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Help with video card


sluggo
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I need help finding a video card to use with CM. When it comes to hardware I'm lost. I have an older machine with a Cyrix pentium class processer. I'm not sure if it is a 166 or 200 MHz. I have 64Meg of Ram and am running Win95. I downloaded the Demo and it runs but is choppy. The screen also freezes up frequently especially when I try to go to a high level view or zoom in/out. I know I need to upgrade the processor, etc. but in the short term I'm hoping a 3D card will solve many/most of my problems.

Will a 3D card fix my problems (short term)? What brand/size is compatible with my machine and would you recommend? Any other thoughts or options would be appreciated.

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Most likely your PC only has PCI slots available (no AGP slots). I would recommend a video card based on a TNT2 for the PCI bus. They're available in 16Mb & 32Mb configurations (Guillemot makes a couple models called the Cougar). Your CPU probably isn't powerful enough to get the complete speed benefits out of this card, but nevertheless it should help quite a bit with the choppiness (but it might not completely eliminate the problem).

You can also buy a Voodoo 3 PCI card (16Mb of video memory) which should work fine, except for a "texture white out" problem with resolutions above 1024 x 768.

Unfortunately ATI cards on the PC don't show fog-table effects (from what I've seen), so they may not be a good idea to purchase for CM's purposes.

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I have a quick follow up question. I have seen the Cougar and was thinking that may be my best bet. My question: If I do get this card (32 meg) would there be even greater improvement if I upgrade from 200MHz (current CPU, I checked) to a 233 MHz (fastest my mother board will handle) or from 64 meg RAM to 96 or 128? Or would the performance increase from either of these upgrades not be noticable given the performance increase I'm expecting from the video card?

Thanks for the help.

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Guest Madmatt

All your suggestions are going to have minimal impact.

Your system is slow and old and nothing you do will change that. It would be much wiser to upgrade all it's components instead of throwing good money after bad.

In a computer system the least common denominator will always be the device that can slow everything down.

You can have a fast CPU but a slow video card and the game will be slow. You can have a great video card and a slow CPU and the game will be slow.

Once you upgrade to something more current this issue is reduced somewhat but it is a constant absolute with computer systems.

Madmatt

[This message has been edited by Madmatt (edited 12-07-2000).]

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Sluggo,

Definitely don't buy the RAM or the slightly faster cpu, because as Matt says, you're basically throwing away your money, and you won't see any reasonable increase in speed.

I would have to disagree with Matt on one issue though... you may indeed get a sizable speed boost with a new 3D card even though your processor is slow, ESPECIALLY if you don't have a 3D card at all right now.

So, I'd recommend going out and getting yourself a good 3D card. Do your research, or just follow Schrull's advice and get a TNT2 or a Voodoo3 (they're both good cards). Make sure you get something fairly new so that it will likely be supported for a long time to come (i.e. don't get a Voodoo 1 card, as they are no longer being supported) and will fit nicely into your new system when you decide to upgrade the processor/motherboard.

Best,

BeWary

------------------

"Liberty or Death?" Make it "Victory or Pretty Damned Badly Wounded", and I'm yours. - a prospective recruit during the American Revolution.

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