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Fixing Your FPS: A Comprehensive Guide

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Customer Service
Fixing Your FPS: A Comprehensive Guide
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MorbidSouls's Avatar


MorbidSouls
04.06.2013 , 04:17 AM | #11
Quote: Originally Posted by Cerimon View Post
Hi MorbidSouls,

Anything that potentially increases players game performance is welcome. Good post, thanks.
I've been with SWTOR from the start through all the Illum madness and even prior to the game launching myself and many other friends were worried about the game engine chosen as it's essentially a heavily modified Hero game engine. As we can still see it's still not fit for purpose for this game so i hope the tech and game engine guys can fully optimize the engine to deliver on your promise of the game running smoothly on a broad arrange of systems and specs as that was your main focus behind everything including the graphics style etc.

I think the game runs ok for people normally, but Warzones is a disaster for FPS, as is big open world events, like Illum near the launch of the game.

TieJu's Avatar


TieJu
04.06.2013 , 06:13 AM | #12
First tip should be, that you check your system utilization first and decide then what to do next.

Checklist and tools to find out what is your problem:
  • Cpu bound - Open your task manager, and check the cpu usage at both swtor.exe processes, if the process with the larger memory usage has a cpu consumption of 1/<cpu cores in your system> % ( 50% for dual core, 25% for 4 core and so on), then your system is cpu bound.
  • Ram bound - Open your task manager and look at the performance tab, if the system memory consumption is at 90%, your system is ram bound (swtor uses up to 2.5gb ram on its own).
  • Gpu bound - Get some tools like gpu-z, open the sensors tab and look at the GPU Load entry, if its constantly at the 90% - 100% range, than your system is gpu bound.
  • Vram (gpu ram) bound - Get some tools like gpu-z, open the sensors tab and look at the Memory Used entry, if its constantly very close to the memory of your video crad, then your system is vram bound.

If your system is cpu bound, and has up to 2 cores then you need to tune the running processes and services, if your system has more than 2 cpu cores, that wont help (because of the simple fact, that the game uses only 2 cores most of the time), in this case you can't do anything.
Also keep your drivers up to date, they might affect your cpu performance a lot. In particular video drivers can have a large impact on cpu usage.

If your system is ram bound, you need to close/stop not needed processes and services.

If your system is gpu bound, then some tips above might help, but some will have almost no effect.

My thoughts and some info about the OP tuning tips.

1. VSync + Tripe Buffering
This will 'hide' latency and fps drops, but it will cost more gpu ram (because it needs a second off screen frame target).

2. Optimize graphics performance
  • Maximum pre-rendered frames > Set it to 4 or the maximum number you can get. - Hides latency, like above.
  • Multi-display/mixed GPU acceleration > Single display performance mode. - Does nothing, this option exists only for debugging problems with multi monitor stuff, the gpu/driver will select appropriate option/mode by it self.
  • Power management mode > Prefer maximum performance. - Minimal effect, this prevents the gpu from down clocking it self to save power if its utilization is below ~90%.
  • Texture filtering - quality. > High performance - Minimal effect, only increases perf. if your gpu is bound by memory transfer speed or has very little ram of its own.
  • Also double check that VSync and Tripe Buffering are both ENABLED - As stated above, this only affects OpenGL programs, SW:TOR uses D3D9 (dx9).
  • Set PhysX Configuration > Again make sure you select your dedicated graphics card. - Has no effect, SW:TOR does not use PhysX.

3. DirectX 9 Files
Actually this might help, because stock windows vista and 7 (and 8?) have for some reason old versions of their dx9 installed, with poor performance (and no, they are not 'emulated' if not installed).

4. Gamebooster
This might only help if your system is cpu bound (also i don't like apps that fiddle with the windows configuration).

5. SWTOR Unleashed
This reduces stutter from i/o latency of streamed data, if your system is cpu and/or gpu bound, this won't help you.

