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NeoGAF PC Gaming General Performance Tweaking Thread

Durante

Member
Oct 1, 2006
48,836
1
0
peter.metaclassofnil.com
Hmm, Durante, is that dangerous to do?
I can't imagine how. Any display made in the last decade will just not work if you are trying to use an unsupported resolution. The worst that can happen is that you can't get a higher resolution to work.

Ah yeah.. if only it worked on my HDTV. Gotta figure this out, but it keeps saying 'test failed' no matter what settings I try. So annoying.
Yeah, some displays just won't work, I'm not entirely sure what it depends on -- since the scaling should be performed by the GPU, IMHO any resolution should work regardless of display, but in practise this is not the case.
 

Corky

Nine out of ten orphans can't tell the difference.
Jul 1, 2009
18,776
0
0
I can't imagine how. Any display made in the last decade will just not work if you are trying to use an unsupported resolution. The worst that can happen is that you can't get a higher resolution to work.


Yeah, some displays just won't work, I'm not entirely sure what it depends on -- since the scaling should be performed by the GPU, IMHO any resolution should work regardless of display, but in practise this is not the case.

I'm getting this error ( for any res higher than highest supported mind you ), any solution? :




edit : tried 3200x1800, though this time my monitor doesn't like it ( even though scaling is set to gpu llike as according to the steps ) :





edit 2 : tried automatic timings instead of CVT reduced blank using 3200x1800, but only got a black screen and no prompts and oddly enough the pc wouldn't revert back to supported res so just had to reboot to fix it.

So no go for me?
 

PaulLFC

Member
Jun 30, 2010
9,539
0
0
www.twitter.com
Should I be using beta drivers? I'm on the latest 'WHQL' GeForce drivers, but there are a couple of more recent beta versions. Just wondering how stable Nvidia's beta drivers tend to be, and whether they'd be suitable for everyday use.
 

Waikis

Member
May 22, 2007
1,820
0
0
Melbourne
1) Boot up PC, game loads automatically into RAMdisk

2) Play game, save game as usual. Everything that needs to normally load from the HDD/SSD during gameplay will instead load from insanely fast RAMdisk

3) Close game, save file is preserved on regular disk

4) Turn off PC

5) Goto 1)

etc.

Does it mean that I have to reinstall the game everytime i turn off the pc?
 
Sep 15, 2010
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Does it mean that I have to reinstall the game everytime i turn off the pc?
No. It automatically restores the program files for you once rebooted.

Should I be using beta drivers? I'm on the latest 'WHQL' GeForce drivers, but there are a couple of more recent beta versions. Just wondering how stable Nvidia's beta drivers tend to be, and whether they'd be suitable for everyday use.
Nvidia's beta drivers are usually very good. I highly recommend the 290.53's, I've been using them since release and they're extremely solid.
 
Sep 15, 2010
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Update: Added Bulletstorm INI Tweaking guide in celebration of the game being $5 on Steam today. Go pick it up if you haven't already!

Also went to DeviantArt and borrowed some icons for each of the games to make the OP look a lot more polished.
 
Sep 15, 2010
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PC gaf is awesome...thanks for this thread.
What can I say, the PC gaming community is awesome and has solutions for almost everything.

BTW, thinking about pulling the trigger on another 8 GB of RAM and running a 12 GB RAM disk. I think it'll really help in games with huge amounts of streaming like Skyrim, where the streaming system is pushed to the max and RAM would probably give performance boosts even over an SSD.

I just wish 8 GB single SO-DIMMs were cheaper so I could run 32 GB of RAM. It'd cost me $220 to get 32 GB of RAM!
 

luiztfc

Member
Feb 12, 2009
847
0
640
Alright GAF, help me on this, please.

I'm rocking a nice rig (2600k, 8GB DDR3, 2xHD6970) but I'm getting only 45~75 FPS in BF3.

BF3 is installed on SSD and my driver version is 12.1.

Here's my current settings:



Any suggestions? Also, I was reading about CF profiles, but how do I install them? And do you recommend any? I'm also doing the recommended in the OP.

Thanks!
 
