All posts by RejZoR

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Update NVIDIA DLSS to latest version by yourself

A lot of games these days come with NVIDIA DLSS support which is nice. However, the DLSS support at the moment is sort of “baked” into games. The DLSS logic is not provided by driver itself, it’s provided by a DLSS DLL file inside game’s folder. So, you can update it and improve performance or resolve certain artifacting. However, there’s a catch. You can only update DLSS if it’s version 2.x. If game is still using original DLSS 1.x, then you can’t update it this way. You can check this by going into game’s folder and look for file named “nvngx_dlss.dll”, right click it and select Properties. Go to “Details” tab and look at file version…

NVIDIA_DLSS_VERSIONS

On the left example from Battlefield V, you can see it’s DLSS 1.x which cannot be updated. However, the right example is from Doom Eternal which I already updated to the current latest version. As you can see from version number, it’s DLSS 2.x which can be updated by swapping the file with latest version.

You can always grab latest version from TechPowerUp and they even offer notification service via e-mail when new version is uploaded so you can always run games with latest DLSS version.

DLSS DOWNLOAD:

https://www.techpowerup.com/download/nvidia-dlss-dll/

Just download the ZIP archive and extract “nvngx_dlss.dll” file into game’s folder, replacing the file already located there. That’s all you have to do.

Don’t expect magic to happen, but I heard reports of newer version resolving certain visual issues created by DLSS itself and it’s possible that newer version might also provide higher performance. Or at least no performance degradation at better visual quality.

It’s still unknown if DLSS 3.x sometime in the future will behave the same or be updatable this way, but for DLSS 2.x based games, this is the method you can use to update DLSS.

Acceleration metrics in EV cars are the dumbest thing people brag about

Remember all the EV reviews and test drives by casuals on Youtube where literally EVERYONE constantly mention acceleration of Teslas and how stupid fast they are and whatnot and they do the same for all EV’s actually? Well, if I drank a shot of vodka every time that happens, I’d displace all water in my body with vodka…

Reason why I’m so annoyed by this otherwise entirely benign thing is because people already accelerate like half dead pensioners at traffic lights with petrol cars because accelerating normally will fuck up your fuel economy so badly. But in EV’s with already rubbish range and greater range anxiety and obsession with ecology and “fuel” economy, who gives a shit if Tesla Model XZ 23 Plaid Ludicrous can accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in 1,99 seconds when people driving them will drag their stupid ass from traffic lights like they are already dead behind the wheel and only thing driving them is an auto pilot? What’s the point?

It’s just such a dumb thing to talk about when we all damn well know it’ll be used by 0.1% of drivers and serves no purpose. EV car makers should just use the Rolls Royce’s approach and call performance metrics “sufficient”. Coz if EV can drive, that’s already sufficient. It fulfills the performance metrics.

Ok, this has been my Sunday’s shower thought/rant on Tuesday, so have a nice Wednesday and don’t be a pensioner at traffic lights. Please. 🙂

Microsoft, wtf is this refresh rate idiocy?

I know this will be a petty rant, but what the fuck is this shit Microsoft?

WTF_Refresh_Rate

From decades of having nice round refresh rate entries we now have this idiocy with precision of 3 decimal places in Windows 10. Not only it looks utterly stupid, it’s also confusing to casual users and just annoying to us advanced users. Is it really so hard to write 60Hz, 120Hz and 144Hz ? Just fix this shit Microsoft. Ok, rant over.

Importance of software updates on smartphones

I’ve talked about long term software support on smartphones before, but I want to further expand on that because seeing what kind of absolutely dumb shit people say on GSMArena about quality software support on smartphones makes me believe they have absolutely no clue what it even means to the whole experience.

Comment section there is an absolute dumpsterfire on steroids where only thing they understand are hardware specs (which work solely through bigger numbers are better) and bragging what Android OS has more than iOS (bigger numbers are better again) and it makes me wonder if people are really that clueless, dumb and straight up willfully ignorant that they actively don’t want vendors to offer them better support. Every time I bring up importance of updates because they generally suck with all vendors, people bring up “muh Android has all the features 10 years ago that iPhones won’t get for 20 more years”. You dumb idiots, updates are more than just features!

