On ripple, and its effects on overclocking

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Please enable Javascript in order to access all the functionality of this web site. It’s been five long years since Rico Rodriguez last blew stuff up in Just Cause 2. Now he’s returned home for Just Cause 3, only to find it under the control of an ever-so-evil dictator, giving him the perfect excuse to blow yet more stuff up, but this time with new gadgets, new guns, new vehicles, and an amazing wing suit that can be combined with your grapple and parachute for unparalleled mobility. In this guide we’ll detail these graphics settings and technologies, demonstrate their impact on image quality, reveal their relative performance cost, and also look at an easy-to-implement enhancement made possible by the NVIDIA Control Panel. The official Just Cause 3 system requirements lack specificity about the resolution, detail level, or framerate that will be possible on systems matching the outlined configurations. OS: Vista SP2, Win 7 SP1, Win 8. 4 GHz or AMD FX-8350 4.

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Texture Filtering, Anisotropic Filtering, and other similarly named options affect the sharpness of textures, especially those seen in the distance, on oblique angles, or on the sides of the screen. Without Texture Filtering surfaces appear blurry, and image quality is significantly degraded. In Just Cause 3, seven Anisotropic detail levels are available, though each falls below the fidelity possible with NVIDIA Control Panel Anisotropic Filtering, as we’ll show momentarily. Performance: Anisotropic Filtering has a negligible impact on performance, with less than 2 frames per second splitting the lowest and highest detail levels. Enabling the improved NVIDIA Control Panel Anisotropic Filtering reduces performance by an additional frame or two per second, which is well worth it given the game-wide improvements it delivers.

On ripple, and its effects on overclocking

SMAA T2x, as seen in other recent releases. As in those other titles, SMAA T2x includes a temporal anti-aliasing component, helping reduce the shimmering of anti-aliased edges when they or the camera moves, delivering a clearer, albeit softer image that suffers less from temporal aliasing. In our pre-release build it’s worth noting that with Motion Blur disabled, SMAA T2x’s use resulted in the loss of some foliage throughout the game, an issue that has been reproduced on both PC platforms. And with Motion Blur enabled, there’s visible ghosting during movement. Hopefully this will soon be resolved as SMAA T2x is almost-always the preferred anti-aliasing option in games where it features. In static shots, SMAA T2x has a significant advantage over SMAA 1x, decreasing the severity of aliasing quite considerably. SMAA T2x is softer, but not so soft that fine detail is obfuscated.

There is some weirdness occurring with concrete walls, however, as seen on the far left of the image. SMAA T2x is typically your go-to choice, but with it’s current issues we’d instead recommend SMAA with downsampling. Performance: At its most expensive, Post-Process Anti-Aliasing will cost you just 4 frames per second in Just Cause 3, making it a must-have for all systems. A simple on-off option, Bokeh Depth of Field toggles the rendering of cinema-style out of focus shapes on blurred detail.

Bokeh-style out of focus shapes appearing regardless. During gameplay with the ‘zoom in’ precision aiming mod, and in the pause screen, we observed no improvement or deterioration of the Bokeh effect. Performance: At 4 frames per second Bokeh Depth of Field is an inexpensive effect, albeit one that’s having no affect on our game. If you need extra performance, disabling it will have zero impact on your experience.

If you like Vignette photo filters that darken the corners of the picture, Edge Fade’s the setting for you. And if you do like Vignette you’ll be pleased to hear that Edge Fade has an imperceptible performance impact. In the real world, light bounces from surfaces, illuminating surrounding surfaces and objects. In games, light hits a surface and that’s that – the one single surface is illuminated, and even if it’s brighter than the Sun, surrounding surfaces and those not directly lit will be unaffected. Global Illumination has a limited view distance, meaning only areas directly surrounding Rico will benefit. When Global Illumination is visible, it heightens the feeling of being in a tropical paradise where the skies are clear, and the sun is always shining. Performance: At up to 17 frames per second Global Illumination is an expensive effect, but it is worth enabling.

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Perhaps not ahead of SSAO or one of the other high-impact options, but definitely before some of the less noticeable settings. To adjust the fidelity and visibility of game elements players can switch between four Level of Detail factors, altering the geometric detail of objects and buildings, and the number of objects and game elements that are rendered at medium to long view distances. Between the four detail levels there’s a minimal change to image quality on anything other than Low, making the differences hard to note during gameplay. In-game, lowering the detail level does increase the amount of pop-in, but never does it reach the extent of other recent titles where entire city blocks suddenly appear when turning a corner.

