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  • 0
MonkeyMhz

~! Ultimate GTAIV Performance Fix !~

Question

MonkeyMhz

The Idea:

 

You've heard this rant a million times, GTAIV was future proofed all reflections and shadows are scaled with the resolution. A stupid yet seemingly unfix-able problem that makes the game a mess. Playing a game in 1024x768 or lower is not acceptable. If I wanted to do that I would pull out my P2/P3 with its 32/64mb graphic card. From looking at GTAIV, it has a lot of new technology but nothing that should struggle to run on 8800's or even 8600's. Its that resolution scaling, im sure of it!.

 

The Plan:

 

There must be a way to correct this mess. Lets look at our checklist.

 

- Configs/Settings Profiles in game directory? /fail.

- Will R*'s patch will add more options in? /fail.

 

Not long ago I figured out you can run in windowed mode in 800x600 and then stretch the window larger and it gets around R*'s quality scaling that would increase the reflection maps.etc that would lag the game and make objects/textures disappear and horrid pop-ins. It made the game look good because you weren't dealing with such a low resolution and the game played extremely well.

 

I wanted to look into this and see if you can achieve the same thing without stretched the window manually every time.

 

The Support:

 

After browsing the net, I noticed others used commandline.txt to set the size of their window, and some people have achieved resolutions over their memory limit without using -norestrictions and only using the resolution from the command lines. This instantly helped me find the answer I wanted.

 

How To Do It:

 

Theory:

Now my theory was that, if you have a memory limit on, and you enter a resolution in the command line that is unable to be achieved with that memory limit, it will still put you in that resolution, but the quality scaling will not be implemented. Therefore no disappearing objects/textures, no long or noticeable pop-in's, and less/no lag.

 

The trick is implementing the higher resolutions with you preferred graphic settings, by limiting your memory to just barely include the options you want, and then you force the resolution.

 

Steps:

 

1. Get rid of -nomemrestrict or any current commandlines you have. Run the game and let it die. When you run the game, go to the graphic options, turn your resolution to 800x600 or 1024x768 or whatever you want the reflection maps/resolution based quality to be at, I did 800x600 mainly because it looks simular to the rest and will give you the most performance. Use the rest of your memory budget in draw distance.etc.

 

2. If you cannot acheive the graphical settings you want with your currently memory budget do this next step. If you can, then you can skip this step.

 

make commandline.txt or append -availablevidmem (multiplier):

This command works like this, say I have 256mb vram. -availablevidmem 2.0 would make it say I have 512mb vram, its a multiplier.

 

So for getting our settings as we want it lets make a budget of 512mb vram, so -availablevidmem 2.0.

 

Open GTAIV, set resolution in the ingame settings to 800x600, set rest of the options to whatever you want (be reasonable).

 

Now continue to the next step.

 

3. Now you have your game set as you want it, but in a f-ugly resoltion, but we will fix that. Next step is to trick GTAIV, even people with 512mb graphic cards or even 1gb, this is even useful for them.

 

One of my buddies with a 8800GTX loves this tweak because it allows him to get much higher frames with very little to no graphical loss.

 

So now lets say all our desired settings ingame @ 800x600, use 650Mb. Ok. But say were now using a 1GB card so it says 650/1024Mb. This is a problem now because if we force -height 1080 -width 1920. We will end up with our ingame options changing to 1920x1080 giving us way more slowdowns because R* starts using that dam scaling reflection maps.etc with resolution.

 

So what we need to do now is limit the memory GTAIV sees to exactly the amount to run our game in 800x600 (or whatever quality refection maps.etc you want) with our desired settings.

 

So lets go back to our dilemma, we have a 1GB graphic card and the game only takes up 650mb with the settings we want in 800x600.

 

We can figure this out by doing some simple math.

1GB Card (650mb desired settings): 650/1024 = 0.635 (its 0.634 but give a tiny bit extra, just like a couple megabytes).

 

So you would use -availablevidmem 0.635 that would make the game detect you only have 650mb ram which barely fits the features you want in 800x600.

