Call of Duty 2 help

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by A, Jan 13, 2006.

  1. A

    A Guest

    Any suggestions on how to get Call of Duty 2 to run at a decent speed
    on my PC?

    Specs are:

    Compaq 1520AN
    Sempron 3200+ (socket 939) 1.8Ghz
    ATI motherboard X200 integrated graphics
    1GB ram (-64MB for video)
    Latest Catalyst drivers

    Even on 640x480 resolution with most of the options turned off/down
    its still jerky and unplayable. Updating the drivers helped a little
    but not enough.

    I know the onboard video isn't the flashest but figured I should at
    least be able to play the game at low/med res. Reviews of the x200
    chipset indicates that the card can play Doom 3 ok at medium settings
    and handles Far Cry without a problem so it should cope with CoD2.
     
    A, Jan 13, 2006
    #1
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  2. A

    XPD Guest

    Is the intergrated video sharing system memory or has its own dedicated RAM
    ?
    If shared then thats most likely your cause....

    And a Sempron ? Not a great choice for games IMHO.... wouldve forked out a
    bit extra for the Athlon64 version..... but I cant talk right now.... P3
    1gig with a 9600Pro vid card :)
     
    XPD, Jan 13, 2006
    #2
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  3. A

    Daniel Guest

    Hmmm... obviously your best bet is a dedicated graphics card. But, I'm
    guessing you know that already.

    Shared memory kills performance (which is the setup you have). An X200
    isn't that fast. I tried playing Quake4 with an X200 - never again.
    Having pixel shaders is one thing, having decent pixel shaders is another.

    Sadly, upgrading your PC will most probably be a rather expensive
    exercise unless of course you're one of those "authorised technicians".
    The less recommended option is to void the hardware warranty and install
    one yourself.
     
    Daniel, Jan 13, 2006
    #3
  4. A

    Daniel Guest

    Out of curiousity, can you tell us which specific X200 reviews you were
    looking at?

    Just curious.
     
    Daniel, Jan 13, 2006
    #4
  5. A

    A Guest

    Yep - it shares the ram and I know its not the fastest solution by a
    long shot but was hoping it would at least be playable at low res.
    Not too much difference between the Sempron 3200+ (939 socket) and an
    Athlon 64 3000+ except one has 256k L2 cache and the other 512k. Both
    run at 1.8Ghz and support SSE3 and 64 bit instructions (which are of
    limited use).

    I never thought I would buy a brand name PC (have built my own for the
    last 10+ years) but at $648 for the above setup (including Win XP & 3
    year extended warranty) I couldn't resist.
     
    A, Jan 13, 2006
    #5
  6. A

    A Guest

    A, Jan 13, 2006
    #6
  7. A

    A Guest

    Yep but I don't want to shell out big bucks just to play one game. I'm
    not a big FPS or gamer but I got hooked on the original CoD.

    I'm not convinced that buying a cheap PCI-E card like a x300 will show
    much of an improvement.
    I guess it depends on what you're use to. If you're use to playing at
    high res with the latest cards then an x200 is a step down. If you're
    just upgraded from an Nforce2 board with integrated graphics then its
    a step up.
    The PC came with a 1 year compaq warranty and includes instructions to
    upgrade the drives etc... so I assume they're ok with people poking
    around in it.

    It also came with a 3 year extended warranty but with a "warranty
    void" sticker which you have to remove to get into the case. I've been
    told they will generally honour the warranty regardless unless your
    part caused the fault.

    The warranty isn't of much value to me and I ripped into the PC on the
    first day to install my DVD burner, second HDD & more ram.

    It's interesting to note that the PC is pretty much built using
    off-the-shelf components with some minor changes. The motherboard is a
    n ATX MSI board with a Compaq bios and the CPU officially doesn't
    exist and isn't available in the shops.
     
    A, Jan 13, 2006
    #7
  8. A

    XPD Guest

    Youd be surprised..... :)
    Hehe...
     
    XPD, Jan 13, 2006
    #8
  9. Make sure it's in direct x 7 mode, not directx 9.

    Steve
     
    Stephen Williams, Jan 14, 2006
    #9
  10. A

    Daniel Guest

    Yeah, CoD is an awesome game. Yes, it is a pain to have to upgrade just
    to get decent frame rates with some reasonable eye candy.

    Well, from the one review I found that compares an X300 with Hypermemory
    (ie. crippled caching scheme where some system memory is still shared)
    against an X200, the X300 comes out on top:-
    http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2427

    IIRC, I thought I saw another review which compared an X300 (but with a
    dedicated frame buffer), and it pretty much wiped the floor with the X200.

    Something like a 6200, or X550 should be good enough to do the job. I've
    played the CoD2 demo with a factory-crippled 128MB 9600 Pro (400MHz
    memory instead of 600MHz), with an Athlon 1800XP with 512MB of RAM, and
    it played very nicely at 800x600 (eye candy looked pretty good too). I
    should've cranked it up to 1024x768 just to see what it would've been like.
    Fair enough.
    This unofficial "HP will stick fix it if you break the seal" issue has
    been covered several times in this ng - Google for it.

    If you've discovered that HP/Compaq will indeed honour the hardware
    warranty if a non-authorised technician removes the sticker then please
    post a contact name & number at HP that will confirm this.

