View Full Version : Help Eidos out! What is your video card?

11th Mar 2004, 00:26
Help Eidos Interactive Out! We need to show them which cards everyone has so they can adapt Thief 3 for it! Thanks! Take the Poll please!:)

Mr. Perfect
11th Mar 2004, 00:36
Actually, what' really important about video cards is the chipset family. IE, Radeon 8500, GeForce TI440, Radeon 9800. For example, Radeon 8500s came with 128MB of ram, but so do Radeon 9800 Pros. And of course the 9800 Pro is so far above and beyond the 8500 that it's not even worth comparing the two based on their memory size. :)

11th Mar 2004, 01:13
Rookie, if EIDOS wanted to know then Grey Mouser or RedLegg would have asked. And for the latest batch of games the question is unnecessary.

You can either play the game, or it won't run. Then YOU have to decide if it is your card or other, and then fix it.


11th Mar 2004, 04:02
Mr. Perfect and theBlackman are right. Thanks for trying to help, but the information is not useful. The simple fact is, the game is basically done, and the player must adapt, not Eidos / Ion Storm. If you want to know more about what kind of hardware is supported or necessary to play Thief: DS, search existing threads.

Anyway, welcome to the forum. :)

13th Mar 2004, 11:15
Yes this poll/thread can't change anything but it's still pretty interesting what kind of cards ppl have. The poll would have been better though if it was made on basis:
GF4Ti 4xxx

Or something like that 'cos that would tell a lot more about the power of the card than the amount of memory. I myself have a Radeon 8500LE 64MB but my card is not able to run the newer games very good. I have to stick to resolutions of 1024x768 or lower and I can't even get some nice special effects 'cos this card doesn't include DX9 features :(
So when the new generation of cards is being released next month and the prices of the older ones drop, I'm planning to buy a good R9800pro 128 or 256MB (256 only if the price drops radically so I might have the money for it :( ). But in the end, it doesn't really matter if you have 128 of 256MB card 'cos the games don't need 256yet and when they will require it, your 128Mb card will be too slow to play with.

15th Mar 2004, 20:55
not to bag but i have a radeon 9800 pro with creative audigy 2 and about 500mb on board memory not to mention a wopping 22in fat screen (its fat because it is one of the older moddles but has never let me down)

but to make it cheaper the case costs about a £10 now and is as yellow as a russian from a nuc sub. the screen due to its age and size costs about £50 (its also yellow and it takes two ppl to lift it)

and if anyone here is smart you would put the pc together by your self it just looks and sounds complex but it aint im 15 and i have put this one together myself anyway the point of doing it is that you save £100s of pounds

19th Mar 2004, 19:17
Whilst that's true, that's pretty common knowledge. If you're looking for a good card, don't jump on whatever you can afford... do a little research. Eidos ain't gonna change, so you have to.

I got my Radeon 9500pro a year ago. I could have gone for a TI4600 (It was the popular choice and I'd always used Nvidias before.) for a pretty similar price but benchmarks showed not only that the Radeon 9500pro had a slight edge but:

There was a good chance that you could convert it in to a 9700 using software alone. (Which I managed to do with no effort.)

They are very easy to overclock even with the stock cooler and heatsink.

So from the 9500pro I purchased a year ago I now have an overclocked 9700 (330/330 - Orig 275/275 IIRC)... bloody good investment IMO, and all it took was a bit of browsing. So even if you're buying an old card, be selective.

21st Mar 2004, 15:50
Has there been any news on what the requirments to run the game will be? Video card,memory ect.I'd like to have my computer ready by release date.Thanks

23rd Mar 2004, 12:04
Well thats the point. Ý have found no information about the system requirements; at least optimal.

But i am sure that we will have no problem with a 9600Pro with 128MB DDR mem; P4 2.4GHzwith a 256MB system memory.

But i am not sure i can run that game in a P3 733 with 512MB system memory and a GF2MX400 With 64MB SDRam.

What do you think?

23rd Mar 2004, 13:41
Originally posted by thiefthedark
Well thats the point. Ý have found no information about the system requirements; at least optimal.

But i am sure that we will have no problem with a 9600Pro with 128MB DDR mem; P4 2.4GHzwith a 256MB system memory.

But i am not sure i can run that game in a P3 733 with 512MB system memory and a GF2MX400 With 64MB SDRam.

