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| Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar - NVIDIA 6800 Guide (24 comments )|
by: indigo196 (258) | Posted in cluster Editors Challenge Sponsored by Intel Round 2
Posted 75 months ago ( edited 75 months ago ) in category DEFAULT
|» MEDIA (10)|
Lord of the Rings Video
advanced settings performance chart
LOTR ultra high
LOTR - Very High
LOTR - High
LOTR Very Low
It would be great to have the latest and greatest processor, video card, motherboard and ram. For most gamers this dream is unattainable. Reality is filled with compromises on new machines, occasional component upgrades and aging computers. In real life the question for new anticipated games is if these tired rigs can play the game.
The core component for gaming rigs are their video cards. My system which was built back in 2004 features a video card based on the NVIDIA 6800 chip. Even at the cards release it was not a top-of-the-line card. The card is viewed as an enthusiast-level card or in my case a card for a guy with kids and a wife.
This guide is intended to help people with older rigs, like me, run LOTR.
Intel P4 3Ghz
EVGA NVIDA 6800 256mb (AGP)
2x 512mb Kingston HyperX DDR500 (PC 4000)
Seagate ST3160023AS SATA HD
Windows XP SP2
Viewsonic VX910 at 1280x1024
Video Driver Details
Anisotropic filtering - application controlled
Antialiasing - application controlled (no setting in game)
Texture Filtering - Quality
Verticle sync - Use the 3D application setting (set to off in game)
The Basic Settings and Results:
LOTR has six basic settings that you can choose from for video quality:
• Very Low FPS: Min 36 Max 58 Avg 53.583
• Low FPS: Min 36 Max 58 Avg 53.582
• Medium FPS: Min 33 Max 57 Avg 46.383
• High FPS: Min 21 Max 46 Avg 31.850
• Very High FPS: Min 19 Max 35 Avg 24.533
• Ultra High FPS: Min 5 Max 22 Avg 15.517
(I have uploaded a movie that compares these settings starting with ultra high and ends with very low. I will give extra credit for recognizing which real-wrold movie this pays homage too.)
These results were obtained by running ten 60 second benchmarks at each setting level and averaging the results. For each setting, I completed half of the benchmarks during the daytime cycle and the other half during the nighttime cycle. The benchmark was done in a grassy area and consisted of running down a hill, attacking three mobs in succession, running up the hill and performing a healing spell. The area contained a flowered area of the field and small pond of water. It would have been better to have the ability to run a time-recorded demo to avoid minor variations in the environment, but I am unaware of any MMO having such a utility.
Picking a Starting Point:
Since LOTR included some preconfigured basic settings choices, I decided to start with those to determine my starting point. If this was a first person shooter I would not have found any of these results as acceptable. For any games other than twitch games I strive to achieve an average FPS of around 40 while keeping my low at 30 or above. With the system I have that leaves high, very high and ultra high settings out. I did notice some significant hard drive thrashing with the three high settings so a 6800 based card that sports 512mb of video ram might be able to use the high setting. The setting that comes closest to my performance target was the medium setting. Lucky for me it was slightly over the target so I could tweak the individual advanced settings to achieve greater visual appeal.
The Advance Settings and Results:
Using the medium setting as a base, I could now try individual settings increases to improve visual appearance. I wanted to determine what the impact was for each advanced setting so I repeated the testing process for the basic settings by choosing the basic medium setting and then raising the specific advanced setting to its highest level. The advanced settings and results:
• Object Draw Distance FPS: Min 13 Max 55 Avg 42.4
• Landscape Draw Distance FPS: Min 21 Max 59 Avg 49.883
• Material Detail FPS: Min 33 Max 59 Avg 49.883
• Surface Reflections FPS: Min 33 Max 59 Avg 49.050
• Frill Distance FPS: Min 32 Max 59 Avg 48.433
• Model Detail FPS: Min 30 Max 59 Avg 47.850
• Animation Smoothness FPS: Min 21 Max 58 Avg 45.367
• Atmospheric Detail FPS: Min 23 Max 59 Avg 47.067
• Texture Detail FPS: Min 37 Max 59 Avg 50.800 (note: was already at max)
• Anisotropic Filtering FPS: Min 27 Max 41 Avg 32.700
• Landscape Lighting Quality FPS: Min 30 Max 59 Avg 46.283
• Stencil Shadows FPS: Min 37 Max 59 Avg 54.183
• Post Processing Effects FPS: Min 18 Max 33 Avg 25.683
(note: I was surprised to find that some of the results here yielded higher results than the base medium settings I redid my base medium settings to ensure they were accurate)
From these results I could eliminate using the highest settings for object draw distance, landscape draw distance, animation smoothness, atmospheric detail, anisotropic filtering and post processing effects. I would be able to attempt to combine any of the others if I desired. The next step was to run tests with all of the remaining settings raised to their highest levels.
» FPS: Min 19 Max 36 Avg 27.18
As expected, the results were not acceptable so I would have to choose which items were the most important to me. I really wanted to have nice surface reflections and material details so I chose those. I also changed Stencil Shadows because it had very little effect in the individual tests.
» FPS: Min 31 Max 56 Avg 46.000
Success!!! My choices might vary from those of others and different combinations of selections might yield different results.
Despite the age of the NVIDIA 6800 video card, my gaming rig is capable of playing LOTR and I get to enjoy a fair amount of graphic goodness. The testing was done in the early part of the game so be warned that if the later stages change the volume of creatures or special effects in the game world it might be necessary to lower the settings.
If you look over the results from the advanced settings you will notice a couple of items that really caused the 6800 problems. Sadly, some of these settings really impact the visual experience. The object draw distance, terrain draw distance, animation smoothness and post processing effects all make immense improvements when elevated to their highest settings. If you plan on spending alot of time playing LOTR and have a system similar to mine I would recommend buying a new system or upgrading to an AGP card based on the ATI X1950 Pro chipset.
Enjoy the game!!!
(note: higher quality .WMV video linked below)External Link: http://media.firingsquad.com/editorchallenge/lotrm...
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