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View Full Version : Wheres the Bottleneck in My PC?



MisterMark
06-28-2010, 09:53 PM
I have a E8600 3.33 dual core, overclocked to 3.75, 2 gigs of ram, and two nvidia 9800 GTX+ cards in SLI. I get pretty darn good performance with my frame rates usually at 60 (refresh rate of my monitor). I am using windows xp home edition.

However, over dense cities, super active AAA zones and high plane counts in a small area, the frame rates can bog down to 45 or so.

What do you think is the bottleneck in my system during these times?

Thanks,

Mark


G

Ba5tard5word
06-28-2010, 10:09 PM
The RAM is rather low but I dunno if that is doing it. If you can I would go for 6GB of RAM and a 64-bit OS.

Also Ultrapack lets you use .exe's which make Il-2 use more memory and reduces slowdowns over cities, I believe a problem with the stock game is that it can only use a certain amount of RAM.

MisterMark
06-28-2010, 10:22 PM
Sorry forgot to note that I am running Ultra Pack...

I ran the task manager and kept and eye on the page file usage... Usually runs at 1.45 gigs. I assume that means that I am using less than the full 2 gigs of my ram. Even though it looks as if my system is not requiring the full amount of my ram, would having more give me more 'overhead' an therefore better performance?

Thanks,

Mark

p.s. not trying to derail my original post, but looking for answers to both my questions.

WTE_Galway
06-28-2010, 10:30 PM
With modern graphics card being fairly fast, IL2 now tends to get CPU locked more than anything else.

Uufflakke
06-28-2010, 11:58 PM
It got probably nothing to do with your system but with the old IL2 Engine. Read this quote I recently found on another site. The answer is by Mkubani one of the developers of IL2's Slovakia. It explains a lot why we all suffer low FPS when flying over dense cities:


Quote:

Well, my 2 cents:

1. I am the person that built the Nitra city for Slovakia map.

2. There are 3 main FPS killer areas on Slovakia map: Nitra, Zilina and Piestany towns.

3. There might be several reasons for a lower performance, but I am sure the following has an impact on it as well:

a.) The density of objects in your view (as you have noticed yourself). Nitra town is a very dense one and it has a high impact on the FPS just because of the number of objects.

b.) Variety of objects. The more different objects you have in your view, the more FPS drop you will experience. In other words, 1 type of a house placed 1000 times on a map (= 1000 objects in total) would have a less impact than 20 different types each placed 50 times (= also 1000 objects in total). In fact, the Slovakia map required from Maddox Games to increase the game engine buffer used for loading the objects in the memory.

c.) Quality of the objects = polygoncount (how detailed the 3D model is) and texture size. It is often regarded as unimportant because we have more powerful CPU/GPUs but keep in mind the engine stays the same as it was 5 years ago. It has its limits. As for your specific example, Slovakia generic objects are very efficient on polygoncount and texture size (many of them under 30-40 polys with texture 256x256) = no increased impact on performance. Only the unique objects (e.g. Nitra castle) is more detailed.

d.) LOD drawing distance. Another important thing that influences the performance and which has been tested 3x times by me on Slovakia map until I could accept it. Slovakia objects have an increased drawing distance and a smooth LOD transition distance to avoid a pop up effect. In order to keep the map playable I have adjusted the drawing distance many times for each object category in order not to kill the performance. I could not use the maximum value because the map would become a slide show even over small towns. Another engine limit I believe.

e.) Last but not least, but this is only my feeling. Once you exceed a certain (to me unknown) quanity of objects you place on one location (within your view) you will just make the engine to loose its performance no matter how powerful your computer is. Nitra might be one of such examples.

I hope such explanation helps. So it is not your computer that is really not performing well, it is that we have pushed the IL-2 engine to its maximum limits with the Slovakia map.

One can note that the problem is a limitation of the game engine itself. It appears that IL2 switches from GPU to CPU load under intensive situations. This might be a leftover from the initial engine used back in 2001 when GPU's had a speck of the performance they have today and so the CPU could render more bang for your buck, thus rendering tasks were transfered to the CPU since the bottleneck was mostly at the GPU level. Today, the situation is rather different and we have extremely powerful GPU's which can handle a game like IL2 like a walk in park. The problem still remains, tough, because the already aged engine is instructing the game to leave the GPU alone thinking it won't be able to handle so many objects and it ends up overloading the processor. Since in today's computers it's more likely that your CPU is the bottleneck in games, in a situation in which the CPU is further bottlenecked by the game, one can only expect one thing: low FPS.

