December (GT520 Overclocking / Planetary Annihilation / Xeon CPU in a Dell 380 MT)

Happy new year! It is time to look back at December in my monthly round-up blog post, where I provide updates or cover topics I might not set aside in a standalone blog post.

This month:

  • Inno3d GT520 DDR3 2GB graphics card overclocking
  • Planetary Annihilation
  • Xeon X5450 3GHz CPU in a Dell Optiplex 380 MT PC
  • Zombie Driver HD

Inno3d GT520 DDR3 2GB graphics card overclocking (with fan)
It is an awful graphics card, but even without overclocking it’s just good enough for two local multiplayers to play Nine Parchments, but that’s with the graphics settings tuned for performance in both the Nvidia settings and in the game’s own configuration.

Inno3d GT520 DDR3 2GB graphics card

I was either sent this card by mistake or on purpose, as my fiancee and I had tried to buy a better card and received this card instead. Anyway, we decided to keep it and overclock it! At the moment I’ve settled on a 100MHz increase to both the core and memory clocks, but I ‘might’ go a bit further shortly. Even with an overclock it really is a disappointing graphics card! Best avoid this card if you can.

Planetary Annihilation
I just started playing the original PA after owning it for a long time. You can no-longer buy the original PA via Steam (which is what I own), but you can buy Planetary Annihilation Titans via Steam or if like me you already own PA, you can buy Titans via PA for £3.99 US (at the time of writing).

Planetary Annihilation Screenshot

The reason why I didn’t start playing this game sooner was my computer specification wasn’t good enough when I originally purchased it! I saw it on a deal, so purchased for the future and finally I’ve got round to giving it a go.

I’m playing Planetary Annihilation on a Windows 10 Pro PC with the game installed on a SSD, which has 8GB DDR2 RAM, a socket 775 Q9400 CPU and the Asus Nvidia GT730 graphics card. I’ve not tried multiplayer and I’ve only just played two skirmish games against one A.I.

The game run smoothly, was quite easy to learn and on my second go, I beat the A.I., mainly with the help of some orbital weapons! I’m going to leave this game installed and play in the future.

The RTS game did slightly remind me of Starcraft, so if you like that game, perhaps have a look at some game play footage, to see if PA is of interest to you.

Xeon X5450 3GHz CPU in a Dell Optiplex 380 MT PC
With the A07 bios installed on a Dell Optiplex 380 MT computer, I took out a Q9400 socket 775 CPU, modified the socket and installed a Xeon X5450 socket 771 CPU. I probably should have replaced the CPU cooler, but I’ve not done that yet and might be something I do in 2020.

Xeon X5450 3GHz CPU

Anyway a nice bit of performance increase from a 2.6GHz CPU to a 3GHz CPU. I think the X5450 is comparable in performance to a Q9650. I should have purchased a E5450 and not the X model due to power usage.

Zombie Driver HD
This single player game was free on Steam, so I downloaded 1.2GB of data, installed the game, plugged in my gamepad and played the game.

Zombie Driver HD Screenshot

I tried a few minutes of driving around running zombies over with a taxi. It slightly reminded me of the original Grand Theft Auto game. I think I was sat too close to the screen, as I struggled to cope with what was going on.

This isn’t usually my type of game and it’s possibly the first and last time I will play the game. On an old HP dx7500 computer, with an old socket 775 Q9400 2.6GHz Core 2 Quad CPU, 8GB DDR2, Windows 10 and a GT730 graphics card, it played smoothly and I didn’t notice any performance issues.

Update March 2020: The game is currently £6.99 GBP on Steam.

What’s next?
I know I’m behind with publishing blog posts, but I’ve still been active and writing draft blog posts. Expect blog posts about LibreElec, Google Nexus 7, headphones and much more. I will also be updating some older posts and will let you know what has been updated during my monthly round-up.

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