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kalo.yanis
10-20-2016, 11:34 PM
Hey guys,

So I recently got a new PC with the following specs:
1070 GTX
i7-6700HQ 3.5Ghz
16GB RAM

It had zero problems playing AC4 and ACRogue - everything was buttery smooth.
However, I'm running into some stuttering problems with Syndicate. I tried running the game with pretty much everything on Ultra and 1080p. The game runs in the 35-39FPS range. Lowering the settings to HBAO+ and regular PCSS maybe added some 5 FPS. Changing shadows to High and environment to Very High barely did anything.

Now, I'm fully happy to run the game at around 45 FPS at with the quasi-ultra settings, but the game still seems to stutter (slightly, but still annoyingly) when I am roaming around London and panning the camera. I checked CPU utilisation and it's around 96-100% and often hits the ceiling. I reckon that might be causing the stutter, cause otherwise the game should be running quite smoothly, considering the 1070 and the Gsync panel.

Is there any way to fix this? I checked some CPU rankings and my CPU should be performing about on par with the recommended CPU, especially considering it's overclocked.

PS. Curiously, sometimes when I lower the shadows to HBAO or to PCSS, the CPU usage rate decreases by 10% or so and the game seemingly runs smoother, yet rather temporarily (or at least until I restart the game). Weird.

Lysette88
10-21-2016, 01:07 AM
I had the same problem at start - the solution for me was to look for the ACS.exe file, right click it, properties, set compatibility mode to my windows version and check the "run as adminstrator" checkbox. After I had done this, the game runs like a charm - and I have a far inferior graphic card than yours, just a 760 GTX and an i5 CPU. Give it a try.

Edit: in case that it does not help, overclocking a GPU is not always beneficial - sometimes this leads to weird graphic issues. You could tone it down a bit, if nothing else helps and try that.

Btw if the frame rate is not limited, the renderng thread (i.e. one CPU core) will always run at or near to 100%. Modern graphic cards are so fast, that pretty much any commonly used CPU has to run one core at full speed to keep up with it, if there is no limit set for the fps rate. An actively cooled GPU should run at around 75 degree C with it, that is a normal value for GPU temperature.

kalo.yanis
10-21-2016, 07:41 AM
Thanks for the reply!

So the CPU is factory overclocked, so nothing much I can do there, unless I try digging into the BIOS.

I tried setting the .exe to run as administrator, but the game wouldn't run then. It got stuck at the ACS Uplay loading screen (after the UAC prompt). I set the compatibility to Windows 8, even though I'm on 10 and, curiously, that made the CPU usage drop a bit. It now hovers at around 90% most of the time (I also dropped HBAO+ Ultra to HBAO+, which may or may not have had an effect - I would have thought this would be a purely GPU thing). 90% (at the least) is still quite a lot - other games run at around 60%.

Thing is, I still notice some split-second stuttering when panning the camera and running around. Could it be due to the FPS drops? They vary between about 49 and 40. Yet, I would have thought that Gsync would take care of this sort of stutter.


Also, the game is installed on a 5400rpm HDD. Could that be a problem? I can see some spikes in the HDD usage, but it never reaches 100% and is generally relatively low. I really don't want to have to spend 1.5 hours reinstalling it to the SSD and potentially wasting precious SSD space...

PS. it's an ASUS G752VS-GC118D laptop, if it matters.

Lysette88
10-21-2016, 08:48 AM
Well, with HBAO+ I have quite different experiences in AC games - whilst it is fine for me in Syndicate, it is a significant drain on my GPU in Unity - around 10-15 fps drop with it on in Unity. Given that Unity is overall a problem when it comes to graphical settings. I really cannot imagine what your problem could be - the 1070 GTX has 8GB GDDR5 Ram and Syndicate has a requirement of about 3+ GB on ultra high settings, so there is more than enough VRAM available. My 760 GTX has to use about half of it in shared DDR3 memory even, because it does not have those 4 GB dedicated video RAM and still it runs smooth in Syndicate. So if it can run smoothly on mine, I have no clue why not on yours, sorry.

Edit: if you run it on a laptop, maybe choose a lower texture resolution (lower, not low) and see if this helps - pixel density is so high on a laptop screen, that you might not even be able to see a difference between ulttra high textures and very high textures. This would reduce the load quite a bit and eventually help with the issue. I would suggest this if you use TXAA - which tends to blur textures in motion anyway, so that this will not be really recognizable.

kalo.yanis
10-21-2016, 08:55 AM
No worries, I appreciate you taking the time to reply.

