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Mafia II Demo: tweaking PhysX performance

with 107 comments

Yes, all that dynamic clothing and particle effects are cool, but actuall performance of Mafia II with APEX PhysX effects set on “Medium” or “High” isn’t very fascinating – even GTX 480 users may met some annoying fps drops and lags. Fortunately, there is a way to tweak APEX content a little.

Note: Interested in how exactly APEX Framework is being used ? Visit Mafia II GPU PhysX profile page for additional information.

Important: Mafia II may have some issue with PhysX System Software installation. If you experiencing major slowdowns, reinstall it using 9.10.0512_SystemSoftware package from \Steam\steamapps\common\mafia ii – public demo\3rd folder.

You also may wanna try new 9.10.0513 PhysX drivers


Most performance is devoured by APEX Clothing module (why ? because it is running on CPU, not on GPU), that is responcible for realistic clothing simulation on main and several NPC characters.

Update: tweaking APEX Particles effects

Update #2: following tweaks will work with final version of Mafia II

1) Disabling all clothing

If you can live without flowing Vito trenchcoat and woman’s skirts, you can simply follow the path

\Steam\steamapps\common\mafia ii( – public demo)\edit\APEX

and delete (don’t forget to backup) directory named as


This will remove  certain APEX assets, and all character clothing will revert to static skinned mesh (like with APEX set to “Off“), but all particle effects will stay !

Result ? No more realistic cloth, but huge fps increase. 70 average fps vs 25 fps without this trick (APEX set to High, single GTX470 is used, GPU PhysX enabled).

2) Disabling all clothing except for Vito

Revert Cloth folder to it’s place.

Delete all files (backup), except for those starting with “VIT*“, and files named “m2skeleton” and “ClothRemapTable“.

Note: if you experiences stability problems after selectively removing cloth files, try to delete certain lines from ClothRemapTable.xml, corresponding to files that were ommited.

Voila ! Fully dynamic clothing on Vito, without NPCs draining your fps with their unnoticable cloth skirts and jackets.

This is a place near Vito’s house – running around 20-25 fps previously, thanks for those NPC womans skirts. After tweak – 60+ fps.

3) Disabling clothing for NPC pedestrians only

If you want to disable clothing simulation for NPC pedestrians, but leave it for Vito and his buddies (Joe, Henry, etc):

Delete (backup, of course) files starting with “CCI*“, “CIT*“, “CME*“, “CPR*” and “CSI*

from folder

\Steam\steamapps\common\mafia ii( – public demo)\edit\APEX\Cloth

All other files must remain (if you applied any clothing tweaks previously, Cloth folder must be reverted to its original state – before using this method).


And finally. With our tweaks it is possible to play Mafia II with APEX PhysX enabled – purely on CPU.

All fancy particles and impact debris (our CPU was enough for APEX Medium settings, GPU PhysX disabled in drivers), some clothing simulation – running around 30+ fps.

Looks like a nice deal for non-hybrid ATI users.


Some screenshots with clothing tweak №2 – APEX PhysX is set to High, graphics and physics are calculated on single GTX470. Particles are in place, Vito’s clothing is fully simulated.


In order to increase game framerate even further, APEX Particles effects (debris from bullet impacts, smoke, etc) can be removed too.

Simply delete (backup first) Effects folder located at

\Steam\steamapps\common\mafia ii( – public demo)\edit\APEX

If you want to find a performance compromise, you can disable, for example – particles and clothing on NPC, but leave clothing on Vito – just like on the screenshot above.

Of course, system is more flexible – you can delete only certain .aea files (stands for APEX Emitter Asset I believe), located at

Steam\steamapps\common\mafia ii( – public demo)\edit\APEX\Effects\Assets\Emitters

- responcible only for certain particle effects.

For example, deleting burnout.aea will vanish pretty demanding “tire burnout” dynamic smoke (all other particle effects will remain).

or, if you’ll remove vybuch_auto.aea – you will not see chunks from car explosions anymore.

Large field for experiments.

Any use of article content without permission is prohibited.

Written by Zogrim

August 11th, 2010 at 1:38 am

Posted in PhysX Games

Tagged with , , , ,

107 Responses to 'Mafia II Demo: tweaking PhysX performance'

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  1. Can anyone know how to remove motion blur from the game?




    16 Aug 10 at 8:53 pm

  2. BTW i did some Test. If you have a system with GTX 460 in SLI, disable SLI and use the 2nd as a dedicated Phys Processor. Even if the benchmark numbers are not higher, the fluidity in game is awesome…(in 1080p)




    16 Aug 10 at 10:49 pm

  3. Hey Zogrim i have a GTX 470 and Intel i7 930. I deleted the Cloth folder but i run at 45 fps. How did u make Mafia run at 70 FPS?




    18 Aug 10 at 5:00 pm

  4. Mick
    Graphics setting were lowered (720p, no AO) at the time




    18 Aug 10 at 10:34 pm

  5. Thanks for this.WIth out NPC clothing I can play physx on medium even on my RAdeon 3870 ,everything else on high with 30 FPS.I dont now whow how but i thing game renders physx on GPU even it is Radeon?I have dual core end i watched GPu and CPU usage while playing and CPU is always 90% usage and GPU usage jumps from 50% to 90% when turn on Physix.




