Bad performance? Some hints and tips

ZaggyZaggy NullPointerExceptionThe Netherlands Join Date: 2003-12-10 Member: 24214Posts: 3,634Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Reinforced - Onos, Subnautica Playtester mod
edited December 2012 in Technical Support
A single topic for this
An attempt to help people with performance, after seeing numerous post about this I decided to make a single topic for this.

If you have a laptop with both Intel and Nvidia graphics, try below:
QUOTE (ScardyBob @ Oct 31 2012, 09:03 PM) »
Basically, you'll want to do this except for Natural Selection 2:
image



Start NS2 with high priority - source
Open notepath, put in below line:
Start /high NS2.exe
Save it as "NS2.bat" next to the NS2.exe file in your steam folder, default location: C:\program files x86\Steam\<accountname>\common files\Natural Selection 2\
Make sure Steam is running and then run the NS2.bat file.

Use r_stats to see if your GPU or CPU is the bottleneck
If it says "waiting for GPU" then the cause is the videocard, try lowering settings or if possible, upgrading.

Is above not the case?
Help UWE with below:
Performance log
QUOTE (ironhorse @ Nov 6 2012, 08:14 PM) »
For those wishing simply to contribute to performance in ns2 , possibly helping the cause of your slow downs for everyone down the road yet without an immediate fix for you personally... Please submit a performance log of the most polarizing instance of fps drop by typing p_logall to create a round long log of your performance. The log is saved in your %appdata% folder (Ctrl+R, fill in %appdata%, hit enter, browse to Natural Selection 2, find client-<number>-<number>.plog) at the end of a round or exit and you can zip it up and link it

So in short:
  • press ~ to open the console
  • Type p_logall and hit enter
  • Join a server, play a round (until marines or kharaa win)
  • Exit NS2, browse to %appdata%\Natural Selection 2%: press Windows key + R, copy paste the following: "%appdata%\Natural Selection 2" and hit enter.
  • Find the logfile, it will be named similar to "client-1225-103821.plog", upload the contents of this file to pastebin.com and post the link or attach it using the forum attach feature.


Profiler
Or send a screenshot with the profiler open, instructions from here:
QUOTE (xtal @ Dec 12 2012, 04:51 PM) »
I'm not from support but maybe you should post screenshots from in-game profiler. Maybe we will figure out something from them. Open console (key ~), type profile, now space key freeze profiler and you can expand/contract tree. Post screenshots showing expanded tree in places where violet bars are biggest - where engine is working most intensive.

Example screenshot from profiler:
image


Game on SSD
QUOTE (Savant @ Dec 15 2012, 05:26 AM) »
In what wasn't given much publicity, Valve changed the Steam client so that you can now install games to different hard drives at the same time. While you used to have to have all your games in the same directory; now you can specify a new directory on another drive. You can only have ONE directory with games per drive though.

How does this help?

If you're like many people you have an SSD drive running your OS. You also don't have Steam on the SSD since your games takes up a ton of space. So if you delete and reinstall NS2, you could install it into a directory on your SSD. While that won't fix any internal game performance issues, it will take out any possible chance that the hard drive will bottleneck your performance.

To do this, first create a directory on your SSD. I just called it Steam off the root. Once done, when you install there will be an option that says "Choose drive to install to". If this is your first time installing to a new drive you will get a chance to pick the directory. After that you can only pick the drive and they all go in the same directory on that drive.

I know it's not much, but every bit helps.



Below information might be outdated:

To open the console, press ~
FPS performance
To show fps and other details: r_stats 1
Ripped from this person's post:

To improve performance:
r_atmospherics false
r_bloom false
r_shadows false
r_instancing true
r_fog false
r_aa false

Note: these will be reset the next map change!
To make these settings permanent:

Menu Mod is currently broken and forbidden in competitive play.
Install this NS2 mod for a more efficient menu:
http://unknownworlds.com/forums/index.php?...=113246&hl=

Edit the file in the fsmod folder "menumod/autoexec/" and add this:

CODE
Shared.ConsoleCommand("r_bloom false")
Shared.ConsoleCommand("r_aa false")
Shared.ConsoleCommand("r_atmospherics false")
Shared.ConsoleCommand("r_shadows false")
Shared.ConsoleCommand("r_fog false")
Shared.ConsoleCommand("r_shadowsfade true")
Shared.ConsoleCommand("r_instancing false")
Shared.ConsoleCommand("r_flash false")

You can run above commands in the console manually. (Example: press ~, enter: "r_fog false", hit enter)
Having a high spec machine will improve performance to some extend.
Keep in mind, NS2 is still in beta at the time of writing, improvements to FPS and network performance will be made slowly over time.

