Dark Messiah of Might & Magic Troubleshooting Guide

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[POST 11]

Postby Blín D'ñero » 17 Feb 2008, 02:45


I notice however that their results are very inaccurate.

Update: 5 July 2008, i see they have changed their charts page, re-using all values from their older tests, which in a mix makes a VERY inaccurate total-chart, utterly useless and misleading.
(One thing on Tom's site stands: their buying guide, it's usually straight to the point and accurate, refreshed every month).
Anyway, so this is their result.

Image

Seeing their system setup, i wonder... with my Radeon X1900XT/512MB i get 10 fps better than their X1900XTX and 5 fps better result than their GF 8800GTX, at their same maxed out game settings... correction: even with 6xAA and 16xAF.
Can't be only because they used older drivers (which is unclear: Catalyst 7.1 on a Radeon HD3870 ??? :clown: ). They didn't overclock and used integrated soundchip, that counts as well.
But staggering is their poor HD3870 result: only 39 fps??? the card does 75 fps here....

My X1900XT results:
Intro Temple of Spider:

Image

V-sync is off. All ingame settings maxed, CCC settings "application controlled" and defaults.
Logged fps each second:

Image

The part in the boat with Leanna up until talking to the victim:

Image

logged fps each second:

Image

My games settings:

Image

Image



  • Resuming, with X1900XT (512 MB):
    Windows XP SP2 / DirectX9.0c february 2007
    X1900XT (512 MB) / ATI Catalyst 7.4
    Asus P5W-DH Deluxe (i975)
    Intel E6600
    Creative X-Fi Platinum / 8/17/2006
    2x250 GB WDC WD2500KS
    NEC DVD_RW ND-3540A
    Eizo T965 1600x1200 / 85Hz
    Logitech Z5500
    Logitech wired Media keyboard
    Logitech G7

    V-sync is off. All settings maxed.
    • The part in the boat with Leanna up until talking to the victim:

      Frames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg
      2740, ....52798, ...34, ..100, 51.896

      -----------------------------------------
    • Intro Temple of Spider:

      Frames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg
      1144, ....22349, ...42, ..71, 51.188

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



  • With Radeon HD3870 (512 MB) even better results. :thup:

    V-sync is off. All ingame settings maxed, CCC settings "application controlled" and defaults.
    • The part in the boat with Leanna up until talking to the victim:

      Frames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg
      4008, ....52794, ...48, ..116, 75.918

      -----------------------------------------
    • Intro Temple of Spider:

      Frames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg
      1534, ....21754, ...58, ..108, 70.516

      -----------------------------------------------
      System specifications:
      CPU: Intel C2D E6750 @ 3.6 Ghz
      CPU cooler: ZALMAN CPNS9700LED
      Motherboard: ASUS Maximus Formula (bios 907)
      System RAM: 4 GB Crucial Ballistix PC2-8500
      Videocard: Sapphire HD3870 @ 855/1246 / Cat 8.2
      Soundcard: Creative X-Fi Platinum
      Harddiskdrives: WD 3200AAKS + WD 5000AAKS
      PSU: Coolermaster Realpower M850
      DVD-RW: Optiarc (NEC) DVD_RW AD-5170A
      Monitor: Eizo T965 @ 1600x1200/85Hz
      Coolermaster Stacker
      Keyboard: Logitech Internet keyboard
      Mouse: Logitech G9
      OS: Windows XP Professional 32-bit
      DirectX9.0c version: November 2007
      Game: DVD version Dark Messiah of Might and Magic (patched 1.01 and 1.02)



  • With Radeon HD4870 (512 MB) even better results. :thup:

    This time on Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 64-bit.
    V-sync is off. All ingame settings maxed, CCC settings "application controlled" and defaults.
    • The part in the boat with Leanna up until talking to the victim:

      Frames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg
      4557, ....50968, ...55, ..182, 89.409

      -----------------------------------------
    • Intro Temple of Spider:

      Frames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg
      1653, ....22234, ...56, ..142, 74.346

      -----------------------------------------------
    System specifications:
    CPU: Intel C2D E6750 @ 3.6 Ghz
    CPU cooler: ZALMAN CPNS9700LED
    Motherboard: ASUS Maximus Formula (bios 907)
    System RAM: 8 GB Corsair Dominator PC2-8500 C5DF / 1081Mhz
    Videocard: Sapphire HD4870 @ 790/1190 / Cat. 8.7
    Soundcard: Creative X-Fi Platinum Fatal1ty Champion
    Harddiskdrives: WD 5000AAKS + WD 5000AAKS
    PSU: Coolermaster Realpower M850
    DVD-RW: Optiarc (NEC) DVD_RW AD-5170A
    Monitor: Eizo T965 @ 1600x1200/85Hz
    Coolermaster Stacker
    Keyboard: Logitech Internet keyboard
    Mouse: Logitech G9
    OS: Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 64-bit
    DirectX9.0c version: July 2008
    Game: DVD version Dark Messiah of Might and Magic (patched 1.01 and 1.02)



  • With Radeon HD4870X2 (1 GB effective) better once again: :thup:

    Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 64-bit.
    V-sync is off for this benchmark (i have it ON when gaming). For the rest, ingame settings maxed, CCC settings "application controlled" and defaults.
    • The part in the boat with Leanna up until talking to the victim:

      Frames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg
      5443, ....53447, ...64, ..197, 101.839

      -----------------------------------------
    • Intro Temple of Spider:

      Frames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg
      1776, ....21268, ...61, ..169, 83.506

    -----------------------------------------------
    System specifications:
    CPU: Intel C2D E8400 @ 3.825 Ghz
    CPU cooler: ZALMAN CPNS9700LED
    Motherboard: ASUS Maximus Formula (bios 1102)
    System RAM: 8 GB Corsair Dominator PC2-8500 C5DF / 1081Mhz
    Videocard: Sapphire HD4870X2 @ 750/900 / Catalyst 8.9
    Soundcard: Creative X-Fi Platinum Fatal1ty Champion
    Harddiskdrives: WD 6400AAKS + WD 5000AAKS
    PSU: Coolermaster Realpower M850
    DVD-RW: Optiarc (NEC) DVD_RW AD-5170A
    Monitor: Eizo T965 @ 1600x1200/85Hz
    Coolermaster Stacker
    Logitech wired Media keyboard
    Logitech G9
    Logitech Z-5500
    OS: Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 64-bit
    DirectX9.0c version: Aug 2008
    Game: DVD version Dark Messiah of Might and Magic (patched 1.01 and 1.02)


^That ends the benchmarking at 1600x1200/85Hz on a CRT. Since April 2010 i'm using a 1920x1200/60Hz monitor (U2410).
  • With a new system, i7 920 @ 3.8 Ghz and 2 x HD5870 1GB (crossfire).
    _________________________________________________________________
    System specifications:
    i7 920 D0 @ 3.8 Ghz (19×200)
    ZALMAN CPNS9900LED
    Asus P6T Deluxe V2 (bios 610)
    12 GB Corsair CMD12GX3M6A1600C8 DDR3 [triple channel]
    Asus 2 × HD5870 crossfire @ 880/1260 - Catalyst 12.1 Preview
    Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatality Pro [PCI-E]
    WDC WD1002FAEX + WDC WD1002FAEX
    Corsair HX 850W
    Optiarc DVD RW AD-5240S
    Dell U2410 @ 1920x1200/60Hz
    Coolermaster Stacker
    Steelseries G7
    Logitech G9
    Logitech Z-5500
    OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
    DirectX9.0c version: Nov 2010
    Game: DVD version Dark Messiah of Might and Magic (patched 1.01 and 1.02)

    ___________________________________________________________________
    I'll start @1600x1200 with a single HD5870
    V-sync is off. All ingame settings maxed, CCC settings "application controlled" and defaults.
    • The part in the boat with Leanna up until talking to the victim:
      Frames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg
      6875, .... 56676, ... 75, 219, 121.304

      -----------------------------------------
    • Intro Temple of Spider:
      Frames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg
      2103, .... 21747, ... 72, 192, 96.703
    ============================================
    With 2 x HD5870 crossfire the cpu-limit is reached (i7-920 @ 3.8 Ghz) resulting in a negative scaling:
    @ 1600x1200/60Hz with 2 x HD5870 (crossfire)
    (V-sync is off. All ingame settings maxed, CCC settings "application controlled" and defaults):
    • The part in the boat with Leanna up until talking to the victim:
      Frames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg
      6359, .... 57158, ... 62, 210, 111.253

      -----------------------------------------
    • Intro Temple of Spider:
      Frames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg
      1999, .... 21964, ... 66, 184, 91.013
    ============================================
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Let's move to 1920 x 1200
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ============================================
    @ 1920x1200/60Hz with a single 5870
    (V-sync is off. All ingame settings maxed, CCC settings "application controlled" and defaults):
    • The part in the boat with Leanna up until talking to the victim:
      Frames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg
      6534, .... 56145, ... 62, 211, 116.377

      -----------------------------------------
    • Intro Temple of Spider:
      Frames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg
      1979, .... 21886, ... 71, 160, 90.423

      ============================================

    Once again negative scaling (i7-920 @ 3,8 Ghz) when crossfire is enabled:
    @ 1920x1200/60Hz with 2 x HD5870 (crossfire)
    (V-sync is off. All ingame settings maxed, CCC settings "application controlled" and defaults):
    • The part in the boat with Leanna up until talking to the victim:
      Frames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg
      6342, .... 58360, ... 57, 215, 108.670

      -----------------------------------------
    • Intro Temple of Spider:
      Frames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg
      1899, .... 21840, ... 59, 170, 86.951
  • The same system but now the i7 920 CPU clocked @ 4,2 Ghz: (only for this test)
    @ 1920x1200/60Hz with 2 x HD5870 (crossfire):
    • The part in the boat with Leanna up until talking to the victim:
      Frames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg
      7314, .... 58157, ... 67, 229, 125.763
      -----------------------------------------
    • Intro Temple of Spider:
      Frames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg
      2221, .... 22012, ... 71, 199, 100.900



UPDATE
    On my new system with i7 2700K @ 4.8 Ghz and 7970 crossfire, even better results.
    ________________________________________________
    i7 2700K @ 4.8 Ghz
    Zalman CPNS9900-A LED
    Asus Maximus IV Extreme-Z
    16 GB Corsair Dominator GT CMT16GX3M4X2133C9
    Sapphire HD7970 crossfire @ 1100/1575
    Dell U3010 @ 2560 x 1600 [DVI-D]
    Corsair AX 1200W
    WDC WD1002FAEX + WDC WD1002FAEX
    Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatality Pro [PCI-E]
    Optiarc AD 5240S
    Steelseries 7G
    Logitech G9
    Steelseries SX
    Coolermaster Stacker STC T01
    Logitech Z-5500
    Sennheiser HD595
    Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

    ________________________________________________
    @ 1920x1200/60Hz with 2 x 7970 (crossfire)
    (V-sync is off. All ingame settings maxed, CCC settings "application controlled" and defaults):
    • The part in the boat with Leanna up until talking to the victim:
      Frames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg
      9903, .... 60201, ... 100, 280, 164.499
      -----------------------------------------

    • Intro Temple of Spider:
      Frames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg
      2493, .... 20795, ... 92, 194, 119.885

    ============================================
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Let's move to 2560 x 1600
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ============================================
    (V-sync is off. All ingame settings maxed, CCC settings "application controlled" and defaults):
    • The part in the boat with Leanna up until talking to the victim:
      Frames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg
      9784, .... 61059, ... 94, 279, 160.238
      -----------------------------------------
    • Intro Temple of Spider:
      Frames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg
      2494, .... 21076, ... 92, 198, 118.334


    The performance is so good, ideal for using SSAA @ resolution 2560 x 1600, without vsync:
    Image
This time measured with Fraps, resolution 2560 x 1600 - SSAA enabled - no vsync
  • The part in the boat with Leanna up until talking to the victim:
    Frames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg
    8240, .... 56067, ... 73, 239, 146.967
    -----------------------------------------
  • Intro Temple of Spider:
    Frames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg
    1574, .... 21747, ... 58, 137, 72.378
Gaming PC: * Intel i7 4790K * Noctua NH-D15S * Asus Maximus VII Hero * 32 GB Corsair Dominator Platinum CMD32GX3M4A2133C9 * 2× Sapphire Radeon R9 290 Tri-X in crossfire * Dell U3010 @ 2560 x 1600 / 60Hz * Corsair AX 1200W * 7 x WD Black HDDs * Creative Soundblaster ZxR * Asus DRW F1ST * Corsair K95 RGB * Corsair M65 PRO RGB * Steelseries 9HD * Coolermaster STC T01 * Edifier S530 * Sennheiser HD598 * Windows 7 Ultimate x64 *

Workhorse PC: * Intel i7 2700K @ 4.8 Ghz * Noctua NH-D15 * Asus Maximus IV Extreme-Z * 32 GB Corsair Vengeance Pro CMY32GX3M4A1866C9 * Sapphire HD7970 crossfire * 3 x Dell U2410 @ Eyefinity 5760 x 1200 / 60Hz * Corsair HX 1000i * 7 x WD Black HDDs * Creative Soundblaster ZxR * Optiarc AD 5240S * Steelseries 7G * Razer Imperator 2012 * Steelseries 9HD * Coolermaster STC T01 * Edifier S730D * Windows 7 Ultimate x64 *

Workhorse PC 2: * Intel i7 920 @ 3.8 Ghz * Zalman CNPS9900A LED * Asus Sabertooth x58 * 24 GB Corsair Vengeance LP 1600MHz CL9 DDR3 * Sapphire R9 280X Vapor-X * 2 x Dell U2412M @ Eyefinity 2400 x 1920 / 60Hz * Corsair HX 850W * 7 x WDC WD1002FAEX * Creative Soundblaster Z * Optiarc AD 5240S * Steelseries 7G * Razer Mamba TE * Steelseries 9HD * Coolermaster STC T01 * Logitech Z-2300 * Windows 7 Ultimate x64 *
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Blín D'ñero
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[POST 12]

Postby Blín D'ñero » 17 Feb 2008, 02:45

Which videocard to buy?

You may find this an interesting read for orientation: The Best Graphics Cards for the Money: April 2012. tomshardware


Oh, and do not forget: the Power Supply Unit (PSU) is a key part, the base delivering (or not) the power to all your PC's precious components, so never go cheap on it.

Incase you didn't know, orient yourself:
Everything you need to know before buying a PSU!
Power supply buyers guide hardware.info


The Power Supply FAQ jonnyguru

Cases, Power Supplies, Storage, Mice, Graphics & Consumer Products tomshardware
Choosing the right power supply has become more important than ever. While the power requirements of processors have stabilized, the average power required by graphics cards and motherboard solutions has increased. Remember that having at least a 350 W power supply is important even for an average system. Not only does this provide some headroom over the minimum requirements, it also lets you run the PSU at lower load, which helps to keep thermals low.


