I keep seeing all the back and forth about crashes on the boards and decided to run my own experiment and post my results. I'm not drawing any conclusions as I was only able to test on 4 machines (some of them quite old) but I did notice at least 1 pattern. Here are the relevant specs of the machines I ran my test against
#1 AMD Athlon 1.0 GHZ, Creative Voodoo 3dFX 256MB ram, 1 GB Ram Win XP
#2 AMD Turion 2.2 GHZ Nvidia 7900 GS 512MB Ram, 2GB Ram Win 7
#3 Intel Pentium 5, 1.66 GHZ ATI Radeon 512 MB Ram, 4GB Ram Win Vista
#4 Intel Pentium 4, 1.33 GHZ intel graphics accelerater, 2MB Ram Win XP
Machines 1 & 2 run fairly stable. Machine 1, while way under the reccommended specs, has only experienced 2 crashes and I've gotten up to 530 turns on that machine. It runs very slowly, horrible lags between each kingdom/faction but only 2 crashes. I've only gotten to about 300 turns on machine 2 but no crashes whatsoever (thats my fault, I keep starting new games).
Machine 4 won't even load the game, no error about the graphics card (which I expected) it just stops responding on the splash screen (which turns this really cool white/pink/grey/green mosaic). Machine 3 runs but I experience CTD about every 30-50 turns. Again not necessarily unexpected since the machine is running below the reccommended requirements.
I haven't spent a lot of time tweaking settings or looking into resolving the issues. Machine 2 is the one I normally use for games and I'm getting the best performance from that machine so I just tried the others as an experiment. I don't know what conclusions, if any, can be drawn from this but maybe with feedback from other users we can determine a pattern and help the developers figure it out. I know I am comparing apples to oranges in my example because of various cpu types, graphics cards, ram, etc but I don't have the resources to buy the latest machines and compare everything, any more than stardock does.
Anyway the only pattern I noticed is the AMD machines are more stable than the intel machines. I would expect this from the Turion but not necessarily the Athlon as the Pentium 5 is a newer, faster processor (but still a dinosaur compared to current processors). I would expect to see fewer crashes and better performance on machine 3 (pentium 5) than 1 (athlon). I don't think my limited methodology is anywhere near good enough to draw a solid conclusion, but perhaps it will be of some use in improving the stability of the game.