Arcen Games

General Category => A Valley Without Wind 1 & 2 => AVWW Technical Support => Topic started by: Castruccio on March 25, 2012, 10:15:21 PM

Title: [RESOLVED] Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on March 25, 2012, 10:15:21 PM
I have been playing AVWW for a while now but with the new feature that shows the framerate in the message window I have been able to confirm a dramatic fluctuation in my framerates that I don't think should be occurring given the demands of the game.  I am running a 2.4Ghz i5 450M with 6GB ram and a Radeon 5650m with 1 GB ram and the latest Catalyst drivers.  I have the game set on 1280X768 resolution.

I am currently fighting a Giant Blue Amoeba and my framerate  when it attacks drops to about 15 fps.  In forest areas I get about 24fps, and in deserts I can push around 35.  In buildings I usually fluctuate between 20-40fps, unless a lot of enemies are attacking in which case it drops to around 15. 

Given the high demands of some of the 3D games I run, it strikes me as odd that I can barely push 30fps on AVWW with the resolution turned down.  Any thoughts as to why it is so choppy sometimes?  Is anyone else having these sorts of dramatic fluctuations?
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: x4000 on March 25, 2012, 10:49:00 PM
If you hit F3, what does it say for the number of textures drawn and the number of texture swaps?  I've not been hearing about this sort of dramatic fluctuation as a general rule, no.

In terms of the demands of a high-powered 3D game versus a 2D sprite-based game, don't get me started.  We have way more texture RAM to use than they do, most of the time, and a lot more state changes on the GPU.  That said, my FPS on an 8800 GTS almost never drops below 120.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: keith.lamothe on March 25, 2012, 11:01:57 PM
Yea, don't get Chris started on 2D vs 3D, he's already had to explain to me more than enough times why drawing 100 rectangles on a screen is an expensive operation in 2012 :)
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on March 26, 2012, 08:09:56 AM
If you hit F3, what does it say for the number of textures drawn and the number of texture swaps?  I've not been hearing about this sort of dramatic fluctuation as a general rule, no.

In terms of the demands of a high-powered 3D game versus a 2D sprite-based game, don't get me started.  We have way more texture RAM to use than they do, most of the time, and a lot more state changes on the GPU.  That said, my FPS on an 8800 GTS almost never drops below 120.

When the framerate falls to 20 fps in a forest area with several enemies on screen, the textures drawn is around 234 and the texture swaps is around 74.

It may also be worth noting that unlike other games I play, the fan on the video card does not spin up when things get intense on AVWW. 
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: x4000 on March 26, 2012, 09:03:24 AM
That doesn't sound like a heavy graphics load; that sounds like a CPU drain, then.  Has this been an ongoing thing, or is this new?

Is it just the first time such a new attack is launched, or is it every time during the fight?  It could be a stutter from disk loading (there's a settings option right under the one for the FPS display that lets you see disk loads during gameplay).  Not sure, but that might be it.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: x4000 on March 26, 2012, 10:38:38 AM
Okay, I think this may be your issue:

* Put in an absolutely enormous CPU performance improvement for when there are lots of entities in a chunk all at the same time.  Previously, whenever any sort of "is this a valid location" type checks were made, it was taking vastly too long to do these because it was doing a lot of math it didn't need to do for entities that it had no chance of intersecting.
** So now it does a preliminary check to see if the entities have any chance whatsoever of colliding, and then just skips even evaluating them at all if not.
** In a standard mystery puzzle room on a latest-gen i7 quad core with an 8800GTS (in other words, a very high end machine), this single change was good for a jump from 35fps to 132fps.  The results won't be nearly so dramatic in all rooms, since most rooms don't have such high entity counts (all those puzzle pieces), but it should also help enormously in any case where there's a lot of projectiles being fired (aka, big battles).

It's in for the next release, and will certainly help at the very least.  If you don't see a difference in some specific cases, then there's probably some other area that is still doing something stupid with the CPU; please just let me know if you find such a case.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: BobTheJanitor on March 26, 2012, 11:05:03 AM
I wasn't having trouble with puzzle rooms, that I noticed, but will that impact the huge frame drop when fairies die and drop little clumped piles of shards?
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on March 26, 2012, 11:16:54 AM
Is it just the first time such a new attack is launched, or is it every time during the fight?  It could be a stutter from disk loading (there's a settings option right under the one for the FPS display that lets you see disk loads during gameplay).  Not sure, but that might be it.

It happens every time during a fight, but especially when attacks are launched by things like Giant Amoebas or the circular water enemies that shoot the spread attacks.    I believe this has been an ongoing issue, but I have only begun to notice it now that I am fighting more diverse kinds of enemies than skelbots and bats. 

Okay, I think this may be your issue:

* Put in an absolutely enormous CPU performance improvement for when there are lots of entities in a chunk all at the same time.  Previously, whenever any sort of "is this a valid location" type checks were made, it was taking vastly too long to do these because it was doing a lot of math it didn't need to do for entities that it had no chance of intersecting.
** So now it does a preliminary check to see if the entities have any chance whatsoever of colliding, and then just skips even evaluating them at all if not.
** In a standard mystery puzzle room on a latest-gen i7 quad core with an 8800GTS (in other words, a very high end machine), this single change was good for a jump from 35fps to 132fps.  The results won't be nearly so dramatic in all rooms, since most rooms don't have such high entity counts (all those puzzle pieces), but it should also help enormously in any case where there's a lot of projectiles being fired (aka, big battles).

It's in for the next release, and will certainly help at the very least.  If you don't see a difference in some specific cases, then there's probably some other area that is still doing something stupid with the CPU; please just let me know if you find such a case.  Thanks!

Thanks for this!  I will let you know what kind of improvement I see. 
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: x4000 on March 26, 2012, 11:19:58 AM
I wasn't having trouble with puzzle rooms, that I noticed, but will that impact the huge frame drop when fairies die and drop little clumped piles of shards?

I'm not sure -- possibly/probably, but I'm not sure to what degree.  I'm looking into new-entity-creation issues at the moment to make sure those are as efficient as can possibly be, too.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on March 26, 2012, 05:01:24 PM
I think this fix helped the framerate in general, however the blue amoeba attack still brings the framrate to its knees.  I've got one attacking me now and the framerate drops to about 17FPS with 331 draw calls and 66 texture swaps.  This is in a forest area.  When no blue amoebas are around things rocket back up to 30-45 fps in the same area.

Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: x4000 on March 26, 2012, 05:04:56 PM
You might need to turn off additive blending in the graphics options.  If you're getting lower than 60fps in general, then your card is only somewhat keeping up with the game anyhow.  The game is really designed to be played at ideally 60fps or more.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on March 26, 2012, 05:12:45 PM
Perhaps I'll need to look into getting a new machine.  I just disabled everything I could disable in the graphics menu tab and I am still averaging about 20fps with the blue amoebas.  Thanks for the general cpu fix, though.  It certainly helped some. 
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on March 26, 2012, 05:56:16 PM
Although I am more skeptical that the system is at fault because I just ran a test on Starcraft 2 (which is both CPU and GPU intensive) with medium and high settings and got 50-60fps.  If AVWW is more intensive than SC2 then that's an interesting thing. 
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: x4000 on March 26, 2012, 06:41:51 PM
Here is your card versus my card: http://www.hwcompare.com/1377/geforce-8800-gt-1gb-vs-radeon-hd-5750-1gb/  (That is your card, yes?)

Your card looks like it beats mine across the board, and yet I'm rarely getting lower than 100fps, and even when that happens almost never less than 60fps.  That doesn't make a lot of sense.  I'm playing windowed mode, not even fullscreen; though I don't have Aero on at all.

I will say that Starcraft II and AVWW have different needs; AVWW is more about pixel fill rate, etc, whereas Starcraft II is likely to be about other factors including polygon count, shader support, etc, among many others.

That's extremely odd, anyhow, that your general performance would be that bad; the amoebas are one thing, but even your baseline is just suspiciously low.  Is there anything else in the background that might be impacting it?  Sometimes when I accidentally have two copies of AVWW open rather than one, I wind up with really choppy performance on the second one until I realize what I did.

I have heard from some other developers that the ATI drivers have been enormously buggy lately, but I don't know anything about it directly, not even the validity of that.  Take that for what you will, that's just what I heard, and it was in reference to features that we specifically don't even use.  So I don't know if that would even come into effect here.

Another thought: are you using vsync?  It might be a good idea to try turning that off and see if that helps.  You could also crank up the target FPS and see what happens.  It really makes no sense that your performance would be anywhere near that.  For the record, my mac laptop has a builtin ATI card of some sort and gets more like 60fps, with occasional dips a bit lower.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: keith.lamothe on March 26, 2012, 06:47:53 PM
Chris, is that 100fps in the standalone build?
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: x4000 on March 26, 2012, 07:01:14 PM
Oh yeah, and doing so with our own FPS display that he'd be using to see it.  So it's apples and apples.  I rarely use the unity editor anymore (just once every few weeks, if that), since compiling directly is so much faster and I get the exact experience of the game performance rather than the editor-ized version of it.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: keith.lamothe on March 26, 2012, 07:05:31 PM
You must not need line numbers very often :)
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: x4000 on March 26, 2012, 07:19:17 PM
You must not need line numbers very often :)

I guess in the last week I've loaded up a bit more than I had been -- maybe as often as four times in a couple of those days, yeah.  But no, in general I don't need line numbers much; our methods are either pretty small, or the places where I've just changed something are pretty obvious.  I don't make more than 5-10 minutes of changes before I run a unit test, usually, so I rarely have to wonder where something went off if it's a literal exception.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on March 26, 2012, 07:46:51 PM
Chris, my card is actually the mobile version of that card so it's not quite as powerful, but it is still a dedicated GPU with 1GB of Ram based on  a similar architecture.  As you point out, however, my average  fps should not be around 25-30 especially with a modern dedicated card (the card I have iis better than the ATI cards built into mac laptops, which you said gives you around 60fps).  I'd expect at least the 60 you get on your mac.

For the record I have closed everything in the background and have made sure I am only running 1 copy of the game.  I have also tried disabling Vsync, etc.  I guess it could be the ATI drivers themselves, but if that were the case then I would think you would have had more problems reported by now.  I can play around with some older drivers and see if that changes things.  It's a real shame because I'd rather be playing AVWW than SC2!  AI War and Tidalis both run great, by the way.

Another note: the world map averages about 15 fps as well.  In my settlement I am around 40.

Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: x4000 on March 26, 2012, 07:51:21 PM
Hmm... I am thinking this might be some sort of power management thing.

If the world map is averaging that low, then this is almost definitely a GPU thing and not a CPU thing.  There's not really any CPU work of substance happening on the world map.  I am thinking your pixel fill rate might be really low or something, but it's very strange because we've optimized the heck out of the graphics end of this in the last few months.  It's doing a bare minimum of texture swaps, etc, etc.  When you start the game, inside the AVWW_Data folder there is an output.log file that it creates.  Do you mind posting the data from the top of that which has extra info on your GPU and system?
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: x4000 on March 26, 2012, 07:54:55 PM
Oh, but back to the power management thing: sometimes laptops in particular can be funny about their power consumption when on battery or when their power management settings are low.  It might be that the very fact that AVWW does NOT require a lot of the extra features of the GPU is shooting it in the foot.  You mentioned that the fan doesn't spin up on the GPU, which tells me it's not working very hard.  And yet it's working slowly.

It sounds like it might be going "Oh crap, look at all this SCII wants me to do!" and goes into a higher powered state.  But with AVWW it's like "eh, I can take care of that no problem" and stays in a lower-powered state that actually gives you way worse performance than you could get if it actually bothered trying its hardest.  I've seen stranger things.  At any rate, in performance settings you may want to make sure that it's set to maximize performance rather than balance performance when you are on non-battery power.  That might be all there is to it, I don't know.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on March 26, 2012, 08:00:30 PM
Here is the data requested from the file you mentioned:

Direct3D:
    Version:  Direct3D 9.0c [aticfx32.dll 8.17.10.1114]
    Renderer: AMD Radeon HD 6500M/5600/5700 Series
    Vendor:   ATI
    VRAM:     2746 MB
    Caps:     Shader=30 DepthRT=1 NativeDepth=1 NativeShadow=1 DF16=1 DF24=1 INTZ=1 RAWZ=0 NULL=1 RESZ=1 SlowINTZ=1
<I> Initializing (RawInput).

