Fresno, CA
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  • Warframe or Destiny 2 ?

    I've played both.

    Destiny has smoother gameplay - it's a shooter by people who know shooters very well. The story is much better than D1.

    That being said, there's only so much of it. I don't know that I would say I've gotten my $60 worth out of it yet, and I'm mostly done playing now until a bit more content catches up. I'm by no means a content locust, I'm not in a clan, I have never done a raid or Nightfall, but I've done almost all the single player content through two different classes now, and there isn't much left except to chase Powerful Engrams and grind Public Quests.... for a very, very slow gear score progression tempo.

    Warframe - a much deeper game. Tons of content out by now.  It's equal parts melee and shooter. Yes, it's very grindy and lots of time gates if you don't spend real money on it, but you also have the option of ~not~ spending money on it, whereas that isn't available with D2. The grind is real, but there's a lot more variety of things to grind here that all are rewarding in some way.wd

    I would lean toward the "both" camp. Your more than likely going to buy D2 eventually, and the game is fun. Warframe doesn't cost anything to play, so no reason you shouldn't be downloading it right now. 
  • Intel Coffee Lake 6-core (Out Now)

    I am not all that wound up about the PCI lane debate.

    Sure, more is “gooder” than less, and there really is no reason to artificially limit them except to screw with those few people who do. I think it’s one of those marketing points that AMD is latching on to that doesn’t mean much with regard to performance or actual use, but because it’s a great illustration of typical Intel douchbagery.

    I guess some (very few) people still run multi-GPU, or raid a lot of M.2’s. But that isn’t a typical use case by far, and the standard recommendations (for better or worse) tend to run against actually using any of that — UNLESS you know what you are doing and why you are doing it (in which case you probably aren’t asking for advice anyway).

    If it were an important use consideration for a build, I would probably be looking at server class motherboards and Epyc/Xeon Solutions rather than consumer gamer gear anyway.
  • Intel Coffee Lake 6-core (Out Now)

    So it's official today.

    I admit - Intel surprised me with pricing.

    Yes - chips are more expensive than they were before. A Top Tier i7-k runs $360 now, compared to the $310-320 it used to cost. But it also packs 50% more cores, and you can find price competitive options in the SKU lineup that present value options compared to previous price points.

    So I have to admit - with respect to pricing, you get more processing power for less money in the Coffee Lake series than you could have with any other series from Intel in recent history. 

    Intel is claiming "Best Gaming Processor Ever". I don't know about that, waiting for benchmarks. They have tweaked the boost a bit - a lower floor (<3.8 across the i7/i5 lineup), with a higher ceiling; going up to 4.7GHz in single core count boost modes.

    The i3 looks nearly identical to previous generation i5. They cost about $60 less, which is fantastic, but they also removed boost, so you get a static, and lower, stock frequency. Given there is a i3-K edition, that probably works out in consumer's favor, but again, benchmarks will tell.

    Granted, part of this good news comes with the news that Intel is also requiring the new 370 chipset to use with Coffee Lake. All 8000 series processors will require a 300 series motherboard, just because. Even though socket and functionality-wise, you should be able to use 100-300 series motherboards with 6000 through 8000 series chips.

    Z370 supports.... umm, nothing really new from the Z270 that I can find. A faster "supported" memory speed (although I seem to recall the memory controller is on the CPU die), and better power delivery specification (although any "good" motherboard is going to already have power delivery beyond specs for OCing).  That's all I could find.

    So a good bit of that "CPU doesn't really cost more than I expected it to" is taken away by "But you need to buy into a new chipset just because...."
  • City of Heroes

    A couple of things that made CoH stand out to me:

    The Mentor/Sidekick system. It just worked. You could be any level, and group with any other level, and it did a decent job of making sure it still worked out ok. It wasn't as robust as a truly dynamic system like One Tameril has, but it also came out a decade before that.

    The customization was fun, it got down to the level that you could customize the shaders and color of the particle effects that your powers had. The power sets were varied, and didn't necessarily vie for parity - they were just built for fun. There were definitely FoTM builds, but the meta in the game didn't revolve around spreadsheets and optimal DPS rotations - it was just about what you liked - you could make anything work.

    It had an in-game mission builder, and you could run player-created missions that were creative and fun. Neverwinter has something similar now, but CoH had it first.

    Open-world missions and events that were common. Rift and GW2 take a lot of pride in their public quests, but CoH was the precursor and did a good job of them.

    The lore and story - the world had a rich story, and the quests/story line lead you through it and made you a part of it. And the "sequel" - CoVillains, integrated into the same world, and you could have Villain characters that came at the same world, interacted with Hero characters, and it was awesome. It wasn't just adding "another faction" and enabling some PvP options.

    The game had instancing early on (and was one of the first to do so), but honestly, the instancing was one of the weaker points of CoH - it got repetitive early on, and was nowhere near as interesting as the open world events. They were the necessary evil in CoH.

    Champions Online, DCUO, and Marvel Online are all super-hero genres, and CO is closest in spirit, but none of them are entirely CoH replacements.

    A lot of games have a lot of the good things CoH had, but I haven't come across anything that hits all those points in the same way. I think it's going to remain one of those special games that can't be replaced (like SWG), and if you missed it, I'm sorry, but there isn't anything else quite like CoH was. 
  • Threadripper CPU is pretty awesome, except for gaming

    I did some more reading on the article that AmazingAvery links to. This is is an interesting read.

    Game mode disables one of the two dies on a TR - turning it essentially into a Ryzen with more PCI lanes and memory channels. It also shifts to NUMA memory access - meaning that faster RAM channels on the enabled die get used before the other channels, to help prevent data from having to cross the infinity layer.

    Some interesting take aways from the article:

    Anandtech misunderstood Game Mode at first, and assumed it disabled SMT (going to a 16C/16T chip - you can manually do this but it is not what Game Mode does) rather than disabling a die (going to a 8C/16T chip - this is what Game Mode does).

    The second die isn't really disabled, it's CPU core power setting is set down to something really low so the cores never get loaded. That keeps the PCI lanes and memory channels active still, although all access to them from the active die has to cross the cross-die infinity fabric for additional latency hits.

    In their testing, Anandtech finds that disabling SMT provided a bigger benefit than enabling Game Mode (although the gains were still pretty unremarkable over all). 

    It it is theorized that disabling SMT could essentially be done without requiring a reboot just by setting core affinities.