Tweaking Part 2 - Drivers
For this test we are using the current reference drivers from NVIDIA - version 28.32. Recent reference driver versions have slowly cut down on the number of visible options available, particularly under the Direct3D and OpenGL tabs. Windows XP users should definitely be updating their drivers as the version 12.41 drivers included with the OS don't help performance, and won't run OpenGL apps like Quake3.
Direct3D - There isn't really much to tweak here, except for the "Mipmap Detail Level", which controls the level of detail for Mipmapping. Mipmapping is used when shrinking textures to fit smaller objects as they get further away, to reduce distortion. There are 5 settings from Best Performance to Best Image Quality, the higher the quality, the lower the performance. There is also a "PCI Texture Memory Size", which on recent driver releases is set to 63Mb. There is usually no need to change this as it has no effect if you are using an AGP video card. If you do have a PCI GeForce (I know there are some of you out there), increasing this value might give a slight performance boost.
OpenGL - The OpenGL tab provides a few more options for tweaking your system. The ones to note are "Use fast-linear-mipmap-linear filtering" and "Anisotropic Filtering". Enabling the first option will increase performance at the expense of image quality, enabling the second option will increase image quality at the expense of performance. For best performance they need to be enabled and disabled respectively. The "Buffer Flipping Mode" influences performance under full-screen OpenGL applications, setting this to "page flipping" if available may increase frame rates. The final but probably most important setting is Vertical Sync, which when on will synchronize frames with the refresh rate of your screen. What that means is that if your monitor is running at 60Hz, then you are going to get around 60fps no matter what under OpenGL apps like DroneZ or Quake III. To remove this limit set this to "Always off".
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