I found this great article by TechSpot today explaining why using "Ultra" settings (or the preset) is "dumb." I have to agree, although I'm one of those gamers that wants the best hardware to be able to easily run any game on that preset. However, this is an expensive and performance demanding preference. It's not based on logic, either. I have noticed great quality in games using only the "High" preset along with great performance. I've also noticed that the "Ultra" preset doesn't usually add anything noticeable, except for the huge performance hit.

That experience is exactly what TechSpot is referring to here. They've benchmarked the performance and quality of some games using really good hardware. Their observations were pretty much what I just said, the quality of "Ultra" presets is usually negligible and comes with a big hit to performance. I really think this is a relevant topic here and I do strongly recommend reading the article. One of the games mentioned is DOOM Eternal and the game recommend that I don't use the highest preset, but the second highest and it was great.

Sometimes it's difficult to decide which settings to use in a game and presets are a great way to do that simply. GeForce Experience can also optionally "optimize" your settings, but I've found that while those settings are usually good, sometimes they are not. This makes me question the basis of the settings that GE chooses.

Take for example Ark: Survival Evolved. I let GE "optimize" my settings when I got my GTX 1660Ti (and other new hardware). However, I noticed the performance with those settings was unacceptable. It was pretty much using the "Epic" preset, which is the "Ultra" one for this game. Ark has been out for a while now and it's been very demanding on hardware since the beginning. This is just an example of a game where the highest preset comes with an unacceptable hit to performance while not really showing any greatly obvious quality improvement that you'd think would come as a result of the settings.

Let me know what you think about this topic. Are you one of the people that *must* have hardware good enough to run on "Ultra" presets? Or are you someone who values performance more and still enjoys good quality? Have you also noticed how "Ultra" presets don't always give really big and noticeable differences in quality, but significant performance hits?

I didn't want to leave this post w/out an image, so I uploaded a screenshot I took some time ago showing my settings for Ark. This was primarily to help me remember, since the game sometimes resets them.

Will_Ball   Game Mod   Super Member wrote on 10/05/2021 at 07:59pm

I try to max out graphics. As long as framerate isn't horrible I am fine. 30 fps is all one needs.

GregoPeck   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 10/05/2021 at 08:30pm

Depending on the game, I won't settle for much less than 60. LOL That's for modern games, but some games are locked at 30 and I usually find that acceptable. More FPS makes me happy, even though I realize it's not all that great and sometimes irrelevant. I think GE helps "optimize" your settings for 30FPS, not 60. The Ark settings it gave me pretty much limited me to around 30 FPS and it wasn't acceptable, performance was still bad. Once I switched to the "high" preset, performance greatly improved along w/ my FPS. I'm still using a 60hz monitor, though I really want to upgrade. I also don't like screen tearing, so I use VSync. I am very interested in GSync especially, though FreeSync is gaining popularity and compatibility.

Travis   Admin wrote on 10/07/2021 at 01:54pm

I’ve noticed the ultra settings providing noticeable quality on some games but not others. Though I usually tweak every setting to see how much benefit vs performance hit I get for each one.

Though when you’re zoned into a game I think it’s far less important.

GregoPeck   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 10/07/2021 at 07:01pm

Cool! Thanks for your input, Travis! I usually see if GE can "optimize" settings for a game (which it cannot do for all games) and see how that goes. I like the games that auto-detect and put me at the highest settings LOL. I've done most of my tweaking w/ Ark, as shown in my embedded screen shot. I was tweaking it years ago and I continued to tweak it even until recently.

Travis   Admin wrote on 10/08/2021 at 08:42pm

I’ve found GeForce experience to be a good starting point but sometimes it gets things way wrong. Where some times it puts me in a very poorly running situation, sometimes it tries to make me play things at settings that are nowhere near as advanced as I could use without a performance hit.

I do like the option as a starting point quite a bit though.

GregoPeck   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 10/08/2021 at 09:35pm

Agreed! I have the same experience.

jdodson   Admin wrote on 10/09/2021 at 04:40am

Someday I may have a PC with the ability to run max graphics on. That said, it feels like I do with the Series X but I know compared to some PC's out there it's not as powerful.

GregoPeck   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 10/09/2021 at 08:04am

I haven't been keeping up, but my perception is that this console is pretty good. They're remaking GTA 5 and Skyrim for both consoles and PC. I seem to remember some games performing much better on the new generation than last. I think Cyberpunk was one example. I'm not too surprised and I think it's good that they've reached this point. They seem to be on par with PC now. I don't know if they have Ray Tracing and DLSS though.

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