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1  Awesomeware / TS4 Stuff / Re: No Stupid Preload Actions on: 2020 May 24, 12:38:47
Thanks for this. Still alive here too.   Grin
2  Darcyland / Lord Darcy Investigates / Re: Decustomized and Updated Maxis Official Objects/Clothing (Updated 2008-10-10) on: 2011 February 06, 18:24:13
Okay, so this is an old thread and I guess everyone who wants these things already has them installed and working. Well, maybe not everyone.    Roll Eyes

With everything installed and patched through AL except for the holiday stuff pack, I can find almost everything. The camping lantern I cannot find, but I have a custom version with no rock that includes a version that hangs on the wall, so that's not a problem. An AF outfit caused my game to crash when going through the catalog using the clothing tool, but deleting the Shelby package seems to have fixed that. However—

The one item I want that is not appearing in the catalog is the H&M uniform shirt (even after deleting the CAS thumbnails). I had a custom version with its own mesh from MTS2, but with some pants the waistband pokes through the shirt when the sim moves, so I was hoping the pre-order version would not have that problem, but the shirt just does not appear in the catalog—it is for adult men, right? I have removed the MTS2 version, to no effect.

Is there another file in addition to ambody_uniformshirt.package that is required for this to show up? It's one of the few H&M things for men that isn't stupid.   Grin

On a slightly different topic:  Just to be clear, the Maxis objects can go in \TSData\Res\Catalog\Bins, but the recolors of those objects go in Downloads?

3  TS2: Burnination / The Podium / Diploma Token vs. Diploma Inventory Object on: 2010 September 04, 18:02:57
In the memories of individual sims who have the graduation memory (or who are adults with the "went to college" memory but no graduation memory), some have a diploma inventory object and some have a diploma token. Some of these sims were "graduated" using the lot debugger (I think), and some were graduated in-game and then made into townies. Also, some appear to be Maxis townies that were never in the university but who have the "went to college" memory.

Does anyone know the functional difference between the two? I am fixing up the memories of some sims who were either created as adults by me, or are game-generated adults, and it is not clear whether I should give them the token or the object.
4  TS2: Burnination / The Podium / Re: TS2: Open Season on Easels on: 2010 August 05, 18:31:01
I think it has always been this way. When did Reggikkowinkle take your corpse out of the closet?

When she needed the grass cut.
5  TS2: Burnination / The Podium / TS2: Open Season on Easels on: 2010 August 04, 19:57:16
Since I started playing TS2 this summer (continuing an existing game), visitors on home and Uni lots autonomously start painting on any available empty easel. I don't remember this behavior in the past, and it seems like it isn't right. I deleted all CC easels from Downloads some time ago, to no avail.

It happens both with and without the old CBoy easel use fix mod (yes, I know it is old). Does anyone have any ideas on why this is happening (or am I just misremembering how the game works)?

This is with everything installed and patched except M&G and the holiday stuff pack.

Text file attached listing all current installed hacks.
6  TS3/TSM: The Pudding / The World Of Pudding / Re: Getting a new computer - advice needed! on: 2009 December 14, 22:33:38
In your stated price range, with keyboard, mouse, 21.5-inch widescreen LCD monitor (but no printer), you might take a look at the HP e9250t series. You can play around with the on-line configurator to see how different upgrades affect the price (faster CPU, faster graphics board, etc).

For example, for US$950 (including shipping in the US), you can get the following, which certainly should be good enough for TS3.

    * • Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
    * • Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-750 processor [2.66GHz, 1MB L2 + 8MB shared L3 cache]
    * • FREE UPGRADE! 6GB DDR3-1333MHz SDRAM [3 DIMMs] from 4GB
    * • 500GB 7200 rpm SATA 3Gb/s hard drive
    * • 512MB ATI Radeon HD 4350 [DVI, HDMI, VGA adapter]
    * • HP 2159m 21.5-inch 16:9 Full HD Widescreen Monitor
    * • LightScribe 16X max. DVD+/-R/RW SuperMulti drive
    * • Integrated 10/100/1000 (Gigabit) Ethernet (No wireless)
    * • 15-in-1 memory card reader, 1 USB, 1394, audio
    * • Integrated 7.1 channel sound with front audio ports
     * • HP multimedia keyboard and HP optical mouse
    * • Microsoft(R) Works 9.0
7  TS2: Burnination / Oops! You Broke It! / Re: Win7 Load Times? on: 2009 December 13, 16:13:37
That probably will not make a difference. The load time is determined by how fast the hard drive can feed data to the CPU, and how fast the CPU can process the instructions it receives.
8  TS2: Burnination / Oops! You Broke It! / Re: Win7 Load Times? on: 2009 December 11, 19:58:56
I have 3.7 GB of files in the Downloads folder, and it doesn't take nearly that long to load the game (in Win XP Pro SP3, although I don't think that matters in this instance). Not all 3.7 GB is active at any given time (only about 1 GB is clothing, including meshes), but there is still more stuff than you report. This is on a desktop; it would take forever to load the same stuff on my old laptop with 1.8 GHz Pentium M ("Dothan") and a 5400-rpm hard drive, from 2005.

Two things stand out as likely bottlenecks in your machine. The CPU is rather underpowered by today's standards (probably designed more for power savings and low heat than performance), and the hard drive is also slow (fast laptop drives are 7200 rpm). Both of these will have a significant affect on your load times.


Also, note that the HD 3200 RS780M graphics controller is integrated with the motherboard, and uses the system RAM instead of having its own dedicated RAM. This is why the spec states "up to" 1918 MB of RAM—it will use as much system RAM as you can feed it, up to that maximum amount.
9  TS2: Burnination / Oops! You Broke It! / Re: Nvidia Go Boom (Graphics card crap) on: 2009 December 11, 19:24:46
Yes, but note also that the resolution being drawn is COMPLETELY UNREASONABLE. Who the hell HAS a monitor like that?

I'm not in disagreement with you here. Anyway, don't serious gamers turn down the graphics quality to ensure maximum speed??

Maybe the tech-geek guys are playing with maxed-out graphics on HDTVs, using the HDMI output on these boards? Just wondering, since I don't know if an HDTV could support those kinds of resolutions or have a fast enough response time.

My relatively low-cost wide-screen LCD maxes out at 1680x1050, and it's probably not fast enough for high-twitch gaming; but then, I bought it for its color accuracy and shadow detail, for image editing. OTOH, while I don't play shooters often (I still have not finished the original Half-Life), when I do play, I prefer an exploration style of play as opposed to zoom and shoot, so the more detailed and realistic the environment, the better I like it. This has its disadvantages:  I never did finish the second Crusader game because I got stuck on a timed level.   Tongue   
Of course, I also usually can't beat the end bosses without some sort of perma-armor cheat.   Roll Eyes

When you ask, "what is the purpose of these new boards" (especially the $500+ ones), the obvious answer would seem to be "cash flow". AMD in particular has been hurting, so milking the early-adopters for 500 bills every six months is one way to help the revenue flow.

FWIW, our personal experience with TS2 is that the game runs more smoothly, with better image quality and more stuff (objects, sims) on a lot with the newer HD 38xx and 48xx boards we have now, than with the X800 boards they replaced—although in fairness, the upgrade in graphics boards was accompanied by new motherboards and Core 2 Duo CPUs (and 4 GB RAM).

Out of curiosity, I have looked at the Web site for Crysis. Despite the advanced graphics, the game itself looks rather stupid. Also, it seems weird to me that the weapons shown in the trailers and walk-through appear to be pretty much the same as in Duke Nukem 3D (1996!). You'd think they could come up with something more interesting than a shotgun.

