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FFXIV Graphics Optimization FPS GuideFollow

#1 Sep 24 2010 at 2:35 PM Rating: Excellent
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Intro

If you are getting 30 FPS or higher average, then stop reading right HERE.

The information stated here, is from my general knowledge, and from other posters on the zam forums.

After seeing a lot of posts, I thought that this information would be helpful, and I haven't found it all in one neat list. Some have less than optimal hardware, so before you go out and buy some new silicon toy, try some options first. If you reply to this post, don't ask why your are running slow until you have tried to use some of the solutions and investigated other posts. If you have something to add, keep it positive, and if something I posted is incorrect, let me know and I will change/add.

If you are not comfortable with any part of this guide, then do not attempt it, or it may damage your computer. Always read several sources before determining the best way to configure your PC. Locating a local geek friend will always be the best route for the feint of heart. Geeks love getting rewarded with food and other general favors.
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To check your FPS download Fraps or another software to report the FPS in game. Start it up and click on the FPS tab and configure if needed. http://www.fraps.com/download.php
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Windows related advice

1. Update your video card driver.

Nvidia: http://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-us
ATI: http://support.amd.com/us/Pages/AMDSupportHub.aspx

2. Update your motherboard driver.

Find out your make and model and go to the appropriate website. You will be looking for your chipset driver for the motherboard if it has an updated one. Do NOT flash your bios, unless you are very knowledgeable and know exactly what you are doing.

3. Make sure that you are not overheating.

Download Speedfan or some other application to find out.
CPU temperature at max load normally should not go beyond 50 - 60c.
GPU at full load MIGHT get as high as 85c and if it starts to go higher, start worrying.

4. Turn off all unnecessary programs in your system tray.

XelKarin wrote:
Someone pointed out this utility in another thread, which will disable a few unnecessary services. If you want to safely disable even more services at the expense of a few Windows features, you can follow these guides.


5. Set your antivirus to silent gaming mode (if you have that option).
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I prefer to run my windows operating system on one hard drive and all of my video games and applications are installed onto a different hard drive. I am not talking about partitions. Partitions have to do with dividing up one hard drive.

Example:

Hard Drive 1: C:/windows installation folder
Hard Drive 2: D:/Final Fantasy XIV

Having this setup optimizes your system for read/write/access etc. Your windows installation will now have full hard drive access and your games will likewise have full resources available to them.

If you overclocked your hardware, your settings can actually bring your FPS down in some cases. Try running it at stock. Disclaimer: I do not promote this, but if you are bent on overclocking your PC. Try the following site.

http://www.overclockers.com/forums/

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Configuring FFXIV

When you are inside the game (playing the game), go into configuration.

1. Turn off extended drawing

I gain about 5 FPS by turning this option off alone.

2. Turn off physics if it helps.

If you have an older machine, there is little reason to have this turned on.

In the FFXIV Configuration.exe

1. Change shadows to low.
2. Change texture filtering to low.
3. Turn off ambient occlusion.
4. Turn off depth of field.
5. Try different resolutions.
6. Turn other settings off or to the lowest, or try turning on options and see if it helps.
7. Run the game fullscreen, some have reported that this helps.

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General Information

New MMO's can start out choppy for some hardware. If you think your hardware is up to snuff, but has low FPS, wait a while for the game to be further developed and for new drivers to be released before you spend your hard earned cash.

Stop running fraps or other FPS reporters and I bet you notice it less!

Information for the ADVANCED users.

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

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

Nvidia users: Before changing any settings, read online what each setting does, and discover if changing a setting will have any benefit or detriment. Right Click on your desktop and then left click on Nvidia Control Panel. Click on Manage 3D settings. Click on the Program Settings tab. Then use the drop down menu to select the application or add the .exe manually. Now that you have the game that you are editing the profile of you can start turning on or off features. Click apply once you are finished. Back at the main menu you can see Set Physx Configuration. Leave this on auto unless you are trying to do the following: You have two Nvidia class video card or two ATI class video cards, both support physics, and one is a fairly high end card. Again, only advanced users should be doing this. Place both cards into your motherboard and do not enable SLI or have any hardware setup for SLI. The high performance card should be in the top spot and the lower one in the second slot. Once you are in windows go back into Nvidia Control Panel and configure the PC as a multi-display. Select the high end card as the primary video device "1". Select the low end card as the secondary device "2". Now within the Nvidia Control Panel, you can go back to the Set Physx Configuration menu and select the secondary (low end card) as the physx device.

Ati catalyst users: Someone help me with this


If you find that you need to upgrade, view the sticky post on the zam forums for the computer building guide.

http://ffxiv.zam.com/forum.html?game=268&mid=127800602941853800&page=1


Use this as a reference when you upgrade, so that you will know what to expect.

