Once upon a time, you were poor and ran this game that was so slow...

igor_kavinski

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Jul 27, 2020
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It made you sad. It made you angry. It made you wanna yell in the middle of the night. Scream at the injustice of having something yet not being able to enjoy it. What game was it? How does it run now?

One game I remember was Toy Story. It ran sooooooooo slow on my PC, even though I had a 3D card too. It was poorly optimized I think. Need to get my hands on it and try it now.

Another was Riddick. It hardly did 30 fps on my Geforce 2 MX 400, even with relaxed settings. Borrowed a Geforce 600-something from a guy (he sent it to me via courier from a city at least 12 hours away by bus). The game ran better but then I wanted to run it with Shader Model 3.0. That destroyed the performance completely. Made me so angry. Even with this expensive card, I was looking at fps slower than molasses. I was so disappointed. That game never left the back of my mind.

Happily, I tried it a few months ago on my Quadro K1000M in my bought-used-in-good-condition $250 Thinkpad. FPS with SM3 hit 60+! And that with dozens of browser tabs open in the background! I was ecstatic! And the game still looked awesome!

Please relate similar joys you have received after years and years of yearning.
 

shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
82,076
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No joys.
it provides a quick dopamine rush, but thats all. Not real joy.

Well, I do remember a lot of DOS games getting better as I moved from a 386-40, to a 486-100, to a Pentium 100.
Doom was a crapload better thats for sure.
Also adding 1MB Trident card helped.
And the AWE32 was excellent.
 
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Hans Gruber

Golden Member
Dec 23, 2006
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For me I had the original GeForce 256. It died and Dell sent me a GeForce 2 as a replacement under warranty. They had me replace it myself because in home repairs and mail in repairs didn't exist at the time. After that experience I said they just lost a customer because I can build my own computers now. My first build was an AMD Athlon 1800+ with a ATI 9700pro. It was with that card and then a Barton 2500+ and a 9800pro that there was no game I could not play at the highest settings and frame rates. I had 2-2-2 DDR400 memory.

After that it would probably be my 8800GT with my Q6600 @ 3.6ghz. I had 8GB OF ddr2 1000mhz memory at that time. Most people had 4GB of ram at that time.

The 7950 was a great card and the 970GTX the value bargain that never quits.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
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Sep 28, 2005
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LOL... i tried to play the original wing commander.... without any patches or fixes.
My PC was too fast... the moment i went out of the tigers claw... i crashed into an asteroid and died.
Had to wait for patches to replay that game on what was modern back then, as the rate limiter off was bad.
 

Stg-Flame

Diamond Member
Mar 10, 2007
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Only one that really comes to mind was Supreme Commander when it first launched. I know there were a few games here and there that were too laggy to enjoy and I'm sure there were even a few that I tried to run but simply couldn't, but after I got out of high school, I basically saved up all my money to upgrade my PC when it was absolutely necessary and build a new one every five to ten years. Even when I was homeless I was still trying to set money aside for that one day when I wasn't living in a '95 T-bird anymore.
 

Zenoth

Diamond Member
Jan 29, 2005
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That sort of situation actually happened very rarely for me.

I do remember some specifics though:

- My first ever PC, wasn't quite "gaming ready" at the time; was also pre-built. It had a regular, Non-Express PCI GPU. That PC could barely run Solitaire. However, at that specific point in time I only got that PC to 'introduce' myself to the whole PC stuff in general. I mostly used it just to browse the web. I was still a console gamer then (that was around 2002).
- Then I did make an 'upgrade' to that PC, the only thing I could change, the GPU. Not knowing what I was doing or what I really needed, I went to a Future Shop and bought myself the MX-440SE (yes, that does stand for 'Sucky Edition', I only learned it the hard way soon after). With that card I could 'run' some games, but most of the game settings had to be tuned down a lot in order to get any amount of performance. The first PC game I purchased was SWAT 3. I did try to run it on that PC, and it sucked, real hard. It didn't just run slow, the game itself barely wanted to start up.

However, in late 2003 (going by memory, could have been very early 2004) I finally got my first ever "gaming ready" PC, self-built, with each separated components I had chosen, and so on. That one had an Intel Pentium 4 CPU, and an ATi Radeon 9600 (regular, non-Pro). With THAT system, my gaming spree on the PC platform really started.

BUT... the whole "reduce graphics settings of all types in order to get performance" thing remained with me for many years. I never really hesitated in doing that and wasn't trying to force 'Max Settings' onto my systems when I knew they couldn't handle it for specific games (whichever it may have been over the years, regardless of how many system upgrades I made). So, generally-speaking, when my system happened to run a game slow I usually just tuned down some settings and it was all around just fine and playable.

