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Thread: ** General Optimization Tips** | Forums

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    120
    I thought I'd write a few optimization tips for anyone whos interested. All of these are things that I've
    picked up from playing other games, experience and just common sense.

    WARNING: There are minor risks involved in changing some of these things, at most a reboot should fix them. But if your worried what im suggesting will damage your system, please dont try it. If you have little or no experience of any areas of this guide, please dont touch anything.

    GAME
    Ok this is partly common sense, but you really want to reduce all the settings if you have a poor system. If
    it seems to be running smoothly then you can slowly raise things and make more decisions based on this. (Note:
    I dont know if these options will appear in the game or not.)

    - InGame Settings
    Textures: Low
    Particle Effects: Off
    Preload Skins: Off (Increases loading time of levels)
    Decals: Off (If possible)

    Console commands also form an important part of reducing things to optimize your game on a lower end system.
    Anyone who has played Doom 3 will know that it is possible to reduce alot of the settings through the console
    without losing too much of the great graphics that make the game (Because we all know the gameplay doesnt!).
    I'll hopefully mention the console commands for Brothers in Arms when its released.


    Processes
    Processes can be running on your system all the time, and you may never know that they are there if you dont
    check your task manager (CTRL + ALT + DELETE). These processes can stem from software your running, to things
    in your system tray right through to viruses. Its important to have as fewer processes as you can running when
    your gaming in order to gain the maximum from your system.

    - System Tray
    Do you have tons of icons in your system tray when you boot up? Better yet are your boot up times so long you
    can cook dinner before your pc is good to go? Then check whats booting up when your pc starts because it could
    the cause of a bad gaming experience.
    In order to see whats booting up on your PC, go to: Start > Run > Type "msconfig" without the quotes > click
    the "Startup" tab. This will show you everything on your system that is starting up as you boot your PC. You
    can use the check boxes to disable anything thats unwanted, and anything you require (Firewall, Anti Virus
    etc) you can leave with a tick in. Make sure you read the directory extensions for each item your un-ticking
    so you have an idea of what your disabling before you do. Reboot to see the results!



    - Windows Services
    Windows runs all sorts of useless stuff when your PC boots up that you may never ever need. These can be
    disabled by using the services menu. This can be accessed by going to Start > Run > and typing "services.msc"
    without the quotes. You will then see a list of all the services on your PC, along with its status (Automatic,
    Manual, Disabled). There are several processes that you can disable (For information google these services.)
    such as the remote desktop related processes, and the spool process (If you dont have or use a printer at
    all).

    If your an ATi user like myself, Disable all the ATi processes because quite frankly they are useless. One
    hangs in your system memory waiting for hotkeys, and the other dont do nothing important either. My final word
    on this is, if you dont know what a service does or how it may affect your system DO NOT ALTER IT!

    Windows Services Guide: http://www.theeldergeek.com/services_guide.htm

    - Speed
    If your going to be playing offline, alot of things are not necessary, such as your firewall or antivirus.
    Disable theses once your system is booted. Next you need to begin killing off useless processes that are
    running in the background (Believe me even after altering the Startup things, there will be useless windows
    services running.) Open up your task manager and click on the processes tab to see whats running. You can
    close down a variety of things, but you really need to make sure you know what your doing here. My advice is
    to look at the following website: http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/servicecfg.htm
    Killing off any of those useless processes before you game offline is essential to give your system more
    speed. I also recommend using the ALT + TAB function (Once your game has started to run) to get back to the
    desktop (IF ALT + TAB doesnt work use the WINDOWS key!) and open up the task manager. Find the process for
    your game, right click it and select "Set Priority" and set it to "High".

    NB: This may cause 100% CPU Usage, and slow your PC down. A reboot will fix this.

    Another little tip I would recommend, is if your going to be gaming for a long period of time. Kill the "explorer.exe" process. This will remove your start bar etc. All will be restored when you reboot (So dont panic.)
    NB: NEVER choose "Real Time", ever!



    -Anti Virus and Spyware
    Keeping your PC clean is essential to stop Trojans, Viruses and Spyware not only damaging your data, but
    running unnecessary processes behind your back. Below are some tools I personally recommend. All of these are
    FREEWARE, meaning you can use them fre eof charge for your personal use only. Refer to the licenses of the
    appropriate software for more information.