I have tried several different affinity masks and the result is always the same: Very Low FPS over large cities and RivaTuner always shows the same weird behavior: the GPU is breathing lightly when the processor is sweting its back to get the job done. When you turn away from a heavy city the game restarts utilizing the GPU and the FPS can raise to well above 120. When flying over Berlin I can get as low as 13 FPS with 100% CPU utilization and 19% GPU utilzation. If the game engine were better capable of doing the opposite I'd be getting FPS way higher than 100, even in very hardware demanding situations.

julian265
06-29-2010, 12:09 AM
Originally posted by MisterMark:
I have a E8600 3.33 dual core, overclocked to 3.75, 2 gigs of ram, and two nvidia 9800 GTX+ cards in SLI. I get pretty darn good performance with my frame rates usually at 60 (refresh rate of my monitor). I am using windows xp home edition.

However, over dense cities, super active AAA zones and high plane counts in a small area, the frame rates can bog down to 45 or so.

What do you think is the bottleneck in my system during these times?

Thanks,

Mark


G

Our systems are pretty similar, but you have an extra 9800gtx+. I experience the same thing, but with a lower minimum FPS.

Concurring with the above post, I'm pretty sure I've heard of more powerful computers being bogged down over large cities, pointing to game limitations and no solution.

Treetop64
06-29-2010, 12:20 AM
Mr. Mark, you really need to add more RAM. 2 gigs is just enough to get the rig going with little remaining wiggle room. Even IL-2 is border lining with that little RAM...

Though, on second thought, with XP it's enough, and if it's 32bit XP you'll only be able to add a maximum of just one more gig anyways.

rfxcasey
06-29-2010, 06:50 AM
Originally posted by Treetop64:
Mr. Mark, you really need to add more RAM. 2 gigs is just enough to get the rig going with little remaining wiggle room. Even IL-2 is border lining with that little RAM...

Though, on second thought, with XP it's enough, and if it's 32bit XP you'll only be able to add a maximum of just one more gig anyways.

It's actually more like 3.2 or 3.25 Gigs I have to look at mine when I get home, just forget exactly. I have no issue with slowdown for the most part and my machine is not what you'd call state of the art.

At least as far as modern ATI cards go there is a feature called geometry instancing that reduces the load somewhat when there are multiples of an object on the screen such as X amount of identical structures. Even with many unique building or such it can help a bit as there is usually some amount of commonality in a given city or scene.

megalopsuche
06-29-2010, 08:00 AM
Il-2 can make use of SLI? I'm skeptical that having the extra 9800 makes a difference.

Xiolablu3
06-29-2010, 01:04 PM
Lol, 'bog down' to 45 frames? Anything over 35 is fine IMHO. 'Bogging down' is below 25 fps to me! Can you really tell by your eye when it drops to 45fps from 100? I can't.

Your PC is fine. I would agree that the RAM is low COMPARED TO THE REST OF THE SPECS, but really 2gb in WinXP is loads

WinXP alone (without games) is uaually fine with 512mb, as long as you dont have loads of stuff in the quicklaunch. So the RAM is really only for gaming in your case.

Get another 2gb and you will be fine IMO.

Do you see any 'stuttering' at present in graphics intensive scenes? If so then that will be eliminataed by more RAM.

Extra RAM doesnt actually directly give you more performance. It simply stops your PC using the Page File if it runs out of ram (the page file/virtual memory is far far slower than 'real' memory) Virtual memory is basically your hard disc pretending to be RAM and doing it very slowly. Only if this is happening on your PC will the extra RAM give more performance.

You can tell when the page file/virtual memory is being used as the game usually stutters a bit and your hard disk light will flash.

Ditchinit
06-29-2010, 02:37 PM
The bottleneck on most modern PCs is in between the keyboard and the seat.

Computers tend to wait, very quickly.

Urufu_Shinjiro
06-29-2010, 03:18 PM
What Uufflakke said. Every rig slows down disproportionately over large cities. I too think it is an engine limitation that has no real fix, unless the TD guys have some really slick coders and rework some things.

horseback
06-29-2010, 03:26 PM
I'm running a Q6600 with 4GB RAM and a single 9800GT with another GB of video RAM, and have had similar problems.

