Hardware Geeking

Discussion in 'tech' started by Kita, 29 Apr 2015.

  1. Kita

    Kita Should Update Title

    Just because I get all absorbed in this shit once I start. Anywho, I am slamming the processor on my hand-me-down laptop, so I looked into upgrade possibilities. Getting more than an extra gig of DDR2 laptop ram at this point will cost me about $75 for each two gigs extra (price for a single 4gb stick). Sooo... the 3Gb in it is *fine*, but my processor is just sobbing. I can max it out to the best the mobo will support for $35, and am waiting on it from ebay. This chip retailed for almost $500 in 2009. Yeowch.

    Farting around, realized I also am slamming the PC at school. Seriously? I am barely touching it, one pdf and a dozen web pages, nothing else. Looked it up... it's about on par with what's on my laptop, and only 2gb of RAM. :|

    Charts are awesome; From left to right, Processor in school computer, current laptop processor, new laptop processor. http://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare.php?cmp[]=908&cmp[]=1144&cmp[]=1013

    I also am putting in a new battery (it's stone cold dead), a 9 cell upgrade from a 6 cell. New harddrive, but wanted to save money, so it's a platter. Current is a stuffed-to-the-gills 5400rpm 120GB platter, replacing with a 7200rpm 500gb Hitachi travelstar. Getting a cooling mat, though after prying off the heat sink and pulling out this super dense, not even exaggerating, 1 inch thick chunk of dust blocking the fan opening to the heatsink gills, I don't think it is as necessary. New chip should run MUCH cooler anyways, since it won't be slammed just running Vista and 5 tabs.

    I will follow some used RAM on ebay and see where the prices go. If I am not seeing any used 4gb sticks going for less than around $30, I will just settle on spending $12 or so on a new stick of 2gb to bring my total from 3gb to 4gb.

    Not sure what else I can do. There was a better version of the laptop's IGP that had an AMD, significantly better than the intel, in fact, but it was much rarer. Would have to get a new mobo to get it, and of course, the AMD version of the mobo is like $130, versus the intel ones practically being given away at around $40. Sell the Intel board, plus it's heatsink (maybe $5 for that), and still will be out over $100, since I also need to find the even rarer AMD heatsink.

    Oh, I also was given a copy of windows 8. Will become Windows 10 next year after they iron out the first year wrinkles.

    So, for less than $100, I have a pretty solid workhorse computer that should last another 4-5 years, I think. The RAM limitations concern me, and I accept the fact that 720p HD and some little indie games are all I am getting out of graphics. But for a workhorse computer I just need for secure browsing and running all tools, diagnostics, and programs, it should be solid.

    I *really* like having a trusted system with me when I work, by the way. I have NO CLUE what is on other systems, and only really trust my own. I don't think I am paranoid as much as I am a tech who is very aware of reality. I like having a full system working so I can run all programs, instead of being limited by a tablet or netbook. I multitask enough that I would want the laptop more than anything else, and my big 'ol phablet phone fills the in-between just fine. I have actually used the DVD drive plenty of times, and it alone is enough reason to keep a full laptop in my work bag. Also, my old Pis use regular SD cards, not micro. Don't need an adapter, it has a reader built in. That has seen tons of use too.

    I got on a side tangent too, of course, and made another chart... From left to right; My current PC CPU, the current best AMD offering, and the best Intel offering in that same price range (it is surrounded by only Xeons and VERY expensive i7s on the benchmark charts.) http://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare.php?cmp[]=390&cmp[]=2014&cmp[]=2340

    As you can see, I need to upgrade my desktop soon, especially since my new R9 graphics card can take advantage of excavator when it is released. My current chip won't take advantage of it's extra features, and vice-versa. I am waiting on Excavator, of course. Few more months until it is released, and directX 12 isn't due until Q4. So, this time next year, I think will be perfect (and hopefully I will be knee-deep in an awesome tech job too so I can afford it... *fingers crossed*). Great sales on the chips by then, plus some more ironed-out versions will be available. And the new APIs will be in full swing. w00t! I want to build up a nice budget gaming rig for my best friend, and my current chip and mobo, plus my still-quite-capable Radeon 6750 the R9 replaced should make some great donor parts. She will only need to pitch in about $300 to get the other parts, and she will have a sweet gaming rig that will blow her integrated graphics laptop out of the water! I'll find her a purple case too, and probably some purple lights as well. There will be squee, and lots of it. :) I love building custom gaming rigs for people :p

    Oh, final side note... I saw this while looking up the new AMD goodies. WTF?? Sounds like integrated DRM on mobile devices is coming to ARM with the new Excavator mobile line of chips?!

