So you’ve gotten a hold of the new Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn Exploration Benchmark and some players have been getting some pretty crazy scores some getting close to 8000 on the best setup rig with the best video card but some of us aren’t experiencing quite what we were expecting even though we sport similar hardware. Case in point, a friend of mine today was attempting to run the benchmark on his Alienware X51 which was scoring much much lower then it’s suppose to. His problem wasn’t that his video card was old or bad, a GTX 550 isn’t something to sneeze at really. I too experienced this little problem too on my laptop last Friday when the benchmark was released. I saw the system attempt to chug through the benchmark with subpar or very laggy performance which is a bit crazy since I know my laptop can run Sleeping Dogs at near max settings without breaking a sweat.

Final Fantasy XIV: ARR Benchmark vs Nvidia Optimus   Zantetsuken | A FFXIV Fansite

As it turns out, this isn’t a problem with my system or my friend’s system. What the problem was is both of our systems use the Nvidia Optimus Technology which decides which video card to run off of. It’s intended use is to save on power by offloading work to the integrated video card vs the more power hungry Nvidia graphics processor. So in both our cases, instead of running the benchmark off the Nvidia processor we have, we ended up running on the Intel HD Graphics 4000. Now this is easily correctable as all it requires is telling the Nvidia drivers that the Benchmark (or even the game client should this be an issue down the road) to run off the Nvidia processor and not the on-board one.

First off open up your Nvidia Control Panel. You can usually access this by right clicking the desktop and finding it in the menu that pops up.

Final Fantasy XIV: ARR Benchmark vs Nvidia Optimus   Zantetsuken | A FFXIV Fansite

From there you want to select Manage 3D settings from the task list from the left hand column. This handles the general global settings that the card uses. In the Manage 3D settings there is a tab called Program Settings. This is where you specifiy the specific settings for certain programs and also where you can tell Optimus that this particular program needs to run on the Nvidia processor and not the Integrated (Intel) one.

Final Fantasy XIV: ARR Benchmark vs Nvidia Optimus   Zantetsuken | A FFXIV Fansite

To add the benchmark, select “Add”.

For some of you, the Benchmark might appear several times on the list. In this case, hover over each one till you find one that is the “FFXIV.exe” file. This is the benchmark client that requires us to specify the graphics processor. If you don’t see the Benchmark listed, select browse at the bottom of the pop-up box and locate where you unzipped the benchmark. The file you want to select is “\Game\FFXIV.exe” in the folder you unzipped.

Final Fantasy XIV: ARR Benchmark vs Nvidia Optimus   Zantetsuken | A FFXIV Fansite

Once the program is added select the High-performance NVIDIA processor or whatever it may be called in your version to tell Optimus you want to run with the more powerful graphics processor. Once that’s done, select save at the bottom of the page and close the control panel.

Final Fantasy XIV: ARR Benchmark vs Nvidia Optimus   Zantetsuken | A FFXIV Fansite

If you fire up the benchmark now, it should run a heck of a lot better then before. An example of this is how the benchmark went from getting around 2086 score, to 4568 for my laptop on high settings.

Final Fantasy XIV: ARR Benchmark vs Nvidia Optimus   Zantetsuken | A FFXIV Fansite

For ATI/AMD, they took a different approach using Hybrid Crossfire and/or PowerXpress. Unfortunately I can only give partial description of how to deal with this as I don’t have access to an ATI based machine to test this on however refer to your Catalyst Control Panel for more information regarding this feature.

Hope this helps anyone who’s had any problems out :)