Archive for Juni, 2008

back for some action

Mittwoch, Juni 25th, 2008

after finishing s.t.a.l.k.e.r. i found it is time for more racing action. i won’t cancel playing s.t.a.l.k.e.r. but i think i should spend some more time to gtr again. after learning that most of the tracks runs very fine and after testing an 18 elise custom championship i have decided to pay some attention to common race tracks instead of fiddeling with this kinda annoying nordschleife. i mean, i really appreciate the effort and the time people spend to projects like the nordschleife but i really can’t understand why this track is still suffering from the same issues like the first release for gtr2 (not the old gpl version). very variing performance, wierd shadows, reflection layer about half a meter above ground on some parts of the track, sun is shining thru the track or ground, the track appears as a white ‚rollercoaster‘ at the horizont, sudden ctd, ai drivers failing to find the box or play demolition derby at certain corners. beside the ‚beautiness‘ and the realism of the track, at the end, it is a race track and what i want to do is race. i don’t care if the number of seats at the tribune beside the ford corner is correct or if there is enough space for the vips above the pits. to turn shadow details down helps a lot but then i drive on a flat lighted shadow free track and this is indeed far away from what i expect from driving on the nordschleife. to say it like elvis – a little less detail a little more action please! i know, it is possible to contribute and at the end there is no real excuse. just to complain won’t change something but the direction this projects has taken, i can not see a real benefit of spending a tiny and very unreliable amount of time. anyway, i was a little bit unhappy with the 18 elise custom championship since i’m always struggle with the performance and the 5 gear fixed gearbox of the original elise. i still have my own version of the elise around and thought it would be nice to use the engine mapping and the gearbox of my version for the championship as well. unfortunately, i wasn’t able to get this ‚hack‘ running and by whatever reason, i don’t have the original archive available. a quick search on one of my prefered pages ’nogripracing‘ (big thanks to you guys) offered a 25 cars lotus exige pack which has catched my attention like a sundew a fly. even if this pack comes with 500 ps exiges, overall, this is what i’m looking for. different tires, nice paintings, 6 adjustable gears, great sound – perfect. a quick run on barcelona in rain was proofing my assumption, this power is far too much for this tiny car. but i found on nogripracing some 380 ps exiges/elises as well and it wasn’t really tricky to use the different engine for the 500 ps versions. by whatever reason, the sound of the engine was heavily shifted to the left but to edit this within the engine file isn’t really rocket science. without spending much time for the setup, i’ve started a quick race at barcelona and i’ve had some very serious action. the ai is performing quite perfect and the variation between the cars/drivers is very well designed. the tires are really sticky, i have tested the soft slicks, so for longer races it won’t be a problem to go for med slicks. the 380 ps are really handy and still enough to speed the car up to 250 km/h. the lap times on barcelona are reduced by 12-15 seconds, down to below 1:40, which provides enough adrenaline, especially when you surrounded by about 10 other exiges and the rear starts to get loose under braking 😉 i will now go and try to implement the 18 elises from the other pack, so that i will get a field of 40 cars and then i will create a custom championship with ’suitable‘ tracks for a 6-8 races season.

at day, there are no performance issues, just a few stutters, at night the performance is dropped a little due to the headlights but even under rain condition with headlights, the frame rate still tries to stay above 40-50, when just a few cars visible the frame rate climbs the 60 fps like under daylight condition. this may vary for certain tracks, especially spa is very demanding, but overall, this is much more ‚driveable‘ than the current nordschleife, even with higher graphic settings.

in general, i’m really happy to be back to gtr2, it is still a very good simulation and the more or less outdated graphics is something i can life with, while racing i don’t spend any attention to the surrounding except for brake points or other vehicles. the feeling, even with my old momo racing wheel, is nice and kind of close to real world driving, especially the scrubbing when pushing the car too hard or the feedback when the rear starts to loose grip. this is exactly what i found while driving with my roadster on real world race tracks. the sweeping and rattling is still strange but maybe i will go for the g25 sometimes. surprisly, i was able to go with the pack quite quick. i was expecting that it will take some time to get close to my old performance since i haven’t touched gtr2 for more than a year and especially on unknown tracks (i haven’t spent so much time on barcelona before) i really struggle to find the right pace. more to come so stay tuned.

