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Author Topic: UFO:AI on a low end machine  (Read 6073 times)

Offline anonymissimus

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UFO:AI on a low end machine
« on: July 06, 2015, 03:57:29 pm »
I'm checking out how well various programs I use perform on hardware from ~2000. This machine has
1 GHz, 512MB RAM, a Nvidia Riva TNT2 with Nvidia's driver for that card, and win xp. The dual boot Linux system's graphical desktop performs much worse than windows - driver issues. So first time I try UFO:AI on windows. Had to set color depth to 32 bit or otherwise it complains about no hardware acceleration. I used one of those nightly downloads for 2.6 and a source checkout. fps in battlescope is ~7, geoscope and menus are better or much better. Pagefile goes up heavily though, I don't expect "mansion huge" (this is the most problematic map I've seen) to be usable.

I strongly suggest an option to disable "animations" of some things, especially fire/smoke fields. Other fires (crashed UFO parts and sometimes others are scattered on the map) should also be included. Probably a good idea to include unit animations as well (soldiers, aliens and civilians on the map, and the soldier image in the HUD). Fire fields are a total CPU eater. I hope this can all be done with a single option. Just have all of those display as a static image.

As the nightly is debug, I will have to compile myself for a release build I guess. I already have a recent CB with MinGw install. If I take headers, libs and dlls from the package at http://ufoai.org/wiki/Code::Blocks as usually, reference them so CodeBlocks finds them, is that supposed to work, basically ? Is the site I linked to the least out-of-date guide for windows compilation ?

Offline DarkRain

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Re: UFO:AI on a low end machine
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2015, 04:41:46 am »
Interesting,

Fire/smoke and other such effects are handled by the game's particle system, which is also used by weapons' effects (projectiles, beams, explosions, etc.) in theory it should be possible to switch to more simple particles, and it probably would be a good idea for the android port — if it will ever be resurrected... it should also be possible to disable unit animations but I doubt that will have a great effect, but I might be wrong

Re compiling on windows, haven't used the pre-packaged CB in a while but last time it worked fine, so it should work still I think.

Offline pete conway

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Re: UFO:AI on a low end machine
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2015, 07:52:38 pm »
Low end machine and  UFO AI 2.5 stable.

Now I realise that this is only my fourth post and it's been a week or so since my third... that's because having found out how to massage the difficulty in Notepad++ a little (a point or two here and a point or so less there, nothing major) I've been so engrossed in the game I've almost become absorbed...
Enough prattling, the problem I seem to be having is bloat, now maybe that isn't the right term but it's the one in my head, you see the further I go in the game 'a year now with 5 bases and a 120 employees stores getting overfull so I build another base with guards' all this has taken a toll on my load time 3-5 mins loadtime, is there any way besides scaling back my play style that I can speed up the load times, it's getting more important now as the further I get in the game the more serious a threat the Aliens see me as and respond accordingly... they come down and kick my butt/send even bigger ships... then I gotta reload and get even.

*Animations and all are running just fine no hiccups or lag at all, just longer load times

The machine I'm using at the moment is a P4 single core, 3.2, 2 gig Ram, Nvidia GS8400, Win 7 32bit  and a windows experience rating 3.6.

If anyone can shed some light on this I'd be grateful,

As ever Pete.

Offline DarkRain

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Re: UFO:AI on a low end machine
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2015, 02:45:54 am »
Lots of characters is a known cause of long load times (specially on windows it seems) if you have a lot of "unused" characters (unemployed pilots for example, other unemployed that you won't need a lot of) you can remove them by right clicking on their checkbox in the hire/fire screen. WARNING: The character will be GONE forever, if you end needing more of that kind of character you'll have to wait till more are generated at the end of month.

Offline pete conway

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Re: UFO:AI on a low end machine
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2015, 01:31:05 pm »
Thanks for the heads-up on that DarkRain, I'm goin' for another playthroug and will dispense with all but the 'best of the best of the best' I do recall giving up on checking out the 'new recruits' some half way through the game, so that would seem to contribute to my load times from there onwards.
by the end of the game I had 50 Soldiers, 80 Scientists, 55 Engineers, and 7 pilots...  probably hundreds in waiting in total.

As ever Pete

Offline geever

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Re: UFO:AI on a low end machine
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2015, 11:20:35 pm »
The employee loading was sped up in 2.6 (and in 2.5 branch but after the release). I don't say it cannot be an issue but I would like to see some profiling data before pointing fingers there.

-geever

Offline pete conway

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Re: UFO:AI on a low end machine
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2015, 10:30:58 am »
I appologise, I was not pointing fingers geever, I'm in the unfortunate position of running everything on my 'second' PC (I cooked my main one) I simply wished to know if I could improve load times... a bit like I would ask for tips on graphics settings if I were running a high end game that lagged, UFO AI does not lag or stutter and apart from a very occasional (twice) and minor 'flashing' on a large battlefield (which incidentally I put down to my machine inadequacies) I have experienced no problem other than the loadtime length, my son is playing 2.6 on this same machine and has no problems, but he does have a different play style and accept that 2.6 is dev.

As I stated earlier I am having another playthrough with Dark Rain's recommendations, but don't expect me to finish sometime soon as I tend to savor my cake!

As ever Pet.

Offline anonymissimus

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Re: UFO:AI on a low end machine
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2015, 02:29:59 pm »
I suspect that the number of available soldiers is the key here. I never have suffered from an increase in loading time; I suspect that's because I lose really a lot of cannon fodder each month which keeps the total number of soldiers low. In addition, the harder levels generate much fewer recruits.
It's sensible to assume the soldiers are the key, since the other three categories are much less complex. So you perhaps know where to look for possible improvements.

Offline MonkeyHead

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Re: UFO:AI on a low end machine
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2015, 11:04:33 pm »
Low end machine here. Fujitsu laptop with Intel dual core T5300 at 1.73 GHz. 2 GB Ram. On board Intel GPU. 32 bit Win7. Windows experience rating of 3.1.

Playing 2.6 on my native resolution of 1440*900, on default settings anything other than the smallest maps with small enemy squads suffers slowdowns. Turning off most advanced effects and playing on a slightly lower detail levels makes it run much smoother, but smoke, fire and so on still cause the odd slowdown if the map is big or there is a lot going on. Early game loading times are hardly fast, but tolerable. Late game loading times are a crawl. I do tend to stick to one base with 60 employees to help my hardware cope.


Offline geever

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Re: UFO:AI on a low end machine
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2015, 11:06:55 am »
Pet,

Could you attach a savegame that is slow to load? I'd like to take a look on the current state.

-geever

Offline pete conway

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Re: UFO:AI on a low end machine
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2015, 01:55:36 pm »
Not sure if this is what you want geever, but I'll attempt to attach the save to this,

As ever Pete.
(I lost an e last time)

Offline anonymissimus

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Re: UFO:AI on a low end machine
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2016, 08:46:27 pm »
I like to scrape together pieces from the waste and build usable PCs from it.
So this machine has hardware from about 2004: An AMD Athlon XP 2800+, 1 GB RAM and a Radeon 9200 graphics card, Lubuntu 16.04. I tuned the performance settings down as far as I could. I have yet to actually play more than some test turns, but even an alien base, which is about the largest map I intend to play, works sufficiently well enough so that it's probably fun to play. Again, map size is the most important factor. Please do not increase map sizes indirectly by all of these assemblies - I usually deactivate some of the most problematic ones. What would also help greatly is an option to deactivate the "continuos animations" such as the soldier images, smoke and fire. Couldn't there be just static images, without any impact on playability ?
I got some memory allocation exceptions when I had swap deactivated; memory usage was at 900MB or so and swap at 350MB or so otherwise. I also had firefox open though, which uses usually something like 200-300MB. So maybe minimum RAM for UFO:AI should be 768MB.
The fact that individual processor clocks do no longer increase since about 10 years really helps old hardware to stay useful, since so many software cannot utilize multiple cores.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2016, 08:53:27 pm by anonymissimus »