Type profiler in console to get detailed information as to what is going on. As per advice of playtester Kouji_San
Screenshots of this can be posted to this topic.

Network performance
Assuming the following things:
  • You're not downloading or uploading anything at the moment nor is anyone at your LAN
  • Your connection is stable
After joining a server, enter the command: net_stats
This will show a number of things including tickrate.
If the tickrate is getting below 20, consider trying another server, as the server is not up to the task.
The menumod mentioned above will also show tickrate!

If anyone has suggestions or corrections for the topic start, please let me know!
Thanks to ScardyBob and dux for the corrections and improvements.

Edit: menu mod information was outdated, updated.
Post edited by Unknown User on
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Comments

  • ScardyBobScardyBob ScardyBob Join Date: 2009-11-25 Member: 69528Posts: 4,983Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow mod
    You don't want to disable multithreading (r_mt false), but you might want to disable anti-aliasing (r_aa false).
  • ZaggyZaggy NullPointerException The Netherlands Join Date: 2003-12-10 Member: 24214Posts: 3,634Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Reinforced - Onos, Subnautica Playtester mod
    Thanks, I corrected it.
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  • duxdux Tea Lady Join Date: 2003-12-14 Member: 24371Posts: 596Members, NS2 Developer
  • Laosh'RaLaosh'Ra Join Date: 2011-12-09 Member: 137232Posts: 783Members
    edited March 2012
    i'd like to mention that r_atmospherics, r_bloom, r_shadows are being reset on every server or even mapchange. i also remember somebody mentioning that r_fog is reset whenever you die. anyway, you can type 0 instead of false for any of those commands. r_stats works without typing the 1.

    my personal experience (and also that of some others) is that reducing the detail level usually doesn't help that much. lowering the resolution can help a lot though, so you might want to consider playing on a low resolution with high detail settings.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • ScardyBobScardyBob ScardyBob Join Date: 2009-11-25 Member: 69528Posts: 4,983Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow mod
    QUOTE (Laosh'Ra @ Mar 26 2012, 02:08 PM) »
    i'd like to mention that r_atmospherics, r_bloom, r_shadows are being reset on every server or even mapchange. i also remember somebody mentioning that r_fog is reset whenever you die. anyway, you can type 0 instead of false for any of those commands. r_stats works without typing the 1.

    Yeah, I've reported the issue, but I don't think UWE will get to it anytime soon. In the meantime, you're options are either to retype those commands into console on every mapchange/new server (or death, in the case of r_fog) or run fsfod's menumod with the commands that eh? has specified:
    QUOTE (eh? @ Mar 7 2012, 02:21 AM) »
    If anyone is frustrated by having to re-enter the graphics setting commands over and over I reccomend grabbing fsfod's GUI at the moment and take a look at the autoexec directory under the root directory.

    ./menumod/autoexec/

    You can put scripts there to be autoexec on connection to server,

    for instance i have the file lowres_connected.lua which contains:

    CODE
    Shared.ConsoleCommand("r_bloom false")
    Shared.ConsoleCommand("r_aa false")
    Shared.ConsoleCommand("r_atmospherics false")
    Shared.ConsoleCommand("r_shadows false")
    Shared.ConsoleCommand("r_fog false")
    Shared.ConsoleCommand("r_shadowsfade false")
    Shared.ConsoleCommand("r_instancing false")
    Shared.ConsoleCommand("r_flash false")



    and it gets executed on every server connect for me, i just have to optionally do r_fog 0 on each death.

    Also nice that there are examples there that will autoopen server browser too for you.


  • ZaggyZaggy NullPointerException The Netherlands Join Date: 2003-12-10 Member: 24214Posts: 3,634Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Reinforced - Onos, Subnautica Playtester mod
    edited April 2012
    QUOTE (dux @ Mar 25 2012, 06:21 PM) »
    The link to the menu thread doesn't work btw.


    Thanks, fixed.

    QUOTE (ScardyBob @ Mar 27 2012, 01:12 AM) »
    <stuff>


    Awesome, added.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • profjekyllprofjekyll Join Date: 2012-04-07 Member: 150070Posts: 84Members
    QUOTE (Laosh'Ra @ Mar 26 2012, 10:08 PM) »
    my personal experience (and also that of some others) is that reducing the detail level usually doesn't help that much. lowering the resolution can help a lot though, so you might want to consider playing on a low resolution with high detail settings.


