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madrebel

[Nvidia/game settings Upgrade scaling, etc] The quest for playable framerates.

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So while trouble shooting my abysmal in game performance while zoomed in and looking at trees recently i discovered a few things that helped me gain a stable/playable frame rate. Earlier today my new gtx460se arrived and I have the luxury of performing more or less a side by side comparison which may help some of you plan your upgrades.

What I did while benchmarking to find the most stable performance i could manage on the 9600gt was spawn offline as brit rifleman. Head E-N-E from the spawn and just beyond the small arms range you'll see a line of tents. aim for the third tent from the left and just beyond that tent there is a clump of 3 trees in a nice triangle shape. stand at the NE point in that triangle and looke NE you'll see a forest and just in front of that forest you'll see a sign. Use that sign as your aim point so each test will be as close to identical as you can make it.

like this

offlineforestzoom.jpg

The other tool you can use is by typing in .benchremagen in the chat bar before you spawn anything. This will warp you to a spot in remagen that is fairly full of buildings and smoke and what not. Both of these tests are important but the first test is the most important as it represents the worst case scenario.

First the important specs:

Intel core2duo E7200 @ 3.4ghz

4gb ram

9600gt

460gtx se

Important game settings:

  • Normal maps - this setting eats 10fps on both my old 9600 and my new 460 when zoomed into trees. Every tree has a normal map for textures to make the look bumpy. If you're zoomed in on each tree you're also drawing its normal map. The cost in performance is not worth it if you're struggling to maintain 25-30fps so turn this.
  • post render filter - i hate this and refuse to test it, ever, test it yourself to find if its good/bad likely there is little to no performance degradation
  • water shaders - only relevant near water
  • water reflections - again, only relevant near water but this likely causes a noticeable impact
  • muzzle flash lights - IMO even if this setting caused you to run 20fps slower it is so vital for the ground war you may as well turn it on and forget it is here. if this is off spotting infantry shooting at you from bushes is almost impossible.
  • combat smoke - mostly relevant only at cities and then mostly only in the rubble. can be a
    fairly large performance loss though. if you're already struggling, turn it off.
  • specular - the loss of performance here is very minimal compared to the quality of the picture with it enabled. much like muzzle flash, i always have this on.

the bolded settings you need to play with in the live environment as they aren't part of either controlled test. me personally this game and especially the environments impacted by those 3 settings are more about performance than looking pretty so i leave these off at all times. if you like pretty turn them on and see how well your system runs. with them on.

Nvidia Settings

  • anisotropic filtering = texture filtering, increases the look of textures
  • anti aliasing gama = improves the color/quality of 3d images only applies to openGL (ww2ol is openGL)
  • anti aliasing mode = enables/disables anti aliasing
  • anti aliasing setting = the level of anti aliasing you wish to use. this setting causes more performance loss than any of these other settings.
  • anti aliasing transparency = minimize visible aliasing for transparent textures
  • cuda gpus = doesn't apply to ww2ol at all (or any game for that matter?)
  • maximum pre-render = dont screw with this if you don't know what it does. its rare it will improve your performance anyway. google it if you want a longer explanation
  • multi-display/mixed-gpu = i didn't see any change one way or the other with ww2ol so i set it to single display performance mode. if i were running a 3 monitor ultra wide screen i would certainly play with this setting to see what else it does.
  • texture filtering aniso sample options = supposed to be a slight performance gain with this on if this is true it isn't something you can really feel in ww2ol.
  • texture filtering negative LOD bias = set this to clamp if you're using anisotropic filtering and want the best stationary picture quality set to allow for supposed higher performance.
  • texture filtering quality = this sets the global quality control for how good you want textures to look. in ww2ol i found no change either way with either GPU i tested so i just leave this at quality.
  • texture filtering trilinear opt = this only affects directX programs so has no relevance to ww2ol
  • threaded opt = on or off makes no difference in ww2ol. one day hopefully it will but for now it doesnt.
  • triple buffering = only enable this is you have vsync enabled
  • vertical sync = always disable vsync for benchmarking. what vsync does is best left to your own google searches. suffice it to say if you're not always comfortably over your monitors refresh rate which is 60hz for most LCD then there is no point enabling this. if you are always over your monitors refresh rate enabling this prevents image tearing which really annoys me so i always enable this when not benchmarking.

so, now you know what settings do what. these are the settings i used for each card and listed is the FPS i got when zoomed into the trees.

