Friday, February 5, 2010

Computer Envy

Ok, with all the lag I've been experiencing the last couple days on my server, I'm officially jealous of people who have "instant load".

Or, well, relatively instant load times. I sit and wait and wait and wait some more for my loading screen. I could literally walk away from my computer, go make a sandwich and switch out some laundry in the amount of time it takes for me to actually be able to move around after hitting the log in option.

So, maybe not that long but seriously. Eto's computer..jealous. I have an awesome video card..but my processor can't handle the potential my card has. We can hit log at the same time and he's in, moving around and on his way well before me.

He doesn't fight the disconnects and lock ups that I do either.

Graphically, his game doesn't look much different then mine. At least not yet, we'll see how much that changes with the new 24 inch monitor he just ordered. Our video cards are very similar.

But I'm also one of those people who rarely ever spends money on myself. The only thing I've bought for myself, at least for my computer, is my video card and hard drive but only when both went out and stopped working completely.

So, my question for my fellow gamers. What parts of your computers do you splurge on? What pieces do you find it more beneficial to spend a little more money on?


Anonymous said...

In order of effectiveness vs. price

1. Wire - I've talked to many people lately complaining about latency and disconnects, that I later find out are using a wireless connection. Wireless is useful for certain things, certainly, it is better than not having a connection to the net. However, there is no replacement for a good old fashioned wire sometimes. Will eliminate interference, and be faster.
2. RAM - the more the better
3. video card - lots of RAM is good onboard your video card too; the speed of the bus on your video card is a big contributor as well (if you have a choice between a card that has 1GB of RAM, at 550mhz vs a card that has 1GB of RAM at 1000mhz, I would prefer the 1000mhz)
4. hard disk - you can get hard disks that are very very fast individual drives, that cost more than the ordinary drives (thinking Raptor drives). Also, if you are not worried about spending a bit of money, RAID is the way to improve performance vastly. Your motherboard would have to support RAID
5. core and motherboard - the more cores you have, the better in general. The old core 2 duo is not nearly as capable as the new dual cores. Wow only uses 1 core (I think--at least it used to only use 1) but your operating system and other process will likely be running on the other cores, and wow on one, so having multiple cores still helps even though wow doesn't technically use multithreading).

Having said all that, most people don't have the money to be building a new machine as often as they would like. I find that windows machines typically need reinstallation about once per year, depending on what kind of useage they are put through, and that seems to improve performance greatly. (nothing like a freshly formatted drive!)

It also helps to make sure you computer has been defragmented(winxp) and scanned for viruses lately(all os's, with an UPDATED virus scanner), and to make sure that you are only running processes that you want to have running (don't have every single application on your computer open at once, for example, only have the apps open that you need ; ie. wow and itunes..)

If I were to build a new machine(and money wasn't an object), it would have like 12GB of system memory, 3-4 fast hard disks in a RAID configuration, and a killer video card, running under windows 7. If I were to build a new machine with a reasonable amount of money, like I did a few months ago, it would have 1 modern 7200rpm hard disk, 4-6 GB of RAM, and whatever OS you have licensing for(xp in my case), and a decent video card. I can't complain about the performance of that new machine either, even though I didn't build it to max performance specifications.. :)

It is also worthy to note that lots of players are in the habit of installing LOTS of addons, which is fine, but some of these may have performance costs in-game. I would try to keep a minimal set of addons, and you could try disabling some of them and seeing if your performance increases at all.

Hope all this helps, apparently I write too much.. :P


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