<RI> Input initialized.

desktop: 1600x900 60Hz; virtual: 1600x900 at 0,0
Non platform assembly: data-03050FB8 (this message is harmless)
Non platform assembly: data-08500020 (this message is harmless)
Non platform assembly: data-082C0048 (this message is harmless)
Non platform assembly: data-082D7850 (this message is harmless)
Non platform assembly: data-08308458 (this message is harmless)
Non platform assembly: data-087F0020 (this message is harmless)
Non platform assembly: data-08324218 (this message is harmless)
Non platform assembly: data-0832BC40 (this message is harmless)
Non platform assembly: data-08334268 (this message is harmless)
Non platform assembly: data-0835E690 (this message is harmless)
Non platform assembly: data-0836EEB8 (this message is harmless)
Platform assembly: C:\Program Files (x86)\AVWW\AVWW_Data\Managed\I18N.dll (this message is harmless)
Platform assembly: C:\Program Files (x86)\AVWW\AVWW_Data\Managed\I18N.West.dll (this message is harmless)
Platform assembly: C:\Program Files (x86)\AVWW\AVWW_Data\Managed\I18N.dll (this message is harmless)
System.DllNotFoundException: AVWWST

  at (wrapper managed-to-native) Steamworks:InitSteam ()

  at Steamworks.Initialize () [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
UnityEngine.Debug:Internal_Log(Int32, String, Object)
UnityEngine.Debug:Log(Object)
Steamworks:Initialize()
MainCameraLogic:OnEnable()
 
(Filename: C:/BuildAgent/work/6bc5f79e0a4296d6/Runtime/ExportGenerated/StandalonePlayer/BaseClass.cpp Line: 2505)

Platform assembly: C:\Program Files (x86)\AVWW\AVWW_Data\Managed\System.dll (this message is harmless)
0:C:\Program Files (x86)\AVWW\AVWW.exe
UnityEngine.Debug:Internal_Log(Int32, String, Object)
UnityEngine.Debug:Log(Object)
MainCameraLogic:StartInternal()
MainCameraLogic:Update()
 
(Filename: C:/BuildAgent/work/6bc5f79e0a4296d6/Runtime/ExportGenerated/StandalonePlayer/BaseClass.cpp Line: 2505)

graphicsShaderLevel:30
graphicsDeviceID:26817
graphicsDeviceName:AMD Radeon HD 6500M/5600/5700 Series
graphicsDeviceVendor:ATI
graphicsDeviceVendorID:4098
graphicsDeviceVersion:Direct3D 9.0c [aticfx32.dll 8.17.10.1114]
graphicsMemorySize:2746
graphicsPixelFillrate:4400
operatingSystem:Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (6.1.7601) 64bit
processorCount:4
processorType:Intel(R) Core(TM) i5 CPU M 450 @ 2.40GHz
supportsImageEffects:True
supportsRenderTextures:True
supportsShadows:True
supportsVertexPrograms:True
systemMemorySize:5942
UnityEngine.Debug:Internal_Log(Int32, String, Object)
UnityEngine.Debug:Log(Object)
MainCameraLogic:StartInternal()
MainCameraLogic:Update()
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on March 26, 2012, 08:04:01 PM
Oh, but back to the power management thing: sometimes laptops in particular can be funny about their power consumption when on battery or when their power management settings are low.  It might be that the very fact that AVWW does NOT require a lot of the extra features of the GPU is shooting it in the foot.  You mentioned that the fan doesn't spin up on the GPU, which tells me it's not working very hard.  And yet it's working slowly.

It sounds like it might be going "Oh crap, look at all this SCII wants me to do!" and goes into a higher powered state.  But with AVWW it's like "eh, I can take care of that no problem" and stays in a lower-powered state that actually gives you way worse performance than you could get if it actually bothered trying its hardest.  I've seen stranger things.  At any rate, in performance settings you may want to make sure that it's set to maximize performance rather than balance performance when you are on non-battery power.  That might be all there is to it, I don't know.

Power management is set to high performance, but the same issue arises.  It sounds like what you are saying about the GPU not kicking in fully  is right, however.  I wonder why this is.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: x4000 on March 26, 2012, 08:12:02 PM
The pixel fill rate is on the low side, but it should be serviceable with that sort of rate.  The rest of the stats look about like I'd expect from your description, so no hidden surprises there in the device caps or something.  I didn't really expect there to be, but it's always best to check.

If you play at a lower screen resolution, how much does that help your performance?  With that sort of pixel fill rate, it may be that the resolution you're playing at is simply too much for the performance you want on that specific card, but I'm not sure.

Does your GPU spin up with its fan when you play with AI War and Tidalis?  Those both have significantly fewer optimizations in place for their GPU performance than what we've done on AVWW at this point.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: keith.lamothe on March 26, 2012, 08:15:24 PM
To provide some reference stats, just loaded up the standalone and created a new world, exited the settlement to the world map and turned on the FPS-display settings toggle:

FPS: 27 Draw Calls: 292 Texture Swaps: 32

And the relevant stuff from output_log.txt

Direct3D:
    Version:  Direct3D 9.0c [atiu9pag.dll 8.14.1.6150]
    Renderer: ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250             
    Vendor:   ATI
    VRAM:     256 MB
    Caps:     Shader=30 DepthRT=1 NativeDepth=1 NativeShadow=1 DF16=1 DF24=1 INTZ=0 RAWZ=0 NULL=0 RESZ=1 SlowINTZ=1

graphicsShaderLevel:30
graphicsDeviceID:38674
graphicsDeviceName:ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250             
graphicsDeviceVendor:ATI
graphicsDeviceVendorID:4098
graphicsDeviceVersion:Direct3D 9.0c [atiu9pag.dll 8.14.1.6150]
graphicsMemorySize:256
graphicsPixelFillrate:2000
operatingSystem:Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (6.1.7601) 64bit
processorCount:2
processorType:AMD Phenom(tm) II N660 Dual-Core Processor
supportsImageEffects:True
supportsRenderTextures:True
supportsShadows:True
supportsVertexPrograms:True
systemMemorySize:3835



To put it in perspective: I paid about $400 for the entire laptop (about 6 months ago, iirc), but it still manages 27 fps there.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: keith.lamothe on March 26, 2012, 08:20:38 PM
I should add that I was running it in a window at 800x600, and had a bunch of other programs open and a few of them doing something (windows media player playing something).
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: x4000 on March 26, 2012, 08:21:02 PM
And some more reference stats, I just loaded up a test world that I already had and looked at the world map in the same way (this was windows mode running 1600x1080, target framerate of 120, with about 6.8GB of programs running in the background; some 20+ programs in all):

