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The 'Perfect' Gaming Setup

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the better-than-good-its-great dept.

105

1up is running a fun piece looking at how to take your gaming setup from merely functional to truly outstanding. From the article: "So you already took the plunge on a hot new HDTV. You've got an Xbox 360, but you're hungering for more HD gaming goodness, and you don't care how much it costs to get there. If that's the case, you're ready to enter the extremely hardcore domain of rolling your own home theatre gaming PC. This is not a project for the light-hearted. If you've never built a computer before, you're better off experimenting on the one you already have first with simpler exercises, like RAM and video card upgrades. Get comfortable, expect mistakes, and don't be afraid to see your own blood - computers can be pointy on the inside."

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computers can be pointy on the inside (5, Funny)

kickedfortrolling (952486) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520478)

.. wise words.. i nearly ripped my finger off on the inside of a drive bay. sod bird flu.. coolermaster- the slient killer

Re:computers can be pointy on the inside (3, Funny)

Hannah E. Davis (870669) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520490)

I still have my ex-boyfriends blood inside my old computer... he was helping me put in a graphics card, as I recall, and cut himself on one of the many many sharp and pointy bits inside the case.

Re:computers can be pointy on the inside (4, Funny)

kickedfortrolling (952486) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520501)

I hadn't realised this was so common. we should start an awareness group :)

I notice u say 'ex'.. perhaps it wasnt so accidental?

Re:computers can be pointy on the inside (1)

RsG (809189) | more than 8 years ago | (#15521824)

"I notice u say 'ex'.. perhaps it wasnt so accidental?"

My money is on computer geek foreplay. A steamy session of hardware mounting gone a litte too far for close quarters.

One minute you're screwing in a motherboard, and the next...

Re:computers can be pointy on the inside (1)

NoStrings (622372) | more than 8 years ago | (#15523439)

One minute you're screwing in a motherboard...
How do you even fit in a motherboard, let alone screw in there?

Re:computers can be pointy on the inside (2, Funny)

edunbar93 (141167) | more than 8 years ago | (#15522127)

I hadn't realised this was so common.

The denizens of alt.sysadmin.recovery have made frequent references to the need for blood sacrifices (typically, your own, although sometimes a chicken or a goat would do) in order to get hardware to work properly for the past, oh 10 years or so.

But my guess is that you're too young to know what alt.sysadmin.recovery is, in which case that's a good thing.

Only ten years? (1)

drachenstern (160456) | more than 8 years ago | (#15523071)

But we all know that sacrifices have been going on for the past 59 years.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_bug [wikipedia.org] for those so uninitiated.

Okay, so it was a fly, and not a chicken, but it had wings, and it did die in service to the computer gods!!

Re:computers can be pointy on the inside (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 8 years ago | (#15523556)

I hadn't realized this was so common.

Neither had I... I've built about 7 or 8 machines and I don't think I've ever cut myself. I've even cut custom windows into the case, though I took extra precaution when dealing with THAT. Exactly how roughly are these people handling their computer's innards? I've always thought that delicacy was key with this stuff.

...on the other hand I've also grabbed the wrong end of a soldering iron and managed to give myself a large paper-cut while crushing a cardboard box.

Re:computers can be pointy on the inside (1)

Zaplocked (925208) | more than 8 years ago | (#15523840)

There are plenty of cases out there that have a tendency to not fix any sharp edges - I know its one of the things Toms Hardware and the like usually note (there was one site that would run a cucumber over parts of the case to see how many cuts it would get)

Re:computers can be pointy on the inside (1)

SpacePunk (17960) | more than 8 years ago | (#15524147)

Delicacy is usually the key. I got a good gash across the top of my thumb when a particularly stubborn cdrom power connector decided to suddenly give it up and detach from the drive. Took two stitches, and came close (mm close) to cutting the connective tissue on the top of the thumb. The machine worked fine after that since it got it's taste for blood satiated, but it will eventually require more blood.

Re:computers can be pointy on the inside (1)

Creepy (93888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15524378)

I've built about 2 dozen machines and I did cut myself once, on an ethernet card while mounting a large HSF on a CPU.

    That HSF was a really poor design, IMO (especially when combined with that particular ABit Motherboard)- the wedges didn't have an actual hole and the thing was so big you had to apply pressure at a sharp angle. I had a different HSF from the same maker (Speeze) that I had no problems with. No visible blood in the computer, tho, I reacted too fast.

Re:computers can be pointy on the inside (1)

dreemernj (859414) | more than 8 years ago | (#15521009)

Depending on the terms of your separation, that could be very handy for Voodoo.

Re:computers can be pointy on the inside (1)

iotashan (761097) | more than 8 years ago | (#15521527)

How'd you know it was a Voodoo 3DFX card?

Re:computers can be pointy on the inside (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 8 years ago | (#15523328)

Look at it this way, one day you'll be able to use the blood to clone a less clumsy guy.

-Eric

Re:computers can be pointy on the inside (4, Funny)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520550)

And when fans are makin noise, don't put your finger in to stop the fan.

Re:computers can be pointy on the inside (4, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520799)

And when fans are makin noise, don't put your finger in to stop the fan.

      Yeah why use a finger when a gerbil works just as well.

Re:computers can be pointy on the inside (1)

Petrushka (815171) | more than 8 years ago | (#15521043)

The ideal thing to stick into a fan whizzing around is in fact a cute ickle battery-powered bunny rabbit [wikipedia.org] .

Re:computers can be pointy on the inside (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 8 years ago | (#15523734)

HAHAHA

[GRUFF VOICE] Not with my box of bunnies...[/GRUFF VOICE]

Did you ever steal a second box? You could use them on the engine in the semi. The fan would chew them up with a buzz-saw noise to the William Tell Overture or something like that. Great game! Great memories!

