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TOPIC: ArmA 3 Alpha Performance Tweaks and Settings Guide

ArmA 3 Alpha Performance Tweaks and Settings Guide 1 year 9 months ago #167

This guide is now obsolete, the new thread is located >>> here <<<

Work in Progress UPDATED 03/05/2013 Preliminary Anaylsis, Config, Startup Parameters, 500-series fix, Steam fixes, My Multiplayer Settings, Settings Benchmarks, Patch 0.52, Patch 0.54, General Guidelines, General System

This guide was collated by me using personal experience and public information, feel free to link or re-post this guide so long as an acknowledgment is present along with a link back here.

This guide is now obsolete, the new thread is located >>> here <<<

Content

  1. General Guidelines
  2. General System Optimization
  3. Basic Settings
  4. Rendering Settings
  5. Quality Settings
  6. ArmA3Alpha.cfg
  7. Startup Parameters
  8. ARMA 3 & GTX 500 Series Cards
  9. STEAM performance troubles and how mitigate them
  10. Field of View (FOV) Settings
  11. My Multiplayer Settings
  12. Settings Benchmarks

1. General Guidelines

  • No-one can really tell you the best settings for you as it is up to your computers build and your personal preference, this is meant as a guide only to help you make decisions.
  • When using a High+ setting generally the load will be switched from CPU to GPU, this is why you can experience better frames per second (FPS) at higher settings.
  • MSI Afterburner (MSI AB) is a good tool to help you tune your settings when you enable the Memory Usage for the On-Screen Display (OSD). MSI AB can also show your FPS to help you discern if a particular setting is giving you a gain or a loss.
  • After changing a setting and waiting a few seconds your FPS OSD will catch up so you can quickly see if you get a gain or loss.
  • Use ArmA3Mark [ALPHA] 0.7 to fine tune your settings how you like and performance you are happy with.
  • The TweakGuides Tweaking Companion is all you will ever need to tweak and maintain Windows.



2. General System Optimization

  • Disable CPU Parking, to steady performance.
  • Check out the free PC Maintainance, Security and Utility apps here to keep your PC running tip-top.
  • Launching Steam via Razer GameBooster may improve your performance.
  • Steam gives you the option to install ArmA to a different internal Hard Disk Drive, this helps to improve load times and stability.
  • Update to the latest PhysX driver to get the best performance.
  • Update to the latest beta drivers for AMD or nVidia to get the best performance.



3. Basic Settings

Display Mode: Use Fullscreen window if you are streaming, else Fullscreen is fine.
Resolution: Max this, it is almost always better to run at native resolution.
Aspect Ratio: Change this to match your monitor.
Interface Size: Up to your personal preference.

Overall Visibility (CPU/GPU): Use about 2700 as High, 2150 as Standard or 1600 as a Low setting.*
Object Visibility (CPU/GPU): Use about 1600 as High, 1350 as Standard or 1100 as a Low setting.*
Shadow Visibility (GPU): Leave at 100 or lower.
Brightness: Up to your personal preference.
Gamma: Up to your personal preference.



* you can set these values exactly in <username>.ArmA3AlphaProfile in your C:\Users\<username>\Documents\ArmA 3 Alpha\ folder. They are viewDistance=; and preferredObjectViewDistance=; but note that they are locked in a ratio so they cannot be set to the same number.

4. Rendering Settings

Rendering Res: Set this to 100%, don't try to be cheap and lower this value as it will only make it blurry.
VSYNC: Set to DISABLED unless you are experiencing screen-tearing or somehow have a high spec 60+ FPS computer.
HDR Quality (GPU): Low has better performance.
Anisotropic Filtering (GPU): High to Ultra, will most likely not impact or increase performance.

Antialiasing (GPU): Set to 2x, 4x or DISABLED, 4x is generally better performance but may make your scope lag.
PPAA (GPU): Use FXAA High to Ultra, Ultra will likely have the best performance.
AToC (GPU): Set to DISABLED or Trees only, Grass may make your scope lag.
PIP (GPU): Low or DISABLED, while better than it was previously keep in mind that it still consumes a lot of frames while driving for a cosmetic effect.
Dynamic Lights (GPU): Low or High, Ultra seems to have no effect on frames but is probably not good on older graphics cards or in multiplayer.
Postprocesses (GPU) Low, Very Low or DISABLED, up to you.



