Jump to content

PCGamingWiki will use a Single Sign On (SSO) system to bridge wiki and forum accounts which is ready for testing. You may login using the 'Login with PCGamingWiki' button on both the wiki and the forum, which will soon be the only option. If you have any issues please message Andytizer on Discord.

LDK

Member
  • Content Count

    812
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    8

Everything posted by LDK

  1. The problem Double-clicking in single click, inability to create continuous line in paint application, difficulty to move camera in RTS, iron sights not sticking in FPS - these are all symptoms of a broken mouse button. Culprit in majority of cases is a component called miniature snap-action switch, or micro switch. This switch contains three leads and a metal with little spring. This metal is jumping between two contacts thanks to the spring and bridging connection between contacts. This spring can become tired so it isn't providing pressure necessary to maintain connection. With combination of dirt (dust) and oxidation on the contact areas, it is a perfect recipe for unstable connection and unwanted double clicks. Fig. 1 - types of micro switches Tools and tips You will need: screw driver (type depends on your mouse model, Phillips and flat head should be enough tweezers safety pin, nail scissors or something pointy contacts cleaner or rubbing alcohol any type of glue camera (cellphone will suffice) little bit of time Tips: Make several photos of each step, it will help you tremendously in reassembly. Don't use much force, there can be hidden screws or latches and you will break something if you are not careful. Disconnect your mouse from computer and pull out batteries first. Take your time, you do not have be finished in ten minutes. Every photo in this guide is in high resolution, visit gallery for additional details. And as usual, PCGamingWiki is not responsible for any damages caused by following this guide. 1. Mouse disassemble This step is unfortunately rather vague, because of each mouse having vastly different design. Be extra careful and look for hidden latches and screws when pulling parts apart. First of all you have to find screws on your mouse. Usual places are under rubber feet, in battery compartment and under stickers. Consult Google with a name of your mouse and word "disassemble". Fig. 2 - possible screw locations After getting rid of all the screws, upper part of the mouse should come apart. Now it is a good time to clean any oil and dirt from many crevices in the upper cover with rubbing alcohol or soap water (in case upper cover does not contain any electronics). Let it dry thoroughly. Example of mouse insides are displayed on figure 3. Fig. 3 - Logitech MX700 without cover Now look for micro switches that needs fixing. You have to have clear access to them in order to properly fix them so additional disassemble could be required. Usually there are few screws, that holds everything to the plastic base, internal connectors, scroll wheel, that can be easily put away etc. In some cases there can be hard connection between boards that cannot be non destructively disassembled. Again take a lot of photos during your work for future reference. For example in figure 3, Logitech MX700 is very complicated mouse with three layers of PCB's, two of which has soldered hard connection (4 pins directly above scroll wheel and on the left of D-3 component) and soldered flat cable between two other (upper right corner, white cable). There are five fixable switches on this mouse and three unfixable. Vast majority of manufacturers are using Omron type switches for main buttons (see figure 1 and 4). There is a possibility of finding smaller, four pin surface mounted switches, that cannot be opened and repaired without soldering. These can be also found in Xbox 360 controller. Fig. 4 - Omron type micro switch 3. Opening the micro switch So you have located faulty switch and ensured enough access to it. Opening it is fairly straight forward. There are usually two latches, that has to be lifted separately (figure 5). Some manufacturers has these latches on the long sides of the switch (figure 1). Fig. 5 - location of latches on the Omron micro switch Insert your open safety pin or point of scissors under the latch to unlock it and lift one side of the switch cover slightly (figure 6). Do not try to lift whole cover up just yet, you'll break the second latch. Fig. 6 - one latch unlocked and cover slightly lifted Do the same on the other side of the switch so you'll get situation displayed on figure 7. Rotate the mouse (or part with the switch) so the white pin on the top of the switch is pointing down. Fig. 7 - both latches unlocked and both sides of cover slightly lifted Now you can pull cover away from the base. The white pin is loose in the cover and can be easily lost if not handled upside down. At the end, you'll end up with situation displayed in figure 8. Fig. 8 - uncovered switch and detail of the white pin 4. Metal spring fun You can see insides of the switch. The part, that needs fixing, is the long metal with spring in the middle and It needs to come of the rest of the switch. This is another not very difficult task, lay the switch flat, as shown on figure 8, hold the part without the spring with two fingers and twist the metal to the side. It should go fairly easily and you'll end up with bare metal with spring (upper left side of figure 9). Fig. 9 - Metal with spring and prying spring As the fix itself you'll need to pry the spring little bit. Lay the metal piece flat, hold it as flat possible with tweezers and pry the spring up just a little bit. There is very little strength required, just fraction of a millimeter should be enough. Clean the contacts on the metal with alcohol, do the same with pins on the base of the switch. Now for the tricky part: you have to put it back together. See figure 10 in full resolution for more details. There are two grooves on the two metal pins on the base of the switch (numbered 1 and 2 on the figure 10). These grooves are corresponding with cutouts on the metal, also numbered 1 and 2. The hammer needs to go between two most right pins. Fig. 10 - grooves on contacts and metal spring detail The easiest way I've found is to place the hammer first, then place the metal into the groove 1. Spring is resting on the middle pin, just above groove number 2. Situation on the top left, top right and bottom right part of figure 11. Fig. 11 - reassembling metal with spring on the switch base Now for seating the spring into its groove. Take the tweezers or small screw driver and push the spring down into its place (rest of figure 11). This is especially tricky move, as you have to push with enough force to push it down, but not enough to over push. If you over do it, you'll have to start over. When you manage to seat the metal properly, try to click it few times so you know, it is working OK. Seated metal is displayed on figure 12. Fig. 12 - properly seated metal spring on the switch base Whole process of opening and fixing the switch is captured on a video. Be sure to turn on HD for best details. 4. Testing and reassembly Close the switch and make sure, you are putting the cover the right way. White pin should not be directly above the spring. Consult your photos for proper orientation. Unfortunately you have to fully reassemble your mouse to do proper testing. Screws are putting the right amount of pressure on the micro switches and without them you could get another faulty clicks. Sometimes sound of the click and force needed to achieve button press can change slightly depending of force used on prying the spring. Try to open it again if you are not satisfied with results. The best way to test success of the fix is in any paint application. Create a blank document, pick any color and create any random shape with the button, you've just fixed. You should get continuous line if the fix is successful. Glue back the rubber feet and enjoy your fixed mouse.
  2. If you are experienced PC player, you have probably came across a broken or malfunctioning mouse. We are going to look at the unwanted double-click problem and provide detailed guide with many macro photos and video how to fix it regardless of mouse model. Without any soldering and with just basic tools you can bring back to life your older or aging, but once expensive, gaming mouse. The problem Double-clicking in single click, inability to create continuous line in paint application, difficulty to move camera in RTS, iron sights not sticking in FPS - these are all symptoms of a broken mouse button. Culprit in majority of cases is a component called miniature snap-action switch, or micro switch. This switch contains three leads and a metal with little spring. This metal is jumping between two contacts thanks to the spring and bridging connection between contacts. This spring can become tired so it isn't providing pressure necessary to maintain connection. With combination of dirt (dust) and oxidation on the contact areas, it is a perfect recipe for unstable connection and unwanted double clicks. Fig. 1 - types of micro switches Tools and tips You will need: screw driver (type depends on your mouse model, Phillips and flat head should be enough tweezers safety pin, nail scissors or something pointy contacts cleaner or rubbing alcohol any type of glue camera (cellphone will suffice) little bit of time Tips:Make several photos of each step, it will help you tremendously in reassembly. Don't use much force, there can be hidden screws or latches and you will break something if you are not careful. Disconnect your mouse from computer and pull out batteries first. Take your time, you do not have be finished in ten minutes. Every photo in this guide is in high resolution, visit gallery for additional details. And as usual, PCGamingWiki is not responsible for any damages caused by following this guide. 1. Mouse disassemble This step is unfortunately rather vague, because of each mouse having vastly different design. Be extra careful and look for hidden latches and screws when pulling parts apart. First of all you have to find screws on your mouse. Usual places are under rubber feet, in battery compartment and under stickers. Consult Google with a name of your mouse and word "disassemble". Fig. 2 - possible screw locations After getting rid of all the screws, upper part of the mouse should come apart. Now it is a good time to clean any oil and dirt from many crevices in the upper cover with rubbing alcohol or soap water (in case upper cover does not contain any electronics). Let it dry thoroughly. Example of mouse insides are displayed on figure 3. Fig. 3 - Logitech MX700 without cover Now look for micro switches that needs fixing. You have to have clear access to them in order to properly fix them so additional disassemble could be required. Usually there are few screws, that holds everything to the plastic base, internal connectors, scroll wheel, that can be easily put away etc. In some cases there can be hard connection between boards that cannot be non destructively disassembled. Again take a lot of photos during your work for future reference. For example in figure 3, Logitech MX700 is very complicated mouse with three layers of PCB's, two of which has soldered hard connection (4 pins directly above scroll wheel and on the left of D-3 component) and soldered flat cable between two other (upper right corner, white cable). There are five fixable switches on this mouse and three unfixable. Vast majority of manufacturers are using Omron type switches for main buttons (see figure 1 and 4). There is a possibility of finding smaller, four pin surface mounted switches, that cannot be opened and repaired without soldering. These can be also found in Xbox 360 controller. Fig. 4 - Omron type micro switch 3. Opening the micro switch So you have located faulty switch and ensured enough access to it. Opening it is fairly straight forward. There are usually two latches, that has to be lifted separately (figure 5). Some manufacturers has these latches on the long sides of the switch (figure 1). Fig. 5 - location of latches on the Omron micro switch Insert your open safety pin or point of scissors under the latch to unlock it and lift one side of the switch cover slightly (figure 6). Do not try to lift whole cover up just yet, you'll break the second latch. Fig. 6 - one latch unlocked and cover slightly lifted Do the same on the other side of the switch so you'll get situation displayed on figure 7. Rotate the mouse (or part with the switch) so the white pin on the top of the switch is pointing down. Fig. 7 - both latches unlocked and both sides of cover slightly lifted Now you can pull cover away from the base. The white pin is loose in the cover and can be easily lost if not handled upside down. At the end, you'll end up with situation displayed in figure 8. Fig. 8 - uncovered switch and detail of the white pin 4. Metal spring fun You can see insides of the switch. The part, that needs fixing, is the long metal with spring in the middle and It needs to come of the rest of the switch. This is another not very difficult task, lay the switch flat, as shown on figure 8, hold the part without the spring with two fingers and twist the metal to the side. It should go fairly easily and you'll end up with bare metal with spring (upper left side of figure 9). Fig. 9 - Metal with spring and prying spring As the fix itself you'll need to pry the spring little bit. Lay the metal piece flat, hold it as flat possible with tweezers and pry the spring up just a little bit. There is very little strength required, just fraction of a millimeter should be enough. Clean the contacts on the metal with alcohol, do the same with pins on the base of the switch. Now for the tricky part: you have to put it back together. See figure 10 in full resolution for more details. There are two grooves on the two metal pins on the base of the switch (numbered 1 and 2 on the figure 10). These grooves are corresponding with cutouts on the metal, also numbered 1 and 2. The hammer needs to go between two most right pins. Fig. 10 - grooves on contacts and metal spring detail The easiest way I've found is to place the hammer first, then place the metal into the groove 1. Spring is resting on the middle pin, just above groove number 2. Situation on the top left, top right and bottom right part of figure 11. Fig. 11 - reassembling metal with spring on the switch base Now for seating the spring into its groove. Take the tweezers or small screw driver and push the spring down into its place (rest of figure 11). This is especially tricky move, as you have to push with enough force to push it down, but not enough to over push. If you over do it, you'll have to start over. When you manage to seat the metal properly, try to click it few times so you know, it is working OK. Seated metal is displayed on figure 12. Fig. 12 - properly seated metal spring on the switch base Whole process of opening and fixing the switch is captured on a video. Be sure to turn on HD for best details. 4. Testing and reassembly Close the switch and make sure, you are putting the cover the right way. White pin should not be directly above the spring. Consult your photos for proper orientation. Unfortunately you have to fully reassemble your mouse to do proper testing. Screws are putting the right amount of pressure on the micro switches and without them you could get another faulty clicks. Sometimes sound of the click and force needed to achieve button press can change slightly depending of force used on prying the spring. Try to open it again if you are not satisfied with results. The best way to test success of the fix is in any paint application. Create a blank document, pick any color and create any random shape with the button, you've just fixed. You should get continuous line if the fix is successful. Glue back the rubber feet and enjoy your fixed mouse. Click here to view the article
  3. LDK

