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General computer question

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January 30, 2002 9:22:39 PM

This isn't really a cpu post, but seeing as there isn't a general forum, and this forum is the most frequented, I figured i'd post it here.

Anyways, as you can probably tell from my name, i play Everquest. For those that don't know, it is a mmorpg, or massively multiplayer rpg. And this brings up my question. I just got a new comp for Christmas, P4 1.7GHz, 512mb SDRam, Creative Sb PCI512, Geforce 2 MX 64mb, 80 Gigabyte harddrive. It's an OEM, Compaq specifally. I mainly got it so I could run the new expansion to Everquest, which requires alot. Heck, to even run with all the new graphics enabled you need 512mb of Ram. Check out this link, you can see the reason www.angelfire.com/games4/mypics/EQ000000.jpg You know Angelfire, copy and paste. Well, now imagine 30+ models like this all moving around within view, in an enclosed space, and you can see why the mem requirement is so great. The game runs fine mostly, but occasionally, when I am around alot of these models or am in a highly detailed area, or there are alot of particle effects on scren, the game will jerk a little. My question is, is this cause the SDRam, which I hear is a no no for P4 users, or is it the Geforce 2 MX, which I hear is the worst Geforece 2 Card. I know you can't be certain just from reading this, but I am just looking for your opinions. Another question. If the problem is the SDRam, can I increase performance by simply adding more (My mobo will take up to 1.5gigs) or is the low speed of the SDRam the problem? I know this was kinda a long post, and I took awhile to get to the point, but thanks in advance for any answers I may receive.
January 30, 2002 9:32:33 PM

Probably a combination of both, but I'd lay more of the blame on the video card. I'm betting that if you got a GeForce3 or Radeon 8500 that you'd eliminate the jerking.

SDRAM is a no no with the P4, since it can't supply the bandwidth that the P4 needs. But I doubt that adding more SDRAM to your system will make a difference. It will still be slow providing data to the CPU, no matter how much you have.

So I guess I'd recommend upgrading your video card and not worrying about your RAM for now.

<i>I made you look. But I can't make you see.</i>
January 30, 2002 9:33:08 PM

Video card is most likely culprit. You can try the Nvidia drivers frm thier site instead of the compaq ones, but itll only do so much =/

Jesus saves, but Mario scores!!!
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January 30, 2002 9:34:44 PM

My guess is that your video card is a GeForce2 MX200, which is the worst GeForce card on the market, significantly slower than the three year old TNT2 (original, not the cut down Vanta or M64).
If it's an MX400, it's a decent card, but far from being a performance champ.

The memory is crap for the P4. Here's a rundown of P4 performance:
The P4 1.4GHz on RDRAM is about the same speed in games (except Quake III) as the PIII 1000EB.
SDRAM cuts the performance of the P4 by <i>up to</i> 30%. In general, the P4 1.7GHz with SDRAM performs about the same as the PIII 1000EB with SDRAM.

Right now, your have a poor video card, poor motherboard, poor processor performance for it's clock speed, and inadequate memory performance. The only hope to save the proccessor is an RDRAM motherboard, but even so...

I would sell the system to some idiot that doesn't know the difference. 64MB of video ram is almost meaningless, BTW, a GTS (already over a year old) with 32MB will outperform the MX400 by at least 50%, regardless of the memory size difference. It will outperform a 64MB MX200 by OVER 100%!

What's the frequency, Kenneth?
January 30, 2002 9:38:44 PM

Its the GeForce 2 MX... highly detailed frames with lots of lights figures and stuff strain the graphic card...
even though you have SDRAM - processor wize you should be able to render ALOT of frames in the most advanced games... the graphic card is always the bortleneck in 3D games (thats why tom only comapers processor at low resolutions).
January 30, 2002 9:47:08 PM

Huh, that screenshot isn't too impressive considering the specs required. I'll have to look at others.

<font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
January 30, 2002 10:03:26 PM

yes!
why they try pushing crap cards with 64mb or 128mb on onboard ram is beyond me!

extra ram only allows for more detailed textures and/or higher resolutions... which when u think about it will make the poor card suck WORSE!

i saved som $80 auzzie bucks getting my geforce2pro a while back. went for the 32mb verison not the 64. i never use anything beyond 1024x758 cuaz
A. i like high framerates and
B. my monitor has sucky refresh rates above 1024x768.

and as for SDRAM + P4...
ALOT of systems over in Ozland are P4+sdram... its criminal... all to get down the price of costly p4 chips into the 'affordable system range'


The lack of thermal protection on Athlon's is cunning way to stop morons from using AMD. :) 
January 30, 2002 10:29:46 PM

Yeah, I figured as such, /sigh. Anyway, I can't sell it, seeing as I am 16 and my dad bought it. Anyways, EQ is really more dependent on a large amount of memory and grapghics card performance than CPU speed, so I guess from what your saying I could probably fix it by adding a new Graphics card. In a few weeks I should have around 150 bucks, and suggestions? Oh, and I'm not sure wether my current card is MX200 or 400, it just says MX in Hardware Manager.

