Nvidia _Program Settings_ for X3:TC

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andi2
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Post by andi2 » Wed, 4. Feb 09, 21:12

shawnburton wrote:Before my OP I had my settings all to "global" (except SLI had been turned on) in the nVidia Control Panel Program Settings for X3:TC (and rolling demo). I ran the rolling demo as a benchmark and received an overall average framerate of 71.

I did some research and changed the prog settings to what I thought would be best. I now have an overall average framerate of 76.6 AND the game looks much more cinematic! Egosoft, please take a look at these settings and tell me if I'm on the right track:
(showing only items I changed, rest are default)

Antialiasing - Transparency: Multisampling
Force mipmaps: Trilinear
Multi-Display/mixed-GPU acceleration: Single Display performance mode
SLI Performance mode: Force alternate frame rendering 2
Texture filtering - Anisotropic sample optimization: on
Threaded optimization: on
Triple Buffering: on
Oki in general a "good" setting is what the game set's by default, but since there are unlimited combinations, nothing is perfect and depends on personal preferences.

Some quick notes on the settings:
Antialiasing - Transparency: Multisampling
This may improve the visual quality, but the textures are not made for it. It may still work but some alpha textures will appear thicker/thinner than supposed. So we would have to rework all alpha channels and check all objects.
U can experiment with this setting and it should cost around 20% fps, the supersampling mode is looking even better but will cost 50% fps.

Force mipmaps: Trilinear
This wont do anything except may screw up UI textures. This will generate automatically mipmaps to improve performance, but we already generated mipmaps for all textures that need mips and we also use a much better filter algorithm then trilinear filtering.
So pls turn this to default/off

Multi-Display/mixed-GPU acceleration: Single Display performance mode
This may improve performance but is also driver version dependent, cant recall what driver version it was first added. But using "Multiple display performance mode" and make sure to run the game on the "primary" screen should also work with the same fps.
So u have to test it and see if the fps drop with multi monitor setups.


SLI Performance mode: Force alternate frame rendering 2
Simply use what works for u and is faster without crashing the game :)

Texture filtering - Anisotropic sample optimization: on
This will reduce the anisotropic texture filtering and might gain some fps.
My advice is to leave it off if u use 2-4x filtering and turn it on on 8x. But recheck if the fps actually is going up, since modern cards will filter textures faster than older and the driver revision also play's a role. Means ati/nvidia always will try to "optimize" texture filtering :)

Threaded optimization: on
My first guess was to leave this on, but i read somewhere that some games might run better with off. So just test this, it also seems to depend on the driver version and card.

Triple Buffering: on
This is tobe used in conjunction with vsync. If u force vsync off, than all this does is creating an extra backbuffer so wasting like 5MB depending on resolution.
If u turn vsync on, than make sure tripple buffering is enabled since otherwise the fps is always synced to monitor refresh rate which means that u loose fps.
By default we use vsync and also have tripple buffering enabled, which is also my advice here.

Antialiasing:
My advice here is to start with 6-8x on highend cards and 4x on midrange cards. If u switch to 2x u may gain liek 10-25% depending on the card.

I hope this helped a bit, but in general most of the settings are dependent on the driver version + card and we try our best to have the game look as good as it can on most pc's.
Dont using transparent AA is again only because we do not directly support it, like we also not directly support SLI.

If u have more question feel free to post them.

by Andy

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Post by shawnburton » Wed, 4. Feb 09, 21:39

Outstanding, andi2! Thanks a bunch. I learned quite a lot from your post. I'm glad I came back. I don't think I have any questions. This improved my frame rate by about 12fps!

Wonderful graphics, GUI, and concept! An app is good if it prevents people from showering. Well done sir!

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Post by aerick911 » Wed, 4. Feb 09, 22:53

Wow, thanks for the post Andy, opened my eyes!

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Post by BugMeister » Thu, 5. Feb 09, 00:21

excellent work, andi2 :wink:

- and full marks for persistence, shawn..!!

