The home of Sweaty Spice, the 'other' Spice Girl

Back in August, as part of the cabin fever due to Covid, I got back into PC gaming. At the time, I spent a premium on a compact PC. I am a fan of the Intel NUC family, I splurged on an i9 Ghost Canyon NUC, one of the compact PC’s that can accommodate a discrete GPU.

At the same time I bought an Asus Dual Mini GTX1650 card, one of the few that would fit. It is a $165 retail card, and of course, with all the fuckery of the Covid effects on the global supply chain, and the asshattery of crypto miners, I paid quite a bit above that. But to get my fix of video gaming, I swallowed my pride, and pushed the button.

A couple weeks later the PC arrived, and the day before it arrived, the GPU also arrived. I slapped the card in (it is a tight fit, but it does fit) and fired it up. It worked, but it was defective. One of the two fans on the card ran at 100% speed all the time.

Sorta defeated the purpose of the compact form factor. With the card in, it was way too loud on my desk. I had two options. Return the card, but likely not be able to get a replacement because of the aforesaid supply chain hijynx. Or, I could initiate a support ticket with Asus America.

So I opened the ticket.

The first installment was several weeks of back and forth with their support staff. They were pleasant, but not very helpful. Finally, they got me to the second tier of support, and they quickly initiated the RMA.

I will say that the process was quick, once I got the second tier of support. In about a week I got the replacement card.

Alas, they sent me a functional equivalent card, hell, it was a better card, better cooling, and more video output options. But it had a flaw. It didn’t fit. Without it being the Dual Mini format, it was useless to me.

They quickly RMA’d it again, but a second time, sent the same “incorrect” card. Grrrrr.

At the end of November, I finally got through to the support people, and they RMA’d it again, and finally got me a card that works. The problem is that the original GTX1650 version was out of stock (and I think EOS) so they upgraded me to the GTX1660 Super version. Better specs, 200MHz more clock speed, and 6Gb video ram instead of 4Gb.

Today, it finally arrived. I slapped that into my NUC so fast that I don’t think the antistatic wrap hit the floor before I was rebooting. Download and install the driver package (two packages, the formal nVidia drivers, and the Asus GPU utilities, followed by a reboot (technically not needed, but a good idea).

Fired up, and what is that I hear? That’s right, the fans aren’t spinning! WOO HOO it fucking works!

First game up, the 25th anniversary re-release of Quake I, the masterpiece done in conjunction with Nightdive Studios, and the re-rendered models, the original NIN soundtrack (I forgot how awesome the soundtrack was, as on the original, you needed to have the CD in the drive to get the soundtrack). The lighting models are better, and they cleaned up the animation of the weapons.

Hardly a AAA release, it is one of my favorites, and the remake is delectable. It works perfectly.

Second up was the 2016 version of Doom. Glass smooth, easy to control, great sounds, and a joy. Additionally, it didn’t run the card hot enough to kick on the fans. Cool. I will spend time learning the game.

I am finally happy. I will likely not roast them on the survey. It's a Christmas Miracle!

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