Kevin Vance - I took Oblivion off the shelf today, and tried it out.…

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04:24 pm

Wednesday, April 5th, 2006
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kvance oblivion character I took Oblivion off the shelf today, and tried it out. Yesterday, I used the free demo of FaceGen to model my face (it does automatically from photographs!). Oblivion uses the same variables, but doesn't tell you their numerical value, so I copied the slider positions as best I could. And now I have a kvance videogame character.

Then I started playing the game, and the first time someone cast a spell, the framerate dropped to 2. The sad fact is that I can no longer play games at the resolution and level of detail I want. My 9800 pro has treated me well these last two and a half years, but it can't hack it anymore. Unfortunately, neither can my AGP bus or my 333MHz FSB. And if I'm going to upgrade the motherboard, I have to get one that can use a 64 bit CPU, so I have an upgrade path. Which means also buying a new CPU.

What can I salvage? My RAID-0 of 2x 120G Seagate ATA disks will still work since it runs on a PCI controller card. My ATA DVD drive will work if the motherboard has any ATA ports. And I guess my PC2700 memory would work, but it would not be optimal. My OEM original SBLive would fit in there, but ugh. Fortunately, I happen to have a spare, over-engineered 470W PC Power & Cooling supply lying around somewhere. From when I had a steady income :P

So at the very least, I need:

  • A new motherboard (EPoX EP-9NPA+ SLI?): ~$130
  • A new CPU (AMD 64 3700+?): ~$210
  • And a new GPU (NV 7800 GT?): ~$300

That would give me the ability to upgrade to a dual-core CPU should I need it, an SLI graphics configuration should I need it, more faster memory ASAP, and an SATA RAID-0 and better sound soon. It would also be nice to have a new case, but I guess I'm not going to any LAN parties, so who cares how it looks?

P.S. Add to that list the Customizer 104 keyboard. The same buckling spring technology of my treasured Model M, but with a USB interface. (The black color is a problem, but they have acids that can burn that off.)

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From: entropy512
2006-04-05 10:44 pm (UTC)
Yup, I'll be hitting that point in a year or so. I just assembled a new server box and bought a new laptop, so no major purchases for me for a while though.

The EPoX board you listed is the one I use in my server box, and if I had decided to upgrade my desktop rather than get a new laptop, I would have used it in the upgrade too. It is a NICE board. I've got a dual-core X2 3800+ in that machine.

Whatever you do, do not combine the Antec Performance 180 case with an OCZ ModStream power supply. The ModStream's cables are too stiff and too short to use effectively in the P180, which is a little bit cramped. (Other than that the P180 is a nice case - lots of cooling, vibration isolated drive mounts and air intake filters are built in.)
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[User Picture]From: kvance
2006-04-06 06:39 pm (UTC)
Glad to hear about the EPoX board. I don't have any first-hand experience with them. A cousin of the one I listed made the Ars system guide, so I figured it had to be pretty good.
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From: entropy512
2006-04-06 09:41 pm (UTC)
Just an FYI, I haven't actually USED the SLI functionality. That machine has a GeForce 6200TC in it which is rarely ever actually connected to a monitor. I mainly bought the mobo because it was one of only a handful that had a shload of SATA ports. One thing I do not like is that it uses a chipset fan instead of a passive heatsink, although this is something you could replace if it really bothered you. Since my server box has some filtration of intake air it doesn't bother me as much as it would have.
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From: monthigos
2006-04-06 01:52 am (UTC)
I think that should be good. I've got the same processor and a 6800 GS, although personally I think the gfx card is not quite good enough to max out the game's settings. Close, but not quite there. I imagine the 7800 GT should do it. I really don't know much about your mobo tho.

That's cool that you got your face over from facegen, as I hadn't really had much luck. I think someone has made a mod that actually shows the numerical values, although word on the forums is that the FaceGen base mesh is different than the Oblivion base mesh...
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[User Picture]From: kvance
2006-04-06 06:45 pm (UTC)
Do you remember where you saw that mod? I can't find it, but I'd really like to have something like that.
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[User Picture]From: kvance
2006-04-06 06:47 pm (UTC)
Whoops! Never mind, I found it!
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