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The Spam Thread!
cpd2009 Wrote:Well, I had a good halloween, helping out my folks with their haunted house. Lots of scares had by all.

Now, it's time for me to swap graphics cards. Patsy needs that GeForce GT730. Pinball Arcade runs fine on her current GeForce 210, only at low settings. Set the ball reflections on high, and multiball can be problematic.

I think the GeForce 210 will do just fine for Ruby anyway.
'Tis interesting to read about the various techniques used in rendering reflections. Source uses pre-baked ones for the most part and a dynamic one for water, and while GTA IV/V and many others use cube or parabolic textures generated from LOD models, some others use screen-space reflections, i.e. it only accounts for the stuff on screen, not behind it.

As for Halloween, some of my folks did prepare and dress up for the occasion. My brother used to be an active cosplayer, but he kinda' scaled back as he's busy with other commitments.
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huckleberrypie Wrote:'Tis interesting to read about the various techniques used in rendering reflections. Source uses pre-baked ones for the most part and a dynamic one for water, and while GTA IV/V and many others use cube or parabolic textures generated from LOD models, some others use screen-space reflections, i.e. it only accounts for the stuff on screen, not behind it.

Not sure what Pinball Arcade uses for the ball reflection. On high, it looks great. On low, the effect is a bit reduced, but the ball still has a realistic metallic texture.

The cards have been swapped, and I can now run Pinball Arcade on max settings, except ball reflection must be kept on low. Medevial Madness has performance issues in multiball mode (and only in multiball) while ball reflection is set high. It was horrible with the GeForce 210, and it's more playable with the 730, but the speed drop is still too noticeable. Setting the ball to low reflectivity fixes the issue and the game looks wonderful. Smile
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Patsy gave me bit of a scare earlier, and it wasn't even Halloween!

I was browsing the web with Firefox, looking at MLP screencaps with Irfanview, and listening to music with UltraPlayer. The music started stuttering, and then Patsy froze completely. I had to perform a hard reset. No errors or anything serious appeared in the event log, and there was no BSOD.

Patsy has never done this before, so I was shocked. About an hour earlier, I was playing Pinball Arcade for around 60 minutes, and the session was flawless. No graphical errors or weirdness.

I don't know what lead to the sudden freeze, but I hope it's not the GeForce 730. It shouldn't be since games play just fine. Firefox still gets glitchy after long browsing sessions, and I'm considering going back to Chrome or Opera.

I still wonder what could cause this to happen?
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I'm starting to feel that Sandy's system freeze problem has made its way to my own computer. Tongue I'm still getting random freezes, and it appears the GeForce GT730 is the root cause. It has frozen on me twice in the past day, both times when attempting to launch a Steam game (Pinball FX2 or Pinball Arcade). When Patsy does freeze, any sound seems to start slowing down along with the mouse pointer, and she eventually freezes full stop. Even if Patsy doesn't freeze, Windows Aero exhibits some choppy animations, and Google Chrome has glitchy black squares in web pages sometimes.

This is what I tried so far:
Replace her original 300w PSU with a 400w one. No difference.
Downgrade the Nvidia drivers a few versions. No difference.

I'm about to reverse the swap I did earlier, and I plan on testing the card with Ruby with one of those pinball sims. The GT730 was meant for Ruby, and since she is the media creation box, I never had an incentive to install games. The driving force behind the swap is to get better graphics from those pinball sims, and the GT730 does that nicely. But what is the point of better graphics if it's going to make your system unstable?

I don't know if the card is faulty. When I do play games, there are no visible graphical glitches or other strangeness apparent. I can play for an hour or more. And running a video card stress test, the GPU temps never got above 130F - 145F. It could very well be Windows Vista itself, but I don't have another usable copy of Windows besides XP. I would have to buy another copy of Windows. :/

Time to swap stuff again.
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Patsy is now running on my old Radeon HD5450 card, while the GeForce GT730 has been reinstalled inside Ruby. So far, Patsy has been stable and no freezes have occurred.

In regards to Ruby, I will thoroughly test the card with my Steam pinball games and general use to make sure that the graphics card isn't faulty.

On another note, I have decided to take the plunge and upgraded Ruby to Win10. Though Win10 has features I don't need, I noticed my avoidance of Win10 is very similar to how I initially treated Win8. If you can get past the start screen, Win8 is a fine desktop OS. I need to approach Win10 with a similar open mind.

Thus, here is the overall look of Ruby now...
[Image: RubyWin10_110515.jpg]
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Upon looking at the Passmark charts it looks like the Athlon 5000+ is roughly in the same league as the E7400 on my previous rig.
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huckleberrypie Wrote:Upon looking at the Passmark charts it looks like the Athlon 5000+ is roughly in the same league as the E7400 on my previous rig.
I just looked at Patsy's BIOS, and her C2D is also an E7400. Interesting that your old rig had the same CPU. According to Dell, Patsy can only support 4GB RAM, but after searching Google, I found if you install the latest BIOS, the Vostro 220 series can support a full 8GB.
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I'm going to give Win10 a good thorough test run during the next few days, so Patsy will be shut down for awhile. First impressions are good. The upgrade went smoothly and performance is so far comparable to Win8.1. The Start Menu is rather nice to have back as well. I'm still a bit unsold with parts of the UI theme. The taskbar and start menu look good and are customizable with colors, but not the window titlebars. You can only choose an accent color (essentially a window border) that is hardly visible.

In regards to the GT730 stability, no slowness or glitches have been experienced yet. I will find out once Pinball Arcade is installed. I did run Pinball FX2 in demo mode last night for about 20 minutes, and no crashes or freezes occurred.
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Try checking the GPU temps, and if possible plaster in some thermal paste on the GPU die while you're at it.
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I had a great Halloween, and it looks like November will be great as well.
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I want to ask about my wifi router. Usually I disable the router security, but today I decided to re-enable the password again. My phone and my brother's phone reconnected to the router automatically.

Is that because both phones had once connected and saved the secured wi-fi in the past? I never change the password since the last time I enabled the security. If let's say a stranger's phone was connected to the unsecured wi-fi (and saved it), will his phone do the same as my phone or he'll be just disconnected and unable to connect without password?

In case anyone wonders, I went back and forth with enabling security because my laptop somehow cannot pick up the internet from the wi-fi if security is enabled.
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