View Full Version : The Pixel Shader Problem...Again

2nd Nov 2004, 03:34
Alright, here are some pics to start out. Same problem as everyone else, but I'm sick of not seeing a clear response. At least not one that I want to see.




Alright, look, I want to fix this problem without spending a large sum of money, or any for that matter, on a new video card. It shouldn't be necessary. Where can I download this wonderful thing they call a "pixel shader"?

You can't possibly imagine how much I want to get past this and play the game. Any help is GREATLY appreciated. Thanks.


2nd Nov 2004, 05:04
No software download will make a floppy magically appear that wasn't there before. The pixel shader is a hardware requirement. You cannot "download" a video card or "download" hardware to add to an existing video card.

One user (see http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=45980) tried 3D Analayze to try to emulate a pixel shader but it didn't work.

2nd Nov 2004, 06:21
I'm sorry but your video card will not run the game. A new video card is absolutely needed to run this game. Post on how much you would be willing to spend and forum users will be able to find you a good deal on hardware.

2nd Nov 2004, 11:23
Originally posted by Vanguard
One user tried 3D Analayze to try to emulate a pixel shader but it didn't work. And one claimed that he had successfully run it with it (check this thread (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=40205&highlight=pixel)), but has never been heard of since (probably due to a small print in the pact with the devil).

2nd Nov 2004, 11:55
How depressing - the game I've been waiting for for since Thief 2 comes out and of couse Eidos makes it unplayable. Look, I want the cheapest thing possible that is still willing to play the game. If it will run the game, it's fine. CHEAPEST. Do these little bastards come for less than 100 dollars or did Eidos really screw all it's fans over?

2nd Nov 2004, 13:24
1 - You have a choice, bad graphics or new hardware. Most people choose the latter. If you can't afford it, wait. I've been through the whole process before, up until late 1998 I was still running a 486.

2 - You can pick up a cheap crappy shader card for as little as £25. Look around.

3 - Maybe you should have listened to the answers or looked up an older thread? Just because you get annoyed doesn't mean people are going to uncover a magical new method for running the game for you. This thread has been posted time and time again and I'm pretty sure that on my own I've given out five or six clear answers on the topic, let alone other forum users.

Mr. Perfect
2nd Nov 2004, 21:46
The GeForce 2 MX was released in June of 2000, and even then it was released as an entry level extreme buget card. If this wasn't the PC market, it might be reasonable to expect something, even the lowest end something, to last for 4 and a half years. However, the PC industry moves to fast to hang on to something that long. Graphics card performance doubled in the last generation alone, and your card is 5 generations old.

If you want to play Thief 3 and spend $100 or less, get an Xbox. The Xbox console is gaunteed to play Thief 3, and it should be right around $100 these days. You'd have to get the Xbox version of the game of course.

On the other hand, the lowest possible card you could buy that would play Thief 3 would be a GeForce 3 of some sort, and would be an absoulute slide show on the lowest detail settings. To get reasonable performance at a decent graphics quality on a new game that's pushing the technical envelope like Thief 3 is, you're going to have to buy something like a Radeon 9600 Pro (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?submit=property&DEPA=1) for around $100.

If you simply can't part with $100 for a modern graphics card every two years or so, then you belong in the console crowd. Consoles generally cost about $150 and arn't replaced with the next generation console for 3-4 years.

By the way, if you read the minimum requirements on the bottum of the Theif 3 box, you'll also notice that your CPU is 2/3 of the requirment. So even with a decent video card you're not going to be setting any speed records.

2nd Nov 2004, 22:12
What requirement besides video card am I missing? Whatever it is, it isn't 100% necessary, as I checked and all the necessary requirements are filled but the video card. Is a 100 dollar card worth it? Will it last for a bit? Will it run the game well?

I uh, I'm hoping for something that will hold up for awhile and run games generally well. You know, in response to the console issue though, that's useless, as some games just dont work on console as well as PC (FPS), and I'm not getting a card just for Thief, but every other game I'm going to buy soon. So 100 dollars - Good or bad?

2nd Nov 2004, 23:16
Depending on how far into the future you are looking $100.00 in the US will do reasonably well.

I am running the game on a ATI 9600SE which is in the $30-50 range at the moment. There are a handful of cards in the $50-100 range which are better.

I don't like GeForce cards in general. I have had nothing but trouble with them over the years, although the newer ones are getting good reviews.

You might check out some of the various forums for Vcards. www.Rage3D.com has discussions on the ATI cards, and some comparisons to others.

www.Omegadriver.net has information on Nvidia and ATI cards as well as drivers and links to other sites dealing with Vcards.

http://forums.guru3d.com/ Has discussions about nearly every card in the forums.

Check 'em out.

3rd Nov 2004, 00:12
I have a Sapphire (ATI) 9600 card. Right now they $95 (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=14-102-305&depa=1). They have a large heatsink so you don't get the added noise of another fan. I plan on overclocking this card but will wait until I get a fan for it or nibble out a hole for a case fan above it (and the CPU) so I can use a larger, slower rotating, and quieter 120mm.

