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A variety of important questions (at least, in my opinion)

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Mattygerst, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. Mattygerst

    Mattygerst Prince

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    I had just 1 question...but as I started typing this...I decided to a couple others...

    #1 - I play a scenario from the Creation & Customization forum - Lokolus' Earth 1862. IF I want to delete the airship unit from the entire scenario, how would I go about that in XML? I check the scenario XML and there are no units...so - I am guessing that means I have to delete it in the actual Civ4 BTS XML (since this is a scenario, and not a mod with its own XML)? Also, when I go into the XML to delete the airship...what exactly should I delete? The entire coding for it...or is there a more simple way to turn it off (switching a 1 to a 0 for example...or making it obsolete at a tech far, far in the past???

    #2 - *This is much more random* - My computer is a Sony Vaio (desktop), and is Pentium 4, 2.53 GHz with and it has 512 MB RAM. I run a Geforce 6200 graphics card. I get a LOTTTT of lag late-game (1 minute+), and it generally crashes due to low virtual memory even though I play on the low-resolution visual settings. My question is...would I be best served to purchase more RAM (if so...up to 2 GB, 3 GB, 4 GB??), or is this a problem of my 6200 series graphics card and would it be better (obviously better, but NECESSARY) to get a 8500 series graphics card? Or is it both?...

    Meaning...IF I got the RAM up to whatever is suggested...will the game stop lagging if I kept my 6200 series graphics card? Or do I NEED to get both?

    PS: Im MUCH, MUCH more interested in simply having game-speed late game sped up, Im not overly concerned with using the high-resolution graphics settings (if that matters at all).
     
  2. Lemon Merchant

    Lemon Merchant Hall Monitor Super Moderator

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    I'm not sure about the graphics card thing, but the more ram you have the faster Civ goes. I have a piddly little graphics card, but I have 2 GB in both of my machines. I can run at hi-res without problems, and there's not much lag except on huge maps in the modern era.
     
  3. nNemethon

    nNemethon Chieftain

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    STRONGLY recommend upgrading the ram in the unit. 512 is your MINIMUM spec for XP (I'm guessign that's what you are running.) Late game lag is what we all succumb to, almost without regard to the system specs. When you hit the lag wall, quit the game entirely and reload it. It will perform better again, well should. :) It does reduce a fair amount with extra ram.

    When upgrading your ram you need to know this:
    A: Windows XP 32bit will only address up to 2gig of ram. XP Pro 64bit addresses up to 128 gig! Make sure you know which you have. (right click computer->select properties)
    B: Older motherboards in all comps have different memory slot-size allocations. Some can only address 512meg per slot, some 1gig and the newer 2gig and upwards. If you don't know what type it takes, lob it down to your favourite comp shop/nerd-friend and pester them till they open the back and look in it. :)
    C: AIM FOR 2GIG! I cannot stress this enough. XP and 1gig flies along. 2gig and you can remove that horrific pagefiling timewaster and you will notice even more abundant speeds, partic on the hardrive front (file loading/saving/parsing etc.)
    D: If you've gone totally insane and upgraded to vista which you really can't have due to to current memory you have :) ), push for 4gig (memory is so cheap nowadays, thank silicon :) ) and remove the pagefiling. If only 2gig, keep the pagefiling :(:(:( but swim in the speed boost.

    Regarding the GFX card, it is still a decent unit nowadays so you shouldn't have to worry about it. Turn-lag comes from the main CPU and memory limitations whereas if you experience choppy/stuttering framerates, that's an indicator of an overworked GFX card. Go the memory route first as you DEFINATELY need it. :) GFX cards are cheap nowadays too so that is always a future consideration.

    **Note: The really older ram (Simm/Dimm) can be pretty expensive nowadays. DDR3 ram is cheaper than DDR2 which is cheaper than DDR1 which is cheaper than the old Simm-style. Check with your pestered comp-shop buddy to get prices and shop around. Never hurts to spend less to get more. :)

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers, nNem.
     
  4. Charonicus

    Charonicus Warlord

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    I'd agree with the above posters. 2GB of RAM is a good idea.
    Gfx, I know less about Nvidia cards than I do ATI, but if it's still laggy after upgrading RAM then clearly a gfx update can't hurt. :p
    Processing power shouldn't be much a factor for you. My bro and I run civ on 2GHZ processors, so yours should be fine handling it.

    If you're comfortable delving into your computer. Shut it down, unplug the power. Give it say ten minutes just as a general precaution. Open the side, touch the unpainted metal case with both hands (just so you're not all staticy) and then look for the RAM stick. It'll be mounted vertically and held in place by two clips. Pop those and it will slide it. It usually has a sticker on it to identify it. Usually says something along the lines of "512mb DDR DIMM". But that might not be the case. It's a dimm if the black modules are on both sides of the stick, a simm if only one side has them.
    The DDR (1, 2 or 3) can usually be figured out by comparing the notches where the metal contacts are. Look up DDR memory in wikipedia, they have some pictures of various sticks.
    You'll also see that you have (usually) 2 to 4 slots for RAM, which will help you in planning what you want to get. It's also worth fishing out the manual for your motherboard and checking what memory timings it supports. RAM is usually nice and backwards compatible so even if you bought a much faster stick it would run at the speed of the lowest in your system.