FPS: 135 Draw Calls: 381: Texture Swaps: 33

Direct3D:
    Version:  Direct3D 9.0c [nvd3dum.dll 8.17.12.8026]
    Renderer: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT
    Vendor:   NVIDIA
    VRAM:     512 MB
    Caps:     Shader=30 DepthRT=1 NativeDepth=1 NativeShadow=1 DF16=0 DF24=0 INTZ=1 RAWZ=0 NULL=1 RESZ=0 SlowINTZ=0

desktop: 1920x1080 60Hz; virtual: 3520x1080 at 0,0

graphicsShaderLevel:30
graphicsDeviceID:1553
graphicsDeviceName:NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT
graphicsDeviceVendor:NVIDIA
graphicsDeviceVendorID:4318
graphicsDeviceVersion:Direct3D 9.0c [nvd3dum.dll 8.17.12.8026]
graphicsMemorySize:512
graphicsPixelFillrate:9600
operatingSystem:Windows 7  (6.1.7600) 64bit
processorCount:8
processorType:Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2600K CPU @ 3.40GHz
supportsImageEffects:True
supportsRenderTextures:True
supportsShadows:True
supportsVertexPrograms:True
systemMemorySize:8174
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on March 26, 2012, 08:23:38 PM
Decreasing screen resolution from 1600x900 to 1280x768 to 1024x600 results in about a 10fps jump in each change in a forest area (going from 25-35-45 fps respectively). 

No GPU spin up on AI War as far as I can tell (from just launching and letting the game run at the start of a new campaign for a few minutes). Frame rate in AI War averages between 50-100+ depending on zoom level.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: keith.lamothe on March 26, 2012, 08:26:00 PM
Decreasing screen resolution from 1600x900 to 1280x768 to 1024x600 results in about a 10fps jump in each change in a forest area (going from 25-35-45 fps respectively). 
Out of curiosity, what do you get on the world map at 800x600?
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on March 26, 2012, 08:32:11 PM
The lowest res my set up offers is 1024x600, where I get about 17.5 fps on the world map. 
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Bluddy on March 26, 2012, 08:35:11 PM
I wouldn't be surprised if it's an ATI driver issue. They probably built power saving into their driver and didn't give proper access to it. As Castruccio and I know from Din's Curse, ATI's recent drivers have been horrible, and are tweaked only for the latest games, screwing over every other game in the process.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: keith.lamothe on March 26, 2012, 08:38:37 PM
The lowest res my set up offers is 1024x600, where I get about 17.5 fps on the world map.
Oh, sorry, I meant to change the resolution of the window, on the Settings menu; are you in fullscreen?
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: keith.lamothe on March 26, 2012, 08:40:43 PM
They managed to mess up their drivers enough to cause Din's Curse to go slowly?  Not knocking that game's graphics, but it's 3D (which cards are way more optimized for than the stuff we do) and has relatively undemanding textures, iirc.

Anyway, yea, that makes it sound more likely that it's a driver thing.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on March 26, 2012, 08:44:31 PM
The lowest res my set up offers is 1024x600, where I get about 17.5 fps on the world map.
Oh, sorry, I meant to change the resolution of the window, on the Settings menu; are you in fullscreen?

Changing the window size to 800x600 results in identical performance. 

The Din's mess up was mostly with AA, which I guess isn't a factor in AVWW. 
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on March 26, 2012, 08:46:22 PM
I've been playing around with all kinds of power controls and application settings in the Catalyst software, and nothing has resulted in an improvement thus far.  I guess I can try rolling back to the drivers my card shipped with  and see if that helps.

Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on March 26, 2012, 08:59:01 PM
Looks like rolling back to an earlier driver version doesn't fix the problem
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: keith.lamothe on March 26, 2012, 09:08:18 PM
Changing the window size to 800x600 results in identical performance.
... that's just bizarre.  Frankly, I'm running a craptop here.  I think it's demonstrably, substantially inferior to your machine in almost every relevant aspect.  And it's using ATI, same as yours.  But i get 27 fps on the world map and you get 18?  There's got to be something weirder than the program going on here.  But it seems like all the ideas we've tried (and thanks for trying so many) just don't yield an explanation.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on March 26, 2012, 09:15:55 PM
Yeah, thanks for all your help.  I think that, for some reason, the GPU just isn't kicking in on AVWW.   On other games (both indie and AAA) that are 3d based, everything spins up the minute I launch the game.  For AVWW, for some reason, everything stays quiet.    I know Terraria worked fine, but I guess AVWW is a little more demanding than that.  I also have the Diablo 3 beta, which works fine on medium settings.  AVWW just hits some sort of sweet spot that messes things up.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Bluddy on March 26, 2012, 09:22:02 PM
As a weird test, maybe you guys could make a build that has too much GPU work? I know it's extreme, but maybe it'll work? Or perhaps there's some kind of tweak that can be made to spawn a gazillion entities on screen?
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: eRe4s3r on March 27, 2012, 09:47:49 AM
That would be weird, AVWW is a Direct3D application so if you start it 3d-mode should trigger for any and all cards in existence even if there is 0 load on the card. As long as any 3D-App is open and does not request actually have a "no motion, no rendering of the frame" function cards are actually required to run in 3D mode

That said, It is possible that if the driver is VERY badly coded it uses GPU load as definition whether to "ramp up" or not. In which case... that could be a problem.

See attached file, GPU load even with many enemies, never goes beyond 20% and as you can see, the GPU never even breaks out a sweat when playing AVWW... in fact, i was doing soemthing in the background (firefox..youtube, 9 tabs) so yeah ,p

Could you get GPU-Z 0.60 and look in the Sensors tab while playing AVWW ? Does it look like this attachement, or does the 3d-mode not trigger?
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Bluddy on March 27, 2012, 09:59:54 AM
Castruccio, you might want to run a light 3d game like Din's Curse in a window, and then run AVWW in another window. That might be an easier test.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on March 27, 2012, 11:09:19 AM
Castruccio, you might want to run a light 3d game like Din's Curse in a window, and then run AVWW in another window. That might be an easier test.

