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Help with Graphics PerformanceFollow

#1 Sep 03 2011 at 11:27 AM Rating: Decent
5 posts
Hey Guys

I've spent the whole day today trying to figure out some issues I'm having with the graphics off FFXIV. Before I continue, below are my system specs:

Intel Core i7 960 CPU @3.2ghz
6GB Ram
120GB OCZ Vertex SSD Drive for Windows
Two Samsung 500GB HDDs in Raid for a 1TB drive where programs are installed
Gigabyte GTX 580 x2 (SLI)

Now this computer should be able to destroy this game from what I understand, but I can't get it to perform that well. I rarely see above 54fps performance if ever. My graphics settings are as follows:

1920*1080
16xQ CSAA Multisampling
10 Draw Quality
5 Background Draw Quality
Highest Shadow Detail
No Ambient Occlusion
Depth of Field on
High Quality Textures
Highest Texture Filtering

I know it's high settings, but this computer by no means should have problems handling it right? The weird thing is that I recently purchased my second GFX card to try to see if that would fix it, and there was literally no improvement in performance. From reading online I've done the following:

Made sure my Nvidia Drivers were up to date
Forced Vertical Sync and Triple Buffering on the Nvidia Control Panel
Made sure SLI is enabled and set to Maximum 3d Performance

I honestly don't know what else it could be and it's ******* me off royally that I can't figure it out. Specific areas of slowdown for me are always being in Uldah Gridania or Limsa with high crowds, the framerate drops to 15-27 fps and gets choppy as well. Any help or ideas would be GREATLY appreciated

Thanks
#2 Sep 03 2011 at 11:47 AM Rating: Excellent
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To qualify my statements on this topic, I currently have 2 GTX 480s.

Disable SLI for this game. Even though it is 'supported', for whatever reason XIV performs better with this feature disabled. Keep an eye on your temps as this will likely stress your single GPU more.

The fact of the matter is that XIV is horribly optimized. 54 FPS is pretty good to be honest with the settings you were pushing. Vertical Sync caps your FPS at 60 so you were doing almost the best you could there. In crowded areas it's always going to drop down to ~30 FPS. The only other suggestion I would make is to overclock your CPU. XIV is fairly CPU intensive and increasing your clock speed will keep you from bottlenecking your GPUs.

I found that turning Depth of Field off helps as well. All this does is blurs things in the distance, but it eats up a chunk of processing power that isn't really necessary. Use the nVidia control panel to force AA - Mode to 'Override any application setting' and don't push past 8x CSAA. Set AA - Transparency no higher than 'multisample'.

I know that your rig should be laughing at XIV in terms of processing graphics, but bad coding is just bad. If you really have to have SLI enabled for whatever reason, you can increase performance by changing SLI rendering mode to 'Force alternate frame rendering 2'. Doesn't work as well as just a single GPU for me, but it's better than the default setting.

If you have any issues with this or need more detailed explanation let me know.







Edited, Sep 3rd 2011 1:54pm by FilthMcNasty
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HaibaneRenmei wrote:
30 bucks is almost free

cocodojo wrote:
Its personal preference and all, but yes we need to educate WoW players that this is OUR game, these are Characters and not Toons. Time to beat that into them one at a time.
#3 Sep 03 2011 at 11:49 AM Rating: Good
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1. This game is not well optimized. At all.

2. Depth of field puts a moderate strain on gpus, but nothing your system shouldn't be able to handle.

3. Anything above 8 Draw Quality absolutely destroys my FPS. I would try lowering that first and seeing if you notice an improvement.

Goodluck.
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#4 Sep 03 2011 at 11:57 AM Rating: Decent
5 posts
Thanks for the reply. What's bugging me is I have a friend playing the game on quad 460s pushing max everything with no problems at all in terms of stuttering or choppiness. I don't know if dual 580s or quad 460s are better, but I would have thought I'd have reasonably close performance to their rig at least.

Anyway, I set the settings as you recommended and I saw some improvement. However still in major areas I have extreme choppiness, although fraps is still saying I'm getting around 40fps (though it does dip to 27 for fractions of a second). Any ideas on what's going on? I read something online before about HDD caching but didn't find much info about it

EDIT: Akiruusan I lowered my general draw quality to 8 like you recomended and again though I saw fps improvement *up to 50-55), I still had serious choppiness in high volume char areas. Is this again a result of the same poor coding?

Edited, Sep 3rd 2011 2:02pm by Scopey86
#5 Sep 03 2011 at 12:52 PM Rating: Good
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4,148 posts
You're likely to see an increase in populated areas from overclocking your CPU. Not sure what your friend has in their rig or how their performance compares to yours in those areas, but increasing CPU clocks will show improvements across the board.

