Video/game settings and you.

13

Comments

  • A word on smp.

    Symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) involves a symmetric multiprocessor system hardware and software architecture where two or more identical processors connect to a single, shared main memory, have full access to all I/O devices, and are controlled by a single operating system instance that treats all processors equally, reserving none for special purposes. Most multiprocessor systems today use an SMP architecture. In the case of multi-core processors, the SMP architecture applies to the cores, treating them as separate processors.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symmetric_multiprocessing




    Now, the game loop in T2 is single threaded, it runs as a loop through the/a core once each frame and the results are displayed, to your horror or delight, upon your screen.... and up untill the mid 2000s all was normaly well and good in cpu land as to cache thrashing and context shifts, resulting in smooth gameplay.

    But in the last few years smp (multicore) systems have become the norm rather than the rarity they once were. This multicore emergence has benefited computing as a whole...... but not older games utilising a single thread that were written when the typical home pc had a single core.

    What happens when you run a latency-sensitive single threaded app (such as t1 and t2) on a multicore system is the os decides via a program called a scheduler what app to run, on what core to run it, and for how long and at what priority. Keep in mind the part about latency-sensitive apps, most apps can tolerate a lot of latency resulting from running on an smp system, sadly most fps games are not in that category.

    This multicore latency usualy results from an os that really doesn't care about what app runs on what core and when.
    If the app needed to be run and a core was available, the os would delete the app from the core it presently was cached in and run it on the available one, having to load the new cores cache and so on in preparation to running that app.

    This core/cache thrashing presents a lot of ways latency can be increased, even if those latencies are billionths of a second. So to reduce the latency and performance hit, rational schedulers were developed that attempted to keep the same app on the same core, vastly reducing cache thrashing and context shifts and memory bus traffic and so on and so forth.

    Things are much better since Vista (if you run M$ os), wich introduced to the commodity pc world the idea of a per processer run queue (inherited from Server2003) where the scheduler keeps (or tries to) an app in the same core(s) as much as possible and distributes the apps to all cores. However there are still things that can hamper that nice run queue such as another app at higher priority coming up that must be serviced by an already busy core running a lower priority app, meaning there will still be cache thrashing and memory bus traffic and context shifts.
    Wich means latency is reduced from yesteryears os but not to the point a gamer would be unable to notice.
    But all is not lost.
    There are tools to reduce this such as imgconfig or batch files that can tell the os to use only one core and specify what core. These tools can be found in TN's faq section. So try those if you've a smp system and see if it improves your game.

    For true nerds;
    Scheduling;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scheduling_(computing)

    Cache thrashing;
    http://pomozok.wordpress.com/2011/11/29/cpu-cache-thrashing/

    Context switching;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Context_switch

    Ring levels;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CPU_modes
  • SLI
    If you have an sli system, meaning two or more vid cards installed (and I am talking nvid here as I have no experience with ati cards running crossfire), you can play t2 with sli enabled. You must enable sli in your control panel, and then go down and set the sli mode, either split frame rendering or alternating frame rendering. Split frame seems to offer more instant response to input from ouse and kb than alternate frame, and that is odd since split frame causes a lot more communication between the vid cards, meaning more latency is added, than if run in alternating frame mode. Pick one mode and see how it plays for you.
    I've found that using either of SLI's frame modes on my Dual EVGA Superclocked Geforce GTX 660s will have black screen flickering if I use either of them. I'll retry in the near future, but I'd rather have visibility than flickering when going for the game winning cap... because it would be a major issue to convulse and have a seizure right as go to aim for the flag stand.
  • But all is not lost.
    There are tools to reduce this such as imgconfig or batch files that can tell the os to use only one core and specify what core. These tools can be found in TN's faq section. So try those if you've a smp system and see if it improves your game.

    For Linux users (like me), Plexor in the Linux thread suggested using the "taskset" command when running the game under WINE to force it to a single core. Otherwise it seems to crash eventually anyway.

