[Solved!] Old hardware.

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O'neal
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[Solved!] Old hardware.

Post by O'neal »

Hi forum.
I have a question about running Oolite on an old IBM computer.
The following is a summary of the hardware in this machine:
As I said, it is an old IBM with an Intel Pentium 4 processor running at 1.80 GHz.
1.5 Gig.'s of RAM, and unfortunately, it has a Brookdale-G integrated video chip, which I understand, is a dreaded chip.
Unfortunately, my other computer (a much newer machine) went up in smoke, literally, 2 days before Christmas and I just don't have the money to replace it right now.
The bad thing about that (as far as Oolite is concerned anyhow) is that I was just a few points (kills) away from achieving Deadly status when it happened. :x
I have tried installing the following Linux distributions to no avail.....
  • Linux Mint 11
    Linux Mint 10
    KUbuntu Linux 11.04
    LUbuntu 11.04
    Fedora 16 (won't even install)

I was able to install and run Fedora 12 and Oolite ran perfectly but Shaders were disabled. (I suspect that is because of the integrated Brookdale -G graphic chip).
So, I guess I'm looking for some advise about which Linux distribution to install to be able to run Oolite successfully?
And what are Oolite's minimum system requirements?
I know that I have been pretty brief with the description of this system so if more information is required please advise.
Thank you in advance for your help.

O'neal
Formally, Solar Patriot
Last edited by O'neal on Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Old hardware.

Post by DaddyHoggy »

I have run Oolite (up to 1.75) on my old desktop (I now mostly use my work laptop) - Athlon 2800+, 2GB RAM and a variety of (admittedly dedicated) GFX cards - from a 128MB FX5200 up to my current (but still old) 256MB GF6600GT. I ran up to 1.70 on Gutsy Gibbon and have run up to 1.75 on Karmic and Jaunty (where I currently still am).

No problems (NForce2 mobo, SBLive sound) - basic game ran fine even on the 5200 gfx, Griff's ships and YAH oxps made it chunter quite seriously, but it's not too bad with the 6600GT under Jaunty as long as I don't run too many of the big texture heavy OXPs - I usually run a subset of about 30 OXPs of a pool of about 60 I have on my HD.

I hope this helps - I confess I don't know much about your integrated gfx, but past experience on other machines indicates that most integrated gfx just suck.
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Re: Old hardware.

Post by Kaks »

Yep, the limiting factor is the graphic card.

Your best bet would be to look for a 10-15 pounds graphic card that's compatible with your motherboard: if you've got pci connectors, something like this should just be enough to get shaders going, and doesn't seem to be too bad a bet:

http://uk.webuy.com/product.php?sku=SGRAF8P11HJJA

Once it's inserted onto your motherboard, you should be able to disable the integrated graphic card, and use the 'new' one instead...

However, before parting with your cash, you'll need to make sure that whatever graphic card you're going to get does actually fit inside your computer (check both connector type and actual form factor) and that you can get the right linux drivers, but neither issue should be insurmountable... ;)
Hey, free OXPs: farsun v1.05 & tty v0.5! :0)

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Re: Old hardware.

Post by DaddyHoggy »

I'm always surprised just how well the nvidia drivers install under Ubuntu - never had a problem yet...
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Re: Old hardware.

Post by Micha »

I -may- still have some old gfx cards lying around (I was trying to ebay some off recently, can't remember what sold and what stayed). If you post the interface (PCI, AGP, ...) I'll have a look.
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Re: Old hardware.

Post by DaddyHoggy »

Micha wrote:I -may- still have some old gfx cards lying around (I was trying to ebay some off recently, can't remember what sold and what stayed). If you post the interface (PCI, AGP, ...) I'll have a look.
Which is what I did for Thargoid last year - what a good bunch we are! :wink:
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Re: Old hardware.

Post by maaarcooose »

If you have no luck, I also have a drawer full of old graphics cards and plenty of cannibalisable PC's if needed.

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Re: Old hardware.

Post by SandJ »

O'neal wrote:I have a question about running Oolite on an old IBM computer. The following is a summary of the hardware:
an old IBM with an Intel Pentium 4 processor running at 1.80 GHz.
1.5 Gig.'s of RAM, and unfortunately, it has a Brookdale-G integrated video chip, which I understand, is a dreaded chip.
I run Ubuntu 10.04 on my old Dell Dimension 4550 (on which I am writing this). It can run Oolite provided no pretty OXPs are installed and the graphics options turned right down.
- 2GHz Pentium 4
- 512MB RAM
- 16MB ATI Rage 128 Ultra graphics card, which cost me all of about £10
You should be able to get a suitable graphics card for £5 to £10 from an independent PC repair shop.

I had a lot of trouble getting Linux CDs to boot up on this machine; I tried at least 6 variations before finding one that would work. I have no idea what the problem was.
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Re: Old hardware.

