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MastrbatingBear
12-21-02, 02:07 AM
Was just playing the bloodrayne demo with my ti4600. Plays fairly smooth at 1600x1200 (no AA or AF) but goes to crap in this small room with smoke (steam?) billowing down from the ceiling. Its sad, cause if you pan around the room it goes from smooth to downright choppy single digit framerates.
This is not the first game to feature this horrible slowdown from smoke effects.
Why is effect used at all?
I wish I could turn it off in all games until the day when we can get it without a framerate hit. A little tiny puff of smoke from a squealing tire is ok, but with 50% of the screen filled with this smoke, the poor video card chokes (understandable I guess).
Maybe it doesn't bother anyone else. Is the added eye candy is worth the (huge) drop in frames? Am I too picky? Is Santa Claus real?

styles-T
12-21-02, 03:26 AM
I guess this is where the System Requirments come in..
:D :D

Kruno
12-21-02, 03:41 AM
My video card doesn't do that. :p
/me asks people to look at sig :D

zsynth
12-21-02, 04:18 AM
I have a TI4400 (Leadtek) and have no problems at all with any smoke effects. It's running at 305\660. If you want to see some real smoke play MOHAA Spearhead and throw some smoke grenades around, man, talk about smoke, it looks very real, and very cool. My card seems to handle it fine, and doesn't seem to drop any frame rates. I mean smoke so thick you can hardly see. The next best smoke effects are in Comanche4, no problems there either.
I run at 1152x864 8x anisotropic with 2x antialiasing all the time. Smoke effects give the game atmosphere, just like in the movies.

AbitKR7A133-raid XP2100
Antec412 PSU Win98se
768megs PC2100(micron) (256meg ram drive)
LiteOn 48x24x48
AOpen DVD
(1) WD 80gig w\8meg buf
(3) 40gig Maxtor's ATA 133
Leadtek TI4400
TB Santa Cruz
Hauppauge TV card
D-link NIC

Blakhart
12-21-02, 01:18 PM
Can you tell the image diff between 32 and 16 bit color? If you are running 32 set it to 16 and see if it reduces the problem.

MastrbatingBear
12-21-02, 05:35 PM
Here is 2 situations with widely varying framerates:

framerate of around 80 to 90 (http://members.shaw.ca/ipukespiders/highframes.jpg)

framerate of around 17 to 22 (http://members.shaw.ca/ipukespiders/lowframes.jpg)

I lowered my res down to 1152x864
In game settings are set to max quality. Again, no AA or AF.
Fraps didn't save the framerate counter, but I made a note of it.
Sure, I've only got a thunderbird running at 1423 MHz and a "lowly" 4600, but this is kinda crappy. 41.09 drivers, although drivers don't seem to make a difference. Vsync off.
If other people are maintaining a constant above 60fps with high res, AA and AF in situations like the low framerate example above, then let me know your secret.

Kruno
12-21-02, 09:35 PM
Originally posted by MastrbatingBear
Here is 2 situations with widely varying framerates:

framerate of around 80 to 90 (http://members.shaw.ca/ipukespiders/highframes.jpg)

framerate of around 17 to 22 (http://members.shaw.ca/ipukespiders/lowframes.jpg)

I lowered my res down to 1152x864
In game settings are set to max quality. Again, no AA or AF.
Fraps didn't save the framerate counter, but I made a note of it.
Sure, I've only got a thunderbird running at 1423 MHz and a "lowly" 4600, but this is kinda crappy. 41.09 drivers, although drivers don't seem to make a difference. Vsync off.
If other people are maintaining a constant above 60fps with high res, AA and AF in situations like the low framerate example above, then let me know your secret.

Buy a Radeon 9700 Pro ;)
That's my secret any way. :)

Can you tell the image diff between 32 and 16 bit color? If you are running 32 set it to 16 and see if it reduces the problem.

/turns on 3dfx mode
Of course not, 16bpp looks the same with less of a performance hit.
/turns off 3dfx mode

Seriously: Yes there is a very big difference. You will get several visual errors in 16bpp while in 32bpp they are fixed.

Blakhart
12-21-02, 10:02 PM
I see.

MastrbatingBear
12-21-02, 10:20 PM
Originally posted by K.I.L.E.R
Buy a Radeon 9700 Pro ;)
That's my secret any way. :)
/

The effects of smoke like in the screenshot i posted is free on your card and does not affect performance? So I guess you would be getting like 100+ fps while facing every direction in that room in question? If you haven't tried the game yet, please do and find that "meatlocker" room.

Kruno
12-21-02, 11:24 PM
Originally posted by MastrbatingBear
The effects of smoke like in the screenshot i posted is free on your card and does not affect performance? So I guess you would be getting like 100+ fps while facing every direction in that room in question? If you haven't tried the game yet, please do and find that "meatlocker" room.