Two other factors may apply:

First, incorrect video card settings. I recently had an offline campaign mission on the Berlin map that was KILLING me--stuttering, slide show effects, and it was constantly dropping the game out at about 23-25 minutes into the mission. I readjusted my video card settings (I'd recently upgraded to a newer driver and some things had changed), and all of a sudden, the mission ran as smooth as silk and I was finally able to complete the son of a gun.

Second, when your printer, your antivirus program, and Microsoft all decide to automatically update your system, don't be surprised if the game you're playing suddenly becomes uncooperative (this is particularly true of some of the newer games, but Il-2 has been known to get spamodic on me under those circumstances). If you're not playing online, turn off your modem or ethernet connection, and see if that solves the problem.

cheers

horseback

Ba5tard5word
06-29-2010, 03:40 PM
Those UP .exe's I mentioned will help with slowdowns over cities. The stock game makes the game crawl when over even a small city, but with these .exe's it flies like normal, though if I zoom in with my sights it will slow down a bit still. I haven't tried it over a big city like Berlin though, I'd be surprised if it was as smooth.

I believe one of them supposedly lets the game use 4GB of RAM, I don't know if it actually does but in any case it helps me over cities and seems to reduce a lot of stuttering.

LEBillfish
06-29-2010, 05:39 PM
Horseback hit the nail on the head....

First off, shut down your AV and firewall, as even if you have them set up to let by everything, they still have to check it out to see what it is......Seriously, ZOnealarm which I absolutly love simply being on will cause IL2 to stutter if playing even a quick mission offline.

Next, check to make sure no program is set to auto update when it wants. Either have it update when you tell it to, or when it is started......Many auto-update programs I've seen simply bang away phoning home every few minutes.....Naturally they'll tell you it's just checking for updates....Yet???????

Next is it all on a single drive? Makes me crazy when I hear about someone with a single 750Gb HDD, and only 1 partition.....That's a 7-12 partition drive in my book......and my sim is on its own partition, it's own HDD just gravy.

Lastly, go to Start>Run and type "msconfig" That is going to show you everything that starts up when you start your PC.....Now be careful, yet go through and disable other then XP/Windows programs/software you never use (or essentially do NOT need at start up), yet they'll still be there when you start them manually...and if you run into a problem, just turn it back on.

By doing the above you'll be stunned at how much better IL2 will run......and it's all stuff you can do today that costs you nothing (past the HDD's).

K2

jarink
06-29-2010, 08:55 PM
I shudder whenever someone says "shut off your AV program" (or firewall, etc). http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/disagree.gif

Don't shut it down. Make sure it's not running any scheduled scans (depending on the program these can eat CPU cycles and are constantly accessing the hard drive, thus slowing other programs' access to the drive). If you feel the need, exclude your IL2 directory from your AV's realtime scanning. This way, the program is still protecting your PC and not interfering with (scanning game files as the game uses them) the game.

Treetop64
06-29-2010, 10:11 PM
Never recommend shutting off the firewall. Very bad thing to do. The AV, however, is fine to mess with. Just use some judgment when doing so.

Some AVs are far more intrusive than they have to be to do the job, though. Especially those that minimize what you're working on/playing to constantly remind you of update this, check on that, or whatever. Annoying as hell...

LEBillfish
06-29-2010, 11:25 PM
Never a problem.....It's all you do before hand (as to whats and wheres) that make it so.

K2

Waldo.Pepper
06-30-2010, 12:16 AM
Got a router? Then dollars to doughnuts it has a firewall in it.

LEBillfish
06-30-2010, 04:25 AM
Originally posted by Waldo.Pepper:
Got a router? Then dollars to doughnuts it has a firewall in it.

newp.....

rfxcasey
06-30-2010, 05:15 AM
If you really wanna get fancy you can start messing with your services by gong to Start/run and entering services.msc. You can set non essential or unwanted services to only start manually or disable them entirely. You would be amazed how many services are running in the background that you don't use or need. One of the biggest ones for me is drive indexing. Disabling it will make things run smoother though manual file searches will be slower.

Uufflakke
06-30-2010, 11:37 AM
I have to agree with Xiolablu3. I can't imagine you will notice the difference between 45 and a 100 fps. Remember that movies have a framerate of 24/25 per second and I've never seen any stutter when watching.
But if you want to improve perfomance take a look at the site of All Aircraft Simulations (not allowed to link to a modsite) and read Fireskull's topic "Computer, Benchmarking, Optimizing, and Tweaking for IL-2". A very interesting read and already viewed over 20.000 times. It improved my perfomance also but with my specs I will never get a 100 fps. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

thefruitbat
06-30-2010, 11:41 AM
with vsync on, which it always is unless i'm benching, i only notice slowdown in the very rare occasion that my fps dips below 30, and since i have an avg of 58 in black death....

