GTA 4 PC port FAIL!
I was looking forward to play new GTA 4 over Xmas. Brutal Balkan (Niko Belić) in New York. Sounds like an interesting plot. :) And as it happens I have new reasonably priced laptop at home with Nvidia 8400M GS and dual core 2.4 GHz cpu on which I just successfully finished playing awesome Fallout 3.
To make long story short - GTA 4 PC port is BIG FAIL! I don't care about Social Club or MS Live addons or SecuROM DRM which forces you to keep DVD in drive all the time... I care about not being able to play it at all. When game producers start producing games for future generations of PCs and they don't implement any optimizations - you know that things in PC gaming world have gone horrible wrong. Initial GTA 4 minimum system requirements were looking good. But then, somewhere in between... R* decided to change requirements on the fly.
"Most users using current PC hardware as of December 2008 are advised to use medium graphics settings. Higher settings are provided for future generations of PCs with higher specifications than are currently widely available." - from Rockstars GTA 4 gfx setting guide
I spent whole weekend trying to get the game running on my reasonably priced laptop and after I heard that my colleague with high end gaming rig had similar problems I decided to post something and maybe help somebody else (w/ Nvidia and Vista).
GTA 4 Missing textures bug:
- Download and install latest .NET Framework 3.5 SP 1 from MS
- Get new GTA 4 Nvidia 180.84 drivers. If you are updating drivers, just be sure to uninstall old ones and clean remaining files with Driver Sweeper. If you want to install new driver to laptop, you will need Mobility Modder. If you don't want to update to new driver, you can try resetting video card setting with Riva Tuner.
- If your gfx cards has less than 256 mb ram forget the game. Nevermind laptop gfx can share memory GTA4 needs 256 real memory. I managed to fake it but when you drive around the town and new textures kick in, the game is just too slow to play.
- I managed to get game running and fix missing textures on my 128 mb gfx appending this parameters to LaunchGTAIV.exe shortcut (just be sure to start the game by clicking on that shortcut):
"C:\Program Files\Rockstar Games\Grand Theft Auto IV\LaunchGTAIV.exe" -novblank -norestrictions -nomemrestrict -renderquality=0 -shadowdensity=0 -texturequality=0 -viewdistance=1 -width=800 -height=600 -availablevidmem=256 -percentvidmem=100 -DX9 /high
Slow performance on high end configurations, cannot change gfx setting:
- current version of GTA 4 doesn't support Nvidia SLI.
- In in-game options - turn off clip capture option so game stops recording whatever you do in background.
- Appending this parameters to LaunchGTAIV.exe shortcut do disable restrictions in ingame gfx setting and disable vsync:
"C:\Program Files\Rockstar Games\Grand Theft Auto IV\LaunchGTAIV.exe" -novblank -norestrictions -nomemrestrict -percentvidmem=100 -DX9 /high
That's it. Have to find something else to do over the holidays. :)