I was having issues with my iRacing since the last update in December. Nothing major, but as with most things in racing, even small problems can cause large losses if not damage!
The problem were mini hiccups while on the track. They did not last more than ½ a second, and would mostly happen on long corners or chicanes like the one on Monza or the corner going out onto the banked part of Daytona Road. The stuttering was minimal, but substantial enough to affect braking, and even caused a few incidents where i went off the track and totaled my car. Especially this week, with the Skip Barber at Belle Isle, has cost me a lot of iRating and license points.
I went hunting for the cause of this. Initially I suspected my system of not being strong enough, so i turned a lot of effects off, to see if that helped. I have never really needed fancy graphics as long as the physics and the racing were good, so i didn’t mind it much. Knowing that iRacing is not very demanding though, I could not understand where the problem should be. I did a few races running the resource manager at the same time and keeping an eye on consumption. My CPU was running at approximately 60% and the GPU was only at approximately 40%. The only thing that was slightly maxed, was my RAM at 6,5Gb out of 8Gb. Also the frame rate was pretty stable no matter what i threw at it.
iRacing support hasn’t been of much help during this, but there was one user who suggested that i turned Trading Paints off, because he had a similar issue. Trading paints is a service that lets you apply custom liveries to your cars. You can use shared liveries, or make your own. Many users use this, and is more or less that only option for racing custom liveries. It runs a small program that will sync your own and other racers liveries once the session loads on iRacing.
I doubted him, but gave it a try anyway as it couldn’t hurt. The stuttering was gone immediately! I don’t understand why and how, but it solved my problem and I’d rather do without fancy paint schemes, than have to cope with choppy racing.
Now I am back at turning graphic settings up, and testing the limits of my system once more. I run the Graphics Config, to find out what iRacning things i should set my settings to. I then added a few more, based off what other people suggested, and turned off settings that i felt were useless (like crowds). The results were impressive and performance was unaffected!
To be honest, I am happy that i found out that Trading Paints was causing my issues, because that meant that i could run iRacing at a lot higher settings, and enjoy much better graphics, by sacrificing custom paint schemes and liveries. Thant said, to whoever is running Trading Paints – do make a basic color scheme for your cars, so that we who don’t use it, at least don’t have to look at cars that look like clown costumes, or the Benetton…