Smart Smoothing will not be engaged if your frame rate drops under half the selected Hz rate in PiTool. Probably why the image looks so good to you but even I am not able to stand a frame rate that is under 30fps. 40 and above is reasonable for me.
I’d drop your PiTool render setting from 1.25 to 1.0 and then try it again. What you would be looking for is a Non Smoothing frame rate of 40 to 60fps. Then if you select 64Hz for your HMD and Smart Smoothing - you will see fps stay at a constant 32fps but visually it will be double that. If your non smoothing frame rate is around half the Hz setting or lower then Smart Smoothing will drop in and out and not deliver.
As for smoothing and effectiveness .121 is the only Smart Smoothing PiTool version that doesn’t give image artifacts and tearing in Il2 Battle of Stalingrad. All the others including the latest - Smart Smoothing is not usable.
FFR for me also does not bring any performance benefit to the table and it is also unstable, in my experience.
I have never needed to restart for anything. Are you just killing pitool in task manager? That does nothing, you need to restart the Pitool Service you can do that within the pitool menu but sometimes I find I need to go into the services section of task manager and start it or stop it manually to get it to stick.
I’ve never even seen that issue. It sounds like a 3rd party service in your PC with a higher priority is grabbing control and not letting loose. As a test I would disconnect my hard disk and use a cheap blank SSD then install clean copy Windows, Latest Nvidia driver, PiTool and SteamVR. I bet 99% issue does not re-occur.
The performance has not dropped in 132, actually its the opposite from what I can see. The only problem is that the “default button” trick is not possible with 132. But they are looking at this right now.