10  TS2: Burnination / Oops! You Broke It! / Re: Nvidia Go Boom (Graphics card crap) on: 2009 December 11, 05:13:33
Some current shooters stress even the most advanced gaming boards when set to high resolutions (1900x1200 or whatever) with full anti-aliasing and other eye candy (or so I've read).
So, in other words, a purely masturbatory exercise, as no one can actually PLAY under those conditions, because everything looks like a flashbang went off in your face from all the blurring and bloom.

Lol! Well, who knows what 18-year-old eyes can see these days? Perhaps they're better "trained". In any case, it appears the game against which all graphics boards are measured is Crysis. Here are some benchmark results for the PowerColor Radeon HD 5870 LCS; at these extreme settings, note the minimum frame rate of 3 fps. (I've seen some suggestions on the interwebs that the high hardware demands of Crysis are the result of inefficient coding, but have no way to verify the claim).

Even at more reasonable settings (no AA, for example), performance from this high-end board is mediocre at best with this title:

Note also that under full load this board draws 330W in stock configuration, and 500W+ when overclocked. Better have a beefy power supply for this guy. MSRP is US$515. Click here for the full test.

Oh, and its water-cooled out of the box.   Roll Eyes

 Here are the specs:

Model     LCS HD5870
Core Speed    875MHz
Memory Speed    1250MHz (5.0Gbps)
Memory    1GB GDDR5
Memory Bandwidtd    256bit
DirectX®    11

Meantime, I've tracked down the specs for the motherboard. That says, yes, the chipset is GeForce 6150, but that the motherboard "supports PCI Express x16 graphics cards".

Then you're good to go for less than US$100, as long as your power supply can support the board you buy. The PSUs in prebuilt machines from the big vendors are often uber-cheap and barely adequate to run the default parts, so you may be looking at a graphics/PSU double switch. Make sure the motherboard can accept aftermarket PSUs; Dell, for example, is notorious for using non-standard PSU connectors that cause the motherboard to burn out if you install an aftermarket unit. This is probably less likely with a PC from HP/Compaq.

Another question, while I'm thinking of it. Could a problem with the driver (became corrupted, maybe) be causing these crashes, or would that cause even worse problems than the ones I'm having? The random crashes tend to happen only when doing graphics intensive stuff, such as using IrfanView, or starting a game like Sims 2 or Fable. As of now, I've been surfing and reading stuffs for several hours with no crashes.

Given the symptoms you describe, it is most likely a problem with the graphics hardware rather than the driver. A driver problem is not impossible, but I would think it would be more consistent than what you report. The crashes appear to occur when you place the graphics controller under stress, which suggests hardware rather than drivers. But there's no harm in deleting the installed drivers and trying updated ones. I'm afraid I can't give you any guidance about which versions of the nVidia drivers are good and which to avoid, however.

11  TS2: Burnination / Oops! You Broke It! / Re: Nvidia Go Boom (Graphics card crap) on: 2009 December 10, 19:16:50
Well, usefulness is in the eyes of the beholder; but see my modified post above.   Tongue

Some current shooters stress even the most advanced gaming boards when set to high resolutions (1900x1200 or whatever) with full anti-aliasing and other eye candy (or so I've read).
12  TS2: Burnination / Oops! You Broke It! / Re: Nvidia Go Boom (Graphics card crap) on: 2009 December 10, 19:03:10
Woah, shit, they're up to 4600s now? I wonder how those compare to my aging X1950. I mean, I've known there were better for some time now, but I've just never had an actual REASON to upgrade, since everything runs at acceptable speed.

Actually, the 4000 series is (now) a mid-range line. The top line is the HD 5000 series.

The new GPUs have more renderers and pixel pipelines (especially the latter) than the older boards, and they support DX10 in hardware. In some ways the most attractive feature is that many of them offer lower power requirements (hence less heat and noise) than older boards with equal or lesser performance.

