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New Computer - Any pitfalls to worry about?


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Hi Paragon and/or the Isles!

 

I'm shopping around for another computer, but want to make sure it can still run the best game in town.

 

I vaguely recall there being some issues with certain CPU's but despite my best Web Fu and searching of the forums, I could not find anything concrete.

 

Is there anything I need to specifically pay attention to, or is CoH at the stage where "any modern computer can run it"?

 

Thanks!

Dr. Chernobyl, the Guardian of Terra Volta

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when i built my desktop in 2019 for homecoming - which felt pretty good, given i built my first desktop in 2005 for CoH - i went with an i3 CPU and a GPU for ~$150 + some bog standard 16GB DDR4 RAM

 

runs everything in CoH fine at max graphics

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Pretty much anything can run it. *shrugs*

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Primarily on Everlasting. Squid afficionado. Former creator of Copypastas. General smartalec.

 

I tried to combine Circle and DE, but all I got were garden variety evil mages.

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It 'runs' on 'anything.' What I can tell you performance is vastly better on a device with a dedicated video card versus without. Without one, maps can turn into a slideshow and in all honestly it is a decent enough number of commonly run maps to where yes, it is annoying as hell. Yes, I turned down the graphics to as low as I could tolerate and still got the slideshow at times. I know the original Devs mentioned the game isn't super friendly with Intel if that matters. I grabbed an AMD PC with a dedicated video card, and haven't looked back. I assume a decent Intel with a dedicated graphics card is fine, but I don't directly know. 

Top 10 Most Fun 50s.

1. Without Mercy: Claws/ea Scrapper. 2. Outsmart: Fort 3. Sneakers: Stj/ea Stalker. 4. Waterpark: Water/temp Blaster. 5. Project Next: Ice/stone Brute. 6. Mighty Matt: Rad/bio Brute. 7. Without Pause: Claws/wp Brute. 8. Emma Strange: Ill/dark. 9. Nothing But Flowers: Plant/storm Controller. 10. Obsidian Smoke: Fire/dark Corr. 

 

"Downtime is for mortals."

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4 hours ago, biostem said:

Any modern computer will be able to run CoH without issue, but you will want a dedicated video card.

 

Curious. Why is that? Are the modern cards too sophisticated for this game? Say...the GTX 4080?

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Don't use a computer/laptop with integrated graphics.  There's a specific line of integrated graphics, Intel I believe, that doesn't handle OpenGL very well, particularly with how the game renders water planes and sewer fx.

 

I would also personally recommend against the AMD RX 5000 series for graphics cards, sometimes called Navi.  I tried this one and got microstutters like crazy on CoH, and no setting seemed to fix it.  Ended up having to send it back.

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@Veracor - Veracor, Bio/TW Tanker on Everlasting - 1600 badges, vet level 32000 or something I don't even know anymore.

 

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16 minutes ago, Solarverse said:

Curious. Why is that? Are the modern cards too sophisticated for this game? Say...the GTX 4080?

What I mean is that even a modern integrated graphics card will not be able to properly run the game at full speed and with all effects turned up, (you can use the -usetexenvcombine launch parameter to mostly address that, but the game won't look as nice).  If you're using something like an APU, or a system with a built-in, but still distinct GPU, you'll be fine.

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I think running CoH on a multi monitor setup with nvidia graphics cards causes a problem.  Unfortunately,  the person that knew the specifics about the problem no longer plays so i cant get more info.

 

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46 minutes ago, Captain Fabulous said:

The game runs on a potato. Although it will run on integrated graphics (AMD is better than Intel), a discrete GPU would be better. But pretty much any machine from 2010 on will run it.

 

During my work trip a month ago I had CoH running on my old windows-8 laptop with 2 gigs of ram.

It wasn't pretty, and I had to turn the graphics down to minimum, but it ran enough that I could do missions. Solo though, since it took about a minute or more to load new zones. 🙂

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As someone who actively sold PC's and is still in IT, I'm going to have to somewhat disagree with all the comments about CoH and Integrated graphics. At the time of the game's closure the "top of the line" necessities were AMD FX 280's and nVidia upper 900's or anything 10 series that was coming out, those cards barely had 2-3GBs of dedicated RAM and even in their heyday CoH would have drop points of FPS in the 20's during events like Mothership Raids. Any laptop that is purchased off the shelf that has integrated graphics from 2020 onward (and certain processors from 2018 up) can run CoH in Ultra Mode because the onboard graphics at this point in tech time line are comparable in graphics support, so on a budget it could be done to get one of those with at least a Ryzen 5 (3k+) or i5 (10k+) will function fine (AMD will be better as they have superior integrated graphics performance on their chips).

