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Tweaking your XP for better Crysis performance...

post #1 of 7
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I recently reinstalled XP Pro on my PC and have just acquired an Nvidia 8800GTS 512MB vid card. I noticed a very slight improvement in performance between the GTS and the GT that I stepped up from. But I still couldn't play Crysis at 1280X1024 at much higher than 2X AA and 2X AF with reasonably smooth framerates. Long story short, I have been tweaking XP by using some of the tweaks I found on Blackviper.com and a couple of other XP tweaking sites. The performance improvement has been nothing short of phenomenal. I am now playing Crysis with my GTS's settings maxed (16QX AA and 16X AF) with smooth framerates. I used FRAPS and found that at maximum video card settings, (16Q X AA and 16 X AF) I was getting about 20 FPS. Which with Crysis, for some reason, feels pretty darned smooth. I kicked my settings back down to 4XAA and 4XAF (but still retained the trilinear filtering and supersampling that I did not have on before I tweaked XP) and I was getting an average of 30 FPS. Things would dip down to 27 FPS if a lot of trees were on screen, or during a firefight, but I doubt that a 3 FPS decrease would be noticed without FRAPS showing you the FPS. Also, the fact that 16X AA and 16X AF was even playable at all tells me that these XP tweaks can definitely help your Crysis performance. I am going to leave my settings at 4X AA and 4X AF for future playing, since I can't really see the difference between those settings and maximum settings for AA and AF. (Although the trilinear filtering and supersampling seem to make object textures look much better, so I will leave those turned on.)

Another thing is that I noticed a definite lag when I was running FRAPS along with Crysis. I don't know if they have issues with each other, but I have a feeling that if was using Crysis' built in FPS feature, I may have had even better perfomance numbers. I will report back if I get a chance to test this...

Also, I am using the Luxus Silentium config by TaoWolf which may have some performance benefits over vanilla Crysis, but I have always been using the LS config, so that doesn't account for these recent performance gains. (The LS config definitely LOOKS better than vanilla Crysis to me, so even if there is a slight performance loss with it, it's worth it to me.) You may want to turn the motion blur settings off in the Luxus Silentium config. I did, because the motion blur made me a bit nauseous, and I picked up a few frames per second when I turned off motion blur.
I felt that I needed to write this thread to help out some of the people out there still struggling to make Crysis run smooth and look great at the same time.

Go to http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/supertweaks.htm for some of the tweaks I have used, and I 'll see if I can post a detailed list of the tweaks that I decided to implement...if anyone actually wants them...

Some of the tweaks I used are, moving the virtual memory off of the drive that the OS is on and then onto my backup harddrive, (I suspect this is a biggie, but who knows...I did most of the tweaks at the same time...) set windows graphics settings to best performance mode, (yes, the desktop now looks like boring Win2000, but I want my GAMES to look awesome not my desktop)
deactivate remote dektop assistance and related services, tweak paging file, disable hard drive time stamp, and basically turn off any service or background program running that I don't need and never use. Of course the good ol' disk cleanup and defrag played a hand in this too. (Not to mention this is on a PC with a relatively fresh install of XP.)

Warning!! Some of these tweaks (very few of them, but still) may cause you problems or even make your computer crash. My PC has been running great since I used these tweaks, both in Crysis and other games, and in other applications...but that doesn't mean yours will. YOU ARE NOW WARNED!!

Here are the tweaks I implemented on my PC...but remember any time you tweak an OS, especially when you shut down services or edit the registry, there is a chance you could screw up your computer! You are once again warned!! Thanks again to Black Viper for most of these tweaks (and the better performance they have given me).
______________________________________________


Make icons in windows appear quicker

In Windows XP everytime you open My Computer to browse folders XP automatically searches for network files and printers. This causes a delay in displaying your icons. You probably see the "default" windows icon and as you scroll it changes to the correct icon. This is how to stop that...

1. Open My Computer
2. Click on the Tools menu and select Folder Options...
3. Under Folder Options select the view tab.
4. Uncheck the very first box that reads "Automatically search for network folders and printers".
5. Click "Apply" or "OK"

You should see a dramatic increase in speed when Windows displays your icons.



Turn off Indexing to speed up XP

Windows XP keeps a record of all files on the hard disk so when you do a search on the hard drive it is faster. There is a downside to this and because the computer has to index all files, it will slow down normal file commands like open, close, etc. If you do not do a whole lot of searches on your hard drive then I suggest turnning this feature off:

1. Control Panel

2. Administrative Tools

3. Services

4. Disable Indexing Services



Adjust Graphics for Speed

Windows XP has a lot of new cool looking visual elements, however, those new elements take up more RAM and cause your computer to be less responsive. By tweaking your graphics settings, you can increase the performance of your computer.

