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The Official Graphics Card and PC gaming Thread

Discussion in 'Building a new PC' started by abuzar1, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    That's a good question Rich.

    What I mean is that to get the super smooth motion of a genuine 120Hz TV, you need to run a game at preferably 100+FPS. Cheaper monitors and TVs are sometimes really 60Hz but use simulated 120Hz like the SVP Smooth Video software does. They can take regular 60FPS and interpolate it to make it look almost like real 120Hz. This means less performance demand to get the effect. It also means I can have it work in concert with my software, and be even smoother.

    The downside is that it's not quite as good as real 120Hz and requires tweaking. The upside is that it can enhance 60FPS content universally, which isn't always an option on real 120Hz TVs. Many real ones require the 24FPS signal from a Bluray player directly decoding video, to do their enhancement, or a real 120FPS signal.
     
  2. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    So that 120Hz technology is simply not in the TV. Not the first time as the HiSense was supposed to have it as well... Kind of disappointing, but not really a downer because I did not buy the TV for that feature.

    However, the TV does scale just awesome with my older 480p consoles. The Xbox in particular looks great now that the games fill the screen properly. It looks good on the monitor, but none of my previous TVs have been able to stretch the 480p image to fill the screen properly. This meant muddy graphics because the pixels were not matching to the screen like they were intended. Only happened in 3D. In the menu, the Xbox runs 720p and fills the screen properly.

    It has to do with how TVs process a 720 x 480p signal, which is wider than 640 x 480, but not properly 16:9 widescreen. On a 16 x 9 TV it will show black bars on the sides in direct mode, and it needs to be stretched to the TV to give a proper pixel aspect ratio and make the game or movie look proper. DVDs do this a lot, but the player usually does the stretching for the TV. It's literally meant to have horizontal rectangle shaped pixels. Likewise, if a game is not in widescreen mode, that resolution needs to be squeezed down to 4:3 to look proper, which are vertical rectangle pixels. When presented with 720 x 480 games, my older TVs are assuming a true 4:3 signal, not 3:2, and won't fill the entire screen in stretch mode. This makes the pixels square instead of stretched horizontally as they need to be. The new TV's scaling modes allow me to scale the games as they need to look proper, as it is scaling the actual signal instead of guessing what it is. It's noticeably better looking.

    The internal resolution of the games is somewhat different per game and per console. Some run 640 x 480 and some run 720 x 480, etc etc. The Xbox and Gamecube are pretty consistent 720 x 480 or 640 x 480 res for all games because development for those consoles was well regulated and standardized. The PS2 is all over the place for resolution, with lots of cool hacks done to get certain games to run weird resolutions. The Dreamcast outputs basically only 640 x 480 and Progressive or Interlaced depends on the game. The N64, PS1 and Saturn were very inconsistent and went everywhere from 320 x 240 to doubling only vertical or horizontal resolution, or even full 640 x 480 interlaced/progressive.

    I am playing Metroid Prime in 720 x 480 stretched properly, and it actually allows me to expand the game wider within the signal as well, right in the game's menu. The black bars in that particular game are part of the signal, not created by the screen as with my older TVs. It is scaling to fit the entire screen. I am about 3 feet from the screen and Metroid Prime looks astounding in Progressive scan. These $200 component cables with integrated video DAC chip can really flex their muscles! The game is so detailed and clear that I don't mind having my face right in the screen. It looks very sharp for its age.

    Star Wars Rogue Squadron 3 likewise looks great! The scaling was definitely NOT right on the Coby or HiSense. On the TCL... wow, just wow. The Gamecube was incredibly capable. I'm talking almost as sharp as many 360/PS3 games under its own power! The graphics in Rogue Squadron were famously hard to emulate because of how deeply they reached into the Gamecube's abilities. Truly incredible, and worth playing on the real hardware!

    PC gaming I have done very little of on this monitor, but it looks good. It shows films superbly, and it plays my older consoles in a whole new way that is superior. Color is another long tale for another day, lol but I've gotten the color to a quite reasonable setting. It's not perfect, but close. A bit on the cooler side, but very vivid. 43" still isn't too large to use as a desktop monitor. Contrast is limited but just about perfect, and brightness is pretty good.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2017
  3. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Jeezus - gamecube, ps/2 how many games do you have - a zillion!!

    I wish you were an Arma 3 guy - I just looked at an ad for Arma 3 DLC - they sent me a teaser e-mail.

    https://store.bistudio.com/products/arma3-dlc-bundle2

    and they have a whole new map in the tropics in a DLC arma 3 apex. The culmination of 15 years of all the work they've been doing (since the first clunky arma.)

    https://store.bistudio.com/products/arma3-apex

    [​IMG]

    There are probably thousands of new user-generated scenarios. I could probably just play Arma3 all day long. But if you got into it - you could tell me which ones are the best bits!!

    LOL
     
  4. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Holy Moly - I just thought about Sniper Elite, and they released #4 about 3 months ago. I'm goin for it!!!
     
  5. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    Noctua NH-D15 ordered from Amazon. One of the best air coolers currently available, with a legendary reputation. I think easily within the top 10 which are all within a few degrees. I couldn't think of a reason to choose any other cooler, considering the Noctua's awesomely easy mounting method and proven performance. There's only one cooler disputed to be outright better, and it's expensive and a pain to install.

    Hopefully should bring me near-Corsair temps without the chance of horrific failure. Should also allow me to keep my current overclock okay. My temps are currently very good under stress, so the Noctua should be able to do it fine, just a little warmer.

    The fans it comes with are very premium quality, so I will leave it stock and use my Thermaltake radiator fans as a dedicated top exhaust. Adding extra noise isn't a big concern, considering I already have loud Thermaltake Riing fans. The noise reduction padding in the case gives its best effort to dull the sound, and the PC currently sits under my desk. I very rarely notice it above the background noise of my home. I doubt a few more fans will bother me.

    Will update when I can.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2017
  6. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Jeff, so you're ditching water completely?

    I guess Sam would second that motion. But I thought you felt that water was relatively secure. I know you just had your recent failure - but you put your spare unit on, right?

