Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Project Man Cave Part 4: RAM and CPU Cooler

Things are progressing!! I just ordered in the RAM and CPU cooler for my Project Man Cave PC.

After watching tons of videos about the difference between 16 and 32gigs of RAM, I've come to the conclusion that, for the time being at least, 16gig is the absolute sweet spot, with 32gigs only yielding a frame or two extra.

I have decided on the G.Skill TridentZ RGB 3200MHz 2x8gig kit from Wootware:
And then, the i7-9700k, which I will most probably order next month (Feb 2020), obviously doesn't come with a CPU cooler, so I've ordered a Phanteks PH-TC12DX Black cooler, which gets great reviews, also from Wootware:
Image result for Phanteks PH-TC12DX_BK 120mm Black
They are on their way as I type this!

It's slow but surely coming together. Literally just the CPU next month, and I can actually build it. Can't wait!

Friday, December 20, 2019

Project Man Cave Part 3: Motherboard and NVME M.2 SSD

I have finally made some more progress on Project Man Cave. The gaming PC I've been dreaming of building from scratch for years and year and years.

Last week, I made a big purchase. I got the motherboard, and a 500gig NVME M.2 SSD.

Two more parts to go, then I can assemble the machine.

Anyway, here's what I got:


After reading up on the Z390 chipset, and the various options out there, I decided on the Gigabyte Z390 GAMING X. This one https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/Z390-GAMING-X-rev-10#kf

It cost me about R2800 here in SA. It's not the top of range by a long shot, but seeing as this PC will literally only be for gaming, it's more than sufficient for what I'll need.

Ahh that new motherboard smell!


As for storage, I've opted for the 500gig Western Digital SN750.

Wow these things are tiny! I have plenty of storage in the house, so won't be getting dedicated storage for now, the NAS will serve that purpose just fine for the time being. Can't wait to see what this tiny SSD is capable of, until now I've only ever experienced regular old SSD's...

What remains are the RAM, and of course the CPU and graphics card. I currently game on a GTX970, so I'll be getting the RAM and CPU next and moving the 970 to this machine, until the next generation of nVidia cards get launched, which will probably be around mid 2020.

I had a look at some benchmarks, specifically to compare my current CPU, which is a 8 year old i7-2600, with the i7-9700k, and just the CPU upgrade alone will give me like a 50% frame rate increase at least! So I'm happy to keep on gaming on that graphics card until the next generation gets released. I'll probably be looking at the RTX3070 or equivalent.

The final, and extremely nice to have items, will be kitting the man cave out with an air conditioner (will get that done winter 2020, around July or so), a recliner type chair, and a big 55" 4k TV.

Anyway, Project Man Cave is definitely still a go, and, although it's a bit slower than I hoped for, the end result will just be all that much sweeter!

Cheers for now!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Project Man Cave Part 2: Speakers, Keyboard and Mouse

I'm making progress on my Man Cave Project! To re-cap, I've always wanted to build a proper dedicated gaming rig from scratch, and kit out this room we have in the house next to our kitchen to be the official Man Cave. And I'm going all out (well, for me at least!).

I started in February to buy the parts I'll need for it. In my previous post, I mentioned the first few items: the Chassis, Power Supply, some case fans, and my awesome Steelseries Acrtis 7 Wireless headset.

Now, I have some more progress to share :D

At the end of April, I bought myself the Logitech Z607 5.1 Speakers, and I just couldn't let them sit in their box until I finally have everything, plus I wanted to make sure they work. They are great! The only hassle I had was it only included one cable to connect to my PC, which meant it wasn't 5.1 sound after all, so I bought a couple of extra RCA to 3.5mm cables and now it's connected properly. They sound great!

I already have a wireless headset, but for when I'm not gaming online I don't want to sit with a headset on while playing, so I decided to get some decent speakers as well. The rear speakers have nice long cables. Can't wait to move them to the man cave when it's done in the near future!

Next up, I got a nice wireless mouse, the Logitech G603. My awesome wife bought it for my birthday in June. I've been using it since, and it's great as well! It doesn't feel like a wireless mouse at all, it's very responsive and works great, plus, it has a bluetooth mode as well, so on days I feel the need to be quirky I use it on my phone haha!

Last but not least, just last week Friday I went and picked up the Corsair K63 Wireless Keyboard with Lapboard. Remember, I plan to have a reclining chair in there, and a big ass TV to use as a screen :) so I need something I can game on such a chair with. My two options with the Roccat Lapboard and the Corsair option. From what I could tell, the Corsair is the better of the two, and boy oh boy, I can't wait to give it a proper go once the whole project is completed. This will also be my very first mechanical keyboard!

Project Man Cave is progressing very nicely. My next purchase will most probably be a 1TB M.2 SSD. It's either the WD Black or the Samsung EVO. After that, it will be finishing up the room itself, and then the last two purchases will be the TV (currently I'm looking at the Samsung NU8500 55 inch, but who knows if that will change closer to the end of the year...), and of course the Motherboard, CPU, RAM and Graphics Card.


Sunday, March 10, 2019

Project Man Cave Part 1: PC Case, PSU and Wireless Headset

Since forever, I just wanted to buy a brand new gaming PC. As in everything new. From scratch.

A quick history

My wife is a graphic designer, and in roughly 2011 she bought a new PC to work on. At the time, it was pretty well spec'd. i7-2600 with 16GB RAM, SSD. Basically everything you would want at that time. It was her work PC for 3 years. Then, in October 2014, our son was born. We both work from home, and we thought (not sure why haha), that for her to get a Laptop as her main PC would be great, then she can sit with the baby and work and things like that.

So, she bought a MSI mid-range gaming laptop (i7, 16GIG RAM, SSD, GTX760m), and her old PC became my dedicated gaming PC.

We have this room next to our kitchen, which is a glorified walk in pantry/storage room. I put a table in there, took a network cable through the ceiling and turned it into my man cave. I put a GTX970 into that PC, and it became dedicated just for gaming. It was awesome!

Meanwhile, my normal work PC was in our main study and was doing it's thing fine. It was an i5-650 with 12GB of RAM. For web design and general scripting it was perfect. Until the motherboard gave in. This was about 2 years ago (mid 2017).

So, finances didn't allow to replace it, so the gaming PC became the work/gaming PC. And it moved out of the man cave to the study. A sad day indeed.

Meanwhile, web designing sucks more and more, so I give much more time and energy to my Herbalife business. It's amazing what can happen if you put some serious focus into something. I've since closed my web design business, and I'm now doing Herbalife full time. I'm never behind on bills anymore, and I'm actually doing well enough that I can start buying a luxury item here and there. And the business is just growing, so I'm super excited about that and what the future holds.


So yes, I've been forever yearning to build a brand new PC from scratch specifically for my man cave. But not just that, I want to kit out that man cave to be super nice and a dedicated spot just for me to go relax in.

Now that business is going so well, I've actually started with it! I have decided to do something for it every month as time goes on, and I started with the PC case, PSU, some case fans and a wireless headset last month.

PC Chassis

I watched numerous videos online and I wanted something really stylish and smart looking, with RGB because why not haha! And this video grabbed my attention:

It cost me R999 when I bought it, although I see the price has gone up slightly now.

Then, seeing as I was buying from Wootware, I checked out what PSU's they have, and I was looking for a well rated one that was fully modular, so I ended up buying this Super Flower 650W 80 Plus Gold PSU: https://www.wootware.co.za/super-flower-sf-650f14eg-bk-leadex-ii-650w-80-plus-gold-certified-fully-modular-desktop-power-supply.html

Here are the pics for them:

That was what will be my purchase for February for the man cave. The plan was to buy the headset now in March, so I checked out all the videos about the contenders out there. I saw the HyperX Cloud Flight, the Corsair HS70 and the Steelseries Arctis 7.

I have had a Steelseries Siberia V2 for 6 years. And it IS AWESOME! But, it is beginning to show wear and tear, the earpieces are giving off little black flecks and so on. It still works and is beyond comfortable, so I was leaning towards the Steelseries as I had such an awesome experience with that set. 

And, out of the blue, as if Takealot read my mind, they had said headset on special for R2000 instead of R2500. I had some ebucks saved up, so I took the plunge and bought it as well, and I am extremely happy with it! Still super comfy, and sounds great, and it's, of course, WIRELESS!! whoohoooo!!!!

Here are the pics:

So, Project Man Cave started with a bang! First month, I ticked off three items on the list already! This is gonna be beyond fun!

The rest of the stuff

So yes, obviously I want to go all out, so here's what's on the list still:

The PC:

  • CPU, Motherboard and RAM (i7-9700K and 16GB DDR4 RAM with a suitable motherboard, still shopping around)
  • Graphics Card (looking at the RTX2080 currently, but would love the RTX2080ti of course)
  • SSD + HDD
  • Lapboard (looking at the Corsair K63 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard, and then you also get a Lapboard that it slots into)
  • Wireless gaming mouse (love Logitech)
  • Logitech Z607 Speakers (for when I'm gaming solo, don't want headset on all the time hehe)
  • Windows 10 Pro license
Then, this is for the room itself:
  • Air conditioner
  • Recliner chair and other furniture (carpet, plasma unit, etc)
  • Paint and fixing up
  • 65 inch 4k TV (looking at Samsung for low input lag)
  • Bracket for the TV
So yeah, I'm dreaming big for this, and the best part is, I've already started! 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Look at me being all pro in Overwatch with the snipers...

Last night me and Alister played some Overwatch, or, Oversalty as we like to call it haha! We had some truly horrendous games! I don't think I'll ever understand how the Overwatch matchmaking system works - in one game, we totally destroy the enemies (and to be honest, it's not that fun!) and the very next game, we get put against an uber OP team, with a bunch of idiots on our side (trying to line up the perfect team kill with McCree's ult, oblivious of the rest of the team or the objective for that matter!).

Anyway, we played Mystery Heroes mostly. The first clip is us defending on Numbani. It was all going relatively well defending the point (I was Orisa if memory serves), but they overwhelmed us (thanks to the 2 or 3 guys on our team just running off doing their own thing). I died, and rolled a Widowmaker. Oh boy, me and sniping... Now I'm not all bad, and sometimes luck is just totally on my side, as you'll see in the clip. I kill the Orisa too, but the highlight ends just before that hehe...

The Mystery Heroes just went to all hell, so we tried some Quickplay - I had some really good runs with Sombra in MH, so decided to try her in QP, and ended up making this nice play - was a rocky start, but thoroughly enjoyed playing her. We still lost though...

Lastly, Hanzo hahaha! It was this game where the McCree kept on trying to ult himself into the record books. It was on Oasis, and at the start of the one match, nobody captured the point for like a good 30 seconds after it became available! I tried Zenyata, then Soldier 76, then I was just screw it, I'M PLAYING MY MAIN! After switching to Hanzo, I got numerous lucky shots in and ended up with silver elims and gold damage. The game recorded this play of mine, makes me look like a pro - that Pharah in the end of the clip, I didn't kill her haha, so it was sheer luck!

Anyway, hope you enjoy :)

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Overwatch plays compilation

Finally had a chance to compile and upload a bunch of replays I saved for Overwatch:

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Beyond Good and Evil - get it for FREE

Beyond Good and Evil. Boy, what a unique and fun little game from a few years back. I remember vaguely what it was about - you're a reporter with a camera and your best friend is a pig. It's an action adventure game, with some stealth thrown into the mix too. Oh, and you also have a boat with which to travel around. And a staff to fight with. Great fun indeed, can't wait to fire it up again - ahh nostalgia :)

Well, it's now FREE on Ubisoft's Uplay - if you have an account already, simply click the U30 link at the top (this is their 30 year anniversary promotion = free games every month!). Thanks Ubisoft!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Overwatch plays - Pharah and a Reinhardt

Man, Overwatch is such an awesome game - that is, when it's not driving me totally insane.

As much fun as it can be, just so much turmoil can it cause in my life. But, one thing I have noticed that tends to help me enjoy the "bad" matches more, is to change my whole attitude towards the game. Usually I go in and really try to play my part - but, sadly, it doesn't always happen that my 5 team mates do the same. So what I do then is use that time to learn the other heroes I don't play as often. Such was the case this Monday - it didn't go well, so I decided to practice a bit with Pharah, someone I hardly ever play with. And hey, it was actually a lot of fun - I even got play of the game for one of the games. I also had some Reinhardt footage that I threw in for good measure, I especially liked his voice line at the end of the clip.

