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Doom 3 Tweaking


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#1 Caesar

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Posted 12 March 2005 - 09:51 AM

Hello,
is anybody interested? Maybe it's too early?
We should post here all avaiable tweaks to optimize Doom 3 performances... or you guys are all dual G5 powered? :D

I'll start with a few tips... if anyone is interested i'll update my post everytime a user will report a new tip :)

1) first of all.. how to run timedemo: hit "CTRL + ALT + ~" or add the line seta com_allowConsole "1" to the Doom3 configuration file (DoomConfig.cfg) to show the console by pressing "~". Once the console appears you have to give the command timedemo demo1 demo1.

2) a lot of PC-Win users use WinRAR (3.3 or later) to unpak Doom3's .pk4 files to get better performances (i think that UnrarX or OpenUp... and maybe StuffIt will handle .pk4 files without problems). Than you have to move original .pk4 files out from the "base" folder (save them somewhere... a backup is always usefull)... Doom3 application will now read unpacked files directly and this should save CPU time usually used to read files inside .pk4 files :)
This operation requires additional 3,6GB of HD space :P

3) tweak the seta image_cacheMegs 32 line inside DoomConfig.cfg: change it to 1/4 of your RAM (512MB of RAM = 128; 1GB of RAM = 256; etc etc). For this to work you have to set seta image_useCache to 1.

4) tweak the seta image_CacheMinK line to "20480"... like for Quake 3 Arena maybe we (Mac users) will have to setup an higher value.

5) tweak the seta g_showplayershadow 0 to "1" to enable player shadows (this will not give you better performances...)

6) disable shadows in the Advanced Options

7) set Anisotropic Filtering to 0 or 1 (search for "image_anisotropy" in the DoomConfig.cfg

8) ...

Do you think this could be usefull?
If so, help me collecting all these tips and wait for Doom3 to test these tips live on our Macs :D

Regards,
Cesare G.

#2 rob_ART

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Posted 12 March 2005 - 09:09 PM

I posted an article on Doom 3 for Mac showing a few tweaks and how Macs perform compared to PCs:
http:www.barefeats.com/doom3.html

The biggest jump at a given quality setting or resolution is to go to Advanced Options and turn OFF Shadows.

If you are running at 1280x1024 or above in High Quality mode, setting Anisotropic Filtering to 0 or 1 will speed things up. ("High" defaults to level 8.) You can change it in console mode (image_anisotropy 0) or in the DoomConfig.cfg file that resides in the User/Library/Application Support/Doom3 folder. If you run at MEDIUM or LOW quality, Aniso is set to "0" by default.

To run benchmarks, enter console mode (Control + Option + ~), and enter "timedemo demo1" (without the quotes) RETURN. It will run the fight sequence then display the average frame rate in a dialog box. The first time you run the demo, it is jerky because it is busy loading the cache with textures and such. You can preload cache by entering "timedemo demo1 1" to start the first run. Whether you preload cache or not, the second run is always fastest. That's the number used on all the PC sites and in my test pages.
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#3 dj phat 2000

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Posted 12 March 2005 - 10:45 PM

does that turn off all shadows?  If so, how does the game look then? Being it is so dark to begin with.   That sounds to me like the game would look really messed up..

Any chance on getting some numbers @ 1280x1024 on a Dual 1.8GHz G5 with ATi X800?  :D

I think that may be my ideal spot to play at.  I'm trying to get a consistent 50 FPS in this game.  I would love to max out the screen resolution while I have this 20" cinema display.  But, once I go back to the CRT 19".  Then the lower resolutions would be fine to look at as well.