6. Adjust Game client Settings
FarClipScale controls the view distance, so it will improve performance overall, becuse the cpu will send less stuff to draw to the gpu (helps more if your system is gpu bound, but it might help if your system is cpu bound).

7. Lastly and most obvious is to simply just lower your graphic settings when you go into Warzones, this will help allot with your FPS
  • Resolution - Change this if your system is gpu bound, if not rise this to the max. This won't help you at all if your system is purely cpu bound, this only controls how many pixels the gpu needs to compute and store.
  • Bloom - Change this if your system is gpu bound, if not enable it. Bloom is a Post-process effect, so its applied after the scene (w/o ui) has been draw to the backbuffer, its impact depends on the screen res.. It also might affects the memory usage of the backbuffer, bloom requires a greater precision for each pixel (more memory per pixel is required) than normal drawing.
  • Coversation Depth of Field - Change this if your system is gpu bound, if not enable it. Coversation Depth of Fieldis a Post-process effect, so its applied after the scene (w/o ui) has been draw to the backbuffer, its impact depends on the screen res..
  • Texture Quality - Change this if your vram consumption is very height (very height setting consumes about 800mb of vram). If you set this to height, the system will page textures into system ram in an out, and the gpu needs to wait for bus i/o to complete, before it can do anything.
  • Shader Complexity - Change this if your system is gpu bound, if not rise this to the max. This affects the time that the gpu needs to compute each pixel (eg each element that contributes to the color of a pixel).
  • Anti aliasing - Change this if your system is gpu bound, if not rise this to the max. Anti aliasing a Post-process effect, so its applied after the scene (w/o ui) has been draw to the backbuffer, its impact depends on the screen res..
  • Character Level of Detail - Change this if your system is gpu bound, if not rise this to the max. The performance impact is very low, it affects memory usage, bus consumption and some gpu processing power.
  • Texture Anisotrophy - Change this if your system is gpu bound, if not rise this to the max. The performance impact is very low, modern gpus are tuned for anisotrophy >4x.
  • Shadow Qualty - Change this if your system is gpu or cpu bound, if not rise this to the max. This is one of the greatest performance hogs of any game. Good looking shadows are hard to create and need a relative large amount of cpu and gpu power. The entire sceen needs to be draw from the view of each light that casts shadows (but with simpler shaders and no textures), so its affects both cpu and gpu performance. The difference between settings that enable the shadows affects only gpu performance, because it changes the resolution of the 'shadow scene' and the complexity of the filter applied if the shadows are drawn.
  • Character Texture Anti aliasing - Change this if your system is gpu bound, if not rise this to the max. This might also affect vram and buss usage, because character textures are stored in a texture atlas and will be constantly updated.
  • Grass Qualty - Change this if your system is gpu bound, if not rise this to the max.
  • Tree Qualty - Change this if your system is gpu bound, if not rise this to the max.
  • Visible Character Limit - Change this if your system is gpu or cpu bound, if not rise this to the max. This is also a great performance hog, because the engine has some problems with many chars. This might effect cpu, gpu, bus and vram usage. Each drawn character need space at the texture atlas, and the texture data is streamed to the vram. Character drawing is also relative complex and requires a large amount of draw calls and shaders.

Ps. I hate the one time password crap, it does not increase the account security it lowers it!

MorbidSouls's Avatar


MorbidSouls
04.06.2013 , 07:25 AM | #13
Thanks for taking your time to explain everything in detail, i just wanted to alleviate some of your fears in regards to gamebooster, you just configure it to close down unnecessary background applications and has a % of required for gaming so you know easily what you can get rid of, it gives you more ram free to use with your integrated graphics card for example if it works on shared ram or for swtor unleashed to free up more resources for that.

I'm glad you agree with me in regards to the max pre-rendered frames set to 4 and everything i have listed will all combine to help people struggling with fps. You may only get a 5fps increase of smoothness or like me you may get a 30-40fps difference.

