Well, when I bought BF2, my PC had the following:
MSI K3T Motherboard (Via chipset, 4X AGP, ATA66)
AMD Athlon XP 1600 (1.4GHz/266MHz FSB)
1GB PC2100 (266MHz) RAM (2x256 + 1x512)
40GB ATA66 HDD
ATI Radeon 9600 Pro 128MB AGP
I ran BF2 fine in 800x600 with eye candy turned to medium and AA set to 2X. No stuttering at all during any gameplay, but I wanted more eye candy and a better resolution. I always use the latest Catalyst drivers.
I just upgraded to the following:
ABIT NF7-S2G Motherboard (nForce2 Ultra 400 chipset, 8X AGP, SATA)
AMD Athlon XP 3000+ (2.1GHZ/400MHz FSB)
1GB PC3200 (400MHz) RAM (2x512 matched)
same hard drive as above (ATA66)
same video card as above
I first tried BF2 in 1024x768 w/AA @8X and all options turned to the highest settings. The result was that it was completley unplayable. It was like looking at a very nice picture that changed every 20-30 seconds. Horrible. I figured it was too much so I dropped the eye candy to medium and it was still no better. I moved it all back to where it was and it ran just like it did before - no better and no worse. I still think that my hardware should be able to handle at least 1024x768 on medium settings, but I guess not. I did purchase two Maxtor DiamondMax 9 160GB SATA150 HDD's that should be here next week. I am hoping that it will improve the IO a bit and help load times and performance, but I don't have my hopes too high on that front.
Anyone have any suggestions or tips?
I'd also be curious to know your specs:
BF2 Settings (Low, Med, High):
How's it run in BF2?
It's the anti-aliasing, seriously that will absolutely STOMP A SYSTEM like nothing else.
Drop A/A down to 2x or nothing at all and you should be able to play at significantly better resolutions and graphics levels.
I've never bought into A/A much, games now are smooth enough for me that I just don't pay much attention to a few pixilated lines.
I thought about that... still didn't run well at 1024x768 with med settings and 2X AA.
with that flunky 9600pro, dont run ANY AA or AF. And the max resolution I would try is 1024x768 with that card. It just doesnt have the horsepower to run the game at meduim-to-high settings.
I am running the game on two machines, one at work and one at home.
My home machine it runs flawlessly with everything turned up to max. Specs are -
Athlon 64 X2 4600+ (Manchester core)
2gb Mushkin 2-2-2 special DDR RAM
2 6800 Ultras in SLI
Sound Blaster audigy 2 zs
2x 400 gb hard drives, 2x 250gb hard drives, 1 WD Raptor 10000 RPM hard drive (36 gb, C drive).
Dual Samsung 172x LCD monitors, 17"
OCZ 520w PSU
Like I said everything works great on that machine. The machine I use at the work LAN parties though, thats a different story. Specs -
Abit IC7 Max 3 motherboard
Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.2
1 gig Kingston Hyper-X
2 WD Raptors in Raid 0
I have to run everything at medium on that 9800XT, and the resolution at 1280x1024, just to make it playable. No AA or AF.
Honestly, my tip is to turn off AA and AF completely, and run everything at medium. Also set the draw distance no higher than 80%. If you still get choppiness, drop the resolution down to 800x600.
So AA and AF are going to be more of a hit on performance than my resolution will, right?
I think - if possible - I'd be better off turning off AA and AF and setting everything to LOW settings and trying to run in my 18" LCD's native resolution of 1280x1024 if my hardware could support that. Think it could?
Will running SATA (from ATA66) improve anything? If so, how about RAID0?
To be honest, RAID 0 doesnt really have any performance increases in games, just loading times. It wont really make the performance that much better.
I think you would be better turning AA and AF off completely, like you said. It will look better, even on low, if you run the game at the native resolution for your monitor. Definately give that a shot.
AA and AF will definately be more of a hit than resolution, especially with a 9600 pro. Remember, that card was designed to me a mid-range gaming solution...two years ago. with a new flashy game you will have to turn everything down to minimums to get great gameplay.
Okay, I have it running at 1280x1024 with everything set to high and AA/AF both off and it runs great - no choppy framerate and smooth as silk . Looks better than at 800x600 with everything on high and AA and AF turned on. I'm pleased.
Of course it does. You are running it at its native resolution. It always looks better that way.
Watch the hard drive light while you're playing to see if it is running while you're playing. If it is, try more RAM.
A customer gave us a $2k gaming system as a gift after we completed a system for them ahead of schedule. I've never played a game on it, but I watched the guys suffer with 5+ seconds per frame (0.2 FPS) on BF2 when the action got complicated. It has the fastest CPU made, an AMD FX-55, and both an ATI Radeon 9800 and nVidia 6800 with dual monitors, but it was still too slow to play BF2 with 1Gbyte of RAM. After moving to 2Gbytes, it works well enough to play at 1024x768 with everything on high with 2x anti-aliasing. It's still slow when there's a lot moving on the screen, but it is night and day better.z
1gb is plenty to run BF2. That system must have been FUBAR.
WHy in gods name would it have 2 different cards from 2 different makers?
The video drivers would have to screw the hell out of the machine.
The 6800 is also likely the better card than the 9700Pro.
Because the ATI cards have a much better quality video output than any other brand I've seen. A lot of graphics people will only use an ATI card for that reason, including the customer that bought the machine. We have a pair of nice color-calibrated LaCie CRT's connected to the computer, and it is very easy to see that the ATI is much better than the BFG Tech 6800. So for BF2 the guys use the 6800 since it's a little faster than the ATI 9800, but for all of the older games they play they use the nicer ATI card. Also, it was a gift. I wouldn't have bought two cards, but they were free.z
Still doesnt change the fact that ATIs drivers suck donkey balls, and will interfere with the far superior nvidia drivers.
Mixing drivers is a great way to cause conflict and as for gaming, figure out which card does the best with the majority of the games you play and stick with that one.
I haven't gone with an ATI product since the Radeon crap came out