AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution got tested and how everyone missed its point entirely

AMD officially launched FidelityFX Super Resolution or “FSR” in short and everyone rushed analyzing and reviewing it. However, after watching several reviews, I’ve noticed a trend of how everyone missed the entire point of FSR. Let me explain why and how…

What everyone did was to grab a very high end graphic card aka Radeon RX 6800XT, strapped 4K rendered games to it and fired away into pixel hunting mode. And that’s the whole problem. Granted, there  are scenarios where you need extra horsepower for 4K in games like Cyberpunk 2077 with every setting maxed out, but where FSR is most welcome and wanted is on the other end of the spectrum. People running Radeon RX 580’s for example.

When you have a low(er) end card, your options are very limited. To make framerate higher you need to lower resolution or start lowering graphics settings. And this has two issues. Lowering resolution means it’ll really look like turd because the upscaling monitor does is probably one of the worst methods available which is why everyone recommends using native monitor resolution and lowering resolution without FSR also turns HUD elements into a complete poop. Just imagine how HUD elements looked like at 720p or even less on a 1080p monitor? And lowering graphics settings means you’re effectively removing visual elements. Disabling HBAO or shadows has huge visual degradation involved. Also problem with these settings is that they may give you a 20fps boost or 1fps boost. You almost can’t be sure unless you trial and error and watch framerate. Changing resolution is very linear thing. The amount of pixels you take away or add pretty much linearly scales in either direction.

I watched Digital Foundry’s review as well as TechPowerUp where they actually also tested on Radeon RX580 and it’s the best indication of what I mean.

Not even going crazy, using 1440p which is very common resolution these days, RX580 has the following performance (estimated because TechPowerUps graphs aren’t super exact).

ANNO 1800
Native: 23 fps
FSR Performance: 48 fps

Godfall
Native: 36 fps
FSR Performance: 65 fps

Kingshunt
Native: 40 fps
FSR Performance: 65 fps

Terminator Resistance
Native: 45 fps
FSR Performance: 95 fps

You may notice I skipped Riftbreaker entirely. That’s because the game runs at 100fps at native 1440p resolution. There is no point in using FSR here.

So, when you can preserve all the effects, crisp HUD and turn framerate from barely playable to very much playable, you’re much easier to forgive some shimmering or loss of general detail. You know, opposed to not having shadows where they should be or shading and lighting just not being there entirely opposed to being a bit more fuzzy. I still need to try it myself in motion opposed to side by side screenshots, but even Performance mode which is the worst possible doesn’t look that bad when you’re desperate.

Or you can even combine some stuff. Maybe drop settings you know don’t make much visual difference but do with performance. And pair it with FSR Ultra Quality. You might create good gains with minimal loss in quality. And when you need to pixel hunt differences, it means FSR is doing its job quite well.

FSR is no magic bullet, but given how simple it’s apparently to incorporate into games (someone did it in 2 hours from what I heard), it’s a nice addition I’d say and it’ll give people more options to enjoy games when not having enough horsepower, but don’t quite want to sacrifice graphic effects in their entirety. I think it’s great.

Fixing MKV H.265 thumbnails in Windows 10

Had issues displaying thumbnails for MKV files that use H.265 encoding. Possibly H.264 MKV’s have same issue, but I was having this issue with MKV’s encoded with H.265. I only had generic media player icon. After digging around I managed to find a tool called “Icaros” made by a guy named Xanashi.

Icaros download:

https://shark007.net/forum/Forum-Icaros-Development

It’s pretty straight forward tool that solved my issue of thumbnails on MKV files. MKV files now display a thumbnail of its video content instead of just generic icon. Hurray 😀

Sidenote: Use 7-zip to unpack ZIP archive of the portable version. Windows is not able to extract it.

Battlefield: Hardline and the story of: “Can I play one game that’s not fucking broken?”

Like, fucking seriously? This is 4th game that I dragged out of my backlog that’s a fucking broken clusterfuck.

First one being just starting this stupid game. Click the shortcut and it opens fucking browser. Then you click PLAY and it goes on next page. And you click PLAY again and game finally starts running. Gotta love EA and their dumb Battlelog. How about just starting the damn game directly without stupid browser?

I also just love games that allow you to bind own keys, but show hardcoded in-game keys as “hints” when playing. Like for example arresting people in Hardline. Apparently “Melee” key is for making arrests and it’s bind to “F” by default. I have it bind to “Mouse Wheel Down”. But when I approach the suspects that I need to arrest, game displays “F” in a square. I’ve seen this in games before and it’s fucking stupid. Especially when you have a fuck ton of special dedicated keys and then you’re digging through settings just to see what the fuck you actually have bind to that action.  Idiotic.

