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The Official Graphics Card and PC gaming Thread

Discussion in 'Building a new PC' started by abuzar1, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    Please do give them a shot and let me know what you think. I've heard lots of good things about them!

    Also, try them for PC gaming! A good open-back set of hi-fi headphones can give an equivalent or even better surround effect than a 7.1 headset. My Sennheisers and AKGs are totally divine for gaming. They sound amazing, and games with good sound engines have very realistic positional audio in straight stereo mode. Also, those Philips 'phones likely sound MUCH better quality-wise than any 7.1 headset ever will.

    One of my favorite EAX games is Call of Duty 2, and it has insanely good hardware surround audio, as well as some of the best mixed stereo audio ever. Many modern games should take note and make strides to be more like CoD2. Especially some of the later Treyarch-made Call of Duty games.

    CoD2 is also among the more glitch free EAX games when running on the newer SoundCore 3D-based cards like mine. Some older EAX games are just doomed unless you have X-Fi or older and Windows XP. As it is, I have to enable EAX on Windows 10 by using ALchemy, a middleware from Creative. It emulates the older architecture into a language the ZxR's hardware can process. It's not perfect, but the ZxR is otherwise such a good piece of hardware that I can suffer in a few games to get superior quality from the rest.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
  2. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    Just got Ghost Recon Wildlands. Insanely demanding. All max with Nvidia Gameworks settings ON and no AA, the benchmark puts me at 42FPS average. With Nvidia Gameworks settings OFF, it gives me 49FPS.

    So because of that game, I went back to overclocking my hardware. lol. CPU back to 4.6-ish GHz and video card overclocked from 1595/8008 -> 1720/8500. Very healthy overclocks for both components, especially the video card as it's already factory OC'd quite a bit. Hopefully should put that ~49 more around ~55 which is comfortable for tactical 3rd person games. The framerate does seem to stay pretty steady, and the game is ludicrously beautiful, so I wouldn't call it poorly optimized.

    So far everything running cool and super stable. Love my cooling setup. The video card is especially nice. When left to its own devices, it will turn the fans off and run passively unless under load. It even has a "Fan Stop" LED on the side of the card to indicate when it enters passive mode. When overclocked, this behavior is unchanged. It still runs so cool as to not need the fans running unless gaming. It idles from 35-40*C and I've never seen it hit 70 under load, even with the power/temp limiters turned up. With my overclock it loads at about 65-68*C. Supremely cool temps for a video card. Gigabyte's Windforce coolers are definitely a winner, as it remains VERY quiet while maintaining these temps. The default fan curve turns the fan off below 50*C, and uses 50% and up after 50*C. I made the curve slightly more aggressive, from 100% at 90*C to 100% at 80*C, and left everything else alone. It still stays very low noise. Surprisingly so.

    Also, the Corsair H110 AIO liquid cooler is getting up there in years. It's 3 or 4 now, and they have a pump lifespan of about 5-7 years. Just got my tax return, so I splurged on an H115i to replace it. It's essentially the same radiator, with a new housing, and an upgraded pump with a new housing as well. Cooling capacity should be largely the same, though I imagine the new pump will have slightly more GPM and head pressure. Probably a small difference overall.

    Interesting thought for future reference. This 32" 1440p Samsung monitor doesn't seem to mind running 1080p games. It scales pretty well and looks equivalent to a 32" TV panel. Like not bad with AA, and still sharper than the 40". Like actual good scaling too, not blurry garbage like some displays do out of native res. Maybe an option for some games, though I'd rather run 1440p on the Samsung or 1080 on the TV with resolution scaling. I'm tolerant of different resolutions, but I still like to keep things as crisp as possible.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
  3. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Thanks again for the tip about the $50 headphones. It's interesting that you say they are good also for gaming, even in stereo mode.

    I have been using Medusa 5.1, but my one good pair suddenly would not work - the rear left came out of the rear right. I had another old set, and they did NOT do that, but the sound volume is very weak.

    So I went to amazon and got the current version of the medusa, analog for $100, not usb for $80. It has the 4 drivers per earcup.

    I'll run the speaker test on it to see if the sounds are truly discrete.

    On the forums there is a lot of discussion about whether separate drivers mounted that closely in a headcup, can really help you identify sounds behind you, versus coming from in front. One guy sounded particularly knowledgeable about the subject, and he said it totally depended on the individual.

    He said that even out in the real world, one's brain detects the slight delay of sound to different ears to detect location. Some people are better than others at detecting location.

    I read many forum comments that started out: "Everybody knows that you can't tell sounds coming from the rear within a headphone that has mutiple drivers - it's just a gimmick."

    AND YET I AM HERE TO SAY THAT I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN ABLE TO TELL WITH THE MEDUSA 5.1 HEADPHONES, IF SOMEBODY IS SHOOTING BEHIND ME, OR OFF TO THE SIDE, OR TOWARD THE FRONT SIDE.

    So I have to pick a bone with those who say "It's just a gimmick." My ears are compatible with the individual drivers, even if somebody else thinks the effect is negligible.

    BUT ..... when my medusas began to degrade, and speakers got crossed somehow, then YES - they no longer gave me good directionality, Usually I noticed first in the games, that I seemed to not be able to tell where the sound was coming from - then I ran the sound test, and then I discovered that the Medusas were messed up.

    As recently as two months ago, the sound seemed completely off, and I unplugged everything and re-plugged, and then every single source was identifiable. Rear left and rear right both worked fine.


    So I was very annoyed a couple days ago when rear left came out of rear right, exactly like rear right did. How those tiny wires made contact like that was irritating.


    As I said, we'll see what happens when they arrive in about 10 days from England.

    Rich


    EDIT: Jeff as I recall, you got rid of crossfire and SLI, and you are on one card - is it the 980? Oh wait - your signature says GTX 1070 - I beg your pardon. What's your memory with that - about 8 gigs? Let me ask you this - on gpu-z it shows my card memory on card 1 (doesn't show that figure at all on card 2) at near 5000 MB. My cards are only 3 gigs each. So is it giving me the total of the two cards, or is it telling me that the system is loaning each card the other 2 gigs? (I only have a total of 8 gigs of system RAM.)

    I was thinking about Call of Duty 2 the other day - thinking about going back to play it. I watched the older English television series about world war 2 - and the Battle of Stalingrad was particularly brutal. The game includes that - the lucky few Germans who had winter clothing are running around in white - blending in nicely with the snow. I guess the other guys without the white coats are already frozen dead by then.


    WILDLANDS
    I have not played Ghost Recon since some of the originals - warfighter I think - down in Mexico. I tried Vegas, but it seemed too "indoors boxy compartments" type of thing. This open world sounds very interesting - I might get the game.

