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Duncan Blog

Quad? Vista 64bit? Yes.


the new PC has Vista 64 bit and a Quad core with 4 Gigs of RAM.

Vista 64 SP1 is fine. As most games need loads of memory I would suggest not to go with a 32bit OS (like XP or Vista 32bit). I have been running 64bit Vista for a few weeks and everything runs fine, both new and old games. There is no problem with drivers, if you see any horror stories on the net... that is old news.

Quad: Four CPUs rule. 2 for the game, one for the background tasks and one for anything else you might want to do. True if you pare down all the processes then you can do with a dual core... but there is no room left to grow.

3 times faster new PC coming "real soon now"

Most modern games run with low frame rates on my machine... be it Witcher or Hellgate:london they all take ages to load and jerk around on my trusty P4 2.8Ghz, 2Gbyte DDR-240 with a nVidia 7800 GPU

So I ordered a new build-to-order PC on the 15th of August... the only thing that was on hold was the new ATI 4870 1024 MB card. Looks like they finaly have them in stock today, so I am hoping for delivery next week.

I got Vista64 because of the high-RAM requirements of modern games, checking the net it looks like others are doing fine with it. The driver problems seem to be a thing of the past. (Personally I thought it was silly Microsoft brought out a 32 bit Vista with the CPUs all going for 64 bit support.)

Theoretically this machine should be at least 3 times faster at everything since I made sure all things were times 4. Four times the RAM speed, 4 CPUs (Intel Quad 9550, each faster than my present one), 4 Gigs of 1066 DDR2 ram instead of 1 Gig of DDR-200 I had at the time I ordered the machine. The ATI 4870 is not quite 4 times as fast as the nV 7800 I have no, but it doeshave 4 times the video RAM (1024 MB GDDR5). SATA-II 300 drives instead of IDE.

I also tried for low power components and low noise: extra big CPU fan, Asus P45 motherboard (low power 45 nm chips), silent power supply, silent fans... this thing can be overclocked and still run quietly. Of course the graphics card will eat power, but that can't be avoided for 3D gaming as yet. I am hoping for moderate power usage when I am not gaming.

Of course it costs about twice what an Xbox or PS3 cost (just over 1000.-) but of course I use for other things than just games as well. ;-)

PC RAM Upgrade and Hellgate:London

Hellgate: London

I got myself Hellgate: London for 9,95 euros, thats about $15 US. If you like RPG or Diablo type games, then get your self a copy!

It is really a great hack and slash game. Personally I think it is the best Diablo type sci-fi game around.

The game works well for different hardware but is very memory hungry. You should have 2 GBytes of RAM to play this game without long load times.

EDIT: the story is not as good as Diablo II but the game has the same basic additiveness. I believe the longterm fun is there, especially a replay with a different character build and at a different difficulty level. It does generate random maps, which helps. Note though I havn't had/played it more than a month so far.

PC RAM Upgrade:

My old Windows XP rig with 1 GByte of RAM was having long load times. I have ordered a new rig as the old one is 5 years old now and getting a bit slow. I will give my old system to my significant other. She has huge spread sheets, so extra RAM and a new and much faster hard disk will do her fine in this system. Using 2 Gbytes made Hellgate run fairly smoothly, even on this older 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 machine.

The old RAM consisted of 512 MB 133 PC DIM and another 512MB 133/166 DIM. I added 2 Gbytes of DDR2-400 RAM. The system boots but after a few days I noticed it was unstable. Hellgate was giving me sound problems and freezing for a few seconds occasionally. Of course I had set the timings to the slowest RAM to insure that everything works, but it seems the hardware had troubles with this setup.

I have come to the conclusion that the PC can handle two different timings on RAM but not three. Even if you set the timings in the BIOS to a single speed manually the system has problems.

Badges dissapeared


after a long time getting them my Badges (on the right):

  • Good Taste Good Taste (red wine & lobster icon)
  • Serious Collector Serious Collector (row of medals icon)
  • Hella Old-School Hella Old-School (old Atari joystick on pixelated graphic)
  • and a few others

have all disapeared! even though I still qualify for them.

Wonder why...

GameTap revisited

I had another go at GameTap. I have found that other games run well.

Still I have decided not to continue with downloadable games. Reasons being that the support is bad, if the downloaded game does not work it is assumed it is your fault and you do not own the game even if you payed for it(you are just renting it). When I buy a game I want a copy, if the disk fails then I can get a replacement and usually the support is (slightly) better. Possibly downloadable games are the future, personally I will wait and see.

GameTap crashes continuesly

Well, I tried out GameTap because they have some free games (you get some ads on screen, before play).

Unfortunatly the games crashed. Either during gameplay or when I tried to do a save. It looks like the users are being misused as beta testers for this thing.

If you are looking into a download game system, then I strongly suggest waiting a few more months to save yourself some pain.

What to put on your Christmas wish list: or the best roll playing games (2007)

Well I have been playing Oblivion, Two Worlds and Neverwinter Night 2 this year. I got The Witcher (Neverwinter 2 engine) in a birthday box ready to unpack soon ;-) and I assume I will eventually get Hellgate London as well (after some more patches come out first).

If you are a roll playing fan like me you will get all three. The first three are available at reasonable prices now, so it might be a good time to put them on your Christmas wishlist if you haven't got them.

So wich one is the best?

Well if you are heavilly into mods, then Oblivion will give you the most fun. The modding community for the elder scrolls games is just fantastic, with Neverwinter coming up second. Oblivion is wonderful in its expanse and of course Neverwinter excels in typical D&D type RPG.

But if you want a good story line and first clas out of the box experience then Two Worlds beats the others hands down. The main story really grabs you and the side quests are real stories of thier own, not just a bunch of problem solving quests. The writers for Two Worlds did a much better job making the indivudual Guilds/Factions really interesting with mystery, undercover agent and backstabbing type involved story lines.

Two worlds gives you a rich feeling to it's world. It is much more real than a hack-and-slay environment in which every 10 yards there are new monsters that (ignoring each other) just wait for you. In Two Worlds the towns are interconnected, the people have stories that are rich and deep and nost just "go get the stolen potatoes from the orc" (Oblivion). Monsters hang out in there home environments and are not just peppered all over the map. Horses can actually be used, they help you carry stuff and you can ride down the bad guys with it as well. A lot of the "mechanics" of the world, like training come across much better than in any RPG I have played since the old Might & Magic 3D (1990s) games. While the hero is a bit more grimy, he is much more realistic for all that. Personally I believe this to be the best roll playing game out in years. So go get it if you haven't already.

My listing:

#1 Two Worlds

#2 Oblivion

#3 Neverwinter Nights 2

The Wicher (not yet rated, but probably 3 or 4)

Hellgate London seems to have some problems but looks good for single player, which is what I am into. Probably very good but after the others mentioned above.

Note: it seems that gamespot things "clas" with two ss is a four letter word. It replaces it with four stars. That's why I had to mispell it above ;-)

Not reviewing popular games

Been RPGing lately, oblivion and NWN2.  There is really no point in reviewing these great games.  There must be thousands of reviews already.


I will get down to some less popular games now.  That should open up the field for new reviews :)


People steal my reviews and posts!

If you were wondering why I havn't written anything recently. It is because people have stolen my reviews!

They copy then paste into new review with thier name on it and then, because thier post is newer, they get the "recommended" clicks from other users with my words. How sorry can you get! :(

Now I know how Shakespeare felt. :?

I told the moderators and they deleted the copy cat posts, but that was it. In any case it sort of ruined the fun of making good reviews. I will likely continue to write them, but will not put so much effort into it anymore. :roll:

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