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Arma 3 CPU vs RAM performance comparison 1600-2133= up to 15% FPS gain

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Hi, Im a long time fan of BI games. Started with original Operation Flashpoint 14 years ago. And was amazed.

I just picked up ARMA 3 and got that same feeling with it. Don't get me wrong, its beautifull, best looking game engine I have ever seen. But the performance is terrible even on high end machines.

From what I gather the exe is only 32bit, and it only uses 2 cores. For such a CPU intensive engine I think it should use more. BI if you can PLEASE make this game use more threads for those of us with high end CPUs. Valve did it years ago with their source engine and added multicore support, current Battlefield engine can use up to 8 threads as well.

I think by doing this you will solve the performance issues for people. And before anyone thinks my PC sucks here are the specs.

AMD 8350

16GB 2133

7950 video

Windows 8.1

---------- Post added at 19:42 ---------- Previous post was at 19:15 ----------

I still can't figure out why you guys are still persuing high FPS on ARMA, it's meaningless. IMHO, a stable 30 fps is far important than a fluctuation between 30~100+.

Buy a ssd and use the MSI-afterburner to cap the fps at 30, then you will feel really smooth no matter in sp or mp mission. If you obtain such notion, you don't even have to buy a luxury video card or some stupid SLI or crossfire thing, a 150USD one is good enough, and 2133hz RAM are totally unnecessary, 1600HZ is good enough. save the money to buy a 100usd 128GB SATA3 ssd.

30 fps? Are you kidding me? That's practically unplayable. 3D images do not work like 2D images on TV or a movie that are rendered at 24 fps.

3D images optimal fps is 60 and above.

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Hi, Im a long time fan of BI games. Started with original Operation Flashpoint 14 years ago. And was amazed.

I just picked up ARMA 3 and got that same feeling with it. Don't get me wrong, its beautifull, best looking game engine I have ever seen. But the performance is terrible even on high end machines.

From what I gather the exe is only 32bit, and it only uses 2 cores. For such a CPU intensive engine I think it should use more. BI if you can PLEASE make this game use more threads for those of us with high end CPUs. Valve did it years ago with their source engine and added multicore support, current Battlefield engine can use up to 8 threads as well.

I think by doing this you will solve the performance issues for people. And before anyone thinks my PC sucks here are the specs.

AMD 8350

16GB 2133

7950 video

Windows 8.1

---------- Post added at 19:42 ---------- Previous post was at 19:15 ----------

30 fps? Are you kidding me? That's practically unplayable. 3D images do not work like 2D images on TV or a movie that are rendered at 24 fps.

3D images optimal fps is 60 and above.

30 fps is not unplayable. Most console games are only in 30 fps.

Usually player performance does not drop significantly until below 20 fps.

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30 fps is not unplayable. Most console games are only in 30 fps.

Usually player performance does not drop significantly until below 20 fps.

Before my upgrade I played Arma 3 quite happily locked at 30fps, now I play locked at 50fps and it's honestly better. But if the game was 64bit and optimized really well us fans wouldn't have to spend so much money on building a rig that plays the game the way it looks in promotional screenshots. However, when one gets that balance of high fidelity visuals and smooth and solid frame rate, the game is stunning. I read some brat saying it doesn't look like the screenshots, it does if you up the resolution scale.

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@P0ci

-----I really suspect if you are really a hard core player of ArmA though you are yelling 14 years experience. Welcome to the community, rookie.

ArmA are not like main stream FPS games, CS, COD, BF, but like the DCS series, it has a vast terrain, a stable 30fps could give you enough smooth game experience. And it would be better if you could abttain a stable 60fps, but I'm afraid that you can't do that even if you own a 10,000 USD PC, in most scenario, the fps drops to under 30. The game experience of 25~60FPS+ is bad than the one of 25~30fps.

And by the way, it has been using multiple cpu core since ArmA2.

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@P0ci

-----I really suspect if you are really a hard core player of ArmA though you are yelling 14 years experience. Welcome to the community, rookie.

