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View Full Version : I think I may have figured out the secret to water=3



BinaryFalcon
11-19-2004, 07:42 AM
Last night was a big PF upgrade night for me, as I applied both the 3.01 patch and installed the 128MB 6800 card I recently purchased.

Now, before I continue I'll provide a frame of reference. My machine for the last two years has been an Athlon XP 2000+, 1GB of RAM and a 128MB GF4 Ti4200 overclocked to roughly 4400 levels.

With that system, I was never quite able to run in perfect mode at my preferred resolution of 1600x1200 until PF came along. With PF, I found that it became possible for the first time with water and effects = 1. Sustained framerates were around 26-28, with occasional, momentary drops to the low teens. Overall, quite playable.

The purchase of the 6800 was the start of my planned system upgrade. Ultimately I'm shooting for at least an Athlon 64 3500+ and 2GB of RAM. However, that's still a couple of months off so the 6800 has gone into my current system (XP 2000+, 1GB RAM).

All of that said, here are my results (roughly):

All of these numbers are based on vsync off, noAA and no filtering beyond what PF may provide on its own. Tests were run using the built in FPS meter and by running the "all PF" track option (although usually only the first track).

At 1600x1200 with water=3, effects=1 PF was unplayable. The average fps was below 20, with frequent and extended excursions to the 6-8 neighborhood.

Turning on effects=2 dropped the fps by 2, perhaps 3 at the most.

Dropping the resolution to 1024x768 with otherwise identical settings yielded an increase of maybe 3 fps across the board.

I did more extensive testing with various resolutions, water settings and changes to gunners on or off and in summary, this is what I discovered:

With water set to 2 or 3, performance was roughly equal no matter what level of additional detail I selected or what other "eye candy" options I enabled. With anything but water=1 and effects=1 in perfect mode, it just was too slow to be playable.

From this I can conclude:

At this point, preliminary testing suggests that a 6800 series card should be more than adequate to run water=3. However, the ability to do so successfully will be almost entirely CPU dependant.

The fact that performance held within no more than 6 fps regardless of visual settings strongly suggests that my 6800 isn't getting fed data fast enough by the CPU. I had expected this to some extent, but I honestly didn't expect the wall would be that "hard".

I won't be able to completely verify this until I can get a faster processor installed, but at the moment, I'm better than 95% certain with a fast enough processor water=3 is quite possible with any 6800 series video cards.

All of that said, I did find that setting water=1 at 1600x1200 produced very pleasing results and overall yielded avg fps scores between 47-53, with a min score of about 8 (which I never noticed) and a max of 540 when playing through most of the "all PF" tracks.

In any case, I'm currently very happy with the new video card, and I'm really looking forward to getting the rest of the machine up to spec in the next month or so.

So in summary,

If you have a very fast processor and want water 3, it seems likely that a 6800 can make it happen. However, without a fast CPU the 6800 just won't be able to do it, because it'll spend most of its time sitting idle while it waits on data from your processor.

To get water 3, you're going to have to upgrade both. It's not just a function of the video card - not by a long shot.

Jambock__01
11-19-2004, 08:10 AM
Try effect=0. You will notice no difference, but your fps will grow.

lbuchele
11-19-2004, 05:59 PM
Athlon 64 2800+ is fast enough?

IHI.OuTcAsT
11-19-2004, 09:56 PM
Effect =

0 --> Normal Effects but without shadows (on the ground)

1 --> Normal Effects with shadows

2 --> Effects with use of shaders (?) with shadows.

Chivas
11-19-2004, 11:37 PM
I can fly with water=3 with nice frame rates but get some major stutters when the action gets busy. Thats at 1024X768 Perfect settings 2x2 quality and 66.93 drivers.

Stutter is a total immersion killer for me so I set the Water to 1.


AMD64 3800+, 939 MSI Neo2, 2Gig Ram, BFG 6800 GT OC Both CPU and GPU overclocked.

John_Stag
11-20-2004, 01:32 AM
This is something which has been irritating me for a while; first my specs:

AMD3000XP, 1 Gig Ram, (DDR 2100), FX5600. until recently, I also had an 2000XP; I upgraded specifically to get perfect mode in AEP/PF

In excellent mode at 1600 x 1200, I can get FPS of about 15-25, which in Perfect mode goes down to 5-9.

Your processor seems to have less power than my new one, my old processor, Vid card and memory roughly equal. How are you getting such high framerates?

