- 3 - Optimizing Windows for Gaming

dnjrdnjr 2013-02-14 19:15:26
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[c]SETTING UP WINDOWS FOR GAMING[/c]
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This section will mostly talk about these tweaks:
- best windows version for cod2;
- turning off unnecessary processes;
- losing appearance, adopting performance;
- keeping your PC healthy;
- settings in graphics drivers;
- setting up your mouse.

That is about all, to talk for now. If I remember any more, I will make sure to post.


[c]Best Windows for CallofDuty2[/c]

This may be an unpleasant topic, but any way you look at it, the only people who've been having OS problems with cod2, are people, using either Windows Vista, 7, or 8.
Same thing with Tzac. There's always a smart guy who can't google or has some unsolvable issue with it, and it's always an issue with newer versions of Windows.
Problems with Cod2 on Windows Vista/7 are endless, to be honest.

The Philosophy:

So my suggestion is Windows XP 32bit, serveice pack 2. It may be a stable system at times, not so stable at others, but if you're not lazy take care of it, run a registry fixing program once a week, and disk cleanup + disk defragmenter also once a week, everything will run fine, especially on a SDD (caution - do not perform disk defragmentation on SSD drives - you may ruin them, all other stuff applies).

In no way is this mandatory, nor need you to instantly uninstall your current system and go for it, with your eyebrows on fire. Just have it in mind. You're trying to set up a system to completely compliment your favourite game, Cod2. You're not gonna be asking showing off this PC to your mom or gf, how many nice widgets you've got on your desktop, or how cool is your wallpaper and how accurately it reflects your sophisticition and hidden talents as a persona. No. It's a workhorse, and it's beauty is in it's crudeness.

So for the sake of it - if you want a fresh start - reinstall Windows as step one.
Important point: If you're not experiencing 250-150 or 125-70 fps drops, aka Punkbuster inflicted lag, you're better off not reinstalling your Windows. Just follow other steps on how to keep them fresh, performing well and responsive, and you'll be just fine.


[c]Turning off unnecessary processes[/c]

This step adds to the whole journey of improving performance of your PC, it may even give you a few extra FPS.
Basicly what this does, is that it turns off unnecessary processes that computer may be asked to perform by random tasks when you're playing, which is actually no good.
Turning them off will keep your PC focused at current tasks you're trying to perform, which is what we want.

I cannot guarantee for the lifetime of this link:
http://billmullins.wordpress.com/2008/01/21/speedup-your-pc-%E2%80%93-turn-off-unnecessary-services-in-xp/
And there are more in-depth tutorials for Windows XP itself, as well as Windows 7, and they're not hard to find.
Just google something like "unnecessary processes windows (your version) ". When you're there, it will take some time, but be patient, read it all, and turn off or leave some processes be, according to your PC. If later you find something not working in Windows - yep. Just go back, read, research and you'll be fine again.


[c]Losing appearance, adopting performance[/c]

Whilst this may not be a very significant performance booster - who knows, every PC is different, may be quite worth the while.

You have to do basicly whatever this screenshot shows:

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Start -> Right Click on My Computer -> Properties -> Advanced -> On the Performance field clock Settings -> Adjust for best Performance


That will f*ck with your font. If we do not approve of it, we go like this:

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Right click on Desktop -> Properties -> Appearance -> Effects -> Put a tick on "Use the following method to ... smooth edges of screen fonts" -> Clear Type


[c]Keeping your PC healthy[/c]

This step is quite easy, consists only of using most simple of tools:
- Disk Cleanup tool
- Disk Defragmenter tool
- Registry Cleaner

The first two are Windows tools, and be found in Start* -> All programs -> Accessories -> System tools.
There are all kinds of different versions of Registry Cleaners, yet I recommend a free version of this one:
http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/download

Make sure you perform these actions once a week. Disk defragmentaion takes quite a while on a HDD , so if you want to pucker up before an important match, better do it 1 hour in advance. And believe me, this helps. A cautious tip from Aciz - do not defragment SSD drives, as defragmentation does no good for it - it's a flash drive, and blocks are not grouped in order, they just get tossed around randomly, and wear out the drive. Good tip !


[c]Settings in graphics drivers[/c]

There aren't to many things to talk about here, and different settings in your GPU's driver settings may have different effects on your in-game graphics and even how your mouse performs, and it's all due to how well the choir or your hardware manages to make tunes, and whether their voices go along.

Basicly - 3 main things:
- Setting up your GPU settings for performance;
- Colour settings for better visibility in-game;
- Setting up your monitor properties to force Hz on some resolutions.


[c]GPU performance[/c]

You may do overclocking via tutorials found on google, reading forums and what not. However, I don't recommend that, especially for a game like cod2, tweaking things for no real reason. It won't really give you satisfaction, as you'll be putting your hardware in danger. Just keep things simple and plain, plus/minus natural.

