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MUYA
04-25-06, 03:30 PM
Well cranking up the resolution and IQ...shows how much graphics play a bigger part than CPU.

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/oblivion_athlon_64_x2_fx_cpu_performance/

CaptNKILL
04-25-06, 04:02 PM
DUH!!!

Ok, Im really going to bang my head on my desk here...

They didnt even bench any of the CPU bound areas, they benched everything else!

The game is severely severely CPU limited (ie resolution makes no difference) when there are a lot of NPCs and monsters moving around as well as in the cities with hundreds of objects and a few dozen NPCs.

I cant believe they missed this... I've done the testing myself and the game deffinitely is not GPU limited in these situations.

Gahhhhhhhhhhhh.... :banghead:

SH64
04-25-06, 04:30 PM
Good find! thought i agree with CaptN .. i still cant find a single article/benchmark for the CPU limited situations (entrance of the imperial city for ex.)
& FWIW i played Oblivion with both single & dual core CPUs .. i couldnt feel any difference in load times , performance ..etc

OWA
04-25-06, 07:18 PM
Oblivion is difficult to deal with benchmarking-wise. So, I think a lot of mistakes like this are bound to happen.

fps_dean
04-26-06, 07:33 PM
I think Capt may have hit the nail on the head. From what I've seen, Oblivin may be CPU or GPU limited at times.

sillyeagle
04-26-06, 07:52 PM
I felt the same regarding not using any CPU bound areas, but then again for consistency they test thr CPU in the same areas they used to stress the GPU in the graphics card tests. I would have rather seen some new areas picked specifically for the CPU.

CaptNKILL
04-27-06, 04:04 AM
Ok, I just emailed a bunch of my benchmark results to brandon at Firingsquad, we'll see what he says tomorrow. I figured I would post them here for you guys since this is probably the first significant testing of CPU limited areas anyone has done in this game. I'll just paste the whole .txt file I sent him. Sorry I dont have all the images to put up, they are too big and its way too late for me to go set them up somewhere(4AM, have to be to work at 10... joy). Here you go, its BIG:

System Specs:
Athlon 64 3000+ Venice Core (stock 1.8Ghz)
DFI Lanparty UT NF4 Ultra
2Gb OCZ GOLD PC-4000 (@245Mhz, 1T, 3-4-4-7)
EVGA 7900GTX 512Mb @ 674\871 with 84.25 drivers
Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 200Gb SATA

Oblivion Settings:
All settings maxed, self shadows off, shadows on grass off
HDR On
Vsync Off
Some minor INI tweaks

Driver settings:
"Image Quality" set to "Quality"
8x Anisotropic Filtering
Anti-Aliasing set to OFF
Max Frames Rendered Ahead set to 0

1.------------------------------------------------------------------------
640x480, actor, item and object distance at maximum, cpu at 9x275=2.475Ghz:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2006-04-26 21:51:57 - Oblivion
Frames: 525 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 17.500 - Min: 16 - Max: 18

2006-04-26 21:52:35 - Oblivion
Frames: 526 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 17.533 - Min: 17 - Max: 18

2006-04-26 21:53:12 - Oblivion
Frames: 519 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 17.300 - Min: 13 - Max: 18

2006-04-26 21:53:51 - Oblivion
Frames: 523 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 17.433 - Min: 16 - Max: 18

2006-04-26 21:54:27 - Oblivion
Frames: 522 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 17.400 - Min: 16 - Max: 18
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rough Averages= Avg: 17.400 - Min: 15.6 - Max: 18

2.------------------------------------------------------------------------
1600x1200, actor, item and object distance at maximum, cpu at 9x275=2.475Ghz:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2006-04-26 21:57:04 - Oblivion
Frames: 529 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 17.633 - Min: 16 - Max: 18

2006-04-26 21:57:40 - Oblivion
Frames: 522 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 17.400 - Min: 13 - Max: 18

2006-04-26 21:58:17 - Oblivion
Frames: 526 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 17.533 - Min: 16 - Max: 18