5. Quality Settings

Texture Quality (HDD/GPU): High to Ultra, High stops a lot of the building pop-in Ultra basically eliminates it.
Objects Quality (CPU/GPU): Standard to High, having this on a higher setting will reduce pop-in from terrain features but comes at the cost of frames.
Terrain Quality (CPU/GPU): Standard to High, higher means more frame lag for not much gain visually or otherwise.
Cloud Quality (GPU): DISABLED, you are on the ground not in the clouds plus it stops them from rotating.
Shadow Quality (GPU): DISABLED or High+, lower settings seem to be worse, Ultra seems to give best performance.
Particles Quality (GPU): Standard or High, Ultra seems to have no effect on frames but is probably not good on older graphics cards or in multiplayer.



6. ArmA3Alpha.cfg

Located in C:\Users\<username>\Documents\ArmA 3 Alpha\

GPU_MaxFramesAhead=4; This may help smooth your frames and/or increase performance, try settings 1-4.
GPU_DetectedFramesAhead=0; This may help smooth your frames and/or increase performance.
refresh=120; This will make VSync work better if you need it.

7. Startup Parameters

You can also use the startup parameters to increase performance slightly by right-clicking ArmA 3 in Steam > Properties > Set Launch Options and entering the following.

-cpuCount= set this to however many physical CPU's you have, usually either 2, 4 or 6.**
-exThreads= Correct info coming soon, need to test. Ballpark settings are use 7 for high end quad core CPU, 3 or 5 for mid range quad core CPU and 1 or 3 for Dual Cores. Stay tuned for updated testing results.
-high sets ArmA 3 as a high value CPU process.
-maxMem= set this to 4096 or about 1GB (1024) less than your maximum RAM, I am not sure if higher values have an effect as I'm pretty sure 4GB is the maximum.
-noPause Does not pause the ArmA window when alt-tabbed in Fullscreen window mode, good for multi-taskers and streamers.
-noSplash gets rid of the intro stuff at startup.
-world=empty Starts up the game faster as it loads empty level.

so for instance my startup parameters look like
-cpuCount=4 -exThreads=7 -high -maxMem=8192 -noPause -noSplash -world=empty



** cpuCount and exThreads can help smooth the game by letting it know to spread the load properly.

8. ARMA 3 & GTX 500 Series Cards

Our very own L2TG found the solution to this fix for nVidia GTX 510/20/30/45/50 Ti/55/60/60 Ti/70/80/90 cards that are experiencing a black screen, while still hearing full sound (and likely full function, without screen), with or without SLI function.

9. STEAM performance troubles and how mitigate them

Dwarden wrote:
From my own experience this is what eats most CPU from highest to lowest
  1. STEAM friend-list (even while online, just closing friend-list saves most CPU usage)
  2. STEAM chats (the more of them active the worse the overall load)
  3. STEAM updating (as uses checksums it needs some CPU and I/O, so make sure nothing is updating)
  4. STEAM overlay
  5. STEAM IM (switch yourself to OFFLINE for lowest CPU usage)
  6. STEAM website (if you keep website open and minimize, it still keeps playing the flash animations for example, so ideally you visit e.g. your profile page as last)
+ then set STEAM to lower priority than arma3.exe

10. Field of View (FOV) Settings

Use these ratios courtesy of Stabs. Open <username>.ArmA3AlphaProfile in your C:\Users\<username>\Documents\ArmA 3 Alpha\ folder.

Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]


11. My Multiplayer Settings

These spoilers are my personal multiplayer settings as of this edit 22/04/2013, note that I really value my frames so I will cut effects to get more performance.

Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]


12. Settings Benchmarks

Ran each setting once using ArmA3Mark [ALPHA] 0.7 on patch 0.52, with a control sample on the lowest settings possible. When looking at the results if they are close it means there is probably no loss in using the higher.

Please note that these benchmarks are not scientific as I only ran each setting once, and also because the scenarios can't test every condition.

control
nTest One - 65.5127\nTest Two - 62.2499\nTest Three - 56.1262\nTest Four - 69.0052\nTest Five - 94.9587\nincontrovertible's OFPMark is 6957.05!

Rendering Settings
Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]


Quality Settings
Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]

my multiplayer settings
nTest One - 58.3886\nTest Two - 56.1375\nTest Three - 48.1293\nTest Four - 58.1959\nTest Five - 100.127\nincontrovertible's OFPMark is 6419.56!
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Last Edit: 1 year 1 month ago by incontrovertible.
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ArmA 3 Performance Tweaks and Settings 1 year 9 months ago #168

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Really helped with some issues I was having, now running at 40-60 fps depending on location.

Thanks Inco!
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ArmA 3 Performance Tweaks and Settings 1 year 9 months ago #207

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Great info Inco!!! Guys these settings really help your Arma 3 Alpha run smoother with better performance all round.

