IslandGamers-Technology And Gaming Info

May 1, 2007

PC- Dell XPS 710 H2C Computer

Filed under: PC — Ramajay @ 7:42 am

I just got my new Dell XPS 710 H2C machine. Those hardcore enthusiasts out there, stop snickering 😉 . The Dell XPS H2C series boasts an overclocked QX6700 processor running at 3.2Ghz. The dual Phase H2C cooling system is responsible for keeping the processor from catching on fire inside the case, and is an advanced system that combines your normal water cooling with a nifty phase change stage that further keeps things chilled, and quiet. The machine was configured with 4GB of Ram , for future proofing, and a pair of 8800GTX cards running in SLI. Two Raptor 150s are running in a RAID 0 configuration as well to give disk access a little extra boost. Out the box, with no optimisations and whatever drivers the system came with, the Dell hit 15,500 3DMarks in 3D Mark 2006. It handled Oblivion at 1920×1200 resolution at Ultra High detail level with no problem, holding a rock steady 60fps while running through Cruicble city in The Shivering Isles expansion. So why go with Dell instead of a company such as Velocity Micro, Voodoo PC or Vicious PC? Simple: Support. Dell has support centers throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. If anything goes wrong, the system is under a 3 year warranty and a Dell technician will come to the house to fix it. That was a big consideration since I’ve learnt that things do go wrong with even the most high-end systems, and without warranty support you end up spending quite a bit of cash fixing things, replacing mysteriously broken DVD RWs etc. Thus far, the system rocks. All the titles I have tried so far are very smooth, as smooth or smoother than playing the same titles on the Xbox 360 (Rainbow 6 Vegas anyone?) with higher resolution as well. I’ll post more information the more I tinker with the system.



April 24, 2007

Intel – Intel cuts processor prices by 40%

Filed under: Intel, PC — Ramajay @ 9:20 pm

Intel has cut prices on its Core 2 Duo processors by as much as 40% in some cases. The company is certainly intent on extending its lead over embattled AMD who have been losing money in the hundreds of millions recently.

The Core2Duo Q6600 was US$851 now US$530. The Core2Duo E6700 was US$530.00 now US$316.00.

Apparently the high end Core2Duo Extreme chips haven’t dropped in price. But..pffft..who would pay 1000US for a processor anyway.

*hides the QX6800 box beneath the computer desk* 🙂

April 19, 2007

Nvidia – 8800 Ultra Just A Higher Clocked 8800GTX

Filed under: Nvidia — Ramajay @ 6:45 am

Information seen around the net suggests that the 8800 Ultra graphics card is not two 8800GTXs on one board, it is actually just a higher clocked 8800GTX. Nvidia expects about a 10% to 15% improvement in performance with the 8800 Ultra over the GTX. It will cost about 68% more than the 8800GTX as it is expected to retail for US$999.00 . 68% increase in price, for 10% more performance.


At this point it seems manufacturers are viewing the high end enthusiast market with contempt, believing that the consumers who belong to this segment are so shallow that they will pay 68% more for an item simply to be thought of as ‘elite’. In essence with this 8800Ultra and Intel QX6800 announcement we have entered the realm of “Luxury” class computer equipment, but without the increased quality and reliability of true luxury items such as Rado, Rolex, or Mercedes Benz.

April 12, 2007

PC Games – Neverwinter Nights 2 Expansion Announced!

Filed under: PC Games — Ramajay @ 2:36 pm

 Looks good, let’s hope they make some more performance tweaks for the expansion 🙂

“NEW YORK, April 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Atari, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATAR – News), one of the world’s most recognized brands and a third-party video game publisher, today announced the development of the next chapter in the Neverwinter Nights saga — Neverwinter Nights(TM) 2: Mask of the Betrayer. Developed by Obsidian Entertainment, the expansion to the award-winning Neverwinter Nights 2 is set in the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS® Forgotten Realms® universe created by Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS – News). DUNGEONS & DRAGONS is under license from HPG, the licensing division of Hasbro. Neverwinter Nights(TM) 2: Mask of the Betrayer will be available in North America in Fall 2007.

In Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer, players are transported back to the Forgotten Realms shortly after the events detailed in the original Neverwinter Nights 2. Following the climactic battle against the King of Shadows, the player awakens alone and stranded deep beneath the earth. Surrounded by a horde of evil spirits, the player embarks on an epic adventure that reveals his true destiny.

“Atari’s commitment to the Neverwinter Nights franchise and the enormous community is strong,” said Nique Fajors, Vice President, Sales, Marketing, Atari, Inc. “We are on track to release the Neverwinter Nights 2 expansion pack this Fall, less than one year since the launch of Obsidian’s outstanding sequel, and are confident the new features will deliver a role-playing experience that further engages and satisfies fans.”

Set in harsh, spirit-rich Rashemen, near the powerful nation of Thay, Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer will present players with an exciting new campaign; epic levels; dozens of new feats and spells; new races, base classes and prestige classes; new companions; new weapons, armor and crafting options; hordes of new monsters; and enhanced modding tools.

“Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer’s engrossing campaign will conclude the storyline that began in the original Neverwinter Nights 2 and focus on combat, exploration and classic D&D dungeon-crawling,” said Feargus Urquhart, CEO, Obsidian Entertainment. “We’re also making new advances in story and character development as well as improving upon the acclaimed companion Influence System used in both Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords and Neverwinter Nights 2.””

April 10, 2007

Nvidia – MidRange 8800 cards due out in about 10 days.

Filed under: Nvidia, PC — Ramajay @ 7:06 am

Nvidia should release new cards in about 10 days, around April 17th 2007.

GeForce 8600 GTS — 256 MB GDDR3, 675 MHz core clock, 1000 MHz memory clock
GeForce 8600 GT — 256 MB GDDR3, 540 MHz core clock, 700 MHz memory clock
GeForce 8500 GT — 128 to 256 MB DDR2 or GDDR3, 450 MHz core clock, 700 MHz memory clock

The performance of the 8600GT appears to be slightly worse than the X1950 Pro and XT in preliminary benchmarks at high resolutions.

Intel- Intel Releases new QX6800 Processor

Filed under: Intel, PC — Ramajay @ 6:53 am

small_kentstyle.jpgThe QX6800 processor is a quad core chip running at the same clock speed as the dual core 6800 Extreme, 2.93Ghz. This makes the QX6800 the fastest and most powerful desktop processor on the market today. The Processor costs about US$1200.00 and for that you get about a 6-7% increase in performance over the US$999.00 QX6700 processor. Let’s see here, a 20% increase in price, for about 6% increase in performance.


check if you want more info.

Nvidia – New Geforce 8800 Ultra on May 1st

Filed under: Nvidia — Ramajay @ 6:42 am

Nvidia is supposed to introduce a new graphics card, the 8800 Ultra on May 1st. There are no details on the card, but a US$999.00 price tag seems to suggest that this may be two 8800 cards on one board. This will probably open the way for Quad 8800 equipped machines having two 8800Ultra cards (at a whopping US$2000.00).

Now if Nvidia can just fix it’s graphics drivers all this may be a reason to doubt the impending dominance of ATI’s R600 cards ;).

AMD- AMD Cuts X2 Processor Prices

Filed under: AMD, PC — Ramajay @ 6:39 am

Ahead of Intel’s price cuts on their Core2Duo processors, AMD has cut prices on X2 chips:

“AMD’s flagship Athlon 64 X2 line, meanwhile, received significant cuts. The price of the 6000+ was cut by 48 percent, while the 5600+, now priced at $188, was lowered by 42 percent. The AMD 5400+ was removed from the price list, while the price of the 5200+ dropped from $232 to $178, a more modest 23 percent decrease. Cuts were made down to the slowest 3600+ part, which was reduced in price from $102 to $73. AMD also trimmed the prices of its older Athlon 64 chips, which previously ranged from $102 for an AMD 4000+ part to $78 for the AMD Athlon 64 3200+. Today, those prices now range from $94 to $58. Slight cuts were made to the Sempron line as well.”

The prices for Turion processors remained unchanged.

Check the full list of prices here at Digitimes.

Xbox360 – Keyboard controller attachment coming soon.

Filed under: Xbox360 — Ramajay @ 6:12 am

360keyboardattachment.jpgFor those that want to type in chats while they play, Microsoft is releasing a small Qwerty keyboard attachment for the standard Xbox360 controller. This as opposed to simply creating a peripheral similar to the ‘Phantom Lapboard’ keyboard mouse combo :). This will mesh nicely with the new Spring Update for the 360 which is supposed to include integration with MSN Live Messenger.

phantom Lapboard.

April 8, 2007

PC Games- Test Drive Unlimited – SLI Trick

Filed under: Nvidia, PC Games — Ramajay @ 2:39 pm

You can enable SLI in Test Drive Unlimited by copying the profile for Gothic 2. This game profile works well with TDU and allows you to gain significant Frames Per Second with SLI activated in this game. You can either enable profile modification etc. using the Coolbits method, or the simple method is to Copy the TestDriveUnlimited.exe file and then paste it, and rename the copy to gothic2.exe .

If you do NOT see any framerate increase with SLI using this method then there is a driver conflict on your machine and you should try uninstalling your Nvidia Graphics Drivers from the Control Panel, reboot and then use Regedit to search for any Nvidia Graphics driver remnants in your registry. Remove anything you find (NOT your motherboard registry entries or drivers if you have an Nvidia motherboard, if you don’t think you would know the difference then forget it 😉 ) including utilities like nHancer, Ntune, Powerstrip etc. that could be causing registry conflicts.

Reboot, reinstall your Nvidia drivers (download the latest to be sure you have the most uptodate and uncorrupted copy on your machine) and then try the gothic2.exe trick again.
Should work just fine.

With  two 7800GTs at High Detail and HDR Off you can expect to get about 40fps on average.

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