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Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


Experto Crede posted:

I bought a HDMI-VGA adaptor from ebay for about 6, which whilst functional produces a pretty fuzzy picture.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a decent HDMI-VGA adaptor that gives sharp output?

What resolution are you running it at? VGA inherently tends to be fuzzy at high resolutions due to the analog design, and your cables can easily be manufactured poorly and introduce interference and fuzziness as well.

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Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


moller posted:

I'm moving house and don't feel like dragging the three (complete, working) SGI Octanes that have been in my closet for a decade with me. Any suggestions on something I should do with them besides leaving them out for the metal strippers or taking them to a recycling place?

You should be able to sell them on eBay for a decent amount. Since you say they work, they usually go for over a $100 each before adding on the shipping.

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


Takkaryx posted:

My coworker is convinced that IE 11 is the fastest, bestest browser and will not accept any other answer. This makes me angry, as we both work at a Help Desk. Do you guys know of any good benchmarking sites for browsers that I can beat him over the head with, before I resort to spare towers?

IE 11 actually is very fast, and since it doesn't really support extensions it'll often be snappier than Chrome or Firefox. That's what he's probably comparing to.

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


Geemer posted:

Try looking for a mini-IDE to SATA or just normal IDE or maybe even USB converter. I have an ancient 100 MHz netbook-sized laptop that has a full-size IDE drive in it and Windows 3.1 still loads up like a champ. It is at least 20 years old now. You'll probably be able to pull off all the data unless it died from the hard drive failing.

You should probably consider replacing the drive with a compactflash card and a $5 CF adapter incidentally. It can really speed things up and on a device like that it'll boost battery life by quite a bit.

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


Gentwise posted:

Am I losing anything by converting a displayport signal to hdmi? I'm using it for 1080p, video only. No audio through it.

Not if your convertor is functioning normally.

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


Geemer posted:

This. But if you're still on IDE, good luck finding a good replacement without needing to upgrade the motherboard (and the entire rest of the PC).

For shits and giggles, you could run the standard portable version of CrystalDiskInfo and post a screenshot of the output.

Not necessarily. If you have old systems running IDE you usually no longer need to keep massive amounts of data around locally to that machine, so buying a $5 IDE-CF adapter and a $45-$60 64 GB CompactFlash card that can provide neccesary speeds is doable. And of course prices drop quickly if you make the card smaller.

That and a large USB external should do well for someone who had to keep using an old IDE only desktop for some reason.

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


Spaseman posted:

Are laptop cpu fans supposed to always be running?

No. They should only run once the computer's hot enough to need cooling. Incidentally, platter hard drives often generate more heat than ssds since they use more power, so installing an SSD can cause the laptop to heat up less when idle.

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


Starhawk64 posted:

I do call center work at home, and I have to take alot of notes on my calls. I save frequently on my SSD. Am I shortening the lifespan of my SSD by doing this and should move my notes to the hard-drive?

You're not shortening its lifespan, and only move the notes over if you're running out of space.

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


Nierbo posted:

If I buy one of those dinky 10 dollar power socket converter to go from Aus to Canada, can I safely play my PS3 over there?

Check the markings on your PS3. Some models say both 120 volt and 240 volt, and those can be used with the Australian power simply by buying a proper cable. If it just says 120 volt and 60 hz, you will need an actual power transformer that takes in the 240 volt/50 hertz power supply and converts it to 120 volt/60 hz for your PS3.

This is a label from a PS3 that WILL NOT work without a transformer, and may even need to be repaired if you plug it in with just a plug adapter or new power cord:

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


Eifert Posting posted:

My wife wants a laptop replacement level tablet and she doesn't like apple's OSes. What are other good tablet options?

A Surface Pro will be the best bet, unless you get the chance to try out the Lenovo windows tablets somewhere. Some people prefer them, others don't, but the prices and raw power are about the same.

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


Nierbo posted:

Gah, only says 240v.

Yea if it's just 240 volt you'll need a power transformer for US/canada.

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


dis astranagant posted:

I'm looking at one right now that has the bend on both ends. It's stupid.

Those are mostly for specialty case designs, with suitable motherboards where there'll be clear space for your 90 degree connector.

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


Faux-rear end Nonsense posted:

Is it possible to take the digitizer from a smartphone and use it a a touchscreen monitor connected to a PC?

Yes, but you will need significant soldering and electronics assembling skill to get it done right. But if what you already have is a phone where the display works but the rest is busted, it can't hurt to use it as a starter project.

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


Yea the deal with them is you're about as well off buying a couple fakes to find a reliable one as you are to buy the controller and receiver genuine package.

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


Mozi posted:

This is probably a strange question for this thread, but... there is only one grounded outlet in my apartment and it's on the side of the lights on the mirror in my bathroom (I think the place was last renovated in the 50s.) I have a nice UPS. Is it a worse idea to run my new PC off of an extension cord plugged into that outlet, or off of an ungrounded outlet?

