Friday, December 30, 2016

Backup and Restore your Games on Origin without a new download!

We're coming to the close of the Holiday season and I'm sure a lot of you out there got some new goodies for your game library this year.  So how appropriate that the last article of 2016 concerns managing those 100's of gigabytes of install files from all those hot triple-A titles you found under the tree.

Seems Origin and Ubisoft are the only ones with any good deals these days but Steam still has one thing over them.

Backing up and Restoring your game install files....

Origin has been around for the better part of a decade and they still make reinstalling games a slow and painful process.

That is, unless you know the trick....

The bullet point version is this.

  1. Locate your Origin game install folder ( usually \\programfiles (x86)\Electronic Arts\ * game folder *)
  2. Copy the entire game folder to another place you can get to later.
  3. Boot up Origin on the rig you want to install the game on
  4. Check the Origin game install folder in that location ( they can be different )
  5. Start the regular Game download process
  6. After a few minutes pause the download
  7. Copy your saved game install folder over the folder Origin just made in the install directory
  8. Un-Pause the download process
  9. Install will finish without trying to download the whole game.

Of course there are nuances to the process but that's the basics.  Below I've made a video showing you how to do it and even how to deal with a few hiccups along the way.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Steam Winter Sale is on NOW!

I dunno....
I think Valve has just kinda of given up.
no cute cartoon characters, no fun games, no special holiday themes.


Stuff on sale.
Yeah, you can explore your queue to earn trading cards that eventually make up a badge


Something's missing.
Good thing I spend more time with Uplay these days.  At least they put up a few lights...

Anyway, title says it all.  Go check it out.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Merry Christmas and God Bless all you Hype-Free gamers out there!

I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank everybody who's stopped by this year and at least given this blog a look.

I wish you a very Merry Christmas, Hanukkah or whatever you may be celebrating.  This is a labor of love for me and the few minutes you've spent here validates what I do.

So Happy Holidays and the greatest of New Years!

As a little bonus, I've included a live stream capture of me and Shotglass during his visit to my humble lair the weekend before Christmas.


Saturday, December 17, 2016

AMD: A bit too quick to LEGACY

So recently I've been noticing the marketing departments are doing all the talking over at AMD.  Hey, I'm glad that Rizen could finally give Intel some competition.  I'm even glad that newer AMD GPU's are coming into parity with Nvidia on power per watt metrics.

What I'm not cool with is the rush to throw anything that doesn't fit a current marketing plan under the bus.

Case in point.  If you have a GPU that's 3 years old ( Yeah OK that's ancient to anyone under 30) AMD is basically calling your GPU "legacy" even if it supports DX11 and is essentially the same as a currently supported product.  

So When I see this... (from their driver support page)

"AMD Radeon™ R5 235X, Radeon™ R5 235, Radeon™ R5 230, Radeon™ R5 220, Radeon™​ HD 8470, Radeon™ HD 8350, Radeon™ HD 8000 (​D/G variants), Radeon™ HD 7000 Series (HD 7600 and below), Radeon™ HD 6000 Series, and Radeon™ HD 5000 Series Graphics products have been moved to a legacy support model and no additional driver releases are planned. 

This change enables us to dedicate valuable engineering resources to developing new features and enhancements for graphics products based on the​ GCN Architect​ure.........

​For users passionate about gaming, you may wish to consider upgrading to a modern GPU and benefit from exciting new features, improved performance, lower power consumption and broader compatibility with the latest PC games. For information about resellers and product availability, visit:"

I have 2 words for them....


We're talking about cards that in some cases are barely 2 years old.  Keep in mind that AMD launch dates usually have very little to do with shipping dates or calendars for that matter.  

Just like the rest of the hardware industry.  

You may have just picked up that R9 Nano but it's very possible that it's going to hit "legacy" status next year buddy. 

I have to laugh at the slimy sales doublespeak of  "lower power consumption" bit too.   Lower than what? The previous generation of space heaters?

The last 2 generations of AMD cards have only gotten WORSE not BETTER power consumption.  That's not just comparing against Nvidia either, it includes products in their own camp! 

