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Old 01-07-2008, 10:35 PM   #1
Rubini
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Default Nvidia tweaks to SH3/SH4

(I also posted the same on SH3 general forum because i guess that this is really usefull)

Hi folks,

After some days in tests and with the help of our mates Periscope and mikaelanderlund, I finally finish my concise guide to enhance the image quality in SH3/4 using nHancer and Nvidia cards.
I tested these tweaks using a C2D E6850, Gigabyte P35, 2Gb, 8800GT 512, WinXp, Forceware 169.21 WHQL and nHancer 2.3.2
These tips probably will be also useful for owners of others Nvidia cards, and perhaps, also for others sims.
Sorry, no pics at this moment, I´m really short in time, busy RL ;(
I will try to add them later.

Let's start:

The problems:
- nVidia hardware is really good but the image quality "out of box" really don´t mach the one of the ATI cards. The main motive is that nVidia uses another type of AntiAliasing (MultiSampling - more FPS, worse AA result, more shimmering texture in general) that isn't so good as the one of the Ati cards (SuperSampling). IMHO, this is really a cheat that nVidia uses to show more FPS on the bench sites...

- nVidia drivers have some specific problems with some games and Silent Hunter 3/4 aren't an exception: the sun halo isn't visible if we use anything more than 4x Multisample AA or Gama correction, the AA isn't entirely applied to the entire scene (this is very noticiable for any game that renders objects at high distance like the flight sims, etc) and the smoke in general is also affected by the AA type.
- these issues are more or less evident through the drives, but always present in some degree. Also nVidia choose to have specific hidden adjusts for each game what frequently makes the quest for a good image quality really a problem in the player hands.

The Solution:
- nVidia stock drivers are really very limited on AA types (image quality) but others AA types and others options are hidden on the drivers.

- nHancer - www.nhancer.com - shows to player (almost) all the hidden nVidia driver settings. The SuperSampling AA (SSAA) modes 4x4, 16xS or 32xS really shows the best image quality, the same of ATI out of box...but also brings a huge FPS hit and others small problems like the long dated sun halo absence and also making the smoke too tin. So, unfortunately this isn´t a choice for nVidia; the same ATI image quality will be never a true option for nVidia owners, because it isn´t completely bug free.

- to avoid the sun halo problem no more than 4x MultiSampling (MSAA) can be used and also the Gama correction can´t be used. To avoid smoke problems we need also to not use so much AA.

To finish - nHancer best settings for good image quality without any noticeable problem in SH3/4:
-in the main page at your right check Global, then in

- Enhancements page:
check MultiSampling 4x
check Super- Transparency AA
check AF 16x or 8x
check Vertical Sync Applicaion,

- Optimizations page:
check Texture filtering High Quality
check Tril. opt. Off
check Aniso sample opt. Off
check Neg LOd Bias Clamp
leave all the others settings unchanged

- Compatibility page:
choose AA Compatibility 20000000: EA Strategy Games (this is what makes a huge difference in image quality, forcing the AA to be applyed to the entire scene. This is probably also the best solution for Flight sims)
leave all the others settings unchanged.
Then just close nHancer and you are ready to go (no "Ok" or "Apply" button on nHancer).

Last comments:
-nHancer have a very good manual on line http://www.nhancer.com/?dat=d_start which will teach you also on how to make profiles for each game. It´s very simple and powerful!

-But be warned that the last Nvidia drivers don´t allow to use profiles automatically. Anyhow nHancer provides the possibility to activate profiles manually what is also very useful and enough if you don´t want to adjust the global settings for each game each time that you play them. I hope that the next forceware driver will fix this annoying limitation.

-If you have any comment or any other tip to enhance the SH3/4 experience when using nVidia hardware please share it with us!

Good Hunting!

Rubini.
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Last edited by Rubini; 03-07-2008 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 01-07-2008, 10:54 PM   #2
clayp
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Does NHancer over ride the NV control panel....I have a 8800ULTRA..Do you think this would make my pic any better? Its pretty nice now...The rest of the system

Core 2 Duo X6800 @3.24
Asus Motherboard P5BDELUXEWIFI
OCZ 2Gig 15-5-5-5 memory kit DDR2 OCZ2N1066SR2GK 2 x 2 gig kits
(4 gigs total)
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 Ultra BFGE88768UE
Western Digital 160gig sata II 16mb
Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer SB0730VP
Cooler master CM Stacker 830 Silver
OCZ Gamer extreme PS 1010wat OCZ1010GXSSLI
Samsung Optical (DVD/CDRW)
Windows XP Pro 32bit SP2
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Old 01-08-2008, 06:51 AM   #3
capt_frank
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I create a Silent Hunter IV profile and use these settings:

http://www.subsim.com/radioroom/showthread.php?t=127452

Works good for me, excellent frames.
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Old 01-08-2008, 07:08 AM   #4
Rubini
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capt_frank
I create a Silent Hunter IV profile and use these settings:

http://www.subsim.com/radioroom/showthread.php?t=127452

Works good for me, excellent frames.
Hi capt_frank,

I read your post...I really don't know if the 7900 card will also have any improvement when using the sttings that I write above. Anyhow the setting that really makes huge difference on image quality is this one:

- Compatibility page:
choose AA Compatibility 20000000: EA Strategy Games (this is what makes a huge difference in image quality, forcing the AA to be applyed to the entire scene. This is probably also the best solution for Flight sims)


Try it and let we know if this also works on your cards.
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Old 01-08-2008, 07:11 AM   #5
Rubini
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clayp
Does NHancer over ride the NV control panel....I have a 8800ULTRA..Do you think this would make my pic any better? Its pretty nice now...The rest of the system

