Path of Exile

This drastically improved my game performance.

Content of the article: "This drastically improved my game performance."

I've always had performance issues with the game, and extremely bad issues in Delirium, to the point that I've just been avoiding it since that league. I was able to improve my performance by setting the majority of the sounds to false in the .INI but today after running some stuff in standard to try and further increase performance I finally set all the sound to false, except filter alerts. It definitely did increase performance but I didn't like the cost.

I was scouring internet for a bit and stumbled upon launch options on the Wiki.

--softwareaudio -swa Forces use of generic software audio device. Fixes a bug with Creative sound cards causing game crashes. 

I added the launch option and the game has never ran this smooth. I turned all sound back on and set the channels to high and I have better performance than I did with everything set to false in the .INI.

It worked for me, I hope it works for somebody else.

Edit: I do not have a Creative sound card

Update: I went ahead and completely removed all the sound drivers from my machine and tracked down all the appropriate drivers. I also dug out an old plug and play USB sound card to test as well.

Onboard had Windows drivers, however it actually needed Realtek ALC1150. I tracked those down and installed the most up to date ones, which were from 2017, and there was a major improvement, however not as good as the launch option.

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For some reason the HDMI audio drivers for my 1050ti were Windows drivers as well, I updated to the current HD audio drivers provided by Nvidia and it was almost as bad as before.

The USB sound card is a Steel Sound 5Hv2, plug and play. I did notice that if I plugged it into a USB3 slot it assigned drivers from 2010 however if I plugged it into a USB2 slot it assigned a driver from 2020, using the USB2 slot and the 2020 drivers it was a massive improvement.

So far nothing I've tested above was as massive a performance increase as the launch command but as u/FreshBlueFlavor pointed out

"Offloading all sound DSP to your CPU is going to cause your system to run a lot more intensely. Just get a cheap USB to Audio adapter, or USB headphones. The reason switching to software audio fixes your issue is because your audio driver sucks ass."

In my situation setting sound options to false in the INI improved game play, and using the launch options improved it greatly and allowed me to enable sound again. However this indicated that I had serious problems with my audio drivers, which were the ones Windows was installing automatically.

So use the launch commands at your own risk and I wouldn't recommend it as a permanent solution.

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