Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mouse got sick?

I think the G5 couldn’t take it anymore. The middle mouse button has lost the “click” sound. When I press it, I cannot tell if I have actually pressed it or not. Too much reloading of the gun I guess. Not in just games, it is also driving me crazy when I try to open a tab or close a tab with in the browser. Yes, I use the middle mouse button like everyone should. (Sure, I see a lot of people still right clicking the tab/link and pressing close tab/open in a tab option. How retarded are they?!)

Anyways, I think I should do something about this. Maybe take it apart and see what is wrong with it. Maybe there is only a small issue with it and I might be able to fix it. (I doubt it though!)

So, if by any chance, I need to buy a new mouse, I have no idea what to get. Of course I would buy something that is better than the G5. That means spending over 5k yen! Of course my birthday is coming up, but I was hoping to get something better than some mouse. But things happen, and there is nothing you can do about it. Maybe, just maybe, this might make me delay the video card purchase. I hate it, but tbh, this is very bad time to buy a new video card. New cards are just coming out and they are so expensive. In a couple of months, the prices will fall and there even will be some second hand ones for the grabs. That’s what I want.

So basically, the mouse is sick, but it is still not dead. I might kill it in the process of repair though. Phew, at least I have the lappy if something goes wrong. Either way, I should look at some mice! How about a wireless mouse, ha? Winking smile

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Graphics card upgrade status

There are the concerns with the graphics card upgrade.

1. Price! Not just the price of the card, but the operational cost as well. A power hungry card will be bad on the electricity bill

2. Performance. Of course I am not going to buy a card that is only slightly faster than my existing HD5770. I need it to be at least two times as fast at this one. But that doesn’t mean I would spend $500 on a graphics card. Well I don’t have to, because there are cards even right now that would give about 3 times the performance of a 5770. Well, maybe I will have to got the Crossfire route to get 3x performance, but still, it is possible by only spending about 30k yen.

The following graphs shows how Battlefield Bad Company 2 performance on different cards. Seems like I have to at least go for an HD6970 to get 2x performance. That is about 35k yen over here. But I can get two HD6870s for the same price and that is about 3x performance as the 5770.

image image

But in a game like Metro 2033 which uses the latest DX11 features like Tessellation, the HD6950 is 2x+ faster than a 5770. HD6870 crossfire gives 4x performance compared to there 5770.

image

You must be wondering, what about SLI? Unfortunately, this mobo only supports Crossfire. But the NVidia driver can be hacked to get SLI working on this one too. But I would stick with Crossfire, especially when Crossfire performance seems to have gotten a massive boost with the 6000 series graphics cards.

These are the best prices I can find in Japan online.

image

Right now, it seems that the HD6870 is the best card to get. I can add a second card any later when the prices are down or if there is the need for a second card. But lets see if I really need to replace the 5770 anytime soon. Open-mouthed smile

3. Power supply. This is the biggest problem with high-end cards or a crossfire setup. I currently have a 550W PSU, and I don’t know how good that is either. It is a Japanese built one, but there aren’t any reviews of this brand anywhere on the internet. But the card can deliver 22A on two +12V rails each, so it seems the PSU can handle all the way up to a GTX570. Crossfire, I don’t know. Maybe a HD6850 CF setup can fit into that power envelope. I don’t wanna buy a new PSU. That is another JPY10k for a good one.

image

4. Last but not least, the size of the graphics card. All these new cards are huge, usually around 11 inches in length. Yikes! I have an Antec 300 case, and I had to check if a high-end card fits. It seems everything except a HD5970, which I would not buy because it is the previous generation, and also it won’t fit the 550W PSU, would fit. I managed to find a screenshot of someone using a HD6970 in that case! Weee!!! (Of course I cannot have any hard drives straightly in front of the card, but that is OK. I only have two drives and I can even move them to 5.25” bays if I have to!)

HD6870 in Antec 300

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Windows 7 SP1

There are many reports that the SP1 for Windows 7 is leaked, so I checked if I could get hold of one, but I didn’t want to lurk around the torrent networks because they might have a tempered installation. To my amazement, I found softpedia listing it, so I downloaded it. (The build number is 7601.17514.101119-1850)

I was gonna slipstream it and install in that manner, but I wanted to give it a shot. I am not keen on installing Windows from the scratch especially when the current installation is running superbly. So I installed it.

At first it took a massive amount of disk space for the extraction. I started with almost 20GB left in the SSD, and then it dropped down to 12GB. I was hoping most of it were temporary files. Yes they were. The installation finished in 8 minutes thanks to the SSD, and after rebooting, the SSD had 17.5GB left in the drive.

But by using the following command in the command prompt, I could remove the backup files because I won’t be uninstalling this anyways. A further 2GB space was recovered after that. I’m back to 19.5GB left in the SSD. Decent! But I need more space. XD

Here is the command to remove the backup files:

dism /online /cleanup-image /spsuperseded

Note: Run it in elevated command prompt.

