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The Official Graphics Card and PC gaming Thread

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

  1. omegaman7

    omegaman7 Senior member

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    About the only Intels I've had, were hand me downs. AMD always seems to hit a good price/value ratio for me.

    Surgery. The only thing they've acknowledged, is a 2cm Hiatal Hernia. Whatever's going on, it's taxing me big time. With my excellent medical coverage, I can't see staying on potentially debilitating anti-acids(Omeprazole), when there's a surgery that'll correct the anomaly. Chances are I'll be on medical leave for the standard 6 weeks. But I'm waiting til January when the busy season at work is over.

    Yup! I bought a house. This guy has a mortgage. Finally! Appraised for 77K, Loan is for 62K. I stand to make a little bit, once I've fixed her up. But I dunno. It has a shop, that has both my brothers jealous lol The lady I bought from wanted it done quickly, and also is a friend of the family. Win win for her and me.
     
  2. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Hey guys, what's up!

    The last cpu try was a total failure. The eBay seller is upset at me - haha - details below. I also figured out how to get some pictures out of my phone and then to my web site, and then here to after dawn so you can see them full-size, as photobucket now shrinks the jpgs for the last few years.

    But first ...........

    Kevin - your House!!!


    So yes, you do own it, and you said it has a work room that is the envy of your two brothers!! Is that a room inside the house, like some people have a darkroom, or is it a section of the garage. That sounds great!

    Yeah, fix the house up and keep it for a while, unless you get an itch to become a real estate speculator - a lot of people have made money by buying fixers, living in them, selling at a profit, then doing it again, and again. If that works for you, and you enjoy it - yes it can be profitable.

    And the idea of fixing the hernia also sound much better than continuing to take medicine for it - let them go in and cut the irritating thing out! :)


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    On other news - the cpu did not work - AGAIN.

    I WON'T BE GOING WITH 2012 TECH AFTER ALL

    So I will definitely keep this bad motherboard as a great PSU load test - part two of the load test, besides just turning on the green ready light, is that the motherboard starts and the two on-board component hsf fans spin rapidly - and any of up to two additional fans in the two cpu fan headers will also spin up (even with two that would add only about another 3-5 watts, so it doesn't make much difference on the load.)

    I actually just tested 7 PSUs, 3 of which are bad, using two testers, and two load tests. This sabertooth with two degrees of load testing - the green ready light, and then turning on the board - you might think, so what?

    Here's what. One bad PSU will turn on the sabertooth ready light. Okay, great. But then when you start the board by shorting the two pwr pins on the lower right edge of the mobo, that PSU will not run the fans - they sit there and jerk in time with a clicking noise from the power supply. So if you were just using the ready light as an indication of good PSU, you would be mistaken - actually starting and running the board and its two hsf fans causes that PSU to fail the load test. (It also fails the PSU testers - especially the $35 Dr. Power II tester which lights up red, and with F displayed for most of the voltage measurements.)


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    So, I guess you've been right all this time, Jeff - you said it was a bad motherboard.

    THE EBAY SELLER IS NOT HAPPY WITH ME
    The seller, with his 30 day return, is ticked off that I am returning the cpu. He is trying to get me to say that I have determined that the cpu is defective (which I believe would lead him to make the claim that I ruined the cpu.) On the return reasons, I chose the one that said "No good, defective."

    But the way he was phrasing it made me think he was preparing to try to make a case with eBay that I had ruined his perfect cpu. He kept saying - in two different emails -

    "You put it into a computer that had multiple failed components, and then you determined that my cpu, which was 100% healthy when I removed it from the system it was in, was defective - is that right?"

    So in several responses, I told him, "The answer to your question is No." Hahahahaha. :p

    "I did not make any determination that your cpu was defective, only that it did not work - at least for me. The red cpu led light is still on, and the board will not boot to bios. I told you ahead of time before the purchase that I was trying to get that red led cpu light to turn off. I have no way to determine whether or not your cpu is defective. " :confused:

    I added,
    "I placed it momentarily into the motherboard, but the red light remained on. So I put it back in that nice anti-static bag you sent it in. If your cpu was good when you sent it to me, it's still good. If it was defective, then it's still defective. I told you ahead of time my exact situation, and that on the internet the only cure for that red cpu led light being on, was to replace the cpu. I chose your listing because of the 30 day return. I authorize a $15 restocking fee which should cover your postage costs."