Things can vary from each system but the things i have listed no matter what system you have will help imo, and that's why i want people to leave feedback of personal experiences trying these things instead of everything talking tech, i just want to see real results from real people

Also SWTOR Unleashed will help you as FPS dips can be from player animation of from players loading up their textures in-game, dedicating more ram to these specific things for example will help to reduce fps drops as the loading of these things will be faster, trust me it does help. Even if you have a solid state drive i would recommend this if you extra ram resources. The game only uses up 2.5GB of ram if you have extra ram sitting there you might aswell use it to help the game out run smoother.

TieJu's Avatar


TieJu
04.06.2013 , 09:32 AM | #14
Quote: Originally Posted by MorbidSouls View Post
[...]
Also SWTOR Unleashed will help you as FPS dips can be from player animation of from players loading up their textures in-game, dedicating more ram to these specific things for example will help to reduce fps drops as the loading of these things will be faster, trust me it does help. Even if you have a solid state drive i would recommend this if you extra ram resources. The game only uses up 2.5GB of ram if you have extra ram sitting there you might aswell use it to help the game out run smoother.
In my opinion, bw should fix their stuff, unleashed is more like a 'hack' of a desperate community to make the damn thing work.

MorbidSouls's Avatar


MorbidSouls
04.06.2013 , 11:02 AM | #15
Quote: Originally Posted by TieJu View Post
In my opinion, bw should fix their stuff, unleashed is more like a 'hack' of a desperate community to make the damn thing work.
Yeh agree with you 100% exactly what i said in the first post of Page 2, the engine is poorly optimized and used an untested engine to base it upon, i'm sure there's allot the team want to do but can't because the game engine doesn't allow it.

This should be priority 1 is to optimize the game engine instead wasting dev talent on stupid cartel market updates every week .

TieJu's Avatar


TieJu
04.06.2013 , 11:10 AM | #16
Quote: Originally Posted by MorbidSouls View Post
Yeh agree with you 100% exactly what i said in the first post of Page 2, the engine is poorly optimized and used an untested engine to base it upon, i'm sure there's allot the team want to do but can't because the game engine doesn't allow it.

This should be priority 1 is to optimize the game engine instead wasting dev talent on stupid cartel market updates every week .
They just need skilled manpower, to fix that (and that is expensive), but i believe ea striped down the team to a bare minimum crew to keep the game running with mostly cartel updates to make max profit of it (see cartel faction O_o).

MorbidSouls's Avatar


MorbidSouls
04.12.2013 , 08:50 AM | #17
How are people getting on with this?

LordMilitus's Avatar


LordMilitus
04.13.2013 , 11:12 AM | #18
As posted from my thread.
Quote:
Can you post all your questions in my thread instead as i don't look at this one much.

It depends on the graphics card you have, but if installed properly it'll be shown at the bottom right on your desktop, click on the arrow and you should see more icons and there is your graphics card control panel.
It's Radeon, but IIRC I need to download some sort of program to control it.. Don't I?

MorbidSouls's Avatar


MorbidSouls
04.20.2013 , 08:33 PM | #19
My friend who was running the game on a worse laptop with integrated graphics was getting smoother gameplay than me, so i experimented and decided to run the game using in Intel HD 3000 integrated graphics instead of my Nvidia Geforce 525M 1GB dedicated graphics on the laptop, and i got a massive difference in performance, PvP Warzone's were allot smoother and general combat far better.

It seems to me more of a problem with Bioware not fully optimizing graphics card or some not performing to full capacity with the game because in theory my dedicated card should be far superior to my intel integrated one but the results in SWTOR do not show that.

JediJonesJr's Avatar


JediJonesJr
04.21.2013 , 12:52 AM | #20
Thank you for this thread I would like to see this made a sticky at least the player base cares enough to assist others shame the company we pay seems they don't.


good work.
Will Return After Lunch and lunch is never over.....