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System Requirements


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Hey all - I've been thinking about picking up a used laptop to play some TDM and Thief fan missions (plus maybe a few others) on the road. Nothing fancy, just wanted to buy enough horsepower to play these games, hoping I can pick up something for a couple of hundred bucks. I've searched the TDM site, but I haven't found anything in regards to system/minimum/recommended reqs. Is there anything official? I'd like to play most TDM missions with a decent, smooth frame rate if possible, but I don't need everything maxed out or anything like that.

 

For Thief FMs, I'm kind of going with the reqs for Keeper of Infinity, which seems to be the most demanding FM there is currently. Is there a TDM mission that is considered the same, one that pushes TDM to its limits? KoI recommends an i5 with 8 gigs of RAM. I have to study discreet laptop video cards, but KoI also reccos a GTX 660 for desktops, not sure what that equates to for laptops.

 

Thanks for any help on this...

 

 

 

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You were helping me look a year or two ago, but I didn't end up buying anything.

 

My budget for something like this is $200-250, so really used is the only option. I've searching Craigslist here locally, and have found a few models that look OK, I'd say most are 3-4 years old.

 

Is an AMD cpu OK? What should I be looking for for RAM and graphics?

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Weight, no preference. Screen size, something around 15" would be good. @Biker, I'll PM you specs on a machine I found on Craiglist.

 

All these specifics aside, I'd still be interested in knowing if there are any established System Reqs for TDM. And what missions are considered to most resource intensive.

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Without tooting my own horn, I am probably the best person for this type of info.

 

For example on NewEgg I found a Dell Latitude E6420, with an i5 and an nVidia NVS 5200mn for $275 and 1yr warranty. The GPU in that only had 96 cores, so while it will play TDM, it will only do so on low settings. What we need is a laptop with an nVidia (avoid AMD for TDM at this time), with at least 192+ cores.

 

Had a look on amazon for used laptop, and everything for under $300 atm is complete crap. So I have done,NewEgg, Amazon (I am not a fan of ebay, as no warranty) so where else can I look? is there a CEX store near you or if not that will ship to you? - https://us.webuy.com/stores/

 

And atm the most resource heavy mission's I can think of atm are Penny Dreadfull 2 and Behind closed doors. If a laptop/Dekstop can run them then they are good to go for any future TDM missions.

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We mostly have a hardware survey:

 

http://wiki.thedarkmod.com/index.php?title=Known_System_Configurations

 

I would say that the appropriate minimum is something equal to a Geforce 8800GT and a Core 2 Duo 3ghz CPU,

which were mainstream when TDM launched.

My cheapo GT 730 runs at about that performance or higher.

 

As I recall, the most demanding map is still "Rightful Property", though "The Rats Triumphant" and the cave in NHAT 1 probably rival it.

Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

http://www.indiedb.com/mods/the-dark-mod

 

(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

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Yeah, that's true. The larger missions tend to require more than 512MB now unless you use image_downSize cvars.

(Hopefully going to RGTC normal map compression in a later TDM release will lower that back to under 512mb in most larger maps)

 

The number of cores in an 8800 can't be directly compared to modern GPU's since there have been architectural improvements.

The engine isn't too demanding on shader cores as much it is on Fillrate and Memory bandwidth, you generally don't see good

numbers on those with newer cards with below 96 cores because they never pair them with good memory and ROP configurations.

In theory you could probably have a 24 or 32 core card with the memory bandwidth and fillrate of something like

a Geforce 750 and it would probably handle even the heaviest TDM missions.

Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

http://www.indiedb.com/mods/the-dark-mod

 

(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

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And atm the most resource heavy mission's I can think of atm are Penny Dreadfull 2 and Behind closed doors. If a laptop/Dekstop can run them then they are good to go for any future TDM missions.

Always the optimist!

 

Now let's see what I can come up with... :ph34r:

Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

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  1. The number of cores in an 8800 can't be directly compared to modern GPU's since there have been architectural improvements.The engine isn't too demanding on shader cores as much it is on Fillrate and Memory bandwidth, you generally don't see good numbers on those with newer cards with below 96 cores because they never pair them with good memory and ROP configurations.

In theory you could probably have a 24 or 32 core card with the memory bandwidth and fillrate of something like

a Geforce 750 and it would probably handle even the heaviest TDM missions.

