T2 Rigs

I was just asked a few times on Snap Crackle Pub about why computers could be lagging even though their internet speeds are just fine. Apparently, people still use their dusty old Windows 98 machines to play Tribes.

So, I'm going to over the next list compile a few different configurations SPECIFICALLY for Tribes in this Thread.

I'm looking at giving them SOME specs of usability outside of Tribes. I'm going to stick with a 30 GB SSD as the HDD, which you can swap out for whatever you wish. Same for the OS, Windows, Linux, the choice is yours. Windows 7 typically allows for the best compatibility off the line.

#1 http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2SMkr - $341.33
#2 http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2SLVN - $429.64


  • See: http://www.tribesnext.com/forum/index.php?topic=473.0

    "Lag" is remarkably non-specific, but, you might actually be encountering jitter. The game was written when single-CPU systems were common and uses the CPU tick counter for high precision timing. Multi-CPU/Core systems don't keep CPU tick count synchronized across different execution units, and as the process is scheduled across different execution units, the game will get slightly different tick counts, causing the simulation to warp forward/backward in time (manifesting as a sutter/jitter, maybe interpreted as "lag").

    In testing, AMD CPUs seem more affected than Intel CPUs; in all cases, there are effective remedies in the FAQ thread I linked above. In retrospect, this is something we probably should have made default in the TribesNext patch.
  • Well he did say Windows 98 machines, unless he was just generalizing the situation to older hardware across the board. I really doubt Windows 98 would work with multiple cores to begin with. Although, this is still helpful for when those guys get their new hardware configurations.
  • edited February 2014
    98 will run on smp systems if it can be installed but only be aware of and utilise one core from bootup. Not untill nt came along did consumer ms code use smp - symetric multi processing - more than one core. Nt, 2k, and xp can use smp but only to their coded core limit. 2k will use both cpus in a dual cpu sys, xp home will use two virtual cores (think Intel's Hyper Threading) but not two literal cores while xp pro can use both. Some version of nt and 2k will run on many more cores like 32 and even more, but that is usualy for datacenter use. Vista can use smp to a limit, such as up to 4 cores in a single cpu socket, as can later ms offerings.
  • Also, if you read the t2 box it has target systems listed. Let me get a t2 box so I can quote it.

    "Windows 95B/98/ME/NT Service Pack 4.0
    Suggested CPU speed is according to video card installed;
    Pentium 2; 300MHz GeForce and GeForce2, Diamond Viper II, ATi Rage 128
    Pentium 2; 400MHz TNT, TNT2. Radeon, Matrox G400&G450, Voodoo 3
    Pentium 2; 500MHz Voodoo 2, 4, 5, Kyro, Permedia 3
    RAM; 64MB (128MB Suggested)
    CD ROM; 4X Speed
    SOUNDCARD; DirectSound Compatible
    12MB or better video card"

    Back when t2 came out a very top end pc had a ATi8500 or GeForce, most however had TNT or Voodoo cards or even slower. It's a DX6 game with some DX7 and 8 stuff bolted on. This means it can play on a really low spec system.

    T2 was written with some DX8 shaders, so it was expected the top end cards at release would be of the GeForce2/3 variety as well as the ATi 9700 and Radeon 8500 that can display the fancy shading. You see this fancy shading mostly in the reflections on armor, water, and so on. As you might surmise from the cpu list above, the more powerfull the video card the less powerfull the cpu has to be. Today it's a moot point, most video cards in use today are hundreds of times more powerfull by themselves and have more memory on board than most any target pc system that existed when the game was written. In use the game takes up about 160 megs ram, and the exe is about 4megs or so, so the rest is textures and script and dlls and allocated memory.

    In summary, if you have a system from the last ten years or so, lag isn't going to be related to the game or hardware.
  • The Direct3D renderer in Tribes 2 wasn't even really finished as far as I know. Or at least has horrible compatability with modern hardware, it's either never shown for me by default but if I force it via the pref, there tends to be visual oddities and performance degradation. I think most people are just running the more stable OpenGL renderer.
  • The d3d wrapper is/was just that meant to allow some with systems that ran beter or only under d3d than opengl. But my mention of shading was to note the level of shading the card can perform by dx class, 6 wich is Tribes1 meaning straight textures and no shaders, dx6/7/8 wich is Tribes2 with some shading, etc.
  • As far as I know, the T2 engine does not invoke programmable pipeline via shaders in any form. Armor and environmental reflections were implemented as cube maps. If it had, there would have been an easy in for doing modern graphical effects, since there would be necessarily facilities for bucketing the scene graph by shader program, and places where new shaders could be easily incorporated. Early shader utilization (ARB assembly variety) only came into production game use in 2003-2004 with Doom 3.

    In any case, switching from tick count (RDTSC instruction) to the high performance precision timekeeping, or locking execution to one core (where the tick count will be internally consistent, barring dynamic clock scaling) will resolve the problem for T2, as enumerated in the FAQ. If people are still playing on Windows 98 single CPU machines, they're obviously unaffected, which is the point I was trying to make.
  • They may be referring to bump mapping done as shading wich can be faster than brute forcing it, usualy by multiple passes, via texturing.
    As I recall one selling point I read in a review of the game was if you didn't have shaders you'd not be able to see the nice reflections.
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