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Gaming and mouse response BIOS optimization guide for modern PC hardware

post #1 of 3506
Thread Starter 
BIOS

UEFI vs Legacy boot Legacy with CSM enabled tends to give me a more traditional mouse movement feel, while the times I've tested UEFI with CSM off, it gave me a more floaty mouse cursor type movement. This setting will probably be very subjective to a lot of people depending on what mouse, mouse settings, and surface you use, but my experience so far is that legacy tends to be better with a more classic mouse movement.

1) BCLK: you want this to be 100.00, not 100 point random number. The closest you can get this to 100.00, the better. Many board makers have BCLK overclocking features built into their BIOS to try and cheat at benchmarks for hardware review sites. The Gigabyte z77 UD5H is one example of this. Leaving BCLK at AUTO, or manually setting it to 100.00 gets you an unwanted number like 100.1 on the UD5H. Manually setting it to 100.01 gets me 100.03. This is the closest to a flat 100 I can get on this board due to spread spectrum being a hidden setting. Disable spread spectrum to try and fix the last part if you can.

2) Memory Strap / Memory Multiplier: Since this is an overclocking website, many people love to crank this number as high as it can go. The only problem is, high bandwidth and the resulting high latency is not conducive to a positive game play experience. The ram I have installed can do 2133mhz @ 11-11-11-28, but 1600mhz @ 7-8-7-24 provides a much better feeling mouse response. Some people will claim the difference is impossible to feel, but I assure you that it is, at least once you have eliminated all other sources of high latency in your system. This is also due to 133 vs 100 memory ratios. 100:100 with 1600mhz should obviously provide better results since it matches BCLK. If you cannot tell the difference between changing settings like this in mouse response, you most likely have other latency bottlenecks.

3) Turbo Boost/C-States/EIST/Thermal Monitor/Etc: You want to disable as many of these as possible because they bring a lot of lag. On the Asus Z77 board, using a Steelseries firmware updater for a mouse seems to fail on Win8 if you disable "C3 State Report" and "C6 State Report". I didn't have this issue on the Gigabyte board, so it seems to vary by motherboard.

4) PWM Phase Control - Set this to max phases. There's a noticeable difference between auto with power saving modes turned on and maximum phases on most motherboards.

5) Hyper Threading - If you disable HPET, you most likely do not want to run any virtual cores.

6) Vcore - Usually best to manually set Vcore since it seems to disable dynamic power features on some motherboards. Large difference between manual setting Vcore and auto on my Asus z77, but not as big on Gigabyte z77.

7) PEG Gen3 Slot Configuration: I get better results by manually setting this instead of leaving it on auto. Set it to Gen3 if you have an Ivy Bridge or higher CPU + a PCI-E 3.0 GPU, otherwise, use Gen2.

8) Execute Disable Bit I disable it just because the odds of any negative effects outweigh the security benefit. Traditionally a setting disabled by overclockers anyway.

9) Intel Virtualization Technology - disabled for any gaming PC obviously. Virtualization and it's services tend to be resource heavy and no reason to have it on for a gaming PC.

10) 1394 controller - disable in order to reduce DPC latency unless you actually use it for some reason, probably 99% of people don't.

11) xHCI pre-boot driver / xHCI mode / xHCI hand-off - Long story short, you want as few USB controllers active at once as possible, and I would say mice perform objectively worse on USB 3 controllers. Raising bandwidth on the same architecture tends to require more buffering and latency, so it's not hard to see why USB 3 would be worse for mice.

12) eHCI hand-off - No reason to have this turned on for Win7 or higher. Win7 should natively support USB 2.0, so disable it.

13) On-board audio - Disable. Enormous input lag.

14) On-board video - Disable unless you actually use it.

15) HPET (High Precision Event Timer) - disable to dramatically lower mouse lag and DPC latency

Explanation from software engineer for why TSC is superior and HPET should never be forced as the default clock except in a server environment:

http://pastebin.com/MjsbgiC9

16) Secondary ATA controllers (Marvell, etc) - disable to lower DPC latency

17) Secondary LAN - disable to lower DPC latency

18) Legacy USB support - usually have to leave this enabled in order to get back into the BIOS but sometimes will have better mouse response with it off. Varies highly by motherboard. Some boards will have out of control cursor movement with it off for some reason.

