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ChrisRay
12-01-04, 07:35 AM
Some driver guys for Nvidia have passed along a little tidbit too me as I have been trying to narrow down the problem with Everquest 2 and its constant stuttering in game on the Geforce 6 hardware. Keep in mind this little tweak may already been enabled for you. But in many cases. And in my case it has something extremely easy to overlook.

Options --> Display --> Water --> Enviroment Cube Map updates

The Everquest 2 default and recommended setting for this is.

Fast: Periodic update) Which means the reflections themselves are updated periodically.

The other two settings are.

Fastest: One Time (Which means you get on reflection update the entire time)

And Maximum ((Syncs the reflections every frame))

Now these settings themselves are probably pretty straight forward. When around water you are going to go slower by raising the scale. However. This is the not the simple case. I did some tests in several areas. First I started with The Sunken City (And area that has a great deal of water and pixel shaded effects) Ran some fraps run with two Settings. (Maximum and Fastest)


((I would keep in mind I am running @ 1280x1024 with 4xAA/16xAF with really high details, I would not make much note of minimum frame rate that much. Since MMORPGS are very inconsistent. I did the best I could))


The Sunken City

(Fraps results) Cubemaps. Sync Every Frame (Maximum)

2004-12-01 05:13:33 - EverQuest2
Frames: 416 - Time: 40781ms - Avg: 10.200 - Min: 8 - Max: 16

Fraps results (Cubemaps, Sync One frame (Fast: One Time)

2004-12-01 05:14:28 - EverQuest2
Frames: 829 - Time: 40861ms - Avg: 21.401 - Min: 13 - Max: 27

Considering this spot is extremely loaded with cubemaps and pixel shader effects. These results cant be very surprising. But the most interesting part is the next test I did. I decided to carry my testing over to another zone where I have experienced massive stuttering. (Aka The Beggars Court). Keep in mind there is very little water in Beggars Court. And the area I did my testing didnt even have water in the Beggars Court.


The Beggars Court

(Fraps Results) Cubemaps Sync Every Frame (Maximum)

2004-12-01 05:16:36 - EverQuest2
Frames: 575 - Time: 51328ms - Avg: 11.202 - Min: 9 - Max: 18

(Fraps Results) Cubemaps.(Fastest: one Time)

2004-12-01 05:15:35 - EverQuest2
Frames: 1426 - Time: 52157ms - Avg: 27.340 - Min: 13 - Max: 39


Now these results surprised me. Despite there being no rendered water. The frame rate impact is in many cases over 60%. Why would this occur? Honestly I have no idea why these results are the way they are. But it led me to do some further investigations on the issue. I begin to compare the recommended setting verses the Fastest Setting.

I didnt record these tests because the stutter is impossible to really record in fraps. But I will let you know my results. I first went to the Zone of Beggars Nest and set the Cubemap reflection update to (Fast:Periodic)) I did some running around the area. And sure enough. I would stutter every few seconds. (As you can imagine this is very annoying)) ((My next test I set the Cubemap reflection update to to (Fastest: One Time) and traveled around The Beggars Court. Ahh Happy day! The stutter itself has been "Greatly" reduced. It was not completely reduced due to hard drive thrashing. But the stutter every 5 second issue seemed to be corrected. I went ahead and took my testing to North Freeport and S Qeynos and have found very similar results. If you set the cubemap reflection update to (Fast: Periodic) You will recive a slight stutter every few seconds. No amount of texture lowering detail is going to prevent this. Setting it to Fastest greatly improves the stuttering.

One thing to keep in mind. Do not confuse stuttering with hard drive thrashing. In Many cases the cities will cause you to stutter due to turning corners, ect as it tries to draw so many charactor models/textures on screen. But the actual periodic stutter has been greatly improved but city texture swapping is still similar. I urge everyone to at least try these settings and see how they work for them.

Chris

mustrum
12-01-04, 07:39 AM
Thanks for sharing. I have horrible performance problems with my 450/1200 ULTRA.
I'll give this a try.
Another thing that helps a lot: Use 66.81 drivers. The 67.02 stutter where the 66.81 don't.
(Also recommended by SOE support.)

|MaguS|
12-01-04, 07:42 AM
67.02 on my card no stuttering at all or drop in FPS...

mustrum
12-01-04, 07:44 AM
67.02 on my card no stuttering at all or drop in FPS...
What settings ingame and what PS. You'd be the very first 68xx owner that can run the game smooth. Check the official forums. Even the FX run the game better. This is no joke!
There's some serious bug in the game code.