ArmA are not like main stream FPS games, CS, COD, BF, but like the DCS series, it has a vast terrain, a stable 30fps could give you enough smooth game experience. And it would be better if you could abttain a stable 60fps, but I'm afraid that you can't do that even if you own a 10,000 USD PC, in most scenario, the fps drops to under 30. The game experience of 25~60FPS+ is bad than the one of 25~30fps.

And by the way, it has been using multiple cpu core since ArmA2.

Ahhh, DCS! I have got to try that some time.

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30 fps is not unplayable. Most console games are only in 30 fps.

Usually player performance does not drop significantly until below 20 fps.

Consoles? lol

---------- Post added at 16:36 ---------- Previous post was at 16:35 ----------

@P0ci

-----I really suspect if you are really a hard core player of ArmA though you are yelling 14 years experience. Welcome to the community, rookie.

ArmA are not like main stream FPS games, CS, COD, BF, but like the DCS series, it has a vast terrain, a stable 30fps could give you enough smooth game experience. And it would be better if you could abttain a stable 60fps, but I'm afraid that you can't do that even if you own a 10,000 USD PC, in most scenario, the fps drops to under 30. The game experience of 25~60FPS+ is bad than the one of 25~30fps.

And by the way, it has been using multiple cpu core since ArmA2.

Nah I played OP Flashpoint 14 years ago, but was a CS and then BF player, I just got back into ARMA

---------- Post added at 16:36 ---------- Previous post was at 16:36 ----------

@P0ci

-----I really suspect if you are really a hard core player of ArmA though you are yelling 14 years experience. Welcome to the community, rookie.

ArmA are not like main stream FPS games, CS, COD, BF, but like the DCS series, it has a vast terrain, a stable 30fps could give you enough smooth game experience. And it would be better if you could abttain a stable 60fps, but I'm afraid that you can't do that even if you own a 10,000 USD PC, in most scenario, the fps drops to under 30. The game experience of 25~60FPS+ is bad than the one of 25~30fps.

And by the way, it has been using multiple cpu core since ArmA2.

You don't need a 10k pc. ALl the game needs is to use more CPU cores.

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@ P0ci : Arma3 is probably taking advantage of more than 2 cores.

My own experience with Athlon II x2 250 -> 2core/2threads clearly shows 2 cores usage and ... the bottleneck effect on huge load. Screenshot made during a test on ADO dedicated server using "Athlon II x2 250/GTS 450/8 Go 1600/HD 750 Go/SSD 80 Go Arma3 dedicated" on "Standard", Visibility=1000 m, AA&PP disabled.

An other experience with Intel i3 4130 -> 2core/4threads clearly shows the game using the 4 treads. Screenshot made during a test on Infantry showcase on experimental rig "i3 4130/HD 7770/8 Go 1600/SSD 250 Go", on "High", Visibility= 2000m using HardOcp recipe for AA&PP : "... best AA combo in this game, FXAA Ultra + 2X/4X or 8X FSAA and you will get the best texture quality, no blurring, crisp textures, and well anti-aliased objects and vegetation."

Back to this thread topic, I have done some tests with the "Athlon II x2 250/GTS 450" rig using 8 Go 1866 DD3 RAM. The results were not obvious, the most relevant results were shown on Arma3Mark benchmark, the gain seeming to be between 3 to 5 FPS, but a bit lost in the bench results variations. I will try it again with the "i3 4130/HD 7770" rig.

Edited by OldBear

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back on the alpha arma only used 2 cores well and to a lesser extent 3-4 i doubt this has changed much

arma3alphacorescaling_zps4d63d502.png

i also remember seeing benchmarks of phenom x6 outdoing higher clocked x4 so maybe it can make some use of six threads as well but these results seem to have been a one off as six core intel cpu and the newer 6-8 core amd fx dont seem to have those gains

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Do note that the primary thread only uses one core, and that's the thread that's bottlenecking the game so hooorribly. Simulation-AI-render, all on one thread, one core. They certainly have multithreaded it and moved less significant things (eg PhysX) onto other cores, but the big stuff is still single-threaded. It's also why a headless client that takes the AI off the main thread can greatly improve performance. That's a hack that we shouldn't still be having to use to get true multithreaded performance out of this engine, though. They need to make that hack obsolete.

