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Member Since 09 Oct 2005
Offline Last Active Nov 15 2018 08:11 AM

Topics I've Started

[SOLD] MSI GTX 670 Power Edition (x2) $100 Shipped

29 October 2018 - 09:07 AM

[SOLD] Only one card left.  Sold one of two.  Remaining card $50 shipped in the USA.


Hey guys.  I've done some parts swapping on my primary rig and pulled (2) MSI GTX 670 Power Edition cards from service.  These are matching cards - exact same BIOS, exact same clocks etc. and are in excellent condition.


I was running them in SLi and would like to sell both together, but will split them up if someone has use for just a single card.


$100 for both cards shipped in the USA (continental) and I'll throw in a SLi bridge as well.







Need Extra Windows 7 Pro 32-bit Key

31 January 2018 - 08:04 AM

Hey gang.  Does anyone have an unused Windows 7 Pro 32-bit activation key?  I've pulled an old laptop out of retirement to take a trip next week and need to do a fresh install, but I've lost my activation key over the years.


If you have one you're willing to part with please send me a PM.





Spectre - Meltdown Security Vunerabilities

23 January 2018 - 12:49 PM

So as most everyone knows by now, earlier this month it became public knowledge that there are a couple of potential exploit risks that exist in processors released in the last 20 years or so.  Initially it was reported that only Intel processors were at risk, but as the investigation has broadened it appears that some AMD and ARM processors could be vulnerable as well.  I'm placing this here in the OS:Microsoft section since we have a large group of enthusiasts that are running Intel and/or AMD processors and also happen to be on some version of the Windows operating system.


As it applies to reports of performance degradation, I've installed the updates on five different Windows 10 Pro (64) machines running various Intel processors from an Intel E6550 up to an Intel I7 3770K.

In day to day use all of the machines appear to be functioning exactly as they were with the exception of my main gaming machine (which I'll get to in a minute).  The four remaining machines are used in fairly standard fare, web browsing, emails etc.


My primary gaming rig presented an interesting case study however.  The release of the security updates coincided with my installation of two new SSDs to replace an aging SSD Raid0 array.  The new SSD array was installed and the PC was bench marked prior to the release of the security patches.  Initial disk benchmarks were exactly where I had expected them to be.  Sequential read / write, random read / write 4K, que depths etc. were all on par with claimed OEM specifications and the small set of data I was able to find online from reviews and other end users.  Subsequent to my fresh install and bench marking activities, Microsoft released the January, 2018 security patches.  Since I had anecdotal evidence that there could be some system slowdowns based on what I was reading, I decided to re-run my entire suite of bench mark tests.  On my gaming rig all of the synthetic graphics and productivity bench marks were in line with what they were prior to the security patches.  In some cases the benchmark results were slightly better, in others they were slightly worse, but each within the margin of error or repeatability.  The one anomaly I observed was in the disk tests.  Regardless of the bench mark suite used (AS SSD, ATTO, Crystal Disk) my random read speed and random write speeds decreased after the security patches were installed.  This was especially evident on the AS SSD 4K test where my speed dropped from 38 MB/s to 27 MB/s.  Sequential performance, higher que depths and access times remained within the margin of error.  Scratching my head on these results, I broke the array, secure erased each SSD, rebuilt the array and installed Windows again, but left my network cable unplugged so Windows couldn't automatically download and apply the updates.  I re-ran the tests again.  SSD Raid0 array at 4K returned to the same as it was after my initial install.  Then I connected my network cable and Windows downloaded and applied the updates.  I then ran the tests again.  My first observation wasn't an anomaly, 4K random performance dropped again after applying the updates.  I don't have any explanation, but it appears that the patches do have an impact on random disk performance (at least on SSDs and/or RAID arrays).  Fortunately, other than the synthetic disk benchmark goes, nothing else seems amiss. 


Now, my older AMD laptop with an nVidia MCP77 chipset and AMD Athlon X2 processor was a completely different animal all together.  The January security patches completely broke that machine and put it into a "no-boot" condition.  After my 3rd reinstall with the same results I finally found a Microsoft patch that fixed that problem.  For those of you suffering the same situation with older AMD based gear, find this update; 





Windows 10 Anniversary Update

12 June 2017 - 08:39 AM

Just a word of caution.  This weekend I figured it was time to recharge my personal laptop and let Windows 10 grab all the updates from the last several months.  It's probably been at least 3 months since I've had this particular laptop booted up.


Back when Win10 was still a free upgrade I installed Win10 Pro on my HTPC, Gaming Rig, wife's newer Asus laptop and this MSI laptop.  Things were going splendidly on all of those rigs until the Anniversary Update on my MSI laptop over the weekend.  


Windows did the update and afterwords it started taking my laptop 8-10 minutes to boot up.  I reinstalled all of my hardware drivers, did a rollback etc. but all attempts left my laptop in this constant startup delay.


Long story short, I got pissed off, formatted the hard drive and reinstalled Windows 7 Pro (using my original key by the way).  Had to contact MS Activation Server but that went without a hitch. 

Windows 10 Speaker Configuration

05 June 2017 - 07:32 AM

Here is my setup;



AMD HD5770 HDMI Out to;

Pioneer VSX-518-K AV/R

Pioneer VSX518 Out to 5.1 speaker configuration

Windows 10 Pro


My Pioneer has auto input detection and here are my various scenarios;


1. Windows 10 configure speaker setup as "stereo"

Windows 10 outputs two channel stereo via HDMI to my AV/R.  AV/R shows Dolby Digital input and outputs sound to all 5.1 channels regardless of source i.e. Netflix (via browser), Amazon video (via browser) or any other streaming type website.  It also does the same if I'm playing back movies from my movie library.  But my gut feel is that the surround is simulated and not true since the source is only two channel. Anyone know if that is a correct assumption?


2. Windows 10 configure speaker setup as "5.1"

Windows 10 outputs 2.0 or 5.1 audio via HDMI to my AV/R dependent on the original source material.  If the source is 2.0 then the playback is 2.0.  If the source is 5.1 then the playback is 5.1.  The strange thing in this configuration my AV/R detects input as PCM regardless of the source.  If I use the Windows 10 Netflix app, I get 5.1 channel playback if the source material has 5.1 or higher audio tracks.  If I use a browser for playback I only get stereo - my guess is that Netflix via browser doesn't support HTML 5 or Silverlight.  All Amazon video only plays back in two channel if I've got the speakers configured as 5.1. That is probably an Amazon video thing and might not have anything to do with the OS or hardware.


3. When playing bluray I use PowerDVD and have it configured to passthrough audio directly to the AV/R.  This results in my Pioneer AV/R detecting DTS or Dolby Digital depending on the source and passing the audio onto my speakers without interference.  Playback sounds perfect.


So for all you running HTPCs and Windows 10, how is your speaker setup configured in Windows 10?  Are you set to 2.0 Stereo or 5.1?  Does any of your gear exhibit the same behavior as mine or am I on a boat all alone?


IYHO what is the correct speaker setup configuration in Windows 10 when using an AV/R to decode and transmit the audio to your multi-channel speaker setup?