Finding a Laptop

Like I said before, I am looking for a laptop. I used to have a 15.6″ laptop before, which is pretty easy to carry with me. But the increase in price is not that much when I go for 17.3″ this time round. Especially when I look at the performance increase.

I have been noticing a lot of laptops with desktop CPUs. I guess that is nice, but squeezing those into a laptop does mean the temperature will go up easily. That will start throttling and it will help the life span of the machine.

The i7-7820HK should be plenty of performance anyway. I am not looking at overclocking, but it should survive more of a beating than chips that are not built for overclocks.

When I look at 15.6″ machines, I am looking at a GTX 1070 max. A resolution of more than FHD (1920*1080) is not necessary on a screen this size. And with the games becoming more and more demanding, I do not think I would want a 1070 do feed the screen. A GTX 1080, yes.

So a 1080 is possible when we look at 17.3″. More space for cooling and upgrades. Here, a 2560*1440 resolution should be nice. I have seen some at 2880*1620 too. Neither resolutions should bring a 1080 to its knees any time soon. Even 4K could be nice, but that would mean many games will lose lots of FPS. And come on…it’s only 17.3″ we are talking about here.

For RAM, all the CPU wants is two sticks. So 2*8GB will work here. 2400MHz is the spec, just find the ones with low latency.

Then I would go for an SSD of 250GB for the system. Like I said in my desktop post before, the laptop is less busy with start up than it is actually doing things. A Samsung 850 EVO drive is a cheap and solid option I reckon. For the extra speed, I would look at an NVMe drive. These 17.3″ laptops normally have space for two drives of this type. I would just install the one first. It is possible to add another one later. Over time, the cost of these drives will drop anyway. No need to over-spend here. The 500GB Samsung 960 EVO looks good here.

And then I would say the same thing applies for the HDD options. There should be space for two, but I would stick with one for now. If space really does become an issue, you can always add more later. And I would definitely add external storage in the mix. So far, we have included 1750GB of space in the machine. I would have at least that s external space. Probably more. We need it for back ups of the system, things like save games, lots of pictures and video. And for work-related files, obviously.

In both cases, I will also add a chill mat and a new gaming mouse. Then it’s an option to add a 3440*1440 screen with the GTX 1080 laptop. And a keyboard.

The difference between the two options is about $400, which is not major…considering the fact that we are looking at $3000~4000 anyway.

It will be interesting to have a look at laptop CPUs that Ryzen will bring us soon. And if it takes long enough, the next generation. Cannon Lake and Volta are going to come as well. All things will only be definitive when the money is there and the order is made.

Until next time !

Gaming Rig 20170508

So back to a rig !

Good news guys :  AMD is actually doing something for us again ! The little compatibility issues with RAM sticks will be sorted out as we go along. It is certainly a good way to shave something off the cost of building a rig now. I would very much like to see how their laptop CPU’s are going to pan out.

Another thing is :  Kaby Lake X is doing Quad Channel DDR4 ! So I reckon it is time for 4*4GB instead of 2*8GB. And if Intel is going to throw some price drops in the mix, a 6-core instead of a quad-core. I am looking at latency rather than MHz and it seems like G.Skill is a good choice. Bit expensive, but are we really looking at budget here ? If you really need the MHz, G.Skill is also your man. Grab what you need. Just remember to grab a set of four sticks, Not two.

So it will have to be 299-series motherboard this time around. We are going to have to wait until the NDAs are lifted and the whole thing is officially released, but it is a nice jump forward if you ask me.

The way things are right now, I would go for a 250GB Samsung 850 EVO SATA SSD for  the system. The machine spends less time booting than it does actually running things. Just stash the applications you need on there, it should be enough. For the real speed, we will be having a 500GB Samsung 960 EVO NVMe SSD in there anyway. Push the textures to the limit. The Skylake X is going to have loads of loads of lanes, so I am not worrying about my GPUs to suffer if I add another NVMe SSD later on.

So here we have it :  GTX 1080 Ti ! Times two – because fu*k you, that is why. If I had an unlimited budget, I would have a custom liquid cooling set up throughout the whole machine. But that is a serious upgrade when it comes to cost. The FPS will be spectacular running even one of these cards, so if the flow is good – save your money (you can buy more games).

I am into ASUS right now. Not really sure why. I think I would be grabbing a motherboard off them. They come with some nice automatic tuning applications. They will be built for it, but it is not even necessary to do so on this level.