 

So now once we have figured that out your commandline.txt or your shortcut appending should look like this (depending on what resolution you want/your vidmem.etc):

 

-height 1080 -width 1920 -availablevidmem 0.65

 

and maybe you add stuff like (-framelimit, or -noblank or whatever).

*BUT DO NOT USE ANY UN-RESTRICTION (this includes the nomemrestrict and norestrictions or anything like that)!

 

4. Now when we start up our game. We will be in our desired resolution, and when we look in the game options it will say 800x600, even though we are in a way higher resolution and all your settings will be how you want them and your memory budget will be exactly the right amount or similar like 650/650 or 742/746.etc

 

Funny thing here you wont be able to go back cuz it will detect your memory budget is to low and the game is forcing a higher res, so you might not be able to leave the options screen now, so alt tab, and close the game. If all your settings looked right and it said 800x600 but was clearly in a higher res. Then you did everything right, if not, go retry.

 

5. Now restart the game and play. Yay, good fps, cheated GTAIV to not up the reflection quality with the resolution.

Additional Speed: If you happen to be running Vista x86/x64 and you have a directx10 capable graphic card. Do what elecg2 figured out. I tried creating empty/easy HLSL shaders and putting them in GTAIV to get rid of shadows and stuff but that didn't work.

 

However by doing what elecg2 tried, I got a huge performance increase,

 

Go to GTAIV folder, go into common, then shaders.

 

Backup everything in there <- !!!

 

Then copy the contents of win32_30_atidx10, and paste them into win32_30_nv8. Or just rename the folders, whatever makes you happy.

 

That gave me a significant performance boost and I have no graphical problems or abnormalities. Try it, if it causes you problems or decreased performance then just put it back to normal. With these steps you can get your game running beautifully in no time, or at least better than before.

 

Enjoy.

*Ill be adding screen shots tonight.

 

Please Sticky This, I'm tired of people complaining when the answer is right under their nose.

 

To do a test to actually see if you get any gain from this start your game with 800x600, rest settings how you want them, but start the game in windowed mode. Manually drag the window to your screen size. See if you have a performance increase there, if so. Then doing this big mess of text will help you achieve what you achieved there without having to start the game in windowed mode and manually resize it, thats all this thing does. If you don't get a gain from it then clearly this is no use to you. But it is use to a lot of people.

 

 

Now wheres my proof?

*Oh nice monkey, you showed us some screens but you have no proof!.

*Oh yes i do!.

 

Here the game is 800x600 in game options but tweaked to play at 1680x1050 (look at the highlights/sun reflection on the water):

http://img75.imageshack.us/img75/2272/shad...0stretchye9.jpg

 

Here is the game at 1680x1050 in game, no tweak (notice the waters highlights/sun reflection is not as stretched, higher res, because in the first screen we are cheating the reflections to not up with the res, also notice in the distance everything disappears):

http://img254.imageshack.us/img254/1943/sh...1050normjv4.jpg

 

And to keep things fair, in those water screens, the game was maxed, high textures, high render, full distance, full detail, hence the FPS remained 10 in both!.

 

I rather play the game in a higher res with no disappearing objects and no pop-ins with lower reflection maps, than the game in a high res with better reflection maps but everything disappears.

 

This tweak shmozzle does something!, so its not a placebo. I'm happily running the game 1280x800 with medium tex, hi rend, always in the 20s. So I honestly can care less if you believe me, the evidence is here that it will help someone and if you don't believe me then don't. Ill go enjoy my game while you can sit there and sob.

 

 

If your settings constantly reset, please use what ircmaster wrote:

 

If your graphics settings reset every time you start it up again just follow this quick fix:

 

(Note this is the Vista way, I'm not sure how to do it in XP)

 

1. Go into your C:\Users\YOURUSERNAME\AppData\Local\Rockstar Games\GTA IV\Settings folder

2. Delete everything that's in there

3. Start the game with your desired settings and settings shouldn't reset anymore

 

And I'm not lying or trying to ruin your game or anything. I got this off of the official GTA IV support website.

