Counter-Strike solutions. Yours?

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In Runtime
*I edited this post after a shameful review of many, many spelling errorsÂ…jeeeshh, I must be losing brain cells from all those years of sitting too close to the TV*

Here are some things that significantly increased my Counter-Strike performance, I hope this can help some people that have problems of: Low Refresh Rate (FPS), Mouse weirdness, Connecting to Servers, Cl flush entity packet errors, BSODsÂ…

MSI 6380E KT3 Ultra Aru
128meg 4200ti Nvidia Geforce 4
392,688 KB RAM 266 cl 2.5
Western Digital HDs
XP Pro 5.1 build 2600 SP1 Direct X 9.0a
Logitech Duo Elite Cordless key/mouse
ISP COMCRAP(Comcast) formerly stupidISP@HOME
98105 area

Services disabled: Indexing Service, Messenger, Universal Plug and Play device host, SSDD discovery service, Routing and Remote access and Automatic updates.

I wanted to share my success (finally) at getting counter-strike not only working, but working well. I'm now usually one of the first to spawn in a new level, and no longer require turning every conceivable program or service off just to play cs. KEEP in mind that these are my settings, and may not work for you and your config. But, I wanted to get other suggestions as well. If you are well above the knowledge level this post is talking to, please don't be insulted. This is my first post like this. ;)

-Update Drivers<a given, but a lot of people don't do this!>, use 'protection' from virus/Trojans. Use 30-day eval, or use free-online virus scanning. I have used: Mcafee, Penicillin, and Norton. Penicillin is one that regularly caught virus; however, I may just have had virus karma instead of better/worse protection. Mcafee was nifty, but I've a sneaking suspicion it caused slowdowns in XP. I disable real-time scanning while playing games. I also use TrojanHunter software.

-Simple system drive optimization for CS. When first setting up windows - Defrag your machine as SOON as you install the system, drivers, page file and counter-strike. Note on Page-file - if you have two drives, set your pagefile on the drive that _doesn't_ contain your install of windows. Set your pagefile manually, this will create a contiguous swap file optimally placed. If you do this when you first install your system, your system should run 'peppy'. Make sure you set a MANUAL page file, not a system managed one--this ensures it will be one contiguous file on the optimized portion of your disk, but be sure to use the right "formula" for getting your specific pagefile range to set. Using the 'system mananged pagefile' setting tends to spread the swap all over the freakin place after a while. Without a lot of RAM, Having a swap file fragmented into many parts on slow access areas is utterly painful. Also optimize ide cable throughput by rearranging cdrom/dvd and hard drives as necessary. (i.e. don't master slave your primary ide w/ system drive and cd/dvd if possible)

-Sound Acceleration, I've seen posts about turning the sound acceleration down one notch through dxdiag or control panel. If you are experiencing sound 'glitches' Usually happens for on-board sound that is software instead of hardware accel.

-DXDIAG and MSCONFIG, use dxdiag to see if your system is up to par - you can adjust your sound accel here. Avail by start, run, dxdiag or msconfig. If system resources are a problem for you, stop non essential services and trayserver threads by using msconfig. *WARNING if you don't know what you are doing, don't stop/get rid of what you don't recognize.

-3d settings: for whatever card (I personally have a geforce 4200ti) choose modest settings and work your way up. Opgengl is faster at rendering than D3D, if you can't use opgenl and you should-you may have not installed the opengl files by just updating through 'update'...get them from your manufacturer (if appropriate) Make sure you are actually running at your agp multiplier, check bios settings for AGP Multiplier if necessary.

-Network Optimization. I had ooodles of problems with getting my Cable to work well with CS. It worked fair to Middlin' to begin with, then I started tweaking settings right and left via TweakXP and Dr. TCP. MTU, Selective acks, black hole detection etc....many settings and even more interpretations on what they should be from a myriad of people. Bottom line-everyone is going to be a little different, and there are many tweaks out there. Xteq is the one I recommend and have had drastic improvements in network throughput. - free, they accept donations.

My network story. *takes deep breath* I was barely able to connect to games, as I kept timing out because I was only getting .5-2kb /sec while trying to connect to CS game servers w/ less 50ms ping...the occasions I would manage to connect, I would have fast download speeds but ping spikes which in turn caused the infamous CL_flushentity packet error. With further tweaking of cl_cmdrate, cl_updaterate, rate, cl_rate (native in-game network variables)I managed to get back to status quo, where I would have to have all network activity turned off except for Counter-Strike to be able to play at all. My attempt to fix the connecting to games problem and the ping spikes: I reinstalled the OS (XP Pro using 'winnt32 /unattend' is awesome, it saves your onfiguration-less painful of a reinstall), the game, played with Dr. TCP, researched MTU, black hole detection, RWIN etc. There are many differing opinions for what are the correct settings but I couldn't quite get it right. Then it ALL GOT BETTER with XTEQ--after using Xteq, (no - I'm not a pitch man for xteq) I have been able to run a bunch of crap apps, kazaa downloading a sheetload, with little affect on my network performance in counter-strike. Attached to this post is a screenshot of network activity while playing counter-strike, running kazaa(downloading mucho), ms messenger, and even real time scanning enabled. I was very impressed, and felt bad that I badmouthed my Cable provider when I thought the network problems were them reducing UDP priority--don't know if this is true, but have read it on broadband forums for Comcast. Anyway, I used the appropriate network and Internet optimizations, and other misc. aesthetic settings in xteq - For MY situation, configuration, and ISP I finally got outstanding results. My Network variables for Counter-strike config.cfg.