    If one is using PlayOnLinux, then they should have PlayOnLinux create a shortcut on their desktop and edit the shortcut to include the taskset command, at least that's how I always did it when I needed PlayOnLinux.
    Not sure if this will fix the issue, but try running tribes on a single processor core:
    taskset 0x00000001 wine Tribes2.exe -online
    
  • Okay, so I tried SLI again...
    Screen flickering occurs on the login... and goes away after completing login.
    The game begins to load...
    And then the screen goes black and the infamous Windows Error ding goes off. Nvidia display is unable to continue and must close the application.
  • edited August 2014
    SLI
    If you have an sli system, meaning two or more vid cards installed (and I am talking nvid here as I have no experience with ati cards running crossfire), you can play t2 with sli enabled. You must enable sli in your control panel, and then go down and set the sli mode, either split frame rendering or alternating frame rendering. Split frame seems to offer more instant response to input from ouse and kb than alternate frame, and that is odd since split frame causes a lot more communication between the vid cards, meaning more latency is added, than if run in alternating frame mode. Pick one mode and see how it plays for you.
    I've found that using either of SLI's frame modes on my Dual EVGA Superclocked Geforce GTX 660s will have black screen flickering if I use either of them. I'll retry in the near future, but I'd rather have visibility than flickering when going for the game winning cap... because it would be a major issue to convulse and have a seizure right as go to aim for the flag stand.

    One thing you can try is to set everything to off in the driver control panel, using the t2 game profile that you've of course made by now. Meaning antialiasing and anisotropic filtering is disabled, pretty much everything disabled. Then see if sli works in either mode. Then try with vsynch enabled. Also try with threaded optimisation off and on. Then start adding aniso and antialiasing untill it gets wonky again.
  • SLI
    If you have an sli system, meaning two or more vid cards installed (and I am talking nvid here as I have no experience with ati cards running crossfire), you can play t2 with sli enabled. You must enable sli in your control panel, and then go down and set the sli mode, either split frame rendering or alternating frame rendering. Split frame seems to offer more instant response to input from ouse and kb than alternate frame, and that is odd since split frame causes a lot more communication between the vid cards, meaning more latency is added, than if run in alternating frame mode. Pick one mode and see how it plays for you.
    I've found that using either of SLI's frame modes on my Dual EVGA Superclocked Geforce GTX 660s will have black screen flickering if I use either of them. I'll retry in the near future, but I'd rather have visibility than flickering when going for the game winning cap... because it would be a major issue to convulse and have a seizure right as go to aim for the flag stand.

    One thing you can try is to set everything to off in the driver control panel, using the t2 game profile that you've of course made by now. Meaning antialiasing and anisotropic filtering is disabled, pretty much everything disabled. Then see if sli works in either mode. Then try with vsynch enabled. Also try with threaded optimisation off and on. Then start adding aniso and antialiasing untill it gets wonky again.
    Brought it to bare bones and tried both profiles to no avail.
    Looks like T2 will remain single-carded. I knew I got it to work on my previous Windows 7 install, but why it fails now is beyond me.
  • SLI
    If you have an sli system, meaning two or more vid cards installed (and I am talking nvid here as I have no experience with ati cards running crossfire), you can play t2 with sli enabled. You must enable sli in your control panel, and then go down and set the sli mode, either split frame rendering or alternating frame rendering. Split frame seems to offer more instant response to input from ouse and kb than alternate frame, and that is odd since split frame causes a lot more communication between the vid cards, meaning more latency is added, than if run in alternating frame mode. Pick one mode and see how it plays for you.
    I've found that using either of SLI's frame modes on my Dual EVGA Superclocked Geforce GTX 660s will have black screen flickering if I use either of them. I'll retry in the near future, but I'd rather have visibility than flickering when going for the game winning cap... because it would be a major issue to convulse and have a seizure right as go to aim for the flag stand.

