Posting this as a courtesy that might help some lower end system folks. A clan mate got a big performance boost by upgrading to a newer hard drive.

He's not registered here. If anyone wants to respond to him directly, the original post is in our forums in the link in my sig:

Topic: If your UT3 causes your system to lockup... « on: December 21, 2007, 11:56:31 PM »

Summary: its might be from precaching!!! Game apparently remaps textures on the fly like you see in xbox 360 Unreal Engine 3 games. Slower hdd can't keep up.

Read below for more details:

it might be your hdd speed. I reinstalled UT3 on a faster sata drive just because the loading of maps was soo **** slow and you wouldnt believe the difference it made in performance. Night and day. I haven't even done any kind of ini editing to get the game playable. It actually looks 4x better than the screenshot I posted before. It even runs as smooth as when I had it at 160x120 (lawl). Still frames bounce around at times but its nominal. I had a feeling that hdd speed might of been issue with my lockups cuz everytime it locked up, some major event happened such as when the a map starts, respawning, sometimes it was even when the map just loaded. A few lockups where from when mass **** just happened in front of me. Its weird though. I know in the xbox 360 gears of war, you can see textures being remapped on the fly and I'm seeing that now too. You'll see a very scaled down texture and then it remaps the detailed texture over it (really the texture sharpens up) . If you played Gears of War, Rainbow Six Vegas, Bioshock, and Ghost Recon, which all use the Unreal Engine 3, then you have seen this whether or not you realized it or not.

Game is soo much more enjoyable and ****, they got ctf right. It feels dead on like UT99. I don't see how this game cannot take off competitively.

***More thoughts on this***

If you're video card has 256 megs of ram, that might explain why textures are loading on the fly. Only real question I have about this is, my textures are only running at 640x480 and textures at that resolution shouldn't be taking up 256 megs on a map. Really hard to tell. I honestly think since the Unreal Engine 3 was developed with consoles in mind and their limitations with video ram that it became part of the game engine to load textures on the fly.

My system specs:
Athlon64 3200+ stock speeds
1.5 gigs of corsair xms ram default timings
Radeon 9800 Pro 256 meg