4k UHD Upgrade

Very little on the development front this week – other than a handful of new concerns to be concerned by. I’ve been considering upgrading the desktop dev environment for a while, and this week has seen two major updates…

1) Windows 10 – meh so far. But, no major issues other than a total freeze up the day after upgrading, and also Cortana will not work – at all – despite the microphone working, and the ‘Cortana Training’ all done without issue. Opinion so far… 6/10

2) I finally cracked, and bought a 4k UHD display… and not any old display, I can’t do ‘normal’ it seems… I have been holding out for a curved display, as they are ultimately (IMHO) totally selfish screens, with only the primary viewer in mind. And as that’s me at my desk, I’m happy 🙂 I wanted curved to bring the desktop view ‘around’ me – to a degree. Although it’s not quite as “curved” as I thought it would be, it definitely helps at a very subtle level. I am now at the centre of a 40″ display at UHD resolution (3840 x 2160) and ‘wow’…

IMG_20150802_123813

Here is my somewhat OTT setup – the display shows Visual Studio 2010 running Dominium in a 1920×1080 window!

Of course, I checked out that my ageing Radeon HD 7900 would power this beast of a display first, and provided with HDMI 2.0 cables capable of 60Hz, all is well. Even at 30Hz it’s totally acceptable, and only the die-hardest-die-hard-fps-gamer could possibly complain. For me, it’s fine – running even Elite Dangerous at 4k without any major woes other than the odd slow down as it pulls texture data off disk. Loading up times are now very slow! Granted, it’s no longer pulling 60fps+ but I can always go back to 1920×1080 if I want.

That said, there are negatives…

1) Windows 8.1 or 10 (or the graphics card driver) are a bit… laggy when typing… and some applications are struggling with the DPI, or refresh rate with some minor (but ignorable) graphical defects lurking here and there. It’s certainly not the CPU, which is barely even burning CPU cycles.
2) I can live with 100% font/UI scaling in windows, as it looks perfectly clear and readable – but 125% is better. However it has highlighted an issue with my ageing Windows application support code in the 666 engine. It doesn’t cater for DPI (it wasn’t a concern back when I wrote it!)

And I haven’t yet dared capture video at 4k… though there’s little point with Dom at the moment as there’s no graphic special-ness worth capturing at that resolution, but screenshots of ED are just spectacular!

So, I need to update the windows app framework to cater for DPI scaling, and it’s about time I moved to Visual Studio 2015, which means recompiling some of the supporting SDK’s I use, as they use ‘prohibited’ string manipulation functions. But, there’s no rush there yet.

In addition this past week, I’ve had to deal with my 4TB NAS going screwy… I started looking at some textures I had in mind for close up detail on metal surfaces in Dom, and discovered all of my gigabytes of texture archives would no longer open, in any package. This lead to a lot of digging, and I found the majority of my 800Gb data held on the NAS was now toasted. No errors reported by the NAS, even after running it’s check disk 🙁 Every file was ‘valid’ but now held the electronic equivalent of garbage. And in irony of ironies, I had just the monthly backup onto a mobile drive I keep offsite, so that now had a helpful copy of the toasted data. Arg. Fortunately, most of this archive was on a permanent disk backup on Blu-ray, and I’ve rebuild most of the data, and reformatted the NAS RAID array. It still has corrupt files on it, but I’ll have to clean them out as I come across them, as there is just too much to check!

Anyway, that’s a small ‘present-for-self’ update that’s kind of ‘Dom’ related, now to crack on with the NPC’s again!

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Author: Mak View all posts by

One Comment on "4k UHD Upgrade"

  1. Cornflakes_91 August 8, 2015 at 10:15 pm -

    i feel with you on the nas issues 🙁

    my nas’ boot drive died and the dying OS took all the data on the other drives with it…

    also: yay! more generic graphics resolution code now incoming 😀

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