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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Gaming > PC Video Card Specs for KOTOR

PC Video Card Specs for KOTOR
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selowitch
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Join Date: Nov 2003
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Sep 13, 2009, 02:01 PM
 
I'd like to play the PC version of Kotor. Bioware's website states:
32 MB OpenGL 1.4 compatible PCI or AGP 3D Hardware Accelerator with Hardware Transform and Lighting (T&L) Capability required
and
ATI Radeon 9200 or better, NVidia GeForce4 Ti or better
How do I tell if the video card I have installed on the PC qualifies as "better" or "worse"?
     
Big Mac
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Sep 13, 2009, 07:10 PM
 
Tell us what video card it is and we'll tell you. If it's a card from within the last three years it should be easily better than what's listed there. Those are G4 era cards I believe.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
selowitch  (op)
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Sep 13, 2009, 07:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Tell us what video card it is and we'll tell you. If it's a card from within the last three years it should be easily better than what's listed there.
Don't have a system yet, but I'd like to get a cheapo PC that will run XP and IE6/7 so I can test websites I build on my Mac as well. I love playing KOTOR over and over again on my original Xbox, but the DVD keeps getting scratched and my controllers keep getting hosed, so I want to get a little something that's easily to back up.

The trouble is, I have no idea how to determine if a given video card is an "or better" -- when I see that on tech specs I want to scream!
     
Big Mac
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Sep 13, 2009, 07:31 PM
 
Calm yourself, grasshopper. The only way a new video card could possibly be worse than the pretty old video cards listed there would be if you were talking about integrated graphics. If you're only going to use integrated graphics, then your graphics will (most likely) be worse. But if you get just about any card Nvidia or ATI sells today then it will be higher than those two cards. For that matter, the integrated Nvidia 9400M (that Apple uses in the MBP line) is probably faster in most cases than those cards.
( Last edited by Big Mac; Sep 13, 2009 at 10:19 PM. )

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
selowitch  (op)
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Sep 13, 2009, 07:49 PM
 
Very well, Master Po. I'd still like to know how to intelligently compare video cards. Suppose I'm not buying a new one off the shelf but am buying an existing system, say a used one? I would like to be able to look at video card x and be able to tell whether it is "better" than video card y so it will run the darned program.

Maybe this website will help.
     
P
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Sep 14, 2009, 08:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by selowitch View Post
Very well, Master Po. I'd still like to know how to intelligently compare video cards
So would I. If you find out a way to do that without resorting to benchmarking, please let us know.

The system as it USED to be was that the first digit was the generation, the second marked how high in the generation it was, and the last two marked minor differences in clockspeed, threadshrinks etc. ATi still uses this model: a 4850 is one generation newer than a 3850, one spec level higher than the 4650, and is clocked lower than the 4870. One generation step USUALLY means that it's one spec level higher than the previous generation, so a 4670 is roughly the same as 3850.

Nvidia has abandoned it for something that is entirely different and very confusing. They have renamed cards like crazy trying to force them to fit to some scheme where all their currently selling cards are named Gxx 2xx, where more letters after the G are better and higher numbers after the 2 are better. How they compare to older chips is completely up in the air
- for instance the 8800 GTS was renamed the 9800 GTX, threadshrunk to 9800 GTX+ and renamed to GTS 250. There are also cards named Gxx 1xx, which slot in somewhere in the middle of the 200-series. Not below - inbetween.

You can sort of compare things inside a manufacturer by reading the specs in detail, checking how many unified shader processors etc one card has, but you can't compare between ATi and nVidia that way. nVidia uses fewer, higher clocked processor clusters than ATis slower but wider ones.

The best way I've figured out is to trust charts like this one and understand that I will never get the best possible deal.

IMHO, you should never buy anything slower than the midrange cards, the Radeon 4600/Geforce 9600 series, when you buy a discrete card. The savings from dropping down further are tiny, but the performance takes a nosedive. One step up, to the lower end of the enthusiast scale and cards like a 4850 or 9800 GT, often makes sense at the end of a generation as those cards tend to be on sale as everyone knowledgeable is waiting for the new hotness. Right now, we are at that point in time as ATi is expected to launch their 5800 series any week now.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
imitchellg5
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Sep 18, 2009, 06:52 PM
 
Why don't you get it for your Mac?
     
   
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