Blog 612: A New Age

I was aware that the Daedalus system had become unreliable. Icarus was supposed to be the same system with a few modifications.

Icarus never panned out. The problem was just too hard. I blew through a lot of high-minded intentions but finally had to scrap the whole project.

Ye-e-e-es…

Daedalus

Daedalus, in case you’re not aware, is my PC. He’s more than six years old now, and he’s the reason I haven’t been able to play any new game for at least the last two. You see, at the time, I made the mistake of going for a 32-bit system. “These silly 64-bit machines will never take off,” I thought smugly to myself as I winched Vista back into looking like Windows 98.

Then 4GB of RAM became the minimum system requirement for everything. Sigh.

Daedalus always had issues, though. He might have a Core2Quad, but each core is only 2.4GHz — try playing an early/mid 00s game from after things got really juicy but before they invented threading and you’ll discover that I actually lost capacity from the unnamed single-core 3.2GHz monstrosity I had before. At least in the CPU area.

I was originally intending to upgrade Daedalus, but I knew that in order to upgrade the CPU I’d have to replace the motherboard. Now, I’ve added RAM before, replaced HDDs and graphics cards, but the thought of fiddling with the delicate innards of a PC terrified me.

I also discovered that Daedalus had a BTX motherboard rather than an ATX motherboard. The BTX form-factor quickly become defunct, and my fear definitely did not extend to ripping the case to pieces and rearranging it to fit an ATX. Thanks, Dell!

NEON UNDERLIGHTING

NEON UNDERLIGHTING

As time wore on and I hadn’t even touched Daedalus’ insides (apart from replacing that dodgy HDD right at the beginning), I began to consider more drastic action. I definitely needed something new, something on which to play Crysis at maximum, but I didn’t really want to go for another Dell, not after Daedalus let me down in so many ways. (Don’t get me wrong, I love the case and the colour-changing LEDs and he’s done me well for all these years, but he was never quite right. Maybe my standards are too high.)

I strongly considered buying pieces and building a machine from scratch. How hard could it be?

But the same fears assailed me. I can plug in a hard drive just fine, but I really don’t want to stick a processor onto a mobo with thermal paste and bendy pins and non-eutectic solder-balls all the other things people kept mentioning in any literature I looked at.

I also wanted a new PC now, not in several months when I’d finally scraped together all the bits and plucked up the courage to staple them together.

Helios

Helios is a more advanced solution to the problem, a self-specified system that does not involve organic beings. Believe it or not, you can pay other people to do things you can’t or won’t. Trained professionals who have skills that you lack.

Capitalism, eh?

My project will fail if I am integrated with the wrong individual.

My project will fail if I am integrated with the wrong individual.

Helios is a little smaller than Daedalus, leaner and more understated and much much lighter. Helios does not sound like a small fighter jet taking off when you switch him on. Helios doesn’t try to reset himself to factory settings every time you have the temerity to switch the power on at the wall.

Helios, however, is a true powerhouse with no holds barred in his construction.

A new Intel i7 Haswell-E processor, with six 3.3GHz cores (which will turbo overclock to 4.2GHz when they feel like it), is his beating heart. 16GB of DDR4 RAM provides his working memory, while a 256GB SSD carries his lifeblood and two 1TB RAID0’d Seagate 7200RPM HDDs hold his fat reserves. A hot-off-the-die-moulds 4GB nVidia GTX970 provides epic propulsion for all those modern games I don’t play.

He also has some random stuff I don’t really know much about. Fans that are also faintly water-cooled, a billion USB slots and a new Soundblaster card, the usual guff. Nothing too exciting.

The Future Was Supposed To Be Like This

So while I sink my teeth into Crysis on maximum settings, why don’t you tell me what GOTY editions from the last couple of years should I be catching up on?

It is, after all, almost crimbo!

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17 thoughts on “Blog 612: A New Age

  1. Games that I suggest are
    Supreme Commander + Forged Alliance ( one of the best RTS games out there with such a massive scale it might be a bit old but it is still impressive and no other game feels like it )

    Torchlight 2 ( a highly addictive game a must see insainly fun, the graphics might not be the finest but the core mechanics are some of the most polished out there especially for a loot driven rpgs )

    Dawn of War 2 or Company of Heroes 2 ( the best in tactical games so much fun )

    Skyrim (If you haven’t played it you must drop what ever you are doing and go and get it , add some of the fan-made patches and enhances effects from nexus mods and enjoy this beautiful game )

    Mods are one of the best thing about PC games , I don’t see a need to explain my self . Good games that you should buy just for the mods.
    -Command and Conquer Generals Zero Hour (Mainly for Rise of the Reds but there are plenty of other gems and this mod community is going strong after 11 years . Have a look :
    http://www.moddb.com/mods/rise-of-the-reds )
    -Command and Conquer Red Alert 2 Yuri’s Revenge ( Mental Omega the best 2.5 D strategy game ever , going strong after 14 years : http://mentalomega.com/ )
    -Civilization 4 ( fall from haven 2 and it’s mod mods , no better fantasy turn based game around )
    -Skyrim (nexus mods as big as expansions )
    -Fallout 3 ( This game is beautiful and memorable )

    The source engine also has a very active modding community a must see . If you are uncertain just read up some reviews for them .
    Get Rise of the Reds I cannot speak highly enough of this game . Have a look pls.

