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GTA IV patches comparison / ENBSeries downscaling


Harry Lloyd

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Harry Lloyd

I made a video comparing the main three versions of GTA IV. It's mostly focused on shadows, but also features some visual glitches. I captured the clips a long time ago, but I finally put it all together.

 

The description also contains some tips, which I think might help find the optimal configuration for this game.

 

 

 

I also captured the intro cutscene rendered at 3840x2160 and downscaled to Full HD with ENBSeries.

 

I'll capture some gameplay as well, but at a lower resolution, because my machine can't fully handle recording in this extreme mode.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Q78-Nazx50

 

Feel free to share these videos at other GTA IV websites, maybe someone will find them useful.

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Can you add downscaling without changing the textures, lighting, or shadows with a mod? I'm trying add anti antialiasing, but I want to keep everything else in the game looking exactly like the regular version. Can you do this with ENB?

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Harry Lloyd

Yes. You just have to turn the effects off (UseEffect=false). I don't like any of the visual effects of this mod, I only use it for downscaling.

 

Patch 1.0.5.0 or older is required, doesn't work with newer patches. Also doesn't work with EfLC at all.

 

 

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Thanks. Do you think a GTX 560 with 2gb of video ram would be a good card? I want to run it at 3840x2160 maxed out (maybe with some of the slider settings at 75 instead of 100) with no mods.

 

I've decided to get an NVIDIA because it seems like the game tends to run better with them.

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Harry Lloyd

Yes, this game runs a lot better on NV cards, and there are less visual glitches.

 

GTX 560 is a very good card, and 2 GiB of memory is sufficient for this resolution. Though it might not be fast enough to keep the framerate above 30 all the time, but this game is playable even 20-25 FPS, and these are just occasional drops.

 

There's one more issue with downscaling - menu isn't downscaled right after you run the game. You have to load the savegame (Start button is selected automatically), then everything returns to normal, everything is downscaled and visible, you cen easily adjust all settings.

 

Also, use version 0.079. Downscaling doesn't work properly in newer ones.

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I reported about same problems when patch 1.6 was released. Rockstar really owe us patch 8 with render from patch 5 because 6 and 7 terrible.

 

But you did one mistake dude - texture and object popins ins patch 6 and 7 are much more worse than in any previous version. Thats how R* reduced 300mb of VRAM - they simply cut draw distance of everything and totally screwed game. Unfortunately episodes dont work with version bellow 6 otherwise i would use patch 5 (well it have annoying floating textures bugs, but its better than patch 3 performance-vice).

 

You can compare render distance of same objects in pre patch 6 and patch 6 - 7. I can give you warrant that 100\100\100 in 6&7 in lower than 50\50\50.

It seems that new shadow renderer of patch 6 -7 so slow, so decided to gain performance by cutting distance of objects.

 

I also noticed that shadows in 6 & 7 not smooth, they are blocky, and when i rotate camera, they looks like there are 2-4 layers of shadow with a bit different angle, because they could be displaced relative to each, so i have idea that new shadow algorithm uses kinda double shadow rendering to make fake feeling of smoothness, and this hurts performance more than old shadows.

Also very high shadows are addin additional detail layer, like that line you mentioned, but render distance of this extra detail layer if very short.

 

We really need to enhance render distance of everything and fix shadow by editing shaders and perhaps with help of memory hack via dll hook, because i doubt R* Toronto will ever release patch 8 and undo damage they did. They are pretty busy with RDR pc port now)

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Harry Lloyd
They are pretty busy with RDR pc port now)

Really? Is that confirmed?

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Should be confirmed soon, because as i know RDR pc release date set in august 2011.

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Turning definition OFF adds that blurring effect, right? What happens if you turn definition ON while you are downscaling (to remove the blurring effect)?

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Harry Lloyd

You get even more aliasing than there normally is at the resolution you are downscaling to. The blurring takes place before the image is downscaled, that's why it does such a great job of antialiasing most of the edges.

