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> Gaming Technomancy, Our Own Experiences With Gaming Technology
SubRosa
post Aug 17 2015, 11:11 PM
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I thought we could use a topic where we could discuss our own personal findings with gaming tech. Be it video cards, game controllers, monitors, tvs, keyboards, headsets, software like Fraps or the GeForce Experience, you name it. Some times new improvements in this stuff can make our gaming lives beautiful. Other times they just cast a Ravage Health spell on our bank accounts. Hopefully it can help us tell one from another.

A few months ago I bought a GeForce Titan X. It is a pure awesomesauce. It's like a jam sandwich, but without the bread. It is all jam. And if you really hate having money, you can buy up to 4 of them and run them together in an SLI (assuming your motherboard is capable of that, and I hope you have nuclear power plant to run that computer! laugh.gif )

I moved to the Titan because I previously had a pair of GeForce 980s in an SLI. It should have been fantastic. But instead it was horrible. I was constantly getting a strange stuttering in everything. And I do mean everything, because it happened even in Firefox and Internet Explorer. It turns out plenty of other people had the same problem, but not everyone. So Nvidia's answer was to deny the issue exists.

So I suggest you not buy two 980s to run in an SLI. They might work fine. They might not. Blow on those dice for luck before you roll them.

I returned my 980s and got the Titan X. That solved my problem.

Well my Titan X supports Nvidia's new G-Sync technology. For those who want the quick version, it is the successor to V-Sync. Like V-Sync it prevents games from tearing as your frame rate changes. V-Sync does this by locking your frame rate at a specific number. These days that is usually 60, as most monitors are 60hz (they refresh 60 times a second). But V-Sync also tends to cause lag and stuttering. In comes G-Sync which instead dynamically links the frame rate of your game and that of your monitor. So if you are getting 55 FPS in your game, your monitor runs at 55 hz. If your game jumps to 70 FPS, you monitor's refresh rate jumps with it. If your frame rate nose-dives, well, you know what the monitor does by now. Everyone who has reviewed G-Sync says it is simply amazing. Stutter is gone, gameplay is smooth as warm butter.

The downside is G-Sync requires special technology in both the monitor and the video card. It also only works when using a Display Port cable/port, rather than an hdmi, dvi, or vga connection. But that is not a real issue, as G-Sync monitors and cards naturally have those ports built in. But it might be an issue if you want to connect your new G-Sync monitor into a computer without a G-sync video card, as you probably won't have a Display Port on the box.

So anyway, today I bought a new G-Sync monitor and fired up Skyrim to see what buttery smooth goodness awaited me in Whiterun. The answer was none at all. Turns out G-Sync does not play well with Skyrim. Or really the other way around. Because Bethesda made the game so that is performs worse when your FPS goes above 60. That is right, the better your rig, the worse the game plays. Of course the worse your computer is, the worse the game plays as well. Am I the only one who thinks that Bethesda hates everyone who buys their games?

In my case (and I gather many others) I am now not only getting stutter and lag, but water surfaces also flicker on and off, whether I am moving or standing still. There was an old fix for this by turning off Sky Reflections. But it doesn't help now. The problem is that the frame rate is now above 60, and that is causing the flicker.

Tom's Hardware actually recommends that you disable G-Sync with Skyrim and play it the old-fashioned way with V-Sync. I have been fighting with this dragon for a few hours, tried many supposed fixes that only made the game worse (like using Nvidia Inspector to cap the frame rate at anything between 58 to 65 fps, or adding the IFPSClamp=64 line to the Skyrim.ini).

I finally made sure all of my game settings were turned up as high as possible to slow the game down (AA at x8, Super-Sampling at X8, AF at x16, and so on). I removed all the so-called fixes and .ini tweaks. I turned on FRAPs fps counter and went for a stroll around Whiterun. The game actually plays a little smoother than with V-Sync. I noticed my FPS averaged around 115 when I was walking straight ahead. Turning usually dropped it by 10 or 20 fps. I never saw the slightest lag when this happened btw. Exactly how it is supposed to be with G-Sync. But if I jumped around and looked sideways, or was too near a waterfall, my fps would sometimes plummet to the upper 60s. That is when I get micro-stuttering. The same lag I get with V-sync, in exactly the same places. Only with V-sync the game is dropping from 60 fps to 58 for those split seconds, and the lag is worse.

