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Low Warzone FPS - Low CPU/GPU usage - observations

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > PvP
Low Warzone FPS - Low CPU/GPU usage - observations

NLxAROSA's Avatar


NLxAROSA
02.26.2013 , 03:01 PM | #1
So, welcome to the millionth thread about bad warzone performance. Much has been said about this topic already, and probably much more will be said. This topic is not so much about complaining about bad FPS, but more about understanding why and how this is occurring. I'll start off with some observations from my end.

My setup is the following:

Core i3 2100T (2.5 GHz Dual core with HT)
HD7750 2GB DDR500
4GB DDR3-1333
7200RPM SATA HDD

60 Mbit up / 6 MBit down / 10-15ms ping.

This PC is hooked up to my living room TV (I play from the couch) via my A/V receiver over HDMI. I play at 1360x768 (enough for the distance I sit from the TV).

I get good to excellent FPS on not-so-busy areas, but at the fleet (actually only the GTN area or other areas with a lot of players), or in Warzones, my FPS drops to sub-30 and when it gets really busy, sub-20. In other words: not so good.

Of course, the first thing that crossed my mind was graphics settings, so I turned those down completely: no effect whatsoever. Second thing that crossed my mind: maybe memory is low and I'm swapping a lot. Checked the memory usage during playing: 3GB out of 4GB physical memory used. Also no HDD activity worth mentioning. Suspect number three: CPU is having a hard time. To verify this I made the following change:

I decided to switch to full-screen windowed mode and opened up Task Manager as well as Catalyst Control Center, to monitor both CPU and GPU usage. Much to my surprise, my CPU and GPU are both utilized well under 50%! Check FPS: sucks. Hmmm, okay, what's going on here? Changing graphics settings does impact this, but this only means that at the lowest settings, my GPU utilization is at 20%, LOL. CPU utilization rarely comes above 60-70%.

So, this leaves (for me anyway), one more suspect: network traffic/coding. This would be impacted by a lot of players being present on screen, but why would this impact FPS if rendering is done in a separate thread and ergo should not be blocked by network? Also, why would this be an issue on my fast cable connection?

So, anyone have any insights on what to do, check out here further? I considered getting an i5 or better GPU, but if my i3 and HD7750 are already picking their noses, I don't think that will help, and neither will upgrading memory.

Some other notes: I have no issues with other games, e.g. 64 player BF3 is no issue. Or displaying a hundred characters on screen (e.g. Hitman Absolution) is not an issue either.

Anyone any suggestions?

XEEVA's Avatar


XEEVA
02.27.2013 , 06:25 PM | #2
Get more memory maybe?

I have 32GB of ram and running Windows 7 x64. My swtor.exe client consumes around 1.2 GB of ram on fleet and jumps up to around 2 GB during a warzone. If you are running windows 7, then the OS will normally use around 2 GB just to run, if you are exausting memory, then Windows needs to page that to disk.
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cashogy_reborn's Avatar


cashogy_reborn
02.27.2013 , 06:31 PM | #3
definitely pick up some more ram. you can get another 4gb for like < $30. youll notice an improvement in all your programs.

however, swtor has terrible performance. ive got an i7 oc'd to 4.5ghz, SLI GTX 570, running SWTOR off of a WD Raptor HDD, and 16gb of ram. i will get 40-50 FPS in warzones on 'very high', and 50-60 FPS at 'very low'.

but i load up BF3 and im cranking out 100 FPS at ultra. its b/c of the engine, and will take some major overhauling to fix
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Defecter's Avatar


Defecter
02.27.2013 , 06:56 PM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by XEEVA View Post
Get more memory maybe?

I have 32GB of ram and running Windows 7 x64. My swtor.exe client consumes around 1.2 GB of ram on fleet and jumps up to around 2 GB during a warzone. If you are running windows 7, then the OS will normally use around 2 GB just to run, if you are exausting memory, then Windows needs to page that to disk.
First off, 32 GB of RAM is essentially useless unless you do really heavy duty stuff. Like, proffesionally heavy duty stuff. For current and probably even next-gen games, it's basically wasted money on fancy marketing tricks.

Sorry, just had to get it out there. It irks me when people flaunt their 32GB RAM-peen.

And the recommended specs for SW:TOR are 4 GB of RAM. So, unless you've got the game cranked up to eleven with custom GFX settings or are running a lot of resource intensive programs in the background, memory shouldn't be a problem. My old laptop runs the game smoothly without any problems and it's not nearly as powerful as your specs. That being said, 8GB really won't hurt.

Usually, the culprit is a torrent/P2P client/a lot of useless processes running in the background or a browser with a lot of tabs open. Seriously, check FF or Chrome processes in the task manager when you have a lot of tabs open. You'll be surprised how much resources are dedicated even if you only open google on 5+ tabs and leave them there for a while. Getting up to 400-500MB memory usage from Chrome isn't a rare occurance for me when I'm browsing multiple forums/sites simultaniously.

Configure your start-up settings to specify which programs you want running at all times. Ditch all the useless ones. *ESPECIALLY* ditch the ones that require a network connection such as updaters and such as they can actually bog down network traffic. Those things can really build up over time as you install more and more applications. Only leave the important ones such as java etc. Oh, and check if nobody else at your place is constantly downloading massive amounts of torrents and crap.