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@ P0ci : Arma3 is probably taking advantage of more than 2 cores.

My own experience with Athlon II x2 250 -> 2core/2threads clearly shows 2 cores usage and ... the bottleneck effect on huge load. Screenshot made during a test on ADO dedicated server using "Athlon II x2 250/GTS 450/8 Go 1600/HD 750 Go/SSD 80 Go Arma3 dedicated" on "Standard", Visibility=1000 m, AA&PP disabled.

An other experience with Intel i3 4130 -> 2core/4threads clearly shows the game using the 4 treads. Screenshot made during a test on Infantry showcase on experimental rig "i3 4130/HD 7770/8 Go 1600/SSD 250 Go", on "High", Visibility= 2000m using HardOcp recipe for AA&PP : "... best AA combo in this game, FXAA Ultra + 2X/4X or 8X FSAA and you will get the best texture quality, no blurring, crisp textures, and well anti-aliased objects and vegetation."

Back to this thread topic, I have done some tests with the "Athlon II x2 250/GTS 450" rig using 8 Go 1866 DD3 RAM. The results were not obvious, the most relevant results were shown on Arma3Mark benchmark, the gain seeming to be between 3 to 5 FPS, but a bit lost in the bench results variations. I will try it again with the "i3 4130/HD 7770" rig.

It does not use 4 threads, at most maybe 3, on my 8 core CPU it never goes past 30% usage

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Until today, I basically considered this thread an isolated case of some guy with some specs getting some improvement by doing something.

However, today I discovered an announcement by Corsair a few days ago stating plainly that 1600 MHz is too low for Haswell.

2133 MHz memories bring a 7% improvement over 1600 MHz memories in a stock clock 4770K.

The difference increases with higher clocks which also makes it clear that users with other non-Haswell CPUs that overclock into Haswell clocks would also benefit from quicker memories. That’s a big statement.

In other words for a long time 1600 MHz have been considered all you need but now we have Corsair, world leading memory manufacturers, saying it isn’t enough anymore.

Which makes me bump this thread again.

http://www.corsair.com/en-us/blog/2014/march/haswellrealworld

In Sweden the difference between 8 gigs of 1600 MHz and 2400 MHz memories seems to be only about $10… imagine a 10% performance increase for only $10.

Some more guys actually trying this out and especially in ARMA3 will be needed but for now it's very interesting.

I’ve never looked much into memories though. How do memories at more than 1600 MHz work?

The 4770K only officially supports 1333/1600 MHz memories… what happens if you plug 2400 MHz ones in? Do they work regardless or do you have to overclock something or change some setting somewhere for them to work?

If someone only could help me understand this bit a bit better I would be very willing to try an upgrade out. I’d only have to see if anyone is interested in buying my old memories for a discount locally first.

Edited by Sneakson

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anything over 1600mhz is technically overclocking and i think it needs a z87 mb

any higher speed ram that is made for haswell should allow you to just set it to spd in bios and it will take care of rest

haswell also only supports 1.5v ram so for any ram that is over 1.5v i would suggest you have cooling better than stock on the cpu although its probably not needed

that link was posted on whirlpool forum and somebody there with 1600 9-9-9 ram overclocked it to 2133 10-12-11 and had there performance increase in starcraft 2 by 10%

there fps are also higher so maybe the corsair review system was slightly gpu limited

corsair also noted when somebody had big gains from high speed ram in the bf4 alpha

http://www.corsair.com/en-us/blog/2013/october/battlefield-4-loves-high-speed-memory

many people flamed this as just corsair trying to sell more expensive ram

as updates were released to improve cpu efficiency in bf4 thus reducing the cpu bottleneck and increasing the gpu bottleneck the gains from faster ram have probably shrunk but i havent seen it retested

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How many AI's are you having on the map/mission? What I find with this game is I can run everything maxed out with 10KM view distance with minimal AI but anytime when firefights get busy with 100+ AIs things slow down to a crawl.