- one to print off and keep in the folder.. 8)
- the whole universe is running in BETA mode - we're working on it.. beep..!! :D :thumb_up:

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Post by perpiotrredman » Thu, 5. Feb 09, 04:40

aerick911 wrote:One thing I never get is the different sli modes.
Alternate rendering 1 or 2? HUH?
AFR means "alternate frame rendering", which in turn means that the two (or three) cards take turn rendering frames. One card renders all the odd frames and the other cards renders all the even frames, for example. AFR1 and AFR2 both use this technique but AFR2 is more compatible whereas AFR1 can be faster.

SFR is a completely different rendering mode where both cards share the screen during rendering so that one card renders the top half of the screen and other renders the bottom. It's a slower method than AFR 1 and 2, but might work in situations where AFR won't.

Also worth keeping in mind is that if you enable any of the SLI Anti-aliasing modes, you're not using your dual cards for extra performance, but to get extra AA-samples at little to no performance cost. Your choice.
/ Per
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Post by pelador » Thu, 5. Feb 09, 05:07

Many thanks Andi, much appreciated.

andi2
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Post by andi2 » Thu, 5. Feb 09, 13:13

Hehe yeah shawn really did it,
since i got a mail from a nvidia dev guy and our x3tc koch media guy setting me on cc, while hinting to this thread.
I was a bit confused what this was all about :)

If i have time i may go through all the nvidia control panel switches for ya and explain what they do and what i recommend.
I'm also always a little disappointed with the information nvidia provides, since they never state if this cost much performance or if it improve visual quality.

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Post by aka1nas » Mon, 9. Feb 09, 05:16

Hi Andi2,

While we have you looking at Nvidia-related issues :D , do you have any idea why the X3 engine seems to have so much poorer minimum framerates on modern Nvidia hardware? I think this might be a major contributing factor to threads like this:

X3:TC Min-frame Rate Issue Thread

This issue has been present since the G80 was released and has been remarked upon by reviewers for Reunion as well as TC. This was not an issue with the Geforce 7 series and earlier nvidia hardware as demonstrated by the second link.

A few examples with benchmarks:

X3:TC benchmarks

X3 Reunion benchmarks

andi2
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Post by andi2 » Mon, 9. Feb 09, 13:22

I will have a look into this issue and see what i can do.

Thx for pointing this out.

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Post by Tycow » Mon, 9. Feb 09, 17:31

andi2 wrote:I will have a look into this issue and see what i can do.

Thx for pointing this out.
Well that is good news. Hopefully you will find and resolve (even if it's partially) the issue. :)

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Post by Terre » Mon, 9. Feb 09, 20:27

An observation that the demo; at least, favours ATi over NVidia.

EVGA GeForce GTX 295+ review

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Post by gregs4163 » Tue, 10. Feb 09, 19:24

How do you turn on Triple Buffering in X3? I thought it was a D3D game and triple buffering was for OpenGL games? I use nHancer and triple buffering is noted for OpenGL only. I would love this because I always use Vsync.

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Post by perpiotrredman » Wed, 11. Feb 09, 13:08

D3D has variable render-ahead. In Nvidia drivers I even think that's what it's called, "frames to render ahead" or something similar. Set that to 1 for double-buffering, 2 for triple-buffering and higher for something that has no comparison but will also cause lag as your controls will be several frames removed from the action on the screen.
/ Per
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Post by gregs4163 » Wed, 11. Feb 09, 13:25

I know the setting your talking about, but are you sure that what it does? Because I think the Triple buffering their talking about is different then the render frames ahead setting. I think that setting has something to do with commands accepted to frames ahead in the buffer by the GPU.

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Post by perpiotrredman » Wed, 11. Feb 09, 13:37

What else would render the frames?

The frame buffer is the screen you're seeing now. The "double" is because there's a second frame buffer being rendered that'll be displayed in the next frame. The "triple" is for having a second extra frame to render to so that there is always a full frame to swap out for the current one.

At least under Direct3D, this is only used when VSYNC is on.

Not sure if there's a special setting for how many frames to render ahead or how many buffers to use under Direct X on Nvidia hardware if it isn't affected by the render-ahead; sorry.
/ Per
(Core i7 920 2.67GHz, 6GB 3chan DDR3 1066MHz, HD4870 512MB, Vista Enterprise 64)

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