Thursday, June 29, 2017

Well, Lookie Here

I have a long, fond history with golf games, all the way back to Leaderboard on the Amiga. I've played almost all of them since then.

The modern era, for me, started with PGA Championship Golf 2000, which included a beautifully refined mouse swing and fantastic courses. I sunk many, many happy hours into that game.

In no way do I still have that kind of time, but if it's a golf game, I'm playing it.

When The Golf Club came out a few years ago, I spent a bit of time with it and really enjoyed the game. Rough around the edges, a non-optimized engine, but it was greater than the sum of its parts.

The Golf Club 2 came out on Tuesday.

I started it up, put graphics settings on Ultra, started playing--uh oh. What a terrible frame rate. Frame rate, in games with a mouse swing, is hugely important, and I was playing with pain in that regard.

Fiddled with all the settings I could, finally turning every nice graphics option off. Turned on the Steam overlay so I could get a framerate counter displayed.

That gave me a number for my pain. With v-sync off, the game was chugging along in the high 20s. Turning everything off only got me into the mid-30s, and this was on a course that wasn't even graphically demanding.

I have a pattern that has been borne out over many years. When I upgrade components, I do it for a single game.

Front Page Sports Basketball: (Amiga 500 hard drive)
Front Page Sports: Football (new system)
Mechwarrior 2 (Voodoo graphics card)
Command and Conquer (Soundblaster)

That's all from the wayback machine, but you get the picture: new systems, new graphics cards, new sound cards. Always for a specific game.

You can see where this is going.

I made a poor impulse control decision to gut my computer hardware budget for the next eight months and bought a 1080 TI (the Asus Stryx).

Installed (always takes longer than I remember), ran Firestrike: over 30,000 for the graphics sub-score. Over 2X my existing score.

Started The Golf Club 2, put the game on Ultra settings, played on the same course that was chugging along in the 20s.

Now? Locked on 60 FPS with v-sync back on. Never varied. Ludicrously powerful.

Temps? Never got above 65C. Almost dead silent.

The game needs some work (the mouse swing is pretty damned punishing, probably overly so), but it's definitely a substantial upgrade over the original game. And my PC equipment is now substantially upgraded as well.

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