300fps no reduce buffering vs display based cap reduce buffering


Hello, I wanted to see if I could get some either blizz or perhaps other opinions on this. I have a computer capable of and have optimized the client/windows to be able to run 300fps solid through team fights, without drops as long as the client is restarted regularly (drops start happening if the game is open very long zzz…).

At 300fps, reduced buffering seems completely unneeded, though I used to need it at 180fps locked to feel effective at all, but being able to play without it and its technical issues is very nice for streaming and alt tabbing in general. I got a 240hz monitor and optimized/upgraded to achieve over 240 and mostly 300fps at all times so I could benefit from it.

Question: is there any difference between displaybased cap or custom unlimited cap and should I be using reduce buffering or not when there are no extra frames to buffer? I don’t feel an appreciable difference and the frame drops seem more hurtful than any placebo effect.

Not many other people seem to have optimized their setup to be able to achieve and have this question, so I pose it to blizz/other optimizers.

(Bruce Wilkie) #2

Hello Felicity!

Assuming VSync is off in the graphics settings menu, the same FPS limiting logic is used for the display cap vs custom cap.

If your GPU can render a frame end to end in 3.3ms (300fps), the reduce buffering option won’t have an impact. If, however, your GPU takes more than 3.3ms to render a frame, with reduce buffering enabled we won’t let the GPU get more than a second frame ahead.

I’m not aware of issues where reduce buffering can impact streaming or alt-tabbing. :slight_smile: If you let me know what kind of issues you experience from it, I can take a look and see if we can fix them.



Perhaps your GPU is being thermally throttled? Checking temps couldn’t hurt.


It’s a well known issue @mozsts, restarting the game fixes it, letting it cool doesn’t matter and temps are fine. I am really obsessive on those things.

And thank you for the reply Bruce, the issue is the one commonly stated where the game starts being GPU based either because of alt-tabbing or playing for a while, (ie the fps counter is 3 dots), and cycling the RB option fixes it. This only happens if RB is on, and happens regardless of the FPS cap. I’m sure you’ve seen how a lot of players have to do that, especially streamers who cycle it constantly since having the game lag like that is really crippling to high sr hitscan and feels really bad to play.

I heard it was on nvidia’s side and not something the blizz team could fix. My play got a lot more consistent when I learned about it quite a while ago now and started to turn RB off and on when I saw that happen, but now I can play at 300fps constantly and have it off.


This thread explains it pretty well. It’s an old thread, but the bug is the same.


That doesn’t give any new information or explain anything. Bruce did give me new info though which was very nice, it was great to hear a developer confirm something I assumed/deduced with maxed fps.


excuse me? he said he hadn’t heard of the bug before, i sent a link explaining it… maybe you didnt read the comments on the post?

(Bruce Wilkie) #11

Thanks all for the info. I’ll take a look at the reduce buffering / alt+tab issue and see if there is something we can do.



Awesome! This issue and the FPS going down when using [TAB] in game (with gsync and limited FPS enabled) are really annoying!


I think its best to to make your game and computer to run as light as possible (all low. Close background apps and services) so not to saturate ur GPU or CPU. Then display based cap and RB on. I am playing on a mid range rig so might not apply to you


Honestly that post was other people who didn’t understand it at all and people asking the same questions I’m afraid, I’m sorry if that sounded rude but it explained the same thing I did. Thank you for the extra evidence, though.

Like I said, I can run 300fps without drops. I have an 8700k @ 4.9ghz and RAM xmp’d to 3200mhz, plus I have tested several gpu OCs and while a 1070 isn’t optimal it’s absolutely fine since I run on low settings, yes. When streaming I use a streaming PC for encoding to not run into input lag with that (though two monitors or duplicating does anyway, but not nearly as much), and I often did windows fresh installs with a lot of optimization tweaks to achieve that 300fps solid, everything just about except spotify closed entirely.

I used to pretty much do what you said but I had it at 181 cap and RB on, but at 300fps I don’t need to, which was nice for a dev to confirm.

I’ve done pretty much everything I can and the rest is up to blizz optimization, and I would kill for an optimization patch.


Wow Felicity, it seems we think and play overwatch very much alike haha, I was about to make a thread almost exactly as yours but you seem to have done a lot more research to fix this than me.

I play with a cpu Ryzen 7 1700 (OC to 4.1 Ghz) and an Asus 1080 Ti (OC with MSI Afterburner), on a 240hz BENQ XL2546 and 3200 16gb ram as well. I also noticed the weird frame drops exactly as you describe despite I also play at low settings and with all visual settings in low (also aimed at steady 300 fps). during intense battles and in some maps the framerate could drop from 300 to as low as 200-220 which is insane considering I should have more than enough PC and settings as low as possible to have any issues at all, regularly while playing my CPU usage is less than 40% and GPU usage is less than 60% and temps are perfectly fine so I was curious about this as well.

What seemed to do the trick for me was turning Overwatch Reduce buffering OFF and reducing the video card overclock in the MSI Aferburner a little bit, somehow with both of these steps I got a more steady performance, at least until a couple hours happen then I start getting some drops again every now and then as you describe…

Any further tips or articles on how to fix this for good? Add me on bnet if you want! we could try queuing in competitive someday :D, I used to be a Master’s Soldier main, although been playing more casually for a while and prolly my skill level degraded to mid diamond now.


GPU OC can sometimes be unfriendly with OW, so you can try removing it or lessening it further but I know of others who had very positive results, and I’ve been testing more recently. The only thing I can note in your setup is that the ryzen 1700 is 8 core and a lower clock speed- OW can only use six cores max, so essentially while your background tasks aren’t impacting you as much with the extra two cores, they’re all running at a lower speed than mine, and if I reduced mine to 4.1 I think I would have drops as well. I have to have it at at least 4.7 to see consistency.

When trying to climb I restart my game VERY often, because the game simply does not like to be kept open for many games, and regardless of your PC it will start to chug. Assumedly it’s a memory leak issue somewhere, I have no idea where or how or why. I think the HUD and social tab have something to do with it but that’s an assumption also.

It’s been a long time since this was revisited and I feel like everyone has just sort of settled into thinking nothing will change, but something has to change because this game feels awful to play.

I don’t blame you for not maintaining with soldier, he was quite bad for a while, except in really specific instances. I’ve just been playing widow tho I took some months off, come back to even more sluggish gameplay. It’s not acceptable considering how many people still play it and how strong the esports community is being forced onto it.


Frames dropping when holding tab affects me as well and I don’t use free sync or g-sync.


Actually prerendering frames is not part of nvidia drivers it’s a part of windows. Many games use a setting of 1 which is the same as reduce buffering. Setting pre-rendered frames to 1 using nvidia driver just clamps the maximum to 1. For example, if pre-rendered frames is set to 1 in nvidia driver and you disable reduce buffering nothing will happen.

Here is some information you may be interested starting on page 2 of 7
Google anandtech The Start: The Rendering Pipeline In Detail


I do have it set to 1 in the nvidia settings, but having it disabled vs enabled still feels different below 300fps and enabled still causes the bug, while disabled the bug won’t happen.


Oh nice to see you here colt! XD


Lmao! Are you upgrading to a high refresh rate monitor?


I already have a 240hz monitor with a high end system but I drop to like sub 200 fps. I was looking at the forums for some solutions, and then I stumbled onto you haha!


Bumping this, reduce buffering bug is still an issue. Also, with 520p @ 480hz monitors (and 720p @ 360hz being potentially diy available), is there any known issue or expectation for Overwatch’s performance when the config.ini is capped to 400? Hardware currently is certainly capable of, at the extreme end, taking advantage of at least 720p @ 360hz.