Here’s the final outcome:

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1

Monday, January 17, 2011

Push pull?

I have a Thermalright MUX-120 cooler in my PC. I bought it for JPY3950 in June. I didn’t buy it just for overclocking the CPU. It is one reason. But there were few more.

This is a very silent performer. The stock fan is about as quiet as you get in a high performance after market cooler. The stock Intel fan for the Core i5 750 was so loud. I love silent operation. I don’t want everyone in the house to know the whole PC is running. My PC is in my bedroom when I was in Sri Lanka and it would disrupt my sleep as I used to run the PC overnight download stuff, and it is not so different anymore either – I mean, the ROOM part, not the DOWNLOAD part. (The whole apartment is so frigging small! You can hear anything from anywhere!). The other thing was, it was out on sale. Today when I checked the prices of it, it was about JPY1500 higher than the price I bought it for.

Now, the heat sink came with only one fan. There was additional clips for mounting another fan. You could mount two fans so that both of them blow at the heat sink. But the push pull config is the most popular arrangement these days. I haven’t compared the two, but it doesn’t disrupt the natural airflow inside a case. Besides, two fans will give better thermal performance than one fan. Even two slow fans are desirable to one high RPM fan.

The stock fan that comes with the HSF is a Thermalright X-Silent 12. 1200RPM, 19.8dBA. But about 36CFM iirc. It is OK, and I checked to buy a second X-Silent, but I couldn’t find any in Japan. (I checked the regular places online)

There was another option. The video card was running a little bit hot when playing games, so I could add the X-Silent to the side panel of the case, and buy couple of brand new fans to mount on the heat sink. I was looking for something BETTER than the X-Silent, otherwise it would not be much of an upgrade, would it. What I meant by “better” was not high CFM.

1. Better CFM @ same noise

2. Same CFM @ less noise

3. Better CFM @ less noise

Obviously, the options was the best. I checked few fan reviews and specs and after a lot of consideration, I decided to buy couple of Enermax T.B. Silence 120mm fans. Enermax? Who would have thought! Usual contenders are Scythe, Coolermaster, GELID, but the T.B. Silence ones seemed to have the best specs. 43CFM @ 11dBA??? That cannot be true. I listened to some noise comparisons on youtube too. They seemed to work so well.

UCTB12

I ordered it when I was in SL. I specified delivery time to be later in the day I arrived in Japan. Awesome.

So when they arrived, I installed them and I couldn’t tell from 1 feet away whether they were running or not! They were that silent. I checked the airflow too. The airflow was very good as well. Much higher than the X-Silent. So what about the temps? I used to get over 70C while running LinX with the old fan. Now I get max 62C. The ambient is a bit lower these days, but it is definitely NOT 8C+. I’d say the push pull config relieved the CPU off by more than 5C. It is a win! But it didn’t increase the overclocking potential of the CPU. It still requires a lot of volts to get to 4GHz stable. Doesn’t seem worth the risk and power bill. 3.8GHz is where I stop at with this CPU.

One more note:

All this time I thought the MUX-120 was not a very good cooler. It seems, it is one of the best out there. Check this out.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/lga-1156-heatsink,2535-14.html

Weeee!

Trip (?) to Sri Lanka

A lot of you already know I went back to Sri Lanka last December. I flew Sri Lankan, and we had a disappointment to begin with. The flight was delayed for about 1 hour. It wasn’t a short trip either. Almost about 13hours with one brief stop at Male. It’s so funny how we went over Sri Lanka to Male, and came back. About 3hours wasted! My parents were there waiting for me for about 2 hours. I had to buy some chocolates from the Duty Free as well, as I didn’t bring enough from Japan. Well, I happened to have bought enough chocolates from Japan, just that I underestimated what I had bought.

Anyways…

I was hardly around the house. Most of the times, I was at my girlfriend’s place. Lunch from home, dinner from her place. hehe. My friends and I (and my girl friend as well) got together one day to watch a movie and have lunch. That, and the visit to Tharaka’s new house was the only times I met with the friends. Ah I forgot, that I went to see Lasitha as well.

Other than that, my girl friend and I went on shopping, to the beach, to the zoo, to the temple and here and there. No big trips or anything. She is studying for the exam, so couldn’t have fun all the time. Nevertheless, I enjoyed visits to her place. Oh wait! We went to check the hotel prices for the wedding too, just to get an idea on how expensive it is gonna get (and how much I will have to cut down on buying stuff from Amazon XD)

Time passed by too quickly. I was in Japan in no time. Even the flight time was very short. That is not bad however. Damn, it was work next day. Back to work. Can’t wait for the next time to go back. It will most probably be next August.

Oh and I didn’t bring much techno stuff this time around. Hope to take some next time though. I might need to sell my video card, depending on the requirements of Crysis 2. Playing Crysis 2 is my biggest short term target. LOL

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