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Can't find my performance bottleneck

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As the topic says, i just can't figure out what is limiting my framerate.

With a view-distance of 8000, i get about 20 FPS in the first part of the Benchmark until the Boats section (about 30 there) and when the camera is closing in on highland park, while only water is on screen it tops out at about 40.

First culprit was of course the graphics power. I just bought a Geforce 560 (for this game actually), but it only gets about 40% to 50% GPU, 80% VRAM and minimal VRAM Controller load.

The video settings seem to have almost no effect either. The difference between the lowest and highest setting is so low, that its hard to measure between the usual fluctuations. Even setting shadows from disabled to high doesnt have an impact. 3D Resolution doesn't change a thing (performance-wise) between 50% or 200%. So i am pretty sure its not graphics power related.

Thing is: the other ressources seem to be idling away too

.

The Quadcore CPUs only get averaged 50% work, with maybe one or two cores going to 80% or 90% briefly.

My HDD is regularly defragmented, but i still tried the recommended move-to-the-outer-rim process to no effect. Windows' performance monitor says ToHs HDD requests have about 3-6ms wait time - only once i saw one go to 19ms. During one test Steam was downloading an update for another game onto the same partition, without any noticable difference.

My 6 GB of RAM is only filled to 40% with only 0.9GB reported for ToH and no page faults during the benchmark. I just changed the frequency and timings. Looking into the matter made me notice that my memory was underclocked. At least i now have set them to manufacturer specs, with no effect in ToH though.

The one thing that does change the framerate is the viewing distance. I seem to be able to get a pretty nice and crisp picture, just not farther than 4000 units (meters ?) away

So, im rather puzzled. Now it's not just that i wan't to play with better frame rates, i'm also pretty curious. Please enlighten me.

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First of all, have you looked up this guide?

Then you need to go into a little more detail regarding your system and graphics settings when you're asking performance related questions. Saying I have a quadcore, 6GB RAM and a GTX 560 doesn't help all that much. What kind of quadcore and how much GHz, how much VRAM does your GPU have etc.?

From what you are telling my guess would be that your CPU is the bottleneck. The workload of your processor doesn't say much about your performance. My processors workload is barely over 25% when I run TOH, regardless if it's running at 2.67GHz or 3.99GHz. The thing is that running at 3.99GHz I get 10-15fps more than I get at 2,67GHz.

The RV engine is known to be very demanding on all computerparts, especially CPU and HDD can easily become the weakest links. A fast quadcore makes a huge difference and a SSD will reduce problems with textureloading and stutter a lot.

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Of course i checked that guide, and others. I know that usually more hardware details are needed. But since changing settings didn't do much of a difference, and the mentioned components do not seem to be really stressed out i thought it would be rather distracting than helpful.

But alright, Hardware:

  • CPU is an Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 running at 2.4 GHz
  • GPU is an Asus Geforce GTX 560 with 1 Gig of VRAM (which, btw i think is the only amount for the 560. At least it's the default).
  • Memory is from GEiL (2x2GB) and Kingston (2x1GB)
    Both specified and running at 800MHz (well, actually 400MHz but you usually double that number) and a 4-4-4-12 timing. Running dualchannel ofc.
  • The HDD where the game's on is a Seagate ST315005N4A1AS-RK SATA 3Gb/s 1.5TB 5900rpm
  • all that is plugged into a MSI P7N-SLI-Platinum, FSB is rated at 1066.7 MHz
  • i do not have a dedicated Soundcard and use the onboard chip

Software:

  • Windows 7 x64
  • Geforce drivers ver. 285.62
    I have not changed the clocking and left the 3D settings mostly at default, except "Maximum pre-rendered frames", because i saw it mentioned that this might help. It didn't have a noticable impact. VSync is of course off, both in the game and the driver setting.
  • nforce chipset drivers 15.57
  • Avast AntiVirus, with the whole steam directory whitelisted to be only checked during write access

Thanks for your interest.

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Hi begginign of all Performance enquiry should be to post config of TOH to show actual settings of game when started

from this it can be worked out exactly what the settings are and any subsequent , download latest drivers , memory is no good etc can be verified based on your settings :)

it can be found in mydocs\takeonhelicopters\TakeOnH.cfg ( ps im not sure there is any info thats sensitive so should be ok) try pastebin for posting.

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Seems I was correct. Your CPU is definately bottlenecking your GPU. If you are willing to OC your CPU do it. It's the best you can do at the moment without upgrading your rig. If you can get it to 3GHz-3.4GHz you should see an improvement but I'm not sure if it will be enough to fully utilise your GPU. Old CPU + new GPU is anything but an optimal setup. Especially when it comes to an engine like RealVirtuality that needs both - fast CPU and fast GPU. To give you a picture: even my old HD4870 suffers when I run my i7 at 2.67GHz. The best (but most expensive) option would be to upgrade your computer (CPU, Mainboard + RAM). If you want higher framerates you need a faster CPU, no question about that.

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SSD disk will improve BIS games a lot. If you can buy 2 SSD's and put Windows on 1 and heavy loading games on the second. When i did that ARMA2 ran like a dream. Do that and crank that cpu up a little bit and you should be in some kind of business.

I would probably throw the motherboard and the cpu and upgrade those plus get 2 SSD's. I know that will set you back a bit, but if you are into BIS games however it is something to save up for because it will give you an amazing gaming experience. ARMA3 and probably other Take On goodies on the horizon so... :)

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I had some good success with expanding 4GB to 16GB and using 10GB as cache via Fancy Cache. I haven't run the ToH benchmarks, but for ArmA2 Combined Operations it made quite a difference.

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Seems I was correct. Your CPU is definately bottlenecking your GPU. If you are willing to OC your CPU do it. It's the best you can do at the moment without upgrading your rig. If you can get it to 3GHz-3.4GHz you should see an improvement but I'm not sure if it will be enough to fully utilise your GPU. Old CPU + new GPU is anything but an optimal setup. Especially when it comes to an engine like RealVirtuality that needs both - fast CPU and fast GPU. To give you a picture: even my old HD4870 suffers when I run my i7 at 2.67GHz. The best (but most expensive) option would be to upgrade your computer (CPU, Mainboard + RAM). If you want higher framerates you need a faster CPU, no question about that.

I would agree, GPU only running at 40% means nothing is getting to it so it isn't doing any work.

The cure, turning down your draw distance and the object draw distance especially.

I have an i7 950 @4.2GHz and SLi 580s and I tend to stick to around 6k for draw and about 5900 for the objects as I still like to see them dissapear into the fog and not just pop up out of nowhere.

This game engine loves fast CPUs and I regret not going for an i5 at the time I got my i7 as they clock higher and easier.

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