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Friday, September 27, 2013

OT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’

Valve therefore left open the possibility that whatever Steam Machines eventually make it to market next year could either be first- or third-party hardware. The company is putting out invitations for 300 Steam users to participate in a beta test they must qualify for by completing an “eligibility quest” that involves familiarizing themselves with Steam’s current features.

The other gaming thread died. Here’s a new one for those interested. I figured Steam looking for Beta Testers made for a good lead-in.

Happy Gaming!

Poster Nutbag Posted: September 27, 2013 at 05:34 PM | 1147 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: ot

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   701. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 26, 2014 at 11:52 AM (#4779277)
Flippity-floppity
   702. madvillain Posted: August 26, 2014 at 01:33 PM (#4779379)
I bought Civ 5 last night with all the expansions and DLC for $16.99. Gotta love Steam sales. I had played it a bit on a pirated copy back when it came out (just kinda wanted to check out the graphics at the time) and I remember being underwhelmed coming from IV. I still don't like that they did away with the slider bar and I'm not a huge fan of the interface (why does it take so many clicks to do things) but overall the game is certainly more engaging at a certain level than IV.

By that I just mean that IV usually turns into a micro fest with chopping and timing and the "stack of death" is usually more than enough to completely run through half your enemy's empire. I like the hex tiles a lot and the no stacking as it adds a check on the human player that in theory should be much better at long term warfighting than even the best AI. Now, with the ranged attack of city's and the unhappiness quotient it doesn't even make sense to sack half your enemy's empire even if you could -- which I dunno if I like.
   703. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 26, 2014 at 01:37 PM (#4779380)
I bought Civ 5 last night with all the expansions and DLC for $16.99. Gotta love Steam sales. I had played it a bit on a pirated copy back when it came out


Steam sales have completely sapped my urge to pirate anything. GabeN is just.
   704. Poster Nutbag Posted: August 26, 2014 at 01:46 PM (#4779385)
Steam sales have completely sapped my urge to pirate anything. GabeN is just.


Agreed. The only games I have pirated in a LONG time were Democracy 3 (basically as demo, I turned around and purchased it almost immediately) and The Masters Of The World (which is too buggy to support at that insane full-price). When you can pick up solid games at solid prices, it eliminates the need to pirate stuff. Now, if only Steam's model can convince the other media providers to follow suit.....
   705. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 26, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4779399)
Steam has been an enormous boon for me by giving me a large enough library of affordable games, event recent AAA titles, so that I never feel the need to overpay for marginal titles or hop on a torrent site and grab some unpatched pain in the butt version of questionable quality. It's the best of everything for me - in the last year I bought Fallout 3 and Fallout 3 New Vegas for $7 combined, Telltale's excellent "Wolf Among Us" adventure series for $5, Dead Island and Borderlands 2 for $5 each, and a heap of other lesser-heralded games for a few bucks each. Meanwhile that means I don't have to feel any pangs of worry when something I'm very eagerly anticipating, like Evolve or Wasteland 2 comes out and I pay full price. GabeN blesseth thy wallet.
   706. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: August 26, 2014 at 02:08 PM (#4779403)
Speaking of games on sale, Victoria II and 9 DLCs are $4.99 via Bundle Stars right now. I really enjoy it - highly recommended if you're into grand strategy games.
Carefully guide your nation from the era of absolute monarchies in the early 19th century, through expansion and colonization, to finally become a truly great power by the dawn of the 20th century.

Victoria II is a grand strategy game played during the colonial era of the 19th century, where the player takes control of a country, guiding it through industrialisation, political reforms, military conquest, and colonization.
   707. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 26, 2014 at 02:10 PM (#4779406)
Steam sales have completely sapped my urge to pirate anything. GabeN is just.


I'm not sure if it's just the fact that Steam has killed pirating for me (I used to get games for my C-64 and early PC), or the fact that I actually have a disposable income now.
I'm sure it's equal parts. The fear of viruses, or buggy versions, or not being able to play online, plus easy access to cheap games (and the money to pay for them)...I can't imagine ever playing a pirated game again.

Of course, I have no issue with using a pirated version of Windows 7 or MS Office....
(I stopped using a pirated version of Adobe Photoshop any more when Paint.net became available.)
   708. The Good Face Posted: August 26, 2014 at 02:25 PM (#4779417)
Only game I've "pirated" in the past few years was Freelancer, and that was only because it's impossible to buy it from Steam or GOG.

I'm going to be one sad camper if Elite Dangerous turns out to suck.
   709. madvillain Posted: August 26, 2014 at 02:34 PM (#4779426)
Of course, I have no issue with using a pirated version of Windows 7 or MS Office....


It's MSFTs own fault. Apple long ago wised up and decided getting $29 for OSX was better than letting pirates rule the roost. That a windows 7 license is still usually $99 is ludicrous.
   710. Randy Jones Posted: August 26, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4779431)
Of course, I have no issue with using a pirated version of Windows 7 or MS Office....

No reason to pirate MS Office anymore. Just get Libre Office(or Open Office, but I prefer Libre) for free.
   711. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 26, 2014 at 02:48 PM (#4779437)
Any recommendations on a good historical strategy game?

I loved EU2, Rome Total War, Medieval Total War 2. EU3 and Rome 2 were OK. Can't get into EU4 so far.
   712. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: August 26, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4779444)
I really like Victoria 2, linked above on sale for $4.99. It's made by Paradox, the folks who made the EU series.
   713. Greg K Posted: August 26, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4779445)
Now, with the ranged attack of city's and the unhappiness quotient it doesn't even make sense to sack half your enemy's empire even if you could -- which I dunno if I like.

This is actually one of my favourite elements of Civ 5, but to each his own. For me war is a bit boring, so I like elements that force you into other routes.
   714. Greg K Posted: August 26, 2014 at 03:07 PM (#4779453)
I loved EU2, Rome Total War, Medieval Total War 2. EU3 and Rome 2 were OK. Can't get into EU4 so far.

Yeah I'd second Victoria II (it was my favourite Paradox game of the EU3, CK1 generation). Once you figure out how to manage an economy though it gets a bit repetitive. One thing I love about EU4 is that it gives you several different options to excel depending on your context. Not the one-size fits all strategy. Victoria adds an element of industry and demographics into the game (immigration is a huge part of the game depending on your nation). I look forward to a new generation version of the game.

Hearts of Iron is also a game I enjoy, though I'd prefer it if the simulation wasn't so closely tied to World War Two. I'd enjoy a game that took the same dynamics and just applied it to a 1919 world which had a more open-ended history.

I haven't played it, but just saw a video for Hegemony Rome. Looks like a Total War type game, though its selling point is that there aren't two separate maps for campaign and battle. It's all one world happening simultaneously you can zoom into.