You're going to want to make sure any extension cord you're running is rated to handle all the power you'll be drawing. Also, you'll want to ensure that plugging it into that outlet doesn't cause a hazard in the bathroom, by being easy to knock into or something.

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


If you need a lot of ports, something like this would be good:
http://www.amazon.com/Charging-Adap...rds=usb+3.0+hub

It's certainly overkill for most purposes though.

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


Martytoof posted:

Is there any kind of gadget that will turn a wired USB peripheral into a wireless USB peripheral? So:

[ PC USB PORT ] -> USB Cable -> [ Gizmo ] ~ ~ ~ Wireless ~ ~ ~ [ Gizmo other end ] <- USB Cable <- [ USB Peripheral ]

Let's just say for argument's sake that I'm not interested in buying a new wireless keyboard and I'd like to use my expensive USB wired keyboard "wirelessly", for example. Actually, this example is exactly what my scenario is. I have a nice expensive mechanical keyboard and my PC is inconveniently far from my desk, to the point where I managed to stretch an HDMI cable but any other cables I pull can't really be hidden well. I have a wireless mouse and that's fine, but if I wanted to convert my wired keyboard to wireless am I completely SOL? Since this is a keyboard I don't need it to be high bitrate or anything.

Google searching "USB wireless" is pretty useless for exactly the reason you think it might be.

These devices existt: http://www.portset.co.uk/usb-to-bluetooth-converter/

Of course, they cost a good deal because they're low-volume devices primarily produced for special needs environments. They do support standard USB keyboards and mice though, as well as coming with a built in battery pack to handle the bluetooth radio.

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


The best thing to do when considering power line adapters is to find some place that will let you try some and also accept them back for a full refund. You can figure out whether the devices will work in your home's circuitry at all pretty quickly, but if they don't then you have useless devices unless you can find someone else to sell to.

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


Den of Lies posted:

So, I have a ASUS 7850, AMD FX 8350, and 8 gigs DDR3. I have no idea why I'm getting such low fps in games like WoW, Rust and Minecraft with Feed the Beast. What gives? Would my motherboard be affecting things? I have a MSI 970a-g46.

Well you have a terrible CPU, though it shouldn't be hurting your performance in those particular games besides Minecraft all that much. Have you checked that the GPU isn't overheating, or did you just build this system so it's not a case of performance suddenly getting worse where it was previously ok?

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


Den of Lies posted:

I've probably had the video card for around a year. I've always had what I would consider sub-par performance from it though. I just assumed that it was my older processor bottlenecking it, which was a Phenom II X4 965. I just got the FX 8350 this weekend, which I hoped would have boosted my gaming performance over the processor I did have..

Yeah the thing is that the current AMD processors are really bad. They don't perform all that much better than the Phenom II you just took out. There are lengthy articles about why that is (like this one, which is from 2011, but still applies because AMD doesn't have a new architecture yet: http://www.extremetech.com/computin...ead-performance ) but it amounts to AMD making the same mistake with their current processors that Intel made with the Pentium 4 back in the early 2000s.

The thing to do for good performance is to do a new build with a cheap Intel Core processor, but that would of course mean a whole new motherboard for you.

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


Smilin Joe Fission posted:

I've come to the conclusion that my system is most likely RAM limited since web browsers tend to crash when I have a lot of tabs open, streaming audio, running Word/Excel and doing any other significant multitasking. Games also seem to have started preferring 8 GB and I've had to lower my settings with newer stuff.

I have a Core i5-760 (2.8 GHz) and 4 GB of DDR3 running at 1333 MHz (although my Asus P7P55D-E Pro claims to support RAM at 1600 MHz). Two of the mobo's four slots are filled with the 2x2 GB modules, and I'm trying to figure out the best way of upgrading to 8 or more GB of RAM.

Should I just buy a kit with 2 of the 2GB modules and stick those in the open two slots bringing me to a total of 8 GB? I'm guessing this means all of the RAM would be limited to the lower 1333 MHz speed, but I don't know if this makes any real difference. This would be the cheapest option.

Would it make more sense to buy 2x4 GB modules to stick in the two open slots, giving me a total of 12 GB? I don't know if this is even technically possible, would provide real world performance, or if all installed RAM modules have to be the same size.

Should I just take out the current 2x2GB 1333 modules and replace them with 2x4GB 1600 modules for 8 GB total?

Or, is there any real benefit to having 16 GB nowadays for gaming and having tons of different streams/browser tabs open? I could max out the mobo's supported capacity with 4x4GB modules if there's any real reason for that. Would appreciate any advice!

