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Grand Theft Auto IV PC patch detailed

Grand Theft Auto IV PC patch detailed

Grand Theft Auto IV has been prone to all sorts of bugs and issues on the PC, but a new patch is on the way.

Rockstar has detailed the first patch for the PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV, which gamers are no doubt hoping will make the game smoother and less horribly broken.

Unfortunately for PC users though, the change list for the patch reveals only a small number of tweaks to the game and likely nowhere near enough to placate PC users who paid for the game.

The PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV was met with scorn when it was released earlier this month thanks to an invasive use of authentication systems in the form of Rockstar Social Club and Games for Windows Live, both of which need to be running if you want to save the game. On top of that many players reported frequent crashes and our own testing revealed that the game was massively demanding on even high-end systems.

Rockstar meanwhile has maintained that only a small number of users experience problems, only now releasing the first patch to the game. Check out the change log below.
  • A fix to the crash after legal screen that some German customers were reporting.
  • Numerous improvements to the video editor: Smarter naming of videos, improved rendering quality, better fx during replays
  • Fix to bowling while using certain sensitive mice
  • Fix for ATI 1900 shadows
  • Overall savings to memory
  • Graphic improvements to particle systems and mirrors
  • Multiplayer character settings are preserved
  • Support for DirectInput controllers. Note: The current hack way of supporting these controllers may not work with the improved functionality. So we recommend you remove the hack before upgrading to the patch.
So, yeah, not exactly the array of crash-fixes most gamers are probably hoping for. Nvidia users meanwhile can try using the latest set of optimised drivers for the game, which Rockstar hopes will improve performance.

You can read our own Grand Theft Auto IV PC review for more information on the game, or just let us know what you think in the forums.

23 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
LeMaltor 9th December 2008, 12:37 Quote
Sweep sweep.
Leitchy 9th December 2008, 12:39 Quote
The performance is awful on my system. It is the first game since buying my 8800 GTX that I have struggled with (without going below High/Medium settings), and I'm sure this is down to yet another crap port to PC users.

Shame on you Rockstar!
n3mo 9th December 2008, 13:45 Quote
Lol, this doesn't fix anything at all. I mean "Fix for ATI 1900 shadows"? I don't believe anyone still uses 1900 series (as it was such an incredibly crappy series, and anyway, this game runs slow on a GTX 280, so on 1900 this is a very, very slow slideshow)
quack 9th December 2008, 13:57 Quote
I still haven't bought GTA4, and really not sure I want to - even though I had been incredibly excited about its release - all because of the Social Club and Windows Live crap. :|
Bauul 9th December 2008, 15:51 Quote
I'm still going to defend it and say that I bet if you ran it at the same level of detail as the XBox 360, it'd run find on most systems.

People are only freaking out because this is labelled as "low detail" and they can't handle the fact that this is the level their uber-rig runs it on. If Rockstar renamed them "High", "Ultra High" and "Proof of Concept High", no-one would mind.
perplekks45 9th December 2008, 16:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul
I'm still going to defend it and say that I bet if you ran it at the same level of detail as the XBox 360, it'd run find on most systems.

People are only freaking out because this is labelled as "low detail" and they can't handle the fact that this is the level their uber-rig runs it on. If Rockstar renamed them "High", "Ultra High" and "Proof of Concept High", no-one would mind.
I disagree. Judging by the pictures all over the tubes there isn't enough of a difference between the console version and the PC version. So low on PC is slightly better than console? Why does it still look like 2006 then? Get some decent textures in there and the world will be a better place... or maybe not but at least the game will look better.

So I think what people really are complaining about is the fact that an average looking game doesn't run with acceptable frame rates on their PCs. And I seriously can't see any reason why this game shouldn't run fine at high on a 8800GTX, let alone a 280...
LeMaltor 9th December 2008, 16:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul
I'm still going to defend it and say that I bet if you ran it at the same level of detail as the XBox 360, it'd run find on most systems.

People are only freaking out because this is labelled as "low detail" and they can't handle the fact that this is the level their uber-rig runs it on. If Rockstar renamed them "High", "Ultra High" and "Proof of Concept High", no-one would mind.

Thing is you can run it at any detail you want with afew command line changes, fps is determined by number of CPU cores and clock speed, not your gfx card power plus no AA, crashes, slowdowns, crap camera, DOS box running all the time O_o

It's just a shoddy port :p
Evildead666 9th December 2008, 16:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by quack
I still haven't bought GTA4, and really not sure I want to - even though I had been incredibly excited about its release - all because of the Social Club and Windows Live crap. :|

Entirely agree.
dyzophoria 9th December 2008, 16:42 Quote
Quote:
I still haven't bought GTA4, and really not sure I want to - even though I had been incredibly excited about its release - all because of the Social Club and Windows Live crap. :|

forget about the windows live and social club probs, what will really sadden you is the poor performance on current generation hardware :)
Matkubicki 9th December 2008, 23:49 Quote
Very happy GTA IV user here

Installed it last night in under an hour including Live and Social Club sign ups, no problems except me putting caps lock when doing social club password (:()

Benchmarked on 1680x1050 Render Quality:High, Textures:Highest, about 50 for distance and 60 for detail distance, middle-ish for shadows, came out as around 25fps.

In game a little less than that, mainly the odd slow down as you say turn a corner into a new street, nothing major, looks smooth otherwise.

All this on a:
E6600 @ 3.24Ghz
Ati 4870 1GB
4GB RAM
Vista x64

One very pleased customer.