    This was a cpu cooler? Well yes obviously, if you're replacing it with an air cooler. I still have my giant 3-fan $100 - I forget the name - similar in performance to Noctua - in the box - waiting for my eventual cpu upgrade. That's how I roll. The spedo $400 case sat in a box for 4 years before I moved the 9450 into it from the beautiful black Sonata case - when I decided to upgrade from the 8800 to the twin 7950s. The 7950 with its turbo fan takes slightly more than 2 ports - so the bottom would not completely settle into the Sonata bottom port - my alternative was to cut a hole in the bottom of the case which would have worked - but then I remembered the full tower out in the garage purchased from the brick and mortar Microcenter some years before. A much more elegant solution and the spedo, filled with about 10 fans in total I think, is a lovely case.


    The beautiful black Sonata case is now home to my old "Sony" (it received the name from the monitor that I used to run with it) p4 3.8 ghz w98 and xp dual boot former gaming machine - I was still on the Sony when I joined this forum and first met Sam, and then later you, Jeff and Kevin - and I downgraded the memory to 1 gig (so w98 would run) and removed the 3850 agp card and put back in the old - was it the HD1800xtpe (I recall that you, Jeff, used to have the same card) - because the 3850 did not have w98 drivers, but that older card did, and it has dvi and vga output, so I can take the sonata and a monitor with me on house calls, and fix somebody else's computer (like the valve animator close relation) sharing monitors between computers. I haven't fired up the Sony in about 3 years. Why w98? While problematic, and crash-prone, w98 rendered certain graphics more faithfully than XP. There were some printing issues that w98 handled better than xp on some of my older graphics - as simple as a very custom SOLD banner bmp across a house brochure, which xp does not render accurately, adjusting the custom angle and slope of the letters, reducing a "fresh" look to something not quite as fresh. But I finally got used to it and I'm not quite the purist I once was. So I may never run w98 again.


    If you take a minute or two and detail why you are moving completely away from water, that would be helpful for me. For example, I saw recently an nvidia product that came with a built-in water cooler - all pre-assembled - nothing to do - just stick it in. And they said "Definitely won't be any problems." I looked at it and thought - well, maybe. But if you are going completely away from water, then I would not want any of those thoughts lurking in my brain.

    Kevin I know you have had water leaking problems also. Do you have any water cooling active right now for any of your components?

    Hey guys, this Sniper Elite 4 is fantastic! The artwork is wonderful.

    It has four quality settings, Low, Medium, High and Ultra. Based on fraps I have tried ultra several times. But the game hangs a lot for me - and again I think the main issue is my limited 3 gigs of vram. On one map I dropped down to Low, and the graphics were a little disappointing just for that map. But still at Low, the next map, Bitante, a picturesque sloping village in Southern Italy built around a town center town on the lowest level, and multi-level apartments and balconies and verandas all around it, was so beautiful, even in Low - I couldn't believe it. The graphics were extra-ordinary. I was really impressed. This is Low? My character himself looked weak - not the same definition in his face - much fewer pixels - but so what. I don't spend much time looking at him.

    I took quite a few screenshots.

    I usually start at Medium, then see how it goes - if it starts hanging a lot I switch back to Low.

    This last chapter, I was okay for several hours at Low, but when near the end I got into an area with shadows and bright sunlight, I heard the music start to add a crackling sound, and I knew the vram struggle was beginning again. It hung a bunch of times, and I had to do an Alt Ctrl Del (sometimes 20 of them) to get the task manager screen, and the option that works best is "Log off."

    Often I can catch it after it terminates the game but tells me (windows 7) which processes are preventing the log-off, and if I hit cancel, then I can come back in the game faster.

    But one time I let it do the full logoff, and it must have cleared my vram properly, because then I had no problem at all with the same exact scene of shadows and intense sunlight that it was struggling with 5 minutes before that - so I think from now on I'll let it do a full log-off. This was two days ago. And prior to that, as I mentioned, it had been fluid for several hours.

    Now that I think about it, the vram issue must gradually build up - sort of like a memory leakage - maybe a not complete emptying of the buffer, so I think next time, yes - let it do the full logoff - come back in and see if it is now fluid again.

    Do you have any comment on that Jeff?

    Anyway, I highly recommend the game.

    To prevent game hangs, I have made a few modifications to gameplay that don't reduce the enjoyment.

    First, I turned off the skeleton display - the kill camera - because that QTE often causes the game to hang. Second I am careful not to stay very long in the Map - if I do linger, the game might hang. Third I don't do melee kills - that triggers a QTE and the game may hang.

    But sometimes I go around with my 40-round HDM silenced pistol, and I just shoot them in the head - it is effective at up to about 8 meters, but preferably I get within 2 meters of them. If his buddies are at least 15 meters away they won't hear it. It's not silenced that well. I looked it up in google, it reduced noise by 22 dB. Not that much as the article said that typical silencers reduce by smallest at 14.5, up to best at 40. So 40 reduction, the article said, would be 1/100 of the original sound - pretty good - but 22 dB reduction is probably only 1/10th the original noise, still a bit loud. Again, I have tested it, and if the others are about 15 meters away, they usually don't hear it - closer than that, they do hear it and the mini-map shows them turn yellow (suspicious) instead of white (unaware.)

    You gather up pistol ammo from everybody you kill, and you never run out of pistol bullets. Playing stealth like that is fun, but then I get back into the killing everybody mood, and then unsilenced sniper rounds start to be used. Oh - they do give me silenced sniper rounds - this is a first for the series. You carry about 40 sniper rounds, and 20 suppressed sniper rounds - when you switch, they add a silencer to the end of the rifle. There are some guys you can't reach, like a sniper way up on a platform, so you use the suppressed round to take him out without stirring everybody up.

    My favorite rifle is the 8-round staple of world war 2, the garand. Sometimes it takes more than one round, but with its quick re-fire non-manual-bolt action (8-round clip) that is no problem. For damage I have not seen any significant extra damage from the other choices - maybe a bit - but losing the rapid re-fire is not worth it.

    Rich
     
  7. omegaman7

    omegaman7 Active member

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  8. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    Yes I am ditching water completely and moving to high-end air. Basically throwing money at the problem till it goes away, lol.

    I am currently using the old H110 until the new cooler arrives.

    My biggest reason for switching is that the pumps have a limited lifespan, and are the main cause of failures in these coolers. Some brands maybe better than others in that regard, but I am not willing to experiment with my hardware. It was a fun run, but air is simply far more reliable.