For shits and giggles I even turned on FRAPs video capture. This usually nearly kills whatever game I am running with tremendous lag. My FPS instantly dropped from 115 to 60. But it kept playing smooth. I thought, "Great! I'll just play with the video capture always on." But there are times when I get too near things like waterfalls and windmills, and my FPS drops down to 30. Then the lag comes back really bad. Which is exactly what that article I linked to above said would happen when you got down around 30 fps. But the plus side is that the video capture still runs far better than without G-sync.

So I am down to deciding whether I want to live with the water flickering of G-Sync, or the slightly worse lag of V-Sync. I am not sure yet. I also tried setting my monitor's refresh rate down to 60, and seeing how that played with G-Sync. But it seems to flicker slightly when I do that (it is a 144 hz monitor). So I turned it back to the higher default setting.

Bottom line to this long ramble, do not invest in G-Sync if your main purpose is to play Skyrim. Also don't bother if you are getting around 30 fps now, as it won't help. I have read that Diablo 3 does not like G-Sync either. For other games, and rigs that can deliver up into the 50s and 60 fps at least, it seems to be just fine. Better than fine, it appears to make them fantastic. I didn't do any extensive testing with Oblivion, FO3, and FONV. I only played Oblivion and NV enough to see that work, and seem to play well enough. And water looks fine in Oblivion. Though I never had any lag in NV with V-Sync, and only get a very little bit with Oblivion in a few places, like Persephone's modded tower home.

Oh, and for you ATI'ers, there is an equivalent tech from AMD called Freesync. But since I am an Nvidia girl, I have really not investigated it much. All I do know is that it also requires special hardware built into the monitors, and needs to use Display Port 1.2a ports and cables.


Edit: Ok, I learned a bit more. In your Nvidia Control Panel, under 3D Settings, both Globally and for individual games, there is of course the option to turn on G-Sync. Even with it turned on there, you can still turn V-Sync on or off down below in its regular section. What I have discovered is that if G-Sync is turned on, and V-Sync is turned on, it will prevent your card from trying to draw more frames per second than your monitor's refresh rate. So if you have a 144 hz monitor, it will cap your FPS at that same number. Which sounds like a good thing, since it should prevent screen tearing.

However, I am reading that if a game has a setting to turn V-Sync on or off you should always turn it off there. I would imagine that the game then tries to use V-Sync normally to cap your frame rate at 60, while G-Sync is of course trying to do its dynamic business. But I have just finished trying V-Sync both on and off in the Nvidia Control Panel, and on and off in Oblivion, and have seen no difference in any of the scenarios. So I suspect that as soon as you turn G-Sync on, V-Sync is disabled, no matter what settings you might have enabled in your games or control panel.

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Aug 18 2015, 03:45 AM


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mirocu
post Aug 18 2015, 09:34 AM
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A game tech thread?



Sweet! Now all I have to do is put myself in a position where I need to buy new gear, but Im not so inclined to do that atm... laugh.gif


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haute ecole rider
post Aug 18 2015, 05:14 PM
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The other thing to be careful with is to make sure your motherboard can provide enough power for some of these high end graphics cards.

I've been running NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT just fine in my old desktop rig (it came with it in 2008). It plays Oblivion just fine, but is only 512 MB VRAM, so I've never tried Skyrim on it.

But after taking Skyrim for a spin on my 2012 laptop with its second of two graphics cards (NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1 GB VRAM), I discovered that it plays well enough, but I did get some pretty nasty stutter in Whiterun and a few other places. So after some pretty intense months in Skyrim, I got to thinking about getting it onto my desktop. Well, the old beast is an Intel dual quad-core rig, and all of its specs exceeded the recommended requirements for Skyrim except - you guessed it, the graphics card.

So I researched the issue and looked for graphics cards I could put into that old dog. I tried an ATI Radeon 7950 card with 3 GB VRAM. It ran fine - for about a month. Then it burned out. When I looked into the issue, I discovered that it needed more power than my MoBo could give. So I shopped around some more, visited more forums to find other users who had been down this road with the same rig as I have, and decided to go with NVIDIA GeForce 760GT (2GB VRAM) that comes down to just under the max power rating for my MoBo. It's been in the Beast now for more than six months without any issues at all.

