Should it be doing better? - framerate question

Yes, me again.

While I tend to tell myself it adds to the Good Chaos, I've been wondering if the framerate I'm experiencing is to be expected for my system specs. On my desktop, framerate might stutter a little when I'm just starting the game, but picks up and stabilizes at 60fps no problem. On my laptop, however, it usually hovers around 8-10fps, getting up past 30 usually only if I stare at a wall or the ground.

Both systems are running at their respective native resolutions (listed in my signature), though the laptop has an integrated graphics card. Now considering Tribes 2 is older than my laptop, I would think it would have enough juice to be stable at a higher framerate. Is it because my laptop is running at native 1280x800? Is D3D causing the problem? If it is D3D there's nothing I can do, as OpenGL mode not only fails to render models but can't render the entire terrain half the time.

Not looking for a solution, per se, but wondering if ~8-10fps is to be expected given my laptop's hardware.


  • I would be looking at reducing my colour depth, ie, if you run the lappy at 32bit color, set it at 16bit to regain some performance. Most onboard grafix are really sweating it when run at resolutions such as yours, they just don't have the power to reach hi fps in games. Also, if you have anisotropic filtering or antialiasing enabled, these can drop frame rates. Then there's wether you have vsynch enabled or not. Disable it if on, enable it if not, see if there's any changes.
  • Your integrated graphics is using (slow) system memory that is remapped to it. This is so massively slower for gaming applications, that any 3d app is absolutely NOT recommended on an integrated solution.

    All the processor and RAM in the world will not offset the graphics, if your graphics controller has to load and unload textures and frame buffer from the Northbridge, via a 64 bit data path, from unoptimized higher latency memory that is accessed third hand (in the case of Vista) from the OS, then Northbridge Controller, via DMA channels, or even fairly direct write. System memory is:

    64or 128 bits wide (laptop usually 64)
    133, 166, or 200 mhz base clock rate, double (DDR) or quad (DDR2) pumped to 266/533, 333/667, or 400/800
    Latency is between 2.5 (SDRAM/some hi spec DDR) to 5 for CAS (DDR2 decent spec)
    Must go through the chipset memory controller (except AMD) and see minimal slowdown and latency there.

    Graphics memory on card:
    800/1000/1600/2000/2400/3000 optimized GDDR/2/3/4/5
    Extremely low latency in all areas (1/2/3/4 CAS, but all latencies hugely lower)
    128/256/512bit memory bus width
    Near zero latency memory controller on- card.
    No resource access contention (other system ram is also stealing memory bus time on integrated)


    Drop antialiasing.... completely
    Drop aniso filtering to 2/4X max
    drop texture quality (in the graphic chipset panel) down to middle
    Drop resolution to 1024X768-ish
    Remove lighting effects largely (try using vertex)
    Remove ALL shadows( the CPU on laptops is also not great at geometry setup usually) - optional

    Good luck
  • Took shadows down to a notch above disabled, only sliders maxed are terrain detail and interior detail (as there are never framerate issues inside).

    AA was never on (why make Tribes look smooth, you go too fast in combat to notice anyway), lighting was already pretty low (and I've heard of issues with vertex). As far as I know, vsync isn't enabled because I can cause tearing with enough whipping the camera around.

    For the record, laptop runs Doom 3 at 1024x768, High Settings, and gets about 10fps when there's lots of particles on screen (so, projectiles), 30-40+ everywhere else.

    When I