It probably won't be for me as I need turn based combat, or Paradox style where you can pause it every time you're doing something. The actual tactical fighting I'm terrible at.

Also, I've been on the hunt for more historical simulation games as well. I really love EU4, but more games can't hurt! The Alpha Centauri reboot comes out in October. It looks interesting, though perhaps just a step or two above a glorified expansion pack for Civ 5 (not that I'm complaining, I'll still end up buying it when it goes on sale and mostly likely loving it). A Victoria III would likely be my dream game though.
   715. madvillain Posted: August 26, 2014 at 03:12 PM (#4779458)
This is actually one of my favourite elements of Civ 5, but to each his own. For me war is a bit boring, so I like elements that force you into other routes.


Yea I'm kinda loving/hating it. In 4 as soon as you get swordsman it's game over for the AI, at least on Prince and lower. I usually play at Prince fwiw. In 5 it seems like even if you have a big military advantage it might be best to hold off on a big war.

One thing that really annoyed me is in my 1st save last night I get like 2 hours in and it's me, Hiawatha and Polynesia and Cesar on a contintent. Myself and Polynesia are the big powers and they ask me to help them out in a war against Cesar. Ok well I help out and destroy a shitload of his units so Polynesia can take a couple of his cities. A few hundred years later Cesar is down to Rome and I, a bit miffed that Polynesia is getting all the reward for our war, decide to take out Rome myself.

After I sack Rome and make it a puppet Polynesia denounces me! WTF! Then Polynesia and Hiawatha go to war against me. Uh, you asked me to start the war AI.
   716. Greg K Posted: August 26, 2014 at 03:29 PM (#4779468)
One thing that really annoyed me is in my 1st save last night I get like 2 hours in and it's me, Hiawatha and Polynesia and Cesar on a contintent. Myself and Polynesia are the big powers and they ask me to help them out in a war against Cesar. Ok well I help out and destroy a shitload of his units so Polynesia can take a couple of his cities. A few hundred years later Cesar is down to Rome and I, a bit miffed that Polynesia is getting all the reward for our war, decide to take out Rome myself.

After I sack Rome and make it a puppet Polynesia denounces me! WTF! Then Polynesia and Hiawatha go to war against me. Uh, you asked me to start the war AI.

Yeah the diplomacy (especially compared to Paradox) is not Civ's strongest suit. Though I bypass that by playing hot seat games where I control every civ (again, perhaps not for all gamers). The denouncing aspect I don't fully get. There seems to be an insurance element...I may be wrong, but I think if you declare war on someone while their denouncement of you is in effect you incur a "warmonger" penalty? I'm not sure where I picked up that idea.

The other element is taking capitals really puts you on the map as a warmonger. As one of the paths to victory is taking every opponent's capital, the other Civs are very aware of that. If they identified Rome as a threat they'll be happy to see it chopped up. But taking the capital is another matter. That indicates someone is going for conquest victory and is now a threat. Sort of the equivalent of starting to build a spaceship. It makes you a target. Of course, your scenario sounds a little extreme. They don't usually turn on you that quickly.

It's just another element added to discourage straight up conquest. Like science victory requiring modern technology, or diplomatic victory requiring delegate counts only available in the modern world, or cultural victory not really possible until you get the modern radio stuff, I think the purpose is to make conquest victory very, very difficult until you get into the later game with all the autocratic bonuses that negate the conquest penalties.
   717. Poster Nutbag Posted: August 26, 2014 at 03:32 PM (#4779470)
715 - Also, I hate unnecessary Warmonger penalties. I have had similar situations, too many times. It's really one of the only things I dislike about Civ V all that much. China invades me unprovoked, I fight them off and the only way I could to get them to completely stop advancing on me is to take the city from which the aggression came. Of course, after doing so, I am now a Warmonger. Very frustrating.
   718. Greg K Posted: August 26, 2014 at 03:35 PM (#4779472)
715 - Also, I hate unnecessary Warmonger penalties. I have had similar situations, too many times. It's really one of the only things I dislike about Civ V all that much. China invades me unprovoked, I fight them off and the only way I could to get them to completely stop advancing on me is to take the city from which the aggression came. Of course, after doing so, I am now a Warmonger. Very frustrating.

Yeah it's a bit of a silly system. I sometimes go around liberating cities just to help the old street cred.
   719. Dan Posted: August 26, 2014 at 04:41 PM (#4779521)
It's MSFTs own fault. Apple long ago wised up and decided getting $29 for OSX was better than letting pirates rule the roost. That a windows 7 license is still usually $99 is ludicrous.


Apple actually went to completely free OS upgrades last year with OS X Mavericks (10.9). I assume they went they way after seeing how high the adoption rates were on new versions on iOS with free upgrades and realizing that developers will utilize new features more with greater installed bases of the new software. It probably also helps keep people interested in buying newer systems when they can upgrade to the new OS for free, but then see something new either runs slow or isn't supported on their older hardware. For example in Yosemite (10.10) they are adding a lot of neat features connecting iOS and OS X devices, but most of them require a system with Bluetooth 4.0 for the Bluetooth LE support. Only Macs from ~2012 or newer have BT 4.0.
   720. madvillain Posted: August 26, 2014 at 05:16 PM (#4779548)
@716 -- they didn't like that I put a citadel down right next to their border either! I'm like WTF else am I supposed to do with it? Put it next to my capital that is far from any strategic area? Blah.

It's just another element added to discourage straight up conquest. Like science victory requiring modern technology, or diplomatic victory requiring delegate counts only available in the modern world, or cultural victory not really possible until you get the modern radio stuff, I think the purpose is to make conquest victory very, very difficult until you get into the later game with all the autocratic bonuses that negate the conquest penalties.


It's a great game but it's clear to me that the aesthetic they were going for wasn't one of all out warfare, which isn't how I like to play Civ. I'm a warmonger at heart so having to be friendly with the City States due to the mechanics is a bit offputting. It SHOULD be the case that taking over a city state confers the same and/or greater benefits than being friends with them, but that sadly is not the case I think.
   721. Greg K Posted: August 26, 2014 at 05:35 PM (#4779557)
@116 -- they didn't like that I put a citadel down right next to their border either! I'm like WTF else am I supposed to do with it? Put it next to my capital? Blah.

Yeah that pisses people off right quick.

Great generals tend to pile up and be a nuisance. I hardly ever build citadels (except maybe to grab a valuable resource, or to just piss off/bully a weaker Civ). Usually I end up just using them recklessly and don't much care if they die in combat. Great Admirals, now those guys can come in handy, especially if your navy is taking on a city far from home.