So the only time I see lag is when Windows suddenly starts doing something in the background, especially trying to backup. I've got backups scheduled to take place only on Sundays at 2 am, so if I don't remember to leave the Beast turned on overnight, it's no big deal if it doesn't back up. Same thing with update checks. It's rare, and my FPS tends to run in the 50's and 60's without problems. I can't remember for sure, but I think V Sync is turned off in the game menu - it seems both Oblivion and Skyrim do better without it.


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mALX
post Aug 18 2015, 06:23 PM
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I've had a lot of stuttering with my new PC ( NVidia 780 GTX ) playing ESO. I never had the stuttering issue playing ESO on my son's PC, he has the NVidia 760 GTX. Not sure why the game plays smooth on his and not mine.





This post has been edited by mALX: Aug 18 2015, 06:28 PM


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SubRosa
post Aug 18 2015, 07:19 PM
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I suggest making sure your new PC is optimized, by removing unnecessary start up programs. Msconfig is an easy way to do this. Just go to the Start button, and type it into the search bar. Then click on its icon in the results. Click on the Startup tab and it will show you everything that starts with the computer. Deselect everything that absolutely does not need to be on to keep your computer running. For example I only have three things going: my antivirus, and two programs for my sound card.

The great thing about MSConfig is that it does not delete anything. If you start up and something isn't working, just go back and reselect it so it starts up your computer again.


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mALX
post Aug 19 2015, 09:46 PM
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QUOTE(SubRosa @ Aug 18 2015, 02:19 PM) *

I suggest making sure your new PC is optimized, by removing unnecessary start up programs. Msconfig is an easy way to do this. Just go to the Start button, and type it into the search bar. Then click on its icon in the results. Click on the Startup tab and it will show you everything that starts with the computer. Deselect everything that absolutely does not need to be on to keep your computer running. For example I only have three things going: my antivirus, and two programs for my sound card.

The great thing about MSConfig is that it does not delete anything. If you start up and something isn't working, just go back and reselect it so it starts up your computer again.


Thank you for the advice, I will check this out.

What about Steam; should I disable it from the start menu? I didn't know why it had to start up with my boot instead of just when I want it on, but it is most def on in the start up file/list.










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SubRosa
post Aug 19 2015, 09:58 PM
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There is no need to have Steam starting up with your computer. If you start a game that requires Steam, it will start it along with the game.


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ghastley
post Aug 19 2015, 10:03 PM
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Starting Steam with the game doesn't seem to start SKSE properly for me. It takes a second attempt, or to start Steam separately first.

Most of the time, though, I start Steam by launching the CK, and then play the game after that! tongue.gif


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Acadian
post Aug 19 2015, 10:07 PM
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I do not have Steam in my start up queue either. Although my start list is different than SubRosa's, it is only three programs like her start up list is.

When I want the CK, I start the CK and Steam fires itself up (like ghastley said).

I start up Skyrim via SKSE and, similarly, that fires up Steam no problems.


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mALX
post Aug 19 2015, 10:12 PM
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Okay, that is great news, because Steam is one of those things that makes my boot up take forever, and I have no doubt it runs in the background when I'm playing. I've also had trouble with my game crashing because Java has an update notification that continuously pops up while I am playing and freezing the game. As soon as it crashes I see the notice, it is really aggravating - it also pops up on start up.





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SubRosa
post Aug 20 2015, 12:29 AM
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QUOTE(ghastley @ Aug 19 2015, 05:03 PM) *

Starting Steam with the game doesn't seem to start SKSE properly for me. It takes a second attempt, or to start Steam separately first.

It is like that for everyone who uses SKSE. You have to either start Steam manually, then start your game. Or just start your game to the vanilla launcher - which also starts Steam - exit the game, then start again.


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mirocu
post Nov 15 2015, 10:03 PM
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When I was young(er) I bought the NES joystick. Thought it could be fun to play Topgun 2 with it. Problem is I never got to play that game after buying the joystick.. tongue.gif

It worked fine with Rad Racer although I must have been a bit brutal because one of the buttons on the stand broke... mellow.gif


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mALX
post Nov 15 2015, 10:24 PM
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QUOTE(mirocu @ Nov 15 2015, 04:03 PM) *

When I was young(er) I bought the NES joystick. Thought it could be fun to play Topgun 2 with it. Problem is I never got to play that game after buying the joystick.. tongue.gif

It worked fine with Rad Racer although I must have been a bit brutal because one of the buttons on the stand broke... mellow.gif



I think it is the one my Dad used to play some "Flight" game series where he was flying passenger type planes and landing them in airports or on flight decks of navy ships. I tried to play it once and wiped out a whole crew of tail-hookers and crashed off the end of the Carrier every time, lol.