#4 wickedsteve

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Posted 12 March 2005 - 11:17 PM

OK let's say I turn down all the features and settings to get playable framerates. Will this low quality Doom 3 look any better than any of last years games on high features and settings? Is the game engine all that the hype says it is?
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#5 Caesar

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 03:10 AM

rob_ART, on March 12th 2005, 09:09 PM, said:

To run benchmarks, enter console mode (Control + Option + ~), and enter "timedemo demo1"

I've read that you have to select a USA-keyboard layout to use "ctrl+alt+~" to bring up the console; and try "timedemo demo1 demo1" to precache the demo and run it at full speed since the first run :)

#6 Caesar

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 03:21 AM

rob_ART, on March 12th 2005, 09:09 PM, said:

I posted an article on Doom 3 for Mac showing a few tweaks and how Macs perform compared to PCs:
http:www.barefeats.com/doom3.html

Your site is pretty famous ;)

Sice you're one of those lucky Doom3 owners.... could you try to run a tiemdemo with the  uncompressed .pk4 files?  TIA :D

I've read that this tweak really helps....

#7 mrnintendoguy

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 09:00 AM

wickedsteve, on March 12th 2005, 10:17 PM, said:

OK let's say I turn down all the features and settings to get playable framerates. Will this low quality Doom 3 look any better than any of last years games on high features and settings? Is the game engine all that the hype says it is?

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Although I've only seen Doom3 in action for about 2sec, I heard that, even on low, Doom3 looks pretty good. Though I have no hope on doom3 runing on my computer...

#8 wickedsteve

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 10:26 PM

I havea G5 and a Radeon 9800 so I am guessing I wont be disapointed with eye candy. If the game runs and the hype is true then it should be something else.
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#9 AscheXL

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 06:25 PM

wickedsteve, on March 13th 2005, 11:26 PM, said:

I havea G5 and a Radeon 9800 so I am guessing I wont be disapointed with eye candy. If the game runs and the hype is true then it should be something else.

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Yeah, on low-end pc's the thing looked phenomenal. I don't see what all the fus is around here. If you have the requirements, the thing is going to look amazing. If you're going to nit pick about fps than you need to go out and get a gf.

#10 Mandrake628

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 04:14 PM

Found this on the(PC) forums on Filefront.  Sounds like they know what they're talking about.  Those screenshots don't look half bad at all.  I'm pretty sure that most of those tweaks would work with the mac version(why wouldn't they?).
Maybe someone can get their hands on a copy and try it out on several types of macs.  Min-spec(1.6 G5), slightly below-spec(1.42 DP G4 comes to mind), recommended spec(1.8 G5?), and incredibly over-spec(2.5 DP G5 with Nvidia 6800).  

Anyways, anyone who does...thanks


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#11 striderdm1

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 03:47 PM

Hi,
your tweaks where great. I've gone from around 31-34fps to 45fps.

Anyhow, first things first : you need to quit all open apps and make sure the latest panther is installed (yea yea i know). Then load up Doom3 and let it auto-config itself, like you do. I go into the system settings and now choose 1280x1024 (as this is my native tft resolution). As i've a Nvidia 6800 i leave the video quality to medium (though having it on low doesn't look any different to these old eyes! lol)
Go into Advanced options and turn off that 'fsaa' option. I choose video sync on and also have all the other options as on. Except the Shadows option, turn this off..
Save and quit doom3.

Make a backup of "DoomConfig.cfg" and then you're ok to edit it.. I made these changes from your posting plus other that i've seen on the web :
seta image_downSizeBumpLimit "512"
seta image_cacheMegs "512"  ((or a 1/4 of your total memory))
seta image_filter "GL_LINEAR_MIPMAP_NEAREST" <-- Normally says GL_LINEAR_MIPMAP_LINEAR
seta image_anisotropy "0"
seta image_useCache "1"
seta image_cacheMegs "512"  ((or a 1/4 of your total memory))
seta image_cacheMinK "20480"

I've a dual 2ghz G5 with 3.5gigs ram and nvidia 6800 (not the 'slower' GT model) plus the latest Panther OS. My frame rates at the above details/settings/resolutions/etc come to just over 45fps and Doom3 plays superb and very fast/smooth. The annoying things are usually when u open a new door for the first time and the framerate drops! :-/

Btw, wots all this about unpacking the pk4 files? Any mac users done this and seen any improvement?

