Bug #6919

Constant Micro Stuttering when there are lots of AI/CPU load, even though FPS are high

Added by seany over 5 years ago. Updated about 4 years ago.

Status:Expired Start date:12/14/2009
Priority:Normal Due date:
Assignee:- % Done:

0%

Category:Performance breakdown
Target version:-
Affected ArmA II version:1.51.71083 DVD First affected build:
Reproduced by another DH user:No First affected ArmA II version:
I am using some Mods:No Single / Multi Player?:
I am using:A2 only BIForumURL:
Reproducible for you:Yes NGUrl:
Related to content of DLC: WIKIurl:

Description

I am having a problem where, when the CPU is under load/lots of AI on the map(large COOP Mission), I get constant Micro stuttering while panning my view or moving about. My FPS remain high enough for smooth gameplay(30FPS) while this is happening. I think that increasing the view distance increases the frequency(speed)of the stutter.
I can turn my graphics settings and View Distance down to their lowest and the problem persists just as badly.

I have confirmed this is happening on two PCs and multiple OS's, cpus, drivers, patches, Arma2.exe switches and Arma2.cfg tweaks.

I have included 3 example test missions to highlight the problem. Each mission consists of increasing numbers of AI, with the player (as civilian) far away from the battles. To test, simply load Fraps(or whatever fps monitor) and pan your view, move around, while taking note of your FPS and the amount of stutter in each mission. This happens without Fraps running too.

I get these results with the attached Missions:

Test Mission1 = 46 FPS - No micro stutter
108 soldiers
10 vehicles

Test Mission2 = 29 FPS - Constant Micro stutter starts
216 soldiers
16 vehicles

Test Mission3 = 27 FPS - Constant Heavy Micro stuttering - The same play experience as large coop mission.
324 soldiers
22 vehicles

Micro_20Stutter1.Chernarus.pbo - 1st mission - Light - 108 Soliders, 10 Vehicles. (28.1 kB) seany, 12/14/2009 02:34

Micro_20Stutter2.Chernarus.pbo - 2nd mission - Medium - 216 Soliders, 16 Vehicles. (52.2 kB) seany, 12/14/2009 02:34

Micro_20Stutter3.Chernarus.pbo - 1st mission - Heavy - 324 Soliders, 22 Vehicles. (76.4 kB) seany, 12/14/2009 02:34

Mission1_FRAPS_Stats.zip - FPS,minmaxavg and Frametimes for Mission1 (19.2 kB) seany, 12/14/2009 17:45

Mission2_FRAPS_Stats.zip - FPS,minmaxavg and Frametimes for Mission2 (13 kB) seany, 12/14/2009 17:45

Mission3_FRAPS_Stats.zip - FPS,minmaxavg and Frametimes for Mission3 (12.1 kB) seany, 12/14/2009 17:45

Test_Mission_1_GPU_CPU.jpg - Screen Shot of Task Manager & GPUZ for Mission 1 (1.2 MB) seany, 12/14/2009 17:45

Test_Mission_2_GPU_CPU.jpg - Screen Shot of Task Manager & GPUZ for Mission 2 (1.2 MB) seany, 12/14/2009 17:45

Test_Mission_3_GPU_CPU.jpg - Screen Shot of Task Manager & GPUZ for Mission 3 (1.2 MB) seany, 12/14/2009 17:45

ArmA2.cfg - Arma2 configuration file (403 Bytes) seany, 12/14/2009 17:45

-_Seany_-.ArmA2Profile - Arma2 profile (9.8 kB) seany, 12/14/2009 17:45

Beta71548_Test_Mission1_GPU_CPU.JPG - Screen Grab Mission1 (325.5 kB) seany, 06/17/2010 18:02

Beta71548_Test_Mission2_GPU_CPU.JPG - Screen Grab Mission2 (328.1 kB) seany, 06/17/2010 18:02

Beta71548_Test_Mission3_GPU_CPU.JPG - Screen Grab Mission3 (329.5 kB) seany, 06/17/2010 18:02

History

Updated by kju over 5 years ago

Did you measure CPU and GPU use in detail (via graph display),
like GPU-Z, riva tuner and the likes?

Updated by kju over 5 years ago

  • Due date set to 12/21/2009
  • Status changed from New to Feedback

Also please add your arma2.cfg, arma2profile and modline.

Updated by sbsmac over 5 years ago

Fraps can create a spreadsheet of individual frame-times which is much more useful than the 'average fps'since it will clearly show if there is stuttering. In the FPS tab look for a section that says "Save detailed benchmark statistics" and make sure FrameTimes is ticked.

It would would help if you could then paste that here.

Updated by seany over 5 years ago

Included requests:
CPU and CPU usage: Attached screen shots of Task Manager & GPUZ for each of the three missions.

Added: Arma2.cfg, =Seany=.ArmA2Profile.

Added: Fraps Benchmark Log for FPS,minmaxavg and Frametimes for each of the three missions.

Mod line is : "C:\Program Files (x86)\games\ArmA 2\beta\arma2.exe" -mod=beta -nosplash

When benchmarking for FRAPS and CPU/GPU Screen shots, I stood at the initial place the mission puts you and panned 360° left and right for the duration.

Updated by kju over 5 years ago

  • Due date changed from 12/21/2009 to 03/02/2010
  • Status changed from Feedback to Assigned

Thanks mate!

Testing game now.

From the look of it your GPU seems to be bored.
While once can see that CPU use overall is getting higher and higher.
Maybe the spikes are part of the problem.

Did you tweak GPU_MaxFramesAhead higher or lower?

The CPU does not have HT right?

Updated by kju over 5 years ago

I dont see micro stuttering on my pc.

With the 3rd FPS goes down to 20 and CPU used for all four cores is ~%70.
In other words no longer smooth performance and CPU is pretty taxed.

Updated by seany over 5 years ago

I don't think the Core2Quads have HT, at least there is no option in my bios that I can see for it.

The max I can get GPU_DetectedFramesAhead=#; to go to is 4. I tested going lower but it makes no difference to the stutter.

About the CPU graph, I don't think the spikes could be the problem because there are spikes in graph for mission 1 and that runs smoothly. Core2's usage definitely increases and Core1 some what, but I would say that Core3 and 4 usage is dropping off. Not to say this might be the cause, I really have no clue what it could be.

Updated by kju over 5 years ago

What happens if you play the mission on a dedicated server?
That would outsource all the AI processing to the server.

If you still get the micro stutters, the source must be elsewhere.

Updated by seany over 5 years ago

Getting micro stutter like this on Large coop missions online (Domination) is what started me on the path to finding what was causing this. I too believed that playing on a Dedicated server, the server should calculate the AI and the clients would just be doing the rendering of objects etc. but in my experience Arma2 is not like that. If I play a Domination mission offline my FPS are exactly the same as online and so is the stutter. Which means clients are doing the exact same CPU processing as the Server. This is why there are so many posts on the forums about "not being able to achieve more than 30fps online"

I believe this stuttering is not online related.

Updated by 76 over 5 years ago

sounds like a paging issue, maybe run 'disk cleanup' and clean out all 'temp' folders then defrag ya HHD... see if that improves your shuttering :)

Updated by Fireball over 5 years ago

Hmm, yes I can confirm that I also have this - I was wondering where that was suddenly coming from - looks like this has been introduced with recent BETAs.

Actually I only experienced it recently playing on dedicated servers, thus it could be related with AI units, but not with AI processing.

Core i7 920
WinXP 32bit

EDIT: Could it be ACE2? I've been experiencing this with Bennys ACE2 Warfare mission. Is that mission you tested it with also using ACE?

Updated by shuko over 5 years ago

Anyone with i7 getting stutter, try disabling HyperThreading in BIOS. Or try starting Arma with -cpucount 4

Updated by seany over 5 years ago

76, I am 99% sure that it is not HD stuttering. I can be in an area panning around smoothly when the server is not under load (Domination:town has just been cleared) then the next town becomes active (7KM away) and the stuttering starts, even though I'm still in the previous town with no new objects around. Also "Disk Cleanup" just frees disk space, I have 700gb free space. The drive only has winxp64 and arma2 on and is not fragmented. It also happens on Vista, which automatically defrags HD's.

Fireall, Did you, could you test my missions? I know for sure this problem happens prior to the betas. Also it seems that dedicated servers do not solely do the AI processing, clients do the same amount. This also happens without ACE, in fact none of my testing has been done using any mods, not a good idea :).

Shuko I have Core2Quad that does not use HT, but yes for i7 users that fixes one of the types of stuttering. -cpucount # does nothing for me in these tests.

Updated by 76 over 5 years ago

seany wrote:

76, I am 99% sure that it is not HD stuttering. I can be in an area panning around smoothly when the server is not under load (Domination:town has just been cleared) then the next town becomes active (7KM away) and the stuttering starts, even though I'm still in the previous town with no new objects around. Also "Disk Cleanup" just frees disk space, I have 700gb free space. The drive only has winxp64 and arma2 on and is not fragmented. It also happens on Vista, which automatically defrags HD's.

Rgr that mate... and I know what disk cleaner is but 99% of pc users don't... who knows you could of been one of the 99% of tards....

Updated by Fireball about 5 years ago

  • Status changed from Assigned to Feedback

I cannot repro this using your three missions using patch 1.05 final; from what i can tell I just see in the beginning (I suppose, it's when the units spawn) some FPS drop and then it's fine and constant.

My earlier stuttering was indeed HT, which I've had disabled for a while now.

Any news on your part?

Updated by seany about 5 years ago

Still getting this, I managed to get my hands on a Q9650 and that made no difference.

Fireball: Yes the fps will drop at the very start while all the textures or whatever load, but stabilize after a few seconds. When this happens just smoothly and slowly pan your view 180° from left to right and back again, keep doing this to get a feel for the smoothness of panning. The FPS will remain constant, and high enough for smooth panning but as you go through each test missions (1,2,3) it becomes more "stuttery", feeling, like your fps are much lower than they are.

What are you stabilized fps from each mission btw?
thanks

Updated by zGuba almost 5 years ago

  • Due date changed from 03/02/2010 to 06/24/2010
  • Assignee set to seany

Please retest with latest betas.

Updated by seany almost 5 years ago

Tested with latest Beta (71548). Results:

Test Mission1 = 65 FPS - No micro stutter (large FPS boost, but it was smooth here anyway)
108 soldiers
10 vehicles

Test Mission2 = 43 FPS - Very Slight Micro stutter (Big improvement here, There is slight stutter but it is much more playable)
216 soldiers
16 vehicles

Test Mission3 = 29 FPS - Constant Heavy Micro stuttering (No change, still horrible Micro Stuttering with this much AI)
324 soldiers
22 vehicles


There is quite a large increase in FPS, but it scales proportionality to the amount of CPU usage. E.g. Mission1 has very little CPU usage and gets a massive boost, but mission3, which is heavily using the CPU sees no change (bar a 2fps increase).

The improvements of the beta are great, but I think more can be done. I don't see why Mission3 at 29fps should not be perfectly smooth.

I have included 3 more screen grabs of TaskManager and GPU Info

Updated by kju almost 5 years ago

thanks seany!

Updated by kju almost 5 years ago

  • Due date changed from 06/24/2010 to 07/17/2010
  • Status changed from Feedback to Assigned
  • Assignee deleted (seany)
  • Affected ArmA II version changed from 1.05 BETA to 1.06 BETA

Updated by Suma over 4 years ago

  • Status changed from Assigned to Feedback

Is the issue still valid?

If it is, what exactly is the issue? Even in the original post, the mission 3 with "microstutter" shows following characteristics in the Fraps stats:

Frames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg
1600, 60000, 24, 28, 26.667

Fps variation between 24-28 does not seem bad to me, definitely not what I would call stuttering. Was there perhaps some input lag felt, or what exactly was the problem?

Updated by kju over 4 years ago

  • Due date changed from 07/17/2010 to 11/12/2010
  • Assignee set to seany
  • I am using set to A2 only
  • Reproducible for you changed from No to Yes

I assume this can be closed. Lets give it 4 weeks till expired.

seany is no longer part of the community I think.
At least have yet to see him for a long time.

So someone else probably would have to confirm this - in a convincing way.

Updated by seany over 4 years ago

Oh I'm still here alright, I just don't how to explain this another way.

Here is the last thread In the BIS forums I made about it: http://forums.bistudio.com/showthread.php?t=103057 maybe that can be understood better? The second part of the post about that review site sums it up perfectly.

Suma, I believe that it is some kind of input issue when the game comes under heavy load, hence the feeling of lower FPS even though the FPS are seemingly high enough for smooth input/view port movement. The fraps stats are not really a good indication in my opinion (I just added them because I was asked), trying the missions would be far better.

Updated by kju over 4 years ago

  • Due date changed from 11/12/2010 to 02/01/2011
  • Assignee deleted (seany)
  • Affected ArmA II version changed from 1.06 BETA to 1.05 BETA

Can anyone confirm this with 1.56?

Updated by kju over 4 years ago

  • Affected ArmA II version changed from 1.05 BETA to 1.51.71083 DVD

Updated by kju about 4 years ago

  • Due date deleted (02/01/2011)
  • Status changed from Feedback to Expired

If still true with 1.57/1.58, feel free to reopen.

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