    One thing you can try is to set everything to off in the driver control panel, using the t2 game profile that you've of course made by now. Meaning antialiasing and anisotropic filtering is disabled, pretty much everything disabled. Then see if sli works in either mode. Then try with vsynch enabled. Also try with threaded optimisation off and on. Then start adding aniso and antialiasing untill it gets wonky again.
    Brought it to bare bones and tried both profiles to no avail.
    Looks like T2 will remain single-carded. I knew I got it to work on my previous Windows 7 install, but why it fails now is beyond me.

    Shouldn't matter much anyway unless it's a hassle to disable the necessary stuff just to run Tribes 2 and to re-enable afterwards. I mean, Tribes 2 was built for systems running P3's and I'm sure whatever video card you're running with SLI is way more powerful than anything they had available to consumers at the time Tribes 2 was released, so running on just one shouldn't even yield a difference for such an old game.
  • Try another driver?
  • I get 300 FPS, so it really isn't a hassle.
    I'd rather not go through another driver swaparoo. Last time I did that, my primary card blew for reasons unknown.
  • A word on Excluded File Types and Locations

    The other day my game refused to let me play in scp due to the anitcheat not being installed. That was odd as I have it installed and played previously. Geek of wires asked what av I use and I replied ms essentials and he said to check the excluded file types and locatiuons list, as a recent update to ms essentials possibly deleted/edited the list. And so it was, re-adding t2 to the list made the game playable. So if you suddenly find that you can no longer play when you've played before, check the excluded files list in your av. All praise emails should go to geek, all cash and/or pc parts should be sent to me.
  • edited September 2014
    A word on the game minimising by itself

    Try this if you have win 7 or 8;
    Open Task Manager and find: "wermgr.exe" (this is Windows Error Reporting Manager)
    Press the start button and look for "Choose how to report problems", select it, select "Never check for solutions", close the menu
    This may help.
    If it doesn't, reenable this function.
  • A word on sound glitches

    So you're playing and you hit the jet button and suddenly instead of the usual jet sound you hear KPSHHHHHHHHHH maybe for as long as you have the jet button down. It may even happen when you obs someone jetting.
    I'm confident this issue stems from t2 being run on a multicore pc, and you can reduce or eliminate the issue by setting t2's affinity to one core. The sound routine in t2 doesn't like to be thrashed from one core to another, especially when jetting apparently.
  • A note on the price of onboard sound.

    Years ago I read that a good soundcard, meaning one that offloaded audio processing from the cpu, was worth around 300fps in games with a 3GHz cpu system compared to the same game with onboard, non hardware-accelerated sound, ie, ac97 audio codecs. This has stuck in my mind since, and became especially apparent after losing my soundblaster live 5.1 card in an os update or some other issue. No matter what I did the sound card wouldn't make sound. So I surrendered to the problem and uninstalled the live, enabled the onboard hidef audio in bios and installed its driver.

    Sound enabled, but at what price?

    My real issue stems from the fact that vista, wich I run on the game box as I am cheap, has never had real official sblive 5.1 support in drivers. Some websites devoted to modded drivers came up with a solution;
    http://www.ngohq.com/modded-nvmixer-and-creative-driver/571-ngo-creative-modded-driver-for-sb-live-and-audig.html

    So I used that driver and it worked fine for years untill the dread event wich claimed my hardware accelerated sound.
    I run a live 5.1 since it, as the father of the legendary audigy card, has a emu 10k1 chip meaning decent hardware accelerated audio and a low noise floor. Also I have like a box of them somewhere and I am cheap to a fault.

    So back to the issue with onboard sound.
    The sound was fine for the most part but I could definitely see the price of that onboard sound was less smooth gameplay. Much twitchier, stuttery, very noticeable in t2. And audio glitches, not only in games but also in mp3 playing. Wtf is this crap, this is touted as hidef audio.

