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Need some advice on what I should do

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Need some advice on what I should do

Postby drmcninja » 09 May 2017, 11:48

I used to game heavily in Quake and Unreal Tournament on CRT monitors (often overclocked to 75/100Hz).

I didn't switch to LED/LCD until the first 120Hz ones came out. I used a Viewsonic VX2265wm (IIRC, model number might be wrong), then a Hanns-G 120Hz machine. These were... tolerable... compared to 60Hz panels.

I then got the Acer GN246HL (144Hz). Soon after I got it, I got the utility to enable strobed backlight mode on 120Hz. I felt the difference immediately in Quake, even compared to 144Hz. It felt like CRT. I hated motion blur. The darkness of the mode was easy to get used to (especially when enemy skins were bright green).

I then started playing Overwatch when that came out. But something wasn't right. The skins in OW are not like Quake Live, easy to tell apart from the background. Something just felt... off, with my aim.

After tinkering with settings, watching extensive videos on reducing input lag, here are steps I took successfully to improve the situation:

I capped FPS in-game to 154.

I set refresh rate to 144 and took it off strobelight/120 mode.

I adjusted settings to maintain that FPS consistently without dipping.

Before this, I had it on strobelight-120 with FPS uncapped. Though the FPS varied drastically, I didn't feel any stutter. But something was off. That something was clarity... it was blurry. Switching to above settings removed that blurriness and my aim improved instantly because I could focus on objects near the crosshair much better. There was now ghosting/motion blur when turning around and making wide mouse movements, but I've tried to get used to it, it's a trade-off (it makes turning around very quickly unpleasant). At least I can have better precise aim for headshots and the like because my eyes can focus on targets near the crosshair more clearly.

I picked 154fps because anything more than this, and there would either be stuttering or blurriness (I don't know what this blurriness is called and haven't seen it really mentioned online). At 154fps @ 144Hz, it just suddenly "clears up", if that makes sense.

I tried 120fps@120Hz(Strobelight mode), but there's more input lag with lower FPS so I stuck with 154/144. I made this switch around November so there may have been other issues I no longer remember (might have been blurry even at 120/120).

Does my experience make sense to you all?

I've read that the BenQ XL2411 has strobelight mode possible even at 144Hz. Would it be possible to run that monitor in strobelight (they call it Blur Reduction) at 144Hz, cap FPS to 154 as I already do, and maintain clarity like I have now and eliminate ghosting/motion blur when turning quickly? Or is that a pipe dream I should avoid pursuing because switching monitors will open a whole new can of worms now that I've finally gotten a usable setup on my current screen? Is strobelight/BR mode on XL2411 as dark as it was on my Acer GN246HL?

I'd love to go for the 240Hz screens but my computer can't maintain FPS that high and now I'm afraid of stutter/tearing/whatever is responsible for the blurriness which negatively affected my aim. Maybe the 180Hz, but there aren't many to choose from and they're still expensive for only a few frames faster (and I don't want to go 27" for 165Hz). I have a Core i5-2500k @ 4.4Ghz with GTX 1080 so it can do 150-170fps consistently with minimal drop. I'd need a completely new CPU/mobo/ram to get it consistently over 200-220fps, I think.
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Re: Need some advice on what I should do

Postby RealNC » 09 May 2017, 13:25

The "low-latency vsync" trick can be applied here. You would need to tweak your monitor's refresh rate to be just slightly above your target frame rate. Your monitor strobes at 120Hz max. So what you need to so, is use CRU and change the 120Hz mode (in reality it's something like 119.98Hz or something like that). Bump it to 120.009Hz (leave everything else as-is; only change the Hz box.)

After you reboot, test whether your monitor is still able to do blur reduction on this tweaked refresh rate. Then, test if you indeed are getting 120.009Hz by going to vsynctester.com. If the refresh rate is still too low, then bump it some more in CRU, and test again if the monitor is still able to do motion blur reduction.

Once that's done and you're indeed getting 120.009Hz (+/- 0.002 is fine), configure Overwatch to use a 120FPS frame limit. Enable vsync. Disable triple buffering.

