OS X witcher 3 on low specced machines

madeirabhoy

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Oct 26, 2012
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a really stupid question, so ill wait until you get off the floor.

but how scaleable is witcher 3? as in will it run at all on lowest settings say on a 2011 iMac 3.1ghz i5 with AMD 6970M 1024mb.

cant believe I'm asking this as i know the answer is 'like treacle'. would it be like treacle too using bootcamp?

i know....
 

madeirabhoy

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Oct 26, 2012
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Your GPU falls just below the system requirements, but it's not vastly slower than the 7870 they're recommending for the entry level. I think you could get it running around 25-30 FPS with the right tweaks, low-mediumish settings.
thats a lot better than i thought, might try it :apple:
 

Renzatic

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thats a lot better than i thought, might try it :apple:
I found this tweak guide that might be of some interest to you.

Keep in mind that I played the Witcher 2 on a machine that was a probably farther below the minimum specs than your machine is for W3, and I still had a lot of fun with it.

edit: eh, that article is as much an Nvidia advertisement as it is a tweak guide. I guess it offers up some good advice, but expect them to toot their own horn a lot.
 

vbedia

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Jan 25, 2014
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Your GPU falls just below the system requirements, but it's not vastly slower than the 7870 they're recommending for the entry level. I think you could get it running around 25-30 FPS with the right tweaks, low-mediumish settings.
In the current build, i think it's version 1.02, i would say given his GPU that's a bit too optimistic. He'll be lucky if he can hit 20's. Future patches may improve on performance, but at this point the game is very demanding.
 

madeirabhoy

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In the current build, i think it's version 1.02, i would say given his GPU that's a bit too optimistic. He'll be lucky if he can hit 20's. Future patches may improve on performance, but at this point the game is very demanding.
do you think that would be playable?
 

antonis

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Jun 10, 2011
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Yet! Play it on Bootcamp till the Mac version comes out and then transfer your saved games over.
Oh I will :) Been waiting for this game long time. I'll probably stay on the windows side too. Wouldn't want to lose the crossfire as it is quite demanding.
 

Renzatic

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In the current build, i think it's version 1.02, i would say given his GPU that's a bit too optimistic. He'll be lucky if he can hit 20's. Future patches may improve on performance, but at this point the game is very demanding.
Yeah, it's a pretty hardware intensive game, but I think he could average mid-20's if he knocks the resolution at or below 1280x720, and keeps everything set pretty low.

It won't be the smoothest thing in the world, but it'll be playable.
 

Dirtyharry50

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May 17, 2012
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I'm going to wait for a Mac version myself and info on required/recommended settings for that along with feedback from the pioneers who try it first.

If the news isn't good, I will then consider playing it later on a PS4.
 

garnerx

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Nov 9, 2012
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I think I've spent more time messing with the settings than I have actually playing. There are so many things to tweak, so it's definitely quite scaleable.

The equivalent of the PS4 console version is more or less the 'low' default settings at 30 fps.

I'm running it on 2x GTX670 2GB cards, with a mixture of ultra and high settings. All post-processing options are switched on.

That's good for a locked 30 fps, or a very variable 30-50 fps. It maxes out both cards, and the framerate drops about 40% with a single card.

There's one option called 'hairworks' that absolutely kills the framerate. With that switched off, I get a fairly consistent 60 fps, but it's the one graphics option that makes the biggest difference. Without it you have static clumps of obviously 2D fur on monsters, but with it the fur looks soft enough to touch, and even ripples in the wind. So I've left it on, despite the huge hit to the framerate.
 

antonis

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Jun 10, 2011
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There's one option called 'hairworks' that absolutely kills the framerate. With that switched off, I get a fairly consistent 60 fps, but it's the one graphics option that makes the biggest difference. Without it you have static clumps of obviously 2D fur on monsters, but with it the fur looks soft enough to touch, and even ripples in the wind. So I've left it on, despite the huge hit to the framerate.
Indeed, the "nVidia Hairworks" setting is the biggest framerate killer, even if it is configured only for Geralt's model. The weirdest thing is that it kills the framerate even on AMD cards - I would expect the setting to be ignored on non-nvidia GPUs but it is not.
 