    I wouldn't trust a video card with it's own liquid assembly. They're just a cheap AIO setup like Corsair, and they have the same weaknesses. I'm not entirely against it, but it adds another component to fail. I've never recommended liquid at all. It was just something I was using because the performance was what I needed.

    When you are at the edge of your Vram, it can certainly act inconsistently like that. Windows uses VRAM as well, and there is always a chance of a memory leak or some program that won't let go of the memory it's using until a reboot. Skyrim acted similarly with my GTX970s.

    Omega, that's a perfectly fine cooler. It has a good reputation, and is similar to my Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo. If you ever want to upgrade, it would benefit very nicely from two matching fans.

    I'm kind of a tightwad, but more in the sense that I want to buy something I won't need to replace, and sometimes it's expensive. Hopefully this cooler should last me many years of faithful service with high performance.


    Get this. I went entirely back to stereo sound, with optical, eliminating the soundcard. This is many years of experience trying to use surround, coming together into a well rounded conclusion.

    Media Player Classic with my custom codec/decoder setup already decodes all sound formats properly, and can mix them directly to a stereo signal no problem. Sounds identical to the receiver's decoding, and because of optical it still uses the receiver's very good Texas Instruments Burr Brown DAC. A slightly older version of what's already in the sound card, in fact.

    I'm finding that movies simply do not use surround very well. Back channels are often neglected or outright unused in so-called "5.1" movies, and the surround mix is rarely very impressive. It's basically a bunch of extra hardware and power usage, for very small benefit. It's better in games because they always use the back and center speakers, but I'm often using headphones then anyway.

    When I play music, 4 channel stereo doesn't really help quality, and my center speaker goes entirely unused. So I generally play all music in stereo, and crank the front speakers. It sounds heaps better. So there are 3 large speakers in my room going unused when playing music.

    Here's the real kicker, films/games DO have pretty decent sound mixing outside of surround, and my speakers have excellent projection and imaging. This means they project "ghost channels" and you can clearly hear sounds behind you, and coming from the area where the center should be. Look it up, it's a real phenomenon. It's really a neat effect, and astonishing in how clearly the sounds can be located. I read about this for years on audio forums, and always figured, hey I have surround, might as well use it. Now I've tried stereo on good speakers, it really makes me wonder what the big deal about surround sound is...

    I'm finding myself happier with stereo. Much less space used, and more power can be allocated to my front speakers, about twice as much. They sound incredible.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2017
  9. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Hey Kev, you mentioned this:

    But the item at newegg - which looks great - does not have a hole in the middle for the center third fan. I mention this because I think the one that I have in the box, DOES have the hole.

    Or are you talking about a third fan strictly for the NB independent of the 2 fans for the HSF.

    Hahaha, Jeff, "throwing money at the problem till it goes away" - wow does that sound familiar!!



    Okay thanks for that advice.


    Wow, back to stereo. Yeah, I've heard about the sound-front effect that mimics rear speakers pretty well. I didn't know that it was so effective. I have read that it works pretty well in headphones also.

    But other reviewers have said individual drivers work better - depending on the user.

    For me, for gaming, the medusa (the new one from Amazon at $117 seems slightly better than the one I broke when I threw my temper tantrum blaming the headphone when it was the realtec drivers that had to be re-installed - the cup is slightly more open - and I think that allows it to not press so tightly on my glasses - the great pain in my ear that used to come from the plastic of the glasses being pressed tightly against my ear - is now almost totally absent even after 8 hours of gameplay - so I guess maybe the temper tantrum worked out okay - I still feel stupid about it - but these headphones DO seem to be slightly better) with its 4 speakers in each ear - DOES work for me.


    Two days ago an officer got behind me on a staircase when I wasn't watching the mini-map close enough, and hit me once or twice with his lugar. I instantly wheeled and took him out with SMG in the face - I heard those rounds coming from behind me.

    I have read that the Medusa sound quality is not that great, and it's probably quite true, and there are many who say that you cannot tell the difference from the tight placement of those speakers inside the cup, but for my ears I definitely CAN tell the difference. I run the windows 5.1 sound test once in a while, and I definitely can tell the difference in placement from the front left to rear left.

    Anyway, congratulations Jeff and figuring out that your overall greatest sound is from a stereo setup, perhaps with a surround sound-front from within the stereo, not from surround in terms of multiple discrete speakers, allowing you to concentrate on your main speakers.

    I had a pair of BOSE 901 with active equalizer that produced outstanding surround sound if you properly placed the speakers to get the same direct vs indirect sound ratio as in a concert hall. There were 9 drivers in each cabinet. You could throw a lot of wattage at that pair and "get the party started" if you had a strong enough amp! I still have those bad boys up in the garage attic.

    Rich
     
  10. omegaman7

    omegaman7 Active member

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    The third fan controlled, is the exhaust in the rear ;)
    Naturally, it always runs at least 500 rpm more than the other two. It's for peace of mind...
    I don't know how accurate the sensors are. Exhaust 1500, neighbor 1250, and first one is usually around 1000. That way I get the tunneling effect. Seems to work well. But I've been tempted to try other settings.
     
  11. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    Rich, the Bose 901 is an exquisite speaker pair. They are from before Bose got kinda cheap. They were really leaders in sound quality. If you were to come across something like that(including the equalizer) and pair it with a good amp or receiver, it would blow my Polk Monitors out of the water in ability. They still aren't considered true high-end gear, but many audiophiles have been impressed by the 901. Bose' old school sound engineering was second to none. Many people like to add an external pair of tweeters on top of the cabinets and couple the whole setup with a subwoofer. I think that's excellent.

    I can find a pretty nice used pair with the included equalizer for roughly $400-800 on Ebay, which means they are attainable. Very cool.

    As far as headphones go, do what makes you happy. I've found that stereo in all configurations, makes me happy, because the sound engineers intended things that way. We only have two ears. Surround headphones are great though, I've always wanted to try a pair on my setup.

