Low FPS - Windows 8(.1)

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Low FPS - Windows 8(.1)

Postby Justinian » 27 Aug 2014 00:49

Greetings, long time no see, here on forum! [Last visit was: 16 Apr 2013 20:59] :?

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Two weekends ago, I returned and played my first official GC battle, for the first time this year, since November 2013. Last year wasn't neither eventful in terms of playing...The major problem that prevented me from occasionally playing GC has appeared since I got and installed Windows 8 at the start of 2013.

Playing Ground Control on Win8(.1) is troubled by low frame rate problems on quite powerful config - i7 3770k OC'd, 8GB ram and Radeon 7970. Here is my situation - I enter game and in the main menu, according to the fraps, I am having 32-33fps. Entering battle and playing various combat situation results in having average about 23-25 fps, while it sometimes at worst, goes down to about 13fps minimum. That overall framerate is somewhat poorly playable, but far from beign enjoyable and fluid as it should be for proper gaming.

Playing GC via gameranger and online only brings worse situation. Framerate is about twice less - completley unplayable. And that happens not only while in stressful battles as some would think - that's scenario when I solo and alone start the game via gameranger with no other players connected - I just tested it about week ago, when in the mean time, certain Marcos poped up and started bothering me to play despite my warnings that I am testing only...
So, fps while in main menu is struggling - about 20fps, and to make it worse, it has terrible stuttering and jerkiness. Entering combat makes game completley unplayable with average fps about 12-14 fps. I experinced that when I played back in November 2013 - somehow I managed to finish battle, I was masochist enough to do so...

In order to solve that, I tried many things - from changing compatibly mode setting for various OS, settings run as admin on gc.exe to changing processor cores afinity, killing explorer.exe process in the background, and many others processes as well, turning on/off some things in bios (such as hyper threading, VT-x), Hyper-V (as it is stated on certain forum as possible solution), turning off Data Execution prevention for GC.exe, tried to reinstall DirectX 9 redistutable... and who knows what else...

But, before trying all of that, my first thought was about AMD (radeon) drivers, which could be causing problem... Then I switched to the integrated graphic card as primary one - Intel HD4000, which is a part of i3770k cpu. Nothing great, but easily able to play most of PS3 era games on decent settings. Running GC on integrated gpu showed identical performance - main menu about 33fps, in game avg 24 fps! After that I decided to test GC on another Windows 8 powered machine - my friend had Intel i5 3570k and nVidia geforce gtx 460, we tested on it, and it was exactly the same case with performance as in previous two situations.

I exhausted all ideas and choices, and I found very soon, which was obvious, that low fps on Windows 8(.1) is caused because Ground Control is using DirectX 7... And any other older game based on directx7 (for example Midtown Madness2), direct draw acceleration (Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood), is having devastating performance, unplayable performance.

Despite beign compatible with dx7 titles, Win8 and 8.1 (it features dx11.2)has probably, as some speculate, something bugged/or missing, and it is causing that problem, which I am not competent to think about.

Those two topics are disscusing about this issue, very constructive discussions. Take a look, if interested:

windows 8 warning for old games
DirectX 7.0a game on Windows 8 slow

Then suddenly by mere accident, I have found some kind of fix! It is based on technic by using ''stick and rope'', as here in my country would be said. As I mentioned, I am having two video cards. My primary monitor is connected on Radeon, while another one is hooked up to the integrated video card, to reduce Radeon of any stress. I am using extended desktop option, so working area is streching on two monitors. I can freely move icons, windowses from one to another, from left to right and vice versa.

So, while using that extended desktop mode, and having two monitors connected on two separate video cards each, and running GC.exe I am able to get locked-on, fully playable 60fps! Unlike desktop, 3D aplications run on only one monitor.

For playing on my primary monitor, I select radeon gpu as primary render API in video mode! Other monitor is just idling and showing desktop wallpaper. I tried doing same thing by connecting two monitors on only one video card, but that didn't work. In order to run GC.exe on Windows 8 you need two video cards and two montiors :P This isn't end of my novel - by using that procedure, single player GC is 100% playable! Unfortunatley, running it via gameranger, grants yet again twice less fps :( So in main menu I am having about 30fps, but unlike in first situation without ''fix'' in singleplayer, it is stuttering heavily, mouse pointer is very jerky! I was able to overcome that by setting sensitivity to very high...
Playing battle averages about 24fps, hitting even min 13fps... Therefore, Ground Control is somewhat playable while using that fix for multiplayer battles :/

Any comments or opinions would be welcome, cause it may concern GC future...
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Re: Low FPS - Windows 8(.1)

Postby Satch » 28 Aug 2014 22:16

I can't help you except to sympathise and say that I have exactly the same issue (latest version of Windows 8 and a high spec system) and I'm not really sure there is a solution to the low FPS. By tweaking and experimenting with various things you've listed in your post I can get GC running fairly well in standalone/single player, although as soon as you run GC via Gameranger things become really problematic performance-wise.

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Re: Low FPS - Windows 8(.1)

Postby Justinian » 27 Dec 2014 17:56

After last long post, I was really a speechless and without ideas, so time to say thanks to Satch for his comment and support ;)

At least for me nowdays, problems with running GC on Windows 8.1 via gameranger has been completely solved. I implemented 1.1 version of solution, based on previous one. Unfortunately, laptop/notebook users and those with only one gpu in dekstop PC, can't use it...

Still, two graphic cards are needed in order to force 60fps and remove heavy stuttering and low fps. But, only one monitor with at least two input ports is needed. Instead of connecting two monitors, I connected my primary monitor Dell
U2312hm on Radeon card via DisplayPort connection (similiar to HDMI) and as well the same monitor to the integrated GPU by using DVI. That makes OS ''thinking'' it has two monitors connected.

Key to the solution is to set EXTENDED DESKTOP mode, which can be set on by right click on dekstop, screen resolution, multiple displays: Extend these displays. Otherwise, it won't work at all (low fps will be encountered)! GC has
option to choose graphic adapters - set primary one (in my case Radeon via DisplayPort).

The MAIN DIFFERENCE between previous and this solution, will be explained at next point. As I said in previous post, using fix makes GC 60fps in singleplayer, but while starting it via GameRanger brings 40fps, and bad stuttering, jerky mouse etc. Playable but not fully enjoyable and suitable for focused play. Using ONE MONITOR on two GPU, YET AGAIN suffers variable ` 40fps stuttering , thanks to the GameRanger, but that is TEMPORARY unlike in previous method - FIX is tested and confirmed 5-6 times, totaly CRAZY and not explainable.

When you enter game it will stutter, 40fps, then go to the multiplayer, local area network, don't join game room, or if it joins automatically, disscontect, go clicking something else, such as mulitplayer option, refresh, even go back to main menu, click again multiplayer, some option etc, repeat. Few clicks more and somehow after that chaotic, but short procedure, STUTTERING and 40fps is GONE, it switches to LOCKED ON 60fps and all is set to flawless play!!! WEIRD! :idea: Straight going to the game room without that procedure and starting the game will keep you at bad fps.

If explanation sounds a little bit confusing, I might even post a video recorded example of procedure if there are requests.. So to summarize, and repeat - the problem is faced generally on all Directx 7 games (GC as well) on Windows
8.1. Playing on extended mode is the key, it somehow bypasses or forces something to make it work. What is really problem and explanation under the hub and hood is probably to be found in directx implementation, OS things, which is currently beyond me...
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Re: Low FPS - Windows 8(.1)

Postby Justinian » 06 Aug 2015 16:32

Windows 8.1 is dead, long live Windows 10 ! Few days ago, I installed Win10, and it was about time to test Ground Control as well. Confirmed, it works 100% with locked on 60FPS 8-) No reasons to use some of crazy ''fixes'' anymore. Microsoft probably fixed those compatibility issues with pre DirectX 8 versions. I couldn't test it via Game Ranger alone, but I hope it won't be causing any problems.

That issues and things might not concern majority of players here, but if we want Ground Control to endure the flow of time and burdens of age :mrgreen: , one of required things for it, is to be supported on the new systems, as well! Thanks to the Windows 10, that might be the case!

I am looking forward to catch up with you in upcoming battles ;)
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Re: Low FPS - Windows 8(.1)

Postby Admiral Ghat » 06 Aug 2015 23:51

Thank goodness for that. :o I was telling people over the weekend I didn't want to be the first one to take the plunge only to find out bad news, so thanks for being the guinea pig! Hope to see you in action again next week (though as you say, will need to test with Gameranger).

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Re: Low FPS - Windows 8(.1)

Postby Sarvik » 07 Aug 2015 11:24

Good old "skip every other Windows" proves its worth once again. :D

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Re: Low FPS - Windows 8(.1)

Postby shpooky » 07 Aug 2015 17:45

got windows 10 did not see if ground control works on it yet but now i know thanks!
i only work in cyan and sometimes really really bright blue :D so bright it burns your eyes!!!!!

(if you have any questions don't be afraid to PM me or you can contact me via email ddavidshpak@aol.com)

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Re: Low FPS - Windows 8(.1)

Postby Ninja_Prime52 » 09 Aug 2015 04:46

Only just got the W10 update, GC works fine on it :)
BTW welcome back!!!
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Re: Low FPS - Windows 8(.1)

Postby shpooky » 20 Aug 2015 03:07

gc looks even better on windows 10 praise Microsoft!
i only work in cyan and sometimes really really bright blue :D so bright it burns your eyes!!!!!

(if you have any questions don't be afraid to PM me or you can contact me via email ddavidshpak@aol.com)

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