    PC Report: Killing Floor 2

    System Requirements Minimum CPU: Core 2 Duo E8200 2.66GHz or Phenom II X2 545 RAM: 3 GB RAM HDD: 10 GB GPU: GeForce GTS 250 or Radeon HD 4830 OS: Win7 64-bit, Win8/8.1 64-bit Recommended CPU: Core 2 Quad Q9550 2.83GHz or Phenom II X4 955 RAM: 4 GB RAM GPU: GeForce GTX 560 or Radeon HD 6950 System requirements seems to be very reasonable, minimum required CPU is a just dual core and a rather old one. Similar story with required GPU, which is very old mainstream. Recommended specs are little bit more demanding, as a quad core and a newer GPU is needed, but again nothing anywhere close to the current high-end hardware. All the tests have been done on system with Core i7-2700k clocked to 4.5GHz, 32 GB RAM and HD 6870 with 1GB of VRAM, Killing Floor 2 version was 1003, Catalyst version 15.3 Beta. Testing was done in a 1650x1050 resolution, the game doesn't offer benchmark tool, so test run was me playing the first round in a solo mode on the Burning Paris map and killing all zombies which took about one minute. Each effect was tested three times and results were averaged to eliminate inconsistencies between each run. Graphics settings Graphics settings menu offers wide variety of effects and setting to tweak. Some of the effects require restarting the game, so set them before you enter an online match. These effects are: Environment Detail, FX, Realtime Reflections and Shadow Quality. Other effects can be adjusted on the fly with immediate effect, but I've restarted the game after each change for benchmarks just to be sure. Killing Floor 2 supports any resolution, some more exotic ones can be accessed by switching Aspect Ratio to Any. The game supports Borderless, Windowed and Fullscreen modes, and Variable Framerate can be turned on for high refresh rate displays. I've encountered slight problem when lowering resolutions, but restarting game fixed it. Field of View Field of View slider is hidden under Game Settings options menu. It doesn't say exact degree of field of view, there is percentage adjustment instead with 100% - 125% range. Killing Floor 2 apparently uses vertical implementation of field of view. This implementation works much better on a variety of aspect ratios, ultra wide monitors and AMD Eyefinity or Nvidia Surround setups. Bellow you can see two comparisons, upper one is the game's field of view on ordinary 16:10 aspect ratio screen, lower one is field of view behavior on ultra wide screen. Even when slider is set to 125% on both cases, ultra wide screen properly offers more visibility. Surprisingly there was no measurable impact on framerate. Full resolution screenshots: 16:10@100%, 16:10@125%, 21:9@100%, 21:9@125%. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_75/gallery_13_75_44906.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_75/gallery_13_75_74028.jpg|864|540|Field of View 100%|Field of View 125%[/compimg] [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_75/gallery_13_75_56240.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_75/gallery_13_75_51931.jpg|864|365|Field of View 100%|Field of View 125%[/compimg] Overall performance and image quality Killing Floor 2 offers four image quality presets - Low, Medium, High and Ultra. On the Low preset the game performed very well and the framerate rarely fell under 100 FPS. Switching to the Medium setting framerate dropped 30%, same drop was when the High setting was used. The Ultra preset offers the best image quality, but with severe framerate impact of 40% from High and more than 70% from Low setting. The game's performance scales very well with each preset. Performance also scales fairly well although not linearly. Doubling the resolution from 1280x800 to 2560x1600 results in 62% framerate drop. Image quality even on the Low settings is very good. Lighting is dynamic, some textures are blurry and there are only basic reflections. On the other hand, the Ultra setting have textures very sharp even on 1600p, environment has more objects and realtime reflections are also present and very apparent. Below are comparisons from three currently available maps. Full resolution screenshots: Paris Low, Paris Medium, Paris High, Paris Ultra; Outpost Low, Outpost Medium, Outpost High, Outpost Ultra; Lab Low, Lab Medium, Lab High, Lab Ultra. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_75/gallery_13_75_55749.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_75/gallery_13_75_194.jpg|864|540|Preset Low|Preset Ultra[/compimg] [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_75/gallery_13_75_119284.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_75/gallery_13_75_82884.jpg|864|540|Preset Low|Preset Ultra[/compimg] [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_75/gallery_13_75_138354.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_75/gallery_13_75_97229.jpg|864|540|Preset Low|Preset Ultra[/compimg] Controls Controls settings menu in the Killing Floor 2 offers basic mouse sensitivity settings, there is no mouse acceleration or smoothing toggle, but I haven't felt any additional mouse processing and aiming seems to be very precise. Keyboard binding menu offers basic key binds, only one key per action can be set. There was an issue with Caps Lock key, the key was binded to the Voice Chat by default and cannot be binded to anything else unless Voice Chat action is binded to other key first. Controllers are also supported, but buttons cannot be reassigned. Audio Killing Floor 2 Audio Options menu offers three volume sliders for Game, Music and Voice Chat volume. The game supports surround sound setups and positional audio worked flawlessly on my 7.1 system. The audio quality is exceptionally good, the everything sounds very authentic. Killing Floor 2 is probably taking distance of the sound source and applying some filters on it for added realism. I was very surprised how good the game sounds. Performance analysis In this section we are going to look at how each effect impacts framerate and how does each setting looks on screenshots. Be sure to check full resolution uncompressed PNGs linked in each section. There are full resolution screenshots linked in each section for better comparisons as the images in the sliders are compressed. Be sure to check our gallery for additional screenshots and graphs. Ambient Occlusion Killing Floor 2 offers two ambient occlusion methods - SSAO and HBAO+. SSAO adds very subtle shadows to the corners and around some objects. HBAO+ is much more pronoun and these shadows are much more noticeable. Full resolution screenshots: AO Off, SSAO, HBAO+. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_75/gallery_13_75_70534.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_75/gallery_13_75_56358.jpg|864|540|Ambient Occlusion Off|Ambient Occlusion HBAO+[/compimg] Performance impact is around 10% for SSAO and almost 30% for HBAO+ from Off setting. As usual this is rather performance expensive effect, but not very noticeable with SSAO setting. Texture Resolution This setting affects quality of textures and can be adjusted in four levels. On Low setting some textures are very blurry and lacks any detail (glove on the screenshot for example), but other textures are surprisingly sharp and detailed even on Low. Larger quality boost comes with the High setting and the textures are obviously the sharpest at Ultra setting. Full resolution screenshots: scene 1 Low, Medium, High, Ultra; scene 2 Low, Medium, High, Ultra. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_75/gallery_13_75_122217.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_75/gallery_13_75_87111.jpg|864|540|Texture Resolution Low|Texture Resolution Ultra[/compimg] Performance impact depends highly on amount of VRAM available, average framerate drop is only around 5% for each additional level. But heavy stuttering started to appear with High setting on my 1GB card. Shadow Quality Killing Floor 2 offers four levels of Shadow Quality settings. Each level increases resolution and view distance of the shadows. At Low setting some of the shadows are barely visible and the rest is very blurry. With each additional settings level, shadows are much nicer, sharper and farther visible. Full resolution screenshots: Low, Medium, High, Ultra. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_75/gallery_13_75_123292.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_75/gallery_13_75_3947.jpg|864|540|Shadow Quality Low|Shadow Quality Ultra[/compimg] As usual, shadows have substantial impact on the performance. Medium setting causes around 7% framerate drop, High setting costs 16% and the most expensive Ultra setting costs 20% of performance. Environment Detail This settings affects how many objects are in the game world. These objects have no impact on the gameplay, usually they are there just for decoration (chairs, garbage..). Full resolution screenshots: Low, Medium, High, Ultra. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_75/gallery_13_75_89834.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_75/gallery_13_75_134774.jpg|864|540|Environment Detail Low|Environment Detail Ultra[/compimg] Performance impact wasn't measurable, This is probably due to the fast CPU in the test rig. I'd imagine this setting will have much more pronoun impact on dual cores and CPU with weak single core performance. Character Detail Character Detail setting affects model's level of detail. Polygon count is higher with each setting level, but it is not very noticeable directly in the game. Full resolution screenshots: Low, High, Ultra. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_75/gallery_13_75_118594.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_75/gallery_13_75_124938.jpg|864|540|Character Detail Low|Character Detail Ultra[/compimg] Performance impact of Character Detail was only 5% for High setting and 8% for Ultra setting. Texture Filtering Texture filtering offers few filtering methods, unfortunately I haven't noticed any difference. There should be massive reduction of blurring on a distant textures, but the textures looks exactly the same. Performance impact is negligible for all but Anisotropic 16x setting where it is 13%. Full resolution screenshots: Bilinear, Trilinear, Anisotropic 4x, Anisotropic 16x. Depth of Field Depth of field setting offers only Off and On options. If turned On, DoF just blurs the gun when aiming down the sights. I'd like to see more of the blurring dependant on distance from player, but otherwise I much prefer this implementation. Some games have DoF forced on everything that is little bit farther from the camera just to hide horrible low resolution models or billboards however Killing Floor 2 is using DoF correctly. Performance impact is around 7%. Full resolution screenshots: Off, SAT DOF. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_75/gallery_13_75_61774.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_75/gallery_13_75_118132.jpg|864|540|Depth of Field Off|Depth of Field On[/compimg] Anti-Aliasing Killing Floor 2 offers only FXAA as its anti-aliasing method. This is only post processing filter and not a proper anti aliasing method. Fortunately KF2 implementation is done fairly well and jaggies are moderately blurred without impacting sharpens of the textures. Performance impact is around 9%. Full resolution screenshots: Off, FXAA. Realtime Reflections and rest of the effects Realtime reflections adds reflections on some surfaces. This effects is very performance expensive, but it is well worth it as the game's world becomes much more realistic. This is the most demanding effect in the game, turning reflections On results in more than 40% framerate drop. Full resolution screenshots: scene 1 Off, On; scene 2 Off, On. Rest of the effects have negligible performance impact and I haven't noticed any visual difference. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_75/gallery_13_75_89210.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_75/gallery_13_75_109644.jpg|864|540|Realtime Reflections Off|Realtime Reflections On[/compimg] Conclusion PC version of Killing Floor 2 is very well done. The option menus are offering many setting to play with, controls are spot on and the sounds are awesome. Optimization is also very good as the game scales nicely and performs well. For a game, that is just entering Early Access, this is very polished product. Developers are actively pushing updates (I've downloaded two large updates just last week) and if first Killing Floor taught us anything, devs are not going to abandon Killing Floor 2 anytime soon. PC Reports are a series of quick first impressions regarding the technical aspects of a PC game. This report was written by PCGamingWiki contributor LDK. For an up to date account of Killing Floor 2 fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article. Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed our article and want to us create more articles, more often, please consider donating to PCGamingWiki's Patreon campaign:
  4. PC Reports are a series of quick first impressions regarding the technical aspects of a PC game. This report was written by PCGamingWiki contributor LDK. For an up to date account of Killing Floor 2 fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article. Killing Floor 2 is a continuation of a very popular coop zombie shooter from Tripwire Interactive. The game is just entering Early Access and we are going to take a look at its performance and overall technical quality. System Requirements Minimum CPU: Core 2 Duo E8200 2.66GHz or Phenom II X2 545 RAM: 3 GB RAM HDD: 10 GB GPU: GeForce GTS 250 or Radeon HD 4830 OS: Win7 64-bit, Win8/8.1 64-bit Recommended CPU: Core 2 Quad Q9550 2.83GHz or Phenom II X4 955 RAM: 4 GB RAM GPU: GeForce GTX 560 or Radeon HD 6950 System requirements seems to be very reasonable, minimum required CPU is a just dual core and a rather old one. Similar story with required GPU, which is very old mainstream. Recommended specs are little bit more demanding, as a quad core and a newer GPU is needed, but again nothing anywhere close to the current high-end hardware. All the tests have been done on system with Core i7-2700k clocked to 4.5GHz, 32 GB RAM and HD 6870 with 1GB of VRAM, Killing Floor 2 version was 1003, Catalyst version 15.3 Beta. Testing was done in a 1650x1050 resolution, the game doesn't offer benchmark tool, so test run was me playing the first round in a solo mode on the Burning Paris map and killing all zombies which took about one minute. Each effect was tested three times and results were averaged to eliminate inconsistencies between each run. Graphics settings Graphics settings menu offers wide variety of effects and setting to tweak. Some of the effects require restarting the game, so set them before you enter an online match. These effects are: Environment Detail, FX, Realtime Reflections and Shadow Quality. Other effects can be adjusted on the fly with immediate effect, but I've restarted the game after each change for benchmarks just to be sure. Killing Floor 2 supports any resolution, some more exotic ones can be accessed by switching Aspect Ratio to Any. The game supports Borderless, Windowed and Fullscreen modes, and Variable Framerate can be turned on for high refresh rate displays. I've encountered slight problem when lowering resolutions, but restarting game fixed it. Field of View Field of View slider is hidden under Game Settings options menu. It doesn't say exact degree of field of view, there is percentage adjustment instead with 100% - 125% range. Killing Floor 2 apparently uses vertical implementation of field of view. This implementation works much better on a variety of aspect ratios, ultra wide monitors and AMD Eyefinity or Nvidia Surround setups. Bellow you can see two comparisons, upper one is the game's field of view on ordinary 16:10 aspect ratio screen, lower one is field of view behavior on ultra wide screen. Even when slider is set to 125% on both cases, ultra wide screen properly offers more visibility. Surprisingly there was no measurable impact on framerate. Full resolution screenshots: 16:10@100%, 16:10@125%, 21:9@100%, 21:9@125%. Overall performance and image quality Killing Floor 2 offers four image quality presets - Low, Medium, High and Ultra. On the Low preset the game performed very well and the framerate rarely fell under 100 FPS. Switching to the Medium setting framerate dropped 30%, same drop was when the High setting was used. The Ultra preset offers the best image quality, but with severe framerate impact of 40% from High and more than 70% from Low setting. The game's performance scales very well with each preset. Performance also scales fairly well although not linearly. Doubling the resolution from 1280x800 to 2560x1600 results in 62% framerate drop. Image quality even on the Low settings is very good. Lighting is dynamic, some textures are blurry and there are only basic reflections. On the other hand, the Ultra setting have textures very sharp even on 1600p, environment has more objects and realtime reflections are also present and very apparent. Below are comparisons from three currently available maps. Full resolution screenshots: Paris Low, Paris Medium, Paris High, Paris Ultra; Outpost Low, Outpost Medium, Outpost High, Outpost Ultra; Lab Low, Lab Medium, Lab High, Lab Ultra. Controls Controls settings menu in the Killing Floor 2 offers basic mouse sensitivity settings, there is no mouse acceleration or smoothing toggle, but I haven't felt any additional mouse processing and aiming seems to be very precise. Keyboard binding menu offers basic key binds, only one key per action can be set. There was an issue with Caps Lock key, the key was binded to the Voice Chat by default and cannot be binded to anything else unless Voice Chat action is binded to other key first. Controllers are also supported, but buttons cannot be reassigned. Audio Killing Floor 2 Audio Options menu offers three volume sliders for Game, Music and Voice Chat volume. The game supports surround sound setups and positional audio worked flawlessly on my 7.1 system. The audio quality is exceptionally good, the everything sounds very authentic. Killing Floor 2 is probably taking distance of the sound source and applying some filters on it for added realism. I was very surprised how good the game sounds. Performance analysis In this section we are going to look at how each effect impacts framerate and how does each setting looks on screenshots. Be sure to check full resolution uncompressed PNGs linked in each section. There are full resolution screenshots linked in each section for better comparisons as the images in the sliders are compressed. Be sure to check our gallery for additional screenshots and graphs. Ambient Occlusion Killing Floor 2 offers two ambient occlusion methods - SSAO and HBAO . SSAO adds very subtle shadows to the corners and around some objects. HBAO is much more pronoun and these shadows are much more noticeable. Full resolution screenshots: AO Off, SSAO, HBAO. Performance impact is around 10% for SSAO and almost 30% for HBAO from Off setting. As usual this is rather performance expensive effect, but not very noticeable with SSAO setting. Texture Resolution This setting affects quality of textures and can be adjusted in four levels. On Low setting some textures are very blurry and lacks any detail (glove on the screenshot for example), but other textures are surprisingly sharp and detailed even on Low. Larger quality boost comes with the High setting and the textures are obviously the sharpest at Ultra setting. Full resolution screenshots: scene 1 Low, Medium, High, Ultra; scene 2 Low, Medium, High, Ultra. Performance impact depends highly on amount of VRAM available, average framerate drop is only around 5% for each additional level. But heavy stuttering started to appear with High setting on my 1GB card. Shadow Quality Killing Floor 2 offers four levels of Shadow Quality settings. Each level increases resolution and view distance of the shadows. At Low setting some of the shadows are barely visible and the rest is very blurry. With each additional settings level, shadows are much nicer, sharper and farther visible. Full resolution screenshots: Low, Medium, High, Ultra. As usual, shadows have substantial impact on the performance. Medium setting causes around 7% framerate drop, High setting costs 16% and the most expensive Ultra setting costs 20% of performance. Environment Detail This settings affects how many objects are in the game world. These objects have no impact on the gameplay, usually they are there just for decoration (chairs, garbage..). Full resolution screenshots: Low, Medium, High, Ultra. Performance impact wasn't measurable, This is probably due to the fast CPU in the test rig. I'd imagine this setting will have much more pronoun impact on dual cores and CPU with weak single core performance. Character Detail Character Detail setting affects model's level of detail. Polygon count is higher with each setting level, but it is not very noticeable directly in the game. Full resolution screenshots: Low, High, Ultra. Performance impact of Character Detail was only 5% for High setting and 8% for Ultra setting. Texture Filtering Texture filtering offers few filtering methods, unfortunately I haven't noticed any difference. There should be massive reduction of blurring on a distant textures, but the textures looks exactly the same. Performance impact is negligible for all but Anisotropic 16x setting where it is 13%. Full resolution screenshots: Bilinear, Trilinear, Anisotropic 4x, Anisotropic 16x. Depth of Field Depth of field setting offers only Off and On options. If turned On, DoF just blurs the gun when aiming down the sights. I'd like to see more of the blurring dependant on distance from player, but otherwise I much prefer this implementation. Some games have DoF forced on everything that is little bit farther from the camera just to hide horrible low resolution models or billboards however Killing Floor 2 is using DoF correctly. Performance impact is around 7%. Full resolution screenshots: Off, SAT DOF. Anti-Aliasing Killing Floor 2 offers only FXAA as its anti-aliasing method. This is only post processing filter and not a proper anti aliasing method. Fortunately KF2 implementation is done fairly well and jaggies are moderately blurred without impacting sharpens of the textures. Performance impact is around 9%. Full resolution screenshots: Off, FXAA. Realtime Reflections and rest of the effects Realtime reflections adds reflections on some surfaces. This effects is very performance expensive, but it is well worth it as the game's world becomes much more realistic. This is the most demanding effect in the game, turning reflections On results in more than 40% framerate drop. Full resolution screenshots: scene 1 Off, On; scene 2 Off, On. Rest of the effects have negligible performance impact and I haven't noticed any visual difference. Conclusion PC version of Killing Floor 2 is very well done. The option menus are offering many setting to play with, controls are spot on and the sounds are awesome. Optimization is also very good as the game scales nicely and performs well. For a game, that is just entering Early Access, this is very polished product. Developers are actively pushing updates (I've downloaded two large updates just last week) and if first Killing Floor taught us anything, devs are not going to abandon Killing Floor 2 anytime soon. PC Reports are a series of quick first impressions regarding the technical aspects of a PC game. This report was written by PCGamingWiki contributor LDK. For an up to date account of Killing Floor 2 fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article. Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed our article and want to us create more articles, more often, please consider donating to PCGamingWiki's Patreon campaign: Click here to view the article
