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Elite Dangerous » Heading to Colonia

A few days ago I created a video saying that I was interested in traveling to Colonia (the new settlement which is around 22,000ly away from home area). After posting the video, a few commanders said I should make the journey. So for the past few days ive been preparing my ship for the long road ahead. The main thing I had to do is to boost the FSD range (originally I had 21y).

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After gaining favor with an engineer and getting him to upgrade my drive, I am now ready to head out. I will be using the following build, after I was advised by a couple commanders (in my Preparing for Colonia video). I now have a 50ly range, as I traded 5ly for an extra fuel tank.

So on the 6th Dec 2016, at 10:30pm - I am starting the long process from Deciat, to the first check-point at BLU THUA AI-A C14-10.

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Wish me luck,

Posted by Roguey on Tuesday 6th December, 2016   ·   Comment 0 comments   ·  

Order of 10: Origins Sweepstakes winner?

A month ago nvidia ran a competition where you had to solve a series of daily puzzles. In-return you were to be entered into a free-prize draw to win a range of things, including a pc, graphics cards (1070/1080's) and a couple of games. I solved each puzzle but didnt expect to hear anything again - the chances of winning these things is astronomically small but might as well give it ago eh? someone has to win, right?

I was contacted on Friday 2nd September 2016 to say I had won fourth prize;

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However to this day (1st October) I havnt been contacted about the prize (a month later). I know its not that big of deal in the grand-scheme of things, but still it would of been nice. Ill update this post should anything change in the future.

[Update - 14th Oct] I have now posted onto nvidia UK Facebook page to see if I get any response Cry

[Update - 20th Oct] I have finally received my code 7 weeks after being told I had won a code. Thanks nvidia.

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Posted by Roguey on Saturday 1st October, 2016   ·   Comment 0 comments   ·  

Going 7 meters with 4:4:4 / 4k@60hz

Over the past week or so, I have been looking into a HDMI cable for 4:4:4 / 4k@60hz with a length of around 6+ meters. I know that over 5 meters is pushing it somewhat; but in my situation I required a longer cable. The first cable I tried was with a standard HDMI cable from ebay (which I found out later was 30AWG). This cable had problems with anything higher than 4:2:0 - every 5-10 seconds the picture would cut-out and it would have corruption (a series of green dots). I also had the 5 meter version of the same cable, which did work without a problem oddly (at 4:4:4, 4:2:2 or RGB). I did try and add a picture here but its hard to show you random flashing pixels on a screen.

So I had a look around the net, there seem to be two popular choices; IBRA High Speed PRO or a Kabeldirekt. At a push I could get my cable length down to 6 meters, but would mean things were a bit tight. So I had a good look through the reviews on Amazon for both cables. There were few people who said both cables struggled doing 4:4:4 at 4k@60fps even with a 5 meter cable. I was willing to try a 6m Kabeldirekt cable because I thought if 5 meters could work correctly, surely one extra meter should work correctly? So an little time ago an order was placed with Amazon. However 3+ days later, and it wasn't dispatched (since we aren't Amazon Prime customers). So it was cancelled, even if Amazon dispatch there would be at-least another 2+days for second class post. Waiting 7-10 days for one cable was getting ridiculous.

I did some more research; looking at cables costing any-where between £5-100's. However even the most expensive cables did not say if they could handle 4:4:4 / 4k@60hz. This is when I came across a (Cablesson) Ivuna Advanced High Speed 7m cable. On the listing it said that over 5 meters they use thicker cables (26AWG). With my poor knowledge of cables under such distances, I figured the thicker the internal cables, the better chance of getting the signal to the other end. I know that shielding is important too (to stop external interference). So being around £10-14 I figured it was worth ago. Ideally I wanted the 6 meter version of the cable (for a better chance of it working), but those were only Fulfilled by Amazon (which didn't seem to dispatch for 3+ days). So I ordered the 7 meter version (avoiding being fulfilled by Amazon).

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So a day or two later it turned up and plugged it in without much hope. Straight away it worked without a problem - 4:4:4 or RGB on a 7 meter HDMI cable. So it is possible to do without spending lots of money. If you are in a similar situation maybe you might want to look into this Ivuna cable! Maybe the Kabeldirekt or IBRA might of worked too, however I dont have either to test. If I do hear of any other 4:4:4/RGB cables I will update the blog, and you're always welcomed to post your comments.

Posted by Roguey on Sunday 14th August, 2016   ·   Comment 2 comments   ·  

New architecture or not..

During the past couple of months ive been following both nvidia and AMD new GPU architecture (Pascal/Polaris). Ive been running a 4k setup since Christmas and my single 980ti was struggling (often seeing 30-40fps). So I wanted to improve on that.