    Is this something soon-to-be-seen on desktop too?? AHHHH! Come on, AMD... I thought you guys were better than this... grrrr...
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  2. Kita

    Kita Should Update Title


    My harddrive order was canceled 3 days after it was due to arrive. :| That shit pisses me off, so I began poking around for another deal. The price got increased on me already, and now is going up again. Not worth $50.

    In the process of poking around, I found some sweet deals on laptops under $200. I have the choice of a Dell, HP, or Toshiba, all with identical specs except the HP *may* have a 258mb version of the GPU (no details in the specs) and Lenovo definitely has only the 258mb version (only one it came with). Dell, if it has the AMD chip like the others, only came with the 512mb version. Also it *could* be the super shitty integrated intel HD graphics without the discrete chip upgrade, but it sounds like spec samples didn't have it on any models, so I don't think that is what they have. Double checking with the reseller just in case.. Here is the Dell:


    Also to note, DDR3 memory, which means maxing out suddenly got cheap. 1333 is the highest speed supported for the socket type, and only 1066 for the processor in it.
    They also have an i5 320m. Older first gen, but still lots of nice upgrades available to max it out, even quad cores! Need to check to make sure the mobo will support a quad, of course. Since it clocks in a bit higher than the t9800 I ordered-- the best core 2 my current laptop supports-- I wouldn't imagine it would need the i7 quad upgrade for a few years anyways.
    The 7200RPM 250gb platter 'upgrade' (really, just a usable minimum) already installed.
    And digital outputs. The only other slight difference in models here. All have HDMI, and the HP and Dell both have display ports. Heck, they both even have options for an RJ-11 in addition to the RJ-45... whaaaa??? Haven't seen that for years on anything except an old Lenovo or Toshiba WinXP workhorse. Clearly they were made for traveling business people who may be stuck with T-lines or ,*gasp*, dial-up, in the boonies. Also; firewire, possibility of a better express card (never used one anyways, dont care either way), and a USB/eSata combo port.
    The HP *may* have lightscribe or even a blu-ray!
    Gigabit adapters with bluetooth all around (current is only 10/100)
    Win7 home premium (meh on home). Can still slap the 8.1 on there (full version) and save the Win7 key for a rainy day.
    All other differences are slight manufacturer standard equipment ones. HP has the better screens, higher resolution than the others. But in my experience shittier trackpads. I hate HP trackpads. Haven't played too much with Lenovos, but I think they have those low-profile silent keyboards-- I find them harder to type on. I find Dells pleasantly consistent-- not the best, but I know what I am getting and am used to them more than any others. I troubleshoot them easier than others too, just because I have worked with them more and the problems are pretty consistent. They do have some pretty shitty and woefully underpowered models out there in order to meet super low pricepoints... so one does need to shop carefully. There is a point where a refurb last gen is a much better choice than a pathetic new model, and Dell always has plenty of models available across that spectrum.

    Only downside is a smaller screen; would go down to 14.1" from 15.1". I think the 15" size is just right.

    $165 for any of them, refurbished. Not recerts, but from a refurb warehouse with a 1 year warranty claim. Reviews seem good other than things being in rougher shape than expected. They are vague in that area and no pictures, so I asked about the important stuff (screen and keyboard).

    Should I just eat the $45 I already spent, screw the hard drive, and get something a couple more years recent? Or, just get a refurb hard drive for $25, ride it out, toss this thing when the refurb harddrive fails in 2 years, and get something better?

  3. Lain

    Lain End of line. #resist

    Ordered a new extended life battery and an AC adapter for my mini-110. I love that little computer.

    Its not super powerful, but is handy for light jobs and cli work. And its been running since 2009. Sometimes you get a good HP product. Its powering Linux quite nicely.