31 to 60 looks the same.

jarink
06-30-2010, 05:24 PM
Originally posted by LEBillfish:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Waldo.Pepper:
Got a router? Then dollars to doughnuts it has a firewall in it.

newp..... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Raise hands, whoever has actually changed their router's default settings or reset the admin password to something other than the factory default. 1...2...3...no one else?

Computer security is (and always has been) best implemented using a layered approach. NEVER rely too heavily on one piece of the security puzzle. That $40 router's firewall won't do diddly for you when you unknowingly run a rouge app that was downloaded over port 80.

Our in-house security admin likes to say that the people who are most confident in their security are those that have simply forgotten to lock down something.

h009291
06-30-2010, 11:14 PM
People. This game is 9 years old. It was made to run on machines light years ago (in computing ages). It's like trying to run DOS games on modern computers .... they just don't optimize much beyond kindergarten level.

Like trying to run a Model T with a Fighter Jet Engine .. HIC*

rfxcasey
07-01-2010, 04:43 AM
Originally posted by h009291:
People. This game is 9 years old. It was made to run on machines light years ago (in computing ages). It's like trying to run DOS games on modern computers .... they just don't optimize much beyond kindergarten level.

Like trying to run a Model T with a Fighter Jet Engine .. HIC*

They make this thing called DOSBox. It's kool you should check it out.

As for the analogy, well it's not a model T and it's not a jet but it's pretty darn close.

<span class="flash-video"><object classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000"
codebase="http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=8,0,0,0"
style="height: 344px; width: 425px"
><param name="allowScriptAccess"
value="never"
></param><param name="wmode"
value="transparent"
></param><param value="http://www.youtube.com/v/SIj2GVfua84"
name="movie"
/><param value="true"
/><param value="always"
/><embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash"
wmode="transparent"
pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer"
allowScriptAccess="never"
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src="http://www.youtube.com/v/SIj2GVfua84"
/></object></span>

Choctaw111
07-01-2010, 11:29 AM
If your frame rates only drop down to 45 over large cities and intense flak, you are doing pretty well.
With my graphics settings, I will get 60 all the time with the acception of flying over large cities and such.
On the Black Death Track I will get an average of nearly 200 fps, but one spot in the track will get down to 25 or so.

mortoma
07-01-2010, 07:53 PM
Originally posted by Treetop64:
Mr. Mark, you really need to add more RAM. 2 gigs is just enough to get the rig going with little remaining wiggle room. Even IL-2 is border lining with that little RAM...

Though, on second thought, with XP it's enough, and if it's 32bit XP you'll only be able to add a maximum of just one more gig anyways. That depends on how well you reduce background running programs, services and TSRs. If you manage well what runs ( or doesn't run more like ) when you play 46, 2 gigs can be just fine. Even with tons of RAM, if you have a lot of stuff running in the background it can slow down the game due to the CPU cycles they take up alone. 2 gigs can play an old game like Il2 46 really well if you know what you're doing.

mortoma
07-01-2010, 08:02 PM
I've found that despite what some people have stated in this thread, 1946 is more GPU bound than it is CPU or RAM bound. I had a E8400 Wolfdale core 2 based PC for a while and stock it was about 3.0Ghz core clock. When I overclocked it, I went as high as 3.8Ghz and my frame rate playing 1946 ( 4.08m at that time ) did not increase dramatically. But when I put in a Nvidia 8800GT to replace my under-powered 8600GT card, my frame rates increased insanely!! I only had about 2 Gigs of RAM at the time too. I had a 32 bit XP install and figured 2 gigs was enough. All I know is the most dramatic increase came from a graphics card upgrade. Il2 does not seem to benefit from increased CPU clock speed above 3Ghz, at least not much. There's a pretty good frame rate benefit from 2.0 to 3.0Ghz though.

I am having the same experience with my I7 965 processor, stock it's at 3.2ghz and I can easily take it up to 4.0ghz and the game only increases about 5 FPS average and 11 or so maximum. The minimum frames are about 46 at stock speed and 52 overclocked at 3.8 to 4.0Ghz.

mortoma
07-01-2010, 08:22 PM
Originally posted by WTE_Galway:
With modern graphics card being fairly fast, IL2 now tends to get CPU locked more than anything else. I disagree, see my posts above.

