Here's one of my recordings. Too bad I had to dumb down the quality to upload it to YouTube. The quality of the original file was very good though.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Here's one of my recordings. Too bad I had to dumb down the quality to upload it to YouTube. The quality of the original file was very good though.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Finally NVidia is releasing ShadowPlay to the public. If you don’t know, ShadowPlay is the technology where you can record your gameplay videos using the hardware encoder inside the GeForce 600/700 graphics cards. What’s cool about that is, you will hardly see a performance penalty when you do that. I had been using MSI Afterburner for video capture and while it is better than FRAPS as if doesn’t lock the gaming FPS to 60 or 120FPS, it still comes with a 10-15% performance hit because all the processing is done in real time in the CPU.
ShadowPlay comes with the version 1.7 of GeForce Experience software. GeForce Experience was originally created to automatically suggest the optimal graphics settings for your system to play the games that are installed in your system. I usually tweak the graphics settings on my own, but if you are a causal user, you will find this software to be very helpful. Of course, if you want to get the best FPS for your multiplayer games, you will have to come up with your own settings.
ShadowPlay is still in beta. You also need to update your graphics driver to 331.65 beta driver as well. After you download and install both GeForce Experience 1.7 and graphics driver version 331.65 beta, you will have to din to the Preferences tab on GeForce Experience to enable ShadowPlay. To enable ShadowPlay, you have to click on the button called “ShadowPlay”. Then you have to turn on the switch on the left hand side. Your monitor would go black and do some weird stuff when you click on that button. Don’t worry; just give it about 10 seconds.
There are indeed limitations in ShadowPlay. The biggest limitation is that you can only record maximum 20 minutes at a time. Plus, you can record only at 1080p 60Hz. At best quality settings, you will end up with a 7.5GB file at those settings.
Even though NVidia said that you would be able to stream games to Twitch, there doesn’t seem to be inbuilt support in GeForce Experience at this time. But hopefully it will come in the final version. For now, you will have to be satisfied with Afterburner or FRAPS like recording and manually uploading the video files to YouTube. Of course you will have to do some preprocessing because 7.5GB sounds very big.
Ok, enough chitter chatter. I need to experience this. See ya later!
Monday, October 28, 2013
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Thursday, October 24, 2013
In last December, I paid for a 1 year subscription of Carbonite. If you guys don't know, Carbonite is a cloud backup service that gives you "unlimited" cloud backup storage for a monthly price of about $5. There are two conditions though. First one is that you can only backup the data on your internal hard drives. The second is more restrictive. Once your backed up amount of data exceeds 200GB, your upload speed drops from 2Mbps to like 100kbps. Basically it is not unlimited backup. You are limited by time.
So many PC gamers are whining about stuttering. The main reason for stuttering is the mismatch between the FPS and the refresh rate of the display. It doesn't matter whether the GPU renders faster than the display or slower than the display, you will get stuttering. But when the GPU is rendering faster than the display, you get image tearing, which might drown out the stutter.
G-Sync to the rescue
- You won’t get screen tearing because tearing is directly caused when FPS and refresh rate not the same.
- You won’t get input lag, because the frames are rendered as soon as possible. They don’t have to wait until the previous frame is outputted first, to start rendering the next frame.
- You won’t get stutter caused by the mismatch of the display refresh rate and rendered FPS.
But does it still feel fluid enough at when the FPS is varying?
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Finally iPad Air comes with Wireless 802.11ac. That's a nice speed bump. If only you had a Wireless 802.11ac supported router that is. But because the CPU is faster, you will feel the speed boost even when browsing the internet.
Basically, the only thing they brought to the table was the weightlessness. (Sure, there is the speed boost too, but that's a given.) You readaholics will find it is less tiresome to keep holding the new tablet for an extended period of time. But it is still quite large which means that you cannot carry it everywhere and pull it out at everyplace.
It's got Retina! The same resolution as the big guy, which means higher pixel density as well because of the smaller display size. We didn't expect the small guy to have higher pixel density than the big guy. But apple didn't have a choice. If they brought yet another resolution to be supported by apps, it could ruin the app ecosystem as the developers will have to support yet another resoltuion. But they could always do some scaling as they do in the MacBook Pro with Retina displays. I feel bad for the people who bought the old iPad Mini thinking that the new one won't have Retina display as well.
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Friday, October 18, 2013
The smartphones are essentially PCs. PCs become outdated pretty quickly. So are mobiles phones. But in most countries you have to enter a two year contract period when you buy a mobile phone. They will subsidize the price of the phone, but there is no such thing in reality. They will cover up the full price of the phone over the two year period.
