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ddrueding

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I haven't played D&D since the early '90s, but a friend will be starting a game in about a month that I'm looking forward to joining. I taught my SO at the time how to grind items in Neverwinter Nights and it paid for most of her college. Skyrim consumed at least a thousand hours of my time, and I'm looking forward to doing that again.

And earthquakes are indeed a meh if you live in a place with building codes. I was in CA for the 3 biggest ones there in the last 50 years, and for one of them was on the 17th floor in my office in SF, meh is the right word. Just don't do that in Mexico, Turkey, Nepal, or the like.
 

LunarMist

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It's not just a meh. I was impacted by falling object in the 1971 quake. In 1994 glass and flying debris were all over the bedroom and I was uninhabitable for a few days. I know multiple people in each quake that lost their homes although there were no injuries. A building doesn't have to collapse to be a major issue for affected people. I saw a man have a metal breakdown (what might be described as PTSD today) soon after the 1971 quake destroyed his family home. Damage is very much dependent on the underlying geology and land, not just the building itself.
 

Mercutio

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I do not remotely get the love for shitty Bethesda games using that engine but my roommate loves them. Fallout 3 and 4 and Skyrim are all unplayable messes to this day if you're playing the game as it was delivered, even on the extra-special diamond uranium game of the decade edition. This is even more true on consoles than it is on PCs, where modders can kind of straighten things out. Bethesda should be banned from making software and Fallout should be given to someone remotely competent and called Black Isle studios.
 

sedrosken

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Merc I agree, I loved Skyrim when it came out but as time wore on and my tastes matured (ie I beat Morrowind and Baldur's Gate for the first time) I just can't stand how shallow it is without mods. I have an 80+ strong modlist that I need to even launch the game much less play it. Fallout NV was the last decent entry in that series, and even then it was in spite of its choice of game engine rather than because of it.

The last time Bethesda's engine was unquestionably relevant was in 2002 when Morrowind released, and it aged like milk rapidly thereafter.

I've had to refurbish a couple of Datto Alto backup devices for use with our new backup services provider after we left Datto like an abusive partner, and the annoying bit about them is that they use "consumer" Intel NICs so my initial plan of using Hyper-V Server 2019 with them didn't go anywhere. TL;DR: Intel does market segmentation by deciding which versions and SKUs of Windows they'll write/sign drivers for. Guess which SKU of Windows Server ignores the setting to disable driver signature verification. I can't even backdoor my way into having a working NIC.

Thankfully the backup solution's screenshot verification service DOES work with the workstation SKU of Windows 10's Hyper-V service, and a guy from their technical support verified for me that they see a few devices on their end doing just that.
 

sedrosken

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The problem with that procedure, Merc, is that Hyper-V Server 2019, in its quest to eliminate bloat and tools that make it easy to admin -- because why would you want an easily-administrated hypervisor for free -- doesn't include Device Manager, you have to use pnputil to install INFs. And toward the end of this document, they specify that you need to use bcdedit to set options that do nothing in HVS 2019. I've already tried it, it just ignores them. I'm making the changes with the Administrator account, and it's acknowledging that I'm making the changes successfully, it just completely ignores them when it's booting up.
 

Mercutio

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It might be possible to mod the install.wim with drivers with the automated deployment kit or possibly just a little fun with powershell. Honestly, I'd probably still try the USB NIC first. Seems like less work. Or make someone pay for a real NIC if you don't already have some sitting around.
 

sedrosken

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These are little NUC boxes that won't take a card and every USB one I tried didn't work for similar reasons. I just ended up installing 10 Pro and calling that good enough, and put my boss on notice that we'll want to price out and move them to proper (if lower-spec, their needs aren't crazy) servers for this at some point in the next year or so. I don't trust these as it is -- I've had to RMA two of them. I'm only using them because they already had them on-hand.
 

Mercutio

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I have three or four that I can try. I know that an Asus USB NIC works with 2022 server and I'm PRETTY sure I have some generic USB hubs with Ethernet that work as well.