 

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I guess it's not so bad then, the blurring does sort of make it look cinematic.

 

 

Another graphics card question. For GTA4 with would you be better of with a GTX 570 with 1280mb vram, of 560 2gb? The 570 is faster, but it doesnt have enough vram to max it out. Is the 560 fast enough to get at least 40 frames per second with downscaling, if I put the view distance and detail distance at 75 out of 100?

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Harry Lloyd

No, you won't get 40 FPS (not constant at least) at 3840x2160 with the 560, probably not even with the 570. I have a GTX 460 and usually get like 20-25 FPS, sometimes more, sometimes less. These two cards aren't twice as fast. I think I'd still choose the 560 because of the VRAM, it's a fast card, especially when you overclock it (or get a factory overclocked one). This game is very playable at low framerates, you should be ok.

 

I also don't recommend increasing the View/Detail distance too high. The higher you set it, the more objects popping you'll get when suddenly moving the camera. When you look behind you at 100, you'll the half the world appearing before your eyes. That's not a memory related problem, seems to be an engine problem. Sam thing happens in all RAGE games on consoles, and this being a sh*tty port they probably didn't do anything about it on the PC.

 

 

I actually really like the motion blur in this game, it's only present when driving fast, and it's not as intensive with most other cars, as they're much slower than this supercar in my video. When you're stationary, only the edges are blurred at very high resolutions, textures aren't affected, at least it's not visible (you can see that 1280x720 defON and 2560x1440 defOFF look similar in terms of sharpness, and the higher the resolution, the sharper the downcaled image).

You can see in the intro video how sharp it is, and Definition is ALWAYS turned OFF for cutscenes, no matter what you set in the options.

 

Edited by Harry Lloyd
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Yeah that makes sense, then the 560 2gb is probably the better choice. Its $70 cheaper and fast enough for most new games at 1080p with 4x anti aliasing.

 

It will be interesting to see what NVIDIA SRAA is like, whenever that comes out. It's basically their answer to AMD's MLAA, which is certainly better than nothing. There's already some footage of SRAA out there with the BF3 Frostbite 2 engine using it.

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Harry Lloyd

Frostbite 2.0 actually has its own MLAA algorithms implemented, that why it should work rather well in games using this engine, but these filters work better in higher resolutions, similar to RAGE's Definition, except that's just a blur filter.

I was surprised when I saw that Frostbite 2.0 didn't support normal antialiasing methods like MSAA. After all, there's no compatibility problem between MSAA and deferred rendering in DX11, and even DX9 games are starting to overcome this (Crysis 2, NFS Hot Pursuit).

 

I'm also curious about SRAA. I testes MLAA on AMD in GTA IV, and it wasn't too impressive at 1920x1080, but it's better than nothing. What I didn't like was that I had to turn Definition ON for MLAA to work properly, which meant giving up motion blur.

 

I'd still prefer Boris to improve the ENBSeries downscaling, because it gives a pretty much perfect result, even though it needs a really fast graphics card. The next 28 nm generation should easily achieve high framerates at 3840x2160.

 

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Harry Lloyd
1.0.4.0 is the best. hands down

Well, it probably depends on the hardware used.

 

I tested all versions except for 1.0.1.0 and 1.0.2.0, and I found version 1.0.3.0 to work best on my PC, altough the difference between this one, 1.0.4.0 and 1.0.5.0 was minimal. It's not really possible to play the game in exactly the same way every time, there's always somethg different out there, so in reality there might not be any performance difference at all between these three versions.

What's important is that they're all a lot better than the latest patches.

 

 

 

By the way, my new site is up and running. It's more of a gaming profile, but I'll publish my videos there, as well as screenshot galleries and articles - mini-reviews and guides.

Right now it's very limited, but I should add more stuff soon.

 

I hope you find something you like over there. Don't be shy to share the address anywhere you like. wink.gif

 

Link - http://www.hearselands.com/THU31/

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