Sep 15, 2010
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Alright GAF, help me on this, please.

I'm rocking a nice rig (2600k, 8GB DDR3, 2xHD6970) but I'm getting only 45~75 FPS in BF3.

BF3 is installed on SSD and my driver version is 12.1.

Here's my current settings:



Any suggestions? Also, I was reading about CF profiles, but how do I install them? And do you recommend any? I'm also doing the recommended in the OP.

Thanks!
Change your Field of View to 90. What is wrong with you, MAN?

PM me your Steam ID. Also, download RadeonPro. I'll help you tweak everything and get you up to par.

Also, you need this installed. http://sites.amd.com/us/game/downloads/pages/crossfirex-app-profiles.aspx
 

NBtoaster

Member
Aug 3, 2010
8,655
0
690
A high field of view isn't always better, you should use what looks best depending on the distance from your monitor and it's size.
 

luiztfc

Member
Feb 12, 2009
847
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640
Sep 15, 2010
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A high field of view isn't always better, you should use what looks best depending on the distance from your monitor and it's size.
It's horrific having 70 FOV @ 1080p. It's not about the size of the monitor, it's about the aspect ratio. Also, having less FOV means you're at a disadvantage competitively. 90 FOV is the proper FOV for his 16:9 aspect monitor.


Quick update, just with the CF Profile you linked and OP's instructions, I've already boosted my FPS and I'm having a much more smoother experience. Can't way to improve it even more!
We might be able to pull out a little more performance.

Is there any way to improve the visuals in Arkham City DX11?
No, other than what I posted, not really. Try an SMAA Injector. I'll write a guide to that too.
 

Red

Member
Feb 16, 2008
23,709
1
0
SMAA injector doesn't work as well as the in-game FXAA solution in my experience.
 
Sep 15, 2010
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Using the SMAA injector does almost nothing for the visuals. It's almost imperceptible. MSAA cuts my frame rate in half compared to FXAA.
What GPU are you using? I lose about 5-10~ FPS with MSAA. I just combine MSAA 2x + FXAA Medium. Not much works on aliasing BF3's engine, it needs 8x MSAA + FXAA, and in a year or so once GPU's are powerful enough, supersampling will work wonders.
 

Red

Member
Feb 16, 2008
23,709
1
0
What GPU are you using? I lose about 5-10~ FPS with MSAA. I just combine MSAA 2x + FXAA Medium. Not much works on aliasing BF3's engine, it needs 8x MSAA + FXAA, and in a year or so once GPU's are powerful enough, supersampling will work wonders.
5870 with a slight overclock. 1GB version.
 
Sep 15, 2010
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5870 with a slight overclock. 1GB version.
That's why. 5xxx series doesn't handle MSAA in BF3 as well as 6xxx series or Fermi. Also, earlier AMD drivers had MSAA cutting performance in half, even on 6970's. 6970 or GTX 560 Ti and above should have no prob with 2x or even 4x MSAA.
 

Nekrono

Member
Feb 23, 2010
2,103
0
570
Would going from 70 FOV to 90 FOV in BF3 affect performance?

As in, would it take away a few FPS considering your view of the scene is broader?
 

Nekrono

Member
Feb 23, 2010
2,103
0
570
Yes, a tiny bit. Maybe 2-3 FPS at most. It's worth it.
Yep, I tried it a couple mins ago, the hit seemed to be around 3-5 FPS, while I did look better I'm not sure If I want to have BF3 -5FPS, especially due to B2K.

I'm not complaining about my performance though, the game runs on an average of 35-45 FPS on my 6950 2GB with all on ultra at 2xAA @1080p but I like to keep my FPS as high as I can when it's not 60 without losing much eye candy.

I'll probably change it back to 90 FOV some other day though, it did look much better.
 
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Yep, I tried it a couple mins ago, the hit seemed to be around 3-5 FPS, while I did look better I'm not sure If I want to have BF3 -5FPS, especially due to B2K.

I'm not complaining about my performance though, the game runs on an average of 35-45 FPS on my 6950 2GB with all on ultra at 2xAA @1080p but I like to keep my FPS as high as I can when it's not 60 without losing much eye candy.

