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Ailos
2012-12-02, 04:09 PM
Hi everyone!

So a lot of folks have issues with PlanetSide 2 underperforming compared to other modern games (BF3, Skyrim, NFSU, whatever).

I've been playing PS2 from early Beta and through that time frame, I've experienced the numerous patches and optimizations applied to the game by the developers as well as some tweaks posted around the interwebs. In that time, I've also gone from:

Phenom II X4 955 BE @3.8GHz, 8GB of DDR3-1333 RAM and 2x Radeon HD 5770 1GB in Crossfire
to
Intel Core i5-3570K @4.2GHz, 16GB of DDR3-2133 and a single GTX 680 4GB.

I've also played this game on a Llano-based AMD A6-3650 with Radeon HD 6530D graphics and just 4 GB of RAM.

The moral of all that is: this game can run on a very large swathe of hardware, but you obviously won't get the same experience everywhere. So if you're having issues with your set-up, be it a low-, mid-, or high-end keep reading and you might find something useful here.

How to use this guide
This guide is structured somewhere between a doctor's handbook and an engineering troubleshooting guide. We will first try to diagnose which part of your system is causing you grief, and then attempt to remedy that in steps of increasing severity, where the first steps are simple, require only a few clicks, but may not yield much improvement, through driver-based settings overrides, and all the way to overclocking levels. Along the way, I will also suggest low-hanging fruit upgrades that may change your experience significantly.
Use this guide at your own risk. Whenever possible, I shall attempt to warn you of potential issues in good faith and personal experience, but I cannot predict everything. Taking certain steps (e.g. overclocking) may cause you to void your hardware warranties, and such steps will be written in this orange color. I assume no liability for broken or faulty hardware as a result of steps taken. If you don't know what the settings mean, don't change them! At a minimum, if you don't know something, read up before you change anything. Links to outside guides and other helpful articles and software will also be provided where appropriate.

If you have an overclocked system or a multi-card setup, you may skip to step 4 (but browse through steps 1 and 2 for any low-hanging fruit).

Step 1: What seems to be the problem?
So first, we have to get an idea for what's causing you to have poor performance.
So first things first, let's restate the official minimum requirements (http://forums.station.sony.com/ps2/index.php?threads/planetside-2-system-specs.46998/):
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 or AMD Phenom II X2 or higher
GPU: GeForce 8600 or Radeon HD 4850 with 256+ MB of VRAM or better
RAM: Min 4 GB of accessible space

Those are relatively liberal requirements. However, I can personally vouch that you could actually get away with using a less powerful graphics card (e.g. a 6530D) and still have a playable experience. With this in mind, here are my empirical minimum requirements (this will give you min 30 FPS in all but the most intense fights on low settings):
CPU: A dual-core processor running at 3 GHz or faster* (Core2Duo or PhenomII X2)
GPU: NVidia 8600 or Radeon HD 3650, Intel HD Graphics 4000 or AMD 6530D (A6-Llano).
RAM: 4 GB of DDR3-1066**
Empirical recommended requirements (this will give you minimum 30 FPS in any situation with all settings on high, provided your resolution is 1080p or lower):
CPU: A quad-core running at 3.5 GHz or faster* (Core i5 2500K or FX4300)
GPU: NVidia 660Ti or Radeon HD 7870, Laptop cards: 680M or 7970M
RAM: 8 GB of DDR3-1600

This game is, admittedly, a very good subject for the "but will it run Crysis?" gag. So in that spirit, and because we also frequently get asked "what is the system that can run the game absolutely flawlessly?", I'm also going to include a best-available configuration that can run the game flawlessly at "Ultra" settings which require messing with useroptions.ini.
Empirical "ultra" setup:
CPU: Latest gen quad-core clocked at 4+ GHz (i5/i7 Ivy Bridge or FX Vishera, the higher clocks, the better).
GPU: GTX 670 or AMD 7950 for single-monitor, GTX 680 or AMD 7970 for multi-monitor below 1080p/screen, or GTX 690 or SLI for surround view (AMD Crossfire is not recommended until stability improves).
RAM: 8 GB of DDR3-2133
Other extras: wired Ethernet connection and dedicated sound card (especially if you're also using a full 5.1/7.1 speaker system).

If your hardware does not meet the above empirical minimum requirements, stop here and start saving money for a new system.

Next, we will begin some troubleshooting. This part draws heavily from a post by SOE developer CyclesMcHurtz (http://forums.station.sony.com/ps2/index.php?members/cyclesmchurtz.7909/) during beta, that is now listed on the official SOE help page for PS2. (http://help.station.sony.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/36462/related/1/session/L2F2LzEvdGltZS8xMzU0MzQwMTM1L3NpZC9aeU5hb0RjbA%3D% 3D)

Start up your PS2 client and go to the warpgate on a mildly-populated continent (you want ~30 people in your vicinity). Step outside the spawn building, walk 10-20 meters off to the side (look both ways, don't get run over!) until you can see the spawn building in your field of view in its entirety.
Press Alt+F to show the in-game FPS counter (bottom-left corner of screen, below the minimap). It will tell you whether you're currently CPU or GPU-bound, note this.
Go to your graphics settings and turn the "Render Quality" slider all the way to 0.5 (yes, the game looks horrible, but this is just a test).
Take note of your new FPS figure and CPU- or GPU-bound status.
Look around and see what happens to your FPS counter when you're looking out into the sky, when you're looking at the ground/mountains around, and when you're looking back at the clusterfuck that is the immediate area around the WG spawn building.
Log out.


At this point, we can start applying tweaks based on what happened in the above test. This is organized in order of severity. Find your scenario, then attempt everything listed below it until the desired result is achieved.
You went from GPU-bound to CPU-bound, and your FPS improved significantly (15+ FPS).
This simply means your GPU is the culprit. Solutions (use some or all):
Turn down your resolution
Set Graphics quality, textures, model detail and lighting to low
Set shadows to low and uncheck 'Fog shadows'
Set Render quality to 0.85-0.9
Set PlanetSide2.exe to run with desktop composition disabled. (If you don't know how to do this, reply asking for additional instructions.)

You were and still are GPU bound, but your FPS increased significantly.
Your GPU is still the culprit; see above. Alternatively, you may overclock your GPU.
You were and still are CPU-bound, and your FPS improved marginally (5-10 FPS).
This is where we start getting into grey areas.
Simple things to change (may not yield any results):
Turn down terrain quality.
Turn down the audio quality.

More tricky things to change (credit: t.Rek from official forums (http://forums.station.sony.com/ps2/index.php?threads/low-fps-try-these-solutions.57732/#post-721999)):

In your useroptions.ini file (if you don't know what this is or where to find it, ask), in the [Rendering] section, set:
RenderDistance=1005.000000
ParticleDistanceScale=0.650000
MaxVoices=30 (Credit: HiroshiChugi (http://www.planetside-universe.com/showpost.php?p=871966&postcount=57))
RenderFlora=Off (Credit: HiroshiChugi (http://www.planetside-universe.com/showpost.php?p=871966&postcount=57))
If you have an NVidia card, set GPUPhysix=1
See the note below about system memory.

You went from GPU-bound to CPU-bound, but your FPS did not improve much.
This means your CPU is a big limiting factor. Try the tweaks above, and run the test again.
If you're running on a laptop or a desktop with a wireless connection, try running through a wired network - latency is a BIG thing in PS2.
Credit: Nalvasa (http://deathwatchgaming.com/kunena/technical-discussions/3745-memory-bandwidth-should-you-be-concerned#6545) PS2 shows a dependency of having access to plenty of fast memory, with measurable gains all the way to DDR3-2133. If you have the ability, set your memory speed to be higher - e.g. from DDR3 1333 to 1866, enable the higher speed (even if it causes your timings to slip from CAS9 to CAS10 or 11).
Alternatively, you may also go straight to overclocking your CPU.


