Id releases Official Doom 3 hardware guide

Extensive article on HardOCP.com breaks down the demanding shooter's various quality settings and details which hardware they will run best on.

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PC gamers wondering if their rig will be able to handle Doom 3 can now get a definitive answer. Today developer id Software released the Official DOOM 3 Hardware Guide on hardware site HardOCP.com. The lengthy article covers every aspect of the game's hardware demands, including:

Minimum System: According to id, the minimum requirements to run Doom 3 are:

DX 9.0-compatible 3D card w/ 64MB RAM
MS Windows 2000/XP
Pentium 4 1.5GHz or Athlon XP 1500+
384MB RAM
8x CD-ROM
2.2GB of HD space
Broadband (for multiplayer)

Supported 3D graphics chipsets:
ATI: Radeon 8500, 9000, 9200, 9500, 9600, 9700, 9800
Nvidia: GeForce3, GeForce4 MX, GeForce4 Titanium, GeForce FX, GeForce6

Ultimate System: HardOCP also outlined its dream system, which consists of:

BFGTech GeForce 6800 Ultra OC (goes on sale in mid-August)
AMD Socket 939 Athlon 64 FX-53 w/ 1MB L2 cache
ABIT AV8 motherboard
2GB of Corsair XMS RAM

System Video Quality Settings: In addition to explaining the game's four quality settings--low, medium, high, and ultra--the guide provides reference screenshots contrasting the low, medium, and high settings as well as the high and ultra settings.

Resolution: HardOCP's analysis of resolution settings came to a surprising conclusion: Doom 3 does not require antialiasing. Instead, the guide suggests simply increasing the resolution settings. HardOCP suggests a "sweet spot" of 1024x768 resolution set to high quality.

Nvidia Versus ATI Image Quality: Following a controversial benchmark test that said Doom 3 performed best on an Nvidia GeForce 6800GT, the site again compares GPUs from the two leading manufacturers. The results? HardOCP found that "the ATI Radeon X800XT-PE has slightly more aliasing than the Nvidia GeForce 6800Ultra OC," but also noticed some "odd texture patterns exhibited by the GeForceFX 5900Ultra." Overall, though, the guide found that "there are no major differences in image quality between NVIDIA and ATI video cards when playing DOOM 3 at the same settings."

Value Video Card Image Quality: For gamers with not-so-deep pockets, HardOCP tested lower-end GPUs, with surprising results. "By default, all of the advanced quality settings such as shadows, specular lighting, and bump mapping are enabled," it said. "As long as your video card meets the system requirement of a GeForce4 MX-440 64MB, all of these effects will be available to you."

Enthusiast Video Card Image Quality: The site also displayed several spectacular-looking screenshots from the game running on the highest-end BFGTech GeForce 6800 Ultra OC and ATI Radeon X800XT-PE cards.

General and Specific System Performance Analysis: The guide outlines the general system performance, tested on a minimum-spec system provided by id Software. The testers also analyzed the performance of dozens of other GPU-specific systems, ranging from the BFGTech GeForce FX 5700 Ultra 128MB to a Vision Tek Radeon 9800XT 256MB.

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