9600gt @ 33fps:

nvidia settings:

anisotropic filtering = 2x

AA - gama off

AA - mode = off

AA setting = none

AA transparency = off

cuda gpus = all (n/a)

maximum pre-render = 3 (dont screw with this if you don't know what it does. its rare it will improve your performance anyway)

multi-display/mixed-gpu = single display performance mode

texture filtering - aniso sample options = off

texture filtering negative LOD bias = clamp (set to allow if not using AF)

texture filtering quality = quality

texture filtering trilinear opt = on

threaded opt = on (either way does nothing for ww2ol)

triple buffering = off (set this to on when running vertical sync)

vertical sync = force off (i always enable this when not benchmarking)

game settings:

normal maps = off

post render = disabled

water shaders = disabled

water reflections = disabled

muzzle flash lights = enabled

combat smoke = disabled

specular = enabled

both clutter sliders full left and disabled while flying

460gtx @ 71fps:

nvidia settings:

anisotropic filtering = 8x

AA - gama on

AA - mode = override app

AA setting = 2x (4x ate about 10fps)

AA transparency = multisample

cuda gpus = all

maximum pre-render = 3

multi-display/mixed-gpu = single display performance mode

texture filtering - aniso sample options = off

texture filtering negative LOD bias = allow

texture filtering quality = quality

texture filtering trilinear opt = on

threaded opt = on

triple buffering = off

vertical sync = force off

game settings:

normal maps = off (i could enable this but in some cases it would drop me below 60fps)

post render = disabled

water shaders = disabled (dont care about the looks)

water reflections = disabled (dont care)

muzzle flash lights = enabled

combat smoke = disabled

specular = enabled

clutter sliders = distance drawn = full right density = full left and disabled while flying

In closing something worth noting is that the scaling is most certainly there with just upgrading the GPU. As you can see the upgrade from the 9600gt to the 460gtx se was a 100% improvement in performance. However, it should be noted also that this was only in the worst case scenario. When I am not zoomed into those trees my performance in regular play,while superior, is certainly not 100% superior. Not even close in fact.

I am fairly certain the main reason for this has to do with the fact that the trees are mostly handled via shaders and the rest of the scenegraph (what you see) is still being handled mostly by the CPU. this is a very important distinction that needs to be understood to help you chose where to best spend your money. In fact I didn't know exactly what to expect from this upgrade. In the past it was always more cpu = more fps in ww2ol. Now it appears to be more of a balance.

If you're lagging or performing poorly out in the open field when not zoomed in to trees then your best upgrade is likely going to be the cpu.

If you perform fine in the open field but have poor performance zoomed into trees then your best upgrade is the gpu.

hope this helps.

Edited by madrebel

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I've burned up 2 ATI 4890 video cards looking at trees in game...

if you want a good furmark test...just spawn into the game and look at trees where your fps gets the lowest. This heats your GPU up to a maximum amount...enough to burn out my cards. Also with a power/watt meter hooked up to computer it shows what your max power drain will be for your video card.

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Thanks for the info. I changed the nvidia settings on my gtx460. Hopefully I get a nice increase in framerates. :D

The program is called playgate.exe in the nvidia settings right?

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Thanks for the info. I changed the nvidia settings on my gtx460. Hopefully I get a nice increase in framerates. :D

The program is called playgate.exe in the nvidia settings right?

No, ww2.exe.

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Wow, great finds Madrebel. I'll try your settings to see if/how much it helps me. Very much obliged for your sharing. :)

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Veeery interesting......

Using your setup on my system (2600k @stock, 8 gigs 1600, sli'd 470's accross three monitors @ 5040x1050)....

My initial setup was 4x AA, normal maps on, reflections and water shaders/combat smoke on netted me ~39 fps using .benchremagen command.

Using your nvidia settings and in game settings got me ~65 using the same benchmark....

Usually my framerates are much higher than that, but that showed a very significant boost.

By the way I tried all three different multi monitor settings and those made absolutely no difference on my system. S!

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others have said sli does nothing. i've never had ... well ... i had dual voodoo2s a LONG time ago but that doesn't count now :D.

the normal maps is the largest killer. that 2600 of yours overclocks like crazy too with ~4.4ghz attainable on stock air cooling (although i would spring for a good heatsink if i were you).

I haven't bothered to benchmark since i got my new and last cpu for for this old core2 platform but i'm at a fully stable 4.5ghz now.

Another fun thing you can do is use evga's precision utility (tweaked version of rivatuner) and setup a normal desktop (non 3d) profile and and overclocked (3d running) profile for games. maybe i'll write out a guide for that soon but there are real benefits to this. in my 3d setup i run 840mhz gpu clock but soon as i exit the game it shifts back to default so i'm not running 'in the red' at all times.

