URT 2004 Hurt My Baby

[Aunt Jemima Voice] That’s right officer, it was that nasty ole game came flying off the shelf and smacked the fps right out of my baby! She used to be fast, ya know! Now look at her…. run baby! Oh why won’t you run! [/voice]

Up until about 1:34 am this morning I was extremely proud of my rig:

  • Athlon 2500XP+ OC’d to 2800XP+
  • MSI GeForce 4200 8x OC’d core @ 277mhz OC’d RAM @ 554mhz w/Zalman M80C-HP Heatsink w/ and old cpu fan being my Macgyver ZM-OP1
  • 1 Gig of Dual DDR333 RAM (in 2 sticks)
  • Seagate ATA100 7200rpm 160 Gig HD – System
  • Seagate SATA 120 Gig HD – A/V Disk
  • BTV 3.4 w/ Hauppauge WinTV Tunercard
  • Edition 5.0
  • WinXP Pro

    It was my gaming rig, a Media PC (supplimenting my Tivo), and a video editing workstation…. then URT2004 had to come along and burst my bubble. First let me say the UTR2004 is pretty. It blows the demo out of the water. Turning the settings up to the max @ 1280×1024 res (the max my flat panel supports) it was… AWESOME. I found myself not killing bots in death match so that i could run up to them and enjoy the detail… a far cry from Quake 1 running on my ipaq 4200 where you struggle to pick out the moving blobs from the background blobs.

    The painful part is this: while it was really pretty at these settings 15-20 fps just won’t cut it for anything other than going “wow look at that”. So i reverted to 1024×768 (which is actually my normal setting — i spend enough time squinting at small text for work… why do it for fun?) and thought everything was rosy. Well it was in single player mode. The fps would dip to the low 30s but didn’t seem affect my gameplay much. Then I tried to host a game… not a real multiplayer game but one against bots so that I could see what all i could control in setting up a map for real multiplayer play. Ouch. Playing the same map from the demo in onslaught my game kept hanging in order to keep the server going. To prevent this I had to go all the way back to the default settings and 800×600. Sad. My poor baby.

    One thing of note though. These painfully slow fps levels did occur w/ 2xAA on. I normally keep AA @ 2x because it is a good compromise between speed and image quality. You can REALLY see a difference between noAA and 2xAA… not so much with 2xAA vs the Higher settings AND 2xAA isn’t a huge performance hit unless you are a 1600×1200, fps is king, kinda guy. I mean until now I never had to turn it off to play any game, but apparently that is no longer the case.

    The really sad thing is that all this drove me away from URT2004 (temporarily of course) and over to pricegrabber.com to check prices on a new video card. Not to mention boning up on the latest reviews of said cards to find the new holy grail. And the winner is…… the Radeon 9600 XT. It has the auto overclocking feature that i really like in my MSI 4200, supports DX 9, and has a nice horsepower boost. Now if it could drop in price about $50….