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Quake First Person Shooters (Games)

Doom 3 Hardware Guide Debuts 392

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the time-to-upgrade dept.
Nosf3ratu writes "Over at HardOCP, the boys have teamed up with id software again to publish the Official Doom 3 Hardware Guide. As the guide states: 'With the prospect of so many new people being brought into gaming by DOOM 3, there will likely be a lot of questions regarding the computer hardware needed to support it.'"
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Doom 3 Hardware Guide Debuts

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  • Sweeeeeet. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by zedmelon (583487) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @02:13PM (#9834336) Homepage Journal
    From the hardware guide:
    "What we noticed immediately is that DOOM 3 looks incredible even at 640x480! "
    and
    "Looking at the image, it's surprising just how good Low Quality looks."

    My hopes weren't very high, but I'm relieved to see this. Now I know my TNT2 card will do just fine.

    But seriously, their test on a minimal system yielded encouraging results:
    "Our system was composed of a 1.5GHz Pentium 4, 512MB of Corsair RAM, and a GeForce 4 MX 440 video card"

    fp?

  • Systems (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mfh (56) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @02:14PM (#9834341) Homepage Journal
    FTA: "There are no major differences in image quality between NVIDIA and ATI video cards when playing DOOM 3 at the same settings."

    From this shot [hardocp.com], I would have to say, ATI looks nicer for quality of lighting. The blending seems more natural.

    FTA: "There is no doubt that DOOM 3's minimum system specifications can easily deliver a good gaming experience."

    If you don't mind frames dropping to this and their ultimate Doom 3 system [hardocp.com].

    FTA:"Without a doubt, our AMD Athlon 64 FX-53 system sporting the ABIT AV8 motherboard with 2GB of Corsair XMS RAM was the pinnacle of DOOM 3 performance in terms of image quality and speed when outfitted with the BFGTech GeForce 6800 Ultra OC."

    And that is a nice system by any standards. I think I am very interested by the Alienware Doom system [alienware.com]. The Aurora ALX looks sweet [alienware.com].

    Xian has some cool quotes for the guys at Hard|OCP here [hardocp.com]. Most notably:

    "I am proud to say that DOOM 3 is quite possibly the most aurally detailed and complex game ever made, on any platform."

    Drooooool.........
  • OSX version Needed (Score:3, Interesting)

    by artlu (265391) <(ten.ultra) (ta) (ultra)> on Thursday July 29, 2004 @02:15PM (#9834369) Homepage Journal
    Then, i can use my Dual 2.0 G5 with Apple's gorgeous new displays. Yes, i know LCD is bad for gaming, but the new apple monitors are just crazy. At least my "Stock Game" [groupshares.com] looks good on the monitors.

    Actually, does anyone know if ID is planning an OSX release like they did with Quake 3?
  • by Ford Prefect (8777) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @02:15PM (#9834372) Homepage
    Interestingly, Windows 98 won't be supported [eurogamer.net].

    I'll be in the weird situation of having a game that will run on my PC in Linux, but not on my games-only Windows installation.

    Makes a change! :-)
  • Heh heh (Score:2, Interesting)

    by stratjakt (596332) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @02:21PM (#9834453) Journal
    These things always make me laugh. HardOCP, TomsHardware, all the "hardcore modder" sites.

    No doubt this article will convince a bunch of clueless wannabe's that they MUST piss away $1000 in hardware over the next week else they won't be playing Doom 3.

    Which, of course, drives "obsolete" stuff, like the (now over 6 months old!) Radeon 9800 XT into the bargain bin for me!

    Between these moron sites, and morons at Best Buy and CompUSA, it's a great time to be a tech bargain hunter.

    Not too long ago, I overheard an employee at CompUSA telling some customer "Oh, you have DDR333? You really should get a new motherboard that supports dual-channel DDR 400, it'll make a huge difference in your frame rates".

    I lurked about as the customer picked out a new mobo and two new sticks of Kingston HyperX RAM - and of course payed 3 times what the stuff would cost on newegg. He hung around as the "upgrade specialists" installed it for him. Before he left I offered him 100 bucks for his old motherboard (an Asus P4PE), 2.4ghz CPU (just a Celeron, but they frankly perform MUCH better than morons give them credit for) and "obsolete" gigabyte of DDR333, and went home with a bag full of "obsolete" goodies.

