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Old 05-22-2012, 03:26 PM   #1
mojos58
 
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RW and Graphics Cards

Maybe I shouldn't be looking to introduce another variable into the seeking of the Holy Grail of a decent RW performance, but does RW override graphics card settings, even if the GPU is profiled for RW? If it doesn't, what difference can I make using the Catalyst Control Centre to the way the graphics present? I would like to lose the shimmering point work and trees, and the wobbly horizontals in the OLHE, but is it so tied into the CPU (even if mine is clocked at 4.2 Ghz) that there is nothing outside that can affect the presentation? I presume the variable fps and the dip this takes when loading tiles are very much CPU bound. Not having any experience of running any games or sims outside of RW I realise my knowledge of GPUs and graphics settings, and how they affect the picture, is minimal, so any pointers would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:59 PM   #2
peterhayes
 
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Mojo
RSC recommends that you use the inetrnal settings of Railworks graphics wise for best quality and performance?
However, you can override the TS2012 settings by setting the graphics card to "override" the ineternal settings or you can choose an "enhance" setting which may or may not boost the game settings.

I have used all 3 methods to avoid that dreadful shimmer on OHW and poles which is worse on some routes than others. The best settings (diaplay and frame rate wise) is when I allow TS2012 to use its own settings rather than those that could used via the video card driver. But that will vary pc to pc.

The variable dip in fps has many causes with few solutions, I have lessened a lot of those dips by installing TS2012 on a fast dedicated SSD. They are now very much minimised, but I still see occasional fps dips due probably to internal programming reasons.
Good luck - hope you find a solution.
PeterH
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:08 AM   #3
arizonachris
 
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I agree with Peter. After much fiddling around with graphics settings, I finally put the video card drivers at default/ quality (Nvidia settings are a little different than ATI's CCC settings)and "let the application decide". (or whatever it says)

Then just use the game settings, I put them on High on both settings screens (start screen and in game screen) Gives pretty much the best performance for me.

That lag or occasional stutter is the game loading from the hard drive, which it has to do a lot. Again, Peter's got the best, but expensive, solution, an SSD drive. I can't afford one so I just make due with a fast 500Gb Raptor (10,000 rpm)
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Old 05-23-2012, 02:06 AM   #4
zm4r
 
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RailWorksProc2.exe just wants to use RAM. If it's not present or available, the operating system needs to access the drive more often. Resulting in an fps dip. An SSD will probable improve that but I still don't use one. I am very happy with some updates that we received from both the o.s as Rw. It’s maybe not always visible in all scenarios / routes but for me. I see a clear improvement.

Of course, I also agree with the comments made ​​above.
Exceptionally, it happens on my system that a thread waits for another tread. When that happens RailWorks just hangs for a while but Recovers.

Last edited by zm4r: 05-23-2012 at 02:29 AM.
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Old 05-23-2012, 07:32 AM   #5
mojos58
 
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Thanks for the comments, guys. I think it best on consideration to let RW do its' thing and avoid duplicating the gpu settings. The permutations would be infinite. Unfortunately, re the frame dips I already have RW installed on a dedicated SSD, but my impression is that the dips have got worse over the last month or so, while scenery is popping up in the distance, on routes I hadn't previously had trouble with. I tend to run the routes with the fps locked at 20, using dxtory, but when the dips happen it can knock 6 fps off before resetting. I've also noticed that using the f4/f3 switch for the HUD has the same effect in knocking the frame rate, and the smoothness back. I have Win 7 Home Premium on a separate SSD, AMD fx 8150 clocked at a stable 4.2 Ghz, 8 Gb of DDR3 ram on a Gigabyte 990fxa-ud3 board and a Radeon hd 6800 series gpu. I did have more memory (16 Gb) but I donated half to a friend when it was clear RW wasn't going to use the extra. The fps dip was becoming more of a problem before I reduced the ram. I switch off my anti virus when planning a RW session, and use gamebooster to cut down the background stuff. In fact I've followed all the advice I've gleaned on the forums, which was why I was querying the gpu settings as I thought I might have missed something obvious. Some routes are a lot worse than others, as we know. But a friend installed one of his games on my setup, some blood soaked shoot out, and I couldn't believe how well it ran. No stutters, no jaggies on the verticals, no shimmering on the horizontals and fine lines, in fact even he was loathe to give me my machine back when he'd finished his demo! Still, my photo and video editing are a breeze to do, while everything functions so much more quickly. Ah well, the search for the RW Holy Grail continues, until TS2013/RW 4. In the meantime I'll just have to drive routes where there's no OHLE!
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Old 05-23-2012, 01:35 PM   #6
peterhayes
 