    TOMB RAIDER
    I finished Tomb Raider - it was awesome. I went back into it and got the super powerful 2-shot shotgun, and now I am blowing guys away - probably two hours before the finale - just for the fun of it. There was no point at all in saving money to buy the M16 with less punch than the AK - you don't any better accuracy. But spending money on the grenade launcher was definitely a good idea.

    You can kill those armored guys carrying the riot shields with poison arrows, or grenade arrows, but the time to draw back on the arrow and place it, is a lot longer than hitting one button to pop a grenade out. This is not a grenade launcher like Arma 3 that can shoot 100 yards. This is a 10 yard max launcher if that - you could throw them further than this - but for close-in riot shield guys, it's great!

    DISHONORED 2
    I told myself that I wasn't going to play Dishonored 2 because of the terrible artifacts, but I discovered a trick. I had already dropped resolution to 1920 wide (versus 2560 wide) and quality to medium, but I was getting terrible lighting glitches. Then I let it stay in windowed mode instead of forcing it to full screen.

    All the artifacts disappeared. I am running fraps, and I am happy when I am getting 26 - 30 fps. Once in a while it drops to 18-20, but usually stays near the 30 mark. I increased texture quality to high on water and on objects. The game does look good, and it maxes out both my 7950 cards - the game IS using crossfire unlike Tomb Raider.

    I open a light-weight photo program, the old photoimpact, with a 2560x1600 picture of black nothing, full screen, then switch to the game window which lays over the black jpg, to end the distraction of half my desktop illuminating the sides of Dishonored 2. It is quite a nice game - perhaps not quite as brilliant as the original, but with some new touches that I thought were good, like the blood flies with nests that take over an entire apartment building. I have played two chapters out of about 15 I guess. I'll put it down for now until the new headphones come in.
     
  4. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    Rich, software often misreads video memory and I've yet to see a single program save AIDA64 show it reliably. Having Crossfire/SLI affects how it is read as well. Regardless, you still have 3GB per card as long as you are using a 64 bit OS. It doesn't double, or add, or borrow in any way.

    I have a Gigabyte GTX1070 G1 Edition which is a factory overclocked card with an excellent cooler. Very nice card from Gigabyte, but pricey at $400+ a piece.

    As far as dropping dual card completely, it's up in the air. Since Nvidia and AMD have stopped focusing on multi-GPU above two cards and started concentrating on dual- GPU performance, it's getting better again. SLI would especially be an option for the 1070 as they are very power efficient cards. Even my excellent G1 Edition only needs a single cable for power. Very simple and energy-conscious to install another card. I would certainly consider it in the future given a few price drops. Definitely.

    Mainstream games usually support multi-GPU quite well and Ghost Recon Wildlands is a perfect example for that. Likewise one of my problem games, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, has a new Special Edition with a fixed and updated engine that does multi-GPU brilliantly. I had a pretty good experience running the 970s in SLI. Only a few games gave me grief, and the rest were pretty much fine. Sure, I got fed up with the problems, but then I'll get fed up with the performance and go back to the problems, lol. It's a cycle. That being said, I'm pretty happy with how the 1070 runs. Ghost Recon is the first truly challenging game for it that I want to play. Mass Effect Andromeda might be very demanding as well, and is a MUCH bigger priority than Ghost Recon, so we'll see what the future holds.

    Nearly any set of decent hi-fi cans will demolish any gaming headset in sheer sound quality. I would imagine having several discrete speakers gives pretty good directional sound, and things like that are definitely subjective. However, the difference in sound quality is so large, I can never go back to a "Gaming" headset again. I find the directional audio from my open-back headphones to be eerily accurate. I have often mistaken game audio through my headphones as an external sound from elsewhere in my room or even outside my room. It is that realistic. I prefer to go for raw quality, and if the game has well designed sound, the directional ques will be there naturally in regular stereo or headphones mode.

    It also stands to be said that onboard audio chipsets are usually far better at straight stereo than they are at surround.

    Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter is one of the newer generation games. Like Xbox 360 era. The original Ghost Recon games were very primitive indeed. Mid 2000's, which is original Xbox era. The Vegas you are thinking of is Rainbow Six Vegas. Another Tom Clancy game and taking place in the same fictional world. Rainbow Six has always been about close quarters room-clearing tactics, while Ghost Recon is more in the open and action-based.

    Ghost Recon Wildlands is a first for the series as it is completely open-world. You can go anywhere and do anything you want, with an RPG-style unlock and skill system. Some reviewers have compared it to Mercenaries, GTA V and Far Cry 3/4. Very high praise indeed. Wildlands separates itself from these other games by being focused on military authenticity and real-world locations with realistic scenarios. Stays very close to its tactical shooter roots. It is insanely fun in solo and co-op, and requires a very tactical approach as you can't soak up bullets like a sponge. Good mix of realism and fun. It gets a bit repetitive, as any open world game tends to do, but the quality of the gameplay is very high. It also has some large expansions and content packs on the way. Two large ones for sure. Should be interesting.

    The graphics are exceptionally good, and it takes a monster PC to run. Another card for SLI would likely do the trick for me, putting me well over 60FPS average. Currently I have most settings to Ultra but have tweaked a few down. I get maybe 40-60FPS depending on what I am doing. Rarely drops into the 30s. Averaging ~50FPS. I consider this to be pretty smooth for the style of gameplay.

    Rich, if you are running in Windowed mode, Crossfire is not in effect, period. The card maybe under load, but it is not rendering the game and increasing your performance. I would look into updating your video drivers, and try running in fullscreen with Crossfire off to see if that's the culprit. If Crossfire is the cause of the glitching, the internet may have some tips for it. On the other side of that, Tomb Raider should most definitely use Crossfire. It's a AAA title that was heavily sponsored by AMD. It worked fine for me in SLI. I think you have some issues that need to be fixed, instead of worked around.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
  5. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Oh yeah, I forgot that about crossfire - in windowed mode it doesn't work. I had the two gpu-z sensors out next to the game window, and both were running at 975 clock so I assumed the second card was helping. But now I recall that crossfire only functions in full screen mode.

    So then I'm only running on one card.


    I do have the very latest catalyst drivers. I have 16.12 - one article said "get 16.11 it supports dishonored 2." So I am more recent than that (dec 2016)​


    So I will run it in full-screen mode after resetting for crossfire off. If I get no artifacts, then there's a crossfire glitch. If it's a crossfire glitch - do some googling and see what comes up. That sounds good.

