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Joined: 7th May 2014
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29th Sep 2014



This thread has been created so that so we can give you guys the best chance of running the VIRTUALITY™ 4 ENGINE as efficiently as possible.

So there is 4 parts to this guide you can use none/all or a combo of these.
Please post any tweaks you may have and well get it added/credited. 

First of all make a backup - most important step!

Update; The overclocking part of this guide has been removed.

Video Settings
--- 1. Video Settings --- The higher the better!

We have found even with low end systems the best way of running arma and getting that essential 30fps (or more) is spreading the load both on CPU and GPU, turns out arma on lower settings runs very CPU heavy. So for an instant boost try the following settings; 

Sampling: Use 100% unless you have a very specific reason. *
Texture Quality (HDD/GPU): High to Ultra, High stops a lot of the building pop-in Ultra basically eliminates it.**
Objects Quality (CPU/GPU): High to Ultra,, on a higher setting will reduce object pop-in but comes at the cost of frames.**
Terrain Quality (CPU/GPU): Standard to High, higher means more frame lag for not much gain visually or otherwise.**

Shadow Quality (GPU): DISABLED or High+, lower settings seem to be worse, Ultra seems to give best performance.
Particles Quality (GPU): Standard or High, Ultra seems to have no effect on frames.
Cloud Quality (GPU): Low, this setting is superfluous unless you are really into flying.
PIP (GPU): Low or DISABLED, while better than it was previously keep in mind that it still consumes a lot of frames while driving for a cosmetic effect.

HDR (GPU): Low has better performance.
Dynamic Lights (GPU): Low or High, Ultra seems to have no effect on frames.

Overall (CPU/HDD/GPU): Use something like 1050 as Low, 1600 as Standard, 2150 as High, 2700 as Very High and 3800 as Ultra.**
Object (CPU/HDD/GPU): Use something like 858 as Low, 1105 as Standard, 1353 as High, 1601 as Very High and 2097 as Ultra.**
Shadow (GPU): Leave as 100 or off.

* nVidia users can test setting Sampling to 200% and Anti-Aliasing to x2 for better performance than AA at x8.
** These settings have the largest effect on your performance.

Display Mode: Use Full screen window if you are streaming, else Full screen is fine.
Resolution: Max this, it is almost always better to run at native resolution.
Aspect Ratio: Change this to match your monitor.
VSYNC: Set to DISABLED unless you are experiencing screen-tearing or somehow have a high spec 60+ FPS computer.
Interface Size: Up to your personal preference.

Brightness: Up to your personal preference.
Gamma: Up to your personal preference.

Bloom (GPU): Purely cosmetic, set to whatever you'd like recommended 100.
Radial Blur (GPU): motion blur on objects, recommend off or 25.
Rotation Blur (GPU): motion blur, recommend off or 12.5.
Depth of Field (GPU): is the blur effect you get when trying to look beyond your rifle or other object, recommend off or 25.
SSAO (GPU): attempts to approximate the way light radiates in real life, recommend off for performance gain.
Caustics (GPU): light rays under certain situations like on the seabed, recommend off for performance gain.

Anti-aliasing (GPU): Shouldn't lose much performance having on x4 as compared to x2 (x8 is for over 1080p), if while scoped there is an FPS drop lower the setting. ***
AToC (GPU): Set to DISABLED or Trees only, Grass may make your scope lag.
PPAA (GPU): DISABLED or SMAA High to Ultra, Ultra will likely not impact performance. ***
Anisotropic Filtering (GPU): High to Ultra, will most likely not impact or increase performance.
*** if you disable AA and use just SMAA you should get a similar look but improved performance.

Of course, use whats right for you this is only a guide to the best FPS we have found/tested/use personally!

Config file mods
--- 2. Arma3.config/YOURNAME.Arma3Profile--- (don't be scared well see u right) 

Look under; C:\Users\YOURNAME\Documents\Arma 3

First of all make a backup - most important step!

