I would like to get 16 gigs of ram this time - if it isn't too much more expensive than 8 gigs. I don't know if 16 gigs is needed, but some games suggested 16 gigs would be ideal.

    Do you need more ram for 4k? I don't think so, but I don't plan on migrating over to 4K any time soon - like probably not prior to 2030, unless my Dell 30" high res monitor gave out.

    I have picked up four Dell Latitude e6540 laptops, with 1920x1080 screens, about 12" wide by 8 inches high - and I think I figured out that the dpi is about 134 dpi, whereas if I had a 4k monitor, versus my present dpi of 100, the dpi of my 4k same-size 30" diagonal gaming monitor would be about 140. From the laptop, I can see that 134 is really nice - but when I play on my gaming monitor, the 100 dpi that I get at 2560x1600, provides me with quite crisp visuals - and while the laptop is even crisper at 134 dpi - I don't think my gaming experience would be dramatically enhanced by that extra level of definition as when I imagine having the laptop's level of crispness, spread out over the large monitor. I am not convinced that I would really be able to appreciate the added definition. Part of it is the fact that I am about 2 feet from my monitor, allowing me to see the whole screen, so at that distance the extra 140 dpi detail might not be that visible to me. I know that in order to really appreciate the 134 dpi crispness of the laptop, and to be able to easily see stuff, I have to sit really close to the laptop when I use it - like I would say, within one foot. It's like 4k on the big screen - there is a certain viewing distance where the 4k doesn't really matter. I have a 4k big screen, and I sit pretty close to it - say 4 feet away, when I watch videos with the Bob Marley headphones. I just got my first 4k content to see if I can tell the difference - I have the same content in 1080p. And I have played some Youtube 4k content on it - it's really sharp all right, especially if you sit really close. Sam has said it makes a difference in gaming, so I am inclined to agree, but again the hardware requirement of 4k is extreme, and my hi res monitor shows no signs of getting old - still no stuck pixels - beautiful picture. It is not my everyday monitor - exclusively for gaming - and it never moves from its spot on the gaming table - in fact it is taped in place, lol.

    I would like an unlocked cpu - why? Well, I have room in the case to put my TRUE hsf on the cpu - I believe it does have all the adapters to fit the newer cpus - I might be wrong about that - it takes up to three 140mm fans although the bottom one might butt into memory heat sink headers - and the TRUE might be overkill, but if I wanted to aggressively overclock the cpu, like the 30% overclock I have been running on the 9450, then the TRUE would come in handy.

    Price-wise, let's say at 8 gigs Ram - I don't need crossfire support because I believe crossfire is dead - what would you guys recommend - and then how much more for 16 gigs Ram?

    We had been talking about 40nm Haswell at one time, but now I am reading that 14nm coffee lake has been out for some time, and 10nm ice lake is almost out. So let's say we are talking coffee lake. Or is Haswell a lot cheaper and not much less powerful? And what about core count?

    Is it worth it to think about more than 4 cores, such as 6 cores or even 8 cores? Do we think that the game devs might start taking advantage of those extra cores, like assigning rain to one core, etc. So for future-proofing for 10 years, assuming the devs start using those extra cores, should I go ahead and think in terms of 6-8 cores?

    ONLY IN TERMS OF GAMING - forget bit coin mining, video encoding, etc. What about AMD?

    Is it worth it to think about AMD instead of Intel?
    I hear that Ryzen has been kicking some butt - good for AMD. I have never had an AMD gaming processor. But should I give that some thought?

    For sure, I don't care about integrated graphics on the cpu. Unless I am completely wrong, there is no advantage to onboard graphics if I have a powerful discrete video card, like the 1070. I will never do any bitcoin mining. I won't ever do any video encoding on the machine. Strictly for games.

    And I have no plans to upgrade the gpu - I'll stick with my 2-year old 8-gig Nvidia 1070 for now - and then later maybe 6-10 years out, possibly something even more powerful - doesn't AMD now have a card with 13 gigs of vram? But - as you mentioned that you are also finding out, Jeff - the 1070 is quite a powerful graphics board that seems capable of handling most everything.

    But the 1070 won't support ray tracing, and some of the Shadow of Tomb Raider cave scenes were freaking dark - so I had to crank up the gamma - and I suppose ray tracing - which the game supports - would have fixed that problem - but I don't really feel I need ray tracing. Once in a great while I change the gamma setting - otherwise pretty much I never have a not-enough-light problem.