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Highlighted are most obvious, yet most important settings:
- Disabling V-Sync will unlock your FPS from your monitor's Refresh Rate. Whilst you may want to lock V-Sync in some cases of strategy games, or games like LoL or Dota2, disabling v-sync rings true to every Multiplayer FPS game - Singleplayer is up to you;
- Choosing high performance in Texture filtering gives a humongous FPS increase, and is recommended as mandatory.

[c]Digital Vibrance aka Visibility[/c]

This is visual preference, some people like it, some do not.

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A few of my cod2 friends use this setting, and they swear on their mothers and what not, that it improves distinction of player models for them, yet, if I had to calculate, I'd only give a 5% percent increase.

Default value is at 50%,
Reasonable value is at 71-74%,
1337 value is, yes, you guessed it - 100%

Makes kind of impossible to watch movies with all that colour, but I like TopGear on 100%. Looks nice.

[c]Forcing monitor's Refresh Rate[/c]

This step is a bit tricky, as in - it may become damaging to your monitor.
Manufacturers never advise you to exceed their given values as defaults, as it may shorten the life of hardware in question, yada-yada-badda.

I do adivise you as well, to google your monitor's capabilites, or read it's manual, or even contact support on the manufacturer's website, before taking any step further.

There are 2 ways, that ring true, when it comes to forcing monitor for higher Hz.
- Creating a Custom Resolution Profile in the Nvidia or Catalyst control panel, which enables you to type in any resolution you wish
- Using a program called rForce, which can be found here http://www.m-h.org.uk/rf/

Firstly, do the Custom Profile thing, at your GPU's driver settings:

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Do this at your own risk, and after you have deep knowledge of what your monitor can do.
If so, just create a Profile, and you're set.
However, if it does not work, you may want to try the rForce. After using it, you'll need to reboot.
If none of that works, post in the comment section below, I'll try to help updating this section to richer detail, as problems with it has given me countless headaches.


[c]Setting up your mouse in Windows[/c]

A vast topic, which I'll try to keep plain and simple:
- Drivers vs No drivers;
- 1000 hz vs 500 hz vs 250 hz vs 125 hz;
- Windows mouse sensitivity meter;
- Mouse accel registry fix.


[c]Drivers vs No drivers[/c]

This is best decided by you. The problem with it, though, is the fact that drivers are not stable. They get updated, tweaked by the manufacturer's software team, and they do have substantial impact on your aim.

The Philosophy:

For instance, I'm using SetPoint 2.3 drivers, that came with my mouse, Logitech mx518. I do realise that on LAN events I may not be able to set up everything as it is back at home, yet I do take ther risk, since it gives me an edge in controlling my mp44 and puts on a silk mask on turns, making everything so much smoother.

I've tried all kinds of different versions of SetPoint drivers up to 4.6b, and nearly every version is different, which is kind of alerting, if some gamers look at their mouse drivers same way they look at gpu drivers. New version ? Lets update ! Oh wai- I can't hit sh*t anymore.

So my conclusion from testing goes like this - even if different drivers give you different results, you'll probably find that the ones which came with your mouse, whilst not perfect, were written purposely for it, and will give you the "best" effect. If that is present, I suggest you copy paste the drivers from the disk to your HDD, in advance of occasion, where you lose your disk in a metro or your dog's teeth go for a walk.

If not - just play without drivers, and get used to it. It's totally fine, and I can vouch for it - on some mice it's a positive thing. You'll also be readying yourself for a LAN, if that ever comes your way.

[c]Hertz[/c]

Theres a lot of fuss about this. Originally, forcing your USB ports to work at 1000hz, is not that dangerous, as is costly - weaker CPU's get a bit of a load. Whilst it isn't noticeable on some systems, it is on some. Say 5-10 fps.

The Philosophy:

I've tried 1000hz on my old PC and OC'ed my trusty mx510 mouse, and I nearly didn't feel anything. Lucky, yes. However 1000hz is not always the best choice. And here is my home-made explanation.
Up to this day I used 1000hz on any mouse I laid my hands on. Even on the Logitech b58 from back in 2001, which, to my huge surprise, took the 1khz as a blessing, and performed even better. However whilst testing different sensitivites on the PUB, after rebooting my PC I did not notice that my Hz jumped back to 127 Hz ( after reinstalling mouse drivers that usually happens). I went to the PUB again, and I couldn't belive my eyes, how responsive and alive my mouse was.