Now in Japan, especially when it comes to the iPhone offered by Softbank, you essentially pay zero money up front. If you keep the phone for two years, you will not have to pay a dime “for the phone”. Like I said, they always make up for it by heavy monthly charges. So for example, the iPhone 5S which I recently bought costs about JPY6,700 per month. That’s for a 24 month period. The phone itself doesn’t cost a dime – if you settle for the lowest capacity (i.e. 16GB) model. But you are paying about JPY160,000 over the two year period. That’s a huge amount of money, especially when 3G was performing pathetically. With
There is another way you can buy the phone. You pay the whole price of it upfront, and that amount will be discounted from your monthly bill. In the end, you are paying the same amount of money. Basically, you will pay like JPY3,900 per month if you bought the phone paying upfront.
Let’s get to the real point of the article. If you didn’t upgrade to a new phone after two years, you will still have to pay the same monthly price. If you paid upfront, your monthly charge will increase to JPY6,700 after 24 months. Basically if you bought a new phone or not, you are going to pay the same amount of money every month. So why the heck wouldn’t you upgrade?
I cannot speak for other countries though. In other countries, the phone is not always free. Especially a high-end phone that just got released. The newest iPhone would cost $199 and above. For that scenario, maybe you don’t want to pay that amount every two years. But how much is your monthly bill? I’m sure it is close to $100. So paying $200 additionally every two years won’t go noticed.
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Saturday, October 12, 2013
I'm going to do it differently. I'm going to see what Intel is going to with Haswell Refresh that's coming in next year. I'm sure it wont be much faster than what's available right now. But it might clock better. Again, there is good chance that I would lose the silicon lottery once more. That's become a bad habit of mine. But I will no do anything else with this CPU. I wont try to tweak it anymore. I wont buy faster RAM because it would not be noticeable. I won't add another CPU fan to make it run cooler. All those are diminishing returns. I would put all best I have towards the G710+ keyboard, G602 wireless mouse and a R9-290X graphics card.
Friday, October 11, 2013
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Sunday, October 6, 2013
Few days ago I was in the dilemma whether to buy a Lightning cable or a mobile portable charger in case I run out of battery on my iPhone 5S. Initially I was in the opinion that a cheap third party cable wouldn’t work at all. But on Amazon I found few cables and when I read the reviews on them, I found out that some cables seemed to work better than others. However, even the ones that worked for some people, didn’t work for others.
But they were so cheap compared to an official one from the Apple store. Basically, they were about 10 times cheaper. Some even 20 times cheaper. The official cable is about JPY2,000 while the ones available on Amazon were about JPY100 ~ 200. Cheap, right? So I wanted to try one out. Worse case would be getting a dud cable. I hope it won’t kill the phone though.
So I ordered this one and it arrived today. It didn’t qualify for Amazon Prime, but I didn’t have to pay for shipping. It just took a bit longer than next day delivery.
It has a weird marking on the USB jack. Who cares, right? I am going to use this on the office PC.
But it works! That’s all I care about. I could sync the phone to iTunes and the battery also got charged, The only worry is whether it can harm the phone in any way.
Now I am wondering if I really want a mobile charger. Sure, the office is not the only place the battery can die. What if I go on a trip? Hmm…. decision!
Friday, October 4, 2013
Thursday, October 3, 2013
The public beta of the most anticipated game of the year, Battlefield 4, came out yesterday. However, they let us preload the game the previous day and be ready as soon as the game went online. I also had the Battlefield 4 Beta automatically added to my games list, and even though I am not much of a Battlefield fan, I started downloading it.
This is not the first time, but the download finished in about 5 minutes. The download size is 5.5GB. That’s about 18MBps (not Mbps) average. I hit over 23MBps towards the last quarter actually.
Few times before, I have been managed to fully exhaust the connection, which is supposed to be 200Mbps (or 25MBps at max efficiency). The funny thing is that OCN sales personnel said that in reality you won’t get more than 100Mbps. Hey, 100Mbps is nothing to be sad about. It’s 200 times faster than the connection I have at home!!!
Of course I didn’t play the game fore more than a few minutes. The game wouldn’t play full screen, Hitting ALT + Enter didn’t fix it. Sabreen said it could be because of TeamViewer and I still couldn’t check it out. He could be right. I had the same issue with BF3 as well, when I checked it a few days ago. I had been using TeamViewer to monitor the PC remotely when I was stress testing it to see if the overclock was stable. I don’t really need it anymore, but I’ll keep it there in case I need to access the PC remotely. Of course, I have to have the PC turned ON in the first place.