    Anyway on a whim I decided to uninstall and disable the onboard sound and try another sblive card from the box.
    Got the system up and installed the ngo sblive driver - but not without issue.
    After installing the driver and rebooting, the driver was missing, the system was complaining, and I was pissed. So I went into device manager and told the sblive to update its driver by pointing it to the folder that the ngo driver installation routine had left on the c drive. Lo and behold it took and hardware accelerated, low noise floor sound was back, along with creamysmooth gameplay and nonglitching mp3 audio. Yay!

    So, if you want the smoothest gameplay and are using onboard sound, you might consider an add in card, the payoff is better gameplay and maybe mp3 audio.
  • You may believe your thread goes unnoticed. It has actually helped a lot. Thought I'd let you know.
  • ThythThyth Apotheosis Incarnate
    FYI, scheduling latency isn't the cause of issues with T2 on symmetric-multi-processing systems. Rather, it's the use of the CPU internal time stamp counter (RDTSC instruction). Some multi-processing systems don't make any attempt to keep time stamps synchronized between execution units (especially because it's just intended as a tick count, and not a high precision timer). Switching T2 to use HPET instead via the setPerfCounterEnable() script function resolves this issue because it actually uses a purpose specific high precision timer for the simulation.

    The lack of synchronization of RDTSC results in the simulation jumping forward/backward in time which manifests as the jitter/latency. Cross execution context switches don't have a user noticeable impact.
  • edited October 2014
    I think the setPerfCounterEnable() code was added to the engine in an update before hpet was released.
    Be that as it may here it is enabled;
    SetPerfCounterEnable(1);

    and disabled;
    SetPerfCounterEnable(0);

    Try them both and see what way the game plays best. If you don't have the script already, just copy the string and name it timescalecheat.cs or something and place it into your base/scripts/autoexec folder.

    I've no clue if this twitchyness was first noticed on dual Athlon and Pentium systems after that specific t2 update or before, but I'm pretty certain Pentium/Athlon systems didn't have hpet as many systems have today, wich could explain why having it enabled on Pentium or Athlon dualies would make the game jitter. Also, it wouldn't surprise me if scheduling had at least some influence on the matter. Few players had dual systems back in the day so it could have gone unnoticed for several years by the vast majority of players. It also has an effect upon servers not just clients. Add the file to your server and try it enabled and disabled to see if you can get creamy smoothness from, your server. Systems without hpet will want to run it disabled, hpet systems will likely run better with it enabled, just like clients.

    To see if you have hpet in client or server in a windows system just look in your device manager/system devices. If present and activated it will show up in that list. Also you may have to check to see if it's enabled in bios, check the manual for your motherboard for details. This is for Vista and newer, Vista being first M$ OS to have hpet support. It may show up in device manager on xp systems and Server2003 but xp has no driver for it and won't use the timer.... so might as well disable it in bios for all systems running xp.

    For fine tuning xp and 2k systems you might try the following;
    "/usepmtimer
    The /usepmtimer switch specifies that the Windows XP operating system or the Windows Server 2003 operating system use the PM-TIMER timer settings instead of the Time Stamp Counter (TSC) timer settings if the processor supports the PM_TIMER settings.

    For more information about how to use the /usepmtimer switch, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    895980

    Programs that use the QueryPerformanceCounter function may perform poorly in Windows Server 2003 and in Windows XP"

    The above involves fooling around in the boot.ini, where you should be careful about poking around in its tender innards.

    Also on a like note, check the status of any "threaded optimisation" in your vid card driver control panel if such is present.
    Play the game with it enabled and disabled to see how it plays, then lock it down if one setting proves better than the other.
  • Yeah, I can agree about the onboard audio drivers... I've moved over to the HDMI audio that comes with my Graphics card. Noticeable difference.
  • Okay, so I tried SLI again...
    Screen flickering occurs on the login... and goes away after completing login.
    The game begins to load...
    And then the screen goes black and the infamous Windows Error ding goes off. Nvidia display is unable to continue and must close the application.

