Monday, September 7, 2009

I haz DPS!

Friday afternoon, between doing nothing and watching my kids, I decided to install Windows 7 RC (64-bit) on my workstation. This is an upgrade in many ways from the Vista MC 32-bit release I had been running. This upgraded now allows Windows to use my entire processor, and not just half of it. Now I could potentially run 8gb of RAM, up from my current 3gb.

The biggest issue I had with the upgrade, is that it pointed out a failure with my video card. Immediately after the OS finished installing, my system rebooted, and started beep-beep-beeping. It would then fail and sit at a black screen. No BIOS, no Winders, nothing.

First pass, I thought maybe Windows 7 didn't support my computer for some reason, or I had a lose bit of hardware. So I popped off the case and re-seated my video adapter and ram, and removed the TV tuner card and modem from the PC (who uses modems anyway?? it came standard). 3 go around and no response. I let it set until the next morning, despondent, I buttoned up the PC, and pushed it back into my desk. For kicks, I pushed the power button and was happily greeted with the HP BIOS screen, and then Windows loading normally. WooHoo! No issue, guess I flooded it and just needed to let it set.

Loaded up all the Windows updates, and installed Office, Warcraft and moved all my documents over. Reboot the PC and the issue pops back up. Beep-beep-beep. Hmm, ok, this looks familiar, but, now I realize the BIOS screen not loading is most likely tied to the video card or KVM cable I am running. More likely the video adapter since it popped up rather sudden and the PC hardly EVER moves.

Visit to the local Best Buy and I picked up a NVidia GEForce GTS250 on sale for $40 off.This 1GB card, replaced a NVidia GEForce 2200 (with 128mb RAM). Talk about an upgrade! Windows 7 Performance Tools reports now my video card is a 6.9, up from a 3.5. (Next upgrade, high-performance hard drive and more RAM.)

For WoW, this means 3 changes.
  1. I am comfortably able to increase my video display quality from LOW quality to Ultra and not see any performance degredation. In fact my in-game Frame Per Second (fps) went from an average of 5-15fps, to well over 60-100fps (depending on location.)
  2. No more lag. During moments of high activity on the screen, my frame rates would drop through the floor. I was even getting to the point when I would be disconnected from the game and have to logon back on to. Now with 75fps, I see and react almost instantly to what's on the screen.
  3. Quicker reaction, better quality display = increase to DPS. With my last run through COS and VOA, my average DPS was in the neighborhood of 1500. Last night after my hardware upgrades, I am seeing 3000 to 4000 dps on the boss fights. In Recount, I was the #5 toon, in a 25-man VOA doing damage, right behind the tanks and melee classes.
After our very successful VOA run last night (Koralon, Emalon and Arcavon), I am only 2 Emblems of Courage short of my T8 helm (+43 to my Wow-Heroes score?!?!) and only 4 Emblems of Triumph from a new (25-emblem) #2-inclass wand.

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