Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Game settings. (aka running out of ideas.)

Now this is only targeted for people who play fullscreen games like oblivion, fallout, world of warcraft, and such. When you have situations in the game where during intense action the game slows down but otherwise it runs fine there are some settings that are very very minor but just buildup when the main action builds up.

One of the first settings that can take up a lot of energy is Shadow Quality. Shadow quality is just as it sounds, it's how realistic the shadows are according to light sources. I don't know about you but I only care about the quality of a shadow when I am not being killed by multiple enemies.

The next that i usually turn down is Foliage Density. Foliage is how much grass, weeds, flowers, etc. shows up when you are playing. Yet again this is something your only going to notice when you character is face down in it after you die due to lag.

Though this next one is somewhat nice to have but if you are still having problems with lag then this is the next to go. Texture quality is how detailed the environment is, so this does take up a lot of processing power to keep this up while many other things are happening. This is the first one that I would say turning down would effect game play experience but sometimes you have to take the hit so you can properly play the game.

Now there are some setting that are more important to some games then others. For example in World of Warcraft particle density is a very important setting due to it being the thing that shows where spells are in effect and tell you where you should or should not be. In Fallout 3 it would be Model LOD which tells the game how far away it should first show the other NPCs or enemies and if you want to be able to snipe well this is something you want way up. Now I can't be listing every important game specific setting, but I suggest you keep an eye out and switch the settings you don't need down, and put these settings up. When it comes to game makers they mainly concern themselves with the people having problems when they have the highest setting on since most problems with other people are just hardware problems, so make sure you adjust the settings to your liking.

Please if you have any request on stuff like what I have been posting leave a comment and I will make a post about it (if I am confident enough in the subject).

Saturday, October 16, 2010

How to convert movie format (hints for self protection)

Well I don't know too much on how the specifics work. I know that the usual dvd is in MPEG-2 format so that is the most acceptable form. But the big question is how i get my .avi or other format to a form that you can burn on a dvd. To be able to do this you will need a program that converts it for you. The ones that you can download online will most likely (for me so far all cases) make a watermark (slightly transparent logo) onto the file that you are converting. So if you want to legitimately be able to convert these movies you will have to buy, a preferably, well known dvd converter (Nero, ConvertXtoDVD, etc). Also fall back to torrenting, it is illegal to torrent things that are marketed with copyrights and anyone caught by these huge companies, that are distributing hundred or thousands of the same product daily and dealing more with employees then individuals using a hard to track way to steal their product, you will be fined and or jailed for it. Torrents can transfer almost any program, movie, or game so make sure you only torrent when you are allowed to (cough). Look back to previous post for more info on torrenting.

Feel free to ask more questions and I will get to them and answer them to the best of my abilities.

Monday, October 11, 2010

How to install parts

I would not generally advise people to install their own parts, but with places charging 20+ dollars I am almost obligated to tell how to do it by yourself.

Before you do anything when installing something into a computer you have to make sure that you are not wearing anything that can cause you to build up static electricity since that can fry part. The casing on most computers are made to prevent static shocks so as long as you first touch the inside of the case before any parts you should be safe. Also in any stock computer every thing that is currently plugged into something will not end up unplugged (never leave an unplugged plug unplugged).

First I will start with something any person should be able to do themselves, RAM. You will be putting this on the motherboard and there will already be similar parts plugged in that looks like the RAM you have bought. The main problem with RAM is compatibility, if you do not have the RAM made for your motherboard it will not work. You can generally figure this out by looking up your computer at the manufacturing site.Following is a picture showing what the slot where the RAM goes looks like
Next is something that will only be a tad bit more difficult which will be the video card. The video card will be installed in a slot that is positioned at the back of the tower. First you will have to remove the metal plate that is covering a hole in the back of the computer. DO NOT USE A MAGNETIC SCREWDRIVER!!! This is one of the only times you will put a screwdriver inside of you computer. Once the plate is removed then you should be able to put the video card into the slot without much force. There are few problems concerning compatibility but it is always good to double check for good measure. Following is a picture of where the video card is installed.
Now the most difficult part I have personally installed, the power supply. Now when you buy a power supply they are usually made with all the cords so it can be installed in any tower. The problem is that you will only use ~1/5 of the cords and will have to find space to cram it in. When installing a power supply you will have to first remove the current power supply. I suggest that you mark every thing that you unplug with a piece of sticky paper so you do not forget to replug it. As long as you have replaced every plug, it should be easy to install. The thing that you should make sure of is that none of the cords are near or touching any fans when the tower is standing upright.