    Kinda late for it but I just remembered there are several sli modes in nvid card setups to test. I had dual 7800gts and the game ran fine in any sli mode, so if you have issues try another mode, you'll find SLI performance mode in the driver control panel.
    My system showed a bit of latency difference between the modes so try them all and see what plays best for you.
    Here's a writeup on the various sli modes;
    http://hexus.net/tech/reviews/graphics/916-nvidias-sli-an-introduction/?page=2
  • Okay, so I tried SLI again...
    Screen flickering occurs on the login... and goes away after completing login.
    The game begins to load...
    And then the screen goes black and the infamous Windows Error ding goes off. Nvidia display is unable to continue and must close the application.

    Kinda late for it but I just remembered there are several sli modes in nvid card setups to test. I had dual 7800gts and the game ran fine in any sli mode, so if you have issues try another mode, you'll find SLI performance mode in the driver control panel.
    My system showed a bit of latency difference between the modes so try them all and see what plays best for you.
    Here's a writeup on the various sli modes;
    http://hexus.net/tech/reviews/graphics/916-nvidias-sli-an-introduction/?page=2
    Yeah, I went through each SLI mode and no dice. Each either tears terribly or the screen spazzes too much to even understand what I'm doing.
  • A word on monitor color temperature.

    If your monitor seems to be weak in color you might try adjusting the color temperature control, most every monitor will have them, crt, lcd, etch a sketch, etc. Going from a 1080p monitor to an old 1440x900 lcd reveals the weak color rendering of the lcd to a surpising amount in my case. This control can be of benefit esdpecially for older monitors, or monitors not adjusted to the users desires. I find a setting of either "native" or "cool" being best in my 1440x900 lcd case.

    Here's some further info on what it is and how to do it;
    http://www.eizoglobal.com/library/basics/color_temperature_on_an_LCD_monitor/
    http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/
    http://ninedegreesbelow.com/photography/srgb-bad-monitor-profile.html
    http://www.imaging-resource.com/ARTS/MONCAL/CALIBRATE.HTM
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SRGB
  • A word on router firmware replacements.

    If you'd like more control over you rooter, or simply to have functions the stock firmware doesn't expose or even have, you might be able to replace that firmware with some that does. Please keep in mind this depends upon if your specific rooter/version is supported by a replacement or not, of course.
    There are three main players in rooter firmware replacements; ddwrt, tomato, and openwrt. These can be broken down into forks where coders have taken the basics of the firmware and added features they desired and have updated them over time, much like the linux os has been updated and maintained. Most of the firmwares will have a searchable db of rooter models they are known to support.

    For ease of installation I recomend ddwrt, ddwrt may have firmwares for more models of rooter than most any other alternative firmware, and has many of the most desired features in a home rooter even in hardware-limited (meaning low flash memory and ram and/or cpu/radio chipset issues) rooters.
    http://www.dd-wrt.com/site/index

    Next, and my personal fav, is tomato. Very clean, lightweight, it seems to use least cpu time for operation than the others on the same rooter with the same settings. Has settings to provide for hardware defaults for output power and ack timing rather than arbitrary figures or no ability to allow the hardware to run at its designed in parameter.
    http://tomatousb.org/

    Openwrt is for the true linux geek, cmd line all the way. Well, maybe with some winscp help every once in a while. This firmware may offer the greatest challenge to get into operation as desired, so keep that in mind when choosing a firmware.
    https://openwrt.org/

    Pick a firmware, see if your rooter model and version number is supported (version number is very very very important) and if so, google that firmware and your specific rooter and version and see if there are any hangups noted in the google responses. If you choose to replace your rooters firmware, please use a ups (uninterruptible power supply) when flashing your rooter. When flashing, a power failure at pc or rooter or likely both can brick your rooter. And what's a brick good for?

    Some helpfull vids;


  • A word on TV and TA...

    If you play either of these versions of Tribes you might be interested in some tweak apps to tweak your game a bit. Tweak meaning in this case visual image quality or fps enhancing tweaks.

