Tim Sweeney heeft een dikke update gepost op de Unreal Tech page, over hardware problemen met de Unreal Tournament demo:
- We received some more confirmations of Unreal working better on TNT's with the Creative Labs unified drivers using Glide than Direct3D. If you have a Creative Labs TNT card and have having performance problems, try that. Especially if you have under 128 megs of RAM.
- Lots of reports of slowdowns from users with Monster Sound's who have enabled the "Advanced Options / Audio / Use3DHardware". If you're having this slowdown, disable Use3DHardware and try again. Then please email email@example.com and let us know whether that helped. I've seen three confirmations from users that their problems (huge slow down) went away after disabling this.
- Jack and I have been tracking down the performance problems with the TNT on 64-meg (and lower) machines. To our great surprise, it appears that the TNT is keeping duplicate system memory copies of all our textures--we saw system memory grow and shrink in almost exact proportion to our "supposed" video memory texture allocations. Thus the game uses an extra 12-26 megabytes of system memory--a very inefficient allocation of resources. This is a big surprise, because the NVidia guys has always told us this isn't the case.
Problem in my code? I don't think so, but I'd love to be proven wrong. I'll follow up with our henchmen at NVidia and Microsoft and see if we can track this down...
We've been looking at the feedback on Direct3D performance and investigating some strange reports. Recently, we've mainly been testing on 96-meg and 128-meg machines (I have a Celeron 400, Jack Porter has a K6-2 450). On these machines, TNT1 performance is good -- average 28 fps at 648x480, 25 fps at 800x600. The TNT2 performance is significantly better.
However, upon removing some RAM and testing Direct3D on a 64-meg K6-2, the "precache" time increased by about 5X, and performance dropped to a few frames per second. These performance drops don't occur in the software renderer, and don't occur in Glide. Something is going wrong between Unreal, Direct3D, and the TNT's Direct3D driver, and we're investigating.
Overall, the feedback indicates a very wide variance in performance among TNT users, much more so than with any other card. Our internal testing has indicated this too; for example, we've found (and worked around) a lot of driver bugs that only happen on one machine, and not others with otherwise similar configurations.
Don't Try This At Home Dept.: Some TNT users have reported that tweaking their BIOS's "AGP Aperture Size" improves performance on 64-meg machines. We have tried this and couldn't find any differences on our 64-meg test machine. Others report that the Creative Labs unified drivers (with TNT Glide support) outperform Direct3D on their cards. If anybody finds definite improvements or workarounds, or has insight into what's happening, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.
Athlon In The House
Mark Rein walked into Best Buy and picked up a 650 MHz Athlon off the shelf -- an IBM Aptiva with a TNT2 Ultra bundled in. Fastest off-the-shelf machine we've ever seen! Click here for our in-depth Athlon review.
Kickass! (die Athlon).