Thus proving NEW doesn't necessarily mean BETTER.

However, before you go off on some fanbody fueled rant thinking I want a Crimson Driver for a Radeon 8500 stop...

It's not about eternally supporting ancient hardware and I don't expect AMD or any other hardware vendor to support a product for 20 years.  But let's be reasonable here!  

Your buddy's R9-280 may still be supported but your 8970 isn't.  Even though they were launched in the SAME YEAR!

Yeah, OK, new stuff comes out and they want you to buy it.  I get that.  It's a product not a life partner.  But it's not just about selling widgets guys.

One of the worst possible things AMD can do to a customer base is to answer every question with, " Just buy a new one."  That goes double for a company that really is betting the farm on a new architecture.  

They're asking for trust but little things like this erode any gains they may make with a slick presentation and shill blogging.

They pretty much have to win without question or they're done. 

Even the rabid fanboys have had to admit that the only reason they've bought AMD anything in the past 5 years was because the company was willing to engage in almost automatic price wars with Nvidia thus driving down prices on similarly performing cards.  

On the CPU side, they haven't even tried.  If AMD could get within  80% of the performance at the top of their line compared to Intel they called it good and stuck a $150 price tag on it.

Being the "Dollar General" of technology is not exactly a badge of prestige.  Underdogs are great to root for but if they don't win once in awhile they're just losers.

Every time I hear the same BS about "value per.." WHATEVER  massaged metric they're using,  I have this image of a bag lady with a big AMD logo on the side of her cart tidying up a trash dumpster.

That's just how my mind works... but to the point.

Let's not forget that there's an awful lot of embedded IGP/APU systems out there.  Systems that may be brand new but use aging hardware platforms.  Platforms that are woefully supported by the logos stuck on the front of their cases like HP, Lenovo or Dell.  

These days it seems more and more, what may have been great in windows 7 and 8  is something less than ZEN in Windows 10.   ( see how I rhymed there..)  

We all know Microsoft could give a damn less about it's hardware partners.  Every patch brings a new flurry of blue screen searches to Google.

So turning your back on customers that ARE GOING TO HAVE ISSUES with Windows 10 is nothing short of moronic.  Especially when those issues have been corrected in a more current driver release that supports the SAME VINTAGE card!

From the perspective of gaming, let's not forget the ultimate lie. 

That is: requiring current generation hardware to play newer games. 

Yes, DirectX 12 and Vulkan are very nice but when you're literally stopped at a load screen because of a driver string in a registry entry, something rotten's afoot.  

When 1/2 of the current popular titles still only require DirectX 10,  you just can't make a case that your game requires new hardware when the API is BACKWARDS COMPATIBLE!

I actually saw this in Battlefield 1 where the cure for an "unsupported" video card was to simply change a DWORD value.  

I happily played Battlefield 1 Beta for 2 days after that.  WITHOUT ANY ISSUES AT ALL!

So let's just stop the Bullshit OK?  Let's stop pissing off customers by allowing your marketing department to stick their Latte' stained fingers into the support section.  

If your driver model is truly modular it shouldn't be a big deal and if you really value customer loyalty, try showing some yourself.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

More Freebies Attack! Assassin's Creed 3 is Free!

I'll say this for Ubisoft...

Unlike EA, when they give away something it's usually good.  This latest installment of the UBI30 anniversary celebration freebie is no different.

But there's a catch....

For one day only They are giving away the 2012 Game of the Year, Assassin's Creed 3.  All you have to do is claim it on December 8th.

In case you don't know it's a Third-Person stealth title.  Similar to Splinter Cell in gameplay but with the added benefit of parkour style acrobatics to aid in your combat.

I won't get into the story as it jumps around a timeline spread across an open world but the gist of it is that your character's DNA allows him to experience the events of his ancestors in the past to find clues to solve a problem in the present day.

And yes, this is the one with the American Revolution in it and it has multiplayer...

Get yours today, I mean TODAY because it's your only chance to get it free! 

Steam don't offer up goodies this good.