 

The only issue with getting a device using integrated performance is they are not designed for heat dissipation in the same way that a true gaming laptop would be. They lack fans and support to offset heat and create proper cooling which can (likely will) result in the laptop having a much shorter lifespan comparatively. When approaching this from a desktop scenario, it is still a similar issue of heat/airflow, but also a lack in power; most desktop units that are using integrated graphics often have a PSU that's minimum spec'd to 180w or less, and a full exhaust processor burning 45-60W in those builds can be taxing because they prefer to idle in the 90's, not up into their "peak" ratings.

 

If you decide to go for a laptop, and given the average person is looking at budge and bang-for-buck, I'd point to something like this:

image.png.9f280af4f2aaf89f350d4d113f334efe.png

You can almost always find some variant of MSI and or the ASUS (gaming line) laptop with certain baseline parts on sale for somewhere in the $650-750 range. If you go with one that only has 8GB of RAM make sure (like this one) it has a second slot and can be upgraded, some units the RAM is soldered in and can't be upgraded, but RAM is relatively cheap by comparison for another 8-16GBs and can make CoH run like a cool breeze on one of these.

 

If you're looking at a desktop a similar price threshold can be met:

image.png.1cb9fafed14f877a179203a4b711eb80.png

Now this is just one example, but I don't know that I'd personally run an Intel Processor with an AMD GPU as better performance comes out of AMD+AMD, or stick to Intel+nVidia, or if you want AMD+nVidia since they've gotten over most of their awkward interactions of the past.

If you're willing to put up into the $1,000-$1,200 range, this will assuredly get into the 7's and minimum 3060's which is a more viable "long term" choice for the next 4-5 years:

image.png.db178f40bfca25bc5229d642418dd5ef.png

 

I would recommend staying away from Lenovo, Alienware, and HP for both desktops and laptops. Lenovo "gaming" anything tends to have very poor life expectancy. Alienware is always overpriced for its contents, and often far bulkier/wasted components for the build (as in physical construction). HP makes a lot of stuff in-house and while it may say "Hey, I've got this great SSD or GPU" they're almost always sub-par parts, and they are notorious for undercutting the wattage of their PSU's be a significant margin to cut costs; I've seen far too many builds that have a 650-700W peak get sold with a 550-600W max supply, meaning the unit will burn out incredibly fast. All three of these brands also tend to stick a lot of bloatware on their devices, and anything Dell has software you can't remove because it's baked into the BIOS of the motherboard, not cool.

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7 hours ago, TheZag said:

I think running CoH on a multi monitor setup with nvidia graphics cards causes a problem.  Unfortunately,  the person that knew the specifics about the problem no longer plays so i cant get more info.

 


No.  That's basically a Windows issue.
Does multi-monitor work?
Yes-ISH.
Are all problems that crop up fixable without third party software?
DEFINITELY NOT.

 

 

6 hours ago, JasperStone said:

I bought current laptop about 6 years. Lenovo on sale for about 1,000

The first time I logged into CoH ... game said I could run at Max settings.

 

So any thing current should run it


There's a difference between "Max" settings and MAX SETTINGS.

VERY few things can run CoH at high resolution with things like 16x-32x FSAA turned on.
That's just because most cards outside the NVIDIA **90 cards (which are absolute overkill) do not 1have a frame buffer big enough.

But, for most things, running at default "Ultra" settings is more than doable.

As to laptops, avoid Intel graphics.
But I always ALWAYS recommend a dedicated laptop cooler stand.
Brand is irrelevant-ish.
They'll usually keep your laptop cooler (and quieter) than the on-board fans and heatpipe systems.
image.thumb.jpeg.7a60e7fa4c33ef59d234b59910ebd8ed.jpeg


Avoid "2-in-1" or "foldable" pseudo-tablets.
Actually one of the better "bang for the buck" right now is a Dell
https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell-laptops/new-inspiron-16-laptop/spd/inspiron-16-5635-laptop/usichbts5635fyxf

8 core 2.0-4.5Ghz Ryzen 7
16GB RAM
1TB SSD

While yes it's integrated (on CPU), it's 8 cores Radeon Graphics.
I bought one of these for my brother, and it runs CoH JUST FINE!

Basically this thing is essentially "mobile workstation" class.

So long as you're not trying to rock 4K with all settings maxed, it's fine.

