How to: get the most from your Nvidia GPU, high end PC

Discussion in 'Player Support' started by Blackweb, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. Blackweb

    I drive a liquid-cooled Alienware Aurora R3 with an i7 2600k CPU overclocked to 4GHz. It has 8 GB of 1866 RAM and 2x Nvidia GTX 660 ti SLI. My monitor is a 23" 1080p Alienware 3D monitor. I am an experienced high end PC enthusiast and overclocker. You are probably having issues with your high end Nvidia based system in PS2, especially if you are running SLI.

    I also play PS2 on my Alienware M14x laptop. It has a GT 650M 2Gb, 16GB 1600 MHz memory and an i7 3820QM processory and a 512 GB SSD. It runs GW2 quite well but the 1600x900 screen is a bit small for the GW2 map.

    How to get good, stable performance in GW2 from your high end PC:

    1. PS2 is very demanding on your high end system and as such will make your system run hotter than most older games. Heat is the enemy, you must address the overall heat of your system.

    2. You should first examine your fan speed settings in your system BIOS. Not just your CPU fan but your chassis fans as well. It doesnt matter how good the cooling is on your CPU and GPUs if the chassis airflow is insufficient. Automatic fan speed settings for chassis or case fans are often insufficient. You may need to increase the fan speeds of your chassis or case fans. I would suggest settings between 25 and 75%. Leave your CPU fan speed on Auto.

    3. A push-me, pull-me case fan setup is best. You need to pull air in to the front of your pc and push it out the back. Make sure that there is a fan behind your PCI bus or video cards and one in front of your hard drives.
    4. The fans and heat sinks on your video cards wont work if there is not sufficient airflow through and around your video cards. Try to space your video cards at least one slot apart. If possible.

    5. DO NOT overlock your video cards unless it is a factory overclock. Make sure you have extra cpu cooling if you are going to overclock your CPU. I recommend a factory CPU overclock unless you have a lot of $$, patience and time.

    6. Do not exceed the specs of your power supply. If your system keeps crashing on boot or wont boot at all, your power supply may not be up to the challenge. If you are going to upgrade your GPU or CPU, review the power requirements of the new components carefully before purchasing them to see if they are compatible with your existing motherboard and power supply.

    7. Get a can of compressed air, open up your case, carefully and gently blow all of the dust out of your system.

    8. Use only high quality, highly rated components. A good resource to determine what you should buy is

    A good motto to follow is no bucks, no buck Rogers. A good place to get gaming hardware for your PC is

    9. Reduce the ambient temperature in the room where your PC is to about 72-76 F. That will make a huge difference. It doesnt matter how much cooling you have if it is 85 degrees in the room where your high end PC is.

    10. If you are running PS2 on a laptop, try a laptop cooler and whatever you do, DO NOT OVERLOCK YOUR LAPTOP GPU OR CPU. Gaming laptops are very tightly specced. Overclocking a laptop usually results in damaged components. Look for other means to increase performance on your laptop (see below). If you are running GW2 on an Alienware M14x, use the AW factory driver and wait until there is a WHQL driver available (preferably from dell) before you upgrade.

    11. MSconfig is your friend. Use it to disable unneeded memory resident programs that are using up your ram and burning up cpu cycles. You can get a 10-15% speed boost just by using MSconfig. Turn off all auto-updaters except your virus protection including java, quicktime, itunes, adobe, office, windows update etc. Disable all CD/DVD programs including roxio and power dvd. These programs will run fine without them.

    12. Use reliable virus and spyware detection and prevention and regularly scan your system for viruses and spyware.

    13. Remove all unecessary software, browser plugins, desktop enhancements etc. None of them will help PS2 run faster and are likely to slow it down.

    14. Close all programs while running PS2, especially browsers with multiple tabs open. Browsers can use a lot of memory, cpu cycles and bandwidth.

    15. I am running the Nvidia 306.97 driver. You should run that driver or a newer one to get the most out of PS2and your Nvidia GPU.

    Download Nvidia Drivers

    The latest Nvidia drivers support SLI in PS2.

    Do not assume that because you paid big $$ for that high end PC, you do not have to take the time to optimize it for a game like PS2. Take some time and perform the steps above and you will notice a significant increase in performance and stability in PS2.

    I am getting about 40-80 fps at 1080p on high (autodetect) settings everywhere including wvwvw. My 3DMark 11 scores for my desktop:

    and my M14x laptop


    I hope this helps :)


    I realize that some of you are hardcore overclockers and like to build your own PCs. If you have the time and patience, building your own enthusiast or overclocked enthusiast system can be fun and rewarding. However, this is not an overclocking thread. If you do decide to overclock and you are new to overclocking, you should do a lot of reasearch before you jump in. Overclocking by definition pushes components beyond their specced limitations and can damage those components. I am not saying dont overclock, just do it wisely.

    Everyone has their favorite PC maker, Alienware, Falcon-Northwest etc. Please do not put down someones choice for their PC just because you disagree with it. Remember that Alienware is a PS2 sponsor and is helping to support our favorite game. Lets try to keep this thread positive and constructive. The purpose of this thread is to help other PS2 players run PS2 better on their Nvidia GPUs in a non-invasive and non-destructive manner.

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