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Old 02-28-2011, 02:04 PM   #1
Elvaen
 
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Guide to fixing poor Bulletstorm frame rate. (resolution issue)

April 30th Update: The 4/29/2011 patch of Bulletstorm appears to have resolved the issues which required using this workaround. You should now be able to play without frame lag in "odd" resolutions such as 1680x1050.

Note: This guide is current for the version of Bulletstorm available on the PC via Steam as of 2/28/11. Most likely this issue will be patched in a future release of the game.

The "divisible by 8" resolution issue.
Bulletstorm was optimized for consoles which typically run at either 720p (1280×720) or 1080p (1920x1080), the vertical and horizontal component of these resolutions are both multiples of 8.

A lot of PC gamers use monitors with a native resolution that is not divisible by 8 (a few examples: 1680x1050, 1600x900, 1440x900 and 1366x768) and these resolutions cause severe performance issues for the current version of Bulletstorm.

By switching your display to a resolution where both the vertical and horizontal component of the resolution is a multiple of 8 your frame rate should go up pretty dramatically.

Step 1: Disable resolution scaling for your display.

Note 1: This will result in any resolution less than your maximum native resolution being centered in your monitor with black borders rather than being scaled to fill your monitor; scaling often causes blurring and distortion on LCD (flat panel) monitors.
Note 2: This option is only available for monitors connected via digital connection such as DVI.

Note: These nvidia instructions are written for driver version 266.58
nvidia Cards
  • Open nvidia control panel
  • Go to the "Display" section.
  • Go to the "Adjust desktop size and position" subsection.
  • In the section about scaling select the "Do Not Scale" option.

Note: These ATI instructions are written for Catalyst version 10.11
ATI Cards
  • Open the Catalyst Control Center. Switch to advanced mode if you're not already in advanced mode.
  • Set your resolution to anything below your native resolution via the "Desktop Properties" section.
  • Go to the "Desktops & Displays" section.
  • Right-click the miniature icon of your monitor in the lower portion of the screen and click the "Configure..." menu item.
  • Check the "Enable GPU scaling" box and select "Use centered timings". Apply your changes.
  • Restore your native resolution settings. Even though the scaling controls now appear greyed out and the "Scale image to full panel size" appears grey-selected your changes will still take effect at lower resolutions.

Step 2: Create a custom resolution that satisfies the "multiple of 8" requirement.

Note: I have a native resolution of 1680x1050 and so I choose to create a custom resolution of 1680x1048 (which is divisible by 8) and only costs me 2 pixel-rows of screen real estate.

nvidia Cards
  • Open nvidia control panel
  • Go to the "Display" section.
  • Go to the "Change resolution" subsection.
  • In the main window click "Customize".
  • Click "Create custom resolution..." and enter the desired resolution (1680x1048).
  • Test the custom resolution and if it all checks out click OK.

Note: ATI cards requires editing your registry in order to add a custom resolution, please proceed at your own risk.

ATI Cards
  • Follow this guide: http://www.ehow.com/how_7649449_add-...ution-ati.html
  • I was unable to find an exact match between the 2D Driver Path and my registry, but I did find only a single entry under:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Video\

    That contained the "DALNonStandardModesBCD1" key, and so that's where I made my modifications. Once I rebooted my system recognized the new resolution (and so did Bulletstorm).

Remember, the important concept here is that you create a custom resolution where both the horizontal and vertical dimensions are divisible by 8. 1680x1048 is what you'll want to use if you have a 22" monitor with a native resolution of 1680x1050, but for those of you with other sizes you'll need to find your own resolution to use.

Step 3: Load Bulletstorm and select your new custom resolution in-game.

You should notice a marked improvement in frame rate.

With all graphics settings maxed out I went from 30fps to the frame cap of 62fps with my ATI 5970.


Other useful threads for understanding the issue better:
http://forums.steampowered.com/forum....php?t=1773506
http://forums.steampowered.com/forum....php?t=1771142

References:
http://www.ehow.com/how_7649449_add-...ution-ati.html
http://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=68072
http://forums.epicgames.com/showthread.php?t=764944

Last edited by Elvaen: 04-30-2011 at 01:38 AM.
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Old 02-28-2011, 03:42 PM   #2
wonderpookie
 
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This is a good thread.

Just to clarify a tad little something... the issue isn't actually with 16:10 ratios as opposed to 16:9 ones, but resolution numbers that aren't exactly divisble by 8 (game runs poorly) versus those which are exactly divisble by 8 (game runs well). I think it just so happens that the majority of resolutions divisble by 8 end up being 16:9 aspect ratios.