Only annoyances are:
-no multiple key bindings for controls, pain
-all the cars so far drive like buses (its not me honest!)
-don't like HAVING to sign up to things, always managed to avoid this before now
shadowsoal 10th December 2008, 08:42 Quote
It runs so-so on my system

2 Gig of 800mhz ram
2.6 Dual core AMD
Gefore 9400 GT
XP

Definately playable though, so thats a result.

Will say, mind you, this patch does seem a little bit like Rockstar are just spitting out a couple of minor things just to tick a box and mildly mock everyone.
Considering the attitudes of the characters in the GTA series, I can totally imagine the Rockstar Crew having a good laugh at everyone for winging "like girls" about this not working.
I meen!! .. A fix for shadows (not even a full fix or anything) for the ATI 1900! I don't ven believe that, A) it works with this game or B) Anybody that has a system that could even hope to run this even has that card on thier machine! lol
perplekks45 10th December 2008, 18:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matkubicki
Benchmarked on 1680x1050 Render Quality:High, Textures:Highest, about 50 for distance and 60 for detail distance, middle-ish for shadows, came out as around 25fps.

In game a little less than that, mainly the odd slow down as you say turn a corner into a new street, nothing major, looks smooth otherwise.

[...]

One very pleased customer.

Smooth? 25 FPS? Interesting that. :p
No, seriously, I just don't get it why that game runs that slow. I mean with Crysis you see what is using all those horse powers of your PC but unless they use an insane number of polygons for the houses or render the inside of every house including a simulation of the people living in there (probably coming next: GTA:The Sims 2 Edition :| )...

Anyways, I won't buy it for PC. 360? Maybe. There are more important games for both platforms for me.
notatoad 10th December 2008, 19:11 Quote
anybody taking bets on whether it breaks the crack that came out sunday?

@bauul - the computer in my sig does never more than 20fps on low-medium and 1280x768. not even close to what my ps3 version looks like.
Bauul 11th December 2008, 11:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by aon`aTv.gsus666
unless they use an insane number of polygons for the houses or render the inside of every house including a simulation of the people living in there

"High Setting" renders practically the entire city on the fly. So the answer to your above questions is "yes".
ParaHelix.org 11th December 2008, 14:05 Quote
I can play Team Fortress 2, all Half-Life engine games, on medium to high settings, but GTA IV wont even load textures if they are not a few milimeters in front of me. Don't buy it.
EnglishLion 11th December 2008, 14:16 Quote
Sounds like a very important patch to me if .... "Overall savings to memory" means that it doesn't now use almost 2GB of memory from the off and then continue to slow down as it eats more and more as you play!

It runs very slowly on my system no matter what settings I use and I believe it's all down to only having 2GB of memory. Vista64 already using a significant amount means that GTA4 pushes usage up to +90% at all times.

No matter what the patch does I'm still looking at going to 4GB anyway.
Xtrafresh 11th December 2008, 14:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by supertoad
anybody taking bets on whether it breaks the crack that came out sunday?
Ofcourse it will! And the whole scene will most probably already be preparing to counter. Anyway, if this is the whole patch, i'm not even gunna. None of these issues are relevant for me.
djDEATH 12th December 2008, 10:22 Quote
after reading some stuff on the web, this game is definitely CPU limited.

Think about it though, despite the Xbox only having that ATI chip in it (~ same as 1900XTX) and the PS3 having a similar chip from Nvidia (~ 7900GTX IIRC) but BOTH are massively powerful when it comes to CPU.

Xbox has triple core IBM PowerPC chip, and the Cell in the PS3 has like 8 cores or something???

This may explain why a GTX280 with an Athlon X2 @ 3.2Ghz gets 15 FPS, and a Phenom X4 @ 2.6Ghz gets over 30 FPS.

This game NEEDS quad core. First one ever to be branded as such.
Hamish 12th December 2008, 11:41 Quote
wonder if they'll fix the hilarious stealth memory leak :P
bwest411 12th December 2008, 19:50 Quote
my e6750 3.2ghz on 2 gigs with a 9800gtx+ ran it ok it was smooth at first then would slow down like a memory leak but i upgraded to 4gigs never slows down now runs perfect i run it on medium textures and very high render. with draw on about 25 its memory if you are running on 2 gigs in vista
alexter11 15th February 2009, 05:00 Quote
Guys if anyone can help, please post your opinion. My system configuration is:
Q9650 at 3.51 Ghz
GTX 280 single
OCZ PC16000 at 2000MHz
EVGA 790i Digital
Vista 64 bit Ultimate
Even at these high configurations GTA4 runs slowly on my computer. It often stops working in the middle when I am playing. I tried to reinstall windows and go over the configurations. Nothing seems to work to stop the problem. This really disappointed me in GTA and I don't even know what to do. Help if anyone can?
EnglishLion 15th February 2009, 11:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexter11
Guys if anyone can help, please post your opinion. My system configuration is:
Q9650 at 3.51 Ghz
GTX 280 single
OCZ PC16000 at 2000MHz
EVGA 790i Digital
Vista 64 bit Ultimate
Even at these high configurations GTA4 runs slowly on my computer. It often stops working in the middle when I am playing. I tried to reinstall windows and go over the configurations. Nothing seems to work to stop the problem. This really disappointed me in GTA and I don't even know what to do. Help if anyone can?

What quanitity of memory do you have (both gpu and sys)? I had a 1gb gpu with 2gb sys and it made a huge difference upgrading to 4gb sys memory.
alexter11 15th February 2009, 17:30 Quote
Quote:
What quanitity of memory do you have (both gpu and sys)? I had a 1gb gpu with 2gb sys and it made a huge difference upgrading to 4gb sys memory.

I have 2gb of RAM and 1gb on GTX 280 ( single card)
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