With this said though, of course, there's been some exceptions; trying to go in order as I try to remember them one by one (probably missing a few titles overall):

- SWAT 3 (as mentioned above, was my first ever PC game, anything I tried to run it on at first was worst than a slide show, but I did eventually run the game fine on my first true gaming PC).
- Battlefield 1942 (I recall, being the first time I ever saw such huge maps for multiplayer, along with so many players at once with some many vehicles and just lots of action happening on the screen, it often ran pretty slowly; but I managed to find some good in-game settings to get extra frames and it was alright in the end)
- Around the 2006, '07, '08 years (or so), when DirectX was getting more features and the advent of 'God Rays' started to pop everywhere. A lot of games tried it (some better than others), and I remember two games in particular that were surprisingly getting 'hit' by slow performance when activating those then-new visual effects; Half-Life Coast (the demo map showcasing those visuals) and one of the STALKER games... I think it was Clear Sky at the time that got those effects. I'm probably not thinking of a few others here but year around that time some games didn't have a good implementation of God Rays and it showed.
- The original Crysis, obviously. I think that one gave a giant collective slap to just about everyone. Not even the 'best' hardware avaiable within the generation that was ongoing when the game came out could truly run it 'well' (at maximum or near maximum settings, that is). I DID, however, run the game at reasonable frames; but like about 95% of the players base, I had to reduce a bunch of visual settings down in order to achieve that.

After the whole "The Gaming Industry Just Got Kicked In The Balls By Crysis" thing happened I think that one of the 'side effects' of that was a sort of wake up call for a lot of [PC] gamers to better prepare themselves for new games. In terms of how well their PC _might_ run something new, or not. I do think that Crysis made more PC gamers "hardware conscious" in the following years. Because truly, before Crysis happened we barely ever had any similar moments where 'current Gen' couldn't run something new. The only one that comes to mind was DOOM 3, but that was definitely not on the level of the performance hits that Crysis caused (and on a side note, I never really had any slow performance in DOOM 3, now that I think of it).

In the years that followed Crysis we started to get less and less 'PC exclusive' sort of games that pushed the hardware to their limits. Instead, PC gaming was sort of pushed further into the Console Ports period; which I sometimes refer (for myself) to the "Dark Ages" of PC gaming. Basically, from the release of the XBOX360 and PS3 (and Wii), nearly everything on PC was a console port. So IF a game ran slow, it was usually for just a few reasons: 1) The port was very badly executed and poorly optimized, which was VERY frequent around those years, or 2) Your PC was extremely outdated and would have benefited from an upgrade long ago; because the common denominator console hardware was VERY quickly surpassed by PC components, yet the ports kept on getting just worst during that period. So in the 'defence' of PC gamers of that period, your PC most likely wasn't at fault for many years... with the exception of cases where you SHOULD really have updated long ago.

Genuinely, when it comes to games running too slow because my PC 'wasn't ready' I suppose I have to consider myself lucky because it didn't happen many times.

However, that a game runs slowly because it's poorly optimized, has too many bugs / crashes (while your PC is stable for everything else you play) would be a completely different story; that one did happen quite a lot over the years. I'll say this to conclude though, because there IS a recent game that does require a lot from PCs, in general (again, only if you really want to run it at maximum settings, especially if you're trying it at 1440p or 4k) and that is - of course - Cyberpunk 2077. However, for me, Cyberpunk 2077 is actually the first game since the original Crysis to be doing this. I'd argue that this is the case in general for most people and truly, none have done this since Crysis 1 back in 2007.
 
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igor_kavinski

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Doom 3 - I had tried the leaked beta and that ran horribly on my Celeron 700 MHz, even when overclocked to 1 GHz. By the time I got Doom 3 final, I had a Geforce 3 Ti 200 and with my Celery running at 1 GHz and making me feel the heat too, I was able to enjoy the experience.

Crysis - I remember it being heavy but I had dumped around $1200 on whatever was latest at that time (Core 2 Quad Q9400 and Geforce 9600 GT 512 MB with 8GB DDR2-800) so I didn't have that bad an experience with it. There were definitely moments in it where it slowed down a lot but I managed to finish it. Overall, my experience with it was positive.

Half Life Lost Coast - Yeah, that one did feel slow at the time when it was released. However, I tried it a few years ago on a Dell Latitude with Core i5 4th gen U-series with just the iGPU and it seemed to run easily at 60+ fps with everything maxed out (anisotropic filtering, antialising, high dynamic range, shadows, everything dialed all the way up). Amazed that an Intel GPU that old was competent enough to run a game like that.

I also got to try a PS2 emulator running Need for Speed on a Core i3-6100 with Geforce 1060 6GB. With all settings at max, the game looked prettier than I expected it to and it looked better than the PC version of Need for Speed Hot Pursuit 2 (which actually didn't run all that well. Badly written and buggy I guess).