Step 2: None of it helped
At this point, our diagnosis probe needs to be widened. See if your system displays any of the following additional symptoms:
PlanetSide 2 freezes or crashes frequently (once an hour or more) during gameplay, including BSOD.
There are any number of causes for this, including things that we can't do anything about. I should point out that this does not include crashes that happen after you click 'Exit', as this happens to me personally every time, but I do not see this as much of an issue. Steps to mitigate:
If you're running under Vista or XP, make sure to run as administrator and disable desktop composition.
If you're running the Steam version of the PS2 client, install the Sony Station (http://www.planetside2.com/) version of the client (this is also required for you to be actually able to access your useroptions.ini file).
If you are running in SurroundView/Eyefinity, disable and run on a single screen.
If you have an NVidia card, make sure your drivers are up to date.
If you have an AMD/ATI card, roll the drivers back to Catalyst 12.8.
In either case, if you are re-installing the drivers make sure to do a complete and clean driver install - that means wipe all current drivers first before installing the new ones.
Download CoreTemp (http://www.alcpu.com/CoreTemp/) and GPU-Z (http://www.techpowerup.com/gpuz/) and monitor your CPU and GPU temperatures to make sure they're not overheating (>70C for Intel and AMD FX, Llano or Trinity and; >55 C for AMD Phenom or Athlon; >70 C for any Radeon card, >75C for any NVidia card).

Screen flickers, freezes, shows extra/missing textures, strange colors.
This is indicative of overheating. See the last bullet above. This is particularly common on laptops or all-in-one platforms.

Step 3: Easy, cheap upgrades.
This is easier on desktops simply because, well, they're desktops. These are listed in order of cheapest to most expensive.
If running with 4 GB of RAM, upgrade to 8GB
If possible, also upgrade to faster RAM, check to see what is the maximum speed your processor and MB can support. If you aren't sure how to do this, make a post asking for help.
If running slow ram (DDR3-1066 and below) upgrade/overclock to faster RAM (DDR3-1600 or higher).
Section credits: Impaler (http://www.planetside-universe.com/showpost.php?p=861826&postcount=7) and Nalvasa (http://deathwatchgaming.com/kunena/technical-discussions/3745-memory-bandwidth-should-you-be-concerned#6545)
PlanetSide 2 shows a significant dependency on memory bandwidth. PlanetSide 2 in particular can be constrained by your memory bandwidth in really heavy fights, as certain aspects of Forgelight flat out require CPU processing and cannot be paralleled out or delegated to a CUDA/GCN core. Upgrading to faster RAM may help feed your CPU with data quicker and gain you 10+ FPS in the heaviest of combat if you move from 1066 to 2133. With RAM prices sustaining their historic lows, this upgrade can really make the game come together, but make sure that your motherboard can support the new RAM (check your manual!).
If running with less than 1 GB of GPU VRAM, swap the card.
Current recommendation is to go with at least a Radeon HD 7750 or NVidia GTX 650.
*Upgrade CPU to higher clock/core count.
Do this only if you own a socket AM3+ (Phenom II X2 to an FX-6300) or LGA 1155 (a Pentium to an i5-3470) otherboard. Upgrading a CPU outside of these sockets is simply not worth the expense. The question of "Which are more important: cores or gigahertz?" is common. When considering core count versus clock speed, the primary concern is the processor's instruction/cycle throughput for all cores combined. The current situation in the CPU marketplace makes this a difficult decision, since AMD is slower on the throughput but makes up for it somewhat by having more cores, and the fact that both chip makers still sell multiple generations. What we do know is that the game taxes only 4 threads (it does span out to others if they are available, but they add little to performance). This means having slightly slower quad core is better than a faster dual core, but this holds only for chips based on the same architecture. To compare between architectures, refer to the CPU hierarchy chart at the bottom of this post.


Step 4: Unique situations.
You've got a multi-GPU configuration.
NVidia's SLI profile for PlanetSide 2 is actually quite good. I wish the same could be said for AMD/ATI.
Make sure the game is selected to run as "Full screen" under the graphics settings - multi-GPU is not enabled otherwise.
If you have only recently added a second (or third or fourth) GPU, make sure to cleanly re-install the drivers.
Using your video card's driver control panel, create an application-specific profile for PlanetSide2.exe that forces Triple Buffering and all filtering presets are on 'Performance' setting.
If running NVidia, make sure to set the default PS2 SLI profile. Be sure to have adaptive v-sync enabled (if it's available).
If running ATI with a non-7000 series GPU, roll back drivers to Catalyst 12.8; with a 7000 series GPU, install the latest Catalyst Beta drivers.
On Crossfire setups, go to CCC>3D Application Profiles>"New Application" and create a custom profile with the following settings for PlanetSide2.exe: V-Sync:Force On, Triple Buffer: Force On, Crossfire Mode: AFR-Friendly.
On ATI/AMD setups, download and install Radeon Pro (http://www.radeonpro.info/en-US/). Then go to Tweaks, and select: VSync Control: Always On, check Triple Buffering, check Dynamic Framerate Control and set it to 45 or 50 FPS. Here you can also try and see which anti-aliasing profile works best for you.

You're running PS2 through a wireless connection.
PS2 relies heavily on server-client communication, and any unnecessary latency between you and the server will create issues.
If you're playing on a server outside your locale (e.g. you're playing on Australia but you're in Germany), try playing on a local server.
Try using a wired ethernet cable.

You've got an asymmetric RAM setup (i.e. your RAM is running in single-channel mode).
You might ask, what is an asymmetric RAM setup? Your setup is asymmetric if there are different sticks installed in each slot/channel. This is commonly done with careless upgrading in the interest of pursuing the highest amount of system RAM, for example: an old machine had 4 GB of RAM, and the owner bought a pair of 4 GB sticks to bring that number up to 12 GB of system memory. While this upgrade sounds good on paper, in most cases, this actually does more harm than good. Most modern CPUs have built-in memory controllers so that they can have more direct communication with the system memory, and most of these controllers are dual-channel (i7-930 are triple channel and SandyBridge-E are quad-channel). Most motherboards thus require that identical modules be installed in all populate slots to actually run in these faster modes, and when different memory modules are detected, the controllers will usually turn to single-channel mode, halving your memory bandwidth. This happens even if the capacities are the same, but one pair is capable of faster speeds than the other, or if they have differing voltage requirements. So, long story short: mixing sticks to get more capacity =/= better performance. Unless there is an uncommon, specific need for you to have a higher capacity, either remove the smaller or slower pair, and your performance - at least in PS2 - should improve.
**You're running using integrated graphics.
Though this game can technically run, you can't expect to be able to play on maximum eye candy settings. With integrated graphics, RAM is tricky. When using integrated graphics, (Intel or Llano/Trinity), your system RAM also serves as your VRAM. In this case, you can have 4 GB of fast RAM (DDR3-2133+) or 8 GB of slower RAM (DDR3 -1333 or -1600). The two will give you roughly similar performance, but the exact increase you may get from faster RAM or more RAM depends on your integrated graphics. Intel HD 4000 is pretty asthmatic and will be the worst performer, while Trinity is powerful enough to demand both more RAM and higher-speed RAM.
You overclocked your system prior to playing PS2.
PlanetSide 2 is a very temperamental client, and tends to be less tolerant to various overclocking faults than other games, or even Windows itself. If you pushed your system to the limit at the expense of some instability, I recommend dialing down until you achieve as close to perfect stability as Windows allows. PlanetSide 2 also has a pretty weird response to overclocking, and performance improves in steps: going from 3.4 to 4.0 GHz yields little, but bumping it slightly higher to 4.2 can give an extra 10 FPS in the heaviest of fights. More interestingly, based on numerous reports on the official forums and my own experience with 2 difference CPUs, that behavior is independent of which exact CPU model you're running.