 

Btw, you know what pisses me off, R* could have added a single checkbox that says "Quality Resolution" and then you check it or uncheck it, checked it would up the reflections with the resolution unchecked it would just do what were doing by doing this whole frag feast of text. Lazy R* (do you wanna sell more games?). And a single check box would not make the options complicated!.

Edited by MonkeyMhz

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postem
Ok thats close enough so in your commandline.txt you should have

 

-height 900 -width 1400 -availablevidmem 1.0

 

or put whatever res you want with the -height and -width, do height first.

 

Now after you save that in the commandline.txt start the game up, check the graphic options, and it should have the same settings as before and the res should say 800x600 but you will be running in a higher res.

 

And please make sure you dont have -nomemrestrict or -norestrict bound to your shortcut. Or else that will ruin this, and it wont work.

 

*To test to make sure you don't have any un restrictions go in game without anything in the commandline.txt, and make sure it doesn't let you go over your memory limit.

if he have 512 and the -availablevidmem 1.0 is at, and with with definated height and weight it will not simply turn over to the maps related to the override res?

 

The only thing different is the amount of memory game says it need "extra" for each resolution so this is what goes for scaling and this way you are forcing to not happen?

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IveSearched

If your getting D3D error when doing this, its because of wrong refreshrate. Man this game cant do anything on its own lol.

 

At step 2, set 800x600 at a specific refreshrate ,that your monitor can also support at your desired resolution you enter at step 3 into the commandline. Like 60Hz or something. Gta has multiple choices of 800x600 each at a different refreshrate. Might as well.. also be sure the resolution is correct.

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DJ24966

Here is what it did when I restarted game after applying command line.

 

user posted image

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MonkeyMhz
so you set the ingame options to 800x600 then exit the game, and in commandline.txt type your desired resolution?? for example

 

 

-height 768 -width 1024 -availablevidmem 0.485

 

 

so that means i have exactly 238MB but every time the game loads up its in 1024x768 and saying warning, settings are too high

 

there isn't enough memory to go up a resolution from 800x600, but because of the 1024x768 in the commandline, the game is loading up with that resolution anyway, any ideas?

Yea, you got it. Your just tricking the GTAIV system to thinking you don't have enough memory to move your res up, so really its moving the res up forcefully but in game it cant so it leaves you with the reflection maps of the 800x600 setting.

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bukkit

i have done everything like u said . but , when i change the -height -weight in commandline , ill get the resolution also in the game's options menu.

 

i dont use any -NOrestriction commands or so.

 

i did it about 4 times and there is still no way that in the game stays 800x600

 

is there a possibility that theres a mistake in the tutorial ? (no offence fella , im thankfull for ur effort) but it simply dont work as ur saying

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MonkeyMhz

 

Here is what it did when I restarted game after applying command line.

 

user posted image

Ok, You did it, however you probably want that in game to say 800x600. Its cuz GTAIV does allow a little memory *space* in how much you can go over, limit your card a bit more perhaps -availablevidmem 0.95 or keep inching it down till your in game res doesn't pop over 800x600 or whatever you set it to.

 

So change that back to 800x600, exit the game. Go into the commandline.txt and set it to 0.95 for availablevidmem, then restart and see if it still pops over. If so try 0.90

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mcm1969

SIR THANK YOU !!! YOU MADE MY DAY !!!

 

i followed the instructions (YOU WROTE THEM VERY NICELY - EASY TO FOLLOW IF YOU'RE NOT A COMPLETE IDIOT)

 

....

 

i have a q6600 @ 2.4 ghz, a geforce 8600gt with 512 mb ram, 4 gigs of ram, running on xp pro sp3...

 

i nearly completed the game but for the last 3 days i didn't play it, as i was

playing on a 1024 x 768 resolution with view distance at 20, shadows at 4 and detail distance + vehicle density at

around 30,

texture quality medium, render quality high

and i barely got my average ~20fps... well, while doing regular missions / completing the storyline that wasnt

too much of a problem to mme.. but as soon i wanted to go on some rampage, that low fps really pissed me off...

 

then, DEAR SIR, i tried you rinstructions!!!!