MY EXAMPLE... I'm running @1920x1200 (16:10) resolution. 1920 and 1200 are exactly divisble by 8... and my game runs with a nice fps on the whole. When I drop the resolution to the next one down, 1680x1050 (16:10) the fps is now shockingly poor, when you'd expect it to be better!... 1680 exactly divisible by 8, 1050 is not!

An unusual feature for sure! Never seen this happen in games before!

A great thread which I'm sure will help many people fix their fps problems, gd job!
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:18 PM   #3
Ohlalala
 
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someone should stick this thread
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:58 PM   #4
Mgp
 
 
 
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Yes, they should. repped elvaen cheers.

I didn't know bout this issue until yesterday. My i7 + gtx 295 had to play with AA turned off, now at x8 it's smooth as it should be @ 1680 x1048 res. BTW I went straight to step 2 and had no problems whatsoever, can't notice any stretching.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:18 PM   #5
sadinkaraga
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvaen View Post
Note: This guide is current for the version of Bulletstorm available on the PC via Steam as of 2/28/11. Most likely this issue will be patched in a future release of the game.

The Aspect Ratio Problem
Bulletstorm was optimized for consoles which typically run at either 720p (1280×720) or 1080p (1920x1080), both of which have an aspect ratio of 16:9. Both vertical and horizontal components of these resolutions are multiples of 8.

A lot of PC gamers use monitors which have a native resolution with an aspect ratio of 16:10 (1680x1050, 1600x900, 1440x900 and 1366x768), these resolutions are not divisible by 8 and cause fairly severe performance issues for the current version of Bulletstorm.

By switching your display to a resolution where both the vertical and horizontal component of the resolution is a multiple of 8 your frame rate should go up pretty dramatically.

Step 1: Disable resolution scaling for your display.

Note 1: This will result in any resolution less than your maximum native resolution being centered in your monitor with black borders rather than being stretched to fill your monitor which causes blurring and distortion.
Note 2: This option is only available for monitors connected via digital connection such as DVI.

Note: These nVidia instructions are written for version 266.58
nVidia Cards
  • Open nVidia control panel
  • Go to the "Display" section.
  • Go to the "Adjust desktop size and position" subsection.
  • In the section about scaling select the "Do Not Scale" option.

Note: These ATI instructions are written for Catalyst version 10.11
ATI Cards
  • Open the Catalyst Control Center. Switch to advanced mode if you're not already in advanced mode.
  • Set your resolution to anything below your native resolution via the "Desktop Properties" section.
  • Go to the "Desktops & Displays" section.
  • Right-click the miniature icon of your monitor in the lower portion of the screen and click the "Configure..." menu item.
  • Check the "Enable GPU scaling" box and select "Use centered timings". Apply your changes.
  • Restore your native resolution settings. Even though the scaling controls now appear greyed out and the "Scale image to full panel size" appears grey-selected your changes will still take effect at lower resolutions.

Step 2: Create a custom resolution that satisfies the "multiple of 8" requirement.

Note: I have a native resolution of 1680x1050 and so I choose to create a custom resolution of 1680x1048 (which is divisible by 8) and only costs me 2 pixel-rows of screen real estate.

nVidia Cards
  • Open nVidia control panel
  • Go to the "Display" section.
  • Go to the "Change resolution" subsection.
  • In the main window click "Customize".
  • Click "Create custom resolution..." and enter the desired resolution (1680x1048).
  • Test the custom resolution and if it all checks out click OK.

Note: ATI cards requires editing your registry in order to add a custom resolution, please proceed at your own risk.

ATI Cards
  • Follow this guide: http://www.ehow.com/how_7649449_add-...ution-ati.html
  • I was unable to find an exact match between the 2D Driver Path and my registry, but I did find only a single entry under:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Video\

    That contained the "DALNonStandardModesBCD1" key, and so that's where I made my modifications. Once I rebooted my system recognized the new resolution (and so did Bulletstorm).

Step 3: Load Bulletstorm and select your new custom resolution in-game.

You should notice a marked improvement in frame rate.

With all graphics settings maxed out I went from 30fps to the frame cap of 62fps with my ATI 5970.


