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Karoneth
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:26 pm    Post subject:

Part 4, Networking


This will be the shortest of my tech topics, because ESO performance is likely, shockingly, not very demanding on your Internet connection.

Your Internet connection may be composed of:

Fiber (FIOS, uVerse, etc)
Cable
DSL
Cell based wireless
Dialup phone modem
Satellite (on bottom as weather can impact it and highest latency)

The higher up on that list typically the better the connection for ESO.   ESO should require little of bandwidth but a flaky connection will cause a lot of apparent lag.

Your Internet connection is going to have 4 main parameters that impact ESO performance.

1. Download bandwidth
2. Upload bandwidth
3. Latency to ESO servers
4. Packet Loss (reliability)
 
Bandwidth:  Technically a dial-up modem with a solid connection may supply enough, if you aren't doing anything else on the connection.   This is hard as Windows, Adobe, Java, iTunes, and software updates can choke the bandwidth when you need it for gaming, so it is not a recommended connection method if you can avoid it and it may have high latencies as well.
Although if you have a better connection, you will by default have adequate bandwidth, you can check here:
http://www.speedtest.net/


Latency: Your latency to the servers is one of the largest determining factors of lag (delay) and it is one of the things you can least impact!
You want the lowest possible latency, sometimes called "ping time" by non-technical folks, so your commands, and those of others, appear as quickly as possible in-game.
Steps to take if the number is high (around 200 mS or more, meaning 2/10th of a second will elapse before an action will make it to ESO) include:

A. Use a wired connection from your PC/Laptop to your router instead of Wireless when you can
B. Have a decent router that is not adding latency (I'll post a suggestion below)
C. Reduce the amount of traffic through your Internet connection while you play (IE turn off unneeded PC's or software)
D. Higher end network cards are available, they help slightly but are not a good value, here is an Intel server NIC: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833106126
E. If you are connecting through multiple "daisy chained" routers and switches, try and connect your gaming PC to the very first router in the chain instead, if feasible.
F. Higher speed service may have a slightly lower latency, so you could inquire of your ISP if they have any higher speed tiers.
G. A poor quality connection that is dropping data packets can result in very random latency values up to infinity (total loss of a data packet that could be a keypress)
H. Your network cable length is pretty much irrelevant for latency, although a longer than needed cable can more easily get damaged etc.  So keep it short.
     
If you suspect a poor quality connection, have your ISP send a tech out to test it at your location.
Other than that, the steps given above usually won't significantly reduce latency which is mainly based upon your physical, real-world distance from where the servers are located, and the routes your ISP sends your data packets through, but can be impacted by your network traffic, CPU load, whether you are using wireless etc.  It is possible switching to another ISP could reduce your latency by sending your packets over a more direct route to the ESO servers, if your latency is particularly poor.

For things you can buy that may help, the Intel Server NIC listed above is one of the best out there, but is very expensive at about $131.00.  The "Killer NIC" that I previously recommended appears to be no longer produced so there really is no affordable option here that would make a big difference.  Either use your onboard NIC (of which Intel ones are best) or get the super high end server NIC linked above.
  
If your router is older than 3 years, and you get a better connection by simply bypassing in and connecting right to the modem (risky to do as you may be without a firewall), this is one of the better wired routers that is available for home networking use although it is not cheap.  It is the ASUS AC-68U

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833320174
Here is an even better one just being released:
http://www.asus.com/us/News/hE5SJg3y7bbIBIGO

Many of you won't want to spend $200 or so on a router, but I have such as I have multiple high-bandwidth video streams going over wireless when friends are over, and this router made a large improvement for us and makes our remote PnP players possible.  This one has gigabit ports on both LAN (Local) and WAN (Internet) side and up to 900 Mbps throughput wired.

This was just basics as they pertain to ESO performance, networking is far more complicated than this so if you have any questions, please let me know!

Karoneth
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:25 pm    Post subject:

Part 3, Storage


ESO is a large game and as such, stores a lot of resources in compressed files on the hard disk and load them in and out of memory as it needs.  As it is a 32-bit game, and it is large, it probably can't have everything loaded into memory at a given time, and thus is dependant upon your storage system (hard drive) during gameplay.

