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The Spam Thread!
RAMChYLD Wrote:I remember reading somewhere that the card's firmware must also be UEFI-aware for UEFI to be able to use the card. That may be the cause of your problems- the card is just too old for UEFI mode. I have a 6670 in Clementine that does work in UEFI mode tho, so maybe you need a 6000-series card at least to use UEFI.

As what I was thinking with my old GT240. I bought it last 2010, but the card was originally released in 2009, i.e. at the time when UEFI isn't as mainstream yet.
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<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/topic/299614-asus-eah6450-video-bios-uefi-gop-upgrade-and-gop-uefi-binary-in-efi-for-many-ati-cards/">http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/topic/ ... ati-cards/</a><!-- m -->

Apparently even some 6000-series cards aren't UEFI ready, and needs a firmware upgrade. Maybe there's upgrades for the 5450 too?

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Yeah, video cards have firmware too. Unfortunately, the firmware of this sort are pretty nasty, manufacturers almost never update them. They'd rather you buy the newest and greatest video cards with your new motherboard along with your RAM and CPU.

In the original Dongwa's case, a change in the firmware ABI caused videos to stop playing on the laptop. Unfortunately, HP refuses to release the upgrade for it and even issued takedowns at sites hosting it. They'd rather me buy a new laptop >Sad

And because of that, HP is on my blacklist. Among other things.
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RAMChYLD Wrote:Yeah, video cards have firmware too. Unfortunately, the firmware of this sort are pretty nasty, manufacturers almost never update them. They'd rather you buy the newest and greatest video cards with your new motherboard along with your RAM and CPU.

In the original Dongwa's case, a change in the firmware ABI caused videos to stop playing on the laptop. Unfortunately, HP refuses to release the upgrade for it and even issued takedowns at sites hosting it. They'd rather me buy a new laptop >Sad

And because of that, HP is on my blacklist. Among other things.
So with Dongwa, you could no longer play videos due to firmware changes? That sounds similar to DRM being enforced by necessary firmware updates, it seems. Correct me if my assumption is wrong. I would think videos could continue to play if you used the stock pre-installed drivers or used software decoding.

If I would have known about the HD5450's UEFI issues beforehand, I wouldn't have bought it and looked for a newer UEFI-ready GPU. I never knew that UEFI could affect graphics cards. I assumed it just dealt with operating systems, hard drives, and CPUs. But since I have the HD5450 now, may as well use it since returning it would be too much hassle.. and it was only $30 anyway.

I am thinking of something though. I may make the Acer Veriton M410 my production PC and perhaps retire Audrey, but I haven't done anything yet. The M410 has an Athlon 64 x2 5000+ dual core CPU and 4GB RAM. In order for this to work, I would have to take several parts from Audrey (PSU, 500gb HDD, Wifi and HD5450) and invest in Windows 7 x64 and a RAM upgrade to 8gb. I currently only have Windows Vista 32-bit and it does run fine on the M410 through initial testing. The M410 might be somewhat old, but it's free from UEFI issues and the Athlon 64 x2 5000+ should handle my Adobe programs fine.

I need to think it over first.
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[Image: CPUComparison_052715.jpg]

This is a CPUBenchmark.com comparison between the AMD Athlon 64 x2 vs Audrey's AMD A6-5200.

While the A6-5200 has a higher score than the older Athlon 64, I still wonder if I should press forward with my plan. Audrey runs good, but I found out she has very limited upgradeability. Her motherboard only has two SATA ports meaning no secondary hard disk unless I get rid of the DVD-RW drive. She also has no PCI slots, just one PCIe x1 and one PCIe x16. There is also, of course, her UEFI firmware with Secure Boot. Windows 8 runs fine with that turned off, but I can no longer use fast boot or quick shut down. And who knows if Windows 10 will even run with Secure Boot disabled? There is also the mild annoyances presented with Windows 8. Though I no longer think the Start screen is bad, it's no replacement for a real Start menu. I also hate how File Open dialogs tend to dump you back under "This PC" rather than the User folder as with previous Windows versions.

What do you think? Should I go forward with my plan or keep Audrey as is?
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how about putting the 5450 into Timothy along with a WiFi USB dongle? you can then just use Timothy for gaming and keep Audrey for production work until you can afford a UEFI capable video card. In fact, you can try switching Timothy to run Linux Mint and Steam.
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RAMChYLD Wrote:how about putting the 5450 into Timothy along with a WiFi USB dongle? you can then just use Timothy for gaming and keep Audrey for production work until you can afford a UEFI capable video card. In fact, you can try switching Timothy to run Linux Mint and Steam.
Well, Timothy is a single core Pentium 4 531 with only 512mb RAM and Windows XP Home Edition. Even if I managed to upgrade his RAM and install either Windows 7 or Linux Mint, I don't think many Steam games will run outside of casual titles, and Greta is basically my gaming PC. I install all my PC casual games on her drive. Timothy is meant for titles from pre-2004 and before that have trouble running with Windows Vista or above. These are mainly eGames arcade compilations, shareware games, and (eventually) DosBox stuff.... games that even Timothy's integrated ATI Xpress 200 can run fluently. I would also need to invest in a new MicroBTX PSU if I wanted to get a new video card for him. His current PSU is only 110W and I don't really have the money to spend on any more parts at this point.