review – sega rally revolution

Montag, Juni 23rd, 2008

i’ve remembered playing the sega rally revolution demo some time ago but it wasn’t really made for my notebook. so this came to my mind as a game which i should test on my new game rig. getting the demo from the internet and later ordering the full game for just 10€ from amazon wasn’t a tough taks. since i really loved the screamer series several years back, i found myself in a similar mood while playing this rally game.


there wasn’t something really different, a huge amount of data is copied to the harddisc and a patch from the web and the game is ready to run. setting up my momo race wheel is painfull and fails often, so i gave up and went for my gamepad. graphic settings were adjusted to max, nothing else would be interesting for this game ;), for a lc-display i recommend a fixed frame rate and v-synch, but nothing more has to be adjusted

first impression:

there is no doubt that this game is available on a console as well. the main concept aims at controller usage instead of mouse and keyboard. this is not bad at all, the navigation thru the game via keyboard or controller works kind of fine, just going thru whatever level of menues is sometimes a little bit confusing and slow. the navigation is based on pictures, like an album of photos, which may not everybody makes smile. jumping into quick race or just starting a cup isn’t a very sophisticated task, there is hardly something to set-up, pick a location and a car and start the race.


from my perspective, the graphics are nice. not sure if the developer was aiming at a photorealistic look or not, the sceneries are nice and detailed and the overall style is a nice mixture between reality and the former screamer titles. it is not comic but it isn’t as real as RBR or the latest McRae titles. the cars coming with a solid touch, they doesn’t look like toycars but like real cars neither, even if every car reflects an existing model. but maybe that’s due to the missing damage system. depending on the track, the cars get dirty, by mud, sand or snow and even if you change from a very wet and mud area on the track to a part where dry sand is dominating the scene, the car finish changes from wet to dry, which adds a nice effect to the game. the particles, emitted by the cars, like mud, water, sand or snow are a little bit clumpy to my taste, especially in mud you’ve got the impression that someone is throwing fist-sized rocks at you. what i really like is the water which started to appear in the tire-tracks or the ice which is covered by snow at the start of the race. which leads to one of the impressive features of the game, the tire tracks. on surfaces like sand, mud or snow, the tires of the cars are leaving deep treads at the surface which affecting the handling of the car as well. the scenery is lovely and detailed, the gras is shaking when the cars passing it and the tracks are detailed as well, there is a lot of variation and even details like broken tarmac at the border of the road or floated areas giving the game some nice touch. everything is really colorfull, this is absolutly not comparable to nfsc nor motorcity.


well, to talk about physics is maybe not the right approach. sega rally is as close to real world physics as a street car to a race car. there is something which could described as physics but sega rally is a trully arcade game. the different cars behave a little bit different, so there is a difference between front wheel drive, rear wheel drive or all wheel drive and i’ve got the feeling that some lighter cars jump more over the treads than the bigger cars but i won’t bet on this. there are some effects which forces you to drive on some kind of best line, since water, gravel, walls and deep mud slows down the car and if you cross the tire treads the car starts to jump and losses steering ability. there is some small amount of load balancing, so the car reacts to the steering wheel better if you are off throttle, refuses to steer if you are on the brakes and tends to understeer when you are on the throttle. the two main setups, gravel or tarmac, are kind of subtle on mixed tracks, on tarmac-less tracks you won’t go for the tarmac setup and twice versa.


hm, i’m not sure if it is related to my xfi card but i wasn’t able to get out 3d sound, neither from my onboard nor my xfi card. the sound of the engine isn’t bad, the gravel sound is kind of synthetic and too loud and the environmental sounds requires some attention to details. the sound is not bad but compared to burnout or rbr, it is not outstanding.


it is a funny game, it looks nice, it is easy to drive but not too easy to win on certain tracks, it sounds like a classic game and the tracks varies enough to keep driving for a while. the long term motivation is muted a little bit by the lack of settings on the car, just 3 laps per race and kind of short tracks. if you got the pc to handle the game (or the 360) and the game for a few bucks, go for it if you are a fan of arcade racers. if you are looking for colinmcrae, rbr or gtr2 like games, never mind, this is something completly different. nfsu1-2, nfsc, nfsmc people will desperately looking for tuning and pimping.

GTR2, Vista and the green hell

Dienstag, Juni 17th, 2008

motivated by the great performance of my (in the mean time overclocked to 3.5 ghz) system, i went for a set-up session of GTR2.

the first goal was to get a fluid performance. since GTR2 is suffering from stuttering since it’s initial release, i was wondering if there is a chance to minimize this effect. after the test of some settings (graphics) on the nordschleife (latest conversion from the r-factor version) with max cars (68, i think) i found that there is too much variation in terms of frames per second, related to time of day, weather and behavior of the field. to tweak the settings is not really possible, even if i was using a demo to get the same ‚input‘ all the time. i’ve managed to change priority and affinity (click on ’show processes for all users‘ at task manager to change those settings) which shows some impact. the frame rate (just an example) went up from 44 to 48 average after changing priority from normal to very high. by setting priority to realtime, the stuttering was completly gone but the sound stopped to work on my sb xfi card. setting affinity to 1 or 2 cores makes no difference at all.

to get an impression of the impact of different in-game settings, i went for a normal track like Barcelona. here i was testing day-time, night-time and rain. a track like Barcelona isn’t suffering from high quality shadows that much like nordschleife, so this isn’t an issue here. but going into the night, especially in rain, changes the situation drastically. even with just about 30 cars on the track, the frame rate dropped to 20-30 (at 1280×768, 2x aa, 8x anisotropic). neither a reduction of aa nor anisotropic was impacting this, so the limit is the cpu. reducing head light quality rendered the feeling into driveable and because of the stupid flashing interior at headlight max quality, stepping back with the head light quality isn’t such a big visual impact. the lightening of the cars when followed by others is quite minor, a stable framerate not. rain is affecting the performance, i would say, regardless to the graphic settings. i haven’t reduced none of the parameter so that there was a major increase in frame rate. i assume that setting back the special effects may give some benefit but i’ve got a stable frame rate after a few corners.

motivated by this, i’ve started the custom elise cup, which starts at Barcelona and after some practice, i’ve had a very nice race with 18 elises, lot’s of passes and overheated tires 😉 – welcome back GTR2

stay tuned for some more tests soon

review – Alienware 51-7500

Dienstag, Juni 17th, 2008

review Alienware Area 51-7500:

i’ve spent about half an year thinking if i should go for a new pc rig or if i focus myself on consoles. but still fascinated by S.T.A.L.K.E.R, GTR2, Quake 3/4 and ETQW i gave myself a bump and went for a new pc. i mean, the performance of my VAIO notebook (2 GHz, Intel single core, ATI x800 card, 2GB) isn’t that bad but compared to screenshots of above mentioned games, found on different forums, i was always a little bit disappointed. so i started to look around for complete rigs, components and tests. it took less than a week and i was completly lost. i haven’t spent any time into pc stuff for about 5 years now and so i was (and still be) far away from being up-to-date. in the past, i always tend to go for some known brand and i don’t mind to spend a few euros/dollars more to get something which works out of the box. i know, a well known brand is not a guarantee for a running system but my experience isn’t that bad either and spending endless hours to find something which is maybe a handfull of money cheaper does not provide a reasonable pay-off for me because my spare time is limited as well. this doesn’t mean that going for a self-build system is the wrong way, this is up to you.
my goal was to get a system which is a mixture of top-notch and affordable. so i was forced to spent some time to ‚compile‘ the system to my needs. after some searches on the internet i found that Alienware offers what i was looking for. Good base system with a great variety of options. i know that Alienware is a more than well known brand in the gaming scene and the majority of usage for my system is gaming. my budget was not really limited but my personal goal was to stay around the 1200-1400 euro range. finally, i went for this configuration:

Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 – 3,16 GHz 1333 MHz FSB, 6 MB Cache
Motherboard: NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI
Graficprocessor: 512 MB NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT
Memory: DDR2 SDRAM, 800 MHz – 2 GB – 2 x 1024 MB
Harddisc: 250 GB Serial ATA 3 Gbit/s, 7.200 rpm, 16 MB Cache
Optical: 20x Dual Layer DVD+/-RW / 20x CD-RW
Sound: on-board Intel High Definition Audio, 7.1 Surround Sound, S/PDIF-Koaxial digital output
Power: 750 W power supply for multi GPU
OS: Windows Vista Home Premium
Case: Alienware P2-case – Cyborg Green

the quad core cpu and the dual gpu setup was too expensive for my usage (most of the games i’m playing support neither more than one core nor sli graphics) so i went for the 512 mb graphic card instead of the 2×256 sli version and i took the fastest dual core cpu available. the memory is upgradeable to 4 gb (2 banks left) and the gpu can be upgraded by a second one as well if necessary. hard disc isn’t important, i’ve got an external harddisc which stores my stuff.
additional, attracted by the nice demo on the page, i went for the ‚Alienware AlienIce 3.0 Video Cooling + AlienFX system lighting for Windows Vista‘ this provides the option to change and to animate the lighting of the case (the alien skulls, front bay lights and inner lighting) basically, this is a nice feature and i really like such stuff, so i thought, ok, that’s maybe worth the additional money. the possibilities to use the lights start with color, brightness, animation and goes up to change those settings depending on events or applications. unfortunately, the lights are quite flat, means, not very bright and the color fade is not as smooth as you may expect this from a true rgb light. i haven’t spent too much time on this, so maybe i will find the beauty later but at the moment, this feature is not worth the 80€ they charge you for it, even if you count in this additional fan in the side panel to aspirate you graphic card(s). in terms of performance, this money can spend to more usefull things maybe.

nethertheless, back to the main system.
the box in which the system is shipped as to be called huge by no doubt. and with huge, i mean huge. it’s shaped like a half dishwasher and it is about half as heavy as the mentioned kitchen tool. so i lifted up this monster box into my van and started to think about how to unbox this space killer in my 28 square meter flat in which i stay over the week for the job. the best solution was to take out the things i need and to transport the stuff unboxed into the room. after documenting the damage to the package (the postal service didn’t care about that very much) i opened the box, took of the small pieces out of a smaller box and then i removed this smaller box. i was quite shocked. the overall weight of the box was foreshadowing what i should expect but what i found exceeded my imagination by worlds. the rig is soo huge that i was really doubting that this is what i have ordered. i mean, carrying a 17 inch laptop has already shifted my point of view regarding size of computers and within my collection of classical systems, there are some rockies as well but that a modern system is consuming so much space was really beyond my horizon. the next step was to  haul this chunk of metal and semiconductors up to the 4th story (3rd in Germany). i’m really not a couch potato and i’m comfortable to climb up stairs or mountains but to trug this system up wasn’t a pleasure. covered with sweat, avoiding the two dogs between my feed, stumbeling into my flat, i was searching for a place to store this furniture temporally. the place i’ve planned was laughing at me, no way to fit this creature in. fortunately, my wife got stressed by the tightness of the flat as well and started to move things around. so i was able to place the pc close to my desk and i started to connect this million of cables to it. power, network, keyboard, mouse, monitor and sound system, what a pleasure to throw in a laptop into its docking station 😉 since the package was quite damaged, i found myself opening the housing to have a look inside if everything is where it should be. this test offered a nice overview of the construction of the system. very sorted, well designed and very well cooled by some huge fans and cooling ‚towers‘.
turning on the tv (which i use as a monitor) and then pressing the front alien to switch the system on was the following step. a short and impressive gasp of the fans, a flash of the aliens and the system has became alive. the next hour was a huge disappointment. it was kind of a never ending set-up, update, reboot session. the AlienFX system lighting wasn’t working, the settings communicated while ordering weren’t set and to make things worse, there was a microsoft patch day one day before. but that’s the dark side of using a pc. finally, i came to a state where i was
able to ‚use‘ the system the very first time. i was really keen to see something and without hassling with installation of my games including updates i thought it would be nice to have a look on the crysis demo.

