This wouldn't have happened with Gainsborough or one of those proper painters.

Thursday, September 11

Geek

Once More Into The Breach

Visited Capitol Square at lunchtime today, and came back with an Asus 9600GT, 1GB version.

I will try not to blow this one up.

For two weeks of effort and about $120 more than I originally planned to spend, I'm getting half the performance.  But at least I've evaded the sharks.

Update: Seems to work.  (Tiptoes away very very carefully...)

Update: Still working.  Card temperature is hovering around 35ºC (95ºF), compared to about 60ºC (140ºF) for the short-lived 9800GT.  The cards are supposed to be roughly comparable in performance and power consumption - the 9800GT a bit higher on each.  Makes me wonder if my card was faulty even before I destroyed it.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 02:10 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Wednesday, September 10

Geek

Close Enough For Pixy Work

The 9800GT works.  And yes, it's fast.  I don't have anything that will actually stress it at the moment, but for stuff that doesn't require a card like this, it's great.

Unlike the 6600, it doesn't automatically come up in dual-screen mode, so I had to download and install the drivers to get that working.  Except that the downloaded drivers didn't work at all - the installer insisted that I didn't have a compatible video card.

Back to the CD that came with the card.  That work, fortunately.  Only, while I was messing about trying to configure things correctly, I made a discovery - my two identical monitors have different brightness, contrast, and colour temperature levels when identical setttings are selected.  Not different enough to worry about, but at some point I'm going to spend an hour microtweaking until they are identical, goddammit!

Meanwhile, though, it works.  It works!

Update: Uh-oh.  Pale blue screen of beep-beep-beep!  Looks like my baby UPS can't power both computers any more, so I've taken the Windows box off it.  I think there was a power glitch when it overloaded and that caused the card to lock up, because it started beeping just afterwards.

Also, that card produces a fair whack of heat.  I have a 14cm case exhaust fan, but even so it's getting kind of warm in there.  Okay, I was playing a game on one screen and watching TV on the other, but I expect it to handle that without freaking out and falling over.  We'll see.

Update: The card comes with an overclocking utility, which also allows you to underclock it - and pretty drastically, if you so desire, right down to one quarter the default speed.  I've got it set to two-thirds right now, and I'm watching the temperature tick down.  We'll see how that goes over time.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 10:41 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Tuesday, September 09

Geek

Half And Half

Got word back from the shop about my 4850: It works perfectly.

For them.

For me, of course, it's a pile of poo.

Over the weekend I dug out a GeForce 6600 and tried that, and that also works perfectly - and is actually slightly faster than the onboard video.  So it's not that my motherboard is broken, it's just some weird incompatibility between my ATI chipset and the ATI video card.

So I asked for a refund and in it's place I'm getting an Nvidia 9800GT.  That only delivers half a teraflop and half a gigabyte of RAM, but it's still twenty  times the speed of the 6600 (give or take).

It's also a hundred dollars cheaper than the 4850, so I snaffled an eight-port gigabit switch at the same time.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 03:19 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Thursday, September 04

Geek

Sporadicated

The official Spore website is down.

Not that I have the game in any case.

What with not having a video card and all. sad

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 10:54 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Tuesday, September 02

Geek

Keeping Score

Bought three new toys.

Two work perfectly.

The other one destroyed my computer.  (Just blue-screened again.)

So, about average.

Hmm.

If it's not the drivers, it's likely the memory, sayeth net wisdom.

So pop in Memtest86+, wait a few minutes, dum de dee, uh-oh.

I did have memory issues with this computer when I first built it, but after swapping modules around a bit and a few all-night runs of Memtest86+ it's been good for eight months.  Maybe something got nudged out of alignment.

Popped the DIMMs, cleaned the contacts, aligned the spark gap, and put them back in in the opposite order.  Memtest86+ is off again.

I also tried putting the video card back in.  Nope!  Display corruption all over the place - in text mode! - with Memtest86+ reporting no errors at that point.

I may have a faulty DIMM, but that card is just plain stuffed.

Update: Yep, faulty DIMM.  I'll replace that too.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 01:07 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Monday, September 01

Geek

Shark Attack*

My PC blue-screened again, with an IRQL-NOT-EQUAL or whatever it is.

Likely causes for this, according to the wisdom of the 'net, are bad memory or bad drivers.  Since my PC bluescreened while I was reinstalling the video drivers, my first port of call was to uninstall those drivers.

Which I did.

My PC has an all-in-one ATI motherboard.  I was installing an ATI video card.  It's the same drivers.  I just uninstalled my motherboard drivers.

And, after reboot, everything seems to be working perfectly.

Either I've reached shallow water, or the sharks are just biding their time.

*

Update: They're circling.  I can tell.  (The DVI port on my motherboard seems to turn off every now and then if the chipset is busy.  I'm trying to format a 1.2TB external drive, which takes about 16 hours at the best of times.  Bleah.)

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 07:51 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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