Monday, September 25, 2017

Gaming Rig Upgrades

Change is necessary.  Without it nothing good happens.  But you have to have a good reason and a plan and that's what I present here.

I've been using an Intel X58 Based Core I7 940 for gaming duties for a good 7 years now.  It's one of a few rigs I currently have and it lives happily at my buddy's house awaiting it's weekly visit from me.

Over the years it's changed a bit but most of the core parts ( pardon the pun) have remained the same with the Board, CPU and memory remaining unchanged.  It has gone through a series of video cards, however.  Beginning with a 1000Watt Power supply ( because they needed it!) I started out with a pair of Nvidia GTX 285's.  Great cards but total system draw was on the order of 800 watts!  That and the extra 20F of heat they pumped into the room annoyed my buddy when he got the power bill.  So I looked for something a bit more efficient.  I switched to what was then a top of the heap (as in kicking Nvidia's rear at the time) Radeon 6970 2GB.  That card served me well for close to 3 years and now resides in my home game rig where it still does admirable duty as a backup gaming rig.

A couple of years ago my buddy suprised me with a gift.  An Nvidia GTX 970!  The 6970 was starting to have trouble with newer games and with the added strain of my new penchant for live game streams was just not up to the task.

That was it.  I had no plans to do anything further until a completely new build.  But something struck me with the GTX 970.    The fact that a 7 year old rig based on an 8 year old platform was still viable for gaming with nothing more than the change of a video card.

With some admittedly casual research I'd found that the X58 platform had a wider appeal than just me.  People were actively seeking them out and using them for everything from bitcoin mining to gaming rigs.   I also found a subculture that sought to push the platform further.  The Xeon crowd.

Now everybody pretty much knows that with every new Intel consumer processor family comes a new Xeon derivative.  Or maybe it's the other way around.  Regardless, I knew that there was an equivalent Xeon for the Nehalem/Bloomfield processors and I found it in the X56xx series. 

A bit more research found that others had already blazed a trail with the Xeon X56xx processors and since many servers were coming off lease they could be had from recyclers for dirt cheap prices. 

This story is long enough as it is.  Suffice it to say that I took the plunge and so far have enjoyed the fruits of my labor.  The videos below document the journey.  Check them out!

....or live in ignorance.... :-)

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Gamer Rock

A curated selection of tunes assembled into a playlist.  All these songs were found within the games themselves.

See if they bring back any memories for you.