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Lab4lover666 Blog

EVGA GeForce GTX 285 - Performance Test

 Specs: CPU: Intel Q6600 @ 2.4GHz Motherboard: Asus Maximus II Formula Memory: Corsair XMS2 800MHz (4GB) GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 285 Hard Drive: Samsung F1 Spinpoint 320GB EDIT: Unfortunately, C&C3 has a fps limit cap of 30, even though my rig could easily push it higher.

'Biomechanical' Project

It's been quite a while since I last posted anything on here, as you can see it's been just over a year ago. Although I haven't posted anything, I've still regularly visited GameSpot for my gaming news. The reason why I haven't posted anything of interest is due to my unbelievably boring job. I moved out of my parent house around six months ago and since, I've had to work almost ever day to fund my own flat. Back breaking, I can tell you. However, I've been graced with a week off (finally!) and have decided to dedicate my spare time to building a customized computer made from bits of my old one. The project is nicknamed Biomechanical, as the theme is black and blood red. While writing this, I have already started and progressed with the build so not much needs doing. I have cable braided every collection of cables, fan, molex, even the SATA cables. I've added 3 120 mm Akasa Red LED fans to the top vent and replaced the 140 mm at the back of the case with a fourth Akasa 120 mm fan. They're fairly quiet but I really wanted to go the full nine yards on quietness so I purchased a Scythe Kama-Meter and wired up all four 120 mm fans. Now, they're running at 800 rpm instead of 1200 rpm which is almost like a whisper. Finding a Scythe Kama-Meter wasn't an easy task, I can assure you. Originally, I ordered one through eBay for around £50, only to be told a few days later they hadn't any left in stock and refunded me. Luckily a few months later, I found one for half the original price at £25. It was very easy to install and looks fantastic with the black front plate and red LED panel. I will get some pictures up later of the current status of the project. I have some big plans for this project however it's mainly funding I'm waiting on. As soon as I can afford it, I'll be adding a watercooling loop and a new graphics card. Maybe even a new 24" monitor? But I doubt that one. I need to afford bills and the upcoming release of Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. EDIT: It seems in the past month, luck was on my side with money. I've recieved a new 22" widescreen Samsung SyncMaster from my father as he bought a bigger model. And I've also saved enough money to buy a new graphics card. A EVGA GeForce GTX 285 to be exact. Since I have never bought a extreme card, I was in for quite a shock at the size and weight of it! It's bloody huge! Luckily, my Coolermaster HAF 932 has more than enough room to house this super card. I'm even more surprised at how quiet the card is, I'd heard reports it was a noisy card but it's virtually silent even under load!

Disc Death..

I've never considered my profile blogs to be ramblings of personal issues and problems however I believe what happened a couple of day ago was a serious enough to break that rule. As I'm sure some of you know, I usually spend most of my time playing online on Call Of Duty 4 for Xbox 360. I've played for a total of 8 days or so and still cannot see an end in sight.. yet something intervined. As I was accepting an invite from a friend to join his party, my Xbox threw me off the game, claiming the disc was unreadable. I didn't panic as this has happened before on several games, in random situations, usually after perlonged periods of playing. So I checked the disc, dusted it off and slip it back into the drive only to be presented with another 'unreadable disc' error. After three attempts, the disc didn't even read and I am now without the best multiplayer game. If this wasn't enough to irratate me, my second option was to finally 100% GTA4. But this ended rather quickly as this disc didn't read. Another three attempts persude but to no avail. What is worse about this copy of GTA is that it's a mates, not mine so I'm more than likely going to have to shell out for a replacement. What confuses me however, is the GTA disc was fine, almost scratchless before the COD problem so I'm wondering if the COD4 disc has damaged the laser inside my xbox. I'm a little reluctant to play anymore games incase they deside to break aswell. I'm sure most of you have had problems similar to these but my options are limited in terms of money saving. I can't really trade in my copy of COD4 as it has a giant, gaping crack about an inch long and even if I did, it'd look suspious, asking for another copy. I'm gonna try the GTA4 disc again tomorrow and if it still persists, I'll pay GameStation to buffer it for me. I can feel widthrail symptoms coming on from COD and I better get down a copy soon.

