GTA IV low fps when shadow is Very High

When i set the Shadow Settings to Very High, I only get 29-33 fps and the game feels laggy like it is running below 20 fps eventhough it is not, but when I set it to High I get an average of 35-43 fps.
Is that normal?

I am also wondering why I only get 38-50 fps (with fraps) during actual gameplay but get an average 61-63 fps during the in-game default benchmark?

Graphics Settings: (Patch 1.0.6)

Resolution: 1920x1080 (60hz)
Texture: High
Reflection: Very High View Distance: 43
Water Quality: Very High Detail Distance: 72
Shadow Quality: High / Very High Vehicle Density: 60
Anisotropic Filtering: 16x
Definition: on
Vsync: On

Computer Specs:

CPU: Intel Core i7 930 @ 3.47ghz
GPU: ATI 5870 1GB @ 875/1225
RAM: 6 GB DDR3 1333
HDD: 500 GB 7200 RPM
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
4 answers Last reply
More about shadow high
  1. shadow performance seems normal. Especially for that game.

    Does it feel like 60fps when the game says it is? I tend to trust the game, could be wrong though.

    Make sure "triple buffering" is on when running vsync. Turn the AF down and see if that helps smooth it out.
  2. GTA 4 is poorly optimized on PC. Try patching the game to v.1.07 it might help a bit.
  3. Im not too sure, but maybe using a no CD crack (which is completely legal if you own the game legally) would make it use less resources? You could also try disabling superfetch... its weird, that card and CPU combo should run it max no problems
  4. I believe the GPU's memory is the problem. I used to have 2 1GB 5870s in crossfire, and I still got alot of stuttering despite a high average framerate when shadows were on very high. I have 2 gtx 480s now, which have 1536MB of video memory (your card has 1024), and while the average framerate is only slightly higher, the stuttering is completely eliminated. This result is mirrored in other games in which I tweaked the shadow resolution. For example, in Mass Effect 2, I made the maximum shadow resolution 8 times higher. With my 5870s, the framerate suffered, but with the 480s, it stays consistently at 60 (v-sync on).
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