imho, i think the biggest speed bump must come from turning off shadows.. Credit to ID/Aspyr with the Video Quality settings cos even on LOW it still looks incredible.  Sorry if i've missed anything out or telling you all wot you already knew, but i've just got Doom3 around 6hrs ago and am HOOKED!! :D

fwiw - i'd recomend everyone to visit Filefront and grab a copy of "Classic Doom 3". This total conversion probably has "simpler" gfx compared to the standard game cos the framerates are ULTRA high!! Plus the mod is waaaaaay cool too!!!!  :)

cheers all.... back to Doom'in !
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#12 Mandrake628

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 04:33 PM

I don't see why you should lower those settings.  A 6800 + a 2.0 DP G5 can probably run D3 at higher settings.  That's what Gfx cards are for anyways.  You should raise the settings and see if you get a performance hit, if you do, just turn the settings down again.  But I'm not talking about anistrophic filtering or FSAA, just the settings(low, medium, high, ultra-high etc.).

Have fun playing Doom 3.  Still debating if it can run on my setup.

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#13 rob_ART

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 01:10 PM

As I stated earlier, turning Shadows OFF makes the biggest jump in speed (not counting lowering quality and resolution settings). There are still shadows on stationary objects and the game remains dark. However, there are no dynamic shadows rendered on moving figures.

Yesterday I posted a "Mid-Range Mac at Medium Settings" page where I show that you can run Macs that don't meet the Doom 3 "readme" criteria (1.5GHz and Radeon 9600/GeForce 5200 or better) at decent frame rates:
http://www.barefeats.com/doom3b.html

I also tried the other suggested tweaks on my PowerBook 1.5 with Radeon 9700 Mobility (128MB) which had managed only 18.4 fps at 800x600 Medium (No Shadows). I modified the config file with:
seta image_downSizeBumpLimit "512"
seta image_useCache "1"
seta image_cacheMegs "256"
seta image_filter "GL_LINEAR_MIPMAP_NEAREST"
seta image_anisotropy "0"
seta image_cacheMinK "20480"

Now I get 18.8 fps. Oh well.
But I'm not really depressed. I can still play Doom 3 on my G5/2.5 with X800 at 50+ fps even at 1600x1200.
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#14 rob_ART

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 01:21 PM

Caesar, on March 13th 2005, 09:10 AM, said:

....and try "timedemo demo1 demo1" to precache the demo and run it at full speed since the first run :)

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I tried it. Actually, all you need to enter is "timedemo demo1 1" and it does the same thing. When I run with that option on the PCs, the first run is as fast or faster than the second. But on the Mac, I often still get 2 fps faster if I do a second run. So I'm still doing two runs for testing.

I also used the "bind" command in the config file to program the function keys to enter the timedemo command for me to make testing faster.

I'll try unpacking the pak4 files as suggested to see if there are any gains.
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#15 rob_ART

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 01:37 PM

dj phat 2000, on March 13th 2005, 04:45 AM, said:

Any chance on getting some numbers @ 1280x1024 on a Dual 1.8GHz G5 with ATi X800? :D

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I did test a Dual 1.8GHz G5 (rev A) with an ATI X800, but I ran at 1600x1200 and got up to 33fps with Shadows off and Aniso at 8. I'm confident you could get over 40fps with Aniso set to 0.

I posted the 1600x1200 results here:
http://www.barefeats.com/doom3.html

When I tried to run at 1280x1024, it would not work on the 23" Cinema display unless I put it in window mode. (I found that out later when testing on another Mac.) You can shift back and forth from full screen to window mode by holding down the COMMAND key when launching Doom 3.
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#16 striderdm1

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 02:46 PM

Mandrake628, on March 16th 2005, 03:33 PM, said:

I don't see why you should lower those settings.  A 6800 + a 2.0 DP G5 can probably run D3 at higher settings.  That's what Gfx cards are for anyways.  You should raise the settings and see if you get a performance hit, if you do, just turn the settings down again.  But I'm not talking about anistrophic filtering or FSAA, just the settings(low, medium, high, ultra-high etc.).