Yeah conquering City States doesn't seem to be worth it. If you're being cheeky they are good XP factories. Early in the game have your guys duke it out in their territory, jacking up the XP, but don't actually take the city. Though that strikes me as uber-lame. The expansion packs give you a bit more lee-way in that they added a tribute feature, where instead of being friendly with them, if your military is scary enough you can bully them into helping you out. One aspect I would like to see developed more is having more sophisticated relationships with the city-states, which should include dominating them and enlisting their support by force (and while we're at it more sophisticated accommodation/assimilation options with barbarians). That is the one thing that sounds appealing about the new Alpha Centauri.

But it can just come down to preferences. I still love Civ 4 and play it every now and then, but I prefer Civ 5 because of the non-military options and the strict limitations places on conquest, simply because I find conquest tedious. In any historical simulation game I'm always much more interested in domestic cultural/social development and building ####. Civ 5 appears to be have been designed with someone like me in mind, which is luck of the draw I guess.
   722. zack Posted: August 26, 2014 at 09:21 PM (#4779671)
715 - Also, I hate unnecessary Warmonger penalties. I have had similar situations, too many times. It's really one of the only things I dislike about Civ V all that much. China invades me unprovoked, I fight them off and the only way I could to get them to completely stop advancing on me is to take the city from which the aggression came. Of course, after doing so, I am now a Warmonger. Very frustrating.

I'm playing a game right now where that's annoying me. Basically taking the capital from an enemy, even an agressor, is enough to get you warmonger with everyone except the Skakas, Ghengis' and Montezumas of the world. Every time they denounce me for warmongering, I can only think the word does not mean what they think it means. And really, there's no permanent way to deal with an aggressor other than to break their spines.

One thing to check out is the Better AI mod, which drastically reduces the AIs suicidal stupidity, not on the battlefield but in terms of diplomacy (you actually get a benefit from the things that are supposed to please them, and they don't immediately hate you for small infractions).

One aspect I would like to see developed more is having more sophisticated relationships with the city-states, which should include dominating them and enlisting their support by force

Not sure if you're aware of it or think that it's just not enough, but in BNW you can cojole city states into obeying you if you have the military strength to scare them.

I'm mostly a builder type gamer but I've noticed that I've been quitting a lot more games lately because, while I get bored with conquest, I get REALLY board if there's not some action. So I started a new map with 9 civs on a 6 civ map, and while no war has broken out yet, I'm already insanely frustrated at how fast everyone closed me in, so it's working! Stupid Washington and his stupid tile-buying. At least now I'll probably never have to build beyond 2 cities, unless someone starts dominating the other civs.

Have any of you ever used the team function with AIs? Does it work or are they too dumb?
   723. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: August 26, 2014 at 09:52 PM (#4779690)
Civ V is almost an all-time great of a game, but the way the AI is programmed (to hate you *forever* for stupid things and thus force you to play in a very gamey way) is a ball and chain around its ankle.

It's still a great game. I put hundreds of hours into it. And then I picked up Crusader Kings II on a whim (induced by this very thread) and almost immediately realized that this was the game I wanted to play all along. Haven't touched Civ V since.

Civ V's soundtrack is worth $20 by itself. There are a lot of VERY good tracks on there. This one and this one, just to pick two particularly great examples.
   724. zack Posted: August 26, 2014 at 10:04 PM (#4779697)
The Civ V soundtrack is great, and I think Civ V is a way better game than IV, but neither of those tracks can touch baba yetu, which made it hard to leave the menu to actually play the game. Despite that my fondness for it now means I know the words to the our father in Swahili.
   725. Jim Wisinski Posted: August 26, 2014 at 10:46 PM (#4779714)
One is ok. Two is excellent. Three is very good up until the last half hour... where it caps it off with the most horrifically terrible ending to anything I have ever seen. So you have been warned.

I recommend just quitting the third game about 80% of the way through. You can pretend that Shepherd saves the universe and is rewarded with a big plate of ice cream, and perhaps a Segway. It's better than the horrifying truth

Mass Effect 3 is a great game with a crappy ending. It's still absolutely worth playing; you'll just likely feel like the series wrapped up the plot poorly.

I dunno. Perhaps it was because the first two games were so good and did such a great job setting up the story, but the ending of ME3 actually left me angry in a way that no other video game has managed since I was a kid. It was poorly written, felt tacked-on, and most importantly made zero narrative or logical sense.


Don't worry, I've played Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II. We can't even blame Bioware for everything since they only made KOTOR I.
   726. Select Storage Device Posted: August 26, 2014 at 11:13 PM (#4779721)
I recommend just quitting the third game about 80% of the way through.


Yeah. Right. Who gives critique like this? "Give this game 27 hours and then effin' pitch it 'cuz I'm so done with this narrative."
   727. zonk Posted: August 26, 2014 at 11:54 PM (#4779742)
My opinion on Civ5 hasn't changed in the years since I bought the collectors version DVD-Rom package the day it came out... Hate, hate, hate, hate it.

I thought it was IMMENSELY dumbed down with entire, enormous portions of the game just lopped out and turned into 'achievement fests'... I'm still pissed at the publishers for ruining my favorite game of all time. Thank god there remains a perfectly active mod community that makes the Civ4 engine still worth owning. I still enjoy playing Fall from Heaven 2, the various Caveman2cosmos/A New Dawn/Rocks to Rockets flavors.

As for Vicky2 -- I have tried SO hard to get into that game. I've played all iterations of Hearts of Iron and EU to death and love 'em, but for the life of me, I just cannot get Vicky to please me. I inevitably end up broke and overrun. I can save the Byzantine empire in EU. I can make Italy the leading power of the Axis... but I always end up turning Brazil into Bolivia in Victoria.
   728. zack Posted: August 27, 2014 at 02:03 AM (#4779774)
My opinion on Civ5 hasn't changed in the years since I bought the collectors version DVD-Rom package the day it came out... Hate, hate, hate, hate it.

Well I couldn't disagree more...but have you played it since? Not only was the original release kind of crappy with unbelievably bad AI that was later improved, the two big expansions have radically altered a lot of the mechanics. If you like offensive culture or religion, those were entirely absent in vanilla, and while they're not the same as III or IV they're back in different ways in the expansions.
   729. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: August 27, 2014 at 09:27 AM (#4779826)
The Religion system is neat, but if you're playing anywhere above Prince you'll never be able to actually use it. It effectively is not so much a gameplay feature as a systematic advantage the AI gets over the player.
   730. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 27, 2014 at 09:39 AM (#4779833)
No reason to pirate MS Office anymore. Just get Libre Office(or Open Office, but I prefer Libre) for free.


Agreed. The only reason I have it on my system is that it was on the same install of Windows 7 that I use.

My next PC will not have MS Office (as long as I have no issue with existing files).
Heck, my next PC might even have a few OS partitions (Windows 7, Linux, Steam) just for experimenting.

but neither of those tracks can touch baba yetu, which made it hard to leave the menu to actually play the game.


The first time I fired up the game and got that quicktime movie opening to that song, it gave me goosebumps.
It's one of only a few songs in my playlist where the lyrics are in a foreign language that I don't understand.


   731. The Good Face Posted: August 27, 2014 at 09:50 AM (#4779840)
Don't worry, I've played Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II. We can't even blame Bioware for everything since they only made KOTOR I.


ME3's ending makes KOTOR 2's look like a towering work of genius.

I recommend just quitting the third game about 80% of the way through.

Yeah. Right. Who gives critique like this? "Give this game 27 hours and then effin' pitch it 'cuz I'm so done with this narrative."


Considering the narrative goes completely off the rails and, in fact, utterly contradicts the past 75+ hours of narrative that you've been playing through in the first 2 games (and the vast majority of the 3rd one), yeah. It's roughly the equivalent of Schindler's List ending with a kung fu tournament, or having the protagonist from 12 Years a Slave get rescued by a wizard in the last 5 minutes.
   732. Langer Monk Posted: August 27, 2014 at 09:52 AM (#4779842)
I'm with zonk - I hated Civ V on release, and put it away never to be played again. I've read many times the expansions fixed or added in a lot of stuff, but they aren't getting any more of my cash to make up for that release. Not when I have EU IV or CK II to play. I won't be making that mistake with the Beyond Earth release, I'll be waiting some time if I choose to buy that.

I also found Victoria 2 undecipherable. If Paradox comes out with a new version (since they are doing a new HoI, I suspect it's likely), I'll try harder to understand what the hell is going on.
   733. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: August 27, 2014 at 10:03 AM (#4779846)
I'm a huge fan of Paradox games, but I just haven't been able to get into CK II.

My typical CK II game involves playing as the Normans (William the Bastard), starting from the beginning, getting whomped in the Norman invasion of England, not really understanding how to get my local allies to send troops, making peace with the English, and then remembering that I have to deal with finding a tutor for my kid. Right around this time, I just go play EU.
   734. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 27, 2014 at 10:09 AM (#4779850)
I'm a huge fan of Paradox games, but I just haven't been able to get into CK II.

Ditto.

There seems like no limit to the number of troops some states will commit to a pointless war. I always seem to get attacked by the HRE, and even if I slaughter 100,000 of their troops, they just keep raising and sending more.

Nothing at all like Medieval warfare, where the biggest states struggled to keep 20,000 me in the field for a campaign season.
   735. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 27, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4779903)
   736. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: August 27, 2014 at 11:46 AM (#4779918)
If warfare is what draws you to a game then CKII is not for you, yeah. It's the interpersonal roleplaying that draws me.
   737. zack Posted: August 27, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4779925)
The Religion system is neat, but if you're playing anywhere above Prince you'll never be able to actually use it. It effectively is not so much a gameplay feature as a systematic advantage the AI gets over the player.

I pretty much ignore religion because I don't care about it and I have other things to do first. But I'm not sure how much of an advantage it is for the AI given how much of their resources they tend to waste on it. I tend to play on Prince most of the time anyway though, because the harder difficulties don't change the parts that I want to be harder, just the parts that I don't.
   738. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 27, 2014 at 11:52 AM (#4779928)
If warfare is what draws you to a game then CKII is not for you, yeah. It's the interpersonal roleplaying that draws me.

Right, but the military dynamic makes it impossible for me to get into the dynastic stuff, because as soon as I get a decent duchy going, I get stomped, and no amount of good war-fighting seems to be able to buy me a white peace.
   739. zack Posted: August 27, 2014 at 12:30 PM (#4779965)
Somewhat related to this conversation, Galactic Civilizations II (a space 4X, Galciv III just came out) and CKII are part of the current humble bundle.
   740. Dan The Mediocre Posted: August 27, 2014 at 12:30 PM (#4779966)
Right, but the military dynamic makes it impossible for me to get into the dynastic stuff, because as soon as I get a decent duchy going, I get stomped, and no amount of good war-fighting seems to be able to buy me a white peace.


What duchies have you tried? Independent duchies have a tendency to get beaten on because the most successful strategy in the game is to slowly absorb weaker opponents. As the King of France, my first move is to start going after Brittany because I know it can't stand against me and is reasonably large. (actually, it's the second move after getting betrothed to Matilda of Tuscany).
   741. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 27, 2014 at 12:39 PM (#4779974)
What duchies have you tried? Independent duchies have a tendency to get beaten on because the most successful strategy in the game is to slowly absorb weaker opponents. As the King of France, my first move is to start going after Brittany because I know it can't stand against me and is reasonably large. (actually, it's the second move after getting betrothed to Matilda of Tuscany).

Mostly the Italian ones. Milan, Tuscany, Savoie. Tried staring as the Habsburgs once or twice.

I don't really see the point of playing as an existing King in a dynastic game. You've already achieved as much as you can, the only way to go is down.
   742. Dan The Mediocre Posted: August 27, 2014 at 12:48 PM (#4779981)

I don't really see the point of playing as an existing King in a dynastic game. You've already achieved as much as you can, the only way to go is down.


It lets you learn the game. And there is always plenty of room for ambition. Owning everything from Madrid to Baghdad is a goal that can be accomplished if you play well.
   743. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 27, 2014 at 12:54 PM (#4779990)
It lets you learn the game. And there is always plenty of room for ambition. Owning everything from Madrid to Baghdad is a goal that can be accomplished if you play well.

I find that as a larger nation, there are just too damn many characters and province to worry about.

If I'm going to be a hegemonic power, I'll play a game with a better military engine. i.e. if I want to own all of Europe, I'll play Medieval 2 Total War.
   744. madvillain Posted: August 27, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4780082)
I keep coming back to Rust, the gameplay is so engaging I just can't stop playing it, even though at this point the "legacy" version isn't even being updated and they are working on the reboot. For anyone curious it's sorta a survival FPS that has crafting elements. It's only $19.99 on Steam and that gets you full access to the final version and the looking lovely "reboot" (they are making a new Rust from the ground up but it's not quite playable yet, maybe in a couple more months).

The social aspects are what makes it so compelling IMO. Last night I was playing on a Seattle server with around 30 other people and I managed to go like 2 hours without dying, killing 4 people in the process and taking all their stuff, including completely owning some guy with a pickaxe when he had full military weapons. He rage quit, that was a nice moment and I got to learn his sub machine gun so now I can craft it.

Then at the end of my nice killing spree, I shot some poor guy gathering rocks in the back with a shotty but I was right next to a common area and two freaking bears came right up on my ass so I had to use 4 shells to take both of them down and it the process it took about 10 seconds. So I go to loot the guys body and he has about 20 minutes worth of gathering stuff on him and I get shot right in the head by some other guy that had heard the gunfire.