On ripple, and its effects on overclocking

Even when you soar high in the sky, the differences between Very High, High and Medium are minimal, with only truly noticeable changes occurring on Low. Occasionally the differences can be more visible given the right surroundings, but even still the impact of adjusting the setting is minor. Performance: Costing up to 9 frames per second, LOD’s performance impact can take a noticeable toll on low and mid-range PCs, even if the visual difference is minimal during gameplay. As the loss of detail is tricky to observe during gameplay, those seeking extra performance can dial down the LOD Factor without degrading image quality.

Every car, every boat, every plane, every body of water, many a rooftop, and many other surfaces and objects reflect all of Just Cause 3’s explosions, effects, surroundings and shenanigans, greatly enhancing image quality game-wide. As you can see below, even wooden surfaces and less reflective materials can be enhanced by the Screen Space Reflections setting, adding an extra layer of polish to an already-beautiful world. Reflections are applied copiously throughout Just Cause 3, enhancing even mundane things like rooftops. Across wider scenes reflections add depth, and on the open seas are particularly beneficial, reflecting wave, wake and environmental detail. Performance: In larger action scenes in suitably reflective locations, Just Cause 3’s Screen Space Reflections can have a tremendous performance impact. Without them though image quality is degraded in virtually every scene. During general run and gun gameplay, expect to see a performance cost of around 8-10 frames per second.

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The quality, visibility, fidelity, and draw distance of shadows are controlled by the eponymous Shadow Quality setting. On the highest detail level, Very High, small shadows remain clear and visible some distance from the camera and shadow caster, and all but the most distant shadows are clearly visible and distinguishable. Below Very High, everything is dialed back, and even nearby shadows lose definition or are entirely removed. Just Cause 3 sports an impressive amount of shadow detail for an open-world game, accurately shadowing even the smallest of details. As our final set of comparisons reveal, distant shadows are baked in and remain visible regardless of your detail level.

Performance: Given the loss of shadow fidelity that occurs below Very High, most players should attempt to run the best setting out of the box, only dialing it down it if additional performance is required after other settings have also been pared back. The AO technique used and the quality of the implementation affects the accuracy of AO shadows, and whether new shadows are formed when the level of occlusion is low. Without Ambient Occlusion, scenes appear flat and unrealistic, and objects float on surfaces. Elsewhere, SSAO offers the expected improvements, adding AO shadows around foliage and objects. Over distant views, SSAO greatly improves image quality, suggesting some tweaking has occurred, as ‘normal’ SSAO is never this good. Performance: Just Cause 3’s surprisingly-good SSAO implementation is well worth its 8 frames per second cost, delivering some significant image quality improvements. There’s a negligible difference between Just Cause 3’s three highest texture detail levels in the majority of locations we’ve tested, with only a truly noticeable change occurring on Low in select areas.

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Across the countryside, even Low looks good, as you can see for yourself in the interactive comparisons below. Incidental detail is most heavily affected by the Texture Quality setting: note the small loss of fidelity on the bottom left of the image, and the eventual loss of detail on the “Caution” sign. In Just Cause 3’s towns and villages you’re more likely to discover textures that are affected by the setting, but the difference remains slim across Very High, High and Medium, and even on Low they’re not bad. Performance: With no other game elements being affected by the detail levels, Texture Quality has a negligible impact on performance.

In 2010 Just Cause 2 launched on PC with a multitude of exclusive enhancements. At the forefront was CUDA Water, the first-ever game-ready, GPU-powered water simulation, which added technically-advanced, realistic-looking water that could be naturally interacted with. It is these unique capabilities that have enabled Avalanche to realize their vision of a rich and ever-changing ocean surface that’s also capable of affecting the physics of water-borne objects, such as swimmers, jet-skis, other vessels, and the planes and cars you’ll inevitably crash into the ocean during your in-game antics. Examples include water, wave and wake foam, enabled by Very High and High, ocean-bed caustics, and underwater God Rays. As a dynamic effect it’s impossible to accurately evaluate the fidelity of each detail level in static screenshots, so we’ve instead put together a number of video clips that are as like-for-like as we can get.

Inland and on the coast, the most noticeable difference is the loss of foam on the shore on Low. Out on the open seas, the changes to water detail are more visible, and below High we observe the loss of water, wake and wave foam, which greatly enhances image quality. Back on land, we can see that the different detail levels have no impact on the fidelity or visibility of Screen Space Reflections and other settings. Finally, here are seven minutes of ocean exploration, starting with a look at how the water and waves alter when cruising out to sea.

If you do need to decrease the detail level, try to go no lower than High, which is the last step before eye-pleasing foam effects are disabled. In addition to those, Just Cause 3’s final game setting enables players to add extra tessellated detail to waves, wakes, and ripples, further increasing their level of detail. In the interactive comparison below, this manifests as a smoother water surface that enables the generation of better-looking specular highlights stretching out to the horizon. For an in-game, in-motion look at Water Tessellation, check out the two clips below.