This is interesting.  I have not tried eraser's test yet, but when I try Bluddy's test of running Din's Curse in a window while AVWW is also on in a window I do get between 15-25 more fps on the world map.  It goes from about 17 to about 30 when  Din's Curse is on and the fan spins up, and then when I turn Din's Curse off it drops back down to 17 fps on AVWW.  It looks like AVWW is definitely not causing the GPU to kick in for whatever reason. 
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: keith.lamothe on March 27, 2012, 12:22:26 PM
It goes from about 17 to about 30 when  Din's Curse is on
That is so, so wrong :)
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on March 27, 2012, 12:30:49 PM
It's pretty infuriating.  It means that I have the hardware to run AVWW well, but I just can't unlock it to make it do so.  I guess I can just run another game in the background when I am playing AVWW and maybe that will boost my framerate by 10-25 frames.   :-[

Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: eRe4s3r on March 27, 2012, 12:48:37 PM
you could try starting up a youtube video that's looping and mute it

like this http://www.infinitelooper.com/?v=Twp4Fjjo8J0&p=n#/0;29

Does this do the same thing when you play AVWW than Dins curse? Youtube has hardware playback so that SHOULD trigger the 3d mode as well....
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on March 27, 2012, 01:27:01 PM
you could try starting up a youtube video that's looping and mute it

like this http://www.infinitelooper.com/?v=Twp4Fjjo8J0&p=n#/0;29

Does this do the same thing when you play AVWW than Dins curse? Youtube has hardware playback so that SHOULD trigger the 3d mode as well....

Yes.  When I loop a youtube video I get between 20-30 more fps in game, and about 15-20 more fps on the world map.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: keith.lamothe on March 27, 2012, 01:37:04 PM
Yes.  When I loop a youtube video I get between 20-30 more fps in game, and about 15-20 more fps on the world map.
After a few months of experience working on AIW and working with Chris (who knows a ton about how graphics and the cards work), I realized I really knew almost nothing about graphics programming.

Now, I'm thinking I may want to stay that way :)
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Bluddy on March 27, 2012, 01:42:20 PM
The problem is that these ATI drivers are out there, so Castruccio's issue is representative of thousands of people. My guess is that this has to do with ATI's optimizations for Aero on a mobile card. You guys may have to do extra random work on the GPU to get it to work at the needed level.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on March 27, 2012, 01:47:40 PM
Yeah, if people have these mobile ATI cards then they may all be affected.  For now, the fix to get an average of 20-25 more fps on an ATI Mobility Radeon card is apparently to loop 2 "My Little Pony" youtube videos (thanks Eraser) in the background at 720p while you play.  I dare you to put that one in the patch notes Chris or Keith!

Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: keith.lamothe on March 27, 2012, 01:54:17 PM
But why does my laptop with a mobile ATI card not have this problem?
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on March 27, 2012, 02:00:46 PM
But why does my laptop with a mobile ATI card not have this problem?

Well it could be this particular series of cards which the drivers refer to as "AMD Radeon HD 6500M/5600/5700 Series."  My particular card is a 5650 running on the 12.1 Catalyst Control Center and drivers. 
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: BobTheJanitor on March 27, 2012, 02:07:09 PM
to loop 2 "My Little Pony" youtube videos

This is the solution to most problems in life, I find.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: keith.lamothe on March 27, 2012, 02:12:02 PM
to loop 2 "My Little Pony" youtube videos

This is the solution to most problems in life, I find.
They are significantly less silly than certain ATI cards, at least.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Bluddy on March 27, 2012, 02:14:14 PM
But why does my laptop with a mobile ATI card not have this problem?

I assume that the card is low-end enough, or old enough, or came before Aero was popular, so that the drivers don't do this optimization (maybe the drivers are older too?). Perhaps the card doesn't support being only partially on -- that's a tricky thing to do (I think -- at least on CPUs it is).

I guess the first thing to do though is to find out if this is something common or an individual issue.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: keith.lamothe on March 27, 2012, 02:16:46 PM
I'm not certain Aero is even on on my machine, I tend to gut the always-on list of processes pretty thoroughly, though I think I was less vigilant with this machine.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on March 27, 2012, 02:25:14 PM
But why does my laptop with a mobile ATI card not have this problem?

I assume that the card is low-end enough, or old enough, or came before Aero was popular, so that the drivers don't do this optimization (maybe the drivers are older too?). Perhaps the card doesn't support being only partially on -- that's a tricky thing to do (I think -- at least on CPUs it is).

I guess the first thing to do though is to find out if this is something common or an individual issue.

Here is the relevant info on the card and those like it:  http://www.notebookcheck.net/ATI-Mobility-Radeon-HD-5650.23697.0.html
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: zebramatt on March 27, 2012, 03:59:25 PM
But why does my laptop with a mobile ATI card not have this problem?

A wizard.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: keith.lamothe on March 27, 2012, 04:02:56 PM
A wizard.
We're off to kill the wizard...
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on March 27, 2012, 04:16:12 PM
In lieu of a Wizard, my suspicion is that in AVWW 5.0 Chris will make some incredible change like he did with AI War that makes the game twice as efficient as it was with 1.0.  In the meantime, I've been seeing a lot of my little pony. 
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: eRe4s3r on March 27, 2012, 10:35:23 PM
Well the issues is not as crazy as it sounds. As I said, the GPU likely powers up based on actual gpu-load, probably if it exceeds 50%, so the answer to your performance problem is to crank EVERYTHING UP ;p .. and play "When I am crazy" on loop ;p

And don't worry, looped play-back via that site does not display in your youtube video history.. hehe ;P

But this is a huge discovery, this.. this is like inventing the wheel. How many FPS problems can be traced back to this issue? Wow...
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: keith.lamothe on March 27, 2012, 11:52:18 PM
But this is a huge discovery, this.. this is like inventing the wheel.
Actually, this is like discovering that your car pops its wheels off and relies on reactive propulsion when it realizes you're just driving two blocks to a friend's place, and the solution is for either you or your friend to move further away.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: TechSY730 on March 28, 2012, 12:04:06 AM
Well the issues is not as crazy as it sounds. As I said, the GPU likely powers up based on actual gpu-load, probably if it exceeds 50%, so the answer to your performance problem is to crank EVERYTHING UP ;p .. and play "When I am crazy" on loop ;p

(the following is under the assumption that this guess is correct)

So basically, the driver is using a really bad clock/power/whatever throttling algorithm, or at least one with a major hole in it, where it doesn't scale up in cases where it should be. This leads to paradoxic cases where increasing load can cause an increase in performance, due to triggering the cutoff for "upping the throttle" that the driver is currently setting too high.

