Graphic Settings and their definitions.

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Deathsledge
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Graphic Settings and their definitions.

Post by Deathsledge » Fri Dec 31, 2004 3:06 pm

Heres some imformation I posted here before but it seems to have got lost in the sauce.


1) Texture Mipmap filter:
bilinear, trilinear, anisotropic. What is the difference between these?

Texture filtering is the feature that makes the textures look blured rather than blocky. But besides the normal filtering there are also extra filters that make the textures look even more blurred as they get more distant from the point of view.

Bilinear is the standart filtering system but as the ground gets farther away there are lines showing the clear separation between the levels of texture blur. On older games like Quake this is very noticeable.

Trilinear creates an extra level of filtering blur on the seperation levels of the bilinear making the transition to the horizon smooth and without any noticeable separation. But there is still a slight distortion in the nearest textures.

Anisotropic is the best of them all. It creates an average algorith based on the trilinear filtering result making everything look uniformely smooth, but it's bandwidth intensive.

In bandwidth I mean the ammount of data being exanged through the PCI or AGP Bus. The number of pipelines is crutial for this too. Budget cards like the Gforce MX are cheaper mainly because they only have half the pipelines compared to the high end boards.

(2) Texture Compression:
none, 16bit, SCTC

This has good points and bad points.

No compression means high quality but also lots of data. As before the number of pipelines is significant in terms of performance. Everything from the Bus speed, the hardrive speed, the memory speed and the ammount of insystem or GFX card memory can have an impact on this. Badly configured systems, or unexpected bugs in the drivers, or de program code, can slowdown the speed of the data exange and thus cause slowdowns normaly known as stutter.

Lowering the texture depth to 16bit, meaning from millions of colors to just thousands, lowers the stress on the bandwidth but also lowers quality. This is more notisable in smoke textures as they will not have as many colors as they should to render the transparencies. That will cause strange efects like purple smoke for example, in some cases.

S3TC (Not SCTC) is a compression algorithm that reduces the amount of data, and as before, lowers the amount of strees on the bandwidth, but rises the amount of calculations necessary. So whatever the benefits is may have by lower the bandwindth demand they may be offset by the need of the high processing capabilities needed either by the GPU or the CPU. Besides that, it also lowers the overal quality. Still in some cases it may do more good than bad.

(3) Use Dither

It's used in the 16bit mode creating a pattern between two diferent colors to smooth out the transition from one to the other.

(4) Use Vertex Arrays

An array is a string of data. In this case it contains the coordinates of the Vertexes that define the the 3d shapes we see on screen. They are the heart of the 3D engine so to speak. Each API has it's on way of using them. When this option is checked the 3D API, either OpenGL or DX, will use it's own arrays, if not checked it will use a software created array. The efects of this are umpredictable. It depends on each system.

(5) Polygon Stipple

Polygon or Line stippling is the ability to create lines or polygons made up of dotted or dashed lines. This is done when you are looking at an object from a very closed angle or long distance. The polygon lines will be more or less stippled at certain angles so that they don't saturate the object making it a big messy blob.

When used in conjunction with AA it makes the lines look more smooth.

Look at the radio wiring from Me109 for exampe. At certain angles it almost dissapears and when AA is on it looks much smoother.

(6) What are all the extensions? Multitexture, Combine, Secondary Color, Vertex Array Extension, Clip Hint, Use Palette, Texture Anisotropic Extension, Texture Compress ARB Extension.

Multitexture: as the name says is the ability to combine textures by layers in order to create a single more complex texture with more detail. You need 32bits to get good results it also like before has some strain on the bandwidth. This must be used with the "Combine" feature.

Vertex Array Extension: As before it is API specific. It also depends on the GFX card having this features.

Clip Hint: Image or object clipping is the ability to cut or remove objects that are obscured by others or outside the field of view in order to save processing time and resorces. This is a feature that tries to guess what objects have more chances of being cliped or removed from view before they do.

Secondary color: I'm not 100% sure on this one but one thing I sure of: anything that uses colors is bandwidth intensive. This is most likely to do with transparencies and multitexturing. Basicaly I belive it adds an extra color palette in order to create a better blending. Use it with the "Use Palette".

Texture Anisotropic Extension, Texture Compress ARB Extension: They should only be used when the anisotropic filtering and the texture compression are on. They add extra features that impact on quality, but only if the GPU can handle them.
There are two things that are infinite in life, human stupidity and the universe, and I'm not too sure about the universe. Albert Einstein
Deathsledge
The Unforseeable
Posts: 1816
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2003 2:58 am
Location: U.S.

more helpful info from Hunter82

Post by Deathsledge » Fri Dec 31, 2004 8:53 pm

Drivers I recommend ATI 4.12 Beta w/4.11 CCC and NVIDIA 66.81 or latest Whql

These are general settings for ATI and NVIDIA cards


If using anisotropic filtering in your driver control panel disable in il2setup.exe under custom settings on video tab:

Texture anisotropic extension

For a quick boost in frames set filtering to bilinear. Your drivers will try and force Trilinear so no need to enable a high filtering value.

I do not use S3TC texture compression on any card with over 128mb of ram.



In the main IL2/PF folder find your conf.ini file, open in notepad

Look for this line:

Effects=1

Setting effects to 0 removes shadows under flak bursts etc to improve performance slightly.

