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The truth about PRE-RENDERING 0?
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Tastic
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Default The truth about PRE-RENDERING 0? - 07-15-2012, 23:25 | posts: 14

Hello peeps, this is my first thread on this forum, so any help/advice on the matter would be much appreciated.

I am looking for the truth behind 'Pre-rendering 0' with Nvidia cards. This may come off as a silly question as the option clearly states 0 pre-rendered frames. However, I have heard many trains of thought regarding this matter.

For one, when you set pre-rendered frames to 0 in either the nvidia control panel or by using nvidia inspector, are the pre-rendered frames really 0? If not, what drivers are they not 0, and what do they default to if 0 is selected?

I have been reading and hearing about how the setting of 0 for pre-rendered frames actually defaults to 3 in many scenarios. I even read a benchmark test review that their results confirm that by setting your Nvidia card to 0 pre-rendered frames, your card resorts to its default setting, which is 3 pre-rendered frames. So, a selection of 1 or 2 will actually render less frames than a setting of 0.

Here's one example I'm talking about: http://forums.laptopvideo2go.com/top...es-benchmarks/

I have tested pre-rendered frames from 0-3, and I'm having trouble coming to a definitive conclusion about whether a setting of 0 or 1 renders less frames. I play Quake Live, so finding the setting that truly renders the least amount of frames is ideal. I have a fairly fast system so my system should handle the least amount of rendering possible. I want the configuration that offers the LEAST amount of input lag. I can't find many definitive sources about whether pre-rendered frames 0 actually renders 0 frames, or if it resorts to driver defaults of 3. I've heard angles from both sides.

Current configuration:

i5-2500k
EVGA 550 TI
16gb 1333 Ram
SSD
Asus VG236H 120hz LCD

Basic video settings:

The driver-set (Nvidia) I'm currently using is 295.73.
Pre-rendered frames set to 0 or 1
GPU Scaling off
Play games at native resolution (1920 x 1080) even though I prefer lesser resolutions
Most filtering settings turned off or to high performance
120hz refresh rate

If anyone can shed any light on this subject I would appreciate it, immensely!

Discuss.

-T
   
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Cyberdyne
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Default 07-15-2012, 23:36 | posts: 2,927 | Location: USA, Pennsylvania

Newer versions of the NVidia drivers remove the option to use 0. Instead, it was replaced with "use default app setting". Setting it to 0 in the newer drivers using Inspector just sets it to "use default app setting" as well.
Knowing that, it would make sense that settings it to 0 in older drivers makes it actually use 3 (or default), giving a reason for the more recent change. Maybe for clarity.
   
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Tastic
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Default 07-15-2012, 23:42 | posts: 14

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyberdyne View Post
Newer versions of the NVidia drivers remove the option to use 0. Instead, it was replaced with "use default app setting". Setting it to 0 in the newer drivers using Inspector just sets it to "use default app setting" as well.
Knowing that, it would make sense that settings it to 0 in older drivers makes it actually use 3 (or default), giving a reason for the more recent change. Maybe for clarity.
I noticed that as well.

I did find an interesting comment in the ESR forum @ http://www.esreality.com/post/228304...ndered-frames/

Here's the comment:

"Fact is, you have to "pre-render" a single frame before displaying. So you're suggesting that this option is "how many _more_ frames to pre-render" and 1 is keeping a single frame always in the buffer while previous one is displayed and next one is being rendered? Does it do it even with vsync off? I was under impression this setting is for vsync users..."

This makes sense, but is it true? Does your video-card have to pre-render at least 1 frame before displaying on your screen? Are video-cards not capable of rendering real-time and displaying the image on your screen as it's rendering? I suspect that if this is true, your system has to be fairly fast to handle real-time rendering.

Your thoughts?

-T
   
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ManuelG
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Default 07-16-2012, 00:29 | posts: 541 | Location: Santa Clara, California

I asked our engineers and their reasoning for removing "0" was because there was practically zero difference in setting this to either "0" or "1". The result was the same.

Manuel
NVIDIA Forums Technical Advisor
   
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Agent-A01
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Default 07-16-2012, 01:43 | posts: 9,476 | Location: USA

was there really a need for 3 threads?
   
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Default 07-16-2012, 01:59 | posts: 19,942 | Location: US East Coast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tastic View Post
This makes sense, but is it true? Does your video-card have to pre-render at least 1 frame before displaying on your screen? Are video-cards not capable of rendering real-time and displaying the image on your screen as it's rendering? I suspect that if this is true, your system has to be fairly fast to handle real-time rendering.
The short answer is yes, at least 1 frame has to be pre-rendered.


   
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Prophet
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Default 07-16-2012, 08:11 | posts: 776 | Location: Heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by ManuelG View Post
I asked our engineers and their reasoning for removing "0" was because there was practically zero difference in setting this to either "0" or "1". The result was the same.