The first of the two - Pascal came out just over a month ago. I was excited at first - as I thought the new architecture should be a huge leap forward. We been stuck on a 28nm manufacturing process for long time - which has made some gpu's get pretty big (and costly to make). So with nvidia new 16nm manufacturing process; the chip could be much smaller, faster and maybe even a lower price. So after nvidia press event, I saw an MRRP of $699. Id hope this would translate into around £400 (UK pound). Sadly this wasnt the case, and the dollar sign was pretty much swapped for the pound sign. I did check a lot of benchmarks - the 1080 did offer more performance but at an higher price (£650). Basically rather than drop the old-line of gpus, nvidia priced them above. For me this made them too expensive, seeing that one card wouldnt be able to deal with 4k@60fps (so 1080 in SLI - which would set me back over £1,300!). I did hear about the 1080 thermal throttling back to its base-clock after 10mins (not sure how true that is).

I was also keeping an eye-out for Polaris - it didnt bode well hearing that it was aimed at the main-stream (not the high-end). In my case I was looking for an 4k solution. Polaris is based on a smaller 14nm process, so I was expecting to see Polaris around the same performance level (seeing as both gpus are based on a new manufacturing process). I felt that AMD has been the under-dog for far too long, so it would be good to see some healthy competition once again. However after seeing benchmarks of Polaris, it didnt look good. It suggests that the new RX 480 is around the same (if not slightly better) than nvidia 970. Not that is a bad thing at all, but made me feel disappointed. I knew price was key for AMD and to be fair I think they priced the cards at the right (its a 1080/1440 card). Hopefully AMD can claw back some of the market.

My last idea was to look at SLI with my existing 980ti. I normally dont do SLI, as when I need more gpu power, there is something on the market. 4k is an up and coming thing, and at this stage there is no single card solution for it. I am sure nvidia has a 1080ti ready but wont launch it until AMD release their Vegas chip at the start of next year (2017). Nvidia also cut the price of 980ti - I guess to clear stock? or make it fairer priced? I did look at the 1070 (which offered an extra 2gb of vram - useful) but two of them would be still more expensive. So Thursday I placed an order of another 980ti and a bigger PSU (Seasonic was a bit too close to the margin);

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Replacing a PSU isnt a quick job (as some of you may know). The PSU is kind-of the heart of the PC, supplying power to everything inside the pc. This time I went for an EVGA T2 1200w - which I know is a bit of over-kill, but after my Seasonic was short of 100w, I didnt want to have to replace it in-the future again. Anyway, after a couple of hours (I took my time and space is limited atm - I am still in my bedroom), everything went okay;

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Changing the PSU and adding a second 980ti was cheaper for me than a single 1080. I am sure the 1080 will become cheaper in the future, but I figured that will be when the 1080ti comes out. Hopefully ive done the right decision - I guess time will tell. I figured if the 1080ti/vega chips do come out in the new year, I could look at one of those to replace my SLI (if I have that bad of experience with it).

... yea, I know - I probably need to sort those GPU power-cables out some-how (although GPU power-cables do get in the way, especially with four of them!).

Posted by Roguey on Friday 1st July, 2016   ·   Comment 7 comments   ·  

I can Bailey believe it - update on Overclockers

During the past week or two, you may I read about the troubles I had with my Zotac 980Ti AMP, if not seen it, look here – no need to repost. At the end of the situation I felt I had to take matters into my own hands, which I knew might void the warranty - something I didn’t want to do (but felt I had little choice). So I left a pretty bad review for, thinking that was that.

After doing so, James Bailey (the Returns Manager) contacted me and wanted to sort the problem out – he wasn't happy seeing my low review. It's not something I wanted to do either - I would much prefer to post when a company does sometimes good. I don't normally post reviews, as feel you only get to know what a company is like after something has gone wrong.

We spoke on the phone – the guy was very understanding and helpful. I understand problems do creep up no matter what you do, so I am kind-of understanding person myself. After a couple of days, the old card had gone back and a new replacement was being sent. He allowed me to swap from Zotac, to an EVGA card. I had lost my confidence with Zotac due to the poorly written emails, and bad thermal paste application I saw.

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So now I have a new card; GeForce GTX 980Ti Superclocked Reference Design. You may be wondering why I went for a reference design? Well, I like the idea of it getting rid of the heat out the back, prefer the look personally, EVGA has a better warranty cover, and it allows me the option to SLI at a later date. Running 4k on a single 980ti is some-what trouble-some at best; as a lot of settings have to be scaled back to try. So I am looking to increase my gpu-power in the future, although I don’t know if it will be another 980ti or next gen card (Polaris/Pascal). Obviously this depends on price and performance, but its not a long wait to see – we should know more around to June – I think.

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Hopefully this was just one of them odd cases which fell on me. I am glad in the end things got sorted, and I thank you guys for your support. After all this, I still continue to use overclockers. I was sad to think I had to find another shop; I felt I had a good thing going (buying things, join in their forums, enter comps etc.). Big thanks to James Bailey for spending your time helping with my situation, and being all-round great guy... enough man-love eh? Smile

[Update] In the end I went with another 980ti, shown here,

Posted by Roguey on Friday 22nd April, 2016   ·   Comment 0 comments   ·  

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