    [I don't really need 4k 140 dpi - my 100 dpi 25x16 inch hi-res monitor is quite nice - and I can skip ray tracing. :) ]

    So - anybody have any upgrade suggestions? Big thanks ahead of time.

    - Rich
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  13. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

    Jun 9, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Edit - holy crap. I took the Corsair 450 psu in the garage, that came from my pentium netburst - remember when you told me to get that, Sam? - and pulled the motherboard and the small cpu plug off, and put the Corsair in place of the Toughpower 750, for just those two plugs.

    Result - the motherboard power light is a nice steady bright green light. Meaning - I believe - that the Toughpower 750 is bad - or .... - maybe something that the Toughpower is plugged into has a short. Could that be a hard drive? A fan?

    I guess my next move is to unplug everything that the Toughpower is plugged into, leaving JUST the motherboard and cpu, and see if the green light still flickers - which I suppose by process of elimination would mean the Toughpower 750 has failed, as unlikely as that sounds.

    And then I will install the Corsair 450, and see if it will power my rig. I am not running crossfire anymore, but I am still running an overclock on the cpu, plus 3 hdds, and a variety of fans, and one 1070 at stock clocks with turbo boost. I just read that for one 1070 they recommend 450-500 watts power supply - the card pulls 150 watts they say. The 9450 pulls about 180 loaded up, and overclocked - what - over 200? So that's 350 right there, plus 3x12 = 30 for hard drives, and then another 20 for fans. I think the 450 might be able to do it!

    The PSU calculator says my load is 527.

    So my Corsair is underpowered for the task, but I might try it anyway. On the other hand, that might take down my hard drives. And my graphics card. So I think I will clone my main drive to an external 2 TB drive that I have for that purpose, before I try running the computer, and graphics-card wise not take it into a game.

    Would an underpowered cpu take out my new 1070 card? Maybe I can install the 450 - test it for no more than 5 minutes in a game, after cloning my hdd to an external drive as I mentioned. Exit the game. And buy a more powerful PSU on eBay. There is a Corsair CX750M, 750 watts, for $90 on eBay, brand new.

    Rather than completely install the corsair 450, I am just trying to install it in the minimal areas in order for the computer to boot up and power the psu on fully.

    So far the computer does not power on - I put one stick of Ram in, and put in 6 leads into the 8-pin video card socket - the light went from red to white on the graphics card. So I have motherboard, cpu, and video card powered from corsair 450, and 1 stick of ram. I could also pull the video card and put in a small one that doesn't need external power.

    Shouldn't the computer power on if everything else is okay? I'll try the ram in the other socket on the far side since I may not have it in socket 1. I'm also going to double-check those front panel plugs.

    - will advise, Rich
  14. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

    Jan 18, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    As far as upgrading goes, any modern CPU and motherboard combo will be far more than enough for you. AMD's Ryzen CPUs are just as good as any Intel for your purposes. Going above 4 cores still isn't super important, however a lot of a modern games are starting to really take advantage of more than 4 cores. A 6 or 8 core CPU would not be a wasted investment if you're looking for a little future proofing. The latest CPU designs from each brand have some very affordable options that are still quite high performance.

    For PC builders AMD has never had a real downside. There's nothing weird or different about AMD CPUs or motherboards. They work the same way and will give you the same experience. Pick what fits your budget. The Ryzen 2600X and 3600X are both well worth your consideration. I ran AMD for years and was perfectly happy with it. And as you said, Ryzen has been kicking ass. They're a great value and the raw performance of the CPUs has been VERY competitive with Intel. Whichever brand you choose, you will end up with a very good CPU.

    Motherboard wise, you want to aim above low end. Any decent midrange board in the ~$100-200 range would be perfectly adequate and easily handle any CPU from its generation, overclocking or not. I recommend Gigabyte emphatically.

    As for RAM, you really want 16GB for a gaming PC nowadays. I could easily overwhelm 8GB on my rig, but 16 has so far been far more than adequate. If you're going for Ryzen, they really like DDR4-3600 for a handful 0f reasons. Aiming for higher speed RAM is nearly universally better for both brands. At least DDR4-3200 or higher. Brand doesn't matter a whole lot. G.Skill, Team, and Corsair memory have my current recommendation. All 3 will offer a good value.