The next gem is FOV slider that literally does nothing. When setting up the game I moved it to 110 which is what I usually use for FPS games and when playing, everything felt so awkwardly in-my-face. Moved slider to 120 and still the same. Then I stood in front of objects to see if it actually changes when adjusted. And the in-game image stayed the same… Come the fuck on EA, you manage to add a FOV slider, but then it does fucking nothing. O_o

As cherry on top, the game runs at locked 144fps, but when I was driving around in the “cut scene”, game feels all choppy and mouse look sluggish as fuck like it’s running at locked 30fps. I check my monitor refresh on its OSD and it says it’s 144Hz (which means 144fps because of FreeSync). This dumbass game somehow runs at 144fps, but actually samples animations at 30fps. How?! How the fuck can you go out of your way to design such a stupid shit EA? How? I’ve actually never seen such a dumb thing in any game to this date. They either ran at locked 30fps, but I’ve never seen one that runs at 144fps but feels like 30fps because that’s what’s actually being rendered at.

All this before I actually started playing the fucking thing properly. Fucking hell. Now I don’t know if I should continue torturing myself or just uninstall this pile of shit…

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare movement with arrow keys is fucked up

Now I’m starting to notice a trend with something… It’s games I unknowingly kept in my backlog for years. Max Payne 3, Alpha Protocol, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare… coz when gaming gods fuck me in the ass, they really go full force.

After I lost interest in Alpha Protocol because of stupid broken hacking “mini game” well knowing it’ll be this jarring trash experience every time I’ll have to hack any system, I dropped it and picked up Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare that was still waiting in my backlog. I mean, how can one fuck up CoD right? Well, they managed to do just that…

I’m old school gamer, back when we played games with arrow keys. And it stuck with me. I don’t like bunch of keys crowded underneath my fingers and arrow keys with surrounding keys with just enough space around provide comfort gaming for my big hands. Been doing just fine for almost 3 decades with some issues here and there. But I really haven’t had them for quite a while and certainly not in AAA games. Usually some indie games or from some B studios that had poor QA or whatever.

Well, started playing Infinite Warfare and I noticed how weird movement is. It’s like keys have a 500 millisecond pause in some cases, especially when trying to move diagonally with forward and left/right pressed at the same time. It’s really awkward and clumsy, like the legs aren’t connected to your body correctly or something. It’s really bad. So I searched online and apparently this is a known thing. Well, it was when game was released and apparently, nothing has changed in 2021.

Tried using WASD and behold, disconnected legs are not a thing anymore. Set back arrow keys and legs are behaving like they are all twisted and tangled up again. What the fuck? How can one fuck up a game in a way that actions you can bind to any key don’t behave the same depending on keys you use? WHAAAAAAAAAT? And to make matter worse, not fucking fix it at all?

EDIT:

Well, in the end I made a fix for a fuckup Infinity Ward couldn’t be bothered to fix.

DOWNLOAD

CODIW Arrow Keys Fix

Alpha Protocol’s hacking is the most retarded thing I’ve seen in any game

From Max Payne 3’s roller coaster of retardation, here comes Alpha Protocol. What started as pretty interesting almost Deus Ex experience, quickly turned into a fucking rage fest on first hacking attempt.

Seriously, what absolute moron designed this shit? I don’t mind puzzles and I’ve seen many through years, but this one, this one is just pure distilled retardation.

A screen of flying numbers and letters and you need to spot some that don’t move and place them there. The one you move with keyboard is sort of a non issue as you can quickly tap it across with directional keys and confirm it, the issue with it is because some dumb twat thought controlling the second code with god damn mouse was a great idea. Not only the code isn’t under mouse cursor so you could quickly move it around and place it where you want it, no the fucking thing moves across the field like a slug that’s in no fucking hurry, with massive delay and it’s so wonky and inaccurate that before I move that shit to the right place, the code gets re-positioned already and I’m suppose to move this craptastic slow shit elsewhere? WHAT. THE. FUCK? Trying this dumb crap for like 10 attempts and I just can’t hack this dumb fuckery because it’s so impossibly clumsy.

Why couldn’t this dumb shit just be entirely controlled by keyboard? Move on, confirm it and then continue with second one. Or was this meant to be done simultaneously with both “controllers” or something? By who? Fucking cross eyed Flash Gordon who can go so fast to stop literal time? Or just two segments of keyboard, WASD and NUMPAD or something. Anything but this nonsense.

I was already excited I uncovered an old gem that was stuck in my Steam backlog for years just to have the experience totally fucked up with one simple “minigame”. Some say it’s much easier with a gamepad, but fuck me, I’m not playing this thing with no gamepad. God damn it.

