Upgrading my gaming PC

Last week, I went down to Sim Lim Square, a famous place in Singapore for computer hardware and other computer related stuff.

Bought everything at once. A new bigger case, Antec P180 (which ended up a little disappointing), an Intel Dual Core E6600, Gigabyte P965 DS4 rev.2, 2 sticks of 1GB cheap Corsair rams, MSI 8800GTS 320MB Overclocked version. Spent a total of SGD$1790 (USD$1179).

I had to carry all these back home myself! I took a cab of course.

The motherboard. I had the people at the shop install the CPU for me.

Notice the capacitors are solid capacitors. These are supposedly better and last longer than the normal capacitors. My old socket A motherboard’s capacitors leaked and some sort of orange crust formed on top. It’s still working though.

The PCIe graphics card. It uses solid capacitors too.

The new casing.

I’m not experienced in setting up a PC, thus I wanted a large one to make things easier.

But I ended up having a hard time putting everything together. It’s… cramped…

But it has good airflow I assume. 2 chambers, an upper chamber for the motherboard and stuff, and a lower chamber for the PSU and 4 harddisks.

A close up shot on the lower chamber, these are my SATA harddisks.
Notice how there’s very little space for the SATA cables?

Also, that’s actually a 120mm fan on the left side of this photo!

Some stuff I’ve learned: If you want to install RAID drivers during the setup of Windows XP, it does not detect USB floppy drives. I’m running RAID0 WD Raptors for performance.

As to how the gaming performance was, I bought Command and Conquer 3: Kane Edition, Nod version, and I can play the game at 1280*1024 with all graphic settings set to max and no lag at all!

Funny thing is when it comes to FFXI, graphics get a little choppy easily and the improvement over my previous setup was like only 15%? Either the drivers for my new card still needs more work or FFXI (A 3~4 year old game!) has really bad support for new cards.

There’s also a few graphical issues with FFXI with the new 8800 series cards. Bright menus is one of them. You can fix it by downloading a hacked beta driver for your 8800 card from the windower.net forums. There’s a stickied thread about it.



As I’m rather busy at work today, I’ll make a brief post!

Last week a friend asked for help with Xolotl. I was to go as PLD/NIN.

The initial PT setup was: BST RDM PLD. A BLM joined us later.

We waited for 20:00 vana time for it to spawn.

With /NIN, my radar is larger and monsters show up as red dots. So when I saw a red dot appear, I immediately ran towards that direction, spotted Xolotl and claimed with flash.

We ran up north to the area with the tunnel leading to an ENM zone and fought there. I would assist the BST who charmed the pets in the area to attack Xolotl while the RDM kites the other 2 skeletons that Xolotl summons.

Quite exciting, never have I forced myself to pay attention to my number of shadows. There was one occasion where it casted thundaga and ended up being intimdated by me. I had loaded up with a few koenig pieces for the CHR+ boost since Xolotl is an undead monster.

For a large part of the fight, it was quite safe and easy. Only near the end where things started to get a little chaotic because everyone was silenced and stuff. But I managed to nuke the last bit of health with a friend’s BLM character that I was dual boxing and had parked him in a safe place.


Aegis it is

So yea, Aegis it is. After doing some research, it has the highest proc rate and damage reduction for a successful shield block.

All these researching made it look like it’s easy to obtain…

YEA RIGHT! *slaps self back to reality*

The thought of fighting Amaltheia for it’s hide is already enough to discourage me. But I have a feeling I’ll get that one done someway somehow, haha.

I’ve been in dynamis for about a year now. I haven’t started spending points on 100 currency yet because I want to complete my PLD relic set. I’m just missing the damned legs piece.

And also after 1 year in dynamis, I’ve accumulated 423 single pieces of currency (click on my FFXI profile on the right). Only 0.39% to Aegis! LOL

A chef can’t earn fast enough to buy a 100 piece a week. Or can I? Even if I craft all day and HQ all night, it’s not possible thanks to RMT food crafters who craft 24/7 and undercut you like nobody’s business.

So I began levelling smithing on 1 of my mule. I started off by investing 700k. 200k for skill up materials, 500k for an airship pass (I took the advice of getting an airship pass from Mikesjustice’s Crafter’s Handbook, read it if you have time, it’s inspirational). The result of this investment is: 76+2 smithing, 43 clothcraft, 50 woodworking, 20 goldsmithing, 140k gil on hand and 400k gil worth of items waiting to be sold on the AH.

Smithing from 0-79 can be cheap. But hell starts 80+. I don’t know if I can afford to go all the way to 100 or just focus on earning gil from HQing Haubergeon to fund my upgrade.

I can’t progress any further because the stuff I’m skilling up on sells really slow on the AH and there’s quite a bit of competition. orz

And another thing I’ve noticed thanks to FFXIAH’s new features, there’s a lot of smithers out there who can break tier 1 on Haubergeon and ARE ALREADY buying up damascus ingots in large amounts. ( >_<)

But still, the process has been fun. Research, watching the prices and selling rates of items on the AH, trying to predict the economy, etc.

For example, I bought 4 stacks of darksteel ingots at 110k before I left for a one week holiday in Malaysia. When I returned, the prices went up and I sold them at 180k per stack.

