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3rr0r

GTA IV is the worst PC port of all time

Question

3rr0r

Hello folks,

Iam here to once again rage a little bit on this optimization thread.

GTA IV is a game which is almost 5 years old now. And still, yes, still hasn't been optimized.

I remember buying this game and the EFLC expansion on day one when they were released for PC.

I remember the game had quite a lot of bugs and optimizations issues, I played it on medium settings on my computer back then (C2D 8500 ~ 4.06 GHz, 8800 512 gts updated to nvidia 295 GTX in 2010, 8 GB ram and win 7 64bit ). Even then I was experiencing a lot of stuttering , but I finished the game and both expansions with almost 90% completition on all of them (I never quite managed to get all those pigeons and the other collectibles in those two expansions)

But I was having fun nevertheless, despite that utterly bad optimization.

And now after 3 years I finally managed to buy a new very high end computer, the specs are as follows

MB: Asus Maximus V Formula

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K ~ 4.6 GHz

GPU: Gigabyte GTX670OC-2GD SLI

RAM: 4x4 GB Kingston 2133 Mhz DDR3

SC: SB X-Fi Titanium Champion

OS: Windows 7 ultimate x64

SSD: 240 GB C4 crucial

And after installing the game on the pc I was disgusted by the performance, I mean with everything maxed out I only get around 50 fps with fps drops to unpayable 30 or 25 fps...

Vastly frustrated I uninstalled it immediatelly afterwards and the one thing left was a sharp and sour feeling of helplessness...

I was very pissed off at the decision made by rockstar not to announce the new GTA V for PC, but now Iam happy, because we won't be getting this same unoptimized garbage on PC again and I won't be disappointed and disillusioned as I was with GTA IV, don't get me wrong fellas, I still rate this game very high on my personal top10 list.

I apologize for the long text, but hopefully somebody will read it and endorse it.

Iam off to play some Max Payne 3 and Tomb Raider, two recent games that are actually beautifully optimized and nicely ported on PC with dx11 effects and all the goodies that we , the PC folk like.

Thank you for the space to express my frustration and I bid you farewell in your endeavours icon14.gif

Edited by 3rr0r

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luceberg

Even with that machine, putting all graphics settings on max is not recommended. Use all settings on high, turn off night shadows and use moderate view, detail distance and traffic. Use commandlines -reservedApp 0 and -memrestrict to control popin and stutter. With my machine, which is less powerful than your's, I can run it 99% perfectly in hd, always above 30fps, mostly 40-50fps. You simply cannot compare this game to Max Payne 3 or Tomb Raider, which is not even open world.

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3rr0r

I tried everything, even lowering the graphics to medium settings on my machine and decreasing the draw distance and detail visibility I still can't get a stable 50 fps, I tried to use those commands with no effect whatsoever...

It is not a validate excuse that it is an open world game, it shouldn't be so badly and utterly optimized...

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luceberg

It is not possible to get a stable framerate in this game because the amount happening varies continuously. To my eyes, a framerate over 30 and mostly higher looks fluid. I don't ask more than that.

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3rr0r
It is not possible to get a stable framerate in this game because the amount happening varies continuously. To my eyes, a framerate over 30 and mostly higher looks fluid. I don't ask more than that.

Well then you should consider playing on console, we, the PC community enjoy flawless and rather fluid gameplay, fps around 120 with our 144 Hz monitors...

30 fps on a PC is unplayable, try playing the new most wanted on 30 fps or some fps for that matter, far cry 3 or crysis 3 on 30 fps on PC, it is unplayable.

 

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cp1dell
It is not possible to get a stable framerate in this game because the amount happening varies continuously. To my eyes, a framerate over 30 and mostly higher looks fluid. I don't ask more than that.

Well then you should consider playing on console, we, the PC community enjoy flawless and rather fluid gameplay, fps around 120 with our 144 Hz monitors...

30 fps on a PC is unplayable, try playing the new most wanted on 30 fps or some fps for that matter, far cry 3 or crysis 3 on 30 fps on PC, it is unplayable.

30FPS is perfectly fine. It doesn't make the game "unplayable." You're being picky.

 

That aside, I agree it's terribly optimized and just plain f*cky. I don't think it's ever going to be fixed. It has to be something within the source code, and part of it being the fact that it's a port from the consoles. This is why Red Dead Redemption wasn't ported, because the code was a mess and wouldn't function on a PC. Max Payne 3 works flawlessly though because it was developed separately.

 

I can only see this ever being fixed if someone ever makes a mod that optimizes it, if that's even possible. What really irks me is when someone suggests to use some command lines and they don't bother mentioning what they do, why you should use them, and why it fixes the game's optimization - where based on some of the command's descriptions, they don't sound like they should optimize the game.

