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That's pretty clear to me, I know HOW to upgrade models :) What I would need is the technical information about the polycount that standard PC could handle

Well, there are light effects in MC2. The night missions weren't such the burner, but that's because the lightcones only had 4 polygons. But at least, something is in there :)

Memory management and subsequent processing speed on computers can be tricky to predict as it is dependent on many variables.  In general, there is no exact analytical method of determining the time required (or the FPS) to a priori render a scene.  However, there should be correlations between nested mesh size and memory usage... as the wireframe increases in complexity the required CPU/GPU time should increase the same way that memory increases.

I found a paper that has an example of GPU memory usage and runtime data (there are probably others but this is the one I first ran across):

This article tested the timing and memory requirements of terrain rendering and was done on a P4 3.0 GHz processor with 2 GB RAM, with a GeForce 6800GT with 256 MB onboard RAM (this benchmark is actually something we'd expect for something running stock MechCommander 2).

On Table 1 some results were shown about the timing and memory use of a computer rendering various terrain features.  Of interest is the Puget4k and Puget16k samples.  Both have the same texture resolution of 16k x 16k but the wireframe resolution is 4k x 4k and 16k x 16k in the second.  The difference between the two models is that the Puget16k sample showed a roughly 300% increase in memory usage and took ~3.3 times longer to run.

These results indicate a linear increase in computer time usage and memory (slightly linear since the scale of the features are quadrupled), but this example might be comparing apples to oranges.  In all modern (scalar and parallel) computers the speedup should scale linearly with the number of processors, and the same could probably be said of a paired CPU/GPU combination.  Rendering multiple, small units might show a much different impact on performance compared to just terrain.  That and rendering is also related to the efficiency of the game engine and whatever is inherent in the main code.

I'd recommend altering the maximum memory parameters if possible and doing stress test benchmarks for some "experimental" data, that way the entire code can be rescaled and normalized to match the requirements of modern computers (i.e. the "very high" setting of stock MC2 can be rescaled to "low" in terms of today's computers).


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