  5. System requirements MinimumCPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 @ 2.6 GHz or AMD Athlon II X4 620 @ 2.6 GHz RAM: 2 GB HDD: 30 GB GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 260, AMD Radeon HD 4870; 512 MB of VRAM, Shader model 4.0 support Recommended CPU: Intel Core i5 2400S @ 2.5 GHz or AMD Phenom II x4 940 @ 3.0 GHz RAM: 4 GB GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 470, AMD Radeon HD 5850; 1 GB of VRAM, Shader model 5.0 support Minimum system requirements are very modest, it is probably due to the fact the game is also being released on current gen consoles. There are even reports, that the game is playable on older cards like GeForce 9600GT (source). Even the recommended requirements are nothing to be afraid of. The recommended GPUs are more than three generations old and the required CPU clock is in laptop range. Testing was done on a system with Core i7 clocked to 4.5 GHz, 32 GB RAM and AMD Radeon HD 6870 in 1920x1200 resolution. Unfortunately there is no build-in benchmark so I had to test directly in-game. My benchmark consists of running from one viewpoint in Nassau to another during daytime. The game locks framerate to 63 FPS and there is no way to unlock it. Because of it many values would be higher without the lock because in a few cases, I've hit the 63 FPS limit. For detailed comparisons of all graphical effects there are many full resolution screenshots linked in this article. These screenshots are in lossless PNG format and each is around 4MB. Click with caution. CPU utilization In the section above you'll find the game requires a quad core CPU, however it turned out that the game is capable of running on a dual core system without any significant performance impact. Here is a list of active threads in the main process. The most CPU time is taken by one main thread, around 12%, which is one core of an eight core system. The second most demanding thread is the GPU driver, around 5%. The rest of the interesting threads are a few 1% threads that presumably take care of AI, sound, physics etc. Cumulative CPU time of these is around 7%, which when combined with the GPU driver thread is also 12% and is the second core. This is how performance is spread over all cores. One main thread on the first core and rest on the other cores. CPU utilization is around 33%. The game is behaving a little bit differently on quad core systems. Load is spread over all cores evenly with no change of CPU utilization. When affinity is lowered to only two cores, the load is also balanced evenly between them. There is a 10% loss of CPU utilization. And finally the game running on a single core system will utilize one whole core which is no surprise. From the graph above it is clear that Assassin's Creed IV can be run on dual core systems without any performance hit. On single core systems there is a rather large drop so the game really needs at least a dual core CPU. Video settings The graphics option menu in Assassin's Creed IV features few items that can be tweaked. The shadow setting is very rich in that it features seven different levels of shadow quality. Anti-aliasing is similar due to how it contains five AA methods for AMD cards and eleven methods for Nvidia cards. Some of these effects and their impact are explained in this video. Bear in mind that it is promotional material so the final look of the game can be very different. There are unfortunately a few rather important settings missing. There is no aspect ratio option resulting in letterboxing on every aspect ratio other than16:9. Black bars are even present on AMD Eyefinity or Nvidia Surround systems which is surprising as this wasn't a problem in Assassin's Creed III. There is also no native option for triple buffering resulting in unnecessary framerate loss when vertical synchronization is turned on. There is no field of view setting. This wasn't a problem in the previous games in the series as the default field of view isn't set very narrow. However, Assassin's Creed IV contains first person sections where field of view is awfully narrow and makes the game practically unplayable for many players. Although the majority of the game is in third person with a reasonable field of view, this is still a problem. Performance Assassin's Creed IV runs on a DirectX 11 renderer. Its engine, AnvilNext, has been used in the last game in the series so it should be a little bit more optimized as the developers are more experienced with this technology. Porting was done again by the Ubisoft Kiev studio that has done the not-very-good ports of Ghost Recon and Assassin's Creed III. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_20/gallery_13_20_139301.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_20/gallery_13_20_34918.jpg|864|540|Low|Max[/compimg] There are no presets so testing was done with everything on lowest and then everything on highest without anti-aliasing. On the lowest settings the average framerate was 52.5 FPS with 45 minimum. On the highest settings the framerate was more than halved, 22.2 FPS with 16 minimum. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_20/gallery_13_20_156115.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_20/gallery_13_20_91543.jpg|864|540|Low|Max [/compimg] As you can see from the screenshots, maximum details looks significantly better. The sea has real time reflections, building LOD is not that aggressive and there are generally many more details in the scene. Original screenshots: scene 1 low, scene 1 max, scene 2 low, scene 2 max. Environment quality This setting controls foliage and LOD of buildings. On the lowest setting there is no grass and the leaves on the trees disappear pretty close to the protagonist. On normal and high settings grass appears and the buildings are significantly more detailed. Original screenshots: very low, normal, very high. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_20/gallery_13_20_45708.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_20/gallery_13_20_117594.jpg|864|540|Very low|Very high[/compimg] The performance impact is not very noticeable, only around 8% from low to normal and from normal to high, so there is practically no difference. Texture quality Texture quality should control texture resolution, but I was unable to find any visual difference. Another strange thing with this option is its performance. There is no difference in performance between low and high settings but there is a 5% FPS drop on the normal setting. I have repeated the test several times with the same results and I can't figure out why it is behaving this way. The fact that there is no visual impact could mean that this setting is either improperly implemented or is simply bugged. Original screenshots: low, normal, high. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_20/gallery_13_20_184793.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_20/gallery_13_20_29817.jpg|864|540|Low|High[/compimg] Anti-aliasing Assassin's Creed IV features a very rich amount of anti-aliasing options, some of which are unfortunately available only on Nvidia cards and I was not able to test those as my rig has an AMD card in it. As usual, anti-aliasing is a very power hungry effect. The two post-process filters, FXAA and SMAA, offer a very small performance drop of 8%. The true anti-aliasing option, MSAA, has a much larger FPS drop with almost 60% on MSAA 8x. The results are very disappointing as every tested method completely blurs whole image and causes a large loss of details on the textures. FXAA is the worst as usual, some jaggies are softer but fine details on the textures are gone and disconnected lines stays disconnected. MSAA offers the best anti-aliasing and there are no disconnected lines as this method works with subpixels and locally enlarges resolution thus adding geometry details. Unfortunately MSAA also blurs textures which should not happen. Results with SMAA really surprised me. This method blurs sharp edges and gets rid of disconnected lines and although there is apparent texture blurring, it is not as bad as the other methods. As usual original screenshots: no aa, fxaa, smaa, msaa 2x, msaa 4x, msaa 8x. I'm be interested in the Nvidia specific anti-aliasing methods, so if someone could take screens in .PNG format and upload it to any file locker, I will create a similar comparison. Shadows Another very rich option menu is shadows with seven different settings of shadows all in two categories, normal shadows and soft shadows. Soft shadows have their edges a little bit blurred to add a more realistic effect, while with higher settings the shadow resolution is increased. Original screenshots: low, normal, high, very high, soft low, soft normal, soft high. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_20/gallery_13_20_123888.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_20/gallery_13_20_179333.jpg|864|540|Low|High soft shadows[/compimg] The performance impact is not very large at first. From normal shadows up to high quality there is only about a 3% FPS drop but the very high setting will cost you 15% of performance. Soft shadows are much more demanding. Setting soft shadows on low will result in an 18% FPS drop with the highest settings a 29% FPS drop. Reflection quality This effect can dramatically change how the game looks as it introduces real-time reflections on water surfaces. It can be turned off or set to normal or high. The high setting just increases the draw distance of the reflections and does not affect their quality. Original screenshots: rain off, rain normal, rain high, sunny off, sunny normal, sunny high. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_20/gallery_13_20_26486.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_20/gallery_13_20_8972.jpg|864|540|Off|High[/compimg] Surprisingly, I have not observed a significant framerate drop. I have even changed my benchmarking route to include much more ocean than my standard route but I had the same results. Ambient occlusions Assassin's Creed IV has three ambient occlusion settings, SSAO and two levels of HBAO. Both of these techniques add very subtle shadows around corners and even SSAO looks very nice. HBAO on low is only visible in direct comparison and I wasn't able to notice it in the game. On the other hand, HBAO on high is much more visible and looks better than SSAO. Original screenshots: AO off, SSAO, HBAO+ low, HBAO+ high. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_20/gallery_13_20_124674.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_20/gallery_13_20_140615.jpg|864|540|Off|HBAO+ High[/compimg] Performance-wise, this is usually a very expensive effect, but the implementation in the game results in only a 13% FPS loss on SSAO and 18% on HBAO on high. God rays and volumetric fog The god rays effect enables sun shafts in the game. On the low settings, it isn't very visible, but on the high setting, it is a very different story. The performance drop is quite large on the highest setting, around 18%. I haven't noticed any dramatic changes when enabling volumetric fog. According to the technical showcase video linked above, it should add much better smoke and fog during sea battles, but it seemed very similar to me. The FPS drop is around 9%. Controls Assassin's Creed IV supports controllers and mouse and keyboard. Default controls for keyboard and mouse are changed from the last title as usual so returning keyboard and mouse players will be little bit confused. Keyboard can be remapped with exception of Caps Lock, Num Lock and Scroll Lock keys. Only one key can be bound to the action. Weapons select wheel has been removed completely and weapons and tools can be selected by numeric keys, while mouse wheel controls tool selection, and one key can be assigned to cycle thru weapons. Mouse settings features X and Y axis sensitivities, both axis can be also reverted. Unfortunately there is slight positive mouse acceleration in the third person mode and slight negative acceleration when character is aiming with a gun. Both accelerations are present even if acceleration is disabled in operating system. Xbox 360 controller works fairly well but its mapping cannot be changed. Audio Sound option menu does not offer much setting for tweaking. There are three volume slider, toggle for crew singing. Language setting is interesting though: you can choose different languages for menu, subtitles and spoken language. Surround sound support is also present but only with 5.1 system limitation. Sound quality is on par with current titles but sometime audio get out of sync in cutscenes. Conclusion I would consider Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag an average PC port. CPU optimization could be better, GPU optimization is done fairly well and I have not encounter any major problems, there are reports about bad performance on some systems though. Lack of field of view setting and letterboxing isn't something to be really proud of, same with mouse acceleration, blurry anti-aliasing and framerate lock. On the other hand the game looks very good even on the lowest settings and performs very well.
