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Thread: Some provisional tweaks for better performance vs. IQ in Elite: Dangerous on higher-end setups

  1. #16
    I certainly hope, that I'll need to crawl through this post in the not-too-distant future.

  2. #17
    @OP

    You have my thanks and gratitude kind sir. I just went through your process on my new system and it looks like it is even helping to keep my Vega 56 GPU temps in check.

    Tomorrow I will give the tweaks a more thorough stress-test and see where things work out, but my goal of 4K Ultra may finally be within reach.

    Again, many thanks to you for posting this...

  3. #18
    Bookmarking this so I can rush back home and go through the steps you've outlined. This is AWESOME. Well done, and thank you. Now I just need to get through this day quickly enough and be done with work

  4. #19
    Originally Posted by Morbad View Post (Source)
    ED's default graphics settings and Ultra preset are pretty solid, for the most part, but there is definitely still room for improvement. In particular, I find that the lighting relies too much on bloom instead of tonemapping; there are too many instances of 'Peter Panning' shadows; texture resolutions are too low; and some default settings not accessible through the UI are overly slanted to low-end hardware. So, I've done my best to mitigate these issues where possible on my own system and I'd like to share my current configuration for commentary, criticism, and potential refinement/improvement.

    Let me know what you think.
    I get what you are saying, but a few questions.
    In particular, I find that the lighting relies too much on bloom instead of tonemapping; there are too many instances of 'Peter Panning' shadows; texture resolutions are too low; and some default settings not accessible through the UI are overly slanted to low-end hardware. So, I've done my best to mitigate these issues where possible on my own system and I'd like to share my current configuration for commentary, criticism, and potential refinement/improvement.
    Says a lot but explains little.

    You can't really go. "relies too much Bloom instead of tone mapping"
    Bloom and tone mapping a both used for different scenarios, and one may or may not have an advantage over the other depending on the situation, so you really need to come with an example of why you say this.

    I've personally not experienced that many 'peter panning' shadows myself, so again, i'd love to get an example.

    "texture resolutions are too low" where? planetary stations/outposts I gather if you drive right up to something? yeah that's a compromise in performance most likely, and will likely first be changed when first person mode is introduced, because its more then good enough currently for what we have, and bumping them up introduces nothing more then a performance hit, and takes up dev time, I simply don't think its practical to increase it currently when the game looks already great, and when very very few people might even notice this change currently. When first person comes up, it definitely needs to change, but now?

    Also which settings? Last i checked most should be bound to a preset?

    Also core parking is generally not something people should mess with if they aren't experienced, and default windows settings 'can' handle 98% of the relevant case, simply by setting windows power settings to max performance.
    Because the vast majority of users even gamers likely are running in balanced mode not max performance.
    This is for most just as effective as using custom software to unpark, but yes not 'as' effective as unparking, but generally I simply can't recommend the average user messing around with that, instead just recommend them switching their power config, and IF they feel confident then look at core parking.

    Other then those things I feel need clarified, great post, interesting settings, a little 'off' for my taste though I can't say exactly why, so I guess i'll play around with that, but that's just personal preference

  5. #20
    One thing I don't believe you've covered - the Model Draw Distance setting can be increased further using the files. The in-game option goes up to 1.0 but it can go up to 1.99 (not sure if 2.00 is accepted). The parameter is <LODDistanceScale> which can be found in Options\Graphics\Custom.fxcfg. Alternatively EDProfiler can be used.

  6. #21
    Originally Posted by xondk View Post (Source)
    You can't really go. "relies too much Bloom instead of tone mapping"
    Bloom and tone mapping a both used for different scenarios, and one may or may not have an advantage over the other depending on the situation, so you really need to come with an example of why you say this.
    The default bloom settings for the ultra preset apply to pretty much all lighting in the game and are, to me, extremely excessive. They seem to be that way to increase perceived contrast, which is what tone mapping and other effects are better for.

    Originally Posted by xondk View Post (Source)
    I've personally not experienced that many 'peter panning' shadows myself, so again, i'd love to get an example.
    I posted some screen shots of this earlier.

