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Imagination Technologies

Geforce 6800 - the next generation

RSC was initially released for the Xbox and later on for the PC. It has been one of my favourite racing games ever since and I’ve been playing it so far on three different platforms up until today.

With each upgrade I have been able to both scale in game settings and resolutions ever since, so the challenge in this case would be if the game remains playable in it’s maximum 1600*1200 resolution with all in game settings set the absolute maximum on the current setup.

I maximized all in game settings and used through the driver control panel, 4xAA/16xAF (quality). I measured performance from start to finish line (one round) with FRAPS, in one of each map genre and the results are as follows:

Safari SS1
Frames: 7402 - Time: 200282ms - Avg: 36.957 - Min: 21 - Max: 60

Pacific SS1
Frames: 3311 - Time: 93234ms - Avg: 35.512 - Min: 22 - Max: 56

Mediterranean SS1
Frames: 4566 - Time: 113140ms - Avg: 40.357 - Min: 22 - Max: 62

Vista Peak Base
Frames: 6069 - Time: 164703ms - Avg: 36.848 - Min: 23 - Max: 67

Mt.Kiwi Base
Frames: 4113 - Time: 136594ms - Avg: 30.111 - Min: 14 - Max: 64

Koenig Base
Frames: 4224 - Time: 139422ms - Avg: 30.296 - Min: 17 - Max: 48

North Hill Circuit
Frames: 1854 - Time: 56265ms - Avg: 32.951 - Min: 24 - Max: 57

Frost Ridge 1
Frames: 2284 - Time: 56000ms - Avg: 40.785 - Min: 29 - Max: 79

Lake Bauer Short
Frames: 2835 - Time: 63047ms - Avg:44.966 - Min: 26 - Max: 72

Lake Point Ring
Frames: 2785 - Time: 73266ms - Avg: 38.012 - Min: 21 - Max: 63

Deer Park GP
Frames: 2653 - Time: 60531ms - Avg: 43.828 - Min: 26 - Max: 70

Petersfield FF
Frames: 1912 - Time: 61906ms - Avg: 30.885

Maps like Koenig Base (or those that basically presented a few minor stutters) caught my attention, as there seemed to be something wrong there. I tried to lower the resolution to 1280*1024, yet much to my surprise the resulting performance was far from being acceptable and a lot worse than in 1600. Instead of a few stutters, in that resolution the game is constantly dropping occasionally to single digit framerates, in order to recover for a short while and then it’ll start again. No difference in 1024*768 either. The fact that it leads to only minor stutters during gameplay in 1600*1200, would lead me to guess that there’s some sort of framelock going on , that mostly affects the CPU (or even the GPU/CPU parallelism).

I recorded a small sequence in 1280*1024 (Koenig Base) with Lens Flares on, via FRAPS’ per second framerate logging function and it looked like this:

RSC is up to a specific degree CPU limited too, which of course gets minimized in a very high resolution like 1600*1200. I then switched off just the Lens Flares in the game settings and not only was the game now playable under all resolutions, yet the minor stutters in 16*12 were eliminated.

Note that the problem doesn’t appear in all but in some selected maps. I tested those again, Koenig Base amongst others and one of the worst case scenarios. Here are the results with Lens Flares switched off this time, all other settings being identical as in the tests above:

Koenig Base - w/o Lens Flare
Frames: 5061 - Time: 146016ms - Avg: 34.660 - Min: 22 - Max: 57

That’s a rough 14% performance increase.

I did search for an official patch for the game, yet couldn’t find anything. Frankly it’s only a minor issue in my opinion, since the Lens Flare implementation of the game is something I can live without by far. It’s far from being anything special or worth mentioning.

I also tested the game without FRAPS enabled, to ensure that it problem doesn’t originate from a 3rd party application, yet the behaviour with Lens Flares enabled persisted.

To come back to the question whether the challenge I mentioned earlier has been met, the answer for me is yes. Especially since the Lens Flare problem doesn’t seem to be restricted to one platform only and it’s not relevant to the used 16*12 resolution (rather the exact opposite in the given case).

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 Geforce 6800 - the next genera...
 17 Seiten
 verfasst von Ailuros
 Donnerstag - 26.08.2004 - 18:20 Uhr
[1]  Introduction & Systemsetup
[2]  Antialiasing & Anisotropic Filt...
[3]  2. Anisotropic filtering
[4]  Synthetic Applications
[5]  F1 2002
[6]  Rallisport Challenge
[7]  Serious Sam: The Second Encount...
[8]  Need For Speed: Underground
[9]  Unreal Tournament 2004
[10]  Far Cry
[11]  Hybrid Super-/Multisampling Mod...
[12]  Hybrid Super-/Multisampling Mod...
[13]  2D, DVD / VIDEO Playback
[14]  Summary
[15]  Softmode
[16]  doom3
[17]  DVD