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

Hans_Philipp
11-20-2004, 03:23 AM
Does the water=X setting apply to perfect settings only, or to excellent as well?

pacettid
11-20-2004, 03:50 AM
I think Binary's assessment is spot on...I have had virtually identical results with my rig

Intel P4 HT - 2800 MHZ (14 x 200)
D-875PBZ MB
2048 MB (DDR SDRAM)
Windows XP Pro, SP2
Audigy 2 Paltinum
WDC Hard Drive - 7500rpm, 8000 cache
6800GT OC

BinaryFalcon
11-20-2004, 11:14 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by John_Stag:
This is something which has been irritating me for a while; first my specs:

AMD3000XP, 1 Gig Ram, (DDR 2100), FX5600. until recently, I also had an 2000XP; I upgraded specifically to get perfect mode in AEP/PF

In excellent mode at 1600 x 1200, I can get FPS of about 15-25, which in Perfect mode goes down to 5-9.

Your processor seems to have less power than my new one, my old processor, Vid card and memory roughly equal. How are you getting such high framerates?

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Could partially be drivers, but it likely involves some other settings as well. Are you running with any anti-aliasing or driver/utility forced anisotropic filtering at all?

What's the max Hz your monitor will support at 1600x1200 and is vsync turned on? If your monitor is maxing at 60Hz and you have vsync on, and your system can't manage 60fps you'll end up with some fraction of 60 (such as 3, 6, 10, 15 etc.) unless you turn vsync off. Turning off vsync however can potentially result in "tearing", where you'll get part of one frame displayed over another. You'll know it if you see it, but if you can get by with vsync off, you might as well do so.

If it's not any of those things, I'm not sure what to suggest.

EDIT:

After reading this post (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums?a=tpc&s=400102&f=26310365&m=7151094342&r=7151094342#7151094342) I'm reminded of the possibility that your machine might not be fully optimised for the best possible performance.

For example, my initial system build was done in pretty much an evening and everything was up and running just fine. However, I probably spent another 2 weeks or so getting everything truly "settled" so that I was getting every last bit of performance out of it that I could without risking stability. It's not usually a quick process and it takes a bit of work, but once done it's worthwhile, IMO.

In my experience, unless you've built the machine yourself and have specifically gone through that kind of process, it's unlikely that your system is running at its full potential. Most "off the shelf" PCs can often stand a good bit of improvement in that respect. It's rare I see one "out of the box" that's set up perfectly. Many will come close, but they often miss on a few things here or there.

In a lot of cases it's not going to make huge differences in the game, but taken together can be enough to account for that elusive 4-8 fps that a similarly spec'd system seems to be getting over another.

PF_Coastie
11-20-2004, 12:46 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by John_Stag:
This is something which has been irritating me for a while; first my specs:

AMD3000XP, 1 Gig Ram, (DDR 2100), FX5600. until recently, I also had an 2000XP; I upgraded specifically to get perfect mode in AEP/PF

In excellent mode at 1600 x 1200, I can get FPS of about 15-25, which in Perfect mode goes down to 5-9.

Your processor seems to have less power than my new one, my old processor, Vid card and memory roughly equal. How are you getting such high framerates?

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

To be blunt, Its your video card. The 5600 is a very poor card. You are basically running a 2 barrel carb on a funny car engine. The engine is starving for more fuel.

WUAF_Badsight
11-20-2004, 01:03 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Hans_Philipp:
Does the water=X setting apply to perfect settings only, or to excellent as well? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
you can set water 0 or 1 or 2 or 3 in the config INI file

if you are set to "excellent" in your FB/PF game you wont see the nice shiny water

you will get added effects to your water

but to see the nice shiny water you need to be set to perfect in your game

Blenvid
11-20-2004, 04:11 PM
One other thing to consider which many people forget is their motherboard drivers. I have a friend who was getting poor performance on a machine that has faster RAM and a faster processor than mine. He just couldn't understand why mine was so fast bust had a slower processor and RAM. I asked if he had the most recent drivers for his video card (which it just so happens is the same card as mine so this is a good comparison)? He did not. After updating his motherboard drivers, it was like Whammo!, the computer was breathing again. Don't forget these! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/10.gif

-Blenvid

Blenvid
11-20-2004, 04:14 PM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/1072.gif What I meant to say in my previous post is that when I asked my friend if he had updated motherboard drivers (not video card drivers), he did not. After updating his MOTHERBOARD drivers, then his computer was breathing again.

-Blenvid

John_Stag
11-20-2004, 09:39 PM
BF, I've pushed, pulled and prodded just about everything there was to push, pull and prod. I've been in and out of the BIOS so many times we're on first name terms; granted its name is not to be repeated in polite company...

Coastie, I was afraid you'd say that. My current vid card is not that old ,and the best I could afford at the time, but I guess on more upgrade is needed.

Thanks for your input, gentlemen. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif