Maximize Performance and Minimize Stutter in Diablo III

  • #1
    Hi guys, I posted this in the official Blizzard forums but either there is too much traffic or they are just ignoring the issue. I wanted to post it here as well in case people haven't seen it or it gets deleted. A lot of the tips have helped me (RAMDISK is the big one) get the game to perform at an acceptable level until they (hopefully) release a patch.

    http://us.battle.net...opic/5149619611 ->

    Hi fellow hell hunters, I'm starting this thread to help out the many many players who are having issues with stutters fps drops and lag in Diablo III. I had really hoped this would be at the very least acknowledged by Blizzard at this point but the responses have been vague or not helpful. So perhaps some of things I have gathered here will help us out to least get the game to a playable, not-so-frustrating state until (HOPEFULLY) there is a real fix.

    1) As always make sure you have nothing running besides the game. I even tried turning off antivirus but that didn't seem to make a difference for me though it might for you.

    2) For nvidia users a helpful tip is try the nvidia beta 301.24 drivers. Some have also posted success with older versions 280.xx but I have had the best luck with the beta drivers and hope that the next version will be further optimized for D3. If you're using 301.24 you will get some extra features. I have created a profile for D3 and overridden the following settings in the nvidia control panel: perf mode: single display, pwr management: max perf, triple buffering: on, vsync: adaptive. On 280.xx it is noted to set the max pre-rendered frames to 0 (this option is not available in the beta drivers).

    UPDATE FOR NVIDIA USERS: New drivers release by NVIDIA! Enabling Adaptive VSYNC in nvidia cont. panel and disabling in-game may improve performance! See more info here: http://us.battle.net...70829425 thanks to KelJar for the tip!

    For ATI users make sure you are on 12.4a drivers. I don't have a radeon myself but apparently there is a radeon pro app that helps tweak the settings and reduce stutter. Sorry I don't have more info on this but if you check the forums you should find more details.

    3) Quad core users are reporting performance improvements by setting the processor affinity to 1/2 cores instead of all. Google processor affinity for more info, it's pretty straightforward. I have a dual core and this did not help for me.

    4) There is a d3prefs.txt file that seems to rate your system when the game is first launched. Users are reporting improvements when setting HardwareClass to 1 (typically it will be a higher number).

    5) In-game settings: the biggest changes that impact performance for me are vsync, shadows and anti-aliasing. I have also disabled the foreground FPS limiter. Note to vsync: it seems best with adaptive vsync on in the nvidia control panel. Your mileage with vsync may vary but for me and my gtx550ti it makes a big difference. Anti-aliasing OFF seems to give a slight performance boost.

    6) Windowed or fullscreen windowed. Simply changing the game out of fullscreen mode seems to stabilize the game's framerate quite a bit. I use fullscreen windowed mode.

    7) RAMDISK. This one takes some time but for me has made the biggest difference to help alleviate this bug. I doubled my RAM for under 50.00 and have the ENTIRE game loaded into RAM. I'm using DDR3 RAM which is still significantly faster than SSD. I did a two part guide, the links are here:

    http://us.battle.net...3994?page=6#109
    http://us.battle.net...3994?page=7#134

    8) Don't give up! The lack if response from Blizzard doesn't sway my belief that they are aware of this issue and are just keeping quiet. My hope is they are working hard for a fix and hopefully we'll see that fix sooner than later. Don't be afraid to call in to customer support and tweet your concerns with @BlizzardCS. With enough visibility if they are not making this issue top priority, hopefully they will.

    Good luck and like the rest of you I am eagerly awaiting a reply from Blizz!
  • #2
    From Valcros:


    Nice. I was thinking on doing something similar to this.

