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#1 Posted at 2009-05-30 16:26

How to improve game performance

In my opinion to be able to play a game it needs to be smooth, yet still have a nice visual appearance, having your graphics set to high is nice but if your PC is stuttering in MP then it's not a very good idea. To get the best out of the game you must find what suits you best performance:appearance wise. In order to get better performance you have to sacrifice the looks, performance is important because it makes the game easier to play, especially in MP where you will find when you're getting kills easier. Some of you may be experiencing problems because your system isn't exactly spec, to help you increase your performance issues I have some suggestions which you may want to choose. Others may be playing with a high FPS already with settings pretty high, but they may be able to squeeze out higher settings without loss in performance.

Bla bla bla.. :)

Not all these options do apply to users with low end systems, but also with high ends too. Most of these suggestions are very basic, but should increase your gameplay experiences very much if applied correctly. I can say that I have taken some of these following steps and A2 (arma2) runs much more smoothly than at first, with not too much quality loss. Either way, if you're struggling to get a good performance as I have here are those simple steps to improve it...

Drivers

Updating your drivers up-to-date is important, newer builds generally increase the performance of your hardware. These are the most important:

Graphics card drivers. For 99% of you, you can find them at these places:
Nvidia
ATI

Motherboard drivers, visit the brand site, drivers are usually downloadable from the support sections. Some common ones:
Asus
MSI
Gigabyte

Processor drivers, various softwares and drivers are made to increase your processing power:
Intel
AMD

Soundcard drivers:
Creative, Xfi, soundblaster

Things such as keeping your hardrive clean, removing unused programs to free momory, defragmenting and performing checks.

I recomend Windows Advanced System Care, will perform scans to clean up your system. With this it also recommends various other programs to download such as SmartDefrag, registry defrag, disk cleaner and disk check.

Closing programs to optimise your system even further, etc.

TuneXP 1.5 A very handy tool for all XP users
Vista services Optimiser
TuneXP
Game Booster (compliments to NoQuarter) also comes with Windows Advanced care
SmartRAM - comes with widnwos advanced care
Adjusting image settings in nVidia on control panel to performance (not sure what the ATI equivalent is).

Settings found to prove useful:

Overclocking

Not the best of ideas imho, but if you are feeling up to it then why not.

www.tweakforce.com
GPUz
GPU Tool
nTune
Rivatuner
Guru3d
fusion
overdrive

Precise game settings

To do this you will need to open your player.profile and arma2.cfg with notepad, these documents can be found in My Documents, in the ArmA 2 folder, and/or ArmA 2 Other profiles. You will have to open them with notepad.

Here are some settings you can change to increase/decrease quality more precisely than using the ingame settings page. Note, that if you do change your settings ingame it will alter the files, so you will have to open them back up and save them manually again before your start the game. here are useful lines you can alter.

arma2.cfg
3D_Performance=80000;        //no effect recorded by me
HDRPrecision=8;             //I repsume settings can be 8, 16 and 32, as with ArmA 1
Render_W=1680;             // Changing these render resolutions to match the resolution in which you
Render_H=1050;                Run arma2 will make an increase in performance
Render resolution/fillrate can now be changed appropriately in the options since v1.02

anisoFilter=0;
TexQuality=0;
TexMemory=0;
useWBuffer=0;
soundEnableEAX=1;
soundEnableHW=1;       //hardware acceleration, usefull for gaming mode on xfi soundcards
sceneComplexity=150000;  //lower values for smoother game (typically 150k being 'very low')
viewDistance=1600.59;         //useful if you have trouble with the slider ingame
terrainGrid=40;               //more precise than ingame - higher value is less 50=off

Once you have edited your settings in the cfg files save them, then right click on your files, go to properties and select read only, and apply the setting. This will stop the game from changing the settings which you have just applied.

