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jpinard

Operation Arrowhead performance optimizations/comparisons

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====note====

Do NOT use the latest NVidia beta drivers. They break the in-game anistropic filtering.

====note====

As some had already mentioned there's a performance hit in Operation Arrowhead. Not just in Takistan, but also running Chernarus/Utes missions with the OA launcher. This thread is to help people get performance closer to vanilla ArmA2 1.07. Some may wonder why Chenarus would run slightly slower with OA than Vanilla ArmA2. The reasons I can identify are below:

* OA allows us to set the audio sample number. By default it is 32. ArmA2 only allowed 16. ~cpu hit.

* Graphic additions to the game. These include SSAO Post Processing, extra camera shake, muzzle flash, and a host of other improvements. ~graphic card hit.

* Armor and ballistics has been overhauled. ~cpu hit

* Game doesn't yet have A2 v1.07 enhancements. ~cpu/graphic hit.

All in all, for a new release the game is in pretty good shape and no doubt when it's upgraded to match A2 v1.07, adds LMA & x64 we'll be flying :)

I'l keep this up-to-date, and if the bold red text (below) is diffcult to read let me know and I'll change it.

--------------------

Performance Tips Below:

--------------------

1. Set Post-processing to Low to somewhat match ArmA2's High PP settings.

2. Stop using a RAM Drive.

3. Don't use maxmem, winxp, cpucount, or exThreads switches if you have a dual-core or quad-core processor.

---edit--- Until BIS gets the OA code up to v1.07 I'm going to suggest people use the following parameters in the launcher:

Dual-Core processor:

-nosplash -cpucount=2 -exThreads=1

Quad-Core processor:

-nosplash -cpucount=4 -exThreads=7

Hexacore processor:

-nosplash -cpucount=6 -exThreads=7

(I'm not sure if the -winxp and -maxmem values are still required for XP users, for most people the answer would be "no")

4. I always suggest gamers turn off Hyper-threading technology (aka HTT) as it almost always decreases game performance. This isn't as necessary now since the game shuts down more than 4 cores and you specify the # to be used above... but I still suggest it be turned off in the BIOS.

5. Turn VSYNC OFF <--- this alone makes at least a 5 fps difference and makes the game much more responsive.

6. Play with "rendered frames ahead" values and match it to your ArmA2 OA config file. (0-8 are valid figures)

7. Windows Vista and Win 7 users - For optimum compatibility make sure you're running as an administrator... Right click the new icon, go to the compatibility tab, check-mark "run as administrator" box. You will need to redo this after Securom sends you SN activation number.

8. NVidia SLI is not working by default. You may need to rename the executable "arma2oa.exe" to something the NVidia card will try and enable SLI for. For example you can trick it by using Crysis name "Crysis.exe" instead of "armaoa.exe". See post #8 for more details :) http://forums.bistudio.com/showpost.php?p=1662345&postcount=8

9. You will need to setup a new graphics executable in your NVidia or ATI/AMD control panel (see example below).

OA_graphic_settings_small.jpg Click for large pic: http://www.jeffpinard.com/OA_graphic_settings.jpg

Edited by jpinard

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thanks. I think I have some ideas on how to improve performance as well - will edit post later.

Edited by Fox '09

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ARMA 2 defaulted to 16 3D audio samples at once

OA defaults to 32 3D audio samples at once and allows to choose from 16 to 128 in steps of 8

2D samples aren't counted into this counter ...

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ARMA 2 defaulted to 16 3D audio samples at once

OA defaults to 32 3D audio samples at once and allows to choose from 16 to 128 in steps of 8

2D samples aren't counted into this counter ...

Fantastic information. Thanks Dwarden.

So for Apples to Apples comparison when an individual using v1.07 ArmA2 graphic settings @ "Very High" and 3500 view distance... in OA you need to:

* Turn audio samples down to 16.

* Turn PP down to Low.

* Match all other settings.

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OK gents,

Ive come to a conclusion here it is "Operation Arrowhead doesn't support SLI yet"

Meaning if you are like me and have a dual GPU card (for example my 9800GX2) then arrowhead is only using 1 where ARMA 2 for me uses both.

For me personally regardless of my setting I always get the same FPS from the benchmark (and in game play) with 1 or 2 GPU'S enabled.

This explains for me anyways why I see most people who say it has an improved FPS have fast SINGLE GPU cards and most people suffering from poor performance have a DUAL GPU card.

Before you ask I have already tried adding the .exe in the nvidia/ATI control panel like the OP says that doesn't seem to help, I'm curious to see if my theory is correct so if your using a dual card switch one of them off via the control panel and then post your results...

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OK gents,

Ive come to a conclusion here it is "Operation Arrowhead doesn't support SLI yet"

Meaning if you are like me and have a dual GPU card (for example my 9800GX2) then arrowhead is only using 1 where ARMA 2 for me uses both.

For me personally regardless of my setting I always get the same FPS from the benchmark (and in game play) with 1 or 2 GPU'S enabled.

This explains for me anyways why I see most people who say it has an improved FPS have fast SINGLE GPU cards and most people suffering from poor performance have a DUAL GPU card.

