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kondor999

Poor FPS...wondering why

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I'm using a system which is able to run the very recent Napoleon Total War (for instance) at quite solid FPS (40-70) at max settings, 1920x1200, etc. However - I'm getting much worse FPS from a flight sim based on a 9 year old game engine.

 

I take it something quite radical must have been done with CFS3? With the vanilla game, I get FPS of 200+(!) or so with all details maxed out IIRC. Now, with details at "default" (22221), I can just barely hit 60fps and get a lot of stuttering when looking around (feels like textures are being loaded). I've tried lowering the res all the way down to 1280x800, but there's not much improvement. It feels like the game is very heavily CPU-dependent, since my video cards are considerably stronger than my CPU in this case.

 

The system: Dell XPS M1730 notebook, Core2Duo X9000 (2.8Ghz), 2x8800GTX SLI (SLI settings don't matter), 4gb RAM. I've tried Win7 X64 and then reverted back to XP 32-bit just to see if perhaps that was the problem - same problem with lower-than-expected FPS.

 

As a final reference, this machine will run Lock-On 1.12b at 1920x1200, all settings high (except Vis range-medium) at a solid 60-120FPS with zero stuttering. IL2 1946 - I get 60-100+ FPS with max settings (although I'm running with Vsync on most of the time). Likewise, Wings of Prey runs much better (again- full details at 1920x1200) and looks 1000% better (sorry).

 

Bottom Line: How do the system requirements for this game compare to other flight sims out there? I can just go use my desktop (with a 4.2Ghz Core i7 and dual 5870's), but I was hoping this flight sim would be something I could use with my laptop on the road.

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Sorry - it wouldn't let me edit my original post.

 

I've since tested the game on my desktop (i7@4.2Ghz, dual 5870's, 8gb, Win7 X64) and it runs perfectly even at 1920x1200, 8xMSAA, 55555. Next I'll be trying 5760x1200 and will post screenies if it works!

 

Well- I guess this sim just has very high system requirements. I'm curious as to why. I had assumed that, being based on CFS3, the requirements would be considerably lower than my other sims. But, as it stands, this is easily the most demanding piece of software I have! My laptop can actually run Crysis: Warhead fairly well - but not this sim. Then again, I'm super picky - I want a solid 60FPS at all times.

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One thing that eats FPS can be "scenery details" (trees etc.), which also cast a shadow.

 

I have a Dual Core E8300 and a HD4870 graphic card. I had to set "scenery detail" slider

down to 3, and "Terrain detail" to 4, and now it works better.

Also try "air activity" on "medium".

 

Yes, it is demanding. This sim also simulates flights in your area, that are not on your route.

So, if you fly a different course, you can meet them. Most other sims only generate aircraft

in your direct area. But this is so much more immersive - here you know, there is really more

going on around you. Wouldn't miss it. Watch a "review" after a mission - you may be quite

asthonished, what else has happened in that hour in your area.

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Same case with Thirdwire games.

People complain that they can't run the sim at max settings while they can run FPS / Strategy games easily.

You just can't compare the sims with these games as sims would mostly have more running in the backgound, more physics calculations, a larger area of operation, farther view distance, etc. And finally, most of these sims are currently developed under limited funding by small studios as opposed to the millions of dollars available to big studios.

Edited by jomni

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Greetings kondor

 

It's been said "Every problem contains it's own solution". I think you've touched on what may be (in my opinion) at least a part of the problem. Again, this is strictly my opinion; others will likely say I'm wrong - but I do have first-hand experience to speak from. Like you, I have a system capable of running most of the reasonably-intensive games I play without much trouble. And I always wondered exactly what you are now.

 

It's interesting to me that people will often post system specs; raging CPU, awesome video cards (that's a hell of a laptop, by the way!)....and then, somewhere down in the list most often...oh, yeah....a hard drive. If it's mentioned at all (some do; you didn't). Not to find fault, but to make the point: it's *the* oftmost overlooked piece of hardware in a system, which is interesting, because it's also by far and away usually *the* slowest.

 

Especially in a case like yours - all that awesome hardware, but what about that drive? And comparing it to your desktop may have yielded the biggest clue of all. Sure, the system itself is much more powerful - which woud have an obvious impact...but I wonder if the biggest difference (component-to-component) isn't the hard disks.

 

You said yourself "feels like textures are being loaded". That's (most likley) the slowest component - especially in a system like yours - trying to do all this loading.