The faster your storage system can move data (read speeds) and the less delay in doing so (latency) actually will have an apparent impact on smooth gameplay during any loading of data that is not currently in memory.

Hard Disks (HD) and Solid State Drives (SSD) are long-term memory, they are non-volatile, so you do not lose what is writeen to them upon poweroff as you do with regular system memory (RAM).

Physically a hard disk is a set of one or more rotating platters with data stored on a magnetic coating on one or more sides of the platter. They can rotate typically at 5200, 5400, 7200, 10000 or 15000 RPM, the faster the RPM, the less latency between accessing data on the platters and faster potential read and write performance you will get.  An SSD or flash disk is a silicon memory chip that retains its memory without power. As it has no mechanical parts, it can access data much quicker than a traditional hard disk, although maximum sustained data transfer speeds of both types are limited by the storage interface type.

As for storage interfaces, or the means to attach your storage device to your PC, typically two methoads are used on modern computers.

The old standard is an EIDE hard disk with a fat ribbon cable of over 3 cm wide and these had data transfer rates up to 100 or 133 MBps.
The newer standard used a much smaller cable under a centimeter in width and have transfer rates of 150, 300, or 600 MBps (often stated as 1.5, 3.0 or 6.0 Gbps), whereas the capital B standas for Bytes which are typically 10 times larger than a bit with a small b for reasons outside of this disccusion).

As very little is ever saved to the HD in a ESO gaming session (preference changes, screenshots, and game updates being the only data written) the only thing we care about for ESO purposes is how fast the data can be retrieved. Heavily read-dependant jobs with very little writing are ideal for a solid state (flash) disk and we will cover that in a moment.

Before you begin it is good to ensure the disk(s) are healthy. Go into My Computer, right click on your hard drives one at a time, and select Properties, then Tools tab, and click on Check Now. Unselect both checkboxes, we're just doing a read only check here. Run the disk check, if it says completed, or no problems were found, it is good. If it fails to complete or reports errors, go back and check both boxes and reboot, but the repair can take awhile so be ready. Continue with every hard disk and SSD until they all come up clean.

The less data stored on a storage device, the faster the data on it can be accessed if it is properly defragmented. In enterprise IT, system admins typically "short stroke" a hard drive and what that means is only use a little bit of it, the part near the edge where the platters have a higher velocity and hold more, meaning the disk head has less movement as well. Keeping your HD clean of junk files and then defragmenting it regularly helps keep the data nearby, in the outer tracks of the platter, and contiguous and will slightly help load times. I will post a link at the end of this topic to a quick cleanup program.

Another option is to be sure your BIOS is not hampering your hard drive's performance. If you are comfortable doing so, go into your BIOS as instructed in the previous topic on processor performance, and look for a Hard Drive Accoustic Mode. Many Dell systems have this and have it set to Ignore or Quiet. Changing the setting to Performance then saving the change will improve seek times a little bit.

You can speed up data writes with a quick device manager checkbox. If you have Windows 7, 8, or 8.1, in Device Manager (and in Windows XP via a utility I can send you called DSKCACHE) under Disk Drives, find each of your hard disks, and if you have the PC on a battery backup, right click on your hard drives or SSD's one at a time, select Properties and then Policies, and check both checkboxes to fully utilize write caching for maximum performance (do this for every disk drive). However, as ESO doesn't write much, this may not really improve ESO performance, but it should help reduce sluggishness resulting from other apps that write to the disk while you are playing.
 
Removing and reinstalling ESO from scratch may be one of the larger performance aids here, due to the compressed data files becoming very messy over years of updates, but this takes a lot of time to do and won't be needed until we are many months or years in.
 
The largest storage performance increase to be had would be to obtain a solid state disk for ESO. The easiest way to go about this if you are comfortable upgrading components inside of your case, is to install it as a second hard disk if you have a free SATA port. Use the fastest SATA port you have (6.0, 3.0 etc) and don't forget a 3.5" to 2.5" adapter to be able to mount it in a typical hard disk bay. Notebook/laptop users would have to replace their boot disk most likely and this is very involved what with moving data and all so I can't recommend doing that just for better ESO performance. SSD's have other benefits including shock resistance and low power and heat though to consider for a laptop.

