I'm not a gamer, but there are a few games I sometimes play for nostalgic reasons - Like Doom, Carmageddon, Blockout, and even Football manager (on a ZX Spectrum emulator, now that really is old school...).
Quake 2 is also one of my favourite retro games, but ever since I got my new desktop PC, the brilliant Quake2XP mod
, also known as quakeIIxp or q2xp, has been giving me some problems.
My setup: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X, B550M, 32GB Ram, 1 TB Samsung 980 Pro, Gigabyte Radeon RX 560 OC 4G (rev. 2.0), 3 monitors (the main one is 4K), Windows 10 Pro.
So as you can see, this is quite a serious workstation, but the R560 videocard is not suited for "serious" gaming. When I bought the new PC hardware, I used the graphics card from the previous one. At the moment prices for videocards are outrageous, and this one still works fine and does all I need it to do. Except for running Quake2XP properly, that is...
The issues I had:
- Very slow load times. The first map would take about 85 seconds (!) to load - after that things were a bit quicker.
- Slow framerates - sometimes always immediately, sometimes after a few minutes the framerate would steadily drop to less that 20 fps, which is unplayable.
- Horizontal black "noise" lines would flash on and off, sort of like an old CRT with a bad antenna connector. A rather nice retro look actually, but not ideal.
What complicates matters is that I also run some 3D software on my desktop that really requires AMD Radeon PRO
drivers, as opposed to the regular Andrenalin (gaming oriented) drivers. Switching to the regular AMD drivers might have solved the Quake problems, but that is not an option for me.
The latest version (at the time of writing) is 21 Q3
but I had weird issues with that one. Sometimes on starting my PC, all 3 monitors would display only noise - needless to say, that was a bit of a shock the first time that happened...
An older version, 21 Q1
works just fine, so I'm sticking with that. Also, all the glitches in Quake 2 XP were exactly the same in both versions, so I didn't bother with the Q2 version.
So after a Sunday morning spent playing around with Video settings in Quake 2 XP, this is what I came up with:
|Texture Compression||Off||Slows loading (dramatically)|
|Generate Normal Maps||Off||Slows the framerate to less than 30 fps in some cases|
|Relief Mapping||Off||Slows framerate|
|Self Shadowing Parallax||Off||Slows framerate|
|Light Flares||Yes||May slow framerate, but not much|
|Depth of Field||Yes||May slow framerate, but not much|
|SSAO||Yes||Thankfully this is OK, it really adds to the atmosphere|
|Cinematic Filter||Off||Has no impact on speed, so Yes is OK too|
|Vertical Sync||Off||Standart is OK 95% of the time, but it slows the framerate to around 30 fps in some cases;|
Adaptive causes the flashing horizontal lines
These settings fix the issues I had with Quake2XP, plus Windows 10 and all other applications work just fine as well.
It is still not ideal however - every once in a while the framerate still drops to an unplayable level. It doesn't happen nearly as often, so I can live with that. Some bug-free graphics drivers would be nice though...
The maximum (16:9) resolution I can now use, while maintaining a minimum of 60 fps 99% of the time, is 1600 x 900. Switching to 1920 x 1080 is quite useable, but it drops the framerate to under 50 fps sometimes.