    It was kind of funny - it felt like being in a courtroom with two lawyers arguing - one lawyer trying to trap the other lawyer into making a damaging statement.

    This guy can try to NOT refund my $100, but I think his case is very weak.

    However, just for my own information, I did some googling yesterday - "can a bad motherboard ruin a cpu?" and it actually is possible, if the voltage regulators in the motherboard are defective - but it is extremely rare.

    Anyway, I didn't tell him this, but I had my finger on the cpu when I was trying to start the board, just to see if it was getting power, and as the cpu warmed up a bit, I turned it off within about 10 seconds - it never got more than lukewarm. So even if the voltage regs were off, I am pretty sure [crossing my fingers] that I did not ruin his cpu. o_O

    Another article I read yesterday, about "what is bad, my cpu or my motherboard" included a repair tech who said "in my vast experience with motherboards and cpus, I have replaced 100 motherboards for every 1 bad cpu."

    He was undoubtedly exaggerating, but his point was that it is very rare for the cpu to have been damaged, let's say by a power supply going bad - most often the motherboard takes the hit. Another forum said that motherboards are designed to protect the cpu from failure and take the hit themselves.

    And Jeff, all along, you thought it was the motherboard, right?

    But the whole experience of the power supply failing, still upsets me, and gives me much more respect - AND FEAR OF - PSUs and the damage that occurs when they fail. I have that picture the night before of the whole thing working, and the cpu running cool - just displaying the bios monitor tab - I didn't even have any hard drives attached.

    Here below is everything WORKING FINE!!!! The shiny thing is the light shining on the radiator of the Intel water-block. You can see the hoses. I pulled off the water cooler, and I was about to take out that radiator, and replace all that with my TRUE silver arrow cooler, for which I had found the socket 2011 kit. You're looking at 16 gigs of the full 32 gigs of memory - after putting on the air cooler, I pulled off the bottom bank of 16 gigs so I could run two hsf 140mm cooling fans.

    [​IMG]


    Okay, after a great deal of trouble ... LOL (I had to find and fix my files on how to upload pictures to my web site - in order to get the full-size picture - and then how to load those pictures into after-dawn - whew!) Finally figured it all out - here below is the main picture that I wanted to post - I ended up posting the one above also - showing the system before I added the air cooler.

    So looking at the image below, at the very top, almost cut off, is the CPU Temperature displayed on the monitor - we are looking at the UEFI bios - I have no hard drives attached. If you look carefully, you'll see it holding 27 with the air cooler - prior with the failing intel water-block with bad pump (the round gold thing in the picture) it kept rising until it hit 80 and the system re-booted.

    I let it do this - running nice and beautifully cool at 27 degrees for 5 minutes, then I turned off the power supply and went to bed thinking I had a good computer. The next morning the power supply failed. WTF!!! :mad:

    [​IMG]

    Hahahaha -Rich

    EDIT:
    YES! The eBay seller tried to pull a 50% restocking fee of $42.65 on me, after I volunteered $15 to cover his shipping costs both ways. I went into eBay dispute, and they ruled in my favor and didn't take out the $15. Did he really think he had a chance to get away with that?

    Now I'm going back to read your post, Jeff, and see which Ryzen cpu and mobo I should be considering. Okay, as you suggested, I'm looking at a Ryzen 3700 X with an X470 board. I guess if hyper-threading ever gets in the way, I can always turn it off, then back on for the games that do like it. This will put me on 7 nm, versus 14nm for Intel - for a cooler system.

    The cpu comes with a basic hsf, but maybe my impressive silver arrow, in the picture above, will be able to run on it - I did get the thermaltake 100700553 mounting kit, which now does have AM4 support, but if I don't have an adapter in that kit with 54mm x 90mm holes (in the event that newegg sent me old 100700553 pre-AM4 inventory) then thermaltake will send me that plate - I have to do some measuring, and maybe find an old receipt for the cooler to email to them which is what their web site said - or maybe just a recent receipt for that mounting kit.

