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Ashpolt
28th Feb 2014, 01:35
There seem to be a number of threads relating to performance issues on PC, so rather than have multiple discussions everywhere, I thought it'd be good to have one main thread devoted to the topic. Hence: this.

Anyway, I am unfortunately suffering from quite poor performance on PC. My key specs are:

CPU: i7-950
GPU: Radeon HD 5970 2Gb
RAM: 6Gb, 1600Mhz
OS: Windows 7 64 bit

Admittedly this isn't the absolute most up-to-date PC in existence, but it should still be enough to run Thief at least vaguely acceptably: I at least meet the recommended spec in each category. Sadly, even on the lowest settings (and with the latest AMD drivers) I only average about 27fps in the benchmark, and much, much worse in-game. So yeah, it's unplayable for me.

Any suggestions? Any magic ini tweaks?

XingHua31
28th Feb 2014, 01:52
That's still a really nice PC. The 5970 is a dual GPU card isn't it?

Ashpolt
28th Feb 2014, 02:00
That's still a really nice PC. The 5970 is a dual GPU card isn't it?

Yep, two cards on one board. But it causes more problems than it fixes, to be honest! As and when I upgrade, I'll be going for a single card for sure.

But like you say: it's at least a half decent rig. Why is the game running so badly? Anyone got any bright ideas?

sirtaff
28th Feb 2014, 10:08
BIG UPDATE!!:

I installed the latest catalyst stable 13.12 and turned my virus scan off. HOLY ****!!! I'm running 1920x1080 at a pretty steady 60fps (according to fraps). I've tried turning stuff on, some stuff kills it (like SSAA) some stuff slows it slightly, some stuff has no effect, I'm running very high texture resolution! What I do notice is I don't think my anti-aliasing options are having no effect??? There are loads of jaggies :( Happy to play like this for the moment though...

Edit: I will be thoroughly editing this post as the days go on.

OK, this is really strange, just managed to play the game an hour or so ago (it's finally bloody out in europe!)

Here's my setup:

i7 930 (quad core, stock clocks)
Crucial M500 240GB SSD (Game and OS)
1TB samsung HDD (page file)
Radeon HD 5870 XXX (slight overclock)
6GB 2000mhz
Win 7 Ent. x64

On first load into the menu I was running at 1920x1080, 60hz, exclusive fullscreen, default everything else

On benchmarking I got ~32fps average, 44fps max, but with occasional drop outs at 6fps?!?!

I tried lowering settings, guess what? It made it worse! Average 22, Max 26, 0.5 min????? (YES! min 1 frame per 2 seconds!!!! Astounding!!!)

WTF????

I haven't had time to investigate yet, but here's my list to try:

* Latest drivers

Pretty sure I have the latest catalyst

* Set GPU driver settings to "Application settings", i.e. don't override thief graphics settings with your GPU set up

Not checked this yet

* Check GPU/CPU temps

Not done yet, but I suspect fine, my CPU is watercooled and my GPU has been thoroughly tested at max clocks for hours on end, my case is also a full tower with 12 fans!

* Check GPU/CPU throughput

Haven't done this "properly" yet (logging enabled in cpuz/gpuz or equivalent) but with a quick alt-tab to task manager's history graph I found my CPU was "NOT" topping out, in fact it was barely bothered at all, I think it was saying 3-4% usage!!!

Good video to watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAgpvWc4VBM

* Check memory usage

Again, didn't get time to thoroughly check this, but I went into the game with chrome open with multiple tabs, I noticed that task manager was reporting 1400mb "Available" but 107mb "Free"???? I am running the game and OS off an SSD but the page file is on a (pretty quick) spindle drive. Frame drops could also be caused by poor page file swapping... and if you are getting page swap you don't have enough physical memory!!! I think it could have helped by closing chrome and everything else BEFORE playing the game!!!

Useful links:
http://community.spiceworks.com/topic/227681-windows-7-physical-memory-explanation
http://rickardnobel.se/windows-2008-r2-memory-counters-in-task-manager/

* Check apps in background

As above, tonight I'm going to try and run a very bare bones OS, try to clean up services and shut off EVERYTHING

* Page file adjustments

I may try a) moving my page to the SSD (dunno if this is a good idea for the life of the SSD but should make it faster), however if the game is using page/swap then I need more memory!!! b) increasing the page to the same as physical (currently it's 4gb), shouldn't have any affect but I saw someone somewhere say it worked for them.

