Diablo® III

Getting the best performance in Diablo III

Hi fellow hell hunters, I'm starting this thread to help out the many many players who are having issues with stutters fps drops and lag in Diablo III. I had really hoped this would be at the very least acknowledged by Blizzard at this point but the responses have been vague or not helpful. So perhaps some of things I have gathered here will help us out to least get the game to a playable, not-so-frustrating state until (HOPEFULLY) there is a real fix. 

1) As always make sure you have nothing running besides the game. I even tried turning off antivirus but that didn't seem to make a difference for me though it might for you. 

2) For nvidia users a helpful tip is try the nvidia beta 301.24 drivers. Some have also posted success with older versions 280.xx but I have had the best luck with the beta drivers and hope that the next version will be further optimized for D3. If you're using 301.24 you will get some extra features. I have created a profile for D3 and overridden the following settings in the nvidia control panel: perf mode: single display, pwr management: max perf, triple buffering: on, vsync: adaptive. On 280.xx it is noted to set the max pre-rendered frames to 0 (this option is not available in the beta drivers). 

UPDATE FOR NVIDIA USERS: New drivers release by NVIDIA! Enabling Adaptive VSYNC in nvidia cont. panel and disabling in-game may improve performance! See more info here: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5270829425. Many thanks to KelJar for the tip!

For ATI users make sure you are on 12.4a drivers. I don't have a radeon myself but apparently there is a radeon pro app that helps tweak the settings and reduce stutter. Sorry I don't have more info on this but if you check the forums you should find more details. 

3) Quad core users are reporting performance improvements by setting the processor affinity to 1/2 cores instead of all. Google processor affinity for more info, it's pretty straightforward. I have a dual core and this did not help for me. 

4) There is a d3prefs.txt file that seems to rate your system when the game is first launched. Users are reporting improvements when setting HardwareClass to 1 (typically it will be a higher number).

5) In-game settings: the biggest changes that impact performance for me are vsync, shadows and anti-aliasing. I have also disabled the foreground FPS limiter. Note to vsync: it seems best with adaptive vsync on in the nvidia control panel. Your mileage with vsync may vary but for me and my gtx550ti it makes a big difference. Anti-aliasing OFF seems to give a slight performance boost.

6) Windowed or fullscreen windowed. Simply changing the game out of fullscreen mode seems to stabilize the game's framerate quite a bit. I use fullscreen windowed mode. 

7) RAMDISK. This one takes some time but for me has made the biggest difference to help alleviate this bug. I doubled my RAM for under 50.00 and have the ENTIRE game loaded into RAM. I'm using DDR3 RAM which is still significantly faster than SSD. I did a two part guide, the links are here:

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5235703994?page=6#109
and
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5235703994?page=7#134

8) Don't give up! The lack if response from Blizzard doesn't sway my belief that they are aware of this issue and are just keeping quiet. My hope is they are working hard for a fix and hopefully we'll see that fix sooner than later. Don't be afraid to call in to customer support and tweet your concerns with @BlizzardCS. With enough visibility if they are not making this issue top priority, hopefully they will. 

Good luck and like the rest of you I am eagerly awaiting a reply from Blizz!
Edited by minuteZERO#1907 on 5/24/2012 3:38 PM PDT
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Nice. I was thinking on doing something similar to this.

I will add more workarounds

9) Using FRAPS with halfsize mode. If you play while recording with FRAPS, it forces it to run on 30 FPS which is not perfect but still no stutter (this was the only thing that worked for me)

10) Instead of using RAMdisk, try with SDD if you have or flash SD

11) ATI
- Download and install Radeonpro
- Setup a profile for diablo 3
- Advanced > Flip Queue Size 0
- Force aggressive API detection 1
- Disable aero, Force Process High priority
- ingame enable vsync
- Ingame Uncheck max foreground and background fps

Nvidia
- Nvidia control panels set "maximum pre rendered frames" to 0
- ingame enable vsync
- Ingame Uncheck max foreground and background fps

12) If you use ATI, download drivers 12.4a and ensure on CCC that it lists its version correctly and not one before. I fixed this inconsistency by downloading a mobility driver version posted on guru3D which was zipped

13) Defrag your PC

14) Ensure it is not overheating

15) Check that your firewall is not affecting any blizzard's ports/connections

16) Try disabling "superfetch"on window's services

17) Try using quietHDD software and disabling APM
Edited by Valcros#2423 on 5/21/2012 3:14 PM PDT
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18) Leatrix Latency Fix!
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5149179406#1

19) Gamebooster. I'm using the beta version, and actually this is not a bad little app for any gaming. It allows you to close down unneeded services and background programs that I was doing manually anyway. So this saves me time, because you can click the restore button and all the apps closed come back up! Pretty slick.

