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Gaming: Ram CPU or GFX Card

Discussion in 'PC Gaming & Rigs' started by Lex, Feb 21, 2003.

  1. Lex

    Lex
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    Guys,

    I am just curious here. I have been playing Zoo Tycoon for the last few weeks. The "minimum system requirements" are 128mb RAM 233mhz processor 4mb video card.
    Now I have an Athlon XP1800+ a GeForce 4 Ti4200 128mb & 512mb RAM (Windows XP + SP1) and yet still the game slows right down and jitters when I am building a big Zoo running at full spec! So what is the deal here? Obviously the recommended specs are just woefully inadequate, but I am surprised that my machine is struggling with this. So what is the problem? It can't possibly be the GFX Card, so is it the cpu or the RAM or something else?

    Cheers for your thoughts :smashin:
     
  2. backtothefuture

    backtothefuture
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    it could be that you are either running too many programs in the background that are using system resources or maybe your hard disk needs a good defrag.
     
  3. Azrikam

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    XP has a ton of overhead, especially if it came pre-installed on your machine. You should be able to clean most of it out to get your machine running at peak performance. (there's a mess of sites that give details on this)
     
  4. Sinzer

    Sinzer
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    It will likely be CPU or RAM. Most likely RAM, as Azrikam says XP hogs it.

    You could try a defrag, it may be virtual memory causing a problem. Otherwise upgrade to 1Gb of RAM :)
     
  5. Lex

    Lex
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    No, I have a new fresh installation of XP and I don't have anything else running in the background. I don't think it is an issue with my pc not running properly as I have other (seemingly much more demanding) games running on it just fine.
    My point was really that I am just amazed that a pc of this spec is struggling with such a basic 2D game, especially when the "minimum system requirements" are 128mb RAM / 233mhz processor / 4mb video card - How the hell do people with a pc of that spec run the game!?!
    Admittedly I am running the game on huge maps & full spec, but even so...
     
  6. backtothefuture

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    I have a feeling its to do with the XP SP1...

    the last time I installed SP1 over XP , my DVD playback resolution/quality dropped and it chopped off 500 marks off my 3D marks

    :lesson:
     
  7. koku

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    Sorry Azrikam but could you give me some pointers?
     
  8. Azrikam

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    I'm not too up on XP myself, but a couple of google searches on "XP optimization" should give you at least one good white paper on adjusting settings to get the best use of your specs. Most of these have tradeoffs, so it might take a little trial and error to optimize for certain types of games.
     
  9. koku

    koku
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    Thanks for the info Azrikam, much appreciated! :smoke:
     
  10. Wayne Moule

    Wayne Moule
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    If other games are running fine then it could be a graphics driver/DX issue or just a badly written game.
     
  11. betamac

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    What resolution you running in? make sure Anti aliasing is turned off in the driver control panel, also make sure you have the very latest driver 43.00 i think right now

    Your system should handle it fine, and i find Windows XP the best OS for games without a doubt, either something is wrong or the game is just poorly optimized which mainly happens with EA games Command And Conquer generals is a perfect example
     
  12. james.miller

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    XP hogs it? where on earth did you hear that? XP is the most memory efficiant operating system M$ has ever released.

    the problem could be a number of things:

    1) when you experiance slowdown check the HDD light. if its constantly on, scan the drive and see if it needs defraging.

    2) it could well be not enough ram (nothing to do with winXP). remember SimCity4 actually requires a 256mb GRAPHICS CARD to function smoothly. it uses a huge amount of textures. it also requires a lot of system ram, which could well be your problem. try another stick before you buy one, if you can.

    3) as batemac said, make sure FSAA and AF are off in the nvidia control panel. FSAA can triple or even quadruple the amount of graphics ram needed for texturing and you WILL experiance severe slowdown if its on while playing a game like this

    4) Patches. make sure the game AND winXP are totally up to date.
    bugs are being fixed constantly.
     
  13. Kramer

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    Looks like it's a non-playable game for 99% + of PC gamers then :D

    Not many 256meg graphics cards around at the moment. Guess I'll just bin my 9700Pro (@ 415/760) & buy a "decent" graphics card ;)

    :boring:
     
  14. betamac

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    agreed, all valid points apart from the 256MB graphics card part :), the true fact is no game will even take advantage of a 256MB graphics card for a long time yes you may have slightly better performance, but the game has to be programmed to take full advantage. Right now the 256MB 9800 is not available in the U.K and only limited in U.S,

    you would see a much much better increase in performance from buying more system memory than having more graphics memory
     
  15. james.miller

    james.miller
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    actually what i said about simcity4 was correct. Even people with r9700's are experiencing seveare slow-down when the citys start to get bigger. The game has been programmed to take advantage of 128mb cards. nothing less. Problem is, that's like saying Doom3 will "run" a p3@gf2 combo. of course it will, not exactly smooth though.

    It was the programmers thenselfs who reccommended a 2ghz AXP or 2.5ghz p4 and 256mb graphics card.

    also, there are no 256mb ATI anywhere. ATI hasnt even confirmed weather their 256mb 9800PRO will use DDRII or not yet.
     
  16. Apocalypse

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    Someone asked earlier about sites that can aid the performance of Win XP, this is probably the most common one :

    www.tweakxp.com

    Regards
    Phil
     
  17. Lex

    Lex
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    I switched off Anti-Aliasing but it made no difference (what does it do by the way?)
    I think that Zoo Tycoon must just be a poorly desgined game... Like I said, I have more demanding games (such as Warcraft 3 or Jedi Knight II) which run just fine at full whack. Microsoft strike again! :smashin: :rolleyes:
     
  18. Sinzer

    Sinzer
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    AA is an algorithm, which essentially smooths graphics (in this case polygons). They have been using it for years for fonts :) Instead of pixels being black or white, you can use AA to "blur" the pixels into shades of grey this fools the eye into seeing more rounded shapes than simple blocks.

    Obviously, with colour and polygons this gets a lot more complex, hence the performance hit you take.

    I wouldn't have thought that AA would make any difference to Zoo Tycoon, it is a 2-D game?
     
  19. Lex

    Lex
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    Yes - just a top down 2D map... I only turned off AA as it was what others suggested I do (I just do as I am told!) :D
     

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