Frame drops every other time - Solved - Thanks everyone

Solution thanks to @BitVenom and @tomasdegutis :

Lower texture size and especially texture quality settings.

Explanation:
High texture quality settings lead to high VRAM demands - too high for my 560GTX (1GB). For a more detailed and technical explanation and pointers to solving these kinds of problems and general awesomeness read especially @BitVenom 's posts below.

Hi community
just bought the game. Instead of having fun, I was battling with strange framedrops and the graphics options.

The problem:
The short:
I get good frame rates on high settings one time. After restarting the game, I get very low framerates with laggy mouse control. This may also happen after loading a save. The graphics options do not influence this. I can also have good frame rates after restarting the campaign but bad frame rates in the same session after loading a save state. I can also have a cut scene (e.g. Agnus dei flyby) with low frame rates and the game afterwards may have a good frame rate.

The long:
I start the game HW:R 1, put most of the graphics options to max (8k textures, textures on 9, vsync on, shadows on, lighting on max, HDR on, AA on 4) and start mission 1 of the campaign. Agnus dei plays, flyby of mothership - I am impressed, I really like this, everything is smooth :smiley:

I play until you have to test the salvage corvette… and my fighters accidentally kill the target for the corvette. Mission control tells me it will send another target. Target never arrives (probably a bug). Mission incompletable. I close the game and do something else.

Later: I start the game again, start mission 1 again, Agnus Dei starts playing , huge framedrops during the flyby, the mouse control is very choppy, game is unplayable (Windows task manager: CPU at 45-50%, GPU temp normal, CPU core temps slightly above normal values for my system 60-65C but still ok).

I play around with the options and nothing helps, (vsync on&off, shadows on&off, AA none, 2 ,4 8). I restart the PC. Restart the game, everything works again. Campaign mission one 1… bla… everything works. In order to test if everything really works now, I close the game again and restart it, and load mission 1 (from a savestate), again low framerate and choppy mouse control.

I will play around with it a bit but I hope someone here can help. Thanks a lot for your help.

Edit: Restarting the pc does not always help - so no virus or other stuff running in the background. Anti virus program on and off tested, makes no difference.
Maybe certain graphic options (like vsync or shadows) need a restart of the game or reload of the map?
Edit: Steam or Homeworld keeps on changing the game’s language from English to system default which is very strange - I had to change it back 3 times already.
Edit: Off to new try… Quit game, start game, restart mission 1 Campaign , Agnus Dei flyby still choppy, so I skip it via the ESC key , BUT the game is completely stable with high settings (Vsync on, AA4x, shadows on etc., 8k textures on 9). I go back to main menu and load the a save from the choppy last time . Game is choppy again. I don’t get this…
P.S.: The bug in mission one which renders it incompletable (see above) may also need to be adressed.

My system:
i5 3570k, 8 gb RAM, GTX 560, onboard sound, game installed on SSD

When the game starts doing this, do you have similar performance issues with other games? I’ve had similar issues lately, across a multitude of games, and it seems to be related to my video card getting underclocked automatically, possibly for power management issues. http://www.guru3d.com/files-details/nvidia-inspector-download.html is the program that I eventually used to confirm this problem.

Thanks for replying. No other games do that. With other games, I usually get a good and stable frame rate on medium to high settings (well, I also check the recommended settings before buying). I have used nvidia inspector but only to check basic stuff - what do you suggest I do with it?

The relevant number when this happens to me is the Current Clock number, normally mine is 1033MHz at least, but when my computer(a laptop, incidentally) puts it in a chokehold it goes down to around 130MHz and stays there until I reboot.

I don’t actually have an authoritative explanation on why this happens in my case, though I’ve found plenty of suggestions that it might be an issue of insufficent power. The only way I’ve found to prevent it from happening is to use power management options to put a hard cap on my CPU’s usage. Keeping screen resolution down can help too.

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ok, tested it: Nvidia inpector values do not change from a choppy session to a session with good frame rate.
I just noticed, I get a session with a good frame rate if I restart the campaign and skip the agnus dei flyby cutscene.
I get a session with bad frame rate if I load my save from before. This is really weird. The CPU load seems to be less in a session with good frame rates and about 15-20 percent higher in a choppy session.

That is quite weird. In Steam\SteamApps\common\Homeworld\HomeworldRM\Bin\Release\ there’s a HWRM.log, it might have helpful information… CPU load sounds like a scripting error to me, in which case it should be flooding the log with messages.

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Found it… yes, after a choppy play, the file is full of error messages (keybindings errors, EngineTrailStatic errors, and some localizer load errors that point to the language changing by itself). — Thank you for your help so far I think we are on the right track… I will continue tomorrow.

My guess then is that the save was made before a patch, and changes the patch made screwed things up. That’s… unfortunate. Might be worth uploading the save file so Gearbox can have it to look at

Actually, I just bought the game. The save is from today, the beginning of campaign mission 1 and was done before I restarted my pc to check if this would help. I only found out by accident that it also provoked the low frame rate. I get the frame drop also by just starting the campaign, but not always. Damn , I may have to wait another couple of months before I can play this game.

Here’s my suggestion - turn down your texture quality (a bit), turn off Depth Biasing (can be a framerate killer), Depth Of Field (ditto), and really if you want to go to the far edge of performance, turn it all off. Then, turn stuff on a bit at a time. You can edit most settings (aside from resolution) from inside a game - so start a PvsCPU match with every race, 1 player against you, 3 others on your team, and make sure each has a different race than you (so that you can see every other ship) - that way, you can get into a battle, pause, then mess with the video options under heavy load and see what ‘best case’ is for you. I didn’t see your specs - so if you post about them I may also have some suggestions.