 

NOW I AM PLAYIN AT SOME NICE 1280 x 1024, with the same texture and render quality, but with

draw distance @ 30, shadows @ 8 and detail + vehicle density @ 70.....

 

AND I'M CONSTANTLY AT ~ 27-30 FPS !!! HUGE BOOST FOR ME !!! AND I DON'T NOTICE ANY CHANGES IN QUALITY AT ALL !!

 

now i can even turn on the motion blur, without getting EYE CANCER !!!! motion blur @ 1024x768 SUCKED !!

 

but now i can actually use it !!!

 

SIR !! THANK YOU !!! YOU MADE MY DAY !!! f*ck COCKSTAR !!! i'd love to get myself a refund and give the money

to YOU lol as now i'm able to fully enjoy the game, thanks to your instructions!!

 

guys, you should DEFINITELY give this one a try, just follow instructions step by step..

 

i'd like to know about some results with a >8800+ card, as i'm gonna get myself a new gpu soon....

 

 

anyhow THANK YOU SIR !!!

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Vicetopia

After doing this, you won't be able to access your graphics menu anymore.

When you try to exit the screen it should ask "Do you want to apply settings?" If you say No, you get stuck in an infinite loop.

 

Which is why he told you to set everything before applying this 'tweak'.

A buggy graphics menu means it's working.

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diximage
i have done everything like u said . but , when i change the -height -weight in commandline , ill get the resolution also in the game's options menu.

Maybe you should set the width instead of weight. smile.gif

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mcm1969

i would like to add, that my english is not that good so i would be able to explain everything to you in detail...

 

just want to CONFIRM that this actually WORKS...

 

so if anyone who is GOOD in writing FAQS would try this - he will be quite surely able to help you guys through this process...

 

 

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MonkeyMhz
After doing this, you won't be able to access your graphics menu anymore.

When you try to exit the screen it should ask "Do you want to apply settings?" If you say No, you get stuck in an infinite loop.

 

Which is why he told you to set everything before applying this 'tweak'.

A buggy graphics menu means it's working.

Yea thats the down side if you go to the graphics menu ur stuck ctrl alt delete. lol.

But thats ok, once you have it set happily you don't really needa go back there.

 

And currently for anyone interested im fiddling around with motion blur. I wanna get the motion blur working but so it activates at higher speed. Cuz I like it when im driving, but when im standing still/running around I don't like the textures being butchered to fuglyness.

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bukkit
i have done everything like u said . but , when i change the -height -weight in commandline , ill get the resolution also in the game's options menu.

Maybe you should set the width instead of weight. smile.gif

mercie_blink.gif sure i know , just my crappy english , i did it right

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MelvinB

What's the multiplier for a 4870X2 2GB?

 

I cranked up the graphical settings to the highest settings and it's using then around the 1440mb of vid. memory. This outlined in orange, but anyway.... smile.gif

 

 

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TeaBeeCZ

I've just managed it but haven't tested for longer time, I'll see if there are no more "all of a sudden" missing textures after some playing time. I will report...

 

BTW super idea, man.

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MonkeyMhz
What's the multiplier for a 4870X2 2GB?

 

I cranked up the graphical settings to the highest settings and it's using then around the 1440mb of vid. memory. This outlined in orange, but anyway.... smile.gif

Well if you have 2048 VRAM, and its taking up 1440. Id say try:

 

-availablevidmem 0.705

 

See if that will do the trick.

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postem

And currently for anyone interested im fiddling around with motion blur. I wanna get the motion blur working but so it activates at higher speed. Cuz I like it when im driving, but when im standing still/running around I don't like the textures being butchered to fuglyness.

What you mean with "motion blur" ? How do you activate it? Because if you are talking about that "P" blur that is sh*t, just make things worse

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MonkeyMhz

And currently for anyone interested im fiddling around with motion blur. I wanna get the motion blur working but so it activates at higher speed. Cuz I like it when im driving, but when im standing still/running around I don't like the textures being butchered to fuglyness.