Do you plan to keep this same system for a while yet or if not then to replace it with one that still uses DDR3? You might as well spring for 16 GB now in that case,

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


Small writes wouldn't "hammer" the card anyway. SD cards are specifically designed to be able to handle a bunch of small writes close together, because of their origin as camera memory cards.

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


Fight Club Sandwich posted:

I have an old targus laptop fan chillpad thing and the cable broke. I don't know what the cable is called - please help me so I can fry's/newegg the cable i'm looking for. On one end it's USB which plugs into my laptop and the other is a small power thingy that plugs into the fan with this symbol on it.



i went into radioshack who said they had never seen a cable like this before

That indicates whether the tip should be positive or negative, it can be replaced by an appropriately sized barrel power connector ont he one end with the right polarity, and either a 5 volt wall wart or a usb plug on the other.

You want something like this, though it might need to be a different size:
http://www.walmart.com/ip/StarTech-...versal/22081650

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


Straker posted:

I guess this is probably at least as appropriate as asking in IYG, so... are one-way HDMI cables a thing, provided they're not crazy active extenders or anything weird? I need to get video INTO a big AIO "tablet"/portable monitor, which has a micro/type D connector on it; it came with a cable that works just fine for this purpose, and it's meant to be used as a portable monitor, there's a button in the OSD to switch to HDMI input, I'm not trying to make it do anything crazy. But I just bought http://www.amazon.com/CNE82393-6-Fe.../dp/B003Y3TS4Y/ because I'm out of town and forgot the cable that came with it, and it doesn't work. My laptop can see the monitor, and presumably the tablet/monitor would be able to output to a real monitor/projector/whatever, but when I switch it to HDMI input it's not getting anything. Looking more closely, the product description says it "supports" type A output and type D input. What the gently caress is this nonsense? I can't even find any type A<->D cables that are explicitly two-way, or at least A->D.

Typically they're just labeled that way because 99% of the time, you're connecting an A size connector on a display to the D size connector on like a phone or tablet. If it only went one way, it wouldn't really be able to work.

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


Flipperwaldt posted:

Hm, ok. Time to go shopping (monoprice doesn't deliver here).

Thanks for the explanation and the examples.


I have used this particular cable for charging and extension, and it allows my phone to charge at normal high amps:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...e?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It also of course works for usb 3.0 devices.

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


MTV Crib Death posted:

My FPS has suddenly gone to poo poo and I'm tearing my hair out trying to figure out why. I even did a fresh OS install hoping that it would work, but I'm running into the same problems.

I played through Sleeping Dogs last year with 60+ frames per second and now I'm lucky to get 22 on the same game. Newer games are even worse.

Windows 8.1 Pro
Intel i5 3.30Ghz
16 GB RAM
GeForce 660ti

If anyone has any clues at all to what is suddenly happening, I'd be grateful.

First thing I'd check is the temperatures while its running. Also a pre-emptive blowing out any dust from the heatsinks and the like.

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


Volcott posted:

I need a microphone for PC gaming. Hands-free would be ideal. Should I just get a generic bluetooth headset?

If you happen to already own an Xbox 360 and a headset for that that either attaches to the controller or is wireless for the 360, you can just use that with the PC with the 360 Wireless Controller adapter.

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


Volcott posted:

I have a wired 360 controller for PC games that don't feel quite right with a keyboard and mouse. You can plug the headset into it?

Yes that should work. You may need to enable it in the Recording Devices tab of the sound control panel.

I know it works with my wired headset plugged into my wireless controller run through the wireless adapter dongle at least..

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


Robo Reagan posted:

If I make a boot drive can I still use it for other stuff? I got a new flash drive and I thought that'd be neat to use it for, but it's 16 gigs and it'd be a waste of all that space if I just used it for booting Linux on a school computer or something.

Yes you can, but you want to install the boot thing first, before you put your other files on it. That avoids losing your stuff.

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


Is DOCSIS 3.1 what RCN is using in their 330 megabit service or is that just the high end of 3.0?

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


Geoj posted:

I thought platter drives were only really vulnerable when in a powered-on state?

As in, when not spinning the heads park off the platter and you'd have to subject the drive to a very high shock to actually damage anything.

I mean, it's not like they exactly protect the drive well in retail boxes - usually it's just suspended with plastic endcaps.

They are more vulnerable when running, yes, but when not running they can still be wrecked by heavy jostling by things getting knocked off-kilter or even broken straight up internally.

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


BarbarianElephant posted:

I bought a USB cable that purported to do what I wanted, and it was completely useless. It seemed to have some sort of "clever" cache that meant the other computer didn't detect that the file changed.

Googling around suggests I need a "crossover" ethernet cable. But the Macbook doesn't have an ethernet port. Can you get a crossover ethernet to thunderbolt cable?

Why aren't you just buying a thunderbolt Ethernet adapter? They're relatively cheap, and will be useful in far more than this one situation. Also, crossover cables are obsolete, modern Ethernet ports don't need them. You just need a regular Ethernet cord.


