In the Forums...
Posted: July 11, 1999
Written by: Ryan "Xero" Martinez
This article contains excerpts from the original Tweak3D TNT Tweak Guide.
Quality and Speed Tweaks
Some of these tweaks will involve registry editing, so you'll need to be careful. Backing up your registry is always a good idea.
If you've just freshly installed the drivers as recommended in the previous section, you'll need to do two things before you begin hacking away at the registry.:
Start an OpenGL game, let OpenGL initialize (let the game actually start), then exit the game. Go into the NVIDIA display properties extension (see NVTweak below). Go to the Direct3D tab. Slide the Anti-Aliasing Slider to a different notch, then click the Restore Defaults button. Close the applet. These two actions create the necessary registry folders and keys to continue on to the next steps.
Enabling Advanced Options - Open your registry. Go to the directory HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\NVIDIA Corporation\Riva TNT\NVTweak\. Create the DWORD Value PowerUser (caps does matter), and modify its value to 1. This will allow you to access a few more options in the NVIDIA Display Panel applet.
Turning on Multitexturing - In your registry, go to the directory HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\NVIDIA Corporation\Riva TNT\OpenGL\ and make the DWORD Value ForceMultiTexture (capitalization matters). You can change its values to 1 or 0. Setting this to 1 will enable SGIS multitexturing, and setting this value to 0 will disable it. On most systems, this will give a speed boost in OpenGL games that are played in 16-bit. But on others (possibly those that are SS7?), it causes a big performance hit. I recommend that you run benchmarks with both settings to determine whether it has helped you or not. It's worth investigating as it can help your frame rate by a good 10 FPS, if it works in your favor. This is enabled by default in 32-bit regardless of the registry key.
To access these options, you must have the NVIDIA reference drivers installed and you must turn on the Advanced Options as mentioned above. Right-click your desktop, choose Properties, choose the Settings tab, click the Advanced button, and click the TNT or TNT2 / Ultra tab at the top to proceed.
For most of these settings, with a TNT2, you can leave them at maximum quality, you won't be feeling any speed hits soon. For TNT1 users, most can be left on, but it's your decision.
Mipmap Levels - This makes a slight speed difference, but I really feel it looks best with lower numbers (I use 0).
Auto-Mipmap Method - Frankly, the speed difference between Bilinear and Trilinear (AKA 8 Tap Anisotropic) is negligible. Turning this to Trilinear will help eliminate that annoying line that suddenly turns textures fuzzy when they get a certain distance away from you. I recommend Trilinear.
Mipmap Detail Level - This doesn't make a huge image quality change, but its speed hit is pretty negligible, and nonexistent in the TNT2. I recommend Best Image Quality.
Anti-Aliasing - Leave it on, things get ugly without it. Some choose to leave it on 3x3, but I still feel the speed hit isn't noticeable enough that it matters. If you're on a TNT2, just set it to 4x4. I recommend 4x4.
Direct3D - Advanced
Click the Advanced button to access the Direct3D - Advanced properties sheet.
Enable Fog Table Emulation - I generally leave this off. It causes a slight speed boost.
Use DirectX5 Compatibility Mode - Leave it off, unless you're having problems running an old DX5 game. Otherwise, leave it alone.
Disable Support For Enhanced CPU Instructions - Don't enable this, especially if you have an MMX enhanced processor. Its speed loss won't be as drastic on plain Intel chips, but it will still slow it down a bit.
Texel Alignment - I've seen no reason to change this from it's default value of 3. Other values cause visual artifacts in most games. In Final Fantasy 7, setting this to 3 will fix the "box" effect.
PCI Texture Memory Size - For you PCI users, I recommend you set this to 8-10 MB. Those who have AGP cards will not be affected by this, so it should be set to 0 MB.
Disable Wait for VBlank - This is actually just VSync, renamed. I'd check this box (disable VSYNC), as it will make quite a speed difference. For the render-ahead number, I suggest an even number that's fairly low, around 2 or 4. Higher numbers can create a control lag effect in some games.
OpenGL settings are pretty easy and straight forward. These options can be accessed in the same properties page as the Direct3D options.
Enable Buffer Region Extension - Leave this on.
Allow Dual Planes - On.
PCI Texture Memory Size - Same as recommendations for Direct3D.
Enable Buffer Flipping - On.
Wait For VBlank - Off.
Bit-depth and Resolution
TNT users: If you've got a 300 MHz or faster CPU, I recommend that you use up to 1024x768 @ 16bpp for most games. If you feel that you'd like to use 32-bit color, I suggest you use 800x600 or 640x480. If you're overclocking however, you can probably handle 1024x768 at 32-bit just fine, if your CPU has enough power. Make sure to test frame rates often before sticking with a high resolution simply because it looks good.
TNT2 users: With a TNT2 or TNT2 Ultra card, most games should easily run fine at 1024x768. Running games in 32-bit color is much faster on the TNT2 than on the TNT, so make good use of it. With a good CPU and fully tweaked settings, 1024x768 @ 32bpp should run fine with most games. If you don't mind 16-bit rendering, resolutions up to 1280x1024 and beyond can be used at 30 FPS, with enough CPU power.