It’s no secret that, when it comes to gaming, I prefer consoles to PCs — it’s just easier to have a nice black box under the TV that I can shove discs in to without too much hassle, especially when your PC isn’t running Windows anyway — but there’s still the occasional PC game (sometimes with a Linux port, no less) that I would like to run. Unfortunately, my PC hasn’t really been up to scratch, despite being mostly decent (with 4GB of RAM and a Core 2 Duo E8300), but thanks to a few recent upgrades it’s once again capable of playing actual games.
The main problem was the video, though the actual problem was the PSU; it was underpowered, and had a dead fan, so I had no option other than to swap out my (aging, but perfectly adequate) 8800GT and use the on-board Intel video. I replaced it with a Cooler Master Silent Pro M600, which has both plenty of power for the 8800GT, and a wonderfully quiet 120mm fan, so it’s still great for studio recording use.
With the 8800GT back in place, I was also able to pick up a second monitor, which I’d wanted for a while — I couldn’t tell you exactly what I got, but it’s a 22″ ASUS, it has a HDMI port alongside the DVI and VGA ports (handy for running consoles through it), and it was cheap!
Most recently, I picked up a new mouse. Dragging my old Logitech MX500 all the way across my now 3360-pixel-wide desktop felt annoyingly sluggish, so I headed to CPL yet again to grab a new mouse — perhaps a Razer DeathAdder. What I ended up with, though, was the Razer Mamba, which is totally awesome. Its laser-based sensor is fast and accurate, and even though it’s wireless, it’s always smooth and responsive. It’s rechargeable, and comes with a dock to charge it from, but if all else fails you can plug it in and use it as a wired mouse, which is very cool. There are hardware buttons to adjust its sensitivity on-the-fly, and its side buttons magically defaulted to controlling the back and forward buttons in Firefox; I think that’s related to the fact that it appears to the OS as both a mouse and a keyboard.
As a sweetener, the box is freaking sweet (apologies for the phone camera photo):
I know it’s not the latest and greatest game, but I just fired up Penumbra: Overture, which I picked up in the first Humble Indie Bundle, and it worked beautifully. I did run on the on-board video, albeit very slowly, but at 1080p on my new monitor through the 8800GT, it looks great and runs beautifully. I might just have to pick up Amnesia after all!