Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Driver: San Francisco - 24hz Refresh Rate

Driver: San Francisco
Image via Wikipedia
I recently picked up Driver: San Francisco during the Steam Autumn Sale. The game seemed to have great potential but I immediately noticed something was "off". The intro movies were laggy as was the navigation through the menu system. The problem was even worse in game. I felt like I was gaming on a Pentium 166mhz with onboard video. The controls were very unresponsive and sluggish and I could tell that the frame rate was extremely low.

At this point I felt like I just threw my money down the drain, which was disappointing because the  game had a lot of character. I was already more interested in this game after 5 minutes than I was in Need for Speed: The Run.

Long story short, it turns out the problem is related to using an HDTV as a monitor. Recently, I switched from a Dell 2707WFP to a Samsung 52inch HDTV. (which I highly recommend) The problem stems from the fact that the TV supports a 24hz refresh rate for Blu Ray playback. For some reason, Driver: San Francisco doesn't specify a refresh rate to use when you select your resolution in game. What happens is the game then uses the first available refresh rate allowed which in this case turns out to be 24hz.

This effectively locks the game at 24 frames per second. The work around is to uncheck "fullscreen" in the game's video options so that the game runs in windowed mode which will then use the desktop refresh rate of 60hz.

Happy driving!

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