My roommate won't let me play BG3 without her, which has led me to something weird and disgusting: I need to set up a goddamned steam controller.

I was given one for my birthday in whatever year they came out. I used it for about 90 seconds and put it back in the box because the stupid thing is even more awfu than other gamepadsl. But none of the Xbox controllers in the house are first party versions. They're all apparently too big for my roommate to comfortably use, and I'll be damned if I pay for a first-party console controller myself. So I have added my GoG copy of Baldur's Gate 3 to Steam so we can play it in my living room on my nVidia Shield TV. Almost every word in the preceding sentence fills me with rage.

Unfortunately, Steam stopped supporting their gamepad years ago and mine is stuck with c. 2015 firmware, so it can't be used on an Android device, and all the instructions on the support pages reference features that are no longer in the Steam client. After about three hours of Googling, I finally found this bullshit random thread that Google decided to bury on page 18 of search results. The thread is only a month old.

Also: brand new Steam Controllers apparently sell for $250 on Ebay.

Edit forgot link: https://steamcommunity.com/app/3533...8656983/?tscn=1687207374#c6516193260183103338
 

Mercutio

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... and then it turned out that the early access version of BG3 doesn't work very well with controllers, which is what Steam Link led me to believe I needed to use. Now I'm just annoyed.
 

Mercutio

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The Lower Decks / Strange New Worlds crossover episode was released last night during San Diego Comic Con, five days ahead of schedule.
 

Mercutio

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Yesterday's episode was absolutely complete mood whiplash, too. I can think of one episode of DS9 or Voyager that showed the reality of terrestrial warfare for the Federation and here they were make Dr. M'benga a stone cold killer with Rambo in "First Blood"-grade PTSD. You don't hear "I wasn't there, so I can't judge" from a Trek Captain very often. Maybe never. And next week's episode is a musical. I have nothing but respect for everyone involved in SNW.

My partner has only had her driver's license for a couple years and never actually owned her own car.
Some dipshit who runs a Tesla dealership is trying really, really hard to get her to sleep with him and has loaned her a $130,000 self-driving Model S Plaid for the week. We're trying to figure out cool stuff to do with it but so far the only thing we've actually done is take video of the city from Lake Shore Drive. I do not know what this is meant to accomplish. It's not like she's in the demographic to buy one any time in the next few years.
 

ddrueding

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Do the acceleration thing, then do the self-driving thing. Other than that it is just a really nice car appliance. It does all the things non-car-people care about really well. I switched from the Model S to the Model 3 when we came to the EU because the roads are so much narrower here.
 

Mercutio

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Having been in it, I don't get the appeal. We're going to drive up the shore of Western Michigan a way tomorrow and we took some photos in a parking garage and at a car wash last night, but we found the self driving feature to be SCARY in city traffic, which is the only time IMO you really need it. It was neat to have the car drive up to us from being parked. That's been the niftiest thing about it so far.

I think the JVC audio system in my Element is better, too, even if the noise floor in the Telsa is much quieter.
 

sedrosken

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I'll keep my RAV4 thanks. EV adoption down here is... not great, I think the only supercharger station I've come across is the Bucee's in Foley off of I-10. The people I see driving Teslas and Ioniqs and such are the bougie types that have the chargers at home and never go further than a hundred miles in a day. I'm not sure how much of this is a Florida thing or just a south US thing in general. Plus, I still have payments to make on the RAV4, I'm not about to trade it in for something even more expensive.

I can't believe base model's come up so far in terms of luxury -- I have bluetooth, good A/C, lane assist, adaptive cruise control, power locks and windows with a fob, a backup camera... the only parts I can say unequivocally are base model are my lack of AWD (better gas mileage!), the rubber steering wheel (I use a cover anyway), the manual rear hatch (hydraulics age better than electronics anyway) and the cloth seats, which I prefer to leather any day of the week anyway. Leather gets itchy and hot and needs actual care and maintenance beyond keeping it clean. That said, modern cloth seats are definitely inferior to those of the 90s and early 2000s. I want the seats out of my dad's old Blazer, to be honest. Those things were indestructible.
 

