Single Status Update
Yeah, I got sick and tired of being eight years behind the technology. The computer's pretty nice, but I never got around to updating it because I usually spent all my money on gas, cigarettes and weed. Well, that me is gone now.
Anyway, this is the computer I have. It's not bad at all, and with the default hardware things actually work pretty well, but nonetheless I was behind the curve for gaming these days.
Before I went up the river, I bought myself a SoundBlaster Audigy SE so I could chat while gaming without sounding like shit, plus it helped with my musical pursuits (i.e. it doesn't sound nearly as bad when I record). It didn't really affect the performance of my machine any, but having things sound better is always a plus.
Last week I bought myself 2GB of RAM to max out what my computer will take, and I was pretty satisfied. Things tended to load faster with less hang-ups. Still, it wasn't enough.
So, Friday I went to Best Buy and applied for a credit card (like I really need another one), got approved, and purchased a BFG GeForce 8500 GT 1GB. It nice, very nice. All my games run on full settings at 1280x1024 without any drop in framerate. I figure now if I'm behind, I'm only behind by a few months. I plan on either buying a Fragbox or building a rig, but in the meantime I'm set.
Now, granted, I think some of the system requirements of these games is criminal considering all they do is affect graphics, and if the game itself sucks, what's the point? However, after playing on my friend's rig, I realized that being able to properly run the software does indeed enhance gameplay. Now I can actually say I suck because I suck, and not because my computer lags.
So anyway, despite all this, I'm having a few technical issues that I can't seem to pinpoint. When I got the soundcard, I found that if I ran it while using my modem, the computer would restart itself. I switched the soundcard from the top PCI slot to the bottom one (the modem is in the middle), and that seemed to fix it for a while. Now, though, the problem has returned. I checked the hardware manager, and the only conflicting device is something listed only as the 'Serial', and I don't know what that means. Any ideas?
Another question I had is this: one of the system requirements of my video card is a "300w PCI compliant power supply," meaning of course the one on my motherboard. However, my rig only has a 250w supply. The card works and runs, but is this going to be a problem in the meantime?
One last question. This one is hard to describe. I got home, hooked my rig back up, got online, and opened AIM. After about five minutes the computer flashed blue for a few seconds, the screen quickly displayed some numbers, and the computer restarted. Once it did, I got back online and started AIM again. Same thing happened. However, when I don't run AIM, this doesn't happen. Tonight, though, I had my sound card going, and tried to connect to the internet, and the blue screen appeared again and it restarted. I don't know what the numbers were; they kind of resembled memory ranges. Other than under those two circumstances, this never happens. As a note, I was using AIM while at my friend's house while I was utilizing his cable internet, and this didn't occur. Do you know what would be causing this?
Sorry if any of these problems are obvious; I'm pretty rusty on my tech knowledge these days. I appreciate any help you guys can give me.
Other than that, it's great to be back. Thanks in advance.
EDIT: I was loading a webpage, and patiently waiting on my 28k connection by playing a game of Solitare, and the dreaded blue screen-restart happened again. So, three circumstances now.
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Well, I went to Best Buy the other night (actually, two weekends ago, and if I hadn't been drinking as much as I have been I would've updated this earlier). There's a reason not to give me money and send me into Best Buy; there's an even bigger reason not to give me a Best Buy credit card and send me in. I went in for a power supply and mouse, and ended up buying that Logitech G15 gamer's keyboard as well. Smart move? Nah, it wasn't really worth $100 for all the bells and whistles, although there is one odd thing about it: while it doesn't show me stats for a modern game like Day of Defeat or Doom 3, I loaded up Skulltag and it was fully compatible with it. Weird.
Anyway, I ended up buying a 650W power supply since it was only $30 more than the 500W one, plus I might add another hard drive and will be upgrading to a Dual Core AMD running at 3.2 here in the very near future. The more redundant power the better, I always say.
I left my house at 6 p.m. Friday night. I was supposed to be home at 9 a.m. the following morning. I didn't get back until 7 a.m. Monday. Hooray for binge drinking. Nonetheless, I couldn't find out if the bigger power supply would solve my problems until I got home to a land line to test out the modem and sound card together. Also, since I was totally wasted three nights in a row (which did improve my gaming on DOD and TF2, oddly enough) I forgot to update Windows, my drivers and my games.
I finally made it home, got drunk again the following night and didn't get my computer set up until Wednesday night. As you can see, there's a pattern with the drinking and my productivity in my free time. It's not affecting my work or anything else for that matter, but anything that screws up my free time needs to be addressed. Moving on...
To make a long story shorter than I have been, it didn't work. Turned on some music, connected to the internet and boom! Mysterious 1 second blue screen of death and a restart. The power supply was obviously not the issue, but nonetheless having a bigger one can't hurt.
Due to even more drinking I didn't even work on my computer last weekend, so this weekend I'll have to go and try updating the drivers to see if that helps solve the issue (and I'm sure I'll be drinking the whole time). If it doesn't, I'll reformat and install the hardware while the system is fresh. If that doesn't work, then I'm pretty sure my generic modem doesn't like my sound card and I'll replace it too. If that doesn't work, I don't know what else to do.
I've also noticed another issue, although this one doesn't cause any instability or crashing. My processor is an AMD Athlon 64 3800+. It's supposed to run at 2.41 GHz. I've been checking on it, and it seems to fluctuate between running at 2.41, 1.80 and 985 MHz. I put more heat sink compound on it today to help keep it cool (it needed some extra anyway), but I'm wondering if this is a serious issue or if this is normal. Right now it's only going between 1.80 and 2.40, although I'm pretty sure if I start Steam up (God, I hate Steam, but that's another story completely) it'll drop back down to 985 MHz.
Yep, it did, quicker than shit. Now, I know that's because running programs uses processor power, but when it is just idling is it supposed to do this? Especially when my CPU usage is between 2 and 4%? If there's a serious issue here then I'll need to correct it, especially if the problem is going to keep happening when I get the dual core.
As far as the modem issue goes, I'll be moving into town shortly and getting high speed (finally), so I'll probably just end up pulling the motherfucker out and using it for target practice. The processor, on the other hand, is more of an important issue.
Anyway, thanks for the advice you guys have given me so far. I do appreciate the help; you guys always seem to know more about these things than some of the college graduates that went to school for the shit.
As for the drinking issue: I'm positive that if I don't slow down on it I'll be on the verge of a serious issue, so I'm taking steps to address this. God damn the Germans for making Jager-Bombs so awesome, though. And God damn Coors for being so good. Heh.
Yes, it's called Cool'n'Quiet.