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I have an H70 cooler on right now, just haven't done much in the way of overclocking - when I have I usually get bluescreen crashes and reboots in game - not what I want for stability.

Another massive massive plus - I've actually been able to run fraps at 32 fps, which means Beazil can finally see what he can do to provide vids for the voracious hangar tribe. Trials with a full version of playclaw netted much worse results with all kinds of settings tried.

A big thing I've been running into is the inability to do any kind of ingame video capture with three screens. While 30 fps isn't anything to write home about, it's at the very least stable and I am actually able to play offline while capturing - something that no matter what I tried I was absolutely unable to do (15fps was a previous highpoint).

By the way - when not capturing in flight I've gone from ~ 80 fps to over 160. Very nice! High five! :D

Edit: SLI doesn't do a damn thing in BGE, (I remain hopeful for the future) - but it does enable surround with similar framerates to my previous triplehead2go. And sli actually does do something for the other games I play, not that I do much of that.

Edited by beazil

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have you tried playclaw? i've heard good things about it compared to fraps.

also set the capture disk to a different disk than you run the game on and preferably a SSD. Also in fraps make sure you set the process affinity to run on the core that ww2ol is NOT running on.

you can also increase the fps capture rate which lessens the fps drop but increases the captured file size. You can get inexpensive 2TB 6gbps SATA drives though so that shouldn't be an issue.

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Ok I can't edit the OP anymore so I'll just add this here.

download evga precision

http://www.evga.com/precision/

Doesn't matter if you don't have an evga card the program itself is just a reskinned and updated version of Rivatuner. MSI also has a similar tool that is also just rivatuner with updates.

Install, launch, etc and this is what it looks like

evga1.jpg

The red circles are the important buttons/info. The far right should list your default clock settings for core/memory etc.

The wrench looking thing is for the advanced settings, we'll get into that in a minute. For now, right click on the number 1 where the lower left circle is. You've now created your default 2d profile. To create your overclocked profile first do a google search for your card and see what the average overclock is. For my 460ti the most people were getting was 850mhz and 1890 for the memory clock. I set my sliders (right big red circle) to 840mhz core and 1880mhz memory, its been rock solid. Lets use beazil here as an example a quick google searchs looks like for a normal overclock you should probably get about ~730mhz core and 1700mhz memory. so back that down to 725 and 1690 then right click on the number 2. you've now made your overclocked 3d profile. hit the little lock button so these profiles can't change.

When I first started using this method I had the fan cranked up at all times when using the 3d profile. You can do this, there is nothing 'wrong' with doing this but it's really f'n noisy and the video card will increase the fan speed automatically when it needs to so I stopped manually forcing the fan to high levels and now just let it do its thing.

Now, onto the magic. Click the wrench. The first settings tab you need to check start with windows and start minimized. THis way you'll never forget or need to worry about it. rivatuner is really light weight so don't worry about it eating performance or anything, you'll never know it's there

evga2.jpg

Now click on the monitoring tab

evga3.jpg

this is where you control what real time info is overlayed onto your screen. as you can see i have gpu temp, usage, core clock, mem usage, and framerate all set with the "show in OSD" box checked. this way i can have all this info on screen and not use any in game utilities. as an example, showing the box in ww2ol that shows your framerate actually eats a few FPS, so just disable it.

onto part 2 cause i think i'm limited to only 3 pics per post ....

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...

now click the OSD tab

evga4.jpg

This isn't critical, but sometimes useful. Set a button to OSD toggle, i like numpad - set yours to w/e. I also like showing the OSD in screenshots but you may not.

Now click the profiles tab. here is where you setup the automagic.

evga5.jpg

At the bottom you see the automatic profiles management. as you can see i'm an arsebackwards spazz monkey who wants to know how far he can overclock which is why my number 1 profile is the OC profile. If you followed step by step, you will use profile 1 in the 2d profile and profile 2 in the 3d profile.

Hit ok and minimize evga. You should now have another icon in your system tray, the evga OSD server, this is how you overlay the info on your screen. If you double click on this icon it opens a new window that looks like this

evga6.jpg

upper left make sure start with windows and show OSD are on. click the wrench and slect start minimized.

the last circle is where you adjust the position of the OSD. i like the top left, you might like somewheres else. play with it till it is where you want it. You can also change the color of the OSD via the OSD palette option, click that and select a color.

Now, fire up a game and enjoy your new automagicly overclocked GPU and gain valuable real time information.

*note*

sometimes HTML5 and some newer GPU accelerated web options enable your 3d profile. this is the main reason why i now prefer automatic fan speed. noise isnt a concern when i'm in game with headphones on but web surfing and watching videos kind of sucks when your fan all the sudden jumps to 50 decibels.

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Well I've got a new 570 Superclocked evga

initially after following your settings for the 460 my fps was much better in a test town 5 mins apart.

Tonight been at andenne - pretty busy with plenty of enemy over the river to the south. I was gettign 17 - 26 fps which is horrible.

I've only got an I7 920 but my gtx 260 never really got as bad as that and was always in the low 20's when busy.

Any ideas. I turned off normal maps and battle smoke. Turnign smoke off helpe a little but the fps above was AFTER doing that.

I don't care how much is going on I should get more than that. A ncie stable 30 + all the time would be nice. It's a bit laggy as it drops to low 20's and below.

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idk, test offline again and make sure those are where they should be. if they are then idk, the game isn't exactly efficient though so ... yeah.

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idk' date=' test offline again and make sure those are where they should be. if they are then idk, the game isn't exactly efficient though so ... yeah.[/quote']

Well thats the kicker - Using your test at that EXACT point and your nvidia settings I'm getting 150FPS at 1920 Resolution.

Pretty good you think. So why last night was I getting a steady 18 FPS on the same settings. I'm sure theGTX 260 never got that low.

Maybe there is another problem. I did just install a SSD which shouldn't make any difference and thats 3 x faster than my sata 2 using a benchmark tool.

All updates, latest driver, new windows 7 64 bit build and updated chipset drivers and bios.

Edited by badger77

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try forcing ww2ol to run on one of the other cores?

idk i can't really explain the massive drop off from offline to online. very little chance the game is overloading your GPU and certainly not to the point where you would be in the teens on fps.

you can verify this by lowering the resolution which i've found has very little affect on performance.

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Well I'm almost at the give up stage. I've goen through checked bios, run my SSD tests and gettign 260MB against my old 70MB.

Updated, tested my vid card, drivers, bios, chipset etc.

In busy towns I'm getting 17 - 25.

For the first time I'm just holding my hands up thinking maybe ww2 just doesn't like higher end nvidia cards ?

Never really struggled so much before.

I think my 9800 was as quick on an older processor -

maybe will look for a new game to test see how it performs there as right now I only have this game installed.

I've taken off and puton every nvidia setting and the fps stayed pretty stable. i.e no real difference was made with most of them.

If I get 150 offline looking at trees I dont know how it can grind to a slog so much and why on the same rig is it slower than a sata 2 with gtx 260.

Myabe I'll try game settigns but quite frankly with this setup I should be able to run most things with no issues. I've already turned off all smoke and reflections.

Off to sulk :)

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the only factors that are different is your network stack is busy while playing online. this is why i suggested moving ww2ol.exe to run on cpu core 1, 2, or 3. in windows iirc the network cannot leave core 0. hit ctrl-shift-esc after the game lunaches, this brings up task manager. right click ww2ol.exe and select set affinity. uncheck cpu0 leave the others checked or just select one of your other 3. play around with it a bit see if something helps. there is almost no way ww2ol is bottlenecking the fill rate of your GPU as always its going to be bottlenecking at the cpu.

you could also get a killer nic this will isolate the network stack somewhat. don't expect lower pings or anything much of that is marketing BS but the processing of all the network stuff ww2ol does will move to the card, although moving ww2ol to run on cpu1-3 is similar in some respects.

next patch does bring changes though maybe that will improve things for you? i haven't tested the campaign in awhile so i'm not certain what/how my system performs on the ground right now. maybe i'll test that later.

*edit*

this card is 10 bucks and claims to do TCP/UDP checksum offloading too (what the killer nic does) but the reviews aren't positive on it so buyer beware ... 10 bucks though .. not a big risk.

Edited by madrebel

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Thanks Mad,

Yes I tried the core affinity lock last night. I am running the same board and NIC as before with same OS so it's an odd one. Good poit though. I did used to run static IP and differing DNS - my ping is ok but I'll set this again, make sure I've got the latest etherent drivers etc. Worth looking at.

Went into couvin (after a miserable 17 in brussels earleir) and even with a fair few enemy I was gettign 34 - 80 in town so was pretty good.

Flying gets me generally around 60 - 80 all the time but haven't tried over a huge town like antwerp.

Apart from the issues I have here I tell you waht this 570 really does knock out some good performance. Pretty impressed.

Edited by badger77

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These settings should be added to the variey of other threads on Nvidia settings - I was amazed how much better the quality of the graphics were and still with quality.

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