LunarMist

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Leather seats have been available with cooling for many years now. I don't enjoy rentals with black leather seats and no cooling ventilation in the Southwest desert. Arizona and Utah were rough this summer. You can literally burn your ass on entry
 

LunarMist

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I was in two of the Type 3 and neither had a dashboard display. The iPod in the center is super cheap and out of the line of sight. It's not good for presbyopics. The car seemed cheap on general. I could never voluntarily buy a vehicle like that. I might buy an electric from a normal automotive company.
 

Mercutio

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I never drove the thing but they DID put some kind of limiter so we couldn't go faster than 85mph, once we found a place to safely try that. I didn't feel that impressed with it. I'm REALLY not a sports car guy, but I've been Rolls or Bentley cars a few times. THOSE I can see where the money went. $130k is a mid-catalog Corvette these days, and that's just a shitty car with a big engine. I'm not sure what was supposed to make it worth the cash. Speed? I guess? Maybe?

I'm not even a tiny bit a car guy. I like El Dorados from the 70s and I have fond memories of a college friend's AMG Hammer (300-series Mercedes modified with a racing engine and about $150000 in 1990s dollars worth of interior upgrades). My partner just loved the idea of having a car of her own, but that's because her plan is to move in to the city where she'll basically never need to have one again.
 

sedrosken

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Leather seats have been available with cooling for many years now. I don't enjoy rentals with black leather seats and no cooling ventilation in the Southwest desert. Arizona and Utah were rough this summer. You can literally burn your ass on entry

Ah, yes. The classic move of countering a design flaw by adding another delicate electronic system that can break and cost thousands to repair. Then again, the people buying vehicles with leather seats typically don't need to worry about repair bills.
 

LunarMist

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What design flaw? The earlier designs were sometimes electronic like a Peltier, but later ones are typically just a ventilation duct from the HVAC to the front seats with a fan. Some in the better cars suck rather than blow.
 

ddrueding

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I understand the move to leather for durability and perceived luxury, but cloth is just better. Ventilation is nice, and does counter some of the temperature spikes of leather, but it is still a compromise in my opinion.
 

LunarMist

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Vinyl was supposed to be the replacement for leather in the 1950s and especially the 1960s, and some higher grade cloths were options, but leather was still the most expensive. Then cheap leather became popular by the 1990s-2000s. I assumed that the leather was still the style for the high trim lines of most vehicles. Is that no longer accurate?
I know they started heated seats with cloths some years ago, but do they have cooling in the cloth seats?
 
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ddrueding

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The current high trim is whatever the latest tech is in fake leather. But honestly all the smooth, sticky surfaces are the same (real leather, vinyl, and all the fake leathers). Of the things in fancy cars, my favorite is Alcantara (which is close to suede in feel), but it would be great to just get some cloth seats.
 

LunarMist

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Wow, did they bring that back? I remember the Alcantrera "fake leather" back in the 20th century. It sounded pretentious at time. IIRC the polyurethane component had issues with durability and stability, but that was probably fixed by now. Does it support forced ventilation?
 

sedrosken

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Are you kidding me? Issues with durability and stability are considered features now, by the manufacturer at least. Anything to get you to trade something in that otherwise works perfectly well. My guess is that if the chemical formula's changed at all, it's to make it even cheaper so it falls apart sooner.
 

