E3 2013? Let's go back to CES Winter 1993 (image heavy)

1) There was a service that performed official, authorized and legal scans and sales of old DieHard GameFan Magazine issues, but it's dead, which is a shame.

2) If the image size has to be made even smaller to not break laws or something, I'll cut the image size down. All rights belong to their respective owners, if any of those rights even remain.

3) This is done to document historic events, reminiscing with others, food for thought as some of you weren't even alive twenty years ago.

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I sold 99% of my old gaming magazines some years ago because it was a good idea, but kept a select few for the sake of old times, history. One is the very first issue of GameFan that I bought, which happens to cover CES Winter 1993, with E3 2013 approaching I thought I'd take you folks on a trip twenty years back in time, what me and my friends were ranting and raving and console-warfaring about.

Were you into gaming at the time? Do you remember these titles? Did you ever think gaming would evolve into what it is today? This issue brings up SNES-CD specs and had the SNES-kids (we were all 12-13 in school!) hyped up, nobody expected what was presented the year after, and me and my best friend at the time didn't care either, we were deep into Phantasy Star 4..

((Click to enlarge, images should be 800 pixels high))

(Layout was a disaster, I left it a disaster, tried to adjust by using captions)

GameFan was a freaking fine magzine for at least the five six years I was able to get it in Sweden, caught a scan of a year 2000 issue (thought it died 1998ish?) and it felt like something completely different and also bad.The print quality was like it was full colour, rather than typical four colour. Compared to EGM's next-to-toiletpaper quality these pages were basically solid, something you'd never rip on accident.

The text editor is very broken, the missing image was added with a caption as a reply to this post.

Did not know that Silpheed was FMV until way way late. Didn't even know of its obscure Japanese machine roots until last year. Would like to see what could be done today with the polygon on FMV style, if that at all would be necessary with Xbox One and PS4 coming.

I don't remember anything from Final Fight CD besides all reviewers and players of it, game media in general loving it.

Shinobi 3 is recommended. Not that difficult of a game, feels good, basically an 80's ninja flick of an action game with Japanese influences towards the end.

I believe Jeff said it, and I will repeat it: We need a new Strider game. The last real new one I remember was something that began as a title on Capcom's PS1 based 3D arcade hardware (ZN1 family) that I could grab for $100ish last time I saw it.

Third party shovelware wasn't that bad back in the day.

Tuff E Nuff is pretty unique. Recommend a look, be it eBay or emulator.

Final Fantasy 3, everybody.

Riot Zone's a hella janky beat 'em up. Lords of Thunder is a hella awesome shoot 'em up. Cotton's just hella.

A New StarFox game that's about shooting and a full console title would be appreciated.

Also the Game Gear got undeserving amounts of crap back then and still does. It's a Master System! Shining Wonderful Force titles, Phantasy Star spinoffs (Japan only).

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Curiosity cost the cat: Using an Intel X25-V 40gb SSD for gaming

I found that my December budget was doing better than expected so rather than doing the reasonable thing like picking up a new set of fine Italian leather shoes, a digital camera better than the 5mp one in my Android phone or treating family and friends around the world to better christmas gifts, I did what I decided against earlier in the year and bought the Intel X25-V 40 gigabyte SSD.

That's what she said - It looks so much smaller in real life. It comes with a mounting plate for setting up in 3.5" drive cages, comes with molex to SATA power cable as well as a plain SATA cable which is appreciated. Easy to install, detected by the bios, won't show up in Windows until you enter the administrative tools in Windows and set it up - tricky business that isn't covered in the simple installation manual it comes with. Give it a quick format and a partition, get Intel's SSD Toolbox and run all tests to make sure it works before going any farther, bad drives and bad RAM can be on the shelves.


Words

From the moment I placed the order, the plan was to use it as a games drive, limiting myself to 40 gigabytes might not be a bad idea. I intend to play Guild Wars 2 with the clan and being an MMO of sorts the performance should be improved by running on an SSD, possibly as much as the upgrade I gave my mostly World of Warcraft playing computer in 2005, going from half a gig to a full gigabyte of RAM - I was able to see every frame as I flew into Orgrimmar and could start running around the moment I landed, I saw shadows between the bank and auctionhouse rather than seeing a few frames of approach, waiting minutes before waking up at a barely done rendering flightmaster with completely invisible characters around me, god forbid I would turn and move towards the bank-AH area on 512 megabytes.