There are 3 factors that define good software support and it’s not just number of features phone supports out of the box and how many it gets later via updates.

Longevity of support

Longevity essentially defines how long device receives any kind of updates as whole. From day you buy it to day it gets very last update, major or security update. And here I’m talking actual OS updates, not stuff downloaded from GooglePlay as few components that have such updating (like Android System WebView).

Updates responsiveness

While several vendors these days claim 4 years of total support, the rate at which you get updates is often still really sad. Seeing how many phone vendors are just now updating their phones to Android 11 (which was released back on 8th September 2020!), I don’t really have much faith in any of it. Getting new OS version pretty much 1 year after it was released by Google is just pathetic. 6 months should be an absolute maximum regardless of device cost. Because they tend to do even worse on cheaper devices… And we’re not talking major OS updates only. So many companies are ridiculously late with security updates too. Google releases monthly security updates and most vendors are so late they are releasing them whole month later, sometimes even longer. So you’re getting July 2021 update at the end of that month or even in August. Another issue I have with Android phones in general that falls under this category is how they always seed updates. On iPhone, when any update is out, everyone gets it this moment. If not automatically, you can manually check and update will be there, no exceptions or regional restrictions. Good luck with that on Android phones, just in general from my experience. And that’s why you always have comment sections filled with people asking and wondering why others got the update already and they still haven’t got one after many days and even weeks and they keep on manually checking for it. One of biggest annoyances with literally every single Android phone I owned which doesn’t exist on iPhones at all.

Security updates

Most people seem to think software updates are only feature updates and fixes for said features. You know, getting new functions and settings and fixes when they are broken. The thing is, we have our entire lives on our phones these days, private photos and videos, banking and finances, logins to webpages, all our bookmarks etc, surely you don’t want that ever compromised, right? It’s why I put a lot of emphasis on long term support and praise Apple for how long they actually actively support and update their devices with security updates when feature/major OS updates already stop and why I’m not a big fan of Android’s approach of letting you run really ancient OS versions that haven’t received any updates for years and everyone just run with it like it’s a great thing.

Now, granted, apps do get updates and some key system components like WebView do get updates past software support of the actual phone vendor, but those can only go so far as they can’t patch security issues in WiFi or BT modules or core OS components that are only updatable via dedicated security updates. I’m absolutely not fond of the idea relying on these “app updates” to keep me secure and hoping they in fact cover the vulnerabilities. If they were, there would be no need for monthly security updates that have to be issues by phone maker and can’t be delivered by Google itself through GooglePlay.

There is also this general misconception that “monthly security updates” on Android phones are somehow magically delivered to ALL phones by Google itself. Which is not only incorrect, it’s straight up lie. Google releases monthly security updates to vendors and then it’s up to them to actually deliver them to specific phone models used by users. If they don’t deliver security updates to actual devices, Google can release 100 security updates and users won’t get any.

Secrecy and how vendors specify support for phones

A very big annoyance is how vendors always hide software support policies into some obscure pages and documentations so 3/4 of people have no idea how long phones actually get software updates. Why is it so damn hard to openly state this next to all the rest of phone specs like display resolution, chipset type and battery size? Why not mention it right there? You really have to be super involved into mobile devices to be on top of things and know for example Samsung offers OS updates for 3 years and 1 extra year of only security updates. Which brings me to another super annoying thing, which is how vendors specify software support…

Basically all of them market it as “3 years of OS updates and 4 years of security updates”. Now, what does that tell you? To me, this sounds like you’re getting 7 years of total software support. 3 years of major OS updates and then 4 additional years of security updates after that. However, the wording actually means 4 years in total. It’s 3 years of major OS updates and of those 3 years, security updates already run in parallel, you only get extra 1 year. One may say, but that makes perfect sense? Does it? One would expect security updates to be a normal part of OS updates because getting major OS versions means that’s period of fully active software support, security updates are when you’re in grace period of support before total discontinuation of software support. If you’re releasing those, surely you’ll be also releasing security updates through that period, right? It’s how long after major OS updates you still offer security updates that’s important to me. Why not call it 3+1 ? Or 3+2? Or just 5 years of support and you know you’ll have 5 years of both for, well, 5 years and then that’s that and you’re off relying on app updates only.

