PC Trials and Tribulations

I’ve had a nightmare weekend with my PC. It all started, as it always does, with a new game. This time it was the turn of… drum roll please… Unreal Tournament 2004.

I’d played the demo and it worked like a dream. So I was quietly confident that I’d get decent performance when my mate Steve brought my copy around on Friday night. How wrong could I have been! It all started when I ran the setup program. It took ages. Fair enough I thought. It comes on DVD for a reason! When it finally installed I double clicked and it simply crawled. Completely unplayable. Bah. So the hunt was on to find out why.

Started off with an OS rebuild. Been meaning to do it for a while. That took a couple of hours. Everything was looking quicker. The UT2004 install was a lot quicker. Double click on the icon and… Yup you guessed it. Same speed as before and completely unplayable. Reading around on the Atari Support Forums, I wasn’t the only one who was seeing problems.

First test. Swap out the video card. I tried a Geforce 3 card (my main card is a GeForce 4200 Ti). No change. Tried a GeForce 3 PCI card. Nope. So that ruled out problems with the GFX card.

Next test. Memory. Got hold of two sticks of PC3200 DDR memory. Fixed it! Ran like a dream! Whoopee! Solved it.

But no… Of course there’d be another problem. It’s simply never that easy! Now the PC developed a new problem. It would reboot without warning. No Blue Screen. Just a complete reboot. Bah.

So started swapping components. Eventually ended up with my old GeForce 3 card and all three DIMMS (giving me 1.5GB of memory) and, fingers crossed, everything has been stable all evening. Probably famous last words!

My GeForce 3 also gives better FPS rates than my GeForce 4 card. That ain’t right. So now I’m in the market for a new GFX card. My choices are limited though. I’m looking for something quick, not too expensive and, hardest of all it seems, dual DVI-I out.

I wasn’t the only one having problems though – my mate Steve is going through similar pain at the moment! Looks like his GFX card has seen better days.

One the subject of PC bits, been nosing around and came across an awesome case. It will be available from QuietPC.com in May. Have a look! It doesn’t have any fans inside it; using Heat Pipe technology instead. There’s not even a fan in the power supply. At

garan

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