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.
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
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 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
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
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
Kerio Firewall: http://www.kerio.com/us/kpf_home.html
Zonealarm Firewall: http://www.zonelabs.com/store/conten...jsp?lid=nav_za
- 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.
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.
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".
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.