Author Topic: Frame Rate Drop  (Read 3785 times)

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Offline AV8R

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Respectfully, what I believe is irrelevant. The fact is, workstation-class cards are highly tuned for OpenGL rendering. And yes, not necessarily for frame rates but for image quality (although, when working with 3-D modeling you still want high frame rates so models can be viewed smoothly). What has changed on my system that is suddenly causing a bottleneck somewhere is what's bothering me. Everything in the technical numbers shows I should be getting better performance but I'm not:

1) Pentium dual-core @ 3.0Ghz upgraded to i5 quad-core @ 3.1Ghz; 3.3Ghz Turbo (faster processor, more cores)
2) Memory running at 1333Mhz @ 8-8-8-24 upgraded to 1600Mhz @ 9-9-9-24 XMP (more memory bandwidth)

And while the video card is still running at PCIe 2.0 speeds, a card upgrade should push that up to PCIe 3.0 (and its increase in bandwidth). My real concern is that even if I swap out my video card later for a gaming-optimized card this issue will persist. But why the sudden rendering bottleneck after the above changes is just bizzare - and only FSOpen is affected (other OpenGL games I tried work fine, but in fairness, they're not as complex as FSOpen).

Oh well, unless anyone else has a suggestion to try I'll just press on with GLSL disabled until I get a vid card upgrade in the future.  :sigh:
« Last Edit: March 01, 2015, 05:49:48 pm by AV8R »

 

Offline jr2

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I'm not sure if this will work in your specific scenario, but you could try searching / posting over here to see if your card can be soft-modded back and forth between FirePro and Radeon HD as the FirePro M and Mobility Radeon HD series can do this at least sometimes (read post).

http://forum.techinferno.com/general-notebook-discussions/1144-%5Bsoftmod%5D-amd-6970m-firepro-m8900-*update*-6990m-works-too.html


EDIT:  Some mention over here, too:  http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=313065&page=22

 
Hm, maybe check for MB BIOS update. Sometimes it fixes problems with newer CPUs.

 

Offline jr2

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That too.  I always did a BIOS update if one was available before attempting a CPU upgrade.

 

Offline AV8R

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My MB already has the latest BIOS version and the processor installed is on the compatibility list on the manufacturer's website. Unless I reflash the BIOS but that shouldn't be necessary. Maybe a BIOS reset via jumper on mobo? I'll try that too.

 

Offline jr2

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You're supposed to reset the BIOS to factory defaults then reconfigure (at least, last time i did this).   Jumper or in - BIOS,  but jumper is prolly more foolproof.

 

Offline AV8R

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I did the jumper factory reset last night but haven't had a chance to test it. I'll give it a go tonight.

If that doesn't pan out, the final thing I'll try to make sure this is not a hardware issue is to flash the BIOS down a version (if it lets me) and then flash it back to the most recent. The previous version still supports the new processor model so it shouldn't cause a boot issue. This to me is the only sure-fire way to make sure all logical BIOS firmware is 100% factory and then can be properly configured with the hardware currently installed on the mobo.

I'll report my findings. Thanks for everyone's input. It's greatly appreciated.   :yes:

 

Offline Fury

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From what I have understood so far, you really haven't done any proper testing whether the issue really exists in other OpenGL/D3D applications, since you mentioned FSO is the most demanding of them. Which should be unlikely if you have any even relatively recent games at all. Why not confirm that before you go reflashing your mobo and risk bricking it, unless it has a backup BIOS.

 

Offline jr2

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Do double-check the settings, too.  Some BIOSes have legacy settings to disable L2 cache, lock the processor to ridiculously low clock speeds, etc, etc.  I'm assuming you would notice things like that in Windows itself and other programs, though.

If all else fails, perhaps swap CPUs back and test the old one... this is just weird.  CPU-wise, FSO should have no clue between the two, I think.

 

Offline Macfie

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It is my understanding that FreeSpace is not multithreaded and will only run on one core, so going to a quad core processor with similar values per core does not significantly improve performance.  The core size is typically the choke point for performance.  Programs tend to operate first on the first core and then spread to the others.  This could result in freeSpace sharing the first core with all the other programs that are running.  I vaguely remember that in an older thread for framerate drop there were directions for settings that would  allow you to select which core that freespace ran on.  selecting a higher number core would allow Freespace to in essence have a core to itself.
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Offline AV8R

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Numerous utilities I've run (i.e. CPU-Z, GPU-Z, etc) have verified that nothing is amiss as far as clock rates, memory frequency and PCIe throughput. It's all where it should be (so the BIOS settings are all good for the processor, memory, etc). I even ran Intel's Processor Diagnostic Tool to make sure nothing was goofy with the processor (such as having one core not functioning properly). Everything checks out. I suppose I could use some benchmarking software and compare my results to others posted online to see if mine are grossly lower.