Altering these values in ArmA2.cfg may improve performance slightly:
GPU_DetectedFramesAhead="80";
GPU_MaxFramesAhead="4";

Lowering mouse smoothing in profile.arma2profile values can reduce mouse lag and may improve FPS slightly:
mouseSmoothing=1;

Higher FOV increases performance, take your FOV values and multiply them both the same. E.g. values 0.75 and 1.20 become 0.975 and 1.56 when multiplied by 1.3. Use to your liking.
fovTop=0.97500002;
fovLeft=1.5599999;

Mods

FPS Helper[/size]

PROPER visuals, released to improve FPS:
vegetation - low
vegetation - very low
buildings - low
buildings - very low

Sap clutter - reduces clutter size and increases performance slightly.

Kegety's no blur and no bloom mod definately increases FPS. it's a MUST HAVE. - Since v1.02 this is no longer a necessity, see below.

Without mod
Frames: 4983 - Time: 115663ms - Avg: 43.082 - Min: 34 - Max: 66
With no blur and no bloom
Frames: 4855 - Time: 102127ms - Avg: 47.539 - Min: 35 - Max: 111

VFFPS - adds gamelogic that you can put in your single player missions, will alter the terrain settings and viewdistance depending on your fps.

Startup Parameters

Run ArmA2 with High CPU priority. This gives more time for processing with ArmA2. For me it gives about 10% more performance when there are plenty of units on the field. In games such like Domination and Warfare etc I've noticed going from ~27FPS to ~30FPS. To run ArmA 2 with a high CPU priority you can go to task manager and right click arma2.exe and alter the priority that way. Alternatively you can edit your target line on your shortcut.

C:\WINDOWS\system32\cmd.exe /C START "ArmA 2" /high

Example:
C:\WINDOWS\system32\cmd.exe /C START "ArmA 2" /high "D:\Program files\Bohemia Interactive\ArmA 2\beta\arma2.exe"  -world=empty -nosplash -winxp -mod=@ace;@acex;@acex_pla;@acex_sm;@cba;beta

-winxp
If you're running multiple GPUs / SLi / Crossfire you may also want to use the -winxp startup parameter if you're using windows vista or 7. This changes the directx version so that it will support multigpu configurations in arma 2.

-maxmem=xxxx
With this you can set the maximum virtual memory that will be allocated to the game, this works up to 2047.

-cpuCount=x
Will change the amount of cores the game uses. If you're using quad core you may want to use 2 cores for some unknown reason. Who knows - it might do something for some people.

-window
In a few cases running the game in windowed mode improved performance.

Other

Seleting compatibility mode to windows XP in the shortcut has also been known to improve performance in some cases.

Renaming ArmA2.exe to crysis.exe or crysis64.exe, also sometimes enables SLI for some people, if not try using the command parameter with crysis.exe or crysis64.exe -winxp.

EVGA SLI fix, read more here.

Nvidia SLI profile patch

Run on multiple hard drives

If you don't have RAID and have 2 hardrives.

ArmA2 is heavy on the harddrive I decided to split the ArmA 2 files onto two different hard drives, this can be done by making a mod folder on one of your separate hardrives. This makes loading faster, and allows you to simulate a faster data transfer rate. Performance differences can depend on your drives, you may want to move files to a different hard-drive for simply de-fragmentation.

For example I have moved the following files (they mainly contain textures and models), others containing configs may cause problems if you are running addons. into F:\CA\addons as shown below:

You can then run these files via the modfolder method

(safest method) I use.
-mod=F:\CA;@mod2;@mod3
or
to work with some mods/addons, depending on which files you have moved.
-mod=@mod1;@mod2;F:\CA

Patches

v1.01 final
Small increases in performance notable, nothing spectacular.

v1.02
Blur and bloom - option to disable added.
Option to change the rendered resolution instead of fillrate.

v1.03
Reduced stutters on map borders

v1.03
""

v1.04
""

v1.05
""

Thanks to everyone contributing and making these steps available. Please if anyone has anything more to mention then I will add it in here also.

