New Computer Update
Posted on January 3, 2015 Posted by John Scalzi 32 Comments
I bought my new desktop computer recently, mostly because the old one stopped working, but also because I wanted to get a reasonably tricked-out computer to play the latest generation of PC video games. I got one of these, and a 4k monitor with “G-sync,” which helps to prevent tearing of the image on the screen as it redraws the image. And then I got Wolfenstein: The New Order, the Nazi-snuffing FPS that came out last year, and ran it on pretty much max settings across the board, to see how the computer and monitor handled things.
The verdict: I’m pretty happy. WtNO is pretty graphics intensive and there’s always a lot happening onscreen at any one time, and the rig kept up with everything without a hitch. Likewise, the g-sync seems to be doing its job pretty well — I haven’t noticed any tearing and jaggies. There’s a minor drawback to the monitor, if you want to call it that, in that it’s capped to a 60-times-a-second refresh rate; some gamers want a much higher refresh (theoretically, my computer can refresh some games a couple hundred times a second). Personally, I think 60fps is more than ample for my needs, and being coupled with 4k graphics is pretty damn immersive. I have no complaints on this end.
(Also, WtNO is a pretty fun game. I like first person shooters that are challenging but not impossible, and which let me kill bad guys by the trainload; this one does that and as a nice bonus has a story that doesn’t completely suck. And of course you can’t go wrong with blasting Nazis. My complaints with the game have to do with the fact that it like so many other games these days doesn’t let me save my progress when I want to, and that boss battles, of which this game has several, kind of bore me. On the former, I feel I’m on the side of the angels — damn it, this is a PC, and I have a keyboard and a 2TB hard drive; let me save whenever the hell I want. On the latter, I don’t expect many people are with me. Oh, well.)
So, pleased by my purchase and happy to have be more intensively playing newer games again. Now, excuse me. I have to bring down a sixty-foot Nazi stomping machine.
[obligatory comment about how your computer is inferior to something else]
I’m with you on that. I hate games that take away my control. Let me save when I want to damnit….
I disagree about 60fps. When it gets higher, it gets silky smooth, but on a 4k monitor good luck with that and high end games like Star Citizen (worth checking out….)
Pretty sure there’s a correlation between the last few years of the loss of save controls and how games are getting shorter and shorter…
Oh NOES!!! This is going to cut into your writing time!!! Not to mention your writing skillz… I mean “happy to have be more”, really?!?! LOL
Space Nazi’s must die!
But do treasure chests in WtNO randomly contain Liebfraumilch?
Reblogged this on Beechdey’s Weblog.
The only people who don’t need to hit pause or save their progress live alone.
Amen just let me use f5 again. Sneak kill both commanders drop the other soldiers kill both robots die. Have to do it all again. Kind of annoying.
Re the 60fps issue..
Isn’t this an issue with all flat screen (at least all LCD / LED) monitors ?
Nice to see people still using desktops!
This article tries to explain in basic terms why checkpoint saves exist: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/video-games/columns/experienced-points/10301-Why-We-Have-Checkpoint-Saves
The short is it isn’t about hard drive space, but the fact that it’s more complicated than you’d think.
Also, @martin: Many monitors can go up to 120 or 144 hz. At the moment though, these are generally stuck at a max of 1920×1080. The higher resolution ones usually have drawbacks, and 60hz us pretty much the cap for a 4K at the moment.
What customization did you choose?
@ michael. What is done on monitor refresh rates seems to be very driven by custom.
Once upon a time a good monitor was 640 x 480 and a CRT. Here in what is 60 Hertz territory for the mains a refresh rate of 50 Hertz (I don’t feel like explaining why 50 isn’t 60) would cause the CRT to act like a fluorescent lamp that needs replaced.
Bad for the eyes.
Here, they sell monitors which have a refresh rate that is still a multiple of the mains frequency, and the the reasons for that are that that is what they do.
For game playback the monitor needs to be fast enough for the portions of the screen that have changed to show the change. For a game you should not redraw the whole screen, just redraw the areas that have changed.
But monitors can’t do that.