    Last I checked the _official_ line was that if you break the seal, then
    you void the warranty. Perhaps, the HP helpdesk is mis-informed, here is
    the number: 0800 441 147

    Hmmm... okay. Me, I _like_ warranties. Especially when they replace your
    old failing components with brand new better ones. Even better when they
    decide it's cheaper just to give you 2 or more new components that work
    together because sourcing an older replacement for the one component
    that's bad is too expensive.

    Yeah, the 939 Semprons are only available through in HP/Compaq PC's
    AFAIK. Shame really. But, I guess it would depend on how much retail
    versions of 939 Semprons would cost.
     
    Daniel, Jan 14, 2006
    #10
  11. A

    Daniel Guest

    Found it:-
    http://www.beyond3d.com/previews/ati/rs480
     
    Daniel, Jan 14, 2006
    #11
  12. A

    A Guest

    Thanks for the link (& the other one too). Interesting reading - you
    hardly ever see reviews of the low end stuff - magazines & the like
    always tend to focus on the medium - top end.
    Looks like I may have to give up on CoD2. I could possibly shell out
    $120 for the video card but the 250W PSU on the PC is a bit of a
    worry. The only complaint I have against the Compaq (that and the
    custom bios which have all overclocking options removed - I understand
    the 939 Semprons can overclock up to 2.5Ghz)

    Also I'm amazed at how quiet the Compaq is - its dead quiet and I like
    it that way so I'm not keen to throw in a noisy graphics card.
    The standard 12 month warranty is Compaq but the 3 year extended
    warranty comes from Dick Smith and it was them that told me they don't
    mind you poking your nose inside as long as it wasn't the cause of the
    problem.

    I'm surprised at HP's stance though given that the PC came with an
    Upgrading & Servicing Guide which shows how to upgrade the Ram and
    install drives.
    Yes I had an instance once where I got a newer DVD writer under
    warranty. In general though I've had very little fail on me in 10+
    years of fiddling (DVD writer, 1 hard drive is all I can recall).
    I understood the 939 Semprons were not released as they were too good
    and undermined the rest of the "value" market (i.e. socket 754).

    They'll be out when the Socket M2 comes out and Socket 939 becomes the
    budget platform.
     
    A, Jan 15, 2006
    #12
  13. A

    Rob J Guest


    That's what you get when you buy that brand-name stuff. They can have
    their own spec of boards and everything built, very proprietary and
    locked down.
     
    Rob J, Jan 16, 2006
    #13
  14. A

    A Guest

    I wouldn't say its very proprietary. The only two things that are
    non-standard are a) the CPU (and in this case its a plus having a
    socket 939 Sempron) and b) the bios on the motherboard (nothing
    unusual on the motherboard). I wouldn't be surprised if you could
    reflash the bios with a bios from a retail board.
     
    A, Jan 16, 2006
    #14
  15. A

    Daniel Guest

    Yeah, it's annoying in many ways that the majority of review sites
    completely ignore the entry level market.
    There really is a difference in performance at the low-end depending on
    what you get. Unfortunately, it's not common knowledge. So you get
    situations where people go out and buy the current gen entry-level
    thinking that its's better than their older card. Colleague of mine got
    a 128MB 9250 (64-bit memory) as an "upgrade" to his Geforce4 128MB MX460
    - he soon realised what a mistake that was (even a GF4 MX440 beats a 9250).
    Actually, you might be alright with an X550 or 6200 (or even 6600
    non-GT). I _think_ those 250W PSU's are fairly good quality - very
    efficient. I was concerned when putting a 5200 into an Acer with a 250W
    PSU, but the concern was totally misplaced.

    I don't like integrated chipsets mainly because of the low image quality
    they output IMHO. Even an entry level gfx card will have a 350MHz or
    400MHz RAMDAC.

    Fair enough. Although, you can get entry-level ones with heat sinks - as
    you probably know anyway.

    Now that's interesting. The last time I checked with one of the DSE
    franchise stores I got the usual "you'll void the warranty if you break
    the sticker etc etc" story.
    If DSE informed you that you could upgrade yourself, then that sounds
    good enough to me.
    That would certainly make a Compaq/HP (from DSE) a lot more attractive.

    Do you mind mentioning which DSE outlet you got the Compaq from?

    Yeah, silly really. Main reason I don't like recommending them.
     
    Daniel, Jan 17, 2006
    #15
  16. A

    ~misfit~ Guest

    I was looking at PCs/entry level laptops from my brother for his kids just
    before christmas. I was looking at a lappy in DSE Pukrkohe that only had
    256MB RAM and the droid said that they had 256MB SODIMMS for something like
    $70. I said "Yeah but won't it void the warranty if I open it up"? and he
    told me basically the same as A was told. No problem upgrading, it won't
    void warranty unless the problem is caused by the upgrade.

    One would think that stressing a PSU with a power-hungry graphics card could
    be construed as affecting every other component in the system if they end up
    getting 'grey' power.
     
    ~misfit~, Jan 17, 2006
    #16
  17. A

    A Guest

    Its hard to compare different generation cards as well as they will
    have been run with different benchmarks (3DMark2004 vs 3DMark2005,
    Call of Duty, Doom 3 etc...)
    I got my Compaq from the Barton St, Hamilton store. It's $898 but they
    had one discounted to $648. The price was actually cheaper with $100
    odd added on for the 3 year extended warranty which they wouldn't sell
    without. My guess is the boss was willing to sell the unit at an extra
    discount as long as they got an extended warranty sale with it.

    However it was at the Hamilton Powerhouse where I was told about the
    warranty thing.
     
    A, Jan 18, 2006
    #17
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