This post was edited by Foxhound (2011-01-24 09:33, ago)

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## msy

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#2 Posted at 2009-05-31 04:36

Can you tell me the meaning of thouse setting words? I don't know german except the word "normal". anyway I dislike the bald mountains on this settings, I want more forestes.

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## hoak

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#3 Posted at 2009-06-01 10:10

Thanks for posting the info Dead3yez, I don't have the game yet and am especially interested in how the new version of the engine performs, and does post-processing... There was a remark on the BI forums that implied that there is no anti-alias, yet many of the BI ArmA II screenshots do appear anti-aliased -- I couldn't learn more as the fourms are now closed, is there a FSAA setting in there, or only MSAA now?

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#4 Posted at 2009-06-01 10:22

hoak :There was a remark on the BI forums that implied that there is no anti-alias, yet

As for that comment, I think it's more about the anistropic filtering, there seems to be no effect when the settings are changed. I am sure in future patches and versions of the game this will be fixed. As patches are released I will be able to comment further on the game's performance, hopefully it will be more optimised so we can up the quality.

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## Foxhound

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#5 Posted at 2009-06-01 10:31

Dead3yez : [quote]hoak :There was a remark on the BI forums that implied that there is no anti-alias, yet

As for that comment, I think it's more about the anistropic filtering, there seems to be no effect when the settings are changed.[/quote]

I remember that too. I think in Arma 2 AA == fillrate if I understand ohara's (I believe it was him) explanation correctly.
100% fillrate would be the same as 4xAA, 200% fillrate would be 8xAA etc.
However he also said maybe in a future patch they would put back an AA button in settings.

Note:
The above is how I remember reading it but as I too do not have the game yet I have to copy/believe what others post :)

Awesome info mate.
I think you should write a news item about it since the BI forums are down this might be some usefull info to many Arma 2 users ;)

Visit my family webshop desteigerhoutshop.nl.

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#6 Posted at 2009-06-01 11:34

If not mistaken (forums are still down...) it was more like:
Fillrate 100% = no AA (or was it 2xAA).
Fillrate 150% = 4xAA.
Fillrate 200% = 8xAA.
Note fillrate isn't a stock AA, but compairable with AA supersampling. This has more effect on transparency textures. Knowing the map has tons of these textures (tree leaves as one of the most obvious) adding 'fillrate' has a mayor impact on performence. Would be nice to import and compair maps like avgani or afghan village (desert type with low vegi) even though those maps aren't arma2 optimized.
It was indeed mentioned that they are thinking of adding 'normal' AA in a patch.
Fact is, this and any game requires some level of AA. Without it it no mather how good a game looks, it kills the picture imho.

Imho there should also need to be looked into adding an option to remove the head movement blur as:
*Most people dislike it (same as post-progressing, same as in arma1). As far as i know this is linked to each other, note you can't disable it (but akaik it is also linked to HDR witch can't be removed).
*It also has a big preformence impact i think. An effect can't come without performence impact i think.

As for AF, i haven't checked it out good, but it looks it doesn't have that much effect as it used to have in ArmA1 (road lines are often a good indicator for AF). But overall i always thought AF didn't had such an impact, compaired to AA at least.

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#7 Posted at 2009-06-01 12:45

Hi there guys,

just wanted to post some feedback here.

Some german translation for the menu words:
Deaktiviert = Deactivated
Niedrig = Low
Mittel = Medium
Hoch = High
Sehr klein = Very small
Breitbild = Widescreen
Füllrate-Optim. = Fillrate-Optimization - this is NO AA @ 100%. Under 100% gives you an emulation of a lower resolution which is weird.
Helligkeit = Brightness
Landsch.-Details = Landscape-Detail

Overall, i'm not very impressed by ArmA2's gfx. If you want to have good looking bushes & trees, you need the object-details on HIGH, but it's gonna lag, esp when zooming in. I can't accept to look on clunky & distorted bitmap bushes any longer, so i tried everyting to get rid of the lag.