    Peter panning shadows are visible on most ships with fins and other narrow protrusions, except at the most oblique of angles, especially at the 200-500m range. The Beluga and Dolphin are prime examples.

    Originally Posted by xondk View Post (Source)
    "texture resolutions are too low" where? planetary stations/outposts I gather if you drive right up to something? yeah that's a compromise in performance most likely, and will likely first be changed when first person mode is introduced, because its more then good enough currently for what we have, and bumping them up introduces nothing more then a performance hit, and takes up dev time, I simply don't think its practical to increase it currently when the game looks already great, and when very very few people might even notice this change currently. When first person comes up, it definitely needs to change, but now?
    The tweaks to texture resolution I mention apply to three things:

    - The galaxy background.
    - Planet surface textures.
    - Reflections on shiny surfaces when viewed from outside the cockpit.

    I know of no way to increase the texture resolutions for the things you mention.

    Originally Posted by xondk View Post (Source)
    Also which settings? Last i checked most should be bound to a preset?
    Everything here operates under the assumption that the highest quality presets are used. The modifications replace lines from those presets.

    Originally Posted by xondk View Post (Source)
    Also core parking is generally not something people should mess with if they aren't experienced, and default windows settings 'can' handle 98% of the relevant case, simply by setting windows power settings to max performance.
    Because the vast majority of users even gamers likely are running in balanced mode not max performance.
    This is for most just as effective as using custom software to unpark, but yes not 'as' effective as unparking, but generally I simply can't recommend the average user messing around with that, instead just recommend them switching their power config, and IF they feel confident then look at core parking.
    I can easily bench the difference between core parking enabled and disabled on heavily threaded memory/latency sensitive applications in Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 and have noticed some minor issues with affinities with it enabled in games (if you increase worker threads and have core parking enabled they tend to be stacked onto the same logical cores rather than waking up parked logical cores on the same physical core). I generally turn it off as disabling it can't harm anything other than low-moderate load power consumption, which I consider to be completely irrelevant on a desktop. I never recommend disabling it on laptops as it noticeably harms battery life.

    It's not going to make a huge difference, and I expect people to use their own discretion, though maybe I'll include a stronger disclaimer when I edit the OP.

    Originally Posted by xondk View Post (Source)
    Other then those things I feel need clarified, great post, interesting settings, a little 'off' for my taste though I can't say exactly why, so I guess i'll play around with that, but that's just personal preference
    Probably the bloom reduction. I basically cut the area and magnitude in half, but that may be too low for taste.

    Originally Posted by MAIN SEQUENCE View Post (Source)
    One thing I don't believe you've covered - the Model Draw Distance setting can be increased further using the files. The in-game option goes up to 1.0 but it can go up to 1.99 (not sure if 2.00 is accepted). The parameter is <LODDistanceScale> which can be found in Options\Graphics\Custom.fxcfg. Alternatively EDProfiler can be used.
    Last time I tried increasing LOD distance it did nothing, but I will test it again. It's possible I used an out of range value last time and then dismissed it.

    If it does work, I'll probably have to drop down to 1440p as even with an overclocked 1080 ti I have essentially zero performance to spare around surface bases at 4k if I want to target a 60 fps minimum.

  7. #22
    Originally Posted by Morbad View Post (Source)
    The default bloom settings for the ultra preset apply to pretty much all lighting in the game and are, to me, extremely excessive. They seem to be that way to increase perceived contrast, which is what tone mapping and other effects are better for.
    Comparing your second shots from srv, yeah there's less bloom there, but at least from my these are lights that are if not significantly more powerful then stadium lights, and bloom effect is often used to represent the 'overwhelming' part of light, so yeah, dunno, I don't notice it that much
    Peter panning shadows are visible on most ships with fins and other narrow protrusions, except at the most oblique of angles, especially at the 200-500m range. The Beluga and Dolphin are prime examples.
    Well I don't fly those regularly but i'll check with my Baluga.
    The tweaks to texture resolution I mention apply to three things:

    - The galaxy background.
    - Planet surface textures.
    - Reflections on shiny surfaces when viewed from outside the cockpit.