Have fun playing Doom 3.  Still debating if it can run on my setup.

Mandrake628

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Yep you are correct, i can slap the vid quality right up to ultra and the game still feels the same (hmm well, maybe 2/3fps less. But still just as smooth imho). The problem is when u come to a door and it opens into a new room that you've not been into b4. Framerate just suddenly drops mega amounts and it's even worse if there are monsters ready to pounce. But other than that it's great :/

I'd love to know of tweaks that can help to stop this lack of 'pre-caching' (?) so i can play at ultra.. though i'm guessing that it's a lack of vram on the gfx card? Maybe a 512mb card will be better equiped? (wow!). Afterall, D3 does autosense my card and put the setting to medium...

Wots your setup?

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#17 ozzy

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 05:35 PM

I just ran 2 timedemos on my system.  I have a Dual 1.8Ghz G5 with Radeon 9600XT, 10.3.8, and 1GB of RAM.  My settings:

Medium Settings
800x600

Following Tweaks:
seta image_cacheMegs 256
seta image_useCache to 1
seta image_downSizeBumpLimit "512"
seta image_filter "GL_LINEAR_MIPMAP_NEAREST"
seta image_anisotropy "0"
seta image_cacheMinK "20480"

I ran the timedemo once to cache stuff, then ran it once with shadows, and once without shadows.  Here are the results:

Shadows: 25.2 FPS
Without Shadows: 35.2 FPS

With a standard config at 800x600:
Shadows: 25.4 FPS
Without Shadows: 34.0 FPS

At 800x600 with tweaks and 2xFSAA (multi, set in ATI control panel):
33.4 FPS

At 1024x768 with tweaks and no FSAA:
27.5 FPS

Now to actually go play some of it...

EDIT:  Added some more times

#18 rob_ART

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 10:42 PM

I just used DropExpander to unstuff the following pk4 files one at a time:
pak001.pk4
pak002.pk4
pak003.pk4
pak004.pk4

They created these folders in the BASE folder of Doom 3:
dds
models
sound
textures

I removed the compressed counterparts and I reran Doom 3 on my PowerBook G4/1.5GHz at 800x600 Medium (No Shadows).

My frame rate jumped from 18 to 24 fps!

(I also unstuffed the other pk4 files but they didn't rename themselves. And when I removed the compressed version, Doom 3 wouldn't run. So I deleted the unstuffed versions and put the compressed ones back in the BASE folder. In other words, I left pak000.pk4, pak005.pk4, game00.pk4, and game03.pk4 untouched.)
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#19 ozzy

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 11:11 PM

Just tried unpacking those files Rob.  My timedemo before was 35.2 FPS, and after it was 35.1 FPS, so virtually no difference.  It's probably due to the fact that I have a Dual 1.8 Ghz G5 vs. a single 1.5 Ghz G4.  Maybe that process gets offloaded to the second processor?  It could also be due to the tweaks I have done...

#20 danny_gasperini

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 01:37 AM

rob_ART, on March 17th 2005, 09:42 PM, said:

I just used DropExpander to unstuff the following pk4 files one at a time:
pak001.pk4
pak002.pk4
pak003.pk4
pak004.pk4

They created these folders in the BASE folder of Doom 3:
dds
models
sound
textures

I removed the compressed counterparts and I reran Doom 3 on my PowerBook G4/1.5GHz at 800x600 Medium (No Shadows).

My frame rate jumped from 18 to 24 fps!

(I also unstuffed the other pk4 files but they didn't rename themselves. And when I removed the compressed version, Doom 3 wouldn't run. So I deleted the unstuffed versions and put the compressed ones back in the BASE folder. In other words, I left pak000.pk4, pak005.pk4, game00.pk4, and game03.pk4 untouched.)

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That represents a 25% speed increase on a single processor computer with 128Mb of VRAM without changing a single graphic or audio setting!!!! I'd be interested to see how other computers fare (although it would seem from the above post that a Dual Processor machine may not benefit). Certainly warrants another barefeats page to investigate this :)