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Finally, my DS review!

Post Date: 2009-02-07

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Gringo View Drop Down
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  Quote Gringo Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Topic: Finally, my DS review!
    Posted: 07 Feb 2009 at 1:27am
Well, hello there DS and forum visitors.

My specs: Asus P6T Deluxe, Sapphire RADEON 4870X2 2 gig, IntelCore I7 920 OCed *with Stage 2 AIR cooling Cooler Master V8, 6 gigs Corsair Dominator DHX 1333mhz memory triple channel , 750W Corsair power supply, Internal Digital media Reader, Asus Xonar D2X sound card, 150gb Western Digital Velocripator, 500 gb western Digital HD

My review is going to be concise I hope. My experience with this system has been more pleasant than bad thankfully, and the bad parts have to do mostly for my initial tampering with the system. After an uncle ordered the system for me in the states, I waited patiently for it to arrive at it's destination in Miami. Once it arrived, I traveled there for a week to unpack, check it out, test it (install my software & games), and then pack it up again and return to Ecuador. That happened last week.  When I first saw the machine past thursday, I was pleasently surprised. It was a big ass machine, like nothing I'd never seen. It was imposing, and heavy, which is good. People who see it KNOW it's no ordinary thing.

After unpacking, I plugged it in for first boot up. This is were I got my first bad feelings about the purchase: First of all the boot time was insanely long.. much longer than my nearly 5 year old Pentium4 WinXp system. In this sense, the machine was, and still is a dissapointment. It seems it is a problem about the ASUS P6T motherboard bios detecting the card reader kinda slowly, which hopefully will be sorted out soon. The only solution for the moment is to unplug the card reader, which is kind of dumb, as i lose it's functionality. As you can see, this has nothing to do with DS, but at least I would have liked to recieve a warning of some sort regarding this issue. If i buy a 3000+ $ system, I expect it to boot up very fast, at least faster than what it's replacing. Well anyways, I hope this gets amended soon.

The next issue I felt was the noise: It is loud enough to be annoying. It sounds like a tornado if the Radeon 4870X2 fans kick in. But since I use headphones, then the problem is easily forgotten. Maybe as a suggestion, DS can research some ways to make their machines more quiet? Not Mac Pro quiet, but quieter than the average pc... just a suggestion remember guys :)

Once the bios stopped loading, vista 64 home premium kicked in. It loads kind of slow too, but it's way faster than the bios/dos startup. At first boot up, everything was snappy, I registered my devices, and connect to the web to download updates. Thankfully, in Miami, my cousin had a blazing fast web connection, so all updates, and my steam games downloaded in less than an hour (basically the Dawn of War 2 Beta, & FEAR 2 demo). I started installing my apps, and also some of my own games (UT3, Fallout3, CoD4).Here I saw at ATI's website that their drivers were updated about a day before, so I decided to update them aswell. Then I tried testing the games. The first i tried was UT3. It wouldn't load up. But it turned out to be a OpenAl problem, directly related with the ut3 game engine (so DS is not a fault here). I fixed that, and the game would start, but the graphics would be messy, or it would completely lock up, and exit back to the desktop, or it would crash the machine, and i would have to manually restart. Every game would do this.Sometimes I would get lucky, and the game would play fine for a couple of minutes, but then, the ATI display driver would restart itself (and hang everything in the process). As you might guess, I was getting very desperate. This was the beggining of a 2 day troubleshooting nightmare, which you can read more about here:http://digitalstormonline.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=5644&PN=1

After that was sorted out a bit (thanks for the help of DS phone support of course), I decided to manually reinstall everything using the DS backup image that came with the system. Everything was smooth from then on. I configed the fan temps to adjust themselves manually with Rivatuner, and the thing is great: now it doesn't sound like a hurricane all the time (only when I game). The ATI driver keeps crashing a lot, but after some fixes i found on the internet (basically i just did one that involved uninstalling a post SP1 vista update), the crashing isn't as frequent. Hopefully this will become resolved in the future.

Now to the KICK ASS part: I can't believe how fast my design apps respond in a 64bit environment, with all the hardware I configed.And they are still 32bit apps. can't wait to get my hands on 64bit versions. It's amazing... stuff that would hang my older design workstation now work blazing fast. Everybody who knows a thing or two about design knows that Adobe apps aren't friendly with hardware, but this machine just dominates the hell out of them, no matter what I throw at them. For example I imported a 10000+ photo library into an app called Lightroom (which thankfully is 64bit), and it took no more than 10 minutes). It definitly is a good working machine, and I'm glad I made the investment. Games are also great: Fallout 3 full res, ultra settings is amazing. The same goes with UT3 and DOW2. Everything runs beautifully, with high fps (unless the driver crashes). Thankfully vista fixes the driver restarts pretty fast (the game just stalls for a bit), or else this would have been a very serious issue).I'm using 1900x1200res 24inch HP LP2475w lcd by the way (kick ass as well!), perfect for color conscious folk (photographers for example). , and gaming never looked so good for me!

As a very positive stuff, the machine was packaged very well, and the binder that comes with it is a nice touch. The boot image install instructions are totally different though, so I hope that changes soon, for the sake of newer customers. The travel back to ecuador was rough, but since I repacked it the way it came (including the interior foam bags), everything was just as how i first opened it in Miami.

