These details are CRITICAL; DO NOT skip them or your issue may not be reviewed.
- GAME BUILD #: 101.101.45340.0 6228353
- GAME PLATFORM: Steam
- OPERATING SYSTEM: Windows 10
DESCRIBE THE ISSUE IN DETAIL (below). LIMIT TO ONE BUG PER THREAD.
I get ~50% better performance when using a 3rd party app (Special K) to run the game in exclusive fullscreen mode + with Win 10’s DWM vsync disabled.
FREQUENCY OF ISSUE
How often does the issue occur? CHOSE ONE; DELETE THE REST!
100% of the time / matches I play (ALWAYS)
List CLEAR and DETAILED STEPS we can take to reproduce the issue ourselves… Be descriptive!
Okay so just to better explain this I’ll try to establish a few the basic things (well as well as I know them at least) first. AoE 2 DE is running in a borderless window even when you set it to full screen, this is a well known fact. Because of this borderless mode Windows 10’s DWM is forcing a type of triple buffered vsync on the game that’s basically the vsync you’re getting when you’re just doing stuff in Windows. This is always on, even when turning off the in-game vsync setting.
Now it is also a well known fact that a lot of games exhibit performance issues when they are running in a borderless window: lower fps, frame pacing issues etc. so usually it is not recommended to run games like this. Exclusive fullscreen is the way to go, a mode AoE 2 sadly doesn’t support by default.
To get exclusive fullscreen working and to force Win 10’s vsync off I’ve been using an app called Special K and I noticed a significant improvement in performance and GPU utilization when using the software. It’s very much insane to the point where I think that there is something very wrong with the game’s base “factory default” performance.
I don’t know if this is caused by the borderless windowed mode the game is running in, the newly introduced setting that locks the framerate to the monitor’s refresh rate (double buffered vsync to lock the fps maybe?) or something else but it’s really strange.
What was SUPPOSED to happen if the bug you encountered were not present?
A huge improvement in performance in GPU limited scenarios for everyone maybe.
ALWAYS attach a PICTURE (.jpg, .png, .gif) or VIDEO (.mp4, YouTube link) that highlights the problem.
Here are two Youtube videos I recorded comparing base performance to Special K’s exclusive fullscreen.
With Special K:
Here’s the download for Special K itself if needed:
GAME FILES (SAVE / RECORDING)
Attach a SAVE GAME (.aoe2spgame) or GAME RECORDING (.aoe2record) of the match where you encountered the issue. Link it below if using an external file service.