|PC Upgrades - Looking for Input||September 19, 2012, 4:33 pm|
So instead of going for my usual "upgrade a few basic things" this year, I've decided that I'm going to do a total system overhaul since I should be getting a job within the next month.
Here's a list of everything I'm looking to buy by the end of the year:
Mobo: ASUS M5A99X EVO
CPU: AMD FX-6200 Zambezi 3.8GHz
GPU: XFX Radeon HD 7870
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8GB DDR3
Total Cost: ~$622 before shipping
I try to keep up with benchmarks and reviews, but I figured it would be a good idea to gather suggestions/input since some people here, *cough* huy *cough*, are more up-to-date with what's good on the market.
So, post your suggestions if you have any. I'd prefer to stay around the original cost though.
|Doom runs very slow on my ZEOS 486||April 5, 2012, 6:37 pm|
<insert background info here>
So I finally got around to getting the proper CD-ROM drivers installed this week, and Doom was the first thing I put on. Only problem is the fact that it barely runs at 1FPS. So I installed Heretic, and got the same problem. I tried some really old 80s games that I had on some 5.25" floppies, and of course those ran without any problems.
So at first I thought it might be the virus scanner (which was 195 months out of date apparently,) but after removing it there was no change.
I'm at a loss for what the problem is right now. The only guess I can make is that there's something wrong with the video card or the CPU. Here are the contents of AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS:
|Ultra LSP650 = Hours of frustration(Correction: ASUS M4A785-M = hours of frustration)||December 30, 2011, 10:47 pm|
So today I go to turn on my PC and it wouldn't pass the POST. I opened it up and spent the next three hours trying to figure out what the problem was.
After replacing and removing almost every part I came to the conclusion that the PSU was bad. I tried booting 20+ times and it randomly booted successfully twice. I plugged my hard drive in and then it stopped booting once again. Unplugging it again didn't fix anything.
So I go to Best Buy to get the PSU checked and it turns out that the 12V rails had gone bad and weren't putting out nearly enough amps. So I picked up a Corsair GS700 for $100. I installed it and played some games to test it for about two hours. The first attempt to boot failed, but I reset the CMOS and it turned on fine.
Then my PC shut off and it started up the whole process of refusing to pass the POST again. I once again removed and/or replaced every part with no success. The CPU and video card weren't really that hot at all (GPU was around 60C, CPU was somewhere between 30-40C).
I'm assuming I got a defective PSU, as I'm really hoping I don't have to replace my motherboard and be out another $100. Another trip to Best Buy tomorrow will reveal the truth.
tl;dr version: My shitty Ultra PSU's 12V rails gave out and I bought a replacement that is probably defective.
|More 486 Adventures, Paaaaaart 2||December 27, 2011, 3:07 pm|
My recently obtained ZEOS 486 has been sitting in the corner of my room for about two months, as I previously couldn't get it working.
I don't know if the video card just wasn't seated or if the monitor I was using before didn't pick up the signal, but I started messing with it again and I got it to boot:
As you can see in that image however, the CMOS battery is dead. I'd love to go replace it but here is the problem:
This weird hunk of plastic (which was attached to the case with some sticky velcro) is the battery, and I have absolutely no idea how to replace it. I imagine I'm going to need to do some soldering to make a new compatible battery, but I really have no clue.
|rage sucks||November 5, 2011, 10:31 pm|
|More 486 Adventures (ZEOS 486DX-T50)||October 14, 2011, 6:49 pm|
Earlier in the week someone I knew was getting rid of an old ZEOS 486, so I asked if I could have it. Here it is:
And here are some more shots:
The rest are here.
From what I can tell this thing is more powerful than my other 486, but the thing won't start. Upon turning on the power I get three really long beeps, a few short ones, and then it goes silent. I'm not sure if there is supposed to be some kind of special cable for that weird second input on the PSU, so I've been looking around for a manual on the internets.
Here are known specs I got from just looking into the case:
Intel 486DX (Unknown speed)
Sound Blaster CT2230
Diamond Computer Systems SpeedStar24 (Video Card)
tl;dr: I got a giant 486 tower that weighs like 40 pounds.
|Finally replaced my eight year old 19" CRT Monitor||August 19, 2011, 9:37 pm|
After eight years of using my Dell 19" CRT I finally replaced it with an Acer 20" LED monitor:
It's max resolution goes up to 1600x900 (whereas my Dell went up to 1280x1024,) and the picture is much clearer than my CRT. I picked it up for $100 at Best Buy (Couldn't find a better price online or in another retail place) and I'm really happy with it considering the thing's only like 1" wide and has a 170° viewing angle.
