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Best Nvidia Control Panel Settings for Better Gaming Performance

By 

Certified Awkward Tech Guy™

Last Updated 26 Jul 2021


There's nothing more gratifying for a true gamer than playing AAA games on high-quality settings without getting enraged by lags and drops in FPS. Most gamers are tempted to think that having the best hardware is all they need to run demanding games at a decent FPS. The reality is, on top of a powerful CPU, the latest GPU and a decent amount of RAM, you still need a bit of tweaking and optimization to get good in-game performance and crisp picture quality.

You probably already know about the NVIDIA control panel, which allows you to configure some settings to squeeze out more performance and improve your gaming experience. This guide focuses on the best NVIDIA control panel settings to boost your FPS, minimize input lag and improve picture quality. If you really fancy unlocking the true potential of your NVIDIA Graphics Card, let's get started:

This guide is only applicable to NVIDIA GPUs.

Update Your GPU Driver First

Before we get started with the various settings, you must update your NVIDIA Graphics Card drivers first. The simplest way of doing this is downloading GeForce Experience from NVIDIA's website for free. Once the application has downloaded and installed, click the Download button under the Automatic Driver Updates section. This action downloads a program that identifies your Graphics Card model and installs the appropriate drivers automatically. Restart your machine to apply the changes.

Updating your GPU drivers helps you access new features, performance boosts and several major updates. With the latest drivers installed on your computer, we can now follow through the Control Panel Settings:

  • Right-click on your computer's home screen.
  • Open Control Panel.


1. 3D Settings

1.1 Adjust Image Settings with Preview

Once you've opened the NVIDIA Control Panel, the left frame displays a list of several tasks. Go to 3D settings > Adjust Image Settings with Preview > Use the Advanced 3D Image Settings, then click Take Me There. This provides a simpler process to balance visual quality using a slider labeled as Use My Preference Emphasizing. Simply slide it towards performance to get the absolute most out of your GPU.

For advanced settings, you'll need to check the box labeled: Use the Advanced 3D Image Settings. This displays several new settings and features that most games don't provide, edging you closer to an enhanced gaming experience.

1.2 Manage 3D Settings

This is arguably the most critical setting, where you'll be making most of the graphical adjustments. Most of the settings fall under Global Settings, all geared towards improving performance. Our goal is to tweak and optimize each sub-setting under this:

1.2.1 Image Sharpening

This setting is designed to render images at a lower resolution to boost performance and scale it to the display's original resolution. Image sharpening increases the clarity of the upscaled images, enhancing their overall sharpness and visual quality. For the best image sharpening setting:

  • Turn on GPU Scaling.
  • Select Sharpen Level to 0.5
  • Select Ignore Film Grain to 0.17
  • Click OK to apply the settings.

Image sharpness can be adjusted per-game basis or applied globally for all supported titles. It's worth noting per-game settings override global settings.

1.2.2 Ambient Occlusion

This setting enhances depth perception and increases realism to in-game scenes. It also provides soft shadows for images in the game.

Turn it ON and select Performance.

1.2.3 Anisotropic Filtering

This improves the overall image quality by removing all sorts of blurred textures that appear at particular camera angles.

Select it to Application-Controlled.

1.2.4 Anti-Aliasing FXAA

This setting improves in-game visuals and reduces the performance effect on other aliasing settings.

Turn it OFF.

1.2.5 Anti-Aliasing Gamma Correction

This setting enhances the visual quality of 3D images by allowing Gamma correction for anti-aliasing.

Turn it ON.

1.2.6 Anti-Aliasing Mode

This setting lets you determine how anti-aliasing is applied in 3D applications.

Select it to Application-Controlled.

1.2.7 Anti-Aliasing Transparency

This one allows you to reduce visible aliasing on the edges of images with transparent textures.

Switch it OFF.

1.2.8 CUDA GPUs

This allows you to choose applications that can use CUDA cores.

Select to All.

1.2.9 DSR-Factors

Dynamic Super Resolution (DSR) improves the image quality by rendering images at a higher screen resolution. This setting lowers FPS and increases Input Lag.

Turn it OFF for better performance.

1.2.10 Low Latency Mode

This setting reduces latency by restricting the number of frames the CPU can prepare before the GPU processes them.

Turn it ON or ULTRA for higher FPS and lower Input Lag.

1.2.11 Max Frame Rate

This restricts your games' FPS to a certain limit that cannot be exceeded.

Turn it OFF for improved performance.

1.2.12 Monitor Compatibility

This setting determines the technique used to control an attached monitor's refresh policy. It's only applicable with external displays; it's turned OFF by default on laptops.

