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Horrible CPU BottleneckFollow

#1 Sep 04 2010 at 12:49 AM Rating: Decent
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The intro screen takes up 50% CPU, just the screen with "Start" and "Quit" on it. The character select takes 70% CPU. Normally in-game it's at 85-90% CPU, during which it's fairly fluid. Other times the CPU will max out and everything will go to stuttery 5-fps **** with lots of mouse delay, extra lag, jitteriness, making it almost unplayable.

Can somebody please clue me in as to just what the **** is going on?

Please don't reply to this with anything involving in-game settings or the other game configuration settings. I've tried all of those, even setting them to High to try to move the load from the CPU to the GPU. I've even tried pretty much everything in the latest ATI Catalyst. (My brand-new 5770 can handle almost anything this game can throw at it, fairly fluidly. Quibbling over 30-40 fps isn't something I care about when I randomly get five and the software mouse delayed by two seconds.) I've even tried overclocking and it doesn't help much before the system goes ka-flunk- can't OC this machine or it'll just keel over, especially not the system bus. My last attempt was to set my RAM to Ganged mode and that didn't work either. All my drivers are updated to latest versions.

Things that make my CPU usage spike:

Zoning, even with no players around.
Being in a place with lots of players absolutely kills it.
The menu system, particularly with a lot of menus on top of each other.
Players coming into and out of my general area.

I can run the benchmark twice in a row and once I'll get no fps dips (final score: 2295) and the other times it'll max out my CPU for a while on certain heavy parts, the framerate will go to ****, and I'll get 1700 at the end.

System:

Athlon X2 7750
ASRock 780GMH/128 mobo
ATI Radeon HD 5770
2 GB DDR2 800 (400 mhz)
Lots and lots of SATA HD space
#2 Sep 04 2010 at 2:23 AM Rating: Decent
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What did you set the "Buffer" setting to in the config under the video settings? It should be set to "Resolution" *NOT* "double"


SE needs a good slap for labeling this setting something ambiguous and then not explaining what it actually does.

Edited, Sep 4th 2010 5:23am by Lobivopis
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Adjust the resolution of menus.
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I thought of it first:

http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=10&mid=130073657654872218#20
#3 Sep 04 2010 at 6:00 AM Rating: Decent
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Not a real help but I've noticed that the CPU can be a really big bottleneck in FFXIV.

Intel Core2 Quad 8300 @ 2.5ghz got me 3400 Points in Benchmark
Intel Core2 Quad 8300 @ 3ghz got 3800 and same at 3.5ghz got me 4600 Points.
The Taskmanager showed CPU at 30-50% so it wasn't at the limit but still helped with the score.

All with Radeon 5850 and 8gb RAM.
Could be a RAM Problem too. When I'm playing my System uses about 35% of it, so 2gb could be a Problem too.
Not to speak of Win XP, serveral people reportet that they got better results when they've upgraded to Win7.

Edited, Sep 4th 2010 2:01pm by Auftragskiller
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#4 Sep 04 2010 at 6:51 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
Please don't reply to this with anything involving in-game settings or the other game configuration settings.


Really. I meant it. I've tried resolution at quarter, which makes everything look like a crappy version of FFVII. Absolutely zero help.

Unless FFXIV's solution to 2 gigs is to compress and uncompress everything in RAM, I don't think it's that, either. There's really no reason it should be using that much CPU at the intro and character creation screens, and it never, ever stops, even if I'm not doing anything.

I could buy that my OS is the problem, but it seems weird to have a perfect-storm of OS/CPU combination that this game just can't deal with.
#5 Sep 04 2010 at 6:57 AM Rating: Good
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how much ram/pagefile is the game using during these stutters?
#6 Sep 04 2010 at 7:03 AM Rating: Good
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I don't know how programming works but FFXIV seems to me like it is optimized for PS3 and as far as I know PS3 is has a triple core (or can handle 3 thread if it's a differenz) may be that's a deal here.

Another point that might cause problems are the debugger that are running in backgound at the moment to identify bugs.
May be there are a few more running especialy when creating a Character because there were problems lately.

I'll try to find the post on the german forums about the OS when I get some time at work later and translate parts of it, may be it will be able to help you.
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#7 Sep 04 2010 at 7:56 AM Rating: Decent
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Pagefile usually stays a bit below a gig, but the RAM is getting used up (by the results of processing, I imagine) while this is going on. The game stutters while I still have 900M free RAM.

