New Video Card: Radeon R9 280

  • Posted on: August 30, 2014
  • By: Keiya
  • Category:

I had originally intended to replace my aging video card (HD 6870) shortly after building my current machine about 2 or so years ago but instead, ended up holding off on that for quite some time. I guess I just never felt like it was necessary to upgrade my card, given that I have been able to run most settings for most games at high until fairly recently.

It’s not like my old card was going bad per se, but it idled at about 55 celcius, was fairly loud, and was performing below the curve; I mean, having to drop any graphical setting down to medium in order to achieve minimally acceptable framerates just isn’t right. So after a short excursion to Fry’s, I picked up an Asus Radeon R9 280 for $189. Anyway, the new card runs notably quieter, cooler, and faster than my previous card. I loaded a few games and instead of barely pushing 30 to 45 FPS on a mix of medium to high settings, I can pretty much just max everything out without worrying about dropping below 60 FPS.

As a side note, the fan intake filters on my machine apparently work pretty well. There was a surprisingly low amount of dust for a machine that sits within 3 feet of a screen door and hasn’t been opened since it was built.

Ring Bonus 2: Keiya Needs a Beer

Today we discuss media (mostly anime) that we have enjoyed watching lately and lament the summer lull in everything that we normally enjoy watching. The idea for this show was to do: General gaming and geek culture news, things that we found interesting on the internet this week, airsoft news/after action report for games that we attended if any, then the main show topic for the rest of the episode. I am pretty sure that we almost stuck to the show schedule, yay! Other topics discussed are:

As always, thank you for listening and please feel free to subscribe to the show.

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Ring Bonus 1: About Us

My husband and I have been casually flirting with the idea of starting a couples podcast about things that we like to do (mainly, gaming and airsoft) for quite some time. Recently, we finally decided to go through with it and make it happen. A microphone was purchased this weekend and we recorded our first somewhat awkward pilot episode. Topics discussed are:

This episode is more of a proof of concept and technical test than anything else I suppose. We are still working on the actual show structure and schedule; We would very much like to have some consistent format to follow. In future episode, you can look forward to less disorganization and us not sitting ass far away from the microphone by leaning back on the couch.

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Updated Sims 4 Wishlist

In lieu of the post embargo Sims 4 news influx, here’s a an updated list/commentary on things that I would like to see in The Sims 4. First and foremost, despite the lack of swimming pools, toddlers, and the other numerous features that were cut, what I really really want from The Sims 4 above all else is a more stable base engine. By stable I mean, a game engine that doesn’t corrupt saves or critically glitch out regularly and with every expansion pack.

If EA/Maxis can release a game that isn’t plagued by constant technical and memory issues (like The Sims 3 and predecessors), that’s a major kudos in my book even if it comes at the expense of other features. Along the lines of performance and more intelligent sims, I would love it if The Sims 4 had better pathing so that half of the day isn’t spent resolving a conflict between two sims attempting to pass through the same door or stuck elsewhere in the neighborhood.

Genetics

I would love to see genetics return to The Sims 4 (to my understanding, it has). The Sims 2 had an actual simulated genetics system in which dominant and recessive phenotypes were passed down from parents to children for hair, eyes, and skin tones. If I recall correctly, personality traits could also be inherited as well. Genetics in the Sims 3 were grossly simplified. Instead of using a genetics system, randomly chosen characteristics were chosen from the parents as well as previous generations. There is unfortunately, a fairly high chance of mutation, 10% if I recall correctly. I would for example, receiving blond haired children from a family of brunettes. That’s not to mention odd problems such as dyed hair being passed down to children.

Unique/distinct personalities

Looking forward to playing with the emotions system. I did see one gameplay video however (forgot which one, my bad) stating that Maxis had put a lot of time and effort into the new emotion facial expressions and animations that were unfortunately, often missed given that many simmers tend to toggle between pause and max speed.

Better town customization tools

It does not appear that we are going to get any sort of official world building tool any time soon but from the previews that were just released, it appears that you will be able to edit public lots on the fly without having to exit out into town edit mode, select a lot, etc. Kind of similar to how you would enter build mode on your own lot.

The return of in-game storytelling tools

If I recall correctly, one of the previous sims games (it was either the first or second) had an in-game photo album that would allow you to select screenshots, annotate them, and even export/upload the album to the sims exchange. I would love to see a feature like that return in The Sims 4.

Odds and Ends: July 25th 2014

There's just not a whole lot of new and interesting media to play or watch now, is there? I say that as I am thumbing through my ginourmous backlog of purchased, undownloaded, and unplayed Steam games. I think the only new titles releasing anytime soon that I am looking forward to playing would be The Sims 4 (even though I know that it is a complete money trap) and Destiny.

Hearthstone
As just about everyone on the internet is aware, Curse of Naxxramas went live this past Tuesday and as such, I picked up Hearthstone again. I am having fun with my paladin taunt deck and hunter zoo deck though unfortunately, since I never played all that much in the first place, I still have quite a few cards to unlock before I can build the decks that I really want. I am pretty dead set on not spending any real life money purchasing card packs so, a lot of play time ahead.

Ingress
It’s like a multi-player faction vs faction version of Nintendo 3DS StreetPass. Mechanically, there’s not a whole lot to it other than opening the app and clicking on a Portal of there happens to be one nearby. The only actual element of skill involved, if you can even call it skill, is the amount of time that you have spent tapping on your phone and happening to live or work close to a portal. But that said, it’s actually a lot of fun and apparently absolutely everyone I know plays. I really like how Ingress encourages community play and the visitation of places that they may not have considered visiting if it wasn’t for the game. Just about every mural, statue, and public art display has a portal so at some point in the near future, I will probably go walking around, looking at art, and tapping on my phone. Oh: This game eats battery life.

Clash of Clans
I am currently TH5 and at the point where upgrading things takes at least a day if not multiple days so play time for this particular title has slowed down drastically as I don't really want to upgrade to TH6 without upgrading everything to as close as max as possible.