Thread: So Your Super-Computer Can't Run Thief?

So Your Super-Computer Can't Run Thief?

  1. #26
    How could it be the graphics card. The game says it is support by this card?!?

  2. #27
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    The Geforce 4600 Ti Card is an old and retired card from Nvidia and most advanced engines are not exactly cozy with it even when the box says it supports them and their MX cousins (a much slower card series). When a company says it gives support to it, it doesn't mean it will run smooth, it just means the game will run and won't keep crashing to desktop or have fatal errors. It's a decent card to do Unreal UT2k3 and UT2k4 but with the advanced lighting found and bump mapping in the engine behind Invisible War and Theif DS it just doesn't cut it. The engine behind these games almost praticaly requires a fast graphics card that supports Direct X 9.0 features.

    The rest of your system specs are healthy, but its the video card is dragging you down from full proformance in advanced games. As I said, if you can upgrade to one of the new video cards that fully supports the latest in Direct x 9.0b gaming then your slow rendering speeds will cease. The Nvidia 5750 Ultra would be a decent card in a budget pinch and the Nvidia 6800 Ultra would be just perfect for you to be ready for even the likes of Unreal 3's Engine. ATi's 9600 Xt is a decent budget card while the 9800 XT and even the x800 will set you well with the latest games.

  3. #28
    So what would you recomend. I've done a little research. A Nvidia FX 5700 with 256 MB or a FX 5700 Ultra with 128 MB (however, with faster memory clock). Or is there another card in the same price range (up to 200) that will work well with my system (2 GHZ, 512 MB RAM) without having to upgrade other components.?
    Thanks for the help though.

  4. #29
    Personally, I'm not so impressed with the nvidia FX line, so I would suggest looking here:

    9800 Pro

    The 9800Pro is an excellent card that should be a good option to look at. Also, I grabbed a 6800 (not ultra, not GT, just regular) for 300$ at newegg.com as well. Only 100$ more and a real powerful card.

  5. #30
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    I'm running a FX5200 128mb card, P4 2.8ghz, 512mb ram, which I thought would be sufficient to play Thief at a decent clip, but I can scale everything down, tweak, etc, and it's still choppy.

    Probably the lower end graphics card, right?

    Suggestions for upgrade? I'm leaning towards a 9800pro but I might fork over the extra cash and get the new 6800, which would make me as happy as a pig in poop for quite a while.

    Also, for a possible ram upgrade, would 1gig be enough, or should i spring for 1.5~2gigs if I want to be set for a while?


    I was really excited about this game, and thought my system was capabale of running T3 at a decent clip, but was very dissapointed. If anything, there should have been a "Recommended specs" on the box.

  6. #31
    Gotta say the 6800 is a sweet card, I get an average of 57fps on doom running High Quality on 1024x768, with 4x AA. It's a real dream . Checked www.newegg.com today and they have a plain 6800 for only $310 (Ultra and GT's go for 450+). 9800Pro is a good card as well and is priced around the same as the 6800 for the 256 model. I posted a link above to some 9800pro 128's for $200 above, which you may also want to consider.

    As for ram, I recently put togher a system and found the prices to be pretty cheap. I think a gig of ram is fine, but if you want to splurge and go for the 1.5 I see no reason in not doing so.

    As for performance in T3 with the 5200, I have played the game with that card and have noticed it doesn't really perform as well as I had hoped as well. The card does run the game better than others I tested with though. Anyhow, that's my take on the situation, you'll probably want to wait and see what the other forum members say.

  7. #32
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    I agree, the ReadMe says the 5200 runs fine with moderate settings, yet it was very choppy, laggy, and nearly unplayable.



    As for the 6800, what do the GT and Ultra models have over the vanilla model? aka would it be enought to justify dropping another ~$150?

    <edit> nevermind, $400+ is out of my price range anyhow

  8. #33
    450$ and upwards to 580$ (!) is way out of my price range for a new vid card. But just for information sake, the GT and Ultra are almost identical except the clock speeds on the GT are slightly lower. I believe that's pretty much the only difference, anyone can prove me wrong on this. I was reading the differences today, a site compared all three... if I had the link I'd post it. Anyhoo, you can overclock the GT to get the Ultra speeds so the GT would be my choice if I were buying one of the two.

    I ran the timedemo for doom3 on my home PC, which is almost identical to the work PC with the 6800GT. The key differences are the regular 6800 and my home PC has a gig of ram, whereas the work PC has the GT and 512. Soooo, I actually got a better score on my home machine than the Work machine, even if it was only by a few fps. I think the plain 6800 performs quite, quite well and is worth the money.

