Links 2003 w/ Intel-Only Graphics or Intel + Nvidia Graphics - Solution Found

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Andy
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Links 2003 w/ Intel-Only Graphics or Intel + Nvidia Graphics - Solution Found

Post by Andy » Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:50 pm

UPDATE: This solution also seems to fix the graphical issues experienced on computers that only have Intel graphics cards. See the Intel-Only Graphics section below.

Backstory
Links 2003 players often have trouble getting Link 2003 to correctly utilise the Nvidia graphics card in laptops that have both Intel and Nvidia graphics. In my experience, the problem could sometimes be resolved by using the laptop manufacturer's original Nvidia graphics driver. In these cases, updating the Nvidia driver through Windows Update or the Nvidia website would break Links 2003 until the driver was reverted back to the manufacturer's driver. If you were fortunate to have a laptop with a working manufacturer's Nvidia driver, you just had to disable driver updates to enjoy playing Links 2003 on your laptop.

Systems with only Intel graphics have never worked well with Links 2003. Missing shadows and other graphical anomalies made the game mostly unplayable.

Finding A Better Solution
I was fortunate to have a Dell laptop with a functional manufacturer's Nvidia driver in the past, but I recently upgraded to an HP Omen gaming laptop. The HP laptop has an Intel+Nvidia graphics card combo just like the Dell, but Links 2003 could not utilize its Nvidia card, even with the manufacturer's original driver. Through some googling and testing, I believe I have found a solution. At the very least, it's working for me, and I'm hopeful that by passing it on, others can get Links 2003 working on their laptops too.

The solution: dgVoodoo2 - http://dege.freeweb.hu/dgVoodoo2/dgVoodoo2.html

dgVoodoo2 is Direct X wrapper made to help older games work with modern computers. Download v2.55 and follow these instructions to get it working with Links 2003:

1. Extract the dgVoodoo v2.55 zip file.
2. From the MS sub-folder, copy the 3 DLLs and paste them into your Links 2003 folder.
a. By default, this is C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Games\Links 2003 on 64-bit versions of Windows.
b. Pro Distance users will want to place the DLLs in C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Games\Links 2003\LinksPD instead.
3. Run dgvoodooCpl.exe to configure the wrapper. Configure the settings on the General and Direct X tabs to match my configuration as shown at https://imgur.com/cDIOBh5.
4. Launch Links 2003 and verify that it says "dgVoodoo Direct X Wrapper" on the bottom of the screen as Links starts up. This ensures that Links is utilising dgVoodoo2.
5. Start a practice round and look at the sky. When Links 2003 is only using the Intel graphics card, the sky is normally plastered with a repeating Links 2003 logo instead of the actual sky. With the dgVoodoo2 Direct X wrapper enabled, the sky should now look normal.

Anisotropic Filtering
Most experienced Links 2003 players know that Links looks best with anisotropic filtering enabled. Nvidia users are probably aware that this is accomplished by creating a LinksMMIII.exe Nvidia Control Panel profile and forcing anisotropic filtering to 16x. I'm happy to report that dgVoodoo2 will respect your LinksMMIII.exe Nvidia Control Panel profile, so I encourge you to create a LinksMMIII.exe profile with anisotropic filtering set to 16x. I also recommend to set the Power Management Mode on your LinksMMIII.exe profile to Prefer Maximum Performance. In my experience, the swing meter speed will be wildly inconsistent if this setting is not applied.

dgVoodoo2 also has its own 16x anisotropic filtering option as seen here: https://imgur.com/QAIGEMu. Nvidia systems should not use this option, but it seems to work quite well for Intel-only computers and provides crisper textures as it should. However, turning this on does result in some minor artefacts within Links, mostly on the fuzzier lie indicator and the swing meter as seen here: https://imgur.com/H0W2FzV.

Known Issues/Testing
1. I've played numerous rounds on my Intel+Nvidia HP laptop with this configuration, and it's been working wonderfully so far. The only issue I've had is that translucent golfer shadows do not display correctly. They seem to disappear into the ground texture. Opaque shadows work just fine. I'm waiting on a response from the dgVoodoo2 creator to see if he has any ideas on how to resolve that.

2. When you make a change to your graphic card configuration (such as turning dgVoodoo2 on or off), Links 2003 will often terminate on the next run. Restarting Links 2003 once or twice should clear that up.

3. With dgVoodoo2 enabled, Links 2003 may sometimes acquire a color tint when you change the resolution. Restarting Links 2003 should restore the color to normal in your newly set resolution.

Intel-Only Graphics
I happened to have a few laptops with only Intel graphics and dgVoodoo2 seems to have resolved the Links 2003 graphical issues on those too! The laptops had the following CPU and video cards:

Intel HD Graphics + Celeron
Intel HD Graphics + i3
Intel HD Graphics 5500 + i5

The Celeron system was understandably too slow to be happily playable, but looked great graphically. The i5 system wouldn't run Links 2003 with the base Intel driver at all, but worked great with dgVoodoo2 enabled. Here are some screenshots of the different configurations that I tried on all three systems. These are from the i3: Base Intel Driver ----- dgVoodoo2 Enabled ----- dgVoodoo2 Enabled w/ 16x AF

ATI/AMD Graphics
I don't have access to any systems with ATI/AMD graphics cards, but dgVoodoo2 could potentially help with those cards as well.

