Every connection between two computers is very different. Routers, computer hardware, wifi adapters, operating systems, and networking all impact a connection on Parsec. Outside of Parsec, you can try to update the graphics drivers on your PC. Additionally, you should always run your games in borderless or windowed mode when possible. If the game must be run in fullscreen mode, please turn VSync off in the game. If you're experiencing multiple seconds of lag, this isn't actually Parsec. It's almost always the driver on your iGPU or a caching issue on your computer, which just requires a restart.
We're pretty conservative on the default settings, so there's definitely some experimentation required to insure you're getting the best experience possible. We recommend making your first connection with the default settings in the Client Settings. If you notice high latency, low quality video, or some combination of these, there are several settings you can tweak to get your desired performance from Parsec. Also, please remember to run all applications in borderless window mode.
Please note, for all settings (except a couple not covered here), they're controlled on the client device. The settings on the Server don't impact connections.
The video quality setting changes how your computer prioritizes video quality versus latency. Lowest latency optimizes latency while highest defintion optimizes video quality.
It's always best to use the accelerated mode if your computer has the hardware required for accelerated decoding.
Bandwidth is an important factor and can really improve things. Please test different bandwidth settings. You should aim for a bandwidth setting that is reliable on your network. The higher you go on bandwidth, the higher the latency will be due to the additional strain it puts on your GPU.
Turning VSync off in the Parsec Application can lower latency, but it will lead to tearing on most computers. Some Intel iGPUs always VSync. With Parsec VSync on, you might be using vertical sync twice, doubling your lag.
ADVANCED SETTINGS - LOWERING LATENCY
If you're trying to decrease latency, you should experiment with a combination of the settings below. You can access the advanced settings following the steps here.
- In the Advanced Settings, which are in your config.txt file, increase the encoder_min_qp setting. This will probably cause video quality issues though. By default, it's set at 25. The max is 51.
- In the Advanced Settings, if you're on a Mac, you can turn zero-copy mode on. This can probably reduce latency 5 milliseconds for Mac users. It's experimental still because we've run into a few edge case bugs, but turn this on by setting decoder_zero_copy=1.
ADVANCED SETTINGS - VIDEO QUALITY SETTINGS
- Decrease the encoder_min_qp setting in the Advanced Settings section of Parsec. If you're experiencing blocky video, this is usually the setting to change. It's default is 25. Lowering it to 10 or 0 will improve video quality, but it may have an adverse impact on latency depending on the quality of the card on your server.