I'll probably change it back to 90 FOV some other day though, it did look much better.
I would turn off 2x AA for 90 FOV, 90 FOV gives you a HUGE advantage over 70 FOV. Literally makes your view wider and lets you see more. 2x AA doesn't even really do much, just use FXAA - Medium.
 

Aeana

Member
Jul 10, 2006
42,062
1
0
Do the 290.53 beta drivers not support FXAA like the alpha drivers did? I switched from them to 290.53 since I saw that it supports the frame-rate limiter too, but should be more stable (the alpha ones were soooo unstable), but I don't see the FXAA options anymore. (._. )
 
Sep 15, 2010
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Do the 290.53 beta drivers not support FXAA like the alpha drivers did? I switched from them to 290.53 since I saw that it supports the frame-rate limiter too, but should be more stable (the alpha ones were soooo unstable), but I don't see the FXAA options anymore. (._. )
Did you try with Nvidia inspector? I see FXAA options in Nvidia Inspector.
 
Sep 15, 2010
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I see those there but I don't really understand how they work. The alpha drivers had the FXAA setting in the nVidia control panel.
Yeah, but those were from a different branch entirely. They're more 'advanced' than the 290 drivers. You'll have to wait a bit for those.

Try this:

Set this: FXAA_INDICATOR_ENABLE_ON
Also set this: FXAA_ENABLE_ON

Let me know if it works.
 

dr_rus

Member
May 3, 2007
10,983
0
1,070
Moscow, Russia
I see those there but I don't really understand how they work. The alpha drivers had the FXAA setting in the nVidia control panel.
That's because they're kind of bugged for now. To get driver level FXAA you need to set "Toggle FXAA on or off" to FXAA_ENABLE_ON then set "NVIDIA Predefined FXAA Usage" to "0x00000000 (Desktop Windows Manager)", hit Apply then change the latter to FXAA_ALLOW_ALLOWED and hit Apply again.
If you switch it to FXAA_ALLOW_ALLOWED directly from the default FXAA_ALLOW_DEFAULT value it doesn't enable FXAA for some reason thus you have to go through the "0x00000000 (Desktop Windows Manager)" value first.
 

Nekrono

Member
Feb 23, 2010
2,103
0
570
Is there a way to remove L.A. Noire 30 FPS cap properly without the game crashing, etc?
 
Sep 15, 2010
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BP101's Simplified Guide to Proper Sparse Grid Super Sampling AntiAliasing (SGSSAA) Usage... 101
Note about this guide: I do my absolute best to clear up confusion about certain aspects of using SGSSAA. I hate reading explanations about something and thinking 'hm, but where's the rest of the info? Why does this guy say 'just do this' but never gives an underlying reason or how he came to that conclusion?' Basically, if you hate reading and just want to do things willy-nilly, this guide isn't for you. But if you enjoy reading a clear, detailed guide, I hope this is right up your alley.

What is SGSSAA? See NaturalViolence's awesome, detailed guide to the forms of antialiasing here: http://naturalviolence.webs.com/nvidia.htm. He does a great job demonstrating and explaining the various types of AA available. For the purpose of this guide, I will be demonstrating how to effectively use SGSSAA for your favorite games.

Why SGSSAA? SGSSAA is an Nvidia-only form of transparency antialiasing that when combined with MSAA, gives stellar picture quality and squashes jaggies in trees, fences, edges, shaders, and much more. It is not nearly as performance-draining as Super Sampling AA, but gives very similar image quality/jaggie reduction. The downside is that it causes blur, but thanks to LOD bias, that can effectively be eliminated. Also, SGSSAA works on Direct X 9/10/11 games if you've got a GTX 4xx/5xx series card (GTX 480 or GTX 560 Ti, for example), and DirectX 9 if you've got a 2xx series card (GTX 280, for example).