Conclusion
I wasn't sure I'd ever get Links 2003 working on my new laptop and here I am teeing it up at Augusta with working skies, a smooth swing meter, and 16x anisotropic filtering. I'm hopeful that dgVoodoo2 will allow us to continue playing Links 2003 on modern computers well into the future.

Thanks to PFDogs for posting this on the old forum. :clapping:
I started off with nothing and I still have most of it left!

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Howie97
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Re: Links 2003 w/ Intel-Only Graphics or Intel + Nvidia Graphics - Solution Found

Post by Howie97 » Sat Aug 31, 2019 4:59 pm

Andy,
Would it be possible to upload the dgvoodoo file to this site? I successfully used it some time ago and was going to download it again but Malwarebytes currently is blocking the site due to "potential Trojan". Fortunately I had the file on my other drive and used it on my new Windows 10 build. (Successfully as well!)
Best,
Howie
"Behold the Golfer. He riseth up early in the morning and disturbeth the whole household. Mighty are his preparations. He goeth forth full of hope, and when the day is spent, he returneth smelling of strong drink, & the truth is not in him."

LouG
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Re: Links 2003 w/ Intel-Only Graphics or Intel + Nvidia Graphics - Solution Found

Post by LouG » Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:29 pm

Andy - I have a Dell laptop, i5 processor and would like to try this fix but here's what I see when I enter the download link:
(see attached)

Is there any way these DLL's can be posted on the Links website? Please?

Best regards
Lou
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Andy
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Re: Links 2003 w/ Intel-Only Graphics or Intel + Nvidia Graphics - Solution Found

Post by Andy » Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:30 pm

Well, I get the same warning so I don't feel inclined to get the file(s).

If anyone else wants to upload them I will check them out and offer them for download if I feel they are safe.
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Still Linksing
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Re: Links 2003 w/ Intel-Only Graphics or Intel + Nvidia Graphics - Solution Found

Post by Still Linksing » Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:31 pm

Below is the file. Virus scanners can have a fit with it and the website can also create silly warnings. To be safe, best to stay clear of the website for the time being, the warning will likely clear in time. The file itself is safe despite what a virus scanner may say. If people prefer not to touch it, totally your choice.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/j7dthgooyns1z ... 1.zip?dl=0
aka Viper

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Andy
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Re: Links 2003 w/ Intel-Only Graphics or Intel + Nvidia Graphics - Solution Found

Post by Andy » Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:07 am

Still Linksing wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:31 pm
Below is the file. Virus scanners can have a fit with it and the website can also create silly warnings. To be safe, best to stay clear of the website for the time being, the warning will likely clear in time. The file itself is safe despite what a virus scanner may say. If people prefer not to touch it, totally your choice.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/j7dthgooyns1z ... 1.zip?dl=0
Error 404
I started off with nothing and I still have most of it left!

LouG
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Re: Links 2003 w/ Intel-Only Graphics or Intel + Nvidia Graphics - Solution Found

Post by LouG » Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:36 pm

I was able to get the file and install it but no joy - I'm guessing that my laptop (Dell e6420 with Intel HD Graphics 3000) just lacks the graphics ability to handle Links. I was actually able to get farther into Links before installing dgvoodoo's fix. Thanks for responding.

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Adelade
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Re: Links 2003 w/ Intel-Only Graphics or Intel + Nvidia Graphics - Solution Found

Post by Adelade » Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:37 pm

I highly doubt your laptop lacks the graphical ability to at least run Links 2003, something else should be the problem. People are willing to try help figure it out if you post more specifics of what issue(s) you encounter if you feel like it. Did you make sure to follow the steps in the original post in this thread after downloading the program? You could maybe try an earlier version too if you wanna be thorough, 2.55 for example.

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Still Linksing
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Re: Links 2003 w/ Intel-Only Graphics or Intel + Nvidia Graphics - Solution Found

Post by Still Linksing » Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:48 pm

Andy wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:07 am
Still Linksing wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:31 pm
Below is the file. Virus scanners can have a fit with it and the website can also create silly warnings. To be safe, best to stay clear of the website for the time being, the warning will likely clear in time. The file itself is safe despite what a virus scanner may say. If people prefer not to touch it, totally your choice.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/j7dthgooyns1z ... 1.zip?dl=0
Error 404
Might've been a temp glitch with Dropbox. Should be working fine.
aka Viper

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Andy
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Re: Links 2003 w/ Intel-Only Graphics or Intel + Nvidia Graphics - Solution Found

Post by Andy » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:32 pm

Still Linksing wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:48 pm

Might've been a temp glitch with Dropbox. Should be working fine.
Nope.

.


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