20) Throttlestop. I haven't tried this out but there are a lot of positive reports here:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5149537105

21) Sound card drivers??? A user has reported an outdated sound card driver was causing issues. I'm not ruling anything out at this point.

22) Fresh install of Windows... I set up my system to dual boot Win7/XP. XP being a fresh install strictly for the purpose of testing D3. There were a couple posts about drivers being more "mature" in older OS's, etc. First of all, I forgot how fast XP was, even if it can only address 4GB RAM by default. Anyways, things looked promising because the game detected my rig and set the settings higher than it did in Win7. I was pretty pumped. But the weird thing is it seemed worse than Win7! I will say though that vsync in the nvidia cp and off in-game seems to work MUCH better in XP. I might try older drivers because I didn't have much luck with 301.45 in Win7. Will report back... See Update 2


UPDATE: THE BIGGEST IMPROVEMENTS THUS FAR FOR ME HAVE BEEN RAMDISK AND 301.24 BETA DRIVERS. 301.45 OFFICIAL WITH FXAA SEEMS TO SLOW THINGS DOWN. I HAVE ALSO TRIED VERSION 280 WITH PRE-RENDERED FRAMES TO 0 AND DIDN'T NOTICE A MAJOR DIFFERENCE.

UPDATE 2: So I have come to the conclusion that the best performance I can get so far is off the 296.10 drivers in Windows XP. The MAIN reason for this is they seem to be broken in Win7 or at least broken for D3, because Nvidia's vsync doesn't work out of game. In XP I can leave vsync off in-game, but on in the nvidia cp and it runs very well. I noticed another glitch. In XP, it performs best in Fullscreen and not Fullscreen Windowed, BUT if you alt-tab out of the game, which I did by accident, it breaks vsync. Something to keep in mind if you are troubleshooting. I had to completely close down D3 and reload and then once again vsync (again, off in D3 but on in nvidia cp) was working great.

Part 2 of this is that now that I am running off HDD again I get the longer stutters when assets are loading. I installed 32-bit XP because that's all I have so I only have access to 4GB of RAM. I think/hope this part of the problem will be fixed in a patch from Blizzard.

****************************************************************************
FINAL UPDATE: Just had a pretty good session and have now settled on my final setup. Hopefully this will help others out.

System Specs: Win7 64-bit, Core i3 3.1GHz, 16GB RAM, eVGA GTX 550ti FPB (950MHz), SATA HDD (No SSD), 24" 1920x1200 LCD monitor

Using Gamebooster. It's a really slick app, and not required, but it just saves time closing/reopening any running programs that could slow down your system or use RAM.

NVIDIA Geforce 296.10 64-bit drivers.
Nvidia control panel settings for Diablo III Profile:
-Antialiasing Gamma Correction: OFF
-Power mgmt: Max Performance
-Max pre-rendered frames: 0
-PHYSX: Manually set to CPU
-Triple Buffering: ON
-VSYNC: ON

In-game settings:
-Sound: Med
-Fullscreen*
-VSYNC: OFF**
-FPS Limiters: OFF
-Antialiasing: OFF****

SETTINGS INITIALLY DETECTED BY DIABLO which I reverted back to:
--Resolution: Lowered to 1680x1050***
--Textures: High
--Shadows: Med
--Physics: High
--Clutter: High
--Low FX: OFF

AND FINALLY:
MPQ ramdisk (ClientData, Textures, and Sounds). You can find the how-to for this in my opening post on this thread.