Let's get down to it:
Open up Nvidia Inspector. Go to your games profile manager. Pull up a game from the list that you want to try SGSSAA on. For simplification purposes, I have made an image of a properly setup NV Inspector profile with SGSSAA applied. I will be using the highlighed areas (marked with red boxes) to explain what each one does/why it's important. The game in question we'll be using is Hot Pursuit 2010, a game that benefits greatly from SGSSAA and also stays locked at 60 FPS during gameplay, even with 4x MSAA + 4x SGSSAA at 1920x1080.


First, let's look at the top highlighted items, called 'antialiasing compatibility.' These are 'special bits' that the drivers use to determine how to apply AA to a game. Why are these important? Well, because every game (and even some on the same rendering engine) uses AA differently, so your drivers need this specified. Another issue: not all compatibility bits work with SGSSAA! While Game A might work with regular MSAA with Compatibility Bit A, but not SGSsAA. However, Game A may work with SGSSAA if Compatibility Bit B is used. This explains why I'm not using the normal Hot Pursuit 2010 antialiasing compatibility bit that Nvidia automatically applies: it works for forcing MSAA in Hot Pursuit 2010, but the custom bit I used (0x004010C5) gives even better image quality when using SGSSAA.
Some games come with special bits already built into their profile, thanks to Nvidia, and others need you to apply them. How do you find them? The absolute two best resources for this are at these two links (warning: one is in German, so don't be alarmed. It's pretty easy to understand):
http://www.forum-3dcenter.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=490867 (Absolute best resource on the web for AA and SGSSAA compatibility, go here first. They have links to the post where each bit was discovered/proven, and even have pictures!)
http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=336854 (You'll have to search the topic for specific bits, the OP isn't updated anymore and therefore is extremely outdated)

Also, I'm sure you've noticed there are both a regular 'aa compatibility' section and a 'DX1x' section. DX1x section is for DirectX 10/11 games. This section isn't as widely used because so many games are still DX9, so don't worry too much about it right now.
Now that we've talked about compatibility bits, let's move on to the next section of the picture: Antialiasing Mode/Setting/AA - Transparency Supersampling. The first section, AA - Mode, determines how to use the AA in combination with the engine. The two modes you need to concern yourself with are "Enhance This Application Setting" and "Override Any Application Setting". Note: To ensure these are used properly, take a quick look above them and make sure 'Antialiasing Behavior Flags' is set to None, this is ideal for most games.

What are the differences/usage scenarios? In general, you want to 'enhance' if the game has built in antialiasing. So for example, if you want to use 4x MSAA + 4x SGSSAA, you'd go into the game's menu first, set the Antialiasing to 4x MSAA, then exit out and set up everything in Nvidia Inspector including Enhance, so that the driver antialiasing works together with the game's built in AA.

However, in some cases, the game's built in AA sucks or you just need to force your own AA (or the game doesn't have built in AA). In this case, use Override Any Application Setting. This forces your driver AA to take over everything. This has its downsides, as it can conflict with built in AA and/or cause performance losses, so I recommend turning built in AA to off if you're going to force driver AA. For Hot Pursuit 2010, I use Override because the game has no built in AA and so I need to ensure the driver applies my settings.
Underneath that, I've got my AA Setting. I chose 4x MSAA because that's what you want to match to 4x SGSSAA, always. There are other settings available, but that's what we want for SGSSAA. You'll also note that I chose 4x SGSSAA beneath that in Antialiasing Transparency Supersampling. The reason you want them to match is because SGSSAA is most effective when it's used with the corresponding multisample amounts. Here's the detailed reason why from Natural Violence's page:
Please keep in mind that whenever you use SGSSAA you should always match the number of MSAA samples used to the number of SGSSAA samples used. 8xMSAA + 4xSGSSAA will usually have lower quality than 4xMSAA + 4xSGSSAA. This is because SGSSAA gets it's sample coordinates from the MSAA samples. So if you have more MSAA samples than SGSSAA samples the SGSSAA samples will not be placed in the ideal locations. Also you cannot have more SGSSAA samples than MSAA samples for the same reason as I'm sure you've guessed. Even though it uses MSAA sample coordinates using additional coverage samples will reduce the effectiveness of SGSSAA by changing the grid pattern so that the MSAA samples are placed closer to the center of the pixel (which is a less ideal location). This is why I advised 4xMSAA + 4xSGSSAA not 16xAA (4xMSAA + 12xCSAA) + 4xSGSSAA.
Finally, underneath all of that, we've got Texture Filtering - LOD Bias (DX9) and TF - Negative LOD Bias. These are very important to counter the potential blur that SGSSAA can cause. Note: In some games blur may occur anyways due to post-processing, it's on a case-by-case basis however.
The rule of thumb for LOD bias is thus: For every doubling of MSAA + SGSSAA, subtract another -0.500 from your LOD Bias. Here's what you'd set for each level:
2x MSAA + 2x SGSSAA: -0.500
4x MSAA + 4x SGSSAA: -1.000
8x MSAA + 8x SGSSAA: -1.500