Looting is basically the most vulnerable position in the game (but also the most fun!) and it gets your heart racing pretty much every time in a way I've never really experienced in a game. Not even CS or Star Craft comes close imo.
   745. hokieneer Posted: August 29, 2014 at 09:25 AM (#4781499)
Of course, I have no issue with using a pirated version of Windows 7 or MS Office....

No reason to pirate MS Office anymore. Just get Libre Office(or Open Office, but I prefer Libre) for free.



I actually just bought a legit copy of Win 7 Pro. I bought a product key off ebay about 5 years ago for around $15 and it worked fine up until last winter then MS started telling me my key was unverified and I was using a hacked version of windows. Since then random #### just stops working, windows updates only work 50% of the time, sql server would not start, and sometimes the desktop service gets so corrupt my only recourse is a restore from an image. The one reason I had put off wipe/re-install (besides the time investment) was because of my MS office and other MS products that I may or may not have access to anymore. Couldn't take it anymore. I'm waiting to purchase a new SSD first, just need to find a good deal at a time when I have some extra cash.
   746. zack Posted: August 29, 2014 at 11:34 AM (#4781669)
You can always check if your place of employment has a home use program. My last job and my gf's current job both did; I got 7 pro for $20 that way.
   747. Win Big Stein's Money Posted: August 29, 2014 at 12:09 PM (#4781699)
Fuck Windows 8.

That is all.
   748. The Good Face Posted: August 29, 2014 at 12:18 PM (#4781714)
#### Windows 8.

That is all.


I'm going to be buying a new gaming PC this holiday season. Any thoughts (from you or anyone else here) as to whether I'd be better off with Windows 7 or 8? I'm assuming 9 won't be out until 2015.
   749. Swedish Chef Posted: August 29, 2014 at 12:32 PM (#4781734)
I don't mind Windows 8.1. Just set it to start at the desktop, and to go directly to the app list on Winkey/start button, not that I use that very often anyway.
   750. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: August 29, 2014 at 12:35 PM (#4781738)
I'm going to be buying a new gaming PC this holiday season. Any thoughts (from you or anyone else here) as to whether I'd be better off with Windows 7 or 8? I'm assuming 9 won't be out until 2015.


You want 7. 8 is godawful, continuing in the Microsoft tradition of every other Windows release actually being the alpha for the eventual actual product, released early to get people to migrate off the current platform and be left with an awful OS and desperate for a better one. (see: ME -> XP; Vista -> 7.)
   751. The Good Face Posted: August 29, 2014 at 01:08 PM (#4781781)
You want 7. 8 is godawful, continuing in the Microsoft tradition of every other Windows release actually being the alpha for the eventual actual product, released early to get people to migrate off the current platform and be left with an awful OS and desperate for a better one. (see: ME -> XP; Vista -> 7.)


Yeah, but I hate the thought of having to upgrade to Win 9 (or 10 or whatever) in a few years when software producers stop supporting 7. I figure 8 will at least last as long as the computer itself. What makes it suck so much? I've never actually used a machine with Windows 8.
   752. hokieneer Posted: August 29, 2014 at 01:18 PM (#4781791)
You can always check if your place of employment has a home use program. My last job and my gf's current job both did; I got 7 pro for $20 that way.


We don't', per se. I got my copy of Visual studio, Office, etc years ago through work when I built the PC, but they didn't have the available keys for Win7 at that time. Our bulk licensing is not as robust as it used to be.
   753. Swedish Chef Posted: August 29, 2014 at 02:23 PM (#4781863)
Yeah, but I hate the thought of having to upgrade to Win 9 (or 10 or whatever) in a few years when software producers stop supporting 7. I figure 8 will at least last as long as the computer itself. What makes it suck so much? I've never actually used a machine with Windows 8.

Microsoft seems to be moving in the direction of free upgrades (their upgrade revenue is small, so that's no big sacrifice for them), so I don't think you have to worry too much about the cost of upgrading.
   754. zack Posted: August 29, 2014 at 02:38 PM (#4781884)
I'm the wrong person to ask, since I just upgraded from XP to 7 a few weeks ago, but most people I've heard who despised 8 think 8.1 is fine. I do like to stick with the odd releases though for historical reasons, and I was lucky to start on the right path. My sister bought her first computer when ME was coming out and managed to get on the other one, much to her chagrin.
   755. madvillain Posted: August 29, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4781887)
I'm going to be buying a new gaming PC this holiday season. Any thoughts (from you or anyone else here) as to whether I'd be better off with Windows 7 or 8? I'm assuming 9 won't be out until 2015.


I'd wait until after Broadwell (Intel's new "tock") as you might see some pretty impressive gains with the new architecture. And I'd go with Windows 7 for now. Windows 8 has a lot of the same problems with OEM driver support as Vista IMO. I own a computer shop and I see quite a few random problems related to poor driver support (poor text rendering in Chrome, wireless devices not working) that 7 doesn't have.

Windows 8 does have some impressive new features under the hood (hey, EXT3 file system!) but it's not really worth the additional hassle IMO.

And as for gaming you're not going to see any frame rate differences.

In general, almost all games these days are GPU bound, not CPU bound. If your budget is say $800, I'd spend an extra $50 on a GPU rather than an extra $50 on CPU. NVIDIA is also going to be releasing their high end "Maxwell" based cards sometime soon and while AMD is always competitive in the GPU segment (not in the CPU segment imo) it might push NVIDIA ahead on a performance per dollar ratio around Christmas time.

Any Broadwell (or Haswell) based i5 is going to be more than enough power for gaming. There is zero reason to go i7 unless you're doing a lot of CPU intensive stuff like audio production or video encoding.
   756. The Good Face Posted: August 29, 2014 at 03:24 PM (#4781933)
Microsoft seems to be moving in the direction of free upgrades (their upgrade revenue is small, so that's no big sacrifice for them), so I don't think you have to worry too much about the cost of upgrading.


Oh I don't care about the cost, just the pain in the ass factor. I've been running the same install of Vista on my gaming machine for 6 years; I HATE the hassles of OS installs/reinstalls.

I'd wait until after Broadwell (Intel's new "tock") as you might see some pretty impressive gains with the new architecture


That's the plan, although I'm most likely to just take advantage of lower prices on Haswell chips.

In general, almost all games these days are GPU bound, not CPU bound. If your budget is say $800, I'd spend an extra $50 on a GPU rather than an extra $50 on CPU. NVIDIA is also going to be releasing their high end "Maxwell" based cards sometime soon and while AMD is always competitive in the GPU segment (not in the CPU segment imo) it might push NVIDIA ahead on a performance per dollar ratio around Christmas time.


Yep, although same deal as the CPU, I'll probably just take advantage of lower prices and grab a GeForce 770 once the new generation of cards is out. I'm optimistic the new releases (and sales on the old stuff) will be available in November.