TWIMTP title. Yeah baby. Somehow i start to miss my XT PE.
Edit: Actually i love the card. Screw sonys programmers. (snowlol)

ChrisRay
12-01-04, 07:51 AM
What settings ingame and what PS. You'd be the very first 68xx owner that can run the game smooth. Check the official forums. Even the FX run the game better. This is no joke!
There's some serious bug in the game code.

TWIMTP title. Yeah baby. Somehow i start to miss my XT PE.

Doing this has actually managed to close the gap between my 6800 and 9800 Pro. I mean other than some obvious differences. I have actually made the game alot more playable. I'm mostly curious if we can reproduce these results. As I have done some extensive testing before posting this. And my results have been pretty conclusive. This reflection update is for some reason causing the game to stutter every few seconds even well away from water. And to be honest when its only updated 1 time it doesnt really take anything away from the game experience.

I've forward my results to Nvidia as well since they are pretty interested in this issue. Probably going to try and contact sony with them as well. Hopefully this issue can be resolved soon.

mustrum
12-01-04, 10:09 AM
Your tweak did boost my FPS quite a bit. Can't give ya numbers since it's very difficult to get clear numbers in EQ2 as you know. I'd say i went from like 35 to 42 at that spot when i changed it. Maybe less boost.

I am playing at 30-50 FPS when i walk around but the FPS dip way below that in fights. That with character shadows off and complex shaders at 28m.
If i set quality to preset HIGH the game gets unplayable. Funny since 9800 XTs seem to run on HIGH just fine.

I am VERY frustrated with my performance right now. If i play in a group of 6 i have to set to extreme performance if i want to stay above 25 FPS.
A SHAME!

Edit: Not running with any AA or AF even!

racingx
12-01-04, 10:44 AM
I will try this when I get home today from work. I hope it does get rid of the "stutters" I get expecially in N Qeynos. SOE is asking peeps in the Sand Dog area to help them out so hopefully we will see a patch or driver update to correct this problem. This whole EQ2 fiasco with the 6800 series is really a kick in the arse for those of us who dropped $400+ on a new video card just to run this game smooth when people using my previous gen of video cards (9800pro) are reporting much smoother frame rate then the 6800 users.

Sgt_Pitt
12-01-04, 12:54 PM
aaahh chris, your a legend, 3 things i have done to improve my settings, actually 4 are as follows.


1. Follow the gfx guide on soe website, it is very helpfull (i previously thought yeah yeah i know what im doing)

2. Install 66.81

3. Turn off virtual mem (may only be suitable for people with more than 1 gig)

4. Try chris's trick

edit: hmm im not really sure if chris's trick solved the problem, but i do notice a huge performance in framerate right after SOE resets their servers.

Ghosthunter
12-01-04, 01:47 PM
Hmm I will try this out...but I havent had any issues with my 6800GT, and I play at 1280x1024 with very high quality settings..I have tweaked some...but overall the only time I ever get any lag or stutter is in really crowded places like Queynos harbor/N Queynos/S Queynso

Everywhere else runs smooth as butter..I am using latest official drivers.

-=DVS=-
12-01-04, 02:20 PM
Yeah i have Pageing File turned off (Virtual Memory settings) and no more disk trashing. But gotta have atleast 1 gig of ram.

Will try Cube Map thing also.

ChrisRay
12-01-04, 04:30 PM
Your tweak did boost my FPS quite a bit. Can't give ya numbers since it's very difficult to get clear numbers in EQ2 as you know. I'd say i went from like 35 to 42 at that spot when i changed it. Maybe less boost.

I am playing at 30-50 FPS when i walk around but the FPS dip way below that in fights. That with character shadows off and complex shaders at 28m.
If i set quality to preset HIGH the game gets unplayable. Funny since 9800 XTs seem to run on HIGH just fine.

I am VERY frustrated with my performance right now. If i play in a group of 6 i have to set to extreme performance if i want to stay above 25 FPS.
A SHAME!

Edit: Not running with any AA or AF even!

Have you tried tweaking your particle details? Just like EQ 1. I will only play with my own particles enabled. And I keep them at a bare minimum. They require massive amounts off fillrate in combat. And I just cant keep them enabled on any hardware.

Keep in mind everyone I did these tests at early morning (4:00 AM) when people were at a bare minimum. The more people you have in cities the worse it's gonna be. Another zone I strongly urge you all tio check is black burrow. I havent had a chance to test that one.

mustrum
12-01-04, 06:32 PM
Had the worst performance ever in blackburrow once. A memory leak brought me down to about 30 frames a minute!

I've stumbled across an interesting thread over at official forums where a 6800 GT owner reported somethign interesting. He gets very low load temps when playing.
I checked this out as many others and it'S true!
My card idles at 56 C and loads at 75 C in HL 2. RTHDRIBL goes a tad higher even.
Now in EQ2 i get a load temp of 66 C!
I know that games stress different parts of the GPU and therefore there's differences in temperatures but this game seems to not stress the GPU at all while rendering choppy framerates!