    I just found this on the web:



    So you're saying that Tomb Raider should have supported crossfire? I think I figured out by gpu-z logging that it wasn't supporting crossfire. I run that in full-screen. If I see that the second card is pulling watts by the amps coming down, and is running at 975 instead of idle 300, then I assume the second card is under load.

    But at full-screen, I recall that gpu-z showed the card at idle - definitely not under load.

    What other problems do you thing I might have that would do that to me? I just pulled both cards, switched them around, rubbed eraser on all contacts, and they seem to be seating properly. I test them in furmark full screen before I start any gaming, and they are both working fine, and in crossfire.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
  6. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    I think one of your video cards is suspect. Something has always seemed fishy with your setup. It never seems to function the way Crossfire did for me. Artifacting, bad Crossfire scaling, etc. I'm guessing one of the two cards is faulty.
     
  7. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Hmmmm.

    Well then, sounds like switching the cards might have been a good idea.

    I run them in furmark, and I get crossfire - that's the only way I can get 54 fps - when a card drops out I am down to under 30. My logic might be off, but if they run in crossfire on furmark - then my logic says it's not the card, it's the drivers.

    I definitely was not getting crossfire support from Tomb Raider - I am 99% sure of that, but you have me doubting myself so I think I'll do some more gpu-z logging - at least 15 minutes' worth - if my second card hangs there at 300 mhz instead of 975, then I'm not getting crossfire support.

    Wow I just read a hardop article showing that Tomb Raider crossfire scaling was almost 99% - the best scaling they've seen. They were using 8gig cards, the 390s.

    I think I am going to use driver cleaner - get rid of all my AMD - then reload the latest catalyst. I'll see if that helps. AMD said it was still giving support for the 7900 series - most of the others no, but for these yes.

    EDIT: Well, I cranked up spedo and made sure driver cleaner.net shortcut was where I could get it. The new Radeon gui interface is not something I really understand - and the idiots didn't include any kind of a help file. So I guess I'll do some googling.

    For general settings, I do have crossfire enabled - when a card dropped out a week ago I had to find that setting, reboot, and fix it. I just now went for the bottom tab on display. In that section there is something that says "gpu scaling" and it is turned off. What the hell does that mean?

    ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    thanks Jeff
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
  8. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Well, I think I sort of figured out what gpu scaling means.

    Also based on that forum section in my 9785 post above, I found AFR compatibility, and I am chasing down google to see what it all means. I tried to contact AMD by email, but their email form seemed to not complete - I urged them to hire a technical writer and put together a help file for their driver - but I don't think the email went through - which maybe tells me they are beyond incompetent. LOL

    I finally downloaded their autodetect program for helping me upgrade drivers, and they said I had 16.5, but 17.2 was ready, and 17.3 was optional - something like that. So I am installing the VERY LATEST drivers.

    thanks Jeff

    Edit - well the main article on crossfire was written by AMD - great! (Why not package that with the driver in a help file.) I found out what the crossfire logo is for - if you check the box, then it will display the logo in the upper right part of the screen (I can move fraps) when crossfire is working.


    I can always jump out of the game and turn off the logo - but that might be kind of useful, rather than trying to figure it out with gpu-z.

    I gave feedback to that article where the above quote came from - it started good and then they lost me with 1x1 surfaces. It deteriorated into jargon. In the little window below the review of the article - I didn't give it high marks - I told them everything that I wanted to say in my email, and I gave them my contact information.

    I guess I will just try those different options, and see if any of them work.

    LOL :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
  9. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    You seem to be on the right track, Rich. Good luck.

    Finding in Ghost Recon that I can get a good balance of visuals and performance, if I am willing to compromise a little. The game does a good job of giving you lower settings that help performance but don't hugely compromise the look of the game. The High preset and above all look very similar with the differences growing more subtle as you approach Ultra.

    I'll run through the settings individually, what I chose, and why:

    LOD at Very High means slightly more pop-in than Ultra as I get closer to objects and they load up higher detail textures and models. The difference for Ultra->Very High is not much at all so very acceptable. Going lower it gets noticeable, but even High would still be pretty workable. Up close, objects still look the same, and the game deals with very large distances, so this setting can be pretty subjective. On the ground is a total non-issue, but in the air, it can be visible. Tree LODs especially are noticeable, but not really jarring or anything.

    Draw Distance only goes as high as Very High, so I left that maxed to complement the other settings. The difference from Very High->High for draw distance is small for actual distance you can see. Hardly noticeable at all. However, it also affects the distance at which certain objects are drawn inside the horizon draw distance, and the pop-in can be noticeable when moving fast in a vehicle on the ground or in the air. I elected to leave it turned up, but high would be workable if someone wanted some FPS for a minimal loss in visuals.

    Texture Quality I left at Ultra. The game uses about 5GB of video memory maxed at 1440p which is a simple task for this 8GB card. There is no Very High setting, but lowering to High actually does give a few FPS in the benchmark. I find the visual difference to be unacceptable though. Not terrible but still noticeably worse. The performance difference is small enough that I'd rather have the Ultra textures. A Very High setting here would be nice though, as it could be a normalmap optimized version of Ultra, vs High which is an outright lower res texture. If such a setting existed I would recommend it. For now, I say just have enough video memory and use ultra. The game has excellent, crisp textures with multiple layers of detail.

    Shadow Quality to Very High means slightly blurrier shadows and a readily visible loss in depth from Ultra. Ultra shadows are lusher and more realistic. Very High shadows look a little washed out in comparison, despite still being pretty sharp and detailed. However, turning on HBAO+ somewhat overpowers the stock shadows' brightness values and helps IMMENSELY to reduce the difference in depth. The bonus here is that Very High shadows with HBAO+ performs better than Ultra shadows without HBAO+. Good stuff. High shadows would be acceptable as well, if a little rough, as HBAO still works the same way, but you start to sacrifice some smaller shadows in the distance. High is as low as I'd recommend.

    SSBC, the alternative to HBAO+, is also much better than older types of Ambient Occlusion, but lacks the depth and detail of HBAO+. It's certainly better than the original form of HBAO, which is a poor effect in some games(Far Cry 3, for example. HDAO is superior to HBAO in that game), but HBAO+ is in a whole new league visually. It's an as of yet unrivalled technology. SSBC is fine if you're looking for a few frames as it's certainly better than no Ambient Occlusion, and a highly-developed new technology in its own right. However, it's a poor substitute for HBAO+.

