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FFXIV - Where am I being let down (hardware wise)?Follow

#1 Sep 18 2010 at 6:20 AM Rating: Decent
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Hiya,

I'm currently playing the FFXIV open beta with the following settings and it's really jerky and glitchy graphically:

Windowed
1440x900 (I read it's good to put it in a resolution one step down from your monitor's which is 1680x1050)
Multisampling: None. I've tried 2x but turned it off last night. Makes a slight difference in performance, but not a great deal.
Buffersize: Resolution (anything less is a huge difference in graphical quality)
Shadow detail: Low

As you and see I'm not trying to run it at a high setting. All the in-game performance configurations (shadows, physics etc) are all off too. While the characters look pretty good still, the graphical lag is awful. The lighting is glitchy. Sometimes the characters' shadows glitch out for a brief moment and look almost as if some black thing is leaving their body. It's getting unplayable at the moment.

I know my PC is fairly old. I can accept this, but I *think* some of the components are still fine but as I am out the loop on hardware, I thought I'd ask you guys.

First thing's first. It's a Dell XPS 420. The ins and outs of the speeds of components and what-not can be found at the following link. I'll just tell you what I have as I don't understand all cache sizes and speeds and that.

http://reviews.cnet.com/desktops/dell-xps-420/4507-3118_7-32716531.html

Intel QuadCore Q6600 2.4GHz
4GB RAM
GeForce GTS250 1GB (bought it off eBay recently as I had a 8800GTS before and I thought the upgrade would help).
On-board sound
2x 500GB HDDs
Windows 7 64-bit

Err... I dunno what else you need. And it's likely in the link posted above.

I've a feeling it's the graphics card which is letting me down again. I thought this was one of the better *budget* cards around but I've no clue really. I got it cheap off eBay so if I need another upgrade in that department I won't be too fussed.

I'm on a very tight budget so please take that in to consideration.
What I am hoping to get out of FFXIV is a smooth gameplay experience. The same resolution as I am running it in now is fine. I don't want everything maxxed out if it's financially improbable. I just would like smooth and half decent.

Sorry for rambling on. I wanted to provide as much info as possible.
Thanks very much.

Edit: Forgot to mention that I am running the Nvidia 8.17.12.5896 drivers which are dated 09/07/2010 (9th July).

Edited, Sep 18th 2010 1:00pm by Unohana
#2 Sep 18 2010 at 8:23 AM Rating: Good
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I have the same GPU as you, but slower CPU and less RAM, and the game works well for me.

Try updating your nvidia drivers.
Check clock speeds of the GTS250. It may be underclocked.
Should be 738/1836/1100 core/shader/memory
Check CPU and GPU usage while in the game.. my CPU maxes out far before my GPU does in most areas.
Turn off Ambient Occlusion in the FFXIV config if you haven't already.
#3 Sep 18 2010 at 10:00 AM Rating: Decent
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I am using the latest drivers, aye. Checked that.

I downloaded RivaTuner and I have it running in the background.
It's giving me these stats:

Core Clock ROP Domain: 738
Core Clock Shader Domain: 1836
Memory Clock: 999.

All of these are stable and are not moving. Something wrong? The figures don't match.
Also the temperature is showing anywhere between 80-103C. I created a new character in Limsa and during the opening cutscene it went to 103C but mostly was around the 96ish mark. Even now it's at 99C and I have just spoken to Hob on the dock who takes you to the Adventurer's Guild.

Something doesn't seem right, right?
#4 Sep 18 2010 at 11:25 AM Rating: Excellent
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Memory clock varies depending on what the manufacturer decides to use in the video card. Basically nvidia makes a chip and a reference circuit board, sends those out to manufacturers with a list of "these are the components we reccommend" however cheaper manufacturers will often substitute lower end ram as a cost savings measure.

Your hard drives might possibly be the issue here, if you have two of the 500 GB western digital "green" hard drives or equivelent and are running them in a raid 1 (Mirrored) array. Thought that would be an odd setup from Dell from the factory.

The processor is a little on the low side, but it should be adequate for FFXIV

Given the video issues you describe, and the fact that you got it off ebay, I'd almost be willing to bet that you are dealing with a partially cooked video card. Especially the glitching and odd shader behavior. The 250 GTS isn't really a spectacular gaming card anyways. You want one of the GTX series cards for gaming, as the GTS series tends to have a somewhat underwhelming clock speed, though it should still have been faster than the 8800 gts you had.

If I were you I'd look for a better video card witha good warranty.

Edited, Sep 18th 2010 10:26am by Kaolian
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#5 Sep 18 2010 at 1:41 PM Rating: Decent
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Thanks for your replies.

I've lowered, lowered and lowered the graphics again and again. I'm not at a point where it's perfectly playable, but not pretty to look at. However, I'll stick with it until I can either i) save some money or ii) win on the horses! Either way once March comes around I'll get it on my PS3 if I have to.

