NVIDIA GeForce Experience App Aims To Simplify Game Settings, Get You Playing Faster

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News Posted: Thu, Dec 6 2012 12:45 AM
PC gaming has long had a reputation for being more difficult to get into than consoles, due to the plethora of potential hardware combinations and the pitfalls of bargain-basement OEM systems. PC gamers are used to seeing minimum game specs that occasionally imply the marketing department lives in an alternate dimension, but the question of what the consumer experiences once they actually launch a title is almost never discussed.

Some games err on the side of settings that maintain a high frame rate at the expense of quality, while others pick presets that could choke a sperm whale. It's almost never clear how these values are calculated and the detection algorithms leave much to be desired. Back when DX10 was new, for example, games would often enable it automatically, even when DX9 was a much better option for a lower-end card.

NVIDIA wants to improve the end result of this process, without requiring gamers to spend time in configuration menus they don't understand. The company is launching the GeForce Experience closed beta today, and the early product is impressive.

Here's how it works: NVIDIA gathers an enormous amount of performance data from widely disparate sources. Reviewers often test brand-new games under a variety of scenarios. The company works with game developers to optimize both game engines and its own drivers before a title hits the market using a farm of systems with different configurations. Games are internally tested for driver compatibility, and customers provide feedback via public forums. The net result is a comprehensive database of how any given game will perform on a wide range of hardware.



The goal of the GeForce Experience application is to streamline optimization. Instead of depending on individual games to handle it, NVIDIA's own software will select the best settings for a given title depending on your system configuration. These settings aren't just picked by a superior algorithm; human testing is an integral part of the process.

The closed beta that goes live today is limited to 10,000 users and initially supports about 32 games. The current goal is to get user feedback; NVIDIA hasn't given a firm date for when it will launch the service, but early 2013 is likely. The GeForce Experience application will be capable of tracking driver updates, and functioning as a one-stop-shop for launching games on services like Steam and Origin.



Users will be able to control whether or not Optimized settings are applied on a game-by-game basis, the GeForce Experience app can be used to launch programs from different services, and power users, who prefer to tweak under the hood, still have the ability to do so.

Even as a devoted tweaker / modder, I'm glad to see this sort of project. Everyone has moments when they want to jump into a new game and play it without fussing with settings and adjustments. If the GeForce Experience application can make that easier, we're all in favor of it.
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Seems interesting, but for me fiddling with the settings when first starting a game has almost become a ritual that I think I'd miss. And besides, isn't performance sort of a subjective standard? For example, I'm ok with less than stellar fps in exchange for visual quality, but I know some people can't play anything with less than 60fps. How will it account for these different types of players.

Also, how does it account for mods? An unmodded skyrim runs at a constant 60 fps on my pc, but I've modded it out the wazoo and I get 40 fps. I've toned down shadows from Ultra to High and it helped me a lot. How would this program account for various visual mods (like ENB) that people use?

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This should be perfect for me because I'm always trying to tweak video and game settings to find the best visual goodness

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lipe123 replied on Thu, Dec 6 2012 2:20 PM

"while others pick presets that could choke a sperm whale" lmao well said!

This is a pretty decent idea tho, and should follow suite! Something like this should be integrated with steam to cut down on complaints from less experienced users.

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I haven't had to do this in quite some time, it seems like lately the games I've been playing have just worked the way they should, lucky me.  However, I do remember the days of tweaking every little setting possible, to squeeze as many frames out of the game that I could.  Assuming this actually works as good as it sounds before a game releases, this will likely boost sells for any game that is supported.

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Joel H replied on Thu, Dec 6 2012 7:23 PM

Nvidia sent some screenshots over of Call of Duty: MW3 and its default selections. I didn't believe they could possibly be that terrible, so I downloaded the game myself today.

The presets for my system look like something you'd be happy with on an original Xbox with composite cables and a 1969 Zenith black-and-white television.

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Joel H:

Nvidia sent some screenshots over of Call of Duty: MW3 and its default selections. I didn't believe they could possibly be that terrible, so I downloaded the game myself today.

The presets for my system look like something you'd be happy with on an original Xbox with composite cables and a 1969 Zenith black-and-white television.

Hahaha, it can't really be that bad man.  Plus MW3 sucked anyway.

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I personally like the feeling of adjusting my own settings, I don't know why. I suppose its the fact that I bought the game, and I like having the ability to tailor it to my personal needs and feelings, even if it does mean not using the highest settings.

I really like the idea of the whole driver updates thing. I constantly find myself forgetting completely about driver updates, but then again, this crap computer doesn't need driver updates, it can't run much of anything! haha!

Overall, this looks like a really cool application for gamers or youtubers that record game play that don't necessarily want to keep adjusting their settings all the time. It would also be good for whoever doesn't understand all the new computer lingo, but wants their game to look its best with the hardware that they have ;)

PC Specs:

  • AMD Athlon 64 x2 6400+  Cooled by a Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus (push-pull)
  • 2GB DDR2
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  • Stock Dell motherboard
  • 250Gb HDD
  • XFX Pro Core edition 650W PSU
  • Stock Dell inspiron case

 

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OSunday replied on Thu, Dec 6 2012 11:42 PM

Streamlined optimization through human testing sounds awesome considering the complexity that can go hand in hand with PC games, this sounds like a great way to not only improve the performance for existing PC gamers but make bringing in new gamers' not only more desirable but easier to transition to!

The advantage of ease of use with Nvidia's GeForce Experience app could end up being a huge point of appeal over AMD cards, and the last thing AMD needs is more pressure right now. It'll be interesting to see how this Beta plays out and effects things in the long run!

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Dorkstar replied on Fri, Dec 7 2012 11:12 AM

I think the real benefit here is for the guys out there who don't have the best of hardware.  They'll be able to go in, say I want max FPS and get out.  I remember those days.

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OSunday replied on Fri, Dec 7 2012 9:25 PM

And most people aren't trying to max out FPS either so it caters to the majority since gamers who look to max everything out on full specs with multiple displays and such are more of a niche

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Dorkstar replied on Fri, Dec 7 2012 10:02 PM

OSunday:

And most people aren't trying to max out FPS either so it caters to the majority since gamers who look to max everything out on full specs with multiple displays and such are more of a niche

You must be staring at the sky too much.  When it comes to competitive play, it's all about the fps!

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