How Will Doom 3 Play On My Notebook?

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Apoptosis
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How Will Doom 3 Play On My Notebook?

Post by Apoptosis » Tue Aug 17, 2004 11:07 am

After attending Quakecon 2004 and meeting some dedicated readers we found that one of the most asked questions at Quakecon 2004 was how well Doom 3 plays on laptops. We had our laptop their, but honestly have never installed Doom 3 on it, so once we got back home we installed Doom 3 on our ASUS M6N notebook that we built and started benchmarking to see how the hardware hungry game does.

The first choice we had to make is what video card driver to use on our notebook that contained discrete graphics via the ATI Mobility 9600 64mb chip. We couldn't make up our minds so we went ahead and used four different drivers to see which worked best. For this we went with the official ASUS V8.01 (this is officially the correct and latest driver for the ASUS M6N notebook) and we then modded ATI CATALYST Drivers version 4.7, 4.8, and 4.9 Beta for use on our notebook.
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More performance?

Post by kronus » Tue Aug 17, 2004 3:11 pm

How will D3 play with Omega drivers? :twisted:
What about with Omega Drivers and these tweaks that increase performance 40% supposedly? :shock:

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Post by Wirehead » Wed Aug 18, 2004 12:04 am

Wonder how it'll do on a Mobile Radeon 9600 Pro-128mb? It's not just the extra RAM, it's also got a wider memory bus than the 64mb version.

When my buddy gets done with the game he's going to send me his copy so I guess I'll find out then. The laptop in question has a Toshiba 7200RPM drive, Athlon64 3000+ and 512mb DDR400 (only running at DDR333 because for some damn reason the board doesn't support DDR400).

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Post by GuruX » Wed Aug 18, 2004 1:17 am

Those framerates are only slightly higher than what I receive on my 1.4GHz Pentium-M laptop with the same video card configuration (my laptop is the AOpen 1557GLS barebones). I can generally play at 800x600 @ medium detail levels with satisfactory results (framerates are still fairly good, although they do drop a bit if there is a lot of action on the screen at one time (several imps throwing fireballs, etc.)

Overall, I'm quite impressed with how well DOOM 3 does run on this machine.

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Post by Apoptosis » Wed Aug 18, 2004 9:04 am

Wirehead --

Yeah the ASUS M6N wont support DDR400 either... I've tried many different BIOS's with no luck. Just underclocks it down to 333MHz. :(

GuruX --

The 1557GLS is a pretty slick looking whitebook. How do you like it? Every tried overclocking the Mobility 9600? I believe that the AOpen 1557GLS only comes in the 15""SXGA... So I would expect the 15" regular screen to outperform the 15.4" widescreen also.

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Post by Wirehead » Wed Aug 18, 2004 10:09 am

Yeah... it's weird. This motherboard chipset started out as an Opteron server board - Via K8T800 if I recall correctly. I don't know why the hell they'd take a DUAL CHANNEL DDR400 socket 939-capable chipset and then reduce the RAM speeds to DDR333. I mean... why would you take performance OUT of your notebook when the capability already exists and doesn't cost you anything to enable? Power consumption? Hmpf.

Well, I guess I've got some RAM to use on my next laptop or something. Although I think this time I'll wait until the PCI-X upgradeable graphics modules really become standardised. This thing is peppy enough that I'm sure I can live with it for six months or so - I can probably sell it for $1000 or so a year down the road and be in good shape.

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Post by Wirehead » Wed Aug 18, 2004 10:18 am

Sorry for replying to myself but I just thought of something:

Apoptosis: When you've tried to reclock your ram to 400 or whatever, have you tried just increasing the system bus? In other words, is the memory controller locked at DDR333/SPD, or is it synchronous with system bus?

I wonder how hot this thing would get if I OC'ed it to 200/400FSB. Heheh. The A64 Mobile 3000+ has a full meg of cache, too, but only runs at 1.8ghz compared to the 512k cache/2.0ghz desktop A64 3000+.

I'll have to look into this.

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Post by GuruX » Wed Aug 18, 2004 1:41 pm

Apoptosis wrote:GuruX --

The 1557GLS is a pretty slick looking whitebook. How do you like it? Every tried overclocking the Mobility 9600? I believe that the AOpen 1557GLS only comes in the 15""SXGA... So I would expect the 15" regular screen to outperform the 15.4" widescreen also.
Overall, I'm fairly happy with my notebook. I did have an issue with the CPU failing on me, but I'll admit this happened at a LAN party where it was VERY hot inside. Next time I attend a LAN party, I'll definately want to get one of those laptop coolers just in case. For those interested in pics, I have a few random shots located HERE The only complaint I have is that the display's response time is not very good for gaming (I'm guessing it has a 25ms response time). I'm currently using a BenQ FP767-12 (12ms response) for gaming, and it works great.