High End CPU Benchmarks: http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html

High End GPU Benchmarks: http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html

Top 20 PC Systems: http://www.passmark.com/baselines/top.html









Edited, Sep 24th 2010 7:22pm by Parsalyn

Edited, Sep 24th 2010 9:40pm by Parsalyn

Edited, Sep 25th 2010 11:08am by Parsalyn

Edited, Sep 25th 2010 11:11am by Parsalyn

Edited, Sep 25th 2010 11:13am by Parsalyn

Edited, Sep 25th 2010 11:35am by Parsalyn
#2 Sep 24 2010 at 2:46 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
4. Turn off depth of field.


May be it is just me but somehow I get more FPS with Depth of Field turned on


Edit: Good guide anyway. Thanks and rate up

Edited, Sep 24th 2010 10:47pm by Auftragskiller
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#3 Sep 24 2010 at 2:54 PM Rating: Good
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Thank you, I changed step 6 :)
#4 Sep 24 2010 at 2:59 PM Rating: Good
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Nice guide man, rate up for you! I'm sure this will help a lot of people out who have issues running the game and are unsure what they can do to help improve their FPS.
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#5 Sep 24 2010 at 3:05 PM Rating: Good
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Thanks, it is a work in progress, I will be adding more as others post suggestions.
#6 Sep 24 2010 at 3:21 PM Rating: Good
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Someone pointed out this utility in another thread, which will disable a few unnecessary services. If you want to safely disable even more services at the expense of a few Windows features, you can follow these guides.

Edited, Sep 24th 2010 5:26pm by XelKarin
#7 Sep 24 2010 at 5:29 PM Rating: Good
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Does anyone have a list of application crashes and successful fixes? I see some people posting about it, but I have seen it range from drivers to administrative rights, to outdated hardware. Several ATI posters have been crashing, so I would like to expand this guide to address that as well perhaps. So I was contemplating whether to add this or not... and rename the thread.
#8 Sep 24 2010 at 6:27 PM Rating: Good
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from playing about with the settings myself for the last 2 days (playin on a low-end spec pc) I can say i definitely found full scrren mode smoother running than windowed. I remember ffxi official windowed mode was much slower than otherwise.

I found the problem with full screen mode is if you have a large screen and play ffxiv on a small resolution as the pixels become a lot more obvious due to the images beinhg stretched.
#9 Sep 24 2010 at 7:06 PM Rating: Good
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Nice to see confirmations, keep the info leaking in.
#10 Sep 25 2010 at 6:32 AM Rating: Decent
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I just realised the 'stretching' effect is actually due to me lowering the Buffer settings in ffxi config not to the screen resising to full window. This particular setting is having the most marked impact on image quality than any other setting - including resolution and texture quality settings

(i.e. I had texture quality and resolution to what - for me - are average settings, and buffer set to half - the image quality was terrible... then I proceeded to lower the resolution and texture quality to minimum and the buffer to normal resolution, and the quality jumped by A LOT)

I wish I could test the FPS between different buffer settings, but dont have the software to do so... I'm hoping that the vast difference in quality doesn't mean a major performance reduction. Will be testing this during the day, but I supose my experience will be subjective since I cannot fraps it.
#11 Sep 25 2010 at 6:39 AM Rating: Decent
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Any idea about how to fix invisible 'cutscenes' and heavy mouse lag? Performance is just fine
#12 Sep 25 2010 at 6:42 AM Rating: Decent
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FYI the avergae person who doesn't know how to improve FPS shouldn't be doing BIOS updates on their MoBos (but yes it can be beneficial for performance). It's just a dangerous process for those who aren't exactly PC savvy. Good guide though, should help a few folks out I think.
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#13 Sep 25 2010 at 6:51 AM Rating: Decent
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what do you mean by invisible cutscenes sandvic? is it when the cutscene turns black for a few seconds but it's still running?

I wouldn't know how to fix that, but just curious if that's what you are experiencing.

#14 Sep 25 2010 at 6:57 AM Rating: Decent
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The cutscenes are permanently black, you hear what's going on and subtitles also work
#16 Sep 25 2010 at 9:44 AM Rating: Good
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sandvic wrote:
The cutscenes are permanently black, you hear what's going on and subtitles also work


Post your specs and what drivers that you have installed. Maybe it will help someone down the road.



