You can use the NVIDIA control panel to improve the performance or the quality of the game. This article covers some of the settings that you can tweak. We'll try to visualize them as best we can.
For this article we will use the map Seton's Clutch. The fidelity of the game is set to
high. The extended graphics, anti aliasing and vertical sync are turned off. Bloom is turned on. In addition we've run the following console commands:
sc_FrameTimeClamp 5: Defines the minimum frametime. It defaults to 16 (for 60fps), we reduce it to 5 (for 200fps)
SallyShears: Disables fog of war. This is considered a cheat and does not work when cheating is disabled
Forged Alliance Forever distributes a separate executable. The control panel does not pick up this executable on its own. We'll need to tell the control panel where it can find the executable. You can do this by navigating to:
Manage 3D settings
Do not select the client
faf-client.exe or the existing Supreme Commander entries in the list of programs. The client is a separate application. The Supreme Commander entries in the list of programs are from your Steam installation folder.
C:\ProgramData\FAForever\bin. Select the executable and click on
In this section we'll discuss various settings and how they interact with the game. We'll briefly
Anisotropic filtering is a texture sampling technique. The effect is more noticeable as the view angle on a surface becomes more and more parallel to that surface. The technique is well described on Wikipedia.
Baseline, anisiotropic filtering disabled
Anisiotropic filtering set to x16
The difference is noticeable across the entire screenshot. It manages to preserve more detail. This is noticeable on the grass in the distance. And it is noticeable in the tarmacs beneath the Cybran structures. This technique involves a lot of additional sampling. A consequence of this is that it requires more resources from your system. For my setup this technique increases the GPU utilisation from ~45% (anisiotropic filtering turned off) to ~60% (anisiotropic filtering set to x16).
Fast Approximate Anti Aliasing is a post processing technique to reduce jagged edges in the final image. The technique is well described on Wikipedia.
Baseline, fxaa disabled
This technique introduces various artifacts. As described, unlike usual anti aliasing this version is unaware of geometry and therefore applies the technique even across textures. It also doesn't manage to reduce the aliasing of the range rings. And on top of that:
It is also applied to UI elements. As a consequence all of the user interface looks blurry. The reason for this is described in Wikipedia.
Anti aliasing is (usually) a geometry-aware technique to reduce jagged edges in the final image. The technique is well described on the internet, there is even an interactive slider to help understand what it accomplishes.
Baseline, anti aliasing disabled
Anti aliasing (8q) through ingame settings
Anti aliasing (8) through control panel
This technique does not suffer from the same artifacts as introduced by FXAA. The jagged edges were especially noticeable on the range rings. With anti aliasing is applied the range rings are smooth. There appears to be a minor difference between applying the in-game anti aliasing and the one provided in the control panel. This is noticeable on the far left and right parts of the range rings: the ingame anti aliasing has an interaction with bloom rendering phase. A consequence of anti aliasing is that it requires more resources from your system. For my setup this technique increases the GPU utilisation from ~45% (anti aliasing turned off) to ~75% (anti aliasing set to 8).
Max frame rate
Background application max frame rate
Antialiasing - Gamma correction
Multi-frame Sampled AA
The following settings in the control panel do not apply to Supreme Commander. This is because the game uses DirectX.
Vulkan/OpenGL present method
Virtual reality pre rendered frames
OpenGL GDI compatibility
OpenGL rendering GPU