Anyway, here they are:

Thursday, October 6, 2016

My LG G4 - what I love, and what I don't love

I've had my LG G4 for about a year now. And here's how I feel about the phone:

Overall, my experience has been great with the device. I had the misfortune of dropping it while saving my son from a nasty plunge a few months ago, and the screen cracked. While in for repairs, I used my old Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Boy oh boy was it clunky! I then realised just how smooth and seamless the user experience is on my G4. Thankfully my LG is insured, so I got it back in a few days, repaired.

I would give the phone a solid 8.5 out of 10. Where it loses most of its points are with battery life and the phone getting very hot.

Firstly, battery life. When I got the phone, the deal included an extra battery with a charger - and now, after using the phone for a year, I realise why. If I use the phone during the day, especially if I play a game or two and watch some videos, it doesn't last a day. Thankfully for the extra battery, but I have to swap it out every day at least.

Then, overheating. Playing any sort of game gets my phone very hot, to the point where I get the message that it's too hot and will shut down to avoid damaging the device. I read up about this, and the suggestion was to put the phone in battery saver mode, which I did. This restricts apps in the background from using resources, but it does put this ugly orange bars at the top and bottom of the display to indicate you are in battery saver mode. So, I constantly see that, which is a bummer. This does make the battery last longer too, and actually works in preventing the phone from overheating, so I guess it's a solution for that. Some people also suggested taking the cover off (speaking of which, I do it every day to swap out the battery, and so far it hasn't given any issues regarding removing it that often).

The things I love - EVERYTHING else basically. Especially the camera! Wow does this thing take amazing photos and videos! My wife has a iPhone 6S Plus, and I'm afraid that the Apple just doesn't come close (for me at least). The phone's interface is really smooth and fluid, and it's just the right size at 5.5 inches. Also, the display is stunning to look at! One tiny thing I do miss from my Samsungs is the OLED displays, the main thing about this is that blacks aren't perfectly black, there's still some light shining out of the screen even if the display is showing a pure black item - on the OLED displays, the pixels are actually turned off.

To summarize, I love my LG G4, it's a great device, even with its minor flaws. I will definitely consider getting another LG with my next upgrade, which will only be in a year's time though. One thing I missed from my Samsungs is the better warranties. Samsungs gets a two year warranty in South Africa, and if your screen gets broken, or your device takes a swim, the first time they'll fix it for free. This was the first time ever though, that I've broken a screen on my smart phone. It sucked.

Till next time!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Overwatch ranked play - how I feel about it

At first, I had no interest in playing Overwatch ranked games, but my one friend told me he found it to be a much better experience than Quickplays. The thing is, people playing ranked generally try to do a better job at things and actually do their part in the games. According to my friend at least...

The first season ends tomorrow, so I decided last week that I'll do the placement matches and get some ranked play in as well.

Boy oh boy, I HATED the placements matches. I won only 3 out of the 10. The ones I won was great fun, but the ones we lost was just plain terrible. I somehow always gets placed against a far superior team, with toxic players in our team.

Now, I don't mind if you have a shitty game or make a mistake, but to blatantly join the game just to disrupt it for your team? Last night, with my 3rd last placement match, we had a Mei on our team - as we were all running for the point, she all of a sudden put up an ice wall blocking us all for a few seconds. When we finally reached the point, the whole enemy team was already there ready to wreak havoc on us. And boy did they. Another thing that bothers me is when someone chooses a hero they can't play. Or the wrong hero for the map. I mean, if you're gonna pick Widowmaker, and you end up with little to no kills, then switch to something else damnit!

Well, I wanted the sprays and stuff you get for taking part in competitive play, so I pushed through, but didn't have a good time doing it. BUT, everything changed when I finally finished up with the 10 placement matches (I ended up being rank 41 hehe), and played a proper competitive match. It was much better! So much better!! I had an absolute blast. We were grouped with nice players, and even though we lost about half our matches, it was still way better than anything Quickplay we've done before. The guys we played with actually tried bringing their part, which makes such a big difference, even if they make mistakes and stuff. We had a leaver or two, but at this level that is to be expected.

Anyway, we're definitely going to play much more competitive games next season, it's just a much nicer experience than Quickplay. Quickplays have their place though, where else are you going to learn how to play the new heroes and refine your skills?

It's almost high noon here, and I sense death is about to rain from above, so until next time!