    As for GPU, your 1070 should be way more than enough for a while. There still aren't a lot of GPUs out there that are outright better, and your current setup was definitely bottlenecking it. I'd upgrade the rest of the system WAY before looking at another video card.

    As for PSU, for a modern rig you really want 600W or greater. 750-850W is a common choice and will give you enough overhead for any possible future upgrades. I'd personally avoid Thermaltake for a long list of reasons. Their reliability just isn't very good. Check Ebay for used Evga PSUs. They're currently the stability king for cryptominers and overclockers, and MANY can be found for dirt cheap. One of my friends picked up an 850W Evga for around $70 on Ebay a few weeks ago.

    As for your hardware problems, motherboard sounds the most likely. Any quality PSU will NOT take other hardware with it if it dies, and simply being underpowered likely won't damage your hardware.

    Rich, it's time for you to bite the bullet and invest in new hardware if you want to keep playing games properly. That's the only recommendation I can give you with a clean conscience. Your GTX1070 is begging you for a new CPU I can guarantee that.
  15. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

    Jun 9, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Wow, thanks Jeff.

    Thanks for being so detailed - great tips regarding memory size, speed, psu capacity, make of psu - Ryzen - above-4-cores, etc. I will be referring to your post at every step of the way.

    Your conclusion that it is my motherboard DOES seem to be the most logical - but that nice solid green light is continuing to delude me into thinking - maybe not. But then again, really what else could it be?

    I read some articles on -



    PSU - I have that nice steady green motherboard light upon connecting the 450 watt Corsair PSU - check
    MOBO - the asus P5E which might be bad, but the light is nice and steady green - check
    VIDEO - I have a small prior-tested amd 6450 hdmi card in video slot - check
    CPU - I have existing 9450 Cpu with plugged-in cpu power from Corsair 450 - check
    RAM - I have 1 stick of old known-good 1g, in left-most slot, identified as acceptable config in mobo manual - check

    But nothing happens when I press the power switch, and front connections are the same as they always have been. It occurs to me also, that besides the mobo, that maybe the cpu died. But why would a powered-off cpu die?

    The computer was asleep, so the cpu was essentially powered off - is that correct? Or at least the cpu fan was off, so the cpu must have been in a very low power state. But I think if the cpu were powered on at all - it would require that the cpu fan be on, otherwise you burn up the cpu, and the whole computer in sleep mode was totally silent - no fans. So I am quite sure that the cpu fan was not on, not even barely on, so I am guessing that sleep does not require the cpu to be powered up at all. Am I right so far? Therefore, if the cpu were truly not powered on, why on earth would it suddenly fail? Probably it wouldn't.

    Similarly, why would the PSU suddenly die if in a 2-3 watt sleep mode? Probably it wouldn't. Anyway, by connecting the Corsair 450, at this moment I am bypassing the Toughpower PSU.

    Bad ram? I tried the Kingston ram, one stick, in left-most, and also right-most slot. No go. Then I put in one stick of the old known-good smaller ram into left-most slot, which mobo manual says is legit configuration, no go.

    So I guess we're left with only the mobo. The only active thing is the motherboard. In sleep the ram controller on the motherboard keeps the ram energized, so it retains the 1 and 0 settings at every active memory location, and that is all that is going on during sleep. No cpu, no video card, no cooling fans, no nic (well maybe nic through its own controller), but yes psu at minimal wattage of some 2 or 3 watts for sleep mode.

    Now why would the motherboard suddenly decide to fail in sleep mode - why why why?

    That bothers me, and I probably won't use sleep anymore on my gaming rig, but I will continue to use sleep or standby on my laptop and on my everyday DC5800 dual core desktop.

    When I game, I do it for several hours - sometimes 8 hours at a time - and not every day - sometimes only once a week - so I can wait a minute for everything to boot up. My brother, I'm glad, talked me into using sleep/standby more and more, and so I do - it turned out to be very convenient, but after this I don't think I'll use sleep anymore on my gaming rig.

    Am I just being superstitious? Or is my new-found caution justified?

