Windows 8.1 and games

I recently decided to update my 5 years old desktop computer, and as a student I was able to get Windows 8.1 Pro for a good price. I plan to mostly use the computer for school work (mainly Office software) but, of course, getting a fairly powerful new computer would be kind of pointless without any plans to play games on it. Steam’s winter sale also got me a bit carried away so my library increased with almost 50 titles thanks to different bundles. Thus, I decided to try out my games, with mixed success.

Here are the specs for my new PC:

  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H87-D3H
  • PSU: Corsair CX500M 500W
  • CPU: Intel i3-4330 3.5GHz dual-core
  • GPU: Intel HD Graphics 4600 (integrated)
  • RAM: 8GB Corsair
  • SSD: Kingston SSDNow V300 60GB
  • HDD: WD Caviar Blue 1TB
  • Windows 8.1 Pro (64-bit)
  • Apple Wireless Keyboard
  • Logitech M555b Wireless Bluetooth Mouse

What surprised me about gaming on this build was how much compatibility issues games had with the OS – although the integrated GPU is also to blame, in part. Below, I’ve collected experiences of titles I’ve ran so far, in alphabetical order. I will add to the list as I play more.

Driver: San Francisco (Steam)

Problem: Crashes when starting Story mode from the menu. Windows tells the display driver crashed.

Solution: Run in windowed instead of fullscreen mode. Not the optimal solution, but it makes it playable.

Grand Theft Auto III (Steam)

Problem: Doesn’t start, gives error “640×480 video mode not found”

Solution: Go to the game’s install folder (For me it’s “E:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Grand Theft Auto 3″, as the small SSD is my C: drive), right click on gta3.exe, click on the Compatibility tab, check “Run this program in compatibility mode for:” and choose “Windows XP (Service Pack 3)” from the drop-down menu.

Grand Theft Auto IV (Steam)

Problem: Nothing happens after Social Club sign-in screen.

Solution: Download Games for Windows Live client (http://www.xbox.com/en-US/live/pc/DownloadClient), sign in to it with Xbox Live account, keep it open when starting the game from Steam.

L.A. Noire (Retail)

Problem: Nothing happens after clicking “Launch Game” on the game launcher.

Solution: Before installing the game, install the latest version of Rockstar Social Club client (http://patches.rockstargames.com/prod/socialclub/Social%20Club%20v1.1.0.6%20Setup.exe). Then install the game in a directory with no spaces in the path (mine is in “E:\Rockstar\LANoire\”), finally install this patch: http://support.rockstargames.com/hc/en-us/articles/200149926–11-14-12-L-A-Noire-Patch-Notes-and-Manual-Links-to-Updates

The game still displays a noticable keyboard lag at any graphics setting, no solution yet.

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