    Terrain Quality to Very High means less of the ground and environment are tessellated than Ultra. However, Very High still has tessellation at a lower level, so the loss is minimal unless you scrutinize. Smaller details like pebbles and sticks are not tessellated like they are on Ultra. Larger objects like rocks and logs and stuff still have the effect, so you get most of it.The texture quality is unaffected, but the tessellation is less detailed. Turning it to high disables tessellation entirely, and the ground goes a bit flat. The textures at High are still acceptable, but the lack of tessellation sucks as this game uses it very well. If you can run the game fairly well but need a few frames, Very High is a good compromise. If you are using a more mid-range PC and struggling for more performance, turn it to High and disable tessellation entirely for a large performance boost.

    Vegetation Quality to Very High means that trees, grass, and other vegetation become slightly less lush than Ultra. Everything is still there, but with less density and detail, and a resulting boost in performance. Grass, foliage, and cover are a large part of this game, so normally I would just crank this to Ultra to preserve the authenticity, but the next setting means I was willing to compromise a notch.

    Turf Effects is all about making the grass realistic and interactive with the player. The grass bends and deforms around the characters in very natural and lifelike way. So cool. It adds its own bit of density and lushness to the grass, somewhat negating lowering the foliage setting. You still lose other foliage a bit, but this can provide a kind of middle ground, adding back some of the lost grass density. A slightly sparser tree in a dense jungle is less noticeable than bare patches of ground in a grassland. With this setting enabled, you could turn Vegetation Quality even lower to the High setting, and still have a very lush and detailed environment. The performance benefits of turning Vegetation down even one notch outweigh the performance impact of Turf Effects so it creates an interesting combination. Highly recommended.

    Motion Blur and Depth of Field are subjective settings and turning them off does give you a few frames here and there. If you are still looking for more performance after going through the above settings, go ahead and turn them off. Some people will argue that the human eye already does motion blur and depth of field. However, video games are a 3D space being presented to us in a flat image. There's no real depth, just a flat frame. It will never be real enough to fool our eyes on a 2D monitor. I personally find that in most games, well implemented Depth of Field and Motion blur add to the smoothness and immersion greatly. They help blend the seams between your eyes and the world on the screen. Now, if you are using a VR headset in 3D, it might be totally beneficial to leave these post processing effects off and let your eyes do their natural thing. But until I have that and am able to use it comfortably and seamlessly, I will continue to enable Depth of Field and Motion blur when they are available.

    Bloom On as always. Some don't like the overexposed look of Bloom lighting but I find it helps simulate the intense brightness of direct sunlight pretty well. It's worth about half a frame and I feel adds a lot to the look of the game when combined with the other effects, so leaving it on is an easy decision.

    God Rays to Enhanced
    This is a really interesting setting as the options are Off, On, and Enhanced. On enables subtle DirectX10-style god rays that are very similar to those found in Crysis. They give the scene a lot more dynamics and depth for a pretty modest performance cost. Enhanced enables very different volumetric Godrays that are much more far-reaching and even come through from the clouds. The rays of light expand and diffuse and give the entire scene a dynamic, sunwashed effect when given indirect lighting. They even cover vast swathes of land in the distance. It's subtle, but at the same time adds immensely to the image quality of the game. Far Cry 4 has this technology as well and it really has a drastic effect on the overall look of the graphics. It's really a very nice look, and while it costs performance, it's not monstrously more demanding. The basic God Rays are really a pretty nice effect on their own, so if you need the performance, turning this from Enhanced->On is a smart choice. However, if you can lower some of the above settings to acceptable levels and still use Enhanced, it's worth it.

    Subsurface Scattering takes a few FPS, but the effect is pretty neat. It creates the subtle illusion of light shining through human skin and diffusing as it passes through. It gives the character models more depth in different lighting scenarios and looks very realistic. I feel that it does a lot to make them look especially lifelike.

    Lens Flare is entirely subjective. I like the cinema sheen it adds to the image. I think it helps sell the effect of the incredible brightness of the sun, helping to make up for a display's inability to show its true brightness.

    Long Range Shadows is a good effect but the options are limited. The options are Off, On, and Ultra. When off, only very large distant objects with baked-on effects like mountains will have shadows. When turned on, most large landforms and large buildings will cast a basic shadow at long distance. This is a pretty nice effect and adds a lot to the overall detail and depth of the game. When Turned to Ultra, it goes one step further, and now a range of much smaller objects cast a shadow at long distance, as well as all of these shadows being a higher resolution. I feel like a single setting in between would be useful. Like a medium where you get the larger number of shadows, but at the same details as the "On" setting. So far, "On" is the happy medium, as the game is so visually dense, that these shadows are hard to notice. I had a hard time telling the difference between anything except On and Off for this setting, and there is a small FPS hit for Ultra, so On it is.

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

    At my settings at 1440p I get a very respectable 56FPS in the benchmark. The same settings at 1080p net a whopping 79FPS. I get 42 and 57 respectively for full Ultra settings.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    When it looks and runs like this, I think I can call myself satisfied. Anyone would be hard pressed to tell this from a truly maxed version :)

    I have considered using my TV for this game. Not the worst idea, and would free up a few FPS with this demanding title. That's why I got it to begin with, to help ease the stress on my GPUs when running the most demanding games at the highest settings. I may do just that, and report back with my results. I have been flip-flopping between the 1440p monitor and 1080p TV for a while.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
  10. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Wow Jeff, freakin awesome!


    Thanks for those screens. That is a lush game.

    I'll use your Wildlands settings as a guide and see if I can get even mid 20 fps with a half-way decent picture.

    But it won't come close to what you've got - it's gonna look a lot flatter than that.

    Or I could just wait until I upgrade. But that might be a while. I'm a pretty slow upgrader. However, this 5 year old system (summer of 2012) is under strain for these great newer titles. I might be 1-2 years out for a full upgrade running about $2k on cpu and gpu only - probably getting the strongest thing that nvidia makes - going for a one gpu solution, keeping my current 1600p monitor setup (with 30" monitor about 12" from my face - I am packed in here - I couldn't sit any further back in this trailer even if I wanted to.) :)


    By the way, I'm hoping of course that Wildlands supports crossfire - but if it doesn't support it natively then I'll try those 6 options just like with Tomb Raider and Dishonored 2. Yeah - one guy on a YouTube video just now says they support crossfire using the "AFR friendly" setting.

    It's a good thing you gave me a nudge about what was up with my lack of crossfire support.

    Hmmmm. The game needs support for shader model 5.0 - I wonder if my cards support that. I remember when my other-wise strong card was a shader 2.0-only card, and I couldn't play Medal of Honor Airborne until the 3850 agp came out. Let's see what dxdiag says - I finally did - recently - upgrade my windows 7 to service pack 1 in order to play Dishonored 2.