What do you think?

Chances are you'll need more ram on that P4 system, if you're running XP or 2K then it's for certain. As for that other system, not a chance for certain. The game isn't supporting the GF4mx, let alone the GF2.

23rd Mar 2004, 14:18
Originally posted by Guineapiggy
The game isn't supporting the GF4mx, let alone the GF2.

Really? How do you know that?? :confused: :eek:

23rd Mar 2004, 17:02
Sapphire 9800 Pro 128 here. Mildly OC'd to 410Mhz core, 698Mhz RAM. Will be OC'ing to probably 430 core, 730 RAM once the memory heat sinks arrive. :D

If you see a puff of smoke rising in the midwest within the next week, that would be me :p

Mr. Perfect
25th Mar 2004, 01:00
Originally posted by thiefthedark
Really? How do you know that?? :confused: :eek:

It uses the same lighting effects Deus Ex IW uses, and since Invisible War does not support the MX series due to the fact they physicly lack pixel shaders, Theif 3 will also require a better card.

25th Mar 2004, 02:45
A Radeon 9800 Pro or FX 5900-XT is so cheap now, that it really shouldn't be much of an issue when Thief 3 comes out. At this point, you'd have to have not upgraded for quite a while, I think, to be "left in the dark" as far as the Thief 3 video performance.

Rather, maybe we should educate the gamers themselves about the cards they will need, and say:

(1) If your card says MX in the name, DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT you won't be able to play, and don't complain about it either, the MX is meant as a low-end gpu for ultra-cheap corporate MS-Office workstations. It performs well on: email, word processing, 4-years-old games. That's it.
(2) If you still have a midrange or low-end Geforce4, then you can probably play but don't expect too much. (meaning you'll see some good-looking screenshots flashing by.)
(3) If you have an FX 5200, you might have to turn the settings down pretty far.
(4) If you buy a Geforce FX 4300 for some ungodly reason, then you'd better not buy Thief 3. Maybe that card will run Thief 2.

And, keep in mind, the other two Thief games needed a lot of CPU for their time. (maybe that's why Ion Storm asked about the CPU.)

Going by peoples' performance experience in DX:IW and assuming that Thief 3 will take at least as much GPU power as DX:IW (which is probably not true, it will probably require less), owners of any card faster than those mentioned should be able to handle it pretty decently. It is unreasonable now to expect Ion Storm to spend a -lot- of time dumbing down an engine so that it can run without pixel shaders, especially when it would be one of very, very few games to come out within the last 6 months that have that backwards-compatibility, and especially especially since you have to have not upgraded for a couple years to not have it, and can get a card with good speed and pixel shaders for very little money now.

I think (my opinion, guesstimate, based on past experience) they will design the game to play well on a mid-range Geforce FX (meaning 5700 or 5700 Ultra) and to need settings turned off to play on slower cards, and/or to be a little choppy on them. That's what I would do if I were a game company releasing a title in the near future. I think gamers are only worried because they're still in shock over the rapid transition to pixel shader technologies, and the way it left older graphics cards suddenly in the dust a little earlier than they'd have expected.

And, personally, I actually want them to design for high-end graphics cards now, because I'm getting a nice new $220 Radeon 9800 Pro from Newegg in a few days. :D What I don't want is for the game to have dumbed down graphics.

25th Mar 2004, 02:56
But i am not sure i can run that game in a P3 733 with 512MB system memory and a GF2MX400 With 64MB SDRam.

Thiefthedark, I honestly don't think that video card could even play Thief 2. That processor is at the far bottom trailing end of the statistical curve of what people have in their system for playing games.

Frankly, I'm worried about them dumbing the engine down for the XBOX. Making the game play on your system would be like dumbing it down for the Playstation-1 or the SNES.

I know that sounds harsh, but consider that you could take that computer apart, replace the motherboard and power supply and graphics card, and have a system at the top end of gaming computers today, for (que Price Is Right theme)

Motherboard: $60
AMD XP Mobile 2500: $100 (overclock it to be faster than the fastest Athlon XP)
Radeon 9800 Pro: $220
512MB PC3200 memory: $80
Power Supply: $50, if your current one is under 350 watts.

(keep the rest of the stuff in your case.)