19) LLC and PLL Overvoltage - I've tested these a lot, and although people overclocking like to utilize them, I've found they do strange things to mouse movement. Generally anything involved with ramping up voltage response on the motherboard tends to make it feel like you have less a dead zone on the mouse where it's easier to overshoot with the cursor. I prefer to have both of these options off and seemed to dislike the effect of PLL overvoltage more than high LLC. You need to set PLL overvoltage to off instead of auto, because auto usually means turned on.


Asus Specific Section

Ai overclock tuner - Manual
Asus Multicore Enhancement - Disabled
Internal PLL Overvoltage - Disabled
CPU bus sped : DRAM Speed Ratio - 100:100
Memory Frequency - 1600 mhz
EPU Power Saving Mode - Disabled
Enhanced Intel Speedstep Technology - Disabled
Turbo Mode - Disabled
CPU C1E - Disabled
Package C State Support - Disabled
C3 report - as mentioned earlier, having C3 and C6 off on the Asus Z77 board causes the Steelseries firmware updater tool to fail on Win8. I'm not sure if it causes any other problems. Try with them on and off and see if you notice any issues. Maybe Steelseries just don't know how to code a firmware updater. You can probably turn them off without any other issues.
C6 report - see above

Digi+ Power control

CPU Load Line Calibration - Regular
CPU Voltage Frequency - Auto
VRM Spread Spectrum - Disabled
CPU Power Phase Control - Extreme
CPU Power Duty Control - Extreme
CPU Power Response Control - Regular
Dram Voltage Frequency - Auto
Dram Power Phase Control - Extreme

CPU Voltage - Manual (you have to manually input a voltage, mine is 1.07 for stock Ivy Bridge, don't leave it on auto, it makes a big difference on this board. You don't have to change any of the other voltages though besides maybe RAM)
CPU Spread Spectrum - Disabled
BCLK Recovery - Disabled
Intel Adaptive Thermal Monitor - Disabled
Hyper Threading - Disabled
Execute Disable Bit - Disabled
Intel Virtualization - Disabled
S.M.A.R.T. Status Check - Disabled
High Precision Timer - Disabled
Intel Rapid Start - Disabled
Intel Smart Connect - Disabled
Initiate Graphic Adapter - PCIE
iGPU Multi-Monitor - Disabled
Render Standby - Disabled
PCIEx16_1 Link Speed - manually set to Gen3. If you have older than an Ivy Bridge CPU or a PCIE 2.0 video card, then manually set it to Gen2.
Intel USB 2.0 EHCI controller - Enabled
Legacy USB Support - for most motherboards this is better off, this board is kind of a mystery. It doesn't detect USB sticks properly after turning it off and might cause issues with mouse functionality as well. Seems to be a no win situation either way.
Legacy USB 3.0 support - Disabled
Intel xHCI mode - Disabled
EHCI Hand-off - Disabled
HD Audio Controller - Disabled
Bluetooth - Disabled
Wi-fi controller - Disabled
Marvell Storage - Disabled
ASM1061 Storage Controller - Disabled
Asmedia USB 3.0 controller - Disabled
Overvoltage protection - Disabled (it's under the monitor tab at bottom)
Wait for F1 if Error - Disabled


If you're using Win 8.1, here's the 22 step Windows 8.1 install guide with all services and settings included

http://www.overclock.net/t/1433882/gaming-and-mouse-response-bios-optimization-guide-for-modern-pc-hardware-2014-r0ach-edition/1020#post_23338511

How to run or re-run Windows experience index in Win 8.1

http://www.overclock.net/t/1530467/why-many-people-have-horrible-mouse-movement-and-dont-know-why-in-win-8-1


De-crapifying Win 10 v 0.1 post
http://www.overclock.net/t/1433882/gaming-and-mouse-response-bios-optimization-guide-for-modern-pc-hardware/1870#post_24310929

Software

1) Intel Chipset Software - Don't need to install it if your chipset already has drivers covered in Win8.1

2) Intel Management Engine Interface - Don't install. Latency fest related to Vpro and other stuff most people don't use.

3) Lucid MVP - don't install, latency fest, useless

4) Java uninstall it and other malware with a resident memory footprint

5) Mouse software uninstall and use on-board memory settings because 99% of mouse software is coded poorly and turns native DPI steps into interpolated while it's intalled / active, totally defeating the purpose of a gaming mouse in the first place.

6) Intel Rapid Storage - I don't use RST because it has more latency than the default Microsoft one, although it probably performs better.

7) Intel Network Connections Ethernet Driver - Don't install if your driver is already included in Win 8.1. If using Win7, then during the install screen, you want to uncheck "Proset" and "advanced teaming and VLAN" section.