    AVG Anti Virus: http://free.grisoft.com/freeweb.php/doc/2/
    Microsoft Anti Spyware: http://www.microsoft.com/athome/secu...e/default.mspx
    Adaware: http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/
    Spybot: http://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html
    Kerio Firewall: http://www.kerio.com/us/kpf_home.html
    Zonealarm Firewall: http://www.zonelabs.com/store/conten...jsp?lid=nav_za


    MEMORY
    - Virtual Memory
    A quick note on virtual memory really. Just make sure you have your system set to be able to use some, and you
    have enough free hard disk to accomadate how much you've set. You can alter the amount of virtual memory your
    system uses by > "Right" Clicking the "My Computer Icon" > Choosing "Properties" > Clicking the "Advanced" tab
    and clicking the first button label "Settings". From there you can specify the amount of virtual memory to
    allocate in MB.

    - RAM
    Having lots of ram is handy, but if your like me and you dont then killing all the processes as mentioned
    above can help. It also helps to flush your ram out once in a while, you can do this using an application
    called Ultrawipe. Ultrawipe can also remove sensitive data from your pc, and totally remove old data that you
    didnt know existed on your hard disk. I also recommend Regseeker (This isnt memory related) to clean up your
    Registry and remove old registry keys from old software.

    Ultrawipe: http://www.webattack.com/get/ultrawipe.shtml
    Regseeker: http://www.hoverdesk.net/freeware.htm

    - Defragmentation
    This probably shouldnt come under memory but hell, Im putting it here. Defragmenting your system allows blocks
    of data to be sorted out on your system, so doing this will help things run more smoothly as your hard disk
    has to do less scrambling for data. Defragmenting is best done is "SAFE MODE" and when you have plenty of time
    free to leave your PC running.
    To start your PC in "SAFE MODE" press F5 repeatdly on your system until it boots up, then choose boot to safe
    mode. Once your booted in safe mode > go to "My COmputer" and "Right Click" on your local hard disk > and
    choose "Properties" > then click the "Tools" > tab and choose "Defragment".



    COMMON SENSE
    Finally, common sense. This just entails things such as Uninstall software properly, being vigilant with the
    files you download, especially if you use any peer 2 peer applications (Limewire, Kazaa etc). Also keeping
    your system virus and spyware free is very important (See "Processes" for why!), as well maintaining free disc
    space on your system. Dont install useless software you wont ever use, remove empty directories and just keep
    your pc clean. (Cant stress this enough!)

    Hope this has helped some people out, and I hope some of it can improve your gaming experience. One important
    note, if you dont understand something here, DONT DO IT. Dont risk messing up your pc if you dont have enough
    knowledge, post in this thread and Im sure someone will help to clarify things for you.

    Finally remember, if your going to change something BACKUP. If your going to play with Windows settings, create a restore point. If youe going to edit your registry, save a backup. If you have important data, and your going to modify something, burn it all to a disc. Take precautions.

    Game On!
    ziadoz
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  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    120
    I thought I'd write a few optimization tips for anyone whos interested. All of these are things that I've
    picked up from playing other games, experience and just common sense.

    WARNING: There are minor risks involved in changing some of these things, at most a reboot should fix them. But if your worried what im suggesting will damage your system, please dont try it. If you have little or no experience of any areas of this guide, please dont touch anything.

    GAME
    Ok this is partly common sense, but you really want to reduce all the settings if you have a poor system. If
    it seems to be running smoothly then you can slowly raise things and make more decisions based on this. (Note:
    I dont know if these options will appear in the game or not.)

    - InGame Settings
    Textures: Low
    Particle Effects: Off
    Preload Skins: Off (Increases loading time of levels)
    Decals: Off (If possible)

    Console commands also form an important part of reducing things to optimize your game on a lower end system.
    Anyone who has played Doom 3 will know that it is possible to reduce alot of the settings through the console
    without losing too much of the great graphics that make the game (Because we all know the gameplay doesnt!).
    I'll hopefully mention the console commands for Brothers in Arms when its released.