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mirocu
post Nov 15 2015, 10:30 PM
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QUOTE(mALX @ Nov 15 2015, 10:24 PM) *

I think it is the one my Dad used to play some "Flight" game series where he was flying passenger type planes and landing them in airports or on flight decks of navy ships. I tried to play it once and wiped out a whole crew of tail-hookers and crashed off the end of the Carrier every time, lol.

Really? Did he have this one?

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mALX
post Nov 15 2015, 11:00 PM
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QUOTE(mirocu @ Nov 15 2015, 04:30 PM) *

QUOTE(mALX @ Nov 15 2015, 10:24 PM) *

I think it is the one my Dad used to play some "Flight" game series where he was flying passenger type planes and landing them in airports or on flight decks of navy ships. I tried to play it once and wiped out a whole crew of tail-hookers and crashed off the end of the Carrier every time, lol.

Really? Did he have this one?

IPB Image



It looked just like that but the buttons were not bright red. I think the games were called "Flight Simulator" or something. But he gave me the controller, I'll try to find it once things settle down around here, it can only be one of a few places.




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SubRosa
post Apr 15 2018, 10:39 PM
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For a while now I have been reading that G-sync works with Fallout 4. So I bit the bullet and bought an Acer Z271 - a curved, 27" G-Sync monitor. I went with that one in particular because the native resolution is 1920 x 1080. I don't want any higher because it makes text too small, and reducing a modern monitor from the native resolution just makes it look blurry. I also went with this one for the curve. I have gotten used to it with both my tv and previous monitor.

So I plugged in my new monitor and went looking to see how I could turn G-sync on. I found that Nvidia's control panel application had vanished after plugging in the new monitor. So I had to go to Nvidia's site and download the latest drivers for my video card. Naturally the site's auto detection feature that normally identifies your video card did not work. It told me I had to update my version of Java. So I did so, and of course the auto-detect still did not work after that. So I did it all the old way, and spent the next 20 minutes waiting for the driver to download.

Then I installed it and rebooted. Now I had the Nvidia control panel back, and through it I could enable G-Sync. It has a G-Sync indicator you can turn on through the panel that pops up when G-Sync is working so I turned that on. Then I did some tweaks I had read about online to get Fallout 4 working with G-Sync. Disable V-Sync in the game by changing the iPresentInvterval=1 line to =0 in the Fallout.ini and both FalloutPrefs.ini files. Yes, there are two of the latter. The second one is in your Fallout\Fallout folder. I think it is there because Bethesda really hates it when gamers change the options in their games.

Then in the Nvidia Control Panel I forced V-Sync on for Fallout 4.

I fired up the game, and away I went. I have to say, it plays amazing. So much better than before. It is as smooth as warm butter in the summer sun. Micro-Stuttering as almost completely vanished. I say almost, because there are still a few rare moments where I get a little lag. But all in all, it is a vast improvement.

I found that the Acer has an option to turn on an FPS counter, so I turned that on. I found that I was doing between 120 to 144 fps/hz. That is not supposed to be happening. I had my monitor's refresh rate locked at 60 in the Nvidia control panel. But it was going all out (144 is the monitor's max refresh rate). So I have done some more digging into the settings. I found that in the Manage 3d Settings area, there is a Preferred Refresh Rate setting. There are only two options - Maximum and Application-controlled. Neither really sounds right, I don't want it it at 144, and with V-Sync turned off in the game, the application cannot control it.

I hunted around my monitor's OSD buttons, and unfortunately there is no option to manually set the frame rate through the monitor itself. sad.gif

So I fired up Nvidia Inspector and used the Frame Rate Limiter. I tried setting it to 59.7 fps (there is no option for 60 at the start of the list of options). Then I tried the game again, and there was no change. Still blazing along at 144. I played the game for few hours this way, and everything seemed fine. No signs of the insanity that Beth games are known for if they exceed 60 fps. I was especially looking for the Terminal bug. This happens to people with 60+ fps who use a computer in the game, and it locks up. I was able to use about a dozen terminals with only one hiccup. I exited the computer with no problem. But then I was stuck floating in mid-air like I was jumping, but never landing. I was not able to get out of it, and had to quickload. I have been stuck in the jumping animation before, so I don't know if it was caused by the new monitor, or if it was just an un-related, random glitch.