Modified Again..

Well, I couldn't stop myself from modifing my Xbox 360 again, only this time things didn't go so smoothly. After reading countless tutorials across the net about how to change the Ring Of Light LEDs, I decided to take the plunge and do it myself. So I bought some LEDs off Ebay for a few quid and began the process. Well lets just say I never wanna see a soldering iron again in my life. I completely cocked up the top two LEDs just by trying to get them off, also managing to damaging the RF Module board they're soldered to. And burned myself about 20 times. Now, I'm not stupid, but it was absolutely impossible. So now I have a cocked up Ring Of Light with only two LEDs working :( Although, I forgot to mention that since my previous blog entry, I had already modded it again. This time I removed the old crappy stock fan and replaced it with a Talismoon Whisper Max Silent Fan (which comes with LEDs. Blue, Red and Green, although you have to install the red or green yourself) It protects against the dreaded Red Ring Of Death and also provides an 'Turbo' switch which increases power to the fan thus increases airflow. It makes one hell of a racket when you turn it on but keeps your Xbox damn cool. Also, I added red LEDs under the vents which give it a sinister evil look. My aim to have all the possible LEDs in the console red, as it will fit with the new name I gave it. Forget Xbox 360, mine is the only 'Deathbox 360' ;)

Halo 3

Microsoft have really hammered a solid nail in the coffin of Sony's Playstation 3. Thanks to Bungie Studios finally releasing the very much awaited Halo 3, even I, an avid Playstation fan, bought an Xbox 360 JUST to play Halo 3. I cannot say I'm disappointed, I've been playing on Matchmaking for what seems like an eternity now and I've still not got bored. Everyday there always seems to be a new goal and if that hasn't been achieved, I just hammered on the following day. Down to business. Halo is the final installment in the Halo Trilogy, created by Bungie Studios. It has been highly anticipated due to Halo 2 lack of story conclusion, with thousands of players worldwide asking for more. It concludes the epic, devastating war between Humans and the Covenant, an over-zelous, militaristic alien race bent on wiping out the Human race. At the end of Halo 2, the Master Chief is heading back to Earth in a Forerunner Dreadnought, due to it's spontanious activation within High Charity. It's doubtful if any further information could be ****d as a spoiler since it's been months since release but for those who still haven't played Halo 3 and want to, please leave this profile and read a book on Badgers. Campaign Halo 3 begins with the Master Chief entering Earth atmosphere and crash landing close to New Mombasa where Sergeant Johnson and The Arbiter finds him. The first level is pretty much fought throughout a jungle, with many brutes (depending on what difficulty you're on) coming after you. The most striking new feature is the graphics, even on some SDTVs, the graphics are mindblowing. I currently play on a 720p HDTV, good enough to see just how much love and attention Bungie put into this game. The game does support 1080p HD however, this is only achieved through an Xbox Elite or a more recent 360 due to HDMI ports. But out of the whole campaign, my favourite feature would have to be playing through it with, not just one friend, but up to 4 friends. And not just all at one house, some or even all can be at home, in a campaign match cross the net. This feature makes gaming with friends alot more interesting and fun, alot more than a pointless multiplayer free-for-all on some dull, effortless maps. Also, this makes completing Legendary alot easier and you won't end up like me trying to completed Legendary on Halo 1. A few friends have mentioned that the campaign feels sort, whereas I've always thought it was just enough because some levels where fairly small whereas others such as The Ark, are incredably large. If you just bought Halo 3 in the future just for the Campaign, it is worth every penny. Matchmaking Most games really put effort into just the main story, whereas others just focus all their attention on the multiplayer. Brilliantly, Bungie has given both the same attention. Matchmaking adds a whole new level of fun to the game which can't be found on the Campaign. Almost every detail has be finely created, tweaked and then polished off to give all the multiplaying fanatics a real treat. The rank system is a thing of pure genius, allowing less experienced players to battle it out fairly against more elite players. Each player will get 1 EXP point for every podium win however, should they come first place, they get 1 EXP point and a Skill point for that game type. Skill points show other players just how good they are whereas an less skillful player could be a really high rank but only because they've played it non-stop. Skill points do come into the ranking system, but much later. To get to certain