Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Off Topic: GF4 Ti4600 R.I.P. All Hail the New PC.

It's not quite dead. But 3D acceleration doesn't work on it anymore. It's been almost 5 years since I purchased this wonderful piece of hardware, and up until recently it has been a trusty, high-quality card.

It seems to be overheating. Symptoms include "the stuttering problem," coupled with batches of scrambled polygons (esp. Half-Life 2) after recovery. The problem gets worse the more I play.

I decided that heat was the likely culprit based on these problems (and after no solutions cured the problem), and so I tried cleaning the card. Now, the VC's fan has been less than well-oiled for a while now; it occasionally scrapes the bottom of its housing. It doesn't rotate as well as it should. But what really impressed me this time around was how much dust I pulled out from between the heat sink's fins. I think the spaces between all the fins were clogged up. I tried getting the top plate off the heat sink/fan housing, but stripped all four screws with jewelers' tools. The fan obviously has dust inside its mechanism, and there's no way I'm gonna get it out without tearing the cooling system apart.

The video card functions just fine when it doesn't have to do a lot of number crunching. For that reason I'll keep the card around.

So here's the thing. I was on the last chapter of Half-Life 2 when all this really got bad. So, that and the age of my current PC served as reasons for me to purchase new guts for my 'puter. I'm pretty happy with what I've picked out, though I'm having trouble relating my rationales to friends. :)

I'm going with an AMD 64 X2 4600+ dual-core. Here's why: I think the dual-core paradigm is gonna hit us like a ton of bricks. I plan on learning a lot more about the desktop part of the wave at Microsoft's PDC in a couple of weeks, but I think the gaming industry is going to pick up on it soon, too. The PS3's multi-core nature should at least get the industry's engineers thinking about new ways of doing things by the year's end, and hopefully in the next 2 years we'll see creative solutions to the problem of how to apply multi-threaded/parallel processing to consumer-level games.

I'm loading this CPU with 2GB RAM and a BFG 7800 GTX. I want to hear my computer thinking.

Truth be told, now that I've made the purchase, I find myself thinking more and more about how Vyde could take advantage of monster hardware like copious amounts of RAM, parallel processing, and God's own video card.


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