$700

Don't bother looking at the Ryzen 5 version.
They auto-downgrade the memory and SSD in the configurator.
The price is identical, so just be happy with the extra grunt.

If you want to add on mouse, headset, etc, etc, there's only 4 USB slots (3 A-type and 1 C-type).
If you're using more, I recommend getting a USB-C to USB-A hub.
https://www.amazon.com/Anker-Aluminum-Adapter-MacBook-Chromebook/dp/B07DFYQXY7

 

 

 

For Desktop, here's a newer edition of the 1080p ready system.

Now, this is about $200 more than my previous system.

For a couple reasons:

1: Larger SSD (2GB)
2: MUCH beefier GPU (RTX 4060 vs RTX 3050)
3: 32GB vs 16GB

In short, the system's overkill.
If you need to shave the price down, drop back to a 1TB SSD and an RTX 3060.
And pare the memory back to 16GB.

This should cause the price to drop back into the $800-900 range.

One last thing.  This time I sourced SPECIFICALLY for

  • New
  • In Stock
  • Shipped from the US (locally sourced)


This will likely cause a small rise in the price, but waiting a month or three for a component to arrive SUCKS!
Time is money and how much is your personal time worth to you?

If you want to be godlike, pick anything.

If you want to be GOD, pick a TANK!

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6 hours ago, Sir Myshkin said:

As someone who actively sold PC's and is still in IT, I'm going to have to somewhat disagree with all the comments about CoH and Integrated graphics. At the time of the game's closure the "top of the line" necessities were AMD FX 280's and nVidia upper 900's or anything 10 series that was coming out, those cards barely had 2-3GBs of dedicated RAM and even in their heyday CoH would have drop points of FPS in the 20's during events like Mothership Raids. Any laptop that is purchased off the shelf that has integrated graphics from 2020 onward (and certain processors from 2018 up) can run CoH in Ultra Mode because the onboard graphics at this point in tech time line are comparable in graphics support, so on a budget it could be done to get one of those with at least a Ryzen 5 (3k+) or i5 (10k+) will function fine (AMD will be better as they have superior integrated graphics performance on their chips).

 

As I understand it, the problems people have experienced with integrated graphics chips weren't related to performance per se, it was issues with OpenGL support and appropriate OpenGL drivers.

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3 hours ago, Hyperstrike said:

Don't bother looking at the Ryzen 5 version.

FYI, my PC uses AMD Ryzen 5, I run dual monitors, and even dual box perfectly fine. I just went and looked at my settings and put everything in Ultra mode to 100% and I'm fine, so yeah.

Top 10 Most Fun 50s.

1. Without Mercy: Claws/ea Scrapper. 2. Outsmart: Fort 3. Sneakers: Stj/ea Stalker. 4. Waterpark: Water/temp Blaster. 5. Project Next: Ice/stone Brute. 6. Mighty Matt: Rad/bio Brute. 7. Without Pause: Claws/wp Brute. 8. Emma Strange: Ill/dark. 9. Nothing But Flowers: Plant/storm Controller. 10. Obsidian Smoke: Fire/dark Corr. 

 

"Downtime is for mortals."

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39 minutes ago, Without_Pause said:

FYI, my PC uses AMD Ryzen 5, I run dual monitors, and even dual box perfectly fine. I just went and looked at my settings and put everything in Ultra mode to 100% and I'm fine, so yeah.


I'm not saying Ryzen 5 isn't perfectly acceptable.
Simply that the configurator from Dell auto-downgrades the SSD and memory volume.

If you want to be godlike, pick anything.

If you want to be GOD, pick a TANK!

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  • Game Master
Posted (edited)

From someone on the front line, get an AMD or NVidia graphics card and don't even think of using an integrated graphics chip. We have a steady stream of people who can't play the game to it's best advantage because integrated GPU chips can't handle OpenGL very well. It might very well do other things brilliantly, but older games struggle badly. I've also heard reports that the very latest expensive cards have issues, but anything a year or two older will work fine. I'm using a Geforce GTX 1650 and it works well. I also have no issues at all with multi screen.

Edited by GM Crumpet
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Definitely get a dedicated video card. This is pretty much the one piece of hardware that will keep a "gaming" machine viable fr long periods of time (*1). Don't bother over-clocking.

 

"Solid State" storage will improve performance/load times. I like to have multiple drives, one for the OS and one for "everything else." When I am really motivated, I put an OS partition on each SSD so that should their be a catastrophic failure of one system drive I can do a quick swap and have the machine up and running ASAP.

