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I'm the (not so) proud owner of an nVidia 9200 M. This card I'm (not so) proud of owning is stuck into a laptop I'm (not so) proud of owning, so I can't upgrade it.

I've dragged all the settings to the minimum in TF2; I'm playing in a small 800×600 window on my desktop; my laptop is upside down to prevent overheating. However, FPS still regularly drops to 7–10 while playing.

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What more can I do?

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It's not a Mac, right? –  BoltClock Apr 23 '11 at 21:18
    
@Bolt No, it's not. –  badp Apr 23 '11 at 21:18
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You could try narrowing your field of view a little bit. –  ChrisF Apr 23 '11 at 21:47

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

FPS configs will reduce your graphics much below those inside the game: http://www.fakkelbrigade.eu/chris/configs/

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The MaxFPS configuration is kickass. And minecrafty. –  badp Jun 27 '11 at 8:17

There are many more options than the options menu in game.

Back when I was using a 7600GT to play TF2, I dropped my DirectX level from 9.0c to 8. This can be achieved by right clicking on the game, clicking set launch options, and adding "-dlevel 80" (without quotes). This will force the game to use fewer/less intensive shaders, which older graphics cards have trouble with.

That small tweak should give you a significant FPS boost, but if you are still having problems after that, try checking out advanced tweaking guides, like this one: http://www.tweakguides.com/HL2_7.html

PS: Bear in mind, that tweaking guide was written with Half Life 2 in mind, and some of the techniques listed there will not work with the slightly more modern source engine TF2 uses.

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Oh yeah, I meant to look up the -dxlevel command's syntax for this question and never did. Whoops. Also, the Mac update updated HL2 to use a closer engine to TF2 (OrangeBox 2007, while TF2 uses OrangeBox 2009). –  user2974 May 1 '11 at 1:57
    
Main thing I meant is that some of the really agressive optimisation techniques, like dropping the DirectX level to a pure pipeline renderer (dx7), aren't available in TF2 (but might still be available in other games). –  SalamiArmi May 1 '11 at 15:01
    
I added the switch yesterday but didn't really notice a difference... visually. Then again I'm used to playing at 15 fps :) –  badp May 1 '11 at 17:17

Unfortunately the news is bleak for you. Other than getting a new laptop your options aren't really that great and I'm not sure they'd help you.

If you have an express card slot on your laptop, you might try a ViDock. Unfortunately most gaming cards would require the ViDock 4 or ViDock 4 Plus variations, which will cost you $249 and $289 after shipping. They don't include a video card, so that'll set you back another $150-$250 depending on which one you get.

Being that the video card is hooked up through an express card slot, you most likely won't get the performance out of the card you would expect, so be warned.

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