Bullet Catcher wrote:On a related topic, does anyone know how to tell whether the GPU needs more video RAM? I have mine set at 32 MB but it can go up to 128 MB.
I just now saw this even though it's a bit old; Expanding on what Jeff said earlier:
At start time, your graphics card opens up all the texture files needed by your map, and loads them into memory at various resolutions. For instance, the grass texture is 512 x 512 pixels. Your card, depending on how much memory it has, will pre-render the grass at 512x512, 256x256, 128x128, 64x64, 32x32, etc... and so that texture once fully rendered will take up about 1MB (1,048,575 bytes, to be precise). Your card meshes together the various resolutions smoothly, so that as a wall gets farther from you, it is made up of blended tiles of lower and lower resolution.
The more memory your card has, the more of this pre-rendering the card can do at map start time, and the less that is done on the fly. But it doesn't "need" it, it simply uses however much you have as best it can.
Most maps use the default textures--the grass, the bricks, the tank surfaces, etc... and with normal settings, this will do OK with 32MB, but a tad more wouldn't be a bad thing.
Two exceptions though:
1. Some maps use a much larger number of graphics, or larger texture files, and that may mean your 32MB only allows pre-rendering at a few resolutions; There are maps where the texture downloads alone are several MB, and these renderings could easily gobble up 128MB.
2. Anisotropic rendering, if turned on, requires more memory. (I would not recommend using it, it adds very little benefit to BZ). If anisotropic is "on", the card also wants to pre-render asymmetric resolutions. That is, it also wants to store the grass rendered at 512x256, 512x128, etc... In this case the grass texture, for instance, could actually require 5-10 MB to store all the pre-renderings for just that one texture.