Another surprise for me was Metal Gear Solid Ground Zeroes running on the Quadro K1000M gpu. FPS was all over the place from 15 to 30 but the fact that a ported PS3 game was running on this 2 GB VRAM GPU was still pretty amazing for me. The Fox Engine utilized for that game is damn pretty.
 

Justinus

Platinum Member
Oct 10, 2005
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Only one that really comes to mind was Supreme Commander when it first launched. I know there were a few games here and there that were too laggy to enjoy and I'm sure there were even a few that I tried to run but simply couldn't, but after I got out of high school, I basically saved up all my money to upgrade my PC when it was absolutely necessary and build a new one every five to ten years. Even when I was homeless I was still trying to set money aside for that one day when I wasn't living in a '95 T-bird anymore.
I upgraded my socket 939 Athlon64 3200+ CPU to an Athlon X2 3800+ just for supreme commander because they said they designed it to use two cores.

Honestly, it ran pretty well on my 7800GTX at the time, but once unit count started getting over a few hundred it would slow down quite a lot. As I approached the 1500 unit limit the game became practically unplayable.

I try to play it occasionally on a modern computer but they really left the final version on steam with some game breaking bugs. RIP Gas Powered Games.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
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Only one that really comes to mind was Supreme Commander when it first launched. I know there were a few games here and there that were too laggy to enjoy and I'm sure there were even a few that I tried to run but simply couldn't, but after I got out of high school, I basically saved up all my money to upgrade my PC when it was absolutely necessary and build a new one every five to ten years. Even when I was homeless I was still trying to set money aside for that one day when I wasn't living in a '95 T-bird anymore.
back then whales were the ones who u saw in lobby that has 256MB's of RAM. :cool:
I only had a meassly 128MB....


Crysis - I remember it being heavy but I had dumped around $1200 on whatever was latest at that time (Core 2 Quad Q9400 and Geforce 9600 GT 512 MB with 8GB DDR2-800) so I didn't have that bad an experience with it. There were definitely moments in it where it slowed down a lot but I managed to finish it. Overall, my experience with it was positive.
Now Crysis.... Sigh... Let me show you what i threw at it, and still failed.
I don't think the younger generation knows just how realistic the "can it run crysis meme" was, since the game was 2007.
The gear i show is 2008, so 1 yr advancement in tech when the game launched.

I threw Quadfire... yes I went BEYOND SLI and over to watercooled QUADFIRE.
IMG_1257.JPG

IMG_0008.jpg

You can see the pretty dual gpu core cards x 2 with the pretty cross fire bridge.
On a overclocked 965X even...
Final - Copy.JPG

Also a 20k furmark score when we used those to benchmark performance.
Capture - Copy.JPG

And yes... the game still managed to PWN the hell out of me... with all settings max'd out.
Crysis was always the "lets mess your PC up game."
That is until Minecraft RTX with mod's came out.

Another game i remember making my system CRY, was Oblivion - Elder Scrolls 4.
Sigh... That was another Bane where you can't solve that problem no matter how much money you threw at it.

Oh my current machine Wrecks the hell out of crysis now.
I could easily play that game with max specs, my 3090 wouldn't bat an eye.
But you bring Minecraft RTX into the picture, and well.... GG...
I haven't tried oblivion tho.
Last i remember i couldn't get it to play nice on windows 10.
But with Skyrim, why would one want to play Oblivion?
I think Bethesda went downhill after Skyrim, that truely was the last greatest True Open world RPG from that company, even more so then Fallout Series, with the possible exception of Fallout 3 and Vegas.
 
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I upgraded my socket 939 Athlon64 3200+ CPU to an Athlon X2 3800+ just for supreme commander because they said they designed it to use two cores.

Honestly, it ran pretty well on my 7800GTX at the time, but once unit count started getting over a few hundred it would slow down quite a lot. As I approached the 1500 unit limit the game became practically unplayable.

I try to play it occasionally on a modern computer but they really left the final version on steam with some game breaking bugs. RIP Gas Powered Games.
Forged Alliance Forever is your friend
 

igor_kavinski

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2020
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Oh my current machine Wrecks the hell out of crysis now.
You got your revenge on it! :D I think the main reason it sucked was probably too many draw calls and for years, CPUs weren't fast enough to handle what it threw at them.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
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Sep 28, 2005
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You got your revenge on it! :D I think the main reason it sucked was probably too many draw calls and for years, CPUs weren't fast enough to handle what it threw at them.
well if we look at cryengine, it still amazes me how great of an engine that is.
With mods it still looks this amazing.

Not many games i can think of except possibly skyrim where the outdated engine can still equal if not match Unreal4 and possibly even 5 in some instance.

Here's skyrim:

I think Unreal5 would even have one hell of a fight against that.
 

