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It's peculiar this issue is not well understood on NVIDIA forums and project forums.

For example, the well known ioquake3 project based on id tech 3 requires to force 'Threaded optimization' off on the NVIDIA settings or there are severe FPS drops.

Do you know what a programmer has to do to acquire compatibility with the feature or at least a workaround to not get issues with it (e.g. turning it off explicitly via the application or other means)?


The main importance is that such projects get issues with it by default since not all users know they have to explicitly turn off the feature.

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My understanding is that most programs won't have a problem with the feature, which essentially just allows the graphics driver to use an additional thread on multi-cpu systems. It doesn't do anything particularly special, it's just a normal windows thread. This will generally bring a flat increase in FPS.

It can be a problem if something gets in the way of the driver thread by disrupting the windows task scheduler. From looking around it seems like two cases are the primary cause of problems with threaded optimization:

  1. Dealing with the windows message system on multiple threads at once or in a particularly weird way. This can disrupt windows's thread scheduling.
  2. Manually adjusting thread priorities. If you're trying to micromanage thread priorities this can cause a higher priority thread to pop up at a bad time for the driver thread, causing some expensive context switching.
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This is a particularly good answer but forgive me if I'm wrong, but I think we should keep the question open for a while since the subject is very weakly documented across the Internet, in case it brings additional insight. – j riv Aug 27 '10 at 9:48
Oh, sure. I do not have direct first hand info so maybe someone else will magically pop up from nvidia and answer. – Ben Zeigler Aug 27 '10 at 22:33

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