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Trying to get L4D running on *old* machine

deadseasquirrel

Golden Member
Nov 20, 2001
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I'm trying to get a LAN going here with a few older computers. I was pleasantly surprised when (contrary to Valve's system requirements) the game works great on a AXP 1700+ (@2.2ghz) with a 6600gt. So that gave me some hope that it would work on my 1.4ghz Tualatin with a 5900ultra. But, no go. Graphics are all messed up (pic). My 2 other rigs are above spec and work perfectly (so I've got a 3-person LAN going, but that 4th person is giving me the evil-eye).

So my question is, while I know these 2 machines are well-under the system requirements, what does the 5900ultra *not* do that the 6600gt does-- SM3.0? I didn't see that in the requirements though. I only saw PS2.0 as a requirement, which of course the 5900ultra has.
 

Piuc2020

Golden Member
Nov 4, 2005
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The 5900 cards never run source properly because they could never do DX9 properly, HL2 ran in DX8 on FX cards if I remember correctly.

I don't think you are going to have much luck.
 

Qbah

Diamond Member
Oct 18, 2005
3,754
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All the FX cards had a laughable DX9 performance, especially in Source. As Piuc wrote, Valve was forcing them to run at DX8.1 to get good performance. Since that was like 4 years ago I'm guessing they just didn't bother now and basically dropped support for the FX in general.
 

deadseasquirrel

Golden Member
Nov 20, 2001
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Ah, gotcha. Makes sense. I remember it playing HL2 back in the day, and, while performance wasn't great, it did play fine. It's one of the kid's computers, which usually runs Littlest Pet Shop and other kiddie games most of the time. But, sometimes, my oldest has some of his friends over and they commandeer all the computers, so it ends up playing WoW or Oblivion, or WC3.

So, if I want to upgrade the video card to something better than the FX series (altho I realize putting money into this mostly-dead machine is probably a waste), what should I get? Keep in mind, it's an *old* AGP slot (i.e. 6600gt AGP won't fit)... I think a 3.3v slot. So what cheap AGP card (better than a 5900u) would work in a 3.3v slot?
 

zagood

Diamond Member
Mar 28, 2005
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Might want to try forcing dx8 - I'm not sure if it's supported though.

In steam, right click on the game, select Properties, then Launch Options. Add the following:

-dxlevel 80

Give it a shot.

-z
 

deadseasquirrel

Golden Member
Nov 20, 2001
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Naw, that doesn't work either. And I don't think its a DX9 problem, since the card at least supports DX9 (albeit, poorly). It's gotta be something else. I mean, would I be able to slap a 9600XT or 9800XT in there and have it work? I can find one on ebay for cheap. But something tells me that those will not work either...
 

Flipped Gazelle

Diamond Member
Sep 5, 2004
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Originally posted by: deadseasquirrel
Naw, that doesn't work either. And I don't think its a DX9 problem, since the card at least supports DX9 (albeit, poorly). It's gotta be something else. I mean, would I be able to slap a 9600XT or 9800XT in there and have it work? I can find one on ebay for cheap. But something tells me that those will not work either...
It's a known issue that FX series cards cannot run Source under DX9 properly. If a card supports DX9 "poorly", that means there will be problems, as you can see.

I think (I'm not sure) that when HL2 came out, upon detecting an FX-series card, it wouldn't allow the card to run DX9 unless forced, and then there were graphical anomalies.

Best bet, on the cheap, would be to get another 6600gt, I guess.
 

deadseasquirrel

Golden Member
Nov 20, 2001
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Understood. However, the 6600gt will not work as it only fits in a 1.5v AGP slot. I have one in another machine and tried to fit it in this one a while back. So, I need a 3.3v AGP card (or one that does both... i.e. 2 notches in the AGP interface).

I just want to ensure that it's a DX9 issue and not something else that the 9800xt (or 9600xt) would suffer from as well. The 9800xt is $60 :-( The 9600xt is $45 (or lower if I go for one with bids). And, while I'm sure I can resell it easily enough without losing much, I'd rather know if L4D will even run with either of those before I jump on one.
 

Flipped Gazelle

Diamond Member
Sep 5, 2004
6,666
3
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Well, according to this, a 6600 or 9600 are the minimum requirements.

I wonder how much you could get for that 5900 on fleabay...
 

Andrew1990

Banned
Mar 8, 2008
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9800pros and XTs are pretty cheap and will still play any source game at 1024x768 pretty good at higher settings.



 

deadseasquirrel

Golden Member
Nov 20, 2001
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I found a 9800pro on FS/FT for cheap. I'd rather trade with ppl on AT than go ebay. I'll try it out and see how it handles L4D. I have no idea how much the 5900ultra would go for on ebay, but I think I'll keep it instead. It's nice to have an AGP card as a spare in case the 6600gt or 9800pro ever fail on me (I also have a spare 6800gt pci-e in case my 4870 or 3850 ever fail).

Thanks for all the help!
 

IEC

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Jun 10, 2004
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Did you install the latest DirectX?
 

deadseasquirrel

Golden Member
Nov 20, 2001
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Yeah, latest directx and latest nV drivers too. I'm assuming it's something related to the FX card, so I'm gonna try a 9800pro. Worst case is it still doesn't work and I'm out $30 for a 9800pro that I can now use for backup for 2 other cards.
 

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