Plus you could just spend no money and transfer stuff over wifi if you set up sharing on your network. It'll be a bit slower but it's totally free.

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


Chuu posted:

Does anyone in here have experience with PATA SSDs? I have a (very) old laptop with a great keyboard and screen that I would love to keep around if I could get some more performance out of it.

I can find benchmarks for Transend and MyDigitalSSD which suggest they are fast SSDs, but I'm scared a lot of the off-brand stuff on Amazon (example) might just be Compact Flash adapters connected to cheap cards and thus much worse than a spinning disk. Plus I have no idea how reliable these are -- not in terms of cycles but in terms of "will the firmware crap out and destroy all my data"?

Also kind of curious what the performance of stuff like this (Western Digital CF designed for use as an ATA drive) is.

Honestly, CompactFlash adapter with a new fast CF card can do quite well, especially if you won't be doing a lot of writes to the drive constantly.

I've been using this precise adapter for 3 years in my old Windows 98 laptop: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B...e?ie=UTF8&psc=1 The adapter hasn't broken, and this card I bought to go with it still works fine. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...arch_detailpage

The CF card as compared to the old 4 GB like 4000 rpm drive it had in there uses a whole lot less power, and performs better all around then the hard drive it replaced. It's speed is primarily limited by the actual laptop hardware, as it performs faster in a USB 2.0 reader on my main computer.

PATA SSDs should really only be used if you need a whole lot of space, and they tend to be very expensive for the good ones.

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


teagone posted:

Related to storage, how come in my Plex server sometimes a 3 or 4GB file transfer between two SATA mechanical hard drives is sustained at like 120-150MB/s and then other times, a transfer of another 3/4GB file between the two same drives drops down to like 30-50MB/s? Is that just like a variable dependent on how fast the platters are rotating or whatever?

This probably a result of the latter transfers involving fragmentation on one or both of the drives, so the drives can't go full speed ahead on reading and instead need to switch around, which reduces your throughput.

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


Botnit posted:

Anybody have experience using super long USB 3.0 extension cords for mouses? Worried about if there will be input lag for a 10 meter cord even though the description says there's an internal amp booster, could be snake oil for all I know.

http://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters...extension+cable

That's specifically what I'm looking at.

That should only add like a millisecond tops to the response time, assuming all other things are equal. Though depending upon how exactly it implements the booster/repeater it could add a bit more.

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


Prorat posted:

Let's be real here, will I notice any difference in x2 8gb or x4 4gb RAM?

I already have x2 4gb and am thinking about buying another x2 4gb of the exact same RAM but wondering if I should get x2 8gbs instead and sell what I already have.

Unless buying x2 8 GB is cheaper, just buy the x2 4 GB.

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


Chuu posted:

Are Optimus drivers laptop-specific? If you have an Optimus equipped laptop, do you have to use the vendor provided gpu drivers or can you use the ones on nVidia's site?

All I can tell you is how its been on the Dells I've used with Optimus, and for both of them usign the nVidia site drivers worked just fine. Some other manufacturers may mess with things more.

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


Chuu posted:

Just to clarify (keep in mind this is for a laptop I plan on buying -- not one I currently have -- so I can't check anything):

I searched nVidia's site for Optimus drivers and didn't find any -- but was able to find drivers for the mobile GPU chip.

What I assumed this meant was that Optimus was laptop-specific, and if Optimus was laptop specific, I thought that the Video Card drivers might be too.

Are you saying that there are "generic" Optimus drivers somewhere on nVidia's site that I missed -- or that you have to use the vendor-specific Optimus driver but can pair it with any released version of nVidia's video card drivers?

I just use the NVidia GeForce Experience program and it spits out correct drivers for my Dell that handles the Optimus stuff and seems to update about once a month.

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


Prorat posted:

We have a laptop hooked up to our TV.

So I have a newish 20 dollar Logitech keyboard and newish 20 dollar Logitech mouse. They used to have a range of almost 10 feet. Now they work off and on at 10 feet and we have to scoot up to 5ish feet. What happened?

But that might not matter soon because we are moving and need a mouse/keyboard with even longer range, so my question is, what keyboard/mouse will work at 15-20 feet? They don't need to be super expensive or "gaming"

Thanks!!!

Why not get a cheap USB extension cable to plug the wireless receiver into? http://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-...+male+to+female

Like $7 and you don't have to worry about what might have caused the range to go down (might have been batteries, or the laptop being moved, or just some other guy nearby ding something that interferes). You can just run the extension cable out to the coffee table or whatever with the receiver plugged in, and you don't need to buy new devices.

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Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

by Smythe


The extra pins allow both extra speed and extra power transfer. Some USB 3.0 devices might not work at all on USB 2.0 ports or with USB 2.0 cables due to their need for the extra power.

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