    Processes
    Processes can be running on your system all the time, and you may never know that they are there if you dont
    check your task manager (CTRL + ALT + DELETE). These processes can stem from software your running, to things
    in your system tray right through to viruses. Its important to have as fewer processes as you can running when
    your gaming in order to gain the maximum from your system.

    - System Tray
    Do you have tons of icons in your system tray when you boot up? Better yet are your boot up times so long you
    can cook dinner before your pc is good to go? Then check whats booting up when your pc starts because it could
    the cause of a bad gaming experience.
    In order to see whats booting up on your PC, go to: Start > Run > Type "msconfig" without the quotes > click
    the "Startup" tab. This will show you everything on your system that is starting up as you boot your PC. You
    can use the check boxes to disable anything thats unwanted, and anything you require (Firewall, Anti Virus
    etc) you can leave with a tick in. Make sure you read the directory extensions for each item your un-ticking
    so you have an idea of what your disabling before you do. Reboot to see the results!



    - Windows Services
    Windows runs all sorts of useless stuff when your PC boots up that you may never ever need. These can be
    disabled by using the services menu. This can be accessed by going to Start > Run > and typing "services.msc"
    without the quotes. You will then see a list of all the services on your PC, along with its status (Automatic,
    Manual, Disabled). There are several processes that you can disable (For information google these services.)
    such as the remote desktop related processes, and the spool process (If you dont have or use a printer at
    all).

    If your an ATi user like myself, Disable all the ATi processes because quite frankly they are useless. One
    hangs in your system memory waiting for hotkeys, and the other dont do nothing important either. My final word
    on this is, if you dont know what a service does or how it may affect your system DO NOT ALTER IT!

    Windows Services Guide: http://www.theeldergeek.com/services_guide.htm

    - Speed
    If your going to be playing offline, alot of things are not necessary, such as your firewall or antivirus.
    Disable theses once your system is booted. Next you need to begin killing off useless processes that are
    running in the background (Believe me even after altering the Startup things, there will be useless windows
    services running.) Open up your task manager and click on the processes tab to see whats running. You can
    close down a variety of things, but you really need to make sure you know what your doing here. My advice is
    to look at the following website: http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/servicecfg.htm
    Killing off any of those useless processes before you game offline is essential to give your system more
    speed. I also recommend using the ALT + TAB function (Once your game has started to run) to get back to the
    desktop (IF ALT + TAB doesnt work use the WINDOWS key!) and open up the task manager. Find the process for
    your game, right click it and select "Set Priority" and set it to "High".

    NB: This may cause 100% CPU Usage, and slow your PC down. A reboot will fix this.

    Another little tip I would recommend, is if your going to be gaming for a long period of time. Kill the "explorer.exe" process. This will remove your start bar etc. All will be restored when you reboot (So dont panic.)
    NB: NEVER choose "Real Time", ever!



    -Anti Virus and Spyware
    Keeping your PC clean is essential to stop Trojans, Viruses and Spyware not only damaging your data, but
    running unnecessary processes behind your back. Below are some tools I personally recommend. All of these are
    FREEWARE, meaning you can use them fre eof charge for your personal use only. Refer to the licenses of the
    appropriate software for more information.

    AVG Anti Virus: http://free.grisoft.com/freeweb.php/doc/2/
    Microsoft Anti Spyware: http://www.microsoft.com/athome/secu...e/default.mspx
    Adaware: http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/
    Spybot: http://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html
    Kerio Firewall: http://www.kerio.com/us/kpf_home.html
    Zonealarm Firewall: http://www.zonelabs.com/store/conten...jsp?lid=nav_za


    MEMORY
    - Virtual Memory
    A quick note on virtual memory really. Just make sure you have your system set to be able to use some, and you
    have enough free hard disk to accomadate how much you've set. You can alter the amount of virtual memory your
    system uses by > "Right" Clicking the "My Computer Icon" > Choosing "Properties" > Clicking the "Advanced" tab
    and clicking the first button label "Settings". From there you can specify the amount of virtual memory to
    allocate in MB.

