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new to PC gaming

Discussion in 'PC Gaming & Rigs' started by Tick Tock man, Aug 29, 2004.

  1. Tick Tock man

    Tick Tock man
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    Hello,

    Forgive me if I'm asking silly questions but don't really know a great deal about PCs.

    Basically, acquired a PC a few months ago, not really intending to use it much for games as I've got a PS2, but then realised that there are so many games available for PC and pretty cheap too, so went out and bought an armful fo games. I've got a basic Dell dimension 2400 - nothing particularly fancy but a good entry level PC, 512Mb Ram. Having problems loading up a couple of games I bought recently.

    When loading up "Turok Evolution" it seems to go okay for a while but then I get an error message - "This application requires functionality that is not available on your Direct3D hardware accelerator."

    Any ideas on what I need to do?

    I know I haven't given you much info about the game or PC to go on, but not really sure what it is that you would need to know!

    :(
     
  2. AML

    AML
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    does your PC have a graphics card? unless it has one, its unlikely you will be able to play any high spec 3D graphics games.
    It seems to me that the game you are trying to run (Turok) is unable to find something it needs to run.
    It might be that your PC has a graphics chip, but not a card.
    I recomend that u open up you PC and take a look inside.
    Baisc layout will be a motherboard with the CPU/cooler. Memory modules (RAM) a hard disk and at least one optical drive.
    If there is no sound card or graphics card then you need to go out and get at least a new graphics card and instal it.
    You can get a decent card these days for a good price.

    Even the cheapest card will have higher specs than your PS2 so its well worth the purchase.
    I recomend you stick with well known brands such as NVidia and Ati.
    Nvidia wise, i recomend a (low end) GeForce 4 FX 4800se or higher end GeForce FX 5900. (or even one of the newer cards just out like the 6800, 6600...)

    Ati wise theres the Radeon 9700 or 9800pro. Now just out are the newer X600, X800...
    All these cards are excelent and there are many you should look at. They will uncrease your PCs gaming performance 10fold.

    You wont have to spend too much but the more you spend the better the card.
    If you are serious about gaming on the PC then welcome to a whole new world!

    I used to be a console gamer untill I disscovered what the PC can do. It leaves the PS2, XBox, and the Game Cube in the dust. (i own them all so dont go bitchin!)

    Look into how u can upgrade you PC. extra memory, bigger hard drive and of course new graphics card/ sound card.
    These things on there own arent that expensive and are easy to instal.

    I used to have a Dell then I built my own rig, and I am one satisfied customer! You can do also do all sorts of crazy things that you cant do with consoles. Like Clock up your CPU and GPU to run faster thatn they are suppsed to.
    At no extra cost u can increase your PCs performance to get more gaming goodnes from your hardware.

    Ill be happy to answer any questions!
     
  3. Sinzer

    Sinzer
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    Tick Tock, no need to look under the bonnet, I looked at the specs on the dell website and your PC is only running Intel onboard graphics chip.

    The problem here is that the chip will be fine for 2D desktop work and basic 3D operation, but will not run modern games decently, if at all.

    The most basic upgrade to rectify this would be to buy a cheapish ATI or Nvidia Graphics card to install in the machine. Something along the lines of a 9600 Pro for 80 quid.

    The problem however, will still be that your PC is not really overly powerful with an Intel Celeron chip and the motherboard you have on the DELL. PC gaming can be incredibly cheap in terms of software costs, however you will end up paying top dollar for hardware. It is far more expensive to set-up a decent gaming rig, than to run any current console (especially as they have all just dropped in price!).
     
  4. AML

    AML
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    :D HEH, thats basicaly what i said!

    I also recomend that u learn how to build a PC and build yourself a small, cheap gaming rig, IF you are serious about PC gaming, otherwise, just put in a cheaper graphics card. Also make sure you have a big enough power supply. Idealy over 300watt.
     
  5. Tick Tock man

    Tick Tock man
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    Thanks for your input guys.

    I'm not serious enough about gaming to be opening up my PC or building my own or start spending £100s on hardware. I just want it to be good enough to play most games at a basic level.

    I am a bit miffed as when i bought the games i did ask if my PC would have to have anything special to run them and was told if i had windows xp and 512Mb RAM and because the PC was only a couple of months old it would be fine. Also bought a game pad and joystic and not sure if they will be compatible with some games now. I've got a Saitek ST50 joystick and Saitek P220 game pad. The instructions don't mention anything about DirectX, what am I looking for?

    Jedi outcast was fine and that seems to require some fairly advanced graphics and sound capabilities - or maybe I'm just showing my ignorance here - the instructions say it requires 16Mb Open GL compatible PCI or AGP 3D harware accelerator and a 16 bit Direct X 8.x compatible sound card. Okay, I probably didn't realise the full potential of the game but I could load and play it absolutely fine (great game too!), and that's all I'm looking for really.

    Turok Evolution requires a Direct X 9.0 compliant video card (NVIDIA GeForce 3 or better) and a DirectX 9.0 compatible audio card and game pad.

    Devastation requires a 3D accelerated video card with T&L and 32 Mb VRAM (NVIDIA GeForce/ATI Radeon minimum examples, 64Mb VRAM recommended) and a Windows compatible sound card.

    So, if my PC was fine with Jedi outcast, how come it won't work with Turok Evolution or Devastation?

    I have installed the latest version of direct X9.0 from the microsoft website.

