Thursday, September 28, 2006

Enemy Territory Tweak - Nvidia Direct 3D Render Ahead Settings

I love online FPS (first person shooters) and recently discovered the free game Enemy Territory. Even on this older machine it runs pretty good and I've tried the game using two different Nvidia graphics cards. However I couldn't seem to hit the side of a barn - the aiming and mouse response was sluggish even when the frames per second were high.

System Specs
  • HP Intel P4 1.5ghz
  • 384 MB DDR RAM
  • Windows XP Professional
  • GeForce4 Ti4200 128 MB
  • GeForce4 MX 440 64 MB

So I did a bit of searching and discovered that some Nvidia users suffer from "mouse lag" while gaming. That's where the Direct 3D Max frames to render ahead setting comes in.

How to find your Direct 3D Max frames to render ahead setting :

  1. Go to Start -> Control Panel -> Display
  2. Click the "settings" tab at the top right of the Display Properties window
  3. Click the "advanced" button at the bottom right
  4. Click the tab with your video card name on it
  5. Click the arrow next to "Performance & Quality Settings"
  6. Select the "Additional Direct 3D Settings" sub-category
Note : You can use the NVidia Coolbits tweak to unlock hidden settings like overclocking.

click for full image

A common fix for "mouse lag" is to set the Max frames to render ahead to a lower number. By default mine was set to 3 frames. Some of the pages I found said putting this setting on zero would actually hurt your gaming experience while others said a setting of zero would be the master solution.

My advice is find out what works best for you.

I set my Direct 3D Max frames to render ahead value to zero and then played Enemy Territory. I was able to do a lot better and could tell the accuracy had picked up a good bit. This tweak will only fix your "mouse lag" problem - it won't increase your frames per second.

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