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what is necessary to play Oblivion at it's full capacity?

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May 9, 2006 7:27:05 PM

I am in the planning process to build a computer for the first time. I am about to order parts. What I am looking for is not the most expensive parts alone. Just the parts processor, graphic card and so on. To play full screen, no lag, and best graphics. I just want the best usable parts. I understand there are the most expensive components that don't really make a diffrence in game play. What do you recommend?
May 9, 2006 8:57:10 PM

Read the reviews for both the CPU and GPU comparison's at anandtech.com

You're going to want one hell of a beast in that case.
May 9, 2006 9:37:25 PM

A good GPU more than anything. Most CPU's wont really make that great of a difference. Mostly put the cash in graphics.
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May 9, 2006 10:07:47 PM

Quote:
what is necessary to play Oblivion at it's full capacity?


nothing you can buy today...

on that note the best components tend to be the most expensive ones unless your planning to overclock.

atleast 2GB of RAM, i recommend corsair XMS dual channel
for gaming and future proofing either a 4200 X2 or 4400 X2 AMD.
and atleast a 7900GT.
May 10, 2006 2:51:15 AM

Last question. What is system Ram. and are their significant differences between different brands. I think I have a fairly good idea about all other aspects except this.
May 10, 2006 8:37:26 AM

Goodness. If you're that much of a n00b, you'd better go and read up books on basic computing...

A computer is basically made of a calculator, a storage area, and inputs and outputs. We'll study all three in separate chapters...

I. The calculator
intro.
You have a generic one, usually named the Central Processing Unit (CPU): this is your Athlon or Pentium.

a. The CPU is geared towards generic operations and is very versatile. It's power is (VERY ROUGHLY) measured through its frequency, the number of virtual and/or real processing units and cores, and the instruction lenghts it can process.
In short, how many cycles per second, how many operations per cycle, and the operation lenght a CPU can process allow you to measure how powerful it is.

b. Overclock (O/C)
Overclocking your CPU means that you force it to frequencies higher than the one the CPU maker recommends: it usually voids its warranty and requires very careful tinkering with many precise settings for it to be workable and effective. Some CPU models are very easy to overclock, and amongst those, some samples will go higher than others.

II. The storage area
intro.
You have 2 main sorts, one which is very fast but volatile (it empties every time the power is down) and one which is much slower but stays after power down.

a. the volatile RAM
The volatile system storage area is your system RAM; the more RAM you have, the more data the CPU can access rapidly to process, and it empties everytime you turn off your system.

b. the nonvolatile RAM
The non-volatile is basically your hard disk, but you can count CDs, DVDs, USB keys and such among those too. It is used to host files which will be loaded in system RAM when they are required. This loading time is the biggest slowdown for a computer.

c. virtual RAM
Virtual RAM is referring to using a big, single file on the hard disk to unload data from system RAM that is temporarily unused, so that more used data can remain in the faster system RAM. Its access is slow (it is referred to as 'swap'), and reducing swapping is done through increasing the amount of system RAM and/or reducing the amount of used RAM (by closing down unnecessary softwares, such as system tray helpers, background tasks, and other useless wizards).

III.inputs and outputs (I/O)
Basically, you use the keyboard and mouse to 'talk' to the computer, and the screen, sound card and/or printer 'answer'. Network/Internet connections can be used either as I/O or as storage.

IV. Dedicated RAM
For more precise tasks such as 3D gaming and 3D positional audio, there are what are called 'accelerators' or 'coprocessors': a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) for example, will use some basic instructions provided by the CPU ('draw a triangle with 3 textures layered on it on coords x1y1,x2y2,x3y3 with shading effect 25 and 302') to render each dot on screen.
Due to the large amount of data required, most GPUs have dedicated RAM: either a share of your system RAM (for budget, slow solutions), or some dedicated, very high speed RAM.
May 10, 2006 10:55:29 AM

Quote:
Last question. What is system Ram. and are their significant differences between different brands. I think I have a fairly good idea about all other aspects except this.



Oblivion runs max settings fine on my new rig which is a AMD 3700, Sapphire x1800XT and Asus A8N5X motherboard.

You can read the above post if you haven't already but to answer your question in a slightly less confusing way buy 1 gig of ram which matches your cpu. If you buy online chances are once you select a cpu you will be given links for items you can match with it.

So lets say you want to go with my setup then match it at least with pc3200 also known as DDR400 (might be wrong there so open to correction). Manufacturers are numerous. I bought Twinmos ram 512*2. Kingston is another maker as is Corsair and to be quite frank there are different types of ram like CAS3 or CAS 2.5 and so on but get 1 gig (you can get more if you want) and you're laughing.

If you want you can post your intended rig up in the hardware sections of the forums and people will advise you if you have mismatched items or if there are potentially better parts you could buy.

W.
May 13, 2006 9:54:47 AM

Quote:
I am in the planning process to build a computer for the first time. I am about to order parts. What I am looking for is not the most expensive parts alone. Just the parts processor, graphic card and so on. To play full screen, no lag, and best graphics. I just want the best usable parts. I understand there are the most expensive components that don't really make a diffrence in game play. What do you recommend?

Well, you, by no fault of your own, don't provide much description for what you want, so that leaves a lot of possibilities.

