Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Great Upgrade of 2014

So a few days back my Dell notebook's Hard Disc Drive started to fail. It started with windows freezing up.. leading me to force a restart.. but i just couldnt get windows to run. so i did what anyone with a dual boot setup will do.. logged into Ubuntu and did a disc check. sure enough the disc was failing.  

Now Windows can't run on bad HDDs this has been my exerience in the past as well.. but Ubuntu will be able to boot up fine.. so i was able to check that all my data on the windows partitions were fine.. and then i called a computer guy. He heard the symptoms and agreed with my assessment. So off i went to replace the HDD. while doing that I realised i might as well do other upgrades. Since this is a notebook.. there arnt really that many upgrade options. So basically i got a new HDD and upped my RAM from 6 to 16gigs! yay!

After getting back home i proceeded to install windows(since most of my work programmes run on it) but instead of going back to the wndows 8(8.1) that i'd been using for the last year.. i decided to just go with the windows 7 that the machine shipped with. The primary reason being that in the last year the graphics drivers for windows 8 have been terrible.. it had affected both my gaming and 3d work performance. 

Now with a spanking new windows+Ubuntu dual boot installation, I've been able to run Arkham Origins properly..

Of course the performance could be a result of the 16gigs of ram..The Nvidia and Intel graphics chips can now use 2-3gigs of it and i still have plenty left over for the rest..  

but the stability is definitely a result of good drivers on windows 7. On windows 8 and 8.1 i frequently had graphics card crashes while modelling or gaming. Those arn't happenning anymore.

Moral of the story, if your Dell XPS 15 L502X shipped with Windows 7 .. stick with it.

Note: I liked Windows 8, I'm one of the few people who didnt miss the start button, or had any issues with the metro ui start screen.. which is why i stuck with it for a year. But after a year of terrible gaming and graphics problems.. i'done with it. atleast on this machine anyway... well my next one might be one of those Ubuntu or SteamOS Alienware offerings.

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