Thanks everyone, I tweaked it some.
#17 Sep 25 2010 at 2:03 PM Rating: Decent
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AMD X6 1090T
ASUS Crosshair IV Formula 1102
ASUS ATI Radeon 5970 with Catalyst 10.9 for video, chipset and AHCI

Btw, display issue doesn't occur with benchmark

Edited, Sep 25th 2010 4:03pm by sandvic
#18 Sep 25 2010 at 8:20 PM Rating: Good
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Fell down a few pages and my son turned off my computer, so I had to look again for this.... bump!
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#19 Sep 27 2010 at 4:15 PM Rating: Good
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bump for effectiveness^^
#20 Sep 29 2010 at 9:38 PM Rating: Good
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Preemptive bump for the release day.
#21 Sep 29 2010 at 9:49 PM Rating: Decent
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I'm so sorry, very very sorry, but whenever someone talks about wanting to optimize FPS, I always think about "No Service Area"
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#22 Sep 29 2010 at 10:15 PM Rating: Good
Edited by bsphil
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Parsalyn wrote:
Stop running fraps or other FPS reporters and I bet you notice it less!
If you don't play games much and can't tell the difference between 15 fps and 30 fps, you may not realize how poorly your system is performing. I'll agree there. However, you'll also NEVER know how much better the game can look if you're not going to bother to try to optimize your system because you're refusing to see what the framerate is at.
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#23 Sep 30 2010 at 1:16 AM Rating: Default
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extremely dumb question... yes i admit i am that dumb...

so checking the box for ambient occlusion means turning it on, or turning it off?

it usually means if i check the box, it means to turn on, but i am not sure if the default is on, because people keeps saying turn it off, if it is already off, why turn it off...

just baffled

will appreciate answers
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#24 Sep 30 2010 at 1:25 AM Rating: Decent
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This should be stickied :P

How many people will be whining tomorrow? >_>
#25 Sep 30 2010 at 1:50 AM Rating: Decent
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Really should switch on my brain!!! All this is common sense to me but once I leave work BAM brain goes to sleep.

Thanks for this though, seriously! xx
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#26 Sep 30 2010 at 10:25 PM Rating: Good
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triangold wrote:
extremely dumb question... yes i admit i am that dumb...

so checking the box for ambient occlusion means turning it on, or turning it off?

it usually means if i check the box, it means to turn on, but i am not sure if the default is on, because people keeps saying turn it off, if it is already off, why turn it off...

just baffled

will appreciate answers


Unchecking the box turns it off. Try turning it off or anything else to find the best config. for you.

Edited, Oct 1st 2010 12:27am by Parsalyn
#27 Oct 01 2010 at 1:09 AM Rating: Decent
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Parsalyn wrote:
triangold wrote:
extremely dumb question... yes i admit i am that dumb...

so checking the box for ambient occlusion means turning it on, or turning it off?

it usually means if i check the box, it means to turn on, but i am not sure if the default is on, because people keeps saying turn it off, if it is already off, why turn it off...

just baffled

will appreciate answers


Unchecking the box turns it off. Try turning it off or anything else to find the best config. for you.

Edited, Oct 1st 2010 12:27am by Parsalyn


Thanks ^_^
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#28 Oct 01 2010 at 1:14 AM Rating: Decent
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request for sticky bump
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#29 Oct 13 2010 at 5:09 PM Rating: Good
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So I've turned all my settings down and am now very happy with the frames per second on my lil graphics card...but where do I start with turning things back on. I don't feel that I understand all of the various settings well enough to understand exactly what visual improvement they create.

So where do I start? What settings will give me bang for my buck when enabling them? Any thoughts...
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#30 Oct 13 2010 at 5:48 PM Rating: Good
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Start with turning textures on high or medium. Leave texture filtering on low. That would be my first step. After that I would go with a higher resolution if you can. If it looks fine after that, leave it alone, or explore some other settings.
#31 Oct 14 2010 at 11:11 AM Rating: Good
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Thanks, I'll start there. I was actually thinking of trying all of the features and seeing what performance hit each does and documenting it. While it would be relative and not absolute we should be able to get together a ranked list of performance hogs.
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#32 Oct 20 2010 at 6:45 PM Rating: Good
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That was great advice, bumping textures a notch was visibly much better while only giving me a 1-2 fps hit. I've noticed that my computer is currently held back by the CPU, while the GPU has some breathing room. Any thoughts on things I can enable that are isolated to the GPU? Would 2xAA be GPU only?
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#33 Oct 20 2010 at 9:36 PM Rating: Good
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I am unsure if it is only handled by the gpu. But I run at a minimum of 2xAA, because you can see a notable difference. The majority of the other graphic options will just bring down most of the low to medium systems.

Edited, Oct 20th 2010 11:43pm by Parsalyn
#34 Oct 20 2010 at 11:13 PM Rating: Good
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Turning on 2xAA pushes my 5570 quite a bit more. It went from 40-60% utilized up to 80-90% utilized. Intel E8500 went from 85-95% up to 90-100% utilized.

Looking forward to moving back to a full size case so I can drop in a buddy's HD 4830 and increase my air flow so that maybe I can get another 10 to 20 % out of my CPU. That should give me some breathing room. With textures at Standard and 2xAA it's really very pretty. I'm a little jealous of the folks that can run it maxed.
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#35 Nov 01 2010 at 6:04 PM Rating: Good
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Intel Q9550 has just been dropped off by UPS and a buddy game me is Radeon 4850 (better than I expected). Can't wait to drop them in!!!
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