I think we do need to throw in some HDD drives with a proven track record. No need to spend lots on it. And no need for fancy RAID setups, unless you need the RAID1. The SSDs have plenty of speed, we just need to stash media and documents on there that will not need hyperspeed.

Now what about Intel Optane ? I have seen it around. It will keep the tempo up a lot longer than the NVMe SSDs will. But do I really want to be an early adopter for this now ? We are only talking about RAM-sized bits of it. Okay, it is definitely cheaper than adding another 16GB or 32GB of DDR4. But I have not had the pleasure of trying it out. I wonder if it will make that much of a difference for the things I like doing on a PC. Still a budget issue though – if the budget does not matter, might as well stick it in.

Then I will be going for curved screen this time around. 21:9 3440*1440 should do it. A computer is not like a TV, where you will be sharing it many times. A curved ultra wide is nice for work too. Just visual editing is better on a flat one. If you need to, 4K screens are looking cheaper now. Do that. Or both. And add a 4K beamer while you are at it haha (I would love one) !

Right. Enjoy people !

Ultimate Gaming Rig (20120412)

I was helping a friend find a computer and I came across AMD’s new FX-4170 APU. Still with the 1866MHz DDR3 support, though also still pretty power hungry (125W). But this is going to be a desktop PC, so I don’t care about the usage that much. And now that we have the nVidia GTX 680 too, we might as well make a new list !

So it would include :

– AMD FX-4170 QuadCore ~4.2GHz
– ASUS Corsair V Formula / Thunderbolt
– G.Skill Ripjaws F3-14900CL9D-8GBXL (2x 4GB Set)
– 2x ASUS GTX680-2GD5 (OC to 1.058 MHz =9 )
– 2x OCZ Synapse Cache SATA III 2.5″ SSD 128GB (Raid 0 for System and Gaming)
– Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EZRX, 1TB 7,200RPM (Storage)

Add a cooling paste for the CPU just to be sure (the CPU fan is delivered with the chip), add a case with 2~3 fans and approx. 1000W (modular) PSU. Oh yeah, and an optical drive if you don’t have one lying around. Might make installing stuff on it a bit difficult !

This came up to 1958,39 euros on Tweakers, but most likely a bit more. And you’ll still need Windows 7 on it. Premium would do fine, though Professional has some options (also security options) that are nice to have. The 8GB RAM will handle that perfectly. Ultimate is going to need more though. They advise 16GBs. Though I’ve seen it run on a WinXP laptop, so it’ll work on less. I wouldn’t recommend it though.

Going back  to a QuadCore over the FX-8150 OctoCore setup, has to do with software. There is not that much out there, that will actually utilize the 8 cores. Most games won’t even use more than two. So the faster-but-fewer cores should do games really well. And it’ll still function with 1866MHz memory, which is imba !

What about this setup ? Isn’t this a nice one ? I guess that 2000 euros is a nice price to aim for when building a massive machine like this. This’ll run games at maxed settings for quite a while after you bought it.

Death Company Army List

I wanted to make a Death Company army list for 40k. I came up to 2500pts, which is quite a lot tbh. So I also downgraded it a bit to 2250pts.

  1. Astorath
    DC (11), Pwpn (2), THammer (2)
  2. Lemartes
    DC (11), Pwpn (2), THammer (2)
  3. DC Tycho
    DC Dreadnought, Talons, Grapple
    StormRaven, TLLC, Typh.Missile Launcher, Hurr.Bolters, Extra Armor
  4. DC Dreadnought, Talons, Grapple
    Drop Pod
  5. DC Dreadnought, Talons, Grapple
    Drop Pod
  6. DC Dreadnought, Talons, Grapple
    Drop Pod
  7. Land Speeder
    Typh.Missile Launcher
  8. Land Speeder
    Typh.Missile Launcher
  9. Land Speeder
    Typh.Missile Launcher

The 2250pts list misses the two 11th DC per squad, the Grapples on the Drop Pod Dreadnoughts and the Typh.Missile Launchers on the Land Speeders.

I really do not want to know how many Orks they’d be up against at 2500pts/2250pts, cause I bet it’s brutal. Though, I would like to try it out sometime ! The Death Company Apocalypse formation is really bad *ss too. Though I’ve never played Apocalypse myself. It’s easy to get up to 3k pts with that formation, so somewhat of a minimum Apocalypse game unless you put in even more units/formations. I think it’ll work well when combined with Dante’s Sanguinary Host, which runs at 1515pts (the way I listed it).