Edit:

a) No, don't put your page file on your SSD!
b) Yet to test

* Sweet fx

Saw a post about this, I may try it

* Direct x 9 / 32 bit binary

Gonna try other versions of the rendering engine and main game binary

* Run my SSD on the intel SATA2 NOT marvell SATA3 controller

Read a fair bit saying the marvell controllers are poor even though they are rated at 6gb/s

* Turn off virus scan

I STRONGLY suspect this is at least a 80% factor, random frame drops in game are often caused by "something" running in the background. It's interesting that people are reporting lowering textures improves performance, this can point to a few things, assuming a well set up and cooled pc:

1) GPU doesn't have enough memory
2) CPU is bottlenecking GPU (watch video above), but not likely
3) CPU being constrained by another task(s), virus/malware scanners will try to virus check the info being loaded into memory

* Basic stuff to try

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/optimize-windows-better-performance#optimize-windows-better-performance=windows-7

Defrag / Get rid of running apps at startup etc...

* I've found before DEP makes a difference

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/Change-Data-Execution-Prevention-settings

I STRONGLY recommend you DONT do this though.

---------------------

My impressions from other people's performance reports:

Low end i7s, dual core and pedestrian mobile CPU's are JUST NOT up to scratch for this game no matter what your GPU.

NIB
28th Feb 2014, 10:31
Maybe it has something to do with intel CPUs?

Game runs smooth as **** on my PC.

Maxed out settings - benchmark: lowest 31fps, average 44fps


-fx 8350 8x4ghz
-r9 280x
-16gb ram
-win 7 home premium 64 bit

-no ssd
-no overclocking


ingame i get 60-80fps most of the time and it never drops lower than ~45fps. But i only played 1,5 hours so far.

arsLux
28th Feb 2014, 11:21
i7 2600k Sandy on water @4.4Ghz
780gtx (1x)
1920x1200 TN panels (3x) Res: 5916x1200 bezel corrected (which actually looks great with the fov at 110) Menus do not work correctly at this resolution. You have to scan around the screen with the mouse to highlight/click buttons however in-game everything is where it should be and works fine. Keyboard navigation in the menus is recommended using Eyefinity/Surround.
Onboard Realtek 889 hd audio -- game set to "speakers" and Windows set to 5.1 (only options for me in-game were "Speakers" and "Headphones")
Windows 7 x64 --running the game however it runs on its own which I assume is the 64bit .exe? no idea.


After playing about 58 minutes of the game.

Launcher is running the following settings:

Display
--------------
Fullscreen: ON
Exclusive Fullscreen: off
Resolution: 5916x1200(Surround)
Refresh Rate: -greyed out-
Vsync: OFF
FOV: 110

Graphics
--------------
Preset: Custom
Texture Quality: Very High
Shadow Quality: Very High
Depth-of-field Quality: Normal (i hate dof)
Texture Filtering Quality: 8x AF
SSAA: OFF (only options are low/high/off) You should only use SSAA or FXAA, not both at the same time! FXAA runs much faster (double the frame rate here)
Screenspace Reflection: ON
Parallax Occlusion Mapping: ON
FXAA: ON
Contact Hardening Shadows: ON
Tessellation: ON

Initial game load was right about ~11 seconds. Later load in the level was ~7 seconds.

Frame rate minimum was 55, average 60.42, max 65 using Fraps to log for the entire 58 minutes of play.

sirtaff
28th Feb 2014, 11:23
Plenty of other people with AMD (mainly old or dual core though!) reporting stutter, it's not that.

- r9 280x <- Here's why you are getting good frames

NIB
28th Feb 2014, 11:51
Plenty of other people with AMD (mainly old or dual core though!) reporting stutter, it's not that.

Didn't try to say "amd - yay, intel - boo". But obviously there seems to be a problem even with good i5/i7 CPUs.



- r9 280x <- Here's why you are getting good frames

Sure, but Aspholt's GPU is pretty much on the same level, as is his CPU. There definitly shouldn't be a "unplayable on lowest settings vs. runs perfect on max settings" gap between our PCs.

