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RPGWatch Forums » Games » General RPG » NWN 2 » Ahh! Time to upgrade again??

Default Ahh! Time to upgrade again??

November 5th, 2006, 04:45
I just got this computer state-of-the-art a year ago (the summer before last), but I didn't think it'd run games this badly so soon! Anyway, I have to literally turn every single graphics setting down to its bare minimum and disable ALL features just to have smooth gameplay. The graphics look pathetic. I can play games like Half-Life 2, Rome Total War, etc etc just fine with all settings maxed, but this game for some reason won't let me use any graphics enhancements. My computer specs are 3.6Ghz processor, 2GB of RAM, 256 GeForce 6800 GTO graphics card, 10,000 RPM hard drive… I'm using a wide screen monitor with the game resolution at 1920x1200. Is the resolution the problem or is my graphics card really that obsolete? Most importantly of ALL: is this an indication of how smoothly Gothic 3 is going to run or is NWN 2 more demanding graphically than Gothic 3? If Gothic 3 is going to be this choppy because of my video card then I'll need to purchase a new graphics card before I play Gothic 3 because I'd hate to ruin the experience I've been waiting years to enjoy… Anyway, I'm just playing Neverwinter Nights now with the graphics settings at minimum so it looks terrible… it's still really fun but I'd like to know exactly what the problem is. I already saw the minimum and recommended specifications and I already have whats recommended… errr any ideas?

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November 5th, 2006, 06:06
You have a monster machine - I would drop the resolution and see what happens. NWN2 will never look like Source engine stuff, but you should be able to get good results at least medium settings on what you have.

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November 6th, 2006, 18:05
I dropped the in-game resolution to 1200x960 (if memory serves) and the game runs beautifully now with all graphics settings on maximum (except shadows - they don't mean much to me). Prior to this experience I had never realized that resolution settings in games make a difference in performance. Anyway, I'm thinking of upgrading my graphics card soon because I really would like to take advantage of this wide screen monitor and turn the resolutions up high in games like Gothic 3 and NWN2 without sacrificing graphics.

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November 6th, 2006, 18:36
Different games are limited in performance for different reasons. Some games has quite simple graphics and in that case the CPU will likely be the limit and you'll only see a little difference in performance when changing the resolution.

Other games uses graphics with very complex pixel shaders - and these games is very likely to be limited by resolution. It's actually quite obvious once you think about it and does a little math. A pixel shader is a small program that the graphics card has to execute for every pixel on the screen. Lets try and do some math:

1920 x 1200 = 2304000 pixels
1200 x 960 = 1228000 pixels

So as you can see, in the high resolution, the graphics card has to do almost twice the amount of work for each frame as in the lower resolution. If processing the pixels is what limits the performance of the game it can (in theory) mean that the high resolution will only run at half the speed of the low resolution.

Personally I never uses the highest resolutions because I don't think the gain in visual quality justifies the extra work that the graphics card has to do - at least when you get above a certain minimum resolution (I usually go with 1280x1024 if I can, but I can live with 1024x768). Often I think the game looks better in a lower resolution with antialiasing than in a super-high resolution where I cannot afford to turn on antialiasing.

Interestingly a similar discussion is going on about the upcoming PS3 console, which boasts that it supports the super-high HDTV resolution of 1080i. The problem is that almost no games will support that resolution (not even all the launch titles) because the devs can't make the games perform well at that resolution… and the games looks almost as well in the lower HDTV resolution 720p

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November 6th, 2006, 20:52
yeah, that card is getting pretty old. I had the same one, and it served me well for quite a while, but it's fast becoming a relic. They get really hot too. Went and got a 7600 gt for like 150$ and it made a big difference on newer games and really takes overclocking nicely as well, and is a way lighter, smaller, and enormously cooler card. Used to keep an eye on the temp on my 6800 (I'd hit 90 degrees on some games), but Ive never even seen the temp go above 55 or at the most 60 on this 7600 so i dont even bother anymore.

I always go for the 1280 resolution first, seldom go above that because I find that it has always affected my game adversely without exception. Unless Im playing some ancient title i might go for the highest rez possible, but for anything newer im quite satisfied in the 1280 and lower range.
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November 7th, 2006, 09:03
Originally Posted by KasperFauerby View Post

1920 x 1200 = 2304000 pixels
1200 x 960 = 1228000 pixels
Yes, that's the right point. You see, the number of points to be computed by your GPU is scaling exponentially.
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November 7th, 2006, 22:43
Originally Posted by xSamhainx View Post
yeah, that card is getting pretty old. I had the same one, and it served me well for quite a while, but it's fast becoming a relic. They get really hot too. Went and got a 7600 gt for like 150$ and it made a big difference on newer games and really takes overclocking nicely as well, and is a way lighter, smaller, and enormously cooler card. Used to keep an eye on the temp on my 6800 (I'd hit 90 degrees on some games), but Ive never even seen the temp go above 55 or at the most 60 on this 7600 so i dont even bother anymore.
Earlier (a couple days ago) when I was trying to figure out how "obsolete" my graphics card was, I went to newegg and did a price search for my graphics card (the NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GTO) and it showed the card being sold at $200.00 still. That seemed an indication that it's still a valuable card… is newegg just really expensive… is the card only so expensive because it isn't made anymore… or did I find something else and thought it was the 6800 GTO?

If I do upgrade my video card, I really can't afford to spend more than $200.00 at the most. What are the top 3 or 4 cards you guys might recommend I consider buying within that price range? The cheaper the better, but obviously I don't want to spend the money unless it's a big increase in performance compared to my present graphics card (I'd rather spend the whole $200.00 if it means a clearly noticeable increase in performance vs. a cheaper graphics card). I don't have the cash right now though, so whatever I buy will have to wait until next month. Please share suggestions and recommendations.

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November 9th, 2006, 15:17
Shops still end up selling (or trying to) cards at their original price even if the market price is much lower, that's just a function of their routine buy/sell margins - ie they bought it at a certain price x months/years ago and automatically try and sell it at y margin.

Is the 6800GTO a PCI-E card?
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November 10th, 2006, 01:27
Check online suppliers for realistic current local prices; I do and I usually find a good deal somewhere!!

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November 13th, 2006, 02:17
Originally Posted by xSamhainx View Post
Went and got a 7600 gt for like 150$ and it made a big difference on newer games and really takes overclocking nicely as well, and is a way lighter, smaller, and enormously cooler card.
Picked up two of these cards recently, just to play NWN2, and they are EXCELLENT cards. They run cooler and quieter than my old 9600 xt and seem to perform well with NWN2, allowing me to set gfx at medium level settings with good performance. The Leadtek version is available at TigerDirect from time-to-time, but you have to grab them fast, as they are popular cards.

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November 13th, 2006, 02:58
If anyone has a spare graphics card lying around, would they mind sending it to me ? I have a NVidia GeForce Ti 4200 with AGP8X, it's 128 MB, I see people here talking about buying new cards every year, so if you have one better than mine, I'd really appreciate it.
Thanks.
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