JSG72
07-08-2010, 05:21 PM
I wince every time I see these posts and answers.

You just cannot get a definitive answer!

There are always probs and they are all dependant on what Settings you have game at/Res. You are running./What mods you have?

Black Death NTK

Frames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg
7274, 140000, 12, 64, 51.957

And here is another with a different MOD added.

Frames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg
7692, 140000, 27, 64, 54.943


Posting FPS is meaningless. Unless you are running two computers with exactly the same specs and MODS.

All MHO. of course.

Below are comp. specs/Not, game. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

rfxcasey
07-14-2010, 09:09 AM
Originally posted by JSG72:
I wince every time I see these posts and answers.

You just cannot get a definitive answer!

There are always probs and they are all dependant on what Settings you have game at/Res. You are running./What mods you have?

Black Death NTK

Frames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg
7274, 140000, 12, 64, 51.957

And here is another with a different MOD added.

Frames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg
7692, 140000, 27, 64, 54.943


Posting FPS is meaningless. Unless you are running two computers with exactly the same specs and MODS.

All MHO. of course.

Below are comp. specs/Not, game. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Yeah, it depends on a lot of factors. I personally rate the performance of my game by the lowest frame rate and the number of instances when I hit that low.

I personally think my game should be running better then it is given my specs. I was running my memory in ungauged mode and just switched to gauged last night but haven't had time to test. I think perhaps I will see some benefit using one of the memory mod .exe and running the game on the second processor. I've read that having your memory in ungauged mode may be more beneficial for multithreaded processing as it basically give each processor it's own stick of ram to work with. While gauged mode allows the processor to share the memory and thus, at least in my case giving the second processor full access to all memory not being used by the first. Being as IL-2 is a bit dated and doesn't seem to be able to use multiple processors I am assuming it is not akin to multithreading though anyone please enlighten me if I am incorrect in my assumption.

I run my graphics at 4xAA 4xAS Quality settings maxed, adaptive antialiasing maxed, and Catalyst AI maxed with V-sync on by default and really don't notice any frame rate change when I lower the settings. I've heard 2.7 Gigs is pushing the low end but check out my specs in my sig and let me know what you think. Maybe something in my conf.ini is a miss but I Just don't see an big change no matter what I do even overclocking a couple hundred Mhz.

Duvel123
07-14-2010, 12:41 PM
As it turns out; I just did a lot of benchmarking with various cpu and gpu speeds; This might help you give the answer:

http://www.battle-fields.com/c...owthread.php?t=21804 (http://www.battle-fields.com/commscentre/showthread.php?t=21804)

rfxcasey
07-14-2010, 12:59 PM
Originally posted by Duvel123:
As it turns out; I just did a lot of benchmarking with various cpu and gpu speeds; This might help you give the answer:

http://www.battle-fields.com/c...owthread.php?t=21804 (http://www.battle-fields.com/commscentre/showthread.php?t=21804)

Ha, the stupid firewall here at Dell is blocking access to that links location siting Game\cartoon violence but we can go on LiveLeak all day long and watch people being electrocuted to death.

Duvel123
07-14-2010, 12:59 PM
Have a look here:

http://www.battle-fields.com/c...owthread.php?t=21804 (http://www.battle-fields.com/commscentre/showthread.php?t=21804)

I just benched a lot of cpu and some gpu speeds; water settings and ultrapack. The answer is probably in there.

BTW, if anyone can post a "torture test" track with flak, large cities etc (preferably recorded online), I can use that when i update the above post with higher end videocards and higher resolution settings next week.

WTE_Galway
07-14-2010, 05:05 PM
Originally posted by Duvel123:
Have a look here:

http://www.battle-fields.com/c...owthread.php?t=21804 (http://www.battle-fields.com/commscentre/showthread.php?t=21804)

I just benched a lot of cpu and some gpu speeds; water settings and ultrapack. The answer is probably in there.

BTW, if anyone can post a "torture test" track with flak, large cities etc (preferably recorded online), I can use that when i update the above post with higher end videocards and higher resolution settings next week.

To test out the CPU simply load DCG and run up some missions with massed bomber streams.

TheFamilyMan
07-15-2010, 01:59 PM
For the OP: As mentioned, it's an IL-2 problem. And for your piece of mind I suggest learning to ignore FPS when running any flight sim; smoothness is all that really matters. IMO FPS values brainwash your senses and ruin the perceived experience.