Before you ask I have already tried adding the .exe in the nvidia/ATI control panel like the OP says that doesn't seem to help, I'm curious to see if my theory is correct so if your using a dual card switch one of them off via the control panel and then post your results...

If it is not using SLI, then you need to rename the executable "arma2oa.exe" to something the NVidia card will try and enable SLI for. For example you can trick it by using Crysis name "Crysis.exe" instead of "armaoa.exe". Usually a dual-gpu card should work fine if you just have the multi-gpu option selected in the Nvidia control panel (that's the way it was for my GTX295 which I no longer have).

Edited by jpinard

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hey guys, try tuning HDRprecision to 0 in your arma2oa config.

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If it is not using SLI, then you need to rename the executable "arma2oa.exe" to something the NVidia card will try and enable SLI for. For example you can trick it by using Crysis name "Crysis.exe" instead of "armaoa.exe". Usually a dual-gpu card should work fine if you just have the multi-gpu option selected in the Nvidia control panel (that's the way it was for my GTX295 which I no longer have).

Thanks mate, i can confirm that this works for me :D i went from getting 20 FPS in the OA benchmark to 43!!, even though I get 50 in the arma2 benchmark I can honestly say that OA is a MUCH SMOOTHER experience then Arma 2. So i guess we should spread the word that renaming the .exe enabled SLI for me. It might not work for everyone but its worth a shot to anyone who is getting poor performance.

BTW those benchmarks were with the following settings;

texture Detail = Very high, all other settings High (including PP), 64 sample rate, View distance 3000, No AA.

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Well,

As I said in the impression / discussion threads for Operation Arrowhead, I'm one of the lucky few to suffer some problems with the game, despite having ArmA II run butter-smooth without any issues.

My settings for the game I've tried to closely match ArmA IIs settings, View distance of about 3000, everything on Very High except for PP, which is on low due to its changes, AA on Disabled and AF on Normal.

Running the benchmark gives me a 35FPS result, which isn't bad but far from acceptable and nothing like the performance in A2.

It isn't just low performance, game seems to suffer from constant micro-stutters that just trickles down and have an adverse effect on everything. In Zargabad it's especially bad, performance is also abysmal - Feels like the computer is struggling bad and sometimes the walk / run animation on the soldier won't even play, he'll just float because the game is too busy trying to render / deal with other issues, it's that bad!

I tried a different driver set ( ATi ) with no effect, I tried defragmenting my drive with 0 effect whatsoever, I tried renaming my .exe to both arma2 and crysis with no effect and now I'm lost for things to try, except waiting for a patch or something.

My specs are following;

Windows 7 64Bit

Core i7 940

ATi 4870X2

6GB DDR3

I solved all my stuttering problems in ArmA II by disabling HT and it's still disabled, with no effect. I'm running the game without extensions, so no -maxmem etc.

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ARMA 2 defaulted to 16 3D audio samples at once

OA defaults to 32 3D audio samples at once and allows to choose from 16 to 128 in steps of 8

2D samples aren't counted into this counter ...

Do you know if the audio-samples are calculated by the cpu only? -Is there a big performance-hit if you choose values like "128"?

-If this is the case-is an extra soundcard (Xfi e.g.) involved in the calculating of it?

I know-questions over questions, but this is a very interesting new feature in OA and I think I´m not the only one whos very interested in it.

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As I said in the impression / discussion threads for Operation Arrowhead, I'm one of the lucky few to suffer some problems with the game, despite having ArmA II run butter-smooth without any issues.

I've got the same problem, ArmA 2 running great, OA, while only margnially slower than ArmA 2, suffers from sudden drops in framerate resp. momentary freezes for half a second every, say 10 to 20 seconds.

My specs are following;

Windows 7 64Bit

Core i7 940

ATi 4870X2

6GB DDR3

Windows 7 64 bit here, too, AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+, and ATI 4850 (no sli). Using Catalyst 10.6 (I'll try 10.3 again tonight, although that means I have to do something about that stupid flash player... meh). Also copied the whole ArmA 2 installation to a different disk, no change.

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Do you know if the audio-samples are calculated by the cpu only? -Is there a big performance-hit if you choose values like "128"?

-If this is the case-is an extra soundcard (Xfi e.g.) involved in the calculating of it?

I know-questions over questions, but this is a very interesting new feature in OA and I think I´m not the only one whos very interested in it.

In a short answer - every sound card has a limitation on the # of simultaneous 3d voices (sounds) it can post. The latest X-Fi PCI Express (Titanium Fatality) does its best to compensate Windows 7 users for the loss of control over cpu cycles the card traditional performed under Win XP. 50% of gamers still have motherboards using the crappy old AC'97 built-in mobo sound which I believe only has the ability to do 32 voices... and it may not even be true 3d positional in the sense we're talking here. So your answer is... it all depends on what you have now. I'll do some comparison tests for you later on.

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5. Turn VSYNC OFF! <--- this makes at least a 5 fps difference and makes the game much more responsive.

Any ATI user can do this? How? ATI ccc option doesn't work. I tried ATI Tray tools. It's buggy. On any settings change or loading screen v-sync just enables and my fps drops back to 20's.

