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Member Since 09 Oct 2005
Offline Last Active May 23 2017 11:48 AM

Topics I've Started

GTX 960 4Gb SLi Project

09 May 2017 - 11:12 AM

Back Story:

Last weekend I had another set of fans on my MSI GTX 670 PE OC go bad.  I have had two of these cards in SLI since 2013 and this is the second card that the fans have quit working.  The GTX 670s have MSI's TwinFrozr cooling systems on them.  I had to replace the fans on the first card last year and now I'm back at it again on card number 2.  In both instances I've had to order the fan replacements online and wait for their arrival.  In the meantime I've always just slapped a PCIe slot fan cooler in place as a temporary solution and waited for the replacements.


Since I was overly a bit frustrated dealing with this for a second time I figured I was going to start shopping for video cards.  I ran across a fairly decent deal on some Zotac GTX 960 4Gb Amp! Edition cards so I figured what the heck, added them to my cart and checked out.  I couldn't see plopping down the going prices for a single 1070 or 1080 and I haven't been a red team guy since I can't remember when.  (disclaimer - I do have an AMD card in my HTPC   :))


So I'm going to compare the performance of my GTX 670s in SLi to the new GTX 960s in SLi.  Power consumption should be way down, and at least the fans should work   :)   I hope.


Ran a few benchmarks on my 670s in the last week.



3DMark 11

Uningine Heaven 4.0


And I know exactly how the 670s perform in BF4.  It will be interesting to see if the new GTX 960 4Gb cards in SLi can hold a candle to the old guard GTX 670s.  


I only game at 1920 x 1080 but I am on a 144Hz monitor.

RANT: Facebook..........

05 April 2017 - 06:52 AM

So Traci (my better half) is a pretty avid FB user........... probably too avid if I say so myself.  Yesterday her account was suspended because she posted two of my air pellet rifles for sale in a closed group called NWA Yard Sales.


So apparently FB is suspending users who post anything related to the selling of pellet guns, bb guns, airsoft guns etc.  Since I was uneducated in the matter I did a little research this morning and apparently FB updated those policies back in early 2016.  


I know that FB is an optional / voluntary social platform, but this has gotten ridiculous IMHO.  People can post up pictures of naked women claiming it is art, people can live stream sexual assaults using the FB Live feature, but they suspend a 50 year old grandma's account for posting up pellet rifles for sale in a closed local yard sale group.


What is this world coming to?

Windows 10 Pro - UAC Oddity

19 May 2016 - 12:29 PM

So being down with a broken foot the last two weeks, I decided to upgrade the next to last Windows 7 PC on my home network. This is my primary use / gaming PC (originally running Windows 7 Pro).  OS installation was fresh (not an overwrite or upgrade) using one of my valid Windows 7 Pro keys from an obsolete installation.  Installation package extracted from Microsoft ISO download and the latest update released in November 2015 (rev 1511 if memory serves me correctly).  Electronic digital entitlement and activation went fine.  In fact every step of the change from Win7 Pro to Win10 Pro went off without a hitch.


I've worked through the minor System Event critical error notices (mostly DCOM related) and for the most part the machine is doing everything splendidly.  However, last night I was changing my UAC account control from "minimal interruption" to "no interruption" and the machine just hangs for 3-4 minutes not allowing me to select the "Yes" option to select the changed setting.  Eventually it will take, but I'd sure like to figure out what is causing the hiccup.


Wondering if anyone else has noticed similar behavior.  This is my sixth Windows 10 Pro installation and the only one that exhibits this behavior.

Windows 10 Netflix, YouTube Streaming - Choppy Playback

18 August 2015 - 09:03 AM

So I've been off work for a couple of days due to a stress fracture in my foot.  Since I had some spare time I decided to "upgrade" my laptop and HTPC from Windows 7 / Windows 8.1 respectively to Windows 10.


A couple of things I learned;


1.  If you want the "free" upgrade you need to do an in place upgrade first (i.e. install over an existing installation of Windows 7 or higher).  You can still choose not to keep anything and get a fairly fresh installation, but if you choose any option other than "Upgrade this PC" and try to do a full fresh install you won't ever get activated (at least I couldn't).


2.  After doing an in-place upgrade, you can do a complete fresh install from a USB drive or other installation media and Windows 10 will activate correctly.  If you decide to go this route, you'll still be prompted to enter your license code at two different prompts, however you can choose "skip" and "do this later" respectively and once the OS is installed and you have internet connectivity W10 should activate almost immediately.  WARNING:  Make sure that the upgrade installation has activated prior to attempting a fresh install.  Apparently the activation process ties a "digital" footprint of your hardware configuration to your W10 activation key.  Once that sync takes place you should be good to go on a fresh install or any re-installs after that.


3.  Entering your valid Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 license key won't get you anywhere.


4.  Calling the MS Activation hotline and claiming ignorance in the update path won't get you anywhere.


5.  W10 has an impressive driver store.  My laptop is about 9 years old now, has an old AMD dual core processor, MSI mainboard and nVidia 9600M GT discrete graphics card.  After installation I was only missing the co-processor driver and card reader drivers.  Surprisingly enough W7 drivers worked find for those two items (go figure).


6.  Netflix and YouTube streaming is terrible using Edge, IE11 and even the W10 Netflix app that I got from the Microsoft store.  Buggy, lagging, video freezes while sound continues to play etc.  I tried lots of different ideas over the last three days to resolve this.  I messed with adapter settings, tried various gpu and network adapter drivers from W7, W8 and everything I could find for W10 but nothing worked.  I finally gave up and installed Google Chrome (which is my normal default browser anyway) and online streaming finally started working close to as well as it does on W7 or W8.1


I really wanted to give the default W10 browsers and apps a chance to shine, but apparently they aren't quite ready for prime time yet.  


7. I'm having similar problems with web browsing.  Edge and IE11 don't scroll smoothly and some web pages take a long time to render.  And, while you're waiting for a page to render you can't do much of anything else until that process is completed.


8.  After ditching Edge and switching to Google Chrome as the default browser things are going a little better.  I opted for Panda Free Cloud AV over Defender and will continue to use Google Chrome until MS rolls out some updates that address the issues with the stock box Windows browsers.


While I'm still discovering new things and familiarizing myself with navigation within the new OS, it isn't as daunting as it seemed when I went from Windows 7 to Windows 8.


Left clicking the start button brings up a hybrid start menu including tiles, but you still have access to your apps alphabetically on the left hand side of the Start screen.  Right clicking the start button brings up a fairly familiar list of apps and utilities that many power users find useful.


There are a lot of other more in-depth and better reviews of the new OS available, but I wanted to get a "first impressions" list out there for my fellow community members and as a reference point for myself in the future.


I can't comment on gaming performance as that isn't a priority on my laptop or HTPC.  With that being said, I'm going to wait a while before doing anything with my primary PC or Server.


I've read multiple instances of people having issues with OEM license keys of W7, W8 or 8.1 and the upgrade process.  I'm not sure what the solution is there, all of my W7 and W8 keys were retail software keys.  

Android MX Player AC3 Codec

18 March 2015 - 10:53 AM

For us Android junkies around here.........


Some of you may have noticed if you have recently updated MX Player for your android device that it no longer plays AC3 audio when playing back a video file encoded with AC3 audio.  Apparently there were some licensing problems and that resulted in the MXPlayer author having to remove AC3 support.


Courtesy of the custom devs over at XDA there is a working solution:




I've used this codec on the last two releases of MX Player and it works well (both on Kit Kat and Lollipop).