    So, this will be a pricey upgrade, like what you were talking about, Kevin - in the $1,000 neighborhood. (But you made the right choice - a fixer house with workshop comes first!!) I already have about $300 in PSUs and PSU testers (which includes an extra $140 850 watt tested Corsair Rmx PSU in bug-proof sealed box, so that I always have a "known good" psu on hand) and with $320 for the 3700x, plus mobo and memory - I hear that AMD really benefits from fast memory, more than Intel, so I won't scrimp in that department - I'm closing in fast on $1000!

    Then with my SSE4.2 taken care of, I'm off to Egypt with AC Origins. :):):)
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2019
  3. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Jeff you were right all along - it was the motherboard. The Corsair AV850 PSU killed the motherboard (.. and also the gpu.)


    I bought used 2013 tech - around $300 for mobo plus cpu

    I chickened out - new tech options were super expensive - Intel's still at 14nm, AMD is at a much nicer 7 nm - but for pure gaming, nothing else, it started to look like Intel might still have a bit of an edge.

    But in the middle of all of this - go AMD? - go Intel - i7-9700? - i9-9900? - memory? - then, I thought "jeeez, I really liked that sabertooth X79 mobo (see 2 images in above post) with two on-board tiny chipset cooling fans - even though it only worked for the one night. LOL (The psu that killed it, the Corsair AV 850, also killed the GTX 680 board as well, believe it or not. The mobo and gpu were bad, but not the cpu.)

    So I went back to eBay and sorted through the sabertooth X79 listings, finding some that included a 6-core 12-thread cpu - and I came upon a combo with the i7-4930k - a hair faster than the 32nm i7-3930k (base 3.4 vs 3.2, boost 3.9 vs 3.8) but most importantly, built on the newer ivy bridge die of 22nm. Same 130 watt TDP, but bound to run cooler with smaller die, right?

    I ordered the $300 combo - I already had the 32 gigs of vram, but I only planned on populating 4 of the 8 Corsair vengeance sticks to allow me to use 2 hsf fans in push-pull (see image above.)

    In testing outside the case, for the first time in a month, I finally got past the red cpu led! Great!!!

    But it wouldn't display to the monitor, unlike image above. Despite the lack of monitor display, it REALLY REALLY appeared to be booting.

    The first gpu port was very loose as per normal with heavy usage, so I put the card in the tighter second port (manual said full 16 pci-e lanes each for 1st and 2nd expansion port) and when the post paused and the board lit up the first port led light - I thought "Well, is it really going to make me use that first port?" - but in just a few seconds that light went off - it found the gpu board in port 2. "Okay, great!"

    But then the Boot device LED lit up and stayed lit, and absolutely nothing appeared on the screen. "What the heck?" After a bit of googling - one forum moderator said "That's normal - the Boot Device LED will stay lit until it finds the boot device, eg the hdd or ssd, and boots into the O/S."

    So I thought, "Okay that's fine, so I can ignore that LED, but where is my screen display?"

    Finally I asked myself, "Wait a minute - is it actually possible that my graphics card also took a hit when that stupid PSU died? You're kidding me, right?"

    This is the big beefy GeForce GTX 680, in the two images above, displaying the UEFI bios the night before all hell broke loose.

    "Well, if the 680 is suddenly no good, I'll go get one that I KNOW FOR SURE is good."

    In mild disbelief, I went to the trailer and grabbed the known-good 8800 gtx, on which I had played the Treyarch COD title, World at War. (There is a lesson here on the value of keeping known-good old components around. If you're wondering, I had the $600 GTX 1070 safely put away until I could determine that it was safe to install it, lol.)

    BLAM!!! - the screen display fired right up!

    Hooray!!!!!!!!!!!
    :p


    Jumping Jehosefat!!!! Seriously, are you kidding me?


    Did I happen to mention before, that I was now SCARED of the damage that a PSU failure can cause? Well, now, I'm shivering in my boots. How about killing off not only the MOTHERBOARD, but also the big beefy EXPENSIVE GRAPHICS CARD!!!!


