For all of you who have not done this already, yet have a multi-core CPU (likely every single one of you), follow these simple directions to force EQ to use all of your CPU cores instead of being restricted to one core per instance of EQ (if you box).
1. **IMPORTANT** Log out of Everquest (every instance you have open - all the way to desktop. When you log off, your eqclient.ini file is automatically saved, and will undo what you are about to change.
2. Open your Everquest folder and find the file named "eqclient.ini"
3. Make a copy of this file and rename the copy as eqclient.old. (This is a just-in-case measure, but likely won't be needed. Do it anyway!)
4. Open the file with notepad (or similar) and make sure the cursor is at the beginning of the document. You will notice that this is a long list of command lines. Click Edit >> Find then do a search for "CPU". You are looking for entries like this: CPUAffinity0=1 and CPUAffinity1=1 and CPUAffinity2=1 etc. Each CPUAffinity# file refers to your first (the one with the zero), 2nd, 3rd, etc instance of EQ. If you don't ever box, there may only be the first one (CPUAffinity0). change the line(s) to all be set to -1 (NEGATIVE ONE). The original number it was set to is the core in your processor that instance of EQ was being forced to use prior to this change. Changing it to -1 allows eq to use ALL cores of your processor, greatly improving performance that was bottlenecked by the use of only a quarter of your cpu power.
5. After you change each line, hit the down arrow or find next button to find the next line you need to change. Make double sure you change every single line in the entire file that says CPUAffinity#=# to equal -1. If you fail to do so, one of two things will happen. First you could load up everquest and your client could crash almost instantly, or very often. This happened to me because I did not realize there were duplicates later on in the file that I had not changed. The other thing that could happen is that nothing will change at all, and EQ will continue to use one core and one core only. Neither of these are desirable, so make sure you change every single one. You CAN delete the entire lines of duplicates that end in the same number (i.e. two lines that say CPUAffinity0=#), but make sure you have at least as many (0, 1, 2, etc) as you use boxes at any given time. If you 4 box, you will need 0, 1, 2, and 3, for instance.
6. SAVE THE FILE! Make sure that the name of the file is eqclient.ini, and you aren't editing the backup copy you made in step 3.
7. Start Everquest just as you did before.
8. Take note of the nice improvement in performance you now have as you look around the guild lobby!
9. Parcel one million platinum to Gerrun for making this possible for you.
Note: Making these changes will be instantly noticeable unless you have a very powerful computer, and the single core and a very good video card already smoked the hell out of everquest. It may not improve anything if you are four- or more boxing, but will definitely make it better for two or 3 boxing, and even more so if you are only running a single copy of EQ. You will notice this change the most in places like the guild lobby, where there are a couple hundred toons, pets, and mercs hanging out and bogging down your system. Changing these settings will not harm your computer. If anything, it will help preserve the life of your hardware, as you will be equally sharing the load across all cores of your CPU and also the motherboard bus transporting the data to and from the cores. Think of the motherboard bus as a wide hallway of carpet and the CPU cores as rooms in an office. If you have a wide hallway going to four offices, and everyone walks down the same strip of carpet every day and everyone crams into the one office every time and never uses any of the others, the carpet will wear out really fast going down one side of the hallway, and in the office, as well as the furniture, doorknobs, and office machines in the one office!
Troubleshooting: If your client crashes or fails to load, use the find command in the same file (eqclient.ini) and make sure you changed the values for all those CPUAffinity lines to equal -1 (NO SPACES). SAVE THE FILE and try to start the game again. If it is still crashing, go through the file again and delete duplicates of the same line (CPUAffinity0=-1 is a duplicate of CPUAffinity0=-1, but is NOT a duplicate of CPUAffinity1=-1). Once you remove the duplicates, SAVE the file and try to start EQ again. If your client still crashes, you can revert to your original settings by either manually changing them back, or by deleting the file you changed and renaming the copied file you renamed as eqclient.old back to eqclient.ini. Start everquest and everything should be just as it was.
Final Comments: I found this information on a developer-written wiki page. I looked but could not find the original page to link here, but if i do find it later, I will come back and post it here. I did notice that in 2007, EQ developers announced automatic affinity for multiple core CPU's. This is NOT necessarily going to make your copy of EQ use all your cores as the above procedure will. ALL it does is allow you to run multiple copies on one PC without manually changing each affinity to a different core. Basically if you only use one toon at a time, then you decide to box one, it will automatically add CPUAffinity1=1 to the already existing CPUAffinity0=0 line, allowing the second copy to use its own core. If you have a four-core processor, running a single toon on a single core, you only have 1/4 of your processing power available to run everquest, instead of 100%. This is not only ignorant, it is aggravating, as your computer runs brand new software programs on all cores at once, and quite speedily compared to everquest. Make these changes, or at least check to see if you need to, and you should notice an improvement in your performance in game. Most notably for people with awesome graphics cards is that making this change will noticeably reduce your loading times whenever you zone. Enjoy your new-found performance and I will see you in the game!
ETA: To verify how many cores your CPU is using when running everquest (most easily done if you only have a single copy running), open your task manager and look at your performance tab, and open the resource monitor. under the CPU tab you can view each core individually to see usage. If your EQ is only using a single core, then core 0 will be quite active while the rest of the cores are not doing very much. If you have made this change successfully, each core should be almost identical in how much usage is showing. The root of this information I originally discovered here: but the information I gave here is more detailed.
Edited by Zarzac, 19 April 2019 - 06:59 AM.