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ArmA 3 Performance Tweaks and Settings Guide

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>>> ArmA 3 Performance Tweaks and Settings Guide <<<


The wiki release of the thread. In this update I went through and benchmarked almost every setting again 3 (three) times each. There is still more for me to fiddle with and make clearer but for now it's ready, expect minor updates in the future.

As always feedback and suggestions are welcome, thanks for your time.

 

EDIT: I need to update and upgrade the guide for the new Day0 site, the current guide is still able to be viewed via internet archives here.

Edited by incontrovertible
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That -high switch does not exist.

Maxmem value over 2047 does not exist.

"Update to the latest PhysX driver to get the best performance." does not apply since the game doesn't use the Physx driver.

Good job on the guide nonetheless.

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what?

I could be wrong of course but this is what Dwarden said: "as Arma 3 uses PhysX 3 (CPU only), has own libraries delivered wih the game itself ...

so it's highly unlikely You need any physx driver updates"

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That -high switch does not exist.

Maxmem value over 2047 does not exist.

"Update to the latest PhysX driver to get the best performance." does not apply since the game doesn't use the Physx driver.

Good job on the guide nonetheless.

Thanks for the feedback. If the -high doesn't work then ProcessLasso is definitely the easiest way to ensure A3 will run on High Priority, which will hopefully make the game smoother while playing. Setting the maxmem value higher doesn't hurt in any way, but I have changed it to 2047 (would appreciate a concrete answer on this). Updating the PhysX driver also doesn't hurt, I could be wrong but a few months back I did a before/after test and got slightly better result, could've been an anomaly though.

Again thanks for the feedback. :)

Edited by incontrovertible

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Thanks for the feedback. If the -high doesn't work then ProcessLasso is definitely the easiest way to ensure A3 will run on High Priority, which will hopefully make the game smoother while playing. Setting the maxmem value higher doesn't hurt in any way, but I have changed it to 2047 (would appreciate a concrete answer on this). Updating the PhysX driver also doesn't hurt, I could be wrong but a few months back I did a before/after test and got slightly better result, could've been an anomaly though.

Again thanks for the feedback. :)

ye the -maxmem= is softcoded to 2047, more (e.g. 3071) wasn't yet added ... (at least i'm not aware of that)

2.2-2.5 GB usage is normally possible with older TBB we use now (we plan to update to 4.2 sometime soon)

as engine adds more for dynamic allocations, variables and libraries next to these 2GB (or in future 3 GB) you set via maxmem

i push to increase the maxMEM & maxVRAM frontier from 2GB to 3GB (on 64bit OS with 4 or more GB memory) but no ETA on this

Yes, the value is still limited to 2047. We would like to make it higher in the future but I'm not able to give you any estimates at the moment :).

-high doesn't do anything but setting priority externally might have some effect.

And yes, keeping all drivers including PhysX up to date is always recommended but impact on performance is negligible in this game.

You should add the 3GB switch enabling on 32bit systems. http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=9583842&linkID=9240617 It did wonders to me. They seem to have improved the memory usage since I enabled it but it doesn't hurt.

Edited by Greenfist

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Regarding PhysX updates.

please realize that GPU drives / physx drivers dependent is PhysX 2 ...

as Arma 3 uses PhysX 3 (CPU only), has own libraries delivered wih the game itself ...

so it's highly unlikely You need any physx driver updates

Also if you run ProcMon the Nvidia PhysX drivers are not accessed from arma3.exe. Having or not having physx drivers shouldn't have an impact at the moment.

You might want to remove the equals sign from the explanation of -noBenchmark= and -noLogs=, should be -noBenchmark and -noLogs.

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-high doesn't do anything but setting priority externally might have some effect.

And yes, keeping all drivers including PhysX up to date is always recommended but impact on performance is negligible in this game.

You should add the 3GB switch enabling on 32bit systems. http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=9583842&linkID=9240617 It did wonders to me. They seem to have improved the memory usage since I enabled it but it doesn't hurt.

Thanks for the ProTip, as a 64-bit user I didn't think of that. :)

Regarding PhysX updates.

Also if you run ProcMon the Nvidia PhysX drivers are not accessed from arma3.exe. Having or not having physx drivers shouldn't have an impact at the moment.