I’ve just been playing the BF2 Demo online for a while. I’m trying to get hang of those helicopters. I am getting better at it, though I’m far from good compared to the guys I was playing with. I decided I needed a little break – get something to drink, roll a ciggy, type some sh*t into WordPress. I also found two more movies that I should take a look at. But not now. I think I’ll go back to BF2 in a bit.

Anyway… I’m going to check out the news. Maybe there’s something interesting going on in the world right now. In the meantime, if anyone has anything to say about the above army list(s), please do tell !

Blood Angels Army Lists

Sometimes I play Warhammer 40k. I don’t have my own army, but friends of mine have several. So I just use their models to play against them.

I started off with Chaos, which has the coolest lore if you ask me. Nurgle is one of my favorites, but the current Codex doesn’t make them that great imho. I prefer playing with Slaanesh, which works a lot better in this Codex. Hopefully, the upcoming Codex :  Chaos Legions will make all of them better (like including the Daemonettes, for instance).

But since I read the Soul Drinkers books, I wanted to devise a way to play them. I started thinking about making rules that suit their style. Later on, a friend showed me the new Blood Angels Codex and I started playing with that. So I’ll show you an army list that I find cool to play. And another that I made yesterday, which I’m going to test later this week.


2250 pts

  • Dante
    Astorath
    Priest (P.fist, Jump Pack)
    Sanguinary Guard (Chapter Banner)
  • Chaplain (Jump Pack)
    Priest (P.fist, Jump Pack)
    Sanguinary Guard (Death Masks)
  • Chaplain (Jump Pack)
    Priest (P.fist, Jump Pack)
    Sanguinary Guard (Death Masks)
  • Death Company (6) (P.fist)
    Drop Pod (Locator Beacon)
  • Death Company (6) (P.fist)
    Drop Pod (Locator Beacon)
  • Death Company Dreadnought (Blood Talons, Magna-Grapple)
    Drop Pod (Deathwind Launcher)

–2 HQ; 6 Troops; 3 Elites

1750 pts

  • Relusiarch (P.fist, Jump Pack)
    Priest (P.fist, Jump Pack)
    Assault Squad (10) (Pair of Lightning Claws, Melta Gun (2))
  • Priest (P.weapon, Plasma Pistol, Jump Pack)
    Assault Squad (5) (P.fist, Plasma Pistol (2))
  • Tactical Squad (10) (P.fist, Flamer, Las Cannon)
    Rhino (Storm Bolter)
  • Death Company (6) (P.fist, P.weapon)
    Razor Back (Twin-linked Assault Cannon)
  • Death Company Dreadnought  (Blood Talons, Magna-Grapple)
    Drop Pod (Locator Beacon)
  • Baal Predator (Twin-linked Assault Cannon)
  • Predator (Twin-linked Las Cannon)
  • Land Speeder (Heavy Bolter)

–1 HQ; 5 Troops; 1 Elites; 2 Fast Attack; 1 Heavy Support

The 2250pts list is cool to play with. Put everything in Reserve (except the Death Company Turn 1 Drop Pod Assault units). The Death Company can take a punch, so their arrival in Turn 1 should keep the enemy occupied. They will Rage their way to whatever enemy unit is closest, so try not to think about them much. The Sanguinary Guard units are the ones that will be doing the hard work. And they’re good at it. I do forget to use Dante’s special Death Mask rule, as well the Death Masks rule when charging, sometimes. I’m just too eager to start rolling the dice !

Like I said, I still need to try out the 1750pts list. Most likely, I’ll play with it twice (against Imperial Guard and against Orcs). I’ll keep the Tactical Squad behind to guard my edge or any objective there. If it’s not a kill point game, I’ll split them up into Combat Squads. The Death Company can rush forward, accompanied by one (or both) of the Predators. Maybe the Baal Predator should stick in Reserve, but that depends on the table and Mission/Setup type.

I wonder if anyone has tried the 2250pts list before. The load-out options are pretty straight forward I think, so it’s quite possible someone else has thought of it too. More or less. And does anyone have some good advice on the 1750pts list ? Would be much appreciated !

Sub-Ultimate Gaming Rig (20120208)

After I made the Ultimate Gaming Rig (20120203) post, I thought I should nerf it a bit. Make it a little less unaffordable. Let’s see what I can kick out and tune down.