Install ESO to the SSD, and you should see a dramatic improvement. I will include links below in the future, an 80 GB SSD should be more than adequate to house ESO and a few other games on, and even a 120 GB unit should be affordable and probably the biggest single upgrade you can do to your PC if everything else is fairly modern. 

I run a 240 GB Intel 530 SSD here which was around $160.00, and you can get a Samsung 1 TB SSD for around $580.00
       
If your hard disk or SSD is too full, it is possible it can limit your performance as well as it is harder for windows to find places to save data.
A good junk file cleanup program that is not difficult for you to use is ATF Cleaner. I use this on XP, Vista and Windows 7 systems weekly.
http://www.atribune.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=25&Itemid=25
To use it, copy it to a folder on your hard disk. Reboot, in case anything was using the temp folders to finish installing, then run the ATFCleaner.
Be sure to only select the items you wish to get rid of (often cookies store logons etc so I don't like deleting those on clients)
You can also clean room on the HD by going into My Computer, right click on the desired drive, select Properties, and perform a Disk Cleanup.  Be sure to select to clean System Files if such a button appears.  It is best to perform a defrag of a hard disk (never defrag an SSD!) right after doing a cleanup.

If your HD is totally full I have more advanced cleaning utilities and a utility to determine exactly how all your space is being used up. Let me know if you need that.
             

Karoneth
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:21 pm    Post subject:

Part 2, CPU, OS and Memory


So you've done the steps in Part 1 but still seem to be lacking in performance or crashing. Especially if you noticed little improvement, it is possible you have a CPU or memory bottleneck instead.

CPU's come in many different versions; differences include how many cores they have, how many threads (tasks) they can handle at once, how much cache (temporary storage) they have, how they interface with the system components, how much memory bandwidth they have etc.

For those of you considering a new system, the two primary CPU vendors for PC's are Intel and AMD. I used to be an AMD fan, but the top dog processors for the past several years have all been from Intel, and I have moved my gaming systems to Intel.  AMD makes Phenom and Bulldozer gaming CPU's which tend to focus on more cores than ESO needs, but less performance per core than Intel provides.  For Intel users, a good dual or quad core processor of the highest clock frequency (speed) that fits your budget is a good bet. You should not need a 6-12 processor for ESO.

Cores are actual physical processing units inside the CPU package, threads are virtual processing units.  Some CPU's like Intel i7's have 4 actual cores but 8 virtual cores appear in the operating system.  We simply care how many threads, or virtual cores, are available.  For gaming, I recommend an Intel Core i5 or i7 CPU.
     
Because Windows has many other tasks to do at a given time, including handling loading from disk, antivirus software, handling hardware requests such as keyboard input I recommend only dual-thread or better CPU's for ESO or any other game or performance will be taking a big hit.  You can quickly determine how many threads/cores your CPU has by right-clicking on your taskbar at the bottom of the screen, selecting Task Manager, and going to the Performance tab. Look in the CPU or CPU Usage History section and see how many rectangles are in there. If you only see one rectangle, you have a single-thread system currently and this won't be good for ESO.  However, that can occasionally be remedied without opening your PC or buying a new part!

If you have an older Pentium 4 based system that is showing only one processor, if you are comfortable entering your systems BIOS on bootup, usually by pressing the Delete, F1, F2, F9 or F10 key repeatedly immediately after poweron, on some occasions there is an option to enable "Hyperthreading". Now while in the BIOS you need to read the rather sparse instructions carefully and don't muck around with anything you are uncomfortable with. I have seen many Dell systems with Hyperthreading set to "Off", and changing this one setting to "On" or "Enabled" can increase CPU performance by over 30% and the best part is it only takes 5 minutes. Follow the instructions to save your settings and reboot the PC, and once again go into Task Manager and you will now see two processors instead of one in the CPU section, if your P4 was Hyperthreading capable.  Conversely, if you have a 4, 6, or 8 core CPU (with 8, 12, or 16 threads (rectangles) showing in Task Manager) you MAY get slight improvement in ESO by disabling Hyperthreading as it has a small overhead, although this could reduce performance in other programs that more effectively use more threads.