Well, that's it for now. I hope this guide help you get some extra frames in those tough fights and in the end, made you a better soldier on the battlefield! Please make comments and suggestions for any improvements to this guide, and post about your experience!

Useful links:
Graphics card performance hierarchy (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107-7.html)
Gaming CPU performance hierarchy (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-overclock,3106.html)

CyclesMcHurtz
2012-12-02, 04:20 PM
I am very impressed at the thorough guide. Thank you so much for all the time and effort you put into this!

[Sent from the outskirts of the Oort cloud]

Ailos
2012-12-02, 04:22 PM
I am very impressed at the thorough guide. Thank you so much for all the time and effort you put into this!

[Sent from the outskirts of the Oort cloud]

Glad you like it :)
I'm not completely selfless here, I'm hoping this encourages more cannon-fodder to log in daily.

Hamma
2012-12-02, 04:24 PM
Good stuff man nice work!

basti
2012-12-02, 05:30 PM
GPUPhysix=1


That can actually help in case of CPU bound? :o
Cycles, can you give some intel here? Does PhysX just add some new fancy effects, or does it move some work from the CPU to the GPU?

Ailos
2012-12-02, 06:05 PM
GPUPhysix=1


That can actually help in case of CPU bound? :o
Cycles, can you give some intel here? Does PhysX just add some new fancy effects, or does it move some work from the CPU to the GPU?

I don't know what it does, but I can personally vouch that it helps get an extra 5 FPS or so in really tight battles.

Impaler
2012-12-02, 06:34 PM
I run an i5 2500k and a GTX 570, and I switch between CPU and GPU limited at the warpgate, so that combo is pretty even. In any battle, it becomes CPU limited. My brother has an i7 2700k and a GTX 670 and he's majority CPU limited all the time.

What I infer from the way the game performs is that it is not CPU or GPU limited, but memory bandwidth limited. This will still show up as CPU limited, so it's kinda hard to diagnose. One key symptom of this is the game being CPU bottlenecked while not fully stressing the cores - the cores are able to get the data out quicker than the memory bus can process it to the other components. A couple MMO engines I've played on previously (most notably Gamebryo: Warhammer Online & Rift) were notorious for being limited this way.

AMD's memory bandwidth is behind Intel's for the current generation by 20-30%, so an Intel processor will almost always run the game better than an AMD. A basic tree for performance (processor wise) would be:

Core 2 Duo/Quad = Phenom II = Llano
Trinity = Bulldozer FX = Nehalem (original i7s)
Piledriver FX
Sandy Bridge = Ivy Bridge

I think that better performance of the engine may be gained by using the fastest RAM clock speed & latency possible. I use 9-9-9 DDR3 @ 1600; at least in my case, I could go much higher.

Ailos
2012-12-02, 07:29 PM
I run an i5 2500k and a GTX 570, and I switch between CPU and GPU limited at the warpgate, so that combo is pretty even. In any battle, it becomes CPU limited. My brother has an i7 2700k and a GTX 670 and he's majority CPU limited all the time.

What I infer from the way the game performs is that it is not CPU or GPU limited, but memory bandwidth limited. This will still show up as CPU limited, so it's kinda hard to diagnose. One key symptom of this is the game being CPU bottlenecked while not fully stressing the cores - the cores are able to get the data out quicker than the memory bus can process it to the other components. A couple MMO engines I've played on previously (most notably Gamebryo: Warhammer Online & Rift) were notorious for being limited this way.

AMD's memory bandwidth is behind Intel's for the current generation by 20-30%, so an Intel processor will almost always run the game better than an AMD. A basic tree for performance (processor wise) would be:

Core 2 Duo/Quad = Phenom II = Llano
Trinity = Bulldozer FX = Nehalem (original i7s)
Piledriver FX
Sandy Bridge = Ivy Bridge

I think that better performance of the engine may be gained by using the fastest RAM clock speed & latency possible. I use 9-9-9 DDR3 @ 1600; at least in my case, I could go much higher.

That is a very good point. I'll update the OP with that information in a little bit.

CyclesMcHurtz
2012-12-02, 07:38 PM
That is a very good point. I'll update the OP with that information in a little bit.

It's an EXTREMELY important point. As a coder, it's come to the point where you have to treat some kinds of memory access the same way we treat hard disk or network access - the slowest of the slow.

When I first started in this industry (and this will show my age) I was working on a 65c02 processor, where memory was the only option. There was no cache. The SNES and Genesis both had faster processors, but still no cache. The first machine I worked on with a real cache system was PC's with the intel 386, but since the PC market didn't have them everywhere you couldn't rely on it.

Since I cut my teeth on systems where you (quite literally) counted every machine cycle I still cringe at even some of the basic C++ constructs (cough-cough-virtual-functions-cough-cough) that other coders take for granted.

basti
2012-12-02, 07:45 PM
Oh, interresting.

How could I improve that for myself? Overclock my FSB?

Impaler
2012-12-02, 10:51 PM
It's an EXTREMELY important point. As a coder, it's come to the point where you have to treat some kinds of memory access the same way we treat hard disk or network access - the slowest of the slow.

One of the reasons to make sure you have more than enough RAM. Going from the CPU cache to the RAM is one thing, but if you have to access data on a mechanical drive, it slows it down even more. I wouldn't think of running PS2 without 8 gigs for that reason alone.

How could I improve that for myself? Overclock my FSB?

Working with FSB overclocks is probably the simplest way to boost the whole system, in tandem with dropping the CPU multiplier if you don't want to scale that too. I've only done FSB overclocking on older AMD systems (pre-Phenom), but the more recent ones shouldn't be too hard.

Intel machines, from what I understand, are less happy with this tweak because the FSB runs the PCI express bus and some other things that the AMD chips have an independent clock for.

I haven't done any RAM overclocking since it can be a long process. You have to adjust voltage, the FSB, the multiplier, and then fiddle with the individual timings. I use my gaming computer as my main system, so I'm more concerned about data corruption than cranking my RAM speed up.

As per a component switch, RAM isn't too expensive currently, so you could look for a high end set and just drop it in your machine. For example, I see an 8G 2133 9-11-10-28 set for $60, while an 8G 1600 9-9-9-24 is $40-45. So, that's an extra $20 for a 15-30% performance boost. You do have to have a motherboard that can support the higher speeds though.

Rbstr
2012-12-03, 12:08 AM
FSB doesn't really even exist any more. If you have Intel but don't have an unlocked multiplier (Intel k-series) you adjust Bclock. That fiddles with basically everything and you're not going to get much out of it.

On memory.
You're not going to see 15% more real world performance going for 2133 over 1600.
That $20 is a full %50 increase in cost. And that kind of memory is prone to incompatibility and instability.
Going out and replacing your 8gb of DDR1333 with 8gb of 2133 is probably one of the least cost effective things you could do, IMO.
If you're in the midst of a comprehensive upgrade that $20 is probably better spend on CPU or GPU.