Again, thanks for your replies though. I'll keep looking for a new graphics card when I can and will take your advice on board.
#6 Sep 18 2010 at 11:01 PM Rating: Excellent
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Your temperatures seem awfully high. Have you checked the card and fan for built-up dust?
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#7 Sep 19 2010 at 1:32 AM Rating: Excellent
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Kastigir wrote:
Your temperatures seem awfully high. Have you checked the card and fan for built-up dust?

Holy crap! how did I miss that? 269 degrees Farenheight is insanely way too high for a video card. I must be slipping.

65 degress Celsius under full load is the highest you ever want to see a GTS 450. Kastigir gets the gold star. Your video card is massivly overheating, likely due to a nonfunctional fan, unless those are actually fahrenheit temperatures.

I'm suprised it hasn't stopped functioning entirely at that temperature range.



Edited, Sep 19th 2010 12:35am by Kaolian
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#8 Sep 19 2010 at 2:59 AM Rating: Good
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103C is 217F, not 270. :)

But that is still way too hot.
I have a GTS250 as I mentioned before, and it would sometimes get to 75C.
That was more than I liked, so I got MSI Afterburner Link! And set the fan speed to a curve I liked better. Had it go to 100% fan at =>70C. Was very loud, but never got above 70.

But if you're getting 100C you really need to check the card out physically. Get some canned air and blow out the heatsinks, and see if the heatsink unit is loose. I had an ebay card that got to 100C because of a shoddy heatsink mod I had to fix.
#9 Sep 19 2010 at 9:20 AM Rating: Excellent
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I've only got a 9800GT, so I know nothing specifically about that card. However, I at times have seen 70C at full load with mine. Typically I'm in the mid 60s at full load. (i.e. WoW)

Edited, Sep 19th 2010 11:22am by Kastigir
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#10 Sep 19 2010 at 11:41 AM Rating: Excellent
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Linku wrote:
103C is 217F, not 270. :)


Huh. I found a broken temperature converter website. yay!
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#11 Sep 19 2010 at 2:30 PM Rating: Decent
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You've all got rate ups.

I bought the card about two weeks ago off eBay. Used. But for a pretty cheapo price. I thought it was too high too. Now I've lowered the game a bucketload graphically it seems to be hovering around 70ish. Something doesn't seem right. I'll check the card out physically when I get time. Make sure the fan's plugged in correctly, on and running. Hopefully I haven't damaged it yet. At the moment though I can't really do a great deal money-wise as I am saving for a house and have a baby due next month. Final Fantasy is going to be my last game purchase for a while (despite a million releases due in the next few months).

Maybe worth purchasing a few extra fans as they're pretty cheap, right? 'Specially as I'm not even going to overclock it.
#12 Sep 19 2010 at 2:33 PM Rating: Excellent
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Honestly, I wouldn't play any more until I've had a chance to look at the card. Even at 70C you're running a bit hot. Ounce of prevention and all that.
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#13 Sep 20 2010 at 4:41 AM Rating: Decent
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Okay, plan B.

I can possibly come up with around £200. So is it possible for you to recommend me a new graphics card please?
The thing I'd better mention is that the PSU is only 375W, I believe, so I may have to factor a new one of them in the budget too.

I've included a few pics so you can gauge the type of PSU I need etc.

http://img529.imageshack.us/img529/3043/20100920113340566peterb.jpg

http://img843.imageshack.us/img843/4445/20100920113243417peterb.jpg

http://img693.imageshack.us/img693/7544/20100920113229838peterb.jpg

I have to go work now but I'll keep checking back when I can. This graphics card I got is doin' my head in now.

Thanks again.
#14 Sep 20 2010 at 7:40 AM Rating: Excellent
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Thats a standard ATX PSU screw pattern on the back, so a regular PSU should fit. Dell sometimes does a proprietary slide in mount on the top of the pSU, can't tell if that case has that. if it does, all you have to do is bend that little metal tab out of the way and it will fit a standard antec 650 watt psu just fine.
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#15 Sep 21 2010 at 3:29 AM Rating: Decent
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Thanks again.

FFXIV arrived this morning, so I am really very keen to get my PC in a good working condition.

Could you have a look at these please and see that they will be adequate:

PSU: http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-014-CS&groupid=701&catid=123&subcat=1084

Graphics: http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX-122-HT

I couldn't stretch to a 5850 as they're about £200 upwards on their own.
#16 Sep 21 2010 at 6:52 PM Rating: Excellent
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550 will work, but its a little on the low side and doesn't leave any room for future expansion. I'd get at least a 650.
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#17 Sep 22 2010 at 12:46 AM Rating: Decent
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Dread Lörd Kaolian wrote:
550 will work, but its a little on the low side and doesn't leave any room for future expansion. I'd get at least a 650.


Excellent. Thanks.
#18 Sep 22 2010 at 8:56 AM Rating: Decent
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My oh my!
Guess who got a tax rebate through the post this morning. New 5770 and 600W PSU on the way and a little bit left to spare too. Happy days. Thanks for all your help!
#19 Sep 22 2010 at 9:57 PM Rating: Excellent
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You're welcome!
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