Well, I'm going to try different solutions around the internet and if not I'm just going to have to get used to Syndicate's (lack of) performance and hope Ubisoft optimise the next AC better...

Lysette88
10-21-2016, 09:03 AM
See, this is the thing, on my system it runs like a charm, even it is an inferior system compared to yours. It is weird, try a lower texture resolution, it might help on a laptop. Btw I take the time because I really love Syndicate and it bothers me if someone has troubles to get the most out of it - Syndicate can do it, but it needs some help - eventually look at videos which manipulate the Nvidia settings via it's control panel - maybe some settings are interfering on your system.

kalo.yanis
10-21-2016, 11:46 AM
Yeah, I'll try tinkering with the NVIDIA settings. Cheers.

Otherwise, yeah, so far it's a stunning game. The way London has been recreated is fantastic. Graphics are very good as well.

strigoi1958
10-21-2016, 12:20 PM
Hi Kalo, I see Lysette has already given you some good advice. If it is just a split second when you pan the camera it's not such a big thing so that's good. :)

It wouldn't bother me as it's a split second but if it did I'd lower the settings and if that didn't work...

You said it's running from a HDD.... as it is a laptop I'm guessing it is an external HDD, but even if that is not the case, that will possibly be a factor. It shouldn't take an hour and a half to install the game on an SSD. there are easy ways to copy it onto your SSD and locate it via uplay... no need to download or install.

TBH I don't waste time on FPS it's a distraction that can cause gamers to fixate on unimportant numbers (has any awful game locked at 30 FPS suddenly become awesome because it could now run at 300 FPS? ).

Ultra settings are decided by us, not Nvidia or AMD.
I have a reasonable system
i7 6700k @ 4.6Ghz
GTX 980 ti
16GB ddr4 ram @3000Mhz
M.2 Drive for games

My games are mostly high with most options off. I want to spend hours playing games not playing with settings.

And remember if games ran at ultra everything on our systems... who would buy a 1080 or even run quad titans?

kalo.yanis
10-21-2016, 01:25 PM
Haha, well after spending the past two weeks playing through AC4 and ACRogue, which ran very well, the small stuttering is sadly noticeable. If I fail to find a solution, I'll just try to lock the game at 40fps and be done with it. :) My last PC was barely able to run AC4 at 20fps and a lowered resolution, so this won't be e big deal. I just tend to obsess over things.

The hard drive is internal. Wouldn't copying the game files over to the SSD cause problems with the registry and file paths?

Also, our systems should very much be able to play the games at a stable and high frame rate (not necessarily 60fps). The 1080 GTX and Titans are for people who want to play on 4K resolutions. ;)

kalo.yanis
10-21-2016, 07:29 PM
Here's an update... This is bizarre

So I installed MSI Afterburner to monitor the stats more closely (GPU, CPU and page file usage) and I also tinkered with the NVIDIA Control Panel. In addition, I fixed the AC.ini file in order to sync the cloth physics FPS with the rest of the game.

So the stuttering went away, but then my FPS average plummeted by 10 to around 29-35 FPS (which is annoying). GPU and CPU usage was about 80%. But then I experimented some more by turning settings on and off in the Control panel and even plugging my laptop in and out (it restricts the voltage - maybe - and the FPS -definitely - when unplugged). Naturally I also tinkered with the in-game settings, but they barely made any difference -whether, for example, shadows were set to High or PCSS Ultra.

So I am now on the "Quality" master setting in the NVIDIA Panel.

Long story short, a day-night cycle passed in the game and now I am getting 40-47 FPS with no stutter. I have no idea what I did.

But I'm happy. :D

Lysette88
10-21-2016, 08:42 PM
Glad to hear that - I knew Syndicate could do it, because it does on my system, which is inferior to yours. I just wish I could get this in Unity to work as well, where I have the same problem with a split second stuttering when I turn the camera very quickly. It is very recognizable, when the synchronization look around happens at a view point for example. This is not very smooth, but has split second stops while the automatic camera orbits the view point. So I think, maybe it is related to the detail in the distance - but what might that be in the graphic settings?- Environment quality maybe?- I think it is related to distant LOD, but what might that be in the game-internal graphic settings?

strigoi1958
10-22-2016, 12:02 AM
Haha, well after spending the past two weeks playing through AC4 and ACRogue, which ran very well, the small stuttering is sadly noticeable. If I fail to find a solution, I'll just try to lock the game at 40fps and be done with it. :) My last PC was barely able to run AC4 at 20fps and a lowered resolution, so this won't be e big deal. I just tend to obsess over things.

The hard drive is internal. Wouldn't copying the game files over to the SSD cause problems with the registry and file paths?

Also, our systems should very much be able to play the games at a stable and high frame rate (not necessarily 60fps). The 1080 GTX and Titans are for people who want to play on 4K resolutions. ;)

I doubt any single card can play AAA games at 4k and get ultra at 60 fps I'm sure a few can at 1440p . Realistically I assume my card to be 1 or 2 steps down from the top cards and do not expect it to get the ultra settings at 60 fps. besides Nvidia settings are just designed to show what THEY can do, not what a game can do. As Lysette said, certain settings have a big impact on performance, often I find that they do not offer anything significant to the graphics that are worth that amount of dropped fps. But as you try you have gained valuable knowledge that you can give to others when they come here and are affected... that's the nice thing about this community :)

there are different ways to transfer games, the old way used to be something like rename your ac game folder then uninstall it. the game will still be there in the newly named folder, then start installing on the SSD a few GB then stop the install/ download. Then copy all the files from the first folder into the folder on the SSD and when you restart the install it finds it is 100% and finishes. But I think now (I'm not certain of this bit) you can just move the game folder and then in uplay try running it and when it cannot find the game it asks you for the location and you just take it to the folder on the SSD and it rewrites the registry. As I say I'm not absolutely sure that is right but I know uplay have made it very simple now.

kalo.yanis
10-22-2016, 12:18 AM
Glad to hear that - I knew Syndicate could do it, because it does on my system, which is inferior to yours. I just wish I could get this in Unity to work as well, where I have the same problem with a split second stuttering when I turn the camera very quickly. It is very recognizable, when the synchronization look around happens at a view point for example. This is not very smooth, but has split second stops while the automatic camera orbits the view point. So I think, maybe it is related to the detail in the distance - but what might that be in the graphic settings?- Environment quality maybe?- I think it is related to distant LOD, but what might that be in the game-internal graphic settings?

I am yet to play Unity on this PC. I might get round to doing that on Sunday and I'll see how that goes.

Hopefully getting it to behave will be more straightforward. :D

Lysette88
10-22-2016, 01:37 AM
When you will do that, kalo, have a look at this guide from Nvidia in regards to Unity. It is a bit older already, but it gives an impression of what is worth to be toned down and what the actual graphical difference is in Unity. It helped me a lot to make a decision, what I want to change to get my gameplay smooth and enjoyable. Not all graphical features have really a huge impact on the visuals - most are rather subtle and eventually not worth having in exchange for a major fps drop. The guide has interactive comparison examples, so it is quite interesting to see, what the different quality levels actually mean in regards to the actual visuals.

http://www.geforce.com/whats-new/guides/assassins-creed-unity-graphics-and-performance-guide

Well, to me it wasn't straightforward, but a pain to actually get Unity into a state, where I can fluently play it. It might be better on your setup, but I doubt it will be a lot easier to find the right settings. But this guide might help you to decide. Wait with the final settings until you will be in actual Paris, you start in Versailles and after the tutorial missions you will be in central Paris and then you can do the final adjustments. In Versailles it might run nicely, but once in Paris the load is heavier and you might want to readjust it.

Another hint, when you start playing Unity - read the in-game tutorial entries. Combat is different and you need to know the right counters in regards to the enemy archetype. It is not like in Syndicate, where you can basically counter every melee attack from everyone with E, you will have to dodge attacks from certain archetypes, because counter (which is called parry in Unity) will not work with them and so on. The time window to counter or dodge is as well quite short compared to Syndicate, but you can train all this in your Cafe Theatre, which is your HQ - a quite nice building, you are not a poor guy in Unity.

kalo.yanis
10-23-2016, 07:21 PM
When you will do that, kalo, have a look at this guide from Nvidia in regards to Unity. It is a bit older already, but it gives an impression of what is worth to be toned down and what the actual graphical difference is in Unity. It helped me a lot to make a decision, what I want to change to get my gameplay smooth and enjoyable. Not all graphical features have really a huge impact on the visuals - most are rather subtle and eventually not worth having in exchange for a major fps drop. The guide has interactive comparison examples, so it is quite interesting to see, what the different quality levels actually mean in regards to the actual visuals.

http://www.geforce.com/whats-new/guides/assassins-creed-unity-graphics-and-performance-guide

Well, to me it wasn't straightforward, but a pain to actually get Unity into a state, where I can fluently play it. It might be better on your setup, but I doubt it will be a lot easier to find the right settings. But this guide might help you to decide. Wait with the final settings until you will be in actual Paris, you start in Versailles and after the tutorial missions you will be in central Paris and then you can do the final adjustments. In Versailles it might run nicely, but once in Paris the load is heavier and you might want to readjust it.