For example, a typical X1950 Pro features the following:

Core Clock     575MHz
PixelPipelines    12(36 Pixel shader processor )
Memory Clock    1380MHz
Memory Size    256MB
Memory Interface    256-bit
Memory Type    GDDR3

The MSI R4670-MD512 features:

Core Clock        750MHz
Stream Processors  320 Stream Processing Units
Memory Clock       1600MHz
Memory Size       512MB
Memory Interface  128-bit
Memory Type       GDDR3
Price:  $65.00 less $10 mail-in rebate

The MSI R5970-P2D2G features:

Core Clock               725MHz
Stream Processors  3200 (1600 x 2) Stream Processing Units
Memory Clock       1000MHz (4.0Gbps)
Memory Size       2GB
Memory Interface   512 (256 x 2)-bit
Memory Type       GDDR5
Supports DX11 in hardware
Price:  $650.00

Speaking of good old technology, for an AGP machine I have just picked up from eBay a new X850 XT. This was the most powerful gaming board available when it was released, at a MSRP of US$550. I got it for US$65 shipped.   Grin
13  TS2: Burnination / Oops! You Broke It! / Re: Nvidia Go Boom (Graphics card crap) on: 2009 December 10, 18:46:27
You would need a test bench and specialized equipment (and knowledge) to determine which circuit or component of the video card is failing. Although, if the fan is not spinning when the machine is running, that would be the obvious first place to start.

The GeForce 6150LE is a graphics controller integrated into a motherboard with an nVidia nForce chipset. Do you actually have a stand-alone graphics board that plugs into a socket on the motherboard?

Assuming that the motherboard in your PC will accept a stand-alone graphics card:

To choose a new video card, you need to know how old the PC is; i.e., is it so old that it requires an AGP card or is it sufficiently new to use a PCI-E card? You can probably get this information from Windows's Device Manager (right-click the My Computer icon, choose Properties, select the Hardware tab, and then click the Device Manager button).  Under Display Properties, your graphics controller will be listed. If it doesn't state AGP or PCI-E, Google the part to find out. Alternatively, you can right-click on the desktop, choose Properties to open Display Properties, choose the Advanced button on the Settings tab, and choose the Adapter tab to see your graphics controller (video card). If neither of these options gives you the interface information (AGP or PCI-E), you should open the case and find the model number printed on the motherboard, and then look up the specifications at the manufacturer's Web site.

If you need a PCI-E card, then it's pretty easy to make a choice. Tom's Hardware has a handy monthly feature on "best video boards for the money" for a variety of budget levels. At the present time ATI's Radeon HD 4600 series is excellent value for the money, particularly the  HD4670 at around US$65. Although not from this series, we have both an RX3870 and an R4830 from MSI, and they have been excellent performers at attractive prices.

If you need an AGP board, your options are quite limited, as this is now an obsolete technology. Although you can buy new AGP boards, the AGP versions of ATI's HD-series boards are reportedly plagued by bad AGP drivers, so your best bet is probably eBay, where you can get a high-end Radeon X800-series board for less than US$100.

If you cannot install a stand-alone video board in your computer, it is time for a new PC. Given the age of the GeForce 6150LE, it is likely that the upgrade path for your present machine is close to non-existent, and probably not worth the cost in comparison from ordering a new PC from HP.

I can't tell you anything about nVidia-based products. However, you will need to delete all the nVidia drivers and nVidia video apps from your computer before installing a new board (no need to delete the nVidia DDS tools if you have them). However, since your graphics controller is probably integrated with the motherboard, you will need to be careful to delete only the video drivers, and not the motherboard chipset drivers.

Assuming your motherboard has built-in graphics, you will need to disable the on-board graphics, either in the BIOS, by a jumper setting on the motherboard, or both. You will need the user manual for the motherboard to determine the correct procedure.
14  TS2: Burnination / The Podium / Re: Shut Up the DJ Hack? on: 2009 June 22, 21:38:11
If a DJ unexpectedly met a death by flies, would the game simply generate a new one??    Tongue

Presumably there's a WAV file (or several) somewhere with the DJ voices. What if one were to locate this file and replace with an empty WAV file, similar to the silent startup files? Or, to be more exact, where might one find these files?
15  TS2: Burnination / The Podium / Shut Up the DJ Hack? on: 2009 June 15, 20:35:25
Just a quick question here (found nothing using Search):

Has anyone made a hack to shut up the DJ? Is it even possible to do this??
16  TS2: Burnination / The Podium / Re: How to get rid of SecuRom, NOW on: 2009 April 14, 22:05:23
See my post above:

In case someone might find it useful, here is the relevant Microsoft page:

Although it primarily addresses the code 31 error, it also covers the code 39 error.

