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Performance:what should i upgrade to use ambient occlusion and shadows while keeping fast framerate?

pando83pando83 Member Posts: 2,564 Arc User
My PC is pretty old. CPU is a i3-4130T 2.9 Ghz, RAM 8 GB, CPU Nvidia GT 730 2GB DDR3.
If i keep everything maxed, the framerate is smooth and fast. When i activate ambient occlusion at low and shadows at low, it drops dramatically. Expecially in some zones like OMU, it gets too slow.
Question: to solve the issue and be able to activate ambient occlusion (low) and shadows (low) while keeping a fast framerate, what should i upgrade? CPU or GPU? I've read in the past that the CPU in this game is the bottleneck, but no idea if that's the issue when it comes to those 2 graphic options.

Thank you in advance for your time ^_^


  • pando83pando83 Member Posts: 2,564 Arc User
    Forgot one thing: right now it runs fast if i keep everything pretty much maxed but ambient occlusion and shadows disabled.
  • nathanjmnathanjm Member Posts: 103 Arc User
    Two important questions: First: your budget? Second: does your computer have any 6/8 pin PCIe power connectors available? Most GT730s I see online are powered purely by the PCI slot. Most video cards require 6, 8 (or multiple of those) pin PCIe power connectors, but not all.

    If you don't have PCIe power connectors, I'd recommend either a GeForce GT 1030 (cheaper) or GeForce 1650 (more expensive, but better). If you want to read up on them, try sites like https://anandtech.com or https://techreport.com , such as GTX 1650 review, e.g. this one (Both note that some higher end 1650s would require PCIe power connectors)
  • some1stolemynicknamesome1stolemynickname Member Posts: 90 Arc User

    Before you upgrade anything in your computer...

    How many watts is the power supply?

    Is it a store bought or custom built computer?

    What is the motherboard model?

    AMD graphics cards most often are better bang for the buck, so best to weigh price vs performance between both companies. You also need ot be sure you have ample room for a card in the case, as some are quite long.

    As far as PCIe power connectors, you can use molex->PCIe adapters if the power supply can handle the upgrade.

    In the long run it's usually better to just upgrade to a whole new system, unless you get a really good deal on a CPU or FX card. As a computer gets older, the price of parts doesn't always drop. They stop making compatible parts, so then they become more scarce. Then there's the question of "How much longer will this computer last anyway?" vs the price of the upgrade parts.
  • pando83pando83 Member Posts: 2,564 Arc User
    @nathanjm: budget is low. Was thinking exactly about the 1030 lately, but don't know if in Neverwinter it will make much difference on what i need, since it's a CPU-heavy game. Can find the 1030 on amazon for roughly 85 euros, which i can afford.

    @some1stolemynickname: Power supply is 600W. Custom built. Motherboard is a ASUS H97-PRO. Not sure if in this game it will pay to upgrade the GPU or the CPU for what i need.

    Right now i'm happy with the performances i get with ambient occlusion and shadows disabled. But when i activate them, the framerate drops too much. If upgrading to a 1030 would make the game run as smooth as it runs now, but with AO and shadows on "low", i'd already be happy. If, on the other hand, i need a better CPU to get there, it would cost more and i'd wait to just change the whole PC.

    Thank you both for the answers!
  • frozenfirevrfrozenfirevr Member, Neverwinter Moderator, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 1,475 Community Moderator
    IIRC, isn't there a separate slider for CPU and GPU? Slide the slider and see which changes which.

    I'd think this is most likely GPU dependant though.
  • some1stolemynicknamesome1stolemynickname Member Posts: 90 Arc User
    edited September 2019
    For this game, a slight upgrade in the graphics card should be plenty. I'm not sure where you are located or what the supply is there, but as I stated you really should look at AMD/ATI cards as an option. GeForce looks good on paper and charts, but a benchmark is not playing a game. There is a difference of what you see on the screen vs those two things. These days what's said on paper is only there to make their brand look better (GeForce): by having higher clock speeds on the GPU/GDDR, but actually under perform vs ATI's card in the same bracket. AMD Radeon RX 560 would be the one to compare to a 1050.

    I'm not saying one is better than the other for sure for the price where you are, but rather you should look into it before automatically leaning towards the GeForce brand. The AMD Radeon RX 560 has better architecture all around than the 1050.

    Edit: forgot to mention AMD Radeon RX 560 is about the same price as a 1030 where I live, and is in the same performance bracket as the 1050 (why I stated 1050 and not the 1030). Make sure you compare the amounts of GDDR too...some are 2GB and others are 4GB with the same name.
  • pando83pando83 Member Posts: 2,564 Arc User
    Ty all for the answers! ^_^
  • mwkmwk Member Posts: 355 Arc User
    edited October 2019

    [V-Sync] On
    [Antiliasing] 4X MSAA
    [Post-Processing] Off
    [Bloom Quality] Off
    [Ambient Occlusion] High
    [Field Depth] On
    [Lens Flare] Off or On
    [Underwater View] Preference

    [Anisotropic Filtering] 4X
    [Shader Quality] High
    [Visual Fx Quality] Medium
    [Soft Particles] Off

    Got lazy-but straight forward.


    [Dynamic Lighting] On

    [Shadows] Low.

    Note: High ambient occlusion helps smooth out the shadows for sure; I tested this. Though at times you might get pixel shadows on walls, when farther away; I hardly notice it. Floor shadows, I can't even tell a difference ranging from low-high with high ambient occlusion on. Might get some pixel shadows at times on character's face; it varies on smoothness running on low.

    Nvidia Geforce GT 325M Cuda 1G of Ram. I have the better variant of the card that supports a bit of DirectX 11.2 features and stops there; mostly 10.1 is used. So any 11.3 DirectX and higher I can't use. Ever wondered what the A1-A4 means? Now you know-different variant and better built support.
    8G of Ram DDR3
    Intel Core i5-450M Processor 2.40 GHz (with Turbo Boost 2.6-2.8 Ghz)

    I don't know about your processing functioning, since it's an i3 processor? Though your computer probably can go higher graphics settings than mine given with more graphics ram? Yet more processing speed on i3? Are you sure it's correct for 2.9 Ghz? I don't see much 2.9 Ghz i3 out there by laptop spec I think. It seems like a laptop by specs? Mine is laptop too. Anyways, just trying to help for comparison.

    These are my settings and I play just fine. I used to play an online game called Tera Online with MAX settings just fine. So the equivalent is close and perhaps even better? Really you want HIGH ambient occlusion for smoother quality textures! I have the ability to set everything on MAX, but it will be extreme sluggish for sure with lots of players moving around; lets just state I have the ability to display.

    We seem close to equivalent only by ghz speed and this game takes processing power more than graphics. I have more thread power or core power advantage, since I have an i5, though I'm not sure how different it will be? So start from my settings, work your way up, until you notice some sluggish.

    I might be slight sluggish with lots of players only in Yawning-Portal at rare times, but it's not too bad movement.

    DirectX end-user redistribution packages. I believe it makes support running better and not just the Direct-X itself, since the install comes with previous builds for better support, just in case. So keep that in mind.

    I hope I helped with your optimization? :3;)<3

    Post edited by mwk on
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