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Wednesday, August 4, 2004

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Knights Of The Old Republic Final System Requirements Posted
9:38 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media's Glenda Adams posted to the IMG Forums with news about her company's port of Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic (KOTOR) yesterday.

Glenda announced that the final system requirements for the extremely popular title have been set, and are as follows -

  • Mac OS X 10.3.4 or later
  • PowerPC G4/G5, 1GHz or faster
  • 256 MB RAM(512MB recommended)
  • 4.2 GB free disk space
  • ATI Radeon 8500/nVidia GeForce 2 or better 3D Graphic Acceleration
  • 32 MB of VRAM
  • DVD drive

    The only big difference between these and the preliminary system reqs is the move up to OS X 10.3.4. Adams notes that the game's heavy dependency on OpenGL features meant that playing the game on any system other than the most recent would require weeks of additional tweaking, for marginally small results - for example, players under any previous system would have to turn off pixel shading, regardless of how powerful their graphics card.

    Further in the thread, Aspyr's Brad Oliver, lead programmer on the KOTOR port, shed some light on the game's fairly hefty hardware requirements -

    The game has two very distinct paths for cards with fragment program support (one for nVidia, another for ATI), and it leans very heavily on fragment programs for both the fastest rendering and the best visual effects. If your card has this support (which means GeForce 2MX+ and 8500+) and you're running 10.3.4, then in a lot of cases you'll end up being CPU bound, depending on what graphics settings you choose in the game and which video card you have.

    Some of the vertex shaders in the game are too large to fit entirely in hardware on the ATI 8500/9000 class cards, so it'll sometimes fall back to software vertex shader emulation on those 2. Similarly, the GeForce 2MX/4MX class cards are not well-suited for KOTOR, but a faster CPU will compensate.

    GeForce 3Ti/4TI cards run great, as do the recent Radeons. It's my opinion that the nVidia fragment program code in KOTOR (which actually uses register combiners) runs a little faster than the Radeon code (which uses ATI fragment programs), but that the ATI cards render fragment programs "prettier", particularly water.

    Finally, if your card doesn't support fragment programs (mainly Radeons prior to the 8500), you'll be going down the slowest rendering path possible in KOTOR. This is a double-whammy, because most Macs with those class cards will also likely be lacking in CPU speed too.

    Hopefully Brad's post answers the question once and for all about whether or not system requirements are pulled out of thin air!

    As recently announced here at IMG, Knights Of The Old Republic is currently listed as being at the Beta stage of development, and is currently expected to ship in September of this year. The role-playing game is available for pre-order through the IMG Store for $48.99 USD ($44.99 USD for MacGames CD/IMG Pro Subscribers). Click on the link below to pre-order your copy.

    IMG Forums: Glenda Adams on KOTOR System Reqs
    Aspyr Media
    Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
    Buy Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

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