To get a quick, rough idea of your CPU performance, you can go into Control Panel - Performance Information and Tools and re-running the assessment if you are on Windows 7. The top number in Windows 7 is 7.9, 1.0 is as slow as possible.


Keeping your CPU cool is paramount! Modern CPU's will "throttle" down to lower speeds if they get too hot, without alerting you. If you have a desktop/tower system, I assume you have already followed the instructions in Part 1 and your CPU heatsink/fan assembly is clean now, if you can see it past any shroud that might be on it. It is entirely possible that your heatsink/fan assembly is poorly mated to the CPU or is simply undersize. Replacing that is beyond the skill level I'm catering to in this thread, so you will want to take it to a professional if your game performance is good for a brief period then quickly slows down to nearly nothing, and your CPU heatsink is hot enough to burn you right after that. Solutions for new builds include water cooling kits which now are simple bolt in solutions, no messing with cutting tubing and filling reservoirs, but again that is more advanced than I wish to cover here.  Refreshing the thermal interface material, usually thermal grease, also can be done with more conductive material if you are very comfortable with removing the heatsink and doing that.  I use Tuniq TX-4 myself.

If you have a laptop, be sure you have a cooling pad for it.  These are often metal platforms the laptop sits on, with fans in them.  If you see any signs of overheating, be sure the fans are set to max speed on the cooling pad.
 
More advanced CPU performance solutions include Overclocking, or over-revving you chip to a higher frequency than it is certified to run at. Intel and some manufacturers overclock their CPU's temporarily by about 3% for burnin testing, so it is usually always safe to go this far, but if you are not very experienced with computers, even if your system has BIOS options supporting easy overclocking you should avoid it as there are many parameters to adjust and it can lead to instability, overheating and crashes, and in the worst case can damage your processor or motherboard.
In some scenarios you can increase the max turbo multipliers.  I've found current gen i5-i7 CPU's as of January 2014 can often hit about 4.2 GHz on air cooling, and 4.4 GHz on water cooling at max turbo.

Now, onto memory. Memory or RAM is short-term storage that goes away at poweroff, not to be confused with your hard disk, or long term storage that remains between boots.  I recommend an amount of memory of 4 GB to 32 GB for a ESO system. More than 16 GB will likely not be used by ESO, but 32 GB is a standard step above 16 GB and the extra RAM might be used for disk caching for ESO files as ESO is 30 GB in size.  If you have a 32-bit version of Windows, 4 GB is the maximum amount of installed RAM your system supports, and the more video card memory you have the less system memory you will be able to access! Typically a 32 bit system will see only 2 GB - 3.3 GB of actual RAM due to address space used by video cards and other peripherals. Therefore I strongly recommend a 64-bit operating system for ESO as otherwise you will not have enough accessible RAM.  If you have a 32-bit operating system, I do advise you to go to 4 GB of RAM on the system if you are comfortable with such an upgrade.

More modern/higher end CPU's have more memory channels, or lanes. Intel's high-end platforms support 2, 3, or even 4 channels of RAM, of various speeds, and up to 8 memory sockets. When upgrading memory, open to the two latches at the end of the slot, insert carefully but firmly and make sure to close both side latches. It is important to populate the memory sockets as directed by the system or motherboard manufacturer, as often there is a specific order that must be followed or you will lose out on one or more channels or bandwidth.  Try to get the memory recommend by your system or motherboard manufacturer to ensure compatibility and stability.  Some memory has heatsinks, but this is not essential. You can also obtain lower latency memory, but the performance increase from such would likely be only a few percent with ESO. Higher speed memory is intended primarily for overclockers; you should not need memory over 1600 speed for any non-overclocked system at the time of this writing, but speeds under 1600 will certainly begin to bottleneck your system.  So I recommend 1600-2100 speed or so on your memory.

