Game menu extremely choppy

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bert_the_turtle
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Postby bert_the_turtle » Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:18 am

Wish all you want, fact is that lack of RAM is NOT the problem here. XP + Multiwina doesn't come close to filling 512M, and certainly not in the menu. It's not about making you look bad, it's just about finding and fixing the cause.
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Postby TomCat39 » Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:22 am

And claiming the ATI 9600 to be the cause as a geforce 5 series card isn't correct either, especially being that another user has an ATI 9200 running it without choppiness. That would indicate that it's not a card issue as was stated by Zombie in this particular case in which I was replying to. I'm not speaking about any of the known NVidia 5XXX series card issues.

And once again you assume that the user has a streamlined machine and doesn't run anything else at the same time as the game so 512 would be adequate.

I'm assuming the typical default install with all kinds of junk running at the same time as the game so maybe, just maybe, upping the memory may help. And if it doesn't it will help in other areas.

The person already said they don't want to buy another card. And being another user has a lower model card running it, I wonder what differences there are in the machines. It could be driver specific (quite possible with ATI) but also didn't think it would hurt the user to suggest upping memory a little. It's an inexpensive upgrade that can boost performance quite significantly.

Menu choppiness can be aquainted to low memory being that's when it's initially loading everything into memory and video memory etc. If a bunch of crap is running already that is sucking up memory prior to the game ever running (quite common on average users machines).... Then the memory isn't there for the game and upping the memory could possibly help. And since the user already has a good CPU (AMD 64 3500+), then a little more memory is always recommended.

One thing that hasn't been asked or stated is whether the menu ever settles out on the ATI 9600 machine. Or does it keep doing it even after a minute or two?

What Catalyst drivers are being used? What sorts of programs are running in the background? What services are enabled and running?

So much is left open in this particular incident.
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Postby TomCat39 » Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:28 am

bert_the_turtle wrote:Wish all you want, fact is that lack of RAM is NOT the problem here. XP + Multiwina doesn't come close to filling 512M, and certainly not in the menu. It's not about making you look bad, it's just about finding and fixing the cause.


Wish all I want for someone to quit trolling my posts? And you reply with an implied fuck you?

Look man, you guys may hate me, fine. I don't really give a damn. But tell me outright, don't act like immature premature ejaculation by trolling my posts just because you don't care for my opinions, thoughts or attitudes.

I had originally quoted the post concerning the 9600 and was responding to that one user only. So please don't think I was advising all the NVidia users. That couldn't be further from the truth.
"Now, stop being a douche to the newbie, and run along."



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Postby bert_the_turtle » Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:57 am

Nobody hates you, nobody is trolling. We're just pointing out that you're wrong about memory being an issue. Yes, there's several GeForce 5x reports and one ATI owner, but the problems are probably not caused by specific models, but by specific performance characteristics of the cards.
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Postby cheesemoo0 » Tue Dec 09, 2008 2:16 am

On my older computer with a Geforce FX 5500 it is true I only have 512mb of memory, but I have had everything disabled to no avail. Menu is still very choppy especially when choosing a gamemode or deeper into the menu, except when changing settings. I agree with the opinion memory has little chance of it being the main cause. Playing in-game is usually not too bad and usually stay above 20 fps.

Chill out TomCat39, just because several disagree with you that does not mean any of us mean malcontent.
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Postby Radiobuzz » Tue Dec 09, 2008 4:39 am

When I was accepted on the betatesting stage I couldn't play the game because it dragged (I too have an FX 5500). At least now I have the option to change the resolution, but the menu is still very choppy despite having all turned off (including all the sound effects to the minimum). So yeah, +1.
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Postby TomCat39 » Tue Dec 09, 2008 5:44 am

bert_the_turtle wrote:Nobody hates you, nobody is trolling. We're just pointing out that you're wrong about memory being an issue. Yes, there's several GeForce 5x reports and one ATI owner, but the problems are probably not caused by specific models, but by specific performance characteristics of the cards.


Maybe I wasn't clear. Fair enough. The suggestion of memory for the one person with the 9600 less of a sure thing that everyone thinks I meant. Simply, it couldn't hurt to double up on memory from 512 to bring it to 1 gig. It may not affect the choppiness problem for that 1 user, but it sure would help general windows performance being everything else seems to be in the upper range of the low range PC now a days.

What I got back initially is that was a stupid suggestion for a user to do period. This is where I disagreed. To me, this is a case of Dāta and Data. Neither being incorrect. And being it's an isolated case with an ATI 9600 user and not the multiple reports of the 5xxx users. It's quite probable that it's not related to the NVidia issue. And from my experience with ATI, I'd be more than willing to bet it's driver related over card specifications like the NVidia card issues.