Ailos
2012-12-03, 02:03 PM
FSB doesn't really even exist any more. If you have Intel but don't have an unlocked multiplier (Intel k-series) you adjust Bclock. That fiddles with basically everything and you're not going to get much out of it.

On memory.
You're not going to see 15% more real world performance going for 2133 over 1600.
That $20 is a full %50 increase in cost. And that kind of memory is prone to incompatibility and instability.
Going out and replacing your 8gb of DDR1333 with 8gb of 2133 is probably one of the least cost effective things you could do, IMO.
If you're in the midst of a comprehensive upgrade that $20 is probably better spend on CPU or GPU.

I want to echo this somewhat. Going from DDR2-800 to DDR3-1600 will give you a noticeable performance improvement. Going beyond 1600 currently shows little additional gain. I am not of the sort of person that recommends swapping your DDR3-1333 for a -1866 (that's a consideration that I had personally as well) simply because that won't justify spending the $60+ on the premium kit that can support higher speeds but also no doubt comes with some pretty heat sinks. But if you're building a system, most modern mobos (Intel and AMD alike) support DDR3-1600 at the default configuration, and there's really no reason to go below that.

Isyourskin
2012-12-03, 06:00 PM
I own a Laptop (Toshiba Satellite L750-1MF) and I would like to know if it's possible to upgrade the hardware.

Rbstr
2012-12-03, 06:13 PM
Short answer: No

Long answer: You can probably add more ram

Isyourskin
2012-12-03, 06:14 PM
Will the ram improve my ingame fps?

Rbstr
2012-12-03, 06:17 PM
How much do you have now?

Isyourskin
2012-12-03, 06:22 PM
hmm steady 30-40 with 60% render + low

Rbstr
2012-12-03, 07:10 PM
No, RAM. how much RAM do you have?

Isyourskin
2012-12-03, 07:17 PM
RAM -> 4gb

Ailos
2012-12-03, 07:52 PM
How much do you have now?

hmm steady 30-40 with 60% render + low

No, RAM. how much RAM do you have?
LOL.

RAM -> 4gb
Even longer answer: depending on your laptop's age and specific hardware, it may not make much difference. Laptops (especially those at the higher end of their original retail segment) frequently come with the RAM already maxed out both in terms of speed and capacity. We need more information about your laptop.

MrSmegz
2012-12-03, 09:37 PM
Empirical recommended requirements:
CPU: A quad-core running at 4 GHz or faster
GPU: NVidia 660Ti or Radeon HD 7870, Laptop cards: 680M or 7970M
RAM: 8 GB

I think at 660Ti | 7870 is a bit of an overkill for baseline system. My wifes system chugs along fine at 1080p with a HD 6850 and i5 2500K. If you want to kick things up to High settings, then ya, a 660 or 7870 might be required. The graphics settings in PS2 can be adjust to reasonably accommodate almost any GPU, its just the CPU bottleneck (or possibly the memory) that the settings don't effect.

Goku
2012-12-03, 09:45 PM
Stickied.

Good guide.

I've been chatting with you all this time on the forum Ailos and never knew you were AlekseyGV :eek:.

Ailos
2012-12-03, 11:54 PM
I think at 660Ti | 7870 is a bit of an overkill for baseline system. My wifes system chugs along fine at 1080p with a HD 6850 and i5 2500K. If you want to kick things up to High settings, then ya, a 660 or 7870 might be required. The graphics settings in PS2 can be adjust to reasonably accommodate almost any GPU, its just the CPU bottleneck (or possibly the memory) that the settings don't effect.
My definition of "Recommeded" is exactly that - being able to turn the eye candy to "High". 'Cause let's be honest, this game looks fucking awesome at high graphics settings.
Your wife's setup isn't very far behind those empirical recommended settings either, so yeah, I'm not surprised.

Stickied.

Good guide.

I've been chatting with you all this time on the forum Ailos and never knew you were AlekseyGV :eek:.
Yup that's me. Glad you like the guide. :) Hop onto the Renegades' vent server sometime.

Goku
2012-12-04, 09:56 AM
Yup that's me. Glad you like the guide. :) Hop onto the Renegades' vent server sometime.

I will try to in the next week or so. All my final exams/projects are over this week and the next. I've barely even played PS2, since it was released.

Electrofreak
2012-12-05, 12:24 AM
I fired up PS2 in 32-bit Windows XP with 4 GB of memory during Beta and noticed it was hitting the 2 GB memory cap for a user application.

I threw Windows into 3 GB mode (this is done via adding a /3GB switch in your boot.ini, Google it) but the game wouldn't start; it began telling me that my Radeon 5770 was incapable of running PS2. I figure that the 1 GB of video memory was no longer being addressed properly by the OS. I of course switched Windows back to the standard 2 gig user application mode and the game had no issues starting again.

I saw a thread pop up recently proposing this as a solution to some of the crashing and latency experienced by users running a 32-bit OS. I was surprised to see that nobody else reported the problem I experienced, and that /3GB mode apparently resolved some of the crashing issues users were having with the application writing to memory (which makes sense as this could be related to the addressable memory limitations imposed by a 32-bit OS).

Some also noted a notable performance improvement as the game was now able to use more than 2 GB of memory.

This is kind of a severe tweak that could have other unexpected consequences (you're essentially stealing memory away from the OS when you do this) but I thought it worth mentioning for those desperate 32-bit OS users. The tweak is a little different on Vista or 7, and the thread used an application to make PS2 "large address aware" but I believe it's already flagged as such.

EDIT - Add disclaimer: I am not responsible for anything that may occur as a result of making changes based upon my post above. I don't consider it a dangerous change but it directly impacts the amount of system memory your OS has to work with and can produce stability issues as well as OS malfunction.

TheBladeRoden
2012-12-05, 02:46 AM
CPU: A dual-core processor running at 3 GHz or faster
Which is better? A dual core running at 3 GHz, or a quad core running at 2.4 GHz?

Rbstr
2012-12-05, 10:04 AM
Depends on what sort of cores it has. Which is why "3ghz dual core" is a poor pick for a performance requirement.
And old 3ghz Pentium D will get trounced by a 2.4ghz 1st gen i5.
A 3ghz Sandy Bridge i3 is likely going to do better than an 2.5ghz Deneb Quadcore Phenom.


For those with 32bit OS still...you're gonna have a bad time. Upgrade already.

Ailos
2012-12-05, 01:56 PM
Depends on what sort of cores it has. Which is why "3ghz dual core" is a poor pick for a performance requirement.
And old 3ghz Pentium D will get trounced by a 2.4ghz 1st gen i5.
A 3ghz Sandy Bridge i3 is likely going to do better than an 2.5ghz Deneb Quadcore Phenom.


Very true. Updated OP to make that distinction clearer.

Electrofreak
2012-12-05, 05:54 PM
For those with 32bit OS still...you're gonna have a bad time. Upgrade already.

Ugh, I have a Windows 8 license but not too sure I want to install it.

inflectious
2012-12-05, 07:18 PM
Hey there, Ailos!

I've just build a mid-range computer and have yet to upgrade my graphics card. As for the processor: I've got an [email protected] (4.0 won't be a stretch even using the stock cooler, it seems. Perhaps I got lucky with the batch. Perhaps I got lucky with the AS-5 application). As for the RAM: I've got 16GB of DDR3 1600.

As for the graphics card... I am using an Nvidia GeForce 9600GT from many years ago. I plan to purchase a GTX 660Ti early next year after the price drops a bit. Will this swap allow me to play the game with some eye candy and a decent framerate? I've also got a CPU cooler upgrade scheduled... would hitting 4.3 or 4.4GHz be a good target?