Any Broadwell (or Haswell) based i5 is going to be more than enough power for gaming. There is zero reason to go i7 unless you're doing a lot of CPU intensive stuff like audio production or video encoding.


Yeah. My first gen Bloomfield i7 is still manhandling games that came out in '14. GPU, RAM and SSDs are where it's at for gaming now.
   757. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: August 29, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4781960)
Wow. I, uh.... wow.

If you've been happily humming along on Vista for six years, just get whatever's easy. You're never going to notice or care about any difference.
   758. The Good Face Posted: August 29, 2014 at 04:18 PM (#4781967)
Wow. I, uh.... wow.

If you've been happily humming along on Vista for six years, just get whatever's easy. You're never going to notice or care about any difference.


Hehe. I realize that's a slam, but it's still probably useful advice. Keep in mind that my gaming machine does little other than run Steam, surf the web, and maybe some light emailing.
   759. madvillain Posted: August 29, 2014 at 04:21 PM (#4781968)
SSSds are a great upgrade. The speed that was once reserved for expensive and high maintenance (relatively) RAID setups is now accessible to your average home user for a couple hundred bucks. People are really slow to adapt though I still have to educate 90% of my customer base on RAM verse HDs.

"You need more memory"

"oh yea I have a lot of stuff on here"

that happens at least once a day. Usually they pretend to listen to my 30 second spiel about about the difference and why it's important and then they repeat "yea I have a lot of stuff on here".

ugh. Then when I try and explain the difference between a SSD and a spinning drive, God help me have the serenity.
   760. madvillain Posted: August 29, 2014 at 04:28 PM (#4781975)
edit: double post
   761. zack Posted: August 29, 2014 at 04:28 PM (#4781977)
I'm mad at SSDs since my (I think first gen, I think they're much better now) died twice within weeks of installing it each time. And in the second case it wasn't just a bad drive, it was some interaction with my SATA controller because it took down other drives with it (no data loss, at least).
   762. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: August 29, 2014 at 04:29 PM (#4781978)
TGF: No, it wasn't a slam. I'm just genuinely surprised that any person exists that has been happy with Vista for years. Power to you, my friend.
   763. The Good Face Posted: August 29, 2014 at 04:38 PM (#4781982)
TGF: No, it wasn't a slam. I'm just genuinely surprised that any person exists that has been happy with Vista for years. Power to you, my friend.


I dunno if it's so much HAPPY, as just a tendency to succumb to inertia. Yes, I get at least one BSOD per month, and have for years. It can be clunky and infuriating to use, finding stuff can be a bear, and god help you if you want to uninstall anything. But it still generally runs the stuff I want to run without too much difficulty, and as I said, I hate installing OSes.

Keep in mind I'm old and go back to the days of DOS, so even the crappiest version of Windows seems like a miracle of the space age compared to those days.
   764. madvillain Posted: August 29, 2014 at 04:42 PM (#4781984)
Vista is OK most of the problems with it were related to OEM support and the memory hog issues but those have mostly been resolved as cost of memory has dropped dramatically and the service packs have helped as well.

I used Vista for a long ass time it's OK but 7 is better.
   765. Win Big Stein's Money Posted: August 29, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4781989)
Speaking of hard drives, my external Toshiba desk drive died a month ago and I lost a ton of data. It's still under warranty so I can replace the drive but what options do I have to get my data back, besides spending $200+ or Toshiba telling me tough shit.
   766. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: August 29, 2014 at 04:52 PM (#4781991)
Well, to dependably get your data back, it's more like $1000+ or tough ####.

Really, the only thing to be done about hard drives is to have a solid backup plan. That means multiple PCs, multiple formats, for your important data.
   767. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: August 29, 2014 at 04:53 PM (#4781992)
How come you can say #### and I can't?
   768. Dan The Mediocre Posted: August 29, 2014 at 05:02 PM (#4781999)
Speaking of hard drives, my external Toshiba desk drive died a month ago and I lost a ton of data. It's still under warranty so I can replace the drive but what options do I have to get my data back, besides spending $200+ or Toshiba telling me tough ####.


Did the drive itself fail or was it the power supply? If it's the power supply you can take the drive out and install it in the computer itself and it'll be up and running.
   769. Win Big Stein's Money Posted: August 29, 2014 at 05:11 PM (#4782001)
It was the drive itself.

It was working purrfectly fine for about 2 years. I switched laptops, and then bam 2 hours later it stopped working. Like an idiot I kept trying to access it which most forums say not to do, and now it makes a clicking sound.
   770. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: August 31, 2014 at 01:18 AM (#4782652)
Like an idiot I kept trying to access it which most forums say not to do, and now it makes a clicking sound.

If it got the point at which it's clicking (almost certainly screwed up platters), it was on its way to heaven anyway. Some people have gotten good results for 10-15 minutes by freezing their hard drives, which if you're lucky, may give you enough time to get anything important off of it.

   771. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: August 31, 2014 at 01:24 AM (#4782655)
In general, almost all games these days are GPU bound, not CPU bound. If your budget is say $800, I'd spend an extra $50 on a GPU rather than an extra $50 on CPU. NVIDIA is also going to be releasing their high end "Maxwell" based cards sometime soon and while AMD is always competitive in the GPU segment (not in the CPU segment imo) it might push NVIDIA ahead on a performance per dollar ratio around Christmas time.

Any Broadwell (or Haswell) based i5 is going to be more than enough power for gaming. There is zero reason to go i7 unless you're doing a lot of CPU intensive stuff like audio production or video encoding.


Pretty much. I have a i7 3770k in my daily rig, but I do occasionally do ZiPS and some stuff on it (I have a 3930k in my heavy duty workin' rig).

Intel hasn't had a big generational boost since the Nehalem CPUs. Just look at the Tom's Hardware gaming CPU tiers and some of the CPUs in the second or third tier are near ancient at this point.
   772. zack Posted: August 31, 2014 at 10:23 AM (#4782723)
The rig I bought in fall 2008 has been ridiculously good to me. The CPU is still 5th tier and the GPU is 13th tier...and neither of those were top-of-the-line at the time. The trick was both generations involved pretty huge performance gains over their immediate predecessors, I think (and Moore's Law starting to break down).
   773. Big Ears Teddy shouldn't see TFTIO Posted: August 31, 2014 at 12:35 PM (#4782771)
I'm going to be switching out a work laptop for a work desktop and while I'm excited for dual Xeons and 6GB/s SATA SSD and 64GB of RAM and yadda yadda, I'd be lying I were to say that I wasn't mostly excited to see how my Titanfall fps goes from an underclocked Geforce 650 mobility with 1GB of memory to dual R700s with 6GB apiece. There are certain ... advantages to working for a computer hardware company.
   774. zonk Posted: August 31, 2014 at 02:04 PM (#4782800)
I don't want to sound like I'm defending Windows8 - I wish my laptop was running 7, but I got it, I didn't have an (easy) choice... But - I do think it was a relatively good effort.