Handruin

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Wow, did they bring that back? I remember the Alcantrera "fake leather" back in the 20th century. It sounded pretentious at time. IIRC the polyurethane component had issues with durability and stability, but that was probably fixed by now. Does it support forced ventilation?
My current car (2015) uses Alcantara on various locations including the seats which is basically a simulated/synthetic suede and it is really nice and durable.
 

sdbardwick

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My current car (2015) uses Alcantara on various locations including the seats which is basically a simulated/synthetic suede and it is really nice and durable.
Mine as well (2006) as an insert in the leather seat bottom. Nice that it offers a bit of grip compared to the surrounding leather; still looks basically new after all this time.
 

sedrosken

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I don't know if I'm just cursed or what but the only PIII build I've ever managed to have stable was based on a i815EP b-step board out of Ukraine a few years back. Even that had some personality quirks. The only actually stable PIII machines I've had other than that were prebuilts. I say this because I simply cannot, for the life of me, prod my 440BX board into running properly. And 440BX is supposed to be legendarily reliable over everything else. It annoys me. I kind of wanted to recreate a Tualatin-esque build, but what if I get one of those expensive B-step boards again and it doesn't work right either?

I got drunk and impulsive over the weekend so I have a potentially bad idea coming. An ECS K7S5A-Pro. I avoid the worst problems with socket A by having an SiS chipset, rather than VIA or nVidia. I remember those actually pretty fondly -- they wouldn't win performance awards but they were certainly fast enough, very reliable, highly integrated and ran really cool. I'm also going to sidestep the monstrous +5v rail requirements of most of Socket A by using a mobile chip. To that end I have two options, I bought both. I have a Morgan-core Mobile Duron nominally clocked at 1GHz, and a Mobile Athlon XP 2200+ based on Thoroughbred. The Duron draws 25W and the AXP draws only 45W. Compared with the normal wattage range of Socket A -- 55W at the lower end in the desktop Durons and over 70W at the high end with the later Bartons and Thunderbirds -- those numbers are very good and well within the ~100W my power supply can give on the +5v rail.

Another interesting quirk of Mobile Socket A is that it's usually pretty well supported by desktop boards. I have confirmation mine supports the lower voltages out of the box. I don't think I have very fine multiplier/bus manipulation under the BIOS, but CrystalCPUID can mess with this stuff once you get into Windows. It's actually quite interesting to fiddle with as it's still really basic frequency scaling, I don't even think it was branded as Cool'n'Quiet yet. It's kind of the same deal as the mobile K6-III+s people like to use on Super Socket 7 builds.

The Duron presents some interesting overclocking opportunities (it's a 1GHz part released in late 2001, it has to be binned pretty well) and since it still supports SSE (it's essentially a baby Palomino AXP itself) it's still a decent analog for a high-end PIII. I'd still wager it beats Tualatin because of the double-pumped FSB and relatively large, exclusive caches. The Athlon XP is my backup option for if I kill the Duron or if I just can't push it high enough. I think the purple ceramic package of the Duron would go better with the purple PCB of the motherboard than the green substrate package of the AXP, but if I need to use it I need to use it.

I'm basically going to be using it as an early Windows XP build. I'm probably going to run SP3 and give it plenty of RAM to compensate -- board's manual says 1GB is the max but I'm willing to bet/try it'll do 2 -- just for practicality's sake but I'll see if SP1a or SP2 will accomplish my goals for it first. I'm using a Ti4200 and Audigy2ZS even if they're a little out of place in a more budget oriented build like this would have been at the time -- the Ti4200 is a nice midranger, so that's justifiable enough, but the Audigy2ZS is such a high end product that I'd have to say it was a big upgrade. Really it's just there because I want EAX support and the Live only does it in the driver in software.
 

jtr1962

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I can't help much on the hardware part but I had an Athlon XP system and Windows XP SP3 running with 3GB, so basically XP will use whatever RAM you throw at it. Going beyond 3GB makes little sense though even if your M/B could handle it. With some of the addresses reserved for hardware, you'll only use a part of that last GB.
 

LunarMist

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I had several Athlonic XPs, 1800, 2200, 2600 something like that. I don't recall the VIA more than 1.5GB, but maybe near the end more was possible and I just didn't want to change the mainboard. The Penitum 4 solved many problems for me with 2GB and didn't destroy anything attached. I avoided AMD for nearly 20 years due to the destruction, then bought that slowmo 3950X.
 

