Thursday, January 26, 2006

Another Run - Lap 2

After about 3 hours of hardware disassembling, cleaning, and reassembling, the ol' frankenstein is back with some beefy hardware... and I do mean beefy. A new power supply to cope with future upgrades along with a new motherboard and video card makes this just as insanely great as the RADEON 9800 Pro before it. The ol' ATi card has served me well and it's a wonder that it survived this long. Then again, I do tend to take care of my hardware well enough given that I wouldn't have the cash handy to grab a new one. The card stood the test of times and gaming throughout the years, handling not only some of the newer games without fail but also the old ones with ease. Quake 3 Arena, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Unreal Tournament 2003 and 2004, Tribes: Vengeance, Guild Wars, World of Warcraft, Flat Out, and even Battlefield 2, these titles have all ran without incident. And it's amazing that even after all these releases the card can still hold its own against the fierce brutality of today's 3D games.

Now owning a powerful GeForce 7800GT, Battlefield 2 runs the same as before, except with headroom to render higher detailed textures and visuals. Yet I found the difference to be quite minimal at best... so instead, I rendered the game at 4xAA and gave it a test run. Needless to say, the game runs amazingly well with this on. Describing it would be meaningless, as the difference is night and day. While there's little need to run such things with a first person shooter, the visual difference is definitely present. The only obstacle that prevents the game from being fully enjoyable is the heavy memory requirement just to get into the game. Many people have testified the game loading quicker and performed slightly better with 2GB of memory. Sadly, it may be the only truth right now. In some cases, 2GB of RAM may be more than just a necessity but a more probable requirement.

As I sit now typing this up, two instances of StressPrime 2004 crunches away to fully test the CPU at its "new" speed. After minor adjustments to the CPU voltage, the test is looking very promising. The first and initial run resulted in no errors after 3 hours 40 minutes. If all goes well, then the test will forever run without incident for a good 9-13 hours. After that, another series of software reinstalls as well as a system utility to ensure the tempuratures of the CPU remains at nominal level.

I'll have to do some updating to a few forum posts I've made in the past... but that'll come soon enough when the softwares are done installing.