Remember few days ago I bought a case and a screen protector for my shiny new iPhone 5S? The screen protector had a line carved onto it, where the two stickers separated. There were two screen protectors in the package so I tried the both of them and both of them were defective.
I informed this to Micro Solutions Inc, who was the seller of the product, and they sent me a new screen protector. Two of them in fact, just like in the original package, because I had to use up both of them needlessly.
The new ones are flawless. I actually have gained proper skill on how to apply them without dust particles or air bubbles getting caught in between. The first time I did it, there was a little mishap. The second times was perfect, except that line was carved in to the screen protector. The new one was applied perfectly as well, and it doesn’t have the line. Happiness!
Now I have to send the defective one back to them. They sent me a package to put it in. It’s already been paid for. I only have to call the courier and arrange a time to come and pick it up. Simple. I’m going to do it on Saturday.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Remember I told you that I broke my Zagg Smart Buds few months ago. I decided to wait and see how the Ear Pods that come with the iPhone 5S would perform. Now that I have had the phone with me for about a week, I have come to a conclusion that they are even worse that the old Ear Buds.
Well, they are sort of more confortable in the ear that the previous design. But they fall off much easily. Maybe it is because I had gotten used to the old design after using it for couple of months. I could even run wearing them. Of course neither design is well thought after like the Zagg Smart Buds. But I thought they would at least stick in the ear better than the old design.
Now I am wondering if I should buy a new pair of earphones. I am still leaning towards the Smart Buds. Zagg has better quality ear buds called ZR-6, but they don’t carry the around the neck design. Nonsense!!!
Should I give the Ear Pods more time?
Today, however, I got an email from Google saying that the payment for Domain was declined by the credit card company. I had set it up so that it automatically charges the Domain Registration fee annually. Only then I remembered that I had to renew my Credit Card and that I forgot to update it there. I went to update it but I could not get into the admin console. I couldn't even remember which account I used for it.
Once I found the link, which is https://admin.google.com/anushand.com/AdminHome, I tried both my accounts but none of them could get me in. But after I signed out of Google, I could log in with the credentials. Phew!
After that, I went into Billing and chose Domain Registration and clicked on Billing Settings. From there I added not just one payment method, by two, in case one of them fails.
Phew! My domain is still working fine. :)
When I upgraded to Haswell, I decided to keep using the RAM from the old rig. They are two kits of 4GBx2 Corsair Vengeance 1600MHz RAM. I tried overclocking those RAM, but they don’t want to deviate from the stock settings. Funny thing is though, they can work fine at XMP settings with just 1.35V, down from the 1.50V.
With the previous couple of generations, RAM speed didn’t make any difference in performance. But the integrated memory controller (IMC) on Haswell CPUs is strong and can run RAM even at 3GHz. (Sure it can cripple the core overclock of the CPU). Anandtech published an article saying that the sweet spot is between 1866MHz and 2400MHz.
Even then, the performance advantage is negligible. But for me, I can upgrade RAM and improve some other aspects of the rig.
- First is, by buying a 8GBx2 kit, I can lower the power consumption as well as the stress on the IMC. Usually, when you populate all the memory slots, it stresses the IMC more.
- Second is, if I can go with low profile modules, I can mount a 3rd fan on the CPU cooler for improved cooling performance. But it won’t make a big difference.
So which kit fits all these criteria? I could find only one such kit. Crucial Ballistix Tactical LP kit. They are low profile (not just low profile heat sink, but the PCB itself it low profile; even with the heatsink they are shorter than standard RAM with no heatsink), cheaper than the kits in the same league (JPY14,470), comes with life-time warranty and uses only 1.35V. They operate at 1600MHz 8-8-8-24 timings. The speed is not great, but reviews say that if you push the volts to 1.5V, you can easily clock them to 2133MHz, which is very good considering they still cost less than 2133MHz sticks. However, I’ve been bitten by putting my faith in these reviewers, who usually get cherry picked samples. A lot of people managed to run the Vengeance sticks at 2000MHz or above but mine wouldn’t budge.
On the second hand, the 2400MHz sticks are well over JPY 20,000 and come with tall heat sinks. I won’t be able to install a 3rd fan in there.
But I still haven’t decided whether to get these or not. The RAM prices have gone up in the last few days and perhaps they won’t come down anytime soon. The prices of these Crucial sticks have not gone up. Maybe I should order them now, and sell my current sticks later when the prices are up.