What you mean with "motion blur" ? How do you activate it? Because if you are talking about that "P" blur that is sh*t, just make things worse

Exactly, using P looks nice when your driving fast but terrible when your walking around. I'm gonna try to make it so it blurs when your going fast in your car. But not blur at any other time, I'm sure fiddling with the settings for the mo-blur in the visualsettings.dat can get it just right ill let you guys know if i make any headway on that.

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FredFredrickson

Let's say you do this trick...and it works. (with say -availablevidmem 0.705)

 

Is there any reason you couldn't change your available memory limit to even less, say .25 (or 25%) and get even higher performance?

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Raidx44
i have done everything like u said . but , when i change the -height -weight in commandline , ill get the resolution also in the game's options menu.

Maybe you should set the width instead of weight. smile.gif

lol

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bukkit

@MonkeyMhz

 

my commandline.txt is blank , i start the game , set the resolution to 800x600 (60Hz)

 

in the memory line stands : 676/739 (i have 8800GTX)

 

shut it down

 

then i edit my commandline, so it looks exactly like this : -height 1050 -width 1400 -availablevidmem 0.916 and save it

 

i start the game : go to the graphic settings , and the resolution is set to 1400x1050 and im way over the video memory XXX/677

 

- so where is the problem ?

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DJ24966

No matter what the menu goes back to 1024 * 768... and performs even worse than before... I was getting 15 fps before, now can't even hit 10..

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postem
Let's say you do this trick...and it works. (with say -availablevidmem 0.705)

 

Is there any reason you couldn't change your available memory limit to even less, say .25 (or 25%) and get even higher performance?

You must limit to some quantity of memory that meets one of the resultions, like 640x460 or 800x600. What is happening is that the tweak denies the capacity of the game of scaling the maps, which consumes more memory; so you need to limit it to some memory quantity need to run at certain res.

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MonkeyMhz
@MonkeyMhz

 

my commandline.txt is blank , i start the game , set the resolution to 800x600 (60Hz)

 

in the memory line stands : 676/739 (i have 8800GTX)

 

shut it down

 

then i edit my commandline, so it looks exactly like this : -height 1050 -width 1400 -availablevidmem 0.916 and save it

 

i start the game : go to the graphic settings , and the resolution is set to 1400x1050 and im way over the video memory XXX/677

 

- so where is the problem ?

Make sure you don't have -norestrictions, your game should not be able to go much over your GPUs VRAM, unless if you have no restrictions or nomemrestrict. Which would cause this whole process to not work. Ill add screen shots on what to do when I get home, incase if your mis reading the instructions (I know its hard to explain).

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r0b
so you set the ingame options to 800x600 then exit the game, and in commandline.txt type your desired resolution?? for example

 

 

-height 768 -width 1024 -availablevidmem 0.485

 

 

so that means i have exactly 238MB but every time the game loads up its in 1024x768 and saying warning, settings are too high

 

there isn't enough memory to go up a resolution from 800x600, but because of the 1024x768 in the commandline, the game is loading up with that resolution anyway, any ideas?

Yea, you got it. Your just tricking the GTAIV system to thinking you don't have enough memory to move your res up, so really its moving the res up forcefully but in game it cant so it leaves you with the reflection maps of the 800x600 setting.

i thought the in game options were supposed to say 800x600 even though the resolution was whatever you put in the commandline, but im still seeing this

 

user posted image

 

i'm only getting about 14fps with this setting, am i doing something wrong or is my computer just beyond help? tounge2.gif

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MonkeyMhz
No matter what the menu goes back to 1024 * 768... and performs even worse than before... I was getting 15 fps before, now can't even hit 10..

That shouldn't be happening set your available vid mem to 0.5 half your 512. Now go in game, set it to 800x600 then use the rest of your memory budget on draw distance. It should not let you exceed your memory size. Now when you exit and add -height -width. With your desired res, when you go in game, it should still say 800x600. If not then the VRAM must be increasing cuz 1024x768 takes more VRAM on the counter than 800x600. And if you don't have norestrictions or memrestrict on then it should not let the VRAM go much over. If your VRAM is shooting over like 300/243 then obviously you have no restrictions on somewhere and you must get rid of that.