  6. PC Reports are a series of quick first impressions regarding the technical aspects of a PC game. This report was written by PCGamingWiki contributor LDK. For an up to date account of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article. Every new gaming season a few series are returning with iron regularity and this season is no different. The Assassin's Creed series belongs to this group and this year is returning with a new title called Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. In this article we are going to analyze the PC version of this multi-platform title - how each graphical effect impacts framerate, how the controls are and the overall quality of the PC port. System requirements MinimumCPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 @ 2.6 GHz or AMD Athlon II X4 620 @ 2.6 GHz RAM: 2 GB HDD: 30 GB GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 260, AMD Radeon HD 4870; 512 MB of VRAM, Shader model 4.0 support RecommendedCPU: Intel Core i5 2400S @ 2.5 GHz or AMD Phenom II x4 940 @ 3.0 GHz RAM: 4 GB GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 470, AMD Radeon HD 5850; 1 GB of VRAM, Shader model 5.0 support Minimum system requirements are very modest, it is probably due to the fact the game is also being released on current gen consoles. There are even reports, that the game is playable on older cards like GeForce 9600GT (source). Even the recommended requirements are nothing to be afraid of. The recommended GPUs are more than three generations old and the required CPU clock is in laptop range. Testing was done on a system with Core i7 clocked to 4.5 GHz, 32 GB RAM and AMD Radeon HD 6870 in 1920x1200 resolution. Unfortunately there is no build-in benchmark so I had to test directly in-game. My benchmark consists of running from one viewpoint in Nassau to another during daytime. The game locks framerate to 63 FPS and there is no way to unlock it. Because of it many values would be higher without the lock because in a few cases, I've hit the 63 FPS limit. For detailed comparisons of all graphical effects there are many full resolution screenshots linked in this article. These screenshots are in lossless PNG format and each is around 4MB. Click with caution. CPU utilization In the section above you'll find the game requires a quad core CPU, however it turned out that the game is capable of running on a dual core system without any significant performance impact. Here is a list of active threads in the main process. The most CPU time is taken by one main thread, around 12%, which is one core of an eight core system. The second most demanding thread is the GPU driver, around 5%. The rest of the interesting threads are a few 1% threads that presumably take care of AI, sound, physics etc. Cumulative CPU time of these is around 7%, which when combined with the GPU driver thread is also 12% and is the second core. This is how performance is spread over all cores. One main thread on the first core and rest on the other cores. CPU utilization is around 33%. The game is behaving a little bit differently on quad core systems. Load is spread over all cores evenly with no change of CPU utilization. When affinity is lowered to only two cores, the load is also balanced evenly between them. There is a 10% loss of CPU utilization. And finally the game running on a single core system will utilize one whole core which is no surprise. From the graph above it is clear that Assassin's Creed IV can be run on dual core systems without any performance hit. On single core systems there is a rather large drop so the game really needs at least a dual core CPU. Video settings The graphics option menu in Assassin's Creed IV features few items that can be tweaked. The shadow setting is very rich in that it features seven different levels of shadow quality. Anti-aliasing is similar due to how it contains five AA methods for AMD cards and eleven methods for Nvidia cards. Some of these effects and their impact are explained in this video. Bear in mind that it is promotional material so the final look of the game can be very different. There are unfortunately a few rather important settings missing. There is no aspect ratio option resulting in letterboxing on every aspect ratio other than16:9. Black bars are even present on AMD Eyefinity or Nvidia Surround systems which is surprising as this wasn't a problem in Assassin's Creed III. There is also no native option for triple buffering resulting in unnecessary framerate loss when vertical synchronization is turned on. There is no field of view setting. This wasn't a problem in the previous games in the series as the default field of view isn't set very narrow. However, Assassin's Creed IV contains first person sections where field of view is awfully narrow and makes the game practically unplayable for many players. Although the majority of the game is in third person with a reasonable field of view, this is still a problem. Performance Assassin's Creed IV runs on a DirectX 11 renderer. Its engine, AnvilNext, has been used in the last game in the series so it should be a little bit more optimized as the developers are more experienced with this technology. Porting was done again by the Ubisoft Kiev studio that has done the not-very-good ports of Ghost Recon and Assassin's Creed III. There are no presets so testing was done with everything on lowest and then everything on highest without anti-aliasing. On the lowest settings the average framerate was 52.5 FPS with 45 minimum. On the highest settings the framerate was more than halved, 22.2 FPS with 16 minimum. As you can see from the screenshots, maximum details looks significantly better. The sea has real time reflections, building LOD is not that aggressive and there are generally many more details in the scene. Original screenshots: scene 1 low, scene 1 max, scene 2 low, scene 2 max. Environment quality This setting controls foliage and LOD of buildings. On the lowest setting there is no grass and the leaves on the trees disappear pretty close to the protagonist. On normal and high settings grass appears and the buildings are significantly more detailed. Original screenshots: very low, normal, very high. The performance impact is not very noticeable, only around 8% from low to normal and from normal to high, so there is practically no difference. Texture quality Texture quality should control texture resolution, but I was unable to find any visual difference. Another strange thing with this option is its performance. There is no difference in performance between low and high settings but there is a 5% FPS drop on the normal setting. I have repeated the test several times with the same results and I can't figure out why it is behaving this way. The fact that there is no visual impact could mean that this setting is either improperly implemented or is simply bugged. Original screenshots: low, normal, high. Anti-aliasing Assassin's Creed IV features a very rich amount of anti-aliasing options, some of which are unfortunately available only on Nvidia cards and I was not able to test those as my rig has an AMD card in it. As usual, anti-aliasing is a very power hungry effect. The two post-process filters, FXAA and SMAA, offer a very small performance drop of 8%. The true anti-aliasing option, MSAA, has a much larger FPS drop with almost 60% on MSAA 8x. The results are very disappointing as every tested method completely blurs whole image and causes a large loss of details on the textures. FXAA is the worst as usual, some jaggies are softer but fine details on the textures are gone and disconnected lines stays disconnected. MSAA offers the best anti-aliasing and there are no disconnected lines as this method works with subpixels and locally enlarges resolution thus adding geometry details. Unfortunately MSAA also blurs textures which should not happen. Results with SMAA really surprised me. This method blurs sharp edges and gets rid of disconnected lines and although there is apparent texture blurring, it is not as bad as the other methods. As usual original screenshots: no aa, fxaa, smaa, msaa 2x, msaa 4x, msaa 8x. I'm be interested in the Nvidia specific anti-aliasing methods, so if someone could take screens in .PNG format and upload it to any file locker, I will create a similar comparison. Shadows Another very rich option menu is shadows with seven different settings of shadows all in two categories, normal shadows and soft shadows. Soft shadows have their edges a little bit blurred to add a more realistic effect, while with higher settings the shadow resolution is increased. Original screenshots: low, normal, high, very high, soft low, soft normal, soft high. The performance impact is not very large at first. From normal shadows up to high quality there is only about a 3% FPS drop but the very high setting will cost you 15% of performance. Soft shadows are much more demanding. Setting soft shadows on low will result in an 18% FPS drop with the highest settings a 29% FPS drop. Reflection quality This effect can dramatically change how the game looks as it introduces real-time reflections on water surfaces. It can be turned off or set to normal or high. The high setting just increases the draw distance of the reflections and does not affect their quality. Original screenshots: rain off, rain normal, rain high, sunny off, sunny normal, sunny high. Surprisingly, I have not observed a significant framerate drop. I have even changed my benchmarking route to include much more ocean than my standard route but I had the same results. Ambient occlusions Assassin's Creed IV has three ambient occlusion settings, SSAO and two levels of HBAO. Both of these techniques add very subtle shadows around corners and even SSAO looks very nice. HBAO on low is only visible in direct comparison and I wasn't able to notice it in the game. On the other hand, HBAO on high is much more visible and looks better than SSAO. Original screenshots: AO off, SSAO, HBAO low, HBAO high. Performance-wise, this is usually a very expensive effect, but the implementation in the game results in only a 13% FPS loss on SSAO and 18% on HBAO on high. God rays and volumetric fog The god rays effect enables sun shafts in the game. On the low settings, it isn't very visible, but on the high setting, it is a very different story. The performance drop is quite large on the highest setting, around 18%. I haven't noticed any dramatic changes when enabling volumetric fog. According to the technical showcase video linked above, it should add much better smoke and fog during sea battles, but it seemed very similar to me. The FPS drop is around 9%. Controls Assassin's Creed IV supports controllers and mouse and keyboard. Default controls for keyboard and mouse are changed from the last title as usual so returning keyboard and mouse players will be little bit confused. Keyboard can be remapped with exception of Caps Lock, Num Lock and Scroll Lock keys. Only one key can be bound to the action. Weapons select wheel has been removed completely and weapons and tools can be selected by numeric keys, while mouse wheel controls tool selection, and one key can be assigned to cycle thru weapons. Mouse settings features X and Y axis sensitivities, both axis can be also reverted. Unfortunately there is slight positive mouse acceleration in the third person mode and slight negative acceleration when character is aiming with a gun. Both accelerations are present even if acceleration is disabled in operating system. Xbox 360 controller works fairly well but its mapping cannot be changed. Audio Sound option menu does not offer much setting for tweaking. There are three volume slider, toggle for crew singing. Language setting is interesting though: you can choose different languages for menu, subtitles and spoken language. Surround sound support is also present but only with 5.1 system limitation. Sound quality is on par with current titles but sometime audio get out of sync in cutscenes. Conclusion I would consider Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag an average PC port. CPU optimization could be better, GPU optimization is done fairly well and I have not encounter any major problems, there are reports about bad performance on some systems though. Lack of field of view setting and letterboxing isn't something to be really proud of, same with mouse acceleration, blurry anti-aliasing and framerate lock. On the other hand the game looks very good even on the lowest settings and performs very well. Click here to view the article
  7. LDK