FFXIAH has opened up registration and registered users can access a lot of features that’s a big help to crafters. I customized my home page to watch all the ingredients and stuff that I’m targetting to earn gil from.

To end this entry, I present to you, this 4 square comic known as "gaijin 4koma" which I made when SE announced turning Ulli into a trigger poped NM.

Ragnarok or Aegis

Relic weapons, if you’ve never heard of them, costs incredible amounts of gil, time and effort of many people to upgrade. Nevertheless, it’s a good long-term goal to have, which I believe is what’s keeping me playing till now.

Firstly, I like PLD. 

To be honest, I levelled PLD for 2 reasons.

1) Merits, lol. Because DRK isn’t a job people would invite for merits often.

2) PLD friends who quit FFXI.

But lately, as I levelled PLD to 75, I like it as much as I like DRK. Like DRK, both require you to be alert and pay lots of attention.

Heh, although NIN takes a lot less damage than a PLD in a merit/exp PT, correct me if I’m wrong but I feel a NIN cannot handle links as well as a PLD. Or maybe I just have very good support members in my PT to sleep the links.

My last merit PT, we had 4 spiders and 2 mamools to deal with at once. It was very exciting. I love it when there’s links. :D

PLD in dynamis is very boring when you’re in the sleepga PT. The PT which keeps all the links slept. PLDs are supposed to voke the mobs to keep the hate off the BLM or BRD who sleeps the links.

So yea, I like PLD and I want to experience tanking more end-game monsters.

Stuff like killing Jormungand with 6 people has motivated and inspired me a lot. But here’s the thing, the PLD in that 6 man party possesses Aegis. Fully upgraded relic shield.

So here’s my dilemma. I feel I can only afford to upgrade 1 relic item. I want to get Ragnarok for my DRK to perform well at end-game and on the other hand, I want Aegis to help me tank end-game monsters.



The great March 2007 update

Why I say great? Because it addresses a lot of issues that have been caused by annoying gilsellers.

The following quest changes have been made:

– A job level requirement has been added to the quests listed below. The required level varies from quest to quest.

The Rumor/Intermediate Teamwork/Healing the Land/Altana’s Sorrow/Making the Grade/Curses, Foiled A-Golem!?/Know One’s Onions/Acting in Good Faith/ Stop Your Whining/Secret of the Damp Scroll/The Sahagin’s Stash/It’s Not Your Vault

-A new level requirement has been added to the quest “An Explorer’s Footsteps,” and the once-a-day offer restriction has been removed.

-Supply quests can now be undertaken only once a day (Earth time).
*Players must wait until 0:00 JST before attempting to retake the quest.

Gilsellers have been creating characters, with names generated by smashing their head on their keyboards, and then using them to repeat certain quests for their reward item. They send the reward item to another character which puts it up on the Auction House for sale.

Then they delete those characters and repeat the process above.

I saw a bunch of naked characters with head-smashing-keyboard generated names in Jeuno the other day.

The synthesis recipes listed below were temporarily removed in the February 2007 version update. These recipes will now create different items.

rusty cap/rusty greatsword/rusty pick

Gilsellers created hundreds of accounts (ouch, their heads must hurt) to fish up those items, repair them through synthing, and sell it to NPC for around 1000g. Multiply that by 100(or more characters) and you are generating possibly 100,000g at least every 10 minutes.

Here’s a few youtube videos of those gilsellers in action in Batallia downs, and someone trying to get them killed.


The conditions for certain Notorious Monsters to appear, as well as certain treasure drops, have been adjusted in the following manner:

– The method for obtaining the items listed below has been adjusted.
The monsters that dropped these items now have a chance of dropping an EX/Rare item with the exact same attributes.

Fuma Kyahan/Speed Belt/Ochiudo’s Kote/Strider Boots/Healing Staff/Eurytos’ Bow/Cross-Counters

Gilsellers camp the above NMs in groups, monopolizing them making regular players unable to get those equip for their own use or to fund their equip upgrades.

Here’s the best one:

– The Notorious Monsters listed below now require a certain item to be traded in a certain location in order to appear.

Big Bomb/Alkyoneus/Pallas/Sozu Rogberry/Ullikummi

The sky LS I’m in, has spent hours camping Ulli just to see gilsellers claim it many times. Now, everyone will have a better chance of getting Byakko’s trigger item from Ulli.

HOWEVER, I doubt the overcrowding and RMT problem will go away any time soon. It will take at least a month or 2 to see the results of this change.

– The items listed below can now be obtained through different methods.
Cassie Earring/Serket Ring/Juggernaut
*The Juggernaut will still also drop from the usual monster, but at a lower probability.

– The “Lock of Siren’s Hair” will be removed from the treasure dropped by the following Notorious Monsters.

Voll the Sharkfinned/Zuug the Shoreleaper/Pahh the Gullcaller/Worr the Clawfisted
*In accordance with this change, the drop rate of this item from monsters other than the four mentioned above will be increased.

A few more gilseller dominated NMs changed to help players who really want those equipment but cannot afford.

Lastly, a non-gilseller related update, which I feel is rather amusing:

Several new terms have been added to the auto-translate feature.
Game Terms – Support Job

After 4~5 years, they finally decided to at the auto-translate for "Support Job" which has been there (all the while?)