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81

Tearing occurs when the graphics card's buffer is sent to the monitor while that same buffer is being changed. You still get tearing even if the FPS is limited to the refresh rate of the monitor because those things aren't locked together without vertical sync enabled. Think of it like you're in a classroom, where the teacher is writing notes on the board. ...


76

Simple answer Pixel shaders are tiny programs that can do operations on a single pixel on the screen, as opposed to geometry shaders and vertex shaders which work on the geometrical primitives (triangles) that make up everything you see on the screen. The most common use for pixel shaders is 'shading', approximation to real world lighting. Commonly used ...


76

This is a great question because other than "is AA on or off?" I hadn't considered the performance implications of all the various anti-aliasing modes. There's a good basic description of the three "main" AA modes at So Many AA Techniques, So Little Time, but pretty much all AA these days is MSAA or some tweaky optimized version of it: Super-Sampled ...


75

If you prune through this article you will probably be able to gather most of the information you seek, but I'll try and summarize the relevant bits. First, you should understand that MSAA is a type of Supersampling anti-aliasing (SSAA). SSAA, also known as FSAA, removes "jags" from an image by rendering the image at a higher resolution: Full-scene anti-...


64

V-Sync is short for "Vertical Synchronization"; its only purpose is to avoid screen tearing in games. What is screen tearing? Image by Vanessaezekowitz, via Wikimedia Commons. Used under the CC-By-SA 3.0 license. Screen tearing happens, because your GPU sends a frame to your screen when the latter hasn't yet finished displaying its previous frame. You are ...


42

I have a similar computer set up, and here is how I make it work: Go to the NVIDIA Control Panel by right clicking on your desk top and clicking on "NVIDIA Control Panel". In the default screen that pops up (it should be "manage 3D settings", and the "Program Settings" tab should be automatically selected), under "1. Select a program to customize:" hit ...


39

The way you have them listed (Bilinear -> Trilinear -> Anisotropic) is the proper order from least to best image quality, and in increasing order with respect to processing power. In the simplest terms, moving from bilinear to trilinear will avoid issues where texture size changes (ie, while walking towards a wall, the texture won't seem to abruptly change ...


23

Depends on the resolution you play at. If your game resolution is your desktop resolution, then fullscreen is likely to be slightly faster than windowed mode in all scenarios, for the reasons enumerated by Philipp. Honestly, however, on my dated hardware I take a much greater performance hit by running games at desktop resolution than I do by playing at a ...


17

When an application runs in fullscreen mode, it runs in "exclusive mode". That means it has full and direct control over the screen output. But when it runs in window mode, it needs to send its output to the window manager (windows explorer) which then manages where on the screen that output is drawn. This takes some additional performance. The performance ...


16

Because even if your fps is the same as refresh rate of the monitor, it doesn't mean the frames are synchronized with the refresh rate. Screen tearing can happen at any fps, if vsync is off.


14

NVIDIA has created another algorithm, FXAA (Fast Approximate Anti-Aliasing). Unlike currently used MSAA, CSAA and their variations, it works on a pixel level, never touching geometry. It finds jagged edges and smoothes them. It is faster than the rest. Like FSAA, it has no problems with alpha channels, shaders etc. However, the results are more blurry. I ...


14

The "Quadro" (nVidia) and "FirePro" (ATI/AMD) cards are workstation-class cards, intended for professional use and optimized for things like Adobe Creative Studio. They are not optimized towards the demands of games. ATI/AMD & nVidia's consumer- and enthusiast- grade hardware are optimized towards games, however. In general, you'll find that ...


13

This forum post explains VSync in as much detail as you could ever want. http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=928593 The gist of it is that VSync stops screen tearing. Screen tearing occurs because the frame buffer is half filled with the next frame when it is written to the screen. VSync introduces a back buffer inbetween the video card and the frame ...


12

This option will allow your GPU (graphics processing unit) to process certain video data, instead of your CPU doing it. This is a good thing if your GPU will do a better job than your CPU - it will take load off the CPU and hopefully make the application run smoother. However if your GPU is old and/or not very good, it may not be wise to enable this ...


11

They are both a hardware and software requirement. Pixel shaders (and shaders in general) are part of your video card (or GPU) hardware. However, you also need a version of DirectX/OpenGL recent enough to support that video card's capabilities, or your game can't really use them. Shaders are part of the rendering process that contribute massively to your ...