    Well, Yep, I do have DX 11, and google says that my cards support shader model 5.0, so Wildlands might load.

    Those screens of yours remind me of Arma3 (but Arma3 is a lot less lush, fewer trees, mostly small bushes, some grass waving gently along with tree leaves, flying grasshoppers and mosquitoes - quite a lovely environment.)


    note - Photobucket is not supporting full-size like before
    [​IMG]


    Arma 3 fully uses both of my cards and gives me upper 20 fps if I turn it down one quality level. It's hard to tell the difference from ultra to very high, which I run most of the time. Once in a great while I am forced to drop to High, and then I can start to see the loss of quality but it's not super terrible.


    I just tried image shack, getting a free subscription which I read is good for up to 5 gigs - that would last me quite a long time. The images seem to be totally full-size.


    Click this one below - one of my oldest back when Arma3 was in beta in 2014. In this particular shot, there are no clouds - it's kind of crummy screenshot actually, very plain - none of the fancy stuff you are talking about like god rays and bloom, etc. (the game DOES have bloom though I'm pretty sure - the sunlight is blinding at times.)

    Here's a different Arma3 image from image shack instead of photobucket (this one will click open to full size 2560x1600)
    [​IMG]



    I already posted about 3rd person Arma3 a couple of times, and I am continuing to utilize Arma3 3rd person a lot more, for the much greater field of view, and to give me an edge to try to compensate for the fact that the NPCs can see through thick grass and I can't. When I need it, in an instant I can switch back to first person for better aiming. But with 3rd person I see over the grass, so in those situations I just keep it in 3rd person and work off the crosshairs.

    For some reason, purely subjective, 3rd person seems to me to be more forgiving of lower frame rates. It's got to really drop to under 15 before I can feel major lag.​


    Similarly, I have to do the same thing now on AC Syndicate just like I did on AC Unity - turn it down one quality level. Unity in Paris was really very pretty - I was into the game, then got out of it distracted by something else - maybe Arma 3. I wasn't too interested, but when I finally got back into Unity I started liking it more and more.


    There were some great bits, like the woman's march - and that led to some of the more rural areas outside Paris - and they were quite beautiful. I took some screens in one area near a barn where I went to ultra, and let it settle down at 8 fps, took the screen, then dropped to very high at 28 fps and took the same screenshot.

    Look at the fraps fps lower right, one shows 8, the other 28.


    I see that Photobucket is no longer posting FULL size photos - 2560x1600. The former trick of adding ~original appended to the end of the photo name, no longer works.


    Here it is on ultra at 8 fps - not playable (photobucket - it will slightly enlarge when you click it)
    [​IMG]


    Here is the same image at harvardguy.com instead of photobucket - (oh wow, full 2560x1600 when you click it)
    [​IMG]


    Here it is at very high - 28 fps - ignore the difference in sunlight - the weather affects constantly change.
    [​IMG]


    And for the full-size image of the 28 fps version directly above (here is the screenshot from harvardguy.com)
    [​IMG]


    Try to ignore the extra sunlight on the bottom photo - the weather affects change every few seconds in that game as the clouds pass overhead.

    It was very hard for me to see much quality difference, and one was playable, the bottom shot, the other not at all. Generally I got mid to high 20 fps on that game.

    Syndicate too has some gorgeous areas just south of London. Again I'm able to manage on very high most of the time - I am happy to run mid to high 20 on that game and as it's purely 3rd person I find that to be fine most of the time - lagging does occur once in a while.

    Rich


    Edit - hey Jeff do you have any thoughts about this idea of offering 3 photo sizes:

    It occurs to me that the full-size could actually be a little too large sometimes - and in those cases, the slightly enlarged might be better - it would be larger than first displayed, but not full size.

    EDIT of the Edit
    So if I were to upload photos to BOTH harvardguy.com - just the few that I wanted to be able to display absolutely full size at 2560x1600) and photobucket like I did here, I could first show the photobucket, and then below it the full-sized harvardguy.

    That way they would have the pick actually of 3 sizes of photos - the default after dawn size, the slightly enlarged, and then the full-size image. I can't put too many at my web site, because I have a cheap subscription that allows me only 5 gigs total, but I just removed a gig, so I could post 1000 pictures before that became a problem again. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2017
  11. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    I think if it showed a thumbnail, with options below it, that would be a pretty workable solution for viewing images on the forum.

    So I went back to my 39" 1080p LCD. Not my 40" HiSense LED that I used recently, but my 39" Coby LCD from way back when I started using TVs. Pretty old now, like 2009. Just past the major HDTV teething problems though so it's pretty decent. It has the smoothest and most stable image with my old consoles, and has a more compatible refresh rate when running 60FPS/120Hz interpolated video.

    It is indeed a full inch smaller than the LED, and that seems to really make a difference because it is noticeably sharper and cleaner than the newer LED display. However, it has less true blacks and less contrast, and is really a 6/7 bit color panel with dithering while the LED is a true 8 bit color panel. Not too noticeable but it's there.

    Despite the lack of color depth, the pixels seem to somehow fit the resolution better(don't ask me, it's magic), and it's far less sensitive to viewing angle. The LED shares a common issue with my 32" 1440p Samsung in that viewing it straight-on gives slightly crushed blacks. You need to angle it a few degrees, not a lot but slightly, to get the proper image. Also, the LED has developed short term image retention, similar to burn-in on old plasmas, but not permanent. It goes away after a few minutes of viewing a non-static image. Still, it's insanity inducing when trying to view films and pick out small details like grain and color separation. Thus, despite the slightly lesser specs of the 39" LCD, it performs much better than the 40" LED in usage. Gave the LED to my Daddio for TV viewing and he hasn't noticed anything at all. Happy about that. He likes the thin bezel and image quality with upscaled DVDs through HDMI.

    With the 39" LCD at 1080p, it again opens up the use of DSR in the Nvidia control panel. Dynamic Super Resolution. It effectively allows me to set 4K resolution in any games that would normally support it, and it scales that 4K image back to the screen. Teeny tiny 4K FRAPS counter and all. It is definitely not as good as 4K, but it still has to be seen to be believed. The image is almost perfectly smooth, and even tiny details in hardcore RTS games like Empire Total War are super smooth and nearly free of jaggies. Like several thousand English soldiers on-screen lined up with muskets, and every musket is a smooth straight line with no jagged edges. Very, VERY fine image quality. Incredibly pleasing to the eye. Some jaggies are always gonna be there, but it still works like incredibly good SSAA. Best image quality possible.

