[SOLVED] Super weird resolution/framerate issue in Horizon Zero Dawn

Matthew Fearon

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Dec 30, 2014
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So I've been having some strange issues with resolution and framerate with this game ever since I got it, but the strangest issue by far has happened a few times, and just seems to fix itself after a day or so. Here are the details:

My Setup: I play most games on a 4K TCL TV in my living room. The TV is displaying at native 4k, through my GTX 1080Ti. I also have a triple screen monitor setup in the other room. I use a program called Monitor Switcher Profile to go back and forth between my 4k TV running through HDMI, and my triple screen surround setup in the other room running through 3x DP. The software basically "disables" all other displays besides the profile I've selected. So, when I'm gaming on the TV, my nvidia settings show only the TV is connected.

Problem: I play Horizon in 1440p + fullscreen mode. It's the best looking I can squeeze from my GPU while still getting 60 fps, but, every once and a while, the in game "refresh" selection in the settings menu won't let me go above 30 fps while in 1440p AND fullscreen. The funny thing is, if I move my resolution up to 4k in game, THEN it will let me stay fullscreen and move the refresh up to 60, however if I go back down to 1440p it drops the refresh to 30 and won't let me go above it. I also have no issue doing 1080p + fullscreen + 60hz. The only time the game seems to think I can't display over 30hz is when I'm in 1440p + fullscreen. If I set it to windowed or borderless, I can do 60 fps just fine.

It's ONLY this game that gives me the problem. I also played Death Stranding and Cyberpunk in 1440p + fullscreen + 60hz/fps and have no issues still with that.

I have tried a few things like going into the config file for the game, setting it to 1440p + fullscreen + 60 hz, then setting the file to read only. When I get in game, my steam fps counter is showing 60fps but it's very clearly running at 30. It's like it's just doubling frames or something.

Like I said, this behavior only usually lasts a day or two, then one day I'll jump in the game and it will be running totally normal, it's just really boggling my mind and I was wondering if anybody had ever seen anything like this.

Thanks.
 

Matthew Fearon

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Dec 30, 2014
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are they also 1440p?
if so, did you try them and experience the same problem?

did you try their DP cables?
some lower quality types can cause odd issues with resolution\refresh rate\response time due to unstable bandwidth.
They are all 1080p unfortunately. The cable I'm using is a "powered" 50' HDMI cable. It has to be powered in order to get a 4k 60Hz signal that length (Running it through the floor of my office, across the basement ceiling, up into the living room wall and into the TV) The bandwidth issue would make perfect sense to me except for the fact that I can run all my other games at 1440p x 60Hz fullscreen without issue, AND I can run Horizon at 4k x 60Hz fullscreen - which would be having to carry more bandwidth than the 1440p x 60Hz fullscreen signal.

HOLD UP:
Just going through my Nvidia settings, I was going to go ahead and set the TV to 1440p and then see what the game does. Check out these screenshots:
View: https://imgur.com/a/gdhboAW

So, it's kind of doing the same thing the game is doing. Letting me select up to 60Hz in 4k, but only 30Hz in 1440p. What could be going on here?? I know for a fact that the game runs at 60 fps in 1440p in windowed mode, and I know for a fact that other games have no problem in 1440p x 60Hz in both fullscreen and windowed mode. But, why would my driver think the TV can't display over 30Hz in 1440p??


Thanks again for all your help.

EDIT: PROBLEM SOLVED:
Ok, well I think I have at least found a work around. I created a custom resolution in my Nvidia profile of 2560x1440 progressive @ 60Hz. I saved the resolution into my list, but I kept my actually displayed resolution at my 4k. I then went into Horizon, and enabled fullscreen, I am now able to select 60Hz. The only thing I can think is that somehow either my monitor profile, Nvidia Driver, or Windows update borked my 1440p resolution to somehow thinking it can only hit 30Hz, and the game was reading directly from that list. Now that there is a 1440p x 60Hz signal on the list, it lets me select it and plays just fine again.

Thank you for all your help, I would not have had the patience or motivation to keep messing with this without you asking me all these questions!
 
Last edited:
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stating that your frame rate and refresh rate don't seem to sync correctly, i would guess it would be the application used to control the display outputs causing issues.
it could be an issue with the multi-display setup not syncing correctly between displays due to this application not working exactly as it should.
why it would only occur with a single game could be due to the engine itself not being able to handle the custom multi-display setup.
HZD plays fine on my ultra-wide @ 3440x1440 \ 120Hz.

maybe contact Guerilla games or check their game forum to see if others claim similar issues.
 

Matthew Fearon

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Dec 30, 2014
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stating that your frame rate and refresh rate don't seem to sync correctly, i would guess it would be the application used to control the display outputs causing issues.
it could be an issue with the multi-display setup not syncing correctly between displays due to this application not working exactly as it should.
why it would only occur with a single game could be due to the engine itself not being able to handle the custom multi-display setup.
HZD plays fine on my ultra-wide @ 3440x1440 \ 120Hz.

maybe contact Guerilla games or check their game forum to see if others claim similar issues.
This makes sense but the only thing that makes me think that it isn't the software I use is that the game has no problem running at 4k + fullscreen + 60hz. I can't actually get 60fps at 4k with my gpu, but I get around 45-50, so it's not locked at 30 like it does with 1440p, and when I select 4k in the game menu, it then allows me to select 60hz refresh.

The software essentially disables the outputs that aren't being used on my GPU, it pretty much simulates me just unplugging the other three monitors.