  9. #34
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    Hmm...


    I'm looking at a vanilla 6800 and another 512mb ram... gotta wait till the parent's get home so I can negotiate using the credit card... meh, thanks for the advice there orchid

  10. #35
    Hey no problem, I just put together a computer so it's still exciting to think I could buy new hardware .

    Since I don't have a full Thief copy at home, I installed the demo to check my frames with my new rig. With V-sync off I was getting about 60+ frames on average with bloom on, and about the same with multisampling at 3x at 1024x768 resolution. Some areas had the frames dropping to about 30 (the large staircase room in the Castle, for example), but in smaller areas (like skinny hallways) the frames hit over 100. Pretty darn good, my test PC couldn't do that good. I would say it's a great card for Thief DS.

  11. #36
    Thanks for the help so far u guys. I was just wondering how necessary is it to upgrade the RAM ( I have 512). And also will 2 GHZ be sufficient with a 6800 to have noticable differences? Like you guys i dont have all the money in the world and i really would like limiting this whole expense as much as possible.

    Any ways... I was able to play Doom 3 with my card with only a few lags on 800*600 with everything on max!

    So odd. Thanks for the help.

  12. #37
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    iD's made Doom 3 to even run on Nividia's Geforce 4 mx cards while giving a good proformance. However, that's a different engine and treats BSP rendering differently compared to the Unreal Engines based games. UE games focus on high poly detail, detailed textures and complex static mesh models to add detail to maps and game characters and it does the job well on most of the direct x 9.0 native cards.


    A 2 ghz machine will do fine with an 6800 ultra but I really don't see the point in dumping money into one unless you've preordered Unreal 3 (the only card Epic's got their latest build of the Unreal Engine to run smoothly on). A 5950 or even a 5750 will do you justice for a long while. ATi 9600 and 9800 cards are also good enough to give you a smooth game experience on Theif and any other recent games at a decent price.

  13. #38
    Thanks. Just wondering how important is RAM??

  14. #39
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    Originally posted by Cyberpyro
    Thanks. Just wondering how important is RAM??
    Pretty important.


    Consider at least 512mb of RAM if you plan to play any recently released or new games.

    If you've got teh $$$, spring for a gig of ram (1024mb) and you'll be as happy as a pig in poop for quite awhile.

  15. #40
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    Originally posted by Hodgeh
    Pretty important.


    Consider at least 512mb of RAM if you plan to play any recently released or new games.

    If you've got teh $$$, spring for a gig of ram (1024mb) and you'll be as happy as a pig in poop for quite awhile.


    Ja. What he said.

    PC 3300 should be rather cheap to get at newegg.com.

  16. #41
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    What I'd like to know is what is the diff between PCXX00 ram. What do the numbers mean, and what is the optimal PCXX00 ram pricewise/for gaming?

  17. #42
    I shopped around and found 3200 to be the most cost effective. I found 2x512 Corsair for about 160$. Plus, looking around at the other custom built game machines offered by other companies, the 3200 was what was offered (so I thought, what the hell...). I'm sure there is faster ram, but I would browse around and see what is compatible and in your price range.

  18. #43
    Originally posted by Xaro
    Morrowind DOES use pixel shaders for the shading effect on enchanted blades and few of minions of Oblivion. There is no option to disable it either.
    You can in the splash screen that comes up before you launch the game. Just go to options.

  19. #44
    Hodgeh

    PC2100 = DDR266
    PC2700 = DDR333
    PC3200 = DDR400
    PC3500 = DDR434
    PC3700 = DDR466
    PC4000 = DDR500
    PC4400 = DDR533
    etc.

    Depending on your motherboard you can buy DDR400 or better. I have 2x512 DDR434 Kingston HyperX CAS2 RAM. Its very good but if ur mobo is not dual channel (2x theoretical speed) you should buy 1 stick of 1 gb or get a better mobo. Most motherboards are dual channel and any of those rams will work but if ur mobo supports DDR400 and u buy DDR434 it will run at DDR400 and if u buy DDR333 but ur mobo supports DDR400 it will run at DDR333. I hope you understand. Also the game works "perfectly"* well for me.

    * No slowdowns or anything but im stuck lol.

  20. #45
    o.O people really have problems running this game? I'm pretty under requirements and I played it fine...

    900 mhz tbird, 320 sdram, radeon 9000...

    I had all my options up, high quality textures, high lod, and high lighting and bloom (except AA, I really can't stand AA) but had to keep the resolution at 640x480 which wasn't too bad with all the detail in the textures and high polycount. I still got a good enough framerate to play the game smoothly and finish it from start to end.