As much as I hate to say it, this is something to complain to ATI about, not Chris and Kieth.

Does ATI provide some sort of "performance/system tools" that let you tweak the cutoffs used for power saving? If so, you may be able to use that to work around ATI's currently poor default choices.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: eRe4s3r on March 28, 2012, 01:27:02 AM
Adaptive clocking and power management is done in the GPU Bios afaik. So a driver setting likely would not solve it ... and knowing ATI this will never be fixed. How would you even communicate this flaw to ATI ? You'd need to somehow circumvent the stupid support and get some gpu or driver engineer on the line. And then you'd have to actually get the one who made this particular card, and it's bios.

Doesn't seem like something that has a chance to be fixed...

But this is a huge discovery, this.. this is like inventing the wheel.
Actually, this is like discovering that your car pops its wheels off and relies on reactive propulsion when it realizes you're just driving two blocks to a friend's place, and the solution is for either you or your friend to move further away.

Which is a good solution if your goal is to conserve power as much as possible .. good, but totally braindead !
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on March 28, 2012, 08:04:59 AM


Does ATI provide some sort of "performance/system tools" that let you tweak the cutoffs used for power saving? If so, you may be able to use that to work around ATI's currently poor default choices.

They do provide a set of power management tools, but even using these to tweak the card so that it is at "100% performance" still doesn't make the card kick in on AVWW.

Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: eRe4s3r on March 28, 2012, 10:22:46 AM
Well as far as GPU issues go this one is kinda like the famous cold bug for the nvidia 6600 (a cold bug is when the chip is too cold to power up and/or needs to run at full load in 2D mode for a while to get hot before it switches in 3D-mode) this can happen at ROOM TEMP... also a very famous extremely rare GPU issue in normal operation, one I had myself. That card was hilarious to use in winter, if below 20°C the card would not go into 3D-mode at all. This sounds like a small issue.. unless you have very efficient cooling and a open window when it's 5°C outside...

Look at the bright side, you can watch Twilight go Insane FOREVER EVER EVER EVER EVER ;p

This issue likely appeared now because the procedural clouds are gone, so the game has EXTREMELY low gpu load even if hundreds of enemies are on-screen. Kinda makes me wish x4000 would push the graphics to the extreme ;p more specific shaders and such
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: x4000 on March 28, 2012, 11:29:44 PM
Hmmm.... for some reason the forums stopped notifying me about this thread, but I just found it again and that is... crazy.  I'd heard the latest ATI drivers were bad, but I had no idea.

This goes against everything that we normally try to do, which is to make this thing run on a toaster.  But then... the actual computers... want to run like... a toaster?  WTF!!?

I could always put in something that just writes some extra garbage to the GPU behind the rest of the scene so that you don't have too little going on, but that just seems... dirty.  Not only that, it clearly wouldn't help if it's a question of texture speed: having more textures in use (actually, not even that, just more textured quads) was giving you worse performance.  So apparently there's some sort of magic number of load that we need to be in for this particular ATI card to actually run the game at a good speed, but that's really something that's kind of out of my hands.

I'll have to take a look at the unity forums and see if anyone else is encountering this and what they did if so.  Maybe there's some sort of magic solution.  But otherwise it's looking like it's a ball in ATI's court... which is bad news for the affected and for me (since many of the affected will think it's my fault).  GAH!
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on March 28, 2012, 11:46:25 PM
Yeah it is a pretty unfortunate thing.  On the bright side, the game is perfectly playable with 2 youtube videos running at 720p in the background. 
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: x4000 on March 29, 2012, 12:14:13 AM
That's good, if quite odd.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: zebramatt on March 29, 2012, 08:34:24 AM
One for the FAQ!
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: keith.lamothe on March 29, 2012, 01:13:56 PM
One for the FAQ!
Quote
Q: How do I make AVWW run faster?
A: Watch My Little Pony, and AVWW will run away from you as fast as possible.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: tigersfan on March 29, 2012, 01:21:16 PM
Keith, you owe me a new keyboard! :)
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: x4000 on March 29, 2012, 01:36:43 PM
That's made of awesome!

I talked to some other devs I know about the problem, and they were suggesting that we might not be giving a consistent enough load to the GPU thanks to some batching that we're doing.  So what I'm going to do is make it so that the game writes a few bits of useless stuff offscreen using unity's normal rendering pipeline.  That will keep the GPU constantly in at least mild use, which might fix the issue.  I also plan on making a settings option so that you can crank up the amount of useless stuff it draws in that manner, so that you can experiment with it on your machine if need be (since I am unable to do so directly).

My hope is that by just writing a little bit of stuff on a more continuous basis, that the game engine will trick the graphics card drivers into behaving without actually your having to turn anything up more heavily.  Because if you weren't running two youtube videos in the background, you could definitely get even better performance out of the game -- that's the real gut-punch there.  By running those videos you're getting better performance than you were, sure -- and by a large margin, too -- but it's still then making the game fight those videos for the hardware and that's lowering the framerate you really should be getting from the game.  There has to be a better way.

One of the devs also suggested that there might be some settings in the Catalyst Control Center that might better let you tune this anyhow.  But ideally this would work without that sort of tuning because even if you tune it and fix it for yourself, other people are still going to think the framerate in our game strangely stinks if they have your hardware.

Anyway, I'll look into that stuff after we're finished on our memory leak hunt.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: x4000 on March 29, 2012, 01:46:12 PM
One test you can try in the meantime, if you don't mind:

1. Don't run any videos in the background or anything, so that you're seeing the bad performance again.  Watch the FPS.

2. Open the chat window (T key by default, I think; I do it by rote) and make sure that the textbox there has keyboard focus.

3. Does your FPS go up at all?  Just a little bit, or as much as playing those videos?

The textbox there uses some different draw methods and is sending its data to your GPU on more of a streaming basis rather than a batched basis, so it's possible that just that tiny bit of streamed data might be enough to kick your GPU into turning on its fans and treating AVWW like a game rather than like Aero.  Or it might do nothing, but it's worth a shot and would tell me a lot in terms of what to do with optimizing this further in a coming release.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on March 29, 2012, 02:08:06 PM
Sure, I'll be happy to help out in any way that I can.  I tried your textbox test and the frame rate does not change in any  perceptible way with the box open.

Just to give you some idea of how dramatic the change is with the two 720p videos open: I just did a test in an underground cavern and with no videos open the fps hovers at 20.  With two videos open, it hovers at 55. 
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: x4000 on March 29, 2012, 02:28:52 PM
Okay, thanks for the info!  I really feel like you should be hovering more in the 80s or 90s if it were doing things properly and you didn't have the video, just to show what I think it should be if the driver were just kicking in without the videos.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on March 29, 2012, 04:44:41 PM
Well, I can tell that the card still isn't quite spinning up to its fullest potential when the videos are on (although it may also be splitting work between AVWW and the videos).   Either way, I'll be anxious to see if your GPU overload option makes the card kick in without the videos on. 
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: x4000 on March 29, 2012, 04:47:25 PM
Just as an FYI, it will probably be either tomorrow or Monday before I can put that in; we've been absolutely derailed by this memory leak issue.  The good news is, of course, that fixing the memory leak will probably improve performance for you at least somewhat anyway, too (like it will for everyone).
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on March 29, 2012, 05:31:26 PM
Awesome.  No rush.  I'll watch the forums and the update wiki and test the fix whenever it goes live. 
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: x4000 on March 29, 2012, 05:32:48 PM
Cheers!  You might try out the one that just came out and see what it does, just for the sake of curiosity.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on March 29, 2012, 10:36:14 PM
No substantial framerate improvement with the latest patch. 
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: keith.lamothe on March 29, 2012, 10:37:15 PM
No substantial framerate improvement with the latest patch.
Back to The Pony Express, I guess.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Mánagarmr on March 30, 2012, 06:16:21 AM
I just read through this thread...and it's the most ridiculous thing I've read in a long time...
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: x4000 on April 16, 2012, 02:16:36 PM
Okay, sorry about the delay on this -- PAX East and all that.  0.930 now has the following:

* Put in a new setting in the Graphics tab of the game:  Extra GPU Load (FPS Boost On Some ATI Cards).  Valid values are from 0 to 5000.
** Due to a bug in either the drivers or the firmware of certain ATI cards (most specifically ATI Mobility cards, but it may not be limited to just them), if a game gives too low of a load on the graphics card then the card will not fully engage.  If you listen to the card, you will literally not hear the fan spin up, and your framerate in the game will be abysmal because the card "isn't even trying," so to speak.  However, with a game that is higher-load, the fan would spin up and your card would perform great, and you'd wonder what sort of bad code these lower-load games must have to run so slowly.
** Since we can't fix the problem in the drivers and/or firmware for these ATI cards, we've provided a handy way for you to increase the load the game puts on your card.  Increasing this slider just wastes GPU cycles, but by doing so it can actually trigger your card to wake up and start doing its job.  Running two "My Little Ponies" videos on loop in the background is also reputed to work just as well for doubling or even quadrupling your framerate.  But when you use an external program like a video player to accomplish this, that program and AVWW wind up having to compete for the bus to the GPU and thus you get worse performance than what you could if you use this slider in AVWW itself.
** And of course, if later ATI gets their drivers fixed then you'd want to turn this setting back down to 0 in the first place because that's how you'd get the absolute maximum performance out of the game.  Most cards that are affected by this bug should be easily getting 80-90 fps and are instead getting 15-30 when the card doesn't turn on.


If you have time to check that sometime in the next couple of days (after this comes out tonight), that would be much appreciated on my end!  I'm able to slow my own game to a measly 40fps using this, so that's something at least. ;)
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 16, 2012, 02:33:29 PM
And the famed "Pony Setting" was born.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: tigersfan on April 16, 2012, 02:36:31 PM
And the famed "Pony Setting" was born.
Would that be Pony Setting? Or Brony Setting?
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: x4000 on April 16, 2012, 02:38:06 PM
Hahaha.  Had to look that one up.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 16, 2012, 02:46:20 PM
Quote from: ATI_Tech_Support
Q: My card won't wake up enough to run (program) efficiently, how can I fix this?
A: Please make sure your ATI Mobility card is properly connected to your machine's PSU (Pony Supply Unit).

Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Penumbra on April 16, 2012, 03:36:56 PM
Just found this from the patch notes, this is by far the greatest and stupidest fix I've ever seen. Bravo for figuring it out!
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: x4000 on April 16, 2012, 03:40:33 PM
Please don't jinx it -- I don't have one of the affected cards in question, so I have no way to test if my solution works!  It's possible that I'll have to do something really screwy like call a certain shader model or do more constant flows of data, or something.  In which case there's real trouble with that.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on April 16, 2012, 04:44:43 PM
I'll give it a try when the fix goes live.

Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: x4000 on April 16, 2012, 04:46:15 PM
Thanks!  Should be in the next 6 hours or so, but I don't know exactly when.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Wanderer on April 17, 2012, 12:44:50 AM
This thread is a perfect example of why Artificial Intelligence will never take over the world.

"Alright, I've optimized everything and can go to low power mode..."

30 seconds later.

"Things...... to ..... doooo...... Uggghhhhh....."  Zombie Computer.  It's gone "Braindead on Brony!"

ATI, once again, you have put the IT industry to shame.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Purlox on April 17, 2012, 03:50:51 AM
Why don't we take this further and make an option that spawns ponies as unkillable background characters like the characters in your "village"? (Of course after 1.0, because it isn't neccessary for the release version)
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: eRe4s3r on April 17, 2012, 06:39:38 AM
Likely because Hasbro would not be amused ^^
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: x4000 on April 17, 2012, 08:48:58 AM
Why don't we take this further and make an option that spawns ponies as unkillable background characters like the characters in your "village"? (Of course after 1.0, because it isn't neccessary for the release version)

Like pink scorpions?
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Purlox on April 17, 2012, 08:58:30 AM
Likely because Hasbro would not be amused ^^
I'm not saying they should copy the ponies Hasbro holds copyright of, I'm saying we could make our own ponies in the graphical style of AVWW.

Why don't we take this further and make an option that spawns ponies as unkillable background characters like the characters in your "village"? (Of course after 1.0, because it isn't neccessary for the release version)

Like pink scorpions?
I think pink scorpions won't feel like ponies.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on April 17, 2012, 09:02:10 AM
Thanks!  Should be in the next 6 hours or so, but I don't know exactly when.

