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Stubbs demo plays under 10 FPS on my G5


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#21 Quicksilver

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Posted 13 January 2006 - 11:31 AM

The main problem with the 9650 is that it has 4 pipelines, as do all of ATI's 600-series (9600, X600) cards.  For comparison, the 9800-series has 8 pipelines, and the X800XT has 16, making them much better at handling games that use pixel shaders--most notably, Halo.
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#22 Oujmik

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 11:00 AM

Ummm, this was mentioned briefly earlier, but I'm fairly sure the reason Stubbs is playing so poorly is that it forces you to run FSAA at what appears to be a quite a high setting (or some similar smoothing filter). The whole screen has clearly been smoothed to the extent that it looks quite blurry when you play it in a low enough res to get a decent frame rate.

This is enough to utterly decimate my G5 dual 2GHz with 9600. I know my card is behind the times, but I can't see any point in upgrading. Better to wait until the Intel Pro Macs come out and get a reaql speed increase.

Not sure why it runs on even older machines so well though, maybe it has hardware detection and disables FSAA on older cards that don't support it.

Simon

#23 Quicksilver

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 05:42 PM

View PostOujmik, on January 18th 2006, 11:00 AM, said:

Ummm, this was mentioned briefly earlier, but I'm fairly sure the reason Stubbs is playing so poorly is that it forces you to run FSAA at what appears to be a quite a high setting (or some similar smoothing filter). The whole screen has clearly been smoothed to the extent that it looks quite blurry when you play it in a low enough res to get a decent frame rate.

This is enough to utterly decimate my G5 dual 2GHz with 9600. I know my card is behind the times, but I can't see any point in upgrading. Better to wait until the Intel Pro Macs come out and get a reaql speed increase.

Not sure why it runs on even older machines so well though, maybe it has hardware detection and disables FSAA on older cards that don't support it.

Simon

What are you talking about?  Stubbs doesn't force you to run FSAA, and all games released in the last few years have hardware detection.  Furthermore, you could easily triple your gaming performance if you bought an X800XT for your G5 (though you're right--wait for the Intel Macs).
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#24 the Battle Cat

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 07:44 PM

View PostOujmik, on January 18th 2006, 09:00 AM, said:

Ummm, this was mentioned briefly earlier, but I'm fairly sure the reason Stubbs is playing so poorly is that it forces you to run FSAA at what appears to be a quite a high setting (or some similar smoothing filter). The whole screen has clearly been smoothed to the extent that it looks quite blurry when you play it in a low enough res to get a decent frame rate.

This is enough to utterly decimate my G5 dual 2GHz with 9600. I know my card is behind the times, but I can't see any point in upgrading. Better to wait until the Intel Pro Macs come out and get a reaql speed increase.

Not sure why it runs on even older machines so well though, maybe it has hardware detection and disables FSAA on older cards that don't support it.

Simon
Yeah, it's you video card that's bogging you down.  You are at a crossroads now where if you got a really really good vid card for your G5, you could wait until the intel Macs get the bugs worked out of them and more games running native on them.  A red hot card would last you several revision of the intel Mac.
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#25 Batcat

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 09:06 PM

View PostOujmik, on January 18th 2006, 11:00 AM, said:

Ummm, this was mentioned briefly earlier, but I'm fairly sure the reason Stubbs is playing so poorly is that it forces you to run FSAA at what appears to be a quite a high setting (or some similar smoothing filter). The whole screen has clearly been smoothed to the extent that it looks quite blurry when you play it in a low enough res to get a decent frame rate.
I think the confusion comes in about here, for the given reasons...

Quote

Glenda: We're working to make some of the 'old-movie look' a bit more subtle on the PC & Mac. Since you can run at a higher resolution, making it look very grainy doesn't work as well compared to the Xbox. There are some really nice effects on the high tech weapons, and a lot of layered shader effects to add to the game's atmosphere. On the PC & Mac we're mainly using higher end video cards to support higher resolutions. It's a bit surprising, but because the game uses several passes of full screen pixel shaders to actually tweak the scene after it is rendered, it can put a huge strain on the pixel fill rate of the video cards. This wasn't a problem on the Xbox where it was locked to 640x480, but doing 6 passes of a pixel shader on every pixel on the screen in a frame's post-processing adds up computationally very quickly, especially at 1024x786 or higher resolutions. So it's taking every bit of the video card's cycles to keep things running smoothly.
...
Worg: Speaking of MRTs, that coding technique was apparently what kept Halo PC from implementing FSAA, which the Mac, at a slightly less advanced level of shader, does benefit from. Will Stubbs support FSAA on both platforms?