Before You PC Power Supplies about.com (i suppose it is meant "before you BUY")

Buyers Guide - Power Supply Units (PSUs) kustompcs

HEXUS PSU (Power Supply Unit) Roundup - Taoyuan 2005 hexus
Gaming PC: * Intel i7 4790K * Noctua NH-D15S * Asus Maximus VII Hero * 32 GB Corsair Dominator Platinum CMD32GX3M4A2133C9 * 2× Sapphire Radeon R9 290 Tri-X in crossfire * Dell U3010 @ 2560 x 1600 / 60Hz * Corsair AX 1200W * 7 x WD Black HDDs * Creative Soundblaster ZxR * Asus DRW F1ST * Corsair K95 RGB * Corsair M65 PRO RGB * Steelseries 9HD * Coolermaster STC T01 * Edifier S530 * Sennheiser HD598 * Windows 7 Ultimate x64 *

Workhorse PC: * Intel i7 2700K @ 4.8 Ghz * Noctua NH-D15 * Asus Maximus IV Extreme-Z * 32 GB Corsair Vengeance Pro CMY32GX3M4A1866C9 * Sapphire HD7970 crossfire * 3 x Dell U2410 @ Eyefinity 5760 x 1200 / 60Hz * Corsair HX 1000i * 7 x WD Black HDDs * Creative Soundblaster ZxR * Optiarc AD 5240S * Steelseries 7G * Razer Imperator 2012 * Steelseries 9HD * Coolermaster STC T01 * Edifier S730D * Windows 7 Ultimate x64 *

Workhorse PC 2: * Intel i7 920 @ 3.8 Ghz * Zalman CNPS9900A LED * Asus Sabertooth x58 * 24 GB Corsair Vengeance LP 1600MHz CL9 DDR3 * Sapphire R9 280X Vapor-X * 2 x Dell U2412M @ Eyefinity 2400 x 1920 / 60Hz * Corsair HX 850W * 7 x WDC WD1002FAEX * Creative Soundblaster Z * Optiarc AD 5240S * Steelseries 7G * Razer Mamba TE * Steelseries 9HD * Coolermaster STC T01 * Logitech Z-2300 * Windows 7 Ultimate x64 *
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Blín D'ñero
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Posts: 7258
Joined: 17 Feb 2008
Location: Netherlands

[POST 13]

Postby Blín D'ñero » 17 Feb 2008, 02:46

ALCHEMY for

X-FI and Audigy series SoundBlaster:


Source: Creative Labs: Connect > ALchemy
Welcome

al-che-my [al-kuh-mee] ~ any magical power or process of transmuting a common substance, usually of little value, into a substance of great value. - Dictionary.com

In Windows Vista, Microsoft has decided to remove the Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) for DirectSound and DirectSound3D. The HAL is the software layer that in previous Windows operating systems enabled an audio accelerator such as the Sound Blaster X-Fi to provide DirectSound3D applications with hardware accelerated audio. This enabled soundcards to perform tasks such as sample-rate conversion, mixing, 3D spatialization using HRTFs, filtering, and effects processing. Without the HAL, DirectSound on Windows Vista will be rendered in software with no advanced functionality such as EAX.

The audio changes in Windows Vista do not affect OpenAL however. For audio cards that feature 'native' OpenAL support, such as the SB X-Fi series of cards, there is no need to worry! Games that enable support for OpenAL will continue to run just as they do on Windows XP - with hardware accelerated audio and effects. A listing of OpenAL titles can be found at http://www.openal.org/titles.html.

Although OpenAL has arguably replaced DirectSound3D, particularly in many modern PC Games (e.g. Battlefield 2142, Doom3, Quake 4, Prey, etc.), there are hundreds of older PC games that support DirectSound3D and EAX technology. All of these games will sound empty and lifeless on Vista. As most DS3D games only enable 3D Audio and EAX if a hardware accelerator is present, most of these games will be reduced to a stereo output.

The good news is that the Creative ALchemy Project allows you to run your favorite DirectSound3D games on Windows Vista as the developers intended - with full hardware accelerated 3D Audio and EAX support! This is done by translating the legacy DirectSound calls into OpenAL. In order for this to happen, a couple of files need to be installed into each game directory. This is handled automatically by the ALchemy installer - but can also be performed manually by advanced users.

The Creative ALchemy Project is still in development and the ALchemy installer only supports a limited number of PC games. However, with your help, we would like to add more titles to the DirectSound3D Games list so please download the ALchemy installer, run it, and enjoy 3D Audio with EAX effects in your favorite games. Please share your experiences with ALchemy in our discussion board.

ALchemy vs Drivers
ALchemy is a software application that translates audio calls from one API to another. ALchemy is NOT a hardware driver, and will require that you have an appropriate driver installed and functioning properly first. You can download the latest Sound Blaster drivers for Windows Vista from http://us.creative.com/support/downloads.

Webmasters
Please link to this page and not to files directly, as they are subject to update without notice. Thank you.

Product Details
ALchemy for Audigy
ALchemy for X-Fi

Gaming PC: * Intel i7 4790K * Noctua NH-D15S * Asus Maximus VII Hero * 32 GB Corsair Dominator Platinum CMD32GX3M4A2133C9 * 2× Sapphire Radeon R9 290 Tri-X in crossfire * Dell U3010 @ 2560 x 1600 / 60Hz * Corsair AX 1200W * 7 x WD Black HDDs * Creative Soundblaster ZxR * Asus DRW F1ST * Corsair K95 RGB * Corsair M65 PRO RGB * Steelseries 9HD * Coolermaster STC T01 * Edifier S530 * Sennheiser HD598 * Windows 7 Ultimate x64 *

Workhorse PC: * Intel i7 2700K @ 4.8 Ghz * Noctua NH-D15 * Asus Maximus IV Extreme-Z * 32 GB Corsair Vengeance Pro CMY32GX3M4A1866C9 * Sapphire HD7970 crossfire * 3 x Dell U2410 @ Eyefinity 5760 x 1200 / 60Hz * Corsair HX 1000i * 7 x WD Black HDDs * Creative Soundblaster ZxR * Optiarc AD 5240S * Steelseries 7G * Razer Imperator 2012 * Steelseries 9HD * Coolermaster STC T01 * Edifier S730D * Windows 7 Ultimate x64 *

Workhorse PC 2: * Intel i7 920 @ 3.8 Ghz * Zalman CNPS9900A LED * Asus Sabertooth x58 * 24 GB Corsair Vengeance LP 1600MHz CL9 DDR3 * Sapphire R9 280X Vapor-X * 2 x Dell U2412M @ Eyefinity 2400 x 1920 / 60Hz * Corsair HX 850W * 7 x WDC WD1002FAEX * Creative Soundblaster Z * Optiarc AD 5240S * Steelseries 7G * Razer Mamba TE * Steelseries 9HD * Coolermaster STC T01 * Logitech Z-2300 * Windows 7 Ultimate x64 *
User avatar
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Joined: 17 Feb 2008
Location: Netherlands

[POST 14]

Postby Blín D'ñero » 17 Feb 2008, 02:46

Very interesting article on ExtremeTech.com: In The Hot Seat: ATI's Phil Rogers (March 14, 2007)

Phil Rogers joined ATI Technologies in 1994 as manager of the 3D drivers group, and led the development of the D3D, OpenGL, and Mac Rave drivers for the Rage series of graphics chips.

(...)

In 2006 Rogers was promoted to ATI Fellow with broad architectural responsibility for all graphics software at ATI, and now AMD. In this role Rogers has guided development of AMD's Vista drivers, HD-DVD, and Blu-Ray playback drivers, a new driver architecture for Dx10, and the Crossfire architecture for MultiGPU. In his spare time Rogers directed development of the new 3D preview for Catalyst Control Center, which just released on Vista.