You might want to remove the equals sign from the explanation of -noBenchmark= and -noLogs=, should be -noBenchmark and -noLogs.

Thanks for catching that! :)

PhysX changed to a recommendation.

Edited by incontrovertible

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To really get a performance increase, go into video, and turn down the sampling from 100%. Can go down to 50%, but it is blurry. Depends on how desperate for FPS you are.

I haven't gamed with a resolution of 1024x768 since Quake 2 days. Expecting that to happen now? Hahahaha....Ooooh, HAHAHAHA!!

The game is badly optimized, especially online. Latest devbuild is no improvement, I tried yesterday.

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To really get a performance increase, go into video, and turn down the sampling from 100%. Can go down to 50%, but it is blurry. Depends on how desperate for FPS you are.

Depends where your bottlenecks are. If you have a good GPU and a not so good CPU, turning down resolution will hardly help.

Arma 3, as with all previous games (OFP included), is GPU and CPU hungry, but depending on your settings and hardware, bottlenecks will vary.

If you intend to play with huge view distance for example (>2km), with "balanced" hardware, CPU will tend to be the main bottleneck. If not, then GPU will tend to be the bottleneck.

On my rig (3570K + 660Ti), I can put everything on Ultra as long as I don't go past the 2km view distance limit (object view distance, terrain view distance is almost irrelevant on current rigs as long as you don't overdo it). But the moment I try to get like 2.5 km view distance, overall fluidity tend to take a hit (motion jitter).

As always, trade-off is the key. There's no hidden setting that's gonna solve your FPS issues. Choose which settings you are ready to sacrifice and live with it.

As for people whining about the game's optimization, well, yes, some stuff could be improved. Now show me which games does it better and we can talk in a reasonable way.

I'm not dismissing hardware specific issues btw, but my experience with the Arma series basically comes down to "if it slows down, lower the settings or increase your hardware". There's no two ways about it.

2km view distance with this level of quality comes at a price.

Edit : Not a big fan of the guide btw. Nicely presented but has a tendency to present very specific settings which are most likely irrelevant on many rigs.

Edit 2 : Actually, if you want to raise FPS in simple way (frame render time), there are simple approaches as long as you know where your bottlenecks are.

First of all, you have to understand that there is one setting which rule them all = view distance (object view distance mainly but terrain view distance can help a little bit too).

So first of all, lower view distance (1km is more than enough for most infantry situations).

Then.

If GPU is bottleneck -> Lower effective resolution (decrease sampling percentage below 100%) and/or lower PP effects such as AA/SSAO/aniso.

If CPU is bottleneck -> Lower object settings. Oh and terrain settings also.

If memory is bottleneck -> Lower texture quality.

Most other settings will have an effect to a degree but (unless I missed some other one) none will have such dramatic effects as lowering object settings (increases object "pop-up"), or lowering resolution/PP (decreases image quality), or of course lowering view distance.

Edited by HBK

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-snip-

Agreed, except for changing your resolution I wouldn't ever recommend that because it makes things too blurry and hard to see. I will be doing some view distance benchmarks soon as well.

Is 1200 km a decent Object Detail level for Infantry manily missions>

Yes should be fine.

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Agreed, except for changing your resolution I wouldn't ever recommend that because it makes things too blurry and hard to see.

Yes, of course. But if your GPU isn't up to snuff, you don't have much of a choice.

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I have updated the thread to include SweetFX and View Distance benchmarks. As always comments are welcomed, thanks for your time.

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It could also be your overclock causing stuttering, specifically the VCore setting, changing mine to auto has smoothed it out while still allowing the overclock for the moment. Needs more testing.

Edited by incontrovertible

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Thanks, I really appreciate it! I'm not done yet though as there is always more to add! The newest addition is an overclocking section and upcoming is a new suite of benchmarks featuring HDAO.

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Thanks for this, Very nicely done!

Thank-you! always happy to hear it helps people.

I have to apologize though guys as I haven't been able to do the revised benchmarks yet as I have been having a graphics card issue, after exhausting all troubleshooting that I know of I am now about to start the warranty claim process. Fear not though as I will be going through all the settings again once my PC is back to 100% and this time in graph form for easier consumption!

Thank-you for your time, as always comments are welcomed.

