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Guide: NVIDIA Settings


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I'm sure there's more to these settings to improve.  If you notice something, please let me know.

The key to this is 1) setting your native resolution 2) disabling GPU power management 3) enabling multi-thread support  4) enable FXAA

While I'm thinking about it, set your CPU power save mode to High Performance or Balanced+Max (if you don't have a High Performance option; ex. laptop, home...)

Specs:  Win10 Pro ; i7-2600 CPU ; 16GB RAM ; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti ; 2560x1600 60Hz "2k"

The sluggishness and skipping you may have seen isn't your PC, probably.  As many have pointed out the game is 20 years old, what gives?  Yes, exactly.  It's GPU Power Management (below).  You've been watching the GPU speed up and slow down throughout the game and watching the throttle lag.  Enabling multi-thread support dropped my GPU usage by 1/4 and after that I'm still searching for settings to turn to maximum with the new gains.  Setting your native res will give you "4k" (or whatever you have) and FXAA will enable AA (fixing the jagged lines on edges) in a game (this game) that didn't support it.  If you're on a laptop or tablet cool it -- point a fan at it; your CPU and GPU can "turbo" / not "throttle for longer with the cooling gain.

Ultima PSOBB Launcher: Display

  • Resolution: Custom (Probably; so you can key in your native resolution;  find this number under Display Settings in windows) -- This will unlock "2k" or "4k" etc.
  • HUD Scale: (150; set to your preference) -- This is a setting for me on "2k".  Once you set your game to a higher res the hud size becomes comical.  This will fix that.
  • Damage Text Scaling: Disabled [unchanged; not sure what this is]
  • Color Depth: 32-bit [unchanged]
  • Window Mode: Virtual Full Screen [recommended;  this setting looks like "full screen" but is much more stable] -- this setting prevents the game from crashing when you Alt+Tab or the like.  If you set "UAC" to "don't dim my desktop" you can avoid another crash that has shown up recently when you open new programs that require "admin" while the game is running.
  • Word Wrap: checked [unchanged; not sure what this is]
  • V-Sync: unchecked [haven't needed this]

Ultima PSOBB Launcher: Graphics

  • Frame Skip: 0
  • Shadows: 0 [doesn't work properly]
  • Enemies: MAX
  • Maps: MAX
  • Clip Distance: MAX
  • Fog Effect: Vertex Fog
  • Advanced Effect: Unchecked [doesn't work properly]
  • Low Resolution Texture: Unchecked

NVIDIA Control Panel (If you don't have this, you probably have the super-stable Windows driver.  Install an NVIDIA driver to get the Control Panel.  Change Download Type from "Game Ready Driver (GRD) to Studio Driver (SD) to err on the edge of stability (work PC, etc...)".  Drivers affect the stability of your system and invalid system settings can cause hardware damage -- accept your own level of risk.  Another heads up is with an invalid display setting you might not be able to "see" to change the setting back (safe mode is one fix for that)  -- again careful & at your own level of technical skill/risk.  That said, I don't do any overclocking or crazy stuff here but the more work your system does the more heat you need to remove (true for anything) so make sure you have proper airflow.  My GPU usage went from 40% to 50% after all of the changes and ran faster (because of the gains):

  • Go Manage 3D settings / Program Settings / Add:  "c:\ultima psobb\psobb.exe"

Settings (these settings are very aggressive/MAX -- but can be since this is a 20 year old game; if the game doesn't run smooth, start with FXAA; AA override, AA setting 2x, power management off, multi thread; retest and work up from there to your preference).  Settings not listed are at their default/global:

  • Program to customize:  psobb.exe
  • Anisotropic filtering: 16x -- this makes grass and textures in the distance especially detailed and light sourced; more subtle than AA in psobb
  • Antialiasing - FXAA: On (very important; this basically "unlocks" this panel); this has never worked for me before this setting & no one told me; so I'm telling you
  • Antialiasing - Mode: Override any application setting (important; unlock)
  • Antialiasing - Setting: 8x
  • Antialiasing - Transparency: 8x Supersample
  • Multi-Frame Sampled AA (MFAA): On
  • Power management mode: Prefer maximum performance (IMPORTANT; performance gain)
  • Texture filtering - Anisotropic sample opti. Off
  • Texture filtering - Negative LOD bias: Clamp
  • Texture filtering - Quality: High quality
  • Texture filtering - Trilinear optimization: On
  • Threaded optimization:  On (IMPORTANT; performance gain)

Click Apply and give it 5 seconds to save/refresh the driver then restart the game.  If you have issues you can take some settings back to a lower value or default (the light grey text -- usually says 'global').  You can also 'Remove' the profile to run the entire game at global/default settings.

Again, if you notice any further improvements or errors / notes, please let me know.

Edit: Formatting

Phantasy Star Online_ Blue Burst 10_3_2020 6_10_54 PM.jpg

Phantasy Star Online_ Blue Burst 10_3_2020 6_12_43 PM.jpg

Edited by Lelb
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