Now. PC gaming. Either you have Steam or you're not playing many games. To successfully install Steam took the most part of an hour. A lot of uninstalling of barely gone anywhere installs, permissions changes, restarts, reboots and cablechecks took me nowhere, neither did taking the errors to Google where I got nothing but Steampowered.com drivel about how it happens if you're running a very intrusive piece of software that tries to latch onto it. Eventually I found this was common to Steam (and other) install processes on SSDs, the software is meant to switch some files around but the routine meant to do the file handling is slower than the one checking if it has proceeded as planned or not.

Once all was said and done, I realized both that I could have backed up most of the game data files, and that this was a very bad time to have to re-download over 20 gigabytes of games.


Numbers

With Civilization V kicked out of the system only to be reinstalled in the future when gamers are able to punch QC departements over the internet, I had three commonly played games of mine to try out, Left 4 Dead 2, Call of Kotick: Black Ops and Battlefield: Bad Company 2.

I ran the most basic of tests, loading the game all the way to the main menu, and then opening up a map. I did do more tests in Black Ops single-player but it turns out all of your single-player process is not saved by Steam Cloud, so forget about that. I'd rather play through Modern Warfare 1 on Veteran. Again. 
 
Game and Test
7200rpm SATA2 HD time
Intel X25-V SSD time
SSD to HD
 Left 4 Dead 2   From pressing Play to the menu loading
 12s6 s
 6s  /  50%
 Left 4 Dead 2   Opening up a single-player campaign on Dead Center
 35s 18s 17s  /  51%
 Black Ops   From pressing Play to the menu loading
 20s 12s 8s  /  60%
 Black Ops   Opening up Multiplayer, including downloading of settings
 8s 7s 1s  /  87%
 Black Ops    Making a private MP match, defaults (Summit)
 23s 16s7 s  /  69%
 Bad Company 2     Loading all the way to the main menu appearing
 24s 19s 5s  /  79%
 Bad Company 2     Loading the penultimate single-player level
 19s 7s 12s  /  36%
 
I got the times by filming the entire process with my Samsung Galaxy S and investigated the video files the best I could to get the timing right. I also took the time to play around an hour of each game to try it out in practice, and indeed I experienced faster loading, also no drive-hiccups, which happened before when operating system and games were on the same drive. The loading gives me a little bit of an advantage, but outside of ensuring you won't get hit by drive-hiccups this is nothing I can recommend for FPS gamers unless you've got money to spare. If you're into MMOs, even if it's World of Warcraft, you will benefit greatly from an SSD.
 
Any games that have to load data regularly, something like Oblivion, a game that streams data from the drive, a larger game like APB or just any where people will be standing around you often with unique looks or combinations of items that have to be loaded to memory, which is any MMO really, you might want to consider an SSD, especially if your computer already is more than enough - an SSD is the only upgrade left.. Better load times, enemies will pop into view faster, as will friendly players, terrain, everything. Less deaths, less frustration. Just not much so for FPS games though I will stick with this for L4D2 and Black Ops, while moving Bad Company 2 back to the main drive.
 
What got the best speed boost was my Firefox install, that I moved from the HD to the SSD. A PHP BB post that would take seconds to edit and update is instant. Browsing is significantly faster, the limit is only the speed web server you're talking to can send to you. Pages draw and redraw so much faster it's close to when I ran Firefox on a ram-drive in the past.
 
 
I keep thinking that I could have spent this on something for my studio instead, or put it towards a new digital camera, but I'm a curious man who wants to try things out and answer unanswered questions. I found the As to my own Qs, and I hope you've found yours.
 
 
 

And then the talent scout asks

Intel X25-V 40gb SSD, $89.99 on NewEgg
AKAI ASQ10 Rating:
Verdict:  Only worth considering if you're into heavy-load MMOs (WoW included), makes a good final computer upgrade but you should consider larger by then. Merry christmas.
 
 
 
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Update 1: Tried Civ 5 again since yet another patch promising fixing crashes came out, did not notice any improved performance where it counts - AI turns. Once the NDA allows me to talk I might say a few words about an upcoming game and my experience on it on an SSD, but that would be a separate post. Also gotta add that there are tiny SSDs of performance I do not know that you simply put into an IDE or SATA port on your motherboard, that could be a good idea if you want to speed up tiny pieces of software such as browsers, and yes - swapfiles are best stored on healthy, speedy HDs.
 
Update 2: Closed testing of a certain secret game HD vs SSD, I would not want it on an ordinary HD. Loadtimes in lower single digits, make yourself a cup of tea if you're on a HD. No loadchug, the only slow moments come from the game and the servers themselves. Using an SSD has saved my life many times in that game by allowing me to be the first one to react.
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