Oct 11
It’s not all puppies and kittens…
posted by: Player0 in computering, gaming on 10 11th, 2008 | | No Comments »

Still playing with my Vista install although I haven’t put as much time yet in to it as I would have liked.  There are some definite issues with this install.  First off, I’m having major sound issues.  Any 3d spatial sound seems REAL flakey.  My moving the camera I can hear or stop hearing certain sounds.  It sounds very obviously wrong and is a huge drawback to games.  This affects Crysis.  It also affected Bioshock until I enabled it’s EAX compliance.  Alchemy does nothing.  You can see here that I’ve been trying DX10 games.  The other issue is that the machine is a memory hog.  Vista sucks down memory like there’s no tomorrow and it makes 4G look very reasonable.

The list of supported DX10 games is very small.  Smaller than I thought really.  I have been able to notice some DX10 features.  Yeah, it looks a little better.  But the reduced framerates sorta mean I have to run with a bit less resolution.  Especially in STALKER Clear Sky.  I have 7 DX10 capable games as it stands.

The biggest frustration I’m feeling right now though is not being able to download Warhammer Online which means I need to run to the store tomorrow to get it.  Sure, you can download it from Direct2Drive but I hate IGN as a company after the billing nightmare I had with them a couple years ago.  They will not get my business.  The other issue with D2D is the inability to install the game as often as you want.  Steam is great.  It provides patches and updates.  It also allows you to install the game as often as you need on machines if you blow away the OS as I just did.  D2D makes you call their customer service department to reactivate a game after 1-2 installs.  This is retarded.  It can take over 24h for the reset to even happen.

Or, I’ll buy it at the store tomorrow for the same price and I can install it as many times as I want.  I suspect I won’t even need the DVD to play the game.

Also FYI, today I installed brake pads for the first time.  Big step for me :D

Oct 7
A fair shot…
posted by: Player0 in computering, reviews on 10 7th, 2008 | | No Comments »

I installed Vista 64 Ultimate today on my gaming rig.  I had caught a virus on it and also I had reinstalled XP 32 on that partition several times over.  I wanted to do things from scratch and I wanted to partition the OS and Apps separately.  I’ve never really used Vista or a 64 bit OS before so I figured why not give it a shot.

I really wanted to be unbiased about this.  I went in with no expectations either way.  My own little Mohave experiment.  I acquired a copy of Vista Ultimate SP1 and installed it and that was a breeze.  The install was very quick as was getting all the drivers set up.  I found good 64 bit drivers for everything I have on the machine.

Haven’t had one stability issue yet though I haven’t installed any games.  It is more memory intensive than XP, at least out of the box.  Performance feels a bit more clunky however I have all the bells and whistles enabled.  Firefox and IE7 are noticeably slower.  However, I have a quad core CPU and a powerful GPU so I suspect I am getting more benefit from those.

One downside is certainly the lack of direct hardware support for the Sound Blaster X-Fi card I have.  ALchemy should work okay I guess but Creative really ought to do something about this situation.  Software EAX uses more CPU but again I have a quad core otherwise going to waste.

I really wanted Vista to check out some DirectX 10 features.  Hopefully I will be able to see some on the 8800 Ultra.  There are many new games out with good DirectX 10 visuals that make Vista maybe worth having.  I’ll have to see what I have in my library.  Getting a new GPU to really experience all the new eye candy is tempting but really out of the cards at the moment.

It’s relatively painless to get Vista to stop nagging you about everything.  As usual with any Microsoft product these days, I seem to spend significant time unchecking every option checked and checking every option unchecked.  I seem to be the polar opposite of Microsoft’s ‘generic user’.  However, this really wasn’t any worse than what I go through with XP every time.

In fact, Vista is quite well organized.  I feel it’s a lot easier to navigate than XP.  There are a lot more options but it they’re in the right places usually.  I do feel it’s like a refined XP.

That said, I feel like it’s a refined XP.  I see absolutely no reason why this software should cost so much more money.  I have Vista Ultimate and I’m staring at it and wondering… well what… where… where is everything neat?  What is anything that makes this better than XP?  Granted I’m still looking around.  I fully intend to see what all of these new apps can do.

However, I can’t help but think that $100 is a better price point for Vista.  Hell, I can go buy Leopard for $129 right now.  It’d probably run on my gaming rig tho… it’d defeat the purpose of having a gaming rig.  Still, tit for tat, it blows Vista away for features out of the box.

I have to wonder if Microsoft hands are a bit tied since this anti-trust thing.  I suppose they can’t go throwing neat apps in to Vista left and right the same as Apple can.  I don’t know how that affects free MS downloads.

But Vista is the in thing for PC gaming, no hardware EAX aside.  And as for 64 bit well… does anyone care?  I guess if you want 4G of memory which… in hindsight might actually be a boon to a Vista install.

My jury is still out until I have several months on this thing.  If it games better and I don’t need a GPU, I don’t think I’ll be too unhappy with it.