    On a brand new system, that could easily be $1000 worth of damage.


    Anyway, things began to work. Whew!!


    I am still shell-shocked, but very slowly my confidence is being restored.


    I flashed to the latest bios, and my $10 celeron xeon processor fired right up, and also immediately working was the i7-3930k which was not damaged by the PSU. I had been about to send it to the guy who tried to charge me the 50% restocking fee - good thing he started arguing with me before I shipped his chip back. So now, in the event that the mobo ever acts up, I have two known-good spare cpus I can test it with.

    The i7-4930k (everything is back in the case including the GTX 1070) is at 3.4 ghz - about the same as my 9450 at OC 3.343. The 4930k max boost is 3.9 - it usually stays under 3.4, but running prime it auto-boosts to 3.6. Prime core temps are all just under 50 degrees.

    Other than 6-core and HT, at stock this i7-4930k cpu is only marginally faster than my quad-core - about 8% is all. Raw speed at 3.4 ghz on the single-core mkv-to-avi converter is 577 fps versus 534 on my former 3.343 ghz OC'd 9450. So that's a single-core single-thread test, bump in speed of +8% - no big deal.

    But of course I haven't begun to OC this new chip yet. If I were able to OC it to 4.4, I would hit 700 fps, for a 30% speed bump over the 9450 - instead of low 30s, that might put my game fps in the low 40s. I'm okay with low 30s, but that does mean an occasional lag once in a while in heavy action and explosions.

    I don't want to push the cpu/mobo too much at this point - I don't want to break it before I can resume my gaming - I've been off the games for almost 2 months. But once I gain some confidence and decide to go for higher fps - for example I'll probably start AC Origins now that I have an SSE4.2 processor - OC-wise I have seen people talk about 4.25 as a total no-brainer - others mention 4.6 - and the top ones are at 4.8 to 5.1 but maybe not on air.

    I don't think I'll be moving to water cooling any time soon, unless I just can't get anywhere with an overclock.

    I do have lots of air-flow. I had to mount my two 140mm phantek door fans on the outside - the silver arrow cooler is so tall.

    I'm using kryonaut paste, and with all 11 fans in full motion, my prime so far, as I mentioned, stays under 50 with all cores at 100% load. I know that prime does not truly stress-test the cpu the way some of the others do, but those seemingly low temps are encouraging.

    Those temps, by the way, are probably 10 degrees cooler than if I were running the i7-3930k cpu. I immediately noticed the 10 degree difference from my own brief monitoring, booting to bios without fully installing the silver arrow cooler, the mobo on cardboard outside the case, just testing the i7-3930 chip with the silver arrow sitting on the cpu, metal to metal with no thermal paste, with one hsf fan attached, the bios showed cpu temp of 60 degrees. (See image above showing 27 degrees with fully-mounted hsf, dual-fan, with paste.)

    As soon as I had received the mobo and cpu, I had pulled the i7-4930k cpu chip and wrapped it in bubble-wrap and put it in a safe spot, installing the xeon processor. I flashed the bios (you don't need a cpu for that) to version 4502, so my first motherboard test was with the xeon. I had lost all confidence in good parts and I didn't want to break the new i7-4930k.​

    Only then did I insert the original i7-3930k which sat there at 60 degrees as I mentioned. Then I turned off the PSU, popped in the new i7-4930k that came with the combo, and noticed with surprise a new lower cpu temp of about 50 degrees.

    Also in reading about eighty i7-4930k Amazon reviews from 2018 - (several had bought the chip back in 2014 but were reviewing it in 2018 saying how great it had been for the last 4 years - perhaps Amazon was running a big sale trying to get rid of all the old inventory - prices on the chip right now are $130 used) - one user in particular mentioned that he was running a 4.6 ghz overclock - the same 4.6 ghz overclock that he had run earlier on his i7-3930k. His new temps, under heavy gaming load, were about 70 degrees, whereas before with the i7-3930k, temps had been at about 80.

    According to a new utility that I picked up, HWInfo, which shows distance from Tj max, it looks like the max temp before throttling would be about 95.


    Whoa - get a load of this.