the installation of this 1.7 gig file was pretty fast and after a few minutes i started up the game. due to my inpatience, i skipped the intro videos and went straight to the settings menu. hidding the ‚optimal settings‘ button and waiting for the messages to be appear was an action of a second. a red message box appeared and i thought, ups, what’s that? but then i realized the content of the message – games settings has been set to high spec. crysis on max settings? i wasn’t really sure if this is believable and so i started the single player game. the intro wasn’t really fluid, even if it was a little bit hard to spot what was causing this hardware demand. after reaching the beach, the game became much more responsive but kept minor stuttering more or less frequent. i started to roam around a little bit and overall, it was an impressive experience, i have never seen such graphics on one of my systems. after tweaking the graphic settings a little bit (i’ve reduced settings for texture quality and tested the volumetric quality) the game became much more smooth without loosing too much of it’s quality at 1280×768. i was kind of satisfied and went on to the next game because neither far-cry nor crysis can catch my attention for hours, i’m really kind of bored by the concept and the story.

the game i’ve had bought this system for – S.T.A.L.K.E.R. the installation was quite quick as well, the dvd drive and the harddisc are really fast so including the actual update plus the weather overhaul mod it took less than 10 minutes in sum. with some excitement i started the game. what is going to happen now? i went to the settings menu, chose maximum settings, checked the advanced menu if every slider is really on the right and then i started a new game. it takes really a while to start or to load a game without the -noprefetch switch but then the intro video came up. skipping this video, the screen went dark and then the game graphics appeared. i mean, the very first room isn’t really a beauty in terms of graphics but i was amazed tho. but as i have left the underground and stepped into the day i was blown away. i’ve seen a lot of screenshots on the internet before but seeing those graphics in realtime is an absolute different experience. i walked around with an open mouth, it was very fluid and smooth, very few stutterings (typical for stalker) and especially the weather overhaul effects blooming and depth of field are so awesome. while visiting a few places by loading up some savegames i started to relax. this system is what i was looking for.
a day later i was playing with the graphics settings again, and i’m using the global illumination option as well. this has just a minor impact on the graphic quality but no noticable impact on the performance. i will try to record a timedemo within the next days so that i will be able to get some detailed performance data.

confident that i haven’t bought something useless for me and strongened by the former experience, i started to test quake 5 (etqw) and gtr2. q5 was asking for an update, so i started the download of the patch and went for the installation of gtr2.

