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Horrible frames. Getting frustrated.

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3 minutes ago, rocketman said:

I'm just taking the devs word for it. Maybe all the resources needed for the simulation is at hand all the time, even when paused. Just guessing...

CM does simulate some things to a deeper level than many big popular games. It's mostly about the spotting, and that's a key part of what makes the game interesting. But that's done in cycles, not continually.

And I think most of the work is done when you press "end turn" anyway. That little bar that fills up before you see the replay of the turn.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, rocketman said:

That there is pretty much the wet dream of this entire community. Who knows, maybe they are secretly working on an entirely new engine all along and one day we will be pleasantly surprised.

To be honest I hope they don't work on a new engine. Unless their simulation code is somewhat tightly coupled with rendering engine at low level, it would be a waste of time. Licensing Unity/Unreal would cost less. There are available technologies like Speedtree which make things much easier/faster. What is probably an obstacle is that code base is quite old and only a few people know it well enough to port it to modern tech.

Btw the game uses about 15% of my CPU on average and about 20% of GPU. Anecdotal data, if I have time I'll do proper analysis for fun.

The plus is it should run on virtually anything.

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In July 2018 Steve posted something about game engines which I'm paraphrasing below: 

Eventually we will have a new game engine.  Obviously it will be written with contemporary technology in mind and won't be OpenGL as we view it as a dead end.  It will also benefit from 20 years of experience with how best to simulate tactical warfare on a computer.  It's only a matter of when, not if.   

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I play the game with average 60 fps sometimes dropping to 35 fps. I also can use reshade crazy like hell without any losses of fps.

My settings are:

3D Model Quality: Balanced (thats important!)
3D Texture Quality: Best
Antialiasing and V-Sync on in the game settings

I found that the nvidia settings are critical too for a good performance. When I use my graphic card settings for Antialiasing or Supersampling etc, then I lose about 20 fps. All my games have these settings (others not mentioned are default):

Anisotropic Filtering: 16x
OPGL Rendering: My graphic card
Power Management Mode: Maximum
Texture Filtering: High Quality
Lod Bias: Clamp
Trilinear Optimization: On
Vertical Synchronization: fast

My System: i7-8700k, 16GB RAM, GTX 1080 TI, SSD Drive, Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
 

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4 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

You have a CPU with 6 cores by any chance?

Some neglect to consider that a single core is only ever used... I've found little reason to swap my older CPU because of this.

I now have a dedicated 5+ years old PC running all my CM toys. The re's only so much a GPU will do for you and any card available 3-4 years does the job. The biggest consideration when it comes to GPU is whether to go Nvidia or AMD. While, I'm an AMD owner, I'd recommend Nvidia to avoid basic known issues concerning the in-game Shaders.

Edited by Howler

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2 hours ago, Howler said:

While, I'm an AMD owner, I'd recommend Nvidia to avoid basic known issues concerning the in-game Shaders.

I'm using Nvidia and seeing shadows flicker on and off depending on camera angle (which also changes the lighting of the scene), and even shadows going in the direction of the sun instead of away from it. I wonder how the shaders would behave if I had an AMD based machine? :)

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21 minutes ago, Reverend Crass said:
7 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

You have a CPU with 6 cores by any chance?

Yeah. 15% CPU is approx one core, you know what I am about here :)

And since CM is only using one core* that's nearly maxed out.

* There are a few places where multiple cores are used but that is during loading and initializing not during play - from what we have been told.

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13 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

I'm using Nvidia and seeing shadows flicker on and off depending on camera angle (which also changes the lighting of the scene), and even shadows going in the direction of the sun instead of away from it. I wonder how the shaders would behave if I had an AMD based machine? :)

The flickering/lighting is to be expected to some extent given the free moving camera we enjoy. The only time it's really an issue for me is when I'm trying to pose a screenshot. Otherwise, I simply shift the camera position over a little.

My two pet AMD peeves are: 1) hit decals only show with shaders ON (white dots/holes when OFF) and; 2) depth buffer access is broken which precludes the use of certain interesting shaders under ReShade. I suspect, given the resources available, the effort is concentrated in at least ensuring in-game shaders render properly with Nvidia rather than AMD when both/all isn't possible. Which, I find to be perfectly understandable given the relative market shares.

 

 

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On 12/19/2018 at 2:38 AM, DeutschRitter said:

I play the game with average 60 fps sometimes dropping to 35 fps. I also can use reshade crazy like hell without any losses of fps.

3D Model Quality: Balanced (thats important!)

I also keep the 3D Model setting by default on "balanced" or "improved". On a powerful computer and forest heavy maps it perhaps makes sense to go for one step further with "better" if one want to trade fps for distant tree draw distance.

However I never use the highest 3D Model settings in any Combat Mission title as it will severely disrupt FPS even on the most powerful machines without providing much if any visual improvement - at least for my eyes. 

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3 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

I don't see why those two things should be connected?

They are in the sense that it is simpler to efficiently produce a shader for a fixed camera position. The costs are in-game FPS and programing effort.  Personally, I'd prefer that they make it perfect for CM3 rather than spend scarce resources in an area so well supplemented by an open sourced post-processor such as ReShade.

