Get every frame per second you can get!

maester

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This guide is designed to get every Frame per second without purchasing ANYTHING. This guide will use free programs and applications readily available for download off of the internet. We can break this down into 3 Main Categories, Hardware/OS Maintenance, Tweaking Windows, and tweaking Battlefield 2.

Step 1: Hardware Maintenance

Dust those Bunnies: Dust can create excessive static and reduce or completely impair the airflow into the case. The speeds of your Processor and your Graphics cards directly relate to the temperature in your case. Most hardware components will start to clock themselves down, or will restart the computer when a Thermal Event is detected. About once every 2 months you want to unplug everything from your rig, open it up, and blow out any excessive dust using a bottle of Compressed Air available from most computer stores. If you're a smoker, I would suggest doing it once a month, you'd be surprised how easily the residue from cigarette smoke can pick up dust.

Drive-er Home: Now would be a good time to update the drivers for your hardware. Fist you need to download the updates from you're OEM's website. The drivers you're going to want updates for are your, Chipset, Video, Audio, Network. Your chipset drivers are probably available from Intel.com The same probably goes for you're network driver if its integrated on the Motherboard. For the Video and Audio drivers, I would say that its safe to assume that you all either have ATI or Nvidia and Creative as your Video and Audio Manufacturers. Either way, those link to the websites. Save these files to a folder on your desktop.

Note: It is usually best to install the drivers from within Safe mode. To get into safe mode follow these steps:

Shut off your computer -> Turn it back on

Press the "F8" key once every two seconds until you see the "Advanced Windows Options Menu."

Select safe mode from the list, and if it prompts you to select your OS, just hit "Enter" on your appropriate operating system. Once you're in Safe Mode, then you need to pull up your Device Manager.

Right click on "My Computer" Left click on "Properties" Click on "Hardware" and then click on "Device Manager". The drivers we're going to be dealing with here today are going to be you're Chipset and you're Network drivers. We'll cover the others at a later time. Locate the "System Devices" in the device manager list and click the plus sign next to it. Locate the "SM bus controller" right click on it and choose "Uninstall". Locate the chipset installer, double click on it, and follow the onscreen instructions, reboot when it asks you to. Boot into safe mode again, and do the same for the network drivers. Reboot when you're finished.

Better Sight and Sound: Now we move onto the Video and the Audio drivers. The reason I put this into a different section is because of this wonderful tool called DriverCleaner. You can select all ATI, nVidia and Creative drivers using this program, this program will find them and delete them. I would suggest you follow the instructions in the read-me, I followed them and I haven't had any problems yet. Use this program to completely remove all Video and Audio drivers from your computer, and reinstall the drivers using the files you downloaded. Reboot.

BIOS: An Update to your Bios is a good idea every once in a while. Again you should be able to find the update from your Motherboard manufacturer's website. Read the instructions first, because a botched BIOS install can be a HUGE headache.

AGP Aperture/Video Memory Size: You can change the memory size to fit the proper size of your card. If you reset the BIOS settings, or if you update the BIOS, chances are this setting will be set back to default. You want to locate this option in the BIOS, its probably located under "Video". Set it to 256mb if you have a 256mb video card. Should be simple enough.

Frag-Out: All programs eventually get fragmented, it happens and it's impossible to avoid it completely. Use Disk Defragmenter twice a month to prevent this from becoming a problem. It is best to run a defrag from within safe mode that way the Internet and the Page file will not get in the way. I would suggest you let this run over night since it can take quite some time.

Step 2: Operating System Maintenance

Espionage: If you browse the internet, then you have Spyware. I guarantee it. Spyware symptoms can range anywhere from excessive popups, to terrible systom performance. If your system meets the minimum Battlefield 2 requirements, but you're experiencing either a low Frame Rate, or a high ping, 9/10 times this is caused by Spyware. Traditionally you want more then one Anti-Spyware program because one will usually find files that others will not. Here are some free programs that will help keep Spyware in check.

Ad-Aware: This is a Spyware removal tool. It's a great one, and most people who have used it before would recommend it to a friend. Make sure you update it at least once a week, and scan at least once a week. Get Adaware Here

Spybot Search & Destroy: Another Spyware removal tool. Many people suggest this program as well. It's efficient and quick to run. Make sure you update it at least once a week and scan at least once a week. Remember you're only as protected as your most recent update. Get Spyware Here

Hijack This: Have you ever opened up your Internet browser and wondered why your home page changed for no apparent reason? This is caused by Spyware and "Hijack This" monitors for that specific type of Spyware. HijackThis lists the contents of key areas of the Registry and hard drive--areas that are used by both legitimate programmers and hijackers. The program is continually updated to detect and remove new hijacks. It does not target specific programs and URLs, only the methods used by hijackers to force you onto their sites. As a result, false positives are imminent, and unless you're sure about what you're doing, you always should consult with knowledgable folks before deleting anything. Get Hijack This