    For TV there's the game of course;
    http://tribesrevengeance.com/
    If you already have the game installed you can use this dll to get it going with the new master server;
    http://tribesrevengeance.com/downloads/revengeance/Engine.dll
    And for TV image quality tweaking there's the TV ini editor wich has disappeared from innernets but I can email a copy to any interested. Otherwise if you know what you're doing you can simply find the inis and edit them by hand.

    For TA you've got this tool;
    http://www.paullinebarger.net/files/TAAGC.zip

    It helps to know what you're doing when editing inis, and it's a good idea to make backups before you go atweaking.
    Here's some food for tweaking thought;
    http://www.reddit.com/r/Tribes/comments/1ga241/ini_compilation_thread/
  • A word on innernet warfare;

    If your innernets is acting slow, your region, or the entire world, may be fighting a cyberwar. To see if you're under attack simply view this page;
    http://www.akamai.com/html/technology/dataviz1.html
    Well, it won't tell you if you're under attack specifically, just what countries are experiencing attacks. There's also a generic latency display and useage display for your enjoyment.
  • A word on egos and online gaming;

    There are several online personalities that frequent t2 servers that have anger and ego issues. You know who they are. Most of them will end up with twice or more the score of any normal player every single map - wich should tell all that something is wrong - and will still complain when their team loses. They will also blame their team for the loss and not accept the fact that they were, yes indeed, defeated along with their team. While I'm pretty sure these asshats are literaly cheating their asses off, there's some deep psych issues here. To the asshats I say this is you;

    This is what you look like.




    If you think yourself unfortunate to have to face them every time you play, just consider the sad fate of their friends and family.
  • Oh, I agree! 100%
  • edited January 2015
    A word on qos;

    If you have a router that supports even rudimentary qos (quality of service) you may be able to improve your gaming, especially in a net where there are several users concurrently active such as is the case in the typical home. If there is a qos feature in the router, you can enable it if disabled (wich is the default state in some routers) and then check the classifications section for qos to see what is there by default. The classifications will show something like protocol tcp/udp, tcp only, udp only, etc etc and may give names to each service such as p2p and so on. There may be a classification for dns and pings and several others.

    I simply went and deleted all of them and added one for udp, any port number, and set it to highest priority.
    Most fps games use udp networking protocol (wich is connectionless and has less overhead than tcp so it's a bit faster on and off the net stack - hence its use for fps games) for the actual game so all outgoing udp packets to any port will have the absolute highest priority in the router and get serviced before tcp, said tcp being what most web users are sending out on the network. This provides for less outbound latency in gaming where the net may have several users, and the non-udp users will notice little if any degradation in service. I selected any port since not every game uses the same ports and I don't want to have to set rules for every game when a simple single rule will cover all udp packets. More rules means more mem taken and more cpu time to apply the rule to each outbound packet. This is important because consumer routers are often cpu and memory limited and every help you can give them will result in better performance overall. So less is more here. I then set the default class in basic qos settings to high, and set the the qdisc scheduler to pfifo, since sfq employs a stochastic, deterministic meathod to prioritising packets, Pfif seems to get stuff in and out faster. After I set the router up and rebooted, I went and tried a pingtest online somewhere I usualy get a 28ms ping. It now tested 11ms, lowest I've ever seen. It makes for play that that is just a bit nicer.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quality_of_service
    http://tomatousb.org/tut:using-tomato-s-qos-system
    http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Quality_of_Service

    These settings will be dependant upon the make and model of router and its firmware. Please consult the router manual for specifics. While in there you can save some router cpu time and memory by disabling services you don't use, such as upnp and others. Please research these services before disabling them so you don't cut your nose off in spite of your face.
  • edited October 2018
    A word on compatibility mode;
    I have a number of older games that run less than well or not at all on Vista, a stripped down version of wich is on my game box, so I tried compatability mode and the games now play as they should. As a test I placed t2 in compatability mode for 2k and the game seems to play fine and less ues may result, if any were due to being run under vista. Win7 and newer os may have more built in automatic support for the older games that refused to run on vista without compatability mode as this lack of older game/app support was a major complaint with vista users. Most of my games ran fine on 2k and xp so compatability mode went unused. Under vista and newer os, such drastic changes have been made in the os that games written for the 98 era have tough going and compatability mode actually does something now unlike with xp. Anyway, if you've an app or game that doesn't want to run or play nice, it's there if you need it.