2006-04-26 21:58:53 - Oblivion
Frames: 526 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 17.533 - Min: 17 - Max: 18

2006-04-26 21:59:46 - Oblivion
Frames: 523 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 17.433 - Min: 16 - Max: 18

2006-04-26 22:00:25 - Oblivion
Frames: 527 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 17.566 - Min: 17 - Max: 18

2006-04-26 22:01:05 - Oblivion
Frames: 524 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 17.466 - Min: 16 - Max: 18
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rough Averages= Avg: 17.500 - Min: 15.9 - Max: 18

3.------------------------------------------------------------------------
640x480, actor, item and object distance at minimum, cpu at 9x275=2.475Ghz:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2006-04-26 22:08:44 - Oblivion
Frames: 1621 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 54.033 - Min: 48 - Max: 55

2006-04-26 22:09:22 - Oblivion
Frames: 1611 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 53.700 - Min: 49 - Max: 55

2006-04-26 22:10:07 - Oblivion
Frames: 1613 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 53.766 - Min: 52 - Max: 55

2006-04-26 22:10:46 - Oblivion
Frames: 1606 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 53.533 - Min: 49 - Max: 55

2006-04-26 22:11:27 - Oblivion
Frames: 1602 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 53.400 - Min: 49 - Max: 54
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rough Averages= Avg: 53.700 - Min: 50 - Max: 55

4.------------------------------------------------------------------------
1600x1200, actor, item and object distance at minimum, cpu at 9x275=2.475Ghz:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2006-04-26 22:02:15 - Oblivion
Frames: 1202 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 40.066 - Min: 40 - Max: 40

2006-04-26 22:02:57 - Oblivion
Frames: 1195 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 39.833 - Min: 37 - Max: 41

2006-04-26 22:13:52 - Oblivion
Frames: 1269 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 42.300 - Min: 39 - Max: 43

2006-04-26 22:14:27 - Oblivion
Frames: 1278 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 42.600 - Min: 39 - Max: 43

2006-04-26 22:15:02 - Oblivion
Frames: 1286 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 42.866 - Min: 40 - Max: 43

2006-04-26 22:15:42 - Oblivion
Frames: 1286 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 42.866 - Min: 40 - Max: 44
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rough Averages= Avg: 41.000 - Min: 39 - Max: 42

5.------------------------------------------------------------------------
640x480, actor, item and object distance at maximum, cpu at 6.5x275=1.788Ghz:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2006-04-26 22:28:17 - Oblivion
Frames: 395 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 13.166 - Min: 12 - Max: 14

2006-04-26 22:28:52 - Oblivion
Frames: 395 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 13.166 - Min: 12 - Max: 14

2006-04-26 22:29:27 - Oblivion
Frames: 396 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 13.200 - Min: 12 - Max: 14

2006-04-26 22:30:04 - Oblivion
Frames: 395 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 13.166 - Min: 12 - Max: 14
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rough Averages= Avg: 13.200 - Min: 12 - Max: 14

6.------------------------------------------------------------------------
1600x1200, actor, item and object distance at maximum, cpu at 6.5x275=1.788Ghz:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2006-04-26 22:47:12 - Oblivion
Frames: 393 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 13.100 - Min: 12 - Max: 14

2006-04-26 22:47:58 - Oblivion
Frames: 392 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 13.066 - Min: 12 - Max: 14

2006-04-26 22:48:34 - Oblivion
Frames: 394 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 13.133 - Min: 12 - Max: 14

2006-04-26 22:49:17 - Oblivion
Frames: 393 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 13.100 - Min: 12 - Max: 14

2006-04-26 22:50:11 - Oblivion
Frames: 392 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 13.066 - Min: 12 - Max: 14
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rough Averages= Avg: 13.100 - Min: 12 - Max: 14

7.------------------------------------------------------------------------
640x480, actor, item and object distance at minimum, cpu at 6.5x275=1.788Ghz:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2006-04-26 22:31:45 - Oblivion
Frames: 1223 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 40.766 - Min: 37 - Max: 41