Max Payne 3 is a max pain to play

So, 9 years after its release and I finally managed to fire this thing up and finish the trilogy once and for all. Just to be monumentally disappointed by the game. It’s so bad I don’t even know where to begin…

Controls are just straight out moronic with unnecessarily over-complicated movement controls. Who the fuck thought having all these separate actions for crouching, rolling, vaulting while simultaneously merging Jump action to a vault for no god damn reason, stupid cover mechanics with yet another key, idiotic weapons handling with forced two handed weapon feeling like an afterthought, totally meaningless dual gun selection to forced and idiotic “last kill save” where killing someone in special Bullet Time automatically uses Painkillers for some reason. And then just decides to lay around on the ground. Like, come on!?!??!?!?

To further make matters worse they give you some sort of achievements by collecting clues and golden gun pieces just for game to constantly push you around through cut scenes, so you don’t even have time or chance to explore. The biggest nonsense that happened to me so far was that bar flashback scene where I went on exploring, notice a golden piece up above in room with pool table and suddenly my “buddy” gets shot in the face to death and game ends. Next reload I decide to kill the gringos so they don’t shoot him in the face again and return back for the piece. Nope, the doors behind me get locked for no reason preventing me to go back and pick up that golden gun piece I wanted before. Fuck me.

Entire combat is just so lame and forced it feels worse than Virtua Cop from 24 years ago. Every step through a door is a fucking cut scene and after every such fucking cut scene is a gun fight. And in every such gun fight, when it begins, you’re not holding the gun you were actually holding before that. When in cover, the microscopic dot crosshair is not visible so every time you lift yourself from the cover it takes half an hour before stupid crosshair appears so you’re waving around like an idiot trying to even figure out where you’re pointing at and aim at bad guys like a drunk cop on drugs with pencil stuck in your eye. What absolute moron designed this game!? It’s fucking terrible.

Now I need to drag myself through this trainwreck just to finish it and be done with it forever. It really shows it wasn’t done by Remedy Entertainment and it’s a disgrace for the franchise. What I don’t understand is how Rockstar Games managed to fuck it up so badly…

Gigabyte G27Q custom crosshairs pack

Some time ago I’ve bought myself Gigabyte G27Q monitor and it has a neat feature to create custom virtual crosshairs that act like an overlay. Main benefit is that you don’t need to create a rendered overlay or inject anything into games, making it friendly for online games as it’s entirely undetectable to anticheat systems. And can also be useful for single player games because it’s just so simple to enable and will work with any game. Sometimes games just have rubbish in-game crosshairs or you like to complement existing ones with custom one. Usually Diagonal one works well since it can fill the gaps of built-in crosshairs and can function as a guideline for example when character in game is sprinting and games usually disable crosshair. This way you always know exactly where you’ll be aiming when you stop sprinting for example. Call it cheating if you want, but it’s useful. We used to paint dots on monitors back in the day when none of this was available so why the heck not 😛

Since Gigabyte OSD Sidekick allows exporting of crosshairs, I thought, why not release them if anyone else wants them. So, here it is 🙂

DOWNLOAD

You need to connect your Gigabyte G27Q monitor with USB cable and install Gigabyte OSD Sidekick. Then you can easily import these through OSD Sisdekick app. Or even create your own. Might even work with other Gigabyte monitors that have custom crosshairs support, but that is untested. If it doesn’t work, you can use the screenshots of crosshairs above to recreate them yourself and modify them to your liking.

SoundPEATS TrueAir 2 review

I’ve been using Apple AirPods 2 for quite a while and I love them. Really low latency, very good audio quality, good stereo separation and really good fit. I’m no fan of silicone tipped earbuds and as such I had VERY limited selection of earbuds to go with.

Some time ago someone recommended me SoundPEATS TrueAir 2. I checked for them recently and spotted a great deal on Amazon. I got them for 24€ (they seem to go for 35€). And I said to myself, lets try them out. I was testing them entire day yesterday and here are my findings…

I’ll compare them to 5x more expensive AirPods 2 since I have a lot of hours with those…

PROS:

  • decent sound quality
  • decent bass
  • 5h play time with extra 20h charge from case
  • compact case the same size as AirPods 2
  • touch controls are reliable and well defined
  • Game Mode for extra lower latency
  • earbuds and case cover snap into place with satisfying “click” using magnets
  • USB-C charge port
  • price

CONS:

  • case feels a bit plasticky and “too light” for the size

The case feels a bit light and feels like they could put bigger battery in it for the size, but since it has same charge capacity as AirPods 2 at roughly the same case size, I don’t really have an issue with it, it’s just a perception or feeling when you’re holding the case. And that’s really the only issue I have with them if I entirely ignore how much they cost.