    I just googled "what is TJ max for i7-4930k" and I came across an article, "High temps on 4930." The guy was running 3 GTX 680 cards (same card as in the 2 images above.) His prime numbers were up around 90, but then one guy told him to apply more TIM than normal with a water-block, and now his temps are running 70-76, with Prime 95 going full-blast. He is happy about his 70-76 - so my "under 50" prime 95 temps that I mentioned before, must be REALLY good. ;)

    And I'm on air - yes, air, but LOTS OF air. Rather than 3 GTX 680s, or even my former 2 7950s, I have only one cool-running 1070, and I have 11 full-size fans running full-speed, most at 60-75 cfm, mostly 140mm, three 120mm including one exhaust behind the mobo, and a single 200mm ceiling exhaust, not including the 2 140mm hsf fans, nor of course the 2 tiny 35mm mobo fans, nor the 2 80mm 1070 fans.

    But this is a cool time of year - I should not get cocky about this. :D


    - Rich


    UPDATE: What? 8% faster - that mpg to avi converter doesn't tell the real story. All my gaming frame-rates have doubled!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020
  4. Xplorer4

    Xplorer4 Active member

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    Hey guys looking to replace my msi 7770 GPU on a budget of $50, maybe $75. My main concern is handling 4k video as the pc is mostly used as an htpc. I'm OK with a used card given the budget but if I can get something new that's descent in the price range I'd rather go new. Suggestions?
     
  5. wither 1

    wither 1 Member

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  6. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    A GT1030 would do the trick for you and be a nice little performance jump from the 7770. It'll do hardware CUVID acceleration which includes full HEVC support for 4K. A GT950 will do the trick as well but it's the only 900 series with a 10 series chip on it. The 1030 is generally better.

    https://www.amazon.com/GIGABYTE-GeForce-GV-N1030D5-2GL-Computer-Graphics/dp/B071DY2VJR

    $77 used but I'm sure you can find one cheaper from other brands or on Ebay.

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    Rich, as far as Ryzen goes I have learned a lot about it lately and am buying a 2600X pretty soon from my friend. X470 is the current sweet spot to get a good board, but to run a 3000 series CPU many of them need a BIOS update. Some can update without any CPU at all but some are just screwed without a 2000 or 1000 series CPU. Amazon tends to have more likely chance than Newegg of the boards being newer stock and having updated BIOS.

    Gigabyte's mid-range X470/B450 offerings are actually terrible due to lame VRMs. However MSI's $150 B450 Pro Carbon board is really decently put together and has beefy enough VRMs with beefy enough cooling to handle any of the 8 core Ryzens with ease. It's a great bang for buck board with a lot of good features. Likewise MSI's $170 X470 Pro Carbon has slightly beefed up VRMs, and will handle a 12 core 3900X no problem. It has the same featureset and PCB as the B450 board but X470 has less I/O limitations. It can handle 2 more SATAs and some more PCIe lanes.

    The $200 X470 boards all have super overbuilt VRMs aimed at supporting 16+ core CPUs. If you plan to go high core-count in the future they'd be beneficial, but if you plan to run a 6 or 8 core either of the MSI boards I named are ample. The Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7 is probably the most feature-packed with built in wi-fi but it's the most expensive. My friend bought that and is using it to overclock a 3900X no problem. The ASRock X470 Taichi has the best VRMs and is a little cheaper. Excellent board. The Asus ROG Strix X470-F is the cheapest of the high-end boards, but it still has a full feature-set and very good VRMs. I am looking at the Asus personally.

    As for RAM, Ryzen 1000 and 2000 are picky about RAM. 1000 doesn't like running above 2933Mhz DDR4, and 2000 doesn't like running above 3200MHz DDR4(and even then it needs certified RAM). 3000 is WAY less picky and will gladly run just about any 3600MHz DDR4 kit. After about 3700MHz Ryzen 3000 reaches is limit and will reset its Infinity Fabric multiplier to minimum and start from the bottom again with a consequent drop in speed. So DDR4-3600 is the generally accepted sweet spot for 3000.