Thanks!

Edit: I guess I should mention that with all settings on low and 75% (?) render I get 30-40FPS during calmer moments and 10-25 during chaos. As you probably know, GPU is the limiting factor 100% of the time at this point.

-Inflectious

Rbstr
2012-12-05, 10:32 PM
Probably.

With a 570 I'm getting better frames than you are but severely stuck on a CPU bottleneck. You should be much better off in CPU and about the same GPU.

Ailos
2012-12-05, 10:57 PM
Hey there, Ailos!

I've just build a mid-range computer and have yet to upgrade my graphics card. As for the processor: I've got an [email protected] (4.0 won't be a stretch even using the stock cooler, it seems. Perhaps I got lucky with the batch. Perhaps I got lucky with the AS-5 application). As for the RAM: I've got 16GB of DDR3 1600.

As for the graphics card... I am using an Nvidia GeForce 9600GT from many years ago. I plan to purchase a GTX 660Ti early next year after the price drops a bit. Will this swap allow me to play the game with some eye candy and a decent framerate? I've also got a CPU cooler upgrade scheduled... would hitting 4.3 or 4.4GHz be a good target?

Thanks!

Edit: I guess I should mention that with all settings on low and 75% (?) render I get 30-40FPS during calmer moments and 10-25 during chaos. As you probably know, GPU is the limiting factor 100% of the time at this point.

-Inflectious
660 Ti should be ample for max eye candy unless you're wanting to run at more than 1080p. For me, even with a 680 in surround view, the 3570K is the bottleneck in heavier fights and leaves me with ~45 fps.

moushn
2012-12-07, 11:32 AM
[Rendering]
GraphicsQuality=3
TextureQuality=2
ShadowQuality=0
RenderDistance=10000
Gamma=0.000000
MaximumFPS=60
UseLod0a=0
OverallQuality=-1
LightingQuality=3
EffectsQuality=2
TerrainQuality=2
FloraQuality=0
ModelQuality=2
VerticalFOV=66
ParticleLOD=1
ParticleDistanceScale=0.650000
FogShadowsEnable=0
MotionBlur=0
VSync=0
AO=0

My useroptions.
Notable changes shadowquality and floraquality.
For anyone who is playing as infantry, lower the render distance to 700-1000. As a pilot, I like to see pretty far ahead and I am not that stupid to attack huge bases (unless biolabs) because of the AA's.

moushn
2012-12-07, 11:34 AM
[Rendering]
GraphicsQuality=3
TextureQuality=2
ShadowQuality=0
RenderDistance=10000
Gamma=0.000000
MaximumFPS=60
UseLod0a=0
OverallQuality=-1
LightingQuality=3
EffectsQuality=2
TerrainQuality=2
FloraQuality=0
ModelQuality=2
VerticalFOV=66
ParticleLOD=1
ParticleDistanceScale=0.650000
FogShadowsEnable=0
MotionBlur=0
VSync=0
AO=0

My useroptions.
Notable changes shadowquality and floraquality.
For anyone who is playing as infantry, lower the render distance to 700-1000. As a pilot, I like to see pretty far ahead and I am not that stupid to attack huge bases (unless biolabs) because of the AA's.

Rbstr
2012-12-07, 01:35 PM
Just a reminder to people who might not be terribly technical: Don't go fudging with the useroptions without making a copy of your original and don't fiddle with it without some understanding of what the options mean.

Ailos
2012-12-08, 01:44 AM
My useroptions.
Notable changes shadowquality and floraquality.
For anyone who is playing as infantry, lower the render distance to 700-1000. As a pilot, I like to see pretty far ahead and I am not that stupid to attack huge bases (unless biolabs) because of the AA's.

You REALLY hate eye candy, don't you?

/shrug. I wouldn't play at that level, but that's just me. Whatever works for you.

Donefore
2012-12-10, 10:37 AM
This works ok In your Planetside 2 folder look for UserOpions open it and look for "RenderDistance=1000" change it to =1000 it helps alot.

went from 30-40fps to 50-70 in a fight
Driving & Flying was 40-70fps now 70-110fps

SOE says its OK

Donefore:groovy:

MaximusPowerz
2012-12-11, 12:46 PM
Ok, I need some advice on a small upgrade, and whether you guys think it will make a significant difference. Basically, whenever there are small groups, or at the warp gate, I get between 30-40 fps, and the game indicates it is GPU limited. I'm fine with that. However, when we get into big battles, the framerate slows right down to just over 10 fps, which is much to slow to be effective. The game indicates that CPU is the bottleneck. I have played with the performance monitor open on the other screen, and it consistently shows the CPU at between 40-60% used, evenly spread across the 4 cores. However, the RAM is almost completely used.

My question is, would increasing the RAM (I only have 4 GB now and a 32 bit system) improve the frame rate performance, or would it be a waste of time and money? Also, I know a better CPU and better GPU would be great, but budget is extremely limited at the moment.

Rbstr
2012-12-11, 01:05 PM
Waste of time and money to add RAM to a 32bit system that's already got more RAM in it than it can really handle.

Of course you haven't told us your system specs, so who really knows where you stand overall.

MaximusPowerz
2012-12-11, 01:24 PM
Waste of time and money to add RAM to a 32bit system that's already got more RAM in it than it can really handle.

Of course you haven't told us your system specs, so who really knows where you stand overall.

Well, I meant that I would also upgrade to a 64 bit OS, since 32 bit only supports 4GB. I forgot to include that part. Currently, it's an older system, was ahead of it's time when built, but is starting to show it's age now.

Intel Core 2 Quad, Q6600
GeForce 8800GT

JawsOfLife
2012-12-11, 03:11 PM
Incredible work good sir! This should really help the community out.

Just a quick question here: I have 4 GB of 2x2GB 1333 mhz RAM along with 8GB 2x4GB 1600 Mhz RAM. Would I get a performance boost by taking out the 4 GB 1333 MHz, RAM, as it is downclocking the faster RAM? Or is 12GB slower RAM going to be better than 8GB at a faster speed?

Rbstr
2012-12-11, 05:36 PM
Unless you've got a ton going on in the background 8gb or 12gb should make no functional difference to the game.
So...1600mhz should help but not much, and only if you go into the BIOS and overclock to 1600mhz, because your CPU doesn't officially support that speed.

Max: I'd guess it would help. I have no idea how much.

Ailos
2012-12-11, 06:01 PM
Well, I meant that I would also upgrade to a 64 bit OS, since 32 bit only supports 4GB. I forgot to include that part. Currently, it's an older system, was ahead of it's time when built, but is starting to show it's age now.

Intel Core 2 Quad, Q6600
GeForce 8800GT

According to Tom's Hardware CPU performance Hierarchy chart (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-overclock,3106-5.html) your Q6600 has performance on par with a Phenom II X6 1055T, which is actually more along the lines of the recommended official specs. With that in mind, I'd think your having only 4 GB may actually be impacting your performance, but whether you should add more RAM is somewhat questionable. I'd recommend adding more RAM if you actually see the game running out of resources, or upgrading to faster RAM if you're running at a speed below DDR3-1066, if your motherboard supports it. On extension, you don't actually have to upgrade to a 64-bit system if you decide to change up to 8 GB - you can use the unaccessible 4 GB as a RAM Disk, and have your pagefile on there, though I'd recommend this only if you understood what that means.

So in other words, open up your task manager, and see how much RAM you're ACTUALLY using during the game before you commit to upgrade.