Case size is basically the same as AirPods 2 and offers same charge capacity which is nice. Audio quality is decent, so is bass. Sound is very subjective thing to talk about, so I’m not gonna pretend with some magical audiophile words how virgin sound it has. But it’s good and very usable for anything from music, movies and even for gaming. Latency seems to be tiny bit higher compared to AirPods 2 out of the box, but you can enable Game Mode by triple tapping left earbud which does lower latency quite significantly, possibly at slight expense of audio quality. But I generally wasn’t annoyed by it while playing Borderlands 3 even when not in Game Mode. With AirPods 2 I never even got a perception of any latency.

What I like the most is the way how earbuds snap into place when placing them back in the case. I thought horizontal orientation will cause issues when placing them in, but it’s very precise and doesn’t require any special alignment. Case cover feels a bit cheap when you open it compared to AirPods 2 case, but it snaps back together with a rather satisfying “click” so it’s fine. LED inside the case displays state of case battery using 3 colors on a single LED. Green means it’s almost full, orange means it’s around middle of battery charge and red means it’s basically empty. It can be charged using USB-C for which you get a short USB-A to USB-C cable, but no charger. The only charging indicator on the outside is “charging” and “not charging/full” single red status LED. But I guess it’s not that important since you probably want to fully charge it anyway, it’s the charge left that’s more important and it has that inside the case.

For the price, they are amazing. If you are looking for affordable, but still decent wireless earbuds and you too can’t stand silicone earbuds shoved inside your ear, these are really good option. Like, really good option.

Firefox Tweaker 2.9 with new Proton Interface support released!

I’ve just released new version of Firefox Tweaker 2.9 that can enable preview of Mozilla’s new Proton Interface. Proton is Mozilla’s redesigned interface for Firefox which is planned to be released to all users with Firefox 89. You can try it out now in Firefox 88. While some things are a bit weird, some are surprisingly better. Like the god awful oversized twitching URL bar which feels much better under Proton. Give it a try if you want.

The tweak controls several parameters at once. Parameters are listed under Help button of Proton interface and you can individually adjust them under about:config if you desire to do so. I’ve decided to pack them all under single checkbox for convenience purposes.

Micro page for more details:

https://rejzor.wordpress.com/firefox-tweaker/

 

Gigabyte G27Q monitor bricking itself after F05 update. But not really.

As per my usual Gigabyte tradition, things just have to go wrong with their stuff… Just the other day I was updating its firmware on my Gigabyte G27Q monitor to version F5 which brings some refresh rate fixes. So, I installed OSD Sidekick, downloaded firmware and applied it.

All went well until display went blank during update and monitor began doing what looked like a bricked loop state. Its power indicator was blinking in a weird way with two fast blinks and a longer pause, making weird high pitch noise every time it blinked. Since documentation doesn’t exist on Gigabytes site apart from entirely useless “manual”, I searched online and found someone else had exact same issue on Reddit. Apparently they fixed it by having it unplugged for a day. So I went with that fix. Left it unplugged from power as well as PC (I was using DisplayPort) for the night. In the morning, all excited to finally get to the desktop I plug it in aaaaaand the same thing. Blinking LED, dead monitor. Dafaq?!

Then as I was flipping it around thinking what to try next I realized I only unplugged power, its USB and DisplayPort cables. The HDMI going to PlayStation was still plugged in and I remembered the news about HDMI dongle fooling GeForce cards into allowing mining and I thought, what if presence of HDMI cable alone (even though PlayStation was turned off) is making it fail to operate. So I entirely unplugged it from all power and data sources. Waited a minute, plugged only power cable back and behold, monitor woke up normally. I stuck back in the DisplayPort cable and bam, Windows desktop appeared with OSD Sidekick app still there saying “Finished” in a popup.

Apparently, if you have HDMI plugged in, G27Q monitor will get stuck in a “boot” loop after firmware update. And since the F05 in particular has refresh rate fixes for PlayStation 5, that happening is a very likely scenario since it connects via HDMI.

So, apparently all you have to do to “unbrick” it is to disconnect ALL cables then only plug it into power and turn it on. Once it completes the first “boot”, it will work fine even with all the cables plugged in. What an absolutely bizarre issue that will surely freak out so many users who ventured down this firmware updating route. I just hope they’ll find this blog post and resolve the issue quickly. I can’t tell you have freaked out I was thinking shiny new 300+ € monitor just got bricked and I’ll have to deal with lengthy RMA process. Thankfully I didn’t have to after figuring out the issue myself. I also hope Gigabyte will write down a warning for F05 update that if this happens you need to disconnect it entirely, do a power only “boot” and then connect things back.