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nVidia Optimus fix for TOW2-3


Sigwolf

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I don't know if anyone still plays or cares, but I found a fix for notebooks with nVidia Optimus chipsets that can't get the TOW series to use the discrete graphics.

For the original TOW, it is a simple matter of whitelisting the exe in the nVidia control panel, but for the later games, this has no effect due to the bin files used. Today, however, I discovered a simple workaround.

In each games directory there is an executable file for the game, and a bin file with the same name (i.e. Africa1943.exe and Africa1943.bin for TOW2 - Africa). The nVidia control panel only lets you whitelist exe files, not the bin files needed here. To get around this simply rename the bin file to add '.exe' to the end (i.e. change Africa1943.bin to Africa1943.bin.exe). Next, add the renamed .bin.exe file to the nVidia control panel whitelist. Finally, rename the .bin.exe file back to it's original name *.bin (i.e. Africa1943.bin). The nVidia control panel won't care about the rename, and will still recognize and use the .bin file.

That's all there is to it, and repeating that process for all the TOW games will give you full benefit of your Optimus chipset.

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  • 3 weeks later...

@Sigwolf --

interesting -- thanks for posting. i tried this but can't quite tell if modifying setting in the nvidia control panel to the tow2 '.bin.exe' is actually making a difference in performance. did you notice a big change in FPS?

Also, after I changed 'Africa1943.bin' to 'Africa1943.bin.exe,' the file type seems to change permanently to an "Application". There's no way to 'remove' the .exe because it no longer appears in the file name. I.e., changing 'Africa1943.bin" to "Africa1943.bin.exe" effectively turns the file into "Africa1943.bin" now recognized 'as' an "Application" in the properties menu. There's no ".exe" suffix to be removed. The game still seems to boot up and play fine, but was wondering if i'm doing something wrong or overlooking something.

(this on Windows 7 x64, by the way)

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  • 2 years later...
sandman2575, on 04 Aug 2012 - 12:13 PM, said:

@Sigwolf --

interesting -- thanks for posting. i tried this but can't quite tell if modifying setting in the nvidia control panel to the tow2 '.bin.exe' is actually making a difference in performance. did you notice a big change in FPS?

Also, after I changed 'Africa1943.bin' to 'Africa1943.bin.exe,' the file type seems to change permanently to an "Application". There's no way to 'remove' the .exe because it no longer appears in the file name. I.e., changing 'Africa1943.bin" to "Africa1943.bin.exe" effectively turns the file into "Africa1943.bin" now recognized 'as' an "Application" in the properties menu. There's no ".exe" suffix to be removed. The game still seems to boot up and play fine, but was wondering if i'm doing something wrong or overlooking something.

(this on Windows 7 x64, by the way)

Wow, many years too late, but somehow I missed your question at the time.  I doubt you care about this anymore, but just in case, and in case someone new stumbles across this looking for a solution...

 

Yes, I did notice a big change in performance.  I think the problem you encountered is because your folder settings in Windows had "Hide extensions for known file types" selected.  When you renamed it "Africa.bin.exe" the OS was hiding the .exe and showing you "Africa.bin" as an application even though that wasn't the full file name.  If you unselect the "Hide extensions" option, you'd then see the full filename, and would have the ability to delete the .exe after whitelisting it in the NVidia control panel.  I don't know the repercussions of leaving the .bin file with an .exe extension when running the game, but possibly that accounted for you not noticing a performance increase.

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