    The performance cost of 4K DSR is huge, but it's a far more consistent visual effect and performance impact than SSAA. For any game older than the last couple years, my card is hilarious overkill. It runs World in Conflict Soviet Assault at 4K scoring about 180FPS average. And WiC was no joke for hardware demands when it came out. Likewise, it is the absolute perfect solution for Crysis 1 simply having no AA support. AA literally does next to nothing to the game visually due to it's alternate use of Edge AA, which conflicts. It's the same when setting AA through the video control panel or in-game. Hardware has come a long way since 2007 though, so 4K is very doable at 50FPS or higher. It looks awesome. Newer games like Ghost Recon Wildlands trump it overall, but it's still a very advanced and ambitious game, and is still a graphical wonder. There are things it did that newer games still don't do. Being able to play it at 4K is a treat. Something they showed off with super powerful rigs in years past.

    With DSR set for 4K, the 39" gives superior clarity and detail for 3D Games over the 1440p 32" Samsung. However, with AA, the Samsung is by far my sharpest display. The size of the TV beats everything though. It is an absolutely awesome movie viewing platform. Despite having lesser specs than my other displays, the LCD calibrates okay, and using madVideoRenderer, I can enable very high quality hardware accelerated dithering for movies, as well as high quality upscaling for 720p sources.

    madVR can also do DX11 image doubling, which is the video equivalent of 4K DSR. Also, I can enable Nvidia CUVID GPUCompute video acceleration. It goes outside of established industry standards that dictate equal decoding quality of a given format for any decoder. It actually decodes a cleaner, sharper image than standard DXVA decoders, more efficiently with even less CPU usage. There is a direct difference in quality between standard DXVA and Nvidia CUVID, and even some very picky enthusiasts have agreed with me that there doesn't seem to be a downside.

    Over the top of all that I run a program called SVP, Smooth Video Project. It's a $15 payware program with a free version that also works pretty well. I got the Pro version and haven't regretted it. It interpolates extra frames of video between the actual frames and gives a smoothing effect. It's basically doing the same thing as the frame interpolation mode on many 120Hz TVs, but at a software level. There is a fine balance between the smoothing effect and giving video artifacts. After some fine tuning however it's very nice to use, and works especially well on animated and CG video. You have to sacrifice a little smoothness to avoid artifacts in live action video but it's still an exceptionally good effect. Panning shots and fast motion shots especially are totally enhanced by it. They are super smooth. SVP also, in conjunction with madVR, helps to eliminated the 3:2 pulldown judder effect caused by the incompatibility between 24FPS video and 60Hz displays. Any long, slow, panning scene will show this effect on a 60Hz display. 120Hz and 240Hz displays don't suffer from this because they are directly divisible by 24.

    Given all those advantages, a 1080p display is amazing for my uses. And blows any other resolution, save true 4K, out of the water. I have probably 6TB of video, stored in space conscious formats but still most of it is spectacular quality. That means movie viewing and compatibility needs to be a priority. 1440p is okay, but 1080p is king. And with DSR it is also no joke for gaming.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2017
  12. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    So Far Cry 3 at 4K DSR. Totally maxed with HDAO instead of HBAO. Averaging a really solid and steady 60FPS running about 58 in dense jungle/action scenes and 62-ish in open areas. Like it sticks to one framerate and doesn't really change or dip. Incredibly steady performance. Obviously goes much higher indoors, mid 90s or so, and some very demanding scenes dip it into the low 50s. Just very smooth and pleasant to play. It looks fantastic as well. 2160p DSR vs 1080p 4xAA is no contest. DSR produces an absolutely superior result. Superb.

    So maybe 4K isn't quite so ludicrous when video memory stops being an issue. I find myself able to run a great many of my modern games at 4K pretty easily, with overhead for the scaling included.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
  13. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Actually I am not quite sure how I would do that, but what I have come up with is to NOT use image shack. I found out, as I mentioned at the end of my post, that my subscription will expire within a month. So I went back just now and edited the prior post, to use my web site instead of image shack.

    I am going to do it just like in the prior post, offering two sizes through photobucket, then a third full-size from my real estate web site, harvardguy.com.

    But I had forgotten how to do that. So I went back to my first forum post:


    post #447, ten years ago when they didn't allow my full username of harvardguy, so I had it truncated to harvrdguy, and DDP [aka Admiral Perry], has never gotten around to giving me credit for all those former years. I grabbed the address of one of the jpgs to see how I used to do it using my web site. Ah hah - I just upload through the web site file manager tools, and then use a simple web shortcut.

    Wow, you went back to an older screen - one inch shouldn't make much difference but you are actually able to notice that it is sharper - hmmm. Also, there are some other advantages, despite dithering rather than true 8-bit color, etc.

    The viewing angle is better. The LED tends to crush the blacks - I am not 100% sure I know what you mean by that - they lose some depth? some gloss? I'll take your word for it - they deteriorate in some fashion.

    What the heck. Short-term image retention. Knowing how much of a graphical purist you truly are, yes I imagine that would be frustrating to you. I don't know if my eyes would pick it out.

    Hahaha. Yeah, I'm like your dad - I wouldn't know what you were talking about, short term image retention. That was a nice thing for you to do, and it's not even Christmas yet.

    Well, you said the other was magic, but this above is the true magic that I as-of-yet fail to understand, but I'll take your word for it. You know, you could have thrown in a screenshot - you had me going with those several thousand soldiers lined up with muskets!

    What!!! Directly divisible by 24. Panning scenes. I wonder if this is what I have sometimes when I notice what appears to be some shearing, or tearing. I have always attributed it to running a 50 foot hdmi cable in the sunroom to the 48" samsung 4k (but all my videos are 720p upscaled by power dvd 13 to 1080p). Actually I haven't noticed anything lately - I watched the new Passengers with Chris Pratt last night - pretty cool spacecraft flying along for 120 years at half the speed of light.

    Good point. I was able to get high 30s in that game, dropping AA down from max of 8x to 4x, where the difference was negligible, compared to 4x versus 2x - major difference in jaggy quality.

    That is my favorite of the Far Crys - it didn't have the neat helicopter of Far Cry 4, but it more than made up for that with the incredible water reflections which were mostly absent from Far Cry 4. And you had your choice of using the wave runner out in the ocean, or up and down the river - I was even able to get the game to spawn me a wave runner on the long crocodile river next to the airfield - just running up and down that river was a blast with those incredible reflections!!

    So you're right - with this 4k DSR trick - you're running everything in 4k.

    So Jeff, why not pick up a 4k tv? You can drop down to 1080p on the games that are too demanding for your 4k DSR trick, but get genuine 4k on all the others that you are running, like Far Cry 3 that you just talked about.

