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On DOOM 3 Settings

Robert Duffy, id Software programmer, updated his .plan about DOOM 3 settings and how they will work, discussing specifics about the "ultra" quality setting as well as differences in how certain data are handled differently by ATI and NVIDIA hardware. He also mentions that the game is capped at 60 FPS (except when running demos as a benchmark), discusses the software used during development, as well as a bit on a hard drive nightmare encountered along the way. Here's a bit:

Image fidelity is dependent on what quality level we load the textures at.

In Ultra quality, we load each texture; diffuse, specular, normal map at full resolution with no compression. In a typical DOOM 3 level, this can hover around a whopping 500MB of texture data. This will run on current hardware but obviously we cannot fit 500MB of texture data onto a 256MB card and the amount of texture data referenced in a give scene per frame ( 60 times a second ) can easily be 50MB+. This can cause some choppiness as a lot of memory bandwidth is being consumed. It does however look fantastic :-) and it is certainly playable on high end systems but due to the hitching that can occur we chose to require a 512MB Video card before setting this automatically.

High quality uses compression ( DXT1,3,5 ) for specular and diffuse and no compression for normal maps. This looks very very close to Ultra quality but the compression does cause some loss. This is the quality that for instance the PC Gamer review was played in.

Medium quality uses compression for specular, diffuse, and normal maps. This still looks really really good but compressing the normal maps can produce a few artifacts especially on hard angled or round edges. This level gets us comfortably onto 128MB video cards.

Low quality does everything medium quality does but it also downsizes textures over 512x512 and we downsize specular maps to 64x64 in this mode as well. This fits us onto a 64MB video card.

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148. techie question about RAM.. Jul 28, 2004, 00:18 Wookiestick
I just purchased a 6800 128 MB card. I paid $325 for it, but I read reviews that it wasn't the best value for the dollar to invest 100 more dollars in a 256 MB version of the same card. There was a 6800 for $280 on pricewatch-- and I was initially going to get that, but then I saw it was only 12 pipelines. So I got this one instead.
I read in reviews that a big part of the new 6800 series being very good was the fact that it's higher end cards had a 16 pipe GPU, so I invested the 60 more dollars in that 16 pipe rather than the 12 pipe. I swear to god (it seems)every year like the emphasis on video card's hardware highlights are changed to different parts of the card.
Anyway, if I try to run Doom 3 on high detail with this 128 MB card, what will happen if it runs out? Will it get dumped to my 1 GB of DDR3200 memory or will it go to a pagefile on my harddrive? If this will be a performance hit, should I just adjust individual settings in Doom 3 and put texture detail on medium? Hmm.. =/ Anyone who could give advice would put my mind at ease.
Oh, and here's my video card history.

a 2 MB SiS video card
Creative Labs 3d Blaster Voodoo 2 12 MB w/ a SiS 4 MB video card.
Geforce 2 mx 64 MB
Geforce 4 ti 4200 128 MB
Geforce FX 5900 (non-pro)128 MB -I sold this to a friend after only 5 months of use, heh, I paid 210 and sold it to him for 150, which I used towards my current card;
Geforce 6800 128 MB.

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Love thy wookie.
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