Call the Cleaners: CCleaner is a freeware system optimization and privacy tool. It removes unused files from your system - allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. But the best part is that it's fast (normally taking less that a second to run) and contains NO Spyware or Adware. Get CCleaner

Its Godzilla!: This falls more so under preventative maintenance , BUT I didn't want to leave it out. Mozilla-Firefox is another Internet browser that seems to be more secure and comes with a bunch of fine features. Get Firefox Here

Check for Bugs: Most people should know this by now, but you also want to Update and run an antivirus scan at least once a week.

When in Doubt Format Reinstall: Sometimes a windows OS is just to far gone to recover. When that's the case, you need to reinstall the OS. Even if you're not having any problems I would suggest that you do it at least 2 times a year just to keep your OS running smoothly. I personally will Reinstall 4 times a year, but I also do a lot of downloading.

Step 2a: Tweaking XP

TuneXP: This is a program I found on the IGN Battlefield 2 optimization guide. Get TuneXP Here. I suggest you follow THIS GUIDE as to what each tweak will do what, and weather or not you should do it.

MSconfig: This is a great program built into Windows XP. Most people should know about it, and how to use it, but I'll include it in here anyways.

Click on "Start" -> Then click on "Run" and type in "MSCONFIG" and hit "Enter"

Put the bullet into "Selective Startup"

Uncheck "Process Win.ini" "Process System.ini" "Load Startup Items". Don't worry about any other check boxes.

Click on the "Services" tab

Check the box that says "Hide all Microsoft Services"

Click on "Disable All"

Click Ok at the bottom and restart your computer. This will prevent many items from loading when windows starts.

The Services got Served: Even though we've disabled all Non Microsoft services using the MS config utility, a lot of programs install their own services under that Microsoft list. We're going to locate those services and disable them.

Click Start -> Click Run -> Type in Services.msc -> Click Ok

This will pull up a list of all the services on your computer. If you do not know what a service is, simply google it and it should tell you what program it belongs to. Although, when in doubt, don't disable it. Here are some additional services you can disable, Alerter, Messenger, Imapi CD-Burning COM service(wont effect the nero burning program), Telnet, Wireless Zero Configuration, Remote Registry.

Disable the Eye Candy: XP Eye candy puts a strain on your system, any strain on your system slows BF2 down, when BF2 slows down, you lose frame rates. So lets disable the Eye Candy.

Go to the Control Panel

System -> "Advanced" tab

Under "Performance", click "Settings"

Uncheck "Fade or slide menus into view" and "Fade menu items after clicking"

You can turn off and on any effects you want in order to find a good balance between visual effects and performance Hit Apply and OK after you're done.

Disable the Performance Checker: When you hit Ctrl-Alt-Del and you click on the performance tab, you'll see how your system is performing at any given time. Do you think this program stops when you load a game? No. Does the common gamer actually need to be able to check his performance at the drop of a hat? No. Could my hardware constantly being queried have an effect on my game? Yes. Download this file from the Microsoft website and disable your performance tab. The tab will still be there, but you will not get any data from it after performing this step. Download the file from here

Note: Don't worry if it says that its for Win2k, it works just fine on my XP machine.

Download this file and Go to C:program\FilesResource Kit and run the Exctrlst.exe utility. Select each line in the "Extensible performance counters" window and clear the "performance counters enabled" button below. This must be done for each counter. When it's finished, just exit the utility.

Microsoft network: If you are experiencing a long pause after booting to the desktop before you can really do anything, a network feature is probably the culprit.

In XP

Go to Control Panel -> Networking Connections -> Right click your Network connection

Uncheck "File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Network" and hit apply and OK.

Note: This will help with boot time if you were getting the above. I do not know how this will affect printing though, keep that in mind.

Ctrl-Alt-Delete: Press Ctrl Alt Delete to pull up the task manager. Choose the "Processes" tab. Sort the services by user name. End all Processes under your username besides "Iexplore.exe" " Explorer.exe" and "Taskmgr.exe"

!!!Your computer should now be running faster then it has in a long time!!! Now lets move onto the BF2 Tweaking.

Step 3: BF2 Tweaking

Reduce the Number of Punkbuster Checks: Punkbuster, as you probably know, is the anti cheating software which comes bundled with BF2 and is required to play on all ranked servers and most public servers. Punkbuster scans your hard-drive for problems every 20 seconds. As you may have guessed, this causes a lot of lag. What we are going to do in this fix is to increase the amount of time in between punkbuster checks to 500 seconds (the maximum amount so don't try anything higher lol). By the way, in case you were worried, this is 100% safe with punkbuster, and will NOT cause any problems with Punkbuster thinking you are a cheater. Punkbuster even recommends this fix on their website. To do this you need to:

Join any BF2 online server which is running punkbuster, preferably a ranked one.