There are some cheaper brands using, say, the ATI 9600 chipset, like Jetway and Rosewill starting around $60 but I have no experience with their quality. The Sapphire cards are as good for quality as the ATI-branded cards.

I have tried using the Rage3D utility which lets you overclock the ATI cards. Then I ran a video test utility and noticed a significantly increase in frame rate so the Sapphire card that I got can be overclocked with noticeable effect. I'm just leery of overclocking it with only the big heatsink on it, so someday I'll add a fan and test out overclocking for extended times.

3rd Nov 2004, 03:43
A good friend of mine ran T3 on his old system, with an Athlon 900 mhz (the old Orion core, Slot A) processor and a Radeon 9000 card. It was a bit choppy, but it was playable. So, you can get something that would run the game for under $100. How long it will be good for is a different story. Given the way games tend to increase requirements to use up available power, you would probably have to upgrade it again in another year or so.

3rd Nov 2004, 12:07
I'm thinking of just building a custom computer around the requirements for Thief3, as I know it's a good example of how current games are. How does this sound...

1. Intel Pentium IV 1.5 GHZ
2. >256 MB System Memory
3. Windows XP
4. ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128 MB AGP
5. 40 GB Hard Drive Space

What else do I need and can anyone give an estimate on this?

3rd Nov 2004, 12:20
To be honest, KiruKlan, you really shouldn't build that system. Put it this way:

I have a few game slowdowns caused by certain games with 512mb ram and a heavily optimised Windows XP

My processor is a bit dated, I payed £50 for it not long ago and it can leave the one you're proposing for dead.

The graphics card, whilst good, will cause a freakin' huge bottleneck in that system. Buy a cheaper one and get a better overall system. If you splash on a good motherboard you can upgrade at a later stage.

See if you can find anyone to give you a spare copy of 2000, buying XP fresh isn't worth it if you're on such a tight budget.

If you think Thief 3 is a resource hog, I pray you never attempt to play Doom 3 on that system...

3rd Nov 2004, 15:18
You would be better off sticking with your Athlon 1 ghz than going with a P4 1.5 ghz, Kiru. If you can get at least a 2 ghz P4, then fine. In fact, I'm pretty sure you can buy a 2.8 for well under $200.

Mr. Perfect
3rd Nov 2004, 19:40
If you could tell us how much you'd be willign to spend on a new system, along with exactly what parts you have in your current system(in case some can be reused), I'm sure there's more then a few of us here who'd be happy to come up with a machine for you. I know I would, there's nothing more fun then playing with hardware. :D

3rd Nov 2004, 19:48
Assume that I have no parts that can be salvaged. You have a budget of 500-1000 dollars. Go at it.

3rd Nov 2004, 19:55
For a thousand I built a near top of the line PC, you'll be in good shape.

3rd Nov 2004, 19:56
Ah, dont stop there then. Do tell how... :D

My parts currently. Dont laugh.



3rd Nov 2004, 19:59
I'll do some research and pull some links off the web. I am curious what other people suggest as well.

3rd Nov 2004, 20:30
Processor: AMD 64 3000+ (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=19-103-486&depa=0) $161.00

Motherboard: K8V Deluxe (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=13-131-490&depa=0) $118.00

Ram: Corsair 3200 SDRAM (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=20-145-480&depa=0) $157.27

VidCard: nVidia 6800 128 (vanilla) (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=14-130-202&depa=0) $285.00

That's all for now, I can let other people do a full kit, I need to finish up some other stuff here at work. But that's a really good start. Now all you need is OS, HD, Sound card (which you can probably keep from old PC), Optical drives, floppy drive, and a case w/ more than 400 power supply :).

My total puts you in the 740$ range. These are the core components. You should be able to find the rest for under 300$. Keep your searches on newegg.com and you'll find quality stuff at good prices.

3rd Nov 2004, 22:32
This is what I would buy right now if I were on that budget. I went over $1000 if you include the monitor. Also note that there are no speakers. This should be a quiet machine. In the future if you upgrade you will need a new power supply, and you won't be able to go much further with the processor.

AMD Mobile Athlon XP 2500+ (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=19-103-401&depa=1) $88.00 - can be overclocked to 3200 speeds easily.
Thermaltake Silent Boost HSF (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=35-106-037&depa=1) $27.99 - quiet heatsink and fan.
ANTEC SLK3700-BQE (http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproductdesc.asp?description=11-129-140&DEPA=1) $75.00 - High quality, quiet Antec case.
Seagate 120GB 8MB cache (http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproductdesc.asp?description=22-148-022&DEPA=1) $89.00 - I have one of these, it's wonderful. 5 year warranty
ABIT NF7-S V2 (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=13-127-166&depa=1) $82.90 - Onboard LAN and soundstorm sound.
1 GB Corsair DDR PC-3200(2x512) (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=20-145-480&depa=0) $157.27 - 1 GB is the minimum any new system should have these days. Lifetime warranty
ATI RADEON 9800PRO (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=14-102-286&depa=1) $233.00 - a decent card, 3 year warranty.
Lite-On Black 52X32X52X16 Combo Drive (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=27-106-932&depa=1) $43.00 - DVD-ROM CDRW combo.
SONY Black Floppy Disk Drive (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=21-103-116&depa=1) $6.99 - this is necessary if you're going to use the raid array, or use any of the multitude of diagnostics which only boot from a floppy drive.
LITE-ON Standard Black Keyboard PS/2 104keys (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=23-107-119&depa=1) $5.50

Total so far: $808.65

ViewSonic G90FB 19" PerfectFlat CRT (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=24-116-282&depa=1) $218.00 - a great monitor.