I did test this with rivatuner. (No shady temperature reading after quitting game)

Give it a go and look for yourself.
To me this indicates that there is something wrong.

ChrisRay
12-01-04, 06:58 PM
Let me test that right now. I havent notice any abnormal load problems. But I havent been looking.

I am loading at 66C myself. But this could be for any number of reasons. Usually when you dont load as high its because the GPU is waiting for CPU information. Thus the GPU cant reach its full potential. An Interesting way to test this is to put a slower CPU in there. And usually it will load even less. Since the GPU is constantly waiting on the CPU.

It';s interesting how well HL2/Doom 3 scale and make use of GPU though. Wonder how EQ 2 scales for various CPUS.

Kostamojen
12-01-04, 08:47 PM
Ill have to give this a shot too...

Sgt_Pitt
12-01-04, 11:57 PM
well chris im glad someone with your status is involved in getting this sorted, with your ties to nvidia, im sure you can help us all out of this hole. im sure our 6800's are not being used to thier full potential, and sometimes it feels like im playing the game using software rendering :P


ive always noticed directly after a server reset my game runs like butter, this is usually at night for us here in australia, then when i try the next day the game runs like a slideshow

|MaguS|
12-02-04, 01:01 AM
1280x1024 @ Very High + Custom (no AA/AF), my PS is a Sparkle 530

Tyr-Sog
12-02-04, 07:24 AM
I'm going to give the 66.81 a try and also this tweak. (cheers)


Also I have read in many of the threads the SOE techs suggesting that us 6800 owners play with AA on. Iforget the reason why but they're always suggesting it.

mustrum
12-02-04, 09:58 AM
I'm going to give the 66.81 a try and also this tweak. (cheers)


Also I have read in many of the threads the SOE techs suggesting that us 6800 owners play with AA on. Iforget the reason why but they're always suggesting it.
What? I didn't read that yet. I didn't try to ru it with AA on so far.
I'll give this a try.

Ghosthunter
12-02-04, 11:38 AM
I also had the issue where my temps never get higher then 62C, when I am at desktop it usually only 58C


I gave up trying to figure out why..since seems to run pretty good for me.

I have not tried AA, maybe I should

I was thinking of turning off virtual memory but did not think 1 GB ram would be enough, but going to give it a shot

Ghosthunter
12-03-04, 08:23 AM
I tried turning off Virtual memory but for some reason it actually seem to make things run slower I dont know..I went back to it on with static 1536...and everything seems to be fine.

Maybe 1 GB just is not enough

Downside
12-03-04, 12:36 PM
There needed to be a fix for this right after release. To get "TWIMTBP' logo every time I log in, and then get performance that is comparable to my 3 year old 9700pro is just sad.

There is no way it should have made it to shipping like this. The 6800 series has been out for what, 6+ months? Did all the developement and testing at Sony happen on FX series or ATI hardware? Did no one at NVidia review the gold release to make sure it lived up to whatever "The Way It's" logo is supposed to imply? It just blows me away.

Sorry for the rant, but after 3 weeks of watching my $400 dollar GT perform like tech from 4 generations ago, it's leaving a very sour taste.

Sgt_Pitt
12-03-04, 02:13 PM
i agree

|MaguS|
12-03-04, 09:43 PM
Heheh I just find it funny that everyone blames SOE... You know it could be a probablem on Nvidia's driver side you know? Nvidia hasn't been the best at fixing buggy drivers lately...

Tigerj
12-04-04, 03:04 AM
Heheh I just find it funny that everyone blames SOE... You know it could be a probablem on Nvidia's driver side you know? Nvidia hasn't been the best at fixing buggy drivers lately...

Prob cause the 6800 works very well on every other game that is out there but EQ2. Also if some of you havn't notice when you play, check your CPU usage on EQ2. My tends to hang at 80% constant and I will get spikes that last from 10 sec to 2 min to 100%.

I am running EQ2 on a AMD 2800+ Barton with 1.5GB of Ram. But I am also using a FX 5600 256 and it is smooth for me on a freshly tweak XP system with no other programs but EQ2.

Downside
12-04-04, 06:49 PM
Personally I blame them both, but put the most blame on NVidia, not because they are probably more at fault, but because they put TWIMTBP or whatever logo on the thing. They are still hyping the crap out of that logo, so it should actually mean something. If they are going to let a dev company put that on it's box, then they should be taking a hand in making sure it runs better on thier latest gen hardware than on the competitions 2 or 3 year old models.

That or Sony shoudl pull it and put whatever ATI's partner program logo is on the box/intro screens.