 

If building a machine, don't get a power supply that is close to the (upper) edge of what you need. It is good to have some headroom in the power supply, typically because when you replace devices (e.g. video cards) they will usually want MOAR, and if you add devices they will also add to the power budget. Typically this advice is only good for desktops, with laptops the options are much more limited.

 

(*1)This is not an effort to (re)ignite a video card war, but I have sworn off of AMD video cards. I can believe that there exist people that bought and used a single AMD video card without any trouble, I ended up burning through two different AMDs in a relatively short period of time. In addition to the rather short lifetime I found that I had very little control over what the cards were doing (in terms of power consumption, fan speeds, voltage levels) and it seemed as if the drivers and ancillary software were both contributing to my issues and getting in the way of me doing anything about those issues. I'm sticking with Nvidia, no matter the price point.

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2 hours ago, GM Crumpet said:

We have a steady stream of people who can't play the game to it's best advantage because dedicated GPU chips can't handle OpenGL very well


Uh.

Do you mean integrated GPU chips

Because a dedicated GPU is something like an RTX 4060 or an AMD Radeon.

As to you having "no issues" with multiscreen.

Are you running multi-screen in a Windows OS?

If so, then you do.  There is a tiny-but-not-zero framerate dropoff in multi-monitor mode.
With two, the dropoff is barely noticeable.
At 3 or more, and the difference becomes more pronounced.

If you want to be godlike, pick anything.

If you want to be GOD, pick a TANK!

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  • Game Master
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Hyperstrike said:


Uh.

Do you mean integrated GPU chips

Because a dedicated GPU is something like an RTX 4060 or an AMD Radeon.

As to you having "no issues" with multiscreen.

Are you running multi-screen in a Windows OS?

If so, then you do.  There is a tiny-but-not-zero framerate dropoff in multi-monitor mode.
With two, the dropoff is barely noticeable.
At 3 or more, and the difference becomes more pronounced.

I do indeed. Apologies I'll edit my post

 

And yes I run two screens. I don't tend to play both characters, one in my main played alt the other is either a slave for buffs or an alt I'm levelling and want to monitor. I'm not sure about them lagging behind each other, but they are both smooth within themselves.

 

Often I have something on the second screen like a show I'm streaming or a music player. Or I'm monitoring a download. I was downloading Baldurs Gate 3 the other evening while I was doing an MSR.

Edited by GM Crumpet
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1 hour ago, GM Crumpet said:

I do indeed. Apologies I'll edit my post

 

And yes I run two screens. I don't tend to play both characters, one in my main played alt the other is either a slave for buffs or an alt I'm levelling and want to monitor. I'm not sure about them lagging behind each other, but they are both smooth within themselves.

 

Often I have something on the second screen like a show I'm streaming or a music player. Or I'm monitoring a download. I was downloading Baldurs Gate 3 the other evening while I was doing an MSR.



No, it's not double-boxing.
The mere running of multiple monitors degrades game performance to a certain degree.

Whether you're running one game across 2+ monitors, whether you're running multiple games across multiple monitors.

Or whether you've got a game on one monitor and multiple other things running on another.

There are varying levels of performance hit.

Again, at 2 monitors, the performance hit is minor (but not nonexsitent).

Now, COULD I see better performance by turning off 2 of my monitors and just running on the remaining one?
Sure.

But:
 

  • I'd actually gain more performance back because I'd be running in 2160x3840 ('m running in Portrait Mode) instead of 6480x3840.  Which'd be a MASSIVE load off my GPU.
  • I'd wind up having to PHYSICALLY reconfigure my monitor setup, because trying to do single-monitor portrait mode would SUCK, due to the limited horizontal space.
  • And finally, I've already modified my system UI software so I can work around the massive problems Windows (and Windows 11 in particular) throws at multi-monitor use that isn't ultra-ultra-mega widescreen.  Because of how CoH renders widescreen, I'd lose 90% of my vertical clearance and wind up with a 12K pixel wide ribbon in which my character disappears into.

 

 

Even so, I'd recommend playing with your FOV (crank it to max) to help increase what your camera will render in-game.
Default?  And zoomed out?  I can barely cover the floor of the mothership.

FOV maxed out?  I can get a good 45 degree camera shot of  the entire lower level, plus views of entities at the edge of the lower mezzanine.

 

Edited by Hyperstrike

If you want to be godlike, pick anything.

If you want to be GOD, pick a TANK!

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