Graphic intensive games like Crysis look a lot better, although I might have to turn the settings down a little bit to make up for the slightly decreased speed running it at 1600x900. Overall I'm glad I finally bought this and hopefully it will last as long as my CRT did.
|Overclockin' and stuff||May 31, 2011, 8:36 pm|
So I've finally got a bit of free time from school and after failing to come up with any map ideas for TNT 2 I decided to do something I've been meaning to do since I upgraded my CPU in December: overclocking. Here's my setup that I did a bit of OCing on:
Ultra LSP650W (I've heard it's bad but I've had no problems with it for over a year)
ASUS M4A785-M Motherboard
AMD Phenom II X3 715 Black Edition @ 2.8GHz
Corsair XMS2 4GB(2x2GB) DDR2 @ 800MHz
Conveniently ASUS motherboards come loaded with handy overclocking and management tools, so this was pretty easy. I already unlocked the fourth core months ago, but I never got into overclocking since I hadn't really looked into it. But since this past weekend I had little going on I decided to do something with it.
After several hours of strenuous voltage and frequency modifying I've finally come to these stable settings:
Going further to 3.4GHz crashed during benchmarks no matter what even if I changed the CPU-NB multiplier and voltage. I was going to speed my RAM up a bit, but after I accidentally forgot to check the minimum volts required and ended up setting it too low which caused a POST failure, I decided to hold that off for next weekend.
So far I'm happy with the results of an entire day of testing. The temps were sitting around 45C while in the BIOS, and my fans haven't kicked up, meaning it hasn't gone above 55C. Crysis got a big performance increase(20-55FPS to 40-60FPS,) but I still sadly can't put anisotropic filtering on too high in Mass Effect 2 without a performance blow. Next weekend I'm hoping to get to at least 3.4GHz, and a max of 3.6GHz. I'd do it during the week, but I don't want to accidentally fry anything before the DNF demo comes out.
I did some overclocking and decided to post about it (Since nobody I know in RL is familiar with this stuff.)
|So I got a trojan on Blogs...||August 21, 2010, 12:50 pm|
So as I was browsing through the oh-so-lovely Skulltag Drama Thread on Blogs, I was notified of a trojan by Norton. It "deleted it", and shortly after a message box appeared that read something like this: "Windows has encountered a critical error and will restart in one minute. Save your work.". My computer did not restart, but virtually everything stopped responding. I then proceeded to restart. Upon logging back in I am greeted with a black screen and the same message box. After one minute there was no restart, so I pressed the restart button again. This time there was no Windows startup screen. Instead there was a blue screen. I set a restore point recently, so that was my relief. I wasn't too relieved however after running the Startup Repair twice without it asking me to restore. The third time it had finally asked me to, but all was not well. I was able to log in, but everything was very slow. Norton would not open, USB drives would not work, and explorer.exe would freeze if I right clicked anything. So I restarted in Safe Mode. I was able to run a scan, but it was interrupted. How? A loose power cable on my computer. I removed my external hard drive to see if it still worked on another computer, and in the process of doing so I bumped the cable and my computer shut off. At this point nine tracking cookies had been found, so I decided to boot normally without any internet connection. Norton now worked, but the other problems were still present. I ran a full system scan, which picked up eight more tracking cookies, and a "Heuristic Virus"(Which is Norton's way of saying 'I'm guessing this is a virus.'), which was a 'Suspicious.MH690.A'. I believed that was a false positive, but I let it go. Explorer.exe now works perfectly, and I am currently typing this from the said computer that was infected. My final thoughts are: COINCIDENCE????
Got a trojan while looking through the Skulltag Drama thread, which caused hours of frustration.
|So I met Reggie Bannister||October 10, 2009, 8:05 pm|
Last night at the eerie Horror Fest located in Erie PA, I met up with the awesome Reggie Bannister from Phantasm, and other various films. All and all, he was a really interesting guy. We(My dad, and his friend) talked to him for a good twenty-five minutes or so, until we went to see Phantasm on the big screen again. He was just extremely intelligent. After the movie was over he answered some questions, and really went in depth with the answers. Before the show while I was talking with him he mentioned something that totally caught me off guard, I didn't expect him to talk about it: The slaughtering of the buffalo in the Mid Western US. He clearly knew what he was talking about, as he was bringing up several key points, such as the police officers helping kill them, who's badge mascot was a buffalo. While I was their I got a copy of his album called "Naked Truth", and got him to autograph it. The album is fairly good, and I'm not even into the kind of music he does.I might as well upload a picture I took with him while I'm here.
To finish this topic up I might as well talk about the other things that were at the horror fest.
There were various other things at the horror fest, such as vendors for Halloween supplies, movies, and posters. One vendor even had four tables worth of movies that had movies never release before, all preserved on DVD with covers. Then a vendor across from that table, there was a sculpter who was making Jason masks, and head props. Was pretty interesting, but the masks were a little too much($70) Before I go overboard with all the vendors, I'll just finish with one more. Another one carried a ton of stuff. They had movies, posters, toys, even t-shirts with horror movie titles on them. It was a great Horror Fest, anyone in, or near Erie PA should go to it(Just bring some money with you!)