Incredible work good sir! This should really help the community out.

Just a quick question here: I have 4 GB of 2x2GB 1333 mhz RAM along with 8GB 2x4GB 1600 Mhz RAM. Would I get a performance boost by taking out the 4 GB 1333 MHz, RAM, as it is downclocking the faster RAM? Or is 12GB slower RAM going to be better than 8GB at a faster speed?
I advise against doing that. Unless your motherboard specifically states otherwise, mixing your memory modules will cause your memory controller to switch to single-channel mode halving your memory bandwidth, which is the one thing that makes that SB i3 be such a potent gaming CPU.
Furthermore, having more than 8 GB of RAM currently makes little difference to games in general.

With all that in mind, I'd expect you to gain a lot more by simply taking out the 2 GB sticks and distributing each of the 4 GB ones between the channels. You might gain a few more frames still if your motherboard actually allows those modules to run at DDR3-1600 rather than the -1333 they would clock down to by default.

HiroshiChugi
2012-12-13, 06:01 PM
hey i just wanna say thank you for taking the time to sit down and write all of this. i found it extremely useful but i just have one question: can you tell me what i can do to make my game run at it's peak performance according to my computer stats? here they are:

Toshiba Satellite C655
Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-2330M CPU @ 2020 GHz 2.20 GHz
4.00 GB RAM
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Operating System
Internal Video Card (I'm not sure of those specs)

HiroshiChugi
2012-12-17, 09:23 AM
Hi everyone!

So a lot of folks have issues with PlanetSide 2 underperforming compared to other modern games (BF3, Skyrim, NFSU, whatever).

I've been playing PS2 from early Beta and through that time frame, I've experienced the numerous patches and optimizations applied to the game by the developers as well as some tweaks posted around the interwebs. In that time, I've also gone from:

Phenom II X4 955 BE @3.8GHz and 2x Radeon HD 5770 1GB in Crossfire
to
Intel Core i5-3570K @4.2GHz and a single GTX 680 4GB.

Both setups use 8 GB of RAM.

I've also played this game on a Llano-based AMD A6-3650 with Radeon HD 6530D graphics and just 4 GB of RAM.

The moral of all that is: this game can run on a very large swathe of hardware, but you obviously won't get the same experience everywhere. So if you're having issues with your set-up, be it a low-, mid-, or high-end keep reading and you might find something useful here.

How to use this guide
This guide is structured somewhere between a doctor's handbook and an engineering troubleshooting guide. We will first try to diagnose which part of your system is causing you grief, and then attempt to remedy that in steps of increasing severity, where the first steps are simple, require only a few clicks, but may not yield much improvement, through driver-based settings overrides, and all the way to overclocking levels. Along the way, I will also suggest low-hanging fruit upgrades that may change your experience significantly.
Use this guide at your own risk. Whenever possible, I shall attempt to warn you of potential issues in good faith and personal experience, but I cannot predict everything. Taking certain steps (e.g. overclocking) may cause you to void your hardware warranties, and such steps will be written in this orange color. I assume no liability for broken or faulty hardware as a result of steps taken. If you don't know what the settings mean, don't change them! At a minimum, if you don't know something, read up before you change anything. Links to outside guides and other helpful articles and software will also be provided where appropriate.

If you have an overclocked system or a multi-card setup, you may skip to step 4 (but browse through steps 1 and 2 for any low-hanging fruit).

Step 1: What seems to be the problem?
So first, we have to get an idea for what's causing you to have poor performance.
So first things first, let's restate the official minimum requirements (http://forums.station.sony.com/ps2/index.php?threads/planetside-2-system-specs.46998/):
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 or AMD Phenom II X2 or higher
GPU: GeForce 8600 or Radeon HD 4850 with 256+ MB of VRAM or better
RAM: Min 4 GB of accessible space

Those are relatively liberal requirements. However, I can personally vouch that you could actually get away with using a less powerful graphics card (e.g. a 6530D) and still have a playable experience. With this in mind, here are my empirical minimum requirements:
CPU: A dual-core processor running at 3 GHz or faster* (Core2Duo or PhenomII X2)
GPU: NVidia 8600 or Radeon HD 3650, Intel HD Graphics 4000 or AMD 6530D (A6-Llano).
RAM: 4 GB**
Empirical recommended requirements:
CPU: A quad-core running at 4 GHz or faster* (Core i5 2500K or FX4300)
GPU: NVidia 660Ti or Radeon HD 7870, Laptop cards: 680M or 7970M
RAM: 8 GB

If your hardware does not meet the above empirical minimum requirements, stop here and start saving money for a new system.

Next, we will begin some troubleshooting. This part draws heavily from a post by SOE developer CyclesMcHurtz (http://forums.station.sony.com/ps2/index.php?members/cyclesmchurtz.7909/) during beta, that is now listed on the official SOE help page for PS2. (http://help.station.sony.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/36462/related/1/session/L2F2LzEvdGltZS8xMzU0MzQwMTM1L3NpZC9aeU5hb0RjbA%3D% 3D)

Start up your PS2 client and go to the warpgate on a mildly-populated continent (you want ~30 people in your vicinity). Step outside the spawn building, walk 10-20 meters off to the side (look both ways, don't get run over!) until you can see the spawn building in your field of view in its entirety.
Press Alt+F to show the in-game FPS counter (bottom-left corner of screen, below the minimap). It will tell you whether you're currently CPU or GPU-bound, note this.
Go to your graphics settings and turn the "Render Quality" slider all the way to 0.5 (yes, the game looks horrible, but this is just a test).
Take note of your new FPS figure and CPU- or GPU-bound status.
Look around and see what happens to your FPS counter when you're looking out into the sky, when you're looking at the ground/mountains around, and when you're looking back at the clusterfuck that is the immediate area around the WG spawn building.
Log out.


At this point, we can start applying tweaks based on what happened in the above test. This is organized in order of severity. Find your scenario, then attempt everything listed below it until the desired result is achieved.
You went from GPU-bound to CPU-bound, and your FPS improved significantly (15+ FPS).
This simply means your GPU is the culprit. Solutions (use some or all):
Turn down your resolution
Set Graphics quality, textures, model detail and lighting to low
Set shadows to low and uncheck 'Fog shadows'
Set Render quality to 0.85-0.9
Set PlanetSide2.exe to run with desktop composition disabled. (If you don't know how to do this, reply asking for additional instructions.)

You were and still are GPU bound, but your FPS increased significantly.
Your GPU is still the culprit; see above. Alternatively, you may overclock your GPU.
You were and still are CPU-bound, and your FPS improved marginally (5-10 FPS).
This is where we start getting into grey areas.
Simple things to change (may not yield any results):
Turn down terrain quality.
Turn down the audio quality.

More tricky things to change (credit: t.Rek from official forums (http://forums.station.sony.com/ps2/index.php?threads/low-fps-try-these-solutions.57732/#post-721999)):

In your useroptions.ini file (if you don't know what this is or where to find it, ask), in the [Rendering] section, set:
RenderDistance=1005.000000
ParticleDistanceScale=0.650000
If you have an NVidia card, set GPUPhysix=1

You went from GPU-bound to CPU-bound, but your FPS did not improve much.
This means your CPU is a big limiting factor. Try the tweaks above, and run the test again. If you're running on a laptop or a desktop with a wireless connection, try running through a wired network - latency is a BIG thing in PS2. Alternatively, you may also go straight to overclocking your CPU.


