The Haus

Wednesday, May 8, 2002

Raven Master Servers Downtime

Raven's Rick Johnson updated his .plan with word that the Raven master servers will be down for a while this Saturday. Here's the scoop:
We will be upgrading some internal hardware at Raven during the morning of Saturday, May 11th. The master servers for Elite Force, Jedi Knight 2, and the SoF2 MP Test will be unavailable from around 9:00am Central Time to early early afternoon, given that everything goes smoothly.

Tuesday, May 7, 2002

Pondering the Imponderable

This just struck me earlier today. My current video card (a Visiontek GeForce3 Ti200) has more megs than my first hard drive, 64M to 40M. The really frightening thing is that wasn't even 10 years ago when I got that hard drive. And I paid $250 for it.

Of course, I could compare my current box (Athlon 1800+ 1.53Ghz and 256M DDR SDRAM) to my first computer, a VIC-20 (6502 at 1.0227Mhz with 5K RAM of which 3.5K was usable). Then there's my PDA which operates at the same speed (16Mhz) and has 8x more memory (8M) than my first "real" PC which I bought in 1990. For you math majors, yes, it had no hard drive. I ran everything off a 1.2M floppy. Those were the days.

Maybe I'm just an aging geek . . . OK, that's exactly what I am.

JKII 1.03 Patch Impressions

I've messed around with the Jedi Knight II 1.03 patch a little this morning. One key thing I noticed is that the timedemo command is no longer cheat-protected. There is even a new demo to try. Since EAX 3.0 was added with the patch, I wanted to see what effect it would have on framerates. Technically my SB Live! does not support EAX 3.0, only the SB Audigy and Extigy do. At 1024x768x32 with all the graphic options cranked, I got 90.7 fps without EAX and 76.7 with EAX. The effects sound pretty good, but I'm not sure they are worth a 15% framerate hit. Hopefully someone will come out with a Crusher-esque demo so we can REALLY test our systems.

One thing I noticed when running the timedemos is that JKII is not as repeatable as Quake III is. Without EAX I recorded scores of 91.3, 90.0, 90.4, and 91.0 fps. With EAX I got 77.7, 76.5, 76.1, and 76.6. They are all within a couple of percentage points which is good enough for government work, but I wonder if the hardware sites are going to want to use JKII to replace Q3A because of this.

The Master comments: I'm going to take a guess here and say the varying frame rates are probably the results of the effects engine. If I remember correctly (wow! Iron Chef!) Heretic 2 had a variable effects engine that could affect framerates from each run of a demo as well.

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