Silly CPUs

So the Intel i7-860 CPU I bought 3 months ago performed very poorly with FFXI. It’s good on other games but just not FFXI. It performed worse than my E6600 at stock speeds. I had to disable HT and then overclock it to around 3.2GHz just to get it to perform the same as my E6600.

The main reason for buying this i7 is just so I can enjoy smooth gameplay on a game that I play the most often. Frustrated, I sold it away. It’s just silly that I paid so much for a CPU and didn’t get any performance boost at all.  The motherboard, CPU and ram all sold at a loss of around SGD$180.

With the money I got from selling those, I wanted to buy a Q9650 but it seems that the i3/i5/i7 CPUs are replacing the previous generation CPUs which makes it near impossible to find one anymore here in Singapore.

So I went and got myself an AMD Phenom 2 x4 965 (3.4GHz). And now I finally enjoy smooth framerates in crowded areas.

However, there were 2 minor problems.

Firstly, the stock heat sink fan (HSF) that came with the CPU ran at 6000 RPMs making it very very noisy. I had Cool n Quiet (CnQ) enabled. The fan plugged into the CPU Fan plug on the motherboard. The processor speed clocked down when idle. But still the fan ran at full speed.

So I went down to Sim Lim Square again on the next day to buy a 3rd party HSF. Got those huge ones, a Coolermaster Hyper 212 plus. A little troublesome to install. But once I got everything set up, it’s working good. I think the CPU got 5 degrees cooler with this new one.

Next problem is, the CnQ is pretty buggy. The CnQ clocks down the CPU in areas where there’s less load and when I move into an area with a lot of characters around, the CnQ then powers up the CPU back to full power. During this powering up/down transition, I get a noticeable lag in-game.

I did a bit of googling and found that I wasn’t the only one who noticed this.

Fixing this is as simple as disabling CnQ which I will do so tonight. Besides these 2 minor problems, I’m finally very happy to be able to get good framerate out of my favourite mmorpg.

the past 10 years

A friend of mine posted his honeymoon photos on Facebook. They went to Spain/Italy for around 3 weeks.

While browsing through those photos, I remembered how 10 years ago, both him and me were studying for our O level exams together.

Warm afternoon but windy. At the study benches. After all our classes have ended. Sometimes we would take a nap and I still remember him drooling over his textbook.

Fast forward to present time, he now runs his own design company, happily married and owns a vehicle. While I still work for someone else, live in a small house, no car and have accomplished nothing worth boasting.

I know it’s silly to compare other people with oneself but I feel that only applies to pessimistic people. I’m a mix of both.

I began to think about the differences in our lives which lead to our current situations. The things we’ve done and how we’ve spent the last 10 years.

Disclaimer: I don’t know what he’s done in the last 10 years but I’m going to guess anyway.

For him. Back in our polytechnic days, I remember he switched courses and sort of wasted 1 year, then finished it in 3 years. Then he has to serve National Service for about 2 years. Which leaves him 4 years to establish what he is today, a boss of his own company. I’ve seen some of his work and they are really good.

For me. I finished my course in 3 years, thereafter I took a 6 months break living a Hikikomori lifestyle. Learned a bit of PHP, then went job hunting. Worked in the same company for the same boss for 6 years for average salary.

Throughout my working years, most of my spare time went into FFXI instead of learning new things. Turned down social gatherings with friends and colleagues. All that’s in my mind at that point in time wasn’t about my future, it was all FFXI.

I’m currently reading a Japanese book about “Net game addicts“. Bought it for reading practice. Reading about the lives of different Japanese people who were addicted to online games. Some dropped out of university. Some neglected their health so bad they got hospitalized.

There’s one chapter about a young addict who says he lost all his youth to net games. All he does now is work random part time jobs. Has low income but enough to meet his daily needs.

Recently, I can’t help but wonder if life would’ve been better if I’ve never played FFXI. Could I be drawing a higher salary, driving my own car, living in a larger apartment now?

Some good things have come out of it though. Friends from all over the world. Having fun while saving money. Acquired natural reflexes when seeing the word “Radiant” somewhere else outside the game.

Still, if anyone asks me if they should play MMORPG, or show interest in one, I would advise them not to. Unless it’s someone with no ambitions at all.

P.S. I still play FFXI, and I don’t see myself quitting at all. However, I’m no longer as addicted as I once was. I have control over it instead of letting FFXI control me.

My feelings towards FFXIV

If there’s one thing that FFXI (11) has taught us, it would be how to pre-empt things.

At every version update (VU), many people want to speculate things and make guesses at what Square-Enix (SE) will implement. A recent example I can think of is the materials needed for the new gobbiebag quests.

Many people bought up potential quest item materials before the VU and if they get it right, they make a quick fortune from selling those materials after the VU. Because the demand for them is so high it drives people to pay huge sums of gil to buy them.

Basically, at any possible money-making event, there’s always someone there finding a way to push up the cost of getting something done.

As FFXIV (14) draws closer, and as SE slowly release more news about the game, there’s already quite a number of people out there preparing for it. Forums and blogs, domain names and all have already been setup and prepared even before the game’s beta has launched.

There’s also groups of people forming end-game linkshells (clans) also. And look at me, I’m here criticizing 14 before I’ve even played the game!

I have this feeling that once beta launches, while most people spend their time enjoying the game, there will also be a lot of people finding ways to monopolize the economy in the game. There would be so much competition at various things that it would become stressful for me instead of fun.

I forsee a lot of people farming certain monsters for quest items making it difficult for myself to finish the quest. If SE makes a certain quest item sellable. Even more people would be there farming them so that they can earn gil from it.

Even though I’ve said all this, I won’t say that I will never move to 14 for sure. The bloomy (lol bloom) graphics sure look a lot better than the current Vana’diel. However at the moment, I don’t have the slightest desire to play 14 unless everyone in my end-game linkshell in 11 decides to move over. Love those guys.