Sunday, December 19, 2010

New system up and running

Well I got the new system up and running. I ended up buying a Philips 22" monitor to go with my 2 Samsung monitors, and gave the 21.5" Dell to my wife to use with her laptop. I also ended up buying an expensive displayport adapter since the $30 one was being flaky. Eyefinity or the adapters seem to have issues sometimes with the system going to sleep. I also ended up grabbing the new World of Warcraft expansion. They completly redid the quests in the original zones to take into account the current state of the world and upped the level cap to 85 with a few new zones. Here is a pic that shows eyefinity at work (added vert lines to approximate where the monitor edges are) and me hitting the new level cap. It was pretty easy to do in less than a week just playing a few hours a night. The only quest I really ran into trouble with and needed assistance was 'The Defiler's ritual' in Uldum. Luckily a horde player was working the same thing, and we didn't need to group in order for it to work so we both took down the mobs and got the quest completed.


WoW 2010-12-19 03-46-20-19-bezel

Thursday, December 2, 2010

New system arrives today

After battling hard to diagnose problems with my system the past couple of years I have finally bitten the bullet and ordered a Dell as a replacement. It was supposed to be delayed in shipping and not get here until the 21st because I swapped the video for an ATI 5770, but to my surprise it was shipped on Wednesday and is already somewhere in the Fedex system in Phoenix.

Between some disk problems and a driver update causing stability problems for my 4850s I haven't played any computer games in about six weeks. Right before the last hiccup on the system I had played a couple weeks of World of Warcraft again to see what kind of changes were taking place to get ready for the next expansion. I haven't decided if I will take the plunge and buy it. I still haven't even broken down and bought the latest edition of Civilization. Most of my gaming time has been spent on chess lately.

So the new system has the following:

i7-870 Quad Core w/ HT
8 GB ram
1 TB hd
PCIe wlan card
ATI 5770 w/ 1GB DDR5
22" monitor (1920x1080)

I also ordered an active displayport to DVI adapter from Newegg so I can use all 3 22" monitors as a single display on the new system. That probably won't get here until next week. At least the price on those dropped to about $30.

I have been spending some time thinking about how I want the system organized. Because Win7 doesn't like programs writing to things in the Program Files directories, if you install something there you a lot of times have to give it administrator rights just so it can function. So I am probably going to set up a directory structure under users/public to install applications there where they won't have to contend with that.

I also need to decide what game to install first to test the Eyefinity technology running on the 3 monitors. If I plan on playing WoW again, I won't install until after I get the expansion. There are so many massive updates to download it would take a day to get it running without setting up any addons. Most likely I will install and run Starcraft 2 first or get FSX up and running, which would be nice with the 3 monitors. Or maybe ArmaII. That with the trackIR would be fun on the 3 monitors, and hopefully this system will crush ArmaII.

My current system suffered from a set of Seagate drives that were recalled initially, but it has seemed to have other problems with either the sata controllers, the sata cables (swapping them at one point solved a problem), or some other issue with the mobo. Whatever the problem is I don't care to try and track it down any more, and I don't really care to build my own systems any more. Dell systems are cheap enough these days that it isn't worth the effort to byo.