Meji
28th Feb 2014, 11:54
I swapped out my dual core for a quad core and it fixed every last bit of stutter I had, the difference was just phenomenal. Up until this point my old Dual Core ran everything else just fine (Phenom II x2 550 BE on two cores at 3.1GHz - I could unlock a 3rd core on it (4th too unstable) and that helped performance a little.

That said people are running the game in 32bit rather than 64 bit and getting much better performance. Post as below:

Try the 32bit and the problems are gone. Wanna bet? (:
Go to:
\SteamLibrary\SteamApps\common\Thief\Binaries
DELETE the "Win64" folder
COPY the "Win32" folder, so it should be "Win32 - Copy" and RENAME it to "Win64".
Now steam will use the 32bit Version which maybe solve your problems.
I don't know why but I do know that it fixed my bad fps and stuttering etc.

arsLux
28th Feb 2014, 12:03
i7 2600k here using 64bit .exe with no issues other than the games own bugs.

sirtaff
28th Feb 2014, 12:08
Until I can test otherwise, my hunch is a lot of the problems being experienced are software related, not CPU/GPU.

Not saying it's the game as such, I think there are things at play that are constraining throughput (other services/apps)

NIB - as per your GPU comparison... are you sure?

I'd say the 280x is pretty much bending it over and giving it a good stiffing:

http://gpuboss.com/gpus/Radeon-R9-280X-vs-Radeon-HD-5970

In fact the 5970 isn't "that" much better than my card (taking into account the comparison here is a stock 5870, mine is slightly overclocked)

http://gpuboss.com/gpus/Radeon-HD-5970-vs-Radeon-HD-5870

NIB
28th Feb 2014, 12:59
NIB - as per your GPU comparison... are you sure?


No, but i got a link too.^^

http://gpuboss.com/gpus/Radeon-HD-7970-vs-Radeon-HD-5970

MikeakaJB
28th Feb 2014, 16:37
I get poor performance

I5-3570k
2x gtx 780 sli
32 gbs of 1600 mhz ram

Resolutions tried - 3240x1920, 2700x1600, 1920x1080, 1280x800, 640x480
Settings preset - Very High, Normal, Low, All of these minus SSAA
Placed game on a 24 gb ramdisk which didn't help at all

The performance in general all seems to be around average 45 fps in the bench. Without SSAA on it goes up to 60-73 average fps

Changing the resolution or presets has no effect on average fps in the bench it appears. The only thing that changes is my gpus utiliziation goes way down as I drop resolution and temps go down. No I am not using any vsync or adaptive vsync but it appears the game is looking into around 45 fps no matter the settings except for when I turn SSAA off.

Later tonight I can post actual fps results

sirtaff
28th Feb 2014, 17:21
I think we need a strong definition on "poor performance".

Holy ****, if I was averaging 45fps without drop outs I would NOT be complaining

I'm interested in getting various combinations of 10th-30th percentile bottom spec machines to run at 25-30 fps consistently, at least that's "playable".

Granted, 45fps on a 780sli with a recent i5 is insanely bad for what it's capable of, but quite frankly it feels like complaining about running out of £50 notes to wipe your arse with!

wilco64256
28th Feb 2014, 17:49
I think we need a strong definition on "poor performance".

Holy ****, if I was averaging 45fps without drop outs I would NOT be complaining

I'm interested in getting various combinations of 10th-30th percentile bottom spec machines to run at 25-30 fps consistently, at least that's "playable".

Granted, 45fps on a 780sli with a recent i5 is insanely bad for what it's capable of, but quite frankly it feels like complaining about running out of £50 notes to wipe your arse with!

Yeah I have to agree with this. It's a bit of a first-world problem in my opinion. Most people having fps problems would absolutely love to be consistently pulling 20-30, and 45 would be outright heavenly.

sirtaff
28th Feb 2014, 21:24
See update ^^^

Ashpolt
2nd Mar 2014, 20:18
So, through a combination of running the 32-bit exe, disabling anti-virus and tweaking the .ini, I've managed to get the game playable on medium settings at 2560 x 1440 (my monitor's native resolution.) I would like to be running at higher settings - particularly higher texture quality - but they just bog down performance too much.