I learned the hard way that in most cases, NVidia drivers are much more stable for games over ATI, at least 2 years ago they were. ATI might have gotten better but I tend to doubt it. Even when they fixed things (monthly) they usually broke something else. Even retailers I knew advised against ATI cards for gaming rigs because they got way too many complaints from users, and too many returns.

Anyways, I digress.

I think the 9600 user should check with the 9200 user to find out what catalyst they are using and downgrade to that to hopefully fix their choppy menu issue. And I'd still recommend getting 1 gig of memory in the machine just for general performance increases. As for the 5xxx users. I feel for you being there is no fix beyond getting a new card.
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Postby TomCat39 » Tue Dec 09, 2008 5:53 am

Oh and Bert, he was trolling my posts.

He went into another thread, didn't read it, only read the post I made and then tried to say I (wasn't even my machine) didn't know how to configure the software correctly as a simple yet affective insult. That is where and why I got the heavy impression he was trolling my posts.
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Postby bert_the_turtle » Tue Dec 09, 2008 9:28 am

Ah that other thread :) Well, I think you're overreacting. I'm sure that comment there was also not meant as an insult. We do like to tease each other around here quite a bit.

Anyway, back to the issue. I've ran the game through an OpenGL debugger (BuGLe on Linux in case anyone cares), logging all calls, looking for something specific: a call to glFinish. I found none. So /me enters lecture mode.

The documentation states that glFinish's function is to wait until all OpenGL commands sent so far have been properly executed. If you call it after whatever you use to swap buffers (OS dependant), you can be sure what you just rendered is going to get visible to the user in the very next screen refresh. And if you don't call it ever, you simply have no guarantee about that. In some cases (most notably, simple geometry, but large objects eating fillrate, just as is the case with the menu), many frames (tens or even hundreds) worth of commands can sit in the buffer, waiting to be rendered. The user will perceive this as 'input lag'; there is a noticeable delay between his input and the visible response on the screen, because the response spends some time in the rendering buffer. Worse, this buffering can happen in bursts: the OpenGL driver will gladly accept a bunch of frames from the application without delay, then all of a sudden block and wait for the queued commands to be executed. The user perceives this as choppyness; several frames are rendered with hardly any change relative to each other, and then comes a big jump. Both effects are hard to describe for the average user and will often get confused with performance problems by the reader. And the worst part of all this is: it never ever happens on the programmers' machines.

So, please, please, IV: at least add an option to call glFinish. I know the downside (most notably, nVidia and ATI drivers will eat 100% CPU time while in glFinish in all cases I have seen), but it's the only way to make sure there's as little input lag as possible.
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Postby lazor » Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:48 am

I'm having this same problem, despite being well above the system specs.

I'm not buying the game until it's fixed.
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Postby bert_the_turtle » Wed Dec 10, 2008 8:15 am

Posting your specs would be a nice move.
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Postby The GoldFish » Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:54 am

Bert; One presumes that the "input ignored if faster than one frame" issue is of particular note for people with super choppy menu syndrome. Frankly, I have no idea about glFinish.

General; Anyone have a link to the thread with that Narf example of how this may be related to the length of strings? There was a specific menu page that seemed to show no sign of FPS doom, dispite rendering *basically* the same thing, and I feel it's important for anyone posting in this thread to be able to get that information and submit it along with their +1. I'm pretty sure it was the "Help and Options" menu. If FPS on this menu is WAY HIGHER than on eg the main menu, then this is all the same problem. If that menu is still ridiculously choppy, then this is unrelated to the FX issue shwart picked up on.

edit - found
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Postby cheesemoo0 » Sat Dec 13, 2008 2:27 am

Yes, in the options menu FPS is muuch better.
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Postby Krispy101 » Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:18 pm

Ah, glad to see not only me that's having this problem then, and, as mentioned before, no laf in Help / Options menu.

I have Geforce 5500
and 512MB RAM

Is there any defined solution, or fix, as of yet?

THanks, Kris
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Postby Radiobuzz » Fri Dec 19, 2008 4:48 am

My 2c: I replaced the menu strings for "a" and, even though the menu effects were off, my mouse didn't lagged at all. The option to enter the map editor I left untouched, so in there I had two long strings of text (two options, I don't remember the text exactly) but it didn't lagged either. The only place were it did lag was on the menu to select a gameplay mode.

Also, though I believe this is a different issue, the menu lags and the sound gets chopped for a second whenever I select any option from the main menu. This always happened to me and keeps happening nevermind the number of strings. I set all my sound preferences to low just to see what happened but it's still the same.

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