Monday, 30 May 2016

omracer's Steambox: Install and Play (Part 3)

Well, it comes to this, the part where we get out setup sorted and install windows and play some games. Which i've been delayed in time but luckily thanks to insomnia, I had a chance to film this setup. The video for this is actually in Part 2 of the steambox build. Since it was easier for me to get it done.

Part 1: Installing Windows

Well this was relatively simple, insert the USB drive (I made sure the copy of windows 10 pro I had lying around was on the usb as GPT UEFI via rufus) and boot then install. Which it was about a half hour wait to get it installed, the SSD on a SATA III port (one of the first times i've seen this happen on my own PC) is insanely fast boot timings to gander at. 

Installing, this bit is usually the longest)

Getting ready before the welcome screen or OOBE is ready 

Then it was a case of tweaking some settings, activating windows and then it was time for the drivers. But the funny thing is that most of the drivers were installed from the get go, like the ethernet and the Chipset ones.

Part 2: The Driver Disc

A) Installing the Drivers

Now this was a bit more complex since there was no DVD drive added in for this build. But luckily there was a normal sized internal with a IDE to USB adapter to use which got me going and those drivers installed. Now Gigabye offer Google and Norton products on the disc, which you have to UNTICK if you Don't want them, which for norton and google drive, I did (I don't use Gdrive much, mostly onedrive) 

The Disc

Using the IDE to USB to get the drivers to install, 

There was a reboot halfway due to the realtek audio drivers installing themselves, which is standard for the Audio Crab to do as its ritual to get nice budget audio working, especially with the yellow LED line on the motherboard for Audio signal. But once that was sorted, it was time go get the next part of the disc sorted, the Gigabyte Appware/Software. 

B) Gigabyte's App Center and Intel Tuning to the Extreme

Well this bit was a longer wait from the disc to install, this was Gigabytes App Center to sort out after the Realtek reboot, which there was a specific purpose for this which was FaceWizard, which allows to change the BIOS logo, sure businesses do it on their OEM machines but for me a logo I made from a Goose Fair vlog would be ideal for it. 

So I started installing the Extreme Tuning Utility first and this was more powerful than its leading you to believe, but there is a catch which this celeron processor. Overclocking will not work, since this is the problem. 223 was my Mark score on this after everything was installed. Once this was done, Face Wizard was running and I got it to change the logo, it suited the steambox incredibly well, I even had to censore the video since i was that happy with how it looked. 

The @Bios getting FaceWizard sorted for me 

Just look at this, its beautiful and cool and nerdy at the same time, but use something image wise less than 1000 x 1000 since it errored out for me over that. 

Part 3: Steam and Time of Testing

Bascially as steam goes, its stimple from here but it was a case of getting my software setup, like SCP DS3 for controllers and Steam, Kodi, Movie Studio etc. Which that went fine, but installing the games i had from my exteral HDD was a mess, which after various methods of copying, library remaking, I got most games to be pickup-ed but 10 o so were doing updates which made it nasty. 

But lets have a look at the games I tested which were actually more than the list but I chose these since they have different generations and some different Genres. 

  • Castle of Illusion Remake
  • Rollercoaster Tycoon World
  • Ridge Racer Unbounded
  • Sonic Lost World
  • Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number

A) Castle of Illusion

Now this was a unexpected surpise, since this game was somewhat playable on 1080p on highest settings, which was 30 to 40 FPS, but tweaking some things got me to towards the high 50 fps range. Which is a good sign since this game does have its nice charm with it. Turning Post Process off did show a smooth framerate which is a handy life hack

The best settings i've used. Note, fullscreen was off due to the fact Microsoft Game DVR doesn't like fullscreen games 

B) Rollercoaster Tycoon World

This is a demanding and for some people, Badly optimized but not a problem due to the early access stage of the game, but this managed to run on all high at 720o at 11 FPS, That is pretty poor but turning some of the effects off only raised this fps by 2 frames to 13-15 or so. But there was less lag compared to the laptop's SSHD, but no way smoother. As the Park expands, the FPS will drop. 

the 720p settings i've used

In Game, starting out with the Canyon (not to interrupted a twitch playthrough of this going on

C) Ridge Racer Unbounded

Now this felt smooth considering it was at 19-20 FPS on 720p Windowed Mode with the Antisropy to the left of the slider on the Launcher. But in the recording there is some major restructuring, which means eventually people can buy this in a Humble Bundle, but unbounded was in one last year at some point.  

The first course

 D) Sonic Lost World

Now this is a new game i was supposed to do a lets play of this but that might be skipped due to the iGPU performance is not as fast as I was guessing but it worked and Sonic had a slo mo feel to the walking, then again the game is a locked 60fps. But I managed to get 20 to 24 FPS on 720p without major lag with some settings changed. 

This settings will slow you right down, even the menu lags with this more 

Considering the graphicces aren't as strong, this looks nice

E) Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number,

This was interesting since it gave me 60FPS on 1080p. I was excited to as how this one performed. Which is did even though the res was proper, there was lag in the video recorded so it can tell there wss struggling going on. 

The settings are simple yet thats awesome

F:) Rocket League. 

This is a new one since I decided to get it for £10.14 the day before its £9 from a steam sale. But anyway, I decided to and since i'm temtped to start streaming that. Normal settings were about 20 FPS and went up to 47 FPS after turning all Performance or Higher on 720p. 

A ok look, with the bloom and all

These are the settings for the 47 FPS

It looks basic but fast for that action (on a budget pc)

The Render Quality Changes it though

It looks nicer while playable without recording

Part 3: Conclusion

With everything set up as a steam box, now i can catch up with the PCMR and feel like a gamer again, there are upgrades, sure but this one is pretty good for what I want it for right now, ok video rendering is a slow bit of work but it can do it nicely. There is also twitch streaming which will be fun to work on as time passes me by as well. 

But for now, thanks for the wait and enjoy more posts soon