Last, we've got Negative LOD Bias set to 'Allow.' If this is set to Clamp, your LOD Bias won't work and you may get blur, so make sure this is set to allow (if not using SGSSAA or other supersampling methods, set this to Clamp).

And that's it. Those are the basics for setting up SGSSAA properly. You may need to do some googling to get the right compatibility bits/settings for each game, but the linked resources above should be a great start. As always, feel free to ask any questions.

As a bonus, let's see what SGSSAA does for image quality using Hot Pursuit 2010 as an example (pictures taken from the 3D Center forum SGSSAA HP2010 post):
No Antialiasing:

8x MSAA + 8x SGSSAA:
 

Jtrizzy

Member
Jun 20, 2007
8,667
0
0
North Carolina
Anyone have thoughts on Splinter Cell Conviction? I read that it supports SGSSA when surfing for info on the PC graphics. I have occasionally been getting down into the mid to high 40's in this game...which is surprising. Game still looks pretty nice, and is fun sneaking around. Framerate is generally solid 50's on my 580/2600k.
 
Sep 15, 2010
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Anyone have thoughts on Splinter Cell Conviction? I read that it supports SGSSA when surfing for info on the PC graphics. I have occasionally been getting down into the mid to high 40's in this game...which is surprising. Game still looks pretty nice, and is fun sneaking around. Framerate is generally solid 50's on my 580/2600k.
You using the right SGSSAA compatibility bits?

Fantastic post on SGSSAA, BP101.
Thanks man! Just gotta add more stuff to this thread so people actually read it. :)
 

Jtrizzy

Member
Jun 20, 2007
8,667
0
0
North Carolina
You using the right SGSSAA compatibility bits?



Thanks man! Just gotta add more stuff to this thread so people actually read it. :)
I'm going to try this game out as my first go with SGSSA in a little while, but I'm wondering if it will kill performance since the game already seems to be unoptimized.

I was also wondering if you knew a way to disable the black and white filter since you have experience with the engine. Doesn't seem like it changes the way the game plays, and it kills the look.
 
Sep 15, 2010
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I'm going to try this game out as my first go with SGSSA in a little while, but I'm wondering if it will kill performance since the game already seems to be unoptimized.

I was also wondering if you knew a way to disable the black and white filter since you have experience with the engine. Doesn't seem like it changes the way the game plays, and it kills the look.
You can't turn it off, sorry. It's a game mechanic.

Also, I've read the performance on that game sucks ass no matter what. I'd give SGSSAA a shot, it might not hurt performance at all.
 

Jtrizzy

Member
Jun 20, 2007
8,667
0
0
North Carolina
Sep 15, 2010
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Agreed! Awesome thread. RE: SCC, when I tried doing 8x MSAA and 8x SGSSAA nothing showed up at the start menu.

http://www.pcgameshardware.com/aid,746713/Splinter-Cell-Conviction-PC-Graphics-comparison-and-High-Res-screenshots/Practice/

I found this article with some nice comparison picks as well. Game is decent though imo...I do wish it was better optimized though, there is no reason it shouldn't be running smoother on my rig.
Can you try using this compatibility bit in Nvidia Inspector?

0x004010C1


Could I get some advice for Deus Ex: HR?