Question: is the complex lighting handled by the video card or the processor? (the Lighting setting under Details) I did a little research and found in some game engines, lighting is handled by the processor while textures are handled by the video card. Is this the case with FSO?

Macfie's post is certainly intriguing. Is there a way to steer FSO to use a specific core on a multi-core processor?

Edit: I did not get the i5 thinking FSO could utilize multiple cores of the processor at once. I knew it was single-core program all along. The reason I installed it was 2-fold: the i5 supports higher memory frequencies (1333Mhz to 1600Mhz) and higher video throughput (PCIe 2.1 to PCIe 3.0 - which is yet to be realized since I'll need a new video card). Since my mobo supported Ivy Bridge processors, I thought the benefit would be a no-brainer. I'm starting to regret it now.  :(
« Last Edit: March 04, 2015, 08:03:06 pm by AV8R »

 

Offline The E

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Question: is the complex lighting handled by the video card or the processor? (the Lighting setting under Details) I did a little research and found in some game engines, lighting is handled by the processor while textures are handled by the video card. Is this the case with FSO?

Rendering in FSO is entirely done on the GPU. The CPU is only responsible for physics (including collisions), gameplay logic and building scenes to be rendered, all the heavy lifting is done on the GPU.

Now, the interesting thing here is that by disabling shaders, you have actually put FSO into a more CPU-intensive mode, because more of the work associated with setting up scenes has to be done on the CPU. This is why I remain convinced that the issue isn't actually the CPU, but the GPU and its drivers instead.

Quote
Macfie's post is certainly intriguing. Is there a way to steer FSO to use a specific core on a multi-core processor?

Yes, there is. Here's a guide for Win 7 that should also work for other versions of Windows.
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Offline Fury

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Now, the interesting thing here is that by disabling shaders, you have actually put FSO into a more CPU-intensive mode, because more of the work associated with setting up scenes has to be done on the CPU. This is why I remain convinced that the issue isn't actually the CPU, but the GPU and its drivers instead.
Reasonable conjecture, but it does not explain why he did not have these performance issues in FSO prior to CPU upgrade. At least that is what he claims, but it is entirely possible something else has changed other than new CPU. But it is difficult for us to speculate what that could be.

Given the situation, it is entirely possible that upgrading GPU would not solve the real problem. Which is why I am more interested what the performance is like in other games. But given AV8R's GPU of choice, does he even have any other games to test with?

Which leaves me with:
1. Reset BIOS to defaults.
2. Reformat and reinstall OS.
3. Install only drivers and must-have software.
4. Re-test performance.
5. Deal with it.

 

Offline AV8R

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Yes, there is. Here's a guide for Win 7 that should also work for other versions of Windows.

Interesting, I will play around with this and see what affect it has on FSO's performance.

BTW, did anyone try my mission or check the log file I uploaded? Anything worth noting in either case?

Reasonable conjecture, but it does not explain why he did not have these performance issues in FSO prior to CPU upgrade. At least that is what he claims, but it is entirely possible something else has changed other than new CPU. But it is difficult for us to speculate what that could be.

Nothing has changed hardware-wise other than the CPU. Why would I give misleading details when I'm trying to solve an issue? That would be counter-productive. The only other change is the bump in memory speed from 1333 to 1600. Again, a performance gain which should improve throughput, not hinder it (I've tried resetting it back to 1333 but it doesn't help).

Given the situation, it is entirely possible that upgrading GPU would not solve the real problem. Which is why I am more interested what the performance is like in other games. But given AV8R's GPU of choice, does he even have any other games to test with?

I've tried some of my other OGL-based games, such as Descent: Rebirth with all of its bells and whistles turned on and it runs smooth as glass - but then again if you've played Descent (even this graphics updated version) you'd know the textures are no where near as complex/detailed as FSO. So I can only really take the comparison with a grain of salt.

Which leaves me with:
1. Reset BIOS to defaults.
2. Reformat and reinstall OS.
3. Install only drivers and must-have software.
4. Re-test performance.
5. Deal with it.

1. Done
2. Done
3. Done
4. Done
5. Dealt.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2015, 12:24:41 pm by AV8R »