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Iorwerth
Posted: Mon 12 Feb 2007 4:47 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 13 Nov 2006 Posts: 179 Location: Jax, FL
Taxes are done, so now I'm just waiting on the direct deposit. Two recent developments that have caught my eye are as follows:

1. A new entry-level NVidia video card is now available, the GeForce 8800 GTS w /320MB (as opposed to 640MB).

HardOCP wrote:
The BFGTech GeForce 8800 GTS OC 320MB performance simply depends on the demands of the game. In the games we tested we found that overall we only had to drop the AA setting by one level compared to the 640MB GeForce 8800 GTS. In fact, in World of Warcraft and Need for Speed Carbon we found absolutely no difference between the two 8800 cards. The reduction in memory capacity doesn’t affect those games.


http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTI4MSwxNywsaGVudGh1c2lhc3Q=

2. Intel is shipping the most OC'able "entry-level" chip yet--the Intel Core 2 Duo E4300

AnAndTech wrote:
At default speeds, the E4300 isn't all that impressive in the grand scheme of things; it's effectively a slightly cheaper, slightly slower E6300. But much like the E6300, much of the appeal of the E4300 comes from overclocking - and overclock it does. Compared to other Core 2 CPUs, the E4300 doesn't set any new overclocking records but at the price it's a true bargain.

The change in base FSB speed also has advantages in overclocking, making it possible to use a linked (1:1 ratio) memory speed and still get extremely high overclocks without resorting to anything more than DDR2-800 memory. The E6300 has a 7x multiplier and a 266 MHz base bus speed, so without dropping to a 4:5 ratio and sticking with DDR2-800, the E6300 tops out at 7x400 or 2.8 GHz. With a 9x multiplier the E4300 can potentially reach as high as 9x400 or 3.6 GHz while keeping memory at or below DDR2-800. While it is possible to get bus speeds of P965 motherboards above 500 MHz, it is far more difficult and often requires more expensive component choices, making the E4300 the new king of budget overclocking. Throw in a more powerful CPU cooling setup, and we have no doubt it will be very easy to exceed our 3.37GHz overclock by a large margin.


http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=2903&p=8

I've built my own systems for some time, now--is it time for me to join the OC club? /ponder

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Caladine
Posted: Mon 12 Feb 2007 5:58 pm Reply with quote
That Guy Who Married Lacia Joined: 31 Oct 2005 Posts: 1589 Location: Yeah, those are the Rockies.
Intel chips have always been stupidly overclockable.
My father is pushing his over by 500 Mhz, and it runs at a whopping 84 degrees farenheit. At default speed, it was room temperature. razz

As long as your CPU temperature is reasonable, and you're not crashing, you won't damage the chip by overclocking it. Go for it.

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rhynn
Posted: Tue 13 Feb 2007 12:19 pm Reply with quote
Kitty on a Smoke Break Joined: 23 Jun 2005 Posts: 971
One thing to note, on the sound card front:

If you're upgrading to Vista - spending any money what-so-ever on a soundcard is a potential waste of resources.

Vista's new audio-stack as a whole is pretty nice, but... true to the Microsoft tradition they made some absolutely -stupid- changes. Namely, they've removed -all- hardware acceleration.

It has a few advantages to it -- one of the most common causes of bluescrens in windows is sound rivers (right up there with video drivers, really,) and this will help to take care of that - but it has so many drawbacks.

Hardware sound acceleration to reduce the load on the CPU? Gone. (Microsoft says this is a moot point in this day and age.)

Wonderful hardware effects such as EAX that make games sound.. well, not like shit? Gone gone gone gone gone.

Multi-channel (beyond 2 channel,) sound? Also gone! Unless your on-board card complies with the Intel High-Definition Audio standards.

The only exception so far is the few (but increasing,) number of games that use the OpenAL sound libraries. Those bypass Windows sound architecture completely and use their own (superior, IMHO,) audio stack which still gives hardware level privileges to applications.

Creative's also working on a wrapper for the X-fi cards, that traps all Windows sound calls and re-writes them to OpenAL calls, but let's be realistic. Despite how awesome Creative's hardware is - they can't write software, let alone drivers, to save their lives. So it's guaranteed to suck.

(By the by... World of Warcraft, even in HDA audio, sounds like pure -crap- in Vista. No EAX... ugh, everything sounds flat and crappy.)

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