The 19.3 driver also has huge problems on Z77 and maybe other boards. I would use an earlier version such as 19.0 instead. Version 19.3 + 19.5 causes constant 6000 DPC spikes and is probably the worst driver I've ever seen:




9) Adobe Flash - much like Java, this program adds a large amount of system latency. Some people can't live without it though.


Windows Components

To get to these, you go to Control Panel > Programs and Features > "Turn Windows features on or Off"

Windows 7 Section

1) Windows Gadget Platform - The first two items in this list give you a noticeable change on desktop mouse response. I'm not sure which one does the most since I disable both at the same time.

2) Tablet PC Components - see above description

3) Uninstall Internet Exploder 8 - Updating IE in Win 7 gets you other Windows updates that you may or may not want like KB2670838.

Windows 8 Section

Uninstall the following until the menu looks like this:

- Internet Exploder 11 - first turn smooth scrolling off in options menu of IE, then under the about section, turn off automatic updating for it
- Print and document services
- SMB 1.0/CIFS file sharing support
- Windows Location Provider
- Windows Powershell 2.0
- Work folders client
- XPS services
- XPS viewer





Services

If your mouse doesn't feel snappy enough at this point, you should try disabling the following Windows services in this order:

1) Print Spooler - I always disable this because Microsoft seems to give a lot of priority to what the printer wants

2) Windows Defender - This one is hugely noticeable in Win8 and still pretty easy to notice in Win7. Go to the start menu, in the search box type "Windows Defender" and open it. Go to Tools/Options, then go to the last tab at the bottom and uncheck the box labeled "Use this Program". It turns off the service and sets the service to manual automatically.

3) Windows Search - can get rid of it

4) Defrag - type defrag in windows search box, turn off scheduled defrag

5) Windows Update - Set service to manual instead of automatic and it will not start unless you need it instead of running 24/7

6) Human Interface Device Access - This service runs things like volume Up/Down buttons on the keyboard, but it also has a large effect on mouse movement and makes one of the biggest differences on the list. Some people might prefer mouse movement with it on, but most will probably like it off. If you plug in a Kana v2 mouse with a PS/2 keyboard installed and this service set to manual, the service doesn't launch. It's mostly used for keyboards and some mice that have keyboard emulation for macros.

7) Superfetch - Win 7 usually disables this by default if you're running an SSD after you let your system idle, but Win 8 keeps it running for TRIM scheduling. I would disable it in both Win7 and Win8 and then turn off superfetch and prefetch in the registry afterwards.

8) Time Broker (Win8 only) - If you want to disable metro apps, you can't set the service to disabled using the service manager and have to do it with regedit:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\TimeBroker

Change the "Start" key to 4 instead of 3 to disable it

SSD Registry Settings

If your boot drive is an SSD, first you need to disable the superfetch service, then change the following registry settings:

Hkey_Local_Machine > System > Current Control Set > Control > Session Manager > Memory Management > Prefetch Parameters

And change the following two settings to "0" instead of "3":

1) EnablePrefetcher - unneeded for SSD
2) EnableSuperfetch - unneeded for SSD


Keyboard - A PS/2 keyboard with no USB devices plugged in except the mouse is the most optimal setup for mouse movement. I personally use brown switches with 40A-R o-rings. The travel distance is way too high without the o-rings. I don't like red switches that much because they're more prone to error and misclicks in both typing and gaming.

If forced to use USB, you don't want a keyboard with a 1000hz polling rate because USB controllers aren't good at handling multiple high polling rate devices at the same time, so get a 125hz one if using USB. You also don't want to have any other USB devices like gamepads or phones plugged in while you aren't using them either.

Some PS/2 and USB keyboards can cause issues though. The Steelseries 6gv2 I tested caused really bogged down cursor movement in both USB and PS/2 mode for some reason:

http://www.overclock.net/t/1531608/never-seen-a-keyboard-cause-swamp-cursor-till-the-steelseries-6gv2


Sound

1) Set your bitrate to 16bit 44.1k, anything higher causes a huge hit to mouse response.

2) Settings like CMSS, EAX, Crystallizer, etc, all need to be disabled


Nvidia issues that cause lag

Nvidia has something in device manager on Win8.1 called "Nvidia Virtual Audio" that's used when streaming to a mobile device. This is a lagfest that needs to be disabled. You probably want to disable the Nvidia HDMI audio in device manager as well under the sound section.