    Consensus is, if you want to run a Ryzen 2000 series OR a 3000 on an X470 board, just take a look at the board memory support lists and pick a kit and stick with 3200MHz even if you'll be running a Ryzen 3000. Crucial makes a ton of AMD friendly memory kits.

    X570 opens memory support way up, and X570 in general has turned out to be a pretty good chipset. All of the boards are better built in general and well featured. However, the X570 chipset itself uses a TON of power relative to a regular chipset, and nearly every single X570 board has an active cooling fan. It has the potential to be noisy, and failure means a possible chipset overheat. The only feature it really adds is PCIe 4.0. Right now video cards aren't even close to saturating PCIe 3.0. And even a hardcore power user with multiple NVMe SSDs would have a hard time saturating it. However, some of the newer PCIe 4.0 SSDs are very fast, and there it can make some difference. However, PCIe 4.0 was very late to market, and PCIe 5.0 is already nearing completion. The Ryzen 4000 series and its chipset will be the last hurrah for AM4, after which AMD intends to move to Am5. 4000 will be a process refinement and clockspeed boost of Ryzen 3000. Zen, Zen+, Zen 2, Zen 2+(maybe it'll be Zen 3 idk but that's the general idea.)

    The conclusion to this? X470 is just much better than X370 in every way. X570 doesn't add much that's useful while having potential drawbacks. It's also using technology that will be superseded soon anyway. So you might as well get x470 and just skip x570 altogether. If you're very patient, you can get a Ryzen 4000 series CPU and its according chipset, and ride AM4 into the dirt. However, there's no reason that X470 couldn't couldn't run Ryzen 4000 with a BIOS update. Why not get a solid X470 board now with a cheap 2000 series and slap a newer CPU in later?

    That's kinda the path I intend to take. X470, with some certified DDR4-3200, a 2600X, and just sit and wait for Ryzen 4000 to happen and skip 3000 entirely.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    Also, my good old Corsair HX750 finally started to die on me. 3.3v drooping all the time, 12v drooping hard under load. Not good at all. Poor thing was what, 5 years old now? It's pretty old and has been on nearly 24/7 for its entire lifetime.

    Was able to trade with a Facebook friend for a new PSU though. My old Creative ZxR sound card complete-in-box for an Evga SuperNova 1300G2. He bought a batch of 6 of them on ebay for $45 a piece so he was happy to part with it.

    Brand new. Retail box with manual, and vinyl bag with a full set of cables. My friend really came through!!! Screw holes had never had a screw driven in them, and the plastic still hadn't been peeled. $300 PSU new really well built with a 10 year warranty and lots of reviews showing excellent performance across the board. Voltages are rock solid stable. 1300W is total overkill but I can't complain :) I got an expensive but necessary replacement out of the way without spending a cent. And I must say I got quite a bargain while getting a massive upgrade in ability.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
  7. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Nice job of horse-trading!!

    Hey Jeff, that's amazing that you stay on top of your PSU's voltage output.

    What do you use for your hardware monitoring? I picked up and installed a tool, HWInfo, that looks like it can monitor EVERYTHING, including what you were just referring to - PSU voltages. I like it for one thing because it shows the two little sabertooth X79 fans, one running at 3000, the other at 4000 rpm. I want to make sure those fans don't die.

    Since I picked up the $300 combo deal at eBay - sabertooth X79 and i7-4930k - I think I'm set for at least two years - maybe even without overclocking. I'll see how AC Origins and AC Odyssey run when I finally get them - right now my framerates on Arma 3, Far Cry 3 (just played a little as a test) Far Cry 5, and Far Cry New Dawn, have almost doubled.

    @Xplorer4-

    Oh, by the way, on the htpc, I do have one tv that is 4k, and I did play the Eddie Redmayne video, Strange Creatures - the second one that just came out, in 4k on a 50 foot hdmi boosted cable from my htpc. I have bought several sapphire 6450 1 gig fan-less $40 cards with hdmi, dvi, and vga for the last 6 years. I see them now on Amazon brand new for $45.