    OpenAL Soft

    Version 1.17.2

    4,111 downloads

    OpenAL Soft 1.17.2 with source code and binaries for 32 and 64bit windows. OpenAL Soft is an LGPL-licensed, cross-platform, software implementation of the OpenAL 3D audio API. OpenAL provides capabilities for playing audio in a virtual 3D environment. Distance attenuation, doppler shift, and directional sound emitters are among the features handled by the API. More advanced effects, including air absorption, occlusion, and environmental reverb, are available through the EFX extension. It also facilitates streaming audio, multi-channel buffers, and audio capture. Homepage: http://kcat.strangesoft.net/openal.html
  8. LDK

    PC Report: Far Cry 4

    System requirements Minimum CPU: Intel Core i5-750 2.5 GHz or AMD Phenom II X4 955 3.2 GHz RAM: 4 GB HDD: 30GB (31GB installed, 26GB without localization files) GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 or ATI Radeon HD 5850; 1 GB of VRAM, DirectX 11 compatible Recommended CPU: Intel Core i5-2400S 2.5 GHz or AMD FX-8350 4.0 GHz RAM: 8GB GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 or AMD Radeon R9 290X; 2 GB of VRAM The minimum system requirements are rather modest with five years old hardware, quad-core CPUs and mainstream GPUs from that time is needed. Recommended hardware is different story though and developer suggests using current generation quad-core CPUs and high end GPUs with at least 2 gigs of VRAM. All the tests have been done on system with Core i7-2700k clocked to 4.5GHz, 32 GB RAM and HD 6870 with 1GB of VRAM. The testing was done in 720p resolution to eliminate stuttering caused by the lack of video memory and streaming problems. Benchmark consisted of one minute running at the top of the bell towers in the game during sunny weather, again to eliminate stuttering during streaming additional data from HDD test run stayed only at one location. Graphics settings and overall performance Graphics and video options in Far Cry 4 are rich and allows to set many different levels for each effect. Display modes are also nicely done and the game supports many resolutions, common aspect ratios and even borderless windowed mode. Unfortunately the game is forcing 16:9 aspect ratio by using letterboxing (black bars) on different aspect ratios. Far Cry 3 didn't have letterboxing and it is shame to use it in this title. The game unfortunately doesn't support multi-monitor setups very well. There are problems like field of view slider not working, stretching 16:9 aspect ratio, letterboxing and other similar issues. More information about it can be found at Widescreen Gaming Forum. Additional setting contains field of view slider and few modes of vertical synchronization with option to turn on 30 FPS frame limiter to smooth out performance. Overall performance and image quality The game offers five quality presets - Low, Medium, High, Very High and Ultra. Ultra preset does not set maximum anti-aliasing but leaves it at post process SMAA instead of MSAA 8x. Although MSAA 8x has massive performance impact so I can understand this reasoning. At low details the game runs very well even on older GPU. Medium preset cost about 10% of performance but it looks much better with added ambient occlusion effect. High preset is rather costly and prepare for losing about 30% of framerate. In this preset ambient occlusion is much stronger, textures are sharper and mountains are much more detailed. Anti-aliasing is also turned on. Very High preset is not very different from High preset. Shadows are in little bit higher resolution and billboards of distant trees are more detailed. Performance drop is about 5% from High preset. Ultra preset is turning on several advanced volumetric and post process effect that has very strong performance impact of 20% from Very High preset and almost 50% from Low preset. Performance scaling in different resolution is rather linear. Here we can see drastic difference between Low and Ultra presets. At Low details the image is very flat without any ambient occlusion effect, textures are blurry due to lack of anisotropic filtering. At Ultra the game comes to life and show beautiful scenery with detailed environment. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_54/gallery_13_54_148349.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_54/gallery_13_54_147806.jpg|864|540|Preset Low|Preset Ultra[/compimg] The game unfortunately suffers from heavy stuttering during faster movement in game's environment. Developer suggest to install it on SSD but I've went further and created virtual hard drive in system memory and copied all the game's files directly into RAM. But even that didn't leave a dent and game kept stuttering. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_54/gallery_13_54_212085.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_54/gallery_13_54_160416.jpg|864|540|Preset Low|Preset Ultra[/compimg] After few tries I've managed to completely eliminate stuttering after all. The key was lowering VRAM heavy effects and resolution. Anti-aliasing, ambient occlusion turned off, textures kept at medium helped a lot so I suspect the game is not very economic with its graphics memory utilization. I suspect this is due to bad optimization from console code as the current generation of console have unified pool of system and graphics memory that is much larger (4-5GB) then graphics cards today normally have. After getting rid of stuttering the game performed flawlessly on my system with framerate around 60FPS with few effects turned to moderate settings. Full resolution screenshots: Scene 1 Low, Medium, High, Very High, Ultra; Scene 2 Low, Medium, High, Very High, Ultra. Field of view We are very happy to see Far Cry 4 featuring field of view slider. Unfortunately the implementations is not consistent and on few instances it can completely break the game. First of all the slider is not working at all in windowed borderless mode and on multi-monitor systems. There are reports, that field of view slider completely disappeared with 1.4.0 patch for some users, but personally I have not encountered that. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_54/gallery_13_54_43614.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_54/gallery_13_54_51473.jpg|864|540|Field of view slider max|Field of view slider min[/compimg] Then there are annoying issues with this slider. The slider is working nicely when character is running in the game, but any other activity is on default and very low field of view. Activities like riding in a vehicles, using grappling hook and in a cutscenes. And then there are game breaking bugs: Conquering bell tower starts cutscene where camera fly though few locations but after that field of view reverts to ridiculously low value about 50 degrees. Messing up with slider does not help, only remedy is getting back to main menu and reload save. Completely opposite story is flying with wing-suit where field of view jumps to ridiculously high value above 150 degrees. With this jump game obviously stutters for a moment as it has to render much more of the scene often resulting in players death. Same thing with mortar aiming where field of view is much, much higher. There is also no indication of what field of view values slider represents but its maximum value seems to me to be just about right for a single large screen. Performance impact is noticeable with about 20% of framerate loss from lowest setting. Full resolution screenshots: FOV on min, FOV on max. Controls The game offers nice controls customization even for gamepads although no full button bindings. Keyboard keys are fully customizable though with the exception of Tabulator key which can be fixed. There are few multiple actions on one key scenarios, but I haven't found them problematic. Very nice addition is plenty of toggles for GUI elements. What is problematic though is mouse acceleration. There is a switch and a slider that can turn off mouse acceleration, then there are additional entries in the configuration file but none of these can turn mouse acceleration completely off, only reduce its strength. But at least there is no negative acceleration as it was in Far Cry 3. Additionally the mouse movement felt jumpy and not smooth at all although I got used to if fairly quickly. Audio The audio options menu is very disappointing. There is only one slider for master volume and toggle for turning off music. Surround sound is supported but only up to 5.1, additional channels are ignored. Positional audio is nicely done though and the game otherwise sounds very good, I'm particularly impressed with weapon's sounds as each gun has very distinct and rich sound with slight echo. Performance analysis In this section we are going to look at how each effect impacts framerate and how does each setting looks on screenshots. Be sure to check full resolution uncompressed PNGs linked in each section. Also visit gallery for additional benchmark and screenshots. Textures This setting is little bit complicated as it contains several different effects. I haven't found increase in resolution with higher levels of this options, however there is increase of anisotropic filtering that results in much sharper textures. Another effect bundled in "textures" is parallax mapping that adds very strong 3D relief to the textures. I don't know, why these effects cannot be separated as both have very different performance and memory impact. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_54/gallery_13_54_102349.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_54/gallery_13_54_182262.jpg|864|540|Textures Low|Textures Ultra[/compimg] Performance impact is around 8% up to High level, Very High and Ultra cost 12% and 15%. This setting is very dependent on graphics memory and even if your framerate is high and stable in static scenes, not enough VRAM will cause the game to stutter when camera is turned quickly or character moves fast. Full resolution screenshots: Scene 1 Low, Medium, High, Very High, Ultra; Scene 2 Low, Medium, High, Very High, Ultra; Scene 3 Low, Medium, High, Very High, Ultra. Shadows This option sets up shadow resolution and distance of shadows level of detail. There is special level of Soft Shadows that blurs edges of shadows to appear more natural. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_54/gallery_13_54_79475.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_54/gallery_13_54_116476.jpg|864|540|Shadows Low|Shadows Ultra[/compimg] Performance impact is surprisingly not very high and Soft Shadows are causing only 10% FPS drop. But as with Texture option, this is very memory demanding effect that can cause stuttering. Full resolution screenshots: Low, Medium, High, Very High, Ultra, Soft Shadows. Terrain This sets terrain details. Low and Medium options are almost identical, very strong difference is on High level and Ultra offers very little improvement. Performance impact is very little, up to 3%. Full resolution screenshots Low, Medium, High, Ultra. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_54/gallery_13_54_163806.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_54/gallery_13_54_199135.jpg|864|540|Terrain Low|Terrain Ultra[/compimg] Anti-Aliasing The game offers few anti-aliasing methods, three levels od MSAA (up to 8x), SMAA and Nvidia specific TXAA which I was unable to test. MSAA is very performance heavy and surprisingly does not offer very good image quality. MSAA is for some reason creating slight bright outline around some edges that can be noticeable. SMAA on the other hand soften edges very nicely and does not blur textures at all. Additionally SMAA also blurs edges on foliage as these are in a form of transparent texture that is ignored by MSAA. Performance impact is not very strong with SMAA, as it is form of post process filter. Full resolution screenshots: No AA, MSAA2, MSAA4, MSAA8, SMAA. Ambient Occlusion Far Cry 4 also offers three methods of ambient occlusion - SSAO, HDAO+ and Ubisoft brand new SSBC. Ambient occlusion adds subtle shadows around objects and in corners that creates much richer scene. Performance impact is moderate from 5% of SSAO and SSBC to 11% of HDAO+. Full resolution screenshots AO Off, SSAO, SSBC, HBAO+. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_54/gallery_13_54_48887.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_54/gallery_13_54_20978.jpg|864|540|Ambient Occlusion Off|Ambient Occlusion HBAO[/compimg] Godrays This option creates light shafts in a fog and dust. Additionally it tweaks contrast of sky and clouds resulting in very nice dramatic sky. Performance is between 13 to 14%. Personally I prefer option Volumetric Fog instead of Enhanced. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_54/gallery_13_54_100437.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_54/gallery_13_54_45478.jpg|864|540|Godrays off|Volumetric Fog[/compimg] Rest of the effects Rest of the effects only quickly as they didn't seem to improve image quality dramatically. Post FX and Water quality performance drop is around 5%, but without noticeable visual impact, same with Vegetation and its 2% FPS drop. Geometry affects level of details of further objects and has 11% FPS drop from Low to High and 16% from Low to Ultra. Fur is switching advanced fur on animals with 16% FPS drop, but the effect is noticeable only when animal is very close. Trees Relief should turn on tessellation on trees, but I haven't found any changes. Performance impact is 11%. Conclusion Far Cry 4 is a step in right direction, there are many toggles and sliders for tweaking, the game runs rather well and looks very nice. Unfortunately as with the previous Ubisoft games, Far Cry 4 suffers from premature release and severely lacks polish. There are unnecessary problems with field of view implementation, mouse acceleration, multi-monitor support (or lack of), limited audio option and stuttering. Sad thing is, these problems could have been easilly avoided if the game was in development little bit longer.