    Of course the easiest way is to just get someone who knows what they're doing to look at it. :p But this way you can learn that knowledge yourself. ;)

    Another way to check exactly what ram you have and what memory timings it's running at is to use something like Everest Home. I don't think they offer it for free any more these days but you can probably find an old copy online somewhere or if not I could probably stick the program up on the web for you to download. It will tell you the current specs of just about everything that currently makes up your PC. Very handy program to have. ;)
     
  5. Mattygerst

    Mattygerst Prince

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    Thanks guys for the nice answers.

    According to google (http://www.memoryx.net/sonvapcmem440.html)...my Sony Vaio PCV-RZ14G can only hold 1.5 GB of RAM, max.

    If that is the case, I have 2 more questions:

    #1 - Everyone seems to be suggesting 2 GB of ram, whereas I only have a 1.5 GB maximum allowance...is that going to be a major difference in game play (especially late-era)? How much "lag" do you guys experience late-game in the modern era with 2 GB+ of RAM...at 512 MB, I experience 2-5 minute turns late-game in the modern era (if the game doesn't shut down due to lack of virtual memory)...what do you guys experience at 2+ GB?

    #2 - Since I can only get to 1.5 GB...should I simply think about getting a new system altogether? Any recommendations? I have the money to spend...but I only use my computer for: scanning youtube, iTunes, and Civ4...I don't play any other games so Im not sure I need an ungodly massive system...just the most simple that allows me to really ramp-up my Civ4 gaming and stop the 2-3 minute turns late game...
     
  6. r_rolo1

    r_rolo1 King of myself

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    A 2.8 GHz system ( single processor ) with a 128 MB graphic memory and 2 Gb of RAM will run Civ IV pretty well if you stay with XP ( I know, that are the stats of my oldie desktop with 7 years...... ). The issue is that you won't find any of this in stores nowadays :p

    With Vista...... if you have a decent graph card, you should get a 3 Gb of RAM at least ( Vista needs between 700 Mb to 1 Gb of RAM to run ). And take care with the Core Duo or Core 2 Duo stuff: Civ IV is from the mono core times and it will not use more than one core... so at least 2,5 GHz :p

    P.s About the lokulus scenario: the scenario uses the units of regular Civ IV. If you want to take the airships out, you'll need to edit the correspondent Civ IV files ( make a copy of them, edit and put them in costumassets folder )
     
  7. 6K Man

    6K Man Bureaucrat

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    I get zero lag with 3 GB of RAM. 3.4 GHz processor, running XP.

    Adding another gig of RAM would solve most of your problems, I think.
     
  8. [KC]Bantams

    [KC]Bantams Chieftain

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    my dell xps 420 qc6600 geforce 8800 gtx pro 4 gb ram pc dosnt lag!

    if you only use the pc for civ then just get the maximum ram you can get but if youre pc is over say 5 years old id think about upgrading it maybe in the january sales :)
     
  9. Willem

    Willem Deity

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    You need to get both. 512 RAM is pitifully low for any application. I'm presuming you use XP, and this will take up over half of that for itself. For Civ you really should have 2 gigs of RAM, as it's quite RAM intensive. Your video card is also pretty long in the tooth. Obsolete barely even describes it. It's most definitely time to upgrade that old dinosaur. The game likes to have at least a 7600 to run well, though you'd probably be better off just getting one of the 8000 series cards, or higher.
     
  10. Willem

    Willem Deity

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    That's not true, it will address up to 4 gig. But each application can only use up to 2 gig for itself. You also lose a certain amount from your video card as the VRAM is considered in the total amount. I have 4 gig installed on my computer and about 3.5 is available. There is actually a bit of a loss from the 4 gig as XP won't quite register the full amount. You end up losing about 500 meg.
     
  11. nNemethon

    nNemethon Chieftain

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    That's why I just nutshelled it to 2gig. It was easier than expanding the confusion. But, you summed it up nicely and added a fullstop to that which I was saying. :)

    Cheers, nNem.
     
  12. Mattygerst

    Mattygerst Prince

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    Okay, guys...Here is the next step in this line of questions...

    #1 - Since I CANNOT go to 2 GB (running Windows XP, and my machine has a max allowance of 1.5 GB)...how much better is that going to be than my 512 MB of RAM, currently? Is 1.5 GB going to make a LARGE difference in end-game wait time compared to 512 MB? For example --------------------->

    #2 - Using 512 MB RAM...I literally have 3-7+ minute wait times for turns on large maps, modern era (and this is what I play on my favorite mods/scenarios). What kind of wait time can I expect from 1.5 GB compared to 512 MB RAM?... What do you guys see/have at 1.5 GB or 2 GB?...Im trying to find out if the purchase of of the 1 G of RAM is worth it.../have at 1.5 GB or 2 GB?...Im trying to find out if the purchase of of the 1 G of RAM is worth it...
     
