Posts Tagged ‘aaaaargh!


Ludo – Fucking PC Gaming

I have undertaken the very dangerous task of buying a new PC. Somewhere even now it is being built to a carefully researched spec, a design that should run pretty much anything on the market. What follows is first a warning to those wishing to create an SLI PC, or any PC, and secondly a short indictment of much of what being a PC gamer entails. There will be bile.

Buying a PC is like falling down a waterfall of endless numbers and letters. It’s a fact of PC gaming that once every couple of years you’ll have to go take a bath in alphabet soup when you’d much rather be drinking beer, with people, not sitting in a darkened room glaring over steepled fingers at your planned spec cackling quietly to yourself about running Crysis at 60fps with AA on, or some other nonsense.

The graphics card I have selected is a reliable Nvidia Geforce 8800GT, because magazines told me it was good (this is one of the reasons there will always be a market for PC magazines). Now pay careful attention, as it’s the Nvidia bit which will ultimately screw me over.

Now, a motherboard, the bit to which everything is in some way connected, the hub of the entire device, has PCI-e slots, and PCI-e x16 slots that you put cards in. The PCI-e x16 slot is what modern graphics cards use and I wanted two of them. This would allow me to put another identical graphics card in at a later point and link them together to create some sort of humming silicon monster, keeping my PC ahead of ever increasing systems specs a little longer than it otherwise might. Connecting graphics cards in this manner is known as putting them in SLI formation, except for when it’s not, if you want to do this with Radeon cards it’s called Crossfire. Fucking PC Gaming.

I bought a motherboard with two PCI-e x16 slots, and felt very clever about knowing what those things were. But now I have discovered that my Asus PK5SE motherboard doesn’t have an Nvidia chipset, and what I actually wanted was the completely different Asus P5ND, because it has an ATI chipset, see, not an Nvidia one, obvious I know. I am such a noob, how could I not tell from that meaningless jumble of letters? Of course the chipset on the motherboard has nothing to do with the processor, which is an Intel Core 2 Q6600. which is 4 Core 2 chips in arrangement, at 2.4ghz each. What do you mean you’re lost, How could you possibly be confused? It’s child’s play, ie: hardware manufacturers actually use children and fridge magnets to name their products. Fact.

Let’s just summarise the difference here. PK5SE bad, P5ND good. So can I use Crossfire on this thing instead? I don’t care anymore! I’m finished with it. Clearly if I’ve picked the wrong motherboard I’m not capable of going through the madness of downloading SLI drivers and getting it to work with Vista and getting round the inevitable bugs and crashes and wondering whether the Power Supply Unit I have can run two GPU’s at once and all that endless, endless madness that awaits.

Fucking. PC. Gaming.

In the perfect world I am about to envisage none of this would be a problem. What I want is this: I will have a motherboard, and there shall be no numbers or letters attached. It will have slots and a processor and that’s it, and anything I choose to plug into it will work with the right software. Then I want my graphics card to be clearly labelled according to its quality. So I would have a Geforce: Awesome, which is better than the Geforce: Average, and would be a big upgrade to my current Radeon: I Hope You’re Not Thinking of Actually Playing Games on This. The processor would be an Intel: Very Fast, which would be faster than the AMD: Quite Fast, and the same speed as the AMD: Very Fast. With all parts assembled my PC would then be granted an overall classification of Gold, Silver or Bronze, and every PC game on the market will be labelled Gold, Silver or Bronze based on their system requirements. And pigs will fly, I will be Prime Minister of Great Britain, Aston Villa will win the premiership and the Buffalo Bills will win the Superbowl.

My partner in crime on Man vs Horse, Dante, has been carefully observing my progress, waiting for me to slip up so that the machine he buys in a month or two will be flawless. His cunning knows no limits. That bastard.

My machine arrives this week. If it goes wrong When it goes wrong, expect more posts. After all, venting prevents explosion.

Ludo out.


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