  1. The issue there is a lot of the laptops in the $200-300 range come with low end nvidia gpu's with only 96 cores and while TDM will be ok, its not ideal.

eeeeh, no not really. I have a laptop with 24 cores NV4200 and it struggles with just the archer range in the training mission....

And do you have your model number right? The Geforce 750 is maxwell based, comes with 512 cores and would only be found in $500-600 laptops. Did you mean 730 GT, that comes in 2 variants, 96 and 384 cores. If we could find a laptop with the 384 variant in budget that would be awesome.

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I have the 384 core version. Yes, a laptop version wood be nice.

 

I was just speculating on a mythical card with a low core count but with tons of memory and fillrate performance.

No such animal exists. The NV4200 has poor performance in TDM because it has a 64-bit memory controller, DDR3 memory (not GDDR3),

and has only 8 TMU's and 4 ROP's. (12.8GBS memory bandwidth). My card has double the TMU and ROP count and more than double

the memory bandwidth. If the NV4200 had my memory config it would probably perform comparably in TDM (though would probably suck

in shader heavy games like Crysis or Metro).

Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

http://www.indiedb.com/mods/the-dark-mod

 

(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

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Right a bit more digging of amazon via google, then back to amazon -

 

Acer TimelineU M5-581TG-6666, 15.6" Ultrabook, Silver - $300

  • 15.6" 1366 x 768
  • 1.7GHz Core i5-3317U (turbo 2.6Ghz)
  • 6 GB SDRAM
  • 500 GB, 5400RPM - this should be upgraded at some point to a 120GB or bigger Samsung Evo SSD.
  • NVIDIA Geforce GT 640M LE, 1GB - the nvidia website says it comes with 'upto' 384 cores, so get the seller to run GPU-Z to make sure what.

Asus U50F Intel Core i3 - $289

  • 15.6" 1366 x 768
  • 2.13GHz Core i3 M330
  • 4GB Ram
  • 500 GB, 5400RPM - this should be upgraded at some point to a 120GB or bigger Samsung Evo SSD.
  • NVIDIA Geforce GT 425m, - comes with 96 cores, so IMHO above bare min for TDM.

Dell Laptop Vostro 5470 - $299

  • 14" 1366 x 768
  • 1.7GHz, core i5 4210U (turbo 2.7Ghz)
  • 8GB Ram
  • 128GB SSD
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M, - comes with 384 cores, sweet!

The Vostro is the fastest of the bunch and has an SSD!, I beleive all s/h items on amazon come with a 30day return/warranty.

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  • Nice finds there Biker - that last one looks great. Powerful and portable. Looks like they have a 30 day return policy, so maybe I'll try it out and see.
  • I'm in the midwest U.S. (Wisconsin) if that helps.
  • yeah, a bit above your budget but still not bad for the cash.
  • would need a rough area code for that location (I think) because ebay.com dosent seem to work the same way ebay.co.uk does.

Anyway did a search on ebay.com -

 

Lenovo U510 15.6" i3-3217U - $199

  • 15.6" 1366 x 768
  • 1.8GHz core i3-3217U
  • 4GB Ram
  • 1TB, 5400RPM - this should be upgraded at some point to a 120GB or bigger Samsung Evo SSD.
  • NVIDIA Geforce GT 720m, - comes with 96 cores, so IMHO above bare min for TDM.
  • 1yr warranty - with the seller directly

Lenovo T420 - $235

  • 15.6" 1600*900
  • 2.5GHz core i5
  • 4GB Ram
  • 320GB, 5400RPM - this should be upgraded at some point to a 120GB or bigger Samsung Evo SSD.
  • NVIDIA Geforce ??? 1GB, - you will have to msg tham
  • its a business, but no mention of what warranty

Dell E6420 - $256

  • 14" 1366 x 768
  • 2.7GHz core i7-2620M (turbo 3.4ghz)
  • 4GB Ram
  • 320GB, 5400RPM - this should be upgraded at some point to a 120GB or bigger Samsung Evo SSD.
  • NVIDIA Geforce NVS 5400m 1GB, - comes with 96 cores, so IMHO above bare min for TDM.

 

While scanning through the auctions on ebay I noticed the scourge that is square trade, do not touch any of those 'square deal' warranties, its a scam. Somehow a company that has been caught multiple times scamming people is still trading, both here in the UK as well as over there in the US. Your better putting the money towards home contents insurance or get a credit card that extend the manufactures warranty.

