As you can see, my configuration isn't that bad. When I tried to run Rage after the updates and all, with the 11.10 Preview 2 driver (clean install), and 11.11 + Rage Performance Driver (clean install again), 1 second of advancement of game after pausing for a few seconds is all I get even when the Fraps keeps showing 60 fps (with sounds looping and all). Matter of fact the above said performance was able to worsen even more with the later updation of drivers. And this with all settings low. The display looks all right.
I have played all the recent games from Crysis 2 to Portal 2 on max settings with quite high frame rates without any problems at all. Even Crysis and Crysis: Warhead were played on completely maxed out settings without any problems. Only with too many AIs, Crysis was some problem when the frame rate would climb down below 13. Strangely enough, at 13 fps, the game was running QUITE smoothly with this card (and ram)!
I think it won't be possible to run Rage with 2 gB RAM on the current OS. My guess is that on XP 32 bit, it runs with 2 gB, because they have optimised the game for it. But on XP 64 bit, the game would use the same Windows 7 64-bit 'architecture' and modules, and they have already made 4 gB RAM compulsory for Windows 7 64-bit.
All this while, I upgraded to Windows 7 Ultimate. Upgraded my RAM to DDR3 4GB 1066mhz from DDR2 2GB 800. And the results are still the same. Now there is little stuttering. But it is there, and the game is still not all that playable.
What is the problem now- the card? Does anyone want to say that my card the GREAT 4870/512mB can't take this game even on the lowest settings, on any stable frame rate? It's hard to believe, but if someone who knows about this tells me then I'll believe. I'll have to arrange some new card then- like a 6970 or something.
What you say may have some substance in it. In my previous system (XP x64), I had to enable manual and increase the fan speed to 35% to play Quake 3, or it would freeze with artifacts.
My idle temperature is 70C, and I doubt it should be that. Especially when I ALWAYS keep my card underclocked on the desktop to 500/450-memory, instead of its stock 750/900 clocks. (Trust me it eats only as much electricity as an Nvidia 8500GT, or less!)
Now I want to know if my idle temperature is too much for my card.
No man, no luck. Although 70 is supposed to be normal for an HD 4870, but I enabled the manual controls on the fan and took the slider to 40%. When I exit the game the temperature was 50C. But the game was crappy like ever.
May be it's time to believe that my rig is TOOOOO old for Rage. Only this same year (2011), when I still had DDR2 2GB @ 800, I played Crysis 2, both the Alice In Wonderlands, and the Portal 2, all the settings MAXED out, at high frame rates WITHOUT any problems I can remember. And now I am going to play Skyrim, and I can bet it would run VERY smoothly. I understand Rage runs pretty good on the 32 bit XP. Even on Windows 7 32 bit. Probably the developers took special care to make it run smoothly on these OSes for fear of a fallout on these systems because they are slower than the 64 bit, but they did not do the same for the 64 bit.
And because of how the games I played till now, it is a bit hard to believe that my rig has gotten old for Rage. I even tried a bit of overclocking with stock cooling. I overclocked both the CPU and the GPU. It is not the frame rate that seems to be the problem. It is the pause for a few seconds after every 5 seconds or so that makes the game unplayable even on the lowest settings. Though not like the frame rate is too high. It is just 15 to 25. After overclocking it even went to late 30s, but the pause wouldn't go. In other games whenever a required upgrade has been the obstacle, the FPS has been too low, but there have been no pauses- a stable moving slow game. I have tried all the drivers (preview 3 etc).
I was able to remove the pauses from Rage. Though my hardware was overclocked, but that was not what made it. I had to take the fan slider to 50 percent. At 40 percent, the game would freeze my computer with artifacts forcing a "reset". Still, the frame rate was not too good- it was just like Skyrim- but somehow the game was MUCH less playable than Skyrim. Skyrim is much smoother at the same frame rate.
In Skyrim, the difference between fully low, and insanely maxed out settings is just this: 10 frames!
On the highest settings, it runs at 12 minimum, onwards. And on the lowest settings, the game runs at 22 onwards. Somehow, changing settings are just not enough to increase frame rates, or the slight overclocking of both the CPU and GPU. They have made the game so that lessening of details would simply have no real effect in performance. But still, the game seems to be playable at the maxed out settings. There are hardly any jitters/stuttering even in fighting scenes with a few people around (except for the small time lag expected in that fps).
(The same way, when you have a recent card capable of burning through games, then even if you keep it 50% underclocked- which I always keep at least at the desktop- still the game works, and defaulting the card clocks would likely make hardly any difference.)
So yes, the hardware is old but pulling off somehow. But if you are not getting the same results with max settings, then you should understand that your card is third backwards from the first high end model (6770 > 6870 > 6950) and mine the high-end itself, may be that's why.
And yes, Madness Returns ran quite good on my system- well mostly. May be 2 or 3 times there was a situation when frame rate would take your attention, but never the card.
Someone said something about Crysis 2 being a DirectX9 game first. I'll like to tell them, that DirectX 11 has STILL not EQUALED DirectX 9c till date. Forget about it beating DX9. Matter of fact, some images seem to be much smoother/richer, and especially REALISTIC in DirectX9c than 11. So all DirectX 11 is doing it's taking away a lot of valuable card bandwidth. But if you wanted to say the same thing, then you are right. Slowly the DX11 would gain ground when developers start using it properly.
Well, okay. I'll probably play this game Skyrim now. But Rage, I'll play on the 7970. At least it'll save some electricity if nothing else at 28nm.
Thanks again everybody
P.S.: Of course I forgot to add, that in Skyrim, once inside a room/cave, I get even upto 85 fps- the refresh rate of my monitor- and most of this game is inside than outside!