Can't seem to get the game running smoothly, and I've tried lots of different configs.
Turn off Tessellation, Soft Shadows, Antialiasing, and turn Anisotropic Filtering to 4x. It's one of those games that takes a performance hit on weaker hardware with anisotropic filtering.
 

gdt

Member
Oct 20, 2007
40,449
1
0
30
Pennsylvania
I think this might be the relevant thread.

I wasn't able to play Rage with my old ass April something AMD drivers (the then new drivers killed my performance in The Witcher 2, so I system restore'd back to the older one), so I upgraded to the new one. Still couldn't, so I try the 12.1 preview. Now it works! Pretty perfectly ish.

BUT, it fucks up a lot of my other games. Killed performance in Skyrim (maybe some others), and also has a really odd effect on the UI/text is a lot of my games (Dues Ex, Civ5, Orcs Must Die).

Looks like this:





Whatttttttttttttttttttttt? It looks fine in pics taken from fraps. The text/UI doesn't look messed up at all, BUT as you can see my FPS is fucked.

How is it possible that it looks fine in pics but fucked up on my screen?

Original/native pics:
http://i.imgur.com/VQAut.jpg, http://i.imgur.com/sMNBk.jpg
 
Sep 15, 2010
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I think this might be the relevant thread.

I wasn't able to play Rage with my old ass April something AMD drivers (the then new drivers killed my performance in The Witcher 2, so I system restore'd back to the older one), so I upgraded to the new one. Still couldn't, so I try the 12.1 preview. Now it works! Pretty perfectly ish.

BUT, it fucks up a lot of my other games. Killed performance in Skyrim (maybe some others), and also has a really odd effect on the UI/text is a lot of my games (Dues Ex, Civ5, Orcs Must Die).

Looks like this:





Whatttttttttttttttttttttt? It looks fine in pics taken from fraps. The text/UI doesn't look messed up at all, BUT as you can see my FPS is fucked.

How is it possible that it looks fine in pics but fucked up on my screen?

Original/native pics:
http://i.imgur.com/VQAut.jpg, http://i.imgur.com/sMNBk.jpg
Scaling issue with your display? Set it to GPU or HDTV scaling.

If not that, use Radeonpro driver compatibility to only use 12.1 for Rage.
 

scitek

Member
Aug 23, 2005
17,119
12
1,230
El Paso, TX
twitch.tv
If any AMD owners have ever wanted to force AA in Hot Pursuit, I wrote a little guide on how to do that a while back.

Go here and download the driver files. Put them in an easy to find folder (mine are in C:\Drivers). Open RadeonPro, and under Settings>Advanced tick Enable Driver Compatibility. Save and then create a profile for Hot Pursuit. Under the Advanced tab, all the way at the bottom you'll find Driver Compatibility.

Click "Manage My Drivers" and you'll see:



Fill it out like I did (be sure the path is the folder where you put the driver files), and click Check Files. All three check boxes should tick themselves. Hit Add\Update Driver Set, and then Close.

Next click the drop-down menu where it says Operating System Default and select Catalyst 10.10e instead.



This will allow the game to boot using 10.10e without having to reinstall it for your entire OS.

Now Hot Pursuit can use AA.
 

Jtrizzy

Member
Jun 20, 2007
8,667
0
0
North Carolina
Couldn't get it going with Splinter Cell, tried 4x and 8x adjusted the LOD as it says in the guide. I was having issues a few days ago when I'd try changing the in game AA, and would crash though.

Also, thanks for trying to help with my sound card issues the other day. Those drivers you gave me kind of worked, at least better than the ones I had...I was able to get DTS/DD encoding when I was in my desktop, and thought I had it figured out, but no sound in games.

Finally gave up and returned the card and bought a receiver that handles all of my gear through HDMI, which is great. The lossless (correct?) sound coming from my 580 sounds amazing...I recommend just caving and getting a new amp instead of trying to get digital 5.1 via spdif. I bought a low end Denon from Best Buy, and it sounds pretty amazing honestly.

Has anyone messed with AC:R any? I picked that up recently, but my back log is pretty bad after the Steam sale.