As I later found out, mouse rate kind of works a bit like swimming in different liquids. 127hz being water, 1000hz being half-thick oil. I went on experimenting, and concluding my previous finds with mx518 and all of the norecoiled mp44 bladder of doom type configs, and here is what I found:
- Automatic weapons dont really need flicking. They need slow and smooth turning circles, where every frame per second is captured by your eye, without any stutter, screen tearing or any unwanted effect like that. 1000hz is perfect for that, mostly the only way.
- Sniper rifles and rifles in general are a bit different. People often tend to use high sensitivities, flick shoot, drag shoot and snap shoot - however you call it, it's a spastic kind of technique, that often gives amazing results in hardcore situations. 127-250 hz recommended here, I was really amazed at how different it felt. Improving is the word.

Here's a download link, for those who don't know which one of "forcing" programs is the best.
http://www.ngohq.com/news/15043-how-to-increase-usb-sample-rate-in-windows-vista-7-a.html
This set of tools can both be used on WindowsXP and Windows7. For XP it's easier, you don't have to go through all the "Driver Signing" steps, just use the program, set your wanted filter on the mouse, apply it. Restart PC afterwards, if Dimr.exe is still showing default hertz output.


[c]Windows Mouse Sensitivity meter[/c]

Yeeeeeeeeees, let's have a cheeky yeeees again. Most people, who imagine they know a lot about setting up windows sensitivity, will undoubtedly report to you that 6/11 or 5/10 on drivered meter is the way to go ! The middle ! Scientificly proven !

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The Philosophy:

Nope. There's actually a fine difference there. And it's hard to describe. The only proper way is to give you a few examples, and what they're good for.

Let's say you set up your mouse, on 6/11 bars in the Windows Mouse Settings meter. In-game = sensitivity 5.
That will mean that if you use 5/11 bars in the Windows Mouse Settings meter, you'll have to use 6.66(6) in-game, to get the exact same effect, or so it would seem.
If you go further, for 4/11 bars in the Windows Mouse Settings meter, you'll have to use 10 in-game, or so the tutorials say.
The very same thing with 8/11 bars. 2.5 in-game.

It goes in percentages:
- 8/11 is half (-50%) of what 6/11 is;
- 6/11 is same (+-0%) as 6/11 is;
- 5/11 is three quarters (+25%) of what 6/11 is;
- 4/11 is 2 times more (+50%) of what 6/11 is.

These are the most common values chosen between gamers. However, if you convert your sensitivity from 6/11 to 4/11 or lets say 8/11, it's actually not the same. It's drasticly different.

What you will experience is the "skipping through pixels" effect. With 4/11 the skipping through pixels in much more narrow, whilst 8/11 offers higher skipping.
It's really not that noticeable in-game, although the core mechanics of it stay. And I've realised, tested and proven myself this rule, which has been actually documented in some tutorials, via MsPaint.exe, drawing circles. Good enough proof, huh.

However, here are my conclusions:
- 6/11 is like an everyday normal guy, best all-rounder for people who don't want to get into it too deep;
- 8/11 is really good for rifles and scopes. skipping pixels works as an advantage for flick-shots;
- 4/11 is the mother of autos. Whichever mouse I've tried on different parts of the Windows Sensitivity Meter, 4/11 always ringed true in putting the tightest recoil spread on my mp44 and even thompson. At one point I even made an very low sensitivity config that is useless for anything else than no-recoiling a thompson, with some substantial effort from your hand, still, was very impressive to pull it off in a few wars.

[c]Mouse Registry Fix[/c]

I've used the CPL Mouse Accel Fix for my registry to remove accel from my mouse on Windows XP on and off, in the following years. It's really peculiar.

This very moment I am not using it - the little tad bit of mouse accel that Setpoint 2.3 drivers offer (like 0.1% or so), gives a bit of an edge, and gives my mouse a nice effect, rather than static CPL Mouse Accel Fix removing everything alltogether.

However, I'm not dissing it. You should definately pick some random sensitivity and try it with and without CPL Mouse Accel fix. Experiment excessively on a DM server which you're used to, with roughly the same amount of people in it (well, 19 players on FCG. DM Toujane won't really help you find anything precise, except, perhaps, how far can your nerves go).

TL;DR verdict:
- Windows XP 32bit SP2 is 1337 @ cod2;
- Gaming computer = massive performance, ugly looks;
- Defragment + Cleanup + Scan Registry once per week, it's a must;
- GPU driver tweaks are significant, make sure to read above;
- Windows Mouse settings should not be taken lightly, they can be of greatest help:
-- 1000 hz = auto weapons in most cases;
-- 127-250hz = rifles/scopes for flickshots;
-- 6/11 = a path for anyone;
-- 4 /11 = a path for a machinegunner;
-- 8/11 = a path for a scoper/rifle/shotgunnerr;
- CPL Mouse Accel fix may prove to invaluable to some, a burden - to other.
2 Comments
FatBo
the mouse settings on windows is dope , i like how u take steps for each weapon ;D
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