Then get this program;  http://notepad-plus-plus.org/

There are two files, Arma3.config and "yourname".Arma 3.Profile
You also may need to edit any other profiles in that folder.

Now take a look in those files for screen complexity, now this can be lowered for a boost in FPS however I am not sure
exactly what the setting should be, now I can tell you the settings us guys use but please do so at your own risk.

I set my Scene complexity to 150,000 - so it would be written as 150000. Please make backups before saving this.

GPU_MaxFramesAhead=4; This may help smooth your frames and/or increase performance, try settings 1-4.
GPU_DetectedFramesAhead=0; This may help smooth your frames and/or increase performance.
refresh=120; This will make VSync work better if you need it.

Its all trial and error here, if anything isn't right the game with crash to desktop so just paste back your backup and start the tweaking again, possibly post your configs here guys, any help is still valid.

Launch Parameters
--- 3. Launch Parameters --- Please look at your own hardware and choose carefully!

You can also use the start up parameters to increase performance slightly by right-clicking ArmA 3 in Steam > Properties > Set Launch Options and entering the following.

-cpuCount= set this to however many physical CPU's you have, usually either 2, 4 or 6.****
-exThreads= Correct info coming soon, need to test. Ballpark settings are use 7 for high end quad core CPU, 3 or 5 for mid range quad core CPU and 1 or 3 for Dual Cores. Stay tuned for updated testing results. ****
-maxMem= set this to 2047 or about 1GB (1024) less than your maximum RAM, I am not sure if higher values have an effect as I'm pretty sure 2GB is the maximum.
-maxVram= this option will tell ArmA how much Video RAM your graphics card has, not really important for it to know however.
-noBenchmark mainly for the development build this option disables any bench marking that ArmA automatically does.
-noLogs mainly for the development build this option disables any logging that ArmA automatically does.
-noPause Does not pause the ArmA window when alt-tabbed in Full screen window mode, good for multi-taskers and streamers.
-noSplash gets rid of the intro stuff at start up.
-world=empty Starts up the game faster as it loads empty level.

So for instance my startup parameters look like;

For some one with a Core2Duo and A lowend Nvidia card 
-cpuCount=2 -exThreads=2 -maxMem=2047 -maxVram=512 -noBenchmark -noLogs -noPause -noSplash -world=empty

Someone with a decent system (say 8 core AMD and a HD7850) should use this;
-cpuCount=8 -exThreads=7 -maxMem=4096 -maxVram=2048 -noBenchmark -noLogs -noPause -noSplash -world=empty


NOTE - if your a lucky person who plays Arma 3 Epoch then you can pop those in to the the mod also for a boost.

Contig.exe guide
--- 4. Contig.exe ---

This is a free program that you may use for personal use only.

Contig is a single-file derangement that attempts to make files contiguous on disk. Its perfect for quickly optimizing files that are continuously becoming fragmented, or that you want to ensure are in as few fragments as possible. 

This is really easy to use and you can use it for all sorts of programs and games but for now well focus on Arma 3.

So this is the simplest method of usage;

Copy the Contig in to C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common/Arma3.

Then right click it and select "send to desktop" (or creat a dekstop shortcut in your own method). switch to your desktop and then go to the properties of said shortcut and pop a space - and then an S so it will look like this in the target field; 

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Arma 3\Contig.exe" -s

So once again change; C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Arma 3\Contig.exe

To this; C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Arma 3\Contig.exe -s

So when thats done just double click and leave the program to work. When its done it will disappear and that's it. Simple yet effective, the PC version of GTA IV runs a good 10-15 fps better because of this little tweak. Its proven/virus free and poses no threat to hardware or software.

Find it here;  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/sysinternals/bb897428.aspx

So that's it guys, a short but sweet guide to getting the most of the VIRTUALITY™ 4 engine. 

I hope you get a better FPS and general Arma 3 experience.

Just please keep in mind some lag is server side and cant be avoided!


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