    Also, because my receiver is 95wpc but 400W max power consumption, it's more like 95wpc up to 4 channels, which my front pair use on their own. So each stereo speaker is getting maybe ~180W theoretical max, which is ample for a 200W speaker. If I add any more speakers though, it needs to split the power more ways, limiting my front speakers.With only two bi-amped speakers though, it's a GREAT amplifier. They go insanely loud with incredible articulation and clarity. VERY difficult to get even a hint of distortion from any of my components. The amplifier hardware in the receiver is absolutely awesome when asked to perform at that level. When tasked with the same level of volume in surround, it can falter, and strains a bit to power all five speakers. I could definitely be using more efficient speakers, but the receiver itself is also a bit limited.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2017
  12. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Well, maybe with that tunneling effect you're getting good air flow to the components you are trying to cool the most.


    TUNNELING OR POSITIVE INTERNAL CASE PRESSURE

    On the other hand, my fan setup is based on the principle of having positive pressure inside the case in order to push dust out - if air is blowing out all the cracks, then dust can't come waltzing into the case.

    I have two rear 140mm exhaust fans in the tower, a side 120mm exhaust behind the mobo, and a top 200mm ceiling exhaust.

    Balanced against that are two front 140mm intakes, a front 120mm intake, two side 140mm intakes, and a bottom 140mm intake. (Another 140mm inside the case blows air at the hsf.)

    At one time I had some very fine Deciflex fan filters - under high magnification you could see that the mesh was 6 times finer than the mesh I now use - but they blocked the intakes so much that I decided that I probably no longer had positive case pressure so I replaced them with Silverstone magnetic fan filters - and those DO get dusty. A quick wash under the faucet in reverse direction takes all the dust off - I do that once every six months or so.


    So I compromised by allowing increased airflow, and I accept that now I am bringing in micro-particles.



    Yeah, Jeff it sounds like you have your sound setup pretty well worked out. I know what you mean about the Bose, "no highs, no lows - must be Bose."


    They say the equalizers were very key in getting a flat response across the spectrum. The receiver that I had that setup hooked to, the heathkit - I still have it but the power button won't engage. I think the power specs were similar to what you just posted about. Maybe around 200 watts rms per channel if memory serves me. One day I suppose I'll take it apart and see what the problem is, or maybe take it to a shop. Or maybe just get another amp.


    LAPTOP PROJECT, RIGHT AFTER PAPERPORT PROJECT

    I have a little project coming up. I own a couple of small laptops that I bought used about 6 years ago - Dell Latitude D610. They score 155 on my speed test, versus 202 on my dell 3.0 ghz p4 (the one that animated Left 4 Dead) versus 220 on my 3.8 ghz p4 - my old "Sony" gaming rig.

    Compare that to a score of 365 per core for my current dual core everyday tower, or 425 before overclocking on my 9450 quad core, per core, (I have about a 30% overclock.)​


    Anyway, one of the monitors has a broken hinge - on the left side the outer part of the hinge broke - the inner part is still okay, and both side of the right hinge are fine. I can open and close the lid gently, but I have it now open as I am doing a project with it, sitting here next to my tower.


    VERY TEDIOUS PAPERPORT FOLDER PROJECT
    The project is: I got paperport 11.2 working for windows 7, and I decided to standardize it also for XP. I didn't want to upgrade all the way to 14.5 because they treat the max files as a step-child, handling them in read-only mode. They have moved ALL THE WAY to pdf files. Version 11.2 though, allows full pdf creation and annotation, AND ALSO allows full annotation and editing of the native max files. There are a couple of advantages of using max files - the native paperport file system - and they easily convert to jpg, pdf, whatever you want. They accept all annotations, allow any font changes, etc. whereas the pdf files will not let you change fonts on annotations, which is one limitation that I just came across.

    But the project is - 11.2 uses a different ini file to preserve your document layout on the paperport desktop. So all my HUNDREDS of folders have to be converted over to this new maxdesk.ini2, from the old maxdesk.ini. The new folders will work in PaperPort 11, AND ALSO in paperport 8, as long as every folder has both the new maxdesk.ini2 and the old maxdesk.ini. As hidden files they aren't shown, and paperport 8 ignores the ini2 version, paperport 11 ignore the ini version.

    The easiest way to convert, is to have the laptop running paperport 8, and my desktop paperport 11. I create a new folder on the desktop, then bring over the old folder about 4" horizontal at a time, from 8 to 12 items, through my network, and then arrange them on the desktop using the laptop as reference. Tedious but the fluid ability to handle pdfs, and the integration with windows 7 will be worth it.​


    So as soon as I finish the paperport project, I already bought a new monitor from eBay for $30. The new monitor is NOT xga 1024x768 like my existing monitor, but it is sxga, or 1400x1050. I read all over and could not find anything other than people saying "replace your screen with EXACTLY the same one you have." However, as far as I could tell - and the eBay seller was not much help - the monitor electronics are inside the screen, including something called the inverter. I am getting the entire guts including the two hinges. My internal graphics card is an Intel 915gm, and on the internet people are talking about how to get that graphics engine to run at 1920x1080.

    I never knew this, but now I have read that this laptop came in 3 flavors of monitors: 1024x768, 1400x1050, and 1600x1200, all 14.1". They did however allow an upgraded AMD 300 graphics engine, which I do not have.

    My current graphics engine will put out more than 1024 x 768.

    I was amazed recently in testing an external monitor that I found in the garage - one of my brother's old LCD monitors, about 20" in size, that my laptop, through the external vga, drove the monitor beyond the initial 1024x768, up to the final 1280 x 1024 which I think was the max resolution of the monitor. So the internal intel 915gm has shown it can at least support this resolution.

    Anyway, when I finish the paperport project, I will see if I can install the sxga 1400x1050 monitor on my laptop with the broken hinge, and see if I can up the resolution to that 1400x1050, or at least 1280x1024. Worst case I'll accept the 1024x768 which is what I have now.


    If you guys are thinking - "why not break down and get a used core two duo laptop from eBay?" - I have been thinking the same thing - but let's see if I can fix this sick puppy. :)

    Rich PS - if you guys have any interest in this 11.2 product, I can arrange for you to get it free for full install for as many computers as you want. I use it for everything, computer parts, software, eBay purchases, ink, you name it. Here's the last post I did on paperport about 6 years ago: http://forums.afterdawn.com/threads/the-official-graphics-card-and-pc-gaming-thread.647383/page-371
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2017
  13. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Hey guys, I downloaded the Wildlands game that Jeff posted those awesome screenshots about.