Achilles97

Senior member
May 10, 2000
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I was working at Wal-Mart in the late 90s and I thought I was all cool talking about Wolfenstein when a co-worder told me about this game called "Daggerfall". He kept on and on for a few weeks so I finally tried it myself. WOW. How deep and immersive! I had never experienced anything like it before! I kept playing all weekend but gosh it was so difficult and I didn't even reach character level 2. My friend said that I should get level 2 in maybe 15 minutes. Well, it turns out my 486-33sx CPU lacked the math-co processor necessary to calculate the game experience points and other functions so my stats never increased. I was so hooked on Daggerfall that I kept playing for days and days while knowing that I was stuck at character level 1.
 

GodisanAtheist

Diamond Member
Nov 16, 2006
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My mom actually ended up with a standing rule of no video games or computer components for birthdays or christmas... because something would always end up going wrong with the install and then I'd spend a holiday parked in front of the computer troubleshooting hardware or software.
 
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oneils

Junior Member
Nov 21, 2004
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I don't think I can say I was poor, but I did blow all my money from my first job out of university on a brand new pc from future shop. If I remember right the PC was $1400 CAD and the CRT Monitor was another $300CAD.

This was in 2001. I knew nothing about PCs. It was a Pentium 4 1.4ghz machine. The problem is that it came with 128mb of Rambus Ram and a TNT2 with 32mb of VRAM.

I tried to play Morrowind and it would take about 3 minutes to load a scene that was around 10 frames per second.

Once I encountered that I decided to do some research and realized that the CPU was new but GPU was already a 2 year old card. After spending all of that money on the PC I had no extra money for a new gpu and more ram.

Doh. A year later, I ended up buying an xbox and playing Morrowind on that.
 

shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
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Oh yeah a TNT2 isnt nearly enough for Morrowind.
I had a Radeon 64MB DDR and it was good, even with pixel shaders.
 

oneils

Junior Member
Nov 21, 2004
7
1
71
Oh yeah a TNT2 isnt nearly enough for Morrowind.
I had a Radeon 64MB DDR and it was good, even with pixel shaders.
Yeah, I seem to remember that it played well on contemporary GPUs. Did you have 256MB of RAM? I remember that RAMBUS RAM was on the way out and it cost $1 per MB. I think I was looking at around another $400 just to bring the thing up to speed.
 

oneils

Junior Member
Nov 21, 2004
7
1
71
That's probably why it cost so much. Did you end up selling the PC? What was your next build like?
I ended up playing 2 year old games on it and still having a good time, but for newer stuff I bought the OG xbox and PS 2.

In 2004 I built a machine with an A64 2800+ and a Radeon 9600 (I don't think it was the pro version). I think I was able to keep that build to under $1k at the time.

I was pretty happy with it! I mostly played counter strike source on it. But of course I dabbled in Doom 3, HL 2, Far Cry etc. Man that was a great year!

I think I upgraded the GPU to an nvidia 6800 a couple years later. Just can't remember if I upgraded the rest of the machine...

edit: back then I mostly played shooters on PC, and RPGs/Action games on console. I preferred my shooters on mouse and keyboard and RPGs/Action games on controller. To me it really felt like two "markets." Now I'll play whatever wherever.
 
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shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
82,076
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Yeah, I seem to remember that it played well on contemporary GPUs. Did you have 256MB of RAM? I remember that RAMBUS RAM was on the way out and it cost $1 per MB. I think I was looking at around another $400 just to bring the thing up to speed.
I believe while I was playing Morrowind I went from 128 to 256 to 512 to 1024. That was the era I upgraded frequently, and did not even need to.
 

Oyeve

Lifer
Oct 18, 1999
21,388
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I remember buying the 7th Guest and it wouldn't run on my PC. I actually had to buy an STB video card with 2 megs of ram to get it to run. 2 megs.
 

JTsyo

Lifer
Nov 18, 2007
11,199
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For me the biggest change was getting a GTX 260 for Team Fortress 2. So many details I was missing playing on low details. Previously I had to play engineer and let my sentry do the fighting since I was getting 3 fps.
 

igor_kavinski

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2020
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And the AWE32 was excellent.
Man, I think I didn't dream as much about girls as I did about this sound card. It was always so expensive. I borrowed a AWE64 Value from a friend to try to play games with the AWE32 magic but found out, much to my astonishing dismay, that no game would detect it, even though standard Sound Blaster worked fine. I only managed to get it to work once in AWE32 mode when it played the short demo music in Tie Fighter's setup utility. It sounded so awesome! But it only worked once. No matter what I did, I was unable to get it to work again. I guess that's one of my regrets. Not being able to enjoy my favorite DOS games with AWE32-level wavetable synthesis.
 

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