It’s ACER 4520 Laptop Time!

Seems that Shogun and I over on the #PCBurn channel (on irc.freenodel.net) both decided to update the laptops at the same time, and both got ACER 4520s.

His’ll probably run the stock Vista OS with Ubuntu as a dual boot. Mine will never see the original OS and I’ll probably make an inquire to someone with greater legal knowledge than mine if the manufacturer is bound to issue me some sort of refund with the given legal language in the Microsoft EULA.

While I do appreciate the manufacturers unwillingness to part with any amount of money, especially with those lucrative Microsoft kickbacks, I still don’t want to pay for something I won’t use. So we’ll see what my states duly appointed legal representatives think of the agreement.

If it doesn’t entitle me to anything I’m not going to be too disappointed, honestly. I’m just not sure what they’re bound to honor is all. And I figure that’s what those people hold office to inform me of.

As for the machine, it’s internals, specs, and how to rip it apart to replace/add parts.. that I’ll do a segment on over at pcburn.com. I’ve missed out on the last few machines, but writing time’s been tight between work and non-work.

Blizzard Goes and Pulls the Rug out from my Testing

So I’m doing a lot of subjective testing with WoW and a few different setups, trying to get a feel for how it performs before moving onto another game or two. All just play through stuff, far too much of the game to actually be fun, really.

And what does Blizzard do halfway through my framerate runs to figure out what influences the gameplay? Change the general settings.

So. Now I’ve gotta go pull a few rigs out and go through all the World of Warcraft game testing again.

Although one thing seems to have had a fairly big affect. Turning off the tickless kernel option and switching to the CFQ scheduler from deadline seems to have cleaned up some I/O inconsistency issues. Now it gets a bit catchy in odd spots (like when you’re taking off on a flight path) but the overall performance is fairly consistent and doesn’t hang up on any particular points when fighting or actually playing.

So far it’s been a pretty good experience with the current release of WINE.

World of Warcraft as a Benchmark of GPU Performance (on Linux)

So WINE and WoW do, in fact, make a good benchmark of system performance for Linux. Unfortunately I’m now butting up against the fact that it absolutely and sometimes erratically flatlines the system.

It doesn’t kill the box, but I’m seeing 100+% CPU usage runs on the dual core. This creates a slight problem.

So… I need to actually find some machinery that can run WoW (or whatever I end up benchmarking with for the article) at something under full throttle.

That and I need to cobble together a Windows release for some cross platform testing. I’m not positive it’ll perform any better under the native OS, but I am pretty sure the driver support on the video side will be more refined.

Ah well. Back to hacking.

World of Warcraft on the ATI 200M Notebook GPU

Currently I’m working on a gaming and graphics cards article for PCBurn, and I’ve finally got the ATI 200M integrated on my Compaq laptop running World of Warcraft. As it wouldn’t give me more than blurry squiggels in DirectX 9 and wouldn’t run in OpenGL previously this is pretty cool.

It’ll work okay with all the eye candy turned off at 1024×768 as long as I’m not going through a very densely populated area. Oh, and this is using WINE 0.9.48 along with ATIs latest drivers as of Nov. 6, 2007 on Linux. I’m assuming it runs some variation of “better” on Windows, but I could be wrong.

Also note that the useful information on *how* to do this will be contained and linked to over on PCBurn once I get the article done.