Step 2: None of it helped
At this point, our diagnosis probe needs to be widened. See if your system displays any of the following additional symptoms:
PlanetSide 2 freezes or crashes frequently (once an hour or more) during gameplay, including BSOD.
There are any number of causes for this, including things that we can't do anything about. I should point out that this does not include crashes that happen after you click 'Exit', as this happens to me personally every time, but I do not see this as much of an issue. Steps to mitigate:
If you're running under Vista or XP, make sure to run as administrator and disable desktop composition.
If you are running in SurroundView/Eyefinity, disable and run on a single screen.
If you have an NVidia card, make sure your drivers are up to date.
If you have an AMD/ATI card, roll the drivers back to Catalyst 12.8.
In either case, if you are re-installing the drivers make sure to do a complete and clean driver install - that means wipe all current drivers first before installing the new ones.
Download CoreTemp (http://www.alcpu.com/CoreTemp/) and GPU-Z (http://www.techpowerup.com/gpuz/) and monitor your CPU and GPU temperatures to make sure they're not overheating (>70C for Intel and AMD FX, Llano or Trinity and; >55 C for AMD Phenom or Athlon; >70 C for any Radeon card, >75C for any NVidia card).

Screen flickers, freezes, shows extra/missing textures, strange colors.
This is indicative of overheating. See the last bullet above. This is particularly common on laptops or all-in-one platforms.

Step 3: Easy, cheap upgrades.
This is easier on desktops simply because, well, they're desktops. These are listed in order of cheapest to most expensive.
If running with 4 GB of RAM, upgrade to 8GB
If possible, also upgrade to faster RAM, check to see what is the maximum speed your processor and MB can support. If you aren't sure how to do this, make a post asking for help.
If running slow ram (DDR3-1066 and below) upgrade/overclock to faster RAM (DDR3-1600 or higher).
Section credit: Impaler (http://www.planetside-universe.com/showpost.php?p=861826&postcount=7)
PlanetSide 2 shows a significant dependency on memory bandwidth. Upgrading to faster RAM may help feed your CPU with data quicker. See the credit link for more info.
If running with less than 1 GB of GPU VRAM, swap the card.
Current recommendation is to go with at least a Radeon HD 7750 or NVidia GTX 650.
*Upgrade CPU to higher clock/core count.
Do this only if you own a socket AM3+ (Phenom II X2 to an FX-6300) or LGA 1155 (a Pentium to an i5-3470) otherboard. Upgrading a CPU outside of these sockets is simply not worth the expense. The question of "Which are more important: cores or gigahertz?" is common. When considering core count versus clock speed, the primary concern is the processor's instruction/cycle throughput for all cores combined. The current situation in the CPU marketplace makes this a difficult decision, since AMD is slower on the throughput but makes up for it somewhat by having more cores, and the fact that both chip makers still sell multiple generations. What we do know is that the game taxes only 4 threads (it does span out to others if they are available, but they add little to performance). This means having slightly slower quad core is better than a faster dual core, but this holds only for chips based on the same architecture. To compare between architectures, refer to the CPU hierarchy chart at the bottom of this post.


Step 4: Unique situations.
You've got a multi-GPU configuration.
NVidia's SLI profile for PlanetSide 2 is actually quite good. I wish the same could be said for AMD/ATI.
Make sure the game is selected to run as "Full screen" under the graphics settings - multi-GPU is not enabled otherwise.
If you have only recently added a second (or third or fourth) GPU, make sure to cleanly re-install the drivers.
If running NVidia, make sure to set the default PS2 SLI profile. Be sure to have adaptive v-sync enabled (if it's available).
If running ATI with a non-7000 series GPU, roll back drivers to Catalyst 12.8; with a 7000 series GPU, install the latest Catalyst Beta drivers.
On Crossfire setups, go to CCC>3D Application Profiles>"New Application" and create a custom profile with the following settings for PlanetSide2.exe: V-Sync:Force On, Triple Buffer: Force On, Crossfire Mode: AFR-Friendly.
On ATI/AMD setups, download and install Radeon Pro (http://www.radeonpro.info/en-US/). Then go to Tweaks, and select: VSync Control: Always On, check Triple Buffering, check Dynamic Framerate Control and set it to 45 or 50 FPS. Here you can also try and see which anti-aliasing profile works best for you.

You're running PS2 through a wireless connection.
PS2 relies heavily on server-client communication, and any unnecessary latency between you and the server will create issues.
If you're playing on a server outside your locale (e.g. you're playing on Australia but you're in Germany), try playing on a local server.
Try using a wired ethernet cable.

**You're running using integrated graphics.
Though this game can technically run, you can't expect to be able to play on maximum eye candy settings. With integrated graphics, RAM is tricky. When using integrated graphics, (Intel or Llano/Trinity), your system RAM also serves as your VRAM. In this case, you can have 4 GB of fast RAM (DDR3-1600+) or 8 GB of slower RAM (DDR3 -1066 or -1333). The two will give you roughly similar performance, but the exact increase you may get from faster RAM or more RAM depends on your integrated graphics. Intel HD 4000 is pretty asthmatic and will be the worst performer, while Trinity is powerful enough to demand both more RAM and higher-speed RAM.
You overclocked your system prior to playing PS2.
PlanetSide 2 is a very temperamental client, and tends to be less tolerant to various overclocking faults than other games, or even Windows itself. If you pushed your system to the limit at the expense of some instability, I recommend dialing down until you achieve as close to perfect stability as Windows allows. PlanetSide 2 also has a pretty weird response to overclocking, and performance improves in steps: going from 3.4 to 4.0 GHz yields little, but bumping it slightly higher to 4.2 can give an extra 10 FPS in the heaviest of fights. More interestingly, based on numerous reports on the official forums and my own experience with 2 difference CPUs, that behavior is independent of which exact CPU model you're running.




Well, that's it for now. I hope this guide help you get some extra frames in those tough fights and in the end, made you a better soldier on the battlefield! Please make comments and suggestions for any improvements to this guide, and post about your experience!

Useful links:
Graphics card performance hierarchy (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107-7.html)
Gaming CPU performance hierarchy (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-overclock,3106.html)

hey i just wanna say thank you for taking the time to sit down and write all of this. i found it extremely useful but i just have one question: can you tell me what i can do to make my game run at it's peak performance according to my computer stats? here they are:

Toshiba Satellite C655
Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-2330M CPU @ 2020 GHz 2.20 GHz
4.00 GB RAM
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Operating System
Internal Video Card (I'm not sure of those specs)

Rbstr
2012-12-17, 09:48 AM
Peak? Who knows...you're the one with that computer, adjust the settings and see what happens.

HiroshiChugi
2012-12-17, 11:07 AM
Peak? Who knows...you're the one with that computer, adjust the settings and see what happens.

i have and im only getting 20-25 fps TOPS,and thats not even in a big battle.when im in,say, a big CQB fight,it drops to around 10 fps or lower.

Rbstr
2012-12-17, 11:19 AM
Look, you've got a laptop with an indeterminate video card (Use CPU-Z or something...figure out what it is) and a mobile i3.

There's no magic here that'll bring you up to 60fps if you're already working at low settings.

HiroshiChugi
2012-12-18, 08:23 AM
well one of my fellow outfit members gave us all something to change in the Useroptions.ini file and it helped to double my fps,granted im still at 30,but its a constant 30,only occassionally dropping a bit(only like maybe,5 fps) in a big CQB fight.im just looking at how else i can improve my fps. i can give the stuff to change if you all want

Goku
2012-12-18, 12:20 PM
If anything your friend already downed the settings to the point of maximum FPS gains. Trying to lower setting further may put you at a disadvantage like limiting your viewing distance too much. Given you are using a HD 3000 you should be happy you can play the game in some areas. Simply put you will likely never get playable FPS in big fights due to hardware limitations.