    Woohoooo! God bless people who refuse to accept their own ignorance. The system works!

    Never forget, don't believe your eyes. It may look really smooth and good on your screen, you may think you're having fun, but if those benchmarks say it's old, then damn you it's time to spend money!

    Benchmarks are everything!
  • SMP (Score:3, Interesting)

    by iamthemoog (410374) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @02:22PM (#9834461) Homepage
    Nice article, though where's the multi-processor graphs? "Ultimate DOOM3 Systems" still only shows single CPU systems.

    Any clues anyone? It seems the game is pretty much video card limited, but a 2nd CPU might flatten out the frame rates to a more even level instead of bouncing up and down from 17 to 60 FPS ...

  • New Standards (Score:2, Interesting)

    by micr0c0sm (801346) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @02:24PM (#9834498) Homepage
    It is obvious that this sets a new standard for hardware scaling in games. 640x480 at low quality looks stunning, as does 1600x1200 at high. The fact that 80% of modern hardware (remember 78.1% of statistics are made up) can run it proves that id software is as dedicated as ever to providing the best gaming experience as possible. This guide also sets a new standard in thorough reviews. Granted this shouldn't be expected for every game, although it proves [H]ardOCP is comprised of a dedicated team (thanks Kyle and everyone else) who only want to bring the best information to the end-user. I for one have a new level of respect for id software, and [H]ardOCP. They are both setting new standards in thier respective areas.
  • Re:Sweeeeeet. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by foidulus (743482) * on Thursday July 29, 2004 @02:28PM (#9834559)
    I'm wondering how it will end up looking on LCDs whose native resolution is higher than the resolution that Doom suggests. If you don't run an LCD at it's native resolution, it tends to look very block and blurry, which could make the image even worse....
    Looks like I'll have to buy a 6800 if I want to play this game
  • Re:Sweeeeeet. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by untermensch (227534) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @02:30PM (#9834595)
    Don't we have a mod for "+1, Efficiently Sidesteps Sarcasm?"

    sorry, but the things some people think...
  • 3D Sound? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Lumpmoose (697966) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @02:30PM (#9834599) Homepage
    The article recommends a 5.1 speaker setup. Since EAX isn't supported (erm, yet) and it uses software-based audio, how does the game interface with, say, a normal DD/DTS reciever and it's digital vs. 6-channel analog inputs? I'm waiting for a DD-advertised game to actually output a Dolby Digital signal w/o an nForce.

    /hopeless Creative junkie
  • by sverrehu (22545) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @02:30PM (#9834603) Homepage
    The interesting question is: What is the optimal hardware for running Doom 3 on a GNU/Linux system? I haven't played a game since RtCW, and I want to buy a new system to play Doom 3 on GNU/Linux. I know nothing about the current state of hardware support for various high-end graphics cards on GNU/Linux.
  • Re:Autospooge (Score:2, Interesting)

    by stratjakt (596332) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @02:35PM (#9834673) Journal
    I don't know, but I can tell you that Far Cry kicks ass. It supports the latest in rendering techniques, but more importantly, it's a fun game with great level design and awesome enemy AI.

    Doom 3 isn't going to impress me nearly as much as it would have if Far Cry hadn't beat them to the punch. Id didn't set the bar this time, CryTech did.
  • by Tackhead (54550) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @02:40PM (#9834766)
    > Interestingly, Windows 98 won't be supported.

    "Won't be supported" or "Won't work"?

    Those aren't necessarily the same things. My 9800XT "isn't supported" on my 98SE gaming rig either - but it works just fine.

    (Why do I game on 9x? Because it's the same 9x license that came with the box six years ago. Because 9x doesn't run services that listen to ports. Because I can boot with a floppy and reimage -- even though, unlike my friends' 2K/XP boxen, I've never had to, because the box has never been 0wn3d. :)

    /me glances at the log of RPC/DCOM worm attacks, every few seconds all bouncing against unopenable ports, from even goddamn dialup IP addresses, and laughs.

    Yes, 98SE is a DOS shell. Yes, 98SE isn't a real OS. Yes, 98SE is a toy. Yes 98SE has no security model. And yes, for a single-user gaming rig, that's why it's better than a real OS.

