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Hardware T & L (or "Dear Firaxis..."

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by fresca, Oct 26, 2005.

  1. fresca

    fresca Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Northern Nevada desert
    Dear Firaxis;

    I'm a long-time strategy gamer, all the way back to Railroad Tycoon. I love turn based strategy, and stop/go strategy (like "Hearts of Iron").

    I played CivIII on my current laptop (6 months old)
    I played Pirates! on this laptop.

    I even palyed the current UFO:Aftershock on this laptop.

    I do not expect it to be able to play DoomIII, or a graphics intensive RTS (like Total War).

    I am so very, very diappointed that the latest installment of my favorite strategy game will not run on it. Period.

    I wouldn't complain, and it wouldn't bother me at all if I had to turn off all the "bling", go with flat terrain, static icons, anything, if it would run.

    I don't need the bling.

    I am so disappointed.


    Card name: RADEON IGP 345M
    Manufacturer: ATI Technologies Inc.
    Chip type: RS200M AGP (0x4337)
    DAC type: Internal DAC(400MHz)
    Device Key: Enum\PCI\VEN_1002&DEV_4337&SUBSYS_8175104D&REV_00
    Display Memory: 64.0 MB
    Current Mode: 1280 x 800 (32 bit) (60Hz)
    Monitor: Sony Notebook LCD (1280x800)
    Monitor Max Res: 1280,800
    Driver Name: ati2dvag.dll
    Driver Version: 6.14.0010.6458 (English)
    DDI Version: 9 (or higher)
    Driver Attributes: Final Retail
    Driver Date/Size: 7/10/2004 21:37:00, 207360 bytes
    WHQL Logo'd: Yes


    Processor: Mobile Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.06GHz
    Memory: 958MB RAM
    Page File: 246MB used, 2071MB available
     
  2. allism

    allism Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2001
    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    Thornton, CO
    I second this. I purchased my Dell Inspiron 1150 laptop right after Christmas, and am extremely disappointed that I get the Cheshire Cat/black land bug.

    I'm even more amazed that no one from Firaxis has stepped forward into ANY of the threads about this bug to address what's causing it. And I'm certainly not going to buy another laptop to play the game, no matter how much I loved previous versions - especially when Firaxis isn't coming forward to address whether T&L is really the problem. (Buying a desktop is NOT an option.) I've NEVER had to purchase a better computer to play a game, because I don't enjoy the super-graphics-intensive games like Doom or Quake.

    I was thrilled that I was able to play Civ III on my ancient computer with a 300 Mb processor and 128 megs of RAM - I never would have thought that Firaxis would break with their tradition of providing excellent games without forcing their customers to buy the latest greatest hardware.
     
  3. Comraddict

    Comraddict C.IV

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2003
    Messages:
    1,702
    Location:
    Iowa
    you are- wrong. that card supports TnL and many more features that are more advanced than it.
     
  4. adwilk

    adwilk Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    Messages:
    8
    I also have the RADEON IGP 345M and am having the same problems as all the other ATI cards. I've read of some people fixing it with drivers but I can't fid anyplace to update mine.
     
  5. Scoob

    Scoob Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I knew someone had to ruin my evening. I have an HP pavilion 8500 laptop with the radeon IGP 345M card. I ran srtest.com and it said I have T&L but still failed the minimum requirement. I have all the other req without trouble. If we find a solution please post so we can all enjoy the game with the freedom of a laptop. My game arrives tomorrow via FEDEX. I am wonedering if I should refuse the delivery and save the $60.
     
  6. ainwood

    ainwood Consultant. Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Messages:
    30,078
    Moderator Action: Not a bug report - moved to GD.
     
  7. adwilk

    adwilk Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    Messages:
    8
    bumpety bump bump
     
  8. Naveed

    Naveed Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2002
    Messages:
    63
    This is weird. With every Civilization incarnation, Firaxis/Microprose are slated for outdated graphics with respect to the state of the art. The graphics of Civ IV are still sub-par compare to what's the best in the market, for example AOE III. The reason Civ games always had primitive graphics was so that most people can play it, and that essentially happened with all previous Civ games.

    In Civ IV, Firaxis made a big mistake. They didn't go for the state of the art engine, but on the other hand sacrificed the scalability of the graphics engine. For sure Half-Life 2 and Doom 3 have the better graphics engine than Civ IV but they run on ancient hardware, like Mobility Radeon 345M because the engine is scalable, it turns off all the bells and whistles and the game is playable on those graphic cards, even though it looks extremely bad but it runs.

    I think Firaxis due to the limited time decided not to support the older hardware at all because that would mean
    a) Spending time in scalable graphics engine.
    b) Testing even more graphics hardware. We can already see that even the state of the art ATI graphics hardware has the problem due to limited quality assurance and testing.

    May be the game can be patched in the future to support older hardware but possibly from the financial stand point it doesn't make much sense. I still like to thank Firaxis for making such a wonderful game (it is getting wonderful reviews), but it is kind of sad that some people can't play it because of these technical issues.
     