For desktops, select G-Sync Compatible if it's available. Otherwise, select Fixed Refresh Rate.

1.2.13 Multi-Frame Sampled AA

This setting reprograms coverage sample solutions, making overall sample patterns irregular, which then reduces FPS.

Turn it OFF.

1.2.14 OpenGL Rendering GPU

This setting lets you choose the GPU to run OpenGL applications.

Select it to your NVIDIA Graphics Card.

1.2.15 Power Management Mode

This feature lets you choose the GPU performance level when running Games and 3D applications.

Select to Prefer Maximum Performance.

1.2.16 Preferred Refresh Rate

This setting lets you override the refresh rate in full-screen applications.

Select to Highest Available for the best image quality.

1.2.17 Shader Cache

This setting minimizes CPU usage by reducing completed shaders to a disk cache.

Turn it ON for improved performance.

1.2.18 Texture Filtering - Anisotropic Sample Optimization

This setting restricts the number of anisotropic samples that can be used based on texture pixel size.

Turn it ON.

1.2.19 Texture Filtering - Negative LOD Bias

This is used to sharpen stationary images and allow for texture filtering.

Set it to Allow.

1.2.20 Texture Filtering - Quality

This feature lets you set the texture filtering to Quality, Performance or Balance.

Switch the setting to High Performance.

1.2.21 Texture Filtering - Trilinear Optimization

This setting allows for Texture Filtering Performance by enabling bilinear filtering on textures.

Turn it ON for improved performance.

1.2.22 Threaded Optimization

This setting lets you use multiple CPU cores.

Set it to Auto.

1.2.23 Triple Buffering

This allows triple buffering for games and other OpenGL applications.

Turn it OFF.

1.2.24 Vertical Sync

This controls how the GPU render rate interfaces with the monitor's refresh rate.

Turn it OFF.

1.2.25 Virtual Reality Pre-Rendered Frames

This setting restricts the number of frames the CPU can prepare before the GPU processes them.

Select 1 (one).

Once you have applied all these settings, click Apply.

1.3 Configure Surround, PhysX Settings

You should preferably leave the Sound Configuration just as it is. For PhysX Settings, click on the drop-down menu, then select your NVIDIA Graphics cards.

Click the Apply button when you're through.

2. Display Settings

Now let's take a look at the best NVIDIA settings for your laptop display or desktop monitor.

2.1 Change Resolution

Under the Resolution section, select the highest possible Screen Resolution. The same applies to the Refresh Rate section, where you'll choose the highest possible Refresh Rate.

You'll then scroll down and select Use NVIDIA Color Settings. Set the Desktop Color Depth to the highest possible (32-bit), Output Color Format as RGB and Output Dynamic Range as Full.

Click Apply to save the changes.

2.2 Adjust Desktop Color Settings

Scroll down to the Apply the Following Enhancements section. Inside this section, increase Digital Vibrance to 80%. This makes colors appear more vibrant and saturated. The rest of the settings should preferably be left as they are.

Click Apply to save the settings.

2.3 Rotate Display

Select Orientation to Landscape, then click on Apply.

2.4 View HDCP Status

Keep the default settings for this section.

2.5 Set-Up Digital Audio

Similarly, keep the settings as default for this section.

2.6 Adjust Desktop Size & Position

Select Scaling Mode to No Scaling, then adjust the Screen Resolution and Refresh Rate to their highest possible setting.

Once done, click Apply.

3. Video Settings

These settings help to enhance the color settings of the content on display.

3.1 Adjust Video Color Settings

Inside the How Do You Make Color Adjustments section, select Option 2: With the NVIDIA Settings. Next, click on the Advanced Tab and increase the Dynamic Range to Full (0-255).

3.2 Adjust Video Image Settings

Keep all the settings to Default. Click Apply to save all the changes.

Once you have applied all the settings featured above, restart the computer to apply all the changes. It's worth noting these settings will reset back to default when you update your NVIDIA driver again. This means you have to change the settings after each new driver update.

Final Word

This guide seeks to give you out-and-out, step-by-step instructions on the best NVIDIA Control Panel Settings so that you can optimize game performance and take full advantage of your NVIDIA Graphics Card. Hopefully, this sets you up for the ultimate gaming experience!

About the author

Anton is the founder of 25pc. He is a huge gaming tech nerd and loves helping people save money. To find out more about him read his about me page.

Anton is the founder of 25pc. He is a huge gaming tech nerd and loves helping people save money. To find out more about him read his about me page.

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