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Monday, October 11, 2004

Joint Ops

A few months ago I downloaded the PC demo of Delta Force: Blackhawk Down. I was that bored. After really liking the demo, I got the full game, then I got the Team Sabre mission pack, etc. One thing lead to another.

Weeks ago I downloaded the demo of the successor to DF:BHD, Joint Ops. This game is more than just stepping DF:BHD up a notch, it goes up a few notches. Before DF:BHD I had played some of Novalogic's Delta Force series and was really disappointed. They were just more shoot-em-ups. DF:BHD changed that, and now Joint Ops is miles beyond that.

With all the advances in the new game like extensive us of pixel shaders, etc. for vegetation, the system requirements of Joint Ops went up a bit. While DF:BHD had no real troubles playing with my old card (save for crashing, which was an occasional conflict between the sound and video cards that only Novalogic software brings out), the Joint Ops demo was slow and chunky. Part of the problem was my onboard audio causing problems - the games were much more stable when audio drivers were disabled - and part was my poor little GeForce4 putting out triangles just as fast as it could. The GeForce4 just wasn't fast enough.

So after some research and shopping around, I upped my RAM, got a cheap Audigy2 sound card, and after waiting for it to be in stock, a MSI-branded GeForce 5900XT.

The differences are stunning. The Audigy2's audio is noticeably better than the onboard VIA audio. Video from the GeForce 5900XT is jaw-dropping. Now the game looks as good as something that used to take hours in RenderMan, and runs at 60 frames per second with antialiasing. It's an absolutely amazing card, and while I thought that the price was a bit steep, it was worth it (a card that was $20 less had 1/2 the speed in benchmarks).

When I bought the hardware I also got the full version of Joint Ops, and a game I had heard was amazing, Far Cry. Far Cry comes on 5 CDs. Why it doesn't come on a DVD I don't know. When the installer gets to the 2nd disk, it can't install, it insists that one of the installer CAB files is corrupt. That was a major disappointment.

Now I just have to figure out how to handle all the heat that's being generated by the hardware inside this little eMachine....

10/11/2004 01:31:00 AM ] [  0 comments  ]
A good quick laugh