  13. r_rolo1

    r_rolo1 King of myself

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    #1 I already had Civ running in a 512MB machine and it makes a HUGE dif to pass to anything higher that 1 Gb, given that Civ IV needs to have atleast 600 MB of RAM to work properly without major chokes even in standart maps

    #2 My 2 Gb machine has lags of 1-2 min top in Rhye's World map ( that IIRC it is bigger than the normal Huge maps ) in late ages
     
  14. Mattygerst

    Mattygerst Prince

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    So...with 1.5 GB RAM...I'd be looking at maybe something like 1-3 minute turn times in RFC...and in other scenarios I play that I mentioned (Earth 1862, by Lokolus)?
     
  15. r_rolo1

    r_rolo1 King of myself

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    That is pretty much what I get in Lokulus Earth 1862 map ( that uses the RFC Rhye's map as well, as you are aware, i assume ). OFC that depends of thew AI troop movements, so a huge world war can lag 4 -5 min and more quiet turns may run far faster ( even below 1 min sometimes )
     
  16. nNemethon

    nNemethon Chieftain

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    On huge and 18 civs, with a world war in swing (tried this today on and older save), my Laptop, XP 32bit, 1gig DDR2 ram and 1.5GHz dual core Pentium pushes just past a minute at late game stages. Most of the world is covered in coloured culture squares and there is a LOT of enemy units. I dropped it to 512meg and it's explodes to 4 mins a turn. :eek:

    Which reminds me.... ok, now I have a lot of new HD space free. man the amount of saved games was impressive! :D
     
  17. Mattygerst

    Mattygerst Prince

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    Yikes!!!

    Looks like I am upgrading from 512 MB to 1.5 gig asap.

    I don't think Im going to update my graphics card from a 6200, yet, because I don't exactly care about having the graphics all crazy bc I use it on low resolution anyway and am more interested in simply the strategy of the game...
     
  18. Mattygerst

    Mattygerst Prince

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    Okay...instead of that, Ive decided to simply purge myself of this computer, and upgrade.

    Could someone explain a few things for me though, first:

    #1 - I know I'll have to get VISTA, and I tried installing Civ4 on my friends computer, and it continued to give me an error message, saying that it was not going to load.

    #2 - If someone would like...what type of build should I get? I ONLY play Civ4, have iTunes, and use AIM...so I don't need something ungodly top of the line...so Im looking at the most bang for my buck in terms of a civ4 gaming experience...what do you all suggest?
     
  19. Magma_Dragoon

    Magma_Dragoon Reploid

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    My computer is 6 years old and it has:
    2.5 GB of RAM, it came with less, but I got more when I bought SupCom. Didn't help, but I see it as a long term investment, plus I got extra RAM
    P4 3.2 GHz
    Radeon x600 256MB video card

    Civ lags a little bit in the lag game between turns and when opening the city screen, and late game saves take longer to load.
    Be sure to turn off 'see enemy moves' and turn on quick moves, quick combat, and stack attack.
     
  20. nNemethon

    nNemethon Chieftain

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    Not too sure why. Some people have had troubles with Vista, but so far, I can't recall one. Everything I used to run, installs and works fine. Check if there's a troubleshooting section here somewhere and also make sure Vista is updated via all the trillions of patches it's so far received, including the new service pack 1.
    1st: Check this link for a good idea on comps and speeds. :)

    AVIOD: Cheap, pre-built systems like Dells (this is not a knock on the comp, but on what is supplied in the machine) as they usually supply the very minimum specs. Mostly, no gfx cards (built into motherboard), low ram (1 gig with Vista usually) and a ton of custom start-up programs that do nothing but slow the machine down and clog it.

    If you can, go to your local comp store and get them to suggest medium level products (that should be better than yours btw ;) ) a separate gfx card, 2 gig min ram of a nice high speed, a dual core processor if not too expensive (as everything is getting made for them now). If a dual core, they are 64bit systems, so make sure the operating system you get is a 64bit base otherwise you are losing out on a nice speed boost some things will not run in a 64bit environment, but most things are now being adapted).
    IF you get a SATA hard drive setup (most do nowadays and the older style is ATA), XP will not install unless you have a spare floppy disk with the drivers for that type of controller. SATA is not native to XP and if you have any troubles with fiddly crap, then avoid XP. :)
    If you go with a raid setup (dual hard-drives running parallel) then set up as 'mirror' for data protection or 'stripe' for speed. If a 'stripe' setup has a harddrive crash, then it's very hard to get all the data back, which is where 'mirror' is the more secure.
    Get fuzzy dice, as no fast machine can run without em and flames up the bonnet too (or hood if you be an American lol). :D

    This is a basic outline and you have to build to your own budget but I would strongly recommend just upping the RAM as it is the most cost efficient and will help. Though, it is your choice (just to help annoy and confuse you lol). Every system will last approx 5 years before it will have to be upgraded to run latest/best games/software and by that time, is usually struggling and parts are dying.

    On a side-note, second-hand systems are really cheap now and are not that far behind in the speed/tech side as they were replaced with the latest system by the owner. Hunt around for a while before deciding on any of the above and haggle where you can. :D

    Hope this helps somewhat.
    Cheers, nNem
     

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