Resources to see how long Android phones are actually supported

Visit page www.androidupdatetracker.com and search for brand you’re interested in. It’ll open a list of phone models from that brand. Open any of the listed models and on that page, down below you can find “X Android Update Policy” where X is brand name. Here you can see for every brand how it treats its phones as far as software support goes.

Page maintainers seem to keep good track of it, but some vendors don’t have any policy listed. so those are the unknown.

Conclusion

This post turned into a really long one yet again, but I think it’s important for people to realize software support on smartphones is also very important and we should all demand phone vendors/makers to do better and not coddle them with stupid excuses and defend their slow and lazy software support. This is not competition whether iOS is better than Android or vice versa. It’s about having great experience from software and hardware perspective and not only focus on hardware specs non stop and ignore or dismiss software side. I always mention Apple because it has exemplary support. They support phones for incredibly long time, they release updates to all users at the same time and offer security updates for very long time even after major OS updates have stopped. I want that from Android phone makers, because despite people constantly calling me all sorts of dumb names for it, I’m really not a fan of Apple as brand outside of things they do well and that I like or are important to me. And if I’ll ever want to return to Android they need to do better with software updates than pathetic support they offer currently. And that goes to nearly all phone makers in existence! You all suck at software support compared to Apple, even if Apple is sometimes late on certain specific features/functions.

Comparison of Android and iOS long term software support

I’ve noticed people always brush against Apple’s requirement for iPhones to run relatively recent iOS at all times and claim they drop support for phones too quickly based on that, not factoring in how they actually got to that point. Well, I’ll explain how that’s not actually true and how iOS updates actually work…

With Android, Google allows you to run very old Android versions. Currently you need to run at least Android 5 (Lollipop) or 6 (Marshmallow) to still be able to use most apps and it’s my experience with Android 5.1.1. that I already lost ability to even find some apps on GooglePlay with it. So it’s more Android 6 really… And Android 6 was released in 2015. Phones generally mostly received 1 update back then, more if you were really lucky which meant you were essentially stuck with that version of Android till this day in 2021. Which is roughly 7 years of being allowed to use an old version without much or any restrictions after which support starts to slowly decline. You can use it normally, you’re just stuck with old outdated version all this time.

iOS on the other hand, it uses a bit different approach. It actually requires you to run more recent versions as rather strict requirement. And people always complain with: “But you need iOS 13 today to even use most apps!” Well, iOS is not like Android where you’re basically stuck with old version of OS, but still allowed to use it. With iOS you need to stay up to date which has many security and faster API evolving benefits. But the catch here is, while yes, you are required to use at least iOS 13 today, the difference is, you can install and use iOS 13 on an iPhone 6s which was released back in 2015. Not only that, iPhone 6s is eligible to install iOS 14 too and is planned to receive iOS 15 as well in fall 2021! Notice when was iPhone 6s released? Yeah, quite long time ago…

And if you look that iOS 13 is a requirement today when iOS 15 is almost out, it means Apple gives you a 1-2 year grace period (sometimes even more for popular models) between latest iOS version and required version in which you continue to only receive security updates and no feature updates anymore. And if you sum those times it gives you same 7 years (sometimes even more) of being able to use your device pretty much without limitations. You’re required to use latest versions and you’re also actually kept up to date the entire time.

