Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Running Oblivion With A Less-than-Par Video Card

I eventually ran into the guys at Oldblivion and found my solution.

A few days ago, I purchased Oblivion. (Props, Walmart) I eagerly installed the game, and then tried to run it. The game started to launch, a little black square appeared in the top left corner, and then I saw the classic Windows XP error reporting tool. Oh how I love seeing that tool...

Here is a brief summary of my hardware:

Pentium D 805 2.67 GHz
1 GB DDR2 667 RAM
250 GB HDD
Asus P5L-MX Motherboard
Intel 950 Integrated Graphics

The biggest thwart in my computer's side is the Intel integrated graphics chip. The video card is great for normal Windows use; it is even Windows Vista ready. But for gaming, this card does the bare-minimums. It can run older games fine, but when it comes to the more modern games that require DirectX 9.0C to run, this card is horrible.

But back to Oblivion, I could not get the game to start due to my Intel graphics chipset. Oblivion did not even recognize the card to run. Apparently, Oblivion will only run if a video card can support hardware Transform and Lighting 2.0, which rules the Intel 950 out. I eventually ran into the guys at Oldblivion and found my solution.

I downloaded the Oldblivion tool and found their latest version only worked with Oblivion up to version 1.1.511, so I patched the game up to that version with the patch I found here.

Oldblivion installs with a configuration tool, and here is the screen you would see:

To even run the game, you must have the following checkboxes checked:

However, I strongly recommend you upgrade your video card to something that will play this better. Some video cards will cost you an arm and a leg, but if you play your cards right, you'll find a good deal on a decent video card.

Here is the card I'm going to be buying from Newegg:

If you do not know which card to get, I suggest you do your research. The articles at Guru3d have proven to be invaluable, as well as the advice from the users at the Guru3d forums. Make sure you know what your motherboard can support and how much many watts your power supply can provide - factors that involve whether or not you can even use a particular video card.