Water Tessellation adds just a small amount of detail, so if you’re in need of performance it should be one of the first settings you disable. You’ve seen the settings, compared their detail levels, and discovered their performance costs. To collect like-for-like data in 18 benchmark runs we used Just Cause 3’s introductory, plane-riding sequence, which we should note offers a good GPU workout, but doesn’t account for the times Just Cause 3 is bottlenecked by its impressive CPU-intensive destruction. During these explosive moments, which can’t be accurately recreated and tested across a multitude of benchmarks, CPU bottlenecking can greatly reduce overall performance. If you require additional performance disable Water Tessellation and Bokeh Depth of Field, turn down the LOD Factor, and lower the Water Quality. If more is required still, turn your attention to the heavy-hitters, like Global Illumination, SSAO, and Screen Space Reflections, which would be a shame to turn off but do each cost a fair few frames per second.

4K-quality graphics on your HD monitor. With DSR enabled, textures benefit from improved clarity, aliasing is further reduced, objects have better definition, vegetation is more detailed, and distant game elements are clearer. If you’ve used DSR in other games you’ll know of these benefits already, but if you haven’t had the chance here’s a look at how Just Cause 3’s graphics scale with rendering resolutions. If you’ve got the performance, Dynamic Super Resolution downsampling is the final step in maximizing image quality. If you need extra performance overclocking your CPU will pay dividends in Just Cause 3, which can easily become CPU bottlenecked, limiting your overall performance. NVIDIA revolutionized computer displays in 2013 with the introduction of variable refresh rates, enabling gamers to enjoy highly responsive, tear-free, stutter-free experiences on G-SYNC monitors.

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With Just Cause 3’s fast-paced action, frame drops, stuttering and screen tearing can put a damper on the experience. Included are the latest performance optimizations and tweaks for Just Cause 3, in addition to optimizations and updates for other titles. This one-click solution is perfect for gamers who wish to play instead of fiddling, and for those with little experience in configuring settings for an optimal experience. Just Cause 3 is chaotic fun, giving you a sandbox in which to destroy and experiment. On PC, image quality, rendering resolutions and performance are all higher, enabling you to enjoy your antics in better detail and at a smooth framerate, and there’s the prospect of player-made mods that will continue to enhance the game until the release of the next Just Cause in the far future. Just Cause 3 on PC then is by all rights the definitive edition, and with technologies like G-SYNC, DSR, and NVCPLAF it only gets better. Just make sure to max out CPU power to avoid GPU bottlenecks in the game’s explosive, yet idyllic environments.

This article needs additional citations for verification. DC-to-DC converters than linear regulators, which are simpler circuits that lower voltages by dissipating power as heat, but do not step up output current. 3: Naming conventions of the components, voltages and current of the buck converter. 4: Evolution of the voltages and currents with time in an ideal buck converter operating in continuous mode. In the idealised converter, all the components are considered to be perfect. Specifically, the switch and the diode have zero voltage drop when on and zero current flow when off, and the inductor has zero series resistance.

The conceptual model of the buck converter is best understood in terms of the relation between current and voltage of the inductor. L is used to transfer energy from the input to the output of the converter. If we assume that the converter operates in the steady state, the energy stored in each component at the end of a commutation cycle T is equal to that at the beginning of the cycle. The above integrations can be done graphically. For steady state operation, these areas must be equal. From this equation, it can be seen that the output voltage of the converter varies linearly with the duty cycle for a given input voltage.

This is why this converter is referred to as step-down converter. 5: Evolution of the voltages and currents with time in an ideal buck converter operating in discontinuous mode. In some cases, the amount of energy required by the load is too small. In this case, the current through the inductor falls to zero during part of the period. This has, however, some effect on the previous equations. The inductor current falling below zero results in the discharging of the output capacitor during each cycle and therefore higher switching losses.

A different control technique known as Pulse-frequency modulation can be used to minimize these losses. We still consider that the converter operates in steady state. This implies that the current flowing through the capacitor has a zero average value. As can be seen in figure 5, the inductor current waveform has a triangular shape. The inductor current is zero at the beginning and rises during ton up to ILmax.

It can be seen that the output voltage of a buck converter operating in discontinuous mode is much more complicated than its counterpart of the continuous mode. 6: Evolution of the normalized output voltages with the normalized output current. As mentioned at the beginning of this section, the converter operates in discontinuous mode when low current is drawn by the load, and in continuous mode at higher load current levels. The limit between discontinuous and continuous modes is reached when the inductor current falls to zero exactly at the end of the commutation cycle. On the limit between the two modes, the output voltage obeys both the expressions given respectively in the continuous and the discontinuous sections. 0 for no output current, and 1 for the maximum current the converter can deliver. These expressions have been plotted in figure 6.