Re:computers can be pointy on the inside (2, Funny)

sigmaseven (906671) | more than 8 years ago | (#15521356)

Yeah why use a finger when a gerbil works just as well.

I hope you don't have to say this very often.

Re:computers can be pointy on the inside (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15521378)

That's what Richard Gere always said...

Re:computers can be pointy on the inside (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15522579)

You're still talking about computers, right?

Re:computers can be pointy on the inside (1)

Null537 (772236) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520839)

Yeah, just turn the fan around and claim you're innovative as you cool yourself.

Re:computers can be pointy on the inside (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#15521513)

Even 8k rpm 120mm fans won't hurt you if you stop them with your finger. The worst one I ever touched felt like a mild pinch. These things just don't have a lot of mass.

I guess I should note: assuming cheap plastic fans. Don't do this with a metal fan.

Also, disclaimer: don't blame me if you find some way to make this go wrong.

Re:computers can be pointy on the inside (1)

TwilightSentry (956837) | more than 8 years ago | (#15522016)

Aww, but, if you get good, you can make the fan sound like a car with an automatic transmission!

Re:computers can be pointy on the inside (2, Insightful)

Meetch (756616) | more than 8 years ago | (#15521057)

Doesn't need to be running... every single time I've done assembly or reassembly involving a new motherboard, the case has drawn blood. A little matter of needing to use a little force to get something to snap into place... and it gives more suddenly than expected. About half the time has required a band-aid to prevent getting blood everywhere. I guess that's the main downside of many cheaper cases - sharper edges!

Re:computers can be pointy on the inside (1)

plover (150551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15521714)

Sounds like you need more experience, instead of more band-aids. :-)

And I'd say better-made cases would help, but I realize they are few and far between. Even the more expensive cases I've dealt with lately are stamped from steel (or aluminium) that seem about one or two gauges too thin. Of course once the motherboard is installed and a few drives are mounted in the cages, they seem to be rigid enough, but what that really means is that any motion of the computer is physically stressing the motherboard, flexing and pulling at all those solder joints and perhaps inducing the weakest of them to fail.

As far as cuts on sharp edges go, I have taken a "deburring tool" to some really nasty cases, (and to some nasty mods I've made,) and I've also used a grinding stone chucked up in a Dremel. I'm not trying to achieve a completely "safe" case; I just see no reason for the hazardously poor quality cases coming out these days.

I feel the need to shill (1)

Syncdata (596941) | more than 8 years ago | (#15522141)

You need to buy Asus Cases. Definitley not budget, but a quality PSU and rounded edges on the inside. I haven't gotten cut in 4 years, but then, I work on the software side for a living, so most of my upgrading is done to my home comp.

Re:I feel the need to shill (1)

KlaymenDK (713149) | more than 8 years ago | (#15522186)

Yeah, either Asus, or similar. But the cheapo cases should be avoided ... as they say, you'll pay the same, only in band-aids. ;)

One of my boxes is an Antec Aria, and while the chosen CPU disappoints the case is an absolute dream to work with (and their P180-line is on my wish list).

The rest of my boxes are originally from Fujitsu-Siemens (and are more or less hacked by YT), and while they are heavy (nothing but steel) and not very stylish, there's not a corner or a screw in them (and they're environmentally friendly, which is also nice, eventually).

Re:I feel the need to shill (1)

Meetch (756616) | more than 8 years ago | (#15522237)

Oh i probably would, given the choice... :) My problems are caused by these things:

  • I only assemble 1 PC every year or so...
  • Approximately half are for other people,
  • I insist that the I'd be happy with the box under the circumstances they're in,
  • They're on a budget, so I prefer to spend the little extra they can afford on an Asus mainboard instead of the case.
  • I also don't charge for the time or effort, as long as they're willing to wait for me to have the time to take them shopping for parts and make a mess in their living room.

I don't mind taking the risk, as it's not like losing a few ccs of blood every year or so will be a problem. It's just fun to note how vicious those $!@^#!s can be. It doesn't have to be a big slip to get yourself sliced open, and I swear the cases resent the fact that they're going to have to get along with the new motherboard so they go out of their way to ensure the slip is big enough!

What the heck, typical box I would have assembled for a friend last year:

  • ~Intel P4 3GHz (these days I would as likely choose AMD)
  • ASUS mainboard - usually Deluxe but without onboard graphics, 1Gb network card. Onboard sound is fine (5.1 is more than these friends are likely to use :)
  • The current $100-200 graphics card, 128Mb - NVidia or ATI depending on who's just dropped their prices.
  • Minimum 80Gb hard drive.
  • One extra case fan - preferably not Neon
  • 2x512Mb RAM to suit the mainboard. Would have been DDR2 I guess.
  • A Liteon or other standard DVD burner, probably 8x.
  • Microsoft Keyboard/Mouse OEM package. NOT wireless. Batteries, bleah!
  • Standard Sony floppy drive
  • Surge protector or UPS according to budget and value of their data
  • Monitor according to budget - reasonable response LCD or larger CRT.
  • $30 speakers. If they want immersion then they can use headphones :p
  • I would have also ensured they got an OEM copy of XP Home, and set up Firefox/Thunderbird/AVG at the very least.
I wouldn't say they're experienced gamers at all, but have had no complaints apart from a couple of dodgy power supplies - one the shop was happy to replace, the other was just mine and a little out of warranty. :p

Re:I feel the need to shill (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 8 years ago | (#15523351)

No kidding. Reading all these stories of getting cut make me wonder where these guys are getting their cases. The only thing I can see that would draw blood on a decent modern case are the cutouts on the back panel (which could, admittedly, provide a nasty cut if not carefully handled). If you've got to jam a card into the slot with enough force to cut yourself, brother, you've done something really wrong in your build.

-Eric

Re:computers can be pointy on the inside (1)

biggomez777 (948763) | more than 8 years ago | (#15521191)

It's not a real build unless you bleed on it.