HiroshiChugi
2012-12-18, 01:02 PM
If anything your friend already downed the settings to the point of maximum FPS gains. Trying to lower setting further may put you at a disadvantage like limiting your viewing distance too much. Given you are using a HD 3000 you should be happy you can play the game in some areas. Simply put you will likely never get playable FPS in big fights due to hardware limitations.

well i alredy have pretty good fps for me right now since i've done what he said to do.i get te same fps,in battles and out.its pretty good actually lol. even though its 30 fps,i can still function pretty damn well

Goku
2012-12-18, 03:35 PM
Yeah pretty sure you are at the pinnacle then. When I tried running my HD3000 I wasn't getting anymore then 20 FPS with everything on the lowest possible settings. Performance must of improved in that area a bit, since early beta. All I know is I couldn't play the game like that lol.

HiroshiChugi
2012-12-19, 09:03 AM
well actually it was at 40 fps last night...i can't remember the last time my laptop was at that,but it used to run a steady 60 fps on everything D:

Ailos
2012-12-20, 10:11 PM
My current personal experience is that you need Intel HD4000 to run the game more or less pleasantly. I would like to commend your outfit mate for getting the game playable on your hardware, and would in fact encourage you to post those useroptions.ini here so that I could possible update the guide with them.

Beyond that though, I don't think we can do much to push your frame rates higher. Intel HD 3000 just isn't a potent enough graphics engine to do much more beyond rendering HD video playback.

Donefore
2012-12-21, 05:25 PM
If I were you I would run all at LOW

Not the best Puter you have there

HiroshiChugi
2012-12-29, 08:09 AM
My current personal experience is that you need Intel HD4000 to run the game more or less pleasantly. I would like to commend your outfit mate for getting the game playable on your hardware, and would in fact encourage you to post those useroptions.ini here so that I could possible update the guide with them.

Beyond that though, I don't think we can do much to push your frame rates higher. Intel HD 3000 just isn't a potent enough graphics engine to do much more beyond rendering HD video playback.

1. Go into the ingame settings and set Overall Quality to Low then change it to Custom.
2. Find and open Useroptions.ini in the newly opened folder and make and save the following changes:
============
[Rendering]

ShadowQuality=0
RenderDistance=1000.000000
MaximumFPS=61
VSync=0

[Sound]
MaxVoices=30

[Terrain]
RenderFlora=Off
============

This will turn off shadows, vsync, cap fps at 61, give you fewer voice channels and disable a bunch of the little incidental plants.

4. Launch the game and at the character select screen start the Task Manager! (ctrl+alt+delete).

5. Click show all processes for all users and find Planetside2.exe, right click it and set priority to HIGH!!!
((WARNING. This might not help. Or it might cause stability problems. Use at own risk))

NOTES:
- Also try forcing Triple Buffering and Threaded Optimization in your gpu's control panel.
- Changing graphics settings in-game (particularly overall quality settings and shadows) will usually cause an ini reset. So try and do all your tweaking from the ini file.
- set Useroptions.ini to read only when finished tweaking so that the game doesn't accidentally turn shadows back on or some shit.
- Change texture quality to high if you have 1GB of VRAM and 4GB of RAM without fps loss.
FURTHER TWEAKS

- If you have a decent rig and are still getting bad performance even on medium/low, then try some of the tweaks in this "Ultra config" file: http://pastebin.com/XFkf8sYJ

If I were you I would run all at LOW

Not the best Puter you have there

Well actually once I changed my UserOptions.ini file options listed above I'm able to run about 30 fps on High settings lol.

wuchild
2012-12-29, 02:19 PM
Hey great info about CPU/GPU bound bottlenecks and adjustments. Totally going to tweak some things. A note about RAM though: I have never seen the game use more than 2gb. May just be the resolution I run at, but I suspect that is a limit by design for people with less ram and/or 32bit OSs.

SGTalon
2013-01-12, 12:37 PM
THis guide is great!

AlRicky
2013-01-14, 11:45 PM
Okay, this was weird. I was getting 5 to 6 fps with all settings on high and and the resolution set to 1920x1080. Next to the fps at the bottom was [gpu].I couldn't figure out what to do to fix it so after about 15 minutes and looking at your post, I decided to lower the resolution to 1680x1050. Fps went to 50 almost instantly. Changed it back to the highest resolution and it stayed the same, around 50 to 55. I have no idea what I did, but it's running fine now.

Ailos
2013-01-15, 11:15 PM
Okay, this was weird. I was getting 5 to 6 fps with all settings on high and and the resolution set to 1920x1080. Next to the fps at the bottom was [gpu].I couldn't figure out what to do to fix it so after about 15 minutes and looking at your post, I decided to lower the resolution to 1680x1050. Fps went to 50 almost instantly. Changed it back to the highest resolution and it stayed the same, around 50 to 55. I have no idea what I did, but it's running fine now.

That's truly strange, but good thing it's fixed now.

CyclesMcHurtz
2013-01-15, 11:51 PM
You have discovered the magic of computers, it seems. Sometimes we coders have the same effect generated by some kind of field around us... the bug don't seem to happen when we're looking over your shoulder...:what:

[Sent from the outskirts of the Oort cloud]

Ailos
2013-01-16, 12:10 AM
You have discovered the magic of computers, it seems. Sometimes we coders have the same effect generated by some kind of field around us... the bug don't seem to happen when we're looking over your shoulder...:what:

[Sent from the outskirts of the Oort cloud]

Heh. I've been in situations where I specifically assign a "0" value to something (not NULL), and when I subsequently refer back to the value, it would magically return to whatever it was before. That's when I start swearing that my code has become self-aware.

karaperro
2013-01-16, 06:52 AM
Great job thx.

Nalvasa
2013-01-16, 05:33 PM
First off I'd like to say a big thanks for putting together such a well thought out and thorough optimization guide. I tried writing one myself, but I found it was easier, and often yielded better results to just send people in the direction of this thread.

After reading the discussion here about what effect memory bandwidth has on the performance of the game, I did some testing on my own, and here are the results: Memory bandwidth; should you be concerned? (http://deathwatchgaming.com/kunena/technical-discussions/3745-memory-bandwidth-should-you-be-concerned#6545). I just thought it might be of interest. You also have my full permission to include it in your guide in whichever way you wish, if you so desire.

/Nalv

Ailos
2013-01-17, 10:23 PM
First off I'd like to say a big thanks for putting together such a well thought out and thorough optimization guide. I tried writing one myself, but I found it was easier, and often yielded better results to just send people in the direction of this thread.

After reading the discussion here about what effect memory bandwidth has on the performance of the game, I did some testing on my own, and here are the results: Memory bandwidth; should you be concerned? (http://deathwatchgaming.com/kunena/technical-discussions/3745-memory-bandwidth-should-you-be-concerned#6545). I just thought it might be of interest. You also have my full permission to include it in your guide in whichever way you wish, if you so desire.

/Nalv

Great test! Thanks of the information. I'll add it to the guide. I also should be getting my 2133 kit sometime soon, so I'll see how much that actually improves my heavy combat experience.

Ailos
2013-01-21, 12:04 PM
Just posted a "V2" update of the guide. Was trying to add a few new things to the OP, but have reached the 19k character limit. Could I ask for someone to please close this one off, and please refer to the new post for updates.