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Old 2012-12-17, 09:23 AM   [Ignore Me] #46
HiroshiChugi
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Re: Low FPS? Ailos' guide to having a better experience.


Originally Posted by Ailos View Post
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:
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 during beta, that is now listed on the official SOE help page for PS2.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. Take note of your new FPS figure and CPU- or GPU-bound status.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  1. 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.)
  2. 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.
  3. 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):
    • 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
  4. 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:
  5. 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 and GPU-Z 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).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. If running slow ram (DDR3-1066 and below) upgrade/overclock to faster RAM (DDR3-1600 or higher).
    Section credit: Impaler
    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.
  9. 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.
  10. *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.
  11. 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. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. **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.
  14. 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
Gaming CPU performance hierarchy
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)
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Old 2012-12-17, 09:48 AM   [Ignore Me] #47
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Re: Low FPS? Ailos' guide to having a better experience.


Peak? Who knows...you're the one with that computer, adjust the settings and see what happens.
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Old 2012-12-17, 11:07 AM   [Ignore Me] #48
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Re: Low FPS? Ailos' guide to having a better experience.


Originally Posted by Rbstr View Post
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.
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Old 2012-12-17, 11:19 AM   [Ignore Me] #49
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Re: Low FPS? Ailos' guide to having a better experience.


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.
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Old 2012-12-18, 08:23 AM   [Ignore Me] #50
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Re: Low FPS? Ailos' guide to having a better experience.


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
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Old 2012-12-18, 12:20 PM   [Ignore Me] #51
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Re: Low FPS? Ailos' guide to having a better experience.


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.

Last edited by Goku; 2012-12-18 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 2012-12-18, 01:02 PM   [Ignore Me] #52
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Re: Low FPS? Ailos' guide to having a better experience.


Originally Posted by Goku View Post
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
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Old 2012-12-18, 03:35 PM   [Ignore Me] #53
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Re: Low FPS? Ailos' guide to having a better experience.


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.
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Old 2012-12-19, 09:03 AM   [Ignore Me] #54
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Re: Low FPS? Ailos' guide to having a better experience.


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:
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Old 2012-12-20, 10:11 PM   [Ignore Me] #55
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Re: Low FPS? Ailos' guide to having a better experience.


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.
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Old 2012-12-21, 05:25 PM   [Ignore Me] #56
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Re: Low FPS? Ailos' guide to having a better experience.


If I were you I would run all at LOW

Not the best Puter you have there
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Old 2012-12-29, 08:09 AM   [Ignore Me] #57
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Re: Low FPS? Ailos' guide to having a better experience.


Originally Posted by Ailos View Post
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

Originally Posted by Donefore View Post
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.
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Old 2012-12-29, 02:19 PM   [Ignore Me] #58
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Re: Low FPS? Ailos' guide to having a better experience.


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.
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Old 2013-01-12, 12:37 PM   [Ignore Me] #59
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Re: Low FPS? Ailos' guide to having a better experience.


THis guide is great!
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Old 2013-01-14, 11:45 PM   [Ignore Me] #60
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Re: Low FPS? Ailos' guide to having a better experience.


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.
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