At the current clocks you're running, your CPU is bottlenecking your GPUs. Only way to overcome that is to overclock. It has been mentioned in the EVGA forums that any processor speed below ~4.1 GHz is going to bottleneck you. I don't know if you're comfortable overclocking, but it's your best bet for performance increases from here.

Vertical sync is going to cap your FPS at 60 so anything close to that with it enabled and you're doing well. Populated areas will always sink down. The best I get with my specs is mid 40s. I run my processor @ 4 GHz.
____________________________
Rinsui wrote:
Only hips + boobs all day and hips + boobs all over my icecream

HaibaneRenmei wrote:
30 bucks is almost free

cocodojo wrote:
Its personal preference and all, but yes we need to educate WoW players that this is OUR game, these are Characters and not Toons. Time to beat that into them one at a time.
#6 Sep 03 2011 at 1:27 PM Rating: Decent
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I'm on

1920*1080
16xQ CSAA Multisampling
(Standard) Draw Quality
5 Background Draw Quality
Highest Shadow Detail
No Ambient Occlusion
Depth of Field on
High Quality Textures
Highest Texture Filtering

GTX 460 HAWK 1GB

With FPS 30-60 at all times even in towns

When I turned Draw Quality above the (Standard) value my FPS became 10-20.

Well I can't compare my gfx card with yours but maybe having a higher Draw Quality kills :S
#7 Sep 03 2011 at 4:13 PM Rating: Decent
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The choppiness in towns is caused by your hard drive choking. The only way to get rid of it is to buy an SSD because FFXIV is just poorly programmed and a regular hard drive will bottleneck your system.

Edited, Sep 3rd 2011 6:22pm by Omena
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#8 Sep 03 2011 at 8:41 PM Rating: Decent
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The draw quality is killing your framerates. As it forces rendering above your current resolution ( Something to do with supersampling )

Drop it down to 8 ( Standard ). Which is rendering using your current resolution. Anything above is stressing your card.

And what someone mentioned as well, move your FFXIV installation into your SSD to reduce stuttering. No raids/ultra high speed platter HDD will help.


#9 Sep 04 2011 at 12:25 AM Rating: Default
5 posts
Thanks everyone for the feedback it's much appreciated.

I think what I'm gonna try doing when I get back from work is a) reformat my computer (Just to start with a fresh everything) and install FFXIV to my SSD. I noticed also that when I tried playing the new Deus Ex that I was having odd issues with the graphics (it's really hard to describe but it's like 1/4 of the screen is normal and fine and the rest is negative and isn't being anti aliased) so I figured it's best to start fresh and go from there. I'll also keep the Draw Quality at 8 and go from there. I'm hoping installing FFXIV to the SSD will solve this. As for my friend's rig, it's frustrating to be honest, they're running on a RAID 5 configuration with 6TB, 6 GTX 460s, and I think 3-4gb ram (not sure on that) like I said and maxing all settings. How could it be that that configuration runs the game max everything with no issues and I can't get that kind of performance from a machine I think should trump that, or at the very least be the same? How SE has fallen.

As for the idea of overclocking my CPU, how much do you think I could safely overclock my processor without needing additional cooling? I've got a very well ventilated case (5 case fans; 1 in the front for intake, 1 in the back for exhaust and 3 on top for additional intake). If it seems like it's doable without any negative consequences I may try doing that if I'm still having problems. Do you guys really think that my CPU is the bottleneck? I mean it wouldn't surprise given the recent graphics upgrade, I thought that should be fine.

On an unrelated sidenote I'm sick of people telling me that it shouldn't bug me because the game is still under development. They released it a year ago, and I waited a whole year because I knew there were problems. It takes them this long and they still haven't got it to a point where the coding is at least semi-decent? Square has really disappointed this time. Don't get me wrong I still enjoy playing the game, I just wish they would get their act together (which it seems like they're starting to) and get this game to an acceptable state.

Edited, Sep 4th 2011 2:48am by Scopey86
#10 Sep 04 2011 at 12:56 AM Rating: Decent
Just for yucks I would like to say that I am running FFXIV on an AMD dual-core 5000+ with 4gb ram on 32-bit windows using an nvidia gtx 460 and installed on a hard drive that is like 15 years old... xD im running it in windowed mode at 1600x1080 (or something) res like 4xMSAA(or whatever) standard draw, 5 background, highest shadow, high texture, highest text filt., with shadows and physics on, dust and ext. off. have forced v sync and forced 3xbuff. I have very min lag in busy areas (if any) none at all everywhere else.

