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ArmA2 / OA (low) performance issues

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If "real" AA is your game, you have bought yourselves the wrong gfx card. Like i and others already have said that ATi cards have problems in this specific area.

However there are several different ways to achieve AA, one of them is supersampling AA. Supersampling AA is basicly rendering the image at higher resolution and scaling it down to the resolution you run the game in. In ArmaII this is achieved by setting the 3D resolution to 125, 133, 150 or 200% of the interface resolution, this setting was called "Fillrate" some patches ago...

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I just tested this specifically, trying 125% or 133% Fillrate versus Low and normal FSAA.

Both the image quality and framerate are nearly identical as I swap these settings around.

I'm almost believing that BIS could not implement "real" MSAA (edge detection FSAA) for ATI and is just activating super sampling if you set the FSAA option.

I get a drop from 40 to 30 FPS just setting FSAA to low, while in most other games MSAA is basically "free" at maybe 5% performance loss.

So yes, the problem here is with BIS and the implementation of FSAA on ATI that doesn't seem to work well togehter.

I would have bought a GTX285 instead, but Nvidia articially kept stock so low that I couldn't get one. Besides, the benchmarks I've seen have the 4890 above the GTX285 in Arma2 even with FSAA.

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Maybe it has something to with the scripting in the campaign/SP. I have never played the campaign as i have no interest in it.

I can set up my own scenaries with tons of units in air and on ground and everything runs fluently.

One thing that really can suck out performance/fps is a wrong combo of mouse smoothing + Max pre-rendered frames. If i change my current settings i either experience stutter like every 10 seconds, constant stutter or bad performance/fps whenever little action occur, this depends on how the settings is.

My specs:

Core i7 920

GTX285

Gigabyte EX58-UD4P

8GB DDR3 Ram

Windows XP 32bit SP2(yeah i know, 8GB ram...)

Arma settings:

Res: 1680x1050

3D: 100%

VD: 3500

PP: Off (sometimes on low on night missions, great smoke effects)

All other settings is on High.

If i can have HUGE battles with my rig you should be able too aswell. So try experiment with that mouse smoothing setting and the...

GPU_MaxFramesAhead

GPU_DetectedFramesAhead

...settings in your ArmA2.cfg

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There's nothing wrong with your new system. Your performance is normal for the spec you describe.

From my many many hours of testing, best performance comes from:

Low res: 1280x800 or similar

All settings to: Normal

AA and Post Processing to: Disabled for performance or personal preference.

View Distance: 2000

Sure you can bump all the settings up, you'll just get frequent low frame rates.

The game is most dependent on CPU speed. Other than that, for some reason screen resolution effects the real and apparent frame rate. (Apparent being the user experienced smoothness.)

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Greg, if my performance is normal, then that means A2 is unplayable on the majority of rigs out there. 1280x800 is not a common gamer resolution anymore.

JW, I'll try that. I think if the overall game was smoother and the FPS drops weren't so sharply, the control feeling would be okay. Right now the main problem is that sudden FPS drops really can throw off my aim and that's what makes it unplayable.

If I had a software tool to limit FPS for 25, that would also help.

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I think if the overall game was smoother and the FPS drops weren't so sharply, the control feeling would be okay.

It is running a lot smoother now with the beta's, but there have been a lot of posts regarding performance problems in the campaign. I haven't played the campaign so i can't say if the preformance issues is due to extreme amounts of units or something else like the scripting.

Do you only have problems when playing campaign missions or also when playing custom missions?

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I'm playing custom missions mostly. The bunch if converted "original" OFP missions, or the SP Scenario where you start as russian tank commander.

Arguable these missions also have a lot of units in them, problem is I don't see any missions with few units.

Oh, and I found there is a "frame rate limiter" tool but it doesn't work in Win7.

http://www.caveofdistraction.com/2009/07/22/fps-limiter-smoother-gameplay-in-arma2-and-other-titles/

This would be a nice solution, if it would just work on my system.

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So have you disabled the hyperthreading yet? I've heard marvellous results for that. Also the cases where it will actually help performance are quite low still, just try it, it doesn't cost a penny and you probably won't notice it when using your system for other applications.

Also does your ssd have good random io performance (random writes for example)

Most other games don't tend to stream as much as Arma2 does.

But do disable the HT first!

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I just tested this specifically, trying 125% or 133% Fillrate versus Low and normal FSAA.

Both the image quality and framerate are nearly identical as I swap these settings around.

I'm almost believing that BIS could not implement "real" MSAA (edge detection FSAA) for ATI and is just activating super sampling if you set the FSAA option.

I get a drop from 40 to 30 FPS just setting FSAA to low, while in most other games MSAA is basically "free" at maybe 5% performance loss.

So yes, the problem here is with BIS and the implementation of FSAA on ATI that doesn't seem to work well togehter.

I would have bought a GTX285 instead, but Nvidia articially kept stock so low that I couldn't get one. Besides, the benchmarks I've seen have the 4890 above the GTX285 in Arma2 even with FSAA.

There is no FSAA... And the differences between A2 and "other" games.Think how much gets rendered, tree/leafs, no game has as many, buildings, no game has as many,VD no game has as much,shadows,no game as as many being shown. And no matter what you want to believe a 4890 isnt enough card to use 1900/1200 with any real IQ filtering and get 60fps. Yes its the Bis engine, You will never see steady 60fps @19/12 with AA or fillrate and high ingame settings.285 cant do it either, a 295 has a hardtime if at all. You check all the benchmarks , you can chk all the posts here, its all been done. Since A1

All that matters is smooth with this game.More card will help, more CPU will help. Ramdisk is god, ssd are awesome. The only guys getting 60/70fps@19/12 with Vsync are triSli 285s and quadfire rigs.

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the easiest solution for me was to set 3D resolution to %87 instead of %100 the pictures are not crisp but performance is good, i set everything else to high-very high.

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Greg, if my performance is normal, then that means A2 is unplayable on the majority of rigs out there. 1280x800 is not a common gamer resolution anymore...

Yes, exactly. ARMA2, configured with anything higher than 'normal' detail and relatively low resolution is unplayable, or nearly unusable on most rigs out there. The game has terrible performance, best described as 'erratic', even on current fast systems like Intel i7 920 + Geforce GTX 295. Sure you can get high frame rates, but you don't play the game looking up at the sky.

The performance of this game, compared to most other modern games is atrocious and that is blatantly obvious to anyone who browses this forum.

I have probably spent more time profiling and benchmarking this game than playing it and that is where my knowledge of its crazy performance characteristics comes from.

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The performance of this game, compared to most other modern games is atrocious and that is blatantly obvious to anyone who browses this forum.

Which game would you compare it to so we can do some direct comparisons, which other game has a single island with AI spread all over it, real-time night/day cycles, pp effects etc.

I agree the game is erratic in nature. My rig it is playable, I would say that if I had the cash then the 5970 or 5870 would have sorted it I think but alas just the 5850...

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Just think of games like GTA4.

It is free world, big and even more detailed. It also looks better.

They just did things different way in that one.

GRAW1 and GRAW2, huge world with thousands of buildings in sight, not just small village with 4 different types of buildings.

Fallout3, Oblivion, Farcry2, STALKER... huge worlds, huge detail, done in different way again.

Shame that GTA4, GRAW2, Oblivion, Fallout3, STALKER and Farcry2 are bad, bad games.

But just because this game doesn't look that good, the AI isn't ground breaking, the cities are actually quite small, the world doesn't have rivers (water usually takes good comp to look nice) and so on... the framerate problems are quite stupid.

:)

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Okay, this is unlogical, but great: CPUCOUNT=4 truly improved my framerate.

I tested it with a large AI engagement, me as civilian present but view steady on the ground (to unload the GFX card) and the difference is about 5 FPS at an average of 30, so significant.

So basically you don't need to disable HT in the BIOS to get the benefits. This is the single most "fluid" improvement I had on this new system yet.

BTW, I find it pretty silly that the mods are merging all "low performance" problems into a single thread here. There is a variety of fixes for people with AMD, Intel, Nvidia, ATI - no two performance problems are every exactly the same, so by throwing them all in a 37 page thread, people looking for a fix related to their config find 99% stuff that doesn't apply.

---------- Post added at 04:57 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:55 PM ----------

Which game would you compare it to so we can do some direct comparisons, which other game has a single island with AI spread all over it, real-time night/day cycles, pp effects etc.

Operation Flashpoint DR, of which I'm not a fan, proved that you can do large islands and military engagement on modest to old hardware. It may not be our cup of tea, but the constant apologies for the poor BIS Engine performance are getting old.

Even if one reduces VD to 1200 meters, you still suffer from much worse performance than in all other games. So simple saying it's the amount of detail and stuff on the island doesn't cut it.

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It really pisses me of that i cant get a descent performance wit my rig!

