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Brand new player desperately seeking some advice for performance

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > New Player Help
Brand new player desperately seeking some advice for performance

jfxmurphy's Avatar


jfxmurphy
05.16.2021 , 03:16 PM | #1
Hi there,

I recently downloaded SWTOR eager to try it out (in particular, the PvP warzones). I come from a PvP background, having spent last few years pushing high ratings in WoW 3s and, before that, doing lots of open PvP in Warhammer Online.

I installed SWTOR and have been doing the first few quests without issue. Graphics on high, 144hz, 200 max fps [though I use NVIDIA frame limiter to make it 140 fps], and no AA stuff.

Despite relative smooth running, I did however notice some microfreezes: whenever I go through party frames quickly, my FPS drops, and if I open certain UI elements while moving (like the Guild tab), I'll have freezes, too.

None of this prepared me for my shock in Warzones: the microstutters and fps drops were quite bad. FPS dropping to around 30/40 wasn't as bad as the microstutters, which just made the game unplayable.

I have spent the better part of 2 days going through topics pertaining to this: I've toyed around with my process affinities, ensured 'high performance' for power mode is enabled, have ensured 'High' is set to the processes on task manager - but the microstutters persist. I have 21gb free on my SSD, so it should be enough, surely!

I am DESPERATE to sort this out as PvP is my main reason for coming here (need a change of scene from WoW, and I love Star Wars). Any help would be greatly appreciated as I am on the verge of just giving up. Is it my settings? Is it my CPU? Should I upgrade/change anything?

My pc rig is as follows:
* Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-9400F CPU @ 2.90GHz 2.90 GHz. 6 cores.
* 16.0 GB RAM (15.9 GB usable)

Ingame settings:
* VSYNC off [I use NVIDIA gsync]
* FPS Max 200
* Graphics are all high
* Shadows off completely
* Have tried with nameplate scaling both off and on - same results
* 1920x1080 resolution
* Fullscreen

Thank you!

SteveTheCynic's Avatar


SteveTheCynic
05.17.2021 , 12:12 AM | #2
That CPU looks a bit slow. I mean, yes, it's a 9th generation processor, but its nominal speed is only 2.9GHz, and the automatic turbo won't work well because despite repeated claims to the contrary, SWTOR *is* multithreaded.

The problem is that SWTOR's use of CPU versus GPU for certain things is either incorrectly balanced (too much on the CPU) or inefficient (what's on the main CPU uses more CPU than it should). That means that your CPU is a big bottleneck. A different CPU with a higher base clock would give better results.
Something you find difficult is a lesson on how to play better, not a punishment for playing badly.
To go to Belsavis, you must go to Belsavis.
Latest patch notes at http://www.swtor.com/patchnotes

jfxmurphy's Avatar


jfxmurphy
05.17.2021 , 04:53 AM | #3
Thanks man.

I've checked my CPU speed and when turbo boosted, it's at 3.9GHz. is this not enough?

SteveTheCynic's Avatar


SteveTheCynic
05.17.2021 , 05:07 AM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by jfxmurphy View Post
Thanks man.

I've checked my CPU speed and when turbo boosted, it's at 3.9GHz. is this not enough?
Maybe, but the turbo boost is dependent on there being a *very* small number of cores active, like one or maybe two. Your CPU doesn't have hyperthreading(1), so each core can only run one thread, and SWTOR runs (in total) two or maybe three threads at any one moment.

(1) The weirdly named Ark site of Intel says so. (ark.intel.com)
Something you find difficult is a lesson on how to play better, not a punishment for playing badly.
To go to Belsavis, you must go to Belsavis.
Latest patch notes at http://www.swtor.com/patchnotes

jfxmurphy's Avatar


jfxmurphy
05.17.2021 , 06:22 AM | #5
Cheers, man!

Might be a silly question, but based on what you've said, would it be worth trying to limit both tor.exes to only 2/3 cores?

JediQuaker's Avatar


JediQuaker
05.17.2021 , 06:50 AM | #6
I concur that the base clock on that CPU may be a bit low, but 30-40 fps in PvP** should be playable, if it's smooth-ish.
It may be the micro stutter that makes it unplayable.
Unfortunately, I don't know what to do about the micro-stutter, atm. It may be a matter of how fast the processor can turbo. 🤔

Perhaps upgrading to a faster (socket compatible) CPU such as an i5-9600(K/F), 9700 or 9800, would help.

Try running in Windowed (fullscreen) instead of just "Fullscreen".

Other than that, you can try Googling "microstutter".

Btw, AMD processor are said to have less microstutter, but that would involve a new motherboard as well as CPU.

** Also btw, SWTOR's rusty old engine requires a fast CPU core speed. FPS drops in Warzones and OPs is a known issue. SWTOR works best with a base clock speed of 4+ GHz.
My i5-6600 fps drops quite low in PvP and OPs, often to less than 30 fps, but I don't seem to experience microstutter. Perhaps that's because of the relatively narrow range between base clock (3.3GHz) and turbo (3.9GHz).
Hold water, a sieve may not, but hold another sieve, it will - Yoda..

jfxmurphy's Avatar


jfxmurphy
05.17.2021 , 07:11 AM | #7
Yeah man I don't mind the 30-40fps so much; it's the microstutters that are killing the experience.

They occur when clicking through group members' frames quickly, tab targetting quickly, or opening UI elements quickly while running [guild window, inventory, etc].

I'm thinking of getting an i9-9900k - do you think this would help?

zerkington's Avatar


zerkington
05.17.2021 , 07:37 PM | #8
if memory serves, swtor is dual threaded as in it literally only utilizes up to two threads at any given time. any modern consumer CPU is going to hyperthreaded, so swtor should not utilize more than a single core. while having a high clock speed is handy, the capabilities of your gpu are going to be more significant in terms of perfornce of the swtor client, especially if you're playing on high graphical settings. tbh, i've played swtor on probably nearly a dozen high end laptops and desktops over the years and even if you have a very high end gpu, such as a 2070/3070-2080/3080 playing swtor on high setting in warzones with all the people and animations it tends to lag. many of us learned that is simply not feasible to run swtor on high setting at least not while pvping even if you have a super computer. this was very evident especially when ossus came out and we had to have the 24 man ops groups to kill the world bosses for gear in which everyones clients were constantly crashing, it really doesn't matter how nice your system is. if you dont want to lag in pvp you're going to have to change your graphics settings to low or very low and turn off all the extra crap. if you want the game to look decent and you have a very high end system you could probably get away with setting it at medium and turning off the extra graphical features. but i doubt you will ever get it to perform well on high or very high settings, regardless of how high end your system is.

JediQuaker's Avatar


JediQuaker
05.18.2021 , 10:29 AM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by jfxmurphy View Post
I'm thinking of getting an i9-9900k - do you think this would help?
Yes, that would help. But make sure your current motherboard can handle the extra power requirements. (Check the CPU support list, if you can find one for it.)
Hold water, a sieve may not, but hold another sieve, it will - Yoda..

jfxmurphy's Avatar


jfxmurphy
05.18.2021 , 01:07 PM | #10
Thanks for all the help!