This is for when your optical drives disappear.
17  TS2: Burnination / The Podium / Re: How to get rid of SecuRom, NOW on: 2009 April 12, 23:31:40
Just to report my recent experience. . . .

Three days ago I installed on the PC I built last June the entire game through AL, restoring my old game from Pets/GL, updating, patching, etc. It all went mostly well (except for duplicates of the two Seasons bin families due to an incorrect installation of the clean stealth neighborhood, and subsequent purging of all the bin families added by the expansions). The game was running fine, no lots were corrupted, no flashing blue objects (even no missing wants).

This morning the game would not start because no CD was detected. This was because no optical drives were detected by WinXP. The two drives were seen by XP, but the drivers could not be loaded (error code 39). I messed around with moving the drives to different controllers, installing a different drive, uninstalled all my cd-writing and .wav-extraction software, etc. to no avail, which led me to do the SecuROM purge.

The purge process was not difficult, although it helps (a lot) to have had experience with working with the command line and the registry editor. The AL patch 2 no-CD crack works without any problem (so far); it is the one by Vitality. However, purging SecuROM did not restore my optical drives.

I tried installing new drivers for the IDE and SATA controllers, and CD drivers. I attempted a firmware update, but the updater could not find the drive. Finally, I found a link at the Sony optical storage Web site to a Microsoft knowledge base article on fixing the code 39 problem, by deleting a couple registry values related to optical drives. Somewhat surprisingly, this worked, even though the original article was written to address a problem with Easy CD Creator.

In case someone might find it useful, here is the relevant Microsoft page:

Although it primarily addresses the code 31 error, it also covers the code 39 error.

Of course, now Civ 4 won't run (it uses a different version of SecuROM).   Tongue

18  TS2: Burnination / Oops! You Broke It! / Re: Transparent grills/plants Apartment Life--Resolved on: 2009 April 11, 23:07:33
It was, in fact, having adaptive AA enabled in the Catalyst driver that was causing the problem, on both machines. This is on two different graphics boards (one HD 3870 and one HD 4830, both from MSI), and two different, but recent, versions of the ATi driver set.

We had messed with the in-game settings, with no luck. Thanks to Jade for pointing to something that would not have occurred to me, mostly because I forgot about that setting in the driver.

ATi's adaptive AA applies anti-aliasing to transparent areas to smooth the way the objects look in games. Knowing this, it becomes easy to understand why grills (with their grates) and cribs (with their bars) would be affected if the objects being AA'd don't take well to that technique. OTOH, it's not so clear why this would affect a plant. Presumably it has something to do with the transparency texturing of these specific objects, for when they become see-through when you get up close. Or maybe not.   Tongue
19  Serious Business / Spore Discussions / Re: MASSIVE SECURITY HAZARD in Spore! on: 2008 August 25, 18:31:17
FWIW, I have no intention of installing Spore on my computer. Nonetheless, I am curious about exactly which user name is being used, and possibly exposed to unauthorized viewers, in this instance (it is not entirely clear from this discussion).

Basically, my question is, if my user name is 'Hegelian' and I use the User Account function to change it to 'Justinian', the associated folder in the "Documents and Settings" directory is still 'Hegelian'. Is the Spore software using the user name I can change, or the name of the user folder, which is a system folder cannot be changed by any normal means?

It is possible to move all the data for an existing administrator-level account to a new one and then delete the original account, but it's a bit of a PITA.
20  TS2: Burnination / The Podium / Re: Building/Upgrading a PC for TS2 on: 2008 March 13, 21:51:50
Thank you! I came to that conclusion also. I will build one myself. Any further advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time.

Here's one I put together back in January. Some things have changed in the CPU and video-board market since then, so I might do it differently now—for example, I might recommend the Radeon HD3870 in place of the nVidia board. The Core 2 Duo E6750 is still probably the best value in an Intel CPU at $190, although if you have an extra $50 the new E8400 would be a nice upgrade—if you can find one.
21  TS2: Burnination / The Podium / Re: Building/Upgrading a PC for TS2 on: 2008 March 10, 15:51:06
This is no surprise, really. Video boards and motherboards are probably the least reliable components in a PC. The first Radeon X800GT I bought (a Sapphire model) failed within two days of installation; it's replacement is running fine in Reggikko's machine some three years later. EE friends tell me that if a PCB component is going to fail, it will most likely fail within 72 hours—not that they can't fail over time, like that P2B-S which ran fine for about seven months before it started burning out video boards (the AGP voltage on that model was out of spec and would fry boards that couldn't handle the difference), and then about 11 months out another known design flaw in the north bridge became symptomatic and I had to RMA it.

Incidentally, the north bridge problem only manifested itself under stress, and I was using Photoshop a lot at the time. It was actually a Photoshop engineer on Adobe's forums who informed me of the problem, which had progressed from Photoshop to Word to Netscape over time—the PC would simply lock up, requiring a cold reboot. Apparently, Photoshop stesses your hardware more than most applications, and it seems that once it "triggered" the problem, the effects gradually spread to less demanding applications. This was when I learned that lockups—as opposed to crashes—are always hardware-related (driver problems can be considered hardware problems).
22  TS2: Burnination / The Podium / Re: Building/Upgrading a PC for TS2 on: 2008 March 09, 18:47:47
Sorry to hear about the BSODs. I am doubtful the hdd is the problem; it just doesn't seem like the kind of error a bad hdd would produce. Do you have startup problems, like the "no system disc error"? I have had only two drive failures over the years, both recent:  The hdd in this laptop tested okay on the self-test (in BIOS) but had recurring problems with not being recognized as the system disc, or generating missing or corrupt Windows system files. Sometimes it would still boot, but toward the end it took forever to get past the Windows logo screen. But when it did boot into Windows, it ran with no problems as long as I did not shut down or let it go into standby.

During the holidays I had my old DOS/Win98 machine set up briefly for some maintenance—it has been mothballed since I moved here two years ago—and started getting a S.M.A.R.T. warning that one of its old Western Digital IDE drives is failing. I picked up a replacement for cheap on eBay (I didn't want a big new drive since the failing drive is a combination of FAT16 and FAT32), but have not installed it yet. The reason I mention this is because the drive itself shows no symptoms of having a problem. So I have one failing drive that tested okay, and a drive that reports imminent failure but is not symptomatic.   Tongue

You didn't mention above the specifics of the RAM you bought. This seems a more likely culprit than the hdd. This may be stating the obvious, but have checked the BIOS to be sure the RAM is set to its specified settings? We had a problem here when I upgraded Reggikko's PC with a new motherboard and CPU that run with an 800MHz FSB without considering the RAM, and the PC2700 she had just wasn't stable at that speed. Some enthusiast motherboards tweak their default speeds for RAM and the CPU, so you may want to be sure the RAM timings in the BIOS are what the RAM manufacturer specifies. As you probably already know, you can test your RAM by running just one module, and then a pair, and then if you don't have problems, doing the same with the other pair (it is possible your motherboard is one that requires running one, two, or four modules, but not three). If you find one that appears to be bad, you can run one of the other modules in that socket to see if the problem is the module or the socket. MemTest is worth a try, as well.

Motherboard. Sadly, even the best motherboards have relatively high rates of defective units and failures, compared to most other computer parts and to virtually all other consumer products. I've had a couple go bad on me, one a highly-regarded ASUS P2B-S which developed a problem that we only diagnosed a few weeks before the warranty ran out (the vendor made the exchange—ASUS's customer support was abysmal); and the other was a Gigabyte board (also with the BX chipset iirc) that I got as a closeout from the old TC Computers and which was never really right, constantly returning corrupt Registry errors on boot (in Win98) and loading the previous good version, so that whenever I made any change to the system, I had to manually save the Registry several times in succession to be sure that on the next boot, the restored Registry would have my current configuration. Also, I had a friend whose new motherboard had a parallel port that was DOA.

So once you've eliminated the possibility of driver issues, I would think RAM and then motherboard as the next most likely culprits, followed by a defective video board, and then. . . .    Huh
23  TS2: Burnination / The Podium / Re: Building/Upgrading a PC for TS2 on: 2008 March 08, 21:28:00
Ok -- just wanted to report back that the system is up and running, and it's a screamer!

So thanks for the suggestions Hegelian, especially about the E8400!

You're welcome! I'm jealous that you were actually able to build this machine.

As for your question about moving the old boot drive into the new machine without doing a clean install—I'm curious about how that worked out. Generally, trying to boot into Windows on a new motherboard with an installation done for a different MB can cause problems with driver conflicts for the motherboard components. You seem to have not had a problem; did you uninstall the motherboard drivers for the old PC before installing the hard drive in the new machine? You mention in your later post that the old drive is now the D: drive in the new machine, so did you end up doing a clean install on the Raptor? Given the speed advantage of the new drive, this is what I would have done.   Grin

Definitely get rid of that X1300 (or use it with the remains of the old PC to build a budget a backup or Linux machine)—it's a budget part that wasn't even performance competitive with the previous X800-series midrange boards (like the X800 GT), and perhaps even the 9800XT.
24  TS2: Burnination / Oops! You Broke It! / Re: Computer not recognising my shiny new RAM. on: 2008 February 22, 22:10:34
You might want to read this:  Vista Workshop: More RAM, More Speed.

Most users will be sobered when they equip their systems with 4 GB of RAM and find that only 3 GB is recognized by the BIOS and by Windows. This is neither a bug nor due to any hardware error. The explanation is simple: 32-bit systems can only address up to 4 GB of memory. Additionally, many add-in cards and on-board controllers require memory addresses in order to be accessible. This is called "Memory Mapped IO" (MMIO). Since this memory range has to lie within the 4 GB, it is subtracted from the installed and available RAM.

Thanks to a technique called memory remapping, it is possible to move around parts of the system memory in such a way that the full 4 GB is still available for use. The trouble is that this feature had to be deactivated in Windows Vista due to compatibility issues.

In order to be able to utilize the entire system memory, you will therefore need to use a 64-bit version of Windows Vista. In this article, we will take a look at memory usage under the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows Vista, and analyze how the operating system behaves with different amounts of RAM.

25  TS2: Burnination / The Podium / Re: Building/Upgrading a PC for TS2 on: 2008 February 20, 23:18:45
Here's a CPU question -- given that they're virtually the same price at newegg these days, if you were building a new PC would you go with the Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4GHz or the Core 2 Duo E6850 Conroe 3GHz processor?

Personally, I would probably go with the faster dual-core CPU because I don't think I run anything that would benefit much from a quad-core at this point, and speed is still a consideration regarding relative performance (although no longer the single overriding factor it once was). It is something I would want to research though, if I were actually in the market. If I was running software that would enjoy a significant benefit from the quad-core CPU, I would probably go with that.

I have seen some remarks in passing here and there on the Web that seem to suggest that in some instances quad-core can actually cause some problems with certain BIOSes or software or both, but I didn't read any of them carefully so I don't know what that's about. It is something I would want to research to determine whether dual or quad would be more beneficial for my particular use.

EDIT:  You might want to take a look at this recent article at Tom's Hardware:

The New Core 2 Duo: 45 nm Wolfdale Replaces 65 nm Conroe

It might be worth looking for a motherboard that will run the E8400 at ~USD240.
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