Well enough text for now.. here come the pics of my setup in my studio, and screenshots of my desktop and some stats..

The beast at first sight... welcome to Miami baby!



Slowwwwww first boot.....


Workstation setup in my studio in Quito, Ecuador, Southamerica.



A screenshot of desktop:


CPUZ and HWMonitor



By the way, what do you guys think of those HWMon stats?? Do they look ok? Also the OC that you can see in CPUZ is strange.. the instant the program is opened, those numbers can be seen, but immediatly aftewards the numbers lower to 2.4, 1.8ghz, something like that. Is something wrong with CPUZ? or is it my system?

I think that's about.. despite the trouble, thanks DS for the great product & support!!

Best regards,
GRINGO.


Edited by Gringo - 07 Feb 2009 at 1:30am
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<8) slunK parade View Drop Down
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  Quote <8) slunK parade Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 07 Feb 2009 at 1:35am
yay someone with a good camera
love the first pic
no internal pics ;'(
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  Quote Gringo Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 07 Feb 2009 at 1:46am
I'll take one later today.. there isn't much to brag about though ;)
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  Quote DST4ME Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 07 Feb 2009 at 3:45am
very nice

your temps are great but temp that are underload are the ones that count.

you have speed step enabled, which rests your cpu when it does need to work hard but when you need the juice it wakes up and goes to full power
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  Quote Gringo Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 Feb 2009 at 4:32pm
hey man, thanks for that info.... hey DS moderators, how come this hasn't been moved already to the DS Review subforum?You guys have problems with not 100% perfect reviews?
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 Feb 2009 at 4:53pm
Of course not, it just got stuck in the pile of threads.
 
Moved to the area now. Great system! Ermm
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  Quote DST4ME Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 Feb 2009 at 4:53pm
they have been busy, I'm sure it will be moved
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  Quote scaner Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 20 Feb 2009 at 11:05pm
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  Quote Gringo Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 25 Feb 2009 at 10:16pm
sorry for being fussy.. anyways, besides the ATI driver problems and slow boot time, everything has been kick ass and silky smooth. I'm going to do some DS tribute wallpapers soon.. so watch out for those.
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 26 Feb 2009 at 4:46pm
Heads up, the slow boot time issue has been resolved. We posted a BETA bios in your thread.
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  Quote Gringo Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 27 Feb 2009 at 1:44am
Hey Alex, check out the thread.. i made the update... but the slow boot still seems to be there.. well anyways, as promised my DS tribute wallpapers... hope you like them: http://digitalstormonline.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=6083&PID=69216#69216
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  Quote Mezzeron Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 27 Feb 2009 at 11:17am
Hey gringo, you can always get an aftermarket cooler for that noisy GPU.  I tihnk arctic cooling one coming out in mid march.  They are not cheap though, like around $60.  But very quiet, they have 3 80mm  fans on them that are super quiet, and even then you prob wont even need it to be past 60% ever!.  They are huge though, so i doubt it would give you room to add another card below it for sli.  Just thought id help.  I have one on my system now and was a HUGE noise decreaser.
 
Hope that helps a little.  Those cards are noisy, and not alot you can do but turn the fan down on them.  Aftermarket stuff out there is pretty great though.
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  Quote Gringo Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 27 Feb 2009 at 1:32pm
That's a nice idea Mezzeron... I'll think about purchasing one of those...
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  Quote BillDempsey Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 05 Mar 2009 at 4:41pm
Hey Gringo, I like your desktop!

Also, what is that launcher you have docked on the left edge?

edit: Is that RocketDock or another?


Edited by BillDempsey - 05 Mar 2009 at 4:59pm
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  Quote Gringo Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 05 Mar 2009 at 5:34pm
yep, it's rocketdock! kick ass... has some bugs here and there, but overall is pretty great little program... hope they update it soon enough though... the problems are kinda silly (an icon linking to a shortcut won't work for example)... kinda silly to link to a shortcut, but well, i have the need :P
i7920 oc'ed - Radeon 4870x2
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  Quote e06028 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 05 Mar 2009 at 8:29pm
Hey Bill, this is also a nice launcher and it is called Object Dock, it has lots of cool features. Also notice my DS link, it takes me to Active Topics.




Edited by e06028 - 05 Mar 2009 at 8:30pm
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  Quote Gringo Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 20 May 2009 at 12:22pm
UPDATE - Fixed slow boot up issue:

Irecently updated my BIOS to version 1504, and boot up is faster then ever... I suggest people do this update... it pretty much ended the slow boot up problem. Here is the change list:

P6T Deluxe 1504 BIOS
1. Fixed the key may lag in BIOS setup when a Turbo Mode ratio was selected.
2. Supported EIST function when CPU ratio is in manual mode.
3. Adjusted max value of CPU ratio setting according to the number of cores active in BIOS setup.
4. Fixed setup item "CPU Ratio Setting" may disappear if down CPU ratio.
5. Fixed Vista may loading slowly when populated memory size is larger than 3GB and with high-end VGAs.

You can find the fixes of past updates here: http://support.asus.com/download/download.aspx?SLanguage=en-us&model=P6T%20Deluxe/OC%20Palm

The current version is 1604, but I read in some forums somewhere (i think the asus community forums or something), that those made the boot up a bit slower. So I'm sticking with 1504 for the moment.
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  Quote crysis core Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 21 Jul 2009 at 2:40pm
love it manOuch
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