Re:computers can be pointy on the inside (1)

Kosmik (980800) | more than 8 years ago | (#15522175)

When I used to build and sell the odd pc for cash, I'd know that if I didn't cut myself or bleed somewhere on that machine - I'd see it back in a week. Silly superstition but seemed true.

Re:computers can be pointy on the inside (1)

mkw87 (860289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15528059)

As funny as this is when I was installing my new DFI mobo I got cut on the thin metal that is the backplating that outlines the ports....thing bled like crazy, stupid sheet metal.

(Don't mod this funny as its a true story)

Re:computers can be pointy on the inside (1)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 8 years ago | (#15528505)

A better quality case with quick release bays and less general pointiness: $50 extra.

A trip to the E.R. to stitch your finger back together: $50 co-pay.

There's minimal cost difference between the two but one hurts a lot less and looks a lot cooler.

At least, that was my argument to my wife for my new Antec case. Granted, I was pushing it somewhat on the Zalman watercooling system when I told her it was "to avoid the risk of burns" but, fortunately, she's not a geek and thus accepts what I tell her.

+1fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15520482)

+1fp

Alternatively (2, Funny)

nbannerman (974715) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520486)

You can wait 6 months, and pick up the required parts for half the cost, or even just buy an off the shelf system. I guess it depends which you value more; an immediate payback for the time you spent, or money in the bank and time saved.

Re:Alternatively (1)

pxuongl (758399) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520580)

u haven't factored in the value of working on something. i don't think many people would mind so much about getting prepackaged computers if that's all that was there... but there's always something about doing the research, buying your own parts, and putting it all together

it's a geek's way of working on a car or building a treehouse.

all we need now is some geek beer and a geeky bbq where we can all geek around trying to figure out the most entertaining, and therefore the most stupid and irresponsible, ways to light fireworks

Re:Alternatively (1)

nbannerman (974715) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520634)

Yeah, thinking about it I probably was a little hasty to ignore that aspect. Considering I've spent hours building computers for a variety of uses, I'm not sure why I ignored that part. Must be getting cynical in my old age ;)

Re:Alternatively Fireworks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15522018)

You've never had fireworks fights have you?

Get 10 people. Buy 40 Roman candles and 10 lighters. Tie 4 to the end of a stick with duct tape. Wind the fuses together. Put the firework sticks into a duffel bag. Go to a field like a football field at a high school at about 5:00 in the morning. Dispense firework sticks to all and put 5 people on each side of field. Get someone to say go and start shooting at each other's teams. When it's all done throw away your sticks and run away and hide at closest friend's house, because the cops are now after you.

Most fun ever. You may want to wear goggles.
       

By component, avoid mid-range parts if possible (2, Informative)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520603)

I guess it depends which you value more; an immediate payback for the time you spent, or money in the bank and time saved.
  Dont be so quick to consider just saving in the short term will do fine. If you want to be constantly bleeding cash for parts, fine. Just dont be disappointed by the low quality.

  Start with a very highend setup(proven components that are built solidly) and keep the configuration relatively unchanged until you cannot go further with that setup. Only add components infrequently as needed(should be about 1-2 cycles/2-3 years after) and in the largest possible increments and/or highest quality as possible.

Repeat as necessary given that you have a system that will last a long while with parts that were made to last a long time, and that things just wont break 15s after the short warranty's up.

For gaming, that should keep you going for a good while.

Re:By component, avoid mid-range parts if possible (2, Insightful)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 8 years ago | (#15522357)

Things that last and are worth buying top quality - motherboards, hard disks, memory (especially memory)

Things that aren't worth buying top quality - CPUs and grafix cards. The upgrade cycle is too intense and the price/performance doesn't scale linearly. Buy one step below top of the range because you're going to be upgrading both long before 2-3 years.

Re:Alternatively (1)

germansausage (682057) | more than 8 years ago | (#15521760)

It's like somebodies sig I read, Jedis build their own lightsaber, slashdotters build their own computer.

Re:Alternatively (1)

haelduksf (812679) | more than 8 years ago | (#15521882)

You forgot the e-peen factor

A better alternative (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 8 years ago | (#15523358)

During those six months new state-of-the-art components will have come out. Wait another six months and pick them up for half the cost. Same money, better system!

The 'Perfect' Gaming Setup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15520529)

This is nowhere near perfect; Where the hell are the ponies?

Only if you buy a cheap case... (3, Funny)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520568)

Most of the nicer chassis don't have razor sharp edges on the inside. Spend $35 on a case and PS, and you may need a Band-Aid or two - but most folks who are building even mid range gaming rigs will spend money on a case.

Re:Only if you buy a cheap case... (1)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | more than 8 years ago | (#15522515)

Most of the nicer chassis don't have razor sharp edges on the inside. Spend $35 on a case and PS, and you may need a Band-Aid or two - but most folks who are building even mid range gaming rigs will spend money on a case.

Skimping a little bit on things like the case is what allows some of us to build nice systems. If the budget is a concern in a build, the case is the most obvious thing to go cheap on. Afterall, it is basically just a box for your stuff. I wouldn't just use anything that is available, but there are some decent options for $50 or less. Instead of buying $150 cases with finely-crafted smooth edges I prefer to get a $50 case (and maybe some extra RAM or a quieter PS) and simply BE CAREFUL for the hour or two it takes to build it. I cut myself once, upgrading a computer a long time ago. ONCE. ;) {insert_name}

Re:Only if you buy a cheap case... (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 8 years ago | (#15523424)

If you're patient and have time, Fry's will have decent $90+ Antec cases on sale for as little as $15 after rebates etc. I picked up one two weeks ago for $14.95, and it includes a 350W PS. I also picked up the SmartPower 500W PS for $15.

