Launcher gfx-quality options

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NikkyD
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Launcher gfx-quality options

Postby NikkyD » Fri Feb 03, 2006 7:12 pm

Could someone (of the dev team) explain _in detail_ what the single options mean ?

Because there is stuff like

"Ground Shadows Texture" AND
"Shadow Texture Quality" AND
"Shadows Level"

as i think the shadows have kinda hard borders (flashlighting through a fence usually doesnt make a razorsharp shadow fence) it would be useful to know what the options mean.
What the difference between Very High and High or Medium is.

I play with all at very high and everything turned on and have 20 to 35 fps (feels liquid to play) but if i could turn off some options that no one really recognizes and get up to 40 to 50 fps that would be nice

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CoolBoy
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Postby CoolBoy » Tue Feb 07, 2006 10:17 am

Here,here! I agree completely. Also, along with an explanation of what the different options do, it would be great if you could suggest some settings for someone with an older computer such as mine (egocentric... lol). My specs: WinXP Cpu 1.6ghz 512 mb ram Geforce 5700LE 256mb

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Sampo
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Postby Sampo » Tue Feb 07, 2006 11:14 am

I'd sacrifice some of the resolution to get more details in graphics and a good fps count. I play with everything at very high, resolution 1024*768 and 2xAA. Specs are AMD Athlon XP 3200+ (at 2,2 GHz) and Radeon 9800 Pro 128Mb.
Last edited by Sampo on Tue Feb 07, 2006 8:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

NikkyD
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Postby NikkyD » Tue Feb 07, 2006 7:16 pm

I play at 1024*768 32Bit with 4x AA and 8x AF
I run a P4a [email protected] with 1 GB RAM
Sparkle GF 6600 GT

All set to very high and everything turned on, fps between 5 (lots of water) and 40 fps (starting garage)

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fb_jpk
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Postby fb_jpk » Fri Feb 10, 2006 1:49 am

Ok, lets have a "quick" look into those options you mentioned...

In general, the overall options that you would select from the launcher's standard menu (not the advanced menu) should be quite well adjusted for most cases. If you have a CPU and a graphics card that are of "the same caliber", you should have no need to tweak the individual options found in the advanced menu. If you have an old CPU but a new graphics card, or vice versa, then adjusting the individual advanced options accordingly may give you better visual quality with no significant performance loss.

In general, if you are experiencing a big framerate drop during fights, then you probably have a bottleneck caused by CPU. If you have constantly low framerates, even when nothing is happening, then your performance is probably limited by the graphics card. (Of course, in reality, it's not this simple, but this is a good guideline.)

"Ground shadows texture" - this option affects the shadows that are projected on ground/floor from various static/semi-dynamic light sources. This option defines the resolution at which the shadows are drawn. If you set it to lowest setting, you'll have shadows with slightly jagged edges. If you set it to highest setting, the shadows should be sharp. Which setting is best for you, depends on your screen resolution, graphics card and preference... (If you have a very low screen resolution, raising the shadows texture quality very high won't make much difference.) This option will mostly just affect your graphics card performance, setting it to a higher setting will not add any CPU load.

"Shadow texture quality" - this option affects the shadows that you get from dynamic lights (player's flashlight being the most common one). Basically the effect is the same as with the above "ground shadows texture". Low quality may give you shadows with jagged edges, high quality will not. Affects mostly graphics card performance, does not affect CPU.

"Shadows level" - when set on very low, will disable most shadows.
When set on low/medium, will disable some shadows and render only the most apparently visible shadows (may cause some shadow "popping" at screen edges), when set on higher settings will render maximum amount of shadows. Mostly affects graphics card performance, some effect on CPU too.

The "misc" advanced option affects a lot of miscellaneous quality factors.
Along with the "weather effects level" option, this option probably has the most CPU performance effect... So if you have a slow CPU but a good graphics card, these 2 options are probably the ones you'll want to lower first. (In case of a slow CPU, you probably should not set these above the medium setting, or at most the high setting. Never very high.)

The "distortion" effect will have a huge performance hit on your graphics card. Use it only if you have a quite new gfx-card. Some older cards will probably take a big hit if you set this on.

It is possible to tweak some of the rendering options even more accurately than what the launcher allows. But in those cases, you'll have to either manually edit the configuration files or use the game console to modify those options. (I would not recommend that, as the launcher already offers more than enough options to tweak.)

In some cases, if you are getting very low framerates during fights, even when you have selected the very low settings, a motherboard integrated sound chip may be the reason. If you are using an integrated sound chip, you should make sure you have installed the latest drivers for it. In certain cases, we've noticed a huge CPU performance loss due to integrated sound chips / old sound chip drivers.

And if someone happens to have a lot of extra GPU to spare (a very new gfx card, with 3.0 pixel shaders), there is a more or less unofficial option for smooth shadows...

You can type the following into the console (F8 ) to switch it on:

Code: Select all

/render_smoothed_shadows 1


I'm not sure if this option actually made it to the release version... So it may not have any effect - or it may give you smoother shadows if you have a ps3.0 capable graphics card.

NikkyD
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Postby NikkyD » Fri Feb 10, 2006 5:20 am

Thank you very much for this info Joel.

The smoothed shadow doesnt work for me (6600 GT does have 3.0 shader)

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Sampo
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Postby Sampo » Fri Feb 10, 2006 8:22 am

Um, NikkyD, to my knowledge fb_jpk is not Joel.

I do indeed have integrated sound chip and have occassional problems with framerates, especially in 1.01. I have the latest drivers, but could it anyway be the source of my problems...?

NikkyD
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Postby NikkyD » Tue Feb 14, 2006 8:38 am

lol, i just looked at the avatar picture, ok thx jpk then.

I played around a bit and lowering the shadow stuff is visible, when shadows become long (lets say you stand 5m away from a box) the "stairs effect" can be seen on the ground.

Very annoying is, that distortion makes the water look cool but also causes the fisheye bug :(

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Postby Matti » Tue Feb 14, 2006 12:08 pm

fb_jpk wrote:The "distortion" effect will have a huge performance hit on your graphics card. Use it only if you have a quite new gfx-card. Some older cards will probably take a big hit if you set this on.

What you say? That option is better for Radeon 9000SE than for Radeon 9700 Pro just becouse 9kSE is newer? I don't believe it!

NikkyD
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Postby NikkyD » Tue Feb 14, 2006 10:31 pm

He means that older cards can be quite crippled (extreme loss of fps) when enabled, whereas newer cards wont suffer that much fps loss.

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fb_jpk
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Postby fb_jpk » Tue Feb 14, 2006 10:33 pm

What you say? That option is better for Radeon 9000SE than for Radeon 9700 Pro just becouse 9kSE is newer? I don't believe it!


Ok, maybe I should not have said it the way I did... What I meant to say was, that the distortion effect requires a "quite high-performance" graphics card, not just a "new" (but crappy) graphics card.

In general however, the older generation graphics cards (say GF4Ti or Radeon 9000) either cannot even display this effect due to the lack of latest shader support or even if they could, they would not have enough performance to run it at proper framerate. Whereas the later generation graphics cards (say Radeon X... series or Nvidia ...GT series) in general have enough performance to handle the effect. (Sure, there are some cheap versions of these kinds of cards too, and those may not be able to handle the effect that well.)

I consider R9000 to be an old card, because it really is not even available for purchase anymore, at least not in most of the computer shops around here. (And although R9700 is not available either, R9600/9800 are available, and those are the closest comparable cards).

So the "new" in my previous post was a badly chosen word, it should have been "latest generation or older generation but high performance" card... Or something like that. :)


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