Little by little, we improve the rig.
Yesterday two things happened: our new, fresh blood for the Shadowrun game my husband runs arrived at my house to work on his character, and so did my new ATI 5770 card as well as my stonky new headphones from Sound Blaster. The former was very quiet and my husband got off work late so we didn’t get much done — but there’ll be more on tabletop in the coming weekend. No, today’s post is about technology! Shiny, shiny technology.
I was nerd enough to take the plunge on the WoW headset. I didn’t do it just for the geek factor, though. No! I researched. I had originally been intending to buy a RAZER product, but while we’ve done well with Razer mice, the headphones came fairly poorly reviewed, especially in the range I was looking at (around $70). The mic break and there were a lot of failed headsets within the first six months of use. So I looked up some other headsets and found that the headphones were fairly well rated and I decided ‘what the hell’. Why not.
I could not be happier with these babies, let me tell you. They’re large, and encompass my whole ear, but don’t GRAB my tiny little head like it’s in a vice. It’s comfortable even with my glasses on. I have some complaints with the mic position, but the noise canceling works; I popped on to an allied guild’s vent, said hello to some friends and talked with them for a while in a way I could never have done before. The sound incoming was excellent and from all reports, the outgoing was also good, I was very clear. The THX and other items also really helps crisp up the sound, so if you have the urge to play with those, I assure you, this is not a bad buy!
Being a cord sound purist, though, I did not get the wireless ones. USB cable plugs right into the front of my box, I don’t have to fuss with unplugging my speakers, and BAM! I’m good to go. I’m pretty pleased with the purchase– we’ll see if they last. But honestly, after my last headset– that I could only wear without pain for about thirty minutes–it’s a really nice change.
The card is also very awesome; I now run WoW on max settings without any issues at all. In fact, it’s made play easier. I got popped into Heroic Halls of Reflection, which with it’s tight LOS mechanics, has always been a cluster of magical effects that choked my older card and caused lag issue. Not good when you’re on DPS, and death when you’re heals! But I ran it TWICE yesterday and not only did I get to really appreciate the gorgeous mist affect laying over the floor of the instance, but I didn’t have any graphic lag at all. We smoked both runs and I consider that card $120 well spent. I shortly booted up Dragon Age: Awakenings and gloried in the smoother movement, the prettier graphics (also at max!) and tonight, I’m probably going to buy the Dawn of War II pack off Steam (since my DoW2 is attatched to my husband’s Steam account, from when we were sharing one) and glory in commanding my tiny marines up close and personal.
The next purchase will be a new monitor. I’m eyeing a 22″ widescreen from Samsung; currently I’m running on a 19″ that’s about 3-4 years old, and it’s a little trooper. Not a single dead pixel! Samsung’s goods have really impressed me, so I will probably stick with them (or possibly go Toshiba; our TV is Toshiba and oh the prettiness when I pop in a PS2 or 3 game!)
Speaking of PS3 — I haven’t had time to pick up Heavy Rain again; the frustration lingers, and weirdly, I don’t like to play it alone. I like having my husband there to sort of ‘co-op’ it, with ‘look at that’, ‘X, X, HIT X!” and so forth. Maybe it’s beacuse I haven’t been on a console regularly in about a year and a half, and maybe because the game regularly creeps me out. I really do want to finish it. I think I’ll make it a priority over my four day birthday weekend when I’m home waiting for things.