    (By the way, this DEAD computer has really shaken me up, and so I just ordered an $80 DC5800 dual core compaq tower from eBay - pretty much identical to the two I have (one is the kitchen htpc.) Once I test it, I will put it away sans hdds, just in case the same thing happens on my everyday desktop. I figure this is a small insurance policy which should enable me to slip my hdds right in and be off and running, or at least do some good trouble-shooting.)

    So thanks again Jeff - great post.

    It had just occurred to me yesterday that I should text the animator, and lo and behold he replied that he has a couple of towers laying around unneeded in his garage, which he received after giving me the 9450 in 2010 and the i7 in 2012.

    (As you might recall I couldn't OC the i7 - I think that the low speed memory blocked me - so it was only marginally 5% faster than my 3.343 ghz OC'd 9450, with the result that the i7 became the htpc in the oft-warm sunroom, and it's also the occasional handbrake video encoder - with ferocious kaze 3000 rpm 120mm modded in top front, with Lian-li fan controller just below, and fan on/off switch glued to back of Lian-li case - purpose of fan is to keep voltage reg temps - per system tray utility speedfan - under 100 C during encoding - prior to kaze I saw 108 degree vreg temps and that bothered me!)

    It seems that they routinely upgrade the animator with a new computer about every two years, so he probably has something around 2015 in possibly a 22nm Haswell, or maybe even around 2017 in a 14nm Skylake. If he does I will probably just work with whatever mid-tower case it comes in, and at first I might not even try to do any OCing, and possibly the cpu will be locked anyway. Still it is likely to beat my 9450. He is sure to have at least 8 gigs ram, maybe even 16 gigs.

    Since I no longer need crossfire I won't need as many fans as I am presently using in my full tower spedo case. I originally ran the 9450 in the Sonata case it came in - very pretty case it was - but crossfire forced me into the spedo case in 2011. I'm very glad I did it, but it wouldn't bother me to put the spedo away for now.

    Hey Jeff, let me ask you an off-the-wall "dumb" question. Let's say I do get something from the animator. He likely will have pulled the hdds. So I have a running computer, but no hdds. I do have hdds, including out-of-case spares.

    Are there any setup shortcuts? What would happen if I tried to boot off of my existing W7 gaming hdd - installing just one of my several spare cheap $35 6450 video cards to make sure I take no risks with my 1070?

    I know of course that the HAL, hardware abstraction layer, won't be correct. I know it won't work. But would it allow me to boot up somehow into a crippled Windows 7 - AND THEN AFTER THAT - load the appropriate mobo drivers? We used to do stuff like that with XP, and then slowly solve all the exclamation marks in device manager. Or maybe I am thinking about windows 98. Maybe my shortcut idea stopped working with XP.

    Or will it just not boot at all into W7? Or worse, will I break something by trying?

    That's why it is probably a really "dumb" question, from somebody who hasn't upgraded in almost 10 years. Probably there are no shortcuts. But could I just try? Am I taking the risk of ruining anything? - like corrupting a hard drive?

    I DO of course have everything I need to start from scratch, if and when the shortcut idea proves foolish. But is there any harm to trying it? I can't hurt any hardware - my hdds - OR CAN I? I would not want to corrupt a hard drive, although I do have a clone of it from 6 months ago.

    LOL dumb question, right? :mad:

  16. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

    Jun 9, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:

    NOT silverlake 14 nm
    NOT haswell 22nm
    SANDYBRIDGE 32 nm, 32 gigs RAM, HT, 6-core i7-3939k processor, socket 2011.
    IHS is soldered on, so no delidding - waiting for 2011 kit for my silver arrow cooler. Present waterblock overheats in UEFI bios - so I am going to play with some arctic silver 5, but eventually thermal grizzly conductonaut.

    Update on the update:
    Three power supply failures - the power supply in my gaming rig definitely died, the toughpower 750. Testing it, it passes the cheap $10 tester, but the Dr. Power thermaltake $35 tester flutters - won't give a clear reading = bad PSU.

    LOAD TESTING: Then also it will not light up a steady light on either test mobo, the prior gaming P5E, or this new sabertooth X79 that I was given to me to see if I could get it working. Both mobos are out of their cases onto shallow box tops.

    That indicates bad PSU. My known good corsair 450 will light up the sabertooth mobo and the mobo will start, both on-board tiny cooling fans will come on, and the red cpu led light will come on indicating bad cpu. So that mobo makes a good load tester.