You should now be getting very low input lag, and a very good motion-blur reduction (due to perfect FPS/Hz match + vsync.)

If you wonder what and why this is done, it's to make sure the game keeps all its frame buffers empty. Empty frame buffer translates to no buffered frames, which in turn translates to a reduction of input lag.

Note that this works with all games, not just Overwatch. But to get the maximum benefit in all games, you also need to configure the "max pre-rendered frames" setting in the nvidia control panel and set it to "1". Otherwise, vsync input lag is still going to be too much of an issue. (Overwatch seems to use "1" by default, but most other games do not.)

Hope this helps. If you mess up and want to undo the refresh tweaks and put things back to default, run "reset-all.exe" in the CRU folder and reboot. Everything will be as it was before you tweaked anything.
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Re: Need some advice on what I should do

Postby drmcninja » 09 May 2017, 14:15

That doesn't seem to work on my monitor. It won't go over 120.0008Hz no matter what I set in CRU (I tried 120.009 all the way to 120.25).
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Re: Need some advice on what I should do

Postby drmcninja » 09 May 2017, 17:40

Even with it at 120Hz/Strobelight, 120fps in-game cap, and V-Sync ON, and ignoring the mouse lag, it still looks blurry. It only seems to clear up once I put fps at 129 and turn off V-Sync. But then mouse feels less responsive than 154/144, so...
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Re: Need some advice on what I should do

Postby Chief Blur Buster » 09 May 2017, 19:20

drmcninja wrote:That doesn't seem to work on my monitor. It won't go over 120.0008Hz no matter what I set in CRU (I tried 120.009 all the way to 120.25).

Monitor menus and Windows rounds off the refresh rate.

However, if you go to http://www.vsynctester.com, you can measure your refresh rate more accurately -- to the fraction of a Hz.

(Note: TestUFO will have a similar utility soon.)
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Re: Need some advice on what I should do

Postby Chief Blur Buster » 09 May 2017, 19:21

drmcninja wrote:Even with it at 120Hz/Strobelight, 120fps in-game cap, and V-Sync ON, and ignoring the mouse lag, it still looks blurry. It only seems to clear up once I put fps at 129 and turn off V-Sync. But then mouse feels less responsive than 154/144, so...

Does the game have GPU motion blur? Have you tried turning that off?
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Re: Need some advice on what I should do

Postby cskippy » 10 May 2017, 01:35

I find ULMB distracting during competitive gameplay, and I actually do better with it off. It's easier to focus on the crosshair placement without seeing everything as you move it into position. My real issue is although it's 144Hz/144Ffps, it's still a fixed amount, and you can see a judder if you don't focus on it but view it in your peripheral vision. VSync is a no go for competitive gaming as you're too far behind the other players regardless of setup (1 framre prerendered, double/tripple buffering etc).
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Re: Need some advice on what I should do

Postby drmcninja » 10 May 2017, 04:30

Chief Blur Buster wrote:
drmcninja wrote:That doesn't seem to work on my monitor. It won't go over 120.0008Hz no matter what I set in CRU (I tried 120.009 all the way to 120.25).

Monitor menus and Windows rounds off the refresh rate.

However, if you go to http://www.vsynctester.com, you can measure your refresh rate more accurately -- to the fraction of a Hz.

(Note: TestUFO will have a similar utility soon.)

Yeah, I was using vsynctester.com. It won't go over 120.0008Hz.
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Re: Need some advice on what I should do

Postby drmcninja » 10 May 2017, 04:31

Chief Blur Buster wrote:
drmcninja wrote:Even with it at 120Hz/Strobelight, 120fps in-game cap, and V-Sync ON, and ignoring the mouse lag, it still looks blurry. It only seems to clear up once I put fps at 129 and turn off V-Sync. But then mouse feels less responsive than 154/144, so...

Does the game have GPU motion blur? Have you tried turning that off?

No motion blur in Overwatch
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Re: Need some advice on what I should do

Postby drmcninja » 10 May 2017, 04:35

Is the Blur Reduction on the BenQ XL2411 basically ULMB under another name or is it more optimized? (i.e, brighter, less ghosting/blurriness in middle of screen, less input lag)
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