$510, and that's for a whole new system with top of the line specs and no corners cut for games. And that is the most almost anyone would have to upgrade. Most people below the line would only need a new video card.

And... who made the amount of memory on the card the determining speed factor? That's the one spec of a video card that matters the LEAST how fast it is!

30th Mar 2004, 04:48
Heres what I have...Do you think i'll be able to play Thief III?

Intel Celeron(R) 2.8 GHZ processor
256 mb Ram
Intel 82845G/GL/GE/PE/GV Extreme Graphics Card / 64 mb

I got the comp for a good price...its a nice HP...but I sure hope I can run the game.

30th Mar 2004, 09:36
YOu'll almost certainly need more ram and not a chance with that video card.

I think I can give you good estimates from what has been said so far:

If your card is Radeon and pre 9XXX:
I sincerely you've got much of a chance.
If your card is MX or pre 5200FX:
'Fraid not
If your card is Pre GF4TI:
Nope, sorry
If your card is an Intel:
Not a chance
If your card has less than 64mb ram:
This game ain't for you
If your card is PCI:
Sorry, not gonna happen
If your PC has 256mb ram under Windows 98 or ME
It'd be a stretch
If your system has 256mb ram under XP or 2000
Nope, definitely not gonna happen.
If you're running 95
Please, don't even bother asking questions that stupid.

30th Mar 2004, 18:01
Originally posted by AresJMD
Heres what I have...Do you think i'll be able to play Thief III?

Intel Celeron(R) 2.8 GHZ processor
256 mb Ram
Intel 82845G/GL/GE/PE/GV Extreme Graphics Card / 64 mb

I got the comp for a good price...its a nice HP...but I sure hope I can run the game.

I'm sorry to break the news to you, but nothing about that computer is nice. It has not enough RAM, a "value" grade processor that is nowhere near the speed of a P4 2.8, and a graphics card that was insufficient for playing games that came out even a couple years ago. In fact most sites that benchmark video cards don't even include that one, because its score is so small on the chart that you can't even hardly see it.

Now... there might be hope. Open the door of the case on the left hand side and look inside. I don't know if you know what an AGP slot looks like... There will be several long slots inside (about as long as your finger, and usually white) that may or may not have any cards plugged into them. At the top of the column of slots, look for one that's a slightly different size and positioned a little bit farther to the right than the others, usually brown plastic instead of white. That is the AGP slot. If you have one, you can put a new video card in that computer to replace the Intel "Extremely slow" graphics chip, and make that computer perform a little better on games. You won't get it performing really well, but you'll at least be able to play. How well you'll be able to play depends on how much processor the design team decides to use.

You'll also need more memory. You'll probably have to call HP about that, find out what kind of memory stick you can buy, and get one from www.newegg.com.

The problem here is the OEMs. Companies like HP and Compaq have no problem whatsoever selling you a PC that they know will be useless to you. Not only that, but they market it deceptively. I'd bet you saw something in the advertisement about games or super-fast 3D graphics. They put that in because they technically can - the Intel Extreme chip does indeed have functionality for drawing things in 3D, and that is almost always used for games. They just neglect to mention that it's in the bottom two percentile of cards, in terms of speed.

If you recently bought that computer, I highly suggest returning it because you won't find a single game released after 1998 that can play on it, other than games meant for the 3-8 age range. It will however do Office and email and web browsing just fine, if you don't care. If you know someone who knows how to build computers, offer them some money (like $100 or so) to build you a midrange gaming computer. They'd be more than happy to, $100 is half of a brand new video card upgrade for them. I could personally build a high end gaming machine for $800, cost of all parts including monitor keyboard optical-mouse and shipping. A midrange gaming machine would be less than that, even less if you already have an old computer you don't use, for scavenging unimportant parts.

31st Mar 2004, 00:00
A little dramatic aren't we?

Listen Ares, your CPU is mid range, maybe a lil' bit under but your ram is lacking and your graphics processor needs replacing. It's true that the Celeron can't live with the XPs or Pentiums by a long shot but you're at least getting overall P4 2.3 ghz performance. (XP2200ish.)

