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[Benchmark3D] Microstutter Case Study: Skyrim - Page 3

post #21 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcg75 View Post

Slowing down the game by running on one core does make the game smoother, for AMD. For Nvidia, all it did was reduce the framerate.

In my case, I did not get overall lower framerates by a large margin (2FPS), but what happened is I got rid of the spikes in both ends of the spectrum, in a quite large percentage, which in turn improved stuttering a lot.
   
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post #22 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcg75 View Post

Basically what he did is debunk the entire article as garbage which it is.

Disagree.

Thiefofspades results do nothing to debunk the article because there is nothing to debunk.

The article clearly demonstrates that AMD's GCN based cards/drivers have an enormous problem with Skyrim.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcg75 View Post

A select few here keep desperately trying to pass the buck from AMD to Bethesda on this.

That's not what this article is doing. It's showing how there is an interrelationship between what's going on in the CPU (the exectution of the game engine and AMD's display driver) and what's going on in the GPU. It's helping to isolate the issue.

They didn't even level most of the blame on Skyrim in their conclusion, they just said it wasn't a hardware problem, which certainly seems accurate.

What I got out of the article was that there is something about the way Skyrim renders frames that AMD's current drivers do not react well to.

What we see from other tests, including (Thiefofspades') is that NVIDIAs drivers work just fine in Skyrim. Both conclusions support the assertion that this is not fundamentally a hardware issue (if it was the issue would persist even with single core affinity), but a driver issue.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcg75 View Post

If Nvidia is running Skyrim smooth on one core or four cores, why can't AMD? That is the question and no tech site will provide that answer, only AMD will.

My guess would be because AMD's GCN drivers are immature and, in some scenarios, seem to have some sort of serious issues between what's executed on the CPU and what's scheduled on the GCN wavefronts?

Various tests run by tech sites (including this one) and end users have certainly narrowed down the cause.
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post #23 of 61
I tried a lot of those fixes months ago, the single core trick didn't fix my issue.

I just capped my FPS at 59 with MSI Afterburner. That worked for me.
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post #24 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blameless View Post

The article clearly demonstrates that AMD's GCN based cards/drivers have an enormous problem with Skyrim.

I would be inclined to think it's a driver problem, not only a GCN issue.

My 7660D is VLIW based and it still gets a vast improvement by doing this.
   
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post #25 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blameless View Post

They didn't even level most of the blame on Skyrim in their conclusion, they just said it wasn't a hardware problem, which certainly seems accurate.

The following paragraphs quoted from the author make me think otherwise.
Quote:
Allow me to explain: If you read the previous microstutter article I written, you should know that my “hunch” is that the software is the major cause of microstutter we see in some games and not hardware or even drivers (though still software).
Quote:
Skyrim is the perfect example in this regard, horrible PS3 and PC versions…yet it was chosen as 2011 GOTY by multiple review sites…way to go.

Sorry Blameless but I cannot agree. I've read the article over and over. The author has some sort of disdain for Skyrim and is trying to blame the game itself. I don't see how any other conclusion can be taken from the paragraphs I quoted the author on. He even takes a childlike swipe at the sites that gave it game of the year.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blameless View Post

What I got out of the article was that there is something about the way Skyrim renders frames that AMD's current drivers do not react well to.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blameless View Post

What we see from other tests, including (Thiefofspades') is that NVIDIAs drivers work just fine in Skyrim. Both conclusions support the assertion that this is not fundamentally a hardware issue (if it was the issue would persist even with single core affinity), but a driver issue.

I agree with that 100%. The article writer does not.
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post #26 of 61
I overlooked the comment on drivers, and on second glance, it certainly seems possible the author has some level bias/favoritism toward AMD or against Skyrim, but I still think there is useful information contained within the article.
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post #27 of 61
I contributed smile.gif
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post #28 of 61
I don't think that AMD is the only company at fault here, but Bethesda too. Most of their games aren't exactly what you would call optimized, and microstutter is evident in most of their titles too (Gamebryo Engine :shudders:). While the Havoc Engine (Skyrim) does diminish microstutter versus the previous engine, as well as upping the ante in the grapical department, the main issue is, more or less, still there.

For the past couple generations, AMD has had cards that usually have more microstutter than NV cards. We all know about the microstutter issues with the 6xx0 series, especially in multi-gpu setups, but NV is usually the one with more consistent frame-times.

Is it an architectural problem? Maybe. GCN is, after all, an architecture made from the ground up to challenge NV in the compute department, as well as adding some more features and performance. Since the architecture is new, there's bound to be some problems with it. You can patch the issues with some driver updates, but the underlying cause is still hardware. Well, at least in the rendering department it is. GCN isn't the only architecture to have this problem either. I'm sure most of you guys know that the 6xx0 series has their share of microstutter problems, and even then, NV's Fermi, on average, had more consistent frame-times in both single and multi-gpu setups.

Is it a driver problem? Maybe. Some people are starting to think that the frame rate increases with each AMD driver update that calls for performance increases are doing it at the cost of increasing microstutter, but I still haven't seen proof that driver updates are the problem. Maybe someone on here can do that for us thumb.gif I don't know the general consensus on the stability of AMD and NV drivers, but I'll just say that both sides have their ups and downs, and I don't think that it would be appropriate to say that AMD drivers are worse than NV drivers and vice-versa because there's simply too many variables to take into consideration to determine that.

Is it a game problem? Definitely. I've said it before. Skyrim is a buggy game, and the combination of this game with an AMD card is basically a double whammy. Now before you guys start firing your fingers off at me, just think about it. I'm not trying to put down a company, or favor one company over the other, but this problem isn't something that has just started occurring. Microstutter has been in games since the first game ever made, but is hasn't been until sometime last year that we've started to seriously take into consideration on how it affects gameplay.

Can you fix it? Yes, to an extent. You can use v-sync+triple buffering to help decrease microstutter. You can use the fps limiter to dramatically reduce input lag and decrease microstutter (trust me-it works). The limiter works on any game too. Just configure the cfg file to your liking, and drop both the cfg and the dll files in the root directory of the game you're playing. You can also do what the author of the article did and set the affinity to 1. The combination of all of these things should, in theory, give you the most fluid gameplay experience. I'm also thinking that setting the affinity to 1 on AMD processors might not give very good microstutter reduction results as Intel processors because of their lower per-core performance.

I'm sure for some of you guys that play Skyrim, you have that problem when you move your mouse around and you get that jumpy, uneven movement, even though your frames are pretty high. Even with my old 5770, I get the problem when I play on low settings on vanilla, and it's pretty much unplayable when using S.T.E.P (well, that's a given because I need a better card for that). I believe that the general consensus is that both NV and AMD have their share microstutter issues, but AMD usually takes the larger hit. Hopefully, the cards coming out this year will reduce microstutter even more.
Edited by airisom2 - 1/12/13 at 9:17am
post #29 of 61
The thing is I have noticed it in about all open world bethesda games. On the 6xxx series as well as the new 7xxx series. Its nothing new really. I think it is a driver problem in combination with bethesda software. The problem I have though is the stuttering become a big problem with the release of 12.11. Yes it was always there from my experience, but just suddenly got worse. I personally have a hunch that it has something to do with how they got the extra FPS burst with the new driver.
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post #30 of 61
I may have to load up Skyrim to see for myself.
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