    I find that the detail level makes a big difference, as does the res. Have nearly bit the bullet and tend to run at "ridiculously awful".

    Am running ATI HD 3870x2, CF'd with an HD3870. Windows 7 x64, Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 3000MHz.
  • bunglebungle Join Date: 2012-04-21 Member: 150870Posts: 48Members
    I'd like to point out that disabling Flash seems to disable being able to see things such as ammo on your gun, etc.

    Can anyone comment if this is correct or is it just me?
  • Kouji_SanKouji_San Sr. Hινε Uρкεερεг - EUPT Deputy The Netherlands, Hoogezand Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16271Posts: 11,279Forum Admins, Playtest Lead, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue mod
    yes the weapon ammo counter is still in flash. I for one have not found disabling flash have any significant impact on performances though

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  • DghelneshiDghelneshi Aims to surpass Fana in post edits. Join Date: 2011-11-01 Member: 130634Posts: 941Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow
    edited May 2012
    QUOTE (Zaggy @ Mar 23 2012, 12:04 PM) »
    r_instancing false

    Why would you disable instancing to increase performance? Even though I'm not sure it's Geometry Instancing, it seems to be something that should increase performance when on. If I recall correctly, they are using some kind of instancing for physics calculations.

    Also, this is still in the autoexec example, which is kinda the opposite of what you want to do:
    QUOTE
    Shared.ConsoleCommand("r_shadowsfade false")
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • ZaggyZaggy NullPointerException The Netherlands Join Date: 2003-12-10 Member: 24214Posts: 3,634Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Reinforced - Onos, Subnautica Playtester mod
    QUOTE (Dghelneshi @ May 6 2012, 08:20 AM) »
    Why would you disable instancing to increase performance? Even though I'm not sure it's Geometry Instancing, it seems to be something that should increase performance when on. If I recall correctly, they are using some kind of instancing for physics calculations.

    Also, this is still in the autoexec example, which is kinda the opposite of what you want to do:


    Thanks, corrected.
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  • WaltarWaltar Join Date: 2012-08-04 Member: 154744Posts: 3Members
    Since these options seems to be toggable in-game, does adding these scripts alter the fps even more?
  • DghelneshiDghelneshi Aims to surpass Fana in post edits. Join Date: 2011-11-01 Member: 130634Posts: 941Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow
    No, this is outdated.
  • PhenakistPhenakist Join Date: 2012-08-07 Member: 154948Posts: 23Members
    I think with resolution it really depends. I'm on a 7970 and I see the same 40-50fps start 20-25fps end game results as others do on cards costing 150-200£ less so its an optimization issue. I will have to try lowing the resolution to see what kind of improvement it gives, although with 3gb memory on the 7970 I don't see how or why it would be struggling running this on a single 23" monitor in 1920x1080
  • Kouji_SanKouji_San Sr. Hινε Uρкεερεг - EUPT Deputy The Netherlands, Hoogezand Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16271Posts: 11,279Forum Admins, Playtest Lead, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue mod
    edited August 2012
    QUOTE (Phenakist @ Aug 15 2012, 04:33 PM) »
    I think with resolution it really depends. I'm on a 7970 and I see the same 40-50fps start 20-25fps end game results as others do on cards costing 150-200£ less so its an optimization issue. I will have to try lowing the resolution to see what kind of improvement it gives, although with 3gb memory on the 7970 I don't see how or why it would be struggling running this on a single 23" monitor in 1920x1080

    FPS is not related to the amount of memory on the 3Dcard, it is mostly related to server performance, ping and choke of the engine. During big battles, the FPS drop is still too high and is dependant on CPU.

    Newer CPU's will get 20-30FPS end game
    Older or lower speed (Ghz) CPU's will get around 15-25 end game.

    And some people are reporting even worse during end game ~5-10FPS (probably related to old drivers, compatibility issues and playing on low end servers), I'm hoping for the new physics changes and Max's Hitch Be Gone Magic to slap these FPS and Hitch issues up a notch. Well down a notch for the Hitch part :P
    Post edited by Unknown User on

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  • PhenakistPhenakist Join Date: 2012-08-07 Member: 154948Posts: 23Members
    QUOTE (Kouji_San @ Aug 15 2012, 06:23 PM) »
    FPS is not related to the amount of memory on the 3Dcard, it is mostly related to server performance, ping and choke of the engine. During big battles, the FPS drop is still too high and is dependant on CPU.