Re:Only if you buy a cheap case... (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15522777)

I've never cut myself while doing something with the hardware, no matter what case I've been using.

{OT} Funny Modifiers? (1)

Zaplocked (925208) | more than 8 years ago | (#15523936)

Whats with all the "Funny" ratings on informative posts?

Not just the chassis (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 8 years ago | (#15524185)

Yes, but don't forget all the pointy end-points on soldering of the motherboard, video cards, etc... even with a nice case those litle guys are still around to remove some skin from your knuckles (of course, with a nice case one oftimes has more room to work with too, so less knuckle-skinning).

From the article's title... (5, Insightful)

Rapter09 (866502) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520641)

...I was expecting a nice PC setup and hardware tips, but I see its unfortunately aimed heavily towards superfluous things to add to your console.

Pg 2 - Buy Rechargable batteries (2, Insightful)

MerlynEmrys67 (583469) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520692)

Wow - what insiteful reporting. Get rechargable batteries and have one set in the charger and one set in the controller. How did this get posted to slashdot anyway - TFA certainly didn't mention anything that would involve openning a case - just "Let me use my 7eet skilz to use a wireless controller". How lame. Let me get back to my prototype Conroe rig and I'll get back to you with an ultimate system in a month.

Widescreen Gaming Rig built around a 37" Westy (2, Interesting)

grumpygrodyguy (603716) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520654)

Here's my current gaming rig, I need SLI to drive the very high resolution 37"(1920X1080) display (anti-aliasing etc.)

CPU: AMD 3700+ SD Overclocked to 2530mhz (230X11 Aircooled 80mm @ 5,500RPM w/ 4 Heatpipes 1.456V 36C/44C) (very loud, my PC is in a seperate sound isolated room...I have been considering water cooling but have yet to take the plunge)
Board: ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe
RAM: 4 X 512 OCZ Platinum EL Rev. 2 TCCD (230mhz 2,3,3,5 Aircooled NB 2.8V 37C/41C)
Video: 2 X eVGA 7800GT SLI (stock)
Drive: 74GB WD Raptor
Sound: Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic + PA2v2 Headphone Amp + Sennheiser HD595 Headphones
PSU: Antec TRUEPOWERII TPII-550 550W Power Supply (not recommended, poor quality control on these...some are fine others are not...I got a not)
Case: CM Stacker [coolermaster.com]
Display: Westinghouse 37" 1920X1080 LCD [westinghousedigital.com] (best purchase of my life)

37" may seem too large for a PC display, but I sit back in a reclining chair with a viewing distance of about 6 feet. It's so comfortable I can game for 16 hours straight(which I do on occasion).

It's a sweet setup...I'm CPU and fsb limited but I can play almost all games at max settings 1920X1080. Low resolution emulated games (Dos, MAME, Atari ST, NES, commodore, amiga, apple IIgs) etc. all look great on this screen.

Re:Widescreen Gaming Rig built around a 37" Westy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15520686)

I need SLI to drive the very high resolution 37"(1920X1080) display (anti-aliasing etc.)

Your definition of High resolution is too low. I've been gaming in 1920x1200 for years, using nothing more than a tweaked 6800, when you said "I need SLI" "very high resolution" I thought maybe you had a sport 30" display LCD, not a converted TV.

Bah!

Re:Widescreen Gaming Rig built around a 37" Westy (1)

grumpygrodyguy (603716) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520773)

I thought maybe you had a sport 30" display LCD, not a converted TV.

haha.

Actually it is a monitor. It's perfectly compatible with HDTV but you need to purchase your own tuner. I thought this was a good approach given the FCC bs over Broadcast Flags etc.

Re:Widescreen Gaming Rig built around a 37" Westy (1)

idonthack (883680) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520770)

How much did all of that cost, and was it worth it?

Re:Widescreen Gaming Rig built around a 37" Westy (1)

grumpygrodyguy (603716) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520806)

How much did all of that cost, and was it worth it?

Roughly $4,000.

It's worth it to me because I game 7 days a week. My car is a piece of junk and I live on a very thin budget, everything else goes into the PC.

Easier setup... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15520729)

1 Copy Super Smash Bros. Melee
1 Bigass Couch
4 Wavebirds
1 Gamecube
1 Decent-Sized Television

I'm not sure what other equipment anyone could EVER need.

Re:Easier setup... (4, Funny)

tduff (904905) | more than 8 years ago | (#15521207)

1 Copy Super Smash Bros. Melee
1 Bigass Couch
4 Wavebirds
1 Gamecube
1 Decent-Sized Television
I'm not sure what other equipment anyone could EVER need.
Friends. You need friends. Something the typical slashdotter does not have.

Re:Easier setup... (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 8 years ago | (#15521562)

"Friends. You need friends. Something the typical slashdotter does not have." :( That's why I got a DS.

Re:Easier setup... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15525250)

With a DS you still need friend codes.

I can think of some things.... (1)

matts-reign (824586) | more than 8 years ago | (#15521241)

1 copy Super Smash Bros. Brawl 1 Bigass Leather Couch 4 Wii-motes 1 Wii 1 Big-sized Television. Now that's a party.

Re:I can think of some things.... (1)

Gothic_Walrus (692125) | more than 8 years ago | (#15523640)

The game isn't going to rely on the Wii's remote [ign.com] - it's going to use either the retro controller and/or the GameCube controllers.

So, your idea is great and all, save for the fact you'd be sitting there staring at the screen while the intro movie plays over and over. ;)

Re:Easier setup... (1)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 8 years ago | (#15522432)

You know, I don't care what Nintendo says about HD. I'm already salivating about playing Smash Bros. at 1080p on a 50" screen (perhaps with 5.1 surround?). Unfortunately, we'll probably have to wait for the Wii+1 for this to happen.