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Mojo
I use an nvidia/Intel set up and yesterday nvidia issued a new official video card driver which now has settings for FXAA and for vsync, plus an internal frame rate limiter (via nVidia Inspector). I still use the TS2012 settings for AA and AF but used the nvidia Inspector settings for FXAA, frame rate and vsync. A lot of the shimmer was lessened, frame rates were about the same (I have an OC @ 4.8GHz liquid cooling) but it seemed smoother and clearer with less popping in the distance. But then it could be 'The Emperor's/King's new clothes syndrome' ie I was seeing what I wanted to see.

Do both your SSD's support the TRIM function? It may be worth seeing if that is working as a slow down over a period of time could indicate that the SSD has blocks that can no longer be accessed (particularly the OS SSD). Just a thought.

AC, I purchased the SSD on sale @ <$1/Gb, so I was lucky but I have seen similar results on a Momentus XT which has a 4Gb inbuilt SSD cache and priced reasonably.
Still searching for RW3 Holy Grail.
Regards
PeterH
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Old 05-23-2012, 02:19 PM   #7
mojos58
 
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Thanks Peter, I'll check the trim function. Have to wait and see if AMD do anything with Catalyst Control Centre before I'm tempted to start delving into the settings. Do you know, is the pop up scenery caused by the gpu, or the processor, or a combination of them both? Or is it that old Railworks magic?
Cheers
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Old 05-23-2012, 02:47 PM   #8
arizonachris
 
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I think the "pop up scenery" has to do with "draw in distance". When the next scenery tile loads in, poof, you have trees and bushes. Farther the draw in distance, the more scenery you see.

I just wanna drive trains, but I do tend to drive out of the cab most of the time so I can see all the cool scenery. With the way I have all the settings now, RW really seems to run nice.

Even if I do get the new NV drivers, I'll still leave settings at default. I don't see anything in the change notes about RW.
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Old 05-23-2012, 03:02 PM   #9
mojos58
 
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Just to say trim is enabled on my system, so can discount that theory, but thanks for the suggestion Peter. Like Windows, can RW get bloated by too much dlc, RW or otherwise? I assumed RW only loaded what it needed during the sim, and all other non relevant dlc sat in folders, so the amount anyone might have installed would be irrelevant when it came to performance issues. Still just trying to understand how it works in between running scenarios. May try out your settings, Chris, see how it goes. Cheers.
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Old 05-23-2012, 04:00 PM   #10
zm4r
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterhayes View Post
Mojo
I use an nvidia/Intel set up and yesterday nvidia issued a new official video card driver which now has settings for FXAA and for vsync, plus an internal frame rate limiter (via nVidia Inspector). I still use the TS2012 settings for AA and AF but used the nvidia Inspector settings for FXAA, frame rate and vsync. A lot of the shimmer was lessened, frame rates were about the same (I have an OC @ 4.8GHz liquid cooling) but it seemed smoother and clearer with less popping in the distance. But then it could be 'The Emperor's/King's new clothes syndrome' ie I was seeing what I wanted to see.
PeterH
These settings I have also tested but for me It's the same like driving to Paris,taking another route and reaching the same destination. Sorry but I didn't notice any improvements on my system with RW.
Nevertheless, the internal frame rate limiter is sometimes useful.