The problem with your ram levels is that your OS occupies a lot of it to begin with, (32-64 with 98/ME, 96 - 128 with 2K and 100-160 with XP) leaving the game very little to work with so it saves data to your hdd instead of your ram, and to put that in to perspective your HDD runs at (at best) 150mhz with a low bandwidth, your ram however (Assuming it's PC3200) runs at 400mhz with a high bandwidth of 128bit, meaning a hugely faster response time. Put in simple terms make sure you don't run out. 512mb is the minimum I'd reccomend to anyone wanting to run modern releases. (IE 2002 onwards.) This is simple enough to do, open your case and locate the ram. It'll usually have a label telling you the speed and one or two extra slots for more so you can easily buy more ram of the same speed for a seemingly low cost.

As for your graphics card I'm afraid we're looking at an £80 minimum, £120 if you want it to last more than a few months of new releases.

I would advise against prebuilts though, you can save money and get better quality parts at the same time, and you're not paying for anything you don't want. It's not even remotely as hard as it seems, it's worth research for the money you'll save and all you need in terms of tools is a screwdriver.

31st Mar 2004, 13:13
Okay, i understand the bottom system is not goin'to run the game, i started upgrading my system, firstly i bought an ATI Radeon 9600Pro, next month i am goin to buy an Intel P4 2.6 and a MSI NEO2-S-NL under it :) . Last month i am goin to buy a 1GB DDR400 Memory with a Rock Solid Power supply. Just three months, then i am goin to finish the game in just three days :) .

Who wants to take my GF2MX400 ? :) saw, 295MHz core and 191MHz mem.

31st Mar 2004, 19:50
Fraid I am not computer-literate at all really, and all this technical stuff is gettin' scary. Please put me out of my misery....will MY computer play the new Thief DS game????

I have a Pentium4 3.06ghz, 512 MB DDR...120GB HDD, GeForce FX5200 128MB

If I need to upgrade in order to play Thief DS please let me know asap so that I can prepare!

Cheers! :)

Mr. Perfect
31st Mar 2004, 21:26
Loooks good except for that FX 5200. Keep an eye out for good sales on 5700 Ultras or 9600 Pros(or better, if you want to spend the money).

1st Apr 2004, 06:45
Cheers Mr Perfect, but are you saying that my graphics card WILL NOT be able to handle Thief, or that it will BUT it will be slower, or miss on something, etc?

Mr. Perfect
1st Apr 2004, 16:47
Well, if Deus Ex IW is anything to go by, it'll run the game, but like a three leg tourtis. :D

Hopefully they'll have a demo you can try before you consider upgrading.

1st Apr 2004, 20:10
You guys are going for the wrong video cards.

Compare the price you would pay for the ones you're choosing with these:

$210: Radeon 9800 Pro
$180: Geforce FX 5900 XT

I have found those two cards to be the best you can buy for the money today. You can indeed save a couple bucks going down to $170 or $160 for an FX 5700, but you lose 40% of the performance of the 5900 XT doing that!

I was going to post links to their product groups at Newegg.com, but it seems I can't get to their site for some reason... hope they're all right!! :confused:

Look at this chart of video card performance, which uses Halo for comparison and should give a relatively nice picture of how cards perform at Pixel Shader games. It will explain everything to you, including why people don't like the 5200 even though it says "FX" on it. (Look at the TOP CHART ONLY. The bottom chart turns graphics features off so that Halo can run on those older cards. You don't want to buy a Geforce 4, it doesn't support pixel-shaders 2.0.)

Tom's Hardware VGA Charts Part III (http://www20.tomshardware.com/graphic/20031229/vga-charts-09.html)

That chart mirrors almost every other benchmark I've seen very well, so it should be pretty accurate. Larger lines are better. Green is nVidia, red is ATI. Simple enough, right? Tells you exactly what you'll get for your money.

1st Apr 2004, 20:26
Hi again Mr Perfect.... but I am even more confused now. My graphics card plays DEx:IW perfectly okay??? It isn't slow, doesn't crash...just plays as normal and when Denton walks he walks fast, so certainly not ploddin' around like a tortoise.

Mr. Perfect
1st Apr 2004, 21:46

Consider yourself lucky then. Everyone in the Deus Ex section complains about the FX 5200.

2nd Apr 2004, 05:52
Originally posted by thiefessa
Hi again Mr Perfect.... but I am even more confused now. My graphics card plays DEx:IW perfectly okay??? It isn't slow, doesn't crash...just plays as normal and when Denton walks he walks fast, so certainly not ploddin' around like a tortoise.

