Rage Patch Enables New In-Game Configuration Options
October 11, 2011
By Andrew Burnes
id Software’s Rage has been updated with a patch that exposes many of the options and variables revealed in our recent tweak guide in the game itself. Released over the weekend, the small update automatically downloads and does not modify save games or impact progress. Note: If you created the rageconfig.cfg by following our guide please delete it to avoid interfering with the new in-game options.
As you can see in the image above three new options are added by the update, those being ‘VSync,’ ‘Texture Cache,’ and ‘Anisotropic Filter.’
‘VSync’ allows you to remove screen tearing that can often be seen when turning the in-game viewpoint pre-patch. By setting the option to ‘On’ the screen-tearing effect should be eliminated, but should your frame rate drop below sixty frames per second you will experience a sudden, severe drop to thirty frames per second which may impact your experience depending on the sensitivity of your eyesight to such things.
An upcoming NVIDIA driver will enable a ‘swap-tear’ extension that will allow Rage players to use the ‘Smart’ VSync option. When enabled, Rage will synchronize to the vertical retrace of your monitor when your computer is able to maintain sixty frames per second, and if your frame rate does drop below sixty frames per second some tearing may be experienced. In other words, the Smart VSync option trades a sudden drop to thirty frames per second for occasional screen tearing (occasional screen tearing is usually considered less distracting than a more severe drop in frame rate).
If changing VSync in the Rage video settings menu does not appear to make any difference then make sure you are not overriding the VSync setting in your NVIDIA Control Panel. To load the Control Panel click on the icon in your Windows System Tray, select ‘Manage 3D Settings,’ click ‘Program Settings,’ select ‘Rage (rage.exe)’ scroll to the very bottom of the ‘Specify the settings for this program’ list, click on the ‘Vertical sync’ setting, select ‘Use the 3D application setting,’ and finally, click ‘Apply’ on the bottom right of the window to apply the change. Re-launch Rage and VSync should now work correctly.
The ‘Texture Cache’ option relates to the 4K and 8K “textures” we spoke about at length in our tweak guide. 4K is represented in the menu as ‘Small,’ and 8K as ‘Large.’ At the time of our guide 8K was potentially unstable on cards with 1GB of RAM, but post-patch it should be fine, even with Anti-Aliasing and GPU Transcoding enabled.
If after selecting 'Large' you experience a crash or texture corruption, such as a partially or completely blue world, then your graphics card may have run out of memory. If you do not experience a crash, but do see texture corruption, then you may be able to get the Large Texture Cache to work by restarting the game. If you continue to experience texture corruption after the restart you will unfortunately have to set the Texture Cache back to ‘Small.’
You may be able to improve and work around the situation by changing the Windows paging file management. Please note that making changes to the Windows paging file management may change the performance characteristics of your computer and could potentially make other programs unstable. Any changes you make to your system configuration are at your own risk, so please make backups of your system and revert these changes if you notice undesirable side effects.
To change the paging file management on Windows Vista and Windows 7, press the ‘Start’ button, right-click on ‘Computer,’ select ‘Properties’ from the popup menu, select ‘Advanced system settings’ on the window that appears, select the ‘Advanced’ tab on the ‘System Properties’ window that is displayed, press the ‘Settings’ button under ‘Performance,’ select the ‘Advanced’ tab on the ‘Performance Options’ window that shows up next and press the ‘Change...’ button under ‘Virtual memory,’ uncheck the option ‘Automatically manage paging file size for all drives,’ make sure that the option ‘System managed size’ is selected on the ‘Virtual Memory’ window, confirm the change by pressing the ‘OK’ button on each window, and then restart your PC.
To change the paging file management on Windows XP, press the ‘Start’ button, right-click on ‘My Computer,’ select ‘Properties’ from the popup menu, select the ‘Advanced’ tab on the ‘System Properties’ window that is displayed, press the ‘Settings’ button under ‘Performance,’ select the ‘Advanced’ tab on the ‘Performance Options’ window that shows up next, press the ‘Change’ button under ‘Virtual memory,’ make sure that the option ‘System managed size’ is selected on the ‘Virtual Memory’ window, confirm the change by pressing the ‘OK’ button on each window, and then restart your PC.
If all else fails, the only solution to allow the enabling of the ‘Large’ Texture Cache is to buy a graphics card with more Video RAM.
The ‘Anisotropic Filter’ implements the configuration file option in the game itself. ‘Low’ is the default and is equal to 1x Anisotropic Filtering, and ‘High,’ 4x Anisotropic Filtering, as used in our tweak guide.
A method to enhance the image quality of textures on surfaces that are at oblique viewing angles, Anisotropic Filtering may improve the overall in-game texture quality, but may also decrease your frame rate. However, do not force anisotropic filtering to ‘On’ in the NVIDIA Control Panel as it may result in rendering artifacts in-game.
vt_MaxPPF, a GPU Transcoding variable we tweaked in our guide, is now managed automatically by Rage, hopefully reducing issues with texture pop-in. It is still possible to manually overwrite it via the config file, though this not recommended.
id Software’s co-founder and technical guru, John Carmack, has expressed surprise at the “intensity of the reaction" to the lack of in-game configuration options, but having seen the feedback from players this update was made a priority. Additional updates are scheduled, and in conjunction with new drivers and driver profiles performance should be increased further still, so if you continue to experience issues hold tight and check out the numerous other games now available and those scheduled for release in the near future.