Total: $1,026.65

Now for mice, I have selected three which may interest you. These are high precision mice meant for gaming. The mx500 is great(I have one), but the 510 model is slightly better. The silver on the 500 works well with the black, but I'm sure the red or blue 510s would work just as well. I would go with the red 510 due to the lower price.

Logitech MX500 (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=26-104-129&depa=1) $37.00
Logitech RED MX510 (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=26-104-150&depa=1) $33.00
Logitech Blue MX510 (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=26-104-151&depa=1) $47.00 - $14 for a different color?

4th Nov 2004, 21:09
That thing is designed for freaks with very small fingers. If you want a gaming mouse buy an AMI Dual Scroll 300

Mr. Perfect
4th Nov 2004, 23:21
Rather then figure you have nothing worth keeping, I assumed that you have no gripes with your floppy drive, keyboard, mouse, that 17" monitor you've got, and the Sound Blaster Live(which is a decent card). And since you already own a copy of XP, I didn't figure you'd want to buy another OS. Reusing those should provide a little more money for some higher end guts that will make a speed diffrence and provide you with more upgrade options later on. :) Here's what I threw together for $1000.

Antec SX1040 with 400watt Antec PS (http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=11-129-120&catalog=23&manufactory=BROWSE) $86
I have two cases based on this design, and it's both well made and roomy. Antec is also know for their qaulity powersupplies, and 400 watts should be enough to power a faster CPU and video card later on.

Lite-On 52x32x52x16x (http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=27-106-932&catalog=23&manufactory=BROWSE) $43
Stole this idea from Salvage. :D I have the version of this drive without the DVD read function, and it is a nice drive.

Zalman CPU cooler (http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=35-118-109&catalog=23&manufactory=BROWSE) $40.99
Has an adjustable speed fan, so you can set it to what you prefer. Said to be a good performer.

WD 120GB Special Edition (http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=22-144-118&catalog=23&manufactory=BROWSE) $82
Another nice part I borrowed from Salvage's list. ;)

ATI 9800 Pro (http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=14-102-286&catalog=23&manufactory=BROWSE) $233
Can't argue with this piece either. Solid performance for a reasonable price.

Athlon 64 3000+ (http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=19-103-499&catalog=23&manufactory=BROWSE) $163
This is not the same part that ClumsyOrchid recremended. It's the Socket 939 version, meaning it has dual channel ram instead of single channel, but has less L2 cache. It's also a 90nm version, so it shuld run a bit cooler then the other versions of the 3000+

Abit A8V Motherboard (http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=13-127-181&catalog=23&manufactory=BROWSE) $111
Socket 939 motherboard. I decided to price out a 939 system because all future Athlon64s will be released on the socket 939 platform. If later on down the line you want a faster CPU, you'd be able to use the newer CPUs without buying a new motherboard. 939 is also a bit faster then the older socket 754.

Corsair XMS Dual Channel Kit(2 512MB sticks) (http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=20-145-450&catalog=23&manufactory=BROWSE[/url) $216
This is the main area where I felt it wise to spend a bit more money. The Athlon 64 is rather sensitive to memory timings, so I tried to find a reasonably fast timing. The Value Ram the other fellows suggested runs at 3-4-4-8, while this memory runs at 2-3-3-6. rather then spend the $50 on a new floppy drive and keyboard/mouse combo I'd suggest buying a memory that will provide a bit of a performance boost. This would be espcially important if later on down the line you'd upgrade to a high speed CPU, since memory speed would have a bigger impact on faster chips.

Total cost is $974.99, and while I don't know what state to calculate shipping for, Newegg charges $35.19 for this setup to most states I tried. Also, unless you live in California or New Jersey, there is no sales tax. Grand total is $1010.18.

[edit] By the way, if you can wait a little longer to buy a new system, there are two other options to consider.

First off the 6600 GT cards will be available for AGP shortly(this month I think). The PCIe version of the 6600GT is currently selling for $203-$217 and not only outperforms the 9800 Pro, but also the vanilla 6800 in a majority of games.

Second thought is that the nForce 4 chipset has been anounced and boards based on it should also be available shortly. Even if they carry a slight price premium, you could still keep the total price at about what I qouted by purchasing the $203 6600 GT instead of the $233 9800 Pro. With this configuration you would have the significantly faster 6600 GT as well as PCIe slots for later upgrading. AGP cards should be around for a couple years, but PCIe would definetly be worth considering if it could be had for the same price as AGP.

It all comes down to how long you want to wait, and how import later upgradeabilty is to you.