Let me visualize it in a spreadsheet for easier understanding…

iOSvsANDROID_UPDATES

Android’s state of updating was really sad back in 2015 with most vendors only handing you a single update if at all. Samsung was really the only exception to give Galaxy S6 users 3 years of major OS updates. Which is why single major update was really an average of the industry back then, but Google allows you to use that old version from 2015/2016 version till this day and will probably continue to allow with slow decline in availability of apps when using it. There is no hard date on discontinuation of support for Android 6 Marshmallow, but seeing how Google just dropped Android 2.3 Gingerbread this year, it’s safe to assume Marshmallow will be entirely dropped in 2025 after 10 years of service just like Gingerbread.

iOS on the other hand was actively being updated for iPhone users and is guaranteed to receive major OS update this fall with iOS 15. After that it’s safe to assume it’ll not receive major updates anymore if we consider trends in the past, especially since iOS 15 will be a 6th major update for iPhone 6s which is a bit of an outlier, but this is common to happen with models that are really popular. After this period iPhone 6s will continue to receive only security updates till 2024/2025 when it’ll be entirely dropped and you won’t be able to install new apps or use any Apple services. Phone will still work with apps already on it and all that, but support will effectively cease entirely.

Conclusion

As much as people rave how Apple drops support for devices too quickly, the reality is, they actually don’t. In fact they actively support devices for longer than Android phone makers and when you draw a line and sum all things together, the long term support is about the same with both. It’s just different journey to the final point where they both cease the support entirely. iOS pushes you to run newer versions and after certain period of support is over, they stop supporting you. Android on the other hand doesn’t have much of a support and sort of leaves you with an old version, but is allowed to be used for same period as iOS overall. You need to rely on GooglePlay and app updates to address security issues which has a limited scope of reach when it comes to fixing OS core level security issues that need actual full on security updates and not what GooglePlay services can deliver.

Android’s updating of major OS versions and security updates has gotten better with 2 years being an industry average now with big players like Samsung following lead with 3 major OS updates and additional 1 year of security updates and then same yellow path of no updates, but still being functional. We’ll see how things will change for Android with Google planning to offer 5 years of full major OS and security updates starting with their new Pixel 6 phones. It would be nice if it pushed other phone makers to do better than 2-3 years of major OS updates.

But for now, this is the conclusion under existing observed conditions. Both, Android and iOS have very similar long term support with slightly different experience through this period. And if we’re honest, 7 years is a very respectable period for Android or iOS devices, especially given their “gadgetry” nature which means they are really old, slow and generally outdated devices at this point and people only stick with them because they either don’t have finances to buy new one or they really only use them for basic things for which they are still fine.

New VAT rules not that bad in EU after all

With 1st July 2021, EU declared there will be no exemptions on items under certain value like we had till this date. From now on, if you buy something for 1€ or 5000€, you’ll have VAT applied to it. Given I had experience with customs before, the times looked pretty grim for ordering anything outside EU, especially on the cheap from AliExpress as it would add massive extra costs. If stuff is stopped in customs, you get annoying delays, they slapped VAT on top of original price and their extra fees were absurd. Last time I imported stuff and went through customs, their “manipulation fee” was like 8€ or some shit. And I think it’s a fixed fee and not item value based, so if you ordered something for 2€ you’d pay 10€ because of their sticky fingers.

Well, it looks like it’s not that grim after all, at least for AliExpress in particular. AliExpress now charges VAT during purchase already for EU customers which is slight annoyance, but whatever. This is purely based on costs of the item and per my country, the VAT is at 22%. Which is not that terrible addition when buying certain cheaper gadgetry or spare parts for stuff. I was looking for some 3rd party spare parts for my robot vacuum and I got bunch of filters and side brushes for 22€. I paid a bit over 4€ of VAT for it. Given I’d get a single filter and single pair of side brushes for this price for official genuine parts, it was still well worth it. And since VAT was already paid, this means I should be exempt in the customs. They’ll see the VAT was paid and the package should go through without extra costs or delays. At least that was my experience from before anyways, if I paid VAT at purchase time already. And since they know AliExpress automatically charges VAT now, I shouldn’t even be required to provide receipt from purchase, assuming sellers properly equip packages with required documentation. We’ll see in 1 month time when stuff should arrive…

Plastic back on Samsung flagship phones is an asshole design

I’ve talked with people about this and expressed my annoyance with this decision and was met with pretty aggressive resistance which shocked me.

