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Thread: Empire Total war

  1. #1 Empire Total war 
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    Ok people this i need some help with. Recently I have aquired a new game by Sega named Empire Total war. But i have a problem. Anytime i try and start to play the game the game loads halfway then decides to bug out and not work. Also the movies during the entry are very slow and choppy. I am figuring it is my graphics or video card. According to the back of the game it requires a:
    2.4GHz Intel Pentium or AMD equivalent CPU
    1 GB Ram and 15 GB Hard drive
    256MB DirectX 9.0 complaint pixel shader 2

    This is what I have:
    Hewlett Packard Pavilion a1228x with
    AMD Athlon 64 2.2 GHz
    ATI RADEON Xpress 200 (256.0MB)
    with about 1.5 GB Ram and plenty of hard disk space

    I just want to know if it my computer and if so what should i upgrade? If everything with the computer looks good to you then I shall contact Sega for assistance. And thank you for you help and questions please contact here.

    John


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  3. #2  
    Forum Masters Degree Numsgil's Avatar
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    First make sure you have the latest ATI graphics drivers. Game programmers (of which I am one ) spend a lot of time programming to the very bleeding edge of hardware. The big names even get the hardware vendors (ATI and NVidia) to modify the graphics drivers to make their game run faster!

    So if your drivers are more than a few months out of date, and you're trying to play a new game, and it's not working, that's probably the reason. Check that first.


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  4. #3  
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    What would i do just go to the ATI website and do such a thing?
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  5. #4  
    Forum Masters Degree Numsgil's Avatar
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    Yeah, you should be able to find drivers pretty easy at the ATI site if you hunt around a little. I have an NVidia card, and I'm familiar with NVidia's drivers, but I don't know ATI well, so you're on your own
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  6. #5  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Play MTW.

    It is the best.

    Not MTW2.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

    - Arnaud Amalric

    http://spuriousforums.com/index.php
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  7. #6  
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    If i wanted to buy and inexpensive graphics card mainly for moderate gaming. What card would you suggest? Also I want to know what is Shader 2 and how do i know if i have it.

    Thank you

    John
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  8. #7  
    Forum Masters Degree Numsgil's Avatar
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    A "shader" is a small program you can write which gets uploaded to the graphics card and programmers can use to fiddle with pixels very quickly. If you've ever seen bloom, that's a trick using shaders. So is cell shading.

    Every so often the hardware manufacturers (NVidia and ATI) add some new features to their shaders. One of the pretty new features is geometry shaders, which allow a programmer to make new triangles entirely on the GPU, which is neat But basically they package all their improvements into shader "profiles", which are basically version numbers. Version 2 allowed some massive improvements to the sort of programs which can be written, and there's a big push in the industry to drop support for pre shader model 2, because it's really expensive to make a cool looking game which can use model 2, and also have a back end version which can handle cards older than that. Because the code for the two versions is totally different. So a requirement for shader model 2 is getting pretty common.

    You most likely have a model 2 capable card if you bought your card or computer anytime in the last 3 or 4 years. If it's older than that, it's questionable.

    While you can get the specs of your card by looking up its model version online, it's kind of a pain because you have to read through the marketing bs. I'd recommend running a benchmark. It should tell you interesting things about your card like its shader model numbers, pixel fillrate (how many pixels it can draw per second. This is the primary thing which makes PC games run slow usually), actual PC CPU speed (sometimes different from what you think it should be), etc.

    If your computer is a few years old, I would recommend looking up the best card it can physically use. For instance, my main desktop is from 2003, and has an AGP slot, but not a PCI-Express slot. So the best NVidia card I can run is a 6000 series. So I got the 6800 GT, which is the second best card NVidia made in the 6000 series. I was able to get mine for around $30 on ebay.

    If your computer is newer, it probably has a PCI-Express slot. And there are all different models for PCI-Express representing the physical dimensions of the slot. Assuming you bought your computer from a place like Dell, you should be able to find the specs online somewhere. If not you'll have to hunt around on your computer. Once you get whether you have AGP/PCI-Express, you can go through the major model numbers of video cards to find the highest series you can go to. For NVidia cards, they go in thousands. So mine is a 6800, but they also have 6600, 6400, etc. The 6 is the series number, and the 800 is the model number. With the 800 being much better than the 600. I'm not sure how ATI model numbers work.

    Once you have a series number, you can price how much you want to spend. The best cards, even if they're 5 years old, can run in the hundreds to thousands of dollars. But if you're not a high powered gamer you should be able to get away with something in the upper mid range. For nvidia, this would be something like a 8600 or 8800 maybe.

    If you do it right, you'll only have to ever upgrade your video card once, because you got the best card that anyone will ever make that your computer will be able to use.
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  9. #8  
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    I have a PCI express type of chipset. So the best you would recommend would be what company?
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  10. #9  
    Forum Masters Degree Numsgil's Avatar
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    ATI is objectively the better company hardware wise at the moment and very recent past for more casual gamers. But NVidia isn't that far behind, and I think NVidia does a better job with drivers (it has a unified driver where all their different hardware can use the same driver).

    Find out what sort of PCI-Express slot you have. Like it's size basically It goes from 1x to 16x. There's also a PCI-E 2.0, but it's still pretty new.

    Then do some research on whichever company you want to find what PCI-E slot sizes they sell for each card series.

    By the way, did you run the benchmark? What sort of shader model is your current card?
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  11. #10  
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    How do i found out what kind i have?
    Also I do not now how to run it. Any time i do it off that website all it says in NA. So i can not compare. But the did the Game-o-meter and it said that my computer doesnt have a powerful enough driver This is what it says when i do the game-o-meter. So i do not know how to do it but to my understanding my card has a Shader 2.0. The card is a Radeon ATI 200 express.




    Processor: Intel® or AMD® compatible processor 2.5GHz or higher /

    Comparing your CPU AMD Athlon(tm) 64 Processor 3400+ (running @2189MHz) with the requirement AMD Athlon(tm) 64 (running @1800MHz)
    Your processor is slightly more powerful in raw performance
    Display Card!: DirectX® 9 compatible graphics adapter with Pixel Shader 2.0 support or later, and graphics memory o /

    Comparing your display card ATI Radeon XPRESS 200 Series with the requirement ATI Radeon X300
    Your display card is significantly less powerful in raw performance
    Your display card fails the following requirements:
    256MB memory, you have 64MB
    Memory: 1024MB
    You have 1536MB
    Free Disk Space: 1.5GB
    You have 77.08GB
    Operating System: Windows® XP 32bit or Windows Vista™ 32bit operating system
    You have Microsoft Windows XP
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  12. #11  
    Forum Senior Kukhri's Avatar
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    Empire has had serious issues since launch and has been patched repeatedly. Make sure it's up to date. A friend of mine resolved playability issues by using Windows Update, and updating graphics drivers. I had a problem when a saved game file was corrupted.

    On a side note, Empire is extremely historically accurate and a heck of a lot of fun to boot. Highly recommended.
    Co-producer of Red Oasis
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