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Old 08-22-05, 09:07 AM   #1
jmferraiolo
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Default Madden 2006 SLI issues anyone?

I have an FX-55 and a 6800GT SLI setup on a 23 inch hp l2335 widescreen monitor and it has a number of problems with Madden 2006. I have tried everything at this point but have been unable to get the game to run satisfactorily without massive screen tearing in AFR or straight up visual corruption in any other SLI (or single card) mode. This is with the 77.77 WHQL drivers. I run the game in 1600x1200x32 with all visual details maxxed, per the stats of my system.

All of my other games run fine, with no corruption or artifacts.

1) The Madden 2006 application "mainapp.exe" is the exact same name as last year. That means that whatever options were configured for the Madden 2005 SLI profile are also being applied when a user launches Madden 2006. This seems to be an AFR rendering mode of some type.

Problems with this mode: All of the shadows on the players and referee flicker intensely. This seems to happen in AFR or AFR 2. Since vsync does not function in AFR (Thanks Nvidia), there is also an amazing amount of graphical sync tearing and the game is generally unplayable because of this.

2) If users even get past the first step and figure out how to create a modified Madden 2005 profile to use with Madden 2006, unfortunately any of the other rendering modes will cause graphical corruption inside of 10 minutes of play. Using SFR with vsync on completely stops any tearing and
graphical glitching, however eventually the screen and players will become all garbled. This also happens in the menu screens. There's also a related problem with helmet mapping where the textures become massively corrupt and stretch across the entire width of the field in distorted fashion.
This same phenomenon happens with SLI Antialiasing mode as well.

3) Even in single card rendering mode, it seems the very act of having SLI enabled will cause distortion exactly as SFR mode. The only mode that works without eventual total corruption is AFR, and that mode is unplayable due to the image tearing. Damned if you do... damned if you don't.

Since Nvidia probably won't get around to fixing vsync with AFR any time soon, I'm looking for either alternatives (I've TRIED maxxing antialiasing and ansiotropy with the hopes of slowing down the game to get it under the monitor's refresh 60 hz rate to eliminate the tearing -- but no dice,)

Two things need to happen and one of them SHOULD happen:

1) EA needs to fix the corruption with SFR mode and Madden
2) EA needs to add a 85 hz option to 1600x1200x32 resolution -- MANY monitors are capable of this, there is no excuse why it shouldn't be available
3) And in a bout of wishful thinking, EA needs to add 1920x1200 support for the widescreen monitors MANY people are gaming on these days. However this would require changing the rendering code, which appears to be 100% lifted from Madden 2005. Ah, the joys of a short dev cycle.

Does anyone have an LCD panel that's seen the same issues as me? What about the corruption in SFR?

I'm sure that I can't be the only one with these problems. If you did have this problem, what kind of a SLI profile did you use to solve it? I'd really like to play this game, but right now I can not.

Thanks for any input one can offer. I am crossposting this to several boards for maximum coverage, since there seems to be no talk of this issue yet (though the game's only been out a couple days).
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Old 08-22-05, 05:09 PM   #2
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Default Re: Madden 2006 SLI issues anyone?

The game does have a 85hz 1600x1200x32 option. I'm using it.

The only issue I seem to have is the flickering shadows issue. I can usually get rid of it although I'm not sure how. But, it seems to come back after I end Madden or reboot or whatever. I'm still trying to figure that out. I had it working last night but just tried it again and the flickering shadows are back. I've been through that twice thinking I had it fixed each time but it keeps coming back.

No corruption in game, helmet mapping is fine, etc.

Edit: BTW, I guess you can tell vsync isn't working because of the tearing? I'm not getting any tearing and my framerate seems to be capped at 60 so I can't really tell if it's working or not.

Edit 2: Actually, I think what is happening with the flickering shadows is that it comes and goes. So, when I was trying different settings and then doing a quick check it was sometimes not happening but if I would have continued to play, I would have seen it.
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Old 08-22-05, 06:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: Madden 2006 SLI issues anyone?

Okay, I solved the flickering shadows problem (for me anyway) by either running in single GPU mode or by changing the predefined SLI profile to use SFR instead of whatever AFR mode it was using.
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Old 08-22-05, 06:57 PM   #4
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Default Re: Madden 2006 SLI issues anyone?

The 1600x1200x32 85 hz option does not appear on my machine. I have a LCD which natively runs at 1920x1200 @ 60 hz, but it can do 1600x1200 @ 85 hz -- the option simply isn't there.

I noticed that if you change resolutions during a game, you will "fix" the shadows temporarily. But sooner or later, the flickering will come back.

I can tell vsync isn't working because vsync does not work in AFR modes; this is a well-established limitation which Nvidia has yet to fix. It does work in SFR mode because I have no tearing there with vsync on. Yet the game is unplayable after 10-15m because the graphics will eventually become garbled and corrupt.
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Old 08-22-05, 06:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: Madden 2006 SLI issues anyone?

What drivers are you using? And what's your monitor?
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Old 08-22-05, 07:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: Madden 2006 SLI issues anyone?

I'm currently using 77.76 and I'm using a Sony 21" CRT. I've had the same issue you're having when using my LCD (with NFSU2 and there was one other I can't recall). It appears that some games require the resolutions below the native resolution to be valid/supported. Mine doesn't support 1280x960 (native is 1280x1024) so I'd never see a resolution above 1024x768 in the options. I guess the game would test the resolutions and fail on 1280x960 so it would assume my max was 1024x768.

Anyway, using SFR seems to be working pretty well for me although the performance isn't quite as good as the AFR mode. I'm running 1600x1200 8xS AA, 16xAF, gamma corrected AA, Super Sampling TAA and sometimes dipping into the upper 30s (when showing closeup views) although it mainly stays pegged at 60. When using the AFR mode I don't recall seeing it go less than 60. I just completed a full game without any flickering shadows though. I'm going to try the 77.77s now and see how that goes.
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Old 08-22-05, 07:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: Madden 2006 SLI issues anyone?

Okay, I am having one major issue though. I thought it was because I was overclocking my system but it just happened again. Sometimes when starting Madden my screen goes blank. I basically lose the video signal and I can't get it back until I reboot. I can see the hard disk being accessed and the system still seems to be running but I can't get the video signal back. Even after hitting the reset button, I still have to turn my monitor off to get it to work again. It seems to happen about every 3rd or 4th time I start Madden. I'll see if it still happens after installing the 77.77.

Edit: Okay, I discovered that I lose the video signal or rather my monitor shuts off but turning it off and back on, things are fine. It's like my monitor goes into sleep mode. After upgrading to 77.77, instead of hitting reset when it happened, I just turned the monitor off and back on. Madden was still running and things were fine. Overall, SFR still works for me with the 77.77. The performance is a little lower than the 77.76s but other than that, they seem fine.
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Old 08-22-05, 08:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: Madden 2006 SLI issues anyone?

Yeah I would use SFR if I could but for whatever reason, it just trashes the screen after playing for a while. Almost looks like an image does when you've overlocked your video card too much -- you know, you get all the crazy triangles and what not.

I'll try cranking up some AA and stuff under SFR but im not holding my breath. I might also try 80.40 or something.
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Old 08-22-05, 09:11 PM   #9
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Default Re: Madden 2006 SLI issues anyone?

Not sure this will help you but I'm forcing all the settings through the nvidia control panel.

HQ mode in the Madden profile and through the global settings
V-sync App Control (and off in-game)
8xS
16xAF
Gamma AA
TAA SuperSampling
SLI SFR
Negative LOD Clamp On
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Old 08-22-05, 09:51 PM   #10
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Default Re: Madden 2006 SLI issues anyone?

What's HQ in the madden profile? Just max out the options? (they already are) Oh, do you mean the visual quality int he SLI profile? Ah.
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Old 08-22-05, 10:01 PM   #11
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Default Re: Madden 2006 SLI issues anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmferraiolo
What's HQ in the madden profile? Just max out the options? (they already are) Oh, do you mean the visual quality int he SLI profile? Ah.
Yeah, I just meant that I set the profile for Madden to high quality mode and I also set it to HQ in the global settings (just to make sure it's being used).
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Old 08-23-05, 03:20 PM   #12
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Default Re: Madden 2006 SLI issues anyone?

OK -- The settings that you have worked, and the SFR mode doesn't glitch all up with graphical corruption eventually. What I think was happening was this -- even though I selected SFR mode, it is probably that several of the AFR2 compatibility flags were still checked in the profile, so I used nHancer to disassociate mainapp.exe completely from Madden 2005, then I created an all new profile for Madden 2006, associated mainapp.exe to that, and then configured it using SFR and all of the settings you describe. Presto! For people with flat panels though, you will still get tearing if your computer is super fast so I would recommend enabling Vsync in game. I did have to tone it down to 4x AA for a little bit better speed but I just played an entire game without any glitching for the first time. Thanks for the help, and I hope Nvidia gets around to making a real SLI profile for this game sometime soon.
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