    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/make-older-programs-run#1TC=windows-vista
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/what-is-program-compatibility#1TC=windows-vista

    The important box to check in compatability mode seems to be Disable visual themes as well as run as admin.
    http://superuser.com/questions/694734/what-does-compatibility-option-disable-visual-themes-do
  • A word on FilterMsg.vl2

    This is a nice script, it takes the kill messages and removes them from the chat hud, placing them in a corner by themselves where they can't bother anyone. I noted a less glitchy game after setting it to not timeout the messages but to let them scroll till they're bumped by new kill messages. You can edit it as a txt file wich is found in your prefs folder, oddly enough named FilterPrefs.txt.

    So if editing by hand one would look for this line;
    FilterMsg.timeOut = 0;
    and set it to zero as it is here


    If you don't have the script and must have it you can find it, along with a plethora of others, right here;
    http://spinfusor.ch/tribes2/scripts/Scripts/
  • A word on power supplies.......


    I've long held that the single most important piece of hardware in any pc is its psu. Its quality determines how long it will last and how it treats the rest of the hardware in your system, as well as how stable that system runs. Skrimping at the psu is seldom a wise choice. I should know.

    Anyway, the psu that has resided in my game system lo these last few years was one I purchased used in good condition, an adequate brand and adequate wattage. Unfortunately I let the smoke out of it a few days ago. Solid state electronics are imparted with a finite amount of smoke from the factory, held within the confines of said devices, if you let this smoke out not only is it nigh unpossible to put it back in, the device is usualy rendered inoperative in the act. Oh but I should have known something was amiss in psu land, it gave me fair warning, on more than one occasion.

    At boot, when messing about in the bios options as I am wont to do, I check the hardware status menu, wich tells us important items of information such as the voltage of various voltage rails in the psu as well as cpu temps, fan speeds, etc.

    I noted that the 12v rail wasn't stable at all, it was varying quickly from say 12v to 12.55, then back to 12, then to whatever. It normaly is around 12.5 to 12.9 volts or so and should be absolutely stable. I ignored it as the system showed no untoward symptoms, and this is where it got me. Suddenly the screen would go black in the middle not of an epic t2 match but looking at a static webpage of text and not come around no matter what mouse or kb dance I did, and it also stopped showing the bios log in screen, waiting for windows to load before giving me a display. I considered that my display was at fault, not so. So in trying another display to narrow down the cause of the malady still no bios at boot and the black screen of oblivion made itself manifest.

    I did manage to get the system to show me the bios screen and I went to the hardware status menu to see if the voltage issue was strill present. Not only was it present it was worse, now the 12v rail was a rock steady 11 volts.
    Pretty sure I had my culprit, the psu was flaking out.

    After noting I was at a steady 11v rather than 12v as it should be I continued using the system until the smoke came out all of a sudden, and not just a little bit of smoke, a gallon of it at least. It smelled horrid. Anyway, I pulled the power and got the system unbuttoned looking for evidence of motherboard issues, but it seems the psu alone was expired.

    So a search began for a localish psu supplier, and one was found a reasonable distance away. I looked at the various psus on their webpage and decided a 65o watt psu would do, and I ignorantly drove down to the store, 60 miles one way, to obtain it. I got to the store and noted they didn't have that model and brand I was interested in but they had another one with a familiar brand so I opted to fall for their bait and switch.