Nvidia specific software

***Somewhere between the "miracle driver" and 344.11 drivers, the Nvidia input lag issues seem to have been greatly fixed. ***

This is what your Nvidia control panel should look like. Anti aliasing does add latency, so I force it off. Texture filtering is going to occur regardless, so it doesn't really matter what you set your anisotropic filtering to.



Your Desktop scaling section of the control panel should be set to "Display - No scaling" like the following picture. I noticed a very annoying software issue when testing if there was any lag difference in my 570 reference card and 970 GTX. Cursor movement seems to go to crap after you change the scaling setting from whatever it was when the driver was first installed. So basically, on a fresh install, you want to install the Nvidia driver, go in and change the scaling tab to "Display - No Scaling", then uninstall the driver, reinstall it, and never touch that setting again. Sometimes just rebooting will fix it though.



Leaving scaling on anything else incurs a large amount of input lag, even in native resolution. "GPU - No scaling" is also much laggier than the "Display - No Scaling" setting. This is bad because if you plug in a Korean IPS panel, or any panel in with no hardware scaler, it forces you to use the extremely laggy "GPU - No Scaling" mode.

The only solution to this, is to use a custom .inf file and revert to a much older driver (267.59), before the scaling module was rewritten, then you can pick the "no scaling" option in the following picture for a lag free experience. You have to make sure that you don't install Windows update KB2670838 or Internet Explorer 10 (installs that update with it), or you will get blue screen page faults with older Nvidia + ATI drivers.




Misc. Section

Chrome/Chromium - tends to be overly GPU accelerated. Even after turning off hardware acceleration in settings, my GPU still goes to max 3d clocks while just browsing text pages on the internet. If you type "about:flags" in the browser, you can get to some GPU acceleration settings to disable, but my GPU won't go to idle clocks with Chromium unless I add "--disable-gpu" to the shortcut icon.

You will want to disable directwrite and accelerated 2d canvas in the about:flags menu to get rid of fuzzy text from crappy pixel aliasing.

Steam you will want to disable directwrite in the options menu of Steam because directwrite acceleration of text in browsers seems to bog down the cursor while they're open. Disable all the streaming options and other junk they're tossing in too.

Firefox disable hardware acceleration, automatic updates, crash reporter, etc, then go into the add-on section and disable automatic updates for the Cisco graphics plugin they've included for some unknown reason. I disable updates on it then turn it off myself.


DPC Latency

DPC Latency is mostly a measure of how ready, willing, and able a non-real time OS is to deal with requests from the user. It's not a measure of input lag, but will give you a good idea of possible problematic devices. You should get to around 28-32 if you can't disable HPET in the BIOS, or maybe as low as the screenshot from my system if you can:


Edited by r0ach - 8/18/15 at 5:18am
post #2 of 3506
Although I agree with some of your points, I don't think anyone would notice some of the changes.
For example, I didn't do any of the things before step 11 for bios, And ignored every item under software(except for 2 Lucid MVP).

My DPC latency is 22 on a different motherboard than you have on Windows 8.1.
So unless someone actually has huge DPC latency problems you're not going to notice this because 1 us(millisecond) = 0.001 ms(microsecond) and I doubt anyone would notice a change smaller than 1/1000 of a second wink.gif
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post #3 of 3506
Thread Starter 
Like I already said in my post, DPC isn't a measure of input lag. It is a useful number, nonetheless.
post #4 of 3506
Is 60-70 high? That's what I'm currently getting after following most of the steps in your guide. HPET didn't change the number in any meaningful way.
post #5 of 3506
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Venrar View Post

Is 60-70 high? That's what I'm currently getting after following most of the steps in your guide. HPET didn't change the number in any meaningful way.

Around 30 is optimal for having HPET on, single digits is optimal with it off. If you have something like on-board audio enabled, it's probably going to be a lot higher.

Anything under 100-150 should probably not affect gaming fluidity. DPC's best use is identifying possible problematic system components, or identifying possible components that can be turned off that you don't use that may or may not be problematic in some way.
Edited by r0ach - 11/2/13 at 6:18pm
post #6 of 3506
No windows tweaks? Or bad antiviruses like kaspersky that eats a lot of cpu and constantly monitors the system. I noticed better responsiveness after changing from Avira to Avast.
I did fresh install one time and it was less responsive than tweaked w7. I had same exact drivers, antivirus and software.
Something like hid input service or core parking might have had noticeable impact. Or other things that might eat cpu cycles or poll system for key press.

Does java really have a noticeable impact on latency? Dunno how to play minecraft without it.

