Computerus

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Thad
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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Fri Apr 07, 2017 6:28 pm

It occurs to me that I could even hold off on buying a graphics card, since the games I'm playing right now will work fine on on-board Intel graphics. I'll need one eventually, and I *really* want to get away from the damn Nvidia proprietary graphics stack, but it's still early days for Vulkan and AMD still lags on OpenGL.

OTOH I've dual-booted before and I can do it again. Hell, I probably will; did you guys hear there's a Windows emulator that will play Breath of the Wild at 1080p? (4K, even, but I don't have a 4K TV, so.) I'd totally buy the game, mind, but I wouldn't even need a Wii U or Switch to play it on.

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TA
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Re: Computerus

Postby TA » Fri Apr 07, 2017 6:53 pm

... okay, but what emulator?
のほも is such a good word?? the concept is kind of hard to fully get across in translation, but basically it means a feeling of pure, deep, platonic affection, and i think thats beautiful

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sei
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Re: Computerus

Postby sei » Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:09 pm

Thad wrote:Nooooope, will not be buying it this paycheck.

Damn taxes.

Maybe I'll buy the case. It's not on Amazon so I can't get Prime shipping so it'll take longer to get here than the stuff that is on Amazon. And I can mostly tell if the case is in good working order by looking at it, though of course I won't be able to test buttons or ports until I've got them hooked up to something.


Just buy some of the parts that are marked down well and wait on the other ones to be marked down?
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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:28 pm

TA wrote:... okay, but what emulator?

http://cemu.info/
sei wrote:Just buy some of the parts that are marked down well and wait on the other ones to be marked down?

Yeah, I've already ordered a USB hard drive that I'm going to use to transfer content off my current HTPC, and like I said, it might be worth waiting on the graphics card for a bit.

But I don't want to space out my purchases *too* much, since I need to be able to hook stuff up and make sure it works before the return period is up. (Or the rebate period, if any.) So I probably want to get the essential components (MB, PS, processor, case, boot drive, and at least some of the RAM) pretty close together.

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sei
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Re: Computerus

Postby sei » Sat Apr 08, 2017 4:24 am

Damn good call on the return window. Hadn't thought of that.
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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:48 pm

Well, I bought and built the thing, mostly. Haven't grabbed a graphics card yet (the new Polaris refresh just came out and it's probably a good idea to wait for the Vega line, if only to see if it pushes the RX400 series' prices down), and I'm still playing my videos off the USB drive I backed them up to instead of the Btrfs JBOD pool I want to set up, because my MB doesn't have quite enough SATA ports for all my drives and I managed to break my PCIE SATA card by trying to run a cable that was about an inch too short. At least I didn't break anything expensive.

Fedora's installer is fine if you stick with the defaults but surprisingly limited for even simple partitioning if you don't; I wound up partitioning my drives in command-line parted and then just using the graphical installer to format and assign mount points.

My suspicions that GNOME 3 would be better for an HTPC than a desktop have proven largely accurate. It's still got some annoying peculiarities (programs that are available to install from dnf but don't appear in GNOME Software and then don't create launchers when you install them, inconsistent behavior in scaling settings so that the only options seem to be "tiny fonts and icons", "legible fonts with tiny icons", "reasonably-sized icons with tiny text", and "reasonably sized icons with some tiny text and some fucking gigantic text") but it's usable. The default themes still do that stupid shit where the title bars of unfocused windows are the same color as the title bar of the focused window, and fucking seriously, how did that ever become a thing? So I'm looking for other themes.

Wayland is mostly fine but I can't control my desktop remotely, which is irritating. I knew it couldn't do traditional desktop sharing or ssh tunneling, but I'd heard it supported RDP; apparently it's actually more like "should support RDP at some point in the future"; vino-server crashes at launch (and the option to enable it seems to have disappeared from Settings after a system update), and xrdp, as the name implies, only supports X.

Netflix is apparently doing some stupid shit where it blocks browsers with unrecognized UA strings, which includes the Fedora version of Firefox, so I had to set up UA spoofing to get it to work. Which is terrible, but at least it works now.

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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:20 am

Got some games set up. Almost entirely Linux-native at this point (the one Windows game I've set up so far is Trails in the Sky, which I know from previously testing runs flawlessly under WINE). Played some Freedom Planet. Onboard graphics are plenty for that one, though it wouldn't recognize the D-pad on my PS4 controller and I had to use the stick. (Which actually worked fine; it's not really a precision platformer. And oh hey, Bluetooth's working.) I think Steam's got a built-in PS controller compatibility layer now (it does on Windows, at least) so maybe I'll try and see if I can get that set up; I got FP from GOG so it's not in my Steam library, but AFAIK I should be able to make it launch from Steam.

Since GOG doesn't have cloud saves (yet; the feature is supposed to be coming to GOG Galaxy, which would help for WINE games but not Linux-native ones since Galaxy still isn't available natively on Linux) there's the minor hassle of having to set them up manually using ownCloud, which becomes a slightly greater hassle when games don't put their saves in a sane and obvious spot. Freedom Planet sticks its saves in the same directory as its binaries -- I guess it's a '90s retro game in more ways than one.

