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Huge performance gains on older hardware


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Beyond all threads about feedback and criticism, I think it's also nice to congratulate people for a job well done.

I have an old legacy laptop which I sometimes enjoy using for running older games. I had TDM installed on it, however the CPU-heavy demands of the game would make it impossible to run on long stretches, causing it to overheat even when multicore mode was enabled. I am happy to report that since release 2.09 I've had no overheating problems in my old machine, and that loading times are also greatly improved! Finally I can play TDM on the go!

 

For the record my specs are:

CPU: AMD A10-5750M APU with Radeon HD Graphics @ 4x 2.5GHz [56.0°C]
GPU: AMD ARUBA (DRM 2.50.0 / 4.15.0-135-generic, LLVM 10.0.0)
RAM: 8MB

 

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2 minutes ago, chakkman said:

Hmm... surprises me TBH. The way I understood it, there are performance gains, but, not like 200 % or something.

Good for you though. :)

For my old pc at least it made quite the difference.

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I will have to test more on my machine. Maybe even experiment with activating the ingame anti-aliasing (which as far as I've been told here, is the FPS killer no.1). So far, I haven't noticed a difference, but, it's hard to tell, of course, because I use VSync, and the FPS are capped at 60 that way.

Edited by chakkman
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2 hours ago, chakkman said:

I will have to test more on my machine. Maybe even experiment with activating the ingame anti-aliasing (which as far as I've been told here, is the FPS killer no.1). So far, I haven't noticed a difference, but, it's hard to tell, of course, because I use VSync, and the FPS are capped at 60 that way.

MSAA in this engine is indeed a FPS killer, specially playing above 1080p.

Afaik the engine should be capped at 60hz at default, even with vsync off, unless of course, you use the new uncap FPS option in the menu settings, there's also the "max fps" where you can cap the fps to 60 if you want but logically it should only take effect with uncap fps set to on (why would you uncap the fps and then cap it to 60, when the engine does that for you, is beyond me).

Personally I prefere to just use the normal engine capped fps and not use those settings, nor vsync because afaik it can potentially cause input lag. 

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8 minutes ago, chakkman said:

I always use Vsync, when possible, to avoid tearing, which I really hate. I don't know if TDM tears massively, but, some other games do.

Yes that is a valid reason to use it, I forgot to say that I have a freesync monitor, so I don't normally see tearing, unless fps's go bellow 45fps (45hz) that in my case is rare, I have a reasonable PC and I play at 1080p, no MSAA. 

Edited by HMart
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5 hours ago, zergrush said:

 I am happy to report that since release 2.09 I've had no overheating problems in my old machine, and that loading times are also greatly improved! Finally I can play TDM on the go!

Very strange indeed 😲

For most people, the performance improvements are noticeable, but pretty small.
Maybe your case is different because you have APU, or because CPU/GPU performance ratio is different.

As for loading times, I think it has worsened in 2.09, especially on AMD GPUs!
Because now all normal textures are compressed into RGTC format during loading (to be fixed in 2.10), and texture loading takes most of the time.

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4 minutes ago, stgatilov said:

Maybe your case is different because you have APU, or because CPU/GPU performance ratio is different.

I think that's plausible, especially if combined with throttling due to overheating. In such a scenario, the smallest improvement might lead to a significant change in outcome.

But yeah, that's certainly an unexpected, but welcome outlier :) In most instances, the average performance gain should be relatively small, but in some specific scenes, it can be significant.

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7 minutes ago, stgatilov said:

Very strange indeed 😲

For most people, the performance improvements are noticeable, but pretty small.
Maybe your case is different because you have APU, or because CPU/GPU performance ratio is different.

As for loading times, I think it has worsened in 2.09, especially on AMD GPUs!
Because now all normal textures are compressed into RGTC format during loading (to be fixed in 2.10), and texture loading takes most of the time.

Because I still have both 2.08 and 2.09 installed, I just did a loading time test using Down by the Riverside, a fairly large mission.

2.08 - 1 minute and 38 secs loading time

2.09 - 1 minute and 6 secs loading time

 

That's a remarkable 32 sec decrease! The graphics settings are very much the same and multicore is enabled on 2.08.