i’ve downloaded the actual nordschleife already, including all updates, so throwing in the track and starting gtr was a matter of seconds. fortunately, the securom protection accepted my drive and the disc, and the game appeared on the screen. moving every setting to the max and starting a test session on the nordschleife was the next step. i’ve jumped into an opponent car virtually, just to follow the ride on the track. the new nordschleife is really a beauty, the crew has spent so many attention to details, even the bonfires at the camps are burning and the tarmac textures are really nice. the trees are quite variant and well placed and the overall feeling of the landscape and the shape of the track is amazing. the frame rate was varying between 80-60 fps which is acceptable for this graphic monster of track. so i became a little bit more brave and went back to the race menu. same track, same graphic settings but 68 opponents. loading took a little bit longer and the time until the garage became responsive was a little bit longer as well. jumping into the car and checking the fps was the following action. the display was showing 25-30 fps, a small downstep in exitement. but i know, the nordschleife is very demanding at max shadow settings, especially when you surrounded by 40 visible cars. skipping the intro lap and switching to the ai driver gave me a chance to watch. after the common ‚wreck at least 10 cars within the first corners‘ gtr bullshit, the field started to become wider and the framerate went up to 30-40 fps. that is really ok for me and by tweaking the shadow settings, the performance is even better. unfortunately, simbin was never able to remove the stuttering from the game, which is really noticable during ai driver or replay but not so distracting while driving, so this problem still exists, and the track cam performance is still lower than in-car performance which also is still lower than on-the-hood cam. really a strange graphic enginge. another teardrop is the sudden crash after half of the track. this does not happen with less cars, so i have to check if this is related to the cars in the field or what’s the reason for this behavior. the lag of multi core/thread support is really a major minus because the cpu load is really heavy, so the dual core cpu does not have any effect for this game.

Enemy Territory – Quake Wars
this game concept isn’t really what i prefer but the fast paced action in combination of being a strogg makes this game attractive for me as well. same procedure, all graphic settings to max and jumping into the action. i’ve started the america level, same as the demo, because i’ve spent a lot of time to tweak the settings on my vaio notebook until this level became ‚playable‘. the first wow in-game is the graphic of the arm and the weapon, this is really amazing. the stroggs are so well designed and the graphic is so ‚realistic‘, i kept minutes just to watch the bots and myself. then i went out of the tunnel and everything was just so cool. etqw isn’t a game where you pay too much attention to the landscape, so i will not compare the graphics to stalker or crysis, it’s too different. but all the buildings, vehilces and player characters are really nice and very detailed. the game wasn’t showing any weakness in performance, only in spectator mode with the cam high above the ground, the motion becomes less fluid. but especially for this type of game, i’m not looking for extreme antialiasing nor anisotropic settings, so by stepping back a little bit, the game is more than fluid, smooth and responsive. and as usual for id-games games, it supports the dual core cpu very well.

Quake 3 Arena
for some of you may this appears a little bit odd but i’m a very passioned q3a player and at max settings for antialiasing and anisotropic, this game was still causing problems on my laptop. so i was looking forward to the performance on my new system. this test session became a little bit wierd because nothing of the graphic settings, neither in-game nor gpu configuration was showing any impact on the game performance. i have looked the frame rate to 60 hz, like my display and the showed framerate of 60 fps was like a static texture. so i’ve set the max frame rate to 100, nothing, same behavior, constant 100 fps. i went for 500, a few levels started to show an impact, the frame rate was between 300-500. by reducing antialiasing and anisotropic filtering, i was able to get 1000 fps without loosing too much graphic quality. this is really insane. by whatever reason, q3 refused to run in smp mode (multiprocessor mode) but i would say, i can life with this 😉

Plasma Pong
maybe not everybody is aware of this game. this game won a party competition 2007 and it is really funny to play and especially to watch. the game is a simple pong version but in a kind of fluid environment with different forces influending the fluid and the particel system. it is a nice performance check as well, because you can adjust the quality of the fluid, colors and particles in a broad range, so this game can be fitted to almost every system. and surprising, i was able to force the system to 40-45 fps by using 40000 particles. stepping back to 20000, which is not really noticable because still too much for my 1280×768 resolution, the game was running stable at 60 fps.

