Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 21
02-23-2011, 05:54 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghostdancer1979 View Post
That's what I'm doing but I REALLY want to get my shadows working right. The solution IS out there if OLDER cards handle it fine.
There is no fix.

It's either an issue with standards non-compliant drivers (nvidia and ATI do this, ATI does it more regularly) or STO having a poorly optimized lighting model (which is very possible).
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 22
02-23-2011, 05:57 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by AGNT009 View Post
Ugh. That helped, but then it didnt. Im buying a new card NOW, because I want full power graphics for STO NOW. But if I lowball it, and get a 200 series, Im sacrificing games like Civ 5 on my todo list.
You can't go wrong with anything from the 500 series. Even the 560 is great bang for the buck. And STO's framerate is maxed at my refresh rate with VSYNC on, all settings on high, shadows off at 1080p on a 37" HDTV.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 23
02-23-2011, 05:58 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghostdancer1979 View Post
You can't go wrong with anything from the 500 series. Even the 560 is great bang for the buck. And STO's framerate is maxed at my refresh rate with VSYNC on, all settings on high, shadows off at 1080p on a 37" HDTV.
That's teh issue: we want shadows on (and on "high").

It plays like a dream for me on a 460 w/ shadows on "low."
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 24
02-23-2011, 06:03 PM
Yeah, this is starting to smell like STO's fault. I guess I should just get my 560 TI as planned, use the low shadow workaround, and wait for STO to get caught up on their code with new cards. They are coming up with new gorn to take advantage of higher end cards, hopefully they address driver issues too. Then again, when it comes to STO, I wont hold my breath.

So, my decision is made. If I CAN afford a good card now, get it, and though STO is all Im playing right now, Im not going to sell myself short to max STO properly, when there are other games out there that will play nice with a GTX 560 TI.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 25
02-23-2011, 06:05 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren_Kitlor
There is no fix.
This is going to sound extremely arrogant... but I will fix it. We need to start gathering information from users with and without the problem. Let's use the GTX260 as our control.

1) Everyone with a GTX260 needs to post their system specs, operating system, driver version and driver settings. Other GTX card results will be extremely helpful as well since I'm still experiencing it on a 570.

2) The test will be conducted with no custom STO settings. Set the STO quality slider to one from the far right side. Resolution, VSYNC and AA can be used at your discretion but please post your settings.

3) Test shadow stutter performance at the Ship Requisitions area of ESD. You're looking for pauses or drops in framerate as the shadows load up then eventually smoothing out.

4) Post all of your results: Stutter, slight stutter, temporary stutter, constant stutter, no stutter.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 26
02-23-2011, 06:07 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by AGNT009 View Post
Yeah, this is starting to smell like STO's fault. I guess I should just get my 560 TI as planned, use the low shadow workaround, and wait for STO to get caught up on their code with new cards. They are coming up with new gorn to take advantage of higher end cards, hopefully they address driver issues too. Then again, when it comes to STO, I wont hold my breath.

So, my decision is made. If I CAN afford a good card now, get it, and though STO is all Im playing right now, Im not going to sell myself short to max STO properly, when there are other games out there that will play nice with a GTX 560 TI.
I wouldn't blame STO entirely just yet (even though it's the only title seemingly affected that I own). Evidence points to STO being suspect in the lighting model but:

It could very well be that nvidia drivers are not standards compliant for DX9-11. Both major graphics card developers (AMD/ATI and Nvidia) frequently tweak their implementation to get performance improvements in the latest titles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghostdancer1979 View Post
This is going to sound extremely arrogant... but I will fix it. We need to start gathering information from users with and without the problem. Let's use the GTX260 as our control.

1) Everyone with a GTX260 needs to post their system specs, operating system, driver version and driver settings.

2) The test will be conducted with no custom STO settings. Set the STO quality slider to one from the far right side. Resolution, VSYNC and AA can be used at your discretion but please post your settings.

3) Test shadow stutter performance at the Ship Requisitions area of ESD. You're looking for pauses or drops in framerate as the shadows load up then eventually smoothing out.

4) Post all of your results: Stutter, slight stutter, temporary stutter, constant stutter, no stutter.
I've already done this in the PC & Technical Issue forum.

Turning Shadows to "low" is the setting with the greatest impact (by a wide margin). Stuttering goes away when I toggle.

Noe of these settings impacted my performance as significantly as high > low:
  • number of shadow (dynamic) lights,
  • turning dynamic lights off,
  • number of lights,
  • screen space ambient occlusion

None of these settings being fiddled with removed the stuttering. It all has to do with the lighting being set to "high".
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 27
02-23-2011, 06:16 PM
From my thread in the PC issues forum:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren_Kitlor
I have everything set at their defaults from the Nvidia Control Panel
I am running nVidia Driver version 266.58

Some Specs:
  • Intel Core i7 CPU 920 with each core @ 2.67 Ghz
  • PNY Geforce GTX 460 XLR8 (tested at both stock settings and the default overclocking on the card)
  • 9.00 GB of RAM

Recent Maintenance:
  • Defragged using Contig and PowerDefragmenter
  • Fresh install of drivers (i.e. purged all previous nvidia drivers before I installed the card)
  • Ensured adequate power supply and air dusted

Settings I've adjust in STO to no avail:
  • Reduced shadowed lights
  • Reduced lights per object
  • Toggled SSAO
  • Toggled AA/AF
  • Disabled Full Animations
  • Toggled VSync (since it normally runs above 70 fps)


Symptoms:
  • Game runs fine 60% of the time at max advanced settings but I experiences random stuttering, where FPS drops from 60-70 down to a mere 11 FPS.

Sanity Check in Other Games:
  • Metro 2033 runs fine at maxed settings, DX 11 mode
  • BF:BC 2 and Crysis run smoothly as well


Workaround:
Reduce lighting quality from high to low is the only setting that fixed the stuttering issue for me.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 28
02-23-2011, 06:27 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren_Kitlor
It all has to do with the lighting being set to "high".
I don't believe so. Lighting set to high works great... shadows, specifically, is the variable.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 29
02-23-2011, 06:29 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghostdancer1979 View Post
I don't believe so. Lighting set to high works great... shadows, specifically, is the variable.
Not on my system.

I messed with everything other setting independently, none of them fixed the stuttering issue save for setting it to low.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 30
02-23-2011, 06:32 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren_Kitlor
Not on my system.

I messed with everything other setting independently, none of them fixed the stuttering issue save for setting it to low.
Okay... my 260 handled lighting on high and shadows off perfectly smooth. Your 460 should too. There seems to be another variable here we haven't considered. How much RAM and what OS? 64/32bit?
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