Once you are in, and respawned somewhere, press the `~(Tilda) key. This key is located on most keyboards above the tab key and to the left of the 1 key.

A large white box should drop down with a load of text in it. Type pb_sleep500 and hit the enter key.

Once you have done this, make sure the box is still up and type pb_writecfg to save your settings.

Step 3a: Rename the BF2.Exe

Although the exact reason why this fix improves the gameplay is unknown, but it is probably that Ati and Nvidia recognise the program BF2.exe as one of their own, so by renaming the file, you turn the game into a normal program, not a resource hungry dinosaur! In 90% of cases this has been known to cause some increase in performance in-game. To do this follow these steps:

The first thing you do is find your game directory, the default is C:\Program Files\EA Games\Battlefield 2

Once you have found the directory, locate the file BF2.exe, right click, and select properties.

You will then need to change the text in the white box which says "BF2", above the directory on the general tab, you can change it to anything you want! for simplicity, I changed it to BF21.exe once you have done this, CLICK APPLY!

The fix is now officially done, but the shortcut on your desktop will now no longer work. To change this, delete the shortcut on your desktop, goto the game directory, and right click on the newly renamed file. Click Send To, then Desktop (Create Shortcut) and you will now have a working link your desktop!

Make BF2 a High Priority Application: Windows shares out its resources and memory between its programs equally. It also runs its own background tasks using the "System Idle Process". By Increasing the priority of an application, Windows provides more Memory to that application, and takes memory away from it's own tasks such as the "System Idle Process". You can change the priority of an application by going to ctrl+alt+delete and changing it manually, or you can set up this file to automatically launch the program as a High Priority Application, without you touching a thing!

To perform this, follow these steps:

FInd the BF2 directory again, the default is C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\Battlefield 2 the BF2 directory (common: C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\Battlefield 2)

Right click anywhere in this folder and click New then Text Document.

Right click on the newly created file and rename it to bf2.bat, The file should then turn into a little cog. If it doesn't, you will need to uncheck the 'Hide extensions for known file types' option checked in Tools > Folder options > View.

Right click your newly created bf2.bat and click Edit.

Copy and paste the following into the notepad window that opens:

@echo off cd /d "C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\Battlefield 2" start /high BF2.exe +menu 1 +fullscreen 1 If you have renamed your file in Tip 3 then you will need to paste the following code (if you have changed the BF2.exe to something different than BF21.exe, edit the BF21.exe to your filename)

@echo off cd /d "C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\Battlefield 2" start /high BF21.exe +menu 1 +fullscreen 1 Don't forget, if you installed BF2 to a different directory than C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\Battlefield 2 then adjust it accordingly.

Save your changes and close the Notepad window.

Right click the new bf2.bat and click Send To -> Desktop (create shortcut)

Goto your desktop, and right click the new shortcut, then click properties.

Click on the "Change Icon" Button, and goto your game directory C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\Battlefield 2 and double click on your BF2.exe (or BF21.exe) This makes the shortcut have a real icon, not necessary, but makes it look way better.

Right click on the shortcut and rename it to "Battlefield 2" or whatever you want really.

Step 3b: Unlock BF2's Ports

Open up all the ports in your firewall, Battlefield 2 uses ports to contact the internet, Firewalls block these ports, you will need to open them up, If you have a router, forward the ports to the computer which uses Battlefield 2 Here are a list of ports you need to open on BF2: 16567 and 16569 are the most important.

Opening these will help

UDP 27900

UDP/TCP 29900

TCP 80

TCP 4711

TCP 29901

UDP 1500-4999

UDP/TCP 1024-1124

UDP 28910

UDP 16567

UDP 55123-55125

Step 3c: Manually Update PunkBuster:

Punkbuster is supposed to update itself, but it always doesn't. I would suggest that you download this Punkbuster updater and run it every once in a while.

Evenbalance.com

Note: It was my goal here to pull all the guides I've found myself, pick out the best advice and amalgamate it all into one guide. It never was my intention to pirate anyone else's information, all I ever wanted to do is to help people. BUT, I did get most of this information from other websites, so I must link those webpages here. You should check out some of these pages, they might have something else that I have missed, or something that didn't apply to me, but it does apply to you. I got my information from:

Tweakguides.com

Gamingshark.com

bf2lag.b0x.com

Gear.ign.com

If I forgot to give anyone else credit, please forgive.