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John Kettler

No pretty pictures on my Mac! Is this why?

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I have the display settings cranked up to max on my iMac Arlington 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 4GB of 1067 MHz DDR3 RAM and a 256MB ATI RADEON 4670 video chip/card. So far, I'm not seeing the really nice images routinely displayed in close in screenshots here on CMBN and CMFI Forums and am starting to wonder whether this is a fundamental limitation of my rig.

Does anyone have any idea why my pics look so relatively bad? Am running CMBN 2.01 with no mods installed. Stock graphics only. Will be happy to E-mail a couple of screenshots to anyone interested, since I've somehow yet to manage getting same posted.

Regards,

John Kettler

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Having only 256Mb of Video Ram is a Likely Candidate for your CM Graphics issue

I had the same graphics limitations until recently upgrading

from an iMac with a similar 256mb NVidia to an iMac with 512 MB Vid card

In fact those high graphics settings will also play havoc

with playability on an iMac having video issues

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I have an iMac "Sandy Bridge" with the 1GB video card and while I have some video speed issues with larger battles, the graphics quality is fine. One computer rules you can't go wrng with when it cames to system & video RAM is that the proper amount to have is always "a buttload of RAM".

Jyri

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...the proper amount to have is always "a buttload of RAM".

Having plenty of system RAM is also useful and 4 GB sounds a bit sparse to me. I upgraded from 4 to 12 GB some months back and while the differences were not dramatic, they were noticeable. Having plenty of VRAM is important, but not a panacea as someone pointed out a few months back. It also matters how the card utilizes VRAM. That can vary from card to card and from game to game, even when the quantity of VRAM remains constant.

Michael

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I have the display settings cranked up to max on my iMac Arlington 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 4GB of 1067 MHz DDR3 RAM and a 256MB ATI RADEON 4670 video chip/card.

Hi John. I have the same iMac and card as you and only use middling settings for best results. I notice that the graphics are excellent when I am viewing objects close up but degrade quickly on longer views. Another things is that the card can only cope with games using few units. Evidently the card has to store all the textures for all units in the frame even if they are not close up, and units are extremely texture intensive, whether vehicles or personnel.

Michael

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Yes; I think it's likely that the Video Card is your bottleneck, John. That card is not particularly new nor powerful by today's standards.

I have a somewhat newer iMac with a 512MB card, and I still have to dial back the game settings somewhat on larger scenarios with lots of units & larger maps. I've noticed that burning vehicles seem to be especially hard on the video card -- many times, I can start a scenario with the detail settings maxed out, but then have to dial them back late in the scenario when there's lots of corpses and dozens of KO'd vehicles on the field.

Increasing system RAM to 8MB is really cheap might give you a bit of a boost, tho, and has the added benefit that then you can leave all sorts of stuff running in the background while you play CM, without a performance hit.

EDIT to add: It's worth monkeying around with the setting a bit to find the settings that work best for you -- texture vs. model LOD, and also try turning on and off shaders, shadows, etc. and seeing how this affects overall results.

At least on the Mac, it seems that leaving settings maxed out does NOT necessarily give you the best result. In this case, if the machine can't really put out what you're asking it seems to struggle and as a result you get a lot of redraws, choppy framerate, etc. Leaving graphics setting somewhat lower at a LOD your machine can easily handle, and perhaps turning off some of the "special effects" like shaders sometimes results and an overall better experience.

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Thanks for all the feedback. Plan to add RAM, but fear I'm screwed on the VRAM. Suspect it's a chip, rather than a swappable card.

Redwolf,

If you PM me, I'll give you my E-mail, so I can send you screenshots in reply. Have both the default setting type and the cranked up ones, but I didn't mess with shaders or antialiasing.

Regards,

John Kettler

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Please be aware that when you add RAM it will most likely trip the copy protection. You will likely see errors of 'Error: errorcode' or 'License problem...', etc. You will want to contact the Helpdesk once you do this to get some utilities to delete your current game activations and reactivate them with the new amount of RAM in your system.

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Judging from what I dug up on ifixit, my late 2009 iMac, EMC 2308, has a GPU card, not a chip. The jury is still out, though, on whether the card can be upgraded. Also, taking GPU card replacement tutorials from later models as indicators, we're talking major computer dismantlement to pull the GPU and maybe upgrade it to an ATI Radeon 8350.

Regards,

John Kettler

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