 

I don't even know how some people manage to run this game on max settings, especially if they're using something like Ice Enhancer. I guess it's just a hit or miss.

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nkjellman

NFS Carbon is much worse. Cant get above 5 FPS on low settings. Saints Row 2 has its fair share of issues too, really just the speed up issue.

 

However, IV is bad too. The game's max FPS for me is around 15 to 25. Later it gets laggy and gets around 5 to 15. Every fix I try doesn't work. Lowering the graphics increases the time I get 15 to 25 FPS, but it still lowers down to 5 to 15 at some point.

 

I have:

-Windows 7 (x86) (From before)/Windows 7 (x64)/Windows 8 (x64) (I duel boot. No difference on ether OS, and no difference from when I only had one OS.)

-6GB of RAM (Before I had 4GB, and it made no difference.)

-1920x1080 monitor

-GTX 460 Nvidia Graphics Card

-AMD Phenom II (2.3GHz/Quad Core)

 

Other games including Saints Row The Third, Cry Engine 3, Mafia 2, etc all run maxed out at 60+ FPS.

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3rr0r

reply to "cp1dell"

well I can't figure out how can someone play the game with the ienhancer too...the base game is an unoptimized mess and adding those visual goodies really makes it worse, I tried it few years back and it was a terrible slideshow event.

I don't know for sure but I think RDR runs on an updated rage engine with improved euphoria physics engine. Red Dead Redemption is one of those games that will stay a console exclusive forever, I beat it last summer on my PS3 that I bought in the sumer of 2012, however I couldn't figure out the gamepad controlls and movement/aim coordination on the analog sticks so I used an eagle eye to play with a mouse and keyboard and I enjoyed it thoroughly, RDR is probably the best open world game I have ever played.

However I can't agree with the 30 fps being playable, every game on PC must have at least 60 fps minimum.

As for the command lines, I used the memrestrict command back then when I had a gtx295 and an SLI 8800 GTS setup to have more memory bandwidth. But overall those commands are uselless without the description of what they actually do tbh...

 

 

reply to "nkjellman"

I agree, Saints Row 2 was a really, really bad port. I played a bit of Saints Row 3 and it was not really an imporvement to SR2 performance wise...

I was also getting that terrible lag in GTA IV as you described, mainly in the LAD and TBOGT espansions, after a couple of minutes of playing I was getting these terrible lag spikes, like I was playing online or something...Even if I lowered the graphics to low and set everything to minimum I still couldn't reach a stable 50 fps, I benchmarked it and got an average fps of 36....Bear in mind that GTA IV was runnig better with only one gtx 670 enabled, if I turned on the SLI the performance went down rapidly...

Edited by 3rr0r

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reroll

Runs pretty great on my setup, all settings maxed, 6060 x 1200 res, just a single 680 4gb

 

user posted image

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lydianduck

I find that hard to believe, I also have a 680 (paired with a [email protected]) and maxed out at 1080p I drop to around 25 fps with huge explosions during rainy weather. I can't imagine what it would be like at that outrageous resolution...

 

It did ran ok when downsampled from 3200x1800 and capped at 30fps, but that's about it. The OP is right, it IS terribly optimized.

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SlaveZer0
Runs pretty great on my setup, all settings maxed, 6060 x 1200 res, just a single 680 4gb

 

user posted image

very nice, very nice indeed

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unc13bud

me three. saints row 2 was awful. and corny.

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AngryGamer94

The game is a goddamn mess. angry.gif

5 freaking years later and i still can't run it smoothly maxed out.It's not just the performance issues either,there's always something going on.Sometimes the game crashes,other times i can't run it at all.Then there's the pop ins and the stuttering and the low fps.

5 years,countless installations,dozens of hours of tweaking and googling,thousands of euros spent on hardware(i am not joking here) and i still haven't finished the goddamn game.

Yes i logged in just to post this.(don't bother responding i am not going to visit this site again)

f*ck that.I am done with this f*cking game.I am trowing it in the trash.

Next time i am buying the console version.

 

P.S:Oh and if you are wondering here are my current specs:

Core i7 [email protected]:I went from a dual core to i7 920 and eventually to this just for this game.Although it's true the hexa core does come in handy in vegas pro and photoshop so at least i got something good out of it.

32GB RAM-1866Mhz

GTX Titan:I went from a hd 4870 to a gtx 280 then a gtx 580 then a gtx 680 and eventually a Titan mostly for this game.(I figured the extra vram would help.)

