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

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2012
    Messages:
    538
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Sure, Kevin.

    Let me know if you have any trouble with it.

    TASK MANAGER TINY FOOTPRINTS
    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.


    GETTING STANDBY TO WORK ON XP WAS TRICKY
    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.


    WHATEVER HAPPENED TO 16:10?
    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. :)

    Rich
     
  2. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    4,495
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    68
    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

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2012
    Messages:
    538
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    28
    EDIT:
    (Jeff, you and I were posting at the same time, so my real edit is at the bottom.)

    METRO EXODUS
    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.)


    HOMEFRONT 2
    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.


    FAR CRY NEW DAWN
    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.



    EDIT
    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?


    Rich
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
  4. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    4,495
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    68
    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

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2012
    Messages:
    538
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    28
    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.


    A COUPLE OF THINGS THAT IRKED ME ABOUT THE GAME
    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!

    WTF!

    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.

    Rich

    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

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    4,495
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    68
    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 at 23:52

Share This Page