    I've replaced the HDD early two years in with a good WD. And the AC adapter/battery twice now.
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  4. Kita

    Kita Should Update Title

    I need an adapter too, actually.

    Waiting for complete failure before I make that purchase, however. A decent one will be $25, the chinese ones for $10 are getting shit reviews. This old laptop pulls more juice than current ones, so it needs a decent power supply that won't light the room on fire from brick heat or just plain fail early from the stress.

    Still considering replacing the laptop altogether with something more current gen, then maxing out the DDR3 RAM when they start to phase it out and I have a few golden months to get it dirt cheap. DDR3 is still pretty cheap now, but it will get cheaper. DDR2 will only get more expensive and harder to find, so I am stuck with the RAM unless I get a donation. It isn't worth the upgrade price. Everything else was pretty cheap, however. The only surprise was the price of smaller 2.5" harddrives running at 7200rpm. I expected anything at 320gb or less in platter to be dirt cheap, like $30 or less, since 1tb is like 80 bucks and a good sized SSD can be had for less than $200. Not so. I went with the 500gb because it was only a few bucks more than a 320 or 250. The dirt cheap drives were 120gb or less, which wouldn't be big enough.

    I got the cheapest cooling mat on Amazon. It is a Coolermaster X-slim something something. $15, very straightforward but clever and solid design. A giant 250mm fan in the middle, top is a metal mesh, bottom is plastic, the whole thing is about the size of a slim profile 15" laptop. Plugs into the USB, and has a passthrough so you don't lose the slot. Even has a cute little holding spot for the USB on the bottom, and the routing clips for the cord are on both sides of the pad, so you can plug it into whichever side you want. Extra USB storage in the unused cord storage slot, which is nifty! Makes it easier to pack up and find that stick you were just using. :) Little flip out feet on the bottom keep it slightly elevated, and it is keeping my laptop super cool! As an experiment, I left the laptop on the pad sitting *gasp* on top of the bed. Cool as a cucumber still an hour later, pad only slightly warm. Awesome! Can't imagine needing anything more in a cooling pad. Simple, lightweight, works very well. I have used lots of coolermaster case fans, and they always work great! The longer life spans you expect for name brand, and competitive in efficiency and cooling power. Prices not bad. Not always my top choice, but a good sale with positive reviews, and I won't hesitate in grabbing one. Avoid their power supplies though... ewww. Their high end ones have gotten buzz in the last few years, but the rest still have a horrible track record, and I have seen them fail just about as quickly as a generic one.
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  5. Lain

    Lain End of line. #resist

    Fucking Amazon.

    They sent the wrong battery, it's for a Compaq 400 series. And the AC Adapter threw sparks when I plugged it into the wall. I need to learn how to rebuild the packs myself, I guess. How ridiculous.

    Good times.
  6. Kita

    Kita Should Update Title

    The problems keep piling up....

    Looks like a bad dvd drive, so I cant install windows. Will be a week until replacement arrives...
    • Hug Hug x 1
  7. Kita

    Kita Should Update Title

    Ran diagnostics multiple times, and the optical drive only failed sometimes. The Windows install disk would either not load at all, or load partially. So I knew the laser was *failing* but not cold dead yet.

    After probably over 30 reboots and attempts, I got the install disk to read through the install, got Windows 8 installed. I ordered a used drive for $10 to replace it either way, and will put the new drive through it's paces burning some CDs I was asked to burn. If it burns out, I will get a refund and spend $25 on a new one. We *barely* used the optical drive on this laptop over the years (so much so, Mulch insisted one was not even needed on a work rig. I like to have one for 'just in cases' as a tech who might need some legacy or difficult computer compatibility-- ie, old junk that doesn't have USB boot options, which I have seen), so I am very wary about the reliability of these things and want to stress it before I settle on keeping it.