This made me realize there are two types of performance issues here. One is to do with the graphics and one is to do with the assets. Unfortunately if your GPU can't cut it there's not much you can do (until/unless they release a performance patch).But if you wanted to do one thing to massively boost the performance of this game in its current state that would be the ramdisk. In fact, maybe START with the MPQs in RAM so that you know the only thing left to fine tune are your video settings. The ramdisk virtually eliminates the audio clip, new item, new cast stutter. I even went back to full HDD to make sure I wasn't crazy and it is without a doubt the biggest performance booster. A lot of people have brought up doing this to a USB stick. I would advise against, as most USB drives can't keep up with modern HDDs. BUT, there has been some success, so that leads me to believe that part of the impact comes from moving the MPQs to a different data path, ie. second hard drive, RAM, etc.

One thing I have not tested is which MPQ makes the biggest impact for those of you with lower RAM. I would experiment with one a time and see how it goes. There have been comments about sound assets being resource heavy, so if you're low on RAM, lower your sound setting to low in-game, and move the textures.mpq to RAM, or maybe just the sound one. Again, I haven't tried this out as I have all 3 loaded in RAM.

*I found something interesting, and that is VSYNC works better in fullscreen as opposed to fullscreen windowed AS LONG AS YOU DO NOT ALT+TAB OUT OF THE GAME. As soon as you do it seems to stop working. This is probably something a lot of us didn't notice

**This was a big one. Having in-game vsync off FINALLY seemed to be a good balance between performance and smoothness. It's very slightly LESS smooth with this OFF, BUT, and here's the kicker, I was no longer getting the FPS drops down to 30 when highlighting items. AGAIN, as soon as I ALT-TAB'd out it was hooped. This didn't seem to happen every time but definitely made troubleshooting more confusing.

***I didn't want to do this but this stabilized the FPS with NVIDIA VSYNC on. Find an item that when you run towards cuts your FPS to 30 (CTRL+R) to display FPS. Do it a few times to make sure it's actually continuing to do so. Now drop your resolution down and try it again. Keep doing this until the item highlight stays stable and close to 60. I was stable at the next lowest res at the same ratio, which in my case was 1680x1050

****Because I dropped the res things were a lot more blurry. This always happens when not in native res. But I found a compromise/benefit. What I did was disabled Antialiasing, which sharpened things up quite a bit and make the game look pretty close to native. The nice thing about this is now you're softening the image physically and not through your system. So by disabling AA you'll gain some performance.

****************************************************************************

PLEASE REQUEST STICKY FOR THIS THREAD, IT'S GETTING HARD TRYING TO KEEP IT VISIBLE AMIDST THE HIGH AMOUNT OF TRAFFIC THAT IS OCCURRING ON THESE FORUMS.
Edited by minuteZERO#1907 on 5/25/2012 8:41 AM PDT
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I'm so burnt out from trying various fixes and suffering constant system restarts that I'm just going to stop playing. At the end of the week I'll have another video card to test, if that works out, fine. If not I'll talk to my bank about a charge back on the game purchase if Blizzard won't directly handle it.

I'm not really upset or anything but I have taken note of the fact that Blizzard has done next to nothing in answering common questions from the community. For as much money as this company has made from gamers, you would think that they could afford some time to address the community instead of giving the silent treatment towards the issues.
Edited by Floode#1885 on 5/21/2012 4:40 PM PDT
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I'm so burnt out from trying various fixes and suffering constant system restarts that I'm just going to stop playing. At the end of the week I'll have another video card to test, if that works out, fine. If not I'll talk to my bank about a charge back on the game purchase if Blizzard won't directly handle it.

I'm not really upset or anything but I have taken note of the fact that Blizzard has done next to nothing in answering common questions from the community. For as much money as this company has made from gamers, you would think that they could afford some time to address the community instead of giving the silent treatment towards the issues.
Agreed! I don't expect it to be fixed tomorrow, but I do feel like we've been left in the dark to solve it on our own. My fingers are crossed, that we'll all get a game update and never have to worry about this again. I'm in the sewers in Act II and despite all my workarounds, the issue is very apparent.
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05/21/2012 05:10 PMPosted by Rekuja
We shouldn't have to do all of this just to make our game smooth... poor optimization on their part.
No kidding, I'm not sure if I spent more hours playing or fixing...
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Anyone else notice the slowdowns in the Act II sewers?
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yes absolutely, horrible in the sewers. I had to switch to 800x600 just to get out of there.
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Once you reach act 3 there is a lit torch over to the left hand side of the keep, directly south of the jeweler, for some reason this is the single most heavy part of the game for me so far - even beating the sewers and the spider caves. It's crazy.
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05/21/2012 05:11 PMPosted by minuteZERO
We shouldn't have to do all of this just to make our game smooth... poor optimization on their part.
No kidding, I'm not sure if I spent more hours playing or fixing...


same here, while some of my friends are close to 60, im still around mid 40s lol... mostly spending time fixing.
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level 60???
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For Nvidia control panel i don't even see half of the stuff you guys are saying.... and im using the up to date April 9, Beta one.
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I would really encourage all of you guys to skip all the workarounds except for the ramdisk one. I've tried the majority of them and only the ramdisk one truly helps.

Im running the 3 file ramdisk workaround, with 8 gigs of ram.
Phenom X6 1100t w/ only 4 cores active(Don't think it makes a difference)
AMD Radeon 6850 w/ 12.4 drivers
Fully Max out graphics w/ vsync and anti-aliasing at 1080p
Foreground and Background limit disabled

I just finished playing about 3 hours worth and hardly experienced any stutter, and when I did it was very slight and not very noticeable.
To avoid having to reconfigure your ramdisk every time you turn your computer off just put the computer to sleep instead and everything will be good to go when you turn it back on.

I don't think a fix is coming soon, the forums are going crazy today with accounts being hacked?! I'm sure this and latency is going to be at the top of blizzards issue list.
I hope they prove me wrong and patch it quickly but the stutter has been around since beta.
Edited by Papadope#1882 on 5/21/2012 7:09 PM PDT
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05/21/2012 06:20 PMPosted by theJaguar
For Nvidia control panel i don't even see half of the stuff you guys are saying.... and im using the up to date April 9, Beta one.
Hey Jag, Under "Manage 3d settings", browse to your Diablo III.exe and these are the settings I've used: http://imgur.com/LKSeq
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I would really encourage all of you guys to skip all the workarounds except for the ramdisk one. I've tried the majority of them and only the ramdisk one truly helps.

Im running the 3 file ramdisk workaround, with 8 gigs of ram.
Phenom X6 1100t w/ only 4 cores active(Don't think it makes a difference)
AMD Radeon 6850 w/ 12.4 drivers
Fully Max out graphics w/ vsync and anti-aliasing at 1080p
Foreground and Background limit disabled

I just finished playing about 3 hours worth and hardly experienced any stutter, and when I did it was very slight and not very noticeable.
To avoid having to reconfigure your ramdisk every time you turn your computer off just put the computer to sleep instead and everything will be good to go when you turn it back on.

I don't think a fix is coming soon, the forums are going crazy today with accounts being hacked?! I'm sure this and latency is going to be at the top of blizzards issue list.
I hope they prove me wrong and patch it quickly but the stutter has been around since beta.

That's great that it's working as well for you as it is for me. I haven't logged on today, but after seeing the forums, I'm hoping my heroes are still there O.o
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05/21/2012 05:25 PMPosted by minuteZERO
Anyone else notice the slowdowns in the Act II sewers?


lol funny, that's the part that drove me on this spree of trying to fix this game. That's where I really noticed problems and have been trying to fix it ever since. The sewers were absolutely horrible.
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Anyone else notice the slowdowns in the Act II sewers?


lol funny, that's the part that drove me on this spree of trying to fix this game. That's where I really noticed problems and have been trying to fix it ever since. The sewers were absolutely horrible.
UPDATE: I have to turn OFF in-game vsync to play this part of the game. It keeps the framerate up even though it's not as smooth, but with the water effects I can't get it smooth... Are you telling me I'm downloading every drop of water from the servers??!?!? :)

UPDATE 2: In the sewers the reason in-game vsync is so bad is that if you look closely it is actually continuously jumping from 60fps to 30 and back. Def. better in this part of the game w/out in-game vsync. I do however still have adaptive vsync enabled in the nvidia control panel.
Edited by minuteZERO#1907 on 5/21/2012 7:52 PM PDT
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edit: didnt fix, thx for the help anyway, ur guys are gr8
Edited by Incerto#1155 on 5/21/2012 8:01 PM PDT
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I've fixed it thanks to VALCRO

LOVE U MAN, FOR REAL

I was having micro stutterings when using skills for the first time with Radeon 4650HD, now im not, thx!


Which one worked for you, FRAPS recording?
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