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John_Cillis

Anyone have FS 2004 running on an 8 MB video card?

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I've got a Compaq laptop with an 8 MB Rage Mobility M-1 video card (yeah, its a bit dated now). It runs FS 2002 fine at 1280x1024 resolution (with a few non-fatal graphical glitches here and there) with graphical settings about half way. FS 2004 crashes as soon as a flight starts up (using the default Win XP driver for my card) and if I install a non-WinXP certified video driver (found on the web), FS 2004 doesn't even recognize I have a 3D capable card (and it still crashes even in non 3D mode). For reference, FS 2002 works fine in 3D mode with all drivers (default and non-Win XP certified).And despite the fact that the package says an 8 MB video card is the minimum requirement, I found a support article on Microsoft's site that had me use the DirectX diagnostic tool to look at my video memory, and the article said the "approximate total memory should be 16 MB". Of course, mine is 8 MB, cause I have an 8 MB card! Questions:1. Did Microsoft do something to prevent FS 2004 from recognizing non-Win XP certified drivers?2. Is the minimum requirement a 16 MB video card, despite the writing on the box?3. Does anyone know if these is an item in the fs9 config file that will let me use my video card as is, or do I need to wait until I buy a new computer/video card next year?Cheers,Pete

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I wouldn't even try to run FS2004, despite the min reqs. stated on the box. Even if you were lucky enough to get into FS2004, you would gain no benefit from the improvements made to it. Simply put, FS2004 would look better.I suspect some of the tricks FS2004 is using with DirectX explain the reason it is locking up. Likely your graphics chip and/or driver doesn't support them. FS2002 was implemented with an older version of DirectX in mind.There are a few things you could try. MSFS uses a file called devices.cfg to set certain 3-d cards/driver sets up based on known issues/features. It is keyed off of the HW ID of your card. If you can locate the entry in FS2002's devices.cfg, you may be able to port it over and play with the entries or find the entry (if it exists) in FS2004's devices.cfg and modify the settings. As for what settings to try, as a start I'd copy and paste the entries from another card like the Voodoo 3. You can easily "fool" FS2004 into thinking your card is a 3-d card by messing with this .cfg file. Doesn't mean things will work, but it may be worth a try. Still, I think it's a lot of work for nothing. You won't see any of the features that make FS2004's eye candy as nice as it is. If you have FS2002 working, stick with it. As for min specs, never buy a MSFS product based on min specs. My system is about the lowest spec system I'd suggest for FS2004, and I had to work at it for a while to get it to an enjoyable experience... -John

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