Re:Easier setup... (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 8 years ago | (#15522605)

I can't see how 5.1 surround sound would work for one-screened multiplayer. Use PrologicII to enhance the Stereo sound and enjoy.

HD would be nice, but my tip for you is to get a nice upscaling projector and beam it across the wall.

Re:Easier setup... (1)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 8 years ago | (#15523072)

5.1 works excellently for one-screened multiplayer (e.g. Smash Bros.). It doesn't work as well for split screen multiplayer, for obvious reasons.

Re:Easier setup... (1)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 8 years ago | (#15523080)

Surround sound. And not a gaming 5.1 surround sound package either.

For independent games? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15525113)

You play party games on your GameCube, and you claim to be "not sure what other equipment anyone could EVER need." To play independent party games, you need a set-top PC. Why do you reject all independent games immediately?

It depends (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520854)

Is the source code for the cluster raytraced quake3 out yet? A couple of dozen dual CPU nodes would be pretty ideal if that's the case.

VT100 + PDP11/70 + Adventure! (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520928)

A stoned little dwarf throws a nasty-looking knife at you and misses. What more do you need?

Actually I'm exaggerating a bit - plug a Vax of just about any flavor into the back end of the VT100 and you can play Nethack, or get a PC with Win95 or better and run the color version.

Re:VT100 + PDP11/70 + Adventure! (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 8 years ago | (#15522216)

A stoned little dwarf throws a nasty-looking knife at you and misses. What more do you need?

What version of Adventure are you playing. In the version I played on a PDP11/35, the dwarf wasn't stoned and was deadly. Sometimes I was lucky and tossed the axe back killing the dwarf, but I could never get the dwarf. He always dissappeared in a cloud of greasy black smoke.

Re:VT100 + PDP11/70 + Adventure! (3, Interesting)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#15522356)

Ever tried "UNIX DOOM"?

4 serial terminals plugged into a SGI Challenge running IRIX. 4 guys with root access. The task: Stay logged on and kill (-9) the others. The most ultimate deathmatch.
Log in.
Use 'ps', try to figure out which login is yours. Kill -9 the other processes kicking the others. Watch "ps" list for new logons. More than once you'll kill -9 yourself. More than once they will kill your logon process before you do. Spawn extra shells as decoys. Attempt to append another line to your "ultimate weapon" script. Try to read manpage to find what option on IRIX version of 'ps' displays terminal you're connected from. Remember login process number of the opponent who kicked you before you managed to finish typing the PID and use it immediately after the last login.

That was about the most fun multiplayer game I ever played :D

Recently Upgraded... (2, Interesting)

ewhac (5844) | more than 8 years ago | (#15520984)

Ooo! Is this where we get to compare the sizes of our dic^H^H^Hgaming rigs?

I just bought myself a completely new gaming rig -- my first such rig in about seven years. Prior to that I'd been upgrading various components in my old box. But the newest games were starting to far outstrip my machine's ability to play them (Doom 3/Quake 4 were the earliest offenders). Thanks to a pleasant year-end bonus from my employer (and rather serious prodding from my partner), I got a completely new box:

Sadly, the graphics card has turned out to be the biggest problem in the new rig. It seems that everyone is having trouble with the new NVidia 7900-based boards. My first card would display "exploding" geometry once it warmed up a bit. Happily, eVGA have been very good to deal with, and performed a free cross-ship RMA. The new card still exhibits a few glitches, but only when I expressly go looking for them. When actually playing games, it's been very well behaved. It's only done the exploding geometry thing once since then, during a game of Oblivion. I'll keep leaning on eVGA to perfect this card.

I have very mixed feelings about the Creative sound card. Creative has a very spotty reputation for drivers, especially when multiple CPUs are involved. However, virtually all the competing sound card vendors have gone away, or have chosen instead to go for a race to the bottom in terms of price (and, sadly, quality). So I got the Creative X-Fi. It makes the games sound pretty good (it's breathed new life into QuakeWorld), but I would have much preferred something that works with Linux. I have my eye on the upcoming Razer Barracuda sound card, though...

I'd have to say that I'm probably happiest with the case. I was very paranoid that I wouldn't have enough space for all the cruft I planned on putting in it, or that it would be very difficult to work with, but it's turned out to be just lovely. It weighs a ton, but no more than the old Antec tower it's replacing. It's very accessible, has a large interior, very well ventilated, very sturdy, has a clean appearance, and the blue LEDs don't hurt, either.

As I said, this is the first new rig I've put together in seven years (the last machine I built was a dual-Pentium III on a PC-100 motherboard). I'd appreciate commentary from a more experienced eye. Could I have selected better RAM? Better drives?

Schwab

Re:Recently Upgraded... (1)

Psiven (302490) | more than 8 years ago | (#15521932)

Really any "perfect setup" is in the eyes of the beholder. Whats important is that it works for you.

My build philosophy, as a semi-broke college student, is that your money goes further when you purchase just below top of the line (law of diminishing returns). I look at my system more as a process than a static unit, so I wouldn't have gone with that CPU. But everything else is pretty reasonable, including the GPU. Since you can double it later, it makes sense to reach for just near top of the line.

I tell this to everyone - consider a Matrox Triplehead2Go. May as well put that GPU to work, at least for older games.

Re:Recently Upgraded... (1)

harryk (17509) | more than 8 years ago | (#15523634)

While I agree with another comment posted as reply to this, I think you could have done a better job on the RAM, but thats completly opinionated. I've checking out RAM, and assuming that price is a concern, you still could have gone with PC3200 - 2-2-2-5 for a reasonable cost. A quick look at newegg today: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82 E16820134062 [newegg.com] or with a different RAM configuration: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82 E16820148007 [newegg.com] Just my 2 cents...

Re:Recently Upgraded... (1)

The_Shadows (255371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15524021)

Personally, I prefer the Gigabyte Aurora [newegg.com] for a case. It's freaking spectacular.