Just to be sure, I uninstalled the program and unplugged my other monitors, but the problem still persists, but still ONLY with 1440p + fullscreen...the game just locks the refresh at 30hz.

I will definitely post over on the Guerilla games forums.

Thank you.
 
what is the exact resolution & aspect ratio you are trying to use?
maybe it is just an odd custom aspect ratio that the game can't handle properly?

i have zero issues running 21:9 \ 3440x1440 @ 120Hz. but i have to use a modified .exe to get proper 21:9 during cutscenes and menus.
 

Matthew Fearon

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Dec 30, 2014
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what is the exact resolution & aspect ratio you are trying to use?
maybe it is just an odd custom aspect ratio that the game can't handle properly?

i have zero issues running 21:9 \ 3440x1440 @ 120Hz. but i have to use a modified .exe to get proper 21:9 during cutscenes and menus.
I'm trying to use 16:9 \ 2560 x 1440 @ 60Hz in Fullscreen.

There is a setting in the games menu for refresh, that setting lets me select 60hz in borderless windowed, but as soon as I select fullscreen it locks to 30Hz and won't let me select higher.

Also, the following all works just fine in fullscreen:
16:9 \ 1920 x 1080 @ 60Hz
16:9 \ 3840 × 2160 @ 60Hz

It ONLY seems to be the 2560 x 1440 in fullscreen that's giving me this issue. It seems to be a bug, because for instance, last night I played and it let me select 16:9 \ 2560 x 1440 @ 60Hz + fullscreen. It just seems like every other time I play it, it locks itself to 30Hz in that specific resolution unless I switch to windowless bordered mode.
 
try uninstalling the game with all game folders erased afterwards.
just keep a copy of the save file(s).

reinstall the latest available package, input new settings, start a new game, save & exit.
then see if your settings work correctly through a few starts\exits.

if it works; just go ahead and replace your old save files and hope it continues to function correctly.
 

Matthew Fearon

Honorable
Dec 30, 2014
14
1
10,525
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try uninstalling the game with all game folders erased afterwards.
just keep a copy of the save file(s).

reinstall the latest available package, input new settings, start a new game, save & exit.
then see if your settings work correctly through a few starts\exits.

if it works; just go ahead and replace your old save files and hope it continues to function correctly.
Well I uninstalled the game, backed up and deleted the "Horizon Zero Dawn" folder in My Documents, reinstalled the game, disconnected my internet so Steam Cloud wouldn't pull my graphics settings back as soon as I started the game, then I started the game. Everything started as if it was a brand new game. All graphics settings were at default. For me it defaulted to 16:9 \ 3840 × 2160 @ 60Hz. I went up and changed the resolution to 2560 x 1440 and the "refresh" section automatically changed from 60Hz to 30Hz. Once again it will not allow me to go past 30Hz in that resolution unless I go to windowed borderless. This is really giving me a brain ache.

I searched for an official Guerilla Games forum or an official Horizon Zero Dawn forum and I can't find anything but 3rd party forums. I have posted this issue on the Steam forums and on the Horizon Zero Dawn PC subreddit but have not received any replies yet.

Thank you for all your help so far.
 

Matthew Fearon

Honorable
Dec 30, 2014
14
1
10,525
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how does the triple screen setup come into play if you're only playing on a single 16:9 1440p display?
It doesn't at all. I only have the software to switch to those because I use them to play racing sims and stuff like that. I just switch between the TV in the living room and the monitors in the other room depending on what I'm playing.
 

Matthew Fearon

Honorable
Dec 30, 2014
14
1
10,525
1
are they also 1440p?
if so, did you try them and experience the same problem?

did you try their DP cables?
some lower quality types can cause odd issues with resolution\refresh rate\response time due to unstable bandwidth.
They are all 1080p unfortunately. The cable I'm using is a "powered" 50' HDMI cable. It has to be powered in order to get a 4k 60Hz signal that length (Running it through the floor of my office, across the basement ceiling, up into the living room wall and into the TV) The bandwidth issue would make perfect sense to me except for the fact that I can run all my other games at 1440p x 60Hz fullscreen without issue, AND I can run Horizon at 4k x 60Hz fullscreen - which would be having to carry more bandwidth than the 1440p x 60Hz fullscreen signal.

HOLD UP:
Just going through my Nvidia settings, I was going to go ahead and set the TV to 1440p and then see what the game does. Check out these screenshots:
View: https://imgur.com/a/gdhboAW

So, it's kind of doing the same thing the game is doing. Letting me select up to 60Hz in 4k, but only 30Hz in 1440p. What could be going on here?? I know for a fact that the game runs at 60 fps in 1440p in windowed mode, and I know for a fact that other games have no problem in 1440p x 60Hz in both fullscreen and windowed mode. But, why would my driver think the TV can't display over 30Hz in 1440p??


Thanks again for all your help.

EDIT: PROBLEM SOLVED:
Ok, well I think I have at least found a work around. I created a custom resolution in my Nvidia profile of 2560x1440 progressive @ 60Hz. I saved the resolution into my list, but I kept my actually displayed resolution at my 4k. I then went into Horizon, and enabled fullscreen, I am now able to select 60Hz. The only thing I can think is that somehow either my monitor profile, Nvidia Driver, or Windows update borked my 1440p resolution to somehow thinking it can only hit 30Hz, and the game was reading directly from that list. Now that there is a 1440p x 60Hz signal on the list, it lets me select it and plays just fine again.

Thank you for all your help, I would not have had the patience or motivation to keep messing with this without you asking me all these questions!
 
Last edited:
Reactions: JohnBonhamsGhost

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