    - RAM
    Having lots of ram is handy, but if your like me and you dont then killing all the processes as mentioned
    above can help. It also helps to flush your ram out once in a while, you can do this using an application
    called Ultrawipe. Ultrawipe can also remove sensitive data from your pc, and totally remove old data that you
    didnt know existed on your hard disk. I also recommend Regseeker (This isnt memory related) to clean up your
    Registry and remove old registry keys from old software.

    Ultrawipe: http://www.webattack.com/get/ultrawipe.shtml
    Regseeker: http://www.hoverdesk.net/freeware.htm

    - Defragmentation
    This probably shouldnt come under memory but hell, Im putting it here. Defragmenting your system allows blocks
    of data to be sorted out on your system, so doing this will help things run more smoothly as your hard disk
    has to do less scrambling for data. Defragmenting is best done is "SAFE MODE" and when you have plenty of time
    free to leave your PC running.
    To start your PC in "SAFE MODE" press F5 repeatdly on your system until it boots up, then choose boot to safe
    mode. Once your booted in safe mode > go to "My COmputer" and "Right Click" on your local hard disk > and
    choose "Properties" > then click the "Tools" > tab and choose "Defragment".



    COMMON SENSE
    Finally, common sense. This just entails things such as Uninstall software properly, being vigilant with the
    files you download, especially if you use any peer 2 peer applications (Limewire, Kazaa etc). Also keeping
    your system virus and spyware free is very important (See "Processes" for why!), as well maintaining free disc
    space on your system. Dont install useless software you wont ever use, remove empty directories and just keep
    your pc clean. (Cant stress this enough!)

    Hope this has helped some people out, and I hope some of it can improve your gaming experience. One important
    note, if you dont understand something here, DONT DO IT. Dont risk messing up your pc if you dont have enough
    knowledge, post in this thread and Im sure someone will help to clarify things for you.

    Finally remember, if your going to change something BACKUP. If your going to play with Windows settings, create a restore point. If youe going to edit your registry, save a backup. If you have important data, and your going to modify something, burn it all to a disc. Take precautions.

    Game On!
    ziadoz
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  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    BUMP
    ziadoz
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  4. #4
    Very good, but if you end explorer in Windows XP it will just start itself again. Also, if you set the prority on the game process to Above Normal, it helps a little bit.

    Good thread, it is actaully productive.
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  5. #5
    thanks a lot!
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  6. #6
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    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by MilitaryBacon:
    Very good, but if you end explorer in Windows XP it will just start itself again. Also, if you set the prority on the game process to Above Normal, it helps a little bit.

    Good thread, it is actaully _productive_. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    thanks im trying to help some people out with this.

    as for explorer, i run Windows Xp and it never automatically restarts for me. I dont know why, but its ideal for me
    ziadoz
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  7. #7
    Junior Member
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    Mar 2005
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    even tho there are MANY such optimizations i think this is the best post ever!

    MilitaryBacon: not on default it doesn't...
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  8. #8
    Hey I alt tabbed outta of BF1942. A mod was runnin choppy on one level for some reason.(my pc pays bf like a dream). I pressed ctrl,alt,del and set the priority to high. Then it said it could make my system unstable. So i trusted you and clicked on it anyway. My pc then started to run very slow and said 100% of my pc was being used. It pretty much froze and i had to reboot. Please list the risks of doing that next time you wanna help some ppl out.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member wormgerm's Avatar
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    May 2004
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    i get very little to no difference if i end processes. Plus explorer is windows (sort of) press ctrl alt del and end explorer. Your tollbar and icons disapear. Press ctrl alt del again then choose run type in explorer and they are back. you cannot start anything when explorer is ended
    ----------------------------------



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  10. #10
    First off shutting down processes randomly is going to crash your computer and youll eventually end up reformatting from totally porking your OS. DOnt tell people without extensive windows experience to turn off processes as any benifit is negligable. And is not worth the risk for an extra 1 fps. Most processes get swapped out to disk anyways if they are not being used to free up ram and cpu resources for whatever program is running so your just wasting your time in most cases. All you need to do is just shutdown any programs that load in your task bar at startup. IF your PC sucks that bad that you have to gamble your whole install for an additional 1 fps get the game on console. And setting the games priority to high might also disable mouse and keyboard at times, leave it on normal if you dont want to risk freezing your computer.
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