Audrey has been the main production PC for about two years with the exception of last fall when I experimented with Lilly a bit. I rarely, if ever, use her for games. I could just go back to Lilly and grab a Mini-DP to VGA converter, but Lilly really gets hot running Windows 8.1 via BootCamp, and I don't have much use for OSX anymore. Thus, her future is in question yet again. I also can't use her 500gb hard disk entirely with Windows either, and upgrading that HDD isn't worth the effort thanks to Apple locking down hardware upgrades. (it could have been worse.. at least I upgraded her RAM)

What is driving me to consider making the Acer Veriton M410 the production box are two things. The first is that I got the tower for free. It was an old library PC like Timothy, and I got them both the same day. The M410 had it's hard disk removed and I had to swap a CMOS battery from another P4 box I got from the same place. The M410 works now, and when I tested my 32bit Windows Vista, it ran very well and quick. Since my Adobe programs are so old, I doubt the Athlon 64's lower score will impact their performance. If I can make the box useful for me, I will be happy, especially since the M410 has more upgradeability than Audrey. (M410 has four SATA ports compared to Audrey's two)

The second reason is going to sound weird, but I must state it. When it comes to pre-built PCs from any vendor, I strive to keep them close to their stock condition as possible besides upgrading the RAM if it ends up being too low or having the HDD replaced. This means making use of the pre-installed bloatware when possible, and refraining from upgrading the device drivers. I was initially hesitant to get a new graphics card for this sole reason as I planned on just a RAM upgrade. I did decide to get the HD5450 since I thought it would give me access to all 6gb RAM. But if I would have known about the UEFI issue, I would have went with something newer. I had to turn Secure Boot and CSM off, which is a good thing. [strike]But now, Fast Startup and fast shutdown no longer work and Audrey takes ages to start up from cold boot.[/strike]EDIT: I was a bit too hasty with my judgement here... I just shut her down and turned her back on, and it seems fast startup and shutdown still work. It was earlier today that it seemed that she took ages to boot up.

If I could get the Acer M410 going again, it would be more like a custom-built PC inside an Acer shell. The motherboard and RAM are original, but everything else I plan to install inside is custom. Greta is meant to be my main Windows PC anyway and Audrey should only be secondary and used only when needed.

As it stands, my maximum limit of Windows PCs is 3... one for daily use, one for media creation, one for old games. Pablo and Lilly don't have any use right now as those three cover my needs well.
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Noted. Well, for the rest, there's always Linux...
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RAMChYLD Wrote:Noted. Well, for the rest, there's always Linux...
True. If I could get either the Dell N5110 running, or order Pablo his AC adapter, I could have a Linux PC to tinker with. That will have to come at a later date.

As for Audrey, I decided to keep her as is and invest in a Crucial 16GB RAM kit at a later date as well. 16GB would normally be overkill for me, but it appears the Sapphire HD5450 has support for HyperMemory, and it is using 2816MB of Audrey's main RAM. The 16GB kit would no doubt increase performance despite having to deal with Hypermemory.

One more thing... I was able to squeeze in one additional techie purchase from the Home Shopping Network. It wouldn't be possible without their FlexPay monthly installment option. What is it exactly? I won't say until it arrives and I get my first impressions.
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The Game.com has arrived.
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The lot I actually wanted (with Sonic Jam) was sold, so I had to go for this lot. No Sonic Jam, but I have Duke Nukem 3D along with 7 other games, most of them in the box. Quiz Wiz is missing the manual, and MK Trilogy and Duke Nukem 3D are loose carts.

Williams Arcade Classics, Fighters Megamix, and Resident Evil 2 were still in factory sealed clamshells, but you can find these brand new on eBay for around $20, sometimes even less than that. (or six Resident Evil 2's for around $25 Tongue ). Thus, I opened them, but I am keeping the boxes and manuals. My ultimate goal is to collect the entire Game.com library, consisting of only 20 games. I will get to experience the horror of Sonic Jam eventually.

I will give personal reviews of these games later on after I play them for a while. Until then, here is a photo comparing the Game.com to Hazel...
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Swapped out Andrew's 5400rpm Hitachi deathstar for a 7200rpm WD Scorpio Black. Unfortunately the Scorpio Black only comes with 16MB of cache and SATA2 support, while the deathstar has SATA3 support, albeit only 8MB of cache. Well, we'll see how it goes, I hear that mechanical drives don't benefit from having a SATA3 interface anyway, there's only so much data the spindle can pump out, and only modern SSDs benefit from SATA3.

Also, less space. The Scorpio Black only has 750GB of storage. The deathstar has 1TB. It's not like I'll ever hit over 500GB anyway tho, since I'm very conservative with what I install on Andrew.

Other issues with Win 8.1:

I can't install MagicDisc -.- Well, I can install it, but it can't install the virtual DVD drive. Something about unsigned drivers.

Sure, Windows Explorer now has the ability to mount ISOs, but well, MagicDisc supports more than ISOs. I have tons of backup in Nero's proprietary NRG format from the early 2000s, and these cannot be used with Windows Explorer. Magic Disc supports those. And no, I'm not going to pay up for another copy of Nero. It's sick and stupid that the copy that shipped with my old Panasonic drive is tied down to the hardware and died with the drive (and no, the drive wasn't cheap- cost almost 500 Malaysian Ringgits back in 2000). And no upgrades either- I had to pay to upgrade. Now that I know better, sod Ahead AG and their stupid Nero. ImgBurn all the way! Unfortunately, burning a NRG onto CD-RW using ImgBurn before accessing just one file is a waste of time and overkill...
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