Commands to improve fps with ATI?

Advanced OpenGL source port fork from ZDoom, picking up where ZDoomGL left off.
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Commands to improve fps with ATI?

Post by plums » Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:10

First of all I know GZDoom has historically had problems with ATI cards, and so I know not to expect too much. I'm wondering if there are any options or things I can do to improve my performance.

I get pretty low fps counts with levels that go far beyond what vanilla Doom was meant to. The latest map I'm having problems with is The Spire 2 (also requires gothictx.wad) so I'll use it as a test case.

With GLBoom+, looking up from the starting point at the large tower (as in the screenshot), I get about 55 fps.

With GZDoom under my "normal" settings (1024x768, dynamic lights on but shaders for lights off, most other things maxed out) I get ~7 fps.

If I disable fog and set the lighting mode from Software to Standard, I get up to ~14 fps.

I saw somewhere a command-line switch -sm2 (disables shaders entirely I think?), using that I can get a tolerable 21 fps. However the framerate is quite unsteady, moreso than normal. Can this be set in the options or zdoom.ini anywhere?

Any of the other settings I've tried have no effect (or maybe 1 fps combined) on the fps, including texture filtering, AA, screen resolution, HQ resize, etc., which makes me think there's a bottleneck somewhere.

Anyhow I'm sure you're quite sick of mystery ATI card problems by now, just wondering if there's a quick fix I haven't tried yet.

In case it matters: logfile
Spoiler:
screenshots of normal and -sm2 rendering, with stat renderstats and stat rendertimes

[spoiler]
Screenshot_Doom_20130928_005402.png
normal
Screenshot_Doom_20130928_005402.png (509.15 KiB) Viewed 2048 times
Screenshot_Doom_20130928_005727a.jpg
-sm2
Screenshot_Doom_20130928_005727a.jpg (473.51 KiB) Viewed 2048 times
[/spoiler]

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Graf Zahl
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Re: Commands to improve fps with ATI?

Post by Graf Zahl » Sat Sep 28, 2013 17:14

I see you are losing quite a bit of time outside the actual renderer. In the last screenshot only 20% of the entire frame time is spent inside actual rendering code which is the only thing you could speed up by disabling rendering features.

I think this map is just too much for ZDoom's play engine.

But something must be wrong with your driver if your card gets such a speed boost from switching to -sm2.
If you want to gain some more performance, the first thing to do is to disable dynamic lights. In cases like this they cause quite a bit of overhead.

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Re: Commands to improve fps with ATI?

Post by plums » Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:17

Graf Zahl wrote:I see you are losing quite a bit of time outside the actual renderer. In the last screenshot only 20% of the entire frame time is spent inside actual rendering code which is the only thing you could speed up by disabling rendering features.

I think this map is just too much for ZDoom's play engine.
Thanks for the reply. I guess that's not too surprising, my CPU is quite old. Maps that go far beyond what Doom was meant to do are of course very common now... Oh well, perhaps I'll have to shop around for other ports until I can shop around for a better computer, at least for large maps.
But something must be wrong with your driver if your card gets such a speed boost from switching to -sm2.
If you want to gain some more performance, the first thing to do is to disable dynamic lights. In cases like this they cause quite a bit of overhead.
Forgot to include that I did disable dynamic lights for the 2nd test, which helped slightly, but not as much as I'd have thought. I've tried playing with my drivers today, with no improvement sadly. Shaders have always been a problem with anything on this computer; maybe it's a case of the CPU not being able to keep up with the video card? (Athlon XP 2400 vs Radeon HD 3650 AGP) Whatever the case it looks like the kind of problem that's best solved by throwing money at it. Ah well.

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Re: Commands to improve fps with ATI?

Post by Graf Zahl » Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:04

Your hardware looks ok. What puzzles me is the behavior of your driver. It provides a speed boost where none should exist. The rendering times on your first shot are far, far too high for your hardware.
From the startup log it looks like you use the manufacturer provided driver. Have you ever updated to a more recent version from AMD?
Before throwing money at it it might make sense to test a driver update first. Radeon HD3xxx should be good enough for a somewhat better frame rate.

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Re: Commands to improve fps with ATI?

