Hey team, I wanted to say first that it looks like the forums are getting a little better in presentation, I like the clean style. I don't want to rant, I realize you guys are working hard to make this work, but there are far too many games in my rather large library (besides old ones that GE just tells me to max out in every way) that the Gaming Evolved app has failed to suggest settings that do what they are supposed to (balance or quality) or use smart parameters. Amazingly, some of the optimizations do the exact opposite of what they should (like turn up the most Frame killing settings while turning many other small process footprint settings down). Like Euro Truck Simulator for example, which used to turn down all the easy to run settings but maxed out the scaling setting ON ALL THREE OPTIONS (performance, balance,and quality). Since I've talked about it here and on the Raptr website, it appears the scaling setting has been removed from GE altogether and the other settings have been made right, so kudos for the improvements, it's good to see you guys are listening to us. I also ran it for some time with GE on to give you guys some data logs. It all looks good now.
Now Far Cry 4, get this, Gaming Evolved tells me to turn everything down to medium, some low, a few things high, on one thing very high, but laughably at ULTRA settings my FPS ARE HIGHER THAN THE "OPTIMIZED" setting. Again, it's because it does things backwards. So you know, the engine on the game handles Multi-Sampling Anti aliasing (MSAA) very poorly, but comes with a Sub pixel Morphological Antialiasing that it handles very well. I want to make this clear, across the board, all current generation GPU's handle SMAA better in that game than MSAA in fact for most AAA games, This goes for both AMD and NVIDIA. This is why I get better FPS on ULTRA then I do on GE's "optimized" (really crappy low quality) setting, because it sets the game to a 8 pass MSAA, instead of the SMAA. With GE's crappy low quality settings, I get about 35 FPS, with EVERYTHING on ULTRA (which defaults to SMAA) I get between 45 and 70 FPS all the time. In fact, in the game there is VERY LITTLE difference between my FPS (about 4) on Very High and ULTRA presets (because of my CPU bottleneck). According to HWiNFO and MSI Afterburner, with Gaming evolved's Quality Setting I never use more then 68% of my GPU's DX utilization. On ULTRA, I use between 90 and 95% (again, because of my bottleneck.) I don't know what the parameters for the Quality setting are, but they
should be settings for frame rates between 30 and 60, with balanced above 60. This is not the case with almost every single game it wants to optimize. Some of the suggested settings are just outright laughable, and I feel sorry for all those that don't know any better and are trusting the gaming evolved software. That really sucks.
So you guys know, the MSAA and SMAA and the GEOMETRY settings are the two most FPS intensive and CPU resource hungry settings in the game, with the Tree relief (which is a Tessellation for the trees) and the Vegetation settings coming in second. If you set Gaming Evolved to always use SMAA and turn off the Tree relief and turn down the Geometry setting (except for GTX 690 or R9 290x enthusiast level GPUs) to Very High and lower (starting with quality),
you will very much maximize the frame count for this game. I know this from carefully turning everything up and down and benching framerate in the same location. GPU's with 4GB of VRAM should use textures at ULTRA, 3GB should use very high, and 2GB should use high. The biggest problem you will run into with this game is CPU bottlenecking, I don't know if GE takes in account for the CPU and it's clock speed (which I will be asking on another post), but you will want to first turn down the CPU intensive settings first on most people's rigs, especially if (god help them) they use AMD processors, especially ones lower than the last iteration of the 8 core piledrivers.
What every Gaming Evolved is doing (I understand the app polls peoples settings and specs and logs the FPS to evaluate best settings) it is not working, as I fear most people are not aware of what some settings are and how they work on the hardware, and not tuning things very well for their systems. I don't know if the masses can be trusted in this case. All I can speak for now is this R9 280, and for that and my GTX 650 Ti, Gaming Evolved has unfortunately been a string of failure, not only doing things poorly, but like I said in some cases doing the exact opposite of what it should do.
So you guys know, I bench everything with MSI Afterburner and HWiNFO64, I can take screen shots or record game time for you if you don't believe anything I'm suggesting or talking about here. Gaming Evolved has been around long enough as to where these things should not appear to be this uninformed and poorly operating. Hope you guys can add the staff and resources to your endeavor to make things work out. I get the sense you have a quality team, but they are so overwhelmed and busy that they don't have the time to manually check the many different GPU and settings combinations. Lastly, remember that turning down resolution on machines with CPU bottlenecks (weak CPUs like mine) can quite often result in poorer FPS, as GE has done this too me as well. Sorry for the rant, and the wall of text, I
know things are probably hectic.
TL;DR Please check GE settings for midrange 2XX series GPU's for Far Cry 4. SMAA is much less rescource intensive and framerate killing then MSAA, don't use 8xMSAA or ULTRA Geometry or Tree Relief, everything else you can be liberal with. With a good CPU (upper I5 and higher) the R9 280 can easily handle Very High to Ultra, especially if the clock are turned up.
Good luck with everything,
Thanks for all of that Adam,
We're currently actually working very hard on enhancing our Optimization and making it more intelligent. That way, it can get around these type of issues and be able to have "smarter" recommendations, like the ones you mentioned. It's good that you posted it though since we can get a better idea. I know Far Cry 4 in general can be a fairly "intense" game graphically, but we do intend to make it better. Once again, thanks for posting it and trying to make our optimization better!