This information has been tested with Homeworld and Homeworld Cataclysm. Please note that this information is not applicable to Homeworld 2.
Homeworld and Cataclysm were developed a long time ago, when computer systems were less powerful. As a result neither game makes full use of modern PCs. There is a way to let them take advantage of more powerful computers. There are also a some tweaks that can make them more responsive. To take advantage of these features you need to add commandline options to a shortcut. These are:
This changes the amount of memory (in bytes) that the game can access. I'm not sure what it is by default, but it's not always enough. Slow-downs and/or crashes often occur when using intensive maps and MODs, running in compatibility mode or just playing with large fleets. My example changes the heap allocation to 1Gb, which is half of my physical RAM, and gave me flawless lag-free play at 8x speed with my Cataclysm MOD in the most demanding maps. If you have less memory you should change the number. My tests suggest that 256Mb should be a good amount. Decide how much you want to allocate and then use the google calculator to figure out how many bytes that equals.
This allows the game to use a CPU feature called SSE if it is available.
This allows the game to use an AMD CPU feature called 3DNow if it is available.
This apparently prevents the wild flickering that sometimes occurs on the front end game menus.
This bypasses the startup videos so that the game opens straight into the main menu.
It's pretty easy to set this up. My example is for Cataclysm, but it's much the same for Homeworld. Go to your Cataclysm folder and select the "Cataclysm.exe" file. Right click it and choose "Create Shortcut" from the menu that appears. A new file will appear called "Shortcut to Cataclysm". Right click it and choose "Properties" from the menu that appears. In the window that appears there is a field called "Target". Depending on where you've installed the game, this will read something like:
Making sure you dont change the target, you should now add the options. It should then read something like:
Click "OK" and you're done. Double clicking the "Shortcut to Cataclysm" file will start the game with the options running. You can move and/or rename this file as you wish and it will still work.
"C:\Sierra\Cataclysm\cataclysm.exe" -triple -enable3DNow -heap 1073741824 -enableSSE -disableAVI
If you're using Homeworld the syntax is slightly different. Cataclysm uses a hyphen to identify command line options (eg -disableAVI) while Homeworld uses a forward slash instead (eg /disableAVI). Therefore it should read something like:
"C:\Sierra\Homeworld\homeworld.exe" /triple /enable3DNow /heap 1073741824 /enableSSE /disableAVI