    Maybe I'm just good at tweaking or maybe I just got lucky, but obviously I wouldn't have played it if it played like crap on my PC.

  21. #46
    I hate to point this out to certain 5200 owners, (Not all by any means.) but the card is a cheap knock off that Nvidia called an FX because they could charge more for it that way. In real terms it's barely an equal to the 4200, so don't go getting stressy if things run slowly. Sure, it's not brilliantly optimised but it's not awful. If you're going to be stressy, get stressy with Nvidia.

  22. #47
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    Originally posted by Guineapiggy
    I hate to point this out to certain 5200 owners, (Not all by any means.) but the card is a cheap knock off that Nvidia called an FX because they could charge more for it that way. In real terms it's barely an equal to the 4200, so don't go getting stressy if things run slowly. Sure, it's not brilliantly optimised but it's not awful. If you're going to be stressy, get stressy with Nvidia.

    Ahh... well it runs HL and Quake 3 engine based games just fine. Then again, they are years old.

    No wonder T3 was runny so bad @ 1024x768

  23. #48
    Originally posted by taa2609
    i dont like the recommendations to buy a new graphics card. if it was recommended by eidos i would have cause to believe they had struck a deal with graphics card manufacturers. which isnt very nice.
    tommy.
    I kind of agree with you. It does not seem right to have to run right out and get a new graphics card that will only support pixel shading. They should have given us the option to turn it on or off. My parents computer is only 2 years old and has a built in graphics card but it does not support pixel shading. Maybe Eidos did strike a deal with the manufacturers of video cards. That kind of deal is illegal, (has anyone heard of the actions taken by the justice department against bread makers and the grocery stores to fix prices on a certain bread brand to keep the prices at a minimum so people would buy it more.) Maybe someone should look into it.

    Not all of us have the money to run right out and get a new card much less a new system. My own computer is from 1999. It has win 98,450mghz celeron, modem/sound card (which sucks), an intergrated video motherboard card (got bypassed when I got my GForce 2 card), I can run a lot of newer games out there if i have the option to turn certain things off if i want to.

    To be forced to run right out and buy a new card or comp is not in my budget, unless someone here would be willing to give me one for christmas.... JK, I am going through personal bankruptcy, so no i can't afford to do that.

  24. #49
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    Unfortunately, it won't work in this case. Back in the first two Thief games, the engine made the calculation on visibility based on where you were standing. I don't code, and haven't talked to anyone who was involved, but I suspect it basically used a map of the level, with each spot having a variable for light level, which would be adjusted depending on what light sources you put out. All shadows were static. With the technology advances, they decided to go with dynamic shadows. That required some hefty calculations, and a lot of power. Pixel shaders allowed them to do that, and also allowed them to do per-pixel visability calculations.

    In Thief, if you were in shadow and leaned around a corner that was lit, you wouldn't be seen, because you were standing in a deep shadow. In Thief 3, in the same circumstance, if you lean into the light, the part of you leaning out can be seen. That probably cannot be done without pixel shading. Even if it can, I doubt it can be nearly as easily.

    Because of that, pixel shading is not an optional requirement. They would literally have to redo the game, in a different and lesser format, to allow it to be played without pixel shader support. Doom 3, Far Cry, and Half Life 2 all can run without it, thought it doesn't look nearly as good. None of those games uses light and shadow in the same way. It's there for appearance and mood. In Thief 3, it's there for survival, and it's an integral, unavoidable part of the game.

    I understand your feelings. I would hate to miss out on something I really wanted also. But if you cannot, for whatever reason, afford or acquire a modern computer system, then you will just have to accept that more and more games will not run on your old system.

  25. #50

    Choppy on a somewhat Decent system?

    Hi All,
    First off, allow me to start off by pointing out that my machine is by no means a super "gaming" machine or anything. However, it should have sufficient juice to run the game at at least 1024x768. I'm having trouble even at the lowest settings.

    The specs:

    Processor: Athlon XP 2000+ (1.66 Ghz)
    Graphics Card: ATI Radeon 9600 SE 128 MB AGP
    graphics Bus: 4x AGP (no 8x support in the motherboard)
    Memory: 768 MB DDR 2100 RAM (not too fancy, but still should be plenty)
    Hard Drive (s): PLEEEENTY of space (around 20 GB if not more FREE)
    Motherboard: Soyo Dragon Plus SY-K7T


    Also, before you jump on this, yes i HAVE defragged, I HAVE shut down programs, and I HAVE shut down all unnecessary windows services.

    Can anyone offer any insight why I can't play this game very well (far too choppy)?

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