Another problem might be your defrag settings. Windows 7 automatically defrags your HDD at set intervals. I've seen this happen quite a few times, where the defrag times were somehow planned by Windows on... unpleasant moments.

Another thing you might want to check is your CPU/GPU temperature. You can use RealTemp for that ( http://www.techpowerup.com/realtemp/ ). The amount of times people have been complaining to me about how slow their computers were and how games were even worse, was because their computer case had been gathering dust for about a year (quite literally). I've checked a colleague's once, and it reached 98 degrees C. You could quite literally bake an egg on his CPU. For an i3 2100, the average temp should be around 40. Maybe around 50-60 on full load (when the game is running). Use a simple can of compressed air to clean out your case every ~2 months. CPUs/GPUs can use relatively small amounts of memory like you have, but still run exceedingly hot.

EDIT: To clarify, most CPUs and GPUs automatically throttle down when they reach high temperatures (as in, huge performace drops). It's a safety feature to prevent crashes and even physical damage.

That all being said, your set-up should run SWTOR smoothly. That really should not be the problem. Upgrading from i3 to i5 or higher is also a pretty useless option in my opinion. For general (non high-end) gaming purposes, an i3 is sufficient.

DeFierrio's Avatar


DeFierrio
02.27.2013 , 06:59 PM | #5
I am not tech savvy at all. But what I've noticed is that swtor requires a lot of memory. I don't think its just ram but also the video card needs to have a lot of memory... if that even makes sense.

Anyway since I switched to a mediocre comp with lots of ram and a high end graphics card in it, the game has run much much smoother. However it is still far from perfect and I still have some fps issues in warzones.

Like the above poster said this is probably cuz of the coding. I've heard that swtor is horribly optimized graphically and unfortunately that seems to be the case. I hope some day that they will optimize the game engine.

Defecter's Avatar


Defecter
02.27.2013 , 07:04 PM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by DeFierrio View Post
I am not tech savvy at all. But what I've noticed is that swtor requires a lot of memory. I don't think its just ram but also the video card needs to have a lot of memory... if that even makes sense.

Anyway since I switched to a mediocre comp with lots of ram and a high end graphics card in it, the game has run much much smoother. However it is still far from perfect and I still have some fps issues in warzones.

Like the above poster said this is probably cuz of the coding. I've heard that swtor is horribly optimized graphically and unfortunately that seems to be the case. I hope some day that they will optimize the game engine.
Yeah, SWTOR is, to put it mildly, horribly optimized for sure. But with the OP's specs, it still shouldn't pose any real problems if he runs a clean system void of useless background applications.

Blasphemerr's Avatar


Blasphemerr
02.27.2013 , 07:05 PM | #7
I don't have any FPS issues on my main rig. Playing this game on a laptop is an entirely different & infuriating story however. PC specs:

Code:
Operating System
	Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1
CPU
	Intel Core i5 3570K @ 3.40GHz	36 C
	Ivy Bridge 22nm Technology
RAM
	16.0 GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 569MHz (9-9-9-24)
Motherboard
	ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC. SABERTOOTH Z77 (LGA1155)	21 C
Graphics
	BenQ XL2420T (1920x1080@120Hz)
	AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series
Hard Drives
	238GB SAMSUNG SSD 830 Series ATA Device (SSD)
	932GB Western Digital WDC WD1002FAEX-00Z3A0 ATA Device (SATA)	24 C
Optical Drives
	ATAPI iHES212 3 ATA Device
	DTSOFT Virtual CdRom Device
Audio
	Realtek High Definition Audio
Something pretentious.

cashogy_reborn's Avatar


cashogy_reborn
02.27.2013 , 07:10 PM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by Blasphemerr View Post
I don't have any FPS issues on my main rig. Playing this game on a laptop is an entirely different & infuriating story however. PC specs:

Code:
Operating System
	Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1
CPU
	Intel Core i5 3570K @ 3.40GHz	36 C
	Ivy Bridge 22nm Technology
RAM
	16.0 GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 569MHz (9-9-9-24)
Motherboard
	ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC. SABERTOOTH Z77 (LGA1155)	21 C
Graphics
	BenQ XL2420T (1920x1080@120Hz)
	AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series
Hard Drives
	238GB SAMSUNG SSD 830 Series ATA Device (SSD)
	932GB Western Digital WDC WD1002FAEX-00Z3A0 ATA Device (SATA)	24 C
Optical Drives
	ATAPI iHES212 3 ATA Device
	DTSOFT Virtual CdRom Device
Audio
	Realtek High Definition Audio
569mhz clocked ram? wut
Dany - Attomm - Dan'y - Fogel
The Original Stormborn Commando Representative
The King of Bads

Blasphemerr's Avatar


Blasphemerr
02.27.2013 , 07:14 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by cashogy_reborn View Post
569mhz clocked ram? wut
Hah, just a bug in the speccy program is all. Too lazy to write out my own stats!
Something pretentious.

cashogy_reborn's Avatar


cashogy_reborn
02.27.2013 , 07:15 PM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by Blasphemerr View Post
Hah, just a bug in the speccy program is all. Too lazy to write out my own stats!
oh. cuz that would be very weird
Dany - Attomm - Dan'y - Fogel
The Original Stormborn Commando Representative
The King of Bads