    Jeff's new game, Ghost Recon Wildlands

    It set me up with low res, and low everything - but I slowly went back to full 2560x1600, watching the vram chart. They are showing 6 gigs of vram, and they show that they are using a little over 2 gigs - but of course I only have 3 gigs on each card. So their chart should only show 3 for me, shouldn't it?

    They had "Resolution scale: 1.0" which I messed with, after setting to 2560x1600, and I changed that to 2. Promptly my mouse would not work, and my fps dropped to about 2 down from about 60. The game did not crash however, unlike Sniper Elite 4 (they had a 2 gig Sniper Elite 4 patch yesterday, but I finished the game a few days before the patch!) and it took me several minutes to scroll up to the thing, then set it back down to 1.

    So I don't know what that thing actually does - you know, Jeff - but it has HUGE affect on frame rate. Down below in this post somebody online is using a setting of 1.2.

    Anyway I spent an hour in the game last night, driving back and forth from the hill down about a half mile. I tried different AA - and the one they warned me about in the first setup, the temporal AA - I tried that one too. My fraps framerates dropped from 35 to 26. But it might be worth it - the smooth look that gives the entire game is just totally awesome.

    I then tried FXAA+SMAA and that one was pretty nice also, with fps back around 32. I might have to end up using that one instead of the temporal AA, because in firefights etc., explosions, smoke, my frames will probably go down to 10 with the temporal AA, even though at 25 or 26 it is totally fluid so far.

    So correct me if I am wrong, Jeff - are you running the temporal AA for anti-aliasing? Is that indeed the best setting. Is the second-best that other one, FXAA+SMAA.

    I just did some googling, and one guy uses
    • Antialiasing: SMAA+FXAA
    • Resolution scale: 1.20
    • Sharpening: 20 %
    What do you think about those settings, Jeff?


    Kevin, this game appears to be the GTAV of shooters - they talk about convoy missions to collect supplies, rebel missions to increase the amount of friendlies around, all kinds of stuff going on.


    The look of the game is really nice, like those screens you posted before Jeff.

    I changed prone to Z, which I am used to, order wheel to Q rather than tab - because some game I played recently - I think Dishonored 2, used Q so I got used to that, and it's easier to hit than tab - my finger is already on it - "switch trigger" which I finally figured out means gun mode, full auto, single shot, which was on z, along with drone, changing drone to C (which was prone) and switch trigger to / (same key as ? next to right shift.)

    Anyway just a few settings like that. I created a new hyper-linked section in my Word doc "game notes" with those settings and a few other notes, because I don't know exactly when I'll get back and start playing it.

    Are you still playing it, Jeff?

    Rich
     
  14. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    Resolution scaling is what I'm doing to get 4K on my 1080p display. When you set it to 2, I believe you doubled 2560 x 1600. IDK what that works out to but it's a very large resolution, and almost certainly was either unsupported or instantly ran your 3GB cards out of video memory. I do not use DSR or resolution scaling with this game. I prefer the performance from 1080p. It runs 60-80FPS at all times and only goes below 60 in very heavy fighting with explosions or with lots of characters on screen.

    Resolution scaling only produces a true image improvement when used in exact multiples. Depending on the solution, this will be represented as 200% or 4x. Both indicate a doubling of both the horizontal and vertical resolution of your display. On my display, both settings would result in 4K. Ghost Recon Wildlands is technically showing you 200% when you use 2. When I use that setting, it takes my 1080p(1920x1080) directly to its vertical and horizontal double, 4K(3840x2160). This gives very clean scaling with my HDTV at the pixel level because it's an exact even multiple. This is the magic that makes it actually work. Basically Rich, it's a bad idea just because your high resolution monitor, means your doubled resolution, is incredibly high. 5120x3200. The below quoted settings would produce bad scaling on any monitor I think. I don't know why they provide any other settings for resolution scaling. Nothing but 200%/400% or 4x/8x makes any sense from an image quality perspective. 400%/8x are going to be insanely demanding as well, which is why they aren't really implemented.


    Temporal AA is the only decent AA solution for the game. If SMAA could be used on its own, it's a lightweight alternative to temporal AA, but I don't think Wildlands allows that.

    I do not currently use an AA solution, but always avoid FXAA at all costs. It's a terrible effect in everything except when you can set it to a minimal amount in the game settings. It's a single setting in this game, and makes the screen very blurry. It really sucks. At 1600p Rich, you don't really need AA that badly, and I think it would be better to aim for framerate in that case as it will get more demanding in later sections. Sacrifice AA for other settings, and just enjoy your native resolution. It's also the best thing for your limited video memory. This game is very demanding.

    I don't use the sharpening effect at all. It's not a graphical effect, and it doesn't really improve anything. It just introduces very over-sharpened image quality, ala cheap HDTV factory settings. If you gotta use it, a very small amount like 5% would be better for quality than something as much as 20%. Sharpness is meant to be used very subtly.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
  15. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    GHOST RECON WILDLANDS!!

    Thanks for those ideas, Jeff.

    I tried resolution scaling at 1.1, and my benchmark frame-rate dropped from 23.75 to 21.5, then I tried 1.2, and similarly down another 2 to 19.5 or so. I went back to 1 and looked closely - there had seemed to have been a texture improvement at 1.1, and then 1.2, but as you say my native resolution is very high, and I might have just been imagining it.

    On the benchmark, I actually ran everything ultra, except for textures at very high.


    CURRENT SETTINGS:
    But when I got into real world playing, the pauses were annoying. I dropped textures to medium, and everything that was ultra got dropped down two steps high. The big drop is textures - medium shows a big drop in vram to about 2500, down from 4081 in ultra, and 3081 in very high, and about 2700 in high. So I am getting about 30 fps right now and the game is pretty fluid in firefights. I switched from temporal AA to SMAA+FXAA. The game DOES provide just the SMAA setting.

    Without AA, Jeff, the game has an extreme amount of jaggies, and you know me, I am not super-sensitive to that. But in this game - I am talking about an EXTREME amount of jaggies. So I cannot bear to have no AA for this game.