2006-04-26 22:33:06 - Oblivion
Frames: 1228 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 40.933 - Min: 39 - Max: 42

2006-04-26 22:33:42 - Oblivion
Frames: 1223 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 40.766 - Min: 36 - Max: 42

2006-04-26 22:34:18 - Oblivion
Frames: 1215 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 40.500 - Min: 36 - Max: 41

2006-04-26 22:35:04 - Oblivion
Frames: 1228 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 40.933 - Min: 40 - Max: 42

2006-04-26 22:36:28 - Oblivion
Frames: 1229 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 40.966 - Min: 40 - Max: 41
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rough Averages= Avg: 40.800 - Min: 38 - Max: 41.5


8.------------------------------------------------------------------------
1600x1200, actor, item and object distance at minimum, cpu at 6.5x275=1.788Ghz:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2006-04-26 22:51:46 - Oblivion
Frames: 1182 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 39.400 - Min: 36 - Max: 40

2006-04-26 22:52:30 - Oblivion
Frames: 1188 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 39.600 - Min: 39 - Max: 40

2006-04-26 22:53:09 - Oblivion
Frames: 1179 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 39.300 - Min: 36 - Max: 40

2006-04-26 22:53:44 - Oblivion
Frames: 1179 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 39.300 - Min: 36 - Max: 40

2006-04-26 22:55:09 - Oblivion
Frames: 1188 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 39.600 - Min: 39 - Max: 40

2006-04-26 22:57:16 - Oblivion
Frames: 1189 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 39.633 - Min: 39 - Max: 40

2006-04-26 22:59:19 - Oblivion
Frames: 1189 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 39.633 - Min: 39 - Max: 40
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rough Averages= Avg: 39.500 - Min: 38 - Max: 40

9.------------------------------------------------------------------------
1600x1200, actor, item and object distance at maximum, cpu at 6.5x275=1.788Ghz, 7900GTX underclocked from 674\871 to 500\650
------------------------------------------------------------------------

2006-04-26 23:11:43 - Oblivion
Frames: 394 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 13.133 - Min: 12 - Max: 14

2006-04-26 23:12:18 - Oblivion
Frames: 394 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 13.133 - Min: 12 - Max: 14

2006-04-26 23:13:20 - Oblivion
Frames: 394 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 13.133 - Min: 12 - Max: 14
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rough Averages= Avg: 13.133 - Min: 12 - Max: 14

10.------------------------------------------------------------------------
1600x1200, actor, item and object distance at minimum, cpu at 6.5x275=1.788Ghz, 7900GTX underclocked from 674\871 to 500\650
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2006-04-26 23:16:03 - Oblivion
Frames: 893 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 29.766 - Min: 29 - Max: 30

2006-04-26 23:16:42 - Oblivion
Frames: 887 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 29.566 - Min: 27 - Max: 30

2006-04-26 23:17:44 - Oblivion
Frames: 893 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 29.766 - Min: 29 - Max: 30

2006-04-26 23:18:25 - Oblivion
Frames: 890 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 29.666 - Min: 27 - Max: 30
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rough Averages= Avg: 29.700 - Min: 28 - Max: 30

11.------------------------------------------------------------------------
1600x1200, actor, item and object distance at maximum, cpu at 9x275=2.475Ghz, 7900GTX underclocked from 674\871 to 500\650
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2006-04-27 00:22:17 - Oblivion
Frames: 521 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 17.366 - Min: 16 - Max: 18

2006-04-27 00:22:53 - Oblivion
Frames: 519 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 17.300 - Min: 16 - Max: 18

2006-04-27 00:24:57 - Oblivion
Frames: 521 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 17.366 - Min: 16 - Max: 18

2006-04-27 00:26:49 - Oblivion
Frames: 518 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 17.266 - Min: 16 - Max: 18

2006-04-27 00:27:39 - Oblivion
Frames: 519 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 17.300 - Min: 16 - Max: 18
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rough Averages= Avg: 17.300 - Min: 16 - Max: 18

