The Upper-Classified

You may remember a post I published by the beginning of December where I stated that totally, totally, totally want the EVGA GeForce 560ti 448 Cores Classified. It finally happened. The card has been shipped and will probably be here with in like one or two days.

I’m totally excited about the abilities of the card. Things like temperature, stability and most importantly overclocking capabilities. I remember the EVGA GeForce 570 DS HD with a pretty similar cooling design, but this one was a pure noise terror. Those very, very few reviews that do exist about the  EVGA GeForce 560ti 448 Cores Classified say, that the noise level is pretty low actually and the temperatures are moderate, too.

This is exactly what I need for my media centre. Silence and undisputed, raw GPU power. To be honest, I buy this graphics card just to be able to play Batman Arkham City on almost maximum details fluently. Yes, there you got him, video game  freak buying hardware for just one game.

Whatever the case, Mrs EVGA GeForce 560ti 448 Cores Classified is on her way to Mr Hardware Freak and as soon as this romance gets hot and wet I’ll leave some details right here in this blog.

(By far the worst final sentence I’ve written here 😀 )

Lack of panorama

Everything was better back in the days. I may sound like a creepy, old man but in some cases I find this quotation true. What I want to talk about is the missing panorama in today’s music. Especially rock music made a large amount of steps backwards when you compare the sound engineering of the music of the 70s and the sound engineering that appears today.

Talking about the old songs. Mainly those songs are mixed like you were actually listening to a band that sits around you. The instruments are well separated and you’re able to “locate” them in your room. When you listen to today’s music, all you get is a giant wall of noise that got mixed in high definition without any soul. I personally see the turning point in the late 80s and early 90s. A period where almost everything got sacrificed to giant marketing and commercialism.

Anyone can play guitar

I also think that this change in production came, when the whole recording equipment became better and more capable. Guitarist for instance were able to record multiple tracks to gain a fat sound. The guy on the synthesizer could act like a whole orchestra. And this is the point. Musicians forgot at one specific point how to actually be a musician. They misunderstood the qualities of their instruments.

I wouldn’t say that the music these days became completely bad, but you don’t have many genres where you can listen to music in a way it was originally meant to be. Jazz is one genre that resisted and survived this trend. Rock music in nearly all kinds of sub-genres became a mess. It’s all about building a giant wall of sounds that rolls over the listener.

Maybe this is also one of the reasons why so many bands fail when they have to play live in front of an audience. They cannot reproduce this artificial sound they created in the studio. Maybe, but just maybe, would it be better when some bands might go back a little and try to record their outputs like a band, live in the studio. Or they try to resists using multiple tracks for their instrument just to make it sound fat.

I really would like to see bands to play and record like this. Or maybe I’m just an old, creepy man.

They have issues too though

X-Mas is over and I’m nearly finished with the changed to my PCs where I once again meet a point where I get confronted with a disturbing problem on my gaming system. It does not start everytime I want it to start. When I go by and move the waterpump a little bit the system goes and starts. Another time it’s just a touch somewhere in the case or near the motherboard. I’m not sure till now what the exact problem is but it’s not the power supply unit, it works perfectly. There’s some kind of interference and I don’t know where it is. Hopefully it’s nothing serious so that I don’t have to do a major replacement to the system which will cost me around 650EUR right now.

Besides all this, I’m on the noise hunt and I try to eliminate every disturbing noise that comes from any PC I own. I just silenced one PC with a noise absorber kit by Be Quiet! and it will be quieter if the fans would work correctly or let us say, if they were not so bloody dirty. Well, I freed them off the dust but I guess it was a bit too late and now I have to replace them. It’s very hard these days to get 80mm fans with red LEDs that are declared silent cause everyone switched to 120mm or bigger. The backplane in my gaming system will be replaced by a much quieter one too because I wasn’t able to completely disable the fan without getting an alarm noise and I didn’t wanted to rip the speaker off because of the “you’ll never know”-factor. Maybe it’s the backplane that causes the starting issue (well, NO!!!).

The HDD cases in my media center (which is capable for gaming too right now) are getting completely removed to and will be simply replaced by some uncoupling units. Two hits with one strike, I get rid of the 40mm fans and the hard drives are getting a little bit more “softened” in the case. By the way, the media center is the best working system at the moment without any issues. Like I said, the gaming PC has starting problems and the inter PC seems unstable to me, which leads me to final point.

I am going to say goodbye to Fedora and Linux on this system because I switch back to Windows. It still remains a system for internet but also for audio production and some picture editing. It comes in pretty handy because two monitors are plugged to this system and these two things are handled pretty good if you have a second monitor. It’s a kind of sad that I’ll soon will have no Linux machine but unfortunately is Linux not able to fulfill my needs. Combined with the stability problems it’s the best choice to get back to Windows.

There’s light at the end of the tunnel. I have so much hardware lying around that a fourth system is coming up which will be a pure dedicated gameserver and guess what, it’s going to be a Linux system. Till now do I not have any specific plans on that but it will come and hopefully will it come together with a LAN in spring 2011.

For those of you who expect to read some more things about my photography hobby can I tell, that there’s pretty soon something new to say about it because I ordered some fine new stuff for my camera. But more about these things will be here to read later in another post. I’m sorry for posting so much about my PCs and hardware and stuff these days but it’s a cold and extremely snowy winter here in Germany and this is like the perfect time for me to get a few jobs done in these cases.

Closet cleaned

Last weekend stood under the flag of rearrangement and getting rid of some useless things from the past. Out of a clear blue sky I decided to sort out some of my old IT books to get some space to place the old books of my grandfather inside my bookcase. Seriously, I don’t need a book about Novell DOS 6.2 or MS DOS anymore and if I’ll feel that urgent need to find some information about this ancient operating systems I would find much more knowledge bases on the net than in a single book. And due to fact that I stopped coding in 2005 I thought that there’s no more need for books like C++ and shit like that. I finally made it in nearly five hours of pure bookcase management to find a worthy place for every book. My beloved game strategy guides are now on eye height and everything else is well sorted and easy to find.

Secondly did I finally made it to exchange the mainboards of my internet PC with the one built in in my media center PC. I did this because the board of my internet PC offers two 16x PCIx slots and I wanted to use one graphic card as a dedicated PhysX accelerator like I do in my gaming system (GF260+GF9800GT). The exchange went better than expected, the systems are still working, except for some pulse server bugs on Fedora. The bug in Fedora is not a major one because Fedora 14 is going to be released this week and I don’t want to do an upgrade, I feel like re-installing the system by keeping the home folder, like I did several times in the past. The whole setup procedure runs pretty fast, because all that is left to do after the core setup routine is to install the missing packages, every application is already configured in my home folder.

Unfortunately do I have to run my Linux internet system with a crappy GeForce 8600GT because this graphic card knows a nothing about PhysX so I had to place my GF9800GT in my media center for a while till it is getting replaced by a new PhysX dedicated card. I’ll also replace the cpu fan of my media center because the stock one sold by AMD is a kind of cheap and noisy and is going to be replaced by an Arctic Cooling Xtreme Freezer Rev.2. Hopefully the noise will disappear after that and the AMD Phenom II X4 965 will feel comfortable without making too much noise. Anyhow, the whole media center is going to be much quieter than it is now.

New media experience

I bought me a new TV a few weeks ago and yesterday was the first day where I integrated my unused but very powerful third PC into the whole multimedia system. By now there is no OS installed but in the near future I am going to install Windows 7 and Fedora on this PC. Windows 7 will be a kind of gaming console replacement system (DMC4 on a 40″ TV will kick ass) and the parallel installed Fedora will be the media center and “internet-machine”. I have chosen Fedora because the overall performance of the system is way better than Windows 7 and I don’t like the MC which is integrated into Windows 7 very much.

Actually I am not very sure about running two systems on a media center but the file handling sharing options are much easier than they are on Windows. Like I said Windows 7 will only be there for gaming, such as a nice Street Fighter IV session or a competition in Pro Evolution Soccer and Fedora will be the movie master. Another thing I am not sure about for the moment is, which media center software I should use under Fedora, mythTV or moovida, or if I should completely leave it and just use VLC or SMPlayer and customize the GUI of Fedora in that way that it is minimal but ultra functional.

One thing that is really annoying and disturbing is that the case, where the whole hardware is installed, is pretty loud and noisy. I am going to fix this in the nearby future by simply moving to another case that uses less but bigger fans and includes more 3.5″ slots. By now I have a lot of cooling boxes built in to the case for my hard drives but all these 40mm fans do too much noise so you’re not able to watch a movie in a friendly and silent environment. Well, well… there’s still a lot to do, but there’s no hurdle that cannot be taken…