Question What is your opinion of Nvidia's GeForce Experience and AMD's Radeon Software/Adrenalin for optimizing game settings?

Aug 1, 2022
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I see a lot of people fuss about the settings that these programs throw out (usually Nvidia's) as being junk/useless/bad for the components they're supposedly optimizing, but I actually use it for all supported games. I have the setting to 'optimize' for quality over all else and for games to automatically optimize. I haven't had an issue with it yet on vanilla games, but throwing mods into the equation can definitely cause me to have to lower the recommended settings.

What says you? What's your experience with it?
 
I never bother with auto optimization tools for gaming. The closest to that I come is sourcing graphics settings guides that explain and show differences in settings and give you a clear idea how much performance impact each has.

The thing is, avid gamers have their own opinions on what settings are useful and which ones they want to avoid. For instance a lot of players don't want any motion blur. All those optimization tools are is an aggregate of settings users have chosen that Nvidia and AMD use as a base for so called "optimization". The problem is you have zero idea what features are going to be turned on/off, lowered or raised, unless you examine all your settings carefully before and after using it, and by then, you've done half the work of choosing your own.

Years ago when the guy that ran the TweakGuides.com site was doing graphics settings guides, I always referred to his site, because he also gave advanced info on all the available console commands for the game as far as how changing their values affects the look and performance of the game. Nowadays the next best thing I find, since Nvidia doesn't tend to write the GeForce Graphics Settings Guides anymore, is Digital Foundry's guides done by Alex Battaglia, which you can find on YouTube.

Mind you I didn't have a plethora of knowledge on graphical effects and settings when I first started doing this, but after reading through (or now watching) such guides, you gain a lot of info about how to setup your game, according to how YOU like it.
 
I tried Geforce Experience for optimizing games a while back, and I didn't like it. It's great to automate it if you really don't care about pushing your system to the limits. But it seems like you can get a little more out of your system if you tweak things yourself. Plus it doesn't account for preferences. Like for me, if I can run a game at 4k, I don't feel like I need any anti-aliasing at all at resolutions that high. I would sacrifice that in order to bump up some other setting that I care more about. But an automated system would probably lean toward balancing all of that out.
 
I have had 0 issues with Geforce, i use it to capture small video/pictures (dont have a capture card) but i do not use any of the optimization settings. It puts the game in a setting they deem fit when it can be ran more. Even some of the optimization settings say that its best at 4k and my monitor is only 2k lol. But the program itself has been completely fine for me. Even the nvidia broadcast works well.
 
Digital Foundry/Eurogamer is brilliant, PCG also does some settings guides I check out. I dont mess with Adrenaline much. Rather use an in game preset and optimize on my own from there based on a guide. I always put AA to low whatever happens, as I dont think it helps much even with 1440p at 27" and its usually pretty demanding.

I'd love to see more games have their own OSD for performance metrics in the same way Doom Eternal does. I basically want to see the FPS counter and frame time to look for drops when I first start playing a game and turn it off when I'm happy. If things get bad later on in the game I adjust manually again based on a guide to tell which settings are most expensive.

I know Afterburner Adrenaline Geforce Now and all can do the same but its nicer when its in the game settings and can be turned on and off from there.
 
I have had 0 issues with Geforce, i use it to capture small video/pictures (dont have a capture card) but i do not use any of the optimization settings. It puts the game in a setting they deem fit when it can be ran more.
It's great to automate it if you really don't care about pushing your system to the limits. But it seems like you can get a little more out of your system if you tweak things yourself. Plus it doesn't account for preferences.
I've never had an issue w/ Geforce either, though I never optimize a game with it, and many of the older games I play aren't even supported. I'll optimize a game to my preference with the options provided by the game, or with mods, or even making manual INI tweaks myself for certain games, such as raising or lowering grass density in Skyrim. There are always multiple sources for tweaking graphic detail for any given game, and as @WoodenSaucer said, you can get more out of your system, or game, by doing things yourself, rather than use the "optimal" recommendations of Geforce.

I do like the Geforce overlay that allows me to take videos/screenshots in games. I'm a neophyte when it comes to taking in-game videos, but Geforce makes it really easy, and they can be edited later. One thing I've noticed recently, is that I'm no longer able to use it to take screenshots while streaming a movie from Amazon. I don't know if that's due to a change in Geforce, or how Amazon streams it's movies. But even without that, I find the Geforce overlay useful for games.

It's also useful for keeping track of driver updates, though I tend to lag behind a build or two as sometimes new Nvidia drivers can be a bit buggy. I just noticed today that my current driver is from 3/22/2022 and the current one is from 10/12/2022, so I'll probably update today.
 
One thing I've noticed recently, is that I'm no longer able to use it to take screenshots while streaming a movie from Amazon. I don't know if that's due to a change in Geforce, or how Amazon streams it's movies. But even without that, I find the Geforce overlay useful for games.
My bet is that Amazon found out about it and forced them to block it from happening. Kind of like how you can't stream your Sony Steam games on Geforce Now.
 
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I don't like the optimization part, I manually adjust the settings myself for the best performance or for squeezing out better details in the game. I use the software at times for recording clips or adjusting sharpness,/colors in FPS games because it can help in seeing people hiding in dark places or mixing up the color palette so the game looks a bit crisper.
 
most people don't need to be on the latest drivers all the time so programs like Adrenaline & Geforce experience really not needed.
I haven't got enough games to notice if the changes help from Geforce Experience
I haven't used an AMD GPU in about... 7 years or so. So until I get one next year, I can't comment :)
 
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Aug 1, 2022
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Interesting takes here! I may, in the near future, uninstall the program and just tweak games to my liking using some of the guides mentioned here, because I have noticed that GeForce Experience throws a lot of AA on 1440p/4K monitors, which isn't necessary.
 
Does that leave anything on the shot, like the pause/play button in the middle of the image?
Dunno, as it's not something I do—but my guess is that whatever's on screen, incl screen and UI furniture, will be included.

When I had to do a few screenies recently for the unsophisticated lot over in the 'Name that Movie' thread—imagine, no clue about Black Narcissus!—I used snipping to select the screen area I wanted, while movie was paused.

Same with a small handful of game screenies taken that way, always paused if I recall correctly. But that's based on my assumption that leaving the media playing could result in one frame 'bleeding' into the next—an assumption which may be out of date :unsure:
 
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Press Pause.
Press Print scr.
Press Play.
Tried that last night on an Amazon streamed movie, none of that works. Pause doesn't pause the movie, and Print SCR doesn't snap a shot. I thought about using the snip tool, but it just felt more trouble than it's worth to me. The Nvidia overlay was just so easy and I never had to pause the movie. It's the reason I haven't been over in the "Name that Movie" thread for several months. It was worth a shot, so thanks, it just didn't work for me.
 

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