Question re: D3 quality and resolution

Discussion in 'Games' started by mus0r, Apr 12, 2005.

  1. mus0r macrumors regular


    Mar 27, 2005
    Ok, I've been playign with the video settings (and I asked my friend's opinion too to make sure I'm not crazy) and I really DON'T see a difference.

    To get a noticable improvement, do you need to crank both the rez and quality settings?

    I have the 5200 right now, but I bid on a 9600XT on ebay which should come soon. I couldn't drop $200+ on the 9800; it's just not in the budget right now. Will the Radeon card make the difference more noticable?

    Or, is my display the bottleneck? It only supports up to 1024x768...will the difference between video quality settings be moot if I can't play at a higher rez?

    Pardon all the questions, but I've never been a big computer gamer. I just started doing my gaming on the Mac this year...
  2. seamuskrat macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2003
    New Jersey USA
    Both quality and resolution make a difference.

    However, you did not mention the CPU specs and RAM on your Mac. Having at least 512 Ram really makes D3 shine. Faster CPU does help a lot with D3 as well.

    I did a lot of benchmarking with Doom 3 and I found that at lower resolutions, even at high quality it was very playable. 800x600 at medium should work very well with your card, and at high with your new card and you should average in the 28 to 33 FPS range. For some gamers, this is too little, but for most people, its fine. Its a personal choice.

    As for your max res, the higher you go the harder D3 works. Even with your new card, I doubt you will be happy with full res high quality with your system. I notice a massive drop in FPS when you jump to the 1024 x 768 res level. Low quality seems fine, but anything more really taxes the system.

    As for the looks, its subtle. Shadows, reflections, quality of smoke, detail of blood splatter, and such. If you are just playing for fun, and are not in dire need of perfection, then you should be fine. Sadly, if you want the best performance, then a top of the line PC rig is best. Even a tricked out Dual 2.5 G5 still lags high end PC's in FPS.

    Check out the review of Doom 3 at there is more data on FPS there.
  3. Jigglelicious macrumors 6502


    Apr 25, 2004
    The difference between the Settings aren't as pronounced as one would imagine, except for low quality which actually reduces the texture size. For the most part, is it very difficult to tell the difference between medium, high, and ultra unless you look very closely (you can usually see some color banding on Medium quality). Here is exactly what the different settings do:

    Each texture (diffuse, specular, normal) will be at full resolution with no compression. In a typical DOOM 3 level, this can hover around 500 megabyte of texture data. This will run on current hardware but will not fit onto a 256MB card, causing texture thrashing. The amount of texture referenced in a given scene per frame ( 60 times a second ) can easily be 50 megabytes+. This is ideal for 512 megabyte video cards.

    High quality
    Uses hardware compression ( DXT1,3,5 ) for specular and diffuse textures and no compression for normal textures. This looks very very close to Ultra quality but the compression does cause some loss in quality. This is ideal for 256 megabyte video cards.

    Medium quality
    Uses hardware compression for all textures (specular, diffuse and normal). While this still looks good, compressing the normal maps can produce a few artifacts especially on hard angled or round edges. This is ideal for 128 megabyte cards.

    Low quality
    Uses hardware compression for all textures (specular, diffuse and normal) and automatically resizes diffuse and normal textures to no more than 256x256 and specular texture maps to no more than 64x64. This is ideal for 64 megabyte video cards.
  4. mus0r thread starter macrumors regular


    Mar 27, 2005
    Sorry about forgetting the specs...I have a dual 1.8 with 1.25GB RAM.

    I'm currently playing on 1024 Ultra on my crappy 5200, and for the most part, the game is fine. Those flying head things take a huge bite out of my performance and I imagine Hell is completely unplayable on this setting, but for the first half of the game (I just finished the EnPro level) Ultra doesn't seem to make much of a difference to me except the performance hit vs. High or Medium.

    Considering I'm playing on video settings recommended for cards that don't exist on a $10 videocard, I'd say I'm doing fairly well...

    Is there any place I can see screenshots of the different quality and rez settings side by side? If I don't notice a difference in the images themselves, I think I may just play on Low and not drop frames when I'm being attacked :rolleyes:
  5. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    my rule of thumb for game settings:

    first run with everything on full, if it runs above 30fps constantly great.

    if below 30fps significantly turn all settings to the lowest, if above 40fps turn up a notch starting with shaders then resolution then quality and finaly AA and AF,

    for some games i really like haveing a constat framerate above 60fps like UT or Q3 arena based games not running around vs lot's of enemys like halo or doom 3.
  6. broken_keyboard macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2004
    Secret Moon base
    The two most notable things for me in D3 are shadows on vs. shadows off and 2x AA vs. No AA.

    At the same res and detail level, put shadows and 2xAA on and it is like a whole new game.

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