Hugsies Blog!

November 18, 2014

Asus STRIX GTX 980 \o/

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — Hugsie @ 8:33 am

It’s finally here!

As a long long time user of Second Life, if you’re still using a video card with only 1GB (or less) you seriously need to upgrade to something with more. When I pre-ordered my GTX 980, I installed bench-marking software and monitoring tools that helped me better understand the hardware I have before my GTX 980 arrived.

Using GPU-Z and running one instance of Firestorm on SL, the viewer and the OS overhead was using about 800mb of my  old video card’s VRAM, out it’s 1GB of VDDR5 memory. So if you were using an older 512mb video card, your performance was already suffering just using one instance of an SL viewer.  I then realized that this is why when I run a second instance of Firestorm, that I had to minimize one of them (or cam out into the void so nothing renders) in order for the viewer that has focus not to bog down it’s frame rates.

When my new video card arrived, it has 4GB of VDDR5 RAM, and I quickly fired up FOUR instance of Firestorm, logged in four ALTs and none of the viewers had any framerate issues (except for when it doesn’t have focus FPS drops, which is meant to do that) but there was no drop in framerate with the viewer that currently was in focus. I could alt-tab to another viewer and no loss in quality. AND i had everything set to ULTRA settings.

So while getting a GTX 980 is overkill for Second Life, getting a video card with 2GB VRAM or more IS advisable if you’re using multiple alts on SL at the same time. So something like a GTX 750 ti which has 2GB of VRAM ($160) would be useful over any old videocard that only has 1GB.

November 10, 2013

The 1080p delema of the Xbox One

Filed under: Gaming!, Xbox 360, Xbox One — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , — Hugsie @ 9:21 pm

PCs have been doing HD and better resolutions for decades before “HD” was even a marketing sales gimmick. Microsoft is trying to cram an HTPC (home theater PC), a DVR, skype, and a video game console into one unit, with hardware specs that are well below even a mid-range gaming PC, or even a HTPC that you could get in the $500 price range.

Microsoft is using virtual machines (HyperV) to run all of this stuff in the background all as separate Operating Systems (OS) that its NO WONDER why the resolutions of CoD Ghosts, and other games are running at 900p or 720p.  NOT at the ubiquitous and largely taken-for-granted quality of 1080p, which has been common place for over a decade.

It’s not that the Xbox One hardware isn’t up to snuff to do 1080p at 60fps, assuming all it is doing is running a video game. It’s the other multiple OS running other stuff via HyperV that devs are having to deal with. They only get a slice of the pie of it’s GPU/CPU horsepower, which is whats making developers lower graphics resolutions to maintain a certain frame rate in their games.

Microsoft in their infinite wisdom wants to record a TV show in the background while you play your video game, even though you probably don’t have TV feed hooked up to it (since you already own a DVR). Also CPU cycles are being used as it listens to you via Kinect, while you yell at n00bs and trolls online; just in case you actually give a voice command to the Xbox. There is a “GAME DVR” that records you playing the game in case you wanna record your last epic trick shot, or achievement (which granted thats fucking cool).  Plus there’s online and network traffic, cloud storage, and cloud servers. That’s a LOT of stuff going on that would bog down a high end PC with an eight-core CPU @ 4.5ghz, quad GPUs in SLI, with 64GB of quad channel RAM with a 250GB SSD storage.

That last bit might be exaggerated but I believe you get my point. All of this reminds me of past failures Microsoft had, like Windows Me, and to some extent Windows Vista. It’s typical Microsoft ideologies where they take something that works well, and in its next incarnation try make it do far too much and it ultimately fails, or it won’t meet expectations. All because it’s doing all this extra “crap” that most users have no need for, and it prevents them from doing what users WANT it to do. Microsoft doesn’t care what you want, they know better for your own good!

With all of that said,  I’m still gonna buy an Xbox One over a PS4 since I have no loyalty nor much history with Sony as I’ve had with Xbox over the past decade and a half, not to mention with DOS/Windows PC gaming which spans a better part of 30 years now. Plus I just re-upped my XBL gold membership for another year. 🙂

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