Thiefssa, your FX 5200 will play Thief 3. You just might be forced to play at a very low resolution like 640x480 or 800x600. It depends a lot on what you expect from it. I don't think games look good unless they are at least 1024x768 - that's what I usually play at. A better graphics card would get you smoother motion in the game, and the ability to play at resolutions that look much nicer.

Of course, the Ion Storm team might make Thief 3 with lower video requirements than I'm expecting. It might play quite well on a 5200. (nobody is sure because the game isn't done yet.) My advice is to wait until the game comes out, and maybe have a little bit of extra cash lying around then just in case. That way, if you do have to upgrade your video card to play the way you like, the prices on everything will be cheaper, because the next line of video cards is coming out sometime soon. (it won't be any better than the current ones - just a different slot type - but the prices should go down anyway.)

Demos are an excellent way to check if you can play a game well before buying it too, as Mr. Perfect pointed out. It's a good way to go.

2nd Apr 2004, 06:47
Cheers GrafM, I will wait for the demo to come out and see what I think....all advice much appreciated. :)

18th Apr 2004, 05:44
I've been planning to buy a newer video card. Just haven't got around to it yet. G4 Ti4200 is what I have had for a couple of years.

I'm going to buy T:DS for PC anyway right when it comes out and also get the X-Box version so I can play immediately. Then when I upgrade my PC I can play it over on computer--which I prefer--and also with the PC version I will be able to play all the fan missions people will be making.

I'll probably give my X-Box T:DS disk away to a cousin after I've beat it. The online fan mission capability of the PC version is way more important, and I prefer to play Thief on my computer anyway.

I will definately upgrade my computer so don't dumb anything down.

20th Apr 2004, 21:48
I have a 9800pro 128

But i am planning on buying a next generation card soon (a Geforce 6800 or Radeon XT800)

21st Apr 2004, 19:59
Originally posted by Sotos
I have a 9800pro 128

But i am planning on buying a next generation card soon (a Geforce 6800 or Radeon XT800)

Same here. The 9800 Pro is a very nice card. But the 6800 is so much better than I expected, that it's on the buy list.

25th Apr 2004, 13:24
Originally posted by rookie1O
Help Eidos Interactive Out! We need to show them which cards everyone has so they can adapt Thief 3 for it! Thanks! Take the Poll please!:)

they sould adapt the game for any card!

25th Apr 2004, 18:06
uhm yeah... and Garrett would consist of five polygons, flat shaded, the guards would be rectangular boxes, and the levels would be black-and-green wireframe a-la Battle Zone. :D All so that Jethro from Mud-Lick, Kentucky, can play the game on his Matrox MGA Millenium cuz he never upgraded from a 486.

Sometimes higher requirements are a good thing... Just as long as it doesn't require one of the new Geforce 6800's to run smoothly.

26th Apr 2004, 00:20
You know some game can go from perfec graphique to the most basic. Like this you can play it with any graphic card and all way have the best graphic with you're card

26th Apr 2004, 03:09
Originally posted by Shok_2ooo
they sould adapt the game for any card!

One word, "ludite". :D

26th Apr 2004, 22:56
Like for half-life 2

27th Apr 2004, 20:13
Oh, I know what you mean. You mean the game will detect your card and reduce its requirements. That's really difficult to do without spending a lot of computer power doing it, or at least spending a lot of development time getting it to happen.

Think about it, they would have to produce at least two different rendering engines, one for pixel shaders and one for no pixel shaders. Since the shadows will most likely be a pixel shader computation, they would also have to retexture the entire game to include the shadow maps that wouldn't be present in the "high end" version they're currently developing. Then, since the textures are made to look proper using pixel shaders, they would have to produce a whole new set that looks decent without them to go along with the shadow maps. They would also have to either create an algorithm for down-sampling the models for lower polygon counts (and that's hard to do) or they would have to produce a whole different set of models for objects in the game, that would be swapped in place of the ones they've already made. Now you run into the problem of dynamic shadows: The game is going to be made so that you can sneak through a moving shadow, like the shadow of a pillar from the light of a torch a marching guard is holding. They would have to modify the gameplay so that dynamic shadows no longer matter in gameplay, which reduces the quality of the game for everyone. Then, after all that, you realize that if someone is using a Geforce 2 or 3, they are *probably* running on a slow processor too - so you have to reduce the computation for the AI and the physics system, probably eliminating the physics system altogether, and most cetainly dumbing the guards down a lot. Oh yeah, and those people won't have the memory requirements either - you'll have to reduce the level size.