Manuel
NVIDIA Forums Technical Advisor
I can feel the difference between 0 and 1. 'Practically no difference' is an actual difference. Some guy where this was discussed says it adds ~5-15 ms per each pre-rendered frame which seems accurate to me.

Mind I only care about this in the fps games. When I play this makes quite a difference. I usually am in the top 3-5% or so in the fpss I have played.

ATi doesnt have 0 pre rendered any more (or flip que as its called on ati iirc). This is one of the biggest reasons I bought a Nvidia card.

Please bring 0 back in the newer drivers so I dont have to use 296.x drivers.

Last edited by Prophet; 07-16-2012 at 08:46.
   
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rewt
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Default 07-16-2012, 12:02 | posts: 1,245 | Location: Americas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tastic View Post
Does it do it even with vsync off? I was under impression this setting is for vsync users..."

This makes sense, but is it true? Does your video-card have to pre-render at least 1 frame before displaying on your screen?

Your thoughts?
The video drivers will also pre-render frames when vsync is disabled, and it's easiest to detect that behavior in OpenGL applications.

The option in the control panel affects the length of the command buffer between CPU and GPU. Back buffering is a different story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyberdyne View Post
Knowing that, it would make sense that settings it to 0 in older drivers makes it actually use 3 (or default), giving a reason for the more recent change. Maybe for clarity.
In drivers before r300, a setting of 0 shortened the command buffer to a minimum. In r300 drivers and above, a setting of 0 is application/driver controlled and typically equals 3 frames.

Last edited by rewt; 07-16-2012 at 12:05.
   
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Shadowdane
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Default 07-16-2012, 15:21 | posts: 1,262 | Location: Virginia

I use 1 or 2 pre-rendered frames here, depends on the game. Most games run smoother with a setting of 2 I found. When I used lower settings I found the framerate to fluxuate more. The difference in response was pretty much non-existent.

I think that could be partly due to having an SLI configuration, this way it renders one frame per GPU ahead?
   
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rewt
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Default 07-16-2012, 16:35 | posts: 1,245 | Location: Americas

Nvidia says the setting in the control panel does not apply to SLI. Either that info is inaccurate, or you are experiencing the placebo effect.
   
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hallryu
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Default 07-16-2012, 17:03 | posts: 11,379 | Location: England

The other 2 threads are closed. This one stays open as it has the most replies and discussion.
   
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Burnt_Ram
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Default 07-16-2012, 20:19 | posts: 5,926 | Location: British Columbia

what, pre rendered frames ahead doesn't apply to sli, surely that's wrong?
   
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rewt
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Default 07-16-2012, 21:22 | posts: 1,245 | Location: Americas

If it's wrong, then benchmarks would reflect that. I don't know why Nvidia would say it doesn't apply to SLI if it does.
   
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Default 07-17-2012, 03:45 | posts: 1,242 | Location: Melbourne, FL

Makes sense to me.. With SLI you would always be using at least one pre-rendered frame because you are using alternate frame rendering...
   
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Default 07-17-2012, 05:01 | posts: 306 | Location: Australia

So it's best to have it on 1 or 2? mine is default on 3. does it differ from different graphics cards? For example a high-end and a low-end?
   
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Default 07-17-2012, 05:24 | posts: 982 | Location: Virginia Beach, VA

I have put mine to 1 for BF3 and it seems smoother. I'm pretty sure my CPU is a bottleneck for my GPU, even overclocked like it is, so it being set to 1 seemed like a smart decision.
   
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Default 07-17-2012, 06:29 | posts: 776 | Location: Heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by p0ppa View Post
So it's best to have it on 1 or 2? mine is default on 3. does it differ from different graphics cards? For example a high-end and a low-end?
Depends on game. If its a game that doesnt require immediate response generally setting it higher is better. D3 for example I put 3.
   
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tweakpower
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Default 07-17-2012, 07:30 | posts: 932 | Location: Serbia

nVidia and their stupid tricks, sorry to be a constant "black sheep" on the forum, but i have to share personal experience with this.

Many cards was tested, all of them older than this i will mention here.

9800GT, RFA = 1, 2 or 3. 3Dmark score is around 10-15% better than RFA = 0. Games are smoother, lag is almost eliminated (OK, lag was problem with most if not all nVidia cards for me, having on mind that i always used AMD CPU's, it can be that), but with less FPS, and with more "harder" stutter, but less micro.

Here is example i saved on 9800GT Mafia II game, same scene.

   
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Prophet
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Default 07-17-2012, 10:15 | posts: 776 | Location: Heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by tweakpower View Post
nVidia and their stupid tricks, sorry to be a constant "black sheep" on the forum, but i have to share personal experience with this.

Many cards was tested, all of them older than this i will mention here.