Out in the open i can get 60fps, but get in to a small town with a few AI`s and FPS drops to 20-30fps. Manhatten mission still gives low performance. Changing settings from High->Medium->low, makes no difference in performance .

Specs.

i7 860

HD 5870

4GB 1600Mhz ram

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sometimes having the latest hardware is not the solution to performance problems. My best advice now would be to try the latest betas, great improvement (for me at least) in large cities.

I am thankful that with my Hardware I am quite satisfied with the performance.

I must be one of the lucky ones. ;)

All High, AA normal, pp low, 3500 VD.

1600x900

xp32

driver 191.03beta

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Okay, this is unlogical, but great: CPUCOUNT=4 truly improved my framerate.

I tested it with a large AI engagement, me as civilian present but view steady on the ground (to unload the GFX card) and the difference is about 5 FPS at an average of 30, so significant.

So basically you don't need to disable HT in the BIOS to get the benefits. This is the single most "fluid" improvement I had on this new system yet.

BTW, I find it pretty silly that the mods are merging all "low performance" problems into a single thread here. There is a variety of fixes for people with AMD, Intel, Nvidia, ATI - no two performance problems are every exactly the same, so by throwing them all in a 37 page thread, people looking for a fix related to their config find 99% stuff that doesn't apply.

---------- Post added at 04:57 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:55 PM ----------

Operation Flashpoint DR, of which I'm not a fan, proved that you can do large islands and military engagement on modest to old hardware. It may not be our cup of tea, but the constant apologies for the poor BIS Engine performance are getting old.

Even if one reduces VD to 1200 meters, you still suffer from much worse performance than in all other games. So simple saying it's the amount of detail and stuff on the island doesn't cut it.

Your frame rate boost is a result of clearing a bottleneck in your system. The game was likely not recognizing your cpu properly until you changed that in the config.

Your comments on DR are inaccurate because the game is simply not as complicated. There isn't as much going on in the background (processes). That does not excuse the BIS software from being so poorly optimized, it is terrible and the netcode is just as bad.

--------------------------------------------------

One of the biggest issues these days is that almost all games still thread everything through the cpu despite the fact that modern gpus are built to take on processing tasks. In addition, there are no games that are truly multi-core optimized. Sure some will use more than one core but they don't do so in an optimum way. CPU speed is still a huge deal. 12 cores mean nothing if they have a speed of 1Ghz. When building a gaming machine, don't be fooled into thinking more cores will make up for a slow processor.

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Steel, are you running -CPUCOUNT=4 ? I have the i7-860 too, and it helped a lot.

However, I'm now getting frequent CTD - something that did not happen earlier. Could be the latest beta, could be the CPU parameter?

With your config, this thing should fly.

Anfiach, I know you are basically "on my side" of the argument, just saying: Someone else asked what other game does similar things Arma2 does. I answered.

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will the -cpucount=4 help me as well in performance with my Q6600@3,2GHz, or its just for i7 ????

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will the -cpucount=4 help me as well in performance with my Q6600@3,2GHz, or its just for i7 ????

I have same cpu with XP32

I do not use that parameter and all 4 of my cores average about 80-90% load in A2

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The CPUCOUNT parameter basically seems to keep Arma2 from using "virtual cores" in Hyperthreading, instead only using the 4 physical cores. In my case this brought considerable smoothness and better framerate (better average, but most imporant smaller minimum frames).

It could help for any CPU using hyperthreading, but it seems that many have no problems with HT.

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Heya!

I'd love some advices/comments on my system. I thought it was ok but I have major graphic lag sometimes. I upgrade the chassis and CPU's fans so now the temperatures are ok.

My system:

OS: Windows XP SP3 (always up to date)

CPU: Intel Core2Duo E8400 (3.0GHz)

RAM: 4Gb DDR2 (800MHz if I remember correctly)

Video Card: Nvidia GeForce 9800GTX+ (512mb)

MB: Asus P5Q

The game even in medium settings is slow sometimes. Especially when encountering heavy effects like explosions, many characters etc...

Running on 1.04 patch, using ArmA II launcher I activated the 2 cpu count, windows XP etc...

Should I update anything?

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no no no! wait for patches and download the latest beta patches.

http://www.arma2.com/beta-patch.php

you can easily overclock your cpu to 3.8 Ghz with the intel stock cooler, just watch for temperature hike. If you can setup a RAID 0 "only for gaming then go for it" if not then look up on how to use RAMDISK in this forum. Turn AA off or low, terrain details to low, PP to low/off, put the rest on normal. Also experiment with overcloking your GPU which i don't know how because i own ATI.

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