    I will add more workarounds

    9) Using FRAPS with halfsize mode. If you play while recording with FRAPS, it forces it to run on 30 FPS which is not perfect but still no stutter (this was the only thing that worked for me)

    10) Instead of using RAMdisk, try with SDD if you have or flash SD

    11) ATI
    - Download and install Radeonpro
    - Setup a profile for diablo 3
    - Advanced > Flip Queue Size 0
    - Force aggressive API detection 1
    - Disable aero, Force Process High priority
    - ingame enable vsync
    - Ingame Uncheck max foreground and background fps

    Nvidia
    - Nvidia control panels set "maximum pre rendered frames" to 0
    - ingame enable vsync
    - Ingame Uncheck max foreground and background fps

    12) If you use ATI, download drivers 12.4a and ensure on CCC that it lists its version correctly and not one before. I fixed this inconsistency by downloading a mobility driver version posted on guru3D which was zipped

    13) Defrag your PC

    14) Ensure it is not overheating

    15) Check that your firewall is not affecting any blizzard's ports/connections

    16) Try disabling "superfetch"on window's services

    17) Try using quietHDD software and disabling APM
  • #3
    18) Leatrix Latency Fix!
    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5149179406#1

    19) Gamebooster. I'm using the beta version, and actually this is not a bad little app for any gaming. It allows you to close down unneeded services and background programs that I was doing manually anyway. So this saves me time, because you can click the restore button and all the apps closed come back up! Pretty slick.

    20) Throttlestop. I haven't tried this out but there are a lot of positive reports here:
    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5149537105

    21) Sound card drivers??? A user has reported an outdated sound card driver was causing issues. I'm not ruling anything out at this point.

    UPDATE: THE BIGGEST IMPROVEMENTS THUS FAR FOR ME HAVE BEEN RAMDISK AND 301.24 BETA DRIVERS. 301.45 OFFICIAL WITH FXAA SEEMS TO SLOW THINGS DOWN. I HAVE ALSO TRIED VERSION 280 WITH PRE-RENDERED FRAMES TO 0 AND DIDN'T NOTICE A MAJOR DIFFERENCE.
  • #5
    Interesting thread, I might have to try some of the tips provided here.

    It's funny though, D3 stutters so oddly for me. It's hardly noticeable on the framerate, it stays around 90-100 when I'm running around in New Tristram while having these very apparent stutters.
    [youtube] T3hMusicGuru
    [playlist] Diablo III Music

    Signature by Caniroth.
  • #6
    ****************************************************************************
    FINAL UPDATE: Just had a pretty good session and have now settled on my final setup. Hopefully this will help others out.

    System Specs: Win7 64-bit, Core i3 3.1GHz, 16GB RAM, eVGA GTX 550ti FPB (950MHz), SATA HDD (No SSD), 24" 1920x1200 LCD monitor

    Using Gamebooster. It's a really slick app, and not required, but it just saves time closing/reopening any running programs that could slow down your system or use RAM.

    NVIDIA Geforce 296.10 64-bit drivers.
    Nvidia control panel settings for Diablo III Profile:
    -Antialiasing Gamma Correction: OFF
    -Power mgmt: Max Performance
    -Max pre-rendered frames: 0
    -PHYSX: Manually set to CPU
    -Triple Buffering: ON
    -VSYNC: ON

    In-game settings:
    -Sound: Med
    -Fullscreen*
    -VSYNC: OFF**
    -FPS Limiters: OFF
    -Antialiasing: OFF****

    SETTINGS INITIALLY DETECTED BY DIABLO which I reverted back to:
    --Resolution: Lowered to 1680x1050***
    --Textures: High
    --Shadows: Med
    --Physics: High
    --Clutter: High
    --Low FX: OFF

    AND FINALLY:
    MPQ ramdisk (ClientData, Textures, and Sounds). You can find the how-to for this in my opening post on this thread.

