Iggy's Optimization Misadventures 2: Electric Boogaloo!

Odds are if you are reading this thread you are familiar with my previous thread discussing this topic, if not I would recommend you read this first here. Anyways I've been back at it again screwing around in the game seeing what specific areas I should prioritize for the next update of 'Optimized Stilwater'. It wasn't until fairly recently(ish) that somebody pointed out to me on Discord that there are major frame rate drops under bridges with vehicle traffic. With that in mind the next time I booted up the game I went underneath the freeway bridge near the police station and... I didn't get any performance changes. I was confused, so I checked if I had all my graphics settings maxed out. It was then I realized that I had neglected to turn shadow maps back on. So I toggled those on, returned to the game and sweet baby jesus there was the frame drops I was told about! Well it was good to know that shadow maps was somehow correlated with bridge frame rate drops. It was then after this discovery I started developing a new theory.

You see I theorize that frame rate drops from underneath traffic bridges and the frame rate drops from interior shadows are essentially one and the same. Let me elaborate, both the "Dynamic Lighting" and "Shadow Maps" options in the PC port are absolutely atrociously optimized this is well know amongst the community. But that is not the only factor they have in common, I believe that both of them are processed(possibly even rendered?) in areas that are not visible to the player's perspective, resulting in quite a heavy load for the CPU. Something I speculate the developers messed up in the porting process to PC(possibly due to a rushed development), because neither of the console versions have this issue. For example: all cars cast a light sources from their head lights as well as shadow maps which is why the frame rate absolutely tanks under bridges, or buildings with lots of dynamic lights like the mall, or heavens forbid both at the same time like outside of the police department underneath the freeway. It is also worth noting that the "Dynamic Lights" option when set to simple only displays the main exterior only dynamic light coming from the sky, headlights, streetlights, helicopter spot lights, all interior lights, are disabled and also happens to be the best way to play the game without sudden frame drops. When "Shadow Maps" are set to simple they only shadows that display are from buildings and sometimes the landscape.

So recently I upgraded my PC, I got a new CPU processor and appropriate motherboard. Upgrading from a i7-8700k to an i9-12900k. Little did I know that this would lead to me making an unintended major discovery of how SR2 on PC works. While I was testing things out my newly upgraded computer I realized I made a mistake by not investing in a better CPU cooler, no overclocking for me... yet I'm hoping to get one next week. Shortly afterwards I installed the GOG version of SR2 and booted up the game and... wait... WHAT? Did they change the frame rate cap from around 41 to 30? My new CPU is better! If anything the frame rate cap should be higher! That is of course unless the GOG frame limit is somehow tied to the clock speed. Curious, I restarted my PC and spammed f12 to access my bios and underclock my CPU. Surely enough, my theory is correct. Underclocking my CPU resulted in lowering the frame cap for GOG SR2. Using the steam exe and capping it to 41(like my PC before the upgrade) through the NVIDIA control panel and surely enough the cutscenes were broken again, misaligment galore! I have come to the conclusion that GOG release has the framerate capped to the highest that it can be without objects misaligning in cutscenes not a set frame rate like so many including myself thought it was. That framerate limit is reliant on the clock speed of your CPU processor. My CPU has the default clockspeed of 3.2GHz which also happens to be the same clock speed that the CPU of the Xbox 360 had. Meaning it had the same frame limit the Xbox 360 had being 30fps. In theory to get 60fps cutscenes in SR2 PC without misaligned objects would require a CPU at 6.4GHz. I say "in theory" because currently the Intel Core i9-13900KS is the best CPU on the consumer market and that can only reach the highest clock speed of 6.2 GHz, not 6.4GHz. There are no CPUs that can reach that clock speed... yet.