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Old 11-28-2010, 09:21 AM   #1
Infinity7
 
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Game Optimizations Compiled - Brief Summary of what players reported

1st post is kept updated. After latest patch game version is now 7.0.189. Bring down game console while in game to see that. NVidia driver 295.18 (for 64-bit Win7/Vista only) has FXAA is available. Most important tweaks are now marked with a green asterisk *.
There is also an optimizations thread for game CoD MW3 and it's very different.

Overview of tweaking considerations:
* Surprisingly this game may not run well for you if you don't have at least 4x AA set and might run even better with 8x or 16x AA set. Cranking up the settings to make it run better is one very nice thing about this game. *
(This is unlike other 1st-person-shooter games that perform better if you make them look worse.)
* Some stutter or lag may occur if 1) GPU-usage is too low, 2) shadows are enabled, 3) game sound KHz is mismatched with Windows sound KHz, 4) Shader Warming is off, 5) configured values for com_maxpackets and rate are set too high.

Game's Graphics Menu:
4x or 8x Anti-Aliasing * - to force more GPU-usage
16x Anisotropic - although reducing it some may help older video cards
Sync Every Frame No * - like vsync it limits your maxfps to display refresh rate
Texture Filtering Auto - the game will pick the best one ok
Texture Quality Extra * - to force more GPU-usage
Shader Warming Yes * - try 3 consecutive games with it to know - this will make game load up all of the shaders at the beginning of the match rather than loading up some of them as you play.
Bullet Impacts No - visual effect of bullet impact damage, but some people like to see this anyway
Shadows No * - important to do to avoid substantial performance loss

Config file tweaks:
Copy it to My Documents for backup first before making any changes. It's commonly found at one of these two locations:
C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common\call of duty black ops\players\config_mp.cfg
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\call of duty black ops\players\config_mp.cfg
Right click on it and choose "Open With..." and select Wordpad (not Notepad). When you're done making changes do "Save" rather than doing "Save As" so that the file extension won't get changed to something other than cfg.
ai_corpseCount "3" * --- reduces number of dead bodies seen
cg_brass "0" --- no shells seen ejecting from guns when firing
com_maxfps * --- read about this in section called "com_maxfps & cl_maxpackets..." down below
cl_maxpackets * --- read about this in section called "com_maxfps & cl_maxpackets..." down below
sm_enable "0" * --- disables shadows and is important to do
sm_maxLights "1" --- limits how many primary lights can have shadow maps - it's automatically off anyway if sm_enable is set to 0
snaps "30" * --- number of updates from server
snd_losOcclusion "0" * --- disables making sound different coming through walls
r_aaAlpha "dither (fast)" or "supersample (nice)" (for higher-end PC's) --- an AA quality setting
r_distortion "0" --- disables subtle visual effect
r_dof_enable "0" --- disables depth of field visual effect, but snipers may want it on
r_fastSkin "1" --- makes all player models use the same skin
r_glow_allowed "0" --- disables subtle visual effect
r_rendererPreference "Default" --- shader model used
ragdoll_max_simulating "8" --- reduces number of bodies/things seen tossed around at any moment
ragdoll_enable "0" --- as an alternative to simply reducing the max_simulating value above use this to completely disable ragdoll

GPU-usage:
Games programmed for consoles put a lot of load on the CPU and little load on the GPU. Games programmed for PC are the opposite of this. You can experiment with these changes to see the benefit of increased GPU-usage and make your game run smoother. You can use a free program such as NVidia Inspector (for NVidia cards) to measure your GPU-usage. Easy to do. NVidia Inspector can be downloaded here: http://majorgeeks.com/NVIDIA_Inspector_d6630.html
1) com_maxfps - Increasing the value of this increases GPU-usage the most (up to 50% more) but at a certain point you won't want to rely on this method alone and will be better off by increasing the amount of Antialiasing used instead.
2) Antialiasing - Increasing the amount of this increases GPU-usage the second-most (up to 30% more).
3) r_aaAlpha - Changing this from "dither (fast)" to "supersample (nice)" increases GPU-usage (up to 10% more).
4) Textures - Using Extra textures increases GPU-usage (up to 10% more)
5) Shadows - Turning it off in game menu and by setting sm_enable "0" keeps GPU-usage from decreasing due to that effect.
6) Anisotropic Filtering - Changing the amount of this does not seem to change GPU-usage at all.
7) r_multiGpu and r_multithreaded_device - There's no benefit in changing these from their default values.