ranks, a player must obtain a certain number of EXP points and a certain number of Skill points. If this confuses you or you wish to understand it better, go to Bungie.net to read a thourgh explaination. You can distinguish yourself from the rest by the Appearance menu. You can changed your Armour, your colour, your own emblem or if you prefer, you can play as an Elite, which also has its own Armour unlockables. With the amount of different Armour permitations, Emblem **** and colours, you bound to create something that is unique to you. If you are a hardcore multiplayer, enjoy simple sniping and online gameplay, this game has everything (and more) you need. Forge This simple feature can turn boring generic maps into blazing battle grounds or vehicular paradises. Forge take all your multiplayer maps and allows you to customize tons of stuff. You can spawn several heavy weapons such as Wraith, Scorpians and Guass Warthogs or remove all ground vehicles and replace them with air vehicles. You can add, remove or change spawn points from all over the map however you're only limited to that amount originally provided. Although this may sound brilliant at first, you can't changed any of the maps themselves, only the items within them, such as weapons, vehicles, crates, utilities and equipment. The good news is you can save all the map varients you create to your hard drive for later or even share them over the net with friends using File Share. But once things have been spawned in Forge, you can set lots of details such as respawn times. Unfortunately, you do have restrictions on most items, like vehicles. You can only have about 20 Mongooses spawn in the same map and you do also have a Budget Meter in the corner of your screen, so once that has been used up, you can't spawn anymore items. Surprisingly, though you can't change any of them maps themselves, editing just the equipment within it can be extremely funny and entertaining. A recent variant of Sandtrap I played on has a hovering platform in the sky with several powerful weapons, brilliant for sniping and lasering. Bungie have given an amazing gift within the Halo 3 bundle so don't avoid Forge once you've completed Campaign. Theatre The cherry on a very large and perfect cake. Theatre records up to 25 recent games you have played in and allows you to go back and reply them from a massive range of angles and perspectives. This works for both Campaign and Matchmaking, allowing you to reply some of your favourite moments. Each video can be watched, then edited through a small control panel. You can record a clip from a video and even take a screenshot of your best kill, snipe or even glitch. If you have visited Bungie.net and signed up for a profile, all your screenshots will be automatically uploaded to your profile in full 1080p HD. You can also share your video clips using File Share to other players. If you have an Xbox 360, but don't owned Halo 3 nor have you played it, I recommend you go out and buy it now. In my local GameStation, it's only about £20-£25 now which is an absolute bargin! If you don't even consider Halo 3, you deserve nothing but the Mark of Shame branded into you for the rest of time.

Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars

I know this game been out for a while and most of you who are hardcore C&C fans will have already played it, completed it, modded it, edited it and left it at the back of your games draw to gather dust. Or maybe you are those sort of people who haven't and are still unleashing Ionic destruction upon your foes. Well I just happen to be one of those people. Well, C&C3 come out back in March of this year, which started the year pretty well for RTS games. Although I throughly enjoy Supreme Commander, I cannot always give it the compliment it needs by running it on a medium/high spec computer. But with C&C3, it is still fun to play on spec toned down (Although I will still play it on high specs at a sluggish frame rate just for the realism). The fun thing is I still have something to look forward to when I buy a much better PC with C&C3, because I could up the specs immensely and it will still be faster than my current PC. Down to business. The game is, personally, a masterpiece. My first thoughts were it was kinda like a Generals/Zero Hour mod, because of EA not really stepping away from the original game engine. But to be honest, it is definately a much better game. The difficulty is far more interesting, with hard being some what easier than previous C&Cs. I can actually complete most mission on Hard Mode. But I'm sure this might let down some of those hardcore fans of C&C series. I remember playing Tiberium Sun a few years ago, and I just lost interest within a couple of hours, it was just so dull. The main faction is the Global Defense Initiative (GDI) which have the majority of storylines, missions and destruction. The first few mission are unbelievably simple, even on Hard but still entertaining. ****UNFINISHED****

