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I have an Phenom II X3 720 and an ATI 6850 HD. Portal 2 runs very well at maximum settings on my PC in almost all chambers — expect when there are a lot of gel drops in air; then I experience consistent FPS drops.

Considering that Source engine is very customizable, do you know same "cvar" commands that allow to improve this particular aspect without reducing the overall graphic settings?

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(I'm on the P2 team, so I don't get rep credit for this.) I just glanced at the paint/blob cvar list, which is huge. Things you might try: "r_paintblob_draw_isosurface 0" - this will disable the graphical paint blobs and just draw sprites in their place. "paint_min_impact_particles 0; paint_max_impact_particles 0" - this will disable the effects sprites that draw with paint blobs. If the slowness is coming from the rendering of paint ON architectural surfaces, neither of these will help. If that's the case, let me know and I'll ask about it on Monday. – Erik Robson May 1 '11 at 19:11
@Erik Directly from Valve, exciting! In fact I don't have problem with decals/sprite of gels on walls but I noticed framerate drops when I look to the bubbles floating in air. – Drake May 1 '11 at 20:21
Try "r_paintblob_draw_isosurface 0" then, see if that helps. – Erik Robson May 1 '11 at 21:11
I was kind of surprised by how sluggish the game became because of the gels as well, so great question – Ivo Flipse May 2 '11 at 11:26
@Erik I tried that cvar but it doesn't help or at least not something that I can notice. – Drake May 3 '11 at 21:37

Try reducing the effect detail from high to medium. This does not seem to make a big difference in graphics quality overall, but it did fix the slowdowns caused by gel for me.

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