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[Guide] Improving Games Performance & Graphics

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Hani    185

Hey,

Introductory:

This guide may seem to be a tweaking guide to increase the performance of windows rather than games, but both have a thing in common. Both are applications that use hardware resources. A kind of gamers who are cheap or have insufficient money try to search for solutions to increase the performance of games, well if you?re that kind than you?ve come to the right place (or topic). Now I want to explain something, the title for the guide is ?Improving Games Performance & Graphics, my tips doesn?t exactly enhance the graphics, they just increase the performance. But, by increasing the performance to games you might have the chance of increasing the resolution or enhancing a graphics feature like anti-liasing. I hope this guide will be helpful to all, and if you have anything to add please don?t hesitate either PM (so I could write your name in my first post) or state it Prerequisites:sites:[/b]s:

1- A great program called ?nVHardPage?. You could download it from here <http://www.nvhardpage.com/down.htm>. You could either choose v2.0 or the beta v2.0 build 5 (for up to date addicts). After the downloading is finished install this decent piece of freeware.

2- Decent disk defragmenter. One of my favorites is Perfect Disk 7. But, the one that comes with windows is quite good.

3- The usual administrative tools Steps to follows:o follows:[/b]llows:

1- Less running services. Go to ?start? than run. Type services.msc than click on OK. Try to disable or stop unnecessary services. You could use Black Viper?s Services configuration for Windows XP <http://home.cfl.rr.com/alexpb/servicecfg.htm> Less running services means more free RAM and CPU usage, which means increased performances in games. You could also end their processes for the time being, and then rerun them. Programs like Y?z Dock or Windows blind are unnecessary while running games. So if you don?t mind unload Windows Blind and quit Y?z Dock (just an example). Games need a lot of free RAM to run good, so rather than buying more RAM, ending the processes will help. You could also download Free RAM XP Pro from http://www.yourwaresolutions.com to free RAM, I use it and it isn?t dangerous at all.

2- Defragmenting your hard-dsk. Using a tool of your choice, defragment your hard-disk, and if you have a paid defragmenter I advice you to do a boot defragmentation. If you?re willing to pay for one, try purchasing either Perfect Disk 7 or Diskeeper 10 (newest versions). By defragging your hard-disk, your system will use less CPU and memory to perform disk operations, which significantly enhances your system performance. Applications will launch faster, and access to files will be faster. As a result, games will have a better performance.

3- Specifying a Paging File. You should specify a sufficient amount of disk space for your page file. Let?s say your amount memory is number (x), right click on my computer go to the advance tab>Performance Settings>Advanced>Custom. Select the partition you want to specify a page file for, than click on the Custom Size button. In the Initial Size type number (x), and in Maximum Size type number (x) multiplied by 1.5. The paging file is very closely related to the physical RAM installed in the computer. Its purpose is to extend the amount of physical RAM and make it available to the system. Both services and installed applications like games can benefit from this 'extra' RAM, even though it is significantly different from the sticks that plug into the motherboard.

4- System Security. Yeah I know I went too far. Update your antivirus constantly, and if you still don?t have one, I hope purchase NOD32, I?m not advertising but it is the best antivirus ever created (my opinion). Also, scan for spyware with using free tools like ad-aware personal or Microsoft anti-spyware. Both have one thing in common, they are hog on resources. Users frequently notice unwanted behavior and degradation of system performance because of viruses and spyware, which will probably decrease the performance of games.

5- The ULTIMATE procedure. Now that you have nVHardPage, run it. Click on Direct3D tab. Go down to the pixel shader configuration, than click on advance, in the pixel shader line move the slider to the lift till the value becomes x1.1. Now this will not worked with all games (e.g. NFS Most Wanted), but it has siginifatly worked with Civilization 4 and F.E.A.R. Civilization 4 was slow to the extent of un-playbility. F.E.A.R. hanged a little, but after applying the 1.1 configuration these problems were resolved. I?ll explain what is this configuration, but I want to tell that if you have performance trouble with a certain game do this procedure than after you finished playing with the game return the pixel shader to the default value (move the slider to where it was). A shader is a program used in 3D computer graphics to determine the final surface properties of an object or image. This can include arbitrarily complex descriptions of light absorption and diffusion, texture mapping, reflection and refraction, shadowing, surface displacement and post-processing effects. When you decrease pixel shaders, all these properties will insignificantly decrease, however the resolution won?t be affected, and trust me it won?t affect the graphics as it affects the performance. I?ll take the example of the game F.E.A.R. to explain to you the benefit of this brilliant solution. Now I bought the game, and then installed it (its f***ing to large what happened to the 1MB MS-DOS games?!?). I ran the game and went to the video options, I made it automatically detect the optimal preferences. I tested it and it was a bit slow running on 800*600. I had to check the DirectX8 Shaders to make the game run better. You?ll probably conclude that the graphics were crap. But after applying the ultimate procedure, I was able to uncheck DirectX8 shaders, change the resolution to 1024*768, and increase all graphics features like details and shadows. And guess what? When I tested the game it worked great with no perforFinality:awesome graphics. If your wFinality:g on a Geforce FX5200