com_maxfps & cl_maxpackets & The Enhanced Sweet Spot Theory for Black Ops:
These 2 things work together as combinations of values which are optimal for hit registration and game performance. The bashandslash Sweet Spot Theory just doesn't quite work well for Black Ops because some of those numbers just make the GPU-usage too low when Black Ops needs more. The Sweet Spot Theory suggests that your typical fps be above what you set for your maxfps and chooses values based on a 1/1 ratio between maxfps and maxpackets.
With the Enhanced Sweet Spot Theory for Black Ops you will want your typical fps to usually be below what you have set for your maxfps and choose values based on a 2/1 ratio between maxfps and maxpackets. It works better than the 1/1 ratio idea because of the much greater GPU-usage that happens. Remember that increasing the amount of antialiasing you use will reduce the difference between your minfps and maxfps. If the maxpackets value is set too high for your connection some lag may occur.
Here is the first set of combinations of recommended values based on the idea that your fps will usually be below your maxfps value:
maxfps 181 with maxpackets 91 --- use if fps never < 91 and usually < 181
maxfps 153 with maxpackets 77 --- use if fps never < 77 and usually < 153
maxfps 142 with maxpackets 72 --- use if fps never < 72 and usually < 142
maxfps 111 with maxpackets 56 --- use if fps never < 56 and usually < 111
maxfps 86 with maxpackets 44 --- use if fps never < 44 and usually < 86
maxfps 71 with maxpackets 36 --- use if fps never < 36 and usually < 71
Here's a different set of combinations of values which are based on the idea that your fps will always be above your maxfps value:
maxfps 125 with maxpackets 77 --- use if fps never < 125
maxfps 90 with maxpackets 91 --- use if fps never < 90
maxfps 76 with maxpackets 77 --- use if fps never < 76
maxfps 71 with maxpackets 72 --- use if fps never < 71
maxfps 58 with maxpackets 59 --- use if vsync is on and your display refresh rate is 60Hz
maxfps 55 with maxpackets 56 --- use if fps never < 55
For further reading on the maxfps/maxpackets topic you can read up on it at http://bashandslash.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=51&Itemi d=63 although Black Ops seems to deviate a bit from the general theory explained on that page due to GPU-usage which is atypical of Quake engine games.

NVidia Control Panel Settings (for NVidia cards) and ATI notes:
NVidia Beta driver 290.53 * with hidden FPS Limiter is out.
The FPS Limiter is being told about in post #101 over here:
http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showtopic=218925&st=100
NVidia Driver 295.18 * (for 64-bit Win7/Vista only) includes FXAA which you can use with this game and looks nice, plays nice. It had been discovered over at a German ASUS downloads page and is currently available and discussed over at http://www.laptopvideo2go.com/drivers. Prior to uninstalling your current driver use NVidia Inspector to export your game and program profiles then later when you have 295.18 installed import those profiles back in again. If you've got the FXAA turned on in NVidia Control Panel then turn AA off in the game menu.
NVidia 285.16 WHQL driver is available for Windows 8 Developer Preview on Windows Updates and is working great.
AMD/ATI 11.12 driver and 12.1 Preview driver are available.
Ambient Occlusion: Off - a type of shadowing that doesn't work with this game
Anisotropic filtering: Application-controlled - make actual setting in game's graphics menu instead
Antialiasing Mode: Application-controlled - make actual setting in game's graphics menu instead
Power management mode: Prefer Maximum Performance * - set this specifically in Black Ops Application Profile rather than just in the Global Profile - to keep your video card from clocking itself down due to insufficient GPU-usage - reboot may be required after setting it
Texture Filtering Quality: High Quality * - to force more GPU-usage

Sound:
Benefit of changes may not be seen until you've played 3 consecutive games after sound changes.
Some sound tweaks are mentioned in the config_mp section up above.
* Sound KHz - It's sometimes beneficial or necessary to make the snd_khz value in the config_mp file match the sound khz value assigned in Windows/Control Panel/Sound/highlight device/Properties/Advanced and often for Realtek audio users this value is 48.
* HD Audio Driver from videocard driver - Sometimes beneficial or necessary to uninstall any NVidia or ATI HD Audio Driver in Windows Add/Remove Programs.

Windows 7 Power Options:
In Windows 7/Windows Control Panel/Power Options/Change Plan Settings/Change Advanced Power Settings/PCI-Express Link State Power Management set to Off.
When the PCI-Express Link State Power Management is turned off any increased latency spikes due to power state shifts caused by dynamic management changes may be eliminated. Such shifts cause the serial bus to need to be 'woken up' from low-power mode, possibly reconfigured and the host-to-device link re-established. See URL for more info: http://maximumpcguides.com/windows-7/set-pci-express-link-state-power-management/
Alternatively, in Windows 7/Windows Control Panel/Power Options/Show Additional Plans/ set to High Performance which also will turn off PCI-Express Link State Power Management.
There is a free utility called DPC Latency Checker which you can run in the background and get some idea what may be causing any stutters and/or slowdowns. You can get it here: http://www.thesycon.de/deu/latency_check.shtml

Steam Menu:
* In Steam/Library/right-click Call of Duty: Black Ops/Properties/Local Files/Verify Integrity of Game Cache. Do that for the single player & multiplayer both (even if you don't do the single player) then restart Steam completely.
* Uncheck "Enable Steam Cloud Synchronization for Games that Support it" in Steam menu so your game won't be interrupted.