Haven't fired up any other games yet. Stardew should work fine, though. And XCOM, if I wanted to play it on a TV for some reason. Meantime, I've still got Persona 4 Golden to work through on the PSTV.

Oh, and just to bury the lede...apparently there's a PS3 emulator that'll play Persona 5 and should have automatic Linux builds soon. ...think I'll probably need a dedicated graphics card for that.

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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Sun May 07, 2017 1:58 pm

Welp, once more I find that I can't recommend Linux to casual users who want to play games, unless they're buying an official Steam box or only intend to play games that will run on onboard Intel video. (Which actually is still a pretty wide array of games: basically every indie, XCOM, emulation at least up to the N64/PS1/Saturn era...)

Got my AMD graphics card. Had to install an alternate kernel to get HDMI audio. Currently I can play video through mplayer, but vlc hardlocks, and Kodi crashes on load. Dolphin crashes as soon as I try to play a game (whether I set it to use OpenGL or Vulkan as the backend). Both Dolphin and Kodi give the same memory pointer error, which at least is a clue. I've seen a lot of people noting that the amdgpu-pro driver crashes any program that uses EGL, but I'm not using amdgpu-pro, I'm using the open-source amdgpu driver. And every solution I've seen for the amdgpu-pro crash is "Use amdgpu instead."

So that's Fedora.

It might work better in Ubuntu or Mint, but I think they have older AMD drivers at this point than Fedora does.

I'm seriously considering switching to Antergos, but that's not a newbie-friendly distribution (and my fear with any rolling-release distro is that shit like this will happen all the time instead of only at major upgrades).

I feel like Linux is so close to being a viable, painless OS for most games. We've got the driver stack that's eventually going to make all this shit work the way it's supposed to without any fucking around with third-party repos or installers. It may be as close as mere months out. But it's just not quite there yet.

With the caveat that if you just want an overpriced console, a Steam Box should do just fine and handle all the third-party repo BS for you, or if you don't want to play anything that needs a dedicated graphics card, Ubuntu or Mint should have you covered.

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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Tue May 09, 2017 4:39 pm

Switched the HTPC from Fedora to Antergos, which is Arch with an installer. It was surprisingly painless, for values of "painless" that assume sufficient Linux knowledge for somebody to be using Arch in the first place. (I reused all the partitions I'd already set up for Fedora (and reformatted them all except /home), including /boot/efi. Antergos isn't designed to use a dedicated partition for /boot/efi, so grub didn't get installed correctly, so I had to boot the live disc again and install it manually.)

I haven't set everything back up yet but what I've set up so far is working, no crashes. AUR seems like a great idea; there's a package for basically everything, all in one repo. (I realize the various potential issues, and why most distros would never follow such a model, but it's sure going to save me a lot of repo-hunting and compiling programs from source.)

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Re: Computerus

Postby Kayma » Tue May 09, 2017 8:25 pm

I couldn't figure out why I couldn't get a DHCP address on a CentOS machine today, and it turns out I had BOOTPROTO=DHCP instead of BOOTPROTO=dhcp so yeah, I am also mad at Linux today.

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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Wed May 10, 2017 8:50 pm

Oh yeah, good old case sensitivity. Under Windows, I already had to deal with downloads sometimes getting filed under Stephen Colbert and sometimes getting filed under The Late Show (after 9 years I *still* haven't figured out how to get sabnzbd to drop goddamn articles from the beginning of filenames). Now I have to deal with them *also* sometimes getting filed under stephen colbert and sometimes getting filed under the late show.

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Re: Computerus

Postby Rico » Thu May 11, 2017 12:15 am

Kayma wrote:I couldn't figure out why I couldn't get a DHCP address on a CentOS machine today, and it turns out I had BOOTPROTO=DHCP instead of BOOTPROTO=dhcp so yeah, I am also mad at Linux today.

I will make fun of my coworker who rages at case-sensitive passwords all damn day, but for some things, yeah....

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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Sun May 14, 2017 3:47 pm

Cemu runs fine on my main (even under WINE) but chokes on the HTPC, with a paging error that suggests it's the same problem I was getting under Fedora. Irritating; I'll keep an eye on it and see what I can figure out. (I tried switching to experimental amdgpu drivers, and...nope, sticking with the main ones.)

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Re: Computerus

Postby Mongrel » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:27 pm

Buying a new GPU. So far here's the best advice I've gotten on the matter, and where I am now:
Glocks For Interns wrote:
Mongrel wrote:As far as I know, I'm running basically the best graphics card I can run on my motherboard, which is quite old (as is the graphics card), and that any large improvement in GPU would require a new mobo. But maybe I'm wrong?

Gigabyte Technology GA-890GPA-UD3H
GPU - ATI Radeon HD 5750 (1 Gb VMEM)

and just in case it matters

CPU - AMD Phenom II X6 1055T 2.8 GHz
8 GB RAM

Obviously I can only boost the graphics so far before the CPU becomes a sever bottleneck, so there's a practical limit there as well. But is there maybe a reasonable GPU I could swap in to get a significant, noticeable upgrade?

Before anyone asks why ATI/AMD, the setup was a very good deal when we bought it... six years ago.
that motherboard has PCI Express 16x so I don't see why it wouldn't support pretty much anything. that said it's 2.0 so while 3.0 cards should work they'll be bandwidth limited. the chances that your current card is always maxing out the bus' bandwidth are close to zero so upgrading should still net performance increases. as you say CPU will be a bottleneck. you probably also have some power constraints.

RX-460 might be a good choice, about 100 bucks and something like twice the power of the 5750.

alternately you can look up what graphics card generation made the leap from 2.0 to 3.0 and buy the top of the line card from right before that, again though you may run into power issues there. looks like GTX 5xx is nVidia's last pciexpress 2.0 generation. 570 would be ~50% boost in power so if you can get a cheap (working) one on ebay that could work. check your power supply though as peak power consumption goes up 40%.

my advice is to get a RX-460 from a place where you can return it for free or a restocking fee you're willing to pay, it'll probably work but only probably.


I couldn't find any new GTX 570s anywhere, and I'd rather avoid buying used GPUs unless it's so cheap that I don't care if it turns out to be a total bust (like $20).

So here's the options I'm looking at, all RX-460s (all prices CAD):

1) https://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product

A little higher price point, and a little better performance with it being factory overclocked. Cons are that it might be more likely to hit a bandwidth restriction, but my mobo should be able to accept a 2GB GPU, so I don't see much if any loss being an issue. But then I'm no expert.

2) https://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product

Cheaper, but every Sapphire grahpics card we've ever bought has had issues with the fan dying and that makes me leery of getting another one.

Any other suggestions or warnings from anyone here? Newegg had some others, but they're more expensive, out of stock, poorly reviewed or all of the above. Best Buy had none in stock except as a component in a prebuilt rig, and Canada Computers (a big computer chain in Toronto and most folks' go-to for computer retail) had no RX-460s listed in stock at all.

Alternatively I could buy from a US dealer to open up more options, but Newegg.com don't ship to Canada and insists you buy from the .ca site. I don't know if it would save all that much anyway.
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Re: Computerus

Postby Mazian » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:40 pm

Mongrel wrote:I couldn't find any new GTX 570s anywhere, and I'd rather avoid buying used GPUs unless it's so cheap that I don't care if it turns out to be a total bust (like $20).


New is not an option, the GTX 570 was released in 2010. It's not even remotely close to an RX460; the closest modern nVidia equivalent would be the GTX 1050.

My own six-year-old mobo and CPU are quite happily running with an EVGA-manufactured GTX 1060 right now.

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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:45 am

I think I've got a 570 I'm not using, but it never worked quite right for me (lots of issues with overheating and spontaneous rebooting; it's possible the card itself wasn't the problem; first I used it on a Mac it wasn't designed for and then I used it in a computer that I later found out had CPU overheating issues) and I hear international shipping is pretty ridiculous. I wouldn't recommend it but let me know if you're interested anyway.

I hear the 1050's a good midrange card; that's the one everybody recommended to me when I went and bought an RX 480 instead (for Linux driver reasons that presumably don't apply to you).

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Re: Computerus

Postby Mongrel » Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:11 am

Well, the 1050 does seem to have a moderately higher performance level, but it's also noticeably more expensive and I'm trying not to spend too much (any new card will be a big upgrade over my current one). Plus too much disparity between my CPU and GPU is just wasted GPU power, since games are swinging back towards the CPU being the bottleneck.
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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:45 am

I got a surprising amount of games to work on a 2009 Pentium and a GTX 560, but you know what you're playing and how it bottlenecks better than I do.

If 1050's too much then yeah 460 sounds like probably your best bet. (Or 470 if you can find/afford one, but it looks like they're getting snatched up by cryptocurrency miners at a pretty rapid clip.) The (Radeon) 550 and 560 are options too, but the 5xx series is just a slight spec bump to the 4xx series. (Slightly higher performance, disproportionately higher power consumption, from what I've read.)

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Re: Computerus

Postby Mongrel » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:02 pm

Yeah, probably stick with the 4xx series because the power consumption is actually a relevant concern (my power supply is actually overkill for my computer, 700w IIRC, but the issue is more the apartment's wiring and not blowing fuses, since our AC in this room has to run off the same circuit).

Speaking of the currency mining, yeah, it's crazy what's going on right now, with so many new and high-end cards out of stock everywhere or commanding insane prices. Apparently six months from now will be a great time to buy used GPUs once this current frenzy burns itself out and all the currency miners look to dump their now-useless glut of GPUs.

Heh. It's funny that we still have gold rushes, only now they're all for imaginary fool's gold.
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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:52 am

Apparently the new Firefox is out. The one that deprecates the old extensions API. So, y'know, careful with upgrading.

I haven't tried it out yet; I'll install it at work first and see how much shit it breaks. I hear most extensions have already been released in the new format (and I think Chrome extensions should work with FF too but I'm not 100% on that) but I heard NoScript hasn't yet.

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