E3 2004 Report (Part 1)
Well, the first part of my E3 adventure is
up. I have TONS of pictures, so there's plenty more to
come. Read and be entertained.
New SLIDE Demo!
Yay! People still
play it. Rig-Jarl has an awesome new time for slide1. The SLIDE records page is still being updated, so be
sure to send in any demos you have.
Hopefully this will
be the last archive before I get an automated system implemented.
I really need to update more.
"A small light
shines brightest in the darkness. That is, of course, unless you're
using the Quake3 engine."
Malfunction of the Moment
For once I'm going
to post a
FUNCTION of the moment, since it's like a monumental event that I got
my ATi Radeon 9700 Pro working. There were plenty of malfunctions
along the way, though, so don't worry. As I mentioned in one of
my other updates, I was having severe compatibility issues with
my 9700Pro and my Abit SR7-8x motherboard. Eventually Abit
released a bios update that mostly fixed the issue, but I was still
having hardlocks after about an hour or so of play or when a program
severely taxed the video card (Pretty much anything with the framerate
cap turned off). I tried so many different things to no avail:
enabling/disabling fastwrites, AGP speed settings, tons of different
drivers, bios flashes on the card and other hardware, etc. Of
course, since it seemed like an overheating issue, I had the case off
with an extra fan blowing on it as well. Still no luck.
tried taking off the heatsink and putting a heat sensor and some
different thermal compound on it so I could monitor the
temperature. That was more tedious than it sounds. I don't
know WHAT the used for thermal compound, but it was like paint or
glue. I had to sit there for like an hour or two carefully
scraping this stuff off the GPU. I was impressed I even got it to
boot after all that, but the problem worsened instead of getting
better. Now instead of locking up after an hour or so, stuff
locked up after about 3 seconds. Following some suggestions, I
tried underclocking the card. At about 2/3 the speed, I could get
non-taxing games to work for about an hour before hardlocking. It
was hard to tell if it was heat related because sometimes it would
hardlock at around 72C, and sometimes it would get up into the high
80's. If I underclocked the card anymore, I 'd get all kinds of
visual artifacts -- static on the screen and polygons gone completely
getting fed up with the current configuration when it hardlocked while
I was working on a 3D model, I decided it was time to take one of 3
1) $40 - Get one of those super insane heatpipe multi-fan hardcore
overclocker-style heatsinks and hope it was a heat issue. It'd be
the cheapest solution, but if I had actually damaged the video card or
it was still a compatibility issue, it wouldn't do much good.
2) $100 - Get a new motherboard. It'd fix the problem if it were
a compatibility issue, but it'd just be throwing money out the window
if that wasn't the problem. Not like I can do much with an extra
3) $200 - Get an nVidia card. This would be a definite solution,
but also the most expensive. It'd also be nice to not have to
deal with driver bugs.
Now, before I did
any of that, I figured I'd just tinker with what I had a bit. I
decided to go through the arduous task of taking the heatsink off
again. It turned out to be much easier the second time around and
there was no *CRrrraAcck* sound to give me a heart attack this
time. Lo and behold! There was a lousy contact between the
GPU and the thermal compound. I just piled the compound on now --
put everything left in the tube on there. Booted it up, tried a
game, and it hardlocked after a couple minutes. I booted again,
and this time it went bonkers even in the bios screen -- random
characters and colors all over. Even half-characters mixed with
other half-characters. Something was SERIOUSLY messed up. I
decided it was probably about time to go with option #3. It was
late, though, so I'd just wait until the next day to figure out what to
It's a good thing
I waited, because the very next day it worked fine. Better than
it had ever worked before. I was able to run games even at the
default clock speed without a max framerate limit and had no
hardlocks. It runs at about 75C and my framerates seem kind of
low, but I'm so glad to have it working at this point that I don't
really care. So in the end, it looks like it was ATi's fault for
using a lousy thermal compound, and it wasn't just this card because I
had RMA'd the first one I had.
So, if you're
having troubles with an ATi card hardlocking, you might consider
applying some better thermal compound. Just be warned that this
will void your warranty. And while you're at voiding your
warranty, you might as well flash the bios to the latest version if you
have an old one. I hear that fixes a lot of problems. Info
on all that can be found in the Rage3D forums.
Spam of the Second
This is getting
My Yahoo account is getting completely bombarded with W32.Sober.G@mm
emails (worms/trojan viruses). That's just a day or two's worth,
and the 4 that made it into my inbox were just spams that slipped the
filters. *sigh*. All those worm emails are 67-68k each,
meaning a total of about 2 GIGABYTES of email. Good thing they
don't count against my quota. It took 11 minutes to empty the
bulk mail, and when I finally opened it back up again, there were 21
worm messages waiting for me.
Link o' the Day
Where can you see
lions? Only in Kenya!
They also have a live