    Possibly the mobo is good - I already bought an eBay cpu for it, that didn't work, returned it, and maybe I should try one more - that cpu had one gold contact that looked like it had a burn mark, using a 10x magnifier - one of 2,011 contacts - near the center of the chip. I sent that chip back today and should get my $90 back.

    I am toying with the idea of buying one more returnable cpu, about $100, to see if the mobo actually works, then if so, I'm done. Again the cpu is 6-core, HT, soldered, 3.2 ghz, boost 3.8, possible overclock to 4 with my silver arrow - already have the 2011 adapter for the cooler, but that's 34nm and with HT it gets hot, and that's old tech from 2012 - but I do have 32 gigs of ram for it also. Maybe I'll just get the cpu to give the mobo one last chance to be good. The new tech I am looking at will total about $800 with tax.

    The Corsair AX850 that was powering the sabertooth, fails both testers, will light up the sabertooth ready light, and will start the board, but the onboard fan will jerk 2x/sec in time with a PSU clicking noise = bad PSU. If I have power to cpu socket, and a cpu fan attached, the cpu fan will also jerk in time with the clicking noise. Bad PSU.

    The Antec 550 that was powering a third tower that sat for 3 years in the animator's garage, passes both testers, will sometimes light up the smaller mobo, but will never light up STEADY the saber mobo - the light pulses = bad PSU.

    That's 3 power supply failures. As I had mentioned, I was booting to the UEFI bios, watching the monitor tab, the pump had failed on the intel waterblock, and the temp climbed toward 80 which was auto shutdown limit. I put my silver arrow cooler on it, watched it run at 30 degrees for 5 minutes, and went to bed thinking all was solved, and the next morning that power supply died. I didn't know it was the power supply at first, but since then tests have confirmed - bad PSU.

    That i7-3930k 6-core HT chip was sitting on a sabertooth X79 mobo with a Corsair AX850 PSU. The computer had sat for at least 3 years.

    The mobo looks like it's working - it has the red cpu led light on - as I said above, I bought another $90 cpu from eBay and it didn't work - returned it today.

    But if I got this mobo working, I would lose my greatest PSU load tester!!

    This mobo is a great load PSU load tester - in addition to the two PSU testers that I bought it helps me test PSUs (I bought a $10 tester, then got the $35 Dr. Power II tester from amazon.) Then two new PSUs from newegg, Corsair 850 RMx and Toughpower 850. The Corsair 850 was fully tested, and is now put away so that I have a "known good power supply" in addition to my known good Corsair 450. In the future I will be testing more PSUs. I forgot to read your post again, Jeff, about not using Thermaltake and trying EVGA instead. I read it just now but I already own the two new 850 PSUs.

    I have read that if a PSU sits for a long time, in a garage, etc., insects may nest in it - even spiders with their webs. These items can catch fire when the power supply is turned on for the first time in years. So while it was running fine - with no load - just booting to bios - maybe something like that happened, an insect nest was ignited. Weird!

    So now I'm back to thinking of new tech - 14 nm 8-core i7-9700k for example. That's in line with your recommendation, Jeff, and I'm looking at 32 gigs 3200 speed ddr4 ram.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2019
  17. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

    Jan 18, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Sorry for the late reply Rich. Working a lot and always just so tired, lol.

    Sorry to hear about your troubles with your setup. The CPU and board are worthwhile if they are working. That would be a good setup more than capable of pushing your 1070 or a faster card. That said, if the board is fried a much more modern setup would be worthwhile in the longrun. However, AMD's CPUs are currently a much better value. The Ryzen 3700X for example is an established i9 9900K killer, for somewhat cheaper than a 9700K. Throw a beefy X470 board at it, and away you go. I wouldn't recommend X570 for a variety of reasons, but X470 is solid. Likewise I would currently recommend the Ryzen 3000/X470 combo over any Intel combo you can currently buy. They're a much better value and usually much better overall CPUs.