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Another test, using Sotha's Coercion, a small mission:

2.08 - 45 secs

2.09 - 33 secs

 

A 12 secs decrease!

 

*EDIT* Two more tests

St Alban's Cathedral, an older, less optimised large mission

2.08 - 1 min and 28 secs

2.09 - 1 min and 22 secs

 

No substantial gains here

 

WS5: Commerce Bank

2.08 - 1 min and 13 secs

2.09 - 1 min and 2 secs

 

A decent 11 sec gain, although not that notorious. I guess it varies from mission to mission.

Edited by zergrush
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59 minutes ago, stgatilov said:

...

As for loading times, I think it has worsened in 2.09, especially on AMD GPUs!
Because now all normal textures are compressed into RGTC format during loading (to be fixed in 2.10), and texture loading takes most of the time.

Afaik original idtech 4 used AMD 3Dc (or was it ATI2N?) format to compress all their normal maps, how bad was it compared to RGTC? And I assume those work faster on AMD GPU's being a format made by them. 

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Id Tech 4 used RXGB which is a swizzled S3TC compression because the alpha channel has higher bit depth than the red channel.

If they had waited a little longer DXT5nm would have been available to give a better result in this approach

(except there would be no alpha channel in normal maps).

 

RGTC is another alias for D3D10 BC5 which is also virtually the same as 3Dc.

The slower load times may just be due to the complexity of converting from a 3 color to 2 color format.

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Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

http://www.indiedb.com/mods/the-dark-mod

 

(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

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Hard to say where load times stand currently.

For me, they appear to be substantially improved in most cases.

As I grok from the issues that we saw with "Image_Preload 0" bugs, Stgatilov and Duzenko improved the concurrency of texture

loading so that multiple texture upload operations can be performed at once with less hand-shaking to the drivers. Not sure how much of

that feature relies on Bindless Textures but I didn't see any significant slowdown on map load times with Bindless Textures disabled

so they seem to be addressing the driver side impact in different parts of the chain.

Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

http://www.indiedb.com/mods/the-dark-mod

 

(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

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3 hours ago, chakkman said:

I always use Vsync, when possible, to avoid tearing, which I really hate. I don't know if TDM tears massively, but, some other games do.

In OpenGL games if you use VSync in (exclusive) Fullscreen mode please force Triple Buffering in the driver, creating a dedicated profile for the game main exe.

Or you'll get a framerate locked to submultiples of the monitor selected refresh rate and jumping among them (60->30->60, etc.)

Edited by lowenz
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Task is not so much to see what no one has yet seen but to think what nobody has yet thought about that which everybody see. - E.S.

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If you repasted your thermal compound on your laptop it would probably fix your overheating issues. My Acer Predator went to 95c under load to 70c when I put liquid metal on it. You don't have to use liquid metal even a normal thermal compound would help a lot. The thermal compound on old laptops becomes dried out and and does nothing.

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I'm planning to download a new separate copy of TDM (haven't updated since 2.05 - yeah, sorry, guys) and test it on my desktop. Just to see whether performance is improved even on older hardware like that of my desktop. Or I'll backup my current install, download the 2.09 version and compare.

Edited by Petike the Taffer
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2 hours ago, Petike the Taffer said:

I'm planning to download a new separate copy of TDM (haven't updated since 2.05 - yeah, sorry, guys) and test it on my desktop. Just to see whether performance is improved even on older hardware like that of my desktop. Or I'll backup my current install, download the 2.09 version and compare.

You can start by copying your 2.05, and running tdm_installer on top of that.
It should install 2.09 with much less traffic and time wasted, compared to a typical "clean install".

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27 minutes ago, stgatilov said:

You can start by copying your 2.05, and running tdm_installer on top of that.
It should install 2.09 with much less traffic and time wasted, compared to a typical "clean install".

This is what I meant by the backup attempt. Backup 2.05, then update the original to 2.09.

Whichever way it goes, if I do get better and faster performance, props to the entire main development team.

You're wonderfully resourceful guys and gals. :)

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