My system:

Q9550@3.4GHz

4GB ram

HD4870x2 2GB

2x7200rpm HDD Raid-0

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Well,

As I said in the impression / discussion threads for Operation Arrowhead, I'm one of the lucky few to suffer some problems with the game, despite having ArmA II run butter-smooth without any issues.

My settings for the game I've tried to closely match ArmA IIs settings, View distance of about 3000, everything on Very High except for PP, which is on low due to its changes, AA on Disabled and AF on Normal.

Running the benchmark gives me a 35FPS result, which isn't bad but far from acceptable and nothing like the performance in A2.

It isn't just low performance, game seems to suffer from constant micro-stutters that just trickles down and have an adverse effect on everything. In Zargabad it's especially bad, performance is also abysmal - Feels like the computer is struggling bad and sometimes the walk / run animation on the soldier won't even play, he'll just float because the game is too busy trying to render / deal with other issues, it's that bad!

I tried a different driver set ( ATi ) with no effect, I tried defragmenting my drive with 0 effect whatsoever, I tried renaming my .exe to both arma2 and crysis with no effect and now I'm lost for things to try, except waiting for a patch or something.

My specs are following;

Windows 7 64Bit

Core i7 940

ATi 4870X2

6GB DDR3

I solved all my stuttering problems in ArmA II by disabling HT and it's still disabled, with no effect. I'm running the game without extensions, so no -maxmem etc.

Same here except that i get around 50fps but there are micro-stutters all the time too...

My specs are

Windows 7 64Bit

Core i7 920

ATi 5870

6GB DDR3

I disabled V-Sync with ATI Tray Tools but it doesn't make any difference

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Same stuttering problems with me also

i7 920 @ 3.8

sli gtx 480's

xfi titanium

win7 x64bit

6g 1600mhz

Bummer to as arma2 with ace 2 is running nice but his game micro and super stutters like a mofo:mad:

On internal bench mark in the scenarious i have all very high minus AA and get a score of 53 to 57 fps

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stuttering here too

i7 930 @ normal clock

ATI 5870 sapphire vapor x

onboard soundcard (realtek 889)

win 7 64bit

6gb 1600mhz ram

arma 2 vanilla with latest patch runs VERY smooth and even with all kinds of mods on, i just dont get why OA stutters so much in comparison

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You can change arma2.exe to something else, rename your OA.exe to arma2.exe and it will run crossfire that way. However my results were negligible. No improvement for me with my setup running crossfire.

---------- Post added at 12:19 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:17 PM ----------

I get stuttering in the benchmarks only, haven't noticed while playing though.

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Im thinking maybe our I7's may have something to do with it, or this game isnt patched to what arma2 is at 1.07. ive been doing all the rename exe tricks and -winxp command and other tweaks but no success of getting rid of the stuttering. Hopefully a patch comes soon as ive been waiting for a good war on terror game like this.:yay:

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i have an amd x4 processor, do i need to remove cpucount? both from OA and Arma2? Or only OA?

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Hmmm, it's actually 'funny' how many people experiencing this exact issue, also has Core i7s.

Question for the i7 folk, do you all have HT disabled? I'm thinking with the recent changes to the game engine, it might try to take advantage of the hyper-threading but can't find it ... Perhaps I'm just talking out of my ass here.

I can however happily report, going back to Catalyst 10.4 has given me a nice boost. Apparently, the 10.6s are broken beyond words with tons of BSODs, 10.5a ( Hotfixed ) were a bit better, same stuttering but still a heap of BSODs when exiting and alt + tabbing but the 10.4s are fast, bug free and gave me an FPS boost, even Zargabad is playable now!

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Nice that 10.4 is working well for ya might have to put my two 5870's back in ha. In regards to I7 i have my hyperthreading on and get the stutters and have defraged my 10,000 rpm velociraptor drive. Just bummed:mad:

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Does anyone running SLI know a way to add the OA .exe file to the existing ARMA2 SLI profile without using nhancer, since nhancer does not work with the lastest 257.21 driver set?

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I'm in the same boat with a 5970. Great performance with Arma2, not at all with arrowhead just now. Tried the renaming/vsync fix etc. I imagine there is a relatively high proportion of people with crossfire/SLi or dual GPU cards playing Arrowhead. Be nice to get a bit of support!

I'm starting a new thread as this discussion seems to be swamping this performance comparison thread.

Edited by o0Jedi0o

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Hmmm, it's actually 'funny' how many people experiencing this exact issue, also has Core i7s.

Question for the i7 folk, do you all have HT disabled? I'm thinking with the recent changes to the game engine, it might try to take advantage of the hyper-threading but can't find it ... Perhaps I'm just talking out of my ass here.

Absolutely not, leave it off.

For the people reporting stuttering, what graphic and audio settings are you using? That makes a massive difference. Also, the game is not saving you profile changes all the time and often resets them. I played last night, loaded up the desert to do some editing - it looked horrendous and it had somehow changed by rendering to half the value I normally use. It's done that 4 times so far.

Edited by jpinard

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