Post by plums » Mon Sep 30, 2013 14:36

Well the card isn't officially supported by the AMD drivers, so getting them working was not an easy task. I got it mostly working, the drivers will install through the Device Manager but the extra software won't. Which isn't a problem, really.

Anyhow not much change, though I haven't had much chance to test it. I get a few more FPS without anything disabled on that section of that level, but it's still quite low. Other parts might be a bit worse though... using shaders for dynamic lights absolutely slows everything down to a crawl now, less than 1 fps if there's a single dynamic light visible. I'll try some more thorough tests soon but I'm not too optimistic.

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Re: Commands to improve fps with ATI?

Post by Graf Zahl » Mon Sep 30, 2013 18:02

Just for fun I ran a benchmark on my system (3GHz Core i7) with this map:

Map MAP01: "entryway",
x = -8134.0797, y = -15815.8754, z = 655.5305, angle = 46.1096, pitch = 4.9109
Walls: 4610 (0 splits, 0 t-splits, 16124 vertices)
Flats: 570 (6777 primitives, 35519 vertices)
Sprites: 769, Decals=3, Portals: 1
W: Render=0.723, Split = 0.000, Setup=0.729, Clip=0.701
F: Render=0.556, Setup=0.078
S: Render=0.212, Setup=0.257
All=5.679, Render=2.266, Setup=2.269, BSP = 0.502, Portal=0.082, Finish=1.130
DLight - Walls: 334 processed, 73 rendered - Flats: 985 processed, 343 rendered
Missing textures: 0 upper, 0 lower, 0.000 ms
163 fps


Just from the looks of these numbers your CPU is 5-7x slower than mine and I think that's most of the reason why you are having problems.

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Re: Commands to improve fps with ATI?

Post by Rachael » Tue Oct 01, 2013 19:55

Back in earlier versions of GZDoom when you could customize which shaders were on or off I noticed a similar speed boost when turning off certain shaders on an ATI card. I think the dynamic light and fog shaders were most responsible for the speed differences.
Spoiler: Zen Sarcasm

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Re: Commands to improve fps with ATI?

Post by Graf Zahl » Tue Oct 01, 2013 23:28

The dynamic light shader is still optional because it needs to transfer a lot of data to the graphics card and this causes performance problems on some (and doesn't work on others.)

The fog shader, though, is standard issue math that's commonplace in anything recent - and if this causes performance issues it's time to upgrade the hardware.
A Radeon HD 36xx shouldn't have any problems with shaders, though. No GL 3 compatible card should.

It all doesn't help if the CPU can't keep up, though, and that seems to be the problem here. My old system also had problems running such large open maps at decent frame rates

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Re: Commands to improve fps with ATI?

Post by plums » Thu Oct 03, 2013 15:01

Yeah it's almost certainly a CPU issue. I had thought or hoped that given the performance difference between GZDoom and GLBoom+, and the reputation of GZDoom having worse performance on ATI cards, that I could get better performance with some GPU tweaking, but this doesn't seem to be the case.

That hacked AMD driver was causing minor but definite stuttering elsewhere so I've gone back to the manufacturer's drivers. Perhaps I didn't get the hack right but the performance difference is very minor, certainly for GZDoom anyhow.

Thanks for indulging me nonetheless.

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Re: Commands to improve fps with ATI?

Post by FeelingShred » Sat Mar 25, 2017 12:54

Sorry for reviving old topic but I found an unexpected solution to this same problem with my Radeon Mobility 4650 video card.
Long story short: close Catalyst Control Center on the taskbar...
I have Win XP SP3 now, I closed all other programs that were running (Chrome and VLC Media Player) and ran Gzdoom. Slowdowns were the same, getting 5 to 6 fps on any Pirate Doom map where there is a wide open area with lots of architecture features. Unplayable. Disabling everything wouldn't solve it, resizing to low-res wouldn't either.
THEN, I had the idea of closing Catalyst Control Center on the taskbar, as someone mentioned on another tech support forum.
BOOM! Just closing CCC stopped with all the slowdowns! I use an external program to cap my fps to 30 called DxTory (so my GPU temps remain under control). Further experimentation showed that after closing CCC, I can run GzDoom alongside other programs without any problem or slowdown. Another proof that ATI sucks major ass! Avoid ATI video cards as hard as you can. Not the first game which has ATI-exclusive problems.

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