Saturday, January 12, 2008

Crysis rocks

ok its been almost a week since ive had my new notebook.
heres the good and bad of the week.

gaming:


closeup here

The performance is pretty much off the charts for Bioshock(played with everything on high...except gi lighting). one issue i had was that the game wouldnt recognize the scroll wheel on my dell premium mouse. and everytime i pressed one of the audio volume buttons, the game paused and i'd be at the game menu... strange.

The timeshift demo looks awesome. will have to wait till i get my hands on the full version, before i say more.

Crysis worked great, although in order to get 2x or more antialiasing to work smoothly i had to reduce my resolution by a notch. as you can see in the screenshots the games recomended system rating is 5 and my systems rating is 4.5 ...

considering that i have 3.5gb of the 4gb ram available, thats not too bad. eventually when i have all the dell drivers for the 64bit os, i'l upgrade to vista 64 and then, we'l see what happens. for now this is awesome.

Alternate OS:

2 days after i got the machine, i tried to instal ubuntu on it. heres an account of what happened:

I first downloaded the dell+ubuntu distro from dells linux wiki they didnt have a distro for the inspiron 1520, but they did have one for the 1420.. so i took that, since its essentially the same hardwaare..just with a smaller screen.


This was a 4gb download, so it took me a while to get it. after i had it, i needed to make a couple of partitions for it.

I had a 40gb partition for my vista and all windows programs. a10gb dell recovery partition. a 2gb dell media direct partition. and @180gb in the last partition.

I first tried to split the biggest partition using vista's disk manager...but it had some problem and wouldnt do it. So then i installed partition magic. Now i hav used this app on xp machines before, without any serious problems. however... on vista things were different. during the instalation, vista warned me that it had "known issues" with the program. i continued anyway... the installation went ahead successfully.

Then when i ran the program...disaster struck. as it was loading up it detected some inconsitencies with my partitions, and asked if i wanted em fixed. i clicked OK. tada! blue screen!

After my initial shock i restarted the machine, and before vista loaded it went into a recovery screen... unfortunately non of the recovery options available could work because they all needed access to my c: drive. and apparently c: was now what used to be my d: . i could see the other partitions including the 10gb recovery partition...but had no way of using em.

Booting with the both the vista dvd and the dell os reinstallation dvd prooved pointless, as neither could recover my system.

So then in a last ditch attempt, i ran the ubuntu dvd in live cd mode. WOW! it detected my native screen rez of 1680x1050 ! and gutsy never looked cooler. the "places" navigator showed up all my partitions, but they were all write protected until i instal ubuntu... so i figured what the hell, lets try installing... unfortunately ubuntu's installation programme couldnt detect any partitons! the only option available was to forma the whole hdd and instal ubuntu.. i wasnt prepared to give up that much :(

And so i called up dell tech-support and explained the situation to them. they walked me through reinstalling vista, which could only be done by formatting the entire hdd. then they told me that the culprit for all my maladies was the 2gb partition for Dell Media Direct.. basically when you hit the media direct button, it looks for the 2gb partition... and if you have more that the standard number of partitions.. it ends up corrupting your os.

So until i find a work around to this, i wont be installing ubuntu or anyother linux distro on this machine. not anytime soon. :(

The up side of this fiasco is that i ditched the 10gb dell recovery partition, coz... well it was completely useless, when i needed it.

And so now i have 10 extra gb to play with.
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