No, it's really a CPU bottleneck. Not RAM.
#8 Sep 04 2010 at 8:01 AM Rating: Excellent
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Actually the PC version is optimized for intel and hyper-threading. You're not the only one that feels AMD performance is not where it should be. . I'm running an x6 1090t with a 5870, and I'm having similar issues at times [though not QUITE as significant]

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#9 Sep 04 2010 at 8:02 AM Rating: Good
Edited by bsphil
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Eugenitor wrote:
No, it's really a CPU bottleneck. Not RAM.
Well, yeah. It's an Athlon X2 7750.

If your processor is discontinued, it's probably too old to play FFXIV.

This should fit into your mobo.
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#10 Sep 04 2010 at 8:04 AM Rating: Decent
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I'm just still gawking at the 50%+ CPU usage at the start screen.

I mean.. it has two things on it. Start and Quit. Why does displaying that require 2.7 billion modern-CPU clock cycles per second?!

That's not 'bad optimization'. That's some kind of insane resource hog in the background. Square's monitoring system for the beta? Some attempt at anti-cheat gone horribly wrong?
#11 Sep 04 2010 at 8:12 AM Rating: Good
Edited by bsphil
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seneleron wrote:
Actually the PC version is optimized for intel and hyper-threading.
Hyperthreading just creates two virtual cores for each physical core. In short all that means is that the PC recognizes your CPU as having twice as many cores as listed because you can execute two simultaneous threads on each core.

The game runs on 24 threads IIRC, but there are only like 3 base threads that demand the bulk of your processing power. Intel CPUs are going to by default perform better just from having more CPUs to balance the workload, but I haven't seen that the workload between threads is very balanced anyway (very difficult to do). It's not optimized for it, Intel processors are just more powerful, and you pay a premium for that. If you want a superior ratio of performance to price, AMD is king. You can get a very powerful CPU for a very competitive price from AMD, just don't complain that Intel is better. :P

Eugenitor wrote:
I'm just still gawking at the 50%+ CPU usage at the start screen.

I mean.. it has two things on it. Start and Quit. Why does displaying that require 2.7 billion modern-CPU clock cycles per second?!

That's not 'bad optimization'. That's some kind of insane resource hog in the background. Square's monitoring system for the beta? Some attempt at anti-cheat gone horribly wrong?
Yeah, I often find several of my cores redlining just from running the version update. SE is horrible at coding for PCs.



Edited, Sep 4th 2010 9:13am by bsphil
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Almalieque wrote:
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#12 Sep 04 2010 at 9:12 AM Rating: Decent
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Ok, i've found the thread abput the OS.
Sadly it is way too long to translate the whoel debate about it :(

Anyway they got to the conclusion that Win Vista SP2 or Win7 can give you 20-30% better performance for the benchmark.
But most people who were bored enough to test it had a Quad/Hexa Core so it seems that XP isn't the best to handle more then 2 Core. The only one who tested it with a Dual Core got about 15% better performance.
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It's ok, my native language is Typo, so I probably would have understood.

#13 Sep 04 2010 at 9:22 AM Rating: Decent
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Thanks! I was wondering if upgrading the OS would help and now I definitely won't bother. 15% better than a complete disaster is still a disaster.
#14 Sep 04 2010 at 9:33 AM Rating: Decent
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I've noticed that FFXIV clogs up my system because of two things...

1) It's emulating 32bit instead of using 64bit and also only seeing 3GIG of RAM out of 6
2) The network card is having a heart attack keeping up with all the wasteful traffic
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#15 Sep 04 2010 at 9:34 AM Rating: Decent
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Only 1 Person who tested it with a Dual Core thought so it can very well be more but it could get worse too.
Personaly I don't understand why people don't upgrade to Win7 but that my personal opinion ^^
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#16 Sep 04 2010 at 9:42 AM Rating: Good
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It's not optimized for it, Intel processors are just more powerful, and you pay a premium for that.


I can't lay my hands on it right at the moment, but SE stated in an interview that they optimized FFXIV for intel and hyperthreading.

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#17 Sep 04 2010 at 10:31 AM Rating: Good
Edited by bsphil
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seneleron wrote:
Quote:
It's not optimized for it, Intel processors are just more powerful, and you pay a premium for that.


I can't lay my hands on it right at the moment, but SE stated in an interview that they optimized FFXIV for intel and hyperthreading.
SE said that FFXI would be updated to run on DX9 and that never happened either.
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Almalieque wrote:
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#18 Sep 04 2010 at 10:45 AM Rating: Good
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Disclaimer: It has been a while since I owned a AMD processor, but this is what I used when I was having game problems with my 2 core system. Do your research on this. I have no idea if it will have any good or bad effects.

http://www.techimo.com/forum/processors-memory-overclocking/170872-amd-dual-core-optimization-utility.html

#19 Sep 05 2010 at 1:18 PM Rating: Decent
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So I opened up Process Explorer, and got THIS as the stack for one core constantly on one thread. (100% of that core, making it use exactly 50% CPU on my machine).

ntkrnlpa.exe!KiUnexpectedInterrupt+0x121
ntkrnlpa.exe!ZwYieldExecution+0x1c8e
hal.dll!HalClearSoftwareInterrupt+0x342
WINMM.dll!timeGetTime+0x64

Continued execution of timeGetTime is raping an entire 2.7 ghz core?