Battlefield 2142

I finally got myself a copy of the game! I've had it around a week, and it feels like I've not been off it. It's the first game I've played that is built for multiplayer and it really amazes me. Somethings do piss me off but that proberly cause I'm still new to the game, and I don't have many unlocks. Well to begin with I created my solider, only to find 'uberjew', my favourite alias, unacceptable.. so I thought of the next best thing and used ubergew. This has been irratating me recently because of my favoured alias being reject for countless forums, sites and game servers. GameSpot for one, it got tagged as 'offensive' and the account got banned which I'm not happy about. I use the nickname as just a nickname, I don't use it to poke fun at jews or insult anyone. I'm not racist, never have been and I've never had anything against jews. If any Jewish members read this, I hope this doesn't sound offensive and want you to see I only use it cause it's cool. Anyway, back on track. Upon starting Battlefield 2142, I was very eagar to get started on the new Titan Mode :D Well, just to get used to online play, see what my competition is. So I joined a conquest server in Berlin. Well, I was literally blew away.. countless times to be truthful as a couple of walkers enjoyed gunning me down as I attempted to capture a control point. I don't think I survived longer than 30 seconds in any of attempts. Well, evantually I joined a squad and joined my squad leader in a walker. I got my own back on the evil moron who originally kept killing me, by unleash a fury of missles and hail of bullets from my dual gattling guns. After five minutes of slatemate, my team managed to get the upper hand and push the opposing team back towards their base. The first control point was capture and the next in quick succession. Then the real fight started, cause the next control point was smack bang in the middle of a wide open area. Luckily for me, my squad leader (who was also a sniper) showed me a reasonable sized ledge just overlooking the open space. So I crawled onto my belly, zoomed in and unleashed support to my other squad and team members. However, because I hadn't got any unlocks, I was that good of a shot. I missed countless times and only killed about 2 -3 people. Evantually, some enemy sod snuck up behind me and knifed me. Thankfully, I had the last laugh as I knifed my revenge. My first dogtag, awesome. I still want more! After a further few minutes of fighting, my teams evantually took control of the last control point while I held fort at the previous point. It was a great first fight, I enjoyed it immensely! If anyone has the game, and would like to add me, please by all means do so! Soilder: Ubergew

F.E.A.R. - First Encounter Assault Recon

As most of you know, this game has been one of the best selling games of 2006 and I can understand why. In my last blog post, I wrote about the programs regarding F.E.A.R.'s high demand for graphics and processing power and how I had to buy a new graphics card just to play it. Well to be completely honest, it has been totally worth it. I began playing two days after Boxing day, eager to engage in a gun fight between these synthetic super soldiers. I had to get through the first level, a sort of training level if you will, allowing you to get used to the controls and feels of the game. With a few wood planks, a couple of dark rooms and the occasional rat between you and the end of the level, I found it to be quite annoying that you couldn't skip it. After several more minutes of gameplay and a few video scenes, you finally thrown into combat. Having been dropped from a helicopter, your first task is to assist your escorts by opening the gate. A simple task, done in less than 30 seconds but what follows is what makes this game unique. A small video of your escorts melting or combusting, whichever you feel describes it better, is seen with a little girl wearing a red dress. Very odd. I proceeded through each room with caution, and if done correctly, I was rewarded by a quick kill of an unsuspecting soldier. I took me a sort time to get used to using the SloMo in battles but it become second nature after the second level. But what really got me was how well the soldiers fought against me. In one fight, I leaned to see out of a doorway to see if there was any threats waiting for me and had my fears confirmed when I was met by at least 5 soldiers. I quickly leaned back, saved and reloaded and opened fire on the closest soldier. After wasting two soldiers, I hastily took cover behind a truck, reloaded and save, waiting for the perfect moment to attack again. But when I went back into the open, they had disappeared! I didn't realise that two had gone round behind the truck to flank me and the other was guarding the front side! I was amazed to see this much intelligence in these computer controlled puppets. Well, I reload the save, and caught the soldiers trying to flank me. I am very pleased with AI in this game and I'm sure this game will be my #1 for a number of years to come. If anyone who hasn't already got this game, buy it now because it is more than just a game, it is truly a masterpiece.