    Didn't play with the new install much yet, just getting all the updates installed. First impression is that it is snappier and more responsive, and none of the Dell bloat since it was a clean disk install! Vista was doing some strange stuff to the processor. The old chip with Vista would average around 60% usage, and would get slammed to the wall with 100% when I multitasked. The new chip with Vista was idling at a much more reasonable <20%, but would still spike like a mofo with multitasking, still hitting the ceiling, but would drop straight back down (instead of sticking to the ceiling like the old one). With about 2 hours of playing with 8, I have yet to see this behavior. Clean install, it was only using about 6-8%, but I imagine that will go up as I add stuff and open up chrome with tons of tabs. I will do my best to keep Dell junk off, but it will be trial and error since they tie it to some of their drivers. Stripping drivers out of bloatware is never fun, but since this system is so bare bones, it looks to be minimal. I might go straight to Intel for graphics drivers, as Dell's straight drivers don't want to install (maybe a win8 compatibility problem), and I don't want to put their bloatware suite on just to strip the one driver out.

    500GB drive is soooo nice... I hate having to scrutinize every gig and shuffle stuff. I got an external hot-swappable USB 3.0/ Sata 6.0/ 4TB max hard drive enclosure, so I am going to use it to pull everything off the old drive. It was $25, will be useful for tons of other stuff, and cost significantly less than getting a thumb drive or SD card that could hold everything I wanted to save while wiping the old drive. That plus the harddrive cost as much as a fatty USB stick or SD card would have cost, and I ended up with a versatile toy and a decent sized hard drive that I don't have to shuffle any more... so I think it was the better choice. I am sure I will REALLY love it when the time comes that SSD is cheap enough to get rid of all my platters, and I will have 4+ platters to condense, all 1TB or less. I can't imagine having to pull from larger than a 4TB before the USB 3.0 and SATA 6.0 become obsolete, and it will help with transfers when the time comes that SATA is legacy anyways :) Cool geeky hardware toys! YAY!!

    Oh, the new hard drive is SATA 6.0 too, so I can toss it into a newer laptop with the faster speed whenever I upgrade and be good to go :) Hitachi brand, so I am expecting a nice long life. The old one was a Seagate, and has been running just fine for 7 years now... so what do I know? I have had bad luck with Seagate, lost more of them than any others. Have lost a couple less western digitals... I don't seem to have as good of luck with them as others have, but it was a while ago that I lost the last one *knocks on wood*, so there might be some shaky manufacturing history involved.

    I am pretty sure my most recent big loss was an old WD, my old external backup, back from before consumer cloud backups were affordable or common. It's a project one day to try and recover stuff with some hardcore software, and will be easier with this new external enclosure that can also clone. It was mostly media, since the important stuff I had triplicates of, but is a pain to re-rip all 100+ cds.

    I cannot recall if I lost one Hitachi in my old gaming pc, or if that was the replacement. Whichever drive that one was definitely was my biggest loss. It was from before I backed up, before I knew much about computers and still had them built and repaired for me. If the Hitachi was the replacement, that drive is an IDEE given to me as a USED warranty replacement that still works just fine, but is too small and the location of the IDE cable in my case was too much of a pain in the ass to work around to be worth adding it, so data was pulled and it retired in the spare parts bin. That particular drive came to me complete with previous owner's data still on it :| Last time I had that guy fix my computer. Oh, and he was drunk every time I went in to his shop to get status updates, since he had my computer for a month to recover my data from the single 160GB failing drive, (which he failed to do, and I theorize, even attempt), and slapped in a couple smaller 80GB drives from someone else's computer after the fourth time I went by so I would stop pestering him. I waited an hour as he 'finished up' when I came by the day he said he would finally have it ready, and he looked startled to see me. I think by 'finished up' he meant 'actually worked on it for the first time in 4 weeks since he was too drunk to remember to get anything done'. Or, he just didn't care about me since I was getting a warranty replacement and not giving him money to do stuffs like his corporate clients-- which, despite his lack of sobriety, I know he had since one of them foolishly recommended him to me. One drive had a copy of XP that wasn't mine and a different version-- even though my code was clearly on the back of the case for him to use (did I also mention that HE BUILT THE FUCKING THING AND SHOULD HAVE KNOWN ANYWAYS??)-- and the second was the aforementioned drive with someone else's data. One of them still works (pretty sure it was the secondary one, not the primary with XP, since it would have gotten significantly less hours on it that the one with the OS). I will pull it out one day and check who it was to add to my internal count of drive reliability.

    Anywho, for this build I spent a bit more money to get something NOT SEAGATE or generic, as well as brad new, and am hoping for a long an illustrious life for this new drive.... errr... or something....