    I liked the Temporal AA which is what you are suggesting, but it takes 5-8 fps from me. Also, in doing some testing, at one point I got down near the water and compared Temporal AA versus SMAA+FXAA. The bright light of the top of the waves was actually more impactful with the SMAA+FXAA than with the Temporal AA where the effect was more subdued. And in that one instance I think the intensity of the light at the top of the ripples was closer to real-world that what I was getting with the Temporal AA. Otherwise overall I think it's a better look - Temporal AA puts a very nice finish on the entire game, softening all edges. But as I say, I decided that to have a "pretty game" I didn't necessarily need to pay the fps price for Temporal AA.

    Regarding SMAA versus SMAA+FXAA, in my earlier testing I had decided that the best AA was Temporal AA, and the second-best was SMAA+FXAA, but I'll take another look at that and try out SMAA again. ​


    CROSSFIRE SUPPORT
    There was one section of the game that would not support crossfire - the cocaine processing plant. I crashed 10X and googled it - OTHERS had the same problem, so I made a decision that I would never be able to progress past that point. Then the light came on in my brain and I said - "Wait, maybe it's a crossfire issue." (Yeah, DDP, I DO have a brain - I know you're surprised to hear that - but it's not as active as yours since you need everything firing on all cylinders to keep from freezing to death in that bitter Canadian cold.)

    To turn off crossfire, I went to "borderless" and sure enough, the AMD crossfire logo disappeared from the screen, the framerate stayed the same at about 28. Anyway, at native resolution, and the graphics settings I just mentioned, not running crossfire, I got through the sequence.


    ONE OF MY CORES MUST BE AT 100%
    Crossfire helps me out by about 5 fps. I am cpu-bound. I can run the game with one card, and my gpu load in the benchmark jumps to about 85%, and cpu at 75%. Before I increased all my settings up from "Low" the benchmark showed my gpu load at only about 40%. I remember when you and Sam said that the cpu is not stressed by graphics fidelity, so I started using higher settings, UP FROM ALL LOW, as I mentioned, going to ultra on everything but textures at very high (this was before I dropped back down as mentioned above, because of real-world stuttering.)

    So I conclude that one of my cores is running at 100%. The overall cpu load shows at 75%, but as I have experienced before, the game is doing something that loads up one core - I have not verified this with hardware monitor, but I have seen this before. So my cards are good to go on this game, but my cpu is weak. Old story.


    GAMEPLAY
    As per usual, I have it on hard (not hardest) to increase the challenge a bit. The game is a kick - I was getting killed fairly regularly, but now I am getting used to the fact that the NPCs will notice me way before I notice them if I am not super-careful, and the fact that it seems that I have no armor at all.

    Also I have gotten a bit more sensitive to the loss of color that means I am taking damage.


    BETTER SNIPER SCOPE
    I traded sniper rifles with a sniper that I killed, and his scope is more powerful. So now I like to start out fast-travelling to a tiny island with a rubber boat. Then I sneak over to that peninsula with about 20 enemies, where the sniper overlooks a white helicopter with twin mini-guns. I take out the sniper from the rocks below as soon as I get off the boat, then I very carefully make my way toward the dock, hugging the rocks, climb up the rock stairs, hop a fence, and work past the helicopter area to the sniper tower to trade rifles. I have beaten the situation several times from that tower with the 50 rounds of sniper ammo that I have now - taking out the mortar guy before they could mortar my platform. So now I just try to get the rifle, take the helicopter and get out of there, unless I am in the mood for some target practice, such as trying out a new rifle.


    FOB ARMADILLO - MASSIVE UNIDAD BATTLES
    I also played the battle of that army base near the river, FOB Armadillo. There is a little fast-travel place with a rubber boat right near there, and the most fun is to stir up the army, Unidad, jump in a gunner position on a mini-gun vehicle (there are 3 of them there) and mow all the reinforcements down. If you park the vehicle out in front you will be swarmed by attack vehicles, and the minigun will take them out and get them to explode. It's pretty thrilling. I have beaten that segment before inside the base, killing everybody with the help of the freed rebels - but that's no fun. Then there's nothing more to do. It's more fun to not kill everybody, let somebody call in the alarm, and then see how long I can survive until the wave after wave of vehicle and helicopter reinforcements finally get me.


    HELICOPTER TAKEDOWN
    Speaking of helicopters, another huge amount of fun it to shoot down an army helicopter with my sniper rifle. I can hit it three times directly underneath and it will explode. I still don't know exactly the best spot to shoot it, but I can be in tree cover and see the helicopter red icon buzzing around, and shoot it through the leaves. I think I have to shoot a little below the icon. But that might take about 8 hits. Anyway, it's always fun to shoot down a helicopter. Surprisingly, I thought the miniguns would tear up a helicopter, but not the case. If the helicopter stays out there about 150 meters, it must have a lot of front armor, because they take forever to shoot down - maybe 500-1000 rounds - a full 10-15 seconds' worth of fire, and if I am lucky the helicopter will finally go down before I go down. The sniper rifle is so much more powerful in that situation, particularly from directly underneath.


    WEAPONS
    Another one that takes down a helicopter fast is an LMG. I picked up an LMG the other day, and man! What power. I was under a 'copter' and I took it down in 3 seconds. But also, what lousy bullet spread. However, in a cavern under a hill, a secret cocaine stash, I shot a guy right through the concrete block he was hiding behind. The LMG cursor turned red as the bullets tore through the concrete and got him. I think accuracy at a distance sucks with those things though - however maybe with a scope they wouldn't be so bad.

    For my secondary weapon besides sniper rifle, I just switched my p5 navy SMG for a small russian assault rifle. Not as good of range. But about 50% more damage per bullet. With silencer it seems about the same level of noise - not bad. So I'll try it. High up on that sniper tower, I have switched to the russian assault rifle and the 2X scope to test it out - not bad, not bad. Close in I usually run around without the scope - just cursor and red laser - and I have already observed how much quicker it kills - I have enough rounds left of the 20 that I can take out a second guy without reloading, which often is the difference between getting killed or not. If I get a longer barrel for the stubby little thing I am sure I will pick up the range I used to have with the p5.

    Finally, the pistol got upgraded to one that has a bit more damage and range. I have been trying the pistol a bit, in place of the smg (now assault rifle) and pistol seems to have pretty good range and kill, particularly to head, and is definitely the most quiet method for being stealthy. It can kill at up to about 40 meters which is pretty good, and you don't necessarily need a head shot. I'll have to try it from the sniper tower next time where most of the targets will be at least 50-60 meters out - just to see if it will do the job. It doesn't jump like the rifle - and so you can get out a quick 2-3 rounds - the clip is 8 rounds I think. That's a good test - maybe for tonight!

