Hope you are all doing well. I had an amusing moment last night and I felt the need to share it with the group and more importantly, with myself in case I forget (again) a few months from now.
So ever since getting my new video card, I've been dialing in my settings, tweaking aspects of the nVidia control panel as well as the workshop settings in WOFF:UE and WOTR. Much to my chagrin, both games seem to: 1) run smoothly 99% of the time, 2) occasionally hiccup or pause if things are getting particularly busy and 3) rarely but sometimes, stutter for one or two seconds. Over the last four years, I've tweaked just about every setting known to man in that control panel. Pre-rendered frames, vsync, power options, you name it, it's been ticked to one option or another in every single combination I could think of or source from online guides and message boards like ours.
I say this because my OCD has actually hampered my ability to enjoy the game. Rather than fire up a campaign mission and immersing myself, I'd load up test campaigns or quick scenarios designed to stress my settings, over and over and over again. One run through would be smooth and I'd be delighted. A second run through would cause a hiccup here and there. The next would be smooth. And each time, like a dog chasing its own tail, I'd go back and forth between my sim and the nVidia Control Panel and the sim Workshop settings in the vain attempt to remove all possible impediments to liquid smooth frame rates. And all while growing frustrated with my seeming inability to nail down a perfect solution.
And then last night, on a whim, I got fed up and hit reset on the nVidia Control Panel. Everything reverted to their default settings. I then loaded up my stress test scenarios, and what did I find?
That my sim ran smoothly 99% of the time, occasionally hiccuped or paused when things were particularly busy, and rarely but sometimes, stuttered for one or two seconds.
In other words, it ran seemingly the same or even slightly better
than it had when I had agonized over dialing in my settings. My conclusion was this: providing the game doesn't have any major performance breaking issues with the fps (like consistent stutters or game ending pauses), one solution for a stutter in one scenario will likely cause a hiccup in another, and so on. In other words, one cure creates a side-effect whose treatment spawns another. It never ends.
So I walked out to the living room and told my spouse my findings (she's the patient sort that will listen to this kind of nonsense) and she said, "yeah, you did that a few months back too and said it did the same thing with your old card."
I was flabbergasted.
Not only did the default settings work fine, but I HAD ALREADY DONE THIS BEFORE!
When I think of all of the time I've spent "optimizing and testing" my settings, I could have probably shepherded a handful of pilots from hostilities to armistice by now. Even with a new card, I can run my settings far higher
than ever before, and WOTR is now playable in a way it never was on my 745 GTX, but you know what? Both sims run smoothly 99% of the time, occasionally hiccup or pause if things are getting particularly busy and rarely but sometimes, stutter for one or two seconds.
Even my PS4 with Gran Turismo Sport will hiccup when things get busy. And Battlefield 1? The same, and these games aren't attempting anything as ambitious as rendering the entirety of Western Europe while populating it with hundreds of aircraft and NPC's.
So the lesson, ultimately, to myself more than anyone, is this: if the sim runs well enough, just enjoy it. Immerse yourself in the game and if it hiccups, so be it. I'd have weeks of my life back and my pilots would probably have several hundred more flight hours logged if I had just taken a deep breath, realized that PC's are not game consoles, and that I've gotten two wonderful games to run as smoothly as anyone can reasonably expect given the sheer magic they are attempting to produce. At the end of the day, tweaking is part of our hobby, but if it reaches the point where it's actively preventing you from enjoying the game, it's time for a rethink. As always, your mileage may vary.
Cheers guys - hope this helps with some perspective and if nothing else, provides a bit of a laugh. Hopefully I can "sticky" this in my brain the next time I get some bright ideas about customizing my settings.