Mercutio

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Yes, RAM support on AMD was definitely weird in that era. If I remember right, you could have compatibility issues over some chipsets supporting or not supporting double-density DDR, and that led to systems of wildly different capability.

My experience with those particular AMD chipsets was that Via was noticeably slower than everyone else but tended to be well behaved; nVidia was fast but had lots of weird quirks; SiS was OK until the boards died, which they did with astonishing regularity, although that could've been because those SiS boards were mostly found on budget OEMs like ECS and Chaintech. I like slow and reliable best of the available options.
 

LunarMist

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I find a record of a XP 1800, VIAKT266A K7T266PRO2RU MSI, and 3x512GB Reg DDR in Q4 2001. I was probably using Win 2K.
 

sedrosken

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I can't help much on the hardware part but I had an Athlon XP system and Windows XP SP3 running with 3GB, so basically XP will use whatever RAM you throw at it. Going beyond 3GB makes little sense though even if your M/B could handle it. With some of the addresses reserved for hardware, you'll only use a part of that last GB.

Yeah, without PAE (and without hacks, XP has no PAE due to driver issues) you can't get more than 3.25GB even disregarding chipset limitations. 2GB ought to be perfectly fine, as I'll explain below, but if it's not, I'll take 1GB and be happy with it. The kind of things these specs can run won't need more than that anyway, I just happen to have the modules for 2GB handy.

Dear god I hated that SiS chipset. Via was always the better behaved option IMO.

My experience has been the opposite, though I might just be dealing with these boards in old age and the SiS examples that made it to today were always the survivors whereas the VIAs were more common and are failing now. I have had so many terrible VIA experiences that I will go out of my way to avoid anything they make now. I wonder if I'm just cursed -- like I said, anything before 845 for Intel is weird for me too.

I've had 3 separate VIA boards for socket A just be complete turds. Two were KT133A, one was KM400, and I've had a smattering of various other VIA boards for Intel that sucked at least as bad if not more. Usually Apollo something or other. Yuck.

The one nForce board I've had for socket A was completely DOA. That happens to the best of them so I reserve judgement, but the general consensus is that they're overly expensive and nowhere near as reliable as they should be. They run hot and like to pop capacitors.

I've had a handful of SiS machines and my impression of them is that they just kinda do their job. No fuss, but nothing spectacular. That is precisely what I want from this. So what if it's 10 percent or so behind an equivalent VIA config? At least I'll (hopefully) be able to rely on it continuing to work for the forseeable future.

I had several Athlonic XPs, 1800, 2200, 2600 something like that. I don't recall the VIA more than 1.5GB, but maybe near the end more was possible and I just didn't want to change the mainboard. The Penitum 4 solved many problems for me with 2GB and didn't destroy anything attached. I avoided AMD for nearly 20 years due to the destruction, then bought that slowmo 3950X.

I've had several myself, a 1500+, a 2400+, a 2800+ and a Sempron 3300+ which is just a Barton 3200+ rebadged. I have a mobile 2200+ chip to use as a fallback if the Duron doesn't pan out, but I'm kind of secretly rooting for that little booger. The Athlon XP is frankly kind of boring, the Duron is an underdog and I want to see it punch above its weight.

1.5GB was a common amount for SDR and earlier DDR setups, but a lot of the documentation was made before 1GB DDR modules existed. I've had luck with pushing it before. Yes, the Pentium 4 had a much more sophisticated thermal management solution, AMD just had a thermal diode from Palomino through Barton and relied on the motherboard to sense a problem and cut power where Intel could flat-out scale the frequency on a desktop chip to keep it from killing itself. That was a solution AMD would implement the very next generation, though notably there were some models of K8 chips that didn't implement Cool'n'Quiet too.

