Slight system tweak; Intel Core i7 970 6 core processor Corsair Hydro H70 CPU cooler 3x Scythe Gentle Typhoons for exhaust Gigabyte X58A-UD5 mainboard Corsair 6 GB (3x 2 GB) Dominator DHX memory 2x Nvidia GTX 480s Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty 240 GB OCZ Vertex II SSD (Windows, apps - not games) 1 TB Samsung HD103UJ HDD (games) 2 TB Samsung HD204UI HDD (media) Pioneer DVD-RW drive LG Blu-ray Combo drive Corsair HX850 power supply Still stuffed inside a Corsair Obsidian 800D case.
Briel Computer's Altair 8800micro. A replica of the 1975 Altair 8800. Grrr, that's some retro sex-e-ness! It currently runs Micro-soft's (yes that's the 1970s version of Microsoft) BASIC (both the 4 and 8K versions), and in the next few months an add-on RAM drive will add CP/M support. No idea what I'm talking about? Click the link below! I've ordered mine, and can't wait for it to arrive. http://www.brielcomputers.com/wordpress/?cat=11
Fired up my PS3 today to find the wireless was fried. This " " far out of warranty. SOB! Oh well picked up a 120GB slim. Replaced the HDD with the 320GB from my old machine. Formatted and I'm back up and running, and by running I mean downloading all my PSN titles/game add-ons. Here's hoping the slim has no issues for years!
Well after using the XFX HD5970 Black Edition for a few weeks I've got to say I don't know what all the hype is about. Sure the 5970 is a nice card for DX9 and 10, but I bought it for DX11. To be honest it's dog slow! Also I couldn't even get the thing to over clock to the speed of a 5870 without the dreaded down clocking of speed due to the voltage regulator module heat issue that's all over the 'net. I ended up swapping it out for 2 GTX 480s in SLI and I couldn't be happier. The 480s in SLI are amazing when it comes to DX11. In pretty much every game I own (and I own a lot of games) the 2 480s out pace the 5970 by a huge margin. If you're looking to get a new video card soon all I can say is go with 2x 5870s or 2x 480s. With my preference being with Nvidia. Sure they can be LOUD when they're being pushed, but they're no louder than the 5970 in my experience. Sure they run hot, but hey what can you expect with 6 billion transistors under the hood? Expect a blog post soon when I start complaining about my power bill. :)
Well it finally happened, I sold my heavily modified Dell XPS 420 and built another Yum cha box. Specs as follows; Intel Core i7 930 processor / Corsair Hydro H50 CPU cooler Gigabyte X58A-UD5 mainboard Corsair 6GB (3x 2GB) Dominator DHX memory/Corsair CMXAF2 RAM cooler XFX ATI Radeon 5970 Black Edition Hauppauge WinTV HVR-1200 TV tuner Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium audio card 2x Samsung HD103UJ 1TB hard drives (hot swappable) DVD-RW drive Blu-ray Combo drive Corsair HX850 power supply All stuffed inside a Corsair Obsidian 800D case.
All games running are running at the M11x native resolution unless noted. The processor is overclocked (BIOS overclock nothing more), and the Nvidia GT 335M GPU is running at the stock clock speed. I have no interest in synthetic benchmarks. All frame rates below are in game. All scores are grabbed using Fraps (no in game tools). If there is an average this is the MODE not the MEDIAN value (based on my own experience playing the game). The options used in game are displayed in italics. System info: Alienware M11x, 11" 1366x768 LED backlit display, Core 2 Duo SU7300 1.3GHz (clock at 1.73), 1GB Nvidia GT 335M GPU, 4GB Dual Channel 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM (2 X 2GB), 500GB 7200RPM Hard Drive, Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit. Braid - stable 60 FPS Bullet Candy - stable 60 FPS Shrapnel ON Crysis Warhead DX10 20-40 FPS, Average 25+ DX9 20-40 FPS Average 30+ All settings on MAINSTREAM. Antialiasing DISABLED. Llamasoft's GridRunner Revolution and Space Giraffe - stable 60 FPS Shader Model 3.0 Portal - 100+ FPS Model detail, Texture detail, Shader detail, Shadow Detail HIGH. Water detail REFLECT ALL. Color Correction ENABLED. Antialiasing mode 4X MSAA. Filtering mode ANISTROPIC 16X. Wait for vertical sync, Motion Blur DISABLED. High Dynamic Range FULL. Sonic & SEGA ALL-Stars Racing - 45-60 FPS (runs perfectly IMO) Texture Resolution and Shadows set to MEDIUM. Soft Particles and Motion Blur ENABLED. Vertical Sync DISABLED. Street Fighter IV - 57-60FPS (average 60, feels perfectly smooth) Antialiasing NONE (if enabeld frame rate drops to 50 and under, unplayable online IMO). Display Refresh Rate 60, Display V-synch OFF, Frame Rate VARIABLE. All other settings HIGH Toki Tori - stable 60 FPS Torchlight- 30-80+ FPS (average 60+, drops below 60 during large battles) Shadows MEDIUM. Particle Detail HIGH. Render Behind Walls, Rimlights, HW SKinning ENABLED. Antialising, VSync, Netbook Mode DISABLED The following game(s) didn't run: SlamIt Pinball: Big Score - crashes with BigScore.exe has stopped working I shall expand this list as I have time.