Anywhere I said plastic back has no place on such expensive phone (be aware, Galaxy S21, the vanilla model went for 850€!). I can understand why Galaxy A52 has a plastic back at 300€ price point, but I certainly don’t on Galaxy S21. And what shocked me even more is how furiously people defend the plastic backs on Galaxy S21 with dumbest arguments possible.

99% of the time the argument was “but muh phone drops shattering glass”. How often do you people throw phones around on the ground to shatter them? 55 times a day? 103 times a day? How butterfingered are you people!? To this date, owning many smartphones, I’ve not shattered a single phone. Not one. You know what they had in common tho? Scratches. Scratches everywhere. And worn plastic. And it all happened from just using phone rather carefully. Putting it in pockets (without keys!) and leaving it on tables. I don’t know about the youngsters today, but we had plastic smartphones in the beginning and plastic gets really nasty really quickly. When top paint layer of fancy colorful rainbow mirror effect wears off on edges and gets scratches all over it exposing solid white or whatever plastic underneath it looks horrid. Especially since all these painted models use some sort of lacquer which starts chipping off it’s just awful and nasty. And it always wears out faster on edges.

Glass on the other hand, at worst during normal use it’ll have bunch of micro scratches which, if you prefer white glass like I do, they aren’t even visible. The material is superior for normal use where you’re not tumbling phone on concrete ground. It’ll never wear out or lose coloration no matter how rough your desks are and how rough your jeans pockets are. And best part that people just straight out refuse to grasp, if you worry about glass, then stick it into a fucking silicone case. But instead, people argue plastic back on expensive phone can be protected by putting more plastic like wrap or silicone case on it. WHY for fucks sake!? If phone is glass you at least have an option to stick plastic on it or use it naked. If it’s already plastic, it’s just more of plastic. Makes no fucking sense. And glass just feels totally different and so much better in hand compared to anything plastic.

And thanks to this idiotic defending and embracing of plastic on Galaxy S21 flagship, Samsung already announced they are going to put plastic back on Galaxy S22+ too next time. Before, S21 was plastic and S21+ and S21 Ultra had glass. Now it’s two with plastic already. What’s next, Galaxy S23 Ultra coming with plastic back thanks to you all? Fucking hell.

People whine how Apple is being cheap on things and here Samsung blatantly puts plastic on their flagship device with obvious sole purpose of increasing margins and everyone is like “shut up and take my money”. Meanwhile people are bitching over iPhones potentially having titanium sides some time in the future and how wasteful this is and yadiyadida, whole frigging pages upon pages of whining on forums about it. It’s like I don’t understand people anymore or they just all got dumb as fuck over night. Companies are literally trying how far they can go with cheapening out and everyone not just lets them, they actively embrace it. !?!?!?

If you can’t have glass back on a smartphone because you’re so god damn clumsy, maybe you should look at CAT phones or you know, use a case and leave the rest of us who prefer premium materials and amazing feel in hand to actually have such phones. We can still put a case on it if shatter resistance is needed, but isn’t requirement to protect it from normal wear.

Use “thermal throttling” to your advantage on PC

It’s no secret both, Ryzen 7 5800X and GeForce RTX 3080 are hot boyz. They both love to run really hot no matter how big coolers you bolt on them. And if you cool them better by ramping up fans they’ll just boost even higher. And noise is something I don’t tolerate well. I like my system quiet.

So I did something rather unorthodox this time around that actually doesn’t hurt performance much at all, but makes system sooooo much quieter. And cooler.