  9. PC Reports are a series of quick first impressions regarding the technical aspects of a PC game. This report was written by PCGamingWiki contributor LDK. For an up to date account of Far Cry 4 fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article. After not very impressive Watch_Dogs port and almost unplayable Assassin's Creed Unity, Ubisoft is trying its luck for the third time this year with another open world game called Far Cry 4. Is it better then its predecessors? To find out, we are going to look very closely on the performance of each effect, controls, audio and overall quality of the port. Far Cry 4 was released on November 18, 2014 for Windows and is available through several digital distribution channels. System requirements Minimum CPU: Intel Core i5-750 2.5 GHz or AMD Phenom II X4 955 3.2 GHz RAM: 4 GB HDD: 30GB (31GB installed, 26GB without localization files) GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 or ATI Radeon HD 5850; 1 GB of VRAM, DirectX 11 compatible Recommended CPU: Intel Core i5-2400S 2.5 GHz or AMD FX-8350 4.0 GHz RAM: 8GB GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 or AMD Radeon R9 290X; 2 GB of VRAM The minimum system requirements are rather modest with five years old hardware, quad-core CPUs and mainstream GPUs from that time is needed. Recommended hardware is different story though and developer suggests using current generation quad-core CPUs and high end GPUs with at least 2 gigs of VRAM. All the tests have been done on system with Core i7-2700k clocked to 4.5GHz, 32 GB RAM and HD 6870 with 1GB of VRAM. The testing was done in 720p resolution to eliminate stuttering caused by the lack of video memory and streaming problems. Benchmark consisted of one minute running at the top of the bell towers in the game during sunny weather, again to eliminate stuttering during streaming additional data from HDD test run stayed only at one location. Graphics settings and overall performance Graphics and video options in Far Cry 4 are rich and allows to set many different levels for each effect. Display modes are also nicely done and the game supports many resolutions, common aspect ratios and even borderless windowed mode. Unfortunately the game is forcing 16:9 aspect ratio by using letterboxing (black bars) on different aspect ratios. Far Cry 3 didn't have letterboxing and it is shame to use it in this title. The game unfortunately doesn't support multi-monitor setups very well. There are problems like field of view slider not working, stretching 16:9 aspect ratio, letterboxing and other similar issues. More information about it can be found at Widescreen Gaming Forum. Additional setting contains field of view slider and few modes of vertical synchronization with option to turn on 30 FPS frame limiter to smooth out performance. Overall performance and image quality The game offers five quality presets - Low, Medium, High, Very High and Ultra. Ultra preset does not set maximum anti-aliasing but leaves it at post process SMAA instead of MSAA 8x. Although MSAA 8x has massive performance impact so I can understand this reasoning. At low details the game runs very well even on older GPU. Medium preset cost about 10% of performance but it looks much better with added ambient occlusion effect. High preset is rather costly and prepare for losing about 30% of framerate. In this preset ambient occlusion is much stronger, textures are sharper and mountains are much more detailed. Anti-aliasing is also turned on. Very High preset is not very different from High preset. Shadows are in little bit higher resolution and billboards of distant trees are more detailed. Performance drop is about 5% from High preset. Ultra preset is turning on several advanced volumetric and post process effect that has very strong performance impact of 20% from Very High preset and almost 50% from Low preset. Performance scaling in different resolution is rather linear. Here we can see drastic difference between Low and Ultra presets. At Low details the image is very flat without any ambient occlusion effect, textures are blurry due to lack of anisotropic filtering. At Ultra the game comes to life and show beautiful scenery with detailed environment. The game unfortunately suffers from heavy stuttering during faster movement in game's environment. Developer suggest to install it on SSD but I've went further and created virtual hard drive in system memory and copied all the game's files directly into RAM. But even that didn't leave a dent and game kept stuttering. After few tries I've managed to completely eliminate stuttering after all. The key was lowering VRAM heavy effects and resolution. Anti-aliasing, ambient occlusion turned off, textures kept at medium helped a lot so I suspect the game is not very economic with its graphics memory utilization. I suspect this is due to bad optimization from console code as the current generation of console have unified pool of system and graphics memory that is much larger (4-5GB) then graphics cards today normally have. After getting rid of stuttering the game performed flawlessly on my system with framerate around 60FPS with few effects turned to moderate settings. Full resolution screenshots: Scene 1 Low, Medium, High, Very High, Ultra; Scene 2 Low, Medium, High, Very High, Ultra. Field of view We are very happy to see Far Cry 4 featuring field of view slider. Unfortunately the implementations is not consistent and on few instances it can completely break the game. First of all the slider is not working at all in windowed borderless mode and on multi-monitor systems. There are reports, that field of view slider completely disappeared with 1.4.0 patch for some users, but personally I have not encountered that. Then there are annoying issues with this slider. The slider is working nicely when character is running in the game, but any other activity is on default and very low field of view. Activities like riding in a vehicles, using grappling hook and in a cutscenes. And then there are game breaking bugs: Conquering bell tower starts cutscene where camera fly though few locations but after that field of view reverts to ridiculously low value about 50 degrees. Messing up with slider does not help, only remedy is getting back to main menu and reload save. Completely opposite story is flying with wing-suit where field of view jumps to ridiculously high value above 150 degrees. With this jump game obviously stutters for a moment as it has to render much more of the scene often resulting in players death. Same thing with mortar aiming where field of view is much, much higher. There is also no indication of what field of view values slider represents but its maximum value seems to me to be just about right for a single large screen. Performance impact is noticeable with about 20% of framerate loss from lowest setting. Full resolution screenshots: FOV on min, FOV on max. Controls The game offers nice controls customization even for gamepads although no full button bindings. Keyboard keys are fully customizable though with the exception of Tabulator key which can be fixed. There are few multiple actions on one key scenarios, but I haven't found them problematic. Very nice addition is plenty of toggles for GUI elements. What is problematic though is mouse acceleration. There is a switch and a slider that can turn off mouse acceleration, then there are additional entries in the configuration file but none of these can turn mouse acceleration completely off, only reduce its strength. But at least there is no negative acceleration as it was in Far Cry 3. Additionally the mouse movement felt jumpy and not smooth at all although I got used to if fairly quickly. Audio The audio options menu is very disappointing. There is only one slider for master volume and toggle for turning off music. Surround sound is supported but only up to 5.1, additional channels are ignored. Positional audio is nicely done though and the game otherwise sounds very good, I'm particularly impressed with weapon's sounds as each gun has very distinct and rich sound with slight echo. Performance analysis In this section we are going to look at how each effect impacts framerate and how does each setting looks on screenshots. Be sure to check full resolution uncompressed PNGs linked in each section. Also visit gallery for additional benchmark and screenshots. Textures This setting is little bit complicated as it contains several different effects. I haven't found increase in resolution with higher levels of this options, however there is increase of anisotropic filtering that results in much sharper textures. Another effect bundled in "textures" is parallax mapping that adds very strong 3D relief to the textures. I don't know, why these effects cannot be separated as both have very different performance and memory impact. Performance impact is around 8% up to High level, Very High and Ultra cost 12% and 15%. This setting is very dependent on graphics memory and even if your framerate is high and stable in static scenes, not enough VRAM will cause the game to stutter when camera is turned quickly or character moves fast. Full resolution screenshots: Scene 1 Low, Medium, High, Very High, Ultra; Scene 2 Low, Medium, High, Very High, Ultra; Scene 3 Low, Medium, High, Very High, Ultra. Shadows This option sets up shadow resolution and distance of shadows level of detail. There is special level of Soft Shadows that blurs edges of shadows to appear more natural. Performance impact is surprisingly not very high and Soft Shadows are causing only 10% FPS drop. But as with Texture option, this is very memory demanding effect that can cause stuttering. Full resolution screenshots: Low, Medium, High, Very High, Ultra, Soft Shadows. Terrain This sets terrain details. Low and Medium options are almost identical, very strong difference is on High level and Ultra offers very little improvement. Performance impact is very little, up to 3%. Full resolution screenshots Low, Medium, High, Ultra. Anti-Aliasing The game offers few anti-aliasing methods, three levels od MSAA (up to 8x), SMAA and Nvidia specific TXAA which I was unable to test. MSAA is very performance heavy and surprisingly does not offer very good image quality. MSAA is for some reason creating slight bright outline around some edges that can be noticeable. SMAA on the other hand soften edges very nicely and does not blur textures at all. Additionally SMAA also blurs edges on foliage as these are in a form of transparent texture that is ignored by MSAA. Performance impact is not very strong with SMAA, as it is form of post process filter. Full resolution screenshots: No AA, MSAA2, MSAA4, MSAA8, SMAA. Ambient Occlusion Far Cry 4 also offers three methods of ambient occlusion - SSAO, HDAO and Ubisoft brand new SSBC. Ambient occlusion adds subtle shadows around objects and in corners that creates much richer scene. Performance impact is moderate from 5% of SSAO and SSBC to 11% of HDAO . Full resolution screenshots AO Off, SSAO, SSBC, HBAO. Godrays This option creates light shafts in a fog and dust. Additionally it tweaks contrast of sky and clouds resulting in very nice dramatic sky. Performance is between 13 to 14%. Personally I prefer option Volumetric Fog instead of Enhanced. Rest of the effects Rest of the effects only quickly as they didn't seem to improve image quality dramatically. Post FX and Water quality performance drop is around 5%, but without noticeable visual impact, same with Vegetation and its 2% FPS drop. Geometry affects level of details of further objects and has 11% FPS drop from Low to High and 16% from Low to Ultra. Fur is switching advanced fur on animals with 16% FPS drop, but the effect is noticeable only when animal is very close. Trees Relief should turn on tessellation on trees, but I haven't found any changes. Performance impact is 11%. Conclusion Far Cry 4 is a step in right direction, there are many toggles and sliders for tweaking, the game runs rather well and looks very nice. Unfortunately as with the previous Ubisoft games, Far Cry 4 suffers from premature release and severely lacks polish. There are unnecessary problems with field of view implementation, mouse acceleration, multi-monitor support (or lack of), limited audio option and stuttering. Sad thing is, these problems could have been easilly avoided if the game was in development little bit longer. Click here to view the article
  10. LDK