    Thanks again for telling me about this game, Jeff. Hey Kevin, consider this the GTA5 of shooters. Another Left 4 Dead for you! Highly recommended. Watch for a steam sale!

    Rich
     
  16. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    Rich, in your case I would leave resolution scaling off and experiment with AA then. Scaling to an odd resolution may help textures a hair, but it will possibly introduce even more jaggies than before. Nvidia's DSR rendition of resolution scaling has a smoothing effect that can also be turned on to help combat this. Results are mixed when using odd resolutions+smoothing, but at least they tried. AMD cards also have an equivalent setting but IDK if your cards are new enough to support it. The real problem is that resolution scaling is not a clean effect unless you are dealing in exact multiples. I basically consider it a performance impact for almost nothing if you can't run doubled.

    My PC can just barely do 4K resolution scaling with modern games. Far Cry 3 looks freakin' excellent with it! The biggest issue is some games don't scale the UI properly. The text and UI become very tiny, and nearly impossible to use even on my 43" TV. I am forced to just use native res + AA in these games. Gamers with real 4K monitors face these issues as well, and many are forced to use 1080p just like me. It would take a pretty large display, probably 50"+ to avoid this issue.
     
  17. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Jeff thanks for the suggestions. I abandoned my fooling around with that resolution scaling - it's set to default 1.

    You mention Far Cry 3 looking fantastic when you run it in 4k mode.

    Wow, that is already an incredibly beautiful game!


    FAR CRY 3 TOP OF "BEST GAMES"
    AND WILDLANDS TOO?

    That gets me excited because Far Cry 3 is right up there at the top of my list of best games, along with Arma3, the Metro games, COD4 and a few others.

    I did a long post about my top 50 games and I came across it the other day in converting PaperPort to the new version 11.2. The top 50 games I posted within a review of Sniper Elite 3, right here:

    BEST 50 GAMES: http://forums.afterdawn.com/threads...pc-gaming-thread.647383/page-475#post-5061771

    By the way, I am able to go to that post and get the url so easily because of the PaperPort system. I mention that again because I can arrange for you guys, for totally free, to get the 11.2 version, which works with windows 7 (and also xp) and - because windows 7 has a new kernel different from xp - I bet that 11.2 will also work with windows 8 and windows 10 (maybe in compatibility mode if they have that like windows 7 does.) So I repeat my offer to you and Kevin and Sam - let me know and I'll get you the software on a non-trial basis for all your computers.


    And I was just thinking a few days ago that this Wildlands is pushing itself right up there near the top of my all-time favorite list. I have a hard time tearing myself away from the game.

    MAXIMIZING THE GRAPHICS - had to turn off crossfire to stop crashes
    I prefer to run around with temporal AA. I was crashing several times yesterday, so I turned off crossfire, meaning I run it in a borderless window - you can't tell it's not full-screen. That increases the load on one card to probably in the 95% range - but that's okay. I haven't logged temperatures. Some parts of the game simply don't support crossfire well - in the 5 years of development, I guess that some parts have code that is not the same as other parts.

    Also to reduce crashes, I dropped away from Temporal AA.

    SMAA LOOKS 4K
    I tried the simple SMAA which you suggested, and I could not believe how sharp all the textures were.

    It was like looking at a 4K screen (we have a 4k big screen so I know what I am talking about.) But it was almost too sharp. I don't know if you know what I mean, but at first I felt a bit of eye strain.

    I asked myself - "am I nuts - this is incredibly sharp."

    But then I went back to temporal AA and things were not quite as sharp, but everything had a nice smooth coating.

    So it's something about that super sharpness that - 1. at first I am amazed, and I am blown away by the detail, but then - 2. maybe it begins to have jaggies - I don't know exactly, as I said it seems too sharp.

    So I went back to SMAA+FXAA which seems to me to be second-best to Temporal AA with less impact on fps and reduced tendency to crash my game. I am often now running at close to 30 fps. Even though I have textures at High, not Very high or Ultra, the game still is often very beautiful, and I take fraps screenshots often. I probably have a hundred by now.


    HOW TO SPEND 6 HOURS ON ONE PLANE-LANDING

    TWO TYPES OF TWIN-GATTLING GUN HELICOPTERS
    Regarding game play, last night I did something that I have not been able to do on 10 prior attempts - I finally successfully landed the rebel food airplane on a very short cliff-side rebel airstrip.

    Early in the game you land a plane, but as hard as that one is, it's much easier to aim for than this tiny airstrip.

    First to get a helicopter, I do a fast travel to a tiny island with two little boats, then I speed over to another tiny rebel island nearby with a helicopter (not gattling guns however.) Then, to get a chopper with gattling guns, there are two ways to do it:

    "LITTLE BIRD" WILL STOP A CONVOY - USUALLY
    1. If I want just a "little bird" chopper with twin gattling guns, there are 5 of them on top of the bucho island in the middle of the bay, about .5 km from where I get the first helicopter - I just land on top in the middle of the 5 and grab one of them.

    I have stopped a convoy a couple times with them, but they don't give you a gun-sight, and it's hard to see where your bullets are hitting when you tip the helicopter forward and shoot. Your teammates are sitting outside on the skids, and they are also shooting, but the mini-guns are much more effective. (Arma 3 has the same exact helicopter, but you get a gun sight.)


    BIG BIRD - EASIER TO HANDLE - YOUR GUYS DO THE GATTLING
    2. But if I want one of the large beautiful white helicopters with manned gattling guns, one on each side, which 2 of my 3 guys take charge of, then I take a quick 2k ride over to the Restaurant Humacha where parked right next to the restaurant is one of them. There are only a few bad guys to kill. There is also one at Alicia City and I can fast-travel there, they go by boat around the island, climb up, and steal it from a few guards. This "big bird" is my favorite for stopping a convoy - I just cruise alongside the road, and let one of my guys use the gattling gun on the two guard vehicles and on the main truck. You can see him shooting the guard vehicle while they shoot back at us, and then finally they explode. Sometimes we get into a fight with an army helicopter, and the two times this has happened we killed each one.