From this, it is obvious that in continuous mode, the output voltage does only depend on the duty cycle, whereas it is far more complex in the discontinuous mode. This is important from a control point of view. 7: Evolution of the output voltage of a buck converter with the duty cycle when the parasitic resistance of the inductor increases. These assumptions can be fairly far from reality, and the imperfections of the real components can have a detrimental effect on the operation of the converter.

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Output voltage ripple is the name given to the phenomenon where the output voltage rises during the On-state and falls during the Off-state. Several factors contribute to this including, but not limited to, switching frequency, output capacitance, inductor, load and any current limiting features of the control circuitry. During the Off-state, the current in this equation is the load current. Qualitatively, as the output capacitor or switching frequency increase, the magnitude of the ripple decreases. Output voltage ripple is typically a design specification for the power supply and is selected based on several factors.

On ripple, and its effects on overclocking

Capacitor selection is normally determined based on cost, physical size and non-idealities of various capacitor types. Output voltage ripple is one of the disadvantages of a switching power supply, and can also be a measure of its quality. A simplified analysis of the buck converter, as described above, does not account for non-idealities of the circuit components nor does it account for the required control circuitry. The non-idealities of the power devices account for the bulk of the power losses in the converter.

Both static and dynamic power losses occur in any switching regulator. PCB traces, as well as in the switches and inductor, as in any electrical circuit. Dynamic power losses occur as a result of switching, such as the charging and discharging of the switch gate, and are proportional to the switching frequency. VL is the voltage drop on the inductor. The voltage drops described above are all static power losses which are dependent primarily on DC current, and can therefore be easily calculated.

For a diode drop, Vsw and Vsw,sync may already be known, based on the properties of the selected device. RDC is the DC resistance of the inductor. The duty cycle equation is somewhat recursive. A rough analysis can be made by first calculating the values Vsw and Vsw,sync using the ideal duty cycle equation. This approximation is acceptable because the MOSFET is in the linear state, with a relatively constant drain-source resistance.

This approximation is only valid at relatively low VDS values. In addition, power loss occurs as a result of leakage currents. V is the voltage across the switch. These losses include turn-on and turn-off switching losses and switch transition losses. MOSFET which makes the Miller plate. When a MOSFET is used for the lower switch, additional losses may occur during the time between the turn-off of the high-side switch and the turn-on of the low-side switch, when the body diode of the low-side MOSFET conducts the output current. This time, known as the non-overlap time, prevents “shootthrough”, a condition in which both switches are simultaneously turned on.

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The onset of shootthrough generates severe power loss and heat. Finally, power losses occur as a result of the power required to turn the switches on and off. For MOSFET switches, these losses are dominated by the energy required to charge and discharge the capacitance of the MOSFET gate between the threshold voltage and the selected gate voltage. VGS is the peak gate-source voltage.

For N-MOSFETs, the high-side switch must be driven to a higher voltage than Vi. To achieve this, MOSFET gate drivers typically feed the MOSFET output voltage back into the gate driver. The gate driver then adds its own supply voltage to the MOSFET output voltage when driving the high-side MOSFETs to achieve a VGS equal to the gate driver supply voltage. A complete design for a buck converter includes a tradeoff analysis of the various power losses. Designers balance these losses according to the expected uses of the finished design.

8: Simplified schematic of a synchronous converter, in which D is replaced by a second switch, S2. A synchronous buck converter is a modified version of the basic buck converter circuit topology in which the diode, D, is replaced by a second switch, S2. This modification is a tradeoff between increased cost and improved efficiency. In a standard buck converter, the flyback diode turns on, on its own, shortly after the switch turns off, as a result of the rising voltage across the diode. By replacing the diode with a switch selected for low loss, the converter efficiency can be improved.

In both cases, power loss is strongly dependent on the duty cycle, D. Power loss on the freewheeling diode or lower switch will be proportional to its on-time. Therefore, systems designed for low duty cycle operation will suffer from higher losses in the freewheeling diode or lower switch, and for such systems it is advantageous to consider a synchronous buck converter design. Consider a computer power supply, where the input is 5 V, the output is 3.

A typical diode with forward voltage of 0. 7 V would suffer a power loss of 2. A well-selected MOSFET with RDSon of 0. 015 Ω, however, would waste only 0.

This translates to improved efficiency and reduced heat generation. Another advantage of the synchronous converter is that it is bi-directional, which lends itself to applications requiring regenerative braking. When power is transferred in the “reverse” direction, it acts much like a boost converter. The advantages of the synchronous buck converter do not come without cost.