Other than that, I'd have said that if you ever planned on overclocking then a dual core Opteron 170 [newegg.com] will easily trump a 4400 X2. Without overclocking, go with the 4400+. If you're OCing, Opteron can go above an beyond most chips. I've gotten my 170 blazing nearly as fast as the FX-60. On air cooling. And it doesn't get that hot either thanks in part to Opteron's additional heat pipes. Getting them for OC purposes can be a crapshoot, however. You should always be able to get them faster than the more expensive 4400 though.

Oh, and the HDs are the exact right drives. The only thing I could recommend over them would be the WD Raptor series. But then you sacrifice both money and space for speed. Overall, I pick the larger space and cache size at the much lower cost.

Just thoughts for your next system.

Re:Recently Upgraded... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15525175)

OK then. Most of the Sheeple out there seem to be going with Dual core processors. This seems to be the "shiny" factor. Unless you plan to burn a DVD while gaming I wouldn't bother. You will get better performance on a single core for probably a lower price than the popular dual core proc's (I have not checked this lately). I run Team Speak, and what ever game I'm running with no issues what so ever. I blow away performance wise most similar rigs that are running dual core proc's (testing utilizing various versions of 3DMark, PCPitstop.com, and frame rates in game). I would recommend a RAID 0 set up on the WD HDD's you bought though you need to balance whether you "need" the data on your PC on this decision. Use the Nforce 4 RAID, and not the SIL RAID. I tested both and had better performance with the NForce4 RAID. Thus I would go with the version of the A8N-SLI that does not include the SIL RAID chip. It's useless in my opinion. I personally have not had good experience with ABIT mobo's either. The problems really seem to crop up when you tweak the memory timings in BIOS to match the spec's of the purchased memory. Several people in the gaming clan I play with have had this issue. My personal recommendation is for Asus Mobo's. Also when it comes to memory you basically have two choices when it comes to memory timings. Either tight (low numbers) or loose (higher numbers, but set up for OC'ing). Below I will paste in the info on my rig for your perusal (I'm OC'ing to 2.9GHZ). I went with tight memory, and thus it is my limiting factor in OC'ing. Unfortunately I can not recall the case I purchased at the moment, so that info is not here. I am very happy with my Zallman heat sink, but it is very heavy. I cracked my mobo moving in to my new house. If you go with this heat sink I recommend you not move the PC from room to room. I never had any issues with moving it around to replace parts, clean out the case, and so on. Just in the move to my new house (damn Michigan roads!). Also you need to be mind full that it will fit in your case (keep in mind where the Power Supply goes). That and airflow were the deciding factors in my case decision (I recall it won PC mag's case of the year last year).

There some real info from a real Hard Core Gamer. =vVv=H8RED is what I game as. And yes I am in the IS/IT industry in a technical capacity.

P/S (Enermax Noisetaker EG701AX-VE)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82 E16817194001 [newegg.com]

Floppy drive (needed to set up RAID drivers)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82 E16821103116 [newegg.com]

Mobo (Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82 E16813131517 [newegg.com]

Video Card (XFX Nvidia 7800)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82 E16814150100 [newegg.com]

Processor (AMD FX-57)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82 E16819103558 [newegg.com]

Heat Sink+fan (Zallman copper heat sink w/ 120mm fan!)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82 E16835118115 [newegg.com]

Memory (Corsair XMS Dual Channel 2GB (4 X 512MB chips) P/N=TWINX1024-3200C2PT)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82 E16820145450 [newegg.com]

HDD = Western Digital Caviar SE P/N = WD1200JS (dual 120GB in RAID 0(performance) 3GBps x-fer)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82 E16822144414 [newegg.com]

DVD burner(16X DVD 48X CD 2MB cache
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82 E16827106988 [newegg.com]

Re:Recently Upgraded... (1)

ewhac (5844) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526704)

Most of the Sheeple out there seem to be going with Dual core processors. This seems to be the "shiny" factor. Unless you plan to burn a DVD while gaming I wouldn't bother.

Actually, it's my own personal history that steered me toward dual-core. My previous machine was a dual Pentium III 1GHz, sitting on slocket adapters on a Slot 1 motherboard. And this was a consequence of the fact that I worked for Be, Incorporated for four and a half years (symmetric multiprocessing was our Thing, you see). So I decided to carry forward in that tradition.

I personally have not had good experience with ABIT mobo's either. The problems really seem to crop up when you tweak the memory timings in BIOS to match the spec's of the purchased memory. Several people in the gaming clan I play with have had this issue.

Ummm... I was under the impression that setting the memory timings in the BIOS to "Auto" meant that it pulled the factory timings out of the SDRAM modules and used those. Is this not the case? Why would I need to manually set the timings to match the specs of the SDRAMs when those are the timings it's (presumably) already reporting?

I'm not an overclocker. Performance is important to me, but reliability far more so. This is why the NVidia geForce 7900GT has been such a shock to me. It's inconceivable to me that a company with a good history like NVidia would release a product that was this flaky out of the box.

My personal recommendation is for Asus Mobo's.

My previous motherboard was an Asus P2B-D, and it's still rock solid. But the reviews of the various high-ish end PCI-e motherboards seemed to give ABIT the edge, so I went with them. (Oh. The ABIT AN8-32X has red LEDs along the underside edges which light up when the system is running. This little bit of rice wasn't mentioned anywhere else.)

I am very happy with my Zallman heat sink, but it is very heavy. I cracked my mobo moving in to my new house.

The heatsink AMD packs in with their retail boxed CPUs was already impressive enough. And I had read enough Web reviews of the Zalman to realize that it was a heavy mofo and a b*tch to clamp down. The probability of damaging your motherboard by attaching a Zalman was significantly above zero, so I stayed away, despite the pretty LEDs.