Essentially my goal for this build was to end up with something cheaper than Tualatin (look up the going rate for a TUSL2-C and tell me that I'm wrong for spending 50 bucks on that ECS board instead) that could drive my Ti4200 better than it. The whole point of the build is to let that card stretch its legs, I have a strange soft spot for DirectX8 cards and the Ti4200 in particular as it was so ridiculously better than the card that "replaced it" in their lineup for the FX generation. Seems like anything FX is cursed -- nVidia FX was loathsome, AMD's FX line was bad start to finish -- the only things I can say were cool were the Athlon FXs on 939.

From what I can gather, mobile Morgan is completely multiplier unlocked, and before I even get started messing with the multiplier I can shove the FSB up to 266 since it is nominally 200MHz on pre-Applebred Durons. That'd get me to 1333MHz right off the bat, and I'm willing to bet it'll be binned well enough that it'll do that easily. It's a late-2001 part rated for only 1GHz -- frankly, I don't believe that for a second. I'm hoping for 1400 or even 1500MHz from it while still keeping the wattage below 50.
 
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Mercutio

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I've had 3 separate VIA boards for socket A just be complete turds. Two were KT133A, one was KM400, and I've had a smattering of various other VIA boards for Intel that sucked at least as bad if not more. Usually Apollo something or other. Yuck.

Abit made very interesting boards, but it wasn't well known for reliability. ECS was, and in my mind still is, the poster child for vomit grade PC components (Yes, they were THAT bad). But ECS also kept making more and more boards after other OEMs moved on, and I remember a lot of shops wound up having those ECS boards as new replacements for systems with dead motherboards, even when the techs of the time badmouthed them every chance they got. I will say Via's Pentium 4 chipsets weren't great, but they also weren't common at all.

Boards from the era of Super Socket 7 and into the era of Athlon 64s were definitely not the pinnacle of reliability in general, and it did NOT help that many hobbyists were trying to overclock everything they could get their hands on. Things definitely improved all around when AMD and Intel both started making their own boards and CPUs got fast enough that the gains from overclocking had a greatly diminished return.
 

sedrosken

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I will say that ECS wasn't my first choice either but the particular model I'm using comes pretty well reviewed and it's promising that they thought it was of high enough quality to put their own name on it rather than release it under their PC Chips sub-brand. I'm aware that they did also do that -- I think it's the M869 or something -- but this one hopefully saw better quality control seeing how they marketed it as their own product. It's tested and working. I look forward to seeing how it does and at the end of the day I'm not doing banking or anything important on it, so it just needs to be good enough to not piss me off.

I never had an Abit anything, actually -- I've had Soltek, a few MSI, a couple ASUS, and I think a Gigabyte. Maybe a Biostar thrown in for good measure but I'm pretty sure that's just MSI in the same way that PC Chips are just ECS.

I would say that it's not so much that CPUs were fast enough -- people always want to get more value for money -- it's that manufacturers caught on and started essentially factory overclocking via Turbo Boost. Everything comes so close to their design limits out of the box now that it's an insane prospect to get any more than maybe 10% out of it, and when you do you increase the power consumption so much that it's just not worth it.
 

jtr1962

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Yeah, without PAE (and without hacks, XP has no PAE due to driver issues) you can't get more than 3.25GB even disregarding chipset limitations. 2GB ought to be perfectly fine, as I'll explain below, but if it's not, I'll take 1GB and be happy with it. The kind of things these specs can run won't need more than that anyway, I just happen to have the modules for 2GB handy.
Yeah, I got XP to use over 4GB in a VM using some components from Windows Server 2003, but the exact same build would crash before booting on a real machine, presumably due to driver issues. In the end as you said, XP generally works fine with 2GB anyway. 3GB is just gravy. I think I went that high because I was using MS Train Simulator and Open Rails. Both can use well over 1GB.
 

Mercutio

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My partner played about 10 hours of Starfield on her Xbox whateverX and gave up on it.
She is currently playing Diablo 4, having reserved this day in advance for 24 entire hours of Bethesda nonsense. She is a person with a total of over 8000 in game hours between Skyrim and Fallout 3, New Vegas and 4 on Xbox. I think that speaks for itself.
 
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