final comments:
for the mentioned games, this system is more than usable. except GTR2, none of the games were showing major problems in terms of performance. even for higher demands in fps, adjusting some of the graphic settings in-game (texture size for example is hardly noticable at 1280×768) or by tweaking some of the gpu settings it is really easy to adjust the performance to personal needs without loosing too much quality.
the overall design of the system is nice if not outstanding. in my personal opinion, the case is too huge compared to the stuff which can be found inside and without any doubts, the whole rig is too heavy to care it to somewhere frequently. if you are looking for a game party rig, i would recommend to go for a laptop. at this price tag, you will not get a system comparable to this pc system but enough performance to play current games at parties where superior graphics isn’t that important. the quality of the case is great, the look is not cheap and the front bay door is very solid. unfortunately, the dvd drive can’t push the bay door to open, you have to do this before ejecting your media.
the noiselevel even under heavy load is acceptable, i was expecting much more noise. the case provides front sockets for 2x usb, mic in, earphone and firewire(?) and on the rear all the necessary network connections, usb again, sound (analog, digital)
what i dislike is the on-board sound. i haven’t found a possibility to use the s/pdif in surround mode. even my old xbox doesn’t struggle with this but to get 6 channel (or max 8 channel) sound you have to wire your digital sound rig by 6-8 wires (3-4 if using stereo cables, which is required due to the stereo jacks) if you are using a sound set with single channels inputs you have to use special cables or if your sound set is using a different input design than fr/fl, rr/rl, center/sub, r/l.
the AlienFX lighting is a nice add-on, especially when you use this for alerts or different light setups depending on applications/games. but overall, the light experience is too weak, the alien skulls are ok but not outrageous, the case light is by far too weak and the bay light suffers from a strong rgb separation at the top and illuminating a green housing with something different than white or green doesn’t make much sense anyway. the illumination of the frontside sockets lights back into the case, which distorts the inner case lighting once more.
software: i went for the vista home premium because alienware wants to charge you additional 80 euros if you want xp on the system. beside this, directx10 may become more and more used for games in the future and especially for gaming, i don’t care that much about the system as long as it is not too different in terms of performance. so the rig comes with everything related to vista plus some additional software like powerdvd (with multichannel support), nero plus lightscripe application. additional, the AlienFX lighting application which refuses to work suddenly which requires a turn-off reboot or it doesn’t start up at all, causing vista to show usb mal-function messages, which requires a turn-off reboot as well.
i bought an Alienware usb stick as well, 4gb for 40 euros. the stick is fast, about 5-6 mb/s for writing and up to 20 mb/s for reading. even the rally stick (not rally2)isn’t that much faster.
additional, the package included a mouse pad, rigid style but very nice surface, a alienware basecap, which i would call cheap in quality and a small ‚filofax‘-style handbook and a few cd’s/dvd with drivers and system restore.
if the system is worth the money is quite hard to judge and it’s up to you if you want to spend about 1300 euros for this configuration. my impression is that you will get a similar system for maybe 200-300 euro less if you go to build it yourself but i’m not an expert, i see myself as an user. 4 weeks of delivery time is definitely too much, especially when the delivery date was promised 2 weeks earlier during the ordering process. the flaws with the initation of the system are not nice as well as the heavy and oversized case. would i buy it again? i’m not sure but in terms of being not really satisfied with the overall alienware service i think the next system will be a homebuild system again. but i think i can use the current rig for the next years when i want to keep track with graphic cards or by placing in some additional memory. not sure if i can exchange the cpu but someone with more knowledge will tell me this when the time is right.


Dienstag, Juni 17th, 2008

very long time no update to this blog, i was fully allocated with very different things. the last summer was asking for some more real life action with my smart roadster. so we have visited 3 different race tracks and i have spent some time to optimize the suspension. the winter placed me into the snow, i have really enjoyed my new passion – snowboarding.

but finally, i’ve bought myself a complete new system for gaming. it took some weeks to come to the decision if i go for a new console or a new pc rig. beside the nintendo wii, which has stepped in recently, i went for an Alienware pc. see the review section for a description of the system. this pc brought back GTR2 into the spot and so i have started to spend some time with this sim. the game runs quite well on the 3.5 ghz (oc) system but still suffers from stuttering. but it is more enjoyable than playing the game on my vaio tho. more news to come.