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Hey THG guys, a new benchmarking standard please.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 21, 2003 8:16:49 AM

On the 26th a new online game will be released called Star Wars Galaxies. I have been in the beta for around 9 months now. All the game's relative entertainment value aside, this thing is a PC's NIGHTMARE.

About the only thing I've seen worse is the 'Trolls Lair' portion of 3DMark 2003. An example

P-4 3.06 845 MB (Abit BE-6 Raid)
P4-Ti4400
1 GB PC 2700

With no AA at all, and after carefully turning down all in game settings to absolute image AWFULLNESS, I managed to stare out into a nearly blank terrain and see 57 FPS (mind you have to turn off FPS capping in the client.cfg file, its capped at 30 FPS otherwise.)

Don't get me wrong, the game is absolutely beautiful with all the bells and whistles turned on, but testers routinely report FPS in SINGLE DIGITS inside city areas and only in the mid teens otherwise.

When this game hits the market is will undoubtedly be, by a large margin, the single toughest game on computer hardware to ever hit retail. From what I've seen it will even be harder on the PC than Doom III or Half-Life 2.

I would love to see this game included in future THG benchmarks. The developer's freely admit that with all the graphics settings enabled it will bring any current hardware on the market to its knees.

Ezrick
June 21, 2003 8:42:44 AM

I always wonder what kind of video cards the programers use when they design this game.

I mean, will the designers be able to see all the video effects in all their glory? If the high-end graphics card in the market have to struggle to play this game, how did they design it in the first place? let alone knowing exactly what it will look like.

I am not familiar with the designing aspect so bear with my question :) 
a b U Graphics card
June 21, 2003 9:23:57 AM

First, EZRICK; What the heck it s P4-ti4400? Maybe that's your problem. BTW if it's a GF4, that card is SOoo last generation/year!! Get a better rig if your job is testing.

An aquaintance (friend of my engineering friend) of mine was a programmer/tester for EA sports, and now works for them down south in their EA (whatever dept [the one that does the sims]) She left the city and let him 'borrow' the computer while she's away. It has a GF4ti something. Now this card cost her (EA really) a bundle (like $800cdn) but she got it about 2-3 mths before ANY GF4s were released to the market. She had the hardware in advance to test for compatibility and such, so I think most of the high level programmers/testers have access to early cards so they can make sure they work. Just look at Carmack et al. they were using the Fx5900 and R9800s before they were out on the streets.
So it wouldn't surprise me if they are usning R9800-256 and FX5900Us in their machines now, but they've probably been there for 2 mths and they may be just a few weeks away from another upgrade.
In any case, since that game isn't on helves yet, I'm not worried, it probably won't reach market before the R360 or betterso I'm sure it will be fine 3mths after it's release when cards like the R420 can push all the buttons in all situations at about 45+FPS. But that's just my guess.

Still haven't see a game yet on the shelf that can kill my card, so I'm not worried, even if it means running at 1024X768 until the next gen cards come out.


EDIT: BTW it's not a bencmark until it's actually provided to someone, right now it's Etherware.

- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! <font color=green>RED</font color=green> <font color=red>GREEN</font color=red> :tongue: GA to SK<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by TheGreatGrapeApe on 06/21/03 03:29 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
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June 21, 2003 9:55:35 AM

I know someone who works for Sony and is a tester for this game. He won't say anything about the game other than it's fantastic and that he uses 2 or 3 21" widescreen monitors depending on if his supervisor wants to use one or not.

From the sounds of it they have access to plenty of hardware.

<A HREF="http://forums.btvillarin.com/index.php?act=ST&f=41&t=38..." target="_new"><font color=red>dhlucke's system</font color=red></A>

<font color=blue>GOD</font color=blue> <font color=red>BLESS</font color=red> <font color=blue>AMERICA</font color=blue>
a b U Graphics card
June 21, 2003 10:45:41 AM

What's a DX9 compatible computer? Does that mean it won't work on my computer since it was built in the Era of DX8.1
Dang and I fit all the other requirements.
DX9.0 computer, what the Fuh?!?

EDIT: I just noticed my Chipset's not supported. No 9600P support, but 7200/7500 spport. Freakin' brutal, so I can't play it then! Well that's OK I don't want to play it anymore so there!

- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! <font color=green>RED</font color=green> <font color=red>GREEN</font color=red> :tongue: GA to SK<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by TheGreatGrapeApe on 06/21/03 04:48 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
June 21, 2003 11:28:32 AM

Quote:
that card is SOoo last generation/year!! Get a better rig if your job is testing.

I swear that remark sounds just like something Willamette would say...
No offence Grape of course. I just think that these kids are rubbing off on you a little! :smile:


3DMark 03 = 4,183
<A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k3=932041" target="_new">http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k3=932041&lt;/A>
<font color=red>AthlonXP 2100+/Radeon 9500Pro</font color=red>
<font color=red>Folding for Beyond 3D</font color=red>
a b U Graphics card
June 21, 2003 11:42:00 AM

Nah, it just made me laugh because the aquaintance already had a new card ordered before she left (guess wich one, I can't confim though, but I'm sure you can guess). But seriously a GF4 is OLD for someone testing games, it's not even DX9 compatible/compliant.

But maybe I've picked up a few things from the other forum residents. Hopefully a dose of penicillin will cure that. I mean seriously don't you guys ever wash! :tongue:


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! <font color=green>RED</font color=green> <font color=red>GREEN</font color=red> :tongue: GA to SK
June 25, 2003 6:59:21 AM

Heh, sorry about the typo, it is a GF4-Ti4400. A little problem with the pricing at Best Buy last summer, $129.00 + $50 rebate. Ooops I think they meant that piddly Mx440 but I snatched it when I saw it.

Actually, until recently, the designers of Star Wars Galaxies were developing on GF-3 Ti-500 cards. As these things go in the video game world a couple of delays pushed the game back almost a solid year and squarely into DX-9 territory so they optimized the code as they went along.

My guess is this is probably the first AAA PC title optimized for DX-9.

My quest is shadows oddly enough. The game is absolutely breathtaking with shadows enabled and their detail cranked up. DX-8 cards like mine require a solid second pass to render them correctly though and it literally halves your (already low) frame rates.

Made the mistake of logging into the beta tonight with full-on AA and Aniso. Gorgeous, at 4 frames per second.

As soon as the 5900 Ultras hit my local area I'm grabbing one, pity the pain the wife will put me through for it.

The good news is the 'old' Ti-4400 goes into the old 1.2 Tualatin box and my youngest daughter (adorably geeky) gets to hang out on Tatooine with me :)  Just no shadows for her!

Ezrick
June 25, 2003 7:12:46 AM

Using SWG as a benchmark might be a little troublesome at the moment though, since the game detects your hardware & automatically adjusts the various graphical bars in the options menu, to something that will run the game stably. Thus making any benchmarks pointless.

If the developers there can give us an option to turn this off, then well, that would be great.
!