Post by O'neal »

First, I want to thank everyone for their help and for the gererous offerings that were made. You guys are AWESOME!
This really is the friendliest forum, anywhere!
And second, to address the issue at hand....
I discovered that my brother had a video card that he wasn't using so he let me use it.
The card is an nVidia NV17 [GeForce4 MX 440] (rev.a3).
I installed it and experienced the same thing that SandJ described....
I had a lot of trouble getting Linux CDs to boot up on this machine; I tried at least 6 variations before finding one that would work. I have no idea what the problem was.
I finally got fedora 12 to install and run.
I installed Oolite 1.76 and it opens but it is so slow that it is not playable. I pressed [ctrl+f] to show the frame rate and it showed 4 fps.

Firefox is also slow, though only when scrolling. The pages (sites) load as normal.

As always, any help is graceously accepted. :wink:

Thanks again to all of you that responded to my original post.
O'neal
Formally, Solar Patriot

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Re: Old hardware.

Post by snork »

Hm, these 4fps - is that for a pure Oolite ? Or with Povray Planets or some such oxp installed ?

I have computer based on Pentium 2 and Geforce 2 (but AGP) - and framerate only gets as low as 4 when I try to install too fancy an oxp, (or when a scripted rock hermit appears inside an asteroid, different story :D )
And I have several programs running alongside Oolite.

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Re: Old hardware.

Post by SandJ »

O'neal wrote:my brother had a video card that he wasn't using so he let me use it.
The card is an nVidia NV17 [GeForce4 MX 440] (rev.a3).
Bear in mind I am out of my depth here, but, I think it will be necessary to make sure you are using the Linux drivers appropriate for that card, and I do not know how to tell if that is the case nor how to make it happen.
O'neal wrote:I finally got fedora 12 to install and run.
Persistence pays off.
O'neal wrote:I installed Oolite 1.76 and it opens but it is so slow that it is not playable. I pressed [ctrl+f] to show the frame rate and it showed 4 fps.
There is a bunch of menu option settings available to reduce the graphics (and thereby improve the speed) under 'Game Options'. There are other tweaks too to reduce the number of stars and remove the nebulae; I did that the hard way by editing files but I think there may be an OXP that does the same thing.
O'neal wrote:Firefox is also slow, though only when scrolling. The pages (sites) load as normal.
For that spec of machine, get hold of the latest Firefox 3.6, which is currently v3.6.25, link. As far as me and my clockwork computers are concerned, that is the most recent decent version of Firefox.

And all the pretty OXPs are a no-no, and that includes the Escape Pod Locator and Your Ad Here.
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Re: Old hardware.

Post by JensAyton »

O'neal wrote:I installed Oolite 1.76 and it opens but it is so slow that it is not playable. I pressed [ctrl+f] to show the frame rate and it showed 4 fps.
Please open your log and copy the line with [rendering.opengl.version] in it (near the top, after the list of search paths).

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Re: Old hardware.

Post by O'neal »

As per your request Ahruman--I assume that you wanted me to post that line here so that you can see it?

14:00:00.682 [rendering.opengl.version]: OpenGL renderer version: 2.1.0 ("2.1 Mesa 7.7.1-DEVEL"). Vendor: "Mesa Project". Renderer: "Software Rasterizer".

Thank you for your quick response.
O'neal
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Re: Old hardware.

Post by JensAyton »

O'neal wrote:14:00:00.682 [rendering.opengl.version]: OpenGL renderer version: 2.1.0 ("2.1 Mesa 7.7.1-DEVEL"). Vendor: "Mesa Project". Renderer: "Software Rasterizer".
This means that the graphics card is not being used. You probably need to install drivers; I can’t really help with that, not being a Linux person.

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Re: Old hardware.

Post by O'neal »

@SandJ
You are absolutely right; persistance does pay off. Particularly when you have to work with old hardware. :)
I'm not good at throwing something away that still has some value/use. With that said, I'm not a "pack-rat" either. I don't have any problem getting rid of something that I can't use. But I have been able to help a lot of other people because I did keep that old hardware.
I have given away more computer parts than I can count. When my newer computer died a couple of weeks ago, I was thankful that I had this one lying around. :wink:
For that spec of machine, get hold of the latest Firefox 3.6, which is currently v3.6.25, link. As far as me and my clockwork computers are concerned, that is the most recent decent version of Firefox.
Thank you. I will check that out.
Bear in mind I am out of my depth here, but, I think it will be necessary to make sure you are using the Linux drivers appropriate for that card, and I do not know how to tell if that is the case nor how to make it happen.
I will look into this as well. I thought I had the latest drivers for this nVidia card installed but I can't be sure, so I will confirm it. Thanks.
Hm, these 4fps - is that for a pure Oolite ? Or with Povray Planets or some such oxp installed ?
I have Oolive 1.76 installed without any OXP's added. What is installed is only what installed with the download. I haven't added anything.
My fear is that even though the game menu showes Shaders=Full, I won't be able to run any of the really cool OXP's...I have to come clean here; I got spoiled with my other machine. I was able to run any OXP that I added to the game. (It's those OXP's that add fun, excitement, color and even glamor to the game). They make Oolite Sparkle. :D
O'neal
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