New Laptop / HD Upgrade

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New Laptop / HD upgrade
 Bismarck.Lothoro
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Game: FFXI
user: Lothoro
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By Bismarck.Lothoro 2017-09-23 13:47:38
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I've ran ffxi using Bootcamp on my 2010 15 inch macbook pro laptop for the past four years, but I have occasional lag and the picture quality gets choppy sometimes when I have animations on, same with when I'm in big alliances and animations are going off every second.

Anyways, I'm looking to possibly buy a new laptop solely for ffxi, or upgrade the HD on my current macbook pro to eliminate the lag in big groups. I'm not the most computer savvy person, so I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions on what path I should take. Ideally, I'd like to not have to shell out $1500+ for a top of the line laptop for ffxi, so if there are any cost efficient HD alternatives that I could upgrade to on my current 2010 macbook pro, that would be great. Thanks!
 Leviathan.Andret
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By Leviathan.Andret 2017-09-23 14:02:48
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Most new laptops should be able to run FFXI even at the $200 price range. However, due to the fact that FFXI has been around for a really really long time (15 years!) so a lot of the functions are no longer supported and have been simulated instead.

My #1 advice for a frustration free FFXI experience is to get a laptop with a CPU that has really really high single core performance. FFXI runs well on CPU that can reach over 3.5GHz on 1 core.

However, most modern CPU tend to play around with multiple cores (and especially Intel) and split the GHz power. So most of them will have trouble running FFXI well unless you get the more powerful CPU. If you can't afford that then I recommend looking for dgVoodoo. It's sort of like a patch to make FFXI work with modern hardware. There is a link somewhere in the general forum around running FFXI in high quality settings.
 Leviathan.Isiolia
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By Leviathan.Isiolia 2017-09-23 14:57:27
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Far as I know, the biggest issue with running FFXI on newer hardware is that it's a DirectX 8.1 native application. While DirectX is generally backwards compatible, at this point, support for pre-DX9 is handled via software layers that don't always perform well. FFXI has always been a bit wonky in how it accomplishes graphics effects, as some other console ports are (Halo for instance), so that doesn't help.
Additionally, in a machine with switchable graphics (like your Macbook Pro has, I think), Windows won't tend to identify those DirectX calls as something that warrants swapping to the good GPU.

In either case, as decent as Intel HD graphics can be these days in general, FFXI performance on them remains mediocre. Discrete GPUs do better, either due to better drivers or higher raw performance.

What I would start with is trying dgVoodoo or the DX9 remapping plugin for Ashita on your current machine, to see if that helps things. You won't be able to crank dgVoodoo settings up, but simply having it turn things into DX11 calls might help.

If that's not sufficient, it shouldn't take a $1500 machine to run, but I think most of the half-decent gaming laptops start in the $900-1k range (GTX 1050 or 1060 that sort of thing). Likely still would benefit from using one of the remapping solutions, unless you can force it by disabling graphics switching or something.

A desktop would be a more economical way to go about it, if that'd work for your situation.
 Bismarck.Lothoro
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By Bismarck.Lothoro 2017-09-23 21:12:33
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Andret and Isiolia, thank you for the responses.

I went ahead and downloaded dgVoodoo and installed it. I've been reading online on ways to increase fps. I had never read about increasing fps, the only things I did prior to this were turning off shadows and weather effects.

Right now, I'm in the 15 fps range for most battles (just did a leviathan bcnm solo and was in that range). I installed the config plugin but I rarely top 30 or 40 fps even with it. I also turned supersampling off for the time being, and I have the VRAM settings of dgVoodoo set at 512.

Anything else that I could do to try and increase my fps? From the changes I've made today so far, I've improved it a lot already compared to w/o voodoo.

Edit: also currently using Windows 7. Would it make a big difference upgrading to Windows 10?
 Asura.Saevel
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By Asura.Saevel 2017-09-23 22:13:23
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Not much else you can do, old slow hardware is old.

People on this forum frequently confuse "run FFXI like a PS2" and "run FFXI well". There are a handful of iGPUs that could run FFXI well and none of them are in cheap notebooks. That means a dGPU which means $800+ USD for a 15 inch. Desktops you can go cheap as mid range dGPUs are cheap, even APUs work well for FFXI. $500-600 USD for desktop capable of running FFXI well.

Windows 10 can cause problems with some pre DX10 games, definitely pre DX9 games.
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 Bismarck.Lothoro
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By Bismarck.Lothoro 2017-09-23 22:42:23
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Asura.Saevel said: »
Not much else you can do, old slow hardware is old.

People on this forum frequently confuse "run FFXI like a PS2" and "run FFXI well". There are a handful of iGPUs that could run FFXI well and none of them are in cheap notebooks. That means a dGPU which means $800+ USD for a 15 inch. Desktops you can go cheap as mid range dGPUs are cheap, even APUs work well for FFXI. $500-600 USD for desktop capable of running FFXI well.

Windows 10 can cause problems with some pre DX10 games, definitely pre DX9 games.

Yeah. Especially when its a macbook pro that was never really meant for gaming. Destroyed a hard drive from overheating when I first started playing ffxi on this macbook, and if it wasn't for a manual app to control the macbook fans, I'd probably have burned through more.

I'm really impressed with dgVoodoo btw. In cities my fps will be around 25-30, in battle around 15-20. When im in my MH or low population zones though, my fps will get up to 45-60 and man does that look amazing, so smooth.
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 Siren.Vanar
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By Siren.Vanar 2017-11-11 23:01:19
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Be Warned:
http://nvidia.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3733

My MSI Gaming laptop has horrible swings in FPS and usually settles in the 12-15 FPS range. I've tried DGVoodoo / ReShade wrappers to help with the issue, and they do get it to run, but can be kind of unstable when you have windower basically doing the same thing. Also kind of annoying to get into the game, as POL needs to have the wrapper turned off or it doesn't display fonts.

Gaming Laptop Sepcs:
MSI GE62 / I7 5700 HQ / 2GB NVIDIA GTX 960m 2GB
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By Jetackuu 2017-11-12 19:03:59
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Siren.Vanar said: »
Be Warned:
http://nvidia.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3733

My MSI Gaming laptop has horrible swings in FPS and usually settles in the 12-15 FPS range. I've tried DGVoodoo / ReShade wrappers to help with the issue, and they do get it to run, but can be kind of unstable when you have windower basically doing the same thing. Also kind of annoying to get into the game, as POL needs to have the wrapper turned off or it doesn't display fonts.

Gaming Laptop Sepcs:
MSI GE62 / I7 5700 HQ / 2GB NVIDIA GTX 960m 2GB
Your easiest bet in that scenario may be to force dedicated GPU on all and then run XI in a VM.