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SUPPORT PAGE say my tables run slow on your computer, or have graphic glitches?


Most of the graphical problems have been cured by the release of Visual Pinball v8.1.
If you don't want to mess with the fix mentioned below, downlaod and install VP 8.1!
If for some reason you want or need to run an older version of VP, then the below might still apply.

Its not the reels, its not your CPU, its not even your Video Card.

My tables make heavy use of EM reel images. These things are not really processor intesive. They are very much like sprites in an old 2D video game. Just a collection of images that are copied from 1 place in memory to the screen. Very quick and easy for a computer to do. Direct Draw is responsible for doing this job in VP. And most video cards have some kind of hardware acceleration for Direct Draw.

The problem is recent video drivers ASSUME the nessesity for hardware acceleration of Direct Draw. From what I gather from Black, one of the authors of VP, VP was coded NOT to use hardware acceleration. I think he said he wrote VP to FORCE non- acceleration. Older video driver sets let programs do that on an individual basis. Newer drivers do NOT. Newer drivers FORCE hardware acceleration ON. That's why the problems with VP crop up.

The trick is to disable Hardware acceleration for Direct Draw.

The easiest way to do this is to go into display properties, advanced, troubleshoot...

Turn the hardware acceleration all the way down, and run my tables.

Should be smooth, and graphic glitch free, even on a slow cpu.

Its a pain to do this every time you want to run one of my tables, so pcraenme came up with a batch file, and a couple of .reg files that does it automatically. Its also more specific, disabling ONLY Direct Draw hardware acceleration.

You can download a zip file containing the 2 reg and 1 bat file, plus a readme on what to do with it, right here.


What these files do is disable Direct Draw hardware acceleration, run VP, and when your done with VP, turns Direct Draw hardware acceleration back on.

As I've upgraded my computer, and can no longer use my old video drivers that were nice and smooth. I'm in the same boat as those of you having problems. My old computer was a 800 mhz P3 Celeron, with a Asus NVidia GeForce 3 video card. ALL my tables ran smooth as glass. Then I upgraded my video drivers from the 31.40 version to the most recent Detonators. Then the problems began. Stuttering and sluggishness! Went back to the old drivers, NO PROBLEM. I recently upgraded to a 2.4 ghz P4, and a NVidia GeForceFX 5200 video card. Older drivers wont work on this card, as its got all kinds of DirectX9 hardware acceleration in it. So I'm stuck using the newest drivers, and I have the same jerky problems others have.

Using this bat/reg file combo, I have no further problems. The only downside is that the visual quality of my tables is degraded just a little, as without hardware acceleration, the reel images are not smoothed when scaled. I use high enough resolution images that this isn't a real big problem. The tables look almost as good. I run them at 1152 x 864 res. My guess is the higher resolution you play them at, the worse they will look.

Perhaps in the future, those who write video drivers wont assume the need for hardware acceleration, and allow programs to choose to use it or not. Or, more likely, a future version of VP may address the problem. It would be better handled on the driver end though. I'm sure that a lot of people are running old game programs that behave the same way, and would benefit from drivers that didn't penalize them.