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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

For The Love Of Hardware

OK, so here's the fallout from this weekend.

It's hard to argue with an $80 video card that can play a F.E.A.R. single player demo at full resolution with a decent chunk of effects flying around. Honestly, it really feels like a whole new game. The Titan Quest demo, as well, is a lot more stunning at the full resolution.

However, the card's video RAM is most certainly corrupt. 3D models will go "spiky" sometimes - meaning a vertex gets dropped in memory and part of the model gets pulled out into the ether. Dots - either green, purple or just miscolored - will appear on any 2D surface, including the desktop. I've even tried underclocking the memory to no avail.

The 3D models will correct, oddly enough, if the game is pushed into its highest resolution. I solved the texture flicker when I turned temporal aliasing off. The dots, however, are unavoidable. Well, they don't really show up much in 3D environments ... but if there's a 2D filter, for instance, on the HUD - it can show up then.

So here's my conundrum - stick with a faulty card that was dirt cheap and can generally push polygons pretty darn well or RMA the thing, pay a little extra for a slightly less powerful card that should work without fault.

I think I'll pick up Oblivion this week and see if that runs OK. Maybe I need a modern game, not a demo, to see if the card makes the cut.

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