    When I got home with my prize I decided to look over the reviews for this exact psu and was glad I did, as most people recommend you use it as a doorstop rather than a psu. many users had literal fires, others had doa, others had it die from 3 days to 3 weeks from installation. If it was only one or two reviewers who had issue with this psu I'd keep them in mind but use the psu. Since there were a plethora of them i knew I had purchased a lemon. Here's the lemon;
    http://www.amazon.com/Thermaltake-TR-600-ATX12V-EPS12V-Computer/dp/B007W7ZWHK/ref=sr_1_2/184-4306538-9917867?ie=UTF8&qid=1434415018&sr=8-2&keywords=thermaltake+tr-600+tr2+600w

    I read story after story of failed psus and decided this psu was not going to have a home in my pc, so back it went to the store for refund. Luckily, Best Buy had a 750w Corsair on sale, with Corsair being one of the most respected names in pc parts such as memory and psus. For about the same price as the one that could set my house aflame I got one of the best in its wattage;
    http://www.corsair.com/en-us/cx-series-cx750m-modular-atx-power-supply-750-watt-80-plus-bronze-certified-modular-psu

    So, before you settle on just any psu that comes along when you are desperate for a psu, shop around so you don't drive a few hundred miles wasting gas or buy one that can set your home or at least your pc aflame.

    By the way here's a handy psu ranking site;
    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?108088-Official-XS-Power-Supply-Ranking-Phase-I

    This psu will allow me to run my gtx280 (over 200w alone) rather than the gtx260 (uses less than 200w) I have been using for the last few years, and placing it all into a much larger case will ensure decent airflow and cooling. The gtx280 is a dated design but it has phenominal memory bandwidth for aa and aniso performance and has more than enough power and memory for any version of Tribes i wish to play. The 280 would be pressing a 600w psu a bit hard, the 750 will loaf along, and better yet it has a single 12v rail of some 60 amps rather than the assinine dual 12v rails found in many psus.
  • edited June 2015
    While looking into win7 netstack tuning, I found this page wich may be of interest to gamers;
    http://betanews.com/2011/01/20/use-hidden-windows-tweaks-to-speed-up-your-internet-and-network-connections/

    The pertinent bits a gamer will be interested in most are the following;

    "Chimney Offload State

    One of the first options listed here is "Chimney Offload State." It sounds a little cryptic, but the idea is a straightforward one: to transfer various network connection processing tasks from your PC's CPU to the network adapter, thus freeing up valuable processor time for other things.

    This is generally a very good thing, then, and in theory at least Windows should turn this feature on whenever it detects that your hardware can handle it. So if the NETSH report says Chimney Offload State is "enabled" (or "automatic") on your PC then everything is working as it should, and you can move on to the next setting.

    You can't rely on Windows activating this setting, though, so if Chimney Offload State is marked as "disabled" then you might want to try turning it on manually. Just type:

    netsh int tcp set global chimney=enabled

    -- and press "Enter," then reboot to try the new setting. If it's better, great; if you have problems, open another elevated command prompt and enter:

    netsh int tcp set global chimney=disabled

    -- to turn the technology off again.

    Direct Cache Access

    Windows 7 included a new technology called Direct Cache Access (DCA), which reduces system overheads by allowing a network controller to transfer data directly into your CPU's cache. That sounds good, but again there are compatibility issues: your controller, chipset and processor must all support DCA for it to work, which is probably why it's turned off by default. If NETSH reports that Direct Cache Access is disabled on your PC, though, you can try turning it on yourself. Enter:

    netsh int tcp set global dca=enabled

    -- and reboot to turn the feature on. Re-enter the command, replacing "=enabled" with "=disabled" if there are problems and you need to turn it off.

    NetDMA State

    Windows 7 also supports NetDMA, a technology that allows network adapters to transfer data directly to your application, again without needing your CPU to assist. This should be turned on, but if it's marked as "disabled" on your PC then a quick NETSH command will fix this. Enter:

    netsh int tcp set global netdma=enabled

    -- and reboot to turn the technology on. Use the same command, replacing "=enabled" with "=disabled" if you have any issues with NetDMA and want to turn it off again."



    The enabling of these settings is dependent upon the motherboard, os, drivers, and nic card having these capabilities to begin with.
    Tweak at your own risk.
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