I found out that by setting Landscape-Detail to Very low (Sehr niedrig) you can get rid of the grass and the lag. Shadows have to stay on normal or low though. That way you also can set the see distance (Sichtweite) to above 2000m without getting back any lags.

Playing without any grass at all is esp. smooth when flying over cities - the lags i had beforehand was mostly gone.

All in all, ArmA2 goes back onto my shelf until a year or so. ArmA still rules and looks much better imo. Until somebody comes up with a 'low detail grass' addon for ArmA2 i won't switch it back on, but - let's be honest - the grass is what gives ArmA2 it's special look right?

Shame really. Back to Evolution. ;)

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## SoLo

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#8 Posted at 2009-06-01 13:14

setting HDRprecision at 0 gives a significtive boost to your performance (obviously).
GTX 280, Q9550, 1680x1050, Fillrate 150%, viewdistance 2000, all settings normal, 20-30 FPS.
Game is playable and nice, still testing...

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## msy

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#9 Posted at 2009-06-01 13:15

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## ChaK_

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#10 Posted at 2009-06-01 14:42

SoLo : setting HDRprecision at 0 gives a significtive boost to your performance (obviously).
GTX 280, Q9550, 1680x1050, Fillrate 150%, viewdistance 2000, all settings normal, 20-30 FPS.
Game is playable and nice, still testing...
that's not that great I think, you've got a pretty good rig, and quite "low" perf.
Are you on "all at max" settings?

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## Binkowski11

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#11 Posted at 2009-06-01 16:37

Thank you for this. Also, if you are using an NVIDIA Graphics card, go into your control panel and mess with settings there. Improves performance quite a bit.

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#12 Posted at 2009-06-01 16:45

I did some playing with the Scene complexion as it seemed to be the best way of improving the quality without much drop in the framerate. I also decreased the shading detail a little more by two. After applying some values to the scene complextion I ran around the village taking the same route and recorded the frame rate. (SC = scenecomplexion) These are the results.

SC @ 40k

SC@110k
Frames: 4843 - Time: 101276ms - Avg: 47.820 - Min: 33 - Max: 68

SC@160k
Frames: 4219 - Time: 101274ms - Avg: 41.659 - Min: 30 - Max: 60

SC@160k Battle 1
Frames: 3010 - Time: 90679ms - Avg: 33.194 - Min: 20 - Max: 48

SC@160k Battle 2
Frames: 3137 - Time: 126169ms - Avg: 24.863 - Min: 13 - Max: 44

SC@250k
Frames: 3907 - Time: 100802ms - Avg: 38.759 - Min: 31 - Max: 55

SC@350k
Frames: 3631 - Time: 93669ms - Avg: 38.764 - Min: 26 - Max: 53

All setting very high VD@1600 1920*1200
Frames: 2403 - Time: 127963ms - Avg: 18.779 - Min: 8 - Max: 47

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## davey

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#13 Posted at 2009-06-01 17:31

Another program which maybe of use to those of us with ATI cards is fusion...oh and overdrive

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## dale0404

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#14 Posted at 2009-06-01 17:31

Binkowski11 : Thank you for this. Also, if you are using an NVIDIA Graphics card, go into your control panel and mess with settings there. Improves performance quite a bit.

Ok mate, what settings did you change ?

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## hoak

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#15 Posted at 2009-06-01 17:58

Thanks again Dead3yez, Foxhound, and I agree DaSquade; in fact I'd give up all modern post processing effects like DOF, Blur, Bloom, HDR, and even some candy (that's not necessery to sacrifice) to have Anti-Alias. No AA is jut too much of an eye-sore and kills immersion -- was one of the things on the list that broke my heart over GRAW...

More on topic; theres a brief artical on PC Games Hardware that benchmarkes the render performance of ArmA II on a range of contemporary hardware (gotta love that title): More challenging for the hardware than Crysis Armed Assault 2: Graphics card benchmarks and visual quality compared...

:)