    19 Aug 10 at 10:48 am

  6. Hallo.

    I have ATI 4870 1GB + nVidia GTS250 1GB for PhysX, Q6600 (3,2GHz) Resolution 1680×1050 with AA OFF
    And I have very small FSP with PhysX:
    PhysX medium: 29FPS
    Phys max: 25 FPS

    When I used GTS250 + 8800GT for physX I have:
    PhysX medium:35.5 FPS
    Phys max: 29 FPS

    Why? When 4870 is very performance that GTS 250.

    I used new PhysX driver and hybrid PhysX 1.04




    21 Aug 10 at 2:23 pm

  7. Theo23
    Seems something is not working properly – you better ask at main Hybrid PhysX thread




    21 Aug 10 at 3:11 pm

  8. They changed it since the game was released. There is no more 3rd folder rendering this tweak useless.




    26 Aug 10 at 5:45 am

  9. they just changed where the folder is its now in mafia2/edit\APEX runs great with and without the mod with a 4870 and a gt 240 as PPu atleast in demo 2 more houers to go ^^ then its time to game on




    27 Aug 10 at 12:02 am

  10. I have the full game but I have an issue with the graphics flickering constantly, the game itself runs smoothly, but the flickering makes is unbearable to play. Anyone know of this problem and solution?



    Antho best

    29 Aug 10 at 6:15 am

  11. Thanks for this. Couldn’t understand why it was so slow with my GTX470 either. I was even contemplating picking up a GT240 for a Physx card, but clearly that wouldn’t have made a blind bit of difference.




    1 Sep 10 at 3:28 am

  12. I noticed some stability problem after enabling this tweak in full version of game. Game is crashing a lot. But i fixed it by editing ClothRemapTable.xml and deleted all lines corresponding to files that been removed.




    1 Sep 10 at 6:53 am

  13. Daymoss
    I played demo and half of the final game with clothing tweak, but haven’t experienced any problems with that.
    Anyway, thanks for suggestion, I’ll add a note.




    1 Sep 10 at 9:57 am

  14. hello every on

    first of all
    defragment ur hd
    make the files contagious (not necessary(
    apply the latest drivers of ur mother board and gfx card
    open mafia 2 where it is located then got to Edit folder
    and delete the whole APEX folder (take beckup) and then
    run the game set on lowest gfx . resoultion if needed

    note that APEX physx should be on

    then u will get coupple of fps




    1 Sep 10 at 12:28 pm

  15. for anybody with an sli setup, i reccomend turning off sli and dedicating one card to physx. the game runs very smooth. and i have two 8800gt’s. 1680×1050, all maxed out, avereages 45 fps, but STAYS at 45 fps even when in combat/explosions, clothing etc. if i had sli and physx turned on, it would often drop to 20 or less :)
    ah, and if you dedicate at least an 8800gt to physx, these tweaks above are not required, it can handle everything perfectly :)



    Vlad M.

    8 Sep 10 at 4:17 pm

  16. so, it would seam that nvidia drivers are still not very good at sharing load if you combine sli with physx. if you have an sli setup, its counterintuitive tu turn it off and assign one card for physx. yet still, it works like a charm :)
    they should work on this…



    Vlad M.

    8 Sep 10 at 4:22 pm

  17. What about the flickering issue with Ati cards? No one has found a solution to this? The game runs fairly fast for me but the graphics constantly flickers



    Antho best

    9 Sep 10 at 5:35 pm

  18. I confirm what Vlad M. says.

    Disable SLI and force PhysX on the other CPU.

    Works like an charm, I have 2 GTX260+ now I can keep everything at maxed settings without slowdowns.

    Still sad that PhysX Colth is not scaling with SLI enabled. I’m still checking on Nvidia forums for that.

    It’s either a driver problem or a design issue.




    9 Sep 10 at 6:30 pm

  19. Like the previous mafia game you need an overkill machine because the game is badly optimized again game company put on the market an incomplete product non refundable upon opening the package wrap.
    And they wonder why people hack game.

    Nvidia brought Ageia PhysX and stop to support the PPU
    which was still a good product to create the idea of triple SLI which is bottleneck by the CPU.

    Ill wait before buying this game it is useless for now to jump in the band wagon and be stuff to wait for patch when in the middle of the game.

    I have a QX6800 a Core 2 Quad core
    2 x Geforce GTX470 in SLI
    a Nforce 750i Chipset
    a X-FI Game sound card
    8 GB of DDR2 800Mhz Crucial Memory optimized

    and i still have to fight to get the maximum of those game ill turn console soon that enough their no more fun build a rig that f….. company force my to buy more hardware.

    Sign a Sarcastic Cynic Gamer



    Max P

    12 Sep 10 at 5:58 pm

  20. Does this work on the full version? I’d love to try it




    15 Sep 10 at 3:22 am

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