August 7, 2004

Hardware Inadequacies

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at August 7, 2004 6:21 PM

My trusty laptop computer Aelia does not meet the "minimum system requirements" for Doom 3. Her shortcoming is the graphics adapter; while Aelia's Radeon 9000 is supported, she has the 32MB version, and this is Not Recommended.

This did not deter me from installing the game; the framerate is highly suboptimal but playable. As others have said, it's very immersive and quite spooky (with the occasional cheesiness like the floating skulls). I have yet to try the multiplayer.

My trusty desktop computer Tentacle also fails to meet the minimum system requirements. Its graphics adapter has 64MB, but is an older, unsupported Radeon. This can be remedied at moderate expense, but Tentacle also falls 100MHz short of the minimum processor requirement. The question I have been asking myself is whether the game would run better on a slower computer with a better graphics card...

Of course I could make some more massive upgrades, but I haven't been playing enough computer games lately to justify this.


I don't know, Doom 3 seems to me to justify an upgrade just by itself. Personally, I'm just a little bit past the first boss fight, and I just want to say, "Damn."

If you've turned off any of the spiffy effects (shadows, bump mapping, etc), it's worth a graphics card upgrade just to see the difference. Z had to turn down a few settings to get a decent framerate and, well, it looks like a relatively good-looking computer game. That is to say, when it looks the way it's supposed to look, it's something else entirely. I've got a Radeon 9200SE in my box, and with the beta Doom 3-accelerated Catalyst drivers, I can squeak 800x600 out of it with everything but FSAA turned on, but just barely.

Here's what I'd ask: Is your FSB speed and RAM speed up to par with what would be expected of their listed minimum CPU requirement? If you've got that much, and have plenty of RAM, I'd just go ahead and try a new graphics card. I'd recommend something with a little more *oompf* than what I've got, but I imagine you'll run it just fine with a good GPU pumping out the frames.

Another tip--don't play for too long. This is one of the few games where I conciously stop myself from playing more than an hour or two at a time. This game can make ya all kinds of jittery, and more than that, it's the first computer game EVER to make me motion sick. Oh, and try to believe me on this, but I say that like it's actually a good thing.

Lastly, to anyone who is in doubt of whether or not to give Doom 3 a try, let I remind you an old, fundamental principal:


Posted by: Lemming | August 8, 2004 10:30 AM

Short Version:

you do not want it to be choppy and it's sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo worth it.

(can't sleep, oh god. I don't think I've ever screamed because of a game before =d)

Posted by: Vanessa | August 8, 2004 8:54 PM

It seems that there's a new facet to this problem that I previously overlooked. To put it in formal terms, when I originally posted this I was trying to find the upgrade U which maximizes the function:

f(U) = D(U) - C(U), where:

D(U) is the marginal utility (in dollars) due to playing Doom 3 on hardware upgraded by U, and
C(U) is the cost of upgrading by U.

However, from the comments so far I can conclude that for certain reasonable values of U, D(U) is sufficiently high that upgrading will significantly increase the amount of time I spend playing Doom 3, incurring opportunity costs that should be factored in. In particular more time playing Doom 3 means less time in situations where I might meet single women.

Suppose making the upgrade U reduces the probability that I will get laid on a regular basis by P(U). Based on this study, we estimate the utility loss associated with P at $50,000 per unit probability, generating the revised function to be maximized:

g(U) = D(U) - C(U) - P(U) * $50,000

P(U) by definition has an upper bound which is much smaller than 1, and it could be convincingly argued that this bound is sufficiently small that the contribution of P(U) to g(U) is negligible. But this is depressing, so I won't dwell on it.

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | August 8, 2004 11:28 PM

Huh, I could have sworn I posted to this thread on this topic... in any case, all it said was that i'd be hopefully testing the effects of a good new video card with a halfway decent CPU, should this company ever get the dang shipment so they can send me one. It still plays on a geforce 4 mx, just not very well.

Posted by: ZIfnab | August 10, 2004 10:09 PM
Post a comment