 

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tomi19
The game is a goddamn mess. angry.gif

5 freaking years later and i still can't run it smoothly maxed out.It's not just the performance issues either,there's always something going on.Sometimes the game crashes,other times i can't run it at all.Then there's the pop ins and the stuttering and the low fps.

5 years,countless installations,dozens of hours of tweaking and googling,thousands of euros spent on hardware(i am not joking here) and i still haven't finished the goddamn game.

Yes i logged in just to post this.(don't bother responding i am not going to visit this site again)

f*ck that.I am done with this f*cking game.I am trowing it in the trash.

Next time i am buying the console version.

 

P.S:Oh and if you are wondering here are my current specs:

Core i7 [email protected]:I went from a dual core to i7 920 and eventually to this just for this game.Although it's true the hexa core does come in handy in vegas pro and photoshop so at least i got something good out of it.

32GB RAM-1866Mhz

GTX Titan:I went from a hd 4870 to a gtx 280 then a gtx 580 then a gtx 680 and eventually a Titan mostly for this game.(I figured the extra vram would help.)

Wow. How much FPS do you get with that specs?

 

I would be pretty, pretty happy with 35FPS, you people can't complain because you get 55 instead of 60 for god sake. I know it's a bad port but 50FPS is good.

 

I finished the storyline of GTA IV and EFLC (TLAD & TBoGT) with 15-20FPS.

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KawakSallas

Just want to say that when I finally found a ideal value for the memrestrict, where I can balance a stable framerate and get rid of most of the pop in, my game simply crashes at certain places.

Reinstalled, and crashed again.

 

Run without the memrestrict, everything goes well (apart from the fps dropping from 50 to 10)

 

Why Rockstar, why?

Edited by KawakSallas

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Grove Street Balla

If it was ported from PS to PC, it would be beter because thats why GTA SA has good requirements and better than IV

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cp1dell

Well I was just on Reddit earlier in a GTA IV topic, and the topic of optimization got brought up. Naturally I had to investigate because it's my goal to get this game running like it should. I finally got the game to run better thanks to the user Negaflux.

 

As you know GTA IV is a very CPU intensive game, and most people tend to have a graphics card specifically for games. Oddly enough, by jacking up your settings a bit you can offload some of game to your GPU instead of most of it being piled onto the CPU. It also helps to use the launch commands:

 

-norestrictions -noprecache -novblank -nomemrestrict -percentvidmem 100

 

 

 

Currently I run a AMD Phenom II Quad Core at 3.4ghz (tho any decent quad core that's above 3-3.2ghz should be be fine), 12 gb of ram (tho 4-8 is still plenty.. and I'd lean closer to at least 6-8 myself) and a Geforce 660Ti (tho I ran it fine with an AMD 5850 & 6870 previously as well).

The reason for those launch commands is due to how the game is coded. Since it was made for consoles, which at the time had pretty weak video cards, a lot of the processing was done on the CPU, and it's one of the reasons why GTA4 is such a CPU hog. It's also pretty conservative on your memory as well, something the current gen consoles are rather lacking in.

-norestrictions -noprecache -novblank -nomemrestrict -percentvidmem 100

These commands basically takes off the kiddy/safety gloves. It basically tells the game to quit acting like it's still restrained by a console with limited resources. norestrictions essentially enables the other options, no precache (preloading and storing stuff in buffer instead of closer to real time) novblank (don't empty the video buffer inbetween every frame) nomemrestict (don't limit the amount of ram you utilize) percentvideomemory100 (access all video memory - since on a pc, typically memory isn't shared)

Keep in mind I was also able to run this game back in the days on my laptop which was a Core 2 Duo at 1.8ghz and a geforce 8600GS (dx9 mobile card) and about 2 gigs of ram. It didn't run spectacularly but it did run... and as it was my only functioning computer at the time I put up with it because I enjoyed the game, but I'd definitely recommend something better if you can help it.

 

It's also recommended that you downgrade to 1.0.4.0, you can easily find instructions on how to do so here. Most of you probably have already considering that it's easier to mod.

 

This is a hit or miss, but you may also gain some performance (along with a less gray GTA IV, and depending on your settings, some nice effects) using this ENB mod.

 

My specs are:

Intel i5-2310 @ 2.9Ghz

AMD Radeon HD 6850

8GB RAM

 

The only mods I use are HD Trees, an edited Timecyc that extends the distance or whatever to I think 1500.00, More Liberty, an edited bloodfx that adds squirting blood to every gunshot just like in the newer Rockstar games, and an edited visualsettings and ragepostfx files that removes the blur and only leave the DOF and motion blur.