    I've recently obtained a 4770K from a friend for cheap. Dropped in and fired right up. It has bad paste under the IHS so ouch it runs pretty hot when stressing. 4.3GHz with 1.21v is as high as I care to stress it for stability and there it'll bounce off of 80C when stressing. Technically perfectly safe for the CPU but too warm for me. If it ran cooler, the chips are safe out to 1.3-1.35v. I had my 4690K at 1.3v routinely when trying to find 4.6GHz and it ran much cooler. That said my temps are still pretty decent for a 4770K due to my fantastic cooler. It might touch 70 once in a while under say a CPU heavy game or application. It usually hovers in the high 50s and low 60s, which I can definitely live with. Idles normally at like 30-35. I see people suffering with much higher temps with lower OCs. Also, if I disable HT it automatically runs about 10*C cooler on average under multi threaded loads. Pretty interesting stuff and a nice little sidegrade for very little cost and effort. it also boosts the value of my CPU and board combo should I choose to sell them.
  18. omegaman7

    omegaman7 Senior member

    Feb 12, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Finally get a house to call my own, but it's a fixer upper. Totally cool with that, but it makes upgrading my PC next to impossible at the moment. Suffice to say, I'll be getting a second job in February, pending surgery.

    You guys are probably aware of Red Dead Redemption 2. Steam release supposedly next month. But even the first one isn't available on steam :confused: 150GB initial install!!! I've never played the first one, but I may consider getting both down the road. I love open world games.

    My ideas of an upgrade, put me well over $1,000 USD. Ugh... be waiting a while.
  19. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

    Jan 18, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    RDR1 didn't release on PC for a variety of reasons. But the basic overarching problem is that it's a coding mess. It has chunks of GTA4's engine mixed with chunks of GTAV's technology. It's very much so stitched together and is a bit of a Frankenstein's monster. It wouldn't be impossible to port to PC, but imagine a port even worse than GTA4 and you'd be close. I doubt it will ever see a dedicated PC release. Our best hope is to wait for a working 360 or PS3 emulator. The game is already playable on PS3 emulator, but the performance requirement to run it full speed is amazing. No CPU currently available can manage it.

    RDR2 is very cool and got a good treatment for PC, but as of currently Nvidia's drivers suck. Benchmarks have an RX590 soundly beating a GTX1070 in RDR2, which is ludicrous.
  20. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

    Jun 9, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Hmmmm, I've heard a lot about Red Dead Redemption. I never thought about getting an emulator to play it - interesting idea. I didn't realize that they DEFINITELY did port the second version to PC. I might have to check that out. Is that the one you're saying, Kevin, that is a 150 gig download?

    Would that mean lots of high-def textures?

    I guess, Jeff, that I'll pull up your AMD cpus that you are recommending, before popping on the i7-9700 at about $360. I don't know exactly why I am reluctant to jump to AMD - a silly bias I guess - but I have NEVER had an amd computer. Of course I have had lots of AMD (ATI) graphics hardware, and I wouldn't mind supporting AMD because I think it's very good to have decent competition - rather than Intel being purely dominant. I was glad when AMD picked up all those console contracts. So at the very least, I will agree to pull up those AMD cpus that you are talking about.

    Oh - Kevin - by the way, Big Congrats on the house. Did you say you BOUGHT IT! Meaning you OWN it? (Or are you renting it - I guess it's still a good thing except you wouldn't want to do a lot of fixing on something owned by somebody else.)

    Fixer upper is fine - we call that sweat equity. Your chance to put your stamp on it.

    What kind of surgery are you talking about?

    Back to the sabertooth:
    I found on my phone - I forgot I had it - the cell phone picture I took of the sabertooth X79 running, right after I installed the TRUE silver arrow cooler. I'll post that next time. I just got back from LA - babysitting a house and a dog - so now I'm thinking about whether I should buy another $100 i7-3930k cpu, used on ebay (returnable for 30 days) and give the sabertooth one more chance not to be fried. I only give it a 30% chance of success - for some reason I am pretty sure that it won't work - but it seems like I owe it to the board, and to the animator, to give it that last try. I have one cpu in mind where he wrote a nice description, and I have a high degree of confidence that his cpu is actually working.


    EDIT - the eBay seller, Jim, responded to my email - I decided to go for the cpu - around $92 with tax. If it works, I'm done - but I lose my best PSU load tester - if it doesn't work then I will get my $92 back (I might volunteer a $15 re-stocking fee to cover 2-way shipping that he gets stuck with) and then hang onto this sabertooth as a SUPER psu load tester, then look up all those AMD cpus you were telling me about, Jeff.

    I don't think it's going to work, but .........
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2019

Share This Page