So I tried the Limiter again, and further down the list I found an option for 60 fps frame limiter v2. I selected that, and tried again. Now I see my frame rate in the game hover around 60. It goes over it by 10 or so sometimes, and under it by the same sometimes. It still plays as good as before. So this looks like a winner. I have not run across a terminal yet to experiment with to see if I get the bug or not. So we will see.


I tried a little experimenting with Skyrim. I also forced V-Sync off in the game by editing the .ini files. Then forced it on in the Nvidia Control Panel. Finally I set the preferred refresh to Application-Controlled. I never set the Frame Rate Limiter on this one. I played for a few minutes, and the fps stays locked at 60 fps the entire time. Never once changing. I got a lot of stutter at first, when I was on the Windhelm docks. But once I got out into the open it smoothed out quite a bit. The water reflections look really bright and sparkly, a problem I had before. But not as bad this time. I tried it again with the V-Sync set to Fast in the Nvidia Control Panel. This time the FPS jumped around in the 50's and 60s, and I got more stutter. So the first way was better. It was an improvement, but not much.

I also tried Fallout 3 with the same settings. This time when I started the game, the monitor's FPS display vanished. It played great though. But I have no idea if G-Sync was really working. I went back and put V-Sync back on in the game through the .ini files, and tried playing again. It was the same. So I think I have enough horsepower without G-Sync that the game just plays well no matter what.


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Dark Reaper
post Apr 15 2018, 11:10 PM
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Switch: The Switch has got to be my favorite game console. Play it as a console or handheld and playing it as a handheld doesn't drop the game quality and still plays smoothly.

New 3DSXL : I love the 3D effect on this unit, WAY better then the older models.

I also like the PSVR but my last VR unit had connection issues and would black out in the middle of a game. So getting rid of it I also got rid of the PS4 Pro and if I'm ever going to buy a PS4 again I'm sticking to the Slim and won't invest in a PSVR again.



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SubRosa
post Apr 17 2018, 12:26 AM
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I have played some more Fallout 4, and I discovered that using 60 fps frame limiter v2 did not work after all. When it was hovering around 60 before I must have been in a particularly cluttered area. Because in most other places my frame rate was up around 140.

So I did some more experimenting today, and had no success. Until for shits and giggles I edited the global values, instead of just those for Fallout 4. Viola! a constant 60 fps at all times in the game. So Nvidia Inspector was not applying the settings for the Fallout 4 profile. I just have to remember to change the global settings back to normal when I play a non-Bethesda game.


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TheCheshireKhajiit
post Apr 17 2018, 04:31 AM
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QUOTE(SubRosa @ Apr 16 2018, 06:26 PM) *

I have played some more Fallout 4, and I discovered that using 60 fps frame limiter v2 did not work after all. When it was hovering around 60 before I must have been in a particularly cluttered area. Because in most other places my frame rate was up around 140.

So I did some more experimenting today, and had no success. Until for shits and giggles I edited the global values, instead of just those for Fallout 4. Viola! a constant 60 fps at all times in the game. So Nvidia Inspector was not applying the settings for the Fallout 4 profile. I just have to remember to change the global settings back to normal when I play a non-Bethesda game.

Please excuse, but what is the purpose of FPS limiting?


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SubRosa
post Apr 17 2018, 11:26 AM
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An FPS limiter puts a hard cap on the frames per second a game will run at. It is a necessary alternative to V-Sync because going over 60 fps literally breaks Bethesda's games. Time in their games is measured by frames per second. Go over 60, and you literally speed up the passage of game time. That breaks the physics engine, and causes all sorts of bugs.

Normally the game's V-Sync takes care of that by fixing the game's frame rate at 60. But G-Sync won't work with V-Sync on. The whole purpose of G-Sync is to dynamically link the monitor and video card's frame rates, so they each match one another as the fps goes up and down.

With the frame rate capped instead, the game won't go over 60 fps and break the game. But it can still dip below that just fine, and the video card and monitor will remain G-Synced. That eliminates stuttering and lag.


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