Core 2 Duo X6800 @3.24
Asus Motherboard P5BDELUXEWIFI
OCZ 2Gig 15-5-5-5 memory kit DDR2 OCZ2N1066SR2GK 2 x 2 gig kits
(4 gigs total)
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 Ultra BFGE88768UE
Western Digital 160gig sata II 16mb
Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer SB0730VP
Cooler master CM Stacker 830 Silver
OCZ Gamer extreme PS 1010wat OCZ1010GXSSLI
Samsung Optical (DVD/CDRW)
Windows XP Pro 32bit SP2
Yes, nHancer will override any settings on the nVidia control Panel. If you use Nhancer you don't need to use nVidia control panel to adjust 3D settings. I use it (with ntune) just for overclocking and general video settings.
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Old 01-08-2008, 10:02 AM   #6
M. Sarsfield
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Good posts. I'll have to download nHancer and make some of these changes. I think my card is the 7600GT or 7900GT with 256MB memory. I usually get 30 fps rates unless it's stormy weather and I do get a sun halo and I'm pretty satisfied with the smoke. I probably have AA set to a low level, since it has given me problems in the past with other games... even with ATI cards.
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Old 01-08-2008, 02:17 PM   #7
capt_frank
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubini
Hi capt_frank,

I read your post...I really don't know if the 7900 card will also have any improvement when using the sttings that I write above. Anyhow the setting that really makes huge difference on image quality is this one:

- Compatibility page:
choose AA Compatibility 20000000: EA Strategy Games (this is what makes a huge difference in image quality, forcing the AA to be applyed to the entire scene. This is probably also the best solution for Flight sims)

Try it and let we know if this also works on your cards.
I don't have that compatability setting available, maybe it's not part of the selections due to the cards I use. So, I chose "general compatability" instead. I'll advise if my socks get blown off...

Thanks!
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Old 01-08-2008, 03:16 PM   #8
Rubini
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capt_frank
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubini
Hi capt_frank,

I read your post...I really don't know if the 7900 card will also have any improvement when using the sttings that I write above. Anyhow the setting that really makes huge difference on image quality is this one:

- Compatibility page:
choose AA Compatibility 20000000: EA Strategy Games (this is what makes a huge difference in image quality, forcing the AA to be applyed to the entire scene. This is probably also the best solution for Flight sims)

Try it and let we know if this also works on your cards.
I don't have that compatability setting available, maybe it's not part of the selections due to the cards I use. So, I chose "general compatability" instead. I'll advise if my socks get blown off...

Thanks!
Thanks for the info mate.
So, seems that not all cards have this option. For the 8xxx series this is the most important setting to acquire good image quality without others side effects or FPS hit.
Probably, old nvidia cards don't need it, as it is not available. :hmm:
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Old 01-08-2008, 03:22 PM   #9
M. Sarsfield
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I bought the 7000 series card because it was cheap, it fit into a PCIe slot, and it has SLI capability. My plan is to buy a second one and hook them both up.
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Old 01-09-2008, 11:05 AM   #10
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Thanks for the advice, last night applied this changes and may be the quality of the graphics didn't improve so much largely because they already were quite good in my 8800GTX; but one thing has definitely improved, now my crew members have eyes and they are not ghosts any more, before I could see through them, scary!
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Old 01-09-2008, 12:24 PM   #11
Rubini
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tale
Thanks for the advice, last night applied this changes and may be the quality of the graphics didn't improve so much largely because they already were quite good in my 8800GTX; but one thing has definitely improved, now my crew members have eyes and they are not ghosts any more, before I could see through them, scary!
Thanks for the reply.
The more important workaround of this NhancerxNvidiaxSilentHunter issue is that now we have that old Sun halo and smoke problems correctly sorted and well know (max 4x MSAA) and we find a way to apply the AA to the entire scene using that 20000000:EA Strategy Games compatibility setting. This is what you can expect from the above.
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Old 01-11-2008, 08:50 AM   #12
DavyJonesFootlocker
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I got back those jaggies again after uninstalling mods. I even re-installed the game and still looks bad. I used this NHancer and nothing.
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Old 01-11-2008, 11:53 AM   #13
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Default ????

Funny, I thought everything looked great. I'll try the nhancer and check back.

Why in all our screenie postings do the nVidia cards consistently have better renderings than ATI cards. Time after time ATI owners say that even though they don't see the solar halo they like their images. I have never encountered an nVidia owner saying they have a problem with sun halo, and seldom with any of the other problems mentioned. Color me skeptic, but I'm checking anyway.
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Old 01-11-2008, 11:59 AM   #14
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Thanks for the nHancer guide and tips. My view looks like a movie / photo-realistic now. Running a GTX 8800 ultra OC w. Nvidia latest drivers. Again, thanks.
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Old 01-11-2008, 12:26 PM   #15
Rubini
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockin Robbins
Funny, I thought everything looked great. I'll try the nhancer and check back.

Why in all our screenie postings do the nVidia cards consistently have better renderings than ATI cards. Time after time ATI owners say that even though they don't see the solar halo they like their images. I have never encountered an nVidia owner saying they have a problem with sun halo, and seldom with any of the other problems mentioned. Color me skeptic, but I'm checking anyway.
Hi mate,
I can't speak by others nVidia cards than my 8800GT, because before that I only had Voodoo3dfx and Ati ones. Then, at least the 8xxx series have the sun halo problem IF you use more than 4x AA or gama correction. Also the AA isn't applied at the entire scene by default. This is what is fixed using nHancer.

Ati cards in the other hand have a much better AA (SSAA) by default - what means better image quality and with good FPS - and until now I have noticed zero graphical problems in SH3/Sh4.

I'm not saying bad things about nVidia just the reality, is really hard to think that a so big company like nVidia have yet these type of problems /cheats in their drives. MSAA is really a true cheat, when we speak about image quality.
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