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Old Jul 20, 2004, 02:45 PM   #1
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Maelstrom
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Default Doom 3 system requirements

July 20, 2004, 8:26AM

COMPUTING
Gamers, check under hood because Doom 3 is coming
By DWIGHT SILVERMAN
Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle

If there's a gamer in your life, chances are you've noticed some strange behavior since last week.

There's that glassy stare, the twitchy hands, jumpiness, maybe even a little drooling and certainly some muttering. It's what happens when id Software says "It's done!" with its latest first-person-shooter title.

On Wednesday, Mesquite-based id announced that Doom 3, a much-higher-tech remake of the game that put it on the map, had gone gold. It will ship to stores Aug. 3.

In the gaming world, this is no minor event. Doom 3 has been in the works for four years and is built on id co-founder and chief programmer John Carmack's latest graphics technology.

Carmack's wizardry usually influences other developers, making a big impact on the future of PC gaming. And because id's titles are also released for consoles like the Sony Playstation and Microsoft's Xbox, they influence video games as well.

The last new-generation engine from id was introduced with Quake 3 in 1999, and previews of Doom 3 have hinted it's an even bigger leap forward. Players will be treated to near-cinematic images as they battle demons from Hell on Mars, provided they have the right hardware.

Each successive game pushes existing hardware limits, a tradition since the release of the original Doom, which introduced multiplayer death match gaming. College students in 1993 became obsessed with battling their dorm neighbors, to the point that many college networks buckled under the load.

A new id game has the potential to drive sales of both components and new PCs as gamers upgrade in preparation. Hardware makers are as excited as gamers.

Todd Hollenshead, id's chief executive, said Doom 3 will require:

• A 1.5-gigahertz Intel Pentium 4 chip or AMD Athlon 1500.
• 384 megabytes of memory.
• Two gigabytes of hard drive space.
• An nVidia GeForce 3 graphics card or better; or an ATI Technologies 8500 or better.
If your existing rig doesn't meet these specs, here's a guide to beefing it up to play Doom 3 in all its gory glory.


• Graphics card. This is the best upgrade you can make for Doom 3. It's also where computer makers, looking to cut corners on mainstream systems, often wimp out.
Here's hoping the PC you own doesn't have a graphics adapter that borrows memory from the main system. So-called shared graphics notoriously choke on high-end games, and most budget systems don't include an AGP slot that lets you install a better card.

ATI Technologies and nVidia are the two biggest providers of graphics cards. As you move up either company's set of offerings, the results will improve. Cards at the top of the heap — nVidia's GeForce FX and newer 6800 series, or ATI's Radeon 9800 or newer X series — will provide the best experience and cost the most.

If you're upgrading, look for at least 128 MB of video memory in a card with Direct X 9.0 capability that installs into an AGP slot. Cards in the $150 to $200 range — such as a GeForce 5900XT or a Radeon 9600XT — will be a sweet spot.


• Memory. The 384 MB minimum may trip up a lot of systems. Many mainstream PCs in the last few years have come with 128 or 256 MB of memory. If you want to play Doom 3, more memory is better. I'd recommend 512 MB, and adding up to a gigabyte would be smart.

Check with the maker of your PC to see what type of memory it requires. Prices varies depending on the source and type, but use $50 per 128 MB as a benchmark.


• Hard drive. This is one category that may not require an upgrade at all — just some spring cleaning on your part.

If your hard drive is nearing capacity, take some time to clear off at least twice as much space as the game requires. That means you'll need at least 4 GB free.

Of course, if you're down to your last few gigs, you probably should buy a new drive. Get the biggest you can afford, with at least 7,200 revolutions per minute. You'll pay in the $80 range for a 120-GB Enhanced IDE drive or around $95 for a Serial ATA model.


• Processor. Although this is harder to upgrade, it's key to your Doom 3 experience. The minimum may be 1.5 GHz, but you'll probably want at least a 2-GHz Intel Pentium or equivalent AMD Athlon chip. The ideal is 3 GHz or better.

But if you do need a new chip, unless you take joy in swapping out a motherboard or building your own system, Doom 3 is probably as good an excuse as any to buy a new PC.
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Old Jul 20, 2004, 02:47 PM   #2
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*Points @ Doom3/HL2 forum*

It will arrive there soon enough
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Old Jul 20, 2004, 02:47 PM   #3
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Those required specs arent as high end as I was expecting it to be. Good article
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Old Jul 20, 2004, 03:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by proz
Those required specs arent as high end as I was expecting it to be. Good article
I had the same expectations. Those system requirements are bare minimum.
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Old Jul 20, 2004, 03:59 PM   #5
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you could do with less but it isnt recommened... Try running ut2k3 with a tnt2 and a celeron 333
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Old Jul 20, 2004, 04:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TIKtak
I had the same expectations. Those system requirements are bare minimum.
they always release extremely low specs. the game will run, but it'll look like crap. unless you have a 9800pro or above, you'll probably have to turn down the graphics settings if you want to play at 1280 X 960, and do with very little or no AA/AF
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Old Jul 20, 2004, 04:21 PM   #7
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sweet, the news article on gamespot about the requirements makes it look like my 9500 pro should be fine for the game Even if i have to run at 800x600
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Old Jul 20, 2004, 04:40 PM   #8
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my 9600 XT with 2 Ghz CPU and 512 MB of DDR should run this suXor
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Old Jul 20, 2004, 04:54 PM   #9
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WTF? The guy just reiterated what's been said on the forum 200,000,000 times. Nothing new here.
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Old Jul 20, 2004, 05:05 PM   #10
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Ahem! i repeat: LOOK WHAT IT SAYS ON THE BOX

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Old Jul 20, 2004, 05:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOwly1
Ahem! i repeat: LOOK WHAT IT SAYS ON THE BOX

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Old Jul 20, 2004, 05:32 PM   #12
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Your computer is not nearly powerful enough to run Doom 3. At all.

You must upgrade as soon as possible.
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Old Jul 20, 2004, 10:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOwly1
Ahem! i repeat: LOOK WHAT IT SAYS ON THE BOX



I think we all know it's going to require the power of jesus to run.
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Old Jul 20, 2004, 11:07 PM   #14
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Some games have both a minimum and recommended system requirements listed. If they have both, I usually interpret the "recommended" as the minimum and don't even bother w/ the minimum. In a lot of situations, I found the minimum will indeed run the game but not in a way that I would enjoy it. I wouldn't be surprised if Doom 3 will fall into this same camp. I'm wondering if they will have recommended specs.

Sometimes I think companies post minimum req as low as they do just so they can sell more copies. I mean the lower they make the req, the more customers they get when those customers look at the specs on the box and see that their system meets it. Just my conspiracy theory....
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