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Refurbished/used is a necessity at that price range. I'm dropping no less than $400 and maybe up to $750 when I get a new laptop, but I will be waiting it out for the reason I'll explain.

 

Here's a search on Slickdeals for "refurbished laptop". Refurbs also make it on the front page from time to time, and I would recommend keeping an eye on Slickdeals no matter what product you're looking for or not looking for.

 

I have successfully played TDM on an A6-3400m, although not so much these days, so you can get away with a cheap integrated AMD. I don't imagine anything but the most heavy T2 FMs denting a similar laptop (I had lags on King's Story once).

 

I'm waiting for AMD's 14nm Zen to hit the market, however, it could be released late 2016, months after the launch of desktop parts. It should deliver a massive improvement over previous AMD processors and make AMD more competitive with Intel again. That's the CPU performance... I have no idea about integrated GPU improvements for Zen, although they will surely be present. For laptops with discrete cards, both AMD and NVIDIA should be launching 14/16nm GPUs soon enough, skipping 20/22nm and delivering a big graphics boost.

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The specs are pretty low in my experience, so you can hit it with your budget I'm sure. The ones Biker listed all look just fine.

 

I had one laptop that skimmed the bottom of the specs, that was a 2009 11" ASUS EEE clamshell, some-custom-dirt-CPU, 1.3 ghz, 1gb ram, no graphics card, like $110 used in 2010. The game would open but sputtered for most maps. But that was a dirt computer even for 2010. So shoot for something respectable in your budget for used and you should be fine.

 

Even today I'm playing on a laptop with only an Intel chip for graphics, no special graphics card at all, and the game runs great, though granted it's an i7 with like 16gb of ram. But it was also used & I got lucky.

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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I would hang fire on Zen, as thus far TDM strong favour nvidia when it comes to open GL perf.

 

Zen is AMD's 14/16nm CPU/APU, Polaris is their 14/16nm GPU.

 

Nvidia will also be coming out with 16nm Pascal GPUs this year.

 

So no matter what team you're on, it's worth waiting (unless you're looking for an Intel with integrated graphics, since Kaby Lake is not expected to bring major changes this year).

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I'm not sure a distinction is being made between "minimum" and "recommended", this is after all still idTech4. Somewhere between minimum and recommended is where a reasonable answer is. It's curious to note what kind of system can run Thief 4, and by "run" I'm not talking about maxxed-out, just run.

The issue is with the campaigns (missions) and the content within those campaigns being very different and very inconsistent, so to say an i5 with 8GB of RAM and a GTX660 isn't going to cut it for all settings maxxed-out on something like this (http://puu.sh/jExps/647c6c3484.jpg) is probably true, but for decently optimised campaigns and careful tweaking of a user's CFG file, I can say anecdotally that a far more modest system will play most of what TDM has to offer at a reasonable framerate, and any major drops are due to the author of that particular campaign being not all too savvy in the art of development, and not to be told "you're gonna need a new computer duuuuuude". That is, of course, if user is inclined to spend time tweaking the CFG and not just setting everything to maximum and diving in head-first into a heavy (aka not very well designed/executed) campaign.

In short, my experience/opinion - yes, there's a system out there for ~$200 that will run TDM fine with reasonable expectations.

 

It gives me an idea, perhaps a "performance rating" might be handy for the mission downloads page? I know this might be controversial and lead to warfares, but think of the end-user and first impressions. People might be put off if the first thing they try to play is also the most heavy and sluggish of missions compared to ones which are lovingly optimised and well designed.

Edited by LDAsh
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Incidently, the top thread in this forum is a list of every system you can rhetorically imagine and how it performs with the game. http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/9970-post-your-system-configuration-here/page-1

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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Incidently it farts a 404, but the link that nbohr1more provided (assuming it's the same), only some of the "notes" actually explain what missions they try and what they are doing with their CFG/GPU-settings, which is extremely important. For example, many versions of Radiant hate v-sync and the difference in performance is drastic with that. idTech4 is such a highly configurable engine and based on the OP stating "I'd like to play most TDM missions with a decent, smooth frame rate if possible, but I don't need everything maxed out or anything like that" then I would say ~$200 would easily get that, and not necessarily looking ugly either. When he says "most TDM missions" I assume he already understands some have performance issues due to poor/ambitious designs.

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