fps_max "92"
brightness "1"
net_graph "3"
net_scale "5"
net_graphpos "2"
rate "17000.000000"
cl_updaterate "60"
cl_dlmax "128"
cl_himodels "0.000000"
cl_idealpitchscale "0.8"
cl_timeout "35"
cl_cmdbackup "3"
cl_download_ingame "0"
cl_allowdownload "1"
cl_allowupload "1"
cl_cmdrate "30"

I can't back this up, but I've read somewhere that you should set your cl_updatedrate to a factor of your average frames per second/max fps. The logic behind it is that you will see uptates that will correspond with the updating of your screen refresh...i.e. better gameplay and less WTF?! spew in the chat buffer. I couldn't really test this effectively...

*cl_cmdrate is you sending update info via packets to the server- associated with 'choke' as seen on your in game netgraph

*cl_updaterate is you receiving info via packets from the server- associated with 'loss' as seen on your in game netgraph
You can adjust cl_updaterate, and cl_cmdrate in console while playing if you are getting too much loss, or choke.

Usually, I'll run at 92 fps on avg - w/ the 4200ti set at performance over image quality, antiscop...antalia... those settings turned way down or off completely. With games that use all the new widgets and settings it would be very worth it, but half life is fairly simple in its graphics requirements...a lot to be said about what a job they did in using what they have. fps_max has a max setting of 101.

-Conifg.cfg: make and backup your config.cfg in ./cstrike/config.cfg. Some servers will delete, change or otherwise fook up your settings. Config.cfg is kind of like an '.ini' file for cs...

Mouse Refresh. I have read rumors that the old ps2 mouse updates faster than USB 2.0, but I have a logitech cordless with the least refresh and don't have a problem with mousing, but I'm also not a professional CS player. A weird one, but it has/is the topic of many counter-strike issues. The native desktop acceleration and other properties of the mouse don't carry over well into the game environment of half-life. Use the -noforcemparms -noforcemaccel switches in your counter-strike shortcut. My whole shortcut goes like: "C:\games\Half-Life\hl.exe -game cstrike -console -noipx -exec autoexec.cfg -numericping -noforcemparms -noforcemaccel -win 1152" I personally have experienced reboot problems with the Duo Elite Cordless mouse & keyboard where I would reboot occassionally. Recently installed a mouse fix, and ran a patch from logitech in response to gamer complaints. A big improvement, but not 100% effective.

BTW if you are 'just rebooting' on crashes but want to see what the blue screen of death error is and more, use your system failure checkboxes to determine what happens. (right click my computer, advanced tab, system failure section) I've tried searching on the bsod errors, but usually it is a generic kern error, or not specific enough, but can lead you to it being a sound, video, or other issue.

*note to achieve max fps, turn vertical sync off for your video card settings...however, 'tearing' and other graphics anomalies will occur. If you have kick-ass vertical refresh, then I would recommend leaving vertical sync on. You want to determine what your avg fps is and set it as your max fps for best performance.

I wanted to share my success, and rarely do I see a good summary of common solutions/optimizations when searching the web...mostly I just get people asking the same question I have with 30 mil replies that seem to have domination, hubris, or sophomoric humor entangled within. Except for this forum/board, of course! I intentionally left out a lot of things that are either too hardware specific, or based on personal taste/preference... Whew.

Also, if I've misstated anything I'm more than willing to believe I've misstated or misunderstood a concept, I'm no engineer! Heck, I even have trouble navigating my Tivo occasionally.

Alright. Sorry for the longwinded spew, let me know(better yet post them) if you have other optimizations that you've personally used and can vouch for.

* screenshot of network activity while playing counter-strike, running kazaa(downloading mucho), ms messenger. The game is in-between changing maps, but you can see the firehose of incoming packets. Mostly due to kazaa downloading around 5 large ‘data’ files. I loaded Dr. TCP just to see what Rwin it has after running Xteq stuff, I did not use Dr. TCP to set anything.
Xteq really helped me out! Check it out, but as with all tweaking software-be careful and take the normal precautions!
Just nosing through old posts and come across this.

Musta taken ages to write and noone replied even though theres been over a thousand views!!

I used to play counter-strike and I used different stuff

Rate was 20000
cl_updaterate 40
cl_cmdrate 40

I would get fps 99 to 101

EDIT: I still have my script on disk some where I'll post it

P.S. anyone use buy scripts that was the best it bought you everything you needed
Whatever happened to Chalk? Why did he just stop posting on the site... I actually appreciated his presence. Oh well.
Probably got tired of people not posting n his topic or he forgot this place. I 've done that before when I got to busy on another forum
what? why? is there some reason that you would need to delete it.. If you don't like the game that's your opinion but come on its still a good game.
Hi everyone! Just digging through my email, and found an old one. I did sorta forget about this place. But now I'm back muhahaha!

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