Other things to consider to reduce the load on the CPU and memory are to stop all other running programs when you are beginning an ESO gaming session. Close your browser, email program, iTunes, Word, basically anything in the lower right part of the taskbar near the clock that you are sure you don't need you can right click on and select Exit or Quit. A free program to help you reduce system load while gaming is http://www.iobit.com/downloadcenter.php?product=game-booster Iobit's Game Booster. I can help those further with low memory issues by tweaking startup programs and services but I'll do that on a case-by-case basis as it varies by operating system and memory situation. 
 
If you suspect an unreliable CPU, RAM or motherboard first do the Windows performance test by going into Control Panel - Performance Information and Tools and re-running the assessment as this will stress the system more than ESO. If the system crashes while running this assesment, you may wish to take it to a professional to diagnose. Post the numbers here if you have questions..the lowest number there is what to focus on if you are still running slowly. Other software exists which can burn in the system overnight for more rare crashes, but it likely won't help you pinpoint the issue so a memory test is what to do next as memory is a common cause of crashing.

You can also try the Intel Processor Diagnostic Tool to test the processor itself, if you have not overclocked the base clock:

64-bit: http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=19792&ProdId=3059&lang=eng

32-bit: http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=19791&ProdId=3059&lang=eng

If you fail a CPU test it's usually time for a new CPU and motherboard or a new system, unless the failure is due to overclocking.  This tool will also show you how much thermal headroom you have on the CPU, if it shows hardly any degrees C below maximum at the end of the test, your cooling solution is inadequate.


If you suspect bad memory or crashed in the performance assessment, booting up from a Windows 7 boot CD even if you are running another OS, will give the option of a memory diagnostic in the repair options. Run that, if you have even one failure I'd replace all of your memory or have a pro replace it, memory is inexpensive nowadays.


If you are planning to replace your creaky old PC anytime soon, let me know. My last gaming rig project got jump started with Intel's Socket 2011 gaming motherboard, and I also obtained the Intel Watercooling system for free. I purchased a year ago the $285 3820 CPU, and run it at about 4.4 GHz max turbo, replacing my old 2.66 GHz 920 that I've been pushing up to 3.2 GHz for over 4 years now.  I don't like to run CPU's more than 3.5 years heavily overclocked though, I always replace the CPU at least every 4 years (ditto with HD but now I'm on SSD).            

Karoneth
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:20 pm    Post subject:

Part 1, Video Performance


Although video cards and video settings in games are not the only factor in a smooth framerate, they are a large part of that.
 
As ESO was designed to run on machines built as long ago as December 2008, most of you should be able to obtain acceptable framerates if your hardware is that recent (if not, time for a new PC!)  Until we actually see the game in action, this column will be more generic in nature, and not cover what are normally dozens, if not hundreds of video settings to tweak in a TES game, as we have no idea what settings may or may not be present, nor their impact on performance.

What we want to see is framerate normally remaining at or above 60 to get the best experience in a video game. Your actual framerate can be as high as hundreds of frames per second; however, the largest impact on the game is going to be not how high you can get your framerate, but how high your LOWEST framerate is if it is 58 or lower.  If you are not above that rate most of the time (say 90%) then you are suffering somewhat whether you know it or not. Framrates of under 30 FPS are worse than standard def TV broadcasts were, and under 24 FPS is worse than movie theaters. Under 15 in my experience is just plain irritating, and you would absolutely need to reduce game graphics settings to get it higher.

To determine your goal framerate you can either go into your monitor settings in your video driver's software (such as Catlalyst Control Centre for ATI/AMD cards or nVidia control panel for their cards, or the Intel Graphics icon for theirs, usually all in the taskbar down by your clock). Barring that, most LCD monitors have an Info screen you can access by pressing buttons on it. If it says 75 Hz then for the smoothest experience, we want to get your framerate to average 75 or better in game. I have found the human eye is usually satisfied with 60 Hz on LCD's (on old-style, bulky CRT's I prefer 85 Hz refresh though).  We will assume first that you don't wish to or cannot upgrade your video card at this time.