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Thank you very much for checking in on the forums on a weekend (additional to your actual work being a dev on the game). I appreciate this. You will not get this on the forums of other studios. I will do what you suggested when I get to my desktop and report back. Though, as stated above, whether the game runs at a playable frame rate does not seem to be linked to the graphics options (same level, same situation is sometimes choppy, sometimes great, e.g. Beginning of mission 1 campaign HW:R1). I was able to play the tutorial without problems.

My system: i5 3570k, 8gb RAM, SSD, GTX560 (1gb)

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Try posting the log file?

Will do. But I am not at home. Typing from my mobile. Anyway, I will do as suggested above. Have nice Sunday.

I have the same problem. After about 15min of play it stutters heavy. I bought it 2 days ago, yesterday i played with a mod without problems. Today i want to play skirmish against ai without any mod and @ 15 - 25min it causes heavy mouse lagg.
My grafic card is only 20% load. 4770K, 16GB Ram, SSD, AMD 7970. Changes grafics from high to lowest doesnt make a difference.

my hwRM.log https://mega.co.nz/#!sZsFUDaD!zauDK0JajUU1JXjWsv0BSk1V4nM0DQ3R95ya2mc1GHU

No other games make this happen. I play many other games, from RTS to Shooter and so on. Im on newest driver, enough disk space left … eh. What else can i post? :stuck_out_tongue:

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Log for yesterday:
http://pastebin.com/cSKmrAp9

In order for anyone to follow what I did, I will just write it down telegram style, so bear with me.

New day:
Back to HW1:R CMission 1…
Steps to reproduce problem:
Start PC, start game, start campaign, skip intro, cutscene without lags, game no frame drops, (1920x1200, AA4x, Vsync, shadows on, lighting enhanced, 8k textures, textures on 9, HDR on, depth biasing off, DoF off).
Load save from yesterday (m1 1 salvage corvette test)… same scene , laggy
Restart campaign, cutscene “Agnus dei” laggy, skip rest of cutscene, game laggy but not as laggy as before.
Log so far: http://pastebin.com/wQWYxiBZ
Restart game, restart campaign, cutscene laggy, skip cutscene, game very laggy.
Log for that: http://pastebin.com/CNdk3p5u
Does not seem to be related to savegame, the first start of the day the game’s framerate was perfect. After it was very laggy.

Bitvenom’s test suggestion: 8p skirmish P vs CPU, every race, me + 3 CPU vs 4 CPU,
very laggy at the start with only the mothership on screen, too laggy to get into a battle, playing around with graphic options… —> switching lighting from “enhanced” to “on” helps here to gain a few frames, the rest does not. Changing resolution to 1600x 1200 does not help. Stopping here.
log: http://pastebin.com/u5196ekh

Back to campaign m1 …
Switching lighting to “on” before starting it, cutscene at the beginning still stutters, game still laggy, did not make a difference.
log: http://pastebin.com/xcNpzg8a

okay… this is all I can do now. For me, the campaign is laggy 70-80% of the time. The 20% when it is not laggy, it is a very good experience. Changing the graphics settings does not help here. Graphics card does not seem to be too taxed (temps are not overly high), when laggy, CPU load is a bit higher than on a normal session. In skirmish, switching lighting from “enhanced” to “on” helped to gain a few frames - in campaign misison 1 HW:R 1 it did not help.

I hope this makes finding a solution easier.

My system: i5 3570k, 8gb RAM, SSD, GTX560 (1gb)

@numrollen2000 your observations are similar to mine: GPU load not really too high, hence lowering graphic options does not really have that high of an effect

Changing the resolution to 1600x1200 does not help, not it skirmish. Changing the res to 1024 x 768 helps a lot, but cutscene in m1 campaign still has noticeable lag. Log has error messages (lokalizer and more).
http://pastebin.com/Yhyiyz51

Are you sure you don’t have another program running in the background like updates, an antivirus, or even a browser? Did you verify the increased CPU load is coming from HWR and not another program?

Thank you for the reply. The only antivirus prog I am running is MSSecurityEssentials (the one that ships with Win7), I deactivated Malwarebytes Anti-Malware after starting this. I tried it with and without Firefox+Gearboxforum+youtube since I thought flash might be the culprit. It did not make a difference. The load came from HWR (checked in task manager). I may test by deactivating even more stuff, though, as I said the load came from HWR.

Ignore the GPU load, monitor the Vram usage. Your GPU only has 1GB of Vram onboard, you might be hitting it and thus getting horrible performance.

Okay, I disabled everything possible, also MicrosoftSecurityEssentials.
Start of the test skirmish map (8p, see above), I still get stuttering, an lag, with 99% GPU load but this time round less CPU load by HW:R. Then after a bit GPU load got to 70% and game got more responsive… tomasdegutis may be right… I am just wondering why I get a stable high frame rate sometimes and sometimes not (same map, same number of ships on screen -less than 5-, same number of enemys). And I you read @numrollen2000’s post, his Pc is much better than mine and he has the same issues. If you are right, I should get horrible performance all the time, but I do not… let me test with the smallest textures only (should cost less video ram, right?).