I am investigating how to reduce the crashes from Physx. Soon as I have something definite I will give it to Inco to add but it can't hurt to re-install Physx if you are having major crashing issues with ArmA 3 Alpha.
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google this: exp((-(((x-4)^2+(y-4)^2)^2))/1000)+exp((-(((x+4)^2+(y+4)^2)^2))/1000)+0.15*exp(-(((x+4)^2+(y+4)^2)^2))+0.15*exp(-(((x-4)^2+(y-4)^2)^2))
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ArmA 3 Alpha Performance Tweaks and Settings 1 year 9 months ago #215

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Hey mate cheers for listing this applying some of the settings now.

Curious to know if you found a cpu overclock has helped?

Edit: added clouds back in... just wasn't the same flying on coop server in the mist with clear skies above
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Last Edit: 1 year 9 months ago by mayhemlee.
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ArmA 3 Alpha Performance Tweaks and Settings 1 year 9 months ago #216

mayhemlee wrote:
Hey mate cheers for listing this applying some of the settings now.

Curious to know if you found a cpu overclock has helped?

Edit: added clouds back in... just wasn't the same flying on coop server in the mist with clear skies above

At the moment my CPU isn't overclocked but maybe in the future. And yeah I spend the vast majority of my time on the ground but if you fly a lot and like the clouds use 'em, it's all about finding the right balance for yourself and your system.

Cheers guys for the replies I really appreciate it, glad to know it helps people.
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ArmA 3 Alpha Performance Tweaks and Settings 1 year 9 months ago #217

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ill declock my cpu you soon and have a few tests and see what fps i get.

cpu im using is a i7 920 clocked at 4ghz ill test it at stock 2.66 and at 3.2
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ArmA 3 Alpha Performance Tweaks and Settings 1 year 9 months ago #218

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Need to find the right settings to stop fps drop when everyone spam's smoke nades.... Any ideas?


Also I was running my cpu i7 @ stock 3.5, Bumped it up to 4.0 seems to run a bit smoother now, might just all be in my mind though
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ArmA 3 Alpha Performance Tweaks and Settings 1 year 9 months ago #219

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done overclocking helps quite a bit and apparently i get 1 avg fps for every 100mhz
pc specs are i7 920, 6gb 1600mhz, powercolor pcs+ 5870.

test was done on the heli showcase where i flew a very similar path each time

2.66 min 18 avg 26 max 30

3.20 min 26 avg 32 max 40

4.00 min 32 avg 40 max 48

edit: what is your veiw distance set at it seems to be the biggest fps killer in the settings
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Last Edit: 1 year 9 months ago by corey.
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ArmA 3 Alpha Performance Tweaks and Settings 1 year 9 months ago #223

mayhemlee wrote:
Need to find the right settings to stop fps drop when everyone spam's smoke nades.... Any ideas?

Also I was running my cpu i7 @ stock 3.5, Bumped it up to 4.0 seems to run a bit smoother now, might just all be in my mind though

I don't think much will really help the smoke spam.

corey wrote:
done overclocking helps quite a bit and apparently i get 1 avg fps for every 100mhz
pc specs are i7 920, 6gb 1600mhz, powercolor pcs+ 5870.

test was done on the heli showcase where i flew a very similar path each time

2.66 min 18 avg 26 max 30

3.20 min 26 avg 32 max 40

4.00 min 32 avg 40 max 48

edit: what is your veiw distance set at it seems to be the biggest fps killer in the settings

I have my view distance at 2500/1500. Those are pretty promising OC results for an eyeball benchmark, but anyone else that is looking at overclocking really needs to be totally sure of what they are doing and to have the proper cooling otherwise you could fry your chip, if you aren't confident about it leave well enough alone.
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Last Edit: 1 year 7 months ago by incontrovertible.
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ArmA 3 Alpha Performance Tweaks and Settings 1 year 9 months ago #224

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incontrovertible wrote:
I have my view distance at 2500/1500. Those are pretty promising OC results for an eyeball benchmark, but anyone else that is looking at overclocking really needs to be totally sure of what they are doing and to have the proper cooling otherwise you could fry your chip, if you aren't confident about it leave well enough alone.

yea i normally use a rule of thumb if you didnt build your pc dont overclock.
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ArmA 3 Alpha Performance Tweaks and Settings Guide 1 year 7 months ago #545

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The CFG tuning didn't work for me, error message
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ArmA 3 Alpha Performance Tweaks and Settings Guide 1 year 7 months ago #553

Muzz wrote:
The CFG tuning didn't work for me, error message

Only reason I can think of is that you accidently got the formatting wrong, double check the changes.
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