Another hint, when you start playing Unity - read the in-game tutorial entries. Combat is different and you need to know the right counters in regards to the enemy archetype. It is not like in Syndicate, where you can basically counter every melee attack from everyone with E, you will have to dodge attacks from certain archetypes, because counter (which is called parry in Unity) will not work with them and so on. The time window to counter or dodge is as well quite short compared to Syndicate, but you can train all this in your Cafe Theatre, which is your HQ - a quite nice building, you are not a poor guy in Unity.

Thanks for that, but I don't think I'll be needing it much.

Unity runs pretty much flawlessly on my setup. It's VERY smooth and on Ultra graphics (+TXAA) I get around 48-64 FPS in Paris. No stuttering whatsoever. Much better than Syndicate.
I just encounter the occasional graphics glitch indoors such as shimmering white outlines and sometimes even white silhouettes. I get the same in Syndicate, though.

And yeah, I prefer Syndicate's combat, but the one in Unity certainly looks more realistic. It reminds me very much of the old-school AC1 combat.

Lysette88
10-23-2016, 10:06 PM
If you have used eagle vision shortly before, then these shimmering white outlines or shapes are objects, which are helpful for you or of interest - like chests, locked doors, accessible windows (where you see just the outline of the window frame), hay stacks, lifts, artifacts and so on. Those are hints, not glitches.

The funny thing is, with your hardware Syndicate should run better than Unity - but it doesn't, exactly the other way round for you. I had to tone down a couple of settings to get Unity run smoothly, but I have to say the difference is not huge - I can perfectly live with it and I really enjoy Paris now - lots and lots to do, I like street fights a lot. NPC react quite slowly and it is absolutely no problem to take a couple of them down head on - in pseudo-stealth, I am in their line of sight, but I am faster over them than they can detect me - I just walk up to them and kill them, they react like sleeping pills.

Well, now when I think of it, it is not them, it is my gear, which creates this effect - I have a few pieces which increase the time they need to detect me - I just forgot for a moment, that I have this effect on my gear and that is why it takes them so long to react. I can pretty much always do an assassination, even when I walk straight up to them. Walk, not run, they would get faster suspicious, if I would run - I just walk up to them, kill them, and move on - it takes a while until they fall down and then I am already blended into the crowd or on the next roof top. You should try that gear with detection reaction time bonus, it is quite useful.

Btw it is pretty interesting to use google maps street view and compare what you see in the game with what is currently in those locations - Ubisoft did a really good job with most of the locations, especially around famous landmarks and buildings.

kalo.yanis
10-24-2016, 09:17 AM
Actually, the visual artefacts indoors are more like flickering jitters on the ground, walls and around characters - looks like an aliasing problem.

And indeed it is. I searched the net and it seems like Unity and Syndicate get these due to a conflict between PCSS shadows and MSAA and TXAA. Ugh... typical Ubisoft. I hope they fix this as well for the next AC (seeing as they didn't in Unity and most likely won't do so for Syndicate).

strigoi1958
10-24-2016, 02:49 PM
The very first time I came to the Ubi Forums was to complain (like most of us) I had flickering on walls in AC3 and splinter cell blacklist and I posted a long complaint about Ubi and uplay (because it updated just before the problems started. I posted on other peoples threads just to voice my complaint and in the end it turned out to be the Nvidia driver I had installed the night before so I was left feeling a little bit embarrassed :) . After a lot of research I found that when Nvidia/ AMD make a new driver it very often impacts some games positively and some games negatively (new or old) so whenever I get artifacts or glittering edges I always change driver first using a ddu (display driver uninstaller because even if you do a clean driver install there are remnants of the old driver that are still left behind or over written and it can cause problems.

Tompike
09-21-2019, 07:23 AM
Thanks man, fixed my extremely annoying stuttering immediately!