Finality:

I hope you find the information posted in this guide to be helpful, and I promise that whenever I have more free time to think and post I'll add more steps to the guide. Remeber, you can improve theRefernces:thout paying a dime.

Refernces:

http://www.theeldergeek.com/paging_file.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertex_and_pixel_shaders

Best Regards,

Hani

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Hani    185

Yeah, but some games take 500MB others take 300MB, so it is both complicated and inaccurate way. Trust me you'll get the best result with this.

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~INVASION~    0

thx for the tutorial, i especially like the freeram xp pro, its quite a nifty tool !

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THE BAT    0

Your whole page file part is incorrect: http://www.techspot.com/tweaks/memory-winxp/memory-4.shtml

Other than that, good work, i'll try that piece of software out at a later time. I have x64 slimmed down via nlite and so I don't lag or anythin, but i guess it's worth a shot :D

yeah, it is wrong,

the Initial Size: 1.5 * (RAM Size), and the Max. Size: 3 * (RAM Size)

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Nasapion    0

Nice, simple guide, cuts to the point. THeres alot more to be said though, which is why ive been working on a guide on this topic myself. DONT use ANY ram defragmenter programs, those are obsolete can can cause actually slow down performance if you use them for extended amounts of time.

"RAM Optimizers have no effect, and at worst, they seriously degrade performance. Although gaining more available memory might seem beneficial, it isn't. As RAM Optimizers force the available-memory counter up, they force other processes' data and code out of memory. Say that you're running Word, for example. As the optimizer forces the available-memory counter up, the text of open documents and the program code that was part of Word's working set before the optimization (and was therefore present in physical memory) must be reread from disk as you continue to edit your document. The act of allocating, then freeing a large amount of virtual memory might, as a conceivable side effect, lead to blocks of contiguous available memory. However, because virtual memory masks the layout of physical memory from processes, processes can't directly benefit from having virtual memory backed by contiguous physical memory. As processes execute and undergo working-set trimming and growth, their virtual-memory-to-physical-memory mappings will become fragmented despite the availability of contiguous memory." - Source

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Skiver    1,941

thats a nice little guide you've wrote thier, im running a pretty standard machine atm so those would be great to try out for my games...thanks dude

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Vistas2006    0

What about ATI graphic cards :whistle:

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redFX    0

Cool stuff, good job

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temple    0

Hey,

4- System Security. Yeah I know I went too far. Update your antivirus constantly, and if you still don?t have one, I hope purchase NOD32, I?m not advertising but it is the best antivirus ever created (my opinion). Also, scan for spyware with using free tools like ad-aware personal or Microsoft anti-spyware. Both have one thing in common, they are hog on resources. Users frequently notice unwanted behavior and degradation of system performance because of viruses and spyware, which will probably decrease the performance of games.

Hani

NOD32 v2.5 now also handles spyware. adware, phishing, etc.

tmpl.

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Angelico_Payne    0

Yeah, NOD is the quickest so far, and not a resource hog

If you have more than 1.5 GB, you can safely disable paging file, although some games do require it (damn)

but nice tutorial;

I might just add : clean your registry, compress it,

and before starting a game, do a memory flush,cleaning, or defragmenting (flush is the best)with some utility (there are tons out there), so all nonessential services are expelled from the memory, so your game can load faster.

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runningking7    0

Sounds nice, I will give it a try...it has better work :devil:

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KunalSethi    0

thanks for the tips

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Angelico_Payne    0

It seems that uninstalling unnessecary services is better than disabling it, cause in my testing of that, I've come to the conclusion that disabling some services (e.g. system event, system notification,...) computers performance degrades!!!!! cause other active services, still try to access disabled ones, and wait for them 4-5 every times.

I'm not quite sure about uninstalling thing yet, but I wrote to a guy how posted here a guide to slimming down windows XP , U can find it here at neowin, so we'll see .... ;)

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Unholy Moley!    0

Some parts were incorrect and your nVHardPage explantion got mudded. I would consider revising this guide.

