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Mac Low FPS Solution?!?

davedesigns
davedesigns
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Frustrated with the low FPS in game currently I did some research on how to increase GPU performance on iMac and found that if you reset the SMC and PRAM on your Mac, this seems to increase frame rates in the game noticeably.

Before resetting I was getting a pathetic 10-15FPS at 1280x720, after the reset I was getting upwards of 40FPS (good for my 2009 rig) at 1920x1080 with my usual graphic and effect settings. I noticed the improvement immediately at the character select screen which was choppy before, and very smooth after.

Don't know if this is THE solution, but it definitely seemed to help my game run more smoothly.

Hope this helps some people and if any of the Zenimax staff read this please let the community know if this could have anything to do with the FPS problems.

Reset System Management Controller

Reset PRAM

SMC and PRAM Reset Quick Steps
  • Moonraker
    Moonraker
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    Frustrated with the low FPS in game currently I did some research on how to increase GPU performance on iMac and found that if you reset the SMC and PRAM on your Mac, this seems to increase frame rates in the game noticeably.

    Before resetting I was getting a pathetic 10-15FPS at 1280x720, after the reset I was getting upwards of 40FPS (good for my 2009 rig) at 1920x1080 with my usual graphic and effect settings. I noticed the improvement immediately at the character select screen which was choppy before, and very smooth after.

    Don't know if this is THE solution, but it definitely seemed to help my game run more smoothly.

    Hope this helps some people and if any of the Zenimax staff read this please let the community know if this could have anything to do with the FPS problems.

    Reset System Management Controller

    Reset PRAM

    SMC and PRAM Reset Quick Steps

    Interesting feedback.

    I would suggest resetting NVRAM (used on Intel-based Macs, PRAM is on older PowerPC-based Macs) after rebooting the computer and router, then Repair Disk Permissions in Disk Utility as first general Mac trouble-shooting steps.

    The NVRAM stores information including screen resolution so it may have an indirect benefit for the ESO Mac client if reset.

    I suggest to leave an SMC reset until after the above steps and a reboot and check performance. It may help with general computer performance among other issues though not really specific to ESO I think.

    Probably best noted as part of general Mac troubleshooting steps rather than ESO specific fixes. But certainly worth trying as part of a general troubleshooting check if you have issues.

    It would be interesting to hear if it helps others.

    The other routine maintenance worth checking especially at this time of year, is ensuring proper air flow and cooling of your Mac as any build up of fluff and dust can increase temperatures beyond the higher ambient levels and cause the GPU to throttle down and impact performance. This is especially in laptops.
    Edited by Moonraker on July 18, 2014 3:15PM
  • davedesigns
    davedesigns
    ✭✭✭
    Day after doing this fix - I can log in and play the game at a normal 30-40FPS. Enemy players in Cyrodiil still load on screen slowly, and framerate loss still occurs around larger skirmishes and keeps/outposts, but at least the game is playable once again and isn't running at 15FPS anymore...
    Edited by davedesigns on July 20, 2014 6:17PM
  • Moonraker
    Moonraker
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    Day after doing this fix - I can log in and play the game at a normal 30-40FPS. Enemy players in Cyrodiil still load on screen slowly, and framerate stutter still occurs around larger skirmishes, but at least the game is playable once again and isn't running at 15FPS anymore...
    What Mac do you have and OS X version etc?

    The other thing it can also resolve is fans not set correctly which can also impact performance as above. So a few things it can resolve on the Mac side.
    Edited by Moonraker on July 19, 2014 3:15AM
  • davedesigns
    davedesigns
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    gtyxvgsh5p4c.png

    Late 2009 iMac - Graphics card is ATI Radeon HD 4850 512 MB

    A fairly old but adequate rig. I don't expect ESO to perform flawlessly on ultra settings or anything, but it has been running better since I did that reset.

    However now I'm having the invisible enemies issue on a regular basis. Last night I ran from pretty far away up to a friendly keep gate, died, and then 10 guys with a battering ram popped on screen. Anybody have a fix for this fun little issue?
    Edited by davedesigns on July 20, 2014 6:16PM
  • Nanako
    Nanako
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    For me, window mode helps a lot, i have around 20 fps in fullscreen and window (fullscreen). If i switch to window mode, i get around 58 fps and everything is smooth, but its annoying to have the window borders active.
  • Moonraker
    Moonraker
    ✭✭✭✭
    Nanako wrote: »
    For me, window mode helps a lot, i have around 20 fps in fullscreen and window (fullscreen). If i switch to window mode, i get around 58 fps and everything is smooth, but its annoying to have the window borders active.
    What Mac do you have? MacBook Pro Retina?