Temperature throttling the CPU…

Ryzen 5000 has a setting for thermal throttling in BIOS…

CPU_ThermalThrottle

For a long time I treated this as something I need to avoid and it’s there just to protect CPU from burning out. But then it made me think. I’ve been at those temperatures by allowing it to pump as much power as it wanted and raising its clock limits to 5GHz. And all it did was drop clocks tiny bit and it’s not like it just drops from 4.4GHz on all cores down to 2GHz or something. The curve is rather progressive for it to stay at that temperature. So I dropped the thermal throttle limit down to just 65°C. My fans on AiO are set to run at 100% at 70°C. And behold, system was now so much quieter and observing the CPU temperature curve, it hits 65°C and remains there at all times, so fans never actually went to 100% as a result (I have Silent Wings 3 on my Liquid Freezer II 240mm AiO which are rather quiet until 100% speed).

What changes now is the cores clocks. And to my surprise, those haven’t changed much. In gaming, it runs at 65°C and still hits same clocks of 4.85 GHz. I kid you not. There was no change for games as far as clocks go. Played Necromunda: Hired Gun which is very new game and some Battelfield 1. Older, but still very nice looking game which is still relatively demanding. I also couldn’t tell a difference in gameplay smoothness. Probably something like GTA V would cause clocks to drop some more, but these CPU’s are really fast and they don’t need to max out for great performance. There was some change in Cinebench R23 where my usual unrestricted clock was 4.45 GHz on all cores and now it was around 4.2 GHz. Which is still quite respectable and given I generally don’t do much all core loads it’s still perfectly fine and I only lost few 100 points which is nothing.

Temperature throttling the GPU…

I’m using Palit GeForce RTX 3080 GamingPro which has a rather slim cooler that doesn’t extend past PCI rear bracket. It was only version at the time that I could get for normal price and it’s fine. I was playing Automachef yesterday and it was running full tilt even though game isn’t that demanding, making it quite noisy and pumping out tons of heat just because it was running at locked 144fps (my monitor refresh FreeSynced). And I applied same logic as for CPU. Lets just temperature limit the card…

RTX3080_ThermalT

Fired up MSI Afterburner and only thing I did was unlink power and temperature and gave TEMP LIMIT priority, dropped it to 65°C which is the lowest it can go. If temperature allows, it’ll still go to max clocks. And it sometimes does when not under heavy stress on entire GPU. And just like CPU, it goes up to 65°C and flatlines there. No matter what I do it stays at 65°C. Super quiet and it’s now only 1000 points slower than average RTX 3080 in 3DMark Port Royal test. In Necromunda and Battlefield 1, I couldn’t tell the difference once again. But my god it was quieter and under heavy loads clocks were fluctuating between 1500 and 1900 MHz. Quite lower than before when they were stuck at 1900 MHz and above, but drop in clocks doesn’t seem to affect framerate all that much even though in frequency numbers it’s huge.

Conclusion

Basically I prioritized my entire system on temperature and my choice was 65°C because it’s a good balance in my use case. And results are pretty amazing as performance wasn’t penalized as much as I was expecting, but temperature metrics changed dramatically. You can set any temperature limit you want so you can tailor it to your cooling capacity or noise tolerance that you can still deal with. Pretty useful settings.

Linux and wtf even is screen rotation

Who the fuck designed screen rotation on Linux should be forced to use Windows Me to the end of their life as a punishment. Out of bunch of distros I’ve tried, only Kubuntu with Wayland managed to keep touch screen in sync with screen rotation. All others, including same Kubuntu with X11, the moment you rotate display (manually, because auto rotation is pixie magic apparently) on a hybrid netbook from vertical to landscape, display rotates, but touch apparently remains in vertical. Tapping or dragging on screen makes mouse appear and drag somewhere else on the screen making touch entirely useless unless you’re using it in pointless vertical position. Also Wayland seems to be the only compositor that knows what the fuck auto rotation is. Which seems to be the reason why it does work. But my god Kubuntu is slow and its stupid kWallet is annoying as fuck whining on every boot for WiFi even though I’ve disabled the stupid thing. So, my idea to ditch Windows and go to Linux before the Windows 11 shitshow and someone managed to fuck it up yet again with Linux. Why the hell they always manage to fuck something up so I can’t use it. Just make this shit work out of the box coz I have no intention in spending hours in motherfucking Konsole.