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    • Psh, I’ve had SupCom and FA for years. They’re what killed my PC before Daedalus.

      Torchlight 2 I could have played if I wanted, but Torchlight 1 didn’t do much for me.

      I have played Skyrim a few times and it always ran perfectly fine, even if it was never on max.

      Seriosuly, dude, stop suggesting stuff I have been able to run for ages. I’m looking for the AAA powerhouses like Far Cry 3 and Shadow of Mordor and that kind of stuff. Some of those suggestions are also definintely not from the last 2-3 years. It’s like you don’t even read this blog. 😥

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      • I did read it but frankly I don’t think much of most of the newer games I have always preferred playing older games . If you want games that will push you system ( there probably aren’t any out there that will other than ones which are badly optimized or have 4k textures )

        Star Citizen is on such game the minimum RAM is 8gb , and you to have a quad core unless you want lag .
        The latest Batman series is also very good and has high requirements .
        Evolve which is similar to left for dead has some fairly high requirements .
        The upcoming assassins creed unity’s recommended requirements are : Nvidia GTX 680 , i7-3770 CPU, 8GB of RAM .
        Metro Last Light , Tomb Raider 2013 , Battelfield 4 and Arma 3 have insanely high requirements.
        Supreme Commander might be able to kill you pc get a improve texture pack , highest settings , 50km map , fast forward 16X , full AI hardest difficulty and your PC will explode add in the vetrency mod and it certainly will explode.

        In my opinion I think it would be better to load all the old games that you played on Daedalus on to Helios override the graphics get new texture pack and marvel the improvement in graphics with awesome before and after pictures/videos . I find this more rewarding the installing a new game which you have no benchmark to compare with .

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      • It’s rewarding when I can play a game that I previously could not. I’m not really interested in benchmarks, I’m interested in stuff that I couldn’t access at all — because of that, I just tuned out of games for the last couple of years so I don’t really know what I missed. I could play old games before and was always happy to play them unmodified, I’ve never cared for HD texture packs.

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  2. My suggestion: Age of Wonders 3. It’s a strategy game with rpg elements. Think fantasy with a dash of steampunk (depending on what class you pick). It’s 4x strategy, but with a lot more focus* on combat than any other 4x game I know. It doesn’t have a goty edition yet, as it only released this year, but it’s already been 50% off, it’s starting price was only 40euro and it’s got 1 piece of decent dlc.

    You can also pick up some action adventure games like tomb raider for cheap, like <5euro cheap. That's what I did. (though I havn't actually finished that game)

    Don't have any straight up rpg to suggest. I recently picked up van helsing (diablo clone) but haven't formed an opinion on that yet.

    *Which is good, because it has the best turn based tactical combat I've ever seen. The only game coming close in quality to that is XCOM:EU.

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    • I guess AoW3 isn’t really a big test for your new system since my laptop can run it, though I did consider upgrading just for this game as I want it to run a bit quicker and on max settings.

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      • It’s at least if not more a shooter than a platformer, there definetly still are platforming sections, though they aren’t that difficult. It’s also got a bunch of quick time events, some are not that bad but some can be quite jarring. “oh, this movie is suddenly ‘interactive’? Oh, you can be movement control back there and I was supposed to be immediatly running?”
        I would have regretted buying it if I did at full price, but it’s good enough to not feel like I wasted my time with it.

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      • And xbox controller? For a shooter? Is that what the reviews recommend? I’ll just stick to mouse&keyboard tyvm.

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      • Well, I need to get Dark Souls and stuff that everybody keeps raving about. Also my old controller’s plastic had all melted so I had to bin it when I moved house, so I can’t play all the Sonic games anymore.

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      • Guess you’ll have to join the dark side then. But you won’t have to plug it in for tomb raider.

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      • Hmmz. I guess there are a couple of points where thumbstick to move could feel a bit better. Not so much in the platforming (really isn’t needed there) and definetly not in the shooting parts but in the “im falling and need to slide past objects” parts it might help. There’s one annoying part in particular that I’m thinking of.

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