Grtz
Erik

Last edited by zm4r: 05-23-2012 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 05-23-2012, 04:04 PM   #11
peterhayes
 
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Mojo
The "pop-up" scenery is very complex.
Its unlikely to be a cpu issue unless it is slow, mismatched to the RAM, or bottlenecked by the gpu. The other possible and more probable issue is the way that RW3 code interacts with the OS and its own virtual address space (VAS).

As you know the VAS/OS send the instructions to the cpu into its own cache and its other cahe the Physical RAM. If all is well, the cpu then sends the instructions to the gpu (which is much faster then the cpu) and on to the monitor. If there are no issues then you get a smooth display on the monitor. {cpu to RAM bandwidth is about 20Gb/sec, VRAM bandwith is around 200Gb/sec}

There are various problems that can arise, the worst being is if there is a cache/other issues in the instructions passed from cpu to gpu (the cpu has r/w access to the VRAM) then those instructions may have to be passed back to the cpu/RAM by having to go out of the (video) chip, into the (PCIe) slot, travel a bit across the mainboard then get to someplace in the CPU and or RAM about a week later!

That can cause a lot of stuttering and possibly popping scenery. Modern video cards are blazingly fast, have great memory bandwidth but have severe latency problems especially when trying to process complex code like TS2012.
This is a very rudimentary version of what goes on and what can go wrong and this is just in the hardware.

The software and other anciliary apps like .NET FW, etc is yet another story.

pH
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Old 05-23-2012, 08:53 PM   #12
arizonachris
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mojos58 View Post
Like Windows, can RW get bloated by too much dlc, RW or otherwise? I assumed RW only loaded what it needed during the sim, and all other non relevant dlc sat in folders, so the amount anyone might have installed would be irrelevant when it came to performance issues.
Oh, yeah, your RW folder in the "steamapps" folder gets bigger all the time, along with your Documents folder. A small SSD can get full very, very quick. But it sounds like you have Steam on a different drive. But Documents by default is on your Windows drive. I'm not sure if you can redirect that to your bigger hard drive.
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Old 05-24-2012, 03:22 AM   #13
mojos58
 
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Thanks Peter, I think I get the gist of what you're saying, and how many varaibles there are in getting the code translated to an acceptable moving image on the screen. I suspect it's more likely to do with the software, since my setup proved it can play someone else's demanding game/sim without any of these issues. Roll on TS2013/14/15! Chris, I was fortunate to have an SSD bought for me as a present, which I dedicated purely to RW and RW Tools. And it's amazing how quickly it's filling up I don't remember downloading all that stuff it says is on there But with free dlc like the Mayflower Line and Fraser to Cariboo I just have to try it. Maybe I should back up everything to an external hard drive, format the SSD and just put stuff back bit by bit until it starts to creak. Happy railroading.
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:40 AM   #14
arizonachris
 
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I have two 500Gb drives internal. Main drive is a 10,000rpm Raptor, second drive is just a Western Digital black. Main drive is only at 170Gb full, but I don't have a lot of stuff loaded after I had to format a while back. (I only have 150 games on Steam) The second drive survived the PSU failure and has my "steamapps" folder and a backup of my Documents. Documents is where I keep a copy of all my DLC.

By all means, get an external USB drive. They are cheap. I gifted a friend a 1Tb Toshiba drive last Christmas, it was about $69 from New Egg. Even had the software to do the backup. Easy Peasy!
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Old 05-24-2012, 02:57 PM   #15
peterhayes
 
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AC
Good points another option is get a conventional HDD buy a eSATA cradle and cable and attach it to your PC if you have an eSATA port (many modern machines do). That way you get the speed of the SATA drive. The other option if you have a USB 3.0 board is again to connect a USB 3.0 drive and that can be very fast.
Regards
pH
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