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Swtor performance problems

So, my new "work" desktop came in last week, which I made sure at order had a little bit extra to run my after-work swtor addiction. I7 cpu, 8 gb ram and Radeon HD 7770 2gb. What a let down. I'm getting below 30 fps, primarily inside buildings - sometimes down to 11 fps on my own ship. Horrible jerky movement. The swings in fps are dramatic. It can go from 20 to 80 in an instant.

I tweaked the video card settings; even tried overclocking. Same result. Tried modifying the in game settings. Set resolution to "high" from "very high." Marginal difference. Finally, I set the in game shadowing feature to "low." Ta dah! Now I get 80-90 fps consistently and the game plays smoothly.

The problem is this: I want to play with all of my settings at highest possible res. There is no reason this computer shouldn't be able to do it. Even my laptop can do it.
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More about swtor performance problems
  1. depending on your resolution and how game engine handles shadows, a 7770 might actually be not enough to handle what you're asking of it.
  2. SWTOR had an issue with shadows since day one. Disable them or set them to low and everything else can easily be on a high setting. Doesn't seem to happen on all machines, but than again, SWTOR had issues on some while working fine on others, even slower ones.
  3. Best answer
    Unless this has changed recently, as I haven't played since launch, but the game is split in 2 process-wise. One process is dedicated to rendering and one acts like a server making IO calls and such. Every time an asset is requested, it's grabbed new from the hard drive. There were a "bad DRM" threads back then over it. But, I saw you made no mention of your drive set up. Often, at least then, the fix for this was to use SSDs or RAM disks for game assets. I could use moderately high quality settings on my 3 year old laptop with RAM disks.

    What's your setup in that regard?
  4. majestic1805 said:
    Unless this has changed recently, as I haven't played since launch, but the game is split in 2 process-wise. One process is dedicated to rendering and one acts like a server making IO calls and such. Every time an asset is requested, it's grabbed new from the hard drive. There were a "bad DRM" threads back then over it. But, I saw you made no mention of your drive set up. Often, at least then, the fix for this was to use SSDs or RAM disks for game assets. I could use moderately high quality settings on my 3 year old laptop with RAM disks.

    What's your setup in that regard?


    1TB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive 6.0 Gb/s

    I tend to believe that you are on to something here. After switching several times between high shadow and low shadow (for this game that basically means no shadow) and watching the FPS feedback, I'm getting primarily green simulation bound limitation. Still, it should not take an SSD to run this game with shadow detail. The swtor forums reveal that I'm not the only one with mid to high performance machines having this problem.
  5. Best answer selected by tdgesq.
  6. majestic got me on the right track here. I do not believe that this is ultimately a video card issue, but was cpu/harddrive related, not to mention bad optimization by bioware/EA. I did the following:

    1) Set swtor processes (there are two) on high priority in task manager; and
    2) set in game graphics display to "(window) fullscreen."

    I am now sitting at around 60-70 fps, and it doesn't dip lower than mid-40s. No noticeable jerkiness or lag. And my coveted shadow settings are set to high. Hurray!
  7. Eeeeexcellent :)
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