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    My name is Paul, and I run an eight-computer LAN Gaming room at science fiction conventions. I’m always looking for a good game to add. I had Scorched Earth 1.5 on there for purely nostalgic purposes, and I have Tread Marks (tank driving combat, very cool, reasonable pricing, free trial at for fast and furious tank-busting action.

    I tried out Scorched3d on a spare computer with a good video card, and like it very much. The pricing is excellent. Now here is my problem, and reason for posting:

    It doesn’t run on my gaming PCs.

    The problem is that the game window comes up for a moment as a transparent frame, then disappears. I see no error messages. I see, just for the briefest of instants, a flash of what you might expect if your TV had really bad reception and a horizontal hold problem (remember when there was a horizontal hold control on TVs and CGA monitors?). Then the game window just vanishes. No error messages, no lingering executables in Task Manager, no Windows crashes, just as if I’d never clicked the button to start the game. You can view a screen shot of this at It’s resized and compressed for quick download, but you’ll get the idea.

    I have skimmed through the 14 pages of postings looking for similar problems. I read a few promising messages. I went to Intel’s website and downloaded the latest drivers for my video card (no improvement). So, I am pretty sure that I will not be able to run this game on these PCs (too bad, it would have gone over very well with some of the older gamers). However, before I give up, I’d like to ask if there is anything I can do, any command line switches I can use, any graphics type options, etc, that might help or at least give me some idea of the problem. I’d also like to ask if you have tried the game on my model of video card, or talked to someone who has. Specs are at the end of this message.

    I will freely admit that the PCs I use for gaming are not the best gaming PCs out there, and the video they have is not the best gaming video – so anyone who wishes to comment can skip right over telling me how much my computers suck, because I’ve heard it before. Crappy as they might be, these computers will run games like:
    Unreal Tournament GOTY Edition
    Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries
    Carmageddon 3: TDR2000
    Tread Marks
    Dungeon Siege
    Crimson Skies

    There are some games that will not run on these PCs, or run very badly, like Impossible Creatures, Black and White, Age of Mythology.

    Now, to the specs. I have included two sections from the DXDiag readout in an effort to keep the size of this posting reasonable. The entire readout, should you wish to see it (masochist) is available at

    Anyway, if you can help at all, even if it’s just to tell me that the game will definitely not run on these computers, I’d appreciate it.

    – Paul

    System Information

    Time of this report: 3/15/2004, 16:32:10
    Machine name: T1360-8
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition (5.1, Build 2600) (2600.xpclient.010817-1148)
    Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
    System Manufacturer: Emachines
    System Model: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    BIOS: PTLTD – 6040000
    Processor: Intel(R) Celeron(TM) CPU 1300MHz
    Memory: 254MB RAM
    Page File: 74MB used, 550MB available
    Primary File System: n/a
    DirectX Version: DirectX 8.1 (
    DX Setup Parameters: Not found
    DxDiag Version: 5.01.2600.0000 32bit Unicode

    Display Devices

    Card name: Intel(R) 82810E Graphics Controller
    Manufacturer: Intel Corporation
    Chip type: Intel(R) 82810
    DAC type: Internal
    Device ID: EnumPCIVEN_8086&DEV_7125&SUBSYS_7148109F&REV_03
    Display Memory: 32.0 MB
    Current Mode: 1024 x 768 (16 bit) (60Hz)
    Monitor: Plug and Play Monitor
    Monitor Max Res: 1600,1200
    Driver Name: i81xdnt5.dll
    Driver Version: (English)
    DDI Version: 8 (or higher)
    Driver Attributes: Final Retail
    Driver Date/Size: 7/23/2002 09:01:38, 702845 bytes
    Driver Signed: Yes
    WHQL Date Stamp: n/a
    Mini VDD: i81xnt5.sys
    Mini VDD Date: 7/23/2002 09:01:38, 161020 bytes
    Device Identifier: {D7B78E66-3265-11CF-537F-4951A1C2CB35}
    Vendor ID: 0x8086
    Device ID: 0x7125
    SubSys ID: 0x7148109F
    Revision ID: 0x0003
    Registry: OK
    DDraw Status: Enabled
    D3D Status: Enabled
    AGP Status: Enabled
    DDraw Test Result: All tests were successful.
    D3D7 Test Result: All tests were successful.
    D3D8 Test Result: All tests were successful.



