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Old 10-12-2008, 09:51 PM   #1
Killa-Kyle

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GTA4 PC Help FAQ

This might help someone someday.

<rant>
Rockstar either have given up with PC customers and no longer care or put a complete idiot in charge of producing the PC version, who put a complete idiot in charge of the QA team OR just didn't bother with QA (which it feels like).

As a result there is a not insignificant number of customers (Rockstar claims < 1% haha) experiencing major issues with the initial release. I was one of those customers.

So my current opinion of Rockstar has violently degraded to 'you make great games but you suck and fail at releases and PR'
</rant>


So, without further ranting, here are some links/info that should help out if your unlucky enough to buy and play it before they patch the problems:

General Info:
The initial release is full of issues including serious memory leaks and performance slow downs, I have 2GB RAM in my current rig and once the RAM usage gets above 89% the game shudders to a halt and FPS = 1. Some people say you can ALT+TAB, clear the RAM with a tool or such and carry on but that didn't work for me.

I installed the AMD dual core optimiser and AMD Fusion mentioned below and this seemed to mitigate the stability issues.

Seems any GTA4 patch will have to WHQL certified (lol so why isn't the game?), so that will likely delay the first few patchs.

You can read about just how important CPU is for GTA4... read 'terrible release code'. GTA4 PC CPU benchmark review with 13 processors @ PCGH

Resolution doesn't seem to matter atm, 1240x or 2560x has very similar crappy performance.
Getting the game running if your having issues:
  1. How To Get GTAIV Running @ Steam forum
  2. NVIDIA 79XX Users must get new drivers >= 180.84 @ Steam forum
  3. Fix for GFWL Login Issues @ Steam forum
  4. Missing Textures Issue @ Steam forum
You can always browse/search the Steam GTA forum or GTAForums GTA4 forum too for more specific help.

Kyle's Performance Tips:
AMD CPU:
Download, install, run:I forgot to mention: Pressing the 'P' key in-game toggles the post rendering effects, should anyone want to play around with that.

NVIDIA GPU:
IMHO 180.86 drivers suck donkey balls, don't install em unless you have problems with a 79XX series card.
  • get the latest WHQL drivers (see point 2 if your running a 79XX card) I'm using 180.48 WHQL
  • disable all AA & AF settings
  • disable vsync
  • set quality to high performance
UPDATE:
If you log into your Rockstar Games Social Club (RGSC) account, close the RGSC and setup a shortcut:

Code:
"E:GamesSteamsteamappscommongrand theft auto ivGTAIVLaunchGTAIV.exe" -nomemrestrict -norestrictions -novblank -percentvidmem 98 -framelimit 0
Just replace the path, with the path to your install. I feel this gives notable FPS increase and overall smoothness/responsiveness appears to improve. I might be wrong in thinking that I saw a large range of framerates... but it feels better.

With these command line options you can also set the GFX settings to whatever you like, regardless of your hardware.

Kyle's setup:
Since my main rig is offline:
Windows XP 32bit
AMD Dual Core Opteron 180
NVIDIA 8800 GTX
2GB RAM

I have smooth, yet slow gameplay at 2560x1600. I'll post my in-game graphic settings at some point.

FPS floats between 15 and 30.



List of current command line options:
Code:
Tools:
    -benchmark:        Runs the benchmark tool and immediately exits game.  
    -help:            Display list of all command line options

Graphics:
    -renderquality:        Set the render quality of the game. (0-4)
    -shadowdensity:        Set the shadow density of the game. (0-16)
    -texturequality:    Set the texture quality of the game. (0-2)
    -viewdistance:        Set the view distance of the game (0-99)
    -detailquality:        Set the detail quality of the game. (0-99)
    -novblank:        Disable wait for vblank (No Vsync)
    -norestrictions:    Do not limit graphics settings
    -width:            Set width of main render window (default is 800)
    -height:        Set height of main render window (default is 600)
    -safemode:        Run the graphics in the lowest setting possible
    -frameLimit:        Limit frame to interval of refresh rate 
                (ex If refreshrate is 60HZ –frameLimit 1 = Locks down to 60HZ)
    -refreshrate:        Set the refresh rate of main render window 
                – Warning - Monitor must support (ex. –refreshrate 60) 
    -fullscreen:        Force fullscreen mode
    -windowed:        Force windowed mode
    -availablevidmem:     Set amount of physical Video Memory(ex. –availablevidmem 0.9)
    -percentvidmem:        Percentage of video memory to make available to GTA

Audio:
    -fullspecaudio:        Force high-end CPU audio footprint
    -minspecaudio:        Force low-end CPU audio footprint

System:
    -noprecache:        Disable precache of resources
    -nomemrestrict:        Disable memory restrictions
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Last edited by Killa-Kyle; 11-12-2008 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:01 PM   #2
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Re: GTA4 PC Help FAQ

Nice post.

Just curious are you on vista or xp?
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:16 PM   #3
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Re: GTA4 PC Help FAQ

Thx. Windows XP 32bit, i'll update my post

It would be a shame/waste to sit on that knowledge and not share it
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Old 11-12-2008, 07:44 AM   #4
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Re: GTA4 PC Help FAQ

I was really looking forward to this but tbh after the wait we've had and all the problems that seem to have been caused by treating the pc gamer as a poor relation I really can't be ****d with it. I'm not even going to download it. I won't play it on a console so I'll just give it a total miss. There's no excitement left in it anymore.
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Old 11-12-2008, 08:11 AM   #5
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Re: GTA4 PC Help FAQ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Betty_Swallocks View Post
I was really looking forward to this but tbh after the wait we've had and all the problems that seem to have been caused by treating the pc gamer as a poor relation I really can't be ****d with it. I'm not even going to download it. I won't play it on a console so I'll just give it a total miss. There's no excitement left in it anymore.
I can understand that sentiment entirely.