 

For reasons of my own, I purchased two SSD's and built a RAID0 array for my desktop about 6 months ago. Now, this isn't to say SSDs are the second coming; even now in their second generation, the technology has some drawbacks. But I can tell you, in terms of loading, it's night and day. If you run some tests, I think there's a reasonable explanation:

 

One, the RAID array definitely is faster than a single drive in terms of data movement (loading). It doesn't double when using two drives, but it does make a difference. I'm a person who for years thought a lot of high-end gamers wasted their money on RAID, because it only really helps for loading - like when levels change. Most games, I think, do most of their loading 'up front' (not all, though). As you've pointed out, though - and I believe you're right - there seems to be a lot of loading that takes place in this sim. And your other comment that the 'vanilla' game seems to corroborate further - it's a well-known fact that OFF 'raises the scale' of the sliders; the general idea I think is that a 5 on CFS3 might equate roughly to a 2 on OFF. I think this is because of the (outstanding) texture work done by the OFF team, and is aimed at the performance of today's machines. Also, I think it's true that the HiTR expansion went even further with textures.

 

The other difference - and, I believe, the biggest by far - is the random access time on SSD's. Most hard disks, even fast ones today, still go around 12ms +/- in terms of access time. SSD's are .1ms, actually near 100 times faster (because no spinning drive platters, and other moving parts etc.). Below is a screen cap from some of my own testing; red is the SSD RAID 0 array and blue is a regular, single SATA150 drive. Some laptops still use ATA(EIDE) drives, and they're even slower...sometimes a sindle speed of 5400RPM instead of 7200, ATA-100 instead of -133, etc. All these things make a little difference each and can make a big difference combined. But, the big difference? Look at the "random access" time - .1ms compared to 15.4ms!

 

Now, there probably isn't a practical way to put a RAID array in a laptop *lol*. And, I'm not asying you should just run right out and buy SSDs. What I would recommend, definitely, is to download a tool or a few and look at your hard disks performance. Without having to spend a dime, at least you may be able to pin down a bottleneck (or see that there's not one; equally important).

 

You can get HDTach at the address in the graphic below, also there's another good tool called the ATTO benchmark. Benchmarks aren't the end-all, I know that...but especially in a case like yours, they're helpful: You're not looking for a performance measurement, per se, the important part is *comparative*. Say, your desktop to the laptop. Or any of the drives included in a small database that comes with HDtach.

 

I've also noticed things like what was pointed out above (terrain and scenery have the biggest hits)...but these *are* the textures that are being loaded. So running those lower seems to help many people a lot. Also, even though you have a nice laptop, the CPU is conservative (in strict terms of clock speed), and it runs at a 800MHz FSB. OFF is known to favor single-core, faster-the-better CPUs and I don't think it benefits at all from mutli-core. This also enters into loading times, though not by far as much as drive speeds.

 

I hope this helps. Good luck to you.

 

(Edit - I probably don't get the best RAID performance, either..."on-board" RAID controllers really don't measure up to true "hardware" controllers...but they can be expensive. It would help improve the RAID array's performance in terms of the sequential read and burst speeds, I'm certain)

post-46026-12692554332224.jpg

Edited by Tamper

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I agree with you Tamper.

The great bottleneck in most systems nowadays is the HD. Don't have any doubts about that.

Tough I'm not sure if that's the reason why kondor seems to not getting the full potential from his notebook

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Tamper,

 

What SSD did u get?

 

I got 3 x Kingston 64 gig V series and did a raid setup. But those SSD do have stutter issues. So i have replaced them 2 x Intel X25 - M SATA SSD.

 

i have received one and hopefully 2morrow receive the second one. The Intel SSd can be firmware updated that improves the speed of the drives even more.

 

Cheers

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There are several Kingston SSD models. The old ones seem to have problems concerned with performance.

That's why they are being sold relatively cheap.

 

EDIT: I'm not sure, but I think the best is the V+ model.

Edited by Von Paulus

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Kondor S!

 

CFS3 and OFF have a peculiarity in that to get the best FPS you should run at the highest resolution you can. Normally, the general rule is that to get better FPS one should lower the res. But in this case it has been found that the opposite is true.

 

Uncleal S! - This warningof yours was rlevant some year or more ago. Lots of computers have now moved on. It would be nice if the devs commented on this point you raise??

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Don't forget to set your "Overrides" and "Texture Info". They are equally as important as your "resolution" and "Image Quality" settings. You should be able to find some suggestions here for nvidia cards. The ati card settings will be different. The stuttering is another thing completely and placing a limit on your FPS in one of the game files is necessary to minimize this.

 

Look for the info and if you can't find it, let me know and I'll repost it here for you.

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Von Paulus - Hi...I'm not sure it's the problem, either. But this is why I suggested a couple of (free) utilities that at least can measure his drives' performance. For me, all of the micro-stuttering, white/blue triangles, etc...*all* disappeared when I changed my setup to RAID SSDs (and nothing else changed).