A truly machine neutral OS is a big deal and I do think MS is to be commended to getting it as right as they did. I get that on one hand people might say they tried to be all things to all uses and failed them all, but I don't really think that's true. It's a perfectly cromulent OS across devices (my laptop is the only MS-based machine I have, but I did actually 'borrow' some equipment from work to just to see how it would all come together). Of course, it's not exactly difficult to use a Mac + iphone in tandem even with single-purposed dual OSs, but I'm just saying that I understand what MS was trying to do and I do think that it's a big deal (albeit a logical one).

For home users - the things folks would want to do (listen to music, watch media, game, web, etc) are easily portable across devices running mobile vs desktop/laptop OSs... but from an enterprise/business perspective - both on the use and build side - single-sourcing against an OS streamlines things enormously.

Again... I don't want to defend 8, but if I had an easy and cheap choice, I wouldn't be running it... but I do very much like what MS was trying to do and very much hope Apple, android/google, etc follow suit.
   775. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: August 31, 2014 at 02:36 PM (#4782810)
Dialing back to Mass Effect, I've been replaying through the series over the last few months- on PC this time rather than xbox 360- and it's incredible. The Citadel DLC in ME3 especially. I'm just dreading getting to the ending of ME3, because that game does so much right and then completely drops the ball in the final 10 minutes. Still, playing it two years after it came out is reminding me of all the things I really liked about it and reminding me that the ending doesn't ruin the journey.

Plus, Garrus and I bro so hard. I like him more than I like some of my real life friends.
   776. CrosbyBird Posted: August 31, 2014 at 02:50 PM (#4782819)
Again... I don't want to defend 8, but if I had an easy and cheap choice, I wouldn't be running it... but I do very much like what MS was trying to do and very much hope Apple, android/google, etc follow suit.

In the last year or so that I've had this Windows 8 computer, I've had four issues, in order of nuisance:

1) Lack of a Start button. I downloaded Start8 and it completely solved the problem.

2) Some applications designed for Windows 8 force you to use full-screen and can't run in windowed-mode. I downloaded ModernMix and that completely solved the problem, as long as I make sure to keep it updated.

3) Some things are hard to find and in non-intuitive places. A search almost always finds them pretty quickly but it's weird that they show up there. Like Brightness, which is a setting you'd want to regularly change if your setup is exposed to natural light... that's buried in Power Management. I am certain that I could easily shortcut to it... in fact, there might well be a keyboard shortcut I don't know (but not clearly labeling the keyboard shortcut is itself a problem... not really Windows 8's fault but the fault of my keyboard).

4) Apps and games occasionally crash (it's usually either Firefox or Flash that's the culprit). The system itself very rarely crashes. These are still problems but this PC is more stable than any other PC I have ever owned.

I generally like Windows 8 running in perpetual desktop mode. I can also see how someone not computer-literate (like perhaps my grandmother) might do quite well with the button-mode.
   777. Big Ears Teddy shouldn't see TFTIO Posted: August 31, 2014 at 03:04 PM (#4782822)
The only thing I use Windows 8 for is as a set of drivers to launch Steam or Origin, so none of the changes that so aggravate long-time users mean anything to me.
   778. Esmailyn Gonzalez Sr. Posted: August 31, 2014 at 09:47 PM (#4782975)
Plus, Garrus and I bro so hard. I like him more than I like some of my real life friends.

Truth.
http://i1117.photobucket.com/albums/k584/Grizzlei/Garruscupcake.jpg
   779. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: September 01, 2014 at 02:09 AM (#4783030)
I greatly dislike Windows 8. If I had been using 3.1, it would be much better. But I'm not, I was using Windows 7 and Microsoft's desire to unify their OS doesn't matter to me if it's more awkward to use, which it is. I have a car and a lawn mower but that doesn't mean I want a hybrid that goes 30 MPH max and cuts the grass poorly.

Yeah, I have Start8 on my Windows 8 laptop but I don't always have to be able to count on mods of Windows OSs in the future. Thankfully, 9 looks like it'll be significantly better. I'm on a PC a lot, frequently more than 1 simultaneously and I don't want to have to be constantly fighting the interface.
   780. Win Big Stein's Money Posted: September 04, 2014 at 05:09 PM (#4785655)
Can you go into moar detail about the freezer method and what steps to take? Have you done it yourself? How long did u freeze it? How much time did u have to re coop the files before it stopped working again?

And mostly, will it void the warranty?
   781. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: September 04, 2014 at 07:06 PM (#4785716)
Essentially, if you're out of ideas and warranty, if it's an issue with the internal spindle, the cold something can realign it just right to buy you 10 minutes or so to get something important off of it.

If your hard drive is actually under warranty, I'd just RMA it and call it a day, unless your data is worth over $1,000, it's probably water under the bridge.

Now, I'd still try to use something like Recuva, which can sometimes extract a good amount of data from the hard drive. But physical recovery options are uniformly horrible because of the way hard drives are designed. You need highly trained technicians and a setup like they're testing ebola vaccines.
   782. hokieneer Posted: September 08, 2014 at 09:44 AM (#4787440)
SSD died this weekend. Apparently abrupt power failures can produce a lot of problems in SSDs, including bricking them. That would help to explain the random chkdsk and sector problems I've had with mine over the years (time to invest in a UPS).

So any recommendations on a good SSD? My old one was only a 60GB, but that is because that's all I could afford 5 years ago. Don't need a lot of storage space, I have platter drives for that, but it would be nice to install a few games on it.

This one seems to be a good drive for the price, and is the front runner around the 1st turn for hokieneer. Just looking for other suggestions/opinions.
   783. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 08, 2014 at 10:14 AM (#4787462)
One of the best investments I've made was getting a decent UPS for my computer, and having an off-site/cloud backup system for important files (email, photos, videos).
I also do onsite backups to an external drive, so if something should ever go wrong, I know that I'll be only about a day behind.

I use Backblaze for my offsite backups, and SyncToy for my onsite backups.
   784. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 08, 2014 at 10:21 AM (#4787466)
So any recommendations on a good SSD?


Boy are you in luck.
   785. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 08, 2014 at 10:27 AM (#4787470)
After incorporating and working as a contract employee for the past year, I've met up with my accountant last week and he said something to me that almost made me pass out.

While talking about what I wanted to do with the money I'd earned (RRSPs, RESP, TFSA, savings, spending), I mentioned that I would eventually like to buy a new computer (as my current one is over six years old). He said "Oh, go ahead and buy yourself the best new computer you want. That is an easy thing to put as an expense in next year's taxes. 100%, not a problem."