Dell/Alienware announced the 11" Alienware M11x at CES this year. Earlier this week it became available for pre-purchase. I've spent the last few months looking for a worthy replacement to my aging Dell XPS M1330 and when the M11x was announced out came the credit card. What a notebook! 11" display, Nvidia Geforce GT335M (high performance 3d)/Intel GM45 (general use) combined graphics, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit. 6-8 hour battery life. Oh and did I mention it's tiny? Grrrr! I love you! The only thing that sucks about my purchase is the 1 month wait until these things actually ship. :( Reviews: http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews.php?reviewid=924&pageid=1 Without doubt one of the best laptops we have tested... if not the best. Not only that, it's right up there as one of the best products we have ever tested, in any category. 10/10 http://au.gear.ign.com/articles/106/1065816p1.html Runs Mass Effect 2 at full specs. Need we say more? 9.5/10
Finally got around to installing Windows 7 Ultimate (64 bit) on my XPS 420 last night. Well here's a quick run down on the install. First off it was QUICK. Damn Quick. It took around 20 minutes from start to new desktop. No need to install drivers for the SATA controller (as you would with Vista) as this was detected and worked out of the box. Once completed a quick check of device manager showed everything was detected, except my Sound Blaster X-fi. This was detected as a HIGH RESOLUTION AUDIO DEVICE or some such thing. When I say everything else I mean everything else. TV card, check. 19-1 card reader + bluetooth, check. GTX 295 video card, check. Dell 2408WFP monitor, check. The list goes on and on. I did a quick Windows Update and updated drivers for all hardware including the X-fi were available, so I installed all of these. Once the machine came back up from the reboot I installed Microsofts free anti-virus software Microsoft Security Essentials. Something that really impressed me was most of my "video" files all worked out of the box, DVDs, XviDs, etc. Blu-ray on the other hand did not play. I'll check out Nvidia's PureVideo HD or something similar over the next few days as I come to grips with Microsoft's new OS. So now the big question. Was it worth it? To be totally honest, no not really. It feels like a well tuned Vista, but I already had 1 of those. If you do decide to update though be prepared for an extremely quick/painless experience. I'm up and running and I haven't downloaded any drivers at all other than the most up to date Nvidia drivers for my GTX 295, and I'm pretty sure they were available from Windows Update too. --- Last night I started restoring my Steam games from a back up I created. When I finally woke up (after a night at the pub) ... NOTHING! The backups just kept locking Steam up. So I'm currently downloading Borderlands, and I'll get round to the rest of my games later.
A while back I overclocked my un-overclockable XPS 420 using a piece of electrical tape to get my Q6600 to 3.0GHz. I even added a GTX 260 Core 216 using the standard 425W PSU. Time passed and the call to upgrade again came... Last night screw driver in hand I set about hacking away at my XPS. I removed the 425W PSU and replaced it with an 850W Thermaltake W0204 PSU. I then ripped out the GTX 260 and replaced it with a nice little card called a GTX 295. Rewired everything and I was done. Not a bad little upgrade for the un-overclockable/un-upgradeable Dell machine. Starting to remove stuff from the 420. All back together, new hardware in place. Device Manager showing the GTX 295 up and running. 3DMark Vantage, showing a much higher mark than the last time I ran it. Now I'm all set for my next upgrade which will be to a nice highend DX11 card when they're finally needed. Or I may finally get around to replacing this thing. Who knows? For now though I'm extremely happy with my XPS 420.
Even though I already own 1 ThinkGeek's stock of brand new nearly 10 year old consoles was too much to pass up! Dreamcast @ ThinkGeek