Why not 0 pre rendered frames? You dont feel any difference between 0 and 1?
I know it cant be really 0, as it does not work that real time, but it doesnt default to 3 in most games, as 3 are noticeable delayed.
post #7 of 3506
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Berserker1 View Post

Does java really have a noticeable impact on latency?

100% positive yes on that one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Berserker1 View Post

Why not 0 pre rendered frames? You dont feel any difference between 0 and 1?
I know it cant be really 0, as it does not work that real time, but it doesnt default to 3 in most games, as 3 are noticeable delayed.

The lower you go, the bigger trade off there is for GPU utilization. A setting of 2 will usually receive little to no hit, at 1 it starts to get a penalty. A setting of 1 will usually have less tearing than 2 though, so 1 is really the best compromise number for me for delay, tearing, GPU utilization, and prevention of an engine defaulting to 3.

A pre-render setting of 0 is kind of mysterious setting. I first experimented using 0 around the release of Half Life 2 engine. Some games like Day of Defeat wouldn't even start with a setting of 0. Other games would work fine. A few games would have crazy tearing. There's really nothing concrete to say about a setting of 0 because it's outcome is just all over the place.

I think games like DoD Source eventually did start working with a pre-render 0 setting, but it's probably something to do with Nvidia possibly adding frames into their render que, regardless to what you set pre-render to.
Edited by r0ach - 10/15/13 at 7:53am
post #8 of 3506
It's missing on the current drivers. There is no 0 pre-rendered frames setting. The smallest you can set is 1. I have version 331.40 currently.
post #9 of 3506
So you dont know about any windows tweaks?
Quote:
Originally Posted by r0ach View Post

100% positive yes on that one.

Wow effect was quite noticeable even got few % of lg vs bots. My aim follows them a little better and I hear more hitsounds.
How can it have such effect on input latency?
Quote:
The lower you go, the bigger trade off there is for GPU utilization. A setting of 2 will usually receive little to no hit, at 1 it starts to get a penalty. A setting of 1 will usually have less tearing than 2 though, so 1 is really the best compromise number for me for delay, tearing, GPU utilization, and prevention of an engine defaulting to 3.

A pre-render setting of 0 is kind of mysterious setting. I first experimented using 0 around the release of Half Life 2 engine. Some games like Day of Defeat wouldn't even start with a setting of 0. Other games would work fine. A few games would have crazy tearing. There's really nothing concrete to say about a setting of 0 because it's outcome is just all over the place.

I think games like DoD Source eventually did start working with a pre-render 0 setting, but it's probably something to do with Nvidia possibly adding frames into their render que, regardless to what you set pre-render to.

I dont remember exactly when I started using 0 frames (in 2010 for sure), but on old slow amd card it worked with no problems, only noticed reduction of max fps, but thats useless, min fps remained the same. Now on nvidia card it works fine, dont notice any reduction of fps.
About 1.5 months ago started using 1 just to try it, didnt see any improvement in fps(with eye, but its over 60 in all games) or tearing, but it feels different than 0 and 3. I only notice tearing at 400+ fps, at 1000+ everything is a staircase biggrin.gif

What do you mean by gpu utilization? Does it really matter how much gpu is being utilized if min fps is same or even lower a little but theres less input lag.

Maybe you can test 0 more, Im not 100% sure as I have slow monitor. Dont know how you test, but I test like this: aim slow and fast 90/180 degrees back and forth, "aimbot" between targets and notice how disconnected it is from my hand movement. With claw/fingertip grip its easier to tell than with palm.
Quote:
Originally Posted by deepor View Post

It's missing on the current drivers. There is no 0 pre-rendered frames setting. The smallest you can set is 1. I have version 331.40 currently.

They got removed for higher numbers in 3d programs where camera moves by itself and more stable frametime numbers in tests.

Found a thread with more nvidia lies and taking 0 frames literally https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/523530/geforce-drivers/bring-back-pre-rendered-frames-0-/6/
post #10 of 3506
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Berserker1 View Post

Wow effect was quite noticeable even got few % of lg vs bots. My aim follows them a little better and I hear more hitsounds.
How can it have such effect on input latency?

Java, at least every time I've tested with it installed before, keeps a resident memory footprint that intercepts calls for it's use. It really is a malware program in every sense of the word.

This kind of program really shouldn't exist in this day and age. Functionality like that should be built into browsers and much less intrusive to where it doesn't actually increase system latency.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Berserker1 View Post

So you dont know about any windows tweaks?

edit: updated main post with Windows services
Edited by r0ach - 11/2/13 at 6:21pm
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