    Thanks for the message.

    Scorched3D seems to work ok with most graphics cards (perhaps with a little prodding), especially under windows where the graphics drivers are usually more mature. It works ok on a S3 savage laptop I have so you machines can’t be any slower than that :).

    I am afraid I can only suggest the usual stuff to try. In the scorched3d settings dialog choose:-
    small texture sizes,
    low tank detail,
    low effects detail,
    don’t draw water,
    no gl extensions,
    no multi texturing,
    no texsubimaging,
    and no sound.
    (In fact pretty much no everything 🙂 )

    See how you get on after that.



    I tried a few of those before posting, but not all of them. This time I turned them ALL off, and it started – but looked kinda lame. I started turning them back on a few at a time. Turns out, “No Compiled Arrays” did the trick for me.




    “No Compiled Arrays”, hmm not seen that causing a problem before.
    Glad its working now, did you manage to leave the rest switched on?



    Yep, all checkboxes are cleared except that one. I also kicked the resolution up to 1024×768, but it’s a little slow at that rez, so I’ll be experimenting to get the right balance. The water looks a bit frayed around the edges when zoomed all the way out as well, and I don;t remember that happening when all o fthe boxes are checked, so I’ll be playing with that as well. I’m used to having to turn down a lot of effects to get a good balanced of visual vs framerate on these PCs.



    An 82810E? Ouch… That’s my integrated card. It was incredibly slow with games (including Scorched3D) and then I bought a GeForce 4 MX 440 and man what a difference. I know NOW that it isn’t the best card (I think they said it was the best back in Feb. 2003) but it’s still like 1000 times better than my 82810E. I think they are only like $50 now. You should try investing in one. You won’t be disappointed.

    Maybe I should run my 82810E also just to back this guys problems up…



    No AGP slot.

    Trust me, if if were that simple, I’d have upgraded all eight of them by now. If I ever do upgrade them, I’ll probably replace the MB with NForce boards (would have to replace CPU and RAM as well – nothing is simple) so it would have a good onboard NVidia chipset and an AGP slot for when the onboard went obsolete.

    More likely, though, is that I’ll squeeze what usage I can out of these boxes for another year or so using slightly out of date games or crippling down the resolution and effects on current games until these computers just can’t do it anymore, then relegate them to use in technology labs or word processing training classes and get new gaming PCs.

    It’s funny – everyone says “ouch” when they find out that these machines are running onboard 82810E chips – but they’ve been incredibly versatile. I used to have ATI 8mb AGP in the PCs before these ones, and they were very flaky. They were always crashing, or one PC would run the game but another would not, or something along those lines – but I’ve gotten great bang for the buck (pun intended) on these eMachines. I’m simply amazed at how many games they do run, albeit with some effects turned off.



    I don’t have an AGP slot either. I have the PCI version of the board.

    True they never crashed, but I did have problems with it where there would be and absolutely horrible graphical glitch and I’d have to update my drivers all the time. But I’ve never had a crash due to my nVidia card either. 😀



    PCI version? It’s still faster than the onboard AGP, even though it is PCI? I’ll have to look into that. I can certainly do $50 to test it, and think about upgrading them all if that works out.



    Thing to remember about those integrated cards is that they don’t usually have their own processors (or memory) so they borrow it from your motherboard causing it to not operate at its full potential.

    Or is yours not integrated?



    Yes, mine is integrated, so it does use the CPU, and shares system memory as well. I’ve placed an order for a PCI GeForce 4 MX 440, and will give it a shot.

    I knew that some high-end PCI cards were still available, but hadn’t heard them called by name, or hadn’t heard how well they perform.

    I’ll let you know how that turns out.




    You won’t be disappointed. I have a 566mhz processor and with that card I can run Scorched3D at full settings with almost no slowdown (I know I brag about this a lot) 😀 And it says in the DxDiag specs that you have a 1300 mhz processor and 256mb RAM so with this card, you technically should do better than me.

    I should be an nVidia salesman! 🙂

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