PC Case: Zalman Z-Machine LQ1000

MB: ASUS SABERTOOTH 990FX AM3+

CPU: AMD FX-8150 3.6/4.2 GHz 8 Core AM3+

GPU: 2x EVGA GeForce GTX 580 Superclocked 1.5GB 797MHz GDDR5

RAM: 16GB (2x8GB) G.Skill RipjawsX F3-14900CL9Q-16GBXL

HDD: System) Samsung 830 series 128GB;
Gaming) Samsung 830 series 256GB;
Storage) Western Digital Caviar Blue 6Gb/s WD7500AALX, 750GB

Optical: LG GH22NS70 Black

Soundcard: Built-in (see motherboard)

Speakers: 5.1

Monitors: Samsung 40″ LED TV; HD Beamer

PSU: Levicom Xilence Gaming Edition 1000W

External HDD: Media Storage) LaCie Hard Disk Design by Neil Poulton 2TB Raid 0 Black;
Back-up) Verbatim Store’n’Go Portable Hard Drive 320GB Silver

Cooling: Liquid Cooling and Fans (+ Controls) are built into the PC Case (see above)

Network Switches: 2x Linksys SE2500 (one for TV+Beamer+Network Drives+the other switch; one for PC+Server+Internet+the first switch)

It’s still very expensive. But you could change the PC case for a cheaper one (be sure to keep it cool in that case). Drop the peripherals. Drop the second GPU. Drop SSD and go for regular 7,200RPM HDDs in Raid 0.

Currently Playing

I should talk about the games I’m currently playing. This blog could use some more posts, so why not start there ?

Zombie Pandemic
I started playing shortly after two of my friends started. We got a little clan called iLLEST Sons of Alcoholics. One of our members made a phat site for it, with forum and all. Very nice job there ! I’m nowhere near the level cap, but I guess sometime I’ll get there hehe !

Skyrim
Now this is a cool game ! Finally there’s the option to dual wield weapons, which I really missed in the older games. (What’s the point in wielding a 2H weapon if it gives near-to-no bonus over 1H+shield !?) And so I made myself a Dark Elf chickie. (I pretty much always choose to play a chickie, since I’ll be staring at the character’s *ss for hours on end.) I’m almost lvl41 with it now. If I still feel like playing after this one’s done, I’ll make myself a Death Knight á la World of Warcraft (2H axe/mace, Heavy Armor, etc.).

BlackOps
I just started playing the campaign, after playing the Co-Op stuff with a friend of mine on his Xbox360. I’m not very far in yet, but it’s nice to do a shooter again. I’ve been out of the shooters for so long, it took a while to get the reflexes back. Not much more to say about this game tbh…it’s just another CoD game with new and improved graphics since the previous releases. I’d prefer to play BF3, but my laptop had some trouble running it, last time I checked.

AC Revelations
Only just done the first few steps of the first mission with this one. I finished playing the first AC, which I liked a lot (more than my friends did). But when I did a bit of AC2 after, I lost interest. I saw the trailer for this game and I was sold. I just had to see for myself ! And I must say, it looks amazing. I really like the style of the game. The previous releases don’t keep me from enjoying this one as it is. Most likely because I didn’t play the games in between this one and the first. I’ve seen some very bad reviews by other players, so I don’t think I missed much hehe !

Other games…
I still have a few other games on here that have sunk to the background unfinished. I’m not uninstalling them, because I do intend to continue where I left off later on. The above games are just priority for me right now. One is Civilization V. I’ve played Civ3 a long time ago and I’ve put many hours into it. After seeing the Xbox360 version of Civ, I felt an urge to get the latest PC version of the series. It’s cool to see it’s still a real Civ game.
Another is Settlers 7. Also played Settlers 2 a long long time ago. When I saw videos of this new game on the net, I wanted to play it. It still has those cartoony looks as it did back in the day, but now it’s HD. It’s also a game you can play without stress. I needed one of those in between the hectic games above.
I also have Shogun 2, but I’m waiting with that one until I’m done with one of the games I’m currently playing. Ever since I played the old Shogun TW, I was waiting for a new version. Rome was cool, but the style of Shogun is more to my liking. A friend of mine is playing it and I got jealous hehe !

Tips
Other games worth playing, Dragon Age, Dragon Age 2, Space Empires IV, Mafia 2. Check them out if you haven’t.