It's just not feasible. They can do it in Half Life 2, to some extent, but I HIGHLY doubt you'll be running Half Life 2 smoothly on a Geforce 2... just not gonna happen. The reason they can do it for HL2 though is that I don't think pixel shaders are going to be used for any gameplay elements. Shadows won't matter in HL2, so all you lose by eliminating pixel shaders is some visual quality.

I also doubt HL2 will look as good on a Geforce 2 or 3 as a game could that is designed for those cards, because you just can't make the same set of textures look good for two drastically different rendering techniques. Pixel shaders introduce a whole new set of color calculations, so certain details that might be in a texture normally would be removed for pixel shader calculation. For example, say you want a rough-looking stone texture on a card that does not support bump mapping and specularity. You must use a graphics program to draw the pits and hollows and cracks in the stone, and end up with a texture map that looks like stone all by itself. Now do the same thing with pixel shaders. The pits and hollows and cracks are colored the way they are because they are relief marks in the stone, not because the stone in that area is actually a different color. So to make rough stone on a pixel shader engine, you make a texture that represents the color variation present in a perfectly smooth piece of stone, then make another texture that represents the positions of the bumps, cracks, and pits, and the pixel shader engine will now react to the placement of lights in the scene, and the lighting will create the same effect that you had to draw in a paint program for the Geforce 2, except it now reacts properly to changes in lighting and changes in your character's point of view.

Anyway, to make a long story short, designing a game for fast, pixel-shader capable systems introduces so many changes into the design of a game, that it's not possible to design one that is both as good as it can get for modern systems and will play right on old systems, and has a reasonable production deadline and size of the game. (think if they did UT2004 with a separate set of textures for older cards... that game would be 11 CD's big!!)

And, like I mentioned before, there aren't enough people who have non-pixel-shader cards and are unwilling to spend a couple hundred $$ on an upgrade, to make it worth doing.

27th Apr 2004, 22:16
ok... it was just a suggestion...

28th Apr 2004, 02:33
Yeah it would be nice if they could, but far as I know nobody has found a good way yet. We'll have to see exactly what HL2 does, and whether it really can run on older cards, or if running on those cards is a "works in theory" kind of case - as in, "It runs... but at 2 fps in 640x480."

It might be a different story if there were many grafix cards that didn't have pixel shaders, but were still fast enough to run the game. But you have to go back past the Geforce 3 to completely lose P.S. support, and the Geforce MX cards are terrible at gaming unless you are running old games built for the Geforce 2 line.

Mr. Perfect
1st May 2004, 19:45
Originally posted by Peter Smith
Thanks for trying to help, but the information is not useful.

Shouldn't this thread be closed or something? It just keeps going on, and on, and on... ;)

3rd May 2004, 04:48
Yeah it's getting pretty long, I guess we're pretty much just rambling at this point.

... oops, I think I just made it go longer...

Mr. Perfect
3rd May 2004, 20:49
I was thinking more about the poll. The thread has some nice info about cards and such, but the poll doesn't seem to have an exiration date, and people just keep poping by to tell us how much ram they have on their un-kown graphics card.

3rd May 2004, 21:34
oh, yeah, the poll... It's just so silly, isn't it? Like you'd expect a Monty Python guy in full plate armor to walk up to it and smack it with a fish and put it out of its misery. Stuff like that just makes me sad that the computer hardware companies can totally take advantage of people, and completely influence their buying decision solely by what numbers they decide to put in bold on the box. Admittedly, ATI and nVidia haven't exactly made it easy. I think it's mostly the fault of Dell, Gateway 2000, Compaq and HP, they were the champions of tricking people into crappy video cards in their "grey box" computers by only giving the brand name and amount of memory in the specs.

Kinda wish I could start my own computer company that doesn't do that crap, but you have to have connections to MS and lots of software companies to get discounts, and deal with the people who say things like "It got dirty so I put it in the dishwasher to clean it up, and now it's broke! Nowhere on the box does it say it isn't dishwasher safe! I'm disputing the charge on my credit card!"