    I didn't stick a bootloader on before windows... might have wanted to... but meh. Maybe I will do it on the small drive after the wipe or make a live disk/ stick. Could maybe get a cheap little portable enclosure for the spare drive too and use it as a giant portable dedicated linux drive. Too many hoops to make other OSes work nice with Microsoft, and I really need to learn 8 for work anyways.

    I put 8 on my resume even though I have barely used it. Most of what I did in the 2 hours of farting around looked new (but it is also 8.0, need to catch up updates to get 8.1-- I have used more 8.1 than anything). Then again, I also put Mac OSX on my resume, and I haven't touched most of the versions I have mentioned, and barely touched the rest. I also list all phone OSes, despite the vast diversity and the fact all I *really* know how to use is is Verizon's versions of Gingerbread through Kit-Kat (what I have used on my phones), and have barely touched a few iphones since their release. It's self explanatory, I just need to make HR and hiring staff happy... I quietly snicker to myself when someone sounds impressed by, not the list of tech knowledge and hardware skills that goes over their head, but the fact I know ALL THE GUI OS, and ALL THE MOBILES... and have even used 'the Linuxes' (which I removed flavor names of, by the way, to save space and allude to knowing more command line than I actually do if it gets past HR...) Anywho, non techies are totally impressed by all the OS knowledge. LOL. Whatever gets my foot wedged in the door, I have stopped being 100% truthful and accurate on my resume. That hasn't worked for me, and enough neanderthals are doing what I am trying to do that I know everyone is being loose about knowledge to just make hiring staff happy and are still doing fine... I honestly do feel guilty and bad about it, but I need a job, dammit! I would rather risk squirming a bit for a rough first few months on the job than pull my hair out bored and unemployed...
    • Hug Hug x 1
  8. Kita

    Kita Should Update Title

    Different direction this time!

    I am looking for upgrade options for the ancient but barely used Alienware I picked up for my best friend. Good news is the mobo is a great Asus one, and with a new BIOS will happily accept AM3 CPUs on the AM2 specced board. So, I have been trying to get the most bang for her as I can on the cheap, and realized that AM3 socket CPUs have held their value quite well. All of them are still rated as "High End" or "Mid High End" CPUs on CPUBenchmark for their passmark scores.

    However, we know the gaming world. Must be on top of the top stack. I was looking at getting the best X4, which will clock in with a passmark just below my X6; in the 4k range depending on the one I nab. Once again, we are still looking at shy of $100 (used, over $100 for new) because it is no secret they are great budget gaming CPUs, even if they are well past end of life. Getting the price lower gets us CPUs that will miss the mark of games released in the last 3 years or so, as midrange to high end end X4 is basically the line for AMD. The X6 series is the last and most powerful of the AM3 line, and the board will NOT support AM3+, so options are limited to X6 and X4 if this computer is to be used with any games released in the last 5 years or so.

    So, what is my solution? If I have to spend around $100 for a decent CPU for her, make the most of it! Phenom II X6s still sell on ebay for around $100, so that is about the most I could get for her performance-wise for the price. However, I can buy a brand spanking new socket AM3+ FX-8370 for myself for around $150... or I can save a few bucks by getting the only marginally less powerful 8350 :D

    I was planning on getting a new CPU setup and mobo soon anyways, but honestly, I have really sweet DDR3, and lots of it, and really feel no need to get rid of it and replace it with DDR4. I don't *need* to get a DDR4 board, but I always get a maxed out mobo cause they are a bitch to replace and should always be loaded with the latest tech to max out upgradablity. That is why I can use the newer AM3+ on my mobo even though it is specced for socket AM3 ;)

    My Phenom II X6 is being knocked out of acceptable CPU range with the latest games coming out, (but has played everything up to this point on ultra settings as permitted by GPU) which she won't mind but will be a problem for me.* She isn't insistent on ultra settings like me and my epeen fan-girl self. :p (hey, sitting 4 feet from a 42" HD TV shows ALL the flaws... :D) Anyways, she should get plenty more life out of my noble X6, years of it, while I would just toss it into a dumb media server or something that would see very little use. My board, as I said, also has plenty of life left in it and has not let me down yet. Doesn't need replacement unless I want a new socket. The Asus board in her Alienware makes me a bit sad, as it is DDR2 standard... but I don't think she will mind or notice. She has been gaming on a laptop, probably with no more than 4GB of RAM. If I stick 8GB in there, she will be just happy as a clam. She doesn't use nearly the amount of RAM that my ADD does, nor does she need the memory speed my ADHD does. So I think I can get lots of life out of that 8+ year old Asus gaming board in there once it is spruced up a bit.