First if you have a Desktop/Tower PC, we need to ensure the video card's heatsinks and fans are clean if you are comfortable doing so. Many cards will throttle down slower if they overheat, with you none the wiser that your performance is being throttled because of the ball of cat hair in the video card's fan. Make sure the card is in a X16 PCI Express slot, usually the top slot in a tower which is good for a few extra percent performance over a X8 slot. If you don't know, that is fine. I don't expect you all to be experts on computer hardware. Be sure to use canned air intead of a vacuum cleaner and be sure not to over-rev any fans which can damage bearings, a few brief bursts are all that is needed for this step and be careful of the delicate parts inside of your PC.
Also check to ensure if your video care requires additional power cable(s) that they are plugged in properly. Higher end video cards usually require a PCIE power cable or two and will run poorly or unreliably without it (if they run at all).

If you have a notebook PC obviously you will want to substitute checking the fan for blowing it out carefully with canned air while it is powered down through the ventilation openings.

If you are getting messages that your "video driver has stopped working" in Windows, this means either your video card hardware is failing, overheating, overclocked, or the driver is bad or for the wrong version of Windows (IE running a Vista driver in Windows 8 alpha, will occasionally produce these errors, the only way I have been able to reproduce for testing). Windows will attempt to restart the driver once quickly and if it fails to respond your PC will immediately bluescreen and be crashed! This needs immediate attention as the constant risk of bluescreening can potentially cause file corruption on your HD and you have to reboot each time.

Second, button the system back up (many systems won't cool properly with the cover(s) off), power it back on, and go to your graphics chipset's website and download the latest drivers for your card. I strongly prefer this to going to Dell, HP, etc as they will usually have older, slower drivers posted than the chipset manufacturers recommend.

http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/windows/Pages/auto_detect.aspx (for AMD/ATI chips)
http://www.geforce.com/Drivers (run Auto Detect, for nVidia cards).  I recommend you obtain the GeForce Experience as well.
http://downloadcenter.intel.com/default.aspx?lang=eng (run Intel Driver Update Utility)
https://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&ProdId=816&DwnldID=20775&keyword=inf&lang=eng (quick link to Intel Chipset Drivers)

If you don't know, just run all three and if they do not apply they generally will not harm your system (disclaimer: The Intel one DID harm a totally AMD based system once last year by bluescreening it repeatedly when I ran the detection, but I've only ever had that happen once, so don't use the Intel one unless you are pretty sure you have at least one piece of Intel hardware inside) If you have an Intel CPU, then get the chipset drivers as well from Intel, and any others it recommends.
Occasionally, the vendors have beta drivers. For instance, AMD had me run a beta driver for Skyrim. If you are comfortable doing so, the beta drivers are even newer and often offer better performance, although might be less stable.  I assume we will have Beta drivers for ESO by the end of March.

Update your DirectX which includes video, audio, and input routines for software and games. This rarely helps FPS, but if your DirectX is badly out of date or missing files this could possibly help, and it's easy and painless to do.
http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=35

Third, if your framerates are much lower than your target, go into the driver's control panel, usually down by the clock, and locate the 3D settings or Gaming settings.
Disable or set to application specified the Aniosotropic Filtering (AF) and Anti-Aliasing (AA). Those can place a significant burden on your video subsystem.
There are many options here to tailor, too many to discuss them all but I will be happy to answer questions on specific options.
If your card is offering a slider between performance or quality, try moving it all the way to high performance (note that 3D graphics may become more blurry) and also check (enable) any optimization/optimized settings, and for AMD/ATI card adjust Catalyst AI to the maximum level which allows the driver to intelligently optimize graphics routines for better performance (also please note graphics quality can take a small hit, but having too slow of a framerate is more of an issue we're assuming).
If you have CrossfireX or SLI (dual video cards or a multi-GPU card) ensure that is enabled in the driver, although your best bet for TESO is likely a moderately fast single-GPU card; I'm not sure how well it scales out to SLI configurations.

