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How to Improve your Frame Rates by Kevin Ryan

After a recent problem enabling hardware acceleration in CFS it became apparent that there was a major problem in what is otherwise a fantastic game. It seems like almost everything that you can do in this game affects the frame rates in one way or another and without decent frame rates, you're just going to be another slimy spot on the side of a mountain at Interlaken!

Somebody (I think it was Ghetty, but I'm not sure) was once asked what the three biggest factors for succeeding in business were, to which he replied "Location, Location, and Location!" Well we can apply that to frame rates, replacing the answer with "RAM,RAM, and RAM" CFS was definitely not designed to be run on a 586, so if that's your bag then you may want to upgrade. At least 64k of RAM at least is desireable.

Try some of these tips to raise frame rates;

1. Are there any apps like AOL Instant Messenger or ICQ running? These programs take a lot of RAM and will definitely get you killed.

2. Do CTRL/ALT/DEL and close out any un-necessary programs like reminder or such. I don't particularly like this option, as you must re-boot after you've finished playing. This seems more in the nature of a Band-Aid while we want something that will permanently heal the wound.

3. In the game, go to Options/Settings/Advanced Display Settings and remove as many of the constraints as you feel comfortable with. The amount you can remove depends on the level of your machine. I usually am able to leave most of them checked, but you may want to play around and see what suits you.

4. While in the same menu, set the screen resolution to the lowest that you can tolerate. I leave mine at 800x600x16, and again, play with it and see what suits you.

5. In Windows go to My Computer/Control Panel/ Display/Settings and reset your colors to a minimum of 256 colors. 16 bit High Color seems to work for me. CFS will not play in 16-color mode.

6. Make sure all of your video drivers are updated. You can do this with the Wizard (My Computer/ Control Panel/System/Device Manager/Device Manager/Whatever video card you have. I generally don't trust Microsoft, however wonderful they are, to update my drivers for me. A better solution for this is to go directly to the site for your card manufacturer and download it from them. Hey, it's easy, it's free, and it's something you should do at least once a month anyway.

7. Make sure you have at least DirectX 6.0 installed. This is the little bugger that got me. After screaming, throwing tantrums, cursing Bill Gates mother, and several days of general insanity, at the suggestion of Microsoft's Support Line, I checked DirectX to see which version I had. It turns out a different game had installed DirectX 5 and removed 6. I felt sheepish to say the least. Also ensure you have DirectPlay, Both of these can be downloaded from the DirectX Web site for free.

8. Last but most certainly not least, USE THE MICROSOFT SUPPORT LINE! As long as you purchased the games it's free, and who do you think knows more about their games?

On a personal note, this is the first tutorial I've ever tried and I hope this helps you out. If you have any questions or comments feel free to e-mail me.

Kevin Ryan
Chicago, Ill 1999. All rights reserved.