    So, despite socket AM3 and AM3+ being old tech, I think this is the best way to go about it. The $140 will give us both systems to make us squee, plus maybe $50 for a pair of 4GB dual channel gaming RAM for her. As I mentioned before, I will give her my old HD6950 graphics card (I think it is the 2GB version, not positive), plus keep the GTS 250 in there as a dedicated PhysX card for pretty effects :D This rig will get her many years of gaming pleasure, as the new APIs are meant to make the most out of less extreme systems, and she doesn't typically even play latest/ greatest/ most resources intense games until years later anyways. The "Big" game she wants to play is a copy of Batman Arkham Asylum I gave her a couple years ago. It is a four year old game... and this system I am building her will play it on ultra settings and blow her away. :)

    So for her, she will have:

    Asus M3a32-MVP Deluxe Motherboard
    AMD Phenom II X6 1055T, 2.8Ghz (I currently run it rock solid stable OC around 3.4Ghz, and will do a more modest one for her since she will get my stock heatsink and not my nice one)
    8GB DDR2 gaming RAM of whatever I can still find
    AMD HD6950, 2GB, reference model (can be unlocked to 6970)
    320?GB HDD (no idea the speed, I imagine 7200RPM.)
    Lightscribe DVD burner (she'll get a kick out of that one too. :))
    Windows 8.1 Pro, 64 bit
    Adobe Creative Suite CS3 (I scraped a legit code off the system for that... SCORE. She will totally use it too :))
    Alienware Aurora, gen 1, full tower case with custom lighting
    24" Asus 1080p monitor
    Power supply? (I will double check it, but it is unmarked and I frankly have no idea how to find out what it is. It should deal with the extra ~150w for the graphics, the CPU TDP is the same, but I will double check, of course. I know how Dell can be about *just* enough on those things... I might have to nix the GTS 250, which is using something stupid like 225W)

    Oh, and there is a little tool for changing the LED colors on the huge custom case and setting up responsive patterns (THAT, folks, is where the extra money goes over a regular Dell with the same internals). I will install the utility and make it different shades of purple (her favorite) cycling through to the blues and back again. There will be deafening squeeing, I know it :). I'll see about scoring the other 24" HD Asus monitor too, so I can keep one for myself, because I don't think she has a monitor. If I split the difference for the CPU and add in the monitor, was are talking a mid range gaming Alienware for $190, plus the labor of pimping it out. :)

    My personal system will be:

    Asus M4A89TD Pro/ USB3.0 (I think that's right. It's damn close if not)
    AMD FX-8370 or FX-8350 CPU with an aftermarket all-copper heatsink
    AMD Radeon 290x graphics with a GTS 250 dedicated PhysX card
    16GB of DDR3, OC'ed to 1600 at a CL of 7! (not supposed to be able to do that... I do. It's a discontinued spec because it is so fast, no one uses it. 7-8-7 24 timing, if I remember correctly. Used to run at 7-7-7 24, but the second pair couldn't deal with that setting and the previous pair was discontinued. Had to lower the speed a hair and bump the voltage a hair, a hair higher than I would like but it has been solid. Super special RAM on a good mobo)
    OCZ ZX-1250 gold certified 1250w power supply
    a smattering of HDD space, maybe a total of 3TB or so
    128GB SSD (forgot what kind, sorry)
    Windows 7, 64 bit, pro
    Blu-ray burner
    Lightscribe DVD burner
    card reader
    Customized mid-case with clear side, extra upgraded fans, and blacklights and MONKEYS!! OoooOOoooo...**
    42" 1080p vizio TV
    24" forgot-the-brand HD monitor
    24" Asus HD monitor
    Logitech G13 gaming pad
    Logitech G700? wireless mouse
    Logitech $10 special generic keyboard :p
    Sound: some awesome DAC and amp box I forgot the name of that is custom handmade, connected to AKG Q701 reference headphones via digital optical (I think I couldn't get the USB drivers to work) from PC. Had an eargasm when I heard the difference! Might invest in a sound card next, so I can play with proprietary surround, as these headphones apparently sound amazing with a good surround filter on. The built in surround on my mobo sounds like shit. New headphones are next on the list, I should have sprang for the next step up when I bought these. The DAC is so good, it hits the limits and flaws of the headphones. Whoops. Still a HUGE upgrade from the cheapo Sony reference ones everyone says to use that I had. And, yes, there IS a difference. Mulch didn't believe me, and I made him listen to the difference. It was pretty effin obvious there is a difference when you hear them.