Renzatic

Suspended
Indeed, the "nVidia Hairworks" setting is the biggest framerate killer, even if it is configured only for Geralt's model. The weirdest thing is that it kills the framerate even on AMD cards - I would expect the setting to be ignored on non-nvidia GPUs but it is not.
It's the only option I have turned off (brag brag). It drops my framerate by at least 10 FPS, and doesn't offer up anything besides very slightly silkier looking hair. Even without the performance hit, it's barely noticeable.

As for the PS4 version, I'd peg it out more at medium-high. I'm running the game on ultra (BRAG), and going by the screenshots and videos, it doesn't look much different than how it does on my PC. The texture and shadow resolution is lower, and the draw distance isn't quite as far, but everything else looks like it's jacked up to its fullest.

The biggest advantage of the PC version would be the framerate and the itty bitty crispy details. The console people aren't missing out on much.
 

antonis

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Jun 10, 2011
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It's the only option I have turned off (brag brag). It drops my framerate by at least 10 FPS, and doesn't offer up anything besides very slightly silkier looking hair. Even without the performance hit, it's barely noticeable.

As for the PS4 version, I'd peg it out more at medium-high. I'm running the game on ultra (BRAG), and going by the screenshots and videos, it doesn't look much different than how it does on my PC. The texture and shadow resolution is lower, and the draw distance isn't quite as far, but everything else looks like it's jacked up to its fullest.

The biggest advantage of the PC version would be the framerate and the itty bitty crispy details. The console people aren't missing out on much.
There are a lot of complaints in the forums from people even with high-end PCs that the game is really heavier that what its looks would justify. It also seems there's some bad optimization with nvidia cards (although not sure if same issues happen with amd as well). Looks like Titan cards (yeah, the ones cost $1000+ ) perform worst than the 9xx series and that 7xx series in sli also perform unjustifiably poorly.

On the other hand, I guess it's too soon. I'd expect newer drivers to get some issues sorted out during the next 2 weeks.
 

Renzatic

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There are a lot of complaints in the forums from people even with high-end PCs that the game is really heavier that what its looks would justify. It also seems there's some bad optimization with nvidia cards (although not sure if same issues happen with amd as well). Looks like Titan cards (yeah, the ones cost $1000+ ) perform worst than the 9xx series and that 7xx series in sli also perform unjustifiably poorly.

On the other hand, I guess it's too soon. I'd expect newer drivers to get some issues sorted out during the next 2 weeks.
If I had a Titan, I'd be understandably pissed. Thought the game runs at a consistent 45 FPS for me, so I don't have too many complaints. Not that I'd mind if they managed to push it up to a full, super smooth 60 with a few tweaks and patches, of course.
 

Cougarcat

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Sep 19, 2003
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Indeed, the "nVidia Hairworks" setting is the biggest framerate killer, even if it is configured only for Geralt's model. The weirdest thing is that it kills the framerate even on AMD cards - I would expect the setting to be ignored on non-nvidia GPUs but it is not.
It's not weird. NVidia doesn't share its source with AMD so there's little optimization AMD can do. It's actually a semi-controversy, Ars just wrote an article on it. it hurts FPS on NVidia cards too, though not as much.

With my 970 and hairworks on, I'm getting 35-60 FPS at 1080p, with the 35-45 usually during cutscenes. That's with most things on ultra, with Foliage and Shadows on high and some of the stupider post-processing effects off.

If you have bootcamp and want to play this, don't wait. I expect OS X performance will be abysmal, and you won't even get access to some of the more advanced graphical features.
 

antonis

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Jun 10, 2011
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An update for Mac owners having AMD cards and will try on Windows: the latest beta catalyst drivers (15.4) - using the usual trick you'll find on MR forum in order to install them - seem to gain a few fps more. However crossfire, although it goes all the way up to a stable 60fps, have many graphic glitches. These drivers don't seem to be optimized for this game yet, but they perform a bit better generally.
 

garnerx

macrumors 6502
Nov 9, 2012
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Indeed, the "nVidia Hairworks" setting is the biggest framerate killer, even if it is configured only for Geralt's model.
It seems to be the same for Geralt only or Geralt plus a herd of beasts, so you might as well have it on for everything.