The game still bogs down a lot when loading new areas though, so I'm pretty sure the issue is to do with texture streaming. Not sure whether to wait for a patch or just plough on as it is. Got to be honest, I was hoping for better, given this was ported by Nixxes. :S

MikeakaJB
2nd Mar 2014, 23:03
It doesn't matter what gear I have, it is still poor performance to run at 45 fps at 640x480, 45 fps at 1920x1080, 3240x1920. and so forth. It still hitches around and stuttering. Despite having an average of 45+ fps and such the fps range is from 5 fps to 110 fps. There are frame drops and pretty much sections where the game stops responding for a second which is noticeable.

My computer costed about $1,300 which is what many people spend on a computer so I wouldn't exactly say complaining about poor performance is like wiping my butt with £50 notes.

I mainly just want to know why lower resolution has no effect on average fps which is just not logical.

Ashpolt
2nd Mar 2014, 23:33
It doesn't matter what gear I have, it is still poor performance to run at 45 fps at 640x480, 45 fps at 1920x1080, 3240x1920. and so forth. It still hitches around and stuttering. Despite having an average of 45+ fps and such the fps range is from 5 fps to 110 fps. There are frame drops and pretty much sections where the game stops responding for a second which is noticeable.

My computer costed about $1,300 which is what many people spend on a computer so I wouldn't exactly say complaining about poor performance is like wiping my butt with £50 notes.

I mainly just want to know why lower resolution has no effect on average fps which is just not logical.

It's because the performance issues seem to be to do with loading stuff into the memory (as the worst performance is always when entering new areas.) Whether you're running at 640x480 or 3240 x 1920, you're still loading the same "stuff", just displaying it at a different resolution, so if your memory is the bottleneck then resolution won't affect performance at all.

I'm going to try defragging my (1Tb...) HDD now, see if it makes any difference. Will report back with results...probably tomorrow.

MikeakaJB
3rd Mar 2014, 03:12
I guess you missed the part that I've run the game off a ramdisk and this has no effect on fps right? No HDD or SDD is going to be faster than running the game over a ramdisk in terms of loading.

I doubt my ram would be a bottleneck.unless you are saying the game needs more than 8 gb of 1600 mhz ram to run better.

sirtaff
3rd Mar 2014, 10:23
It doesn't matter what gear I have, it is still poor performance to run at 45 fps at 640x480, 45 fps at 1920x1080, 3240x1920. and so forth. It still hitches around and stuttering. Despite having an average of 45+ fps and such the fps range is from 5 fps to 110 fps. There are frame drops and pretty much sections where the game stops responding for a second which is noticeable.

My computer costed about $1,300 which is what many people spend on a computer so I wouldn't exactly say complaining about poor performance is like wiping my butt with £50 notes.

I mainly just want to know why lower resolution has no effect on average fps which is just not logical.

Good idea to be more specific in future, you didn't say you were getting drops of 5fps and below!! On your setup that "IS" a problem.

I can say I get exactly the same, I'm running it off a 6gb/s SATA 3 SSD and the drive makes little difference.

As you say, huge frame drops at the start of missions. Some things I notice is this:

1) On starting a new mission I have never played before, fps is TERRIBLE, it's more like how many seconds per frame, on subsequent loads, it's bad but NOT AS BAD. Perhaps steam unpacks some data for the first time?
2) I ALWAYS get frame drops at the start of the mission, apparently the unreal engine is reknowned for this and I haven't tried the 32bit and frame smoothing fixes yet
3) If I start getting stuttering in level, often saving, coming out the game, and going back in and reloading sorts it (after it stutters on first load up)

Making sure you are definitely not running "on access scan" on your virus checker or malware tools (sometimes they appear off but are not) and you have killed as many programs from memory seems to make a difference. Double, triple and quadruple check there is nothing running in the background whilst you play (for example a scheduled update/maintenance of "something")

For info: I'm running 6gb RAM

Ashpolt
3rd Mar 2014, 23:57
I've had to give up on playing this for now, because the performance is just too schizophrenic. It'll run fine for a while, but enter a new area (or even do something simple like a takedown) and the framerate drops below 1 FPS.

It's a shame, because what little I have managed to play, I've enjoyed. So I'll be holding out hope for a patch soon.

Please?

Gunsalves
21st Mar 2014, 02:24
Keep getting freeze ups or slow loading or something. I posted a video of it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIE1swc9pLY&feature=youtu.be