New Graphics Card..

After 3 years, my current desktop is getting a little 'out-of-date'. I've never wanted to admit it, hoping my computer wouldn't become outdated. But the inevitability of out-datedness, I finally had to think about upgrading my computer. The reason for needing to update my computer is because I obtained the game F.E.A.R. for christmas, and was extremely excited about experiencing one of the most popular games around today. I eagerly sat at my computer, waiting for it to install, tapping my fingers in antisipation. Finally, it finished installing and I doubled clicked the shoutcut with speed.. only to be told my GPU wasn't supported. Now, I've never needed a new graphics card, and with only a small knowledge of computer internals, I didn't know where to start. Luckily, my dad has a very large understanding of components and gave me some useful starting points. I browsed the net for virtually a full day, trying to find the perfect graphics card for my computer. Eventually, I came across a forum that mentioned a "Radeon X1600 Pro". Now this was one of the GPU that was mentioned on the back of the case to be supported. I researched more into this card, and almost went for it before my dad told me about the "Radeon X1650 Pro" which was a little more expensive than the X1600 but twice the performance. So I knew exactly what to go for, and just before I made my mind up, I found another forum recommending a totally different card for even better performance. Well I was really confused then, it told me I should go for a "Nvidia 7600 GS". So I research into it even more, and found out that it is better to get a Nvidia because they have AGP. My motherboard is pretty prehistoric, so it will only support AGP. After a few hours of complicated arguing and arranging, both me and my dad agreed on the "Nvidia 7600 GS". The following morning, I woke up to find my dad had been to PCworld and bought it. Suprised to find I'd got it so soon, I watched as my dad installed it into the computer. It took around 5 minutes and soon after we had a perfectly running computer. Although the screen went a little funny in the middle, we installed the drivers and it sorted itself out. Finally happy to have a better chance to play F.E.A.R., I clicked the icon and thankfully it worked. I was chuffed, very chuffed. I configured my controls, checked the settings and began playing. I got to the second or third level and it froze, then presented me with.. the blue screen of death! Bollocks! I was swearing like a trooper at this point, hoping to dear god I wasn't going to lose my desktop. Running around like a headless chicken, I found my dad and told him about the problem, only to come back to my computer to find it had restarted and start up as if nothing had happened. I logged in, and everything was fine.. So having had enough of F.E.A.R. for a while, I decided to watch a film. I have several divx format films on my computer, and one of which I hadn't seen. So I opened up my usual video player, VLC Media Player and opened the film. Everything went slow, super slow. I opened Task Manager and it took about 10 minutes to fully open. Once open, it showed that the CPU usage was 100%.. not good. I killed the media player, since it was causing the disruption and turned the computer off. After 4 hours, my dad finally told me he had sorted it. I asked exactly what he had done. He told me he'd updated the drivers and the DirectX to the latest version. I tested the media player with the same file, and it worked, perfectly! I'm absolutley amazed at how powerful the new GPU is. I've been playing Halo: Combat Evolved with everything on full and a resolution of 1280x960, which is astounding when I used to be playing it with a 800x600 resolution with most things on low/medium. Half-Life 2 is the same, virtually everything is on full. Well, I just hope now that this GPU will last me a while, and if I do need a new GPU in the future, I doubt it will be AGP. PCI-E, here I come!

Half-Life 2

I recently acquired a copy of Half-Life 2, after being told repeatedly to play it from friends and family alike. When I first started playing, my thoughts were it wasn't very different from any other FPS for the PC so what is all the fuss about? After 10 minutes of playing, I realized that this game was fantastic! It is completely unique and original, with freedom to do quite a lot of stuff. I played it now stop for about 12 hour straight, managing to get to the level "Nova Prospekt". It is a difficult level on hard mode, of which I have been playing the game in it's entirety. When I mean fantastic, I mean gameplay. I just love how the physics behave as should in reality, like picking up an object and it's too big to fit through a door way, it will get jammed.