    Last time I ran the experience index, I believe the CPU was the bottleneck. I think the SSD will be the bottleneck after this upgrade, as it wasn't one of the super speed ones, just an average reliable one.

    All of this pointless hardware geeking is because I want to get my gaming computer out of storage and play with it instead of just bragging about it... *whines*.... my baby, pride and joy... :p

    *BTW, I HATE you Ubi, HATEHATEHATE... but dammit... Assassin's Creed... STEAMPUNK Assassin's Creed.... and I totally called that one last year, by the way. I got weird looks from the group of gamers I proposed it to, and they insisted that because there is no such thing as steampunk, the history-loving assassins creed wouldn't use the otherwise totally boring proper-Jane-Austin-Hoop-Skirted Victorian Era. OH RIGHT, because, there were TOTALLY people running around with assassinating wrist blades during the dark ages, just like there is a machine to travel back through your own bloodline into history and relive what your ancestors did. PFFFFTTTT. Victorian is an obvious choice in the pool of 'a time in history when cool shit was happening in White People history'. The industrial revolution was REALLY exciting, lots of stuff happening! HUGE changes in EVERYTHING about society, structure, technology, and the world at large. Their only other options are to go somewhere NOT Europe, which is hard for the French to find interesting. Hey, they did a French and European COLONIES in III and IV... close enough, right?? :p There is also some bullshit sidescroller that brushes quickly across Asia with vague and uninspired characters. I heard it really sucked. What a waste, Ubi. I still hate you, even though you pandered to me with steampunk. DAMN YOU.

    **It stays VERY cool, despite how much I crammed in there, due to smart case design. I know a few people with liquid (obviously poorly implemented) who run hotter than me. I also stuck a harddrive cage fan in there, which has been a HUGE help. I don't put the harddrives there, by the way, they sit in front of the fan that is too low in the case to cool effectively. Since the harddrives are inches from it, the fan is now very useful and harddrives have zero problems. The setup gives me two intakes in the front (unobstructed cage fan, and the obstructed case fan cooling the harddrive stack). The CPU heatsink is 90 degrees on the processor instead of parallel, so the fresh air goes straight to the CPU cooler, then is pulled out the back with a powerful exhaust and with the help of the big CPU fan. The effect is of a super efficient windtunnel right through the middle of the case that the CPU sits in the middle of. There is one fan on the side door as well, and it sits directly in front of the GPU, pulling all the heat right off and out of the case. The new GTS card running as hot as it does I am sure will increase the case temps, but I have plenty of headroom, and it will sit low in the case and perhaps catch some of the low fan draft.
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Lain

    Lain End of line. #resist

    First Impressions: Asus T100TA Transformer book


    Technical Details

    Screen Size 10.1 inches
    Screen Resolution 1366 x 768
    Processor 1.33 GHz Intel Atom
    Memory Speed 1600 MHz
    Hard Drive 64 GB flash_memory_solid_state
    Wireless Type 802.11 a/g/n
    Number of USB 2.0 Ports 1
    Number of USB 3.0 Ports 1
    Average Battery Life (in hours) 11 hours

    Nice replacement for my HP Mini 110, which I loved. I ordered a new AC brick for it so all is not lost there.

    As a netbook it serves the purpose. Smaller than my Mini, lighter and it charges with a USB brick (like everything else). Screen is crisp and the touch is responsive. I haven't drawn on it yet.