WTF?!

Edited, Sep 5th 2010 3:28pm by Eugenitor
#20 Sep 05 2010 at 1:26 PM Rating: Decent
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It's Beta. It's running debugging and/or profiling code. That gathers the information they need to do optimization properly.
#21 Sep 05 2010 at 1:31 PM Rating: Decent
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Yeah, well, I'm not going to risk sixty bucks on that being true unless someone experienced in assembly cares to actually delve into the code and confirm it.

Is anyone else getting this symptom? One core, or maybe half a core for Intel hyperthreading, entirely eaten up at the intro screen?
#22 Sep 05 2010 at 11:39 PM Rating: Good
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I run an i7 920 and I notice that even the cursor lags most of the time, including on the installer, and even when I'm getting acceptable FPS.

IMO, not an Intel/AMD issue, programming issue.
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#23 Sep 05 2010 at 11:47 PM Rating: Decent
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Pleonast wrote:
It's Beta. It's running debugging and/or profiling code. That gathers the information they need to do optimization properly.
That's pre-alpha ****. You don't put that sort of code into a closed public release.

If this was any big name studio other than SE, I'd find that argument to have more merit.
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Almalieque wrote:
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Take the hint guys, please take the hint.
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#24 Sep 05 2010 at 11:54 PM Rating: Decent
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Wow, mine spikes up to 80% CPU Usage just when the "Square Enix" pops up lol. Then is simmers down to a 45-50% at the white starting screen.

That's crazy, there has to be something wrong there.
#25 Sep 06 2010 at 12:01 AM Rating: Decent
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Everyone's been reporting the software mouse, and that's one other person with a gobbled-up core...

Also please post in this thread if you don't get it. Task Manager to check FFXIV's CPU use if you don't have Process Explorer. I'm trying to figure out whether or not this is a genuine crap-programming problem or if it has to do with some kind of driver issue for my motherboard or something like that.
#26 Sep 06 2010 at 12:03 AM Rating: Decent
Edited by bsphil
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Eugenitor wrote:
Everyone's been reporting the software mouse, and that's one other person with a gobbled-up core...

Also please post in this thread if you don't get it. Task Manager to check FFXIV's CPU use if you don't have Process Explorer. I'm trying to figure out whether or not this is a genuine crap-programming problem or if it has to do with some kind of driver issue for my motherboard or something like that.
I get the exact same issue. I'd be shocked if it wasn't just crappy programming.
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His Excellency Aethien wrote:
Almalieque wrote:
If no one debated with me, then I wouldn't post here anymore.
Take the hint guys, please take the hint.
gbaji wrote:
I'm not getting my news from anywhere Joph.
#27 Sep 06 2010 at 12:04 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
I run an i7 920 and I notice that even the cursor lags most of the time, including on the installer, and even when I'm getting acceptable FPS.

IMO, not an Intel/AMD issue, programming issue.


The reason the cursor is lagging is because the game is using a software driven cursor and not hardware. This goes for everyone. This means your cursor gets to update once every frame roughly. So if you are getting low frame rates then your cursor will lag even worse. At 60 frames a second you are getting one update every 20th of a second. Normal hardware acceleration is 100th of a second per update.

Anyhow FFXI was made this way originally until they updated it for a hardware cursor later.
#28 Sep 06 2010 at 12:37 AM Rating: Good
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Eugenitor wrote:
Everyone's been reporting the software mouse, and that's one other person with a gobbled-up core...

Also please post in this thread if you don't get it. Task Manager to check FFXIV's CPU use if you don't have Process Explorer. I'm trying to figure out whether or not this is a genuine crap-programming problem or if it has to do with some kind of driver issue for my motherboard or something like that.


i think you have driver issues or a corrupt OS. the game should not be interacting with the kernal and seeing it in thread list for the game means they are probably generating errors. The only thread with CPU usage actually listed for me are ffxivgame.exe+0x4ffab0, and a thread from my audio device and ati.

And yes, the open beta definitely has debug info in it. you can view the list of strings found in the exe and view a huge portion of their class structure and even file locations on their local machine, such as "g:\rapture\project\stable_edit\cdev\src\lay\cdev\engine\lay\stella\common\LayoutMemorySpace.h" which interestingly shows that they still use the name Rapture internally for Crystal Tools.
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