Glenda: We experimented with FSAA, but it just didn't add noticeable graphic quality to the game, due to the nature of the scene post-processing shaders. Since we're doing a multiple pass shader on the final frame buffer to add extra lighting, subtle tint, and other special effects, we're basically doing a type of anti-aliasing via shaders all the time. Adding an option to do another FSAA pass after that just became redundant.
http://www.wideloadg...05/glenda1.html

Quote

This is enough to utterly decimate my G5 dual 2GHz with 9600. I know my card is behind the times, but I can't see any point in upgrading. Better to wait until the Intel Pro Macs come out and get a reaql speed increase.

Not sure why it runs on even older machines so well though, maybe it has hardware detection and disables FSAA on older cards that don't support it.

Simon
2x2GHz CPUs are fine, even tho the second is at most handling audio. Older machines with powerful videocards do well with Stubbs as it's the vidcard that does the heavy lifting; the CPUs just need to process other game data fast enough to keep up.

As mentioned, tho some report a worthwhile image quality gain on Stubbs with FSAA, the game in effect already does something of the sort, and it does induce a further performance hit.

#26 Oujmik

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 08:22 AM

To answer everyone at once:

tBC: I'm sure a 'red hot card' would last me for quite some time. Unfortunately the nearest to a red hot card that we have is the X800, when I think 'red hot' I'm thinking X1800 and I'm also thinking PCI-e, so I think I'll stick it out. Stubbs is the only game that I've had any trouble with so far.

Quicksilver: When you say "What are you talking about? Stubbs doesn't force you to run FSAA" I did qualify my remark with "or some similar smoothing filter". What I'm talking about must be what Glenda is talking about above: "we're basically doing a type of anti-aliasing via shaders all the time". It's clearly these shaders that are dragging down the fps on older video cards.

Batcat: Cheers for that information, I'm surprised Aspyr didn't opt to allow you to disable some more of the shaders - I assume the full game also lacks a 'low' option in the effects category of the video settings.

#27 Quicksilver

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 09:05 AM

Yes, but it's not FSAA.  One look at the massive jaggies all over Stubbs (and even the health overlay) should make that clear.  I think that Glenda could clarify that statement a bit.  I agree that the full-screen pixel shaders are dragging down performance to some extent, but I believe that the slowdown is a sum of the grainy film effects parts (whatever they may be).

It's important to remember that the 9600 and X600 series were never really designed to handle this generation of games (now one generation behind).  For example, they can barely put up with Halo, even at a resolution of 800x600.
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#28 the Battle Cat

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 10:03 AM

View PostOujmik, on January 19th 2006, 06:22 AM, said:

To answer everyone at once:

tBC: I'm sure a 'red hot card' would last me for quite some time. Unfortunately the nearest to a red hot card that we have is the X800, when I think 'red hot' I'm thinking X1800 and I'm also thinking PCI-e, so I think I'll stick it out. Stubbs is the only game that I've had any trouble with so far.
I almost have the same machine as you.  I have an X850 XT in it and I play the game with no apparent slowdowns anywhere in the game at 1280x1024 resolution, all the Stubbs visual goodies turned all the way up, plus with ATI overrides set to maximum with the "Best Quality" settings: FSAA (Multi) 6x, Anisotropic filtering 16x, and Vertical Sync on.  I have the game completely maxed out and it plays sweet and smooth.  It's something to think about anyway, and it will definitely tide you over until the next generation of machines and software has it's feet under it.
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#29 Oujmik

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 11:57 AM

View PostQuicksilver, on January 19th 2006, 03:05 PM, said:

Yes, but it's not FSAA.  One look at the massive jaggies all over Stubbs (and even the health overlay) should make that clear.

A good point, well made. I just took one look at the filtering and FSAA was what sprung to mind, but as you say it clearly isn't.

I don't think it's the fim grain though, as you can turn that off, it's the other shaders that go to make up the look that kill it. Full-screen filtering certainly seems to be the future of graphics though so I don't blmae Aspyr for taking advantage of it.

View Postthe Battle Cat, on January 19th 2006, 04:03 PM, said:

I almost have the same machine as you.  I have an X850 XT in it and I play the game with no apparent slowdowns anywhere in the game at 1280x1024 resolution, all the Stubbs visual goodies turned all the way up, plus with ATI overrides set to maximum with the "Best Quality" settings: FSAA (Multi) 6x, Anisotropic filtering 16x, and Vertical Sync on.  I have the game completely maxed out and it plays sweet and smooth.

That certainly is an enticing prospect. I may consider an upgrade if the price drops. Right now a new screen looks more useful and cheaper - especially as I may end up having to buy a PC as well for work reasons...

#30 MadM@

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 03:04 AM

Just to add a quick note.  I tried the demo out last night and it ran perfect on default settings with the rez set 1280x1024.
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