12.------------------------------------------------------------------------
1600x1200, actor, item and object distance at minimum, cpu at 9x275=2.475Ghz, 7900GTX underclocked from 674\871 to 500\650
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2006-04-27 00:31:00 - Oblivion
Frames: 886 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 29.533 - Min: 28 - Max: 30

2006-04-27 00:31:41 - Oblivion
Frames: 884 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 29.466 - Min: 27 - Max: 30

2006-04-27 00:32:26 - Oblivion
Frames: 889 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 29.633 - Min: 29 - Max: 30

2006-04-27 00:33:38 - Oblivion
Frames: 889 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 29.633 - Min: 29 - Max: 30

2006-04-27 00:34:30 - Oblivion
Frames: 889 - Time: 30000ms - Avg: 29.633 - Min: 29 - Max: 30
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rough Averages= Avg: 29.500 - Min: 28.5 - Max: 30


Rough Averages Overview:

01. Avg: 17.400 - Min: 15.6 - Max: 18

02. Avg: 17.500 - Min: 15.9 - Max: 18

03. Avg: 53.700 - Min: 50.0 - Max: 55

04. Avg: 41.000 - Min: 39.0 - Max: 42

05. Avg: 13.200 - Min: 12.0 - Max: 14

06. Avg: 13.100 - Min: 12.0 - Max: 14

07. Avg: 40.800 - Min: 38.0 - Max: 41

08. Avg: 39.500 - Min: 38.0 - Max: 40

09. Avg: 13.133 - Min: 12.0 - Max: 14

10. Avg: 29.700 - Min: 28.0 - Max: 30

11. Avg: 17.300 - Min: 16.0 - Max: 18

12. Avg: 29.500 - Min: 28.5 - Max: 30



Ok, I know this is a lot of information (much more than I thought I'd be recording) but I think it shows some really interesting results. I hope you go through it all and maybe implement it or do similar tests for another Oblivion performance article.

First of all, the scene the benches were taken in is just inside the southern door in the imperial city market district at about 1:00. There werent many people on screen, but there are hundreds of objects (boxes, statues, architecture) as well as many NPCs that arent visible, but are still active in the scene.

I included screenshots to show a few examples of what things looked like. The screenshots are numbered. They were taken in tests 1, 2 and 4. There wasnt any visual difference in any of the other tests so it wasnt worth including any more than this.

In tests 1 and 2, its obvious that resolution has no effect at all in this area.

To narrow things down a bit, I ran tests 3 and 4 to show that the actor, item and object fade distances have a huge impact in these areas. At this point its either the CPU being limited by all the geometry, physics and AI, or its the GPU not being able to handle the polygon calculations (... Im not an expert on rendering or the inner workings of graphics cards, but it seems possible that the card could be polygon limited while still having plenty of pixel-pushing power to raise the resolution without a performance difference).

So next I had to determine what was causing this limitation.

CaptNKILL
04-27-06, 04:05 AM
Continued...
In tests 5,6,7 and 8 I ran my CPU well under my normal overclock. A difference of almost 700Mhz. Again, resolution made no difference at all, but the performance overall is quite a bit lower (relative to the already poor performance of course). About 35% lower. Its probably no coincidence that my CPU clock was lowered by around that same amount(38%).

Also, it appears that at 1600x1200 my video card is probably hitting its max framerate in the low 40s in that area because lowering the CPU speed didnt effect the framerate at all with the fade distance settings low.

Next I decided to see how much the video card really was effecting performance in this area. I down clocked it far below the default clocks to 500\650. The stock speed is 650\800, I ran all of the other tests at 674\871.

As you can see, underclocking the videocard had no impact on performance at 1600x1200 in this area with the CPU underclocked as well as running at my normal overclocked speed. This scene is deffinitely extremely CPU limited. The only time the video card even comes into play in the performance in this area is when the fade distances are reduced (which seriously reduces the CPU load).

