Time for an Overclock

It’s been about five years since I upgraded to my current PC, and with recent titles like Watchdogs Legion, my GTX 970 is starting to show its graphical age, particularly when you start comparing standard graphics settings to those with RTX enabled. It all looks very clean and shiny. However, Nvidia’s RTX cards are far too expensive for me at the moment. Plus I’m quite reluctant to drop money on say, a 2080 when the new 30 series is now on the market.

So, in a bid to tie me over until the costs level out, I installed MSI Afterburner and Kombustor, and had a go at overclocking the 970. Yep, I’ve finally popped my overclocking cherry.

Following a couple of Youtube Tutorials, I tinkered with the settings, increasing the core clock and memory clock frequencies incrementally before it all started to get a bit unstable. Running tests from userbenchmark.com before and after the overclocking showed a decent improvement in performance and % score, squeezing a few extra FPS out of the old dear. I also ramped up the fan speed to 100%, so the system stays much cooler when handling more complex processes (even if I now have a small wind turbine under my desk).

If you want some extra visual juice from your machine but don’t have the choice of upgrading to a newer graphics card at the moment, then overclocking your current device might be an option for you. Just bear in mind that it is possible to put too much stress on your setup, so I’d recommend using tools like Afterburner with a guide to avoid damaging your computer.

Supermash and The Art of the Hybrid-Genre

For the past few days, I’ve been playing Supermash, developed and published by Digital Continue. Supermash bids itself as a “game that makes games”. You run a video games store, that’s on the verge of closing, when you discover an old retro console that lets you combine (or mash) two different genres of game together to generate a unique old-school title that borrows elements from your chosen genres.

Every game you generate has its own challenge for you to complete. Whether the task is achievable however, is a whole other story. In fact, Supermash begins with a screen that states:

Supermash doesn’t design games a person would. The mashes can be: Good, Weird, Unbalanced, Incredibly Hard, Super Easy. The fun comes from finding and saving the games and rising to the challenge to overcome seemingly unbeatable mashes.”

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In Other News #002

Between sweltering record heatwaves, malfunctioning transport networks, trespassing dogs and national flood warnings, this week has been quite unusual to say the least. It’s just typical that by the time the weekend comes around, the “glorious” temperatures that baked us alive on our fragile daily commute are replaced with greying skies and miserable torrential rain. As luck would have it… Ok, enough of that. What else have I have been up to lately?

First of all, I finally dusted off SuperHot (pun not intended) after leaving it on the virtual shelf for quite some time, and eventually beat the main campaign into submission. I’d hit a brick wall on the later levels and put it to one side, but I’m so glad I came back to it. Man, I love this game. The core mechanic of “time only moves when you do” mixed with chaotic replayability reminiscent of Hotline Miami, and the bombastic style of That lobby scene from The Matrix creates an experience worthy of the “One more go” club. The icing on the cake are the dystopic and subversive plot events that unfold as you progress. There’s a lot of fun hidden gems within the game’s menu system too. On completion of the campaign, I seem to have unlocked both an endless mode and challenges. And I thought I was finally free…

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Miniature Painting, A Rediscovery

Once upon a time in the early to mid 90’s a much younger version of myself discovered Games Workshop, and its fantastic worlds of Warhammer Fantasy, Warhammer 40K and Necromunda amongst others. Many a weekend would I spend trying my hand at painting miniatures, or battling at the local store. However it wasn’t long before I fell into the common trap of having more unpainted models than finished pieces, and it all became a bit too daunting. I also was never happy with half the stuff I painted. It wasn’t long before the whole lot was put to one side, and eventually stowed away in the loft. I never had a big collection, but there were models I wanted to finish that just never got to be.

Cut to present day, and my parents visiting a much older, late thirty-something me. They’ve come bearing gifts, including a couple of small figurine boxes, and a familiar carry case with a “space marine” sticker emblazoned across the side. Oh boy.

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In Other News #001

So what games have I been playing lately? What shows have caught my eye?

I recently finished watching season one of The Rain on Netflix, a pretty enjoyable Danish drama set in a post-apocalypse where a deadly virus carried by rainfall infects and kills anyone exposed to it. The series follows a group of people thrown together six years after the outbreak as they attempt to survive and reach safety in a Fallout-meets-The Walking Dead-meets-“Coming of Age Story 101” vibe. I say Fallout, because there are bunkers (ie “vaults”) dotted throughout the region belonging to a corporation called Apollon, for who the father of two of the protagonists works for, and within them secrets that unravel and present themselves as the episodes go on. What I especially enjoyed was the character development of each of the group, and the glimpse into their backstories; what brought them to this situation, how they survived this far, how they deal with danger and what lengths they will go to in order to stay alive. Definitely worth a watch if this is your type of genre.

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