BTW, any opinions on third-party cooling solutions for graphics cards? The 7900GT will creep up to 70C without too much prodding, and the stock fan is the loudest fan in the rig.

There some real info from a real Hard Core Gamer. =vVv=H8RED is what I game as. And yes I am in the IS/IT industry in a technical capacity.

I'm in tech as well. And my Slashdot handle is also my gaming handle.

Floppy drive (needed to set up RAID drivers)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82 E16821103116 [newegg.com]

Ugh. Sony. Had too many problems with those in the past. I got a Teac.

Dude, this is almost twice what I paid for my 4400+ dual-core. What percentage boost in performance would you say you're getting by using this?

Thanks very much for taking the time to respond.

Schwab

Re:Recently Upgraded... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15528252)

Well, I'm at work at the moment so I can't answer all your questions right at the moment. I'll take a stab at some of them though.

" I personally have not had good experience with ABIT mobo's either. The problems really seem to crop up when you tweak the memory timings in BIOS to match the spec's of the purchased memory. Several people in the gaming clan I play with have had this issue.

Ummm... I was under the impression that setting the memory timings in the BIOS to "Auto" meant that it pulled the factory timings out of the SDRAM modules and used those. Is this not the case? Why would I need to manually set the timings to match the specs of the SDRAMs when those are the timings it's (presumably) already reporting? "

The memory timings are pulled from SPD on the chip. These are typically set a bit more lax than the memory is actually spec'ed for (done by the manufacturers. I seem to recall the stated reasoning was that if we make a chip that doesn't perform to spec by having the timings looser most people won't realize it.) Most BIOS will show you what timings they are pulling via SPD for the memory. If you check I bet they are 1 or 2 values off (higher) of what the memory was spec'ed at. That is what I found on mine, and every one else I've discussed this with.

CPU wise I can say that when BF2 was on it's second patch I would load in to the server (while my friends running dual core, and so on were in the same server with lower ping times to the server), and I could get to the enemies closest starting base before anyone (my team or theirs) had even loaded in to the server. Mind you dual core has come a ways since then (I can check on exactly which proc's my friends were utilizing). It's nice to chat with some one who actually knows what I'm talking about on this stuff. Even the tech's here at work eyes seem to glaze over when I start talking about this kind of thing.

It's the end of the day, and I was rudely interrupted by work while trying to respond here. ;-) How about e-mailing me (see last line with some concealment on my address), and I'll respond a bit more in depth. I'll also have the raw numbers, screen shots, and so on regarding some of the claims I made in here. Oh and FYI... I'm still waiting on my new A8N-SLI board, so I can't really do any live examples at the moment. I'd be happy to join up in server with ya after I get that squared away!

H8RED blahzippydodah Comcast dippitydo net

Re:Recently Upgraded... (1)

erple2 (965161) | more than 8 years ago | (#15528425)

If the last time you had a computer was when a P3 was spiffy, then it appears that you don't upgrade all that often. In that case, with what's been "looming over the horizon", a dual core processor seems to be a better fit for the future than the present. While the vast majority of games do better on a faster single core computer than a slower dual core processor, there are some games that have recently come out that have shown some measurable gains with multi-core processors (Quake4, Oblivion are two that pop into my mind right now).

While some may argue that multicore may be a fad in the current gaming space (based on the fact that programming safe, multi-threaded applications is no simple feat), I would disagree. The only real evidence (and it's tenuous at best) I have to show otherwise is the current "Next Gen Consoles". I am pretty sure that a lot of the tricks people learn to parallelize games to maximize game performance on their multicore processors will bleed over into the PC gaming market.

Call it a hunch.

That is a bit surprising about the Video card. I had thought that the advantage of that particular model (7900GT) over an equivalent ATI part is that it runs cooler and quieter. I'd suspsect a poorly seated heatsink first, however looking at the eVGA website, it looks like it's factory Over Clocked.

Hm (1)

darkhitman (939662) | more than 8 years ago | (#15521106)

A "Perfect Gaming Setup", eh?

I hope this begins and ends with two words: Spend Money.

In-between, details can be added about spending lots of money and, if they really need to add more length, advice on where and what.

I'd tell you, but it would be obsolete... (1)

Anonymous Freak (16973) | more than 8 years ago | (#15521137)

before I hit submit.

Oh, I'm sorry, I thought this was an Ask Slashdot..

"You've got an Xbox 360..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15521335)

Here is my list to go along with one of those 'hot' new Xbox 360s:

* String - to hang your 360 power supply from the ceiling with - summer is coming and you can't be too careful

* A nice Microsoft logo-ed binder to keep your receipts in - for the monthly ritual of returning your Xbox 360 to Microsoft for replacement

* The world cutest UPS delivery girl - maybe by your fourth or fifth shipping off of your latest 360 to Microsoft you will finally have the courage to ask her out

* A black and green fire extinguisher

* An original Xbox - So much for BC...

* A 1500 dollar gaming pc - might as well play the better looking and better featured versions of all the pc games on the 360

* A standalone DVD player - the 360's DVD playback is fantastic, kind of...

* A 1500 dollar 'media pc' - So you can have actually useful living room media features to supplement the amazing media capabilities of your Xbox 360

The article contains no real info (1)

geneshifter (411883) | more than 8 years ago | (#15521703)

What a waste of 10 minutes of my life. There were no real guidelines on how to do this as the original title implied. This article is just filled with a bunch of stuff a 10 year old already knows. Anyone have any real links to how to do this??

Re:The article contains no real info (1)

infiniter (745494) | more than 8 years ago | (#15523169)

tomshardware.com, hardocp.com, etc. frequently run articles on what their "perfect" rig would be.

if you're looking for advice on how to actually go about it, my advice is to find a friend who's done it before and have him talk you through it the first time. it's really not such a tough process - you just have to know the steps.