Well, you're not going to like this.  I tried values between 50-3500 on the GPU Boost setting and all they do is slow my framerate to a crawl.  At a setting of 50 I can get around 5-10 fps, whereas at  a setting of 3500 I get about 1 fps.  The 'My Little Pony' videos, on the other hand, still result in a 15-30 frame boost when they are running.

Interestingly, when I run the GPU Boost  with the videos on the framerate does not drop nearly as much as when I run the GPU Boost with the videos off.  In other words, the videos seem to HELP the pc deal with the increased load from the GPU Boost setting.

Since you're getting so close to 1.0 and have so much on your plate, I suppose it's best to table this issue until you see how widespread the probelem is.  Nonetheless, the videos still work --and even help the machine deal with the increased GPU load.



Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: DeBunny on April 17, 2012, 09:11:30 AM
The Magic of Friendship transcends barriers of space and technology, to help ponies and humans alike.

This sounds kind of like the opposite of a brief bug I had with Terraria, where the game would sometimes fly into hyper-drive if I left it on and came back after tabbing away to fiddle with stuff on Firefox.
Never figured out why, but it vanished at some point on its own.

Clearly computers are just strange, mysterious beings.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: x4000 on April 17, 2012, 09:26:24 AM
Castruccio -- okay, thanks for that information, frustrating as it is. ;)

I'm going to see if I can't make that work a slightly different way, which might be more likely to give a constant load to your GPU.  If it's not a matter of load, but a matter of something to do with shaders or something, then that's going to have to wait until after 1.0 and I'll have to insert some sort of shader calls that trigger more advanced features of your card.  But that would take a lot of trial and error.

Sorry this isn't working out any faster, but glad the pony express helps, at least!
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: eRe4s3r on April 17, 2012, 09:31:00 AM
Maybe everything runs better with MLP youtube videos in the background..... It's not like anyone ever benchmarked for that.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on April 17, 2012, 11:34:41 AM
Maybe everything runs better with MLP youtube videos in the background..... It's not like anyone ever benchmarked for that.

I should run Crysis 2 with MLP in the background. 

Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on April 17, 2012, 11:38:07 AM

Sorry this isn't working out any faster, but glad the pony express helps, at least!

Thanks for looking into it as much as you have.  I am actually going to look into getting a card that will deal with 2D games better (without these crazy workarounds). 
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: x4000 on April 17, 2012, 11:43:10 AM
It's my pleasure!
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: quickstix on April 18, 2012, 11:15:54 AM
If it helps I'm having a similar (if not the same) issue. Was running the game a month ago with 2xGTX 460s in SLI and it was running smooth as silk. Have since then swapped to 2xRadeon 6850s in Crossfire I'm getting 50-70 fps on the main menu and a bumpy 30-40 fps in game (tested on the first screen of a new world). GPU boost doesn't do much except drop my fps to 20-25 at the top end of values. Unfortunately I never looked at fps when I ran the 460s as I never had a need to, so I don't have a fps comparison. All other computer parts are the same.

Don't know how much that helps, but at the very least I'm having the same problem. Also, I haven't booted the game since I swapped GPUs last month as I don't have much time to play, so I can't say if it happened after swapping cards of after an update. Given what I'm seeing though, it's most likely to be the gpus and I might just need to wait for new drivers.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: tigersfan on April 18, 2012, 11:23:37 AM
So, does running a youtube video in the background increase your framerate as well? Have you tried that?
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on April 18, 2012, 01:34:44 PM
It sounds like this could be an issue with certain ATI cards, which could be a pretty big deal.  I should be getting a Radeon 6770 this weekend, so I will let you know if I see the same issue there that I have seen with my 5650m.

Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: tigersfan on April 18, 2012, 02:03:02 PM
Just to make sure, you are running the latest drivers, right?

It's definitely not all ATI cards, I have a Radeon 6530D, and I'm not having this issue.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on April 18, 2012, 02:20:25 PM
I am running the latest drivers.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: x4000 on April 18, 2012, 03:04:51 PM
I am going to try at least one more thing for the release tonight, which might help performance in general and also reduce screen tearing when vsync isn't on (as it isn't on by default).  Also it makes mouse responsiveness much greater when the framerate is low.  We'll see if that also helps this issue, but it may not.  We'll also see if I can actually get this to work this time, because last time I tried it unity buggered out on me. ;)
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: x4000 on April 19, 2012, 12:30:42 AM
Fingers crossed, this probably fixes it!  http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,10276.0.html
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Castruccio on April 19, 2012, 08:30:36 AM
You fixed it!   Just in the nick of time too.  After the latest patch I am getting a very constant 60 fps in my default resolution ---I never drop below or go above that.  Ponies no more!  I am so glad I don't have to look at those videos ever again.

I think we're going to need a "My Little Pony" Achievement of some kind. 

Congrats on this.  It seems like a huge percentage of the user base will get better frame rates as a consequence.


Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: tigersfan on April 19, 2012, 08:40:53 AM
Niiiiice, I'm glad that worked, and I'm sure Chris will be thrilled too.

And yeah, the ponies didn't work for me, but my framrate shot up as did a bunch of other folks'.

Thank you so much for 1.) reporting this and 2.) continuing to test it even though the first few tries didn't work. You have made the game much better.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: x4000 on April 19, 2012, 08:52:29 AM
Sweeeeet!  Hoo boy am I glad that worked.  Thanks a ton for all your help with this, like Josh said.

And now I need to run off and code some more, because I find myself 4+ hours behind thanks to this issue.  But totally worth it!  It was my own fault for forgetting about it for a few weeks and then assuming that an easy fix would work.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: Bluddy on April 19, 2012, 09:15:31 AM
Just wanted to note that the performance issues I've been complaining about (small pauses every once in a while) have been solved by this as well.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: tigersfan on April 19, 2012, 09:26:22 AM
Just wanted to note that the performance issues I've been complaining about (small pauses every once in a while) have been solved by this as well.

Awesome! That's great to hear.
Title: Re: Framerate Issue
Post by: x4000 on April 19, 2012, 09:31:11 AM
Just wanted to note that the performance issues I've been complaining about (small pauses every once in a while) have been solved by this as well.

Oh, sweet!  I hadn't been sure those were still happening, but suspected they were.  Testing my memory here... are you on a Mac?  What is your GPU, just out of curiosity?

On my mac (with nVidia card) I got a solid 20-30fps boost out of this patch as well, so it's definitely not just ATI cards as others pointed out.  But ATI was by far and away the worst affected.