    PC Report: Fallout 4

    System Requirements Minimum CPU: Intel Core i5-2300 2.8 GHz or AMD Phenom II X4 945 3.0 GHz RAM: 8 GB HDD: 30 GB GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti or AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB of VRAM OS: Windows 7, 64bit Recommended CPU: Intel Core i7-4790 3.6 GHz or AMD FX-9590 4.7 GHz RAM: 8 GB GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 or AMD Radeon R9 290X, 3GB (Nvidia), 4GB (AMD) of VRAM The system requirements for Fallout 4 are a little bit on the demanding side. A quad core CPU is a must and the GPUs are from the older mainstream range. Recommended specs are even more demanding with high-end CPUs and GPUs. All the tests were done on a system with a Core i7-2700k clocked to 4.6GHz, 32 GB RAM and AMD R9 390 with 8GB of VRAM, Catalyst 15.11 Beta graphics drivers and version 1.1.30.0.0 of the game. Testing was done at 1920x1200, and because there is no built-in benchmarking tool, a test run consisted of one minute of playing the game in one of the larger cities and included a short fight with a pack of ghouls. This resulted in very consistent frame rate measurements so only two measurements were averaged for each effect. Graphics settings Most of the graphics settings have to be set in the launcher. This is rather inconvenient because there are very few graphical options directly in the game. Other that that the launcher offers a fairly standard arsenal of graphical settings and a few presets. The game has also auto detection system that sets options during the first launch of the game. A nice addition are the Windowed and Windowed borderless toggles. Field of View and wide screen setups Field of view is locked in low 80's by default and there is no direct option to change it from the game. Players have to edit configuration files to set a comfortable field of view. Same applies for ultra-wide and surround resolutions as these are not directly supported. Again, configuration files needs to be edited and even that can hide some of the GUI elements, thus rendering the game unplayable. For easy configuration file editing and tweaking a special configuration utility can be used. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_81/gallery_13_81_63759.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_81/gallery_13_81_58722.jpg|864|540|Default FoV|Custom FoV of 110[/compimg] Overall performance and image quality Fallout 4 offers four image quality presets - Low, Medium, High and Ultra. There is only a 3% difference in performance between Low and Medium. High preset has a more significant performance drop of 33% and Ultra costs almost 40% of Low's framerate. The framerate is limited to 60 FPS by default, unlocking it via editing .ini files will unfortunately cause problems, as the game logic and physics are tied to the framerate. I've experienced severe framerate drops in major cities where the game's framerate seemingly randomly falls from 100+ FPS to sub 30 FPS. The game also loads very slowly on mechanical hard-drives. The loading times were around 30-40 seconds, after moving the game on SSD loading times dropped significantly to only few seconds. During my testing I've found only one effect (Shadow Distance) to have significant performance impact on the game. Even the dreaded over-tessellated god-rays effect led only to a 4% drop in FPS. The rest of the effects have negligible or non-existent performance cost so I'm not going to include all the graphs here. Feel free to browse through the measurements though. Visual quality on the Low preset is nothing special, shadows are visibly low resolution and cut not far from camera, vegetation is shown only very close to the player and textures are not very sharp. Medium preset improves shadow resolution and cutoff distance of vegetation. High preset further improves vegetation cutoff distance and increases cutoff for shadows and the scene seems to be less flat. Ultra preset further increases render distance. Overall the game doesn't look particularly impressive visually and the renamed Gamebryo engine very clearly shows its age. Full resolution screenshots: Low, Medium, High, Ultra. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_81/gallery_13_81_185184.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_81/gallery_13_81_250146.jpg|864|540|Preset Low|Preset Ultra[/compimg] Texture Quality Texture quality controls the texture resolution and can be set in three steps - Medium, High and Ultra. Visual difference between High and Ultra is very small and performance impact wasn't clearly measurable. The textures are not very sharp to begin with so there is definitely room for improvement. Full resolution screenshots: Medium, High, Ultra. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_81/gallery_13_81_19291.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_81/gallery_13_81_225899.jpg|864|540|Preset Low|Preset Ultra[/compimg] Shadow Distance Shadow Distance setting controls cutoff distance of the shadows and is the most demanding effect in the game. High setting causes almost 30% framerate drop, Ultra costs another 2% on top of that. Full resolution screenshots: Medium, High, Ultra. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_81/gallery_13_81_58376.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_81/gallery_13_81_3546.jpg|864|540|Preset Low|Preset Ultra[/compimg] Anti-aliasing The game offers only two anti-aliasing methods and these are only post process filters FXAA and TXAA. Both have major visual impact and horribly blurs the whole scene, vegetation lose its definition, broken lines are kept broken, textures are slightly blurred as well. At least these effects has only 3% performance impact. Full resolution screenshots: No AA, FXAA, TXAA. Controls The game doesn't offer very large controls options. Mouse sensitivity can be set and the keys can be remapped but there are major problems with controls in Fallout 4. First of all there are multiple actions on one key that doesn't make sense and will cause trouble. Melee attack shares button with a Throw grenade function for example. There is also a system of favorites weapons and items, but slots are locked to the number keys and cannot be remapped. Scroll wheel also cannot be remapped (to navigating favorites for example) and controls camera distance which I find fairly useless. There is a mouse acceleration turned on by default and can be turned off only by editing an .ini files. Pip-Boy and GUI navigation is nothing short of a disaster. I was expecting it to be bad as horrible controls are Bethesda's trademark but this is a whole new level of awful. Nothing is consistent after more that 20 hours of playing I still have to think really hard about what key is doing what in the menus. For example, exiting or going back a menu is sometimes Tab, sometimes it's E and sometimes it is Esc. Worst is the settlement building option which suddenly has you using the arrow keys and the game doesn't even hint that Shift+WSAD can be also used. Alternative GUI mod cannot arrive soon enough. On top of that tutorial is almost non-existent and fairly important game mechanics are never explained like VATS or how to assign settlers to jobs. Audio Fallout 4 offers fairly standard audio options with many volume sliders. The game supports surround sound setups up to 7.1 and audio sound fairly good with one exception though. Voices have very low volume outside of cutscenes and very often are inaudible when speaking character is more than few meters away. Conclusion Fallout 4 suffers from heavy consolitidis. The underlying game is fun and the world is rich but visually the game looks unimpressive and old, almost like modded Fallout 3. Performance is not terrible overall but there are framerate drops suggesting optimization issues, almost none of the graphics settings has any meaningful performance impact on the game. Keyboard and mouse controls are awful and should be redesigned from the ground up. Many of core PC features like FoV, widescreen support or unlocked framerate are absent and has to be edited in via configuration files. Another six month of polishing would greatly benefited the game, but obviously Bethesda is counting on modders to fix the game for free and that is not a good sign. PC Reports are a series of quick first impressions regarding the technical aspects of a PC game. This report was written by PCGamingWiki contributor LDK. For an up to date account of Fallout 4 fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article. Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed our article and want to us create more articles, more often, please consider donating to PCGamingWiki's Patreon campaign: [h2][/h2]
  11. PC Reports are a series of quick first impressions regarding the technical aspects of a PC game. This report was written by PCGamingWiki contributor LDK. For an up to date account of Fallout 4 fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article. The Fallout 4 is the next title in a series of a very popular post-apocalyptic RPG's developed by Bethesda Game Studios. The game key was generously provided by Gamesplanet. We are going to look at the technical quality of the PC version of the game. System Requirements Minimum CPU: Intel Core i5-2300 2.8 GHz or AMD Phenom II X4 945 3.0 GHz RAM: 8 GB HDD: 30 GB GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti or AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB of VRAM OS: Windows 7, 64bit Recommended CPU: Intel Core i7-4790 3.6 GHz or AMD FX-9590 4.7 GHz RAM: 8 GB GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 or AMD Radeon R9 290X, 3GB (Nvidia), 4GB (AMD) of VRAM The system requirements for Fallout 4 are a little bit on the demanding side. A quad core CPU is a must and the GPUs are from the older mainstream range. Recommended specs are even more demanding with high-end CPUs and GPUs. All the tests were done on a system with a Core i7-2700k clocked to 4.6GHz, 32 GB RAM and AMD R9 390 with 8GB of VRAM, Catalyst 15.11 Beta graphics drivers and version 1.1.30.0.0 of the game. Testing was done at 1920x1200, and because there is no built-in benchmarking tool, a test run consisted of one minute of playing the game in one of the larger cities and included a short fight with a pack of ghouls. This resulted in very consistent frame rate measurements so only two measurements were averaged for each effect. Graphics settings Most of the graphics settings have to be set in the launcher. This is rather inconvenient because there are very few graphical options directly in the game. Other that that the launcher offers a fairly standard arsenal of graphical settings and a few presets. The game has also auto detection system that sets options during the first launch of the game. A nice addition are the Windowed and Windowed borderless toggles. Field of View and wide screen setups Field of view is locked in low 80's by default and there is no direct option to change it from the game. Players have to edit configuration files to set a comfortable field of view. Same applies for ultra-wide and surround resolutions as these are not directly supported. Again, configuration files needs to be edited and even that can hide some of the GUI elements, thus rendering the game unplayable. For easy configuration file editing and tweaking a special configuration utility can be used. Overall performance and image quality Fallout 4 offers four image quality presets - Low, Medium, High and Ultra. There is only a 3% difference in performance between Low and Medium. High preset has a more significant performance drop of 33% and Ultra costs almost 40% of Low's framerate. The framerate is limited to 60 FPS by default, unlocking it via editing .ini files will unfortunately cause problems, as the game logic and physics are tied to the framerate. I've experienced severe framerate drops in major cities where the game's framerate seemingly randomly falls from 100 FPS to sub 30 FPS. The game also loads very slowly on mechanical hard-drives. The loading times were around 30-40 seconds, after moving the game on SSD loading times dropped significantly to only few seconds. During my testing I've found only one effect (Shadow Distance) to have significant performance impact on the game. Even the dreaded over-tessellated god-rays effect led only to a 4% drop in FPS. The rest of the effects have negligible or non-existent performance cost so I'm not going to include all the graphs here. Feel free to browse through the measurements though. Visual quality on the Low preset is nothing special, shadows are visibly low resolution and cut not far from camera, vegetation is shown only very close to the player and textures are not very sharp. Medium preset improves shadow resolution and cutoff distance of vegetation. High preset further improves vegetation cutoff distance and increases cutoff for shadows and the scene seems to be less flat. Ultra preset further increases render distance. Overall the game doesn't look particularly impressive visually and the renamed Gamebryo engine very clearly shows its age. Full resolution screenshots: Low, Medium, High, Ultra. Texture Quality Texture quality controls the texture resolution and can be set in three steps - Medium, High and Ultra. Visual difference between High and Ultra is very small and performance impact wasn't clearly measurable. The textures are not very sharp to begin with so there is definitely room for improvement. Full resolution screenshots: Medium, High, Ultra. Shadow Distance Shadow Distance setting controls cutoff distance of the shadows and is the most demanding effect in the game. High setting causes almost 30% framerate drop, Ultra costs another 2% on top of that. Full resolution screenshots: Medium, High, Ultra. Anti-aliasing The game offers only two anti-aliasing methods and these are only post process filters FXAA and TXAA. Both have major visual impact and horribly blurs the whole scene, vegetation lose its definition, broken lines are kept broken, textures are slightly blurred as well. At least these effects has only 3% performance impact. Full resolution screenshots: No AA, FXAA, TXAA. Controls The game doesn't offer very large controls options. Mouse sensitivity can be set and the keys can be remapped but there are major problems with controls in Fallout 4. First of all there are multiple actions on one key that doesn't make sense and will cause trouble. Melee attack shares button with a Throw grenade function for example. There is also a system of favorites weapons and items, but slots are locked to the number keys and cannot be remapped. Scroll wheel also cannot be remapped (to navigating favorites for example) and controls camera distance which I find fairly useless. There is a mouse acceleration turned on by default and can be turned off only by editing an .ini files. Pip-Boy and GUI navigation is nothing short of a disaster. I was expecting it to be bad as horrible controls are Bethesda's trademark but this is a whole new level of awful. Nothing is consistent after more that 20 hours of playing I still have to think really hard about what key is doing what in the menus. For example, exiting or going back a menu is sometimes Tab, sometimes it's E and sometimes it is Esc. Worst is the settlement building option which suddenly has you using the arrow keys and the game doesn't even hint that Shift WSAD can be also used. Alternative GUI mod cannot arrive soon enough. On top of that tutorial is almost non-existent and fairly important game mechanics are never explained like VATS or how to assign settlers to jobs. Audio Fallout 4 offers fairly standard audio options with many volume sliders. The game supports surround sound setups up to 7.1 and audio sound fairly good with one exception though. Voices have very low volume outside of cutscenes and very often are inaudible when speaking character is more than few meters away. Conclusion Fallout 4 suffers from heavy consolitidis. The underlying game is fun and the world is rich but visually the game looks unimpressive and old, almost like modded Fallout 3. Performance is not terrible overall but there are framerate drops suggesting optimization issues, almost none of the graphics settings has any meaningful performance impact on the game. Keyboard and mouse controls are awful and should be redesigned from the ground up. Many of core PC features like FoV, widescreen support or unlocked framerate are absent and has to be edited in via configuration files. Another six month of polishing would greatly benefited the game, but obviously Bethesda is counting on modders to fix the game for free and that is not a good sign. PC Reports are a series of quick first impressions regarding the technical aspects of a PC game. This report was written by PCGamingWiki contributor LDK. For an up to date account of Fallout 4 fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article. Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed our article and want to us create more articles, more often, please consider donating to PCGamingWiki's Patreon campaign: Click here to view the article
  12. LDK

    fov2

    From the album: PC Report: Fallout 4

  13. LDK

    fov1

    From the album: PC Report: Fallout 4

  14. LDK

    menu options

    From the album: PC Report: Fallout 4

  15. LDK

    graphs data

    From the album: PC Report: Fallout 4

  16. LDK

    full textures 02 high

    From the album: PC Report: Fallout 4

  17. LDK

    full preset 04 ultra

    From the album: PC Report: Fallout 4

  18. LDK

    full preset 03 high

    From the album: PC Report: Fallout 4

  19. LDK

    full preset 02 medium

    From the album: PC Report: Fallout 4

×