    Web surfing is satisfactory and the little guy keeps up with my multitasking. Hasn't bitched out on me yet but the update process was horrendously long at 16 hours and about a dozen reboots.

    As a tablet, it's growing on me. I'm not letting go of my droids, but the screen is great for books and videos otg.

    Biggest issue so far is the minimal storage space. With a 64gb SSD, there is about 34 left after Doze is up and running with all the updates applied and office installed.

    I'm adapting to using external storage more, and slapped a 32gb SD in it for extra carry-on storage.

    It has OTG support so with a cable or OTG hub you can use USB peripherals on the mini USB (gamepad + tablet = woot!).

    The games in the Windows app store, for the most part, suck. With few exceptions, everything is way overpriced.

    But that's OK, it runs Windows. So games are a plenty. Already installed PvZ and an NES emu. ;)

    I might try to get South Park: Stick of Truth running, will let you know how that goes.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Mulch

    Mulch Why does the drum come hither?

    gonna need a real gpu for southpark

    my laptop barely meets its requirements with intel hd3000

    not sure that is going to work
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Lain

    Lain End of line. #resist

    Happy to report that it runs quite nicely at 1368x768. :)
    • Like Like x 2
  12. Kita

    Kita Should Update Title

    I have been super busy but need to get on this project. I am trying to trace back through my notes (this thread helps) since it was months ago. I will pour over this more later.

    I do not believe my Mobo will support the 9XXX AM3+ chips. I can look it up later to confirm, but I think it is a waste of time since so few mobos support the 220w TDP. So, the 8350/ 8370 will go into my system, and my old, dear X6 5600t will go into my friend's computer. I will upgrade to Intel in the next couple of years unless AMD does something outstanding by then, which I am not sure they will.

    The difference between 8350/ 8370 is so minor, it isn't worth more than maybe $20 difference. The 8370 can be pushed a bit more, but they are identical chips. The 8370 is just a better bin, and you pay for that guarantee.

    I will come back to this later, I am stupid busy lately.
  13. Kita

    Kita Should Update Title


    That is the one I want. The 'E' series are clocked lower in order to reduce TDP. More efficient, but this is for a gaming computer. Efficiency is at the bottom of priority. The 'E' series cannot be clocked as high, and is the same price. Fuck that noise! About 30% gain in performance over my current CPU. I could see much higher gains if I jumped on with a high-end i5 or i7. But, it will do for now and is the most bang for the least buck, and won't require a rebuild. Should hopefully be able to keep up with my R9. The X6 5600 is the bottleneck in current config. With the new CPU, I would have to do some testing to find the new bottleneck, it will be a close call! Probably a second GPU would break the bottleneck and put the burden back on the CPU to keep up. I have an SSD, which is old-ish, but I am pretty sure one of the fast ones. Doubt it would be a source though, since it is also SATA 6.0. TBH, Win7 with DX11 limit *may* be the limiter. Might be forced onto Win10 next year, with much bitching. We will see how OpenGL looks and what kind of support it has in games.

    I will go with Amazon or Newegg or another reputable seller for this. I have no guarantee with Ebay, and the price is only slightly lower. I wouldn't save enough to risk it, especially when I have no clue when I am getting my own rig up again. It will get tossed in storage. Debating whether to wait and see if the price goes down. I could get a place pretty last minute too, as I plan to GTFO of here as soon as, and IF, I get a full time offer. I could be here for a lot longer if CEO doesn't approve budget with a full timer in that spot. They like me, so they want me to stay if there is approval. Fingers crossed.

    I think I will EBay some DDR2 RAM. It is becoming too scarce and expensive to stick with regular shops.

    I am dreading the part where I need to dig through storage to find the parts to complete this build. I have a general idea where stuff is. I was NOT expecting to still be living out of storage at this point, and am starting to get scared I will find lots of damage with the freezing weather fucking up my shit. The GPU should be indoors somewhere near my computer that I need to pull the CPU from, but thermal paste and tools are outdoors and buried deep inside. I also have my mom's xmas gift buried in storage. No idea where, but it is deep because I haven't seen it. I am not sure I will be able to get it out for her in time for Xmas, not unless I get a job offer and move into a place ASAP and can get the box dug out.

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