 

Either way, I don't figure it'll hurt to do some testing grin.gif

 

Morris, I bought two 30G OCZ Vertex drives. I believe these are 'second generation' SSD drives; I do know that many early SSDs, including some Intel units, had horrible problems with performance, especially as they were used. That's where the firmware you're referring to originates; they load "wear-leveling" algorithms and other optimizations on the drives now to help with some of the problems discovered in the first generation of these devices. There were also some first-generation problems with certain controllers, as well.

 

These 'consumer' SSD's are not the same as the still more expensive types (MLC vs. SLC technology)...so there is still a lot of ground to cover in solid state drives, for sure.

 

As I said, SSDs are not the 'second coming' and have some issues of their own - for one, all the 'housekeeping' you can do to keep them performing well doesn't lend itself very well to RAID arrays. And I think they will still slow down over time if not kept up with. I'm probably going to change my setup so that I can more easily maintain the two SSDs without having to basically start over every time.

 

However, at least in this particular discussion, the thing that seems to matter most is random access. And, I also think the sequential read and burst speeds would improve substantially if I were using a true 'hardware' RAID controller instead of the on-board controller on my MB (eVGA 780iFTW). But real hardware RAID controllers are $300+ for four SATA300 drives.

 

I guess we'll all have to watch the thread and see what develops!

 

Best to all!

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These are new intel Raid drivers for SSD. Should help with performance of SSD.

http://downloadcente...=&DwnldID=15251

 

Cheers

 

Morris

 

FROM GURU3D.com

 

Nice move from Intel.

 

Upto this point RAID setups did not have support for the TRIM command features in the Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7 and Linux 2.6.33+ operating systems.

 

This made solid state drives rather unsuited for long-term configuration in any RAID setup. Seeing this as a serious limitation, Intel wrote a driver that is able to activate this function even in RAID, obviously the drives themselves need to support it.

 

This technology provides support for the following features:

 

  • <LI itxtvisited="1">Intel® Rapid Recover Technology<BR itxtvisited="1">This technology provides full data redundancy by copying data from a designated source drive (i.e., master disk) to a designated destination drive (i.e., recovery disk). Data updates of recovery volumes can be continuous or on request. <LI itxtvisited="1">Intel® Rapid RAID<BR itxtvisited="1">This technology provides the ability to create RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10 volumes on desktop and mobile platforms. Data is distributed across two or more disks to provide data redundancy or to enhance data storage performance. <LI itxtvisited="1">Intel® Matrix RAID Technology<BR itxtvisited="1">This technology allows two independent RAID volumes to be created on a single array. The first volume occupies part of the array, leaving space for the second volume. The array may consist of two to six SATA disks depending on the volume types. <LI itxtvisited="1">Volume migration<BR itxtvisited="1">This feature provides support for converting system data into a high-performance or protection RAID configuration.
  • Volume size increase<BR itxtvisited="1">This feature allows you to increase the data storage capacity of a volume by utilizing 100% of the available array space or by adding one or more SATA disk to an existing volume.<BR itxtvisited="1">Our application also provides support for the following features: Password-protected disks

This feature provides high-level security and protection for the data on your disks with a password, denying access from any unauthorized user. <BR itxtvisited="1">

 

  • Trim (Microsoft Windows 7* only)

This feature provides support for solid state disks (SSDs) that meet the ATA-8 protocol requirements. This feature optimizes write operations, helps devices reduce wear, and maintains unused storage area on devices as large as possible.

 

Garbage data from file deletions clutters on the drive. This problem was solved with the invention of the TRIM

 

The Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver (RAID) for Intel Desktop Boards has already been made available for public download from the official website. Of course, end-users will have to actually be running one of the three aforementioned operating systems if they expect the software to work.

 

 

Edited by Morris

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Hi Morris...I didn't want to hijack konder's thread with the RAID discussion, even though I started it *lol*.

 

I had actually hoped kondor would've revisited the thread to comment further; I guess we'll see.

 

The features you discussed sound good, I don't know if non-Intel SSD's will support it (doubtful), and I don't run the supported OS's, either (XPSP3 here). Using the SSD "housekeeping" utilities doesn't lend itself well to RAID arrays, I learned. Which is probably why Intel made the TRIM work on RAID arrays as you pointed out.

 

But, I recently learned of a way to optimize SSD RAID volumes (without having to destroy the volume). You first defrag only the free space (where normally, SSD's should NOT be defragged), then you write all "FF's" to the free space - basically resets all the NAND cells, and (supposedly) restores performance lost over time in SSDs. Seems to make sense, but I've not tried it yet.

 

I just this morning bought a "real" (hardware) RAID controller, so sometime in the next few weeks I'll be installing it, checking performance, etc (hope to get a substantial boost) and also changing my setup so it's a little more 'friendly' to doing maintenance on the SSD's.

 

Back to konder :)

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