    This made me realize there are two types of performance issues here. One is to do with the graphics and one is to do with the assets. Unfortunately if your GPU can't cut it there's not much you can do (until/unless they release a performance patch).But if you wanted to do one thing to massively boost the performance of this game in its current state that would be the ramdisk. In fact, maybe START with the MPQs in RAM so that you know the only thing left to fine tune are your video settings. The ramdisk virtually eliminates the audio clip, new item, new cast stutter. I even went back to full HDD to make sure I wasn't crazy and it is without a doubt the biggest performance booster. A lot of people have brought up doing this to a USB stick. I would advise against, as most USB drives can't keep up with modern HDDs. BUT, there has been some success, so that leads me to believe that part of the impact comes from moving the MPQs to a different data path, ie. second hard drive, RAM, etc.

    One thing I have not tested is which MPQ makes the biggest impact for those of you with lower RAM. I would experiment with one a time and see how it goes. There have been comments about sound assets being resource heavy, so if you're low on RAM, lower your sound setting to low in-game, and move the textures.mpq to RAM, or maybe just the sound one. Again, I haven't tried this out as I have all 3 loaded in RAM.

    *I found something interesting, and that is VSYNC works better in fullscreen as opposed to fullscreen windowed AS LONG AS YOU DO NOT ALT+TAB OUT OF THE GAME. As soon as you do it seems to stop working. This is probably something a lot of us didn't notice

    **This was a big one. Having in-game vsync off FINALLY seemed to be a good balance between performance and smoothness. It's very slightly LESS smooth with this OFF, BUT, and here's the kicker, I was no longer getting the FPS drops down to 30 when highlighting items. AGAIN, as soon as I ALT-TAB'd out it was hooped. This didn't seem to happen every time but definitely made troubleshooting more confusing.

    ***I didn't want to do this but this stabilized the FPS with NVIDIA VSYNC on. Find an item that when you run towards cuts your FPS to 30 (CTRL+R) to display FPS. Do it a few times to make sure it's actually continuing to do so. Now drop your resolution down and try it again. Keep doing this until the item highlight stays stable and close to 60. I was stable at the next lowest res at the same ratio, which in my case was 1680x1050

    ****Because I dropped the res things were a lot more blurry. This always happens when not in native res. But I found a compromise/benefit. What I did was disabled Antialiasing, which sharpened things up quite a bit and make the game look pretty close to native. The nice thing about this is now you're softening the image physically and not through your system. So by disabling AA you'll gain some performance.

    ****************************************************************************
  • #7
    Quote from minuteZERO

    18) Leatrix Latency Fix!
    http://us.battle.net...ic/5149179406#1

    19) Gamebooster. I'm using the beta version, and actually this is not a bad little app for any gaming. It allows you to close down unneeded services and background programs that I was doing manually anyway. So this saves me time, because you can click the restore button and all the apps closed come back up! Pretty slick.

    20) Throttlestop. I haven't tried this out but there are a lot of positive reports here:
    http://us.battle.net...opic/5149537105

    21) Sound card drivers??? A user has reported an outdated sound card driver was causing issues. I'm not ruling anything out at this point.

    UPDATE: THE BIGGEST IMPROVEMENTS THUS FAR FOR ME HAVE BEEN RAMDISK AND 301.24 BETA DRIVERS. 301.45 OFFICIAL WITH FXAA SEEMS TO SLOW THINGS DOWN. I HAVE ALSO TRIED VERSION 280 WITH PRE-RENDERED FRAMES TO 0 AND DIDN'T NOTICE A MAJOR DIFFERENCE.


    If Ramdisking worked try O and O Clever Cache Free trial, let it run while you play the game. Improved my quality even more than ramdisking did.
  • #8
    This is so sad, ever since 1.0.3 the stutter began.
    Now my game is unplayable and Blizzard can't give me a straight up response and says that I need to take it to a tech to get it checked out.
    I seriously hate this company now, and will never play their games again with this kind of customer support.
    I've tried every single one of these fixes, plus a bunch more not listed here and not a single thing has worked, or even made the game playable at all.
    Screw this.
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