However, if what you have in mind is using aresolution in the neighborhood of 1 megapixel, (1024x768, 1280x720, or perhaps even 1280x960) and want to max things out and still have it run smoothly, I might suggest something like the following:[*:f601d8acec]CPU: AMD Athlon64 X2 3800+[*:f601d8acec]Why? - AMD's gaming performance is still tops, particularly for the price you pay. (though a number of people are currently debating over a processor mentioned on THG's front page right now) Oblivion's overall performance gets a noticable boost from having a dual-core chip, but loading speeds (one of the game's biggest pains) are particularly helped.[*:f601d8acec]RAM/System Memory: 1024MB RAM, at least 400MHz DDR in speed[*:f601d8acec]Why? - RAM speed actually tends to matter little unless you're an overclocking enthusiast; 1024MB of RAM is sufficient for maxed gameplay, even in Oblivion, and it's cheap.[*:f601d8acec]Graphics Card: ATi Radeon X1900XT, PCI-express w/512MB RAM[*:f601d8acec]Why? - ATi's Radeon cards clearly have the advantage in Oblivion, and the X1900XT represents the top tier, but for a good chunk less than the XTX model. A single one can blow through the game, even with a stack of mods added on.
May 13, 2006 7:45:35 PM

thanks, that sounds awesome and less expensive than my rig I was looking at. I to play at the highest setting and still get the performance I want. I don't mind paying for what I get. I just don't want to pay 500 to 1,000 more for a part that I can't see the difference.
May 16, 2006 7:23:46 AM

Quote:
thanks, that sounds awesome and less expensive than my rig I was looking at. I to play at the highest setting and still get the performance I want. I don't mind paying for what I get. I just don't want to pay 500 to 1,000 more for a part that I can't see the difference.

Good to know that was helpful. To add on to that, the only possible way to improve said system and actually gain a meaningful gain in performance, might be a faster processor; that $130US Pentium D 805 OC'ed to 4GHz will actually beat it, (the X2 3800+ roughly equals a 3.6GHz Pentium D, if memory serves me correctly) or you could go for a more expensive Athlon64 X2, or even an Intel Core Duo.

However, the main areas you'd see performance gains would be in towns, which are known for having very few combat instances; out of combat, the game is perfectly playable at 10FPS or even less. (not that you'd get NEAR that with ANY dual-core chip and such a powerful graphics card) In general, performance varies depending on the three main types of area you're in:[*:6b70835a04]Towns: Possibly the slowest area of the game. Almost always CPU-bound in performance. To improve framerate, reduce resolution, or reeduce "object fade" setting.
[*:6b70835a04]Indoors: Relatively balanced between the CPU and graphics card. However, this will perform pretty smoothly no matter what the settings. The only exceptions come if you tweak the settings to allow much more blood on-screen.
[*:6b70835a04]Outdoors: Almost completely graphics-card bound. Can perform badly, especially in forests, during rain, or near oblivion gates. To improve performance, consider reducing the resolution, or reducing the grass fade, or better yet, the grass density. (the last is only availible through the .INI file)
[*:6b70835a04]Other Areas: The actual planes of oblivion are much like other outdoor areas, though they tend to be the best performing; getting progressively worse in performance are oblivion, mountains, plains/meadows, and lastly forests. Dungeons and houses/other buildings are effectively the same.
June 2, 2006 4:41:30 PM

I'm running a AMD Athlon XP 3200+, 2.2 GHz with a gig or RAM and a Sapphire x1600 Pro.
Will I be able to use some of the max settings?
June 4, 2006 10:45:44 PM

I run Oblivion, FEAR and TR turned up full with my rig. Now a days get as much VRAM as possible, modest CPU speeds and moderate system RAM.
June 4, 2006 11:29:40 PM

Quote:
I am in the planning process to build a computer for the first time. I am about to order parts. What I am looking for is not the most expensive parts alone. Just the parts processor, graphic card and so on. To play full screen, no lag, and best graphics. I just want the best usable parts. I understand there are the most expensive components that don't really make a diffrence in game play. What do you recommend?


X1800, X1900, 7800, or 7900 would be best to it! Dual card if you want ultra high resolution. Not to mention a good CPU also like Dual core would be needed to this game at it's best. Also a minimum of 2Gb of ram is needed to achieve high res and high quality settings. :wink:
June 9, 2006 4:52:21 AM

I found I could play at almost full resolution on my DELL 1920 x 1200 24" wide screen with a pair of nVidia 7800GTX (SLI) and the AMD FX 60 dual core graphics card ... 2 GB system RAM.

It is nice to see and watch it run smoothly at high res ... but the game itself was a disappointment for me.
June 11, 2006 2:21:23 PM

Quote:
Cutter said:
I'm running a AMD Athlon XP 3200+, 2.2 GHz with a gig or RAM and a Sapphire x1600 Pro.
Will I be able to use some of the max settings?


Absolutely NOT.

My system is only an XP 3000, but I am running an ATI 1600X Pro w/512 meg. It looks awesome, but not running maxed because, I can't and neither will you.

I did use the Tweak Guide from the Oblivion Forum. My distance settings are lowered and most shadows are turned off (per the tweak guide) and I have a very nice running game. Frame rates are not tops typically around 18 to 25 in town and darker areas (still not sure I understadn why frame rates in darker areas are lower). I get typical frame rates outside of around 25-35.

This is playable and runs smoothly. Have no lag issues in battles.
!