DO NOT USE EFFECTS 2 this is not designed for current hardware but for future use.

In this line:

Forest=3

Forest can be set to 1 on older cards, low memory system, or slower CPU’s. 2 will work fine for most. Newer cards with 256MB should be able to use 3.

In this line:

Water=1

Setting water to 1 will increase performance on most cards in perfect mode, water 2 uses more CPU and memory, water 3 currently only works with NVIDIA 6800 series cards supporting Pixel Shader 3.0. Water 0, 1, and 2 all use PS 2.0 the more common Pixel Shader available.

Some users with older cards should set this line:

ForceShaders1x=0

To 1. This will force the use of older Pixel Shader 1.0 technology and increase performance again

If you experience flickering textures locate this line:

PolygonOffsetFactor=-0.15
PolygonOffsetUnits=-3.0

And set to as listed above.


Sound:

44100 uses the most memory and should only be used on Audigy cards for best performance.

22050 should work best for most.

Set to minimal for fastest play, higher settings should be used on newer Audigy sound cards and not onboard sound. Balanced is probably as high as you would want to go with an onboard system.

I use 44100 and 32 channels on the audigy 2...

On board sound users make sure to select EAX1 in the sound properties. If you select higher values there is a good risk of timeouts in online play. These are usually displayed as not being able to join a server or being booted (removed) shortly after joining.



Minimum and recommended system specs

Supported OS: Windows© 98 / Me / XP / 2000
Processor:
Minimum: Pentium® III or AMD Athlon â„¢ 1 GHz
Recommended: P4 3 GHz or above
RAM:
Minimum: 512 Mb
Recommended: 1 GB or more
Video Card:
Minimum: DirectX ® 9 compatible, 64 Mb
Recommended: 128 Mb or more
Sound Card:
Minimum: DirectX ® 9 compatible
Recommended: Audigy series
Free HD space after install: 1.1+ GB
Network Play: high speed internet connection with minimum delay is highly recommended


OK once again IMO the min specs are understated for ‘real’ game play on the processor side and video side.

I would say 2 GHz min on CPU and 128 Min on video card. DX 9 compatible again being key. Older cards and even new GF MX version are not DX 9 compatible.

OK with that said if you are doing an upgrade to AEP install:

My personal preference is a clean install.

Most older missions/campaigns will not be compatible due to pointer changes in PF.

Skins can be backed up.

On your user settings and conf.ini. Backing them up is OK but newer values are being written also so a clean start is best.

Yes I know I’ll hear slot of crying about that and some experts will say boo but that’s my opinion on the install.

Install Forgotten Battles reboot. Install Aces Expansion Pack reboot. Install Pacific Fighters reboot. Set to taste.

You have many new key assignments in PF and many new values in the conf.ini once again I prefer a clean slate.

If you choose to do an install over AEP patched version you may see stutter or some crashes. This is what I have seen in my testing of the installs. This may not happen to all but those who do experience it do a clean install.

Pacific Fighters stand alone install will not be compatible online with Pacific fighters add on.


If you wish to change the max number of speech subtitle lines displayed on the screen at any given time, open the conf.ini file with notepad, and locate the SubTitlesLines setting under the [game] section. Then set the setting to the desired number of lines. For example, to set it to a maximum of two lines at any time, you should have this:
[game]
SubTitlesLines=2

If the lines are not present you can copy/paste this SubTitlesLines=2 portion and add under the game section to limit the lines. Less chat in game uses fewer resources Wink

Logging
Make sure logging is off. If you are not running a program that needs it… Logging eats up memory and CPU cycles continuously writing to the file and creates stutter. This is especially important for online play and servers.

LOG=0
LOGTIME=0
LOGFILE=log.lst
LOGKEEP=0

Yes I understand people wish to log details at times but overall it is a problem more than an answer.

Overclocking.

If you are overclocking and experience issues. Set your system back to default and test. IL2 AEP and more so PF are very demanding and can error out much easier than your average. Prime 95, memtest, and programs of the like are great but cannot determine absolute stability and should not be considered as a 'true' test of a stable system.... Many will not agree with that statement but hey... I'm not here for a popularity contest Wink


Installation issues:

If using clonecd or alchohol disable the virtual drive...it may require you to uninstall these to work.

Installshield errors (usually 1628) delete the contents of the windows temp file and attempt install again.

auto run errors.... right click on the cd and select explore. Click on setup.exe and execute program...this has been an ongoing problem with the installer since FB.

General system issues....

make sure to have DX 9.0C installed, if you are installing DX 9.0C make sure to reinstall your motherboard drivers after. It is always best to uninstall vido carddrivers prior to a DX upgrade then install mobo drivers then install video drivers...this should resolve a AGP acceleration unavailable issue.

HEAT... if you are experiencing frequent crashes while playing .... humor me and remove the side cover from your case, if you have a small house fan present place it so it blows on your system...if you experience no more crashes then you can narrow down the issue as heat related.

NOTE: If you install the new PF exe and are using a 'no cd' dll this will not work. The rts.dll from the disc is needed and disc 2 used to launch game

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Hunter82, Thu November 18 2004 16:59

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There are two things that are infinite in life, human stupidity and the universe, and I'm not too sure about the universe. Albert Einstein
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