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here my results with ram and cpu overclocking (helo´s bench), locked ram timings on all frequencies so the differences are a little bit lower if you use sharper timings the lower your ram is clocked

cpu 4.5Ghz/ram 1600Mhz: 36 fps

cpu 4.5Ghz/ram 2400Mhz: 42 fps

cpu 4.5Ghz/ram 2666Mhz: 43 fps

cpu 4.8Ghz/ram 1600Mhz: 37 fps

cpu 4.8Ghz/ram 2666Mhz: 45 fps

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Been playing 'King of the Hill' lately, and had problems IDenting blue/red/green factions --the uniforms were smuggy at range, hard to make out --bluefor & greenfor very hard to ID.

Found cranking FXAA sharpens uniforms at range..., making friend/foe IDents much better.

Also, Nvidia users can crank 'Color Saturation' up thru the CP --i find default color very washed-out.

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OK! So I finally got my card back from warranty and it's brand spanking new in perfect working order, I'll get on these new sets of benchmarks soon.

Been playing 'King of the Hill' lately, and had problems IDenting blue/red/green factions --the uniforms were smuggy at range, hard to make out --bluefor & greenfor very hard to ID.

Found cranking FXAA sharpens uniforms at range..., making friend/foe IDents much better.

Also, Nvidia users can crank 'Color Saturation' up thru the CP --i find default color very washed-out.

That's a pretty good tip I didn't think of as an ATI/SweetFX user, will definitely add that.

Thanks for the heads up on that tweak! Tried it out and went from 76 to 84 fps on standard MP settings in the benchmark, will add it to the guide =]

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I believe, it's the time now to open a front about the "Startup Parameters" as displayed on the Community Wiki : Arma 3 Startup Parameters dedicated page and used in your Guide :

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. ****

-maxMem= set this to 2047 or about 1GB (1024) less than your maximum RAM, I am not sure if higher values have an effect as I'm pretty sure 2GB is the maximum.

-maxVram= this option will tell ArmA how much Video RAM your graphics card has, not really important for it to know however.

-noBenchmark mainly for the development build this option disables any benchmarking that ArmA automatically does.

-noLogs mainly for the development build this option disables any logging that ArmA automatically does.

-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=8 -exThreads=7 -maxMem=2047 -maxVram=3071 -noBenchmark -noLogs -noPause -noSplash -world=empty

The content of this page is in fact a copy of the Arma 2 : Startup Parameters page.

The Real Virtuality Engine has evolved from RV 3 to RV4 and the game has switched from XP to Vista/Seven and still no change here ?

Now a new start up parameter has been added in game : -enable HT

"A new command line parameter '-enableHT' has been added which instructs Arma 3 to use all hyper-threaded CPU cores. Use of this parameter may increase the game's performance, especially on Dedicated Servers with high amount of players." source -> http://dev.arma3.com/sitrep-00057

So I believe it's time to have a look on all these parameters, looking if they are working in Arma3, if they are still useful, if they can generate counterproductive effects.

From my own experience the parameters in the "Game Loading Speedup" section are still useful and working, so I can have :

-noSplash -world=empty

As Map maker and Mission maker I spend too much time making Intros ... so why disable them :raisebrow:

But afterward having a look at the "Performance" parameters section ... I am wondering

-maxMem=<number> ... auto detection seems to work pretty well now, what is the use of this one ?

-maxVRAM=<number> ... built to tweak an XP issue, what is the use of this one ?

-winxp ... also built to tweak an XP issue, what is the use of this one ?

-noCB ... "Turns off multicore use", could someone tell me who want to turn off "multicore use" ?

With the next row, we are entering an interesting debate

-cpuCount=<number> ..."override auto detection"

-exThreads=<number> ..."override auto detection"

are those 2 obsolete now with '-enableHT' usage, conflicting, overwrite ?

Nothing to say about next one for some members of the community are pretty active on the topic -> https://community.bistudio.com/wiki/Arma_3:_Custom_Memory_Allocator

-malloc=<string>

just skip the historical "Since OA 1.60 " reference, some Arma3 gamers know nothing about Arma2 and Arma2:OA!

Just a word about the last one

-noLogs

If you are only a player get it, if you start to use the editor disable it.

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