So now I'm going to start to piece together what I want. That SSD mentioned in #782 is definitely on the list.
I've been so out of it for CPU/mobo/GPU combos now that any suggestions would be nice.
I don't think I want to go all "Large Pixel Collider", but something with real juice in it would be nice.
I'll definitely get at least two SSDs (one for O/S, one for Steam), and some TB drives for storing family photos/videos/etc.
Is the GTX 770 the video card of choice now?
Do I get an i7 CPU?
   786. The Good Face Posted: September 08, 2014 at 10:37 AM (#4787479)
Is the GTX 770 the video card of choice now?


The 770 is probably at the sweet spot for performance/price if you're putting together a high end (but not bleeding edge) gaming machine. Of course, the 900 series should be coming in Q4 (they're skipping the 800s because reasons), so if you can hold out a couple of months, there should be some good deals on the 770s.

Do I get an i7 CPU?


For gaming? No, an i5 will effortlessly run any game on the market and any that will come out in the next few years. If you do other CPU intensive activities like video/audio production/editing, maybe. Same deal here as with the GPUs; new Intel "tock" release scheduled for Q4, so deals should be available if you wait.
   787. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: September 08, 2014 at 10:57 AM (#4787498)
tomshardware: best ssds for the money

I've got 2 Samsung's: a 128gb 840 Pro and a 500gb 840 Evo.
   788. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 08, 2014 at 11:22 AM (#4787513)
For gaming? No, an i5 will effortlessly run any game on the market and any that will come out in the next few years. If you do other CPU intensive activities like video/audio production/editing, maybe.


I do a fair bit of gaming and video editing/restoration and I'm completely happy with my i5 4670. I haven't even thought to try an overclock, why bother, it chews up everything I send at it.

Adding an SSD is the single best thing most people can do for the performance and enjoyability of their workstation. Why you need an SSD.
   789. Win Big Stein's Money Posted: September 08, 2014 at 12:19 PM (#4787598)
UPS?
   790. Dan The Mediocre Posted: September 08, 2014 at 12:21 PM (#4787603)
UPS?


Uninterrupted Power Supply. It's a requirement for any SSD that you don't want bricked from a random power outage.
   791. hokieneer Posted: September 08, 2014 at 02:04 PM (#4787687)
Apparently the 240GB sandisk for $130 isn't available anymore. That's disappointing, it was a great deal. The 480GB model is out of my price range.
   792. Poster Nutbag Posted: September 08, 2014 at 05:51 PM (#4787895)
Keep an eye on the Humble Store over the next two weeks. Tons of deals, including flash sales. Also, every Monday there is a FREE game!
   793. Big Ears Teddy shouldn't see TFTIO Posted: September 09, 2014 at 12:17 AM (#4788143)
The prices on SSD are just nuts. I paid some ungodly number of $MEGABUX for one of those 60GB Intels lo those many years ago; my new computer has 1TB and that's hardly even noteworthy.

And yes, 120fps in Titanfall at 720p with all the sliders on gonzo. 720p because that's the monitor at hand; I'll see what it can do with 4x the pixels on Saturday when I get back to Toronto. Thanks, all you people buying iPhones! Keep buying iPhones!
   794. Win Big Stein's Money Posted: September 09, 2014 at 02:55 AM (#4788183)
Thanks, all you people sheep buying iPhones! Keep buying iPhones!


Ftfy. BAHHHHH!
   795. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 09, 2014 at 09:51 AM (#4788260)
Is the GTX 770 the video card of choice now?
Do I get an i7 CPU?


Not sure if it matters to you or not, but I try and build quiet top end gaming computers, and keeping the GPU and CPU in the lower ends' of their performance bands helps. An i5 certainly could handle most games, but it might be stressed out a bit more and run hotter than an i7 operating on a lower percentage load (I have not actually researched any of the new gen chips, so I don't know if this is necessarily the case, the new i5's architecture could make them cooler at all times). Silent PC Review is a good site if quiet interests you. Different manufacturers can approach the same GPU very differently, the noise from the same card can be drastically reduced if the manufacturer goes in that direction.

Oh, and get a good case. I love my Antec P180 (think they sell P280's now).
   796. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: September 09, 2014 at 11:07 AM (#4788315)
Given the aggressive price-cutting on AMD's part, I'd recommend a 280x or a 290 as the sweet spot for a high-end-but-not-crazy system. Though if you get a 290, it's important to get a card with an aftermarket cooling solutions as the stock 290s are loud and hot.

There's really almost no benefit to an i7 over an i5 for gaming. You'll literally get 3-4 FPS and that's only in a subset of high-end games (like Crysis 3). Unless you've got significant non-gaming needs that can fully utilize the hyperthreading (heavy duty video editing one) or your budget is such that marginal gains in other parts of the PC are very expensive, the i5 is a better choice. Both my main rigs have i7s (a 3770k and a 3930k) but that's only because of the various bits of statnerdery I do, if I didn't have those needs, I'd be running a 3570k right now (if I was still building those in early 2013, of course).

If I were building a fairly standard low-high end gaming+general use PC at $1200 today, this is about what I would pick:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: ASRock Z97 EXTREME4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($128.79 @ Newegg)
Memory: A-Data XPG V1.0 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($76.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($86.95 @ OutletPC)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($56.99 @ Micro Center)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon R9 290 4GB WINDFORCE Video Card ($349.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Rosewill Capstone 750W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-14 DVD/CD Writer ($12.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 (32/64-bit) ($94.99 @ B&H)
Total: $1207.64
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-09-09 11:06 EDT-0400
   797. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 09, 2014 at 02:38 PM (#4788513)
That PCPartPicker site is nice, especially since it has a Canadian section as well (ca.pcpartpicker.com).
   798. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: September 09, 2014 at 10:07 PM (#4788764)
In other news, it's been fun watching Reddit explode upon the news that Microsoft is close to buying Minecraft.
   799. hokieneer Posted: September 10, 2014 at 11:29 AM (#4788991)
$2 billion for Minecraft/Mojang? That's a ####-ton of money for a video game company that has exactly one game.

What the hell does Microsoft see in it? I mean I get it's a pretty big cultural phenomenon now (to my surprise), but the market has to be close to full saturation now. There are minecraft action figures now, for ####'s sake.
   800. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: September 10, 2014 at 12:03 PM (#4789035)
I think Microsoft's likely motivations are:

1) Revenue stream from microtransactions in Minecraft, which Mojang never did but Microsoft most definitely will;
2) Revenue stream from Minecraft merchandise;
3) A desperate gambit to save its XBox division, which shareholders are increasingly pressuring management to kill, with an XBox-exclusive Minecraft 2.

It's not going to work and in fact I think it's likely going to hasten the demise of both Microsoft and Minecraft, but that is probably Microsoft's rationale.

Minecraft has a gigangic mod scene and those modders are the ones that are going to really take it in the ass, I suspect.

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