Rogers is currently the lead software architect for the R600 drivers and is ramping up on his next challenge, which will be the software architecture for Fusion (AMD's combination CPU/GPU, scheduled for release in 2008).

Vista Driver Performance

ExtremeTech: Let's start with the issue most pressing on our readers' minds—Vista drivers. Right now, it seems like both Nvidia and AMD are struggling with Vista drivers. There are odd compatibility issues, missing features, and certainly some big performance penalties. Some games run just a few FPS slower under Vista, but many others are dramatically slower. In some cases, games will show a big performance drop in Vista with certain settings, but are nearly as fast with other settings. What our readers want to know is: How did it end up this way? With the extremely long development and multiple delays of Vista, graphics vendors have seemingly had all the time in the world to make awesome drivers.

Phil Rogers: Yes there is a lot interest in this issue and a lot of confusion out there. First of all, let me correct one misconception: AMD is not struggling with Vista drivers. We have high performance, stable, WHQL certified drivers for Vista across our whole product line, including support for CrossFire. We are very happy with Windows Vista and the new driver model. We believe the Vista driver model for graphics is superior to the XP driver model and we worked for years with Microsoft to make sure it came out that way. The new driver model was essential in order to reduce system crashes, move the Vista desktop to D3D, and make the user experience snappy and interactive. I believe we succeeded across the board.

Having said that, a multiyear development cycle does not mean there is plenty of time to get everything done. During the development of Vista, an awful lot changed in the PC platform: new generations of GPUs were released, multicore CPUs became mainstream, and CrossFire configurations appeared in the market. With each of these changes, both we and Microsoft chose to react and change the drivers and the driver model to accommodate and optimize for these new arrivals, rather than just deliver the original design with a limited feature set.

One of the big architectural changes in the driver model for Vista was to move the D3D driver from kernel mode to user mode, where frankly it should have been all along. The D3D driver is a complex piece of software and keeping it fast and stable is a delicate balancing act. We are particularly susceptible to bad input from games. If we check everything the games send to us, we run too slow. If we check nothing, then the driver can crash. On XP, if the driver makes a mistake or uses bad data from an application, it can bring down the whole system—the dreaded BSOD [Blue Screen of Death]. On Windows Vista, such an error is still serious since it causes an application to exit … but it will no longer cause a BSOD. The balancing act goes on ... but now the consequences of an error are much less severe.

Note that we also spend considerable effort on improving the stability of our drivers. We made a particular effort to ensure that the stability of the new Vista driver was high with the first release and we will continue to improve from there. We have a team dedicated to that task, developing ever more fiendish stress tests to find bugs that might only manifest under extreme conditions. We are constantly testing the stability of our driver under stress conditions against the stability of the competition's drivers, and if we happen to fall behind at any point in time, we do not release that driver until we again raise the stability above that of the competition. To us, the stability of game playing is as important as the performance. This however may not be the priority of our competitors.


ExtremeTech: The demands of Vista mean that many games simply aren't ever going to run as fast as they do under XP. How much of a performance difference do you think is reasonable? 5%? 10%?

Rogers: Sorry, not true!

First, lets look at CPU limited (low resolution) cases. We worked with Microsoft on the multithreading model for the D3D runtime and driver for Vista. This resulted in a more flexible and simple model for the driver to move its workload to another thread and hence run in parallel with the application. True, we could already run driver threads in Windows XP, but we had to be more conservative there since the OS was not designed for multithreading of graphics. As a result of these improvements in the threading model, several games have actually gained performance on Windows Vista over Windows XP.

The Vista driver model does incur a small CPU overhead compared to Windows XP in order to copy driver commands from user mode memory to dma buffers that are read by the GPU. This can be a 5-10% overhead, depending on the application and how well the driver is written. But the important thing to understand is that this overhead is only seen on CPU limited cases, which means low resolution and no anti-aliasing. On modern GPUs, most gamers prefer to play at higher resolution with antialiasing and anisotropic filtering enabled. At typical gamer settings, the CPU overhead is hidden and so the "copy penalty" disappears. In many cases we do better than 5% at low resolution, and as mentioned above, Vista can be faster than XP if the game threads well.

At high resolution, OS and driver overhead is not an issue. So the main impact that Vista can have over Windows XP is in graphics memory management. In Windows XP, each IHV wrote their own memory manager for locating surfaces like textures and depth buffers in local memory (on the graphics card) and system memory (accessed by the GPU via the PCIE bus). Our Windows XP graphics memory manager is called VCAM. In Windows Vista, the graphics memory manager is a Microsoft component called VidMM, used by all IHVs. So we worked closely with Microsoft on the design of VidMM, to ensure it offered all the features of our own VCAM and helped Microsoft debug and tune it. As a result, we find VidMM to be very good for AMD hardware and it allows our drivers the same flexibility in placing our surfaces for optimal performance. Indeed we are able to use common code in our unified driver for operating VidMM in our Vista drivers and VCAM in our Windows XP drivers.

Read more...
extremetech.com
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[POST 15]

Postby Blín D'ñero » 17 Feb 2008, 02:46

[POST 15]

[reserved]
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Workhorse PC: * Intel i7 2700K @ 4.8 Ghz * Noctua NH-D15 * Asus Maximus IV Extreme-Z * 32 GB Corsair Vengeance Pro CMY32GX3M4A1866C9 * Sapphire HD7970 crossfire * 3 x Dell U2410 @ Eyefinity 5760 x 1200 / 60Hz * Corsair HX 1000i * 7 x WD Black HDDs * Creative Soundblaster ZxR * Optiarc AD 5240S * Steelseries 7G * Razer Imperator 2012 * Steelseries 9HD * Coolermaster STC T01 * Edifier S730D * Windows 7 Ultimate x64 *

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[POST 16]

Postby Blín D'ñero » 17 Feb 2008, 02:46

The Future of Anti-Aliasing Settings in Question: NVIDIA Discussion
Date: Mar 15, 2007
Type: Video Card
Manufacturer: NVIDIA
Author: Derek Wilson


Performance and compatibility are always at the top of the list of topics addressed in each new graphics driver release, and our articles usually focus on performance. Over the past couple years we've seen user interface change quite a bit as well. Drivers have been growing in size and complexity a while now, and sometimes it is worthwhile to stop and take a look at where things are headed.

We haven't been hugely impressed with the UI direction either AMD or NVIDIA have taken. We've had quite a few conversations at AnandTech lamenting the loss of the simple driver interface embedded in the advanced display properties panel. It is desirable to enable novice users or the less technically inclined to understand and benefit from driver settings, but decisions on how best to enhance the graphics driver experience can't be taken lightly. It is in this spirit that NVIDIA contacted us about some options it is considering for the future direction of its driver.

For the past few years, the driver setting that has had the single heaviest impact on performance has been antialiasing. In the beginning, applications didn't include AA settings in games, but users were still able to benefit from the feature by enabling the option through the driver control panel. More recently, games have enabled users to set their desired level of antialiasing with in-game graphics settings. But sometimes a game will include a feature that won't allow traditional MSAA (multi-sample antialiasing) to work properly. We saw this very early in Halo, one of the first DX9 games. Later, titles that made use of floating point surfaces (often useful in HDR rendering) also excluded the option for MSAA. Today, while both NVIDIA and AMD have hardware out that can support MSAA on floating point surfaces, some developers are taking entirely different approaches to rendering which get in the way of the very concept of MSAA.

The questions we are going to ask are: how do/should we set AA, how should game developers handle AA, and how should graphics hardware makers address AA in their drivers? Before we get there, let's take a deeper look at some of the complexity associated with AA, in particular with NVIDIA hardware.


The Increasing Complexity of AA

As we mentioned, the first major difficulty with antialiasing is compatibility. Generally the burden is on the game developer to assess the capabilities of the hardware on which it is running and make options available to users based on what is available. Problems arise in that game developers aren't able to look into the future and program for hardware that isn't available. For example, X1000 Series and GeForce 8 Series hardware can run Oblivion with both HDR and AA enabled, but at least GeForce 8 hardware wasn't available when Oblivion launched, so the developers don't test for the capability to antialias floating point surfaces and simply disable the AA option when HDR is enabled.

When games that could benefit from AA on current hardware don't offer the option, we have no choice but to look to the driver for support. Of course, we do have bigger problems on the horizon. Some developers are currently choosing options such as deferred rendering for their games. Current techniques make use of multiple render targets (MRTs) to render objects or effects which are later combined to form a final image. MSAA does not play well with this technique, as one of the basic requirements is knowing what surfaces overlap a single pixel on the screen. Forcing AA on in the driver can cause problems in games where MSAA simply will not work. Current examples of this can be seen in these games:

  • Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter
  • Rainbow Six: Vegas
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

With the functionality of driver enabled AA dependent on the game being run, graphics hardware makers are not able to guarantee that the user will get the results he or she desires. This means that the driver setting is more like asking the hardware to enable AA if possible. This uncertainty as to the behavior of the feature can cause problems for end users of both AMD and NVIDIA hardware.

As for NVIDIA specifically, its new CSAA (Coverage Sample Antialiasing) technology adds another layer to the complexity of antialiasing settings in the driver. Now, rather than just selecting a desired level of antialiasing, we need to decide to what degree we want to either enhance or override the application. Enhancing only works when AA is enabled in-game as well, and override won't override games that make use of technology that is incompatible with MSAA. While the features function as they should, even some hardcore gamers out there may not know what they are getting when they enable AA in the control panel.

At AnandTech, we have avoided using driver AA settings as much as possible since the initial release of Far Cry which produced inconsistent results between graphics hardware manufacturers when set through their respective control panels. These specific problems were worked out in later driver and game updates, but we find it more effective to rely on the game developer for consistency between common hardware features. Where there is an in-game setting, we use it. For us, other than disabling vsync, driver settings are a last resort.

It is safe to say that AMD and NVIDIA feel the same way. The only way they currently have to inform their users about the lack of support for AA in specific games is though their release notes. No one wants the end user to have a bad experience through glitchy performance.

One of the best ways to make sure gamers stick with in-game settings is to make sure developers offer clearly defined, well documented, and complete settings for features such as AA. In order to better enable this, NVIDIA has been working with Microsoft to enable CSAA through DirectX. With the in-game option for CSAA, users won't have to wade through the driver options and can directly select the type and degree of AA they want applied to their game.

In DirectX 9 and 10, requesting AA on a surface involves determining the level (number of subsamples) of AA and the quality of AA. Most games just set quality to 0, as hardware previous hardware didn't really do anything with this field. The method developers can use to set CSAA in-game is to set the level of AA to either 4 or 8 and then set the quality to 8 or 16 (2 or 4 in DX9, as quality levels are limited to 7 or less). This functionality is exposed in NVIDIA's 100 series driver.

This has had some unwanted side effects though. In the past it hasn't mattered, but some developers would detect the highest quality setting available and select it when enabling AA in-game. These games when paired with NVIDIA's 100 series driver will inadvertently enable 16x CSAA when 4x AA is selected. Currently the games that exhibit this behavior are:

  • Battlefield 2
  • Battlefield 2142
  • Sin Episodes
  • Half-Life 2
  • Half-Life 2: Lost Coast
  • Dark Messiah of Might and Magic

This is only an issue on Vista for now, but 100 series drivers will be coming to XP soon. It isn't that either NVIDIA or these game developers are doing anything wrong, it's just how things ended up working out. The ability to enable CSAA in games does outweigh these minor issues in our minds though. We hope to see this number rise, but currently there are only two games that support enabling CSAA in-game:

  • Half-Life 2: Episode 1
  • Supreme Commander

So with the 100 series driver, future games will be able to enable all of NVIDIA's AA modes in-game. Setting AA levels in-game is safer than using the hardware makers' driver overrides and more convenient than game specific profiles. Aside from heavily encouraging developers to enable in-game AA settings when possible, NVIDIA is exploring other options to make the gamer aware of the caveats associated with driver settings and encourage the use of override AA as a last resort.


The Driver Enabled AA Question

Currently driver AA settings are very complex, especially for NVIDIA hardware. In-game settings are more compatible with each game on an individual basis, and future games will be able to support AA with floating point textures and enable CSAA in-game on NVIDIA hardware. So wouldn't the world be a better place if we could just throw out driver AA settings and rely on games?

Such a theory might work well for future games, but the reality is that driver AA settings are a necessity for enabling the functionality on older games or current games that neglected to include AA support in favor of floating point surfaces. In order to allow gamers to continue to benefit from these features while avoiding compatibility issues inherent in current an future games, NVIDIA is considering altering the presentation of AA in its driver.

We would like to make it clear that NVIDIA hasn't taken any steps in any particular direction at this point. In fact, any feedback we can get from our readers on these options would be of particular interest to their driver team. If any of these ideas stands out as a winner, please let us know on this article's comments.

One direction NVIDIA may go is to remove the override AA options from the general settings while keeping the enhance options on the main screen. This will allow gamers to enable CSAA in games that don't support the option in-game yet while encouraging the use of in-game settings for MSAA. For applications that don't have in-game settings, NVIDIA would still allow override AA to be set in the game profiles. This would allow older applications the ability to benefit from AA, and NVIDIA could disable the option in profiles for games that are fundamentally incompatible with MSAA.

We aren't sold on the idea of profiles, but it was also suggested that a coolbits like feature could be used to expose override AA modes. This would allow gamers who really know what they want to still have access to the feature in a traditional way after setting a specific registry key.

Another less complicated approach being considered is the addition of a warning box that pops up when AA settings are changed. This would be an informational approach to explain the possible complications of enabling override AA on an application that doesn't support it. This would have added benefit if NVIDIA included a list of games known not to support MSAA in this warning box (as these games should already be noted in their release notes).

The bottom line is that NVIDIA wants to provide the "... best default settings for the broadest set of users for the most likely scenarios." We certainly know what we as reviewers would like to see, but we would love to hear from our readers on the subject.

Final Words

Driver AA settings are getting too complicated and unpredictable. It would be terrific if all game developers could support AA settings in-game or through the driver, but that just isn't a reality. Moving forward, as programmable techniques mature standard MSAA may prove more and more difficult to force on across the board through a driver. For NVIDIA, the complications of maintaining driver controlled CSAA and MSAA are numerous. The impact on the end user is that AA may or may not function in the expected way, causing headaches for the gamer, hardware maker and software designer.

From our perspective, the informational approach through a warning when AA settings are changed is great, but could be subject to the Windows user "just click OK" mentality. Educating the average gamer on the possibilities is something we can get behind, but we just aren't sure that this approach would work. Even so, we wouldn't mind seeing this implemented, especially if we have an option to avoid seeing the pop-up once its been shown once.

Profiles don't seem like the right fit, as it can be cumbersome to manage settings for each game on a computer both in the game and in the driver. Perhaps if profiles gain in popularity this could be the way to go, but we feel there is a better solution.

Implementing a coolbits-like feature to enable override AA in general driver settings seems like the best way to go. This could even be combined with the warning box idea without a problem. This would both encourage the use of in-game settings through the removal of the driver option from the default install and provide the possibility of educating users who discover how to enable the option.

In addition to providing feedback on what NVIDIA should do, we are interested in the way our readers currently tackle AA. In testing, we use in-game settings exclusively when available. What method do you use to set AA?

As we mentioned, NVIDIA has not decided that any of these actions are necessary at this point. This article is meant to open a discussion on the best possible way to proceed, and your feedback is important. If we all have the goal of maximizing customizability and accessibility without causing problems for the majority of users, we will be in a very good place indeed.



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[POST 17]

Postby Blín D'ñero » 17 Feb 2008, 02:47

Windows XP: 4 GB RAM over 2 GB?

If you put in 4 GB: Windows XP 32-bit is limited to address 4 GB, in practice will address about 3.25GB.

Having 3 or 4 GB RAM on a system running Windows XP 32-bit is never a waste:
1. You'll have more than 2 GB while keeping dual channel (if you have that), that's only possible with identical pairs.
2. You'll have full 2 GB for your heavy application (f.i. videorendering).

With 4 GB or more you can always upgrade and buy 64-bit Windows Vista or Windows 7.
Vista 64-bit Home Basic can address 8 GB max.
Vista 64-bit Home premium can address 16 GB max.
Vista 64-bit Ultimate can address 128 GB max.

From: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555223
Performance, Architectural Limits and RAM

On any computer system, as load (number of users, amount of work being done) increases, performance (how long it takes to do each task) will decrease, but in a non linear fashion. Any increase in load (demand) beyond a certain point will result in a dramatic decrease in performance. This means that some resource is in critically short supply and has become a bottleneck.

At some point, the resource in critical short supply can not be increased. This means an architectural limit has been reached. Some commonly reported architectural limits in Windows include:

1. 2 GB of shared virtual address space for the system
2. 2 GB of private virtual address space per process
3. 660 MB System PTE storage
4. 470 MB paged pool storage
5. 256 MB nonpaged pool storage

The above applies to Windows 2003 Server specifically (from Knowledgebase article 294418), but also apply to Windows XP and Windows 2000.

From microsoft.com :
Windows and the applications that run on it have bumped their heads on the address space limits of 32-bit processors. The Windows kernel is constrained by default to 2GB, or half the total 32-bit virtual address space, with the other half reserved for use by the process whose thread is currently running on the CPU. Inside its half, the kernel has to map itself, device drivers, the file system cache, kernel stacks, per-session code data structures, and both non-paged (locked-in physical memory) and paged buffers allocated by device drivers.


PAE:
On 32-bit versions of Windows, the /3GB parameter enables 4-gigabyte (GB) random access memory (RAM) Tuning, a feature that enlarges the user-mode virtual address space to 3 GB and restricts the kernel-mode components to the remaining 1 GB.
A description of the 4 GB RAM Tuning feature and the Physical Address Extension parameter
microsoft.com
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Workhorse PC 2: * Intel i7 920 @ 3.8 Ghz * Zalman CNPS9900A LED * Asus Sabertooth x58 * 24 GB Corsair Vengeance LP 1600MHz CL9 DDR3 * Sapphire R9 280X Vapor-X * 2 x Dell U2412M @ Eyefinity 2400 x 1920 / 60Hz * Corsair HX 850W * 7 x WDC WD1002FAEX * Creative Soundblaster Z * Optiarc AD 5240S * Steelseries 7G * Razer Mamba TE * Steelseries 9HD * Coolermaster STC T01 * Logitech Z-2300 * Windows 7 Ultimate x64 *
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[POST 18]

Postby Blín D'ñero » 17 Feb 2008, 02:47

Vista 64-bit?

A Closer Look at Windows Vista, Part III: 32-Bit vs. 64-Bit Windows
This change potentially eliminates or reduces time spent loading and switching between processes, a condition that can lead to “thrashing” when all the processor’s efforts are spent merely loading and switching between threads. To reap the benefits of a 64-bit operating system such as Windows Vista x64 Edition, you should invest in a large amount of RAM (4 GB or more) and a compatible motherboard.

Read full article


BitTech.com: 64-bit: More than just the RAM
64-bit: More than just the RAM

Hardware.Info: hardware.info/NL an interview (in Dutch) with a Microsoft specialist about Vista 64-bit. Conclusion is that it makes no sense to install Vista64 when you have less than 4 GB RAM; because of the higher (2x compared to 32 bit) memory addressing, Vista in many applications won't work faster but rather slower. In the case of gaming (the heaviest application for the PC) you'll notice this earliest. Do not forget: 64-bit is basically 64 ones and zeros so twice as much. Running it on 3 GB RAM is theoretically similar to 1.5 GB on 32-bit, but in practice you will lose more because of internal architectural differences.

Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows: Windows Vista Review Part 6: Compatibility

Some more notes on the x64 versions of Windows Vista
Put simply, running a 64-bit (x64) version of Windows Vista does not make sense for most people, though I suspect that will change over time. While the Vista x64 versions surprised me with their excellent hardware compatibility--a claim I'd never make about Windows XP Professional x64 Edition--nagging software compatibility issues ultimately sunk any hopes I had of moving to the 64-bit system.

That's too bad, because the x64 versions of Windows Vista include enhanced security features that will never be back ported to the 32-bit versions. Until the compatibility issues are resolved however, it's not worth worrying about that. Unless you're running a limited set of applications, compatibility generally trumps security, and the security of 32-bit Vista versions is generally excellent anyway.

But if it makes you feel any better, at least consider some other aspects of this equation. First, to truly take advantage of a 64-bit operating system, you'd need more than 4 GB of RAM and applications that are specially written to access that much memory. Today, there are no mainstream applications like that, and even Adobe's high-end CS3 suite of applications won't be 64-bit enabled. And second, Vista x64 also removes some legacy subsystems that you might find useful. The most crucial is the 16-bit MS-DOS subsystem, which is still required for many application installers, even those for some 32-bit applications. This, too, is a compatibility issue, of course. No surprise there.

Compatibility Conclusions
Overall, Windows Vista's hardware and software compatibility is excellent, but the devil is in the details: For the short term, at least, chances are good that you'll own some hardware device--a printer, scanner, or whatever--that doesn't work properly. Software compatibility is better, much better on the 32-bit Vista versions, however. My recommendation for those contemplating 64-bit is simple: Wait. Though the 64-bit versions of Windows Vista will ultimately provide better security and, with the proper memory upgrades and compatible high-end applications, more head room than the 32-bit versions, those gains are more than offset by painful software incompatibilities. It's getting better, there's no doubt about that. But for now, I'd steer clear of 64-bit Vista versions unless you really know what you're doing.

--Paul Thurrott
December 29, 2006


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From Anandtech: What about the '2 GB barrier'?

A Messy Transition: Practical Problems With 32bit Addressing In Windows


From our Windows Vista performance guide:

Except in a few cases where 64-bit code is clearly faster, the primary purpose for Vista x64's existence is to resolve the problems of 32-bit addressing space, and we're just not at the point yet where even most enthusiasts are pushing that limit. Once applications begin to push the 2GB addressing space limitation of Win32 (something we expect to hit very soon with games) or total systems need more than 4GB of RAM, then Vista x64 in its current incarnation would be a good choice.


For some time now we have been mentioning the potential problems that are likely to result from the switchover from 32bit(x86) Windows to 64bit(x64) Windows. Due to a multitude of issues, including Windows' memory management, the basic design of the PC architecture, and consumer support issues, there is no easy path for mass migration from 32bit Windows to 64bit Windows. As a result we have been expecting problems as consumers begin to make the messy transition.

We published the above mentioned guide on February 1st, expecting the fall/winter 2007 games to be the ones to push the 2GB addressing space limitation of Windows, and it turns out we were wrong. It turns out that two weeks after we published the above article, THQ published Supreme Commander, a RTS with a massive appetite for resources. It can be simultaneously GPU limited and CPU limited, which is why it's a standard benchmark here for our performance articles, it's also memory limited in more than one way: it's hitting the 2GB barrier of 32bit Windows.

An artifact of the design of 32bit processors and the 32bit API for Windows, the 2GB barrier is a cap on how much addressing space (related to but not equivalent to memory usage) a single application can use. This isn't a bug but rather the result of how hardware and software was created so many years ago, and while everyone has known this barrier will inevitably be hit, as we'll see there are several reasons why it can't simply be moved or bypassed. Meanwhile hitting it involves affected applications crashing for what can appear to be no good reason, and understanding why the 2GB barrier exists and what can be done will be important for resolving those crashes.

On a personal note, I am a semi-casual player of real time strategy(RTS) games and I've been playing Supreme Commander lately. This is a different kind of article, it's a record and the result of my own efforts to resolve why I was having crashing issues with Supreme Commander. With no intended disrespect towards THQ or the game's developers (Gas Powered Games) we could have not possibly asked for a better example of the 2GB barrier in action. It's exactly the experience we believe many people will have as they hit the 2GB barrier, mainly those power users who use large monolithic applications such as games or multimedia tools. This is an article on what the problem with the 2GB barrier is, what kind of experiences a user may expect when hitting it, and what can be done to fix it.

But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let's discuss memory management in Windows. Understanding the problem with Supreme Commander requires understanding what the 2GB barrier is, why it's there, and what makes it so problematic.
A Messy Transition (Part 2): Windows XP, Vista, and the 2GB Barrier
Appropriately, the difference in address space usage was the reason that Supreme Commander would not crash under XP like it would under Vista. Address space usage peaked at 2.1GB, which while in excess of the default 2GB barrier is below the 2.6GB mark where it crashed under Vista. Even a slight reduction in address space usage here would have kept the game from hitting the 2GB barrier at all, avoiding the whole can of worms that is modifying the user address space allocations.


Vista and system performance.

Interesting article.

Windows Experience Index: An In-Depth Look
For Windows Vista™

Introduction
The Windows® Experience Index is a new feature built into Windows Vista™. It is designed to help consumers understand how well Windows Vista and the software running on it will perform on a specific PC. The index achieves this by assessing the capability of the PC and assigning a score to it. Higher scores indicate a better Vista experience on your PC.

The overall PC performance is represented by the base score. The base score is derived from 5 subscores for each of the following 5 attributes:
  • Processor
    Calculations per second
  • Memory
    Operations per second
  • Graphics
    Desktop performance for Windows Aero graphics
  • Gaming graphics
    3D graphics performance. Useful for gaming and 3D business applications
  • Primary hard disk
    The data transfer rate of the primary hard disk


The Windows Experience Index is useful for the following:

1. When buying a new PC, it is useful for determining the quality of the Windows experience a buyer can expect from a particular PC.

2. When upgrading a PC, the index is useful for estimating the overall improvement a PC user can expect to get when replacing or adding a new hardware component.

3. When buying software, the software package may include the recommended Windows Experience Index base score a PC should have in order to run the particular software application well. If a PC has a higher base score than the score recommended by the software, the software will run well on it.


About DirectX10.

DX10 plays no role whatsoever for Dark Messiah (nor any DX9.0c game). But if you are using Windows Vista, and considering buying a new videocard this may be of use for you.

2006 game Call of Juarez (apparently with patch). :)

Image Call of Juarez using
DirectX® 9

Image Call of Juarez using
DirectX® 10

(Screenshots from Call of Juarez by Techland © 2007)


Call of Juarez DirectX 10 Benchmark (movie) - 158MB.

Call of Juarez FirePlace (movie) shows render difference between DX9/DX10 - 17MB.

Call of Juarez Mountains & Rocks (movie) shows render difference between DX9/DX10 - 14MB.

Note that DX10 is already outdated, the latest ATI HD 3xxx cards support DX10.1.
About DX10.1, see DirectX 10.1 Enabling breakthrough graphics on the Radeon HD 3800 series (pdf)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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Gaming PC: * Intel i7 4790K * Noctua NH-D15S * Asus Maximus VII Hero * 32 GB Corsair Dominator Platinum CMD32GX3M4A2133C9 * 2× Sapphire Radeon R9 290 Tri-X in crossfire * Dell U3010 @ 2560 x 1600 / 60Hz * Corsair AX 1200W * 7 x WD Black HDDs * Creative Soundblaster ZxR * Asus DRW F1ST * Corsair K95 RGB * Corsair M65 PRO RGB * Steelseries 9HD * Coolermaster STC T01 * Edifier S530 * Sennheiser HD598 * Windows 7 Ultimate x64 *

Workhorse PC: * Intel i7 2700K @ 4.8 Ghz * Noctua NH-D15 * Asus Maximus IV Extreme-Z * 32 GB Corsair Vengeance Pro CMY32GX3M4A1866C9 * Sapphire HD7970 crossfire * 3 x Dell U2410 @ Eyefinity 5760 x 1200 / 60Hz * Corsair HX 1000i * 7 x WD Black HDDs * Creative Soundblaster ZxR * Optiarc AD 5240S * Steelseries 7G * Razer Imperator 2012 * Steelseries 9HD * Coolermaster STC T01 * Edifier S730D * Windows 7 Ultimate x64 *

Workhorse PC 2: * Intel i7 920 @ 3.8 Ghz * Zalman CNPS9900A LED * Asus Sabertooth x58 * 24 GB Corsair Vengeance LP 1600MHz CL9 DDR3 * Sapphire R9 280X Vapor-X * 2 x Dell U2412M @ Eyefinity 2400 x 1920 / 60Hz * Corsair HX 850W * 7 x WDC WD1002FAEX * Creative Soundblaster Z * Optiarc AD 5240S * Steelseries 7G * Razer Mamba TE * Steelseries 9HD * Coolermaster STC T01 * Logitech Z-2300 * Windows 7 Ultimate x64 *
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Blín D'ñero
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[POST 19]

Postby Blín D'ñero » 17 Feb 2008, 02:47

YOU TRIED EVERYTHING IN THIS THREAD, BUT PROBLEMS PERSIST:

Please post 1, 2, 3, 4 as follows:

1. >>> Which version of the game:
-Single Player Ubisoft version (installed from DVD or downloaded from ubisoft.com or Direct2drive) Dark Messiah, and did you update it manually (patch 1.01 and 1.02, in that order), or updated through Steam (download ususally starts at 77% after Steam moved most of the files from the DVD installation into Steam),
OR
-Single Player Steam version (bought and 100% downloaded via Steam) Dark Messiah
OR
Multi Player Dark Messiah?

2. >>> a clear description of the problem and the steps you took so far.

3. >>> your dxdiag report. In a window with scrollbar, use the Scroll button.
If you don't know how, see Posting your DXDIAG, using the Scroll button.

4. >>> your mm key export.

Windows XP:

Click Start > Run... type in
regedit
click OK.
Navigate to the key
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Valve\Source\mm]
you see in the picture below, and highlight it.

Image

Right-click on the key > Export...
In the Name box, type for instance:
Valve_Source_mm-key
In the Filetype box leave it at 'Registryfile (*.reg)'.
Click Save.
It is by default saved into the My Documents folder.