    We got this one in the sunroom - I think it's a 48' - I used to sit far back but now I sit about 3-4 feet back from the screen giving me about the same viewing area as in a movie theater. We got it on a Black Friday Best Buy special for under $600. A couple days ago I saw a 65" samsung curved 4k 120 hz display at costco for 1099, price valid for another month or so.

    It had your name on it. :cool:






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


    DISHONORED2 CROSS FIRE AT 2560 x 1600


    Hey Jeff, thanks for pushing me to do a little more investigating about why I was having problems with Dishonored2, and some of my other games, in running crossfire.

    In addition to getting the VERY latest catalyst - or whatever they now call it - I learned as I had mentioned, that there are 5 different forms of crossfire.

    And I implemented the crossfire icon which means that when the game is successfully running crossfire a little icon appears on the upper right corner of the screen. I like that better than trying to figure out with gpuz - as you said before the second card might be looking like it's working, but we know I wasn't getting crossfire because I was running in windowed mode before to avoid the artifacts.


    What happened was that I went back into Dishonored 2 with the idea of testing every single crossfire method to see if I could get any of them to work. Finally it kicked in, and then I started back at the first method, "default' and I didn't get any artifacts. It was showing 30 fps at full 2560x1600. I started increasing quality and I went all the way up to ultra!!

    It kept showing 30 fps - I was in the tutorial. When I looked in advanced options, it had set a frame rate upper limit of 30 - to keep things smooth. That was fine for me.

    But ultra is where finally the frames came down off the 30, and I run the game now in very fine, just one step down from ultra.


    I am running fraps and here are two of exactly the same shots, the first at ultra, showing 13 fps (screen upper right) and the next at very high. The fraps numbers are right in the middle of the "crossfire" icon which doesn't show up in the fraps screenshots.



    The first two images are at ultra, and they show 13 fps.
    Here is the whaling wharf at Karnaka, at ultra. Click it for larger, but this photobucket image won't expand to full size.
    [​IMG]




    Here is the whaling wharf at Karnaka, at ultra, and now when you click it, this image will zoom to full-size 2560x1600.
    [​IMG]







    The next two images are at very high, and they show 23 fps.

    This is playable with a very slight lag.

    Here is the whaling wharf at Karnaka, at very high. Click it for larger, but this photobucket image won't expand to full size.
    [​IMG]



    Here is the whaling wharf at Karnaka, at very high, and now when you click it, this image will zoom to full-size 2560x1600.
    [​IMG]


    My eyes don't pick out much of a difference dropping down from ultra to very high. The game still looks lovely. You probably can pick out some subtleties, Jeff, maybe in the shadows.


    To me the quality looks really good in very high. Does any quality difference jump out at you, Jeff?


    Anyway, the game is lovely and plays pretty well.

    What I do notice, however, is that occasionally it drops down to 5 fps, and of course I have to wait for it to settle down and bring the frame rates back up into the 20s.

    I believe, correct me if I am wrong, that this is the effect of my lack of vram, at only 3 gigs. I believe it has to stop and load new textures. Does that sound like a reasonable explanation?

    This happens every few minutes. It actually doesn't bother me that much.

    Rather than run through it, I am playing the game carefully and slowly anyway, now that the graphics are so much nicer than when I had it windowed, at medium quality, 1080p, instead of now full screen, very high quality, 1600p.

    They kind of suggest you should play it stealthily, and not kill everybody - "the game will have a darker atmosphere, people will be more cynical, and there will be many more blood-flies everywhere..."

    But yet they give you these amazing powers that only kick in when you kill people - like the new doppleganger power that creates a fake me - I play as the woman so finally I get to see what I look like - and it isn't a shadowy thing - it's a full flesh and blood spitting image of me down to all the details - and it stays on the screen for about 15 seconds.


    That's me - my 15-second double. I decided to play as the woman this time. Click to expand.
    [​IMG]


    Here it is again, but if you click, it will expand to a full 2560 x 1600.
    [​IMG]

    The first version of the power runs away distracting enemies so you can escape. The next version, which I upgraded to, fights the enemies. You can't believe how much easier it is to kill some of these guys when there are two of you fighting!

    (But the game wants me to play like Batman and not kill anybody, lol.)



    Rich
     
  14. omegaman7

    omegaman7 Active member

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    Anybody itching for "Prey" next month? My GTX 570 may be the only piece of hardware that needs updating. But, given it hasn't been released yet, I find speculation at this point to be questionable. Especially since Intel seems to be the only recommended cpu, on the website I looked at. If fanboys are doing the recommendations, how can we know for sure... SMH...
     
  15. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    For the most part Thuban shouldn't have much trouble with most new games. Especially games like Doom and Prey, which are on a well tested engine. My 1100T ran Wolfenstein on the same engine excellently, though at 4Ghz. Games are also slowly adopting real multi-threading, which makes 6 core and above CPUs a little more useful in gaming. This gives the Thuban hex cores a little wiggle room as well. Quad core Deneb is totally dead now performance-wise, but Thuban still hangs on in a weird scenario where it's barely enough to be sufficient, despite its age.

    If you ever had the want to upgrade, Thuban can still be pretty decent with newer video cards too. It ran great alongside a single GTX970, easily enough to show the benefit over the older GTX760. Both cards far more powerful than a GTX570. However, the Intel CPU proved Thuban was a bottleneck in many scenarios. So while it's "good enough", modern Intel CPUs are a lot more powerful and anything Sandy Bridge or newer pretty much eliminates most bottlenecks.

    Like hey Ryzen is cool and all, but my CPU is not a performance limiting component and doesn't look to be anywhere in the near future. Ryzen floats around the same IPC as the later gen Intel CPUs so it's really only a side-grade unless I can get a solid OC out of it. With my current CPU, I could go SLI Titan Xp or SLI 1080Ti and as far as games are concerned I have the latest and best there is. In fact I don't think there's a stock CPU below $500 or so that's really competitive with my little $200 Devil's Canyon. At least for games.

    For encoding, number of cores is king, but Thuban lost its edge there a while ago because Intel's IPC is so much higher. Ryzen is the new encoding standard to beat. It's nearly as good as Intel per-core, plus more cores, plus the most expensive one so far is still incredibly cheap for the performance. Intel can't compete there. Overclocking on Ryzen isn't amazing, but it can still be gotten into the ~4.4GHz range, which is competitive. When you lower the number of cores, overclocking usually gets a little easier. Meaning Ryzen 5 should OC a little higher on average. A 6 core Ryzen 1600X and some DDR4 3200 might have to be my next purchase in the future.

    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820232091

    Something like that there.

    Ryzen is very low TDP for what you get too. Very efficient. Really a win for AMD. They outsourced chipset development a bit so the motherboards are hit and miss, and might partly explain weak overclocking. The actual CPU though, is fantastic quality. This is no Phenom I broken crap. Hilariously and unsurprisingly, Gigabyte have the most reliable AM4 boards currently. I don't even shop other brands anymore. I just go to Gigabyte and pick one out.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2017
  16. omegaman7

    omegaman7 Active member

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    Thanks for your insight. Very appreciated. Not surprised Gigabyte is fairing best with AM4. I leaned toward them a while ago, and haven't been disappointed yet.
    Unfortunately, a MOBO/CPU/RAM upgrade is out of the question for about a year. Since GTA V runs so well, I'll probably see how Prey runs. If I like the gameplay/storyline/etc I may just consider a GPU upgrade. The 570 has certainly done a few laps +, and is behind the times ;)
    Time will tell lol
     
  17. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    Oh yeah you could easily stand to upgrade your GPU and keep using your PC for games. That Thuban can handle far more than a single GTX570. If you are tolerant of less than maxed at a perfect 60FPS in demanding titles then you will be fine. GTX960s are relatively cheap and will stomp all over your 570. You would notice the difference from a more modern GPU.

    As far as Prey, I think you'll be okay. It's never been a terribly demanding engine. Might need a new video card but your CPU is up to the task I think. I would aim at a mid to high end video card right now, and plan for a decent Ryzen setup down the road when more reliable hardware comes out and prices relax a bit.

    Myself? If money stays decent then I will be looking at a Ryzen 5 1600X and a second GTX1070 G1.

    Also, Rich, what you are describing to me sounds almost like running out of VRAM. 2560x1600 is a pretty high resolution and modern games are being designed around the idea that new video cards have 8GB of VRAM or more. Some slightly older games are designed around having 4GB, and a lot of 3GB cards got screwed. It's why I stopped using the GTX970s. Otherwise, in SLI they're faster than the 1070. Most newer games, if they're relatively demanding, will take at LEAST 3GB of VRAM, if not more.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2017
  18. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Hey Kevin, what's up. I know you've been over on the builder thread, but I haven't seen you over here for a while.

    Jeff as you might have read is tearing everything up at 4k - some kind of DSR magic to create an impeccable 1080p image.


    What is Prey? I guess I should google it. Is it another Carmack Doom type of thing - monsters from all directions???? Hahahaha.

    Yeah, Jeff, I'm sure you're right. My next gpu's gonna have no less than 8 gigs of vram - no lie.

    But this Dishonored 2 game is so pretty - I just relax for a few seconds - maybe 5 seconds max - and then we're back to playable framerates, meaning close to or slightly above 25. I'm just glad they put up with my pitifully old setup - and thanks again for the nudge to get crossfire and full 2560x1600 working.

    I might flex my magic powers again tonight. I haven't played for about a week - watching movies instead, like the new Passengers - and the old one too with Anne Hathaway - it really wasn't bad.

    In Dishonored 2, I just made it to the mansion of the guy who builds the robot soldiers. I'm sure I'm gonna be hammered pretty soon - lots of F5 saves along the way. But maybe I'll power out my double and let her join me in the slaughter - or join me in getting massacred. :)

    Rich
     
  19. omegaman7

    omegaman7 Active member

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    I'm doing alright, and hope you are as well ;)
    A buddy recommended Prey to me recently. Releases next month. If I can pull 30 - 45, I'll likely be content. I'm usually content with graphics, provided there's a good balance between FPS and storyline.
    Prey - Linky
     
  20. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Hey Kev,

    I followed the link - why does that game sound familiar??

    Oh yeah, now I know why.

    My close relative, Miles with Valve (the animator of Left 4 Dead) got his start after graduating from SCAD in Savannah, GA working for a local video game company called Interplay here in Orange County, CA.

    The game he was working on was called Run Like Hell. Kevin, Jeff, have you guys ever heard of that game? I doubt it. Here's some early wire frame work on that game.



    (A big friggin alien is chasing a soldier!) (the animation is below)

    [​IMG]

    For kicks google it. The story line was pretty close to what I just read about Prey.

    If you don't recall Interplay, they didn't hang around too long.

    Another of their games that you may not have heard of was called Carmaggedon - I picked up the demo and my assistant, Al, and I used to mow down pedestrians by the hundreds - it was ridiculous fun, like going crazy in Grand Theft Auto.

    The demo was actually better than the final game in my opinion. For example, the girls in the demo had very short skirts - they were really cute. But it was still fun to run them all over. I had another assistant - a girl - she thought Al and I were psychos to like that game!!!

    But when the full game was released, they toned down the short skirts, as if that scaling back of the sex appeal would give them some kind of chance at redeeming the total lack of social value. :rolleyes:

    But think about it - that's a total punk bait and switch - you don't put out a demo and then take out a major visual element in the final release. Anyway, they didn't last.

    I see that there was also a Carmaggedon 2 and then 3. Interplay is still listed on 2, but not on game 3.



    I'm sure Prey is much better than Run Like Hell, but I remember him showing me some of the animating he was doing. I visited him there one time at the Interplay office when we got together for lunch - he showed me some cool stuff.

    For example as the giant alien drops down on his bent legs on the flight deck, the whole deck thuds down, then springs back up, very realistically giving you an idea of the tremendous weight of the beast.


    Hey I found a sample video that has some stuff on it from the old Run Like Hell, plus some Half Life 2 stuff.

    The first part is - guess what - remember in Half Life 2 when Alyx climbs the wall to get a better look, and then gets captured by the Combine?

    [​IMG]

    The second part is that interplay animation I was talking about - this is an alien chasing and then swatting a soldier.

    [​IMG]

    Press this link and it will play right in your browser window. (I hope I don't get in trouble for posting this but I'll do it for you guys.)

    http://vid518.photobucket.com/albums/u343/harvardguy/Comp 1_zpsksyuhjks.mp4

    If you look carefully, you'll see the floor bouncing under the weight of the alien.

    Anyway, the Run Like Hell early stuff - way before Valve - was the beginning of his very realistic approach to animating - for example the way that the Left for Dead zombies lean into their turns - which of course is how people actually run.

    He was nominated for an animation award for Left 4 Dead - Sam mentioned that he thought Miles deserved to win for his work on that game - I thought so too, haha.

    So Kev, are you still over there with United Parcel? If so, are you going to take another stab at driving for them?

    Rich
     

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