NVIDIA GTX 970 vs GTX 1080

As mentioned in the Overclocking the Core i5 post a while back, my graphics card was limiting higher performance outputs, especially since it had to render games in 2560×1440. I hinted at an additional post dedicated to overclocking the GPU and this is it in some ways. I did overclock the GPU, but shortly after I also replaced it with a Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 1080. Nevertheless, for comparison, I will include the overclocked results based on the custom graphics settings from the last post and also compare it to the 1080 using default game presets. This way you can easily compare with your own rig. I had hoped I could also include Ryzen tests, but unfortunately Corsair’s AM4 mounting kit for the watercooler is still travelling around the world. So, there’ll be another performance related article (hopefully) soon. That one will compare the overclocked i5 with the GTX 1080 to a Ryzen 1700X with the 1080. Not only in games, but also in encoding.Read More »

Ergonomic Workplace / Gaming Mouse & Keyboard

Until a couple of months ago my main focus on buying input devices for computers was based on performance and price. I mean, in general that is how one goes about spending money, right? Check the spec sheet and see if it’s worth it. That’s how I always buy my things. I make up my mind that I need something and then I visit my preferred retailer websites and compare the prices. At my home desktop I am a bit more demanding than at work where I simply used (past tense) what came with the computer, but ergonomics never played a role. Boy has that changed.
Read More »

NVIDIA GTX 970 vs. AMD HD 7870 vs. NVIDIA GTX 560 Ti

My gaming PC is about two years old now (read this and this for more information) and although I didn’t really have any serious, permanent performance issues in games, I felt that it was about time to change something.

Here’s a short review and benchmark comparison of NVIDIA’s latest GTX 970 vs. the AMD Radeon HD 7870 (quite a mouthful) that I had installed before. The latter also had to show what it can do compared to an older NVIDIA GTX 560 Ti.
Read More »

ASRock P67 Pro3 BIOS Error Code 97

Recently I wanted to install a Gigabyte Radeon HD7870 in an older PC with an ASRock P67 Pro3 Mainboard. The surprise was big when the monitor didn’t show an image and the computer didn’t boot. Instead, the mainboard’s debug panel showed the error code 97. According to the manual this means “Console Output devices connect”. Not connectED but more likely in the process of initializing the graphics card and failing while doing that.

There’s an easy fix for that. Installing the latest BIOS version (3.30, installed at the time was 2.02) resolved the issue and the computer booted without problems.

Samsung R50 WVM 1730 Disassembled

In my second year as a trainee (nine long years ago) I bought myself a Samsung R50 notebook to replace my aging desktop PC and also take it with me to school (and play games on it – at home of course). At the time this computer was very efficient from a mobile perspective and also well suited to play serious games. Of course, at some point several years later its age became apparent and this year on April 8 the installed operating system, Windows XP, finally became officially obsolete. Since then the computer was sitting at my mother’s house, waiting for… well… a resurrection!Read More »

The Bumpy Road to PC 5.1 Surround Sound

When building the PC for gaming on the TV one thing I had in mind was leveraging the already existing 5.1 sound system. After the move from the TV screen back to a desktop monitor I thought my headphones would suffice for the time spent playing games. At first that assumption turned out to be true, however, not only did I use the headphones for gaming but also when watching TV shows. In the evening, after work, I wanted to enjoy the audio but had no interest in disturbing my neighbors. After a while this led to the headphones becoming quite uncomfortable for all those hours wearing them, especially during the weekend gaming session when having them on the head for several hours.

So, what does a tech-nerd do about that? Buy himself a dedicated sound system for the PC, he does!

Read More »