    Newer CPU's will get 20-30FPS end game
    Older or lower speed (Ghz) CPU's will get around 15-25 end game.

    And some people are reporting even worse during end game ~5-10FPS (probably related to old drivers, compatibility issues and playing on low end servers), I'm hoping for the new physics changes and Max's Hitch Be Gone Magic to slap these FPS and Hitch issues up a notch. Well down a notch for the Hitch part :P



    If the card has less memory, the fps can be effected because it cannot store enough of the relevant information at hand, that is why higher resolution textures benefit from GPU's with higher memory limits. I am not sure on what you mean by fps being related to server performance?

    I'm aware what people get but it feels way out of whack from other games that look more graphically intensive, I don't feel 25fps on my setup in NS2 is where it should be at. Even my CPU is a quadcore at 4GHz.
  • Laosh'RaLaosh'Ra Join Date: 2011-12-09 Member: 137232Posts: 783Members
    edited August 2012
    QUOTE
    fps being related to server performance?

    look at net_stats: if you receive insufficient updates per second, it means your computer has to predict (=compute) several frames until the next update.

    edit: you can see it explained by a dev here: http://www.unknownworlds.com/ns2/forums/in...p;#entry1956388

    but i think you are right about the gpu memory. it should be similar to RAM: the access speed is quite important whereas the storage size in MB is only relevant if the data does not fit in (which will result in pages being stored and retrieved from your slow disc).
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • Kouji_SanKouji_San Sr. Hινε Uρкεερεг - EUPT Deputy The Netherlands, Hoogezand Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16271Posts: 11,279Forum Admins, Playtest Lead, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue mod
    edited August 2012
    If you're on the low setting it only uses about 400Mb GDDR, if you go over the limit of your 3Dcard's memory using Medium (~600-800Mb GDDR) or High (~900-1200Mb GDDR) you can indeed benefit from 1Gb cards or more. If you're on a setting that requires more than your GDDR amount, you can of course expect memory swapping from RAM to VRAM and in worst case scenario the HDD is included in this process as well (Windows XP and earlier). All of which will could potentially influence FPS drops and can cause hitching when loading it into memory the first time.


    AFAIK the game doesn't load everything into memory yet, during the map loading process. And the things that are causing the biggest hitch issues right now is the game code attached to the stuff loading into memory (structures and players), which is indeed running on the CPU.
    Post edited by Unknown User on

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  • petteyg359petteyg359 Join Date: 2012-09-08 Member: 158595Posts: 4Members, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow
    edited October 2012
    Something to add to the first post for laptop users with nVidia Optimus (and possibly also for similar AMD systems):

    nVidia drivers (as of 301.42) do not recognize NS2.exe as needing to run on the nVidia GPU, so it runs on the Intel GPU by default (and it sucks that way). It works great with all settings except anti-aliasing on high on my GT 540M, but I had to manually add the profile for NS2.exe.

    image
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • AbarisAbaris Join Date: 2012-10-30 Member: 164745Posts: 5Members
    I created a profile on Catalyst for NS2, which did not help at all. It also seems that my GPU is hardly doing anything.
  • creamsodasecreamsodase Join Date: 2012-10-17 Member: 162550Posts: 10Members
    disabling Steam Overlay seems to boost my fps, anyone confirms that?
  • Dominick93Dominick93 Join Date: 2012-05-19 Member: 152322Posts: 11Members
  • TesseractTesseract Join Date: 2007-06-21 Member: 61328Posts: 238Members, Constellation
    Setting the process priority to High in Task Manager more than tripled my FPS and severely reduced network issues and other forms of slowdown. In fact just doing this meant I got smooth performance with full settings when previously I got slideshows with everything on lowest.
  • ZaggyZaggy NullPointerException The Netherlands Join Date: 2003-12-10 Member: 24214Posts: 3,634Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Reinforced - Onos, Subnautica Playtester mod
    QUOTE (Tesseract @ Nov 6 2012, 06:22 PM) »
    Setting the process priority to High in Task Manager more than tripled my FPS and severely reduced network issues and other forms of slowdown. In fact just doing this meant I got smooth performance with full settings when previously I got slideshows with everything on lowest.


