Thursday, January 24, 2008

Best Tuning Apps for Gaming on any Low-quality Graphics cards!

Well, there are only two applications here, and one of them is game-specific. But still, they work so damn well.

1. 3D-Analyze
Ever had the: your graphics chipset does not support hardware transform and lighting/pixel shader 2.0? Well, you're in luck. It won't guarantee much better performance, but it does emulate these two features and many more, making Battlefield 2, SWAT 4 and TES4: Oblivion playable. Speaking of Oblivion....

2. Oldblivion
The most useful Oblivion mod you'll ever use! Tones down the graphics quality to around that of Morrowind, making it highly playable on Integrated Graphics, especially when used with 3D-Analyze.

Know any other awesome apps? As usual, just leave a comment, most appreciated

How to get Half Life 2/Other Source Engine Games Running on Intel 945GM

Okay, first of all, make sure you don't expect too much in terms of graphical effects. On 1280x800, I can get ~30fps on high settings, with 2GB Ram and 2.0ghz core 2 duo processor, and 945GM graphics controller, of course! But I'm sure many of you with this card have experienced major crashing when saving, loading or getting to a certain part in a level. I have the fix! Right click on the Half Life 2 icon in steam, click properties, click launch options and enter:
+mat_forcehardwaresync 0. (without full stop)

This will stop the crashing and also improve overall performance. Other tweaks for this section? Enter, instead of the first entry: +mat_forcehardwaresync 0 -dxlevel 70 +mat_bumpmap 0 +mat_specular 0 +map_background none -autoconfig. (without full stop, again)

This will work for most source games, other than source 2007 engine games. For these, replace -dxlevel 70 with -dxlevel 81. This will cause the games to run in Direct X 8 rather than 7, as they require 8.1 to run. Other than this, just close all background applications and hope for the best! If you have any other tweaks, please tell me by just leaving a comment on this blog. Happy gaming, Integrated Graphics users!

Team Fortress 2 is a bit trickier to run, given that it does run on the Source 2007 engine, and has advanced lighting. The game will require lower settings than Half Life 2, so keep this in mind. More RAM can make a big difference in frame rates in TF2, upping 1 to 2 gigs gave me an extra 15fps, which is really quite good. thanks to phillip for the info on dx 81 rather than 80, that was a stupid error on my part. Apparently, crashing is less likely if the dx is on 90, but this causes unplayable framerates. Also, provided by Phillip (god, he seems to do more than me around here) is this nice framerates tweak. make a new file in notepad and call it autoexec.cfg. save it in the TF2 directory and enter any number of the tweaks found here.

For Portal, make the launch commands +mat_picmip 2 +mat_max_worldmesh_vertices 1024.

For all Source 2007 games, compatibility increases further on dxlevel 100 (10) but this does make a noticable frame rate difference in TF2, at least, so this should only be for those who experience very bad crashing, even on the settings I've provided so far.

For more tweaking on any source engine games, here's a list of commands. The most commonly used commands, click here.

Day of Defeat Source isn't too easy to run, but click here and save into game folder to get 10-15 extra frame rate, just a few tweaks.

For Counter Strike Source, many of you may have noticed lag outdoors. The fix I have! In the console, enter
r_3dsky 0. This will turn off the skybox and delete all lag... on most maps. For example, I get well over 3ofps on de_dust2, but less that ten on cs_office. I'll have to find out what distiguishes these two maps, so maybe I can fix the problem. To get the lag down more, try these.