In additon
, I strongly prefer setting V-Sync and Triple Buffering to ON or Forced On. This will: A. Keep your video card from overheating by trying to hit hundreds of FPS when it is not needed; B. Prevent screen tearing or screen freezing when turning and moving caused by video card frame generation and monitor screen refreshes from being out of sync. Most cards today have enough video RAM to do this. Note this will limit your max displayed FPS to be your monitors refresh rate, and this is fine. No monitor refreshes at a rate that is too slow for reasonably fluid gaming.  If your framerate slows down noticeably with these two turned on, which it can if you don't have enough RAM on the video card, disable them.
     
Fourth, we need to optimize settings in ESO itself
Most of the graphics and advanced graphics options can affect your FPS in-game.

Resolution: The lower the resolution, the faster your FPS will be, always, as there are a lot less pixels to push. Try reducing resolution although this may result in a more cramped screen.

As a last resort, if you still find FPS to be too low, find graphics settings in ESO and turn graphics quality to "Minimum" and turn off everything/set everything to lowest possible settings one by one (check each setting, Low might not be lowest, Very Low or Minimum might be available, etc).

Now this won't help much if your bottlenecks are in memory (size or bandwidth), Internet connection/router (won't affect FPS though), CPU type or speed, or storage (hard disk too slow or failing, may affect FPS) but if there is an issue in Video subsystem this should get you running acceptably.  If you still can't hit a decent FPS after all of that, you should consider a video card upgrade, or look at other factors such as your processor overheating.

Fifth, if you are running an NVidia 670 or 680 card on an X79 platform (Sandy Bridge-E or Ivy Bridge-E, Socket 2011) then you should go to this link, download the program and run it.  http://nvidia.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3135/~/geforce-600-series-gen3-support-on-x79-platform
I noticed an improvement after activating PCIE 3.0 on my system using the above link, which boosted my bandwidth to my video card from 5G transfers/sec to 8G transfers/sec.

Sixth, if you decide you need to upgrade your video card, consider your power supply's limitations, then take a look at these cards.
Video cards are usually the most expensive component, you can get cheaper ones but for ESO you should look at getting an nVidia 750, 960, 970 or 980.



Lastly, you should benchmark your system for reference and comparison purposes.

Karoneth
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:17 pm    Post subject: Karoneth's Tech Column










Karoneth
Posts: 11077





Hello everyone!

I discovered that occasionally members have issues with their PC's, and as this can hamper their enjoyment of the game and I make my living by solving such problems for folks, I decided I need to make a full-time column to address it.   In addition, members may be looking to build a new gaming PC for ESO.

As for who I am, I an electrical engineer by degree with a certificate in computer repair, and have industry and vendor certifications such as A+, Server+, Microsoft Certified Professional, Microsoft Small Business Specialist, HP Accredited Platform Specialist, Intel Gold Technology Provider, Western Digital Certified Expert, etc. I have built dozens of gaming rigs and been working with computers since I wrote my first computer program and saved it to cassette tape back in 1982 and it remains a hobby of mine.
My clients pay me to to tuneup their PC's, and some mainly for gaming purposes.  Yes, they pay more than the game is worth, to get it running well, because it really is that drastic of an improvement on the most important thing...FUN!   How can you have fun when your game is aggravating you and making you curse at the lag or poor performance?

I'll help all of you who are active members of the BoR as best I can in this forum and will be posting topics on the major computer components and how they relate to gaming over the coming months. Feel free to post in this thread if you have a particular question on my articles but if you need help, you can start your own thread in the Members forum so we can keep everything pertaining to your specific issue in one location. I want to add value to your membership, and reduce the aggravation the members have when playing ESO.  As my time is valuable I can't extend this service to non-members unfortunately.

I want to add that every recommendation given in this forum is to be done at your own risk, no warranties are expressed or implied etc. Be careful and be ready to back out of any changes you made (writing down old settings etc) if you have to.

Briefly, if you are getting anything less than 59 frames per second in a game even briefly, you are certainly not getting as smooth an experience as you can have as most LCD monitors refresh at least as fast as 59Hz. So my first major topic will be on frame rates, V-sync and all those video card topics.  

 
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