PC Optimization and Call of Duty 2 Tweaks [Part 1]
This time sparked by Kryst talking in chat about frame drops, the bane of all PC gamers. This is more advanced than the ones I’ve posted before but if you’re comfortable with navigating Windows, using different programs and you know your hardware you should be fine. It is very detailed and comprehensive, will probably take you an hour to read and will make your finger hurt from all the scrolling (I’m not joking but I am sorry) but at least you'll learn more about how Windows works, maybe?
This post is so big that I have to split it into 3 parts/posts to fit into the 10,000 character limit, forgive me please.
There are a lot of “snake oil” tutorials on the internet that are mostly useless and sometimes those changes can even affect performance negatively. However, there are some changes that we can make that have been known to help.
As you’ve probably seen in my clips scattered around the Akuma forums and Discord I have constant 250 FPS even when recording with OBS. I’ll go through the steps I take when I configure Windows, my hardware drivers and Call of Duty 2.
It should be noted that the best thing you can do to increase your FPS is use a desktop PC with a fair amount of RAM (8GB+) and a SSD drive for your Windows installation. If you play newer games you likely have 16GB+ and possibly a NVMe SSD. Some would argue that 16GB is standard in 2022 but for CoD2 and maybe Chrome/Firefox 8GB+ should be fine.
Some of you are using laptops but they often come with further downsides such as limited Graphics Card control panel options so keep this in mind. Since I’m using an Intel CPU and a NVIDIA GPU, all the information in this guide will be related to that type of hardware. If you’re using AMD you may be able to use Google to find the corresponding settings but it won’t be the focus of this guide (Some information further down is still useful to you though).
As before, I’ll provide chapters so you can skip the ones you don’t want or need.
List of Chapters
- Editing BIOS
- Installing DirectX End-User Runtimes and Visual C++ Redistributables
- Installing and Configuring Graphics Drivers
- Installing RInput v1.44 (Raw Mouse Input for CoD2)
- Editing Windows Control Panel/Settings
- Call of Duty 2 Config Tweaks
Usually we assume the latest Windows or Graphics Card update is the problem and while that can be true, we can change the way our hardware operates at the base level. This helps us rule out hardware settings as the cause of frame drops if it happens in the future. Editing the BIOS is a more advanced topic and if you don’t feel comfortable doing this then you should leave it completely alone but if you know what you are doing, I absolutely recommend disabling certain features to help with CPU performance.
I am currently using an Intel 9700k and this processor provides features that downclock the frequency to save power or overclock the frequency to increase performance, they are enabled by default and can cause frame drops if the frequency fluctuates while playing.
Overclocking your CPU is an entirely different topic and requires its own amount of knowledge so that you don’t damage your hardware, I am not an expert with this and frankly it is outside the scope of this guide. I generally don’t touch this and prefer to keep my CPU stable at its base clock without any power saving features which is done by disabling the settings below. I also recommend not using any overclocked XMP profiles for your RAM because these can cause stutter and input lag.
There are 5 settings that I disable in my BIOS:
- EIST (Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology)
- Turbo Boost
- XMP Profiles (Presets for RAM frequency and timings)
- Intel C-States
- Intel Speed Shift
I have personally found that disabling C-States fixed FPS fluctuations and kept it constant (FirmFoot remembers).
Installing DirectX End-User Runtimes and Visual C++ Redistributables
After I have installed Windows I always like to install the DirectX End-User Runtimes and the latest Visual C++ Redistributables. This means the redistrubutables needed for any programs I use in the future will already be installed (Except for one little program later in the guide but the redistributable for that will also be provided with its download).
The DirectX End-User Runtimes can be found here on Microsoft’s website.
The latest Visual C++ Redistributables can be found in an All-In-One Package here on GitHub.
The Visual C++ Redistributable Package will need to be unzipped before you can install it:
Install these as you would any other program, they don’t require a restart.