I think this is pretty conclusive. This game can be extremely heavy on the CPU, to the point where a mid\high end cpu can be bottlenecked into the low teens, even when there isnt any action on screen.

This isnt just a single spot that I found that performed this way either. Any areas where you are looking toward a large amount of buildings or NPCs will do this. It doesnt matter if they are visible either. I had consistantly poor framerates in most of the imperial city. The waterfront district also seems to run very poorly. The town of Cheydinhal also runs very slowly, without any real graphical reason (leading me to believe that this is also a CPU limited area).


http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/attachment.php?attachmentid=17772&stc=1&d=1146124759

GitDat
04-27-06, 10:45 AM
Does Oblivion not take advantage of dual core processors like Q4 did with that patch?

Belarnion
04-27-06, 12:37 PM
CaptNKILL, When I get my 7900GT's configured properly and overclocked to GTX levels, I'll run through the city (In single GPU mode) and see if a dual core helps in any way. With and without .ini tweaks. Even if GT is 256MB and GTX is 512MB I think the results will be pretty much the same.

Or someone else can do it. Still a few days left till I can try it.

I'll first "fake" a single core by running prime with RealTime priority on one of the cores and see if my results match yours. What more, I'll make a few tests using multipliers starting from 4x through 10x to see how the CPU is scaling. Was memory speed 550MHz and timings 3-4-4-7 1T through the test?

Did you have any ini tweaks loaded while running through the test?

Oh, and exactly where did you start the test and end the test? Did you just stand still?

CaptNKILL
04-27-06, 12:48 PM
CaptNKILL, When I get my 7900GT's configured properly and overclocked to GTX levels, I'll run through the city (In single GPU mode) and see if a dual core helps in any way. With and without .ini tweaks. Even if GT is 256MB and GTX is 512MB I think the results will be pretty much the same.

Or someone else can do it. Still a few days left till I can try it.

I'll first "fake" a single core by running prime with RealTime priority on one of the cores and see if my results match yours. What more, I'll make a few tests using multipliers starting from 4x through 10x to see how the CPU is scaling. Was memory speed 550MHz and timings 3-4-4-7 1T through the test?

Did you have any ini tweaks loaded while running through the test?

Oh, and exactly where did you start the test and end the test? Did you just stand still?
I just stood still in the position in the screenshot with a few people walking around. I had a few minor ini tweaks but nothing that should effect the results. The specs I used in the tests are at the top of the benchmark quote. The only things that changed from test to test are noted in the heading of each test.

|MaguS|
04-27-06, 12:53 PM
So basically Bethesda claiming to take advantage of dualcores is total BS according to the article...

CaptNKILL
04-27-06, 01:15 PM
So basically Bethesda claiming to take advantage of dualcores is total BS according to the article...
No. Firingsquad just didnt run any CPU intensive tests. Even in the ones shown (at low resolutions) there was a 10-15% gain from running a dual core. I dont know how you could possibly come to the conclusion that it isnt taking advantage of it.

The gain isnt huge, but its there.

GitDat
04-27-06, 01:50 PM
The gain in Quake 4 was huge though if I remember right.

CaptNKILL
04-27-06, 02:15 PM
The gain in Quake 4 was huge though if I remember right.
Quake 4 was also not all that graphically intensive, so any increase in CPU power made a huge difference because the video card left so much head room.
http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/quake_4_dual-core_performance/page4.asp

At 1280x1024 with 4xAA on a 2.4Ghz, the difference between single and dual core is almost exactly the same as it is in Oblivion at low resolutions (because the game is much much more graphically intensive than Quake 4).

sillyeagle
04-28-06, 07:39 PM
Anandtech will have a CPU analysis soon, so check back. Here is their GPU test which does show some CPU bottlenecks...

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2746

Blacklash
04-29-06, 12:33 AM
CaptNKILL thank you for the time and effort put into all your tests. Very interesting and well done.

rflair
04-29-06, 09:15 AM
Nice work CaptNKILL.