 

I used to be able to play the game with these settings and get a stable framerate of 30FPS. With the motion blur it looks great, and on the very rare occasion that it dips a teeny bit, it's barely noticeable.

 

But now, I can run that game on practically Very High settings, with the same performance. I still don't use Night Shadows considering it creates a lot of dynamic lights and shadows, which can cost a lot of performance. But the benefit of downgrading to 1.0.4.0 allows you to adjust how many dynamic lights and shadows there are at a time (which at 1 will just be Niko).

 

I have not downgraded yet to see what performance boosts I get, but when I do I will update you guys. But seriously, this worked out pretty well and it's great to be able to run the game a bit better.

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KawakSallas

Vehicle Density at 100? It costs you ALOT of CPU processing. Try 25, 35 if you want more massive traffic.

Also, there's no visual difference between 8x and 16x Anisotropic. Lowering this setting to 8x could give you more performance. Reflection Resolution could be set to low, there's no visual difference, and can give you more performance.

Edited by KawakSallas

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cp1dell
Vehicle Density at 100? It costs you ALOT of CPU processing. Try 25, 35 if you want more massive traffic.

Also, there's no visual difference between 8x and 16x Anisotropic. Lowering this setting to 8x could give you more performance. Reflection Resolution could be set to low, there's no visual difference, and can give you more performance.

I've heard that about the 8x and 16x thing, so I'll take your word for it. Thanks.

 

Also, I have it at 100 because I want the game to have as many peds and cars as it should. That's also why I have More Liberty v3 installed. Would 35 still give me a lot of traffic?

 

And I'm sure the Reflection setting makes reflections sharper. Maybe on vehicles they're really cube-like, but on water I'm sure it makes them sharper. Could you link me some more things about this?

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cp1dell

Yeah, I was trying them out ingame and realized you were right. Sharp cubes don't look good anyways.

 

Well my recommended setting is 51, even though Rockstar's recommended settings are an estimate, it's still something. I can run the game at 100 fine, but trying it on 50 wasn't that huge of a difference. Might as well not waste the processing power, 50 is good.

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unc13bud

i set it to 1 and would set it to 0, if i could make gta iv run faster. gta v needs to have configurable weather, so we can make it gray every day and gain 30 fps automatically people don't do nothing with jam traffic but run into everything like that meth head that tried to drive down between hundreds of cars to get away from the cops

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KawakSallas

My settings are

 

1360x768

Texture Quality High

Reflection Resolution Low

Water Quality High

Shadow Quality Medium (Doesn't look bad, and improves performance)

Night Shadows Low (Looks quite good, and don't cost much performance)

Texture Filter Quality Anisotropic x8

View Distance 50

Detail Distance 55

Vehicle Density 35

 

I get around 45-55 fps, but sometimes it drops to 25, even 10, in some areas in Alderney and in Chinatown.

 

My rig:

Core i5 3550

GTX 660 Ti

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cp1dell

You should lower View Distance to 40 or 35. There is barely a difference with resolutions below 1440p since the objects are so far away.

 

How did you get Night Shadows to Low? The only options I have for it are Off, Medium, High, and Very High. I'm thinking of downgrading to 1.0.4.0 since most mods are available for that version, and you can choose how many Night Shadows there are with Shadow Density - which allows you to limit it to 1 - Niko.

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KawakSallas

My mistake, the Night Shadows are at medium. You're right, the minimum setting is medium.

 

If you don't play online, downgrading to patch 4 is a smart move.

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cp1dell

Yeah, I'm actually making a backup of my 1.0.7.0 and putting it in a .zip.

 

Is there an EFLC version equivalent to GTA IV's 1.0.4.0?

 

EDIT: Just did a quick search, apparently there is not. Well that sucks.

 

Are 1.0.7.0 saves compatible with 1.0.4.0?

Edited by cp1dell

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KawakSallas

Savegames are compatible with all versions.

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cp1dell

Well 1.0.4.0 is great for performance, runs great. Don't know what Rockstar f*cked up with 1.0.7.0. Anyways, I also tried the ENB I linked. It came with multiple options in case your PC can't handle it. It does knock your FPS down a bit but still looks great. I got around 23 - 25 FPS, a Nvidia GTX 660Ti should do a lot better though.

 

I'm going back to 1.0.7.0 though. I can't run the ENB for 1.0.4.0 that well, and vanilla just isn't good enough. 1.0.7.0 looks great and I still get good performance so I'm sticking with that until I get a 660Ti.

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CountdownIIExtinction

GTA IV is not the worst PC port. In Saints Row 2. you can't even drive properly.

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GTALegacy

Never Mind.

