I have a fairly ginormous (and totally ubiquitous) post for Far Cry 5 in the works, but though I’ve taken videos and screenshots galore, I’m still… well, too busy actually playing the game.
There was one unexpected side effect, though.
I installed the game on both my desktop and my gaming laptop, mostly because I’ll be traveling at some point in the nearish future, and I figured I might as well be ready. Both PCs have Nvidia cards in them, and I run the GeForce Experience app every time I install a new game. Sometimes I go with their recommendations, and sometimes I don’t, but I like to see what they have in mind.
I mentioned my problems with letting go of tech and my problems with Thing 2, machine killer, in a previous post. Long story short, I’d decided to pick up a new laptop and then decide if I liked it enough to feel comfortable handing my old laptop off to Thing 2.
As it turns out, the answer was yes and no. I love the laptop — it’s ultraportable, quiet, and spiffy as heck — but my neurosis kicked in and I just couldn’t bear to part with the old one.
So I bought Thing 2 a slightly larger version of the new, ultraportable spiffy (and, thankfully, extremely reasonably priced) laptop and gave that to him, instead. Because I’m a idiot.
Where was I? Right. I have a new, ridiculously light laptop that’s perfect for traveling, and I installed Far Cry 5 on it. I hate traveling, but I’m actually looking forward to traveling because it means I’ll have a chance to carry that bad boy around with me. Because it’s light. (I didn’t say that it made sense, that’s just how it is, ok? I want to travel so that I can carry… never mind.)
When I ran the GeForce Experience app against Far Cry 5 on the laptop, it recommended “normal” settings for basically everything. That stopped me cold, because the damn thing had recommended “low” settings on my desktop. Recommending low settings on my desktop seemed utterly ridiculous, so I ignored it, cranked it mostly up to “ultra”, and it runs just fine, but… seriously? Why does it think it should be low?!
I ended up spending a good portion of my vacation trying to find a reason for the difference in recommendations that didn’t spell, “Buy a new graphics card”, because freaking cryptocurrency miners. That shouldn’t come as news to anyone who’s even contemplated upgrading their graphics card and then proceeded to gag on the prices. Heck, you can’t even find some cards, and when you do, they’re all overpriced. You can find a GTX 1060 at a reasonable price, sure… but how long will it be until that nagging little voice in your head drives you crazy with its repetitive chanting? “Yeah, but it’s not a 1080 Ti! You suck!”
Buying less-than-the-best may work with your budget, or the current state of cryptomining asshattery, but enthusiasts have to admit (yes, you do) that buying something that’s not top-of-the-line-right-now leaves you in a bad place, eventually. Sure as heck, you’re going to end up replacing that one sooner than you planned (or really need to), because you won’t be able to help yourself. Hell, it even becomes a justification. “I was reasonable last time, so I can go ahead and get the latest ohmygodwow card now…”
It’s a never-ending cycle, because there’s always something newer and cooler coming out, and you’re always juggling price against benchmarks against your current card against what might come out next month, or next summer… and that’s just the beginning. Gosh forbid you start looking at cards that might require other upgrades. Many of us try to make certain we’re as far ahead of the curve as we can be; buying way more power than you need now means you don’t have to buy more when you decide to upgrade later. Which saves you money, in the long run. Or, at least it should.
You have to take things like the GeForce Experience recommendations with a grain of salt, though. Sometimes the settings leave me with janky weirdness. They also occasionally result in screen tearing, which can (sometimes) be fixed by just switching to windowed borderless mode, and other times have to be fixed by just ignoring the recommendations and tuning it myself. I do that a lot, and it works out. There’s always the chance that a custom build isn’t going to register quite right, as well. The older laptop usually fails minimum specs for games it can totally shred on Can You Run It because the tool doesn’t read my build correctly. It’s a useful tool, but I’m always checking against what I know I have, not what they think I have.
I also have this problem with temperatures. Thanks to EVGA’s handy Precision app, and the fact that I can display the temps on the screen of my Logitech G13, I always know how hot things are running. Which makes me anxious. I have low tolerance for high temps. I always end up messing around with the settings to see how low I can get the temperature to go without sacrificing game performance. And I really, seriously, don’t need to be doing that. It’s a hella hard habit to break, once you let it get into your head.
I spent my vacation week playing Far Cry 5 (and streaming A Series of Unfortunate Events, because awesome!), but in my head… the entire time… I was battling the urge to scream, “FUCK IT!!!” and buy a 1080 Ti.
This was my wake-up call: the new laptop and that juicy 1080 I’ve been eyeing? They cost the same. Exactly the same amount. That’s… kind of insane.
I can hold out a little longer. I can.
Just… a little… longer…