Sunday, December 21, 2008

Re-Catching the Gaming Bug

I've re-caught the PC gaming bug. By and large I gave up gaming over a year and a half ago once I retired in Cheydinhal.

Wow... has it really been that long? Eighteen months since I've done any gaming? I've been reduced to occasional dorking around on my n810 (that lil' tablet has worked fantastically, btw), but mostly I've been either designing, developing or otherwise working every waking moment of my day. Man, that's sad.

I received Assassin's Creed as a very loving gift yesterday, so I fired up the good ole Wintendo and attempted an install. It had been so long since I'd turned my home desktop workstation on that I had nearly six months of Windows XP updates backlogged. One hour of driver/NVIDIA/anti-virus/Windows updates, another hour of volume defragmenting, three hours of nTune tweaking, two hours of BIOS tweaks, one hour installing the title and over ten reboots later I had a working install of Assassin's Creed. Whew.

I have an old Athlon 64 X2 and some cheap (but stable) Corsair RAM paired with a doable GeForce 7800 GT. Of course it wasn't quite enough to muscle through Assassin's Creed with all the frames I wanted, so I brought up the tRAS, tRCD and tRP from 8-3-3 to 6-3-3, cranked the frontside bus from 201 to 234 MHz, brought the PCI-E reference clock up to 117 MHz (to bring the bus from 2500 to 2925 MHz) and slightly poked the GPU clock up from 470 MHz to 475 (memory clock wouldn't budge). Surprisingly this actually got me over the fence.

It's kinda fun coming back to the tweak-and-tune days of PC gaming. NVIDIA's nTune app makes tweaking system values a huge deal easier, since it will talk directly to the mobo's NVIDIA chipset via (I'm guessing) ACPI. I can let nTune do its thing, rebooting once its locked up, and just hack merrily away on the laptop in the meantime.

Tomorrow it will be back to work again, but for this weekend I'm having fun. It's overdue.

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