    Thanks for the tip!
    What are your PC specs?
    Wondering if it is the Intel onboard vs GPU dedicated chip thing.
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  • TesseractTesseract Join Date: 2007-06-21 Member: 61328Posts: 238Members, Constellation
    I have

    AMD quad-core at 3.2 GHz
    6 GiB of DDR3
    Radeon HD 6870

    so if it is an Intel issue then this seems to agree. Additionally if you want to run NS2 in high priority by default change the shortcut to open it up - in my case I made an NS2.bat in the same folder as NS2.exe and have it contain the line

    CODE
    Start /high NS2.exe


    then put a shortcut to that on my desktop (changing its icon to be the same as NS2.exe's) and that means I don't have to think about manually changing the priority when opening the game. There's no way to do it through Steam as yet but there seems to be suggestions that you can add a "-high" flag to the Steam launch options, but I believe this has to have support coded into the game in order to work. Of course different processes can request higher priorities if told to, so it might be something worth programming into the engine.
  • SendaiSendai Join Date: 2012-11-07 Member: 168113Posts: 3Members
    The performance is horrible, usually I play at 40-50 fps, but when i attack the enemy base or appear many enemies, the fps lowered at 15-20 fps.

    I play with Oclussion in Medium, and I have Intel C2Q 3400mhz, 4gb ram and GTX470 with OC, and i Have the last Drivers with my graphic card, obviously, my PC is not the problem.
    wilksy
  • ApocalipsusApocalipsus Join Date: 2003-10-21 Member: 21838Posts: 64Members
    QUOTE (Abaris @ Oct 31 2012, 11:27 AM) »
    I created a profile on Catalyst for NS2, which did not help at all. It also seems that my GPU is hardly doing anything.


    Unless my msi afterburn overlay is wrong, my gpu is working at around 90-95% all the time im playing ns2.
  • d.n.M.d.n.M. Join Date: 2012-11-04 Member: 166826Posts: 19Members
    Apocalipsus, that would depend on your GPU. If you do not have the most potent GPU and your settings maxxed out it might use ur GPU as you describe.

    Above a certain GPU performance level it does not matter which settings you choose. The GPU can easily handle it and the bottleneck is the CPU.
  • Linksys_RouterLinksys_Router Join Date: 2012-04-11 Member: 150276Posts: 97Members
    edited November 2012
    QUOTE (Tesseract @ Nov 7 2012, 10:14 AM) »
    I have

    AMD quad-core at 3.2 GHz
    6 GiB of DDR3
    Radeon HD 6870

    so if it is an Intel issue then this seems to agree. Additionally if you want to run NS2 in high priority by default change the shortcut to open it up - in my case I made an NS2.bat in the same folder as NS2.exe and have it contain the line

    CODE
    Start /high NS2.exe


    then put a shortcut to that on my desktop (changing its icon to be the same as NS2.exe's) and that means I don't have to think about manually changing the priority when opening the game. There's no way to do it through Steam as yet but there seems to be suggestions that you can add a "-high" flag to the Steam launch options, but I believe this has to have support coded into the game in order to work. Of course different processes can request higher priorities if told to, so it might be something worth programming into the engine.


    Bloody Hell. This worked. My framerate was always pretty good but I would have some bizarre 'imaginary' lag. It would feel like 4 fps even though r_stats would tell me I was getting 50 fps. I just created a text file copied "Start /high NS2.exe" into it and then renamed the file NS2.bat

    Now my game doesn't suck. This needs to be written everywhere for AMD. What ever UWE did this fixes the problem. I know there are others who have Phenoms who have the exact same problem. Thank you Tesseract! <3 <3 <3 <3
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • joederpjoederp Join Date: 2012-11-02 Member: 165992Posts: 333Members
    QUOTE (Linksys_Router @ Nov 8 2012, 10:35 AM) »
    Bloody Hell. This worked. My framerate was always pretty good but I would have some bizarre 'imaginary' lag. It would feel like 4 fps even though r_stats would tell me I was getting 50 fps. I just created a text file copied "Start /high NS2.exe" into it and then renamed the file NS2.bat

    Now my game doesn't suck. This needs to be written everywhere for AMD. What ever UWE did this fixes the problem. I know there are others who have Phenoms who have the exact same problem. Thank you Tesseract! <3 <3 <3 <3


    I have an AMD Phenom 9150e x4 1.8ghz OCd to 2ghz and setting the priority to HIGH did not make a noticeable difference. For me the only thing that has helped just a little bit is enabling texture streaming. I still get low FPS but its more consistent unlike before it would jump around from 5fps to 20, to 30, to 2, etc making it impossible to aim. With texture streaming ON it gets low during lots of combat but stays around 15-20fps and is consistent so I can at least adjust to the low framerate and kinda aim a little bit.
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