    Don't want to be spending a great deal as I'm not madly into gaming. What's the cheapest way of doing this? Anything on ebay? I know it may not be that future proof if I go with a cheap option but I don't mind, I'll just draw a line and only buy games in future which I know my PC can support.

    Sorry to be asking so many questions, but I really don't know much about PCs in general. I knew I wasn't buying a great machine for gaming but assumed that even the latest games would be supported if only at a basic level.

    Very grateful for your help.
     
  6. Tick Tock man

    Tick Tock man
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    Also, not really interested in the sound, as long as i get enough sound coming out of my two little speakers to play the game then that's fine, so do i really need to get a sound card? Will i not be able to play the game if i don't have a direct X 9 compatible audio card?

    Thanks.
     
  7. AML

    AML
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    Well no matter what, you DO need a graphics card to run almost any new game. (or even 1 or 2 years old) And in order to instal a new card you WILL have to open up your PC. Think of it as a learning experience.
    Its a well known fact that most shop assistants are clueless, and you should ask people who have had experience in building/upgrading PCs.

    You do have enough memory and Im guessing that your CPU is at least a couple of ghz? (2.2ghz?)I know its a celeron. And even though its not the best CPU it is good enough to play a few games.

    Direct X 9c is now available FREE to download and install from microsofts web site. One thing about PCs is that you need to update drivers and instal new patches for games and other software.

    If you install a graphics card, then you will need its latest drivers. Drivers are all free too just like DX9.

    I recomend that you download and install DX9 now, and once you have decided on a graphics card do the same.

    Instaling a new graphics card is SO easy. All you do is open up the side panel of your case, tip the case on its side, and push the card in the AGP slot. (its the biggest slot above the PCI slots.)

    Im guessing that all your slots are free, so it will be easy to do.

    Im also guessing that your PC has an AGP slot. If not, then you will need a PCI graphics card. (Not the newer PCI express, regular PCi)

    But i doubt this since your PC is fairly new.

    As for sound, as u said Turok needs a DX9 compliant sound card. If you PCs sound chip isnt, then you would need a new sound card too.

    For Sound cards i recomend Creative (.com)
    They make some of the best cards out there and they are affordable.
    20 or 30 pounds for a good one.

    If u have a good sound card you can do a lot more than just play games mind you, so its a worthwhile investment anyway.

    Back to the graphics card. as Sinzer said, you can get a decent card for about 80quid. So just go to a few shop and have a look, or use the net.
    Just remmebr that a card is for more than just gaming too. It offers better quality visuals for other things like DVD viewing and digital photgraphy. If u have a good monitor, you will be able to raise the ressolution higher than with a graphics chip too.

    If you want to know how to open the panel on your PC case, check the manual that came with your dell.

    Finaly, as for the controllers, they should all work. Just plug them in and Windows will recognise them.

    Not all game accept controllers though, and for those games you have to use the trusty old keyboard/mouse combo.
    To be honest for a game like Turok (FPS) keyboard/mouse works better than a controller.
    The joystick, will only probably only work with flight sim games.

    Happy to answer any other questions!

    I had the same kinds of questions when i started out and people out there were kind enough to answer!

    Just remember that any PC game you buy in the future will need a graphics card so start looking now!
     
  8. Sinzer

    Sinzer
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    Jedi Outcast is an OpenGL game, that is different code to DirectX 9.

    You can run Dxdiag, go to start - Run and type in dxdiag. Tell it to NO for the WHQL certificate checks.

    Now go to Display, there should be lots of details in there of what is enabled. You can use the Test Direct3D button to test if the graphics card is fully compatible.

    T&L is Transform and Lighting, a coding routine for shadows and things. The Geforce 3 and aboves were the first cards to support it, hence why the other games packaging mentions that.

    I get the feeling your Intel graphics chipset is not fully Directx9 compatible.

    I agree with AML, never trust what the guy says in the computer shop, even reputable ones. A lot of the time they really don't know what they are talking about. Better off asking on sensible forums :)
     
  9. Tick Tock man

    Tick Tock man
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    Guys,

    Thanks so much for your advice, I'll try what you suggested but may need to pose you another few questions in the near future.

    Thanks again,

    Mike.
     
  10. Degas

    Degas
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    Of course your first course of action is to update to DirectX 9.0 and upgrade your graphics card drivers.

    However - Start Rant......

    If that PC even has an AGP slot I will be frankly amazed, companies like Dell sell cheap and cheerful PC to Joe Public who know no better, they dazzle them with crap about Windows XP and amazing 3D graphics then fob them off with an onboard Intel graphics chipset.

    The fact you have Windows XP mean nothing I am afraid mate, the 512mb of RAM is average in modern terms, the rest of the PC will be basic at best, perfect for surfing the net, sorting out your digital photos and typing a letter in Word, but for games, crapolla. Most of the PC components will be built into your motherboard, graphics, sound and modem, whilst this is cheap (for Dell), it gives you zero chance of upgradability as they buy mobo's that don't even gome with AGP slots.

    The sad fact is onboard graphics chipsets are totally rubbish when it comes to 3D games and usually nick memory from your main system RAM, so if your gfx card reads as 32mb, the your system RAM will be reduced to 480mb. They are also painfully slow and often at least two generations behind even a resonable modern graphics card. I would be suprised if it is even DirectX 8.1 fully compatible and you can forget adavnced features like hardware T&L, AA or AF.

    If you wish to play games on your PC you will undoutably need a new motherboard that actually has an AGP slot and a new graphics card, the rest you should be able to steal from your existing Dell.

    Sorry - Rant Over.....
     

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