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Thread: Figuring out what is being bottlenecked in Rift

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    Rift Disciple Simplici7y's Avatar
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    Default Figuring out what is being bottlenecked in Rift

    What is the best way to figure out what component is being bottlenecked in Rift? Usually everywhere on the internet people tell you that a decent i5 processor can almost never be bottlenecked, but reading up on Rift forums, I got the idea that it's probably CPU bottleneck.
    Here is my specific case:

    CPU: Intel i5 4670 @ 3.4GHz
    RAM: 8GB @ 1333MHz
    GPU: AMD HD 7790 1 GB

    I was thinking about buying either a GTX 960 or 970, but I don't want to end up buying one of those and still having to play at medium settings.

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    Plane Walker Narielia's Avatar
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    In terms of bottlenecking, it's the CPU you should be most worried about.

    Upgrading may or may not help as this is a limitation within the game engine itself.

    Thank Gamebryo.

    Also right now, latency is pretty unstable, so it would not be a good time to try and work on improving anything until the game is running a bit more stable
    "When the last tree is cut, the last fish is caught, and the last river is polluted; when to breathe the air is sickening, you will realize, too late, that wealth is not in bank accounts and that you canít eat money."

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    Rift Disciple Simplici7y's Avatar
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    I logged my CPU and GPU load during an IGP raid today, and it appears to me that GPU is being the slower one - or am I reading this incorrectly?
    http://i.imgur.com/ntHH7Re.jpg

    http://i.imgur.com/B1bKA6J.png

    First image is GPU, second is CPU load. CPU never ever goes even above 60%, GPU is constantly jumping between 0 and 100.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simplici7y View Post
    I logged my CPU and GPU load during an IGP raid today, and it appears to me that GPU is being the slower one - or am I reading this incorrectly?
    .
    You don't have all the information required to decide that.

    First off your CPU graph is only recording "_Total" time. This represents the total time for all your CPU "processor time" which includes CPU usage from all other applications on your computer. It is also skewed because as the text explains:

    On todays fast processors, % Processor Time can therefore underestimate the processor utilization as the processor may be spending a lot of time servicing threads between the system clock sampling interval.
    Secondly your GPU usage is not indicative of much except your usage was high at parts, and low at other parts. What might have been more useful is FPS combined with GPU/CPU usage and even then it's not that useful. This can also be skewed because Windows Vista + uses the Aero system, where windowed applications are actually rendered onto the desktop and then rendered to the screen (This is how the live thumbnails work). It also depends if it was windowed, fullscreen, windowed fullscreen etc.

    In addition, while on the subject of GPU usage just because it's low doesn't mean it's not being used, and just because it's high doesn't mean it's being overloaded.


    =======================
    OK, now that is out of the way, onto the meat of the problem.
    =======================

    To figure out if it's CPU bound, lower your rendering settings to it's lowest (do not enable the legacy renderer though) and run your tests again.

    If the FPS is significantly different then it's likely your graphics card can't handle all the settings. Keep increasing each one until you figure out which setting is causing the biggest drop. That will then give you a possible idea of where the bottleneck is actually occurring.

    Keep in mind that GPU usage is not indicative of an issue. For example on my computer I can set anti-aliasing to "supersampling" and generate 100% GPU usage with no change in FPS.

    If the FPS didn't change all that much then it's more than likely CPU bound. This may not mean your CPU is too slow, it could be that RIFT is simply not able to push enough frames to the card in a quick enough time. This might stem from the fact that RIFT is a DirectX 9 game and as such can not take advantage of the many performance enhancements in DX10, 11 or 12.

    I'll also add by saying that performance analysis is a very complex area and you can easily get lead down the wrong path by not having all the data and it is especially difficult without the correct profiling tools and the original source.

    Having said that, you can try to use the program GPUView and this page: https://graphics.stanford.edu/~mdfisher/GPUView.html. It has some explanations for how to determine CPU/GPU bottlenecks within programs.

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    I play witcher 3 on ultra with 30+ fps, but get around 20 fps in rift raids. Think it's cpu that's bottlenecking in this game. My rift settings are based off medium, then I took a few things off/ lower I.e. Grass, cape, shadow, full screen bloom etc
    Last edited by Theriene; 09-22-2015 at 04:30 AM.

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    Plane Touched Hieb's Avatar
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    Every MMO that I know of is very easily CPU bottlenecked. All mainstream MMOs are mostly single-threaded and during any scenario that consists of numerous NPCs, players or abilities at once, even the fastest CPUs will be brought to their knees.

    In any mainstream, modern titles a Core i5 won't bottleneck in the overwhelming majority of cases (unless you're looking for like 120-144 FPS gameplay, then some games it will). But in RIFT, World of Warcraft, TERA, ArcheAge, Wildstar etc... they will be limited by the CPU when in cities, dungeons, raids, battlegrounds.

  7. #7
    Plane Touched Hieb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simplici7y View Post
    I logged my CPU and GPU load during an IGP raid today, and it appears to me that GPU is being the slower one - or am I reading this incorrectly?
    http://i.imgur.com/ntHH7Re.jpg

    http://i.imgur.com/B1bKA6J.png

    First image is GPU, second is CPU load. CPU never ever goes even above 60%, GPU is constantly jumping between 0 and 100.
    The usage measures how much time over the polling period (depending on application this is usually either 0.1, 0.5 or 1 second) that component spent processing things. So 100% CPU usage would indicate that the CPU was working nonstop during that period, which is generally not ideal (except in video encoding or something where 100% is always used) since it means the software is too demanding for the hardware.

    GPU usage is the real indicator, since in games you want your GPU usage as close to 100% as possible. The lower your GPU usage is, the more time it is spending idle due to holdups somewhere else (be it in drivers/APIs, game settings [VSync], or CPU).

    CPU usage isn't very accurate though. Tasks get tossed around to different threads of the CPU, and as I already mentioned MMOs are mostly single-threaded. So your CPU could potentially read as having 25% usage over the polling period, but it could effectively be maxed out (100%) on the thread, since one thread at 100% usage is still only 25% of the whole CPU.

    Even monitoring individual core usage, while slightly more useful, doesn't tell you all that much. Because tasks get moved around to different cores all the time, it can appear to have an even load but still actually be an effective 100%. Here's an example recording I took:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CcBIHmvewI

    As you can see none of my CPU cores are anywhere near 100%, yet GPU usage is quite low and the performance is quite low (out and about in the world I can get 80+ FPS)
    Last edited by Hieb; 09-22-2015 at 03:02 PM.

  8. #8
    Rift Disciple Simplici7y's Avatar
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    Reducing all GPU intensive settings to minimum seems to improve my FPS quite a bit, but the GPU usage is still the same as before (spiking at 100% all the time). Would this mean that buying a good graphics card such as GTX 960 should noticeably improve my FPS?

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