    I am typing on one right now, using dvi to a small dell 20" monitor - using dvi because I think the colors are better than with vga. The sunroom has one and I run two monitors, the desktop dell 20" with dvi, and the 4k big screen tv 50 feet away on hdmi. (I did run a $60 hdmi un-boosted cable, but when it stopped working, I bought the $80 boosted cable - the non-working turned out to be a windows 7 glitch where it had gotten rid of my extended desktop suddenly - that was the whole problem.) The kitchen htpc has another 6450 with hdmi to the big screen. I don't know what hz frequency the 6450 offers.

    -Rich

    UPDATE:

    AC ORIGINS
    Origins looks absolutely fabulous at 2560x1600 - very detailed - graphics are awesome. I have all settings fully maxed - I'm getting 41 fps which is completely fluid for me (I can work with low 30s.) I have it at nightmare, but I can change it all the way to easy if I want to - which I have done a couple of times - I totally suck at close-in combat - they want me to put space bar for dodge - and use alt for climb. But I can't find the alt key - so I have alt for dodge, so I rarely dodge. LOL I am too much into using space key for climbing, and since my combat strategy is mostly arrows, I am always climbing out of dangerous situations.

    RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2
    I did download Red Dead Redemption 2, and without messing with the Advanced settings, I am mostly at ultra, with framerates around 25 fps - I just played an hour to test it out a month ago - so it looks like that title is the new Crysis of hardware-challenging games. The gameplay did not lag or stutter - I was in the snow and I had to shotgun a few wolves - no problem. In the game benchmark, the snow sections were where my frames were the lowest. So I think I'll be able to play that game when I get to it in about a year.

    Ahead of it are AC Origins, AC Odyssey, and Rage 2.

    RAGE 2 - NIGHTMARE VS ULTRA-NIGHTMARE
    I started Rage 2 at "beyond nightmare" and I did get past the mutant early section in the sewers of the first outpost freeing up the turbine generator. But it was really tough - the ultra nightmare adds about 30% more life to enemies.

    Unlike Origins, you can't change difficulty once you get started, so I restarted in regular nightmare, as the girl - I didn't quite like the guy's voice acting - instead of ultra nightmare, and the mutant part was quite a bit easier. (For example, the giant mutant with the rocket launcher only took 4 assault rifle clips to his head, instead of 5 1/2.) But the farm challenge - "can you clear up the infestation at the farm?" took 5 attempts spread over two days, before I surprised myself by succeeding.

    I had all but given up, thinking I would come back when I was more advanced, with more health, more ways to kill, etc. There were a few holdouts tossing grenades who always wiped me out. And I DO have the auto-defib feature, which lets me come back from death. But I finally recalled from Rage 1, that you should not take any major chances until your defib is fully charged.

    At the very end of the last final attempt, I shotgunned the one holdout, only to have another appear and kill me. I defibbed with only 15% health, and hopped the fence to get away. I had used up my 4 health packs, and I had no crafting materials to make more (now I carry enough crafting materials to make 9 more.) But I had finally realized that I had to close out this "farm" with some close-in encounters - which would put me too close for them to start tossing grenades at me. So I went back and in and shotgunned the last enemy - thankfully the 6 shotgun shells before reload were enough - but I did have a full handgun ready on the quickchange key if I needed it - my assault rifle was empty.

    I had softened up the "farm" using their own tank, blasting everybody I could see. I planned to also use my car, with Gatling guns, but I looked around and it was gone. It drove itself back to the outpost. Then when I couldn't see any more enemies to blast with the tank, using the double space-bar jump talent from another capsule, I was able to climb the hill directly opposite the entrance, and use my assault rifle to kill all the other ones who were visible. My assault rifle had a bit more range than the handguns they were using. Suddenly, just when I ran out of bullets, the game said "good job clearing up the farm" so I think I did have the accomplishment, but as soon as it said that - I saw one more guy down below too close to the fence for me to get to on the hill. And besides him, as I mentioned, then there turned out to be two more hidden holdouts.

    Then at the very very end, as I needed all the money I could get my hands on, I went around nervously with my head on a swivel, fearfully looking for the 6 treasure chests, wondering if any more idiots were going to materialize to blow me away with my 15% health and no re-charged auto defib gimmick.

    Nope. Everybody was really dead. Whew! :p
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2020

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