In My Documents folder, find this .reg file.
Right-click on it > Open with... select Notepad. Put your cursor into the text, select all then copy and paste it into your post.

Windows Vista:

In the Search box (just above the Start button) type:
regedit
hit Enter.
Navigate to the key
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Valve\Source\mm]
you see in the picture below, and highlight it.

Image

Right-click on the key > Export...
In the Name box, type for instance:
Valve_Source_mm-key
In the Filetype box leave it at 'Registryfile (*.reg)'.
Click Save.
It is by default saved into the Documents folder.

In your Documents folder, find this .reg file.
Right-click on it > Open with... select Notepad. Put your cursor into the text, select all then copy and paste it into your post.
Gaming PC: * Intel i7 4790K * Noctua NH-D15S * Asus Maximus VII Hero * 32 GB Corsair Dominator Platinum CMD32GX3M4A2133C9 * 2× Sapphire Radeon R9 290 Tri-X in crossfire * Dell U3010 @ 2560 x 1600 / 60Hz * Corsair AX 1200W * 7 x WD Black HDDs * Creative Soundblaster ZxR * Asus DRW F1ST * Corsair K95 RGB * Corsair M65 PRO RGB * Steelseries 9HD * Coolermaster STC T01 * Edifier S530 * Sennheiser HD598 * Windows 7 Ultimate x64 *

Workhorse PC: * Intel i7 2700K @ 4.8 Ghz * Noctua NH-D15 * Asus Maximus IV Extreme-Z * 32 GB Corsair Vengeance Pro CMY32GX3M4A1866C9 * Sapphire HD7970 crossfire * 3 x Dell U2410 @ Eyefinity 5760 x 1200 / 60Hz * Corsair HX 1000i * 7 x WD Black HDDs * Creative Soundblaster ZxR * Optiarc AD 5240S * Steelseries 7G * Razer Imperator 2012 * Steelseries 9HD * Coolermaster STC T01 * Edifier S730D * Windows 7 Ultimate x64 *

Workhorse PC 2: * Intel i7 920 @ 3.8 Ghz * Zalman CNPS9900A LED * Asus Sabertooth x58 * 24 GB Corsair Vengeance LP 1600MHz CL9 DDR3 * Sapphire R9 280X Vapor-X * 2 x Dell U2412M @ Eyefinity 2400 x 1920 / 60Hz * Corsair HX 850W * 7 x WDC WD1002FAEX * Creative Soundblaster Z * Optiarc AD 5240S * Steelseries 7G * Razer Mamba TE * Steelseries 9HD * Coolermaster STC T01 * Logitech Z-2300 * Windows 7 Ultimate x64 *
User avatar
Blín D'ñero
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Posts: 7258
Joined: 17 Feb 2008
Location: Netherlands

[POST 20]

Postby Blín D'ñero » 17 Feb 2008, 02:47

Peculiar Steam demo issue.

Situation: i have DM installed from DVD, outside Steam. I want to keep it that way. And would like to know if i can install/play the demo (offered by Steam) next to the game.

Dark Messiah Singleplayer Demo


HUH?! :???: (see picture) >>>

Image

Looks like it is about to screw my full version singleplayer (from DVD, outside Steam)... it also doesn't call itself "demo"; also the 3.3 GB filesize indicates it is not the demo. :???:

It behaves the same as when i would update my DVD version through Steam.
A demo isn't supposed to do this. Bad start.

******************************************

This is strange. :???: :

This is on my 9700Pro machine, i previously had singleplayer game updated through Steam, thus it became 'adopted' by Steam (so i had both the singleplayer and multiplayer games in My Games list.

Later, i uninstalled the singleplayer Dark Messiah of Might and Magic from Steam.
Noticed that although it was uninstalled, the complete folder containing the game files (1.2 GB including savegames) stayed in the Steam directory, even after a reboot of PC, so i had to delete that folder manually.


I re-installed the DVD version outside Steam, patched manually, and it runs 100% OK. Since then, in the Steam My Games list i had the multiplayer 100% ready, and the singleplayer in greyed out font and marked as "not installed".


And it says that i have 18 GB available diskspace?! In fact, i have 127 GB free diskspace on my Games partition.


Well, this is what happens next. Mind: i thought i was downloading the demo!

Image

Image

:roll:

Image

:roll:
It started at 76%, exactly like the updating of full version.
I paused the downloading, and closed Steam. Deleted the already unwantingly moved singleplayer files.
Tried to redownload the demo, but that would not go anymore. Closed Internet Explorer (all sessions).


Tried to start my original DVD installation (of which Steam had begun to 'copy files')...: well, it starts with the white video issue, hitting the Space bar skips to a next white video, and again and again till dump to dektop. See: it screwed my game. :(
I'll have to reinstall completely.
No i'm trying the Repair option.

Update: repair option from DVD worked. Applied both patches. Launched the game (outside Steam) successfully again. :)

Update 2: Tried to download the demo again. Without any message explaining, it immediately started downloading the singleplayer game at 0%... apparently some file in the Steam directory has told it that it doesn't need to inform me anymore.

Image

Hmmm would i now finally get the 100% Steam version? :D If so, i will be able to test that version too! :)

Update 3: it gets better: i can now run the singleplayer DVD version while on the background downloading the Steam version! :D

Update 4: download complete. Yup, full version. It obviously took the settings from the already existing registry key. It runs excellently (at first with a noticeable fps drop, but that was solved after defragmentation). :)

Oh and the game is split in two: 1 part installed in the STEAM\SteamApps\*my account*\dark messiah might and magic singleplayer folder (945 MB), but the biggest part of the game data files are in SteamApps, so outside *my account* folder.
Gaming PC: * Intel i7 4790K * Noctua NH-D15S * Asus Maximus VII Hero * 32 GB Corsair Dominator Platinum CMD32GX3M4A2133C9 * 2× Sapphire Radeon R9 290 Tri-X in crossfire * Dell U3010 @ 2560 x 1600 / 60Hz * Corsair AX 1200W * 7 x WD Black HDDs * Creative Soundblaster ZxR * Asus DRW F1ST * Corsair K95 RGB * Corsair M65 PRO RGB * Steelseries 9HD * Coolermaster STC T01 * Edifier S530 * Sennheiser HD598 * Windows 7 Ultimate x64 *

Workhorse PC: * Intel i7 2700K @ 4.8 Ghz * Noctua NH-D15 * Asus Maximus IV Extreme-Z * 32 GB Corsair Vengeance Pro CMY32GX3M4A1866C9 * Sapphire HD7970 crossfire * 3 x Dell U2410 @ Eyefinity 5760 x 1200 / 60Hz * Corsair HX 1000i * 7 x WD Black HDDs * Creative Soundblaster ZxR * Optiarc AD 5240S * Steelseries 7G * Razer Imperator 2012 * Steelseries 9HD * Coolermaster STC T01 * Edifier S730D * Windows 7 Ultimate x64 *

Workhorse PC 2: * Intel i7 920 @ 3.8 Ghz * Zalman CNPS9900A LED * Asus Sabertooth x58 * 24 GB Corsair Vengeance LP 1600MHz CL9 DDR3 * Sapphire R9 280X Vapor-X * 2 x Dell U2412M @ Eyefinity 2400 x 1920 / 60Hz * Corsair HX 850W * 7 x WDC WD1002FAEX * Creative Soundblaster Z * Optiarc AD 5240S * Steelseries 7G * Razer Mamba TE * Steelseries 9HD * Coolermaster STC T01 * Logitech Z-2300 * Windows 7 Ultimate x64 *
User avatar
Blín D'ñero
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Posts: 7258
Joined: 17 Feb 2008
Location: Netherlands

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