That is I don’t feel like explaining why 50 isn’t 60 when a big ass electromagnet is driving electrons to a pixel and how a nearby transformer can be a real problem for getting the electrons to hit where they should.
Wow that is a sweeting looking machine! I will just be sulking over here! Glad you are enjoying it and can have fun losing yourself in next gen games!
the ssd is addicting. You dont realize how nice it is to have an immediate boot up until you get it.
Try dwarf fortress… Get a succession game going amongst scifi writers
Gah. I was into Dwarf Fortress for a while, but the game’s interface is beyond “bad” and into some realm of unique awfulness. What you can do is fantastic but the tools you have to do it aren’t even at flint-ax level…
Looks like a sweet gaming rig. I think, between Wolfenstein games, flight sims, and tank sims, I may have killed more Nazis than there -ever were-. But not yet enough!
4K is currently limited to 60Hz because the interface cable can’t push the bits fast enough. DisplayPort 1.2 does 17.28 Gbit/s. DisplayPort 1.3 which is so new I don’t think anything uses it yet can do 32.4 Gbit/s. Basically double. It should be able to do 4K at higher frame rates, or 8K, or multiple displays, etc.
Not to even mention the precipitous falloff in the newtonwattin rate…
Don’t get me started on games. I’m still hooked on EVE. Can’t shake it. Also, got my son a PC for Christmas, a solid gaming platform locally built(including solid state drive). He’s playing ARMA 3 and Shadows of Mordor.
I loved Wolfenstein: The New Order too, but I found that I hated the depth-of-field effect. Scenes in the resistance base seemed like the game was smeared with petroleum jelly, and it was really immersion-breaking. Turning down the depth-of-field in the options didn’t help; I was able to disable it by going to the game’s console (press Ctrl-Alt-~) and then typing the command cvaradd r_postprocessdofmode 0. After that, I was much happier; if it’s bugging you too (you didn’t mention whether it did or not), it may help out.
It’s refreshing to have a game that makes it very clear that these are not just ambiguous German soldiers; these are Nazis, and the SS, with all of the emotional and ethical baggage that comes along with it.
try Alien: Isolation next. It’s so good.
Be sure to play it at night, alone, with the lights turned off and headphones on.
I have it and have been playing it.
W:TNO was probably one of my favorite games to play in 2014. What storyline did you go down first?
Godspeed with the Nazi killing!
I need a new monitor. The main problem I have is that my gaming-capable PC-architecture rig is also my digital audio workstation, so I’m stuck with fanless cards. I managed to find a GT520 chipset fanless made in Germany, and imported that – it has a heat sink that looks like a lotus blossom. It goes on forever and is hilarious. But it’s silent!
But I _could_ upgrade my monitor. Not to 4k, but to something better than I have at the moment. That wouldn’t suck.
As a parent I likewise hate games that won’t let you save when you want to. When I tell my kids it’s time for dinner/homework/bed/boringrealworldthingofyourchoice having the ‘I’ll do that when the game lets me (unspoken: assuming I don’t forget to do so)’ response is beyond irritating.
I don’t know about that article. It makes some valid points, but on the other hand, “save anywhere when you’re not actively fighting” has been a fine compromise option in most games for years without the world ending.
Also, the You Can Only Have Fun The Way We Want bit about “promoting bad playstyles” bugs: if you really need to learn how to do a thing and multiple saves keep you from doing so at the beginning, you’ll learn through reloading multiple saves later. As for the “oh but what if they save at the wrong point”: everyone I have ever met keeps multiple saves for that reason, because we grew up with Sierra or knew people who did.
Motherfucking Sierra, man. I am STILL BITTER about that bit with the jetpack in Space Quest. More so than any of my breakups.
Let me also take this opportunity to recommend Middle Earth: Shadow Of Mordor. It’s absolutely awesome, atmospheric, and fun. It takes some liberties with the LOTR franchise lore, but makes up for it with a wickedly cool dark-fantasy vibe and the most fluid open-world stealth and combat that I’ve seen so far.
I just noticed something… how… how do the nazis have turbine powered helicopters?