  9. fuzzybunny

    fuzzybunny Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
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    Don't feel bad. I have a GeForce card that plays Doom, GTA, HL2, etc at high settings that won't even run Civ4 at the lowest graphics level as the game is now.
     
  10. KymeraTX

    KymeraTX Warlord

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    Messages:
    122
    Location:
    Texas, USA
    Im glad they updated the graphics, yes it hurts alot of ppl but imagine if they didnt changea thing....i GUARANTEE most of you ppl would be complaining on how it looked if they didnt change the graphics. you would hear " Why should i buy Civ 4 its like 3 just a diff year"

    So im glad they changed it up cause we all know now days games cant survive on playability alone if they want to make $$ and thats every corporations goal is to make $$$. I still believe gameplay> graphics but sometimes you just gotta up the ante a bit.

    Patch will be along soon to fix most problems so dont say something bad now cause you will look like an idiot when someone pulls up a quote from a few months ago when you say you will never ever buy another Firaxis game.
     
  11. Lord Shadow

    Lord Shadow General

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    Laptops are not designed to be gaming machines, nor their video cards made to play (most) games. T&L is a four-year-old concept, nothing new that just Civ IV uses. So don't blame Firaxis if you try to play the game without reaching the minimum system requirements.

    Sorry to be harsh, but there many people who expect the game to run in crappy computers, and since obviously it doesn't, they blame poor Sid. Give him a break. :hmm:
     
  12. Sprint

    Sprint Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2003
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    13
    3D gaming on laptops is always problematic. Moreso because you are dependent on the laptop manufacturer for custom drivers for the graphics card (IE, you can not use the generic Nvidia or ATI drivers). Any graphics card integrated onto the motherboard (using system RAM, as IGP "cards" tend to) is there for budget, not performance reasons.

    3D games sell better than 2D games. You may think it's fluff, you may think it's unnecessary, but the market does not agree with you.

    The culprits here are not Firaxis, but your laptop manufacturers, who released their units with substandard drivers and didn't support them. Bad drivers are the source of the vast majority of Windows crashes, and the performance of those drivers is the vendor's responsibility, not Microsoft's, and not Firaxis's, who is, after all, using a well publicized API to do some fairly standard graphics calls.
     
  13. fresca

    fresca Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
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    Location:
    Northern Nevada desert
    Umm, yes, laptops are crappy gaming rigs.

    I don't expect my LT to run Doom 3.

    However, I don't consider, personally, a 3 ghz, 1gb RAM, six-month old widescreen laptop to be "crappy".

    I has run every new game that I'm interested in just fine - (Pirates!, UFO: Aftershock, Cossacks 2, Dungeon Siege 2). Sometimes slow, but acceptable.

    If it was a question of buying a new video card, I would in a heartbeat. Buying a new laptop, however, is out of the question.

    It's a turn-based strategy game. Maybe it's unreasonable, but I am really disappointed.
     
  14. Lord Shadow

    Lord Shadow General

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    The video card is the problem with laptops. I'd suggest you get a new card, or better yet, play the game in a normal PC.
     
  15. Naveed

    Naveed Chieftain

    Joined:
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    No **** sherlock! This is a brilliant deduction, change the graphics card, or better yet play the game in a normal pc, or even better yet if you are unlucky to have an ATI card in a normal pc then then throw it out and buy a card from nVidia :lol:
     
  16. Karnak

    Karnak Chieftain

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    Oct 18, 2005
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    fresca,

    Your laptop should work fine for the game once they figure out what is causing the problems.
     
  17. Lord Shadow

    Lord Shadow General

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    It's obvious to you and me, but apparently not to him, since he seems to insist on whining instead of doing something useful to solve his problem.
     
  18. Cironir

    Cironir Warlord

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    Location:
    Germany
    The graphics engine of Civ4 is far from bad. It took me a few hours to get used to the new style, but by now I actually like it quite a bit. Also, T&L is not a "state of the art" thing or "latest technology" -- that's been standard for years now. It is really not new by any stretch. Yes, some newer notebooks still come with chipsets that don't support hardware T&L, but that it is not really Firaxis' fault. If I were to buy a notebook, I'd make sure that the device has one of the newer "mobile" models of ATI or Nvidia (just like I'd not buy a desktop with an integrated video chipset).

    The required specs for a state-of-the-art shooter are far, far higher than what Civ4 wants. Also keep in mind that Civ4 is going to be around for 3-4 years at least, and machines and customer expectations will increase during that time. It would be a foolish mistake to release a game now that is already graphically outdated.

    So, in short, I don't really see much wrong with the T&L requirement. It's a pretty game, and it's quite accessible -- I haven't played long enough to say whether I'd call it the "best Civ", but so far it's headed that way. Strategy games don't "have" to look sub-par. Civ4 is more likely to appeal to the "average gamer" than the previous installments, in my opinion.
     
  19. Naveed

    Naveed Chieftain

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    Half-Life 2 runs on Mobility Radeon 345M, but not Civ IV :crazyeye:
     
  20. fresca

    fresca Chieftain

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    Location:
    Northern Nevada desert
    I guess that's why I am surprised and disappointed - other recent 3D games work fine on it, but not Civ4.
     

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