You're still streaming the game from a Hard Drive. You have to increase that speed either with a fast SSD or utimately a RAM Drive.

My system has 1600Hz Ram, but I STREAM the Addons directory from a RAM Drive. The game is smooth as silk. I run 10,000 view distance.

Remember everything is CONSTANTLY streaming from that directory to the CPU. You have to increase that speed. And nothing is faster than RAM.

*1. Player sees chicken. 2. Goto Addons directory to stream in animals.pbo...........

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I don't know about the 100+ AI's. I play mostly single player. I do play those large dynamic missions from the workshop. I learned my lesson about the RAMDRIVE back in the ArmA 1 days.

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The memories I was going to buy unfortunately sold out... not sure what to think about that. I guess there's going to be a new generation of DDR4 memories this summer and maybe then they'll resupply the DDR3s as well.

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Interesting. I had dome something similar to this a few years back with arma 1 and arma 2, but it only affected the max frame rate. Other than that there was practically no performance improvement in arma or any other games. I would imagine the amount of data moving around for arma 3 actually makes a difference.

With arma 3 performance I can kind of see where faster ram comes into play. With lots more data and textures, especially in an extreme resolution and multi-GPU environment, you should see more gains compared to a more standard resolution (1920x1080) and single GPU. It all depends where your bottleneck is for A3.

I would be more interested to see a frame rate graph to see where in the improvements are happening. Do you save any data you can throw up in a graph to compare?

More memory bandwidth generally improves with uncompromising large amounts of data. Having memory that can go 2133 with a CL of 10 is some of the higher performance memory out there and pretty pricey compared to mainstream memory, you end up hitting the point of diminishing returns; like on the x58 chipset, timings seemed to be more important (see the A1 graph below). On Z77, it doesn't seem to make a huge difference except in memory benchmarks and compressing/uncompromising data (look for Z77 memory comparison reviews). Real world gains end up moot.

I had started going a comparison with 1333-2133 with arma 3, but again I only saw a max framerate difference (this was before I upgraded to CF7970s). Other than the max frame rate when nothing was going on (think over water or high altitude where you can't see the ground), there was almost no difference for me. I tested 1333 C6 to 2133 C11, with the tighest timings stable for 1333, 1600, 1800, 1866 and 2133. My ram is rated at 1866 C10.

The only data I have saved is from my old x58 system with 1600mhz C8 ram, where timings seemed to be everything (at least on that chipset).

For arma 1

A1Ram.jpg

And arma 2

A2Ram.jpg

Edited by frag85

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I would be more interested to see a frame rate graph to see where in the improvements are happening. Do you save any data you can throw up in a graph to compare?

i still have all the data but i did post up a few fps graphs on the first page there is a few clickable thumbs there although some of them look like there just the one

there is also another in post 43

the improvement seems to be fairly consistent from everything i have seen other than a flat spot that may be a bit gpu limited in altis and some dud runs

your system having triple channel ram and a cpu that has less performance per clock would be far less starved for memory bandwidth which would also explain the lower gains you are seeing from increasing it

in most z77 ram performance reviews most game tests are done in a gpu limited scenario and faster ram makes no difference to gpu performance only cpu

there is a few reviews i have seen that used a decent gpu and games like total war\starcraft 2 that had ~7% improvement and corsair made some wild claims about the bf4 alpha\beta before they tweaked the game to lower its cpu usage

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You're still streaming the game from a Hard Drive. You have to increase that speed either with a fast SSD or utimately a RAM Drive.

My system has 1600Hz Ram, but I STREAM the Addons directory from a RAM Drive. The game is smooth as silk. I run 10,000 view distance.

Remember everything is CONSTANTLY streaming from that directory to the CPU. You have to increase that speed. And nothing is faster than RAM.

*1. Player sees chicken. 2. Goto Addons directory to stream in animals.pbo...........

I'm intrigued by this concept, could I lower the memory footprint and improve speed by that much if I were to create a ram drive with additional content I download? I only have 16 gigs of ram, so I couldn't do as much as if I had 64 or 32, but I'm still interested.

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Hi, i can confirm this. ArmA 3 likes fast RAM. I will paste here a post i put in other topic:

Just run some tests today with DDR3 speed with ArmA 3, here are the results:

Resolution 100% (1440x900)

i7 4790k (stock)

Asus ROG Maximus VII Hero

Kingston HyperX Beast DDR3 2400 8gb

Gigabyte Windforce 7870 OC @1100

Benchmark Altis V 0.60 (2 RUNS)

DDR3 1600 - 52-54 FPS

DDR3 2400 - 62-63 FPS (XMP Settings)

Game Settings

Texture: Ultra

Objects and Terrain: High

Distance: 3000

Object Distance: 2000

FSAA: 4X

Shadow: Ultra

Clould: Ultra

HDAO: High

Particles: High

FXAA: Ultra

ATOC: All Tress and Gras

ANISO. FILT: Ultra

Glad i bought a faster ram :yay:

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Switched from 1333 to 2400 aswell.

Frame increase is 14% from 53fps to 61fps in Altis Bench.

Specs:

i5 3570k (stock)

MSI Z77A-G43

G Skill RipjawsX DDR3-2400 8GB

Gigabyte GTX 770 WindForce 3X OC 2GB

ArmA 3 on SSD

Impressed about fps increase.

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I noticed on my system, that most of the time Arma3 starts to lagg and my fps drop below 30 (while most of the time in sp-missions its above 40, Arma3Bench Stratis shows 55 fps avg), the Windows performance monitor is showing in the memory area under "paging errors" some peaks, sometimes massive peaks, while CPU-0 (the most demanded core) usage is pretty steady below 80% and my SLI GPUs are just bored anyway.

Paging error means, that a process needs to access data that was put from physical RAM into the virtual memory, which is the paging file of windows (on a SSD in my case).

Since I have 8GB RAM and the physical memory usage by the system while running SIXTupdater, Addons and ARM3 is only about 50%, I guess the paging errors happen, because Arma can only use like 2GB of RAM and further Arma data is then put into the virtual memory by the system, and if Arma needs to access that data (from HDD/SSD) it laggs and fps drops.

Performance monitor shows that Arma3 uses most of the time like 1900MB of physical RAM, and like 1700MB of virtual RAM.

I guess this is a general RAM usage issue of Arma, and not just my system.

I thought about a possible solution: Why not use a RAMdisk and then set the windows paging file location to it, so everytime the inevitable virtual memory usage of Arma and access of that data happens it actually happens on RAM too, an not the HDD/SSD?

This should make Arma perform even better than using the RAMdisk to copy the whole arma files on it, because then arma would still use virtual memory on the HDD/SSD!

One would need like 16GB then to be able to set a big enough RAMdisk for windows paging file.

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If you have enough RAM your page file should not be getting action. Not sure what kind of paging errors you're looking at, but you should make sure it isn't just windows needing to read files from the disk (actual files, not memory stored in the page file due to not having enough RAM). Using a ramdisk for page file is as silly as it sounds - If you have enough RAM to store the data the page fill won't be used. The reason for hard drive related FPS drops is the game needing to read data from the hard drive - Either new data or data it decided to dump out of the RAM due to it being a 32-bit application and needing to clear up some memory for something else. However this kind of memory freeing does not store the data to the hard drive. It is simply freed completely, and if that data is needed again it will be processed all over again, just like it was the first time it was needed (read from PBO on hard drive -> process -> use).

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