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MonkeyMhz

 

so you set the ingame options to 800x600 then exit the game, and in commandline.txt type your desired resolution?? for example

 

 

-height 768 -width 1024 -availablevidmem 0.485

 

 

so that means i have exactly 238MB but every time the game loads up its in 1024x768 and saying warning, settings are too high

 

there isn't enough memory to go up a resolution from 800x600, but because of the 1024x768 in the commandline, the game is loading up with that resolution anyway, any ideas?

Yea, you got it. Your just tricking the GTAIV system to thinking you don't have enough memory to move your res up, so really its moving the res up forcefully but in game it cant so it leaves you with the reflection maps of the 800x600 setting.

i thought the in game options were supposed to say 800x600 even though the resolution was whatever you put in the commandline, but im still seeing this

 

user posted image

 

i'm only getting about 14fps with this setting, am i doing something wrong or is my computer just beyond help? tounge2.gif

True, but again GTAIV gave u about 20mb *space* over the counter. So limit ur GPU a bit more so it wont have the budget to go over 800x600. The difference from 800x600 to 1024x768 is a couple megabytes, so its tricky to get ur GPU to limit so the game cant go over 800x600, but if u keep lowering your GPU limit you will get it.

Edited by MonkeyMhz

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MelvinB

Well,

 

In my case i hate the lower quality of textures etc, so i probably would restore that.

Also, after 10 minutes i get a BSOD and i have to reboot my pc manually.

 

So i think i have to tweak the available vid. mem.

 

The says i have 1011mb by default. 1011MB is not the "official" 1024mb.

Let's see what happens when i use 2022mb instead of 2048mb, with a slightly different multiplier.

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MonkeyMhz
Well,

 

In my case i hate the lower quality of textures etc, so i probably would restore that.

Also, after 10 minutes i get a BSOD and i have to reboot my pc manually.

 

So i think i have to tweak the available vid. mem.

 

The says i have 1011mb by default. 1011MB is not the "official" 1024mb.

Let's see what happens when i use 2022mb instead of 2048mb, with a slightly different multiplier.

Well yea use the multiplier thats on your cards exact mb that the game detects, you have to inch it down till you get it right.

 

Btw what does the BSOD say, cuz this should not in anyway be able to cause a BSOD. And also when the game says 800x600 when your running at a higher res. Its not decreasing the texture quality. I believe the things that scale with resolution are the shadow maps, reflection maps, environment maps, and possibly some shaders.

 

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Chroniss

 

@MonkeyMhz

 

my commandline.txt is blank , i start the game , set the resolution to 800x600 (60Hz)

 

in the memory line stands :  676/739  (i have 8800GTX)

 

shut it down

 

then i edit my commandline, so it looks exactly like this : -height 1050 -width 1400 -availablevidmem 0.916 and save it

 

i start the game : go to the graphic settings , and the resolution is set to 1400x1050 and im way over the video memory XXX/677

 

- so where is the problem ?

Same as this guy, followed the instructions, the command line is exactly : -novblank -height 900 -width 1440 -availablevidmem 1.83 -refreshrate 70

 

Its showing the resolution in game, and over memory: (Uses 890 for 800x600)

 

user posted image

 

I'm not stuck in the settings screen btw, the options can be changed and such without problems, and theres nothing on removing memory restrictions.

Edited by Chroniss

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Raidx44
Well,

 

In my case i hate the lower quality of textures etc, so i probably would restore that.

Also, after 10 minutes i get a BSOD and i have to reboot my pc manually.

 

So i think i have to tweak the available vid. mem.

 

The says i have 1011mb by default. 1011MB is not the "official" 1024mb.

Let's see what happens when i use 2022mb instead of 2048mb, with a slightly different multiplier.

you are the one with the 4870x2 right?

 

Maybe (just a big maybe) since the game doesnt seem to really like crossfire/sli config

Maybe you should try using a limit of 1gig of vmem

 

cause a 4870X2 is in fact something like 2 4870 1gig crossfired on the same board

 

its just a supposition

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