    I know of no way to increase the texture resolutions for the things you mention.
    I really can't see any difference in the planet surface textures in the srv picture, so yeah, as for galaxy background yeah that one entirely is up to personal taste, and in terms of reflective surfaces yeah I do see your point.
    I can easily bench the difference between core parking enabled and disabled on heavily threaded memory/latency sensitive applications in Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 and have noticed some minor issues with affinities with it enabled in games (if you increase worker threads and have core parking enabled they tend to be stacked onto the same logical cores rather than waking up parked logical cores on the same physical core). I generally turn it off as disabling it can't harm anything other than low-moderate load power consumption, which I consider to be completely irrelevant on a desktop. I never recommend disabling it on laptops as it noticeably harms battery life.

    It's not going to make a huge difference, and I expect people to use their own discretion, though maybe I'll include a stronger disclaimer when I edit the OP.
    I'm not saying there isn't a responsiveness difference, but for the average user i'd still recommend power settings way before they mess with core parking.
    I totally get you are recommending it to help people, but unfortunately, the average person, and this isn't to offend anyone, simply do not know what they are doing, and i've repaired countless of computers, where people in good faith followed online lists and recommendations and something went wrong all the wrong ways. That isn't to say it never goes right, I simply express how important it is to have a disclaimer around advanced tinkering with a computer.

    Probably the bloom reduction. I basically cut the area and magnitude in half, but that may be too low for taste.
    Nope not the bloom reduction, as said can't put my finger on it, I think it may be related to reflections they seem off, as in not reflecting entirely correctly anymore, though just saw you posted a tweak on the 17's which I must have skipped over, which mentions reflections could be that.

    Last time I tried increasing LOD distance it did nothing, but I will test it again. It's possible I used an out of range value last time and then dismissed it.

    If it does work, I'll probably have to drop down to 1440p as even with an overclocked 1080 ti I have essentially zero performance to spare around surface bases at 4k if I want to target a 60 fps minimum.
    Well what is your terrain work at? having it at max is really not that great of an idea, your card should be more then fast enough to generate before you see it anyway, and if you max it out, it will cut significantly into your fps.

  8. #23
    Originally Posted by xondk View Post (Source)
    Comparing your second shots from srv, yeah there's less bloom there, but at least from my these are lights that are if not significantly more powerful then stadium lights, and bloom effect is often used to represent the 'overwhelming' part of light, so yeah, dunno, I don't notice it that much
    You can see it on essentially anything in the game that glows. The HUD/menus, ships running lights, weapon effects, ships in SC, etc.

    I actually find it difficult to even look at some of the menus with the bloom settings at default, on my display.

    Originally Posted by xondk View Post (Source)
    I really can't see any difference in the planet surface textures in the srv picture, so yeah, as for galaxy background yeah that one entirely is up to personal taste, and in terms of reflective surfaces yeah I do see your point.
    The planet surface textures that this setting affects are only visible from space. In the SRV or very close to a planet's surface terrain settings seem to take precedent.

    Originally Posted by xondk View Post (Source)
    Nope not the bloom reduction, as said can't put my finger on it, I think it may be related to reflections they seem off, as in not reflecting entirely correctly anymore, though just saw you posted a tweak on the 17's which I must have skipped over, which mentions reflections could be that.
    Might be worth pulling or remarking the sections of the override file individually until you find the section that seems to be making the difference. Trying to figure out what's what with a bunch of subtle alterations at once is a major chore.

    Originally Posted by xondk View Post (Source)
    Well what is your terrain work at? having it at max is really not that great of an idea, your card should be more then fast enough to generate before you see it anyway, and if you max it out, it will cut significantly into your fps.
    It's at max. Stuttering is lower, terrain pop-in is lower (though not eliminated), and FPS is slightly higher that way on essentially every remotely modern GPU I have ever used the game with. Yes, that's directly the opposite of what the setting's description implies, but higher=better on the terrain slider has been consistent since the Horizons beta on GPU hardware going back to at least Kepler and Tahiti, in my experience.

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