This is where your gaming and hardware needs are met.
Be all that you can be or get out of the game! This
won't be a forum for techno-geeks to find more ways to impress
their non-technical friends, it's for plain folk who need
help to better their gaming experience. But don't blame us if you
blow your machine sky high; we're offering tips, not the Bible
on computers. The mailbag is alive and well - send in those
questions to TechTips.
ó by Love2Play
I know - you think your P166 with 32 MB, 2D/3D 4 MB
card, and 33.6 modem is just dandy for Quakiní. Well, thatís all a matter
of perspective, and survival.
How many car races at the Indy 500 have been won by a
VW Bug? If you donít have the right equipment, you have as much
chance as that Bug of winning the Indianapolis 500. We will now demonstrate
to you WHY you would be better off with a little more machine behind that grunt
Matters of Priority
First, what do you need the most? Yeah, yeah, the
game says "minimum requirements". Thatís if you plan to play
single player the rest of your life or want to develop some weird seizure
thang from watching bad video. Weíre here to tell you what "reality"
says and what will keep you in the competition out there. We will
be assuming at this point you have AT LEAST a P233 MMX. If not, stay
tuned for our article on building your own gaming rig; then you can
start from scratch and trash that P166.
How much is enough? Keep in mind, when a company
gives you their minimum requirements, they are usually talking about the
absolute lowest you can go without considering quality. It's like the
difference between having cable TV or a coat hanger for an antenna.
First, youíre running Windows, and that takes a minimum
of 16 MB. Consider that portion of RAM as now belonging to Windows. Go
back to our article on Speeding
up Windows and see how much improvement you can get from taking out
some of the unnecessary frills. But donít even try to put some
$300 video card on a computer with 32 MB of RAM - it's a waste of time.
A simple way of looking at what RAM does for your machine (without boring
you to death with geek-speak) is this: picture an airport flight path.
Now, there are a lot of planes coming in and they need somewhere to go.
If there's not enough room in the sky while Air Traffic Control decides
where they should land, they all crash into each other. That
is your computer without enough RAM. If it doesn't have enough memory
to manage all the applications you are running, they crash into each other
and your computer crashes, too. Ever had that little "Not enough memory"
warning? Ever had your computer act like Richard Simmons on a bad hair
day? It's probably a lack of resources. However, there is a limit
for you P233 MMX users; too much RAM is not a good thing. It
does not pay to blow your hard-earned cash on 128 MB for a P233 MMX.
Supporting articles to help you out can be read at Winmag
Go find out why this is the case.
When you are ready to go out and buy RAM, you need to be
aware of a few things: what kind of RAM you need, how many slots you have
left, and in what order and size they go in your motherboard. If you don't
have the manual to your motherboard, you can usually get one
online at the website of the board's manufacturer. SysOpt.com
has a comprehensive list of motherboards with the purpose of helping you
find the manual. If all else fails, take the RAM out of your motherboard
and bring it with you to the store.
The price of RAM is very
unstable; it goes up and down. Shop for the best price. Call around
and see who has good prices. Some small dealers will also trade up
so you can save a few bucks.
The next issue in the efficiency of your system is the amount
of hard drive space you have. When you play Quake 2, it caches into empty space
on the hard drive - this is the swap file
you have heard so much about. Like a waiting area at the doctor's office, if
it gets too crowded, everyone gets all pissy. Windows temporarily places things there
while it moves things around running your application. If there is
no room, Windows will run slower because it has nowhere to go with all
those goodies. Give your Quake 2 some room. And if you are going to
be serious about your game, don't even THINK about the minimum install
and no skins. This is for people who NEED their Quake! (Okay, maybe
for avid gamers.)
If you're running out of room for stuff
on your hard drive, pick up a new one. And it doesn't have to be a 50 gigger;
you can pick up a 2 or 3 GB drive cheap (under $100) and add it on as a slave, using
it for games and such. Then there is also no need
for the ever familiar fdisk/format and reinstall of Windows. All
you need is an available IDE, a ribbon cable, and one more available power
supply plug. These should already be available if you have the room - there's
nothing to buy but the hard drive.
My opinion? Don't let your hard drive free space
go below 100 MB.
Ah, the battle of the graphics accelerator. Which
one is good, which one should I get, and should I wait for the one that is
coming out next week? Look, the whole point is that your old Graphics
Blaster 2D/3D 4 MB card is just not enough anymore. I know; the game
looks fine. And you probably still have sex with the lights off (which
tells me youíre not a guy who likes the fine details of things). Want
to see what youíre missing? Take a look at these screenshots and
tell me that your old dinosaur video card can save you when some guy is
sniping you from a dark ledge. How much are you ACTUALLY seeing right
in front of your face?
This is software mode - see anything? Right next to
that little crosshair is a grunt hiding in a dark place.
Now we have Love2Play's TNT2 and Cobby's Voodoo3 3000.
Notice any difference from software mode? It's the same location as the software shot.
And now eye candy brought to you by BigDaddie's Ultra
TNT2 and Tempus' GeForce.