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LawsonThompson

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Reply with quote  #1 
I'm probably a bit early to declare a complete victory, but... at least for my server machine I have found a performance FIX for the Windows 10 security patch which broke DirectX 9 several months ago.

First, go get DxWnd, which is a DirectX tweaker utility designed to aid compatibility of older DirectX games.

https://sourceforge.net/projects/dxwnd/

Extract into a folder, perhaps at Artemis\dxwnd.

Now, get the attached ZIP file, which contains my very lightly tested configuration for Artemis and extract the DXW file into a folder.

Launch DXWnd.exe and pick File > Import to open the DXW file you downloaded.

This should put an Artemis icon in the DXWnd panel.

Right-click the icon and pick Modify.

In the Main tab, change the Path to your Artemis.exe where ever it's installed, then click OK.

Double-click the Artemis.exe inside the DxWnd pane. 

After Artemis launches, press Alt-F to watch the frame rate. 

My server went from 20-45FPS up to "faster than scan rate of the display" at 300+!

Geek note: The magic is on the Direct3D tab: "Force Vertex Proc / Execute Buffer" set to Hardware. In a recent Windows 10 update, DirectX 9 is forced to Software behind the scenes, which destroys performance

DXWNDfix.png 


I have not tested this on low-grade hardware yet--that's coming up later this week.

Will be interested to know if this works for you!

 
Attached Files
zip Artemis.DXWND-settings.zip (743 Bytes, 21 views)


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LawsonThompson

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Reply with quote  #2 
Update: Ran v2.7.1 for several hours in AI demo mode, and the server stayed stable. DxWnd doesn't seem to cause any adverse effects on stability. On lower-power machines it might actually help by lowering CPU load. That test is next!
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HaydenBarca

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Reply with quote  #3 
Very cool.  Given that Win10 is the safest, easiest install for old systems I'm watching to see what you find.  Thanks for sharing this journey with us.
MarkBell

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Reply with quote  #4 
Nice find!
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Note - this is in no way intended to be an official position of Thom or Artemis, as I am not an official representative of the creator or game.
Sandman

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Reply with quote  #5 
I gave this a quick try on my server box last night and there was a noticeable improvement. My framerate was in the few hundreds for non-3D screens (LRS, TAC) and 30-60 fps for the 3d views. Framerate was lowest in nebulae. I'll give it a longer test for stability this week and report back.
Many thanks to LawsonThompson.

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LawsonThompson

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandman
I gave this a quick try on my server box last night and there was a noticeable improvement. My framerate was in the few hundreds for non-3D screens (LRS, TAC) and 30-60 fps for the 3d views. Framerate was lowest in nebulae. I'll give it a longer test for stability this week and report back.
Many thanks to LawsonThompson.


What's your server hardware and GPU? And, what is the performance like without DxWnd?

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LawsonThompson

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Reply with quote  #7 
Here's a video showcasing the performance gains on Celeron J1900 hardware--at 1080P resolution.


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LawsonThompson

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Reply with quote  #8 
Footnote: DxWnd did not make a significant improvement to the "2D" screens of Artemis; only the exterior views on Main Screen, Fighter, Observer, and VIS.
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Sandman

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Reply with quote  #9 
My current mainscreen server box is as follows:

Dell Optiplex 745 
Intel Core 2 Duo 6600 @ 2.4 GHz
4 GB Ram
AMD Radeon 5450
Win 10 64 bit

So... I started testing and was getting inconsistent results. After looking at the Dx Wnd help, I came to realize that if the DxWnd window is open, the executable will still use the DxWnd hook. Thus my first bit of testing didn't make sense. The below results were after some quick tests after correcting my issue, but they aren't very thorough...

This was a quick test with one laptop station connected (and Entec Open DMX)
Full Screen Windowed to a 1080p display
Level 5 Siege, Lots of terrain, Lots of friendlies
Nebulae caused the biggest hit on FPS in both cases big hit.

Without DxWnd:
3D rendering 10-38 FPS 
2D rendering 250-500 FPS
CPU Utilization 35-50%

With DxWnd:
3D rendering 20-66 FPS (appeared to try for consistent 60)
2D rendering 26-36 FPS
CPU Utilization 30-50%

The low 2D FPS surprised me because the other day it was much higher. I recalled that I had tested on a bare Level 1 mission and checked again.
On a bare map, the 2D FPS gets very high, but with more objects, the framerate takes a big hit with DxWnd.
Curious what others find with different graphics hardware.
Also wondering if some DxWnd settings might be changed to improve the 2D rendering

I'll do some more testing later and report back.

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LawsonThompson

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandman
My current mainscreen server box is as follows:

Dell Optiplex 745 
Intel Core 2 Duo 6600 @ 2.4 GHz
4 GB Ram
AMD Radeon 5450
Win 10 64 bit


Ouch! That CPU isn't doing you any favors.

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core2+Duo+E6600+%40+2.40GHz&id=912 says that CPU has a single-thread score (the most telling for Artemis) of 907.

If you can scrape together the cash for a refurbished Core i5-2520 laptop (Dell Latitude 6430 for example), you'd probably gain significantly with your server. The single-thread performance is nearly double the Core 2 Duo, and the i5 built-in HD 3000 graphics might actually benchmark better than the Radeon 5450.

As for the 2D screens: I'm seeing the same performance hit on my machine. Not sure if there are DXWnd settings to boost that or not.

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Sandman

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Reply with quote  #11 
Yeah, I knew that, but trying to run on the cheap and all...  Dave and I ran at Norwescon this past weekend - my bridge, his bridge, four fighters, and a GM screen. We crashed a few times on higher level scenarios with lots of stuff on the map. Our players were generally understanding.

I had been looking to get a better desktop or laptop for my server, but for various reasons hadn't made it happen. That said, I inherited a very nice, few years old, gaming laptop this week that is excessive for Artemis 2.7.1 and is likely to keep me covered for Artemis 3.0 whenever that is released. 



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e4mafia

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Reply with quote  #12 
FWIW I have an ancient Dell that somehow seems to function for Comms, and its passmark is 79. There is no third digit there. 79


Trying out this performance tweak for my (other) more reasonable systems and will see how low I can get with fighters.

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