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Author Topic: Video/game settings and you.
Blakhart
Juggernaught
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15: July 16, 2011, 04:44:12 AM »
A word on memory usage.

This is about a control that controls how the os (most any M$ os) caches data in memory. If you have much memory, you can enable this control and see a benefit in some apps. To get to this control you once again in xp and server2003 (the os's I use) by right clicking on my computer icon, properties, advanced, performance, advanced, memory usage, set it to  system cache. This setting allows the os to cache a lot of data that it would otherwise try to page to disk and clear memory for use by anything else.

The reason why we want things in memory is because of this:
Memory access is almost instantaneous, like sending an email. Disk access, where all data goes when it is paged to disk to clear memory, is like sending the same message as we sent in our above email written on paper, placed into an envelope, dropped in the mail, the postman picks it up, sends it into the mail system, and takes two months on a freighter to Nibi Nibi Island where your great uncle lives. That is exactly how a cpu sees the difference between getting data from memory and getting data from disk. So as you can see, we want as much data we are going to need in memory rather than on disk. If you don't have more than say 512mb system ram do not change this control. It can make a difference in gamiong and overall system performance.
Blakhart
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16: July 16, 2011, 04:57:53 AM »
A word on disk policies.

You say you don't have a policy about disks? Well, you do now.
In talking about disk policy, we are once again talking about caching in memory, and as we learned above. data from disk is infinitely slower than the same data found in ram. So we cheat with our disks. What this means is we cheat by telling the os that yes, the data that the os requested to be written to disk was indeed written, but what we didn't tell the os was that we are holding the data to be written on the disk in the disk's cache memory untill a proper time comes along to write that data onto the hard drive. This speeds things up greatly as most disks are far slower in disk writes than disk reads. Well, how do we get this miracle cure?

Once again we right click on my computer, properties, hardware, device manager, disk drives, policies. See? Told ya you had a disk policy.

Now if you see a button marked "enable write caching on disk" check it. If you see another box marked "enable advanced performance" check it too. These allow the disk to lie to the os like I mentioned above, speeding things along.

WARNING! PELIGRO! DANGER WILL ROBINSON! ACHTUNG!

If you enable these caching mechanisms and you have a sys crash or power failure that drops the system, pretty much everything that was in cache, or any and all data that was in some form of memory when the failure occurred, that data is now lost unless it was copied to disk before the crash. Poof. Gone. Adios.

These settings are dangerous if you crash your system or have a power failure. You can lose your os install. Your boot loader. All sorts of bad things(tm) can happen. But you do get a nice boost in performance while it lasts.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2011, 05:14:09 AM by Blakhart »
Blakhart
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17: July 24, 2011, 05:55:31 AM »
A word on fxaa.

Antialiasing - FXAA

FXAA is a fast shader-based post-processing technique that can be applied to any program, including those which do not support other forms of hardware-based antialiasing. FXAA can be used in conjunction with other antialiasing settings to improve overall image quality. Note that enabling this setting globally may affect all programs rendered on the GPU, including video players and the Windows desktop.

• Turn FXAA on to improve image quality with a lesser performance impact than other antialiasing settings.

• Turn FXAA off if you notice artifacts or dithering around the edges of objects, particularly around text.

http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showtopic=201821&view=findpost&p=1248230

To enable fxaa option in the control panel:
Using the Registry Editor, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\NVIDIA Corporation\Global\NVTweak, create a DWORD value called EnableSRS1442 and set it to 1.
Then FXAA will be available in the Nvidia Control Panel.

You must have a nvid vid card and 275xx series driver to experiment with fxaa. I have tried it in Tribes and Tribes2 and it did not like either game, forcing all text and menus to the side of the screen and other odd behaviours. If you get this to work with your system, let me know what os yoiu got it working under please.
xionc
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18: July 26, 2011, 08:46:28 AM »
I can't enable VSync, I've tried do so in game, ati tray tools, etc. Still can't enable it. Could you help me?
Blakhart
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19: July 27, 2011, 04:50:21 AM »
Hmm. That's odd. First try it in the ccc, then after making sure it is enabled in the ccc set it to enabled in game. I have an sli system playing t2 and I couldn't get it to vsynch untill after I had disabled and re-enabled vsynch in the game itself, and the in-game control has never worked for me in any other system through the years so who knows wtf is going on. T2 is weird. If that doesn't work try:

http://downloads.guru3d.com/RefreshLock-download-354.html

OR

http://downloads.guru3d.com/ATI-Tray-Tools-download-733.html

Use Rivatuner for Nvid or ati cards both:
http://downloads.guru3d.com/RivaTuner-v2.24c-download-163.html

As always, read the directions.

Refreshlock forces vsynch in every system I have tried so that may be the one you will have to use.

Let me know if you get sorted.

« Last Edit: July 27, 2011, 04:52:22 AM by Blakhart »
xionc
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20: July 31, 2011, 11:58:28 AM »
I've enable Vsync in ATI-Tray-Tools and in game too. I'm also runing RefreshLock (ver 2.21). My card driver is Omega 2.6.83.

from 'clientprefs.cs':
Code:
$pref::Video::allowD3D = "1";
$pref::Video::allowOpenGL = "1";
$pref::Video::appliedPref = "1";
$pref::Video::clipHigh = "0";
$pref::Video::defaultsRenderer = "RADEON 9600 XT x86/SSE2";
$pref::Video::defaultsVendor = "ATI Technologies Inc.";
$pref::Video::deleteContext = "1";
$pref::Video::disableVerticalSync = "0";
$pref::Video::displayDevice = "OpenGL";
$pref::Video::fullScreen = "1";
$pref::Video::only16 = "1";
$pref::Video::preferOpenGL = "1";
$pref::Video::profiledRenderer = "RADEON 9600 XT x86/SSE2";
$pref::Video::profiledVendor = "ATI Technologies Inc.";
$pref::Video::resolution = "1152 864 16";
$pref::Video::safeModeOn = "0";
$pref::visibleDistanceMod = "1";
Blakhart
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21: August 01, 2011, 05:11:14 AM »
Hmm. None of that is working for you? I would try to just use one app like either tray tools or refresh lock. Also, can you run the cat 5.11 driver? The 5.11 driver was one of the best for t2 and the 9xxx class ati cards. Whenever I see someone runs a 9xxx card I say head straight for the 5.11 driver if you can use it. If not, then trying various drivers, going back in time, will probabky come up with one that works.
Blakhart
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22: August 01, 2011, 05:18:26 AM »
"$pref::Video::only16 = "1";"
"$pref::Video::resolution = "1152 864 16";"

Are you running in 16bit for a reason? If so try the game and vsynch in 32bit. At your resolution the 32bit performance will be closer to that of 16bit than if you were running at say 1900x1600. The 9700 I had would do arounf 300+fps in 32bit colour in t2 in open areas, not a bad card at all, and your card is very similar to the 9700.

 I will say that ati cards almost make t2 look as good in 16bit as most other cards do in 32bit, so I can understand why one is willing to use 16bit. Also 16bit is usualy around twice as fast as 32bit in almost any card, but in most non-ati card it's so ugly it makes the game not worth playing. Matrox cards also seem to make 16bit look nice too, but they usualy have low fps even in 16bit.
xionc
Señor Nugget

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23: August 06, 2011, 05:59:50 AM »
Still doesn't work, and changing bit depth didn't impact on fps that much, i rather don't see significant difference.
Blakhart
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24: August 09, 2011, 09:22:20 AM »
Try another driver and see if that changes anything.
Blakhart
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25: August 11, 2011, 12:11:00 PM »
Also, if you run the frameskippa script you will show higher fps than refresh rate, even though your vsynch is enabled.
xionc
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26: August 14, 2011, 10:52:40 AM »
Also, if you run the frameskippa script you will show higher fps than refresh rate, even though your vsynch is enabled.
It seems like that's it. Thanks for your input.
Blakhart
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27: August 14, 2011, 01:54:10 PM »
Should have mentioned that in the post re frameskippa huh.
Blakhart
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28: September 12, 2011, 09:56:11 AM »
A word on services:

Services, also known as daemons in the *nix world, are background servers that perform tasks on your system. Some of them are needed so as to be able to boot, some are superfluous and unneeded by most. Some are always running, taking cpu time and memory but you never use them. So, what if we could stop these services from doing that? The less services the system needs to peridically run, the more cpu time that can be devoted to your game. That is the goal, the raison d'etre of system tuning, the kaizen of performance tweaking.
Well, you can tweak that system and here is how:

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&=tm&id=2155

Please note that the above is straight from M$, how thoughtfull of them. Now there are other tweaking guides out there to peruse as the M$ guide is likely going to be rather conservative in a bad way.

http://support.gateway.com/s/software/MICROSOF/vista/7515418/7515418su584.shtml
The above is a guide written by my favorite oem brand.

http://www.tweakhound.com/vista/tweakguide/page_8.htm
This one is more indepth.

Now, there are services you can disable that will keep your system from booting, so don't disable those. I am not at fault for you fooching your system. But there is recourse if you do fooch your system in the f8 "last known good" booting parameter.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2011, 09:58:53 AM by Blakhart »
Blakhart
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29: September 15, 2011, 11:29:10 AM »
A word on netstack tuning:

You might be saying to yourself what is this netstack he speaks of? I know no netstack. Besides, what does this stack thing have to do with our beloved game? I am here to reveal your netstack to you wondering eyes and expose and expound upon its features, how you can control and adjust those features, and why you should. That being said, the benefit is hard to notice, but in a game where milliseconds (or fractions of milliseconds) can actually make a huge difference, you want the absolute lowest latency you can wring out of your game system. The hard and fast rule is the fewer protocols in the stack, the smaller and faster that stack. Simple right?

Your netstack is a block of important code that resides in memory, having been loaded there by the os (and partially by the NIC driver) at boot. This stack is the "TCP chimney" that all the incoming and outgoing packets must filter through as packets make their way to and from your system. Packets have to be identified first in the netstack, where they are welcomed, dusted off, given a snack, and introduced to your cpu, memory, or app.Really the stack checks packets as to what kind they are, check for errors to a degree, and have the data stripped from the addressing and overhead, then the data is sent to whatever app it is addressed to. This stack comprises all the networking protocols that have been installed and are available to the NIC according to the os, along with checksumming and other houskeeping duties such as firewalling and so on. They are "stacked" one upon the other like building blocks of a sort, hence the name. Durr.

These networking protocols are languages for lack of a better term. Languages such as TCPIPv4, TCPIPv6, Netbios, and etc protocols such as Simple file sharing and so on and so forth. Most of us can get along with a greatly reduced protocol list. I get along just fine with TCPIPv4 alone, but I don't need TCPIPv6 or NetBios or any file sharing protocols so they get removed from the netstack at install. If you do need these other protos, you need to make sure you do not delete them or deactivate them or your networking will be interrupted. And I am not to be blamed, as you were duly warned.

In XP and Server2003 you can load and unload the various protocols at install, wich I suggest. Oh they are always avalable for the most part as they are in some cab file in the windows folder somewhere, but removing them from the stack ensures they never take up memory or see cpu time. In Vista and 7 you can delete them at install if the os disk has the networking drivers inherent, if not you can delete them when you install the driver after os install. Under a Vista install you find these here:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Add-or-remove-a-network-protocol-service-or-client

Like I said, the obvious lag reduction diff isn't night and day earthshakingly obvious, but it is the right thing to do, along with reducing unneeded services and all the other tuning paradigms described previously.
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