PlanetSide Universe - View Single Post - Low FPS? Ailos' guide to having a better experience V2. (Updated 1/21/13)
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Old 2013-01-21, 12:02 PM   [Ignore Me] #2
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Re: Low FPS? Ailos' guide to having a better experience V2.

  1. Step 4: Unique situations.
  2. You've got a multi-GPU configuration.
    If you're not too sure about messing with driver settings, download the NVidia Experience applet, and let it optimize the game for you. On AMD cards, in Catalyst Control Center, go to Performance>Application Profiles and create a profile for PS2 using the AMD Optimized setting set.
    • 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, download NVidia Experience and let it optimize the settings for you.
    • 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:Off, Triple Buffer: Force On, Crossfire Mode: AFR-Friendly, and all other settings sliders over to "Performance".
    • On ATI/AMD setups, download and install Radeon Pro. Then go to Tweaks, and select: check Triple Buffering, check Dynamic Framerate Control and set it to 45 or 50 FPS, and either select SMAA or disable anti-aliasing altogether.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. **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. Also, with integrated graphics, your system RAM becomes even more important than usual: it now feeds not just the CPU but also the GPU with data for crunching. To run this game smoothly you need to have ample amounts of fast memory so that neither processor ever runs out. While the system with a dedicated graphics card is recommended to have DDR3-1600, a system running on integrated graphics stands to benefit even more from a system clocked at DDR3-2133. On AMD's Trinity APUs, the difference in memory speed can give another 10 frames above and beyond any other optimizations, and put you firmly in the fluidly performing category. Intel GPUs are far more asthmatic, and only Intel HD 4000 (from Ivy Bridge) has enough muscle to get you to the log-in screen, and even though it too benefits from faster RAM, you'll only really be useful in a support role such as an engineer or medic.
  6. 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.

If you're experiencing issues after a recent game patch, it's entirely possible something got messed up on SOE's server-end (it's happened a couple times since launch already). The best thing to do in this situation is to submit a tech-support ticket with your dxdiag and msinfo32 files, and describing the drop in performance after the patch. You probably won't get any useful feedback from this (the smartest response I got was "Make sure you're using your GTX 680 and not the Intel HD 4000 engine"), but the more SOE knows about a performance issue, the more likely they are to fix it quickly and in a way that doesn't break something else.

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
Gaming CPU performance hierarchy
Higher-speed RAM can help improve AMD FX-series performance
Memory speed scaling performance on AMD Trinity APUs
Memory speed and latency impacts on gaming performance
CPU Overclocking guides - recommended reading if you're thinking of overclocking but are inexperienced/unsure. Read through at least the guide dealing with your CPU, but reading through multiple doesn't hurt (e.g. if you've got an Intel CPU, recommend that you read all Intel guides):
Intel: i5-3570K (Ivy Bridge), i7-3770K (Ivy Bridge), i7-3960X (Sandy Bridge-E)
AMD: A8-3870K (Llano), Phenom II x4 guide 1, Phenom II x4 guide 2, FX-8150 (Bulldozer, useful for entire family)

Useful useroptions.ini settings
Ultra settings
(for machines that satisfy or exceed the "empirical" ultra requirements listed above)
Note: if you have an AMD Radeon series card (such as a 6990 or 7970), remember to remove the last line to disable GPU Physics, or you're going to have a bad time.

High performance
(for machines slightly below recommended requirements and those wishing to maximize FPS without making the game look horrible)
Low-end hardware/Laptops
(for machines barely meeting the empirical recommended requirements and laptops with graphics cards below NVidia 550M or Radeon HD 57xxM)


Revision history:
1/2/13 - Included discussion of PS2's affinity for faster RAM, and the fast dual- vs slower quad-core discussion.
1/17/13 - Included results of actual tests of RAM speed impacting game framerate.
1/21/13 - Included the 'empirical "ultimate" system' section and expanded the "useful links section".
2/4/13 - Added a couple articles about gaming and memory speed and updated the main body to reflect their findings.
2/23/13 - Corrected the location of useroptions.ini in Steam client, added useful useroptions.ini settings.
3/23/13 - Minor updates regarding driver issues and useroptions.ini changes.
5/12/13 - Updated GPU-bound conditions with Pre-rendered frame lowering for NVidia and detailed Radeon Pro settings for AMD.
Doctors kill people one at a time. Engineers do it in batches.

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Last edited by Ailos; 2013-05-13 at 12:58 AM.
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