10

The short answer is, it's there to let you adjust the picture, with the intent that it looks pleasing to your eye. Therefore, if you're happy with the way the picture looks, the gamma's probably fine. In gaming, extreme adjustments to gamma might expose or hide similarly colored items, which might change the game slightly, but otherwise it's a personal ...


9

Actually I think this is a case of the developer / support being "lazy". I say this because the Steam store indicates TFU "supports" the following nVidia chipsets: NVIDIA GeForce 8600, 8800, 9400, 9500, 9600, 9800, 250, 260, 275, 280, 285, 295 All of which are older that your 470. So, in other words, because your card is newer than their game they don't ...


8

I believe that it requires hardware-accelerated OpenGL with driver extensions to support it. If one of those computers has an Intel graphics chipset, installing the Intel version instead of the built-in Windows one usually fixes it. Rage128 only supports OpenGL 1.2, but Minecraft requires 2.0. It just won't work with that card, sorry.


8

Things to consider when choosing a video card are (in no particular order): Your budget The games you want to play Your image quality requirements The best way I've found to choose is to find a good card roundup that has benchmarks for the games I want to play at the resolution of my monitor. For example if you like to play Left 4 Dead 1 or Dirt 2 this ...


8

I have encountered the same problem. As far as I can tell, it has to do with how the game engine renders the 1080p cutscenes, shifting the color (chroma) part of the videos vertically. As the game engine is EPIC's Unreal engine, it may be related to this bug, which seems to produce the same color offset issues. This might have been the reason Firaxis had ...


8

More VRAM allows your computer to load more and higher resolution textures or 3D meshes onto your GPU, as well as render images at higher resolutions (multiple monitors is the same as having a higher resolution). When your GPU does not feature enough VRAM, it will load its ressources onto the system RAM instead. However, due to the system RAM's distance to ...


7

After some searching (too much, that's why I'm posting the answer here) I found a solution on the forum of Good Old Games. Adding the following DirectX section to "preferences.ini" file located in "C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\The Longest Journey" seems to solve the issue: [DirectX] GfxDriver=display int_BitDepth=32 bool_IsDoubleBuffer=0 ...


7

Triple Buffering has a high GPU memory cost associated with it, so sometimes it can actually kill your performance if the game you're playing is already working your card fully, but as Here there are literally no down-sides. Triple buffering gives you all the benefits of double buffering with no vsync enabled in addition to all the benefits of enabling ...


7

I eventually found out that the game was "missing assets", meaning textures and images it needed because not all the necessary files were downloaded. By "verifying" my steam installation, it updated the needed assets and the problem went away.


6

For most graphics cards, GPU-Z will tell you how much a graphics card is being used, along with a variety of other useful stats. You can download GPU-Z here. Load up two copies of GPU-Z, and set one to monitor the second GPU. Switch both to the sensors tab, and tick the box "Continue refreshing this screen while GPU-Z is in the background". Then load up ...


6

Unfortunately there isn't really a concrete way to look at models numbers and know how they will perform or which is better. Model names are arbitrary and naming schemes may change from time to time. However, manufacturers have some incentive to have at least some kind of coherent naming scheme at any given time for marketing purposes. If you want to compare ...


6

Issue resolved. The problem was with the charger, it was not giving the rated output. Learning If drivers and a hard reset do not fix the problem, temperatures are normal, clock speed is not limited but utilization is less, power supply could be a problem. Since I was in a hurry, I asked a question which does not belongs to this site, here is the ...


5

You should always rely on actual demos to see how a game runs on your machine, rather than comparing GPU models. Just because it is supported doesn't mean it will run well.


5

Each game consist of code written in some programming language. The code is nothing more than a long list of instructions for your computer. Often times in modern AAA games, these codes are millions of lines long, which is why the computer needs a relatively long time to go through it. All games have a "loop" of instructions of sorts through which they run ...


5

I feel like this issue is one of those things that are difficult to address because of limitations imposed by game engine design: What you will likely find if you are able to extract the raw z-buffer data is that z-buffer precision is reached at the flickery areas: At the point in the rendering pipeline where z-rejection occurs for these fragments, ...


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