- How To Build An Awesome Gaming PC For $666
- 10 Essential Tweaks: Pushing Your Gaming PC to Its Absolute Limit (Part 1)
- 10 Essential Tweaks: Pushing Your Gaming PC to Its Absolute Limit (Part 2)
- The Essential Crysis 1 Tuning Guide: Make the Original Faster and More Beautiful Than Ever!
- The Essential Crysis 2 Tuning Guide: Better Graphics, More FPS
- The Essential Skyrim Tuning Guide: 5 Best Steps to Increase Speed and Graphics
- The Essential Max Payne 3 Tuning Guide: Optimizing and Troubleshooting in 5 Steps!
- The Essential Diablo 3 Tuning Guide: Diabolical Tweaking for Best FPS!
- The Essential Grand Theft Auto IV Tuning Guide: Get the Latest Look and Resolve Choppy Performance Issues
Max Payne 1 and 2 are among my favorite games. The story and atmosphere haunted me, the graphics were extremely advanced for their time, and there was, of course, bullet time. I recently replayed the series on my iPad and was amazed by how well it still holds up.
Now, more than 10 years later, Max Payne 3 has come out and is one of the most beautiful games of the year. Yet again a third-person shooter, it runs on the new Rockstar Advanced Gaming Engine (RAGE). The game requires at least a 2.4 GHz dual core CPU, 2 GB of RAM and an NVIDIA 8600 GT graphics card—and with that, you’ll just be able to play at low or medium resolutions and detail levels.
What a shame! No wonder, Max Payne 3 requires a whopping 35 GB of your hard disk which, as Rockstar explains, is due to the fact that the game textures are four times the size of its console pendants. Plus, DirectX 11 offers some effects that can’t be found on the console counterpart of Max Payne 3, including “Tesselation”, which enhances model details, provides more depth of field and offers advanced shadowing.
Ready to get started tweaking Max Payne 3? Read on, and consider installing FRAPS so that you can measure any improvements in FPS and overall performance. Of course, don’t forget to check out the other parts of our “Perfect Gamer” series:
“Perfect Gamer” Series – Overview
• Part 1: How To Build An Awesome Gaming PC For $666
• Part 2: 10 Essential Tweaks: Pushing Your Gaming PC to Its Absolute Limit, Part 1
• Part 3: 10 Essential Tweaks: Pushing Your Gaming PC to Its Absolute Limit, Part 2
• Part 4: The Essential Crysis 1 Tuning Guide: Make the Original Faster and Beautiful Than Ever!
• Part 5: The Essential Crysis 2 Tuning Guide: Better Graphics, More FPS
• Part 6: The Essential Skyrim Tuning Guide: 5 Best Steps to Increase Speed and Graphics
• Part 7: The Essential Max Payne 3 Tuning Guide: Optimizing and Troubleshooting in 5 Steps!
• Part 8: The Essential Diablo 3 Tuning Guide: Diabolical Tweaking for Best FPS!
• Part 9: The Essential Grand Theft Auto IV Tuning Guide: Get the Latest Look and Resolve Choppy Performance Issues
1. Clean Your PC Gaming System
To play this game at higher resolutions and detail levels, you’ll first need a fully optimized PC and the right compromise of settings and tweaks . Like we’ve said time and time again, it’s important to make sure that you don’t have too many applications running and blocking memory and sucking up CPU cycles—this can significantly decrease FPS. Instead, consider using a special start-stop system like TuneUp Program Deactivator and routinely optimizing your hard disk, so that you enjoy uninterrupted gameplay. And these are just two of the many ways you can get a faster PC.
2. Adjust Max Payne 3’s Graphics Settings
Max Payne 3 supports DX9, DX10 and DX11 and various level details.
DX9 (1920×1080): All settings should be on “Normal” or “Off”. Click for a full-screen image to see that while the game looks good, there are a lot of jagged edges visible and the view out of the window and the floor are not nearly as detailed. On our test bed, the Alienware X51 with its Core i7 3.4 GHz and GeForce GTX 555, we got a steady 81 FPS.
DX10.1 (1920×1080): All settings should be set to “High” or “2x-4x”. Again, click for a full-screen image. Notice that the jagged edges are barely visible and there is more light on the floor and more detail to the kitchen counter on the right. Performance went down to 45 FPS in average though.
DX11 (1920×1080): All settings should be set to “Very High” or “8x-16x”. Click for a full-screen image to see the crispest image possible. The outside window view and the kitchen appliances are more visceral and detailed. The frame rate, however, went down to a still quite playable 35 FPS.
I found it amazing that Max Payne 3′s live game play still looks good on “Normal” settings and under DX9. Of course, during cut scenes which feature more character close-ups and effects, there is a more visible difference between the various settings. If you have a 1 GB or lower graphics card, try to reduce both Anti-Aliasing and shadow quality, which saves a huge amount of video RAM.
3. Fix Max Payne’s Launch Issues
Max Payne 3 won’t run? While that’s not a performance tweak, it happens to a lot of users, and I think I should mention it here. First, make sure you have the latest graphics driver. If that doesn’t help correct the situation, you need to move the Max Payne folder to a new location.
1. Open up your Max Payne folder located under “C:\Program Files (x86)\Rockstar Games” or “C: \Program Files (x86)\steam\steamapps\common\max payne 3\”. You should see a folder called “Max Payne 3″ here. (If you’re running a 32-bit version of Windows, the first folder is just named “Programs”.)
2. Move (“cut”) the folder directly onto drive C:. Rename it to “maxpayne3″ (no spaces).
3. Fire up “regedit” by hitting WINKEY+R at the same time and typing in regedit. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Rockstar Games\Max Payne 3. Double-click on the “InstallFolder” and change the directory reference to “C:\maxpayne3″.
On a 32-bit machine, the appropriate registry key is “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ Rockstar Games\Max Payne 3″.
Max Payne 3 should now run flawlessly.
4. Turn Off Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO)
If you’re running DX11 graphics, SSAO is permanently enabled—and there’s no way to turn it off. While ambient occlusion enhances the overall shadowing and detail levels, it is also a massive performance hog. But finally, there’s a way out of this without going back to DX9.
1. Open up the folder “C:\Users\YOUR_USERNAME\Documents\Rockstar Games\Max Payne 3″. You’ll find a file called “graphics.xml”. This includes all of the settings you see in-game. Right-click on it and select “Open with\Editor”.
2. Change the line “<MSAA value=”1″/>” to “<MSAA value=”0″/>”, and save the file!
3. Since Max Payne 3 will overwrite this graphics setting file every time you launch it, you have to make it “Read only”. Right-click on the graphic.xml, select “Properties” and check “Read-only”.
5. Turn Off Mouse Acceleration
Is your aiming not as precise as you would like it to be? Are mouse movements too fast or too slow? Try turning off mouse acceleration. To do that, right-click on the game’s shortcut on your desktop, and select “Properties”. Go to the “Target” input field and add the “-nomouseaccel” parameter. It should read as follows:
“C:\Program Files (x86)\Rockstar Games\Max Payne 3\PlayMaxPayne3.exe” -nomouseaccel
Steam users, right-click on the Max Payne 3 entry and select “Properties”. Click on “Set launch options”, type in “-nomouseaccel” and hit “OK”.
That’s it! Your game should be fully optimized after you take these four quick steps. In addition to Crysis 2 , Skyrim and Max Payne 3, what other games would you like to see covered in our “Perfect Gamer” series? Let us know!