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Wow, big difference playing on a 2018 system vs a 2009 system

Discussion in 'Neverwinter Nights 2' started by SlickRCBD, Jan 4, 2019.

  1. SlickRCBD Gems: 24/31
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    I'm wondering, does my old system just suck or is it the game? My previous generation computer is a Gateway 4200DX with an ATI Radion 3450 graphics card.
    Neverwinter Nights 2, despite being several years old, did not perform well even on the lowest graphics options on it, and I could not play it at all, on anything older, I had.

    I saw that GOG had NWN2 Complete for <$5 on sale, so I purchased it. I could get Storm of Zehir finally.
    The offline download options gave me a big archive, and when I thought I was decompressing it, it installed the game on my new computer system as a complete package, rather than having to do separate installs as I was expecting. For the record, it has NVidia graphics.
    Saying "Screw it, I want to finally see those new classes I heard about introduced in SoZ", I ran the game.
    It is lightning fast and responsive even on the highest graphics settings.
    I realize it is ten years of technology since I don't think my Gateway 4200DX computer was the "latest and greatest" when I got it. Considering the source, it wasn't designed as a gaming rig, but did my system just suck that much, was it some kind of ATI incompatibility, or was the game that poorly done that it took 10 years of tech advancement to make it playable?
     
  2. Dranalis DeAealth

    Dranalis DeAealth Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc Veteran

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    You need to have a look to see what the full stats for the old machine are, like processor, RAM etc and check them out against the minimum system requirements for NWN2. If they're not up to scratch, then yes, it won't play well. It looks like the game was released at about the same time you say you got the old machine, and if you think the old machine wasn't top of the range at the time and wasn't designed as a gaming computer, then, well, yeah it probably will struggle.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
  3. wrangler Gems: 1/31
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    Thanks. I saw that package for sale yesterday for $19.99, and was beginning to doubt that I'd seen it for $4.99 the day before. Good to know that it wasn't a result of sleep deprivation.

    Regarding your system, the CPU, RAM, OS and virtual memory settings could be critical. My system is 10 years old, I haven't installed my NWN2 Gold yet, but I have yet to have problems with games, using an i7-920 and 12 gigs of RAM.
     
  4. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    I think I (tried to) look up Slick's old system before, I think when he was having some problems with it. As I recall, it was pretty low end. So yes, I suspect it's mostly that the old computer just sucked. That HD3450 card was definitely low end, even when he bought his computer, given the naming conventions that ATi / AMD used at that time.

    Not that NWN2 is probably all that optimised, and there could have been some bottleneck in the system somewhere, but I would suspect the PC mostly, in this case.

    On the other hand, even a low end PC nowadays should be able to run something like NWN2 on high settings without breaking a sweat.
     
  5. SlickRCBD Gems: 24/31
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    I thought the game came out in 2006 or earlier, the final patch was released in 2009 as licenses/contracts expired and Atari and Obsidian started getting into a snit fit over the rights (possibly including Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast), precluding any more development. The readme file is dated Halloween 2006.
    The from the label on the side: machine is a 2.25ghz quad-core AMD Phenom 9550 with 6gb 8gb of PC2 5300 667mhz RAM. (upgraded recently and I haven't really tried NWN2 since) and an ATI Radeon 3450 graphics card.


    That said, I often have trouble figuring out how graphics cards compare. It used to be simple, check the memory and sometimes the clock speed of the card. Now they don't say "You need XXmb of video RAM" on games anymore, they list some given model and brand and say "this or better", but it is hard to figure out if your Nvidia card is better than that GForce card. The same was true back then with the ATI Radeon 3450 card that came with the computer. I'm not sure how the Ati Radeon 3450 compares to the Radeon 9800. The computer also has built-in integrated ATI Radeon 3200 graphics although I don't use it. Under Vista the "Crossfire" that was supposed to enhance performance by using the integrated video to supplement the card (really meant for two cards) actually slowed things down in NWN1, NWN2, and KoToR 1 & 2. Of those games, only NWN2 has any performance problems although KOTOR2 has issues in spots (like when smoke is blowing in the mining tunnels on Perogas) unless I turn off anti-aliasing and VSYNC.
    Dragon Age Origins actually works OK on the lowest settings on this computer and that game is much newer than NWN2. I haven't tested crossfire since the machine was upgraded to Windows 7.
    Here are the specs from the readme file:
    As for being a low end system, I got it cheap through an educational discount. My mother worked for a school, and they had some deals for staff members. I was having money issues but needed a new computer. My mother bought it and when the bill came I gave her a check.
    In fact, the first computer I bought that I did NOT take advantage of those offers for cheap hardware was the one I got last month. Mostly because she's retired.
     
  6. Dranalis DeAealth

    Dranalis DeAealth Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc Veteran

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    I'm not great with graphics either, but what I can say is that your processor is definitely under the minimum specs, so that's probably why it runs but not well. A shame as otherwise it looks like the graphics card is okay and you have more than enough RAM.
     
  7. SlickRCBD Gems: 24/31
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    Note that it only had 6gb when I last played NWN2. I only installed more RAM last fall when the 4gb DIMMs failed and I've been playing other games since then.
     
  8. wrangler Gems: 1/31
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    There are sites out there that have long lists of GPUs for comparison. I don't remember what I used to use, but here's one: https://www.techarp.com/guides/desktop-graphics-card-comparison/

    This one has CPUs as well: https://gpu.userbenchmark.com/

    As I recall, the GPU considerations are type/generation/quantity of onboard RAM, onboard processor speed, memory bandwidth, PC interface used (such as AGP or PCI-Express), etc. Bottlenecks can occur anywhere down the line, and stack up.

    I knew a lot more about this stuff when I built this machine 10+ years ago. With my i7-920 and 12 GB RAM I've got a ATi 4870 with 1 GB DDR5 PCI-Express. It's always done everything I need, though I don't do bleeding edge. I've never had to overclock it, though I built it with that capability.
     
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