Feel bad for everyone that seems to have a lot of trouble with settings. Not sure exactly just how much better the game might look with "maxed" settings, but the game looks fing amazing with how i have it set up...i dont think id even bother turning up the settings tbh.

i realize thsi prob doesnt help anyone but fig i would just give the status on my situation
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#11 Sep 04 2011 at 2:26 AM Rating: Decent
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4,148 posts
Scopey86 wrote:
How could it be that that configuration runs the game max everything with no issues and I can't get that kind of performance from a machine I think should trump that, or at the very least be the same? How SE has fallen.

What kind of clock speed do they have their CPU running at?

Scopey86 wrote:
As for the idea of overclocking my CPU, how much do you think I could safely overclock my processor without needing additional cooling?

No one will be able to answer this for you. You need to increase it incrementally, run some software to test stability(SuperPi, intelBurn, prime ect.) and monitor your temperatures. The temps you achieve in these benchmarks are while your CPU is under a full load so it's safe to keep bumping up until your temp is within a few degrees of the maximum suggested.

Scopey86 wrote:
Do you guys really think that my CPU is the bottleneck? I mean it wouldn't surprise given the recent graphics upgrade, I thought that should be fine.

A GTX 480 is bottlenecked by an i7-980 running below 4GHz. Your GPU is different so I can't say for sure, but I'd be willing to bet it is especially given XIVs use of the processor.

Scopey86 wrote:
It takes them this long and they still haven't got it to a point where the coding is at least semi-decent? Square has really disappointed this time. Don't get me wrong I still enjoy playing the game, I just wish they would get their act together (which it seems like they're starting to) and get this game to an acceptable state.

Myself and a few others had problems with this way back in testing about 15 months ago. Graphics can be optimized, but only up to a point. Coding and how well a program makes use of your processor isn't something that gets fixed by anything other than tossing it and starting over. That won't happen.

Console company making PC games.


____________________________
Rinsui wrote:
Only hips + boobs all day and hips + boobs all over my icecream

HaibaneRenmei wrote:
30 bucks is almost free

cocodojo wrote:
Its personal preference and all, but yes we need to educate WoW players that this is OUR game, these are Characters and not Toons. Time to beat that into them one at a time.
#12 Sep 05 2011 at 12:16 AM Rating: Decent
5 posts
Hey again guys so it's fixed now, here's what I believe fixed my issues

Reformatting and reinstalling windows helped reset some default settings to do with icon sizing and text sizing in windows, which seems to have solved my problem with not being able to play windowed mode (a problem I had given up fixing, it was always way to big despite the resolution chosen).

The reinstallation also seems to have fixed some bugs in my gfx card drivers because playing Deus Ex now doesn't result in the same weird graphic glitches I had before.

Installing the game to the SSD also helped eliminate the choppiness from dense character areas such as UlDah and Gridania. I also haven't bothered with setting the nvidia control panel preferences to anything, but now I'm running at General Draw Quality of 8, everything else maxed except for AO @ 1920 * 1080 windowed mode and running at what feels like 60+ fps (haven't installed fraps or anythign yet).

I suspect that if I were to tweak the Nvidia control panel settings (Forced alternate frame 2 for SLI, vertical sync etc) I'd be able to boost it up to Draw Quality of 10, but haven't bothered with it yet. As for my friend, I'm starting to suspect that maybe they aren't running at full like they said simply because there's no way they could be running AO with the poor coding and still be remotely smooth, regardless it's not important.

Thanks a lot everyone for your help with resolving this whole thing.
#13 Sep 05 2011 at 2:13 AM Rating: Decent
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4,148 posts
Scopey86 wrote:
The reinstallation also seems to have fixed some bugs in my gfx card drivers because playing Deus Ex now doesn't result in the same weird graphic glitches I had before.


In the future if you attempt to reinstall drivers for your GPU use a program called driver sweeper first. Run this program, remove all of your graphics drivers and restart. After the restart you can install a fresh set. It's always best to do clean installs especially with nVidia drivers.

Glad you got your issue fixed.
____________________________
Rinsui wrote:
Only hips + boobs all day and hips + boobs all over my icecream

HaibaneRenmei wrote:
30 bucks is almost free

cocodojo wrote:
Its personal preference and all, but yes we need to educate WoW players that this is OUR game, these are Characters and not Toons. Time to beat that into them one at a time.
#14 Sep 05 2011 at 5:09 AM Rating: Decent
5 posts
I had thought that the clean installation option on Nvidia's driver downloads would do that fine, now I know better haha
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