My CyberPower PC
Posted on March 13, 2007 Posted by John Scalzi 10 Comments
Today I got two different requests wanting to know what I thought the CyberPower PC I bought a few months ago; apparently it’s Buy a Tricked Out PC season, and here I am without any seasonal greeting cards.
In short, I’m pretty happy with the PC. With one exception, it has not suffered any notable gitches or problems, and it has done everything I’ve asked it to do without choking, which is notable because I use several processor-intensive programs, often with them all open at the same time.
The one problem I’ve had with the PC is that one of the graphics cards is unpredictably glitchy when I have the cards in SLI mode. I contacted CyberPower’s service folk about it and they were pretty helpful, and asked me to run a couple of checks so they could isolate which card it was and suggested that would be happy to correct the problem. I said I would and then promptly forgot to do anything about it, so the dipshit in this case is me, not them. Now it’s not an issue because I upgraded my OS to Vista, and NVidia’s Vista drivers for their graphics cards are so full entirely full of suck that I can’t run the cards in SLI mode, even if I wanted to. Hey NVidia: You stink. Just so you know. I don’t know whether this is a problem when Vista comes natively installed; check with the computer makers, I’d say.
In any event: My Cyberpower is a perfectly swell PC that does everything I ask of it and comes nowhere near complaining, and since I run some high-end stuff on my PC but did not get their high-end rig, that’s a good sign. If you’re in the market for a PC, you could do rather worse than to give these folks a whirl.
nVidia isn’t alone in not having suitable Vista drivers for legacy hardware. Many people are finding out the hard way that their fairly new PCs have a problem running Vista.
Of course, the unwritten IT rule is don’t install anything Microsoft until at least SP1…
It’s not just NVidia – I’ve had a terrible problem with ATI drivers for Vista. And don’t get me started on their lack of tuner support for the All-in-Wonder cards. I don’t sit and watch TV while I work, but I do have a cable box in my office so I can listen to the music channels. (I do watch the catcam via a Vista sidebar gadget…)
Yeah. Both my sound and video cards have to catch up. In the meantime they’re still generally functioning, minus, of course, the SLI.
Uh, I don’t expect the suckage is /directly/ the fault of nVIDIA this time.
For fun, look up “HDMI Vista” on Google one day. (Yes, I know this is not an HDMI issue necessarily, but the various associated datapaths degrade poorly by design, causing no end of hilarity.)
For /anything/ to do with media hardware do yourself a favour and blame Vista first before moving on to another vendor.
“The tree of software upgrades must be watered with the blood of early adopters.”
Even being a minion of the Evil Empire, I have a hard time recommending Vista right now. WAY too bleeding edge if, say, you want your hardware to work.
Regarding Nvidia specifically, they’ve talked up a monthly schedule of specific driver upgrades as they bring their Vista drivers up to the performance and stability of their XP drivers. The driver model on Vista is very different, and some things simply can’t be implemented the same way. I know SLI is one of the things they have publically stated they were having problems with.
In 6-12 months, I think Vista will be a great OS to run, once we see enough fixes from MS and the various driver vendors. Until then, I’ll stick with XP. At best, I might set up a Vista partition.
I went to Best Buy to me i messed around with one of the hewlet packard laptops with Vista on it. Idont know if it was that particular laptop or if it was Vista itself but the applications on the machine seemed to run slow?
*begin shameless linux plug*
Bah! It’s not Nvidia’s fault; it’s Microsoft’s. So take advantage of this opporunity to dump Windows for a superior OS.
*end shameless linux plug*
Its easy to push the blame off onto Microsoft for the lack of working drivers but in this case I think thats highly misguided. NVidia was well aware of the release schedule of Vista and was a participant in its development for more than a long enough period to atleast make WORKING drivers before release. However, its been how many months and their drivers are still shiat. Thats not Microsoft’s fault.
ATI is in a better case, but not significantly so.
John, have you updated to the latest beta drivers from NVIDIA? They supposedly enable SLI though I can’t tell you how well it actually works. Knowing their drivers lately, it’ll probably eat your cat.
Yeah, I’m inclined at the moment to wait until the drivers are out of beta. For my cat’s safety.
@Chris: Don’t mistake my earlier comment as a “real” attempt at blaming Microsoft. I know Nvidia has to burden the lion’s share of the blame, as it is their hardware after all, to say the very least. I just felt the need to point out Mr. Scalzi is falling behind way on working towards his geek merit badge. *grin*