    In the meantime, 98SE doesn't require me to "activate" it after I swap hard drives or motherboards. 98SE doesn't phone home. 98SE doesn't run services I don't need. And when it crashes, it crashes hard enough that nothing's writing to the hard drive when I press the hard-reset button. 98SE boxen (as long as you're not using M$'s crapware browser and mail client) can be plugged onto the evil Intarweb - straight out of the box - without even a firewall, and not get 0wn3d.

    (This rant expired by the equivalent crashes on the same game played on a friend's XP rig - I observed that when a game in XP goes down hard, the OS keeps running. That's not a feature, that's a bug! No mouse, no GUI, just a frozen 3D rendering of the game, but the hard drive light just flickers happily as the remaining components of the OS busily "manage" the swap file. You sorta wait for the light to flicker out, and hope that you press the hard-reset button before it comes back up. WTF kind of crap is that?)

    2K/XP are for Microsoft boxen that do real work. For a gaming rig, they're overkill. Gimme a stripped-down DOS box any day.

    Now that the rant's out of the way -- who cares if DOOM3 is "supported" on 98SE. I'm sure we'll find out within 72 hours whether or not it "works anyways".

  • Doom3 Board (Score:2, Interesting)

    by vurg (639307) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @02:44PM (#9834835)
    Don't forget your customized Doom 3 zboard keyset [zboard.com].
  • Re:Sweeeeeet. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by proj_2501 (78149) <mkb@ele.uri.edu> on Thursday July 29, 2004 @02:50PM (#9834902) Journal
    I routinely play Starcraft and Unreal Tournament 2004 on my Powerbook G4 at non-native resolutions and they look fine to me.
  • Quake? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by skiman1979 (725635) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @02:54PM (#9834944)
    Just curious, is there a reason this story is posted with a Quake 3 icon? Isn't there a games icon?
  • Re:Heh heh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lightwarrior (73124) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @03:08PM (#9835193) Journal
    Parent: -1, Troll.

    He didn't read the article. He just makes blind suppositions about the content of the because it's from a hardware enthusiast site.

    Part of the beauty of these sites is that we can get information about how the hardware you and I have in our computers perform compared to what's available. They clearly demonstrate what framerate and image quality you're likely to get, compared to what different hardware is capable of.

    Consider my situation. My computer is pretty current, though my video card is about a gen and a half behind the bleeding edge. I'm curious what sort of frame rate and IQ I can expect when my Doom 3 preorder arrives. I know that I'm probably going to be runnining in 10x7 with MQ - maybe HQ (they didn't benchmark my *exact* system).

    That's fine. Sure, I could blow $600 on a top of the line video card to improve my framerate, but I don't consider it worth it for a card that will outperform 99% of the games I own.

    Assuming Doom 3 is the game it's hyped to be, a year or two down the road I'll be able to come back and play this game in all the glory I could have spent $600 now to see. It's a matter of personal preference.

    Hell, I've been doing that with System Shock 2 and Deus Ex for years. Each new video card yields at least one more playthrough, with higher graphics settings, more AA/AF, or whatever.

    In regards to your situation of screwing someone out of perfectly good hardware, did it ever cross your mind to inform the gentleman that his hardware was perfectly acceptable, and that the Best Buy salesperson was just trying to make a buck?

    In less polite terms, I hope I'm never mugged when you're around.

    -lw
  • Re:New Hardware (Score:2, Interesting)

    by zedmelon (583487) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @03:13PM (#9835261) Homepage Journal
    combining them obviously saved on the hassle of dealing with half a dozen different vendors.

    Not to mention a million dollars wasted shipping them all separately

    note to mods :

    that was a hyperbole - exaggeration for humorous effect.
    The real number is much closer to a billion dollars.

    /me hits newegg instead of working...

  • by LighthouseJ (453757) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @03:13PM (#9835273)
    How is an LCD bad for gaming, the refresh rate?

