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Off-Topic Discussion => Gaming Discussion => Topic started by: Zacam on October 10, 2014, 05:53:55 pm

Title: [Discussion] Useful Gaming related Utilities
Post by: Zacam on October 10, 2014, 05:53:55 pm
So this (recently) came about while playing some older, single-core utilizing games: How to get them to run on a core other than CPU0.

Specifically, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. : Shadow of Chernobyl which maximizes CPU0 and CPU1 does not even budge. Which means anything in the background is fighting with it. There are plenty of other games that I have that are not core-agnostic/balanced.

Now yes, you can ALT+TAB out at a menu and set the Affinity via Task Manager. But I got tired of doing that every. single. time. and figured there had to be a better way.

Searching led me to details on how to set Affinity (or rather, /Affinity) via the cmd processor. But Steam launched games do not really seem to care overly much for that behaviour, more so when whatever it is launching is just a Launcher itself, which leads right back to the same problem as before.

A little more searching, and I found this: WinAFC (http://affinitychanger.sourceforge.net/).

Sits in the Taskbar Notifications area and scans for defined exec's (or anything run from a specific directory) and has a wealth of options for setting Core Affinity, including detection of Core Pairs and Threading control. And you can even set it so that if the program in question somehow gets adjusted away from the specified cores you told it to run on, it will force it back.

It starts out by default into a Testing mode, which writes output to a logging file in its run-from directory so that you can check and scan for application detection without actually modifying anything. Once you are satisfied, turn off the Testing mode.

Other than that, I will leave it to explain itself, but does anybody else know of any other applications that does what this one does?
What other fine utilities do the rest of you use, and for what circumstances/reasons?

(This also brought up another relevant thought for an application that I can't find, wouldn't surprise me if it doesn't actually exist. But it is basically a combination of Speccy, CPU-Z, GPU-Z and the likes of nVidia Inspector, but all in one (agnostic, if possible) application. As an enhancement over nVI (or other OC capable GPU Profile tools) it allows for defining CPU/GPU OC's on a per-Application profile basis, in addition to the already present driver profile modifications. Combine that with WinAFC and you can also control Core Affinity allocation as well, all within a singular application.)
Title: Re: [Discussion] Useful Gaming related Utilities
Post by: CP5670 on October 11, 2014, 05:19:35 pm
I use several such utilities, mostly geared towards old games.

DirectDraw often doesn't work properly on Windows 8, so people have made several custom ddraw.dll versions for it. None of them work everywhere, and some games don't work with any of them, but I often try them all when I encounter a broken game. There is Aqrit's ddraw.dll, ddhack, WineD3D (older versions only), DXGL and cnc-ddraw.

VSTMidi and BASSMidi allow you to use VSTIs or soundfonts for midi on Windows 7/8. In particular, you can use the excellent Yamaha SYXG50 softsynth. The game still has to request the device specifically, whcih most don't do, but for games that use SDL_mixer, I made a modified version of the dll that lets you choose the device.

DXWnd and Borderless Gaming both let you run games in a borderless window. This is needed for some games that require compatibility mode, but where the compatibility mode causes an XP-style border to appear.

KeyTweak lets you remap keys at the OS level, which lets you use the windows and menu keys in games that don't recognize them (or just get minimized when you press them).

Game Audio Player is a music player with a half-broken interface, but opens some obscure formats that I haven't seen anything else work with, like the Descent 3 and MDK2 music. I use Winamp and XMPlay for most other music.
Title: Re: [Discussion] Useful Gaming related Utilities
Post by: jr2 on October 12, 2014, 07:59:44 am
Got that SYXG50 SDL_mixer dll available for download?
Title: Re: [Discussion] Useful Gaming related Utilities
Post by: CP5670 on October 12, 2014, 04:18:49 pm
See the attachment. I did this mainly for D2X-XL, using the modified SDL_mixer source it comes with, and I don't actually know if it works with other games. It's an easy fix though, if you want to add it to the original source yourself.

[attachment kidnapped by pirates]
Title: Re: [Discussion] Useful Gaming related Utilities
Post by: jr2 on October 12, 2014, 11:53:36 pm
Can't get my phone to grab that, will try at home.
Title: Re: [Discussion] Useful Gaming related Utilities
Post by: jr2 on October 13, 2014, 06:38:33 am
Got it, thanks.  :nod: