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Old 09-13-2017, 11:44 PM   #1
WeeGeez
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Default Got embedded graphics in CPU? participants needed

Hello,

I'm after volunteers, anyone with either an Intel CPU (with built in HD /Iris Graphics) or AMD (APU chip)...

Pre-amble: Mobo graphics have more recently migrated to within CPUs to become CPU+iGPU; its now less common for motherboards to come with onboard video. When these processors are added to a compatible board, the graphics unit is enabled. It can be turned off in the event a dedicated video is present.

In some cases both can be used simultaneously in ATI Dual Graphics arrangement. When 'Dual graphics' was introduced it only supported DX10/11 games. BF2 is DX9, however according to here its said there that updates since have added DX9 support (I can't confirm this). APU and counterpart ATI cards must match i.e. A10 Card + A10 processor. See compatibility chart. "AMD Hybrid Graphics" is the another, older but similar technique which paired motherboards onboard chips with cards, pre-APU era - Its less restricted WRT pairing (chart).

Now to my question. This isn't a 'recommend system?' thread.
I'm doing R&D for the community on lowest cost PR capable systems (high settings, frame rate, portable). I'd like to conduct a small test (in blue). It may prove ineffective for me to buy components and delivery just to do this and so this is why turn to the forum for help. So if anyone has a iGPU and is willing to help please do.

Guinea pigs; if one has a dedicated graphics card and the iGPU turned off then this is OK but whats more preferable is if you don't already have a GFX card installed, as this saves going into BIOS, disabling card, swapping monitor cables and what-not. A secondary non-gaming machine with a iGPU is ideal, because one could just install PR onto it just for this test. The processor should be ~3Ghz but this is open to variance (the more benchmarks and participants, the better).

The test
Run PR, using iGPU only and measure the frame rate (fraps?) and note differences, if any, between:
1st measurement: PR run under typical conditions i.e. PR.exe using all CPU cores (may be slow).
2nd measurement: As before but with Core 0 only (i.e. by setting the affinity so that the process is using none but Core 0 in task manager). (is it better?)


I suspect PR under performs on these CPUs under normal conditions (test 1) because the bf2 engine isn't optimized for multi-core; by forcing PR to use only one core makes the rest of the cores available to the graphics portion of the chip.

Just a test eager to see the results. With this info (as a database) the community can better judge minimum requirements to play on a cost/performance ratio basis, without a dedicated card which in turn enables more portable builds.


Premise: Its been almost 12 years since the engine was released and fail to reason why integrated solutions cannot run it that well, when in comparison I could run a 2001 shooter on a budget-budget laptop manufactured late 2005 flawlessly at astonishing speed and so newer technology seems disproportionate.

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Last edited by WeeGeez; 09-27-2017 at 12:54 PM..
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Old 09-14-2017, 05:03 AM   #2
[R-DEV]AlonTavor
PR:BF2 Developer
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Default Re: Got embedded graphics in CPU? participants needed

I've had okayish frames with the onboard of i5-4460 while waiting for 970gtx to price drop. It's using the old Intel GPUs, I think any of the new ones should be more than enough.
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Old 09-14-2017, 01:25 PM   #3
WeeGeez
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Default Re: Got embedded graphics in CPU? participants needed

A second hand i5-4460 is ~ 130GBP / 180USD / 150EUR so not exactly cheap but thanks for the input.

Would you be willing to do the test?

The experiment will help determine the minimum iGPU required for good performance and simultaneously the average price of such, which can be potentially be much lower (if my suspicion is correct) than the cost of a i5-4460. The results of this test has the potential make PR more accessible to 'less affluent' players. In turn this will revitalize the community a little. I have some 'draft' example budget builds lined up but I need to try this test to refine the options more.

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Old 09-14-2017, 02:02 PM   #4
[R-DEV]AlonTavor
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Default Re: Got embedded graphics in CPU? participants needed

Maybe i'll have time next week, I have it disabled in BIOS.
Also PR needs 2 cores. Even though its not optimized for multi-core, it still has some threads work. Context switching is expensive.
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Old 09-14-2017, 02:35 PM   #5
Geronimo

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Default Re: Got embedded graphics in CPU? participants needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by WeeGeez View Post
I suspect PR under performs on these CPUs under normal conditions (test 1) because the bf2 engine isn't optimized for multi-core; by forcing PR to use only one core makes the rest of the cores available to the graphics portion of the chip.
Thats not how integrated GPUs work.
This is what the die of an i5-4460 looks like (or any haswell quad core):



As you can see the GPU is a seperate part of the die. So it doesn't need the cores to do any work.
All the iGPU needs is as much memory bandwidth as possible. This is why they scale really well with fast RAM, ideally in Dual Channel mode.