    I play HL and GTA:VC on my Dell Laptop with the 15.4" display and it looks much much better than my 21" CRT I use a secondary monitor. The refresh is amazing, and the picture quality is crazy crisp. I would use an LCD over a CRT any day, even a smaller LCD too.
  • Will There Be Demos? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LighthouseJ (453757) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @03:16PM (#9835311)
    Any word anywhere on Doom 3 demos? If at all possible, I try the game demos to see how the game performs on my computer. I don't want to buy an unreturnable software game and find out I'd need to upgrade laptop hardware before it's framerates are sane enough to play with.
  • Re:Systems (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CyberKnet (184349) <slashdot@cy b e r k net.net> on Thursday July 29, 2004 @03:16PM (#9835316) Homepage Journal
    Please bear in mind they are using a BFGTech card. I have personal experience with both PNY cards, and BFGTech cards... My PNY FX5200Ultra passed on, and to replace it, I got a BFGTech 5600Ultra.

    I am here to tell you today that in terms of FPS, the BFGTech is better. As it should be, it's a 5600 ultra, and the PNY card was a 5200 ultra. However, in terms of image quality, the BFGTech is far, FAR, FAR below the PNY card. Using the exact same drivers.

    BFGTech cards are inferior. I would never recommend anyone buy one, and I would certainly call into question any comparison which used a BFGTech as the baseline image for the nvidia line. The image is simply too far degraded below what the same chip from a quality manufacturer such as PNY would put out.

    Yes, this is subjective, I have no screen shots to back it up, but I've been meaning to share my experience for a while, so there it is.
  • Re:Systems (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Billly Gates (198444) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @03:40PM (#9835640) Journal
    For $5,500 listed for the ultimate doom system, I wonder how a cheaper SMP system would perform playing it?

    I bet you guys did not know that doom3 supports smp in Windows.

  • by Tackhead (54550) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @03:48PM (#9835762)
    > If you're running Win98SE without a firewall, I will bet you a brand new GeForce 6800 Ultra that http://housecall.trendmicro.com will identify at least one virus or worm you're already infected with.

    Alas, the gaming rig's at home, not at work, or I'd take you up on that. (Even though under most circumstances, I'd take one look at "x-trendjavascan-plugin" and say "You don't get to run here, whatever you are!", but I trust trendmicro.com for some value of trust. :)

    FWIW, the old McAfee standalone "stinger" scanner gives me a clean bill of health every month or so, as does AdAware.

    > The rest came in through ICMP and other vectors that Win98 was very vulnerable to.

    Source? Other than 98's winnuke (easily patched , and I should have been more specific that the box in question is 98SE, which wasn't subject to that bug), I don't recall ever hearing of a remote exploit for 98SE that didn't require at least some cooperation on the part of the victim.

    The gaming rig runs a somewhat more secure setup than an OOBE 98SE (e.g. it never IIS "web services" installed on it, NetBIOS crap is unbound from TCP/IP before it goes on the 'net, it does no network sharing, and is basically as deliberately as standalone a box as I can make it. A real firewall eats most inbound traffic by default, and a software "firewall" on the box (that could admittedly be compromised a'la the BlackIce hole from last year) provides early warning of phone-home apps.

    For what it's worth, I'd have taken your bet (even without the hardware firewall) and one of us would have owed the other a new video card.

    So my box might not have been that fair of a bet. I'd be confident that I'd win with software-firewall-only, but just for kicks, I might try imaging the OS partition, throwing it onto an old 1.2G drive, and seeing if it also passes with neither hardware nor software firewall.

    And finally, having seen a couple of "Joe Sixpack" 9x machines infested from people who think "Oooh, clicky! It's my Buddy!", I'm leaning towards XP + Firewall + deactivate-administrator-account + Force Auto-Updates-And-Auto-Installs-On for anyone who's not clinically paranoid.

  • by Viking Coder (102287) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @05:06PM (#9836867)
    It's the authors. Just like people line up to read the next J.K. Rowlings novel, before there have been any reviews out, people line up to buy the next John Carmack game.

    It could be called "The Facts of Life: Tuti versus Natalie" and people would line up around the block for it.

    That said, have you read a bad J.K. Rowlings novel?

    Translating this all back into the world of technology, it's just the Next Big Thing. I've been waiting since, what, 1999 for this? For me, it's kind of like, Return of the King. I really liked Fellowship of the Ring, and The Two Towers, and I just knew that ROTK was going to be great. I just knew it! Granted, I pretty much felt the same way about Star Wars I and Matrix II and Matrix III. But, people are optimists about entertainment, and the act of being optomistic about it is honestly almost as much fun as the thing itself. I *crave* Doom 3.

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