Everquest Days Coming To An End?

I think my Everquest playing days may be coming to an end. I’ve reach a point where my computer will barely run the program. Not that this is such a bad thing. I don’t know that I’d ever be able to walk away otherwise. It’s just damned annoying.
Just for you tech geeks who might want to send me dozens of tips about how to optimize my system, I’ve been there and I’ve done that. My first problem, I think, is that I have a laptop. Supposedly it’s a pretty kick-ass laptop. I have a Dell Inspiron XPS with a Pentium IV 3.4 GHz CPU, 2GB of RAM and an 80GB hard drive. My video card is an ATI Mobility Radeon 9600/9700 with 128MB RAM.
If anything, I think maybe the video card is the bottleneck. I really don’t know. I’ve already tweaked my game settings to the extreme trying to improve performance. It worked for a while. Then when it started to slow down again after a few game patches, I tweaked a lot of the settings on my computer itself, changing the way my desktop looked and altering other processes to free up as much memory as possible. This helped for a while, too.
Personally, I think the problem is Everquest. The same thing happened with Star Wars Galaxies. I noticed that my game play was getting slower and slower with each game patch. This is what’s been happening with EQ. I told Mara when I first started tweaking the game to improve performance that I would eventually reach a point where there’s nothing left to tweak.
Well, here I am. There’s nothing left to tweak. I’ve reached a point where Everquest is virtually unplayable for me. Mara has no real problem on her desktop. Hell, it’s a pleasure to play on her computer. No lag, no jerky framerate. Our computers are comparable. Well, except for the fact that she has a RAID hard drive and I don’t. She probably has a much better video card, as well.
I know these may account for the differences in our system performance. But in the end it doesn’t matter. We can’t afford any upgrades to my computer. I’m not convinced they would make much of a difference anyway. I already have the maximum RAM this laptop will accomodate. Replacing the video card and hard drive would be an expensive pain in the ass on either count, and it probably wouldn’t be worth it in the end. I’m really not that invested in playing Everquest.
Maybe I should bow out gracefully, bid Everquest a fond farewell, and get on with my life. It’s certainly been a long time since I particularly enjoyed the game. Mara is always running around with her uber friends. I’m not invested in grinding experience, and the only time anyone seems to be interested in grouping with me is when I’m not in the mood.
Maybe it’s time that I got around to doing other things.

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