I dunno. I only play a graphics expert on TV...

Have you tried ReShade to address your issue? It's a windows only solution but it goes a long way towards modernizing the look. It's most effective when used on older titles such as the CM2 family of products which can benefit (quite easily!) from the 'free' man-hours of effects contributors.

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DeutschRitter's advice is excellent.

One other tip that I've very recently discovered is to use an older version of "Razer Cortex" to "boost" & optimize your system whilst playing Combat Mission.

https://game-booster.soft32.com/old-version/

Newer versions of Razer will also "boost" CM... but they unfortunately also disable Reshade. The older versions allow both to run.

Since adopting this technique I'm running about as fast as DeutschRitter... however I have a far inferior machine, an old i5, a 1050 Ti & 8GB of RAM.

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I have, though not the old version but the new. I can't say conclsively that it helps or how much as I haven't done dedicated tests. But my impression is that it helps, especially in larger unit dense scenarios with weather effects added. It is quite easy to use. The only drawback is that some programs that you run might get reset to their starting point, like Acrobat Reader and iTunes.

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Adding to DeutschRitters excellent advice, I've made a number of discoveries over the past few weeks. I thought I'd share them, in case others were also unaware of these things.

(1) "Adaptive half refresh rate", on your Nvidia profile, does give excellent & smooth gaming in almost all conditions HOWEVER it also tricks the game into thinking your system is struggling. As a result, Combat Mission will reduce the size of your high quality "visual bubble". I ran a test using the Demo, the Marines Assault scenario & a set location (the Engineer HQ).

On Balanced@1080p, I could get a 320m "bubble" around my position using FAST V-sync. At Half-adaptive refresh rate V-sync this would decrease to a little over a hundred meters (in one test I managed to get it down to 75m by using very powerful AA settings!).

This shrinkage can of course be countered by upping your 3D Model-Quality... however this will decrease your half-adaptive frame rates even further.

(2) I found it was best to turn off AA on everything... your in-game setting & your graphics card profile. Indeed I pretty much just have FAST Vsync & Triple buffering on my CM profile now. I only need AA when I'm getting "down in the trenches" & then I can use reshade to turn on my viewing effects (which come with AA) with the press of a button.

(3) I found using Hi-res mods or "movie mode" had little impact on the high quality visual bubble... maybe 20m here & there. My version 3.4.1 Reshade also had little effect on the bubble... although, strangely, I did seem to notice a visual bubble impact with 4.1.0.

(4) Screen resolution also effected the visual bubble... playing at 1800p, for me, leads to a ~220m bubble (on balanced).

(5) The in-game 'Fast' 3d Model quality setting appears to have some kind of built-in 'half-adaptive rate'. I think it's designed to keep your fps as close to 30 as possible... at least for most of the time.

Edited by 37mm

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1 hour ago, 37mm said:

(2) I found it was best to turn off AA on everything... your in-game setting & your graphics card profile. Indeed I pretty much just have FAST Vsync & Triple buffering on my CM profile now. I only need AA when I'm getting "down in the trenches" & then I can use reshade to turn on my viewing effects (which come with AA) with the press of a button.

Excellent post. As an AMD user, I too have been doing this recently save for keeping the V-Sync on. On my monitor (60Hz) this is a 60 FPS limit with V-Sync enabled which is adequate. ReShade provides my AA exclusively. I'm finding the larger maps more responsive.

I'm setup as Best/Best with Tree Details set to low.

Edited by Howler

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2 hours ago, 37mm said:

Adding to DeutschRitters excellent advice, I've made a number of discoveries over the past few weeks. I thought I'd share them, in case others were also unaware of these things.

(1) "Adaptive half refresh rate", on your Nvidia profile, does give excellent & smooth gaming in almost all conditions HOWEVER it also tricks the game into thinking your system is struggling. As a result, Combat Mission will reduce the size of your high quality "visual bubble". I ran a test using the Demo, the Marines Assault scenario & a set location (the Engineer HQ).

On Balanced@1080p, I could get a 320m "bubble" around my position using FAST V-sync. At Half-adaptive refresh rate V-sync this would decrease to a little over a hundred meters (in one test I managed to get it down to 75m by using very powerful AA settings!).

This shrinkage can of course be countered by upping your 3D Model-Quality... however this will decrease your half-adaptive frame rates even further.

(2) I found it was best to turn off AA on everything... your in-game setting & your graphics card profile. Indeed I pretty much just have FAST Vsync & Triple buffering on my CM profile now. I only need AA when I'm getting "down in the trenches" & then I can use reshade to turn on my viewing effects (which come with AA) with the press of a button.

(3) I found using Hi-res mods or "movie mode" had little impact on the high quality visual bubble... maybe 20m here & there. My version 3.4.1 Reshade also had little effect on the bubble... although, strangely, I did seem to notice a visual bubble impact with 4.1.0.

(4) Screen resolution also effected the visual bubble... playing at 1800p, for me, leads to a ~220m bubble (on balanced).

(5) The in-game 'Fast' 3d Model quality setting appears to have some kind of built-in 'half-adaptive rate'. I think it's designed to keep your fps as close to 30 as possible... at least for most of the time.