To answer your question:
Back when my gtx 970 died I ran PR for a while with the hd4600 of my 4690k. I used 16gb of ddr3 @2400mhz in Dual Channel mode and overclocked the iGPU from 1200 to 1300mhz.
So my configuration was as good as it gets for haswell integrated graphics, yet the ingame performance was still shit. While I was able to get 79fps on Fallujah (local server, empty, standing still on the mosque and looking towards gas station) the more demanding stuff for the GPU like zooming through smoke and looking at tall grass (common on Yamalia when you are gunner in a smoked up LAV) sent me down to as low as 10fps. Frame pacing was also bad.

In terms of graphics settings I noticed that only resolution and anti-aliasing made a tangible difference in terms of performance. The fps numbers above are @1080p with no AA btw.

Newer Skylake and Kaby Lake iGPUs might be a bit better although I don't have any experience with them yet. But if you look at this video for example it doesn't look much better for them.

So in conclusion I really recommend a dedicated GPU for PR.

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Old 09-14-2017, 06:06 PM   #6
WeeGeez
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Default Re: Got embedded graphics in CPU? participants needed

Marketing illustrations rarely represents reality, those cores at minimum be involved in bussing things around. You've skipped the essence of the thread anyway which is to do measurements.

If you dedicate one core to the game (which is not optimized for multi-core) then this potentially can improve performance. Until measurements, its all speculation.

I agree with you on resolution and AA - I actually didn't consider res. in my 2005 title example.
As for dedicated GPUs (some 20GBP for a more than capable GT 240).

Most important is if there is even a marginal-lest of difference between having all cores enabled contrast to just one.

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Old 09-14-2017, 06:26 PM   #7
WeeGeez
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Default Re: Got embedded graphics in CPU? participants needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by [R-DEV]AlonTavor View Post
Maybe I'll have time next week, I have it disabled in BIOS.
Also PR needs 2 cores. Even though its not optimized for multi-core, it still has some threads work. Context switching is expensive.
I am glad. Interesting what you say about PR needing 2 cores... I always thought EA patched vbf2 to accommodate multi core support but theres conflicting statements on this, mostly archived. Perhaps PRBF2.exe works different...


but still ...Ze Teste!!

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Old 09-16-2017, 06:07 AM   #8
[R-DEV]AlonTavor
PR:BF2 Developer
PR Server License Moderator
Default Re: Got embedded graphics in CPU? participants needed

You can't make logic run on multiple cores without basically rewriting it from scratch. Good multi threading requires careful human engineering, It's not some checkbox you need to tick and hit compile and suddenly everything runs better.

Game has threads for sound and maybe network. If you make it run on a single core that single core will have to constantly context switch every millisecond. Its extra overhead.
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Old 09-16-2017, 03:17 PM   #9
WeeGeez
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Default Re: Got embedded graphics in CPU? participants needed

You're giving conflicting ideas,
"BF2 can't just be patched to accommodate multi core"
and
"Game has threads for sound and maybe network.



Its speculative whether freeing up unused cores in a CGPU can help, I could be wrong... but its worth a try.

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Old 09-17-2017, 09:06 AM   #10
[R-DEV]rPoXoTauJIo
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Default Re: Got embedded graphics in CPU? participants needed

Just did a quick run on internal gpu for lulz.
My spec is i7-6700HQ CPU, and GTX 960M.
Joined lashkar, spawnscreen ~50fps, GER mainbase 40-80fps depending on view. What actually drops fps a lot is effects. Single smoke nade infront of screen dropped fps to 18-20.

Similar effect i had back in time when had PC with 9800GTX+ with only 512mb memory, low effects used less dedicated GPU memory and therefor there's was no transfer between RAM and GPURAM, while with high effects enabled it's quickly had ll GPURAM eaten and started using system RAM, which is obviously veeeeery slow.
One of theory i have is that yet iGPU already uses system RAM, it's still virtually separated block from system used RAM, therefor when it's not enough to fit all the stuff inside it(usually ~128mb locked for iGPU), it's transfers data inside, causing unnecessary delays. In this way, one of possible solutions would be to somehow increase amount of memory(to ~1gb), dedicated to iGPU, and test how it would run. Someday will do, but not today
Quote:
Originally Posted by WeeGeez View Post
You're giving conflicting ideas,
"BF2 can't just be patched to accommodate multi core"
and
"Game has threads for sound and maybe network.
Those are I\O, they always too slow for realtime, so even before 2005 already were threaded.
What alon speaking about is physics and render parts. While it's pretty hard to make physics threaded in steplock environment which is realtime networked FPS games by nature(https://gafferongames.com/categories/networked-physics/, Quake 3 Source Code Review: Network Model - those are articles you'd want to read), render allows some degree of parallelization. Which weren't been used back in time.
However, specific problem of bf2 engine is that it doesn't batch objects on scene(grozny(1, 2) is good example of poor performance) like modern engines do(gta5). Nvidia batch doc already had mentioned it in 2001.

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