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bigstar101    0

cool job Hani...its nice ur lebanese 2

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b13eder    0

:angry: !@#$!#$!@#$ i have a problem im new to this forum i have no were else to turn steam support has no answer i got my fps in source to hang between 70 and 120 that is counterstrike source by the way as soon as the first rnd ends it starts to drop by the 4 rnd its down in the 20,s an 30,s any longer i play and it hits the teens !#$@#$ but if i restart its back up to par again not temp of pc neither running around 82 f

plzz any suggestions im about to eat my mouse . o by the way does the same thing for 1.6 also but of course alot less info for that game so can play like 20 or 30 rnds before it starts to effect my fps in 1.6

ati radeon X700 pro graphics card

over a gig of ram

sweet pen 4

and my refresh rates r set at 75 in catalist drivers and moniter properties plzz help

o and using windows xp home

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Popcorned1    0

:angry: !@#$!#$!@#$ i have a problem im new to this forum i have no were else to turn steam support has no answer i got my fps in source to hang between 70 and 120 that is counterstrike source by the way as soon as the first rnd ends it starts to drop by the 4 rnd its down in the 20,s an 30,s any longer i play and it hits the teens !#$@#$ but if i restart its back up to par again not temp of pc neither running around 82 f

plzz any suggestions im about to eat my mouse . o by the way does the same thing for 1.6 also but of course alot less info for that game so can play like 20 or 30 rnds before it starts to effect my fps in 1.6

ati radeon X700 pro graphics card

over a gig of ram

sweet pen 4

and my refresh rates r set at 75 in catalist drivers and moniter properties plzz help

o and using windows xp home

Your post doesn't even have any relavence to the topic. Have you tried the tips in the topic? You have the system to run the game with ease. You might want to ask for support from the source forum. I don't mean tech support. People who hang around on forums know a lot more than tech support ever will so your best bet is to ask there.

Counter Strike Source Web Forum?

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see-seA    0

If you have more than 1.5 GB, you can safely disable paging file, although some games do require it (damn)

but nice tutorial;

Im so sick of answering this. No matter how much RAM you have, Windows still requires a Page File. Don't believe me? Google it. Turn on the Page File at all times, even with unlimited RAM.

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callumy    0

Turning the shader level down actually reduces the level of detail. Sure, you may do this on an older graphics card, but what is the point of running at DX7 level specification on a DX8 or DX9 card? The shader levels are the levels of the supported techniques by the shaders on the graphics card. The latest shader level is level 3.0 which provides the best detail and quality at the moment. When DX10 comes out, the shader technology will increase a generation to level 4.0. While on a slow system reducing the shader level and quality may make a game more playable or run at a higher resolution, it would not improve the quality and beauty of graphics in a modern and graphically-intense game. I also don't believe in memory defragmenting, a technique that was boo-hooed in the old days when it may have actually improved performance (XP and other modern OSs automatically and dynamically assign memory to an application, so as soon as you do a flush or defragment, the do a task, the RAM has become fragmented again. This does not improve performance as RAM does not need to be contiguous for the bets performance unlike a magnetic disk storage system like a hard drive).

Cal

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-Thomas-    0

Forcing 1.1 Pixel Shaders causes some games, like Battlefield 2, not to launch.

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Shasoosh    43

5- The ULTIMATE procedure. Now that you have nVHardPage, run it. Click on Direct3D tab. Go down to the pixel shader configuration, than click on advance, in the pixel shader line move the slider to the lift till the value becomes x1.1............

But after applying the ultimate procedure, I was able to uncheck DirectX8 shaders, change the resolution to 1024*768, and increase all graphics features like details and shadows. And guess what? When I tested the game it worked great with no performance lags, and awesome graphics. If your wondering I'm running on a Geforce FX5200

I seriously doubt it... come on...its a FX5200! :wacko:

Just to be sure i'm doing the same thing right now with my 1.8 Ghz and 5900XT system,

I'll keep you posted.

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Shasoosh    43

Well....to the guy that posted this guide.. I really wanted to say that you're right but...

First of all you can determine the shaders in the game, you can set it to min avg and max although its not written as 1.1 2.0 etc but still, i believe its the same, any way, when its on minimal using NvHardPage doesn't do a thing and the Fear test results came out the same in both situations.

If you need help with teaking fear you can try this:

http://www.tweakguides.com/FEAR_1.html

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The_Observer    293

nice guide thanks for the "nVHardPage" seems to help out in my case.

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ViperAFK    797
I seriously doubt it... come on...its a FX5200! :wacko:

Just to be sure i'm doing the same thing right now with my 1.8 Ghz and 5900XT system,

I'll keep you posted.

I tried to play fear when I had an FX 5200, I got like 3 fps max

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