    I only see a few FPS difference personally with my iMac 27 inch Late 2013 with Nvidia 780M But there does seem to be a different behaviour with the MBP and how it handles Retina display.
  • davedesigns
    davedesigns
    ✭✭✭
    Nanako wrote: »
    For me, window mode helps a lot, i have around 20 fps in fullscreen and window (fullscreen). If i switch to window mode, i get around 58 fps and everything is smooth, but its annoying to have the window borders active.

    It's the opposite for me - windowed will get about 20-25, fullscreen will be 35-40. I hardly ever get above 40 fps now since 1.2.3 whereas before that I could get 45-60 at fullscreen on my 2009 machine.

    I have my screen and the game resolution set to 1920x1080 as well - felt this might help it perform better with less pixels to render. But now I'm experiencing the same old problems and worse since this 1.2.6 patch… :\
  • lecarcajou_ESO
    lecarcajou_ESO
    ✭✭✭✭
    Thanks, guys... playing in windowed mode is not ideal, but it boosted my frame rates more than 50%. A bit less immersive, what with the menu bar on top, but until this issue is somehow fixed, a small price for more fluid gameplay.

    My specs, if anyone is interested: 27" iMac, 3.4 GHz Core i7, 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2048 MB, running OS 10.9.5
    Edited by lecarcajou_ESO on September 30, 2014 3:39AM
    "Morally Decentralized."
  • chris.dillman
    chris.dillman
    ✭✭✭
    Some notes on full screen vs windowed mode:

    Windowed mode will be faster then full screen only because it is drawing less pixels.

    If the window is running under the OSX Dock the frame rate with be forced to vsynch. This will clamp the frame rate down to a fixed 30 FPS or less.

    For the best windowed performance hide the dock or make sure the ESO window is above it.

    Apple has had some bugs with the SMC and PRAM on laptop with 2 GPUs
    ( video cards ). In that case the laptop would default to the lower power GPU and not turn on the high speed GPU. Resetting the SMC and PRAM fixes this.


    -- ESO -- Lead Mac Programmer...
    Staff Post
  • davedesigns
    davedesigns
    ✭✭✭
    Some notes on full screen vs windowed mode:

    Windowed mode will be faster then full screen only because it is drawing less pixels.

    If the window is running under the OSX Dock the frame rate with be forced to vsynch. This will clamp the frame rate down to a fixed 30 FPS or less.

    For the best windowed performance hide the dock or make sure the ESO window is above it.

    Apple has had some bugs with the SMC and PRAM on laptop with 2 GPUs
    ( video cards ). In that case the laptop would default to the lower power GPU and not turn on the high speed GPU. Resetting the SMC and PRAM fixes this.


    Great answer - thanks!
  • Jitterbug
    Jitterbug
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    ✭✭
    Think this might have helped me too, at least a little bit.
    I play on a 13.3" macbook air and with everything on low or off, but with subsample on high and grass on + shadows on low and I get around 20 fps (but as low as 5 fps doing big sieges). As I just tested now in a solo dungeon I went from 20-something to 30 something with fps peaks around 50.
  • davedesigns
    davedesigns
    ✭✭✭
    Jitterbug wrote: »
    Think this might have helped me too, at least a little bit.
    I play on a 13.3" macbook air and with everything on low or off, but with subsample on high and grass on + shadows on low and I get around 20 fps (but as low as 5 fps doing big sieges). As I just tested now in a solo dungeon I went from 20-something to 30 something with fps peaks around 50.

    I found that taking shadows completely off helps get a 5-7 fps boost...
  • Calmyron
    Calmyron
    I upgraded to Yosemite and I'm running into a bad FPS spike. I can get 60fps without much problem until I get into battle or there are more than a couple of mobs and then it goes down to 5fps. That's right, five. It's make the battle basically unplayable. It misses keystrokes, get's my direction keys stuck sometimes... just a mess.
  • snviltrvpnrb19_ESO
    snviltrvpnrb19_ESO
    Soul Shriven
    This is really good information, definitely going to take advantage of it.
  • KhajitFurTrader
    KhajitFurTrader
    Community-Botschafter
    Calmyron wrote: »
    I upgraded to Yosemite and I'm running into a bad FPS spike. I can get 60fps without much problem until I get into battle or there are more than a couple of mobs and then it goes down to 5fps. That's right, five. It's make the battle basically unplayable. It misses keystrokes, get's my direction keys stuck sometimes... just a mess.

    Chris provided some further information in the OS X Yosemite thread.
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