I saw a tip on Reddit that lets you squeeze a lot of extra frames out of the hairworks effect. Turns out it's a resource hog because it's doing 8x multisample antialiasing, which is very costly. If you go to the game folder and find bin>config>base>Rendering.ini you can change HairWorksAALevel to a more reasonable 2 or 4. I was using 2x AA in the pic below, and that scene was getting a steady 50 fps. Looks a little more pixellated than the default, but it seems to be about 10 fps faster.

It's the only option I have turned off (brag brag). It drops my framerate by at least 10 FPS, and doesn't offer up anything besides very slightly silkier looking hair. Even without the performance hit, it's barely noticeable.
I totally disagree with that. The hairworks stuff is the only thing that makes it look 'next gen'. I just murdered a wolf for you and took a picture to illustrate. Without the hair effects, the wolf's fur is a thin 2D texture, same as the tufts of grass. With the hair effect, the fur is thick, self-shadowing and it even moves in the wind.

 

antonis

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Jun 10, 2011
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It seems to be the same for Geralt only or Geralt plus a herd of beasts, so you might as well have it on for everything.

I saw a tip on Reddit that lets you squeeze a lot of extra frames out of the hairworks effect. Turns out it's a resource hog because it's doing 8x multisample antialiasing, which is very costly. If you go to the game folder and find bin>config>base>Rendering.ini you can change HairWorksAALevel to a more reasonable 2 or 4. I was using 2x AA in the pic below, and that scene was getting a steady 50 fps. Looks a little more pixellated than the default, but it seems to be about 10 fps faster.
Ah thanks, I'll try it with 2x and see how's the performance. It is indeed a great visual improvement especially when looking models from a close range.
 

Renzatic

Suspended
I totally disagree with that.
Now that I've seen that picture, I think I disagree with myself as well.

I only had it turned on in White Orchard proper to see what it looked like on the characters in a somewhat crowded environment. From there, it didn't seem to make that much of a difference visually, but gave me a pretty substantial drop in framerate. Though after seeing your shot of the wolf, and some other shots I just checked out because of it, it does make some of the monsters look considerably better.

I'm going to try out tweaking the .ini file, and see how it looks.

edit: did a quick test. It's not the most scientific thing around, but with the hair shader set to 2x AA, it seems to lose about 6 FPS, give or take.

Hair Off

Hair On

At the very least, the fancy hair does seem to lay on the model far better.

Also, I noticed they had Ubersampling in the .ini file. I'm kinda tempted to turn it on, see how good it'll look...and just how badly it'll run.

edit 2: Okay, turned on ubersampling. Didn't do a thing. After running around a bit, I've come back to my original conclusion. Geralt's hair looks a little better, but townspeople are about the same as before. The monsters are a different matter entirely. I fought some wolves, and they did look more, well, fluffy, but I'm still left wondering if it's worth the hit.

HairFX might be better served for cutscenes than gameplay.
 
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garnerx

macrumors 6502
Nov 9, 2012
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Okay, turned on ubersampling. Didn't do a thing. After running around a bit, I've come back to my original conclusion. Geralt's hair looks a little better, but townspeople are about the same as before. The monsters are a different matter entirely. I fought some wolves, and they did look more, well, fluffy, but I'm still left wondering if it's worth the hit.

HairFX might be better served for cutscenes than gameplay.
The hair effect is only on Geralt and the monsters - other characters have the same plastic hair regardless - but you seem to take the performance hit at all times, even if it's just Geralt on screen. Apparently Maxwell video cards take much less of a hit than Kepler ones.

Personally I think it's too good to pass up for the sake of a few frames. After seeing the hairy versions of the creatures, the flat ones don't look great. Plus it makes Geralt's hair look wet if you go in water, then it gradually dries out.

Ubersampling is turned on for the cutscenes, so you can see what it looks like (and how it pretty much halves the framerate).
 

madeirabhoy

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Oct 26, 2012
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20 FPS in a game should be "playable" with a little choppiness...

Based on my experience trying to run Skyrim on a MBA, below 15 FPS was my limit for "too choppy" but it didn't keep me from trying to play it!
:) ive got a lot of experience of playing games on underspecced machines, but normally of the civ or football manager variety where it just means waiting for ages for your turn. far cry 3 on my old mini was a bit of a stutter but if the story is good enough im happy to turn the graphics to bare minimum and put up with a bit of stutter.
 
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