Is the -heapsize string really necessary?

is the “heapsize 256000 -zone 4096” really necessary for a modern PC?

What exactly are these settings for?

They are necessary for any PC, because Quake does not adjust the heapsize dynamically when exceeded.

A heapsize of 256000 means 250MB of memory room. (For the “correct” amount of 256MB, the heapsize would need to be 262144.)

The newest Quakespasm releases set those values by the default.

Indeed. The memory is heap is for loading levels and assets. Vanilla Quake and most older source ports allocate only very little memory by default (16-32 MB), enough to load the stock levels and classic custom maps/mods. But larger and more complex levels require more memory to load, because they typically have more texture/light/vis data and entities.

Several newer source ports have a bigger default heapsize value, some even do allocate it dynamically, but you can’t go wrong when addiing the command line switches above, that should load pretty much anything.

Thanks for the help dudes!