Other useful threads for understanding the issue better:
http://forums.steampowered.com/forum....php?t=1773506
http://forums.steampowered.com/forum....php?t=1771142

References:
http://www.ehow.com/how_7649449_add-...ution-ati.html
http://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=68072
http://forums.epicgames.com/showthread.php?t=764944
I have the same grafic card as you but i havent had any problems with Bulletstorm. I even had Rift couple times in background while playing Bulletstorm with max settings. 16AF, 8AA and display resolution 1920x1200. Ppl with framrate probs which have 5970 should try using 10.5 drivers.
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Old 03-01-2011, 12:19 AM   #6
Elvaen
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wonderpookie View Post
This is a good thread.

Just to clarify a tad little something... the issue isn't actually with 16:10 ratios as opposed to 16:9 ones, but resolution numbers that aren't exactly divisble by 8 (game runs poorly) versus those which are exactly divisble by 8 (game runs well). I think it just so happens that the majority of resolutions divisble by 8 end up being 16:9 aspect ratios...
You're right, of course, wonderpookie. I've tweaked the text to emphasize that point.
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Old 03-01-2011, 12:27 AM   #7
Elvaen
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sadinkaraga View Post
I have the same grafic card as you but i havent had any problems with Bulletstorm. I even had Rift couple times in background while playing Bulletstorm with max settings. 16AF, 8AA and display resolution 1920x1200. Ppl with framrate probs which have 5970 should try using 10.5 drivers.
Sadinkaraga -- You're not experiencing any problems because your resolution (1920x1200) is a multiple of 8. The problem isn't with any specific video card, but rather any resolution for which both the horizontal and vertical components are not divisible by 8.

Example:

1920 / 8 = 240
1200 / 8 = 150

1680 / 8 = 210
1050 / 8 = 131.5 <-- ERROR, not divisible by 8.
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Old 03-01-2011, 12:32 AM   #8
Elvaen
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgp View Post
I didn't know bout this issue until yesterday. My i7 + gtx 295 had to play with AA turned off, now at x8 it's smooth as it should be @ 1680 x1048 res. BTW I went straight to step 2 and had no problems whatsoever, can't notice any stretching.
That's cool Mgp, with only a 2-pixel difference the stretching will be extremely small and will only distort your image a tiny amount.

Still, if you want to have the absolute best image quality possible I still would recommend that you disable the scaling feature of your video card.
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:21 PM   #9
duffeknol
 
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The hell? I have an nvidia but I don't have a scaling option anywhere...

EDIT: NVM found note #2. That sucks, cause when I change even those 2 pixels my image is completely smurfed up.

Last edited by duffeknol: 03-02-2011 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:50 PM   #10
AR-15
 
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Beatifull post.

Thanks so much. As stated the aspect ratio is not really the issue.

Just make sure you resolution divedes by 8 and presto! Framerate is great now. What a crappy port....
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:59 AM   #11
Swakke
 
 
 
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perfect post, this post could be applied to many games with framerate issues as one of the solution, "the Division of 8" rule is golden.

excellent work
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Old 03-03-2011, 04:13 PM   #12
Zenthik
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvaen View Post
Sadinkaraga -- You're not experiencing any problems because your resolution (1920x1200) is a multiple of 8. The problem isn't with any specific video card, but rather any resolution for which both the horizontal and vertical components are not divisible by 8.

Example:

1920 / 8 = 240
1200 / 8 = 150

1680 / 8 = 210
1050 / 8 = 131.5 <-- ERROR, not divisible by 8.
You do realize that 1920x1200 is 16:10 and not 16:9?
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Old 03-03-2011, 05:25 PM   #13
Elvaen
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenthik View Post
You do realize that 1920x1200 is 16:10 and not 16:9?
As stated previously in this thread, comparing aspect ratios isn't the right way to evaluate a resolution for the problem. It is true that the majority of the common 16:10 resolutions are not divisible by 8 (1920x1200 is an exception), but there are also some 16:9 resolutions that are not divisible by 8.

For example, take the quintessential 16:9 resolution of 1600:900: 1600 is divisible by 8 but 900 is not.

If in doubt, a calculator is your friend.

I went ahead and edited the original post to remove the last reference to the phrase "aspect ratio"; I apologize for implying the aspect ratio was somehow germane to the problem.

Last edited by Elvaen: 03-03-2011 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 03-06-2011, 08:30 AM   #14
GoodBoy
 
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Does this bug apply only to the steam version, or does it also apply to the Windows retail boxed version?
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Old 03-06-2011, 10:10 AM   #15
buckiesmalls
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodBoy View Post
Does this bug apply only to the steam version, or does it also apply to the Windows retail boxed version?
Same goes for retail disk, for me anyhow.
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