To get started, Let's reduce the color quality. This setting determines how many colors are displayed on your screen.

Right click on your desktop and select properties.
Click on the settings tab and adjust the color quality drop down box to Medium (16 Bit).
Click OK.

Next, let's use the windows performance settings to optimize your computer for performance. This will revert back to the old Windows 2000 look as well as take away a lot of the fancy graphics effects. However, if you are really into performance, this is the price you have to pay.

Right click on the My Computer icon on your desktop or in your start panel and select properties.
Next, Click on the Advanced tab and hit the setting button under performance.
On the visual effects tab, select Adjust for Best Performance and hit OK.
Hit OK once more to exit system properties.
Now your computer will run slightly faster!


Disable automatic updating

To save memory and CPU time turn off the automatic update system in windows. You can always check manually for updates and most users have no problem with that. For those of you lazy bums out there you can leave this feature on but I warned you.

Open control panel.

(if using XPstyle control panel, click on performance and maintenance.)

Click on System.

Then click on the automatic updates tab and select Turn off automatic updating. If Service Pack 1 is installed uncheck Keep my computer up to date.

Click Ok.


Faster Boot-Up without tons of fonts

Many of the files that load during the boot-up process are fonts. You probably only use a handful of them. I suggest moving some you never use into another folder. You won't be able to access the fonts in Word or Notepad.

Create a New Folder by right clicking on desktop. New>Folder.
Open "Fonts" in Control Panel. Switch to Classic View to find them easier.
Highlight a group of fonts younever use and move them to the other folder. Repeat if you have tons of fonts.
Put the folder into My Documents for easy access.
Reboot and see if it starts any faster for you. If not, just copy the fonts back to the original font folder.


Disable Last Access Timestamp

Whenever XP reads a file, it stamps the file with the date and time that you accessed it. This feature has its place but is not required for normal use unless you rely on the date of last access for backup purposes, which is a rare requirement for most backups. Putting a timestamp on a file that has just been read means that a write access has to be made to disk, so every time a read is executed, a corresponding write is also executed.

To disable the last access timestamp behaviour, start a command prompt, enter the following command then reboot;

FSUTIL behavior set disablelastaccess 1

Those of us who read and write Her Majesty's English need to take note of the American spelling of the BEHAVIOR parameter. To turn timestamps back on, repeat the command but replace 1 with 0;
FSUTIL behavior set disablelastaccess 0

Move Pagefile to Non-System Hard Drive:

Open the Control Panel and select the System applet
Alternatively, right-click "My Computer" on the desktop and select Properties
On the Advanced tab, select Settings under the Performance group:

On the Performance Options dialog box, click Change, which is under the Virtual Memory group:

Click on the hard disk that currently contains the pagefile (1.) then click No paging file (2.), then click Set:

Click on the hard disk that you want to contain the pagefile (1.), then click Custom size (2.) and enter the same value as shown in the Recommended field (3.). Finally, click Set then OK:

You do not have to use a fixed-size pagefile if you do not want to, however if you elect to allow the system to choose the pagefile, the pagefile will need to grow at a later date, and your system will slow down during the pagefile growth stage. It is suggested that you use a fixed size pagefile of the recommended size.

You must reboot to make this change take effect.



Eliminate Start Menu Delay:

The Start menu has a built-in delay of just under half a second. Set the delay to 0 for an instantaneous response.

Start regedit and navigate to this key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\\Control Panel\\Desktop\\

Set the value of MenuShowDelay to 0 and exit regedit.


Turn off Error Reporting:

Go to Control Panel.

Click System.

Go to the Advanced tab.

Click Error Reporting.

Click the "Disable Error Reporting" radio box, but select the "But notify me when Critical Errors Occur".
Edited by Ballistic Jello - 5/21/08 at 9:25am
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Monolith
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post #2 of 7
Ill give it a go, can never have 2 much performance
post #3 of 7
Good way to have to re-install XP.
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post #4 of 7
FYI none of these will really give you much of a performance increase.

Maybe for extreme benchmarkers it matters, but for people dealing with the qualitative, not quantitative side, it doesn't really matter.

Some of those are nice to do anyways (such as the indexing), though does XP actually index?

EDIT: reading the list again, I doubt you would notice any speed up in Crysis due to these tweaks, they are all file system access tweaks.
    
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post #5 of 7
redsunx, 1337 posts!

I'm always wary about tweaking my OS. So many things can go wrong...

what detail settings are you playing at? High?
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Sager NP5165
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post #6 of 7
All that just for a small to no increase. Why people rave so much about Crysis, I'l never know.

Also, if this is the type of thing people are resorting to for better performance, then it only spells even more fail for Crysis imo.
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post #7 of 7
Lol I looked at the tweaks after and left them, they would give me naff all performance anyway.
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