Personally, my computers don't lack in CPU power or RAM. What they do lack in, is being a laptop, they all run the not-so-great onboard Intel HD Graphics series.
Just like pretty much any program out there, you can use a commandline.txt or change the "Target" that a game shortcut opens to tell the game executable to ignore program defaults. Namely on games by Rockstar, whom tend to create power hungry games, this is where you want to pay attention.
Step 1: Go to the Program Files directory where the game is installed, where it's launcher and .exe file are found.
Step 2: Create a commandline.txt file in this directory, then open it.
Step 3 (GTA IV example) in the text file:
This tells the exectuable to not restrict your settings based on your system specs.
Same thing, only tells it to not restrict video memory usage.
Tells the game you have more video memory than you actually have, thus allowing you to fine tune certain graphics settings that you couldn't touch before. A 1.0 setting here will tell the game to use the full capability of your card. Setting this to 2.0 will make the game think you have double (so 512mb jumps to 1024mb of video memory).
This tells the executable to use 100% of your video memory.
- Check game installation for problems and repair any issues found. (Disc and non-Steam digital versions only. For Steam versions, you can verify game cache to accomplish the same check.)
- Start settings a minimum but don’t save it
- Ignore the current profile settings
- Reset settings to the minimum
- Use automatic generated settings
- Force 10.0 feature set
- Force 10.1 feature set
- Force 11.0 feature set
- Forces patches to be downloaded all at once instead of in chunks. For more information, see this article.
- Starts the benchmark test from the command line
- Optionally output the individual frame times from the benchmark
- Specifies the number of iterations to run the benchmark for
- Specifies an individual benchmark scene test should be done, and which test that should be
- Disable audio processing for graphics benchmark purposes
- Jump straight to MP while loading
- If present the game will automatically launch into the multiplayer game in freemode.
- Game uses mouse exclusively.
- Control city density (0.0 - 1.0)
- Set language game uses. Supported values are "american" (for American English),"french", "german", "italian", "spanish", "portuguese", "polish", "russian", "korean", "chinese", "japanese", "mexican" (for Mexican Spanish)
- Sets the keyboard layout to the specified region.
- Force windowed mode
- Force fullscreen mode
- Set main window to be borderless
- Do Not allow the window to be resized
- Set width of main render window (default is 640)
- Set height of main render window (default is 480)
Other Technical Performance
- Use the specified screen adapter number (zero-based)
- Set anisotropic Filter Quality Level (0-16)
- Don't count hyperthreaded cores as real ones to create tasks on
- Enable lights volumetric effects in foggy weather
- Set FXAA quality (0-3)
- number of vertical synchronizations to limit game to
- Manual override GPU Count
- Set grass quality (0-5)
- Set the whole rendering pipeline to 16-bit
- Enable HD streaming while in flight
- Don't reset settings with a new card
- Set LOD Distance Level (0.0-1.0f)
- Number of multisamples (1, 2, 4, 8, or 16)
- Disable In-game DOF effects
- Don't use quaternion transforms for placed entities
- Selects between linear, rpdb, box 4x4, soft 16
- Set particle quality (0-2)
- Enable particle shadows
- Set Pedestrians LOD Distance Bias (0.0-1.0f)
- Set postFX quality (0-3)
- Enable reflection map blur
- Set reflection quality (0-3)
- Enable SSA
- Set SSAO quality (0-2)
- Set shader quality (0-2)
- Enable shadow rendering for dusk and dawn
- Set shadow quality (0-3)
- Set tessellation on or off (0-3)
- Set texture quality (0-2)
- Enable NVidia TXAA
- Set Vehicles LOD Distance Bias (0.0-1.0f)
- Set water quality (0-1)
Q: Can I use a commandline.txt tweak on <whatever game>?
A: Mostly yes. It's as simple as googling "commandline.txt <game name here>" and seeing what you come across. There are also applications out there that can boost the performance of your computer by killing non essential processes during game time, however I do not personally endorse these applications, use them at your own risk.