My personal recommendation would be to wait for at least the first official patch and maybe a second with performance improvements and DRM removal.

The gameplay is an awesome 10/10... its just a super big shame about the lack of quality in the initial PC implementation.

Its too good to miss imho. Rockstar rushed for XMAS... the greedy *******s... but I'm sure the popularity of the gameplay and the series will carry them.

Rockstar better take away some lessons.
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Old 11-12-2008, 09:53 AM   #6
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Re: GTA4 PC Help FAQ

I updated post #1 with command line tweaks and a full list of command lines args
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Old 31-01-2009, 11:05 PM   #7
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Re: GTA4 PC Help FAQ

A great tool for making non x-box 360 controllers work with GTA4 and other games too.

Fully configurable and has a handy test application.

1.3 version http://tocaedit.com/forum/dload.php?...le&file_id=129
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Old 31-01-2009, 11:07 PM   #8
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Re: GTA4 PC Help FAQ

GTA4 PC 1.2 was release late Jan.

Apart from making controllers even more diffcult to use, I haven't see any specific improvements yet. I believe they fixed a bunch of the crash issues. Seems like its still leaking memory.
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Old 31-01-2009, 11:10 PM   #9
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Re: GTA4 PC Help FAQ

My bro is happier.

He was having major problems loading missions as it just seemed to hang on his machine.

He did call rockstar who gave him a temp solution which did help but now he says hes having no problems at all.

Only downside is the git gets more fps then me.
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Old 06-03-2009, 03:07 PM   #10
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Re: GTA4 PC Help FAQ

At 1920 x 1200 it seems a 512mb Graphics card is epic fail for this game, at low detail it maxes out the ram , Also seems dual core CPU's are the loose as well as it was coded to work on 3+ core CPU's, guess I cant winge about that as its about time games were coded to use all the cores.
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Old 06-03-2009, 05:06 PM   #11
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Re: GTA4 PC Help FAQ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Platinum View Post
At 1920 x 1200 it seems a 512mb Graphics card is epic fail for this game, at low detail it maxes out the ram , Also seems dual core CPU's are the loose as well as it was coded to work on 3+ core CPU's, guess I cant winge about that as its about time games were coded to use all the cores.
Yer dual cores and gta4 don't mix well.

My Bro brought a 4870 and with his dual core I was wiping the floor with him in the benchmark test with my quad core and my 3870.

Hes got a quad core in now and all is well.
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Old 06-03-2009, 05:15 PM   #12
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Re: GTA4 PC Help FAQ

Yea, wouldnt mind a quad core but im not getting one just yet just for GTA, toying with the idea of going AM3 as there new chips look pretty good for the money, and the Core i7 gaming benchmarks dont look to great, little to no improvment over Core 2 Quads, seem to be great for everything else though.
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:04 PM   #13
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Re: GTA4 PC Help FAQ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nex View Post
Yer dual cores and gta4 don't mix well.

My Bro brought a 4870 and with his dual core I was wiping the floor with him in the benchmark test with my quad core and my 3870.

Hes got a quad core in now and all is well.
that's strange. I have an E8500 and a 3270 and I'm getting perfectly smooth gameplay at 1600x1200. A few texture issues where the road surface suddenly disappears but it doesn't get in the way of the gameplay.

I wasn't going to get this but at £9.99 from Morrisons it seemed rude not to.
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Old 05-07-2009, 12:06 PM   #14
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Re: GTA4 PC Help FAQ

The 1.0.4.0 patch has been out a few weeks and apparently it helps with resource management.

I haven't currently got the game installed to try it and I had no real issues myself but im curious to know if it helps anyone else who did.

http://www.gamershell.com/download_47490.shtml
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:34 AM   #15
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Re: GTA4 PC Help FAQ

Cool, will fire it up and check it out...

I did mange to smooth things out via start up options eventually a few months back. I'll post what I have it setup with soon, after trying with latest ver.

Thx for sharing
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Old 10-07-2009, 07:52 AM   #16
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Re: GTA4 PC Help FAQ

Moving over to Quad core helped massivly for me on the fram rate issue, then putting in a GTX 260 helped more on the graphics issue, think this is due to having more memory though but it still gave nice boost in FPS.
Looks like Dual core + AMD GPU is fail for GTA IV
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Old 19-07-2009, 05:25 AM   #17
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Re: GTA4 PC Help FAQ

No major change for me with the latest update.

Here is my setup and settings

System:
Intel i7 920 (2.67GHz)
4 GB RAM
Vista 64 Ultimate
GeForce 8800 GTX (768 MB VRAM)
Forceware 186.18 WHQL

GTA4 Settings:
In my commandline.txt I have:
Code:
-novblank -percentvidmem 100 -framelimit 0 -norestrictions -noprecache -memrestrict 805306368 -usedirectinput
This text file is located in the same dir as GTAIV.exe. However you launch GTA4, these options will be used to start the game.

Attached is a screenshot of my in game settings. I generally get >30 FPS which is all GTA4 seems to need to feel playable.
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Old 21-06-2010, 10:38 PM   #18
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Re: GTA4 PC Help FAQ

i think that gta 4 (pc version ) is the worst of its series yet not only because its designed for some hypothetical future computer although the graphic isn't even that good at the normal settings but also the gameplay and story it was a lot more boring than writing this post!
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