After reading your post, I suddenly realise why I'm seeing the game often studder to re-draw the graphics. It's caused by fluctuating frame rates, making the game turn the detail level up and down continually to compensate. Unfortunately, this causes a lag/stutter every time the detail level changes !

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4 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

After reading your post, I suddenly realise why I'm seeing the game often studder to re-draw the graphics. It's caused by fluctuating frame rates, making the game turn the detail level up and down continually to compensate. Unfortunately, this causes a lag/stutter every time the detail level changes !

Yes, exactly.

Half-adaptive refresh rate has worked so well for so long primarily by hamstringing CM so that it moves more gradually at a slower frame rate.

However that effect can be readily recreated just by going down to 'fast 3d Model quality' (the resultant bubble sizes were similliar IIRC).

As far as I can tell most of the '3d Model Quality' settings only effect the size of your bubble anyway (although I do notice the Vehicles/infantry start loosing their ancillary gear when you go down to faster or fastest).

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6 hours ago, Howler said:

Excellent post. As an AMD user, I too have been doing this recently save for keeping the V-Sync on. On my monitor (60Hz) this is a 60 FPS limit with V-Sync enabled which is adequate. ReShade provides my AA exclusively. I'm finding the larger maps more responsive.

I'm setup as Best/Best with Tree Details set to low.

I have to admit I'm seeing no effect whatsoever for low tree detail... the tree's always shake in the wind, no matter the setting or model quality. Even so, I too have it set on 'low'.... just in case.

I found that 'Best' 3d model quality only got you about an extra 100m on your bubble (on FAST Vsync) to ~420m@1080p. Although it did 'repair' most of the visual bubble on Half adaptive back to ~370m). It did this at the cost of a vast increase (sometimes an eight fold increase) in your "draw calls" & a consequent decrease to your fps rates.

As DeutschRitter, and now myself, advise the 'balanced' 3d Model quality is by far the most cost efficient setting. Although 'Improved' is also pretty cheap & (especially on half adaptive) increases your bubble size almost as significantly as 'Best'.

Keep the Texture quality on 'Best' though... I think every Modern graphics card can easily cope with that.

 

PS

Just in case anyone is unaware, you can change your 3d Model Quality setting in game with Shift+[ & Shift+].

Edited by 37mm

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4 hours ago, 37mm said:

As DeutschRitter, and now myself, advise the 'balanced' 3d Model quality is by far the most cost efficient setting. Although 'Improved' is also pretty cheap & (especially on half adaptive) increases your bubble size almost as significantly as 'Best'.

Wow, what a difference this makes. From a fixed camera position: 15FPS on balanced; 12 FPS on improved; and 10 FPS on Best. Vsync on.

Exited game and set Vsync to OFF. I get 18 /18/ 12.

Configuration: Windows 7,  Radeon 18.11, CMSF2 v2.01 (in-game Shaders ON) and, ReShade 4.1.

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1 hour ago, Howler said:

Wow, what a difference this makes. From a fixed camera position: 15FPS on balanced; 12 FPS on improved; and 10 FPS on Best. Vsync on.

Exited game and set Vsync to OFF. I get 18 /18/ 12.

Configuration: Windows 7,  Radeon 18.11, CMSF2 v2.01 (in-game Shaders ON) and, ReShade 4.1.

1 Yeah, Vsync is probably not needed at all at such frame-rates.

How was the "detailed visual bubble" for you at the three settings?

I'd be interested to know how your system responds to the 'fast' 3d Model quality setting (will it drop details in an effort to get to 30 fps)?

May I ask what CPU/Graphics card you're using?

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9 minutes ago, 37mm said:

1 Yeah, Vsync is probably not needed at all at such frame-rates.

How was the "detailed visual bubble" for you at the three settings?

I'd be interested to know how your system responds to the 'fast' 3d Model quality setting (will it drop details in an effort to get to 30 fps)?

May I ask what CPU/Graphics card you're using?

It's an AMD HD7850 (2GB) installed ~6 years ago. I never bothered to disable vsync for that reason so, I was surprised to see that it improved slightly when I turned it off. 

Running from a fix (stationary) camera position (#2) on a large map (Bridgehead at Kharalyk) using CMBS v2.00 I get:

18 FPS / 55ms on balanced;

17 FPS/ 60ms on improved; and

7 FPS / 110ms on best.

Using ReShade 4.02 with slightly different presets from the CMSF2 post reported above which is why I added the frame time in ms.

My bubble is smaller than what you report but I put that down to Nvidia vis AMD.

I have to say that as soon as I zoom or move the camera - the FPS shoots up to 35+. The play is always responsive once AA is turned off as described in your previous post. I chose a fix camera position to eliminate that a variance. Further, changing the model detail while in game skews the number. I've had faster renders at every setting when you set the detail in the option menu then load the save game.

Finally, the load times aren't effected. I'll go back to using CMSF2 and report findings on 'FAST'. Keep in mind that I also have a slow CPU. It's the relative differences in FPS count at the various 3D model settings that I find striking. In my case it's a significant drop from 'balanced' to 'best' across both titles.

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