9800GT, RFA = 1, 2 or 3. 3Dmark score is around 10-15% better than RFA = 0. Games are smoother, lag is almost eliminated (OK, lag was problem with most if not all nVidia cards for me, having on mind that i always used AMD CPU's, it can be that), but with less FPS, and with more "harder" stutter, but less micro.

Here is example i saved on 9800GT Mafia II game, same scene.

Not sure what you are trying to say here buddy. That graph only shows that render ahead frames has little to no impact on fps. I have tested this in d3 and bfbc2 and, apart from the first 30 secs being somewhat less fps with pre-rendered 0, the result were almost similar. Similar enough that I claim that with a recent system that difference is neglible.
   
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Default 07-17-2012, 10:39 | posts: 5,736

@tweakpower which setting has "harder" stutter, but less micro?
How can you even an impartial judge if you're heavy CPU limited?

It's perfectly fine to be a "black sheep", but you're not making much sense buddy
Lost in translation... or sumtin
   
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rewt
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Default 07-17-2012, 12:45 | posts: 1,245 | Location: Americas

Benchmark scores start to decrease as you decrease the amount of frames rendered ahead. In drivers before r300, zero would have had a negative impact on benchmark scores, but not with r300+ drivers.

Combine this with the fact that AMD removed the ability to tweak flip queue in their drivers and you begin to see the primary motivation Nvidia had for changing the setting's behavior in recent drivers.

Last edited by rewt; 07-17-2012 at 13:06.
   
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Default 07-17-2012, 13:42 | posts: 837 | Location: Old England

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kolt View Post
I have put mine to 1 for BF3 and it seems smoother. I'm pretty sure my CPU is a bottleneck for my GPU, even overclocked like it is, so it being set to 1 seemed like a smart decision.
Very bottlenecked. I had a Q9450 running at 3.2GHz and BF3 didn't like it, had to run the game in Medium Quality of all the things in the world.

Switched to an i5 2500k running at 4.5GHz and I can now run BF3 in High / Very High with the same GTX470 which I still have now and had in my previous system.

Not going to make the same "costly" mistake as I did on my AGP Motherboard which was to constantly get a better graphic card with a bottlenecked CPU. Then again we also hit the bandwitdth wall with AGP.

I'll have to give this a go as I'm curious now. I'll try 1 and 2 but BF3 works a treat for me as it is.
   
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tweakpower
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Default 07-17-2012, 18:17 | posts: 932 | Location: Serbia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prophet View Post
Not sure what you are trying to say here buddy. That graph only shows that render ahead frames has little to no impact on fps. I have tested this in d3 and bfbc2 and, apart from the first 30 secs being somewhat less fps with pre-rendered 0, the result were almost similar. Similar enough that I claim that with a recent system that difference is neglible.
Actually, graph clearly shows less FPS in RFA = 0, but, that could be CPU limitation on this game. On the other side, I agree with this you said, on recent systems, maybe, with recent drivers ofc.

Graph shows latency between frames, which is much more important than AVG FPS in mine opinion. As you can see, RFA 0 added some extra latency on some parts (i actually did on part that was most heavy in Mafia II on mine system), and it shows GPU+CPU limtation on parts you can see clearly. But there is other thing, you maybe can't notice in this graph, FPS is more steady with RFA 0 (except those few parts), and because it was around 30-40 FPS, you can't see that in graph very clearly. The actual gameplay of game was changed with RFA = 0, in a good way.

Back on topic, with nVidia cards, i find best option to be RFA = 1, it is a good balance between framerate and lag. I think (not tested tho), it would be more important on quad+ core CPU's.

Here is some tests i found on backup CD with 9800GT and RFA = 1, all games are tested with high/maximum details, AF16x and 4xAA. Resolutions was lower 1024*768 or 1280*960, you can see difference in good vs bad optimised and caped games.


You can see not so good performance here.

Almost perfect, despite low FPS.

Caped game.

Good performance.

Badly optimised game, it requires AVG FPS well over 200 in order to work good.

From best, to worst preforming games: F1 2010, COD Modern Warfare 2, Doom 3, Trackmania United Forever, FIFA 11. There you go, go figure...
   
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rewt
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Default 07-17-2012, 18:35 | posts: 1,245 | Location: Americas

Quote:
Originally Posted by tweakpower View Post
graph clearly shows less FPS in RFA = 0
That's the reason Nvidia sets it to 3 by default.
   
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tweakpower
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Default 07-17-2012, 19:16 | posts: 932 | Location: Serbia

Quote:
Originally Posted by rewt View Post
That's the reason Nvidia sets it to 3 by default.
Yes, but with 1 it is about same as 3, OK, there is a bit of difference when FPS goes above 100, and minimum FPS is lower with 1, but in all, more stable with 1 or 0.
   
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