New monitor and other updates

posted on 07:33 AM on Tuesday 03 January 2017

The Dell UltraSharp U2410 monitor has been replaced with an Acer XB271HU monitor. This is a 27" WQHD IPS monitor with a 4ms response time and 165GHz refresh rate. So it is a nice upgrade to the current one. Slightly larger but the display is really beautiful, sharp and bright. The IPS panel will still provide for good color accuracy while the better response time and refresh rate would allow for better gaming.

Two issues with the monitor are the availability of only one DisplayPort and one HDMI which is very little and that the Windows machine with the NVIDIA GTX970 would need to connect via DisplayPort for G-SYNC to work. So the rest of the machines would need to connect via a single HDMI. To connect the Mac and server, I have gotten a cheap HDMI switch from Challenger which actually works quite well (I was initially worried about the resolution issue since it is 2560x1440, WQHD). The ATEN KVM will still be used as a keyboard and USB switch. This means that switching machines would be more troublesome with more buttons to press but it is definitely far cheaper than getting another KVM that supports HDMI at that kind of resolution. And I typically only switch between the Mac and the Windows anyway. G-SYNC appears to be working as advertised as the NVIDIA control panel shows it as been enabled. When running games, it does appear to be smoother, lag is reduced but the impact is probably not that big. I noticed a bigger difference in the brightness and clarity more than the smoothness.

The external eSATA units have had their contents copied over to the new internal expanded ZFS pool. The units held on despite some initial issues with the hardware. They have been decommissioned and the internal ZFS pool is the main storage unit now. The operating system for the server has been updated to 16.04 LTS so it is good for another couple of years. Everything is back online after the hardware changes. So everything is now good for another year :-)