Useless, Stupid Article (1)

shidarin'ou (762483) | more than 8 years ago | (#15521732)

Rechargable batteries? 1up.com being too stupid to work their HDTV into the non stretch mode? Playing PCs on an HDTV (gee, what a novel idea considering there's a subclass of HDTV's without built in tuners made for just this purpose), "building" an arcade machine? And the FINAL piece to perfect the ULTIMATE GAMING SYSTEM is importing games from Japan- something no one has suggested before.

I was hoping this article would cover important things, like making sure your reciever is getting surround sound from the xbox 360 and not enhanced stereo- or properly calibrating your system for video games; but it was much more useless.

Big screen monitors? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15525208)

Playing PCs on an HDTV (gee, what a novel idea considering there's a subclass of HDTV's without built in tuners made for just this purpose)

If you're referring to computer monitors, those are also much smaller than a typical 40 inch HDTV.

Re:Big screen monitors? (1)

shidarin'ou (762483) | more than 8 years ago | (#15525378)

Nope, referring to gems like these:

42" 1080p LCD HD Monitor (For Cheap) [bestbuy.com]
Same, only 37" [bestbuy.com]

Westinghouse isn't the only company doing this. You'll find a bunch of HD PC gamers who are doing stuff like this already on the AVS Forums [avsforum.com]

Games for big screen monitors? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15525458)

So where are the four-player shared-view games that work with a PC connected to a high-definition monitor and four USB gamepads? Shared-view multiplayer means that all four players are in the same playfield and the screen is not split. Examples include Gauntlet or Rampage or Rampart or Bomberman or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (arcade) or Secret of Mana or NBA Jam or Smash Bros. or Amplitude, none of which would benefit from using four separate monitors.

Re:Games for big screen monitors? (1)

shidarin'ou (762483) | more than 8 years ago | (#15525609)

Thats easy, they're in SNES9X :)

Any that won't make me a filthy pirate? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15527379)

SNES9x does not come with ROM files. You have to rip them from your Game Paks, and at that point, it's cheaper just to hook up a used Super NES. So what PC native games have four players in one view?

FYI: Widescreen Gaming Forum (1)

goodenoughnickname (874664) | more than 8 years ago | (#15522181)

I just found this site while researching HD-compatible games for my HTPC: http://www.widescreengamingforum.com/ [widescreen...gforum.com]

They have a list of PC games with their widescreen status, and how to get it working if it's not officially supported.

I can't take this article seriously (1)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 8 years ago | (#15522528)

It's pretty bad when they shoot both their feet in the opening paragraph:

Yeah, you're hardcore. You probably own most every console that's still seeing new games; you have a few games you play all the time, and several that you've never touched. You probably even bit the bullet when you got that launch 360 and picked up a brand new HDTV to act as its window-dressing. You've got it all... right?

Sorry, since when did "owning all the current consoles (plus an HDTV)" become the definition of hardcore? The answer, obviously, is since the Playstation, but that's outside the scope of my argument here. And my argument is that it's pretty bad when a publication gets core definitions wrong in the very subject they claim to be reporting on.

It's really sad when this is coming from 1up.com, which is part of a company that has a bunch of gaming publications (Ziff-Davis). When the biggest names in gaming journalism get such fundamental things wrong, what does that say about the state of review and criticism of this hobby?

The worst part is, this is not even a gaming-specific concept. Someone who is "harcore" relative to others who enjoy a certain hobby is not a concept that is exclusive to gaming. You can be a "hardcore" model train fan, or any other hobby for that matter.

Re:I can't take this article seriously (1)

Flyboy Connor (741764) | more than 8 years ago | (#15522564)

Still, then what is the definition of a "hardcore" gamer? I am really wondering whether I am one.

Re:I can't take this article seriously (1)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 8 years ago | (#15522662)

The definition I use for "hardcore" is basically "extremely nerdy". The nerdier you are about your hobby, the more you are into it. The more you are into it, the more the term "hardcore" probably applies to you. I realize that's a circular definition, but hopefully you understand what I'm trying to say.

Re:I can't take this article seriously (1)

PhotoBoy (684898) | more than 8 years ago | (#15522825)

Well by 1Up's consumerist definition of a hardcore gamer you can only be hardcore if you have enough money to buy all the games systems. When I was at University I could hardly afford any games let alone all the systems, yet I was still a hardcore gamer.

I would have expected 1Up's definition from a website like IGN, but sadly some of the 1Up writers are as equally vapid these days (e.g. SL1p).

And of course I would think a true hard core gamer would already know they want a decent games PC, if 1Up readers still need to be told they need one then they're probably not hardcore.

My perfect setup... (1)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 8 years ago | (#15523131)

My perfect setup doesn't involve an HDTV or an Xbox 360, but instead consists of a full audio cabinet that includes every system from an original Pong, Atari 2600, SMS, NES, Genesis, SNES, N64, Dreamcast, PS1, PS2, GC, and a few others like Neo Geo, 3D0, etc. all hooked up and playable.

The sheer fun factor blows any HDTV/Xbox 360 setup away. There isn't a human alive (including grandparents with Pong) that can resist playing something. It's kinda like a large scale Nintendo Wii.

They all see a fair bit of play, except the PS1, it has aged the worst of all of the systems which has been surprising.

Buy an existing arcade cabinet. (1)

sm4kxd (683513) | more than 8 years ago | (#15524171)

The author mentions building an arcade cabinet, but doesn't say anything about gutting an existing cabinet. I was able to get a hold of a cabinet with a dead screen at a local arcade auction for $40. Since the only thing that was dead was the screen, I was able to sell the innards to a professional restoration company for $30, and netted a perfectly good stable cabinet for $10.

Finding arcade auctions? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15525290)

a local arcade auction

Do you have tips for finding arcade auctions in Fort Wayne, Indiana?

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