Firewall ports:
Under some circumstances you may need to open certain firewall ports in both your hardware and software firewall for Black Ops and/or Steam.
1200 UDP --- for Steam Friends service
3074 TCP/UDP --- for Black Ops
27000 - 27030 UDP
27014 - 27050 TCP

Older Patch Issues:
* Some had not been able to complete their patch update until they booted up in Safe Mode With Networking or disabled their firewall protection.
* Sync Every Frame had been set to enabled so if you don't like to have that enabled turn it off in game graphics menu.
* When you go into your own Private Match or Combat Training the game will change your com_maxfps to 85 and cl_maxpackets values to 30. Those might be less-than-ideal values for you and you may have to readjust them when you go back to regular Multiplayer.
If you're already in a server the console commands are
/com_maxfps
/cl_maxpackets
If you're not in a server yet don't type the / in front. The console commands will then be
com_maxfps
cl_maxpackets

Last edited by Infinity7: 01-17-2012 at 07:20 PM. Reason: formatting
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:28 AM   #2
aido727
 
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Informative and to the point. +1 sir

I love a good config file tweaking but I still draw the line at OS downgrading...
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:34 AM   #3
Infinity7
 
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I agree with you on that one.

This one probably has the same effect as downgrading to Windows XP:

*** Graphics in Windows:
Right-click BlackOpsMP.exe and in the Compatibility Tab put a check mark for 'Disable visual themes' and 'Disable desktop composition'

....at least I saw benefit in it.
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:51 AM   #4
niichts
 
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Steam cloud being turned off helped a surprising ammount - Putting black ops priority to low however caused a game crash. Maybe a coincidence, this game does crash a lot.
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:55 AM   #5
snsd91
 
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So much work to just make this game run properly. sigh
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:58 AM   #6
homestyle
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Infinity7 View Post

*** Sound:
1) Get add-in soundcard rather than use motherboard sound.
2) Adjust the multiplayer config file so that the entry for snd_khz matches the sound khz that your PC's sound device is set to and set snd_losOcclusion to "0" and set snd_enableEq to "0".
3) Type /snd_restart in game console while in the game and press Enter.

What does number 2 sound setting do? Does this help with directional sound or footsteps?

Am I the only one that finds the blue font against the gray backdrop hard on the eyes?
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Old 11-28-2010, 12:05 PM   #7
Skeptix
 
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Seriously LOL @ this, just to get this "MEGA TITLE" to run properly. you treyarch.
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Old 11-28-2010, 12:09 PM   #8
pitbullthe2
 
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DID YOU really have to use blue -.-
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Old 11-28-2010, 04:46 PM   #9
Infinity7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homestyle View Post
What does number 2 sound setting do? Does this help with directional sound or footsteps?

Am I the only one that finds the blue font against the gray backdrop hard on the eyes?

Number 2 presumably makes your game sound khz more compatible for default Windows sound khz thereby reducing any game stutter due to sound. I know that one did benefit me some.

I appologize for the bad blue font and have now changed it to a light blue font.
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Old 11-28-2010, 05:05 PM   #10
shizzleglizzle
 
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xp is gay
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Old 11-29-2010, 07:19 AM   #11
Infinity7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niichts View Post
Steam cloud being turned off helped a surprising ammount - Putting black ops priority to low however caused a game crash. Maybe a coincidence, this game does crash a lot.
Try setting that priority to Below Normal instead.
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Old 11-29-2010, 07:59 AM   #12
bigbeam
 
 
 
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im gonna try this....the main probably for lots of people is sound stutter...when you disable the sound of your sound card/onboard card the game runs flawless...but what fun is that? playing in silence? you get bored after a few mins
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Old 11-29-2010, 08:08 AM   #13
Surfing Bird
 
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My rig currently runs on a MSI P55-CD53 motherboard, with an i5 @2.67 GHz CPU, 4 gigs of 1333 RAM, an X-Fi Xtreme Music audio card and Win7 64-bit. I recently upgraded from a GT 8800 to a HD 6850 graphic card, always at stock clocks, and the game stutters all the time, raging from downright unplayable to vaguely playable.
Needless to say, I tried almost all the above "fixes" and none worked for me. Treyarch, get your back to work already and fix the bloody game.

Last edited by Surfing Bird: 11-29-2010 at 08:13 AM. Reason: Added some more info
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Old 11-29-2010, 08:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Infinity7 View Post
* 4) seta cl_packetdup "5"
Adjust it for this value.
That's going to depend on how good your connection is. The more packetloss, the higher the number.

Ditto with maxpackets, raising that is going to make things worse with a bad connection.

In a way this is typical of a number of "fixes" - the correct setting depends on your config/hardware/link/etc.

Last edited by Monkeymagic: 11-29-2010 at 08:54 AM.
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Old 11-29-2010, 08:40 AM   #15
G_F=DM=
 
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Nice post.. Please sticky ..

+1 for you
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