Oh yeah, and whoeevr commented on the screenshot, it's looks bad cause it is grainy, that's cause the screen is actually bigger than that, it's just Angelfire must have made it smaller when I uploaded it. The main reason the game requires that much memory is cause the armor isn't just texturemapped onto the model, most armor graphics are actual pieces of 3D geometry attached to the model when you equip it. Note the Breastplate, Boots, Gauntlets, etc. That is what takes up most of the memory. Before the expansion everything was just texturemepped on.
January 30, 2002 10:37:28 PM

If it just says MX, then it's almost certainly an MX400.

<font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
January 31, 2002 12:02:12 AM

And about how much would a GF3 ti200 cost? And about how much better would it be then mine? How much worse would it be than a GF3ti500?
January 31, 2002 1:03:46 AM

Bump
January 31, 2002 2:41:06 AM

Your best bet would be to start turning off some of the eye candy. The Luclin expansion is a horribly coded POS. It definately was not ready for release.

My gaming rig is a Athlon 1.33 with a GeForce2 Ultra and 512MB of ram. In order to make the game playable, I had to turn the clipping plane way down, plus some of the models. The first raid I went on I couldnt even function, my mouse was floating across the screen and I couldn't target or click jack.

By far the biggest performance increases were seen when upgrading to 512MB of ram, so before you go and drop some loot on a new video card, check out some of the EQ forums and see what other users are having problems as well. You may be suprised at some of the Rigs that are getting worked by the Luclin bug.

Blah, Blah Blahh, Blahh, blahh blah blahh, blah blah.
January 31, 2002 7:10:39 AM

Do a search on pricewatch.com for the cheapest ti200. I think they are around 180$, but not sure.
The ti500 has a faster clock, faster memory etc etc. But the ti200 will definitely get the job done. WIth the ti200 you will be able to leave the eye candy on too. Whats the point of gaming if ya cant see all the pretty stuff?


year 2010: Intel? Whose that?
January 31, 2002 9:34:15 AM

Actually Pettytheft, the game runs perfect except when I first enter the East Commons Tunnel, and sometimes while I am in it, otherwise it works perfect. I even have the clipping plane all the way out. And I don't want to turn off the eye candy, I like eye candy :) 
January 31, 2002 12:58:16 PM

Ecommons tunnels are always bad of course but wait till you go on a Raid or two. Plus with all that junk turned on what are your load times like?

Blah, Blah Blahh, Blahh, blahh blah blahh, blah blah.
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January 31, 2002 1:19:13 PM

Both could be the reason. But I bet the video card is the major problem. Find someone with GeForce 3, borrow it and put it in your computer and see how it works.
If it is not caused by the video card, adding more ram will not solve the problem, you need DDR or RDram.
January 31, 2002 1:26:07 PM

the gf3 ti 200 can be had for 150.00 at neweg.com ( visiontek model) it should do the job for you .. the ti 500 would be better but at 200.00 more than the ti200 not worth it for one game and it will be replaced soon anyway

lagger

<b><font color=blue>Computers run on smoke, I let the smoke out of mine and it quit working </b> </font color=blue>
January 31, 2002 2:24:29 PM

Gainward and PNY TI200's are around $150 at newegg.com as well, they are cheaper then the visiontek, by about $10 lol.
PNY's Ti200 looks cool, black and silver just go well together.

<A HREF="http://gamershq.madonion.com/compare2k1.shtml?2554795" target="_new"> 3DMark 2001 Score </A>
January 31, 2002 5:59:20 PM

Thanks for all the responses everyone, I will have to look into a ti200. And Pettytheft, I am assuming you mean loading the game and not zoning. My log on to the char select screen is actually shorter than pre Luclin, but loading into the charecter is longer than preluclin, it's is actually longer than loading to the char select screen, not real long though, maybe 2 minutes or so, maybe less. Zone times are about same as Pre-Luclin, maybe a bit longer.
January 31, 2002 6:13:51 PM

Do NOT go for the Radeon 8500 for EQ, the guys here complain of all the problems with drivers constantly.

Your P4 1.7 is fine for EQ, its your video card thats the problem as everyone has already pointed out.

My main machine has GF3, my secondary machine has R8500, I dont do any gaming on my second machine due to the sheer number of driver problems with the R8500. sure it works but not properly.
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