I'm so frustrated. I've got a P4-3gig, 1 gig of Dual Channel RAM, with a very nice 128 meg NVidia FX 5200 card that I bought LAST YEAR for $150, and my new 1600x1200 Dell LCD Monitor and I can't get a freaking PC game to work worth a damn on my machine.
Case in point:
I picked up a Saitek P880 Dual Analog Joystick and figured I download the latest round of game demos to see what's hot. I got FarCry, Rainbow Six, Thief 3, and Return to Castle Wolfenstein.
- Far Cry: Unacceptable performance even at 800x600. I could BARELY pull 20 frames per second (fps). Additionally, as I didn't feel like being an "inverted-T: ASDW" keyboard and mouse first-person gamer (God Forbid) I tried to use the Saitek. I messed with it's remapping software for an hour, because apparently while DirectX 2199 understands that dual analog sticks exist, most games don't care.
Result: Disappointment and 3 hours wasted.
- Rainbow: Totally unusable at anything other than 640x480 and even then, iffy. Again, messed with the joystick.
- Thief3: Gorgeous game, as along as I didn't try to move. Got about 10 fps at 1024x758, and it was WAY to blocky to play at 640x480 on such a big LCD. All these tests are with Anti-aliasing turned off.
- Return to Castle Wolfenstein: The ONLY game with GOOD Video performance at 1024x768, which I think is the minimum comfortable resolution for FPS gaming.
Seems to me that the only games that are useful or even playable on the average machine are Real Time Strategy games like Rise of Nations or not-very-graphics-intensive games like Dungeon Siege.
What I'm confused about is why a game like Castle Wolfenstein performs so nicely, but Thief can barely move at the SAME RESOLUTION? Perhaps my video card (and most) are so tied to whatever version of DirectX is in vogue at the time, that my little DirectX 8 Video Card is a pariah in the world of DirectX 9.
What's frustrating about all this is that I'm actually considering getting one of these new fangled NVidia G-Force Ultra 6800's, just so I can get ahead of the game and stop worrying if my sad little 3Ghz system can run Pole Position.
And the irony of all this? My XBox works fine. Picked up a steering wheel controller for $25 at Fry's and have been happily driving the hills of Scotland, multiplayer with a guy in Scotland without trouble. No install, no key remapping, just play the game. Hm. The PC may have 1600x1200 DOOM 3 for only $4000US and a Water Cooler, but my $149 XBox plays fine.
Someone tell me why PC gaming matters?
Addendum: Looks like my current video card IS crap:
|Card||Architecture||Clock Speed||Memory Speed||Memory Size||Memory Bandwidth||RAM-DAC ||Fill Rate Pixels/s|
|Geforce FX 5200||256-bit||250Mhz ||400Mhz (DDR)||128Mb||6.4Gb/s||Dual 400Mhz||1 Billion |
|Geforce 6800 Ultra ||256-bit||400Mhz ||1.1Ghz (DDR) || 256/512 Mb||35.2Gb/s||Dual 400Mhz||6.4 Billion |
Well, maybe the 6800 card will be enough for Longhorn. Wonder if I should get it and water cool my system while I'm in there?