100fps is too low on my card. :p ;)
With vsync on you can say it's free as my framerate doesn't hit anywhere below my refreshrate. :)

Might I add I have overclocked my core and memory of my Radeon over 50Mhz. Just something to think about. :)

Greg
12-22-02, 05:19 AM
I will tell you exactly what is going on and you'll be happy to know IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. In fact it is due to lazy game programming. Particle effects in games are typically made up of 20-100 rectangles. When viewed from a distance on a reasonable computer, the frame rate hardly takes a hit from CPU, GPU triangles or GPU filling. However when you get 'in' the effect or look through it, such as looking throught a rocket trail or up at a smoking vent, you suddenly get 20-100 screen size polygons being drawn. Modern graphics cards can handle the screen being overdrawn 15-30 times per frame within their 'fillrate' limit. This limit is directly related to the video cards memory systems. So suddenly instead of getting 15-30 time overdraw, you get many times that, dropping your frame rate often into single digits. What makes this effect worse is that smoke is a translucent texture which means the GPU has to read the color already on the screen to blend in the new color and test the z-buffer, this combination is nearly the worst case. So what can game developers do to prevent this? For a start, they can use the minimal number of rectangles to make the effect look impressive, such as using fewer, larger smoke particles. When close to the effect, they can check for very large particles and not draw them, or limit the number drawn. Levels can be designed to reduce the chance of seeing the worst case when all particles are directly in front of the viewer and screen size. I play Operation Flashpoint and the smoke in that game kills frame rate when you're up close, or looking through telescopic sights. So you have two choices, buy a faster video card, or complain to the developer hoping they will enhance future versions.

Kruno
12-22-02, 05:26 AM
What are the chances they will do that?
BTW: You are 100% right. :)
Only thing you can do is buy a faster vid card or overclock current vid in hopes of minimising the hit.

Greg
12-22-02, 06:44 AM
I'll admit the chance is small, but some developers do actually listen. Just be very brief and concise when sending feature requests or bug reports. Yep, I bought a Geforce3 to make OpFlashpoint run faster :( Yes, OC that vid memory, but you can also run at lower resolution or even 16bit color to help a lot.

nin_fragile14
12-22-02, 11:51 AM
The game runs at about a constant 45-100 fps on my Radeon 9700, but drops to about 25-35 fps in that steam room, and it does feel very jerky. So it's not just you.

Blakhart
12-22-02, 01:07 PM
Are particle/fog effects an option that can be disabled in that game?

MastrbatingBear
12-22-02, 02:03 PM
Originally posted by nin_fragile14
The game runs at about a constant 45-100 fps on my Radeon 9700, but drops to about 25-35 fps in that steam room, and it does feel very jerky. So it's not just you.

Thank you for the confirmation!

MastrbatingBear
12-22-02, 02:05 PM
Originally posted by Blakhart
Are particle/fog effects an option that can be disabled in that game?

Maybe the full version of the game will have that option, but I don't see it in the demo.

wysiwyg
12-23-02, 06:36 AM
it sloooows down a lot for me too in that steam room. So does splinter cell when hes in the large room with lots of light.

doesnt make sense to me either :s


oh well

MastrbatingBear
12-23-02, 10:00 PM
Originally posted by K.I.L.E.R
100fps is too low on my card. :p ;)
With vsync on you can say it's free as my framerate doesn't hit anywhere below my refreshrate. :)


Thats odd.
I've asked a few 9700 users (not in this forum) and they indicate an unusually large framerate hit in that same room.

Kruno
12-24-02, 03:18 AM
Try playing at lowest resolution possible, no AA or AF and 16bpp with everything down/turned off, maximum positive LOD, overclock video card 50MHz+, give the program a high cpu priority, get rid of explorer (if using WindowsXP) and other tasks (as much as possible).

Just some tweaks to get it running smoothly. :)


Originally posted by MastrbatingBear
Thats odd.
I've asked a few 9700 users (not in this forum) and they indicate an unusually large framerate hit in that same room.

EciDemon
01-01-03, 04:00 AM
Best thing to do I think is to try and OC the memory of the gfx card abit. And also run the game in a lower res.
I usually play all my games in 1152x864x32 and it usually works great (no FSAA). My monitor is just 15inch(?) so there is not much of a point in me using higher res .... things get too small.

Smoke fx has to do with fillrate of the gfx card, faster mem faster framerate. (3dmarks uses such tests).

DXnfiniteFX
01-01-03, 09:57 AM
Grass and tress create the exact same performance hit. You can literally get around like 100 FPS and suddenly drop to hell. MOH is the best example. Play in the snowy forest map or level. Then I dare you to look up at the trees. Regardless, your performance will bomb to hell, back, and then some. Seriously, D-Day has better performance than those trees. D-Day, too, has bad FPS, but I guess you can atribute that to lots of action going around. Is the Q3 engine bad at rendering large areas such as what is seen on D-Day? However, trees and smoke kill performance in whatever game you play. This is evident in MOH, NOLF2, you name it. Pretty sad, actually.

Grechie
01-01-03, 09:14 PM
hrmm thats wierd, on my mx 440 in that room on 1024x768X32bit everything on high it doesnt have a framerate it? thats wierd? maybe if i have the reso up it will choke lol :mad:

Kruno
01-02-03, 12:02 AM
Bloodrayne runs awesome. Even in the boiler room. :)
Just because "some" people have it slow doesn't mean everyone with the same video card does.

Bah, there are thousands (literally) of things you can do to improve framerate if you are that desperate.

Run XP without a shell. Only use the command prompt. :)

Sydog
10-24-03, 04:47 AM
Thought I might bump this thread see if I can get an answer.

I've also been having problems with smoke and a large framerate hit. Nothing I do has cured it, even enabling aa 4x i get a very small performance decrease.

Here are my specs:

AXP Tbred 2100 @ 2168mhz watercooled
Abit NF7-S
Samsung TCB-3 512mb pc2700
Gainward Geforce 4 ti4200 gs
SB Audigy Gamer
3Com 10/100 nic

Since I have had these issues, all my hardware has changed, with about the only similarities being the mobo was abit socket a, and the video card was nvidia.

If anyone has any tips I would greatly appreciate it as the performance hit is getting increasingly annoying with the release of Max Payne 2. :)