You are correct in that the 1557 only has a 15" screen (not the widescreen). Also, I haven't really tried overclocking the Mobility Radeon 9600, despite having the ability to do so (I'm using the modded 4.7 Omega drivers at the moment).

My current configuration consists of the following:

AOpen 1557GLS (15" SXGA+ display with 64MB Mobility Radeon 9600)
Pentium-M 1.4GHz
1GB Micron PC2700 DDR memory (2 x 512MB)
Fujitsu 40GB 5400rpm HDD w/8MB cache
24x CD-RW / 8x DVD-ROM drive

I also have an 80GB drive attached via USB 2.0, and my trusty Plextor PX-712A attached via Firewire (both in external enclosures of course).

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Post by enronias » Wed Aug 18, 2004 5:10 pm

My current config is:

3.00GHz Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor w/ HT (800MHz FSB)
Intel 865PE+ICH5 Chipset Socket 478 Mobile Motherboard (800MHz
FSB)
2x 512MB PC3200 DDR400 RAM SODIMM
ATI Radeon Mobility 9700 (M11) 256MB
80GB 5400rpm Ultra ATA Hard Drive w/ 8MB Cache
8X DVD / 24X-10X-24 CD-R/W Combo Drive

How well do you think I'll do with it?

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Post by Apoptosis » Wed Aug 18, 2004 5:33 pm

wow... with that config it should be pretty smoking!

If you try it out be sure and let us know! I'd be interested in seeing what that monster can do.

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Post by Ray » Wed Aug 18, 2004 5:36 pm

I installed the modded ATI CATALYST 4.8 driver on my Toshiba Satellite 1905-S301. Since this computer is running only a MOBILITY M6, I chose the generic "Radeon Mobility" card in the modder. It worked great and was fun to do. Thanks for writing the article about it.

During the driver install, WinXP gave me a warning popup that read something like this: "The driver you are about to install is not good for your computer. It may work or it may not, but it may also cause the sun to move backwards and the oceans to turn to blood and your system to be very unstable, although we won't go so far as to say that it will damage your hardware. Please, Please, whatever you do, don't install this driver." (Of course I clicked on "Continue".)

DOOM3 works fine, except ... the poor little fan on the CPU can't keep up with the game. The CPU works so hard that after 5-10 minutes of gameplay the temperature sensor trips and the computer shuts down *immediately*.

(Well, either that or the driver really does destabilize the system. I'm pretty sure it's the overheating thing, though. It's happened before when I had the thing in my lap with the outlet vents blocked.)

--
Regards
Ray

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Post by enronias » Wed Aug 18, 2004 5:36 pm

Yeh it comes in two days, I'll be sure to let ya'll know

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Post by mamert » Thu Aug 19, 2004 12:11 am

Doom 3 run steady 25-30 fps in my GeForceFx5600go @ 1024 low quality (just 64 MB) with high detail

p4 (no mobile) 2.8 Ghz 512 Ram

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Post by Apoptosis » Thu Aug 19, 2004 3:23 pm

Just wanted to let everyone know that I tried another tweak to get better performance and it failed...

I had a few people e-mail me and suggest doing this for better performance:
Another thing that you might want to try (I did on my Doom 3 for my PC) is changing the parameters in the doomconfig.cfg file. I noticed a significant improvement in FPS, used to be stuttering on high quality.
Take note of these lines:

seta image_useCache "1"
seta image_cacheMegs "256" <--- should be 1/4th your total memory
seta image_cacheMinK "20480"

These 3 above must altered together.(and makes the most significant improvement to the game for those people who have mid-range specs)

My suggestion is to 1st set the video quality of the game. Then exit and tweak, coz I found out if I tweak and make changes to the in-game video settings later, the changes to the doomconfig.cfg file is removed unless you script it like suggested.
Using CATALYST 4.8 drivers and the above config tweak I benchmarked all the resolutions and settings again and got no performance gain or loss. Everything was exactly the same.

Just some good info for you tweakers out there.

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Post by A10Pilot3 » Thu Aug 19, 2004 11:33 pm

Just had to comment that Doom 3 is playable on my 2 year old Gateway laptop at 1.7GHz (not the new M processor) and 512mb ram and some ati 32mb card

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