Edited by GTALegacy

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oceanskate99

Hi, I couldn't help but notice this thread. @3rr0r. This idea that GTA 4 is a bad port, is a myth propigated by word of mouth gossip and an assumtion made because it came AFTER the console versions were released. I worked several years in the game industry (Descent back in the day, Parallax/Interplay, EA, Sublogic, knew people on Id Doom team, MS other connections from friends etc) and first off, most games are created first on PC or what ever high powered machines that can speed development. It's often inefficienct to continually rebuild the game for a console because that eats up too much development time. Developers get a rough idea of how the game will function, and keep around basic functions needed to run on the target platform, but tend to stay on the speediest platform they can work on until the project is near completion. They keep in mind the target platform has limits to it's abilities, frame rates and so on.. Likely GTA was ported to the consoles last, but since RS wants to sell those games in lower fidelity off first, they only show those at first launch. So assumptions are made by fans. The reason it runs as expected on xbox is because the xbox NEVER changes (other than a couple different iterations) even though it's old. While that's a good general guideline, I'm not 100% certain on how GTA was developed, however the big point is too many people are jumping on the "it's a bad port" wagon and riding it and repeating vauge generalisations like parrots. Acurate knowledge isn't always the general concesus or "collective conisous" of a basic internet search. Too many myths, old wifes tales etc are propigated that way.

 

Next 3rr0r, a rock solid 30 fps is more than your eye can see and more than enough to be "playable". If a game becomes unplayable, it's often due to displayed number of polygons in the data base vs the efficiency of the occlusion code (code that determins what the viewer can really see) as the player view position updates and world spins around him. Yes, the player doesn't really move in a game. The world translation code moves the world around a stationary player in the opposite direction of intended movement. Yes, you could think in relativity, but this is how the coder sees the game during development. It's an illusion that the player is moving as the viewport is a stationary window (your monitor on your desk). Think about that for a minute. I have the source code to several games, and know. In an inefficient game, they will typically just draw most of the world from far Z to near Z, having the closer objects render over top of the more distant ones. By drawing over top, it covers up what the eye should not see. With the exception that some irregular shaped objects can draw improperly, but then that gets into BSP trees and other sorting algorithms etc. Also new games like GTA use much of this same technology, only the game, concept, publisher etc change. But as the world is rendered on screen, frame rates dip and spike all the time within some reasonable range. Being that the GTA world is large, it's logical to see that they have some pretty decent rendering code, so as to not waste too much CPU or GPU etc. If the game runs as intended and is smooth on say an xbox, then the rendering code that determines what is visible, is already efficient enough. If it's a large place, and the user has say some issues with their PC, such as a slow hard drive, poor bus, poor video card, odd audio card/drivers, conflicts etc, stuttering can occur. Especially if there are driver issues, or something is funky with the windows install. This can happen even on a high end PC, if something is amiss. But usually it can be remedied, and these people here are trying to help you. While you can say this is the frame rate as it dips, it's not the overall real frame rate average. In other words, if you are playing at 30 fps, but then due to a problem it dips down to 3 frames per second, It's not going to play well and you should look to your system for issues no matter how fast or new it is. That said, when GTA 4 came out, I played it on a 3 year old, high end system and it ran perfectly smooth and no stuttering. So it has nothing to do with optimizing, optimizations etc to get the code to be efficient enough as people seem to think. It's often more due to all the combinations of unforseen hardware and possible settings. Sometimes code is tweaked by the developer to help avoid issues, but the developer can only go so far to address the sea of hardware out there. Your playability problems ARE problems with your PC or it's settings, OR your install of windows etc and nothing to do with how fast it is or how efficent the orignal rendering code is, or that you think it's a "port" etc..

 

If my 2006 computer ran it perfectly, the issue is NOT your new i7 rig. So all this "it's not optimized" bull is just that, bull. At this point your new i7 is so fast, it would overcome any inefficiencies anyway as we are years into the future (of the past when GTA came out, lol). It is so much faster than any console that it has oodles of processing power to deal with whatever... So again look for conflicts, problems, weird combos. Look and pay attention to other people who are getting the results you want on PC's where they have a fun playable game. Draw conclusions from that. Keep in mind that hardware has changed vastly since the release of GTA 4 and there is room for things to go wrong in a game that was developed 5 years ago. I have a new system, much like yours, but a litte faster with 4770k and cherry picked cpu at 3.8ghz. It makes no difference. My Crysis 1 demo install would NOT run correctly or display true stereo correctly, and it stutters while my older system runs it much better. I could fool with it, or do the full install again, but I'm too busy and will just look to newer releases.

Edited by oceanskate99

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