    (I have stopped the convoy once by stealing a 6-wheel off-road grenade-chucking armored vehicle from an army post close to a fast travel point, and that was fun, but I usually do it by air.)

    Anyway, in trying to beat this land-the-plane mission, I flew the large white helicopter up to a hill-top airstrip, hovered about 30 meters off the ground, ordered FIRE, and let my two gattling gun guys handle the 6 or 7 enemies, while I slowly rotated the helicopter around to allow them to get a good shot. That was the quick and dirty way of taking the air-strip.

    Then I landed and went over to the airplane. The plane is very hard to handle compared to the choppers. I changed the slow-down-and-land-and-hit-the-brakes key from Ctrl to Z for helicopter and plane, because the speed-up-and climb helicopter key is Shift, and often I was hitting Shift instead of ctrl for landing. My little finger was not reliably hooking back for the control key while I was flying.

    I used Z for prone, and I have trained my other finger, my ring finger, the same one that handles S move sideways to left, to reach back and reliably hit the Z key. I use Ctrl for crouch in all games.

    So by putting "land" on a separate key, that has improved my helicopter handling.


    PLANE CRASH AFTER CRASH AFTER CRASH AFTER CRASH
    --- circling around the bay just wasn't working ---

    So I captured that plane about a dozen times, but crashed on landing EVERY SINGLE TIME. A couple times I got close, but fell short, or ran up the side, or whatever. I was doing a big circling around the bay and trying to come in over that last little hill to get a straight shot at the landing strip. I was convinced that you could not do it from the other direction closest to the hill from where you take off.

    Finally last night I said to myself "Well, as short as that runway is, since I don't have the skills to do it this, way, maybe the game expects you to do it the other way? So how about if I try to drop down over the cliff past the highway, hit the runway, and try to slow the plane down before I go off the end into the water?"

    When you do it that way, the airstrip is pretty much a straight shot from when you take off.

    So with extreme skepticism, I did it that way - I had a last-minute scary adjustment that tipped the plane way to one side, but I was able to straighten it before the wing crashed on the ground, and to my amazement the Z key slowed the motor, quickly landed, and hit the brakes, totally slowing the plane to a stop in about 20 meters - the strip is only about 150 meters long and by the time you clear the cliff you are already halfway down that small strip. I landed with plenty of room to spare. I finally beat that stupid airplane-full-of-food-for-the-rebels mission! It only took me 6 hours!

    Hahahaha.


    ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE UNIDAD FEROCIOUS BATTLES
    The one I have not been able to beat yet is the helicopter at the archaeological site with all the army unidad guys. I did take off with it one time, but I think an army helicopter shot me down - something went wrong. But usually they are on to us, then the alarm sounds, and it works out to be a ferocious battle --- which is kind of awesome.

    I had switched to the new G2 sniper rifle with quick fire that I just got, to try it out, but then I switched back off of it when I found out it would not reliably take down a helicopter. You can see in the rifle specs that the damage is about 70% of the other one, but in sniper elite 4 I DID choose a type of rifle with less damage and faster fire rate, and that worked out okay. But I wasn't shooting down helicopters like in this game. The reduced damage makes all the difference.

    The first sniper rifle that you get, M4OA5 I believe, the one that most of the snipers that you shoot are using - it's bolt action, without rapid fire, but when you take off the silencer, it packs a huge wallop, and will kill through sandbags and thin metal siding on sniper positions. It is actually a terrific sniper rifle. I read just now that the MSR is better, but for now I'm content with this one.

    With this M4OA5 you can kill a helicopter in as few as 2-3 shots if you hit it right - but usually about 5 is all you need - you will see the thing begin to smoke.

    The last battle at the archaeological sight, we had 4 birds after us, and I had shot down 3 of them including the armored Apache that fired a missile at the room I was ducking into and "killed" me until one of my guys revived me.

    I was working on the 4th helicopter when a Unidad soldier busted into the room and killed me for the final time - you only get to be revived once per firefight.

    Next time I get into that situation, I will try to run around and make sure all the soldiers are dead before I concentrate on killing the helicopters. Also I need to find the ammo crate before I use up my 60 sniper rounds.

    Another thing I would like to do is to figure out how to disable the alarm. I think I will google that right now. Oh jeezuss - one guy said "take out the generator, or just shoot the box at the top of the alarm tower." Man that will help a lot - the game mentioned disabling the box but I didn't notice any box anywhere - once that alarm goes off the entire Unidad army shows up!!!


    Anyway, thanks again Jeff (Kevin get this game!) for the game recommendation - rapidly approaching the play value of Far Cry 3 not to mention the beautiful graphics, except that I can't play it fully maxed like on Far Cry 3 where my only concession was 4xAA not 8x - but screenshots showed that the difference was almost negligible.

    Rich
     
  18. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    Rich, going back to the options again, I also prefer just SMAA over the other options. Everything else seems to introduce some sort of full screen blurring. While some may like this, I find it to be awful and claustrophobic. Temporal AA is the best of the "Blurring" AA styles. It provides the smoothest image, but it's still blurry no matter what you do.

    SMAA basically does everything Temporal AA does, except with no blur effect. That's why it is also offered in combination with FXAA to create a sort of "cheap" Temporal AA. So to the devs' credit, they tried to offer some good options.

    Sadly, what the game really needs is classic MSAA support. MSAA still provides the cleanest image but it's a lot more demanding than these other techniques. FXAA and Temporal AA feel like vaseline smeared over a lens. FXAA is worse than Temporal in that capacity, but they're both less than ideal. In the absence of classic MSAA, SMAA seems to provide a good amount of smoothing while retaining sharpness and clarity.

    Ideally we'd want to be using resolution scaling, which is basically the same effect as SSAA. However, that's the most demanding option of all and sure to murder anyone's performance.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
  19. omegaman7

    omegaman7 Active member

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  20. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Wow nice link Kevin - so you're going Space!!!!

    Jeff, I just found out that I was on default 30% sharp. I dialed it back to 20%, but maybe I should use SMAA and add no additional sharpness.

    Remember that I mentioned that SMAA seemed "too sharp" - well that 30% sharpness I was adding without knowing about it may have been a factor.

    Are you using sharpness with this game?'
    Rich
     

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