For now this will be the end of my update and if you have any request just put it in a comment and I will help if i can.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Important parts for performance (usually gaming) computers

I am going to put in order of most important to least important parts for a computer that performs well with high intensity projects (aka gaming).

1.(completely optional but most important for those that want the best machine) A new Tower Case is the most important part. So you ask how is this THE most important part, well if you want your computers case to be able to hold all your new parts this is the most likely a important and cheap piece. Also when we get to other parts you will most likely run into generic parts that have ALL the cables so it can work in any computer making it take two times more room then it should...

2. A new Power Supply is essential, if you don't want your computer burning out from not having enough power to run your new parts then you should get a power supply that is about 500+ watts. Better performance usually means greater power usage, as time goes on parts will become more power efficient so once you upgrade this it will probably be good to use all the way until it breaks.

3. A better Video Card the first part that actually directly deals with enhancing performance. The only reason why it is third is because without 2 this won't run right and 1 (though not required) the video card will be a completely new part and is not replacing a part so room is needed. The reason why it does not need to be bought to run a computer is because every computer has a Onboard Video Card that is efficient enough to support a default monitor that is attached to it and is rarely able to handle new games that are being put out.

4. A better Processor for the most simple reason is to be able to process more information. With the first three parts you will be able to see pretty and detailed pictures to be displayed on screen, but without a good processor you will not be able to see fluid movement on games or movies. Most computers have a good processor since these are generally a cheap part that drastically improves performance which is why its the forth most important part.

5. More RAM is another good thing to get. RAM is a part that assist the processor so it can more easily access information from the Hard Drive (the part that holds the information). RAM transfers information from the hard drive and attaches it to itself so it can access the information more quickly. When the processor has to get information from the hard drive it has to go through a set sequence to be able to access the information it wants. But RAM holds the information that it needed to access so it can more quickly get to it. I might do a post to better describe RAM but this is the just of what it is.

6. For now the last I can think of is a new Motherboard. The motherboard is the part that holds and connects all the parts of the computer. If you think you need a new one, the motherboard is what determines what type of part you need to be compatible. When installing new parts the motherboard is the part that tells you the capacity of parts that you can put into your computer. Even though this is last on the list the motherboard is the first part that you would want to buy if you are building a computer from scratch.

This will be it for now and I will probably do a post on how to install parts next. Keep on requesting so I can deliver.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Processors (aka. CPU)

So I have done a lot of research on Processors and I will skim over the main difference at the end between Intel and AMD. From what I read the most simple way to explain what the processor does is most easily explained by imagining your own brain, there is the area where you hold information ( remembers what 1, 2, and 3 are) and the part that processes information (figures out that 1 plus 2 equals 3) this is the part that the Processor does. Now how they measure how much information is measured in Hertz (These days in Gigahertz). Every Processor goes through to the computers memory and processes the information by using the predetermined formulas that are installed on the processor (you could consider this the computers instincts). There is some information that is kept on the processor which most of all computer users know not to mess with and those files are called registry files. They are kept on the processor so it can access them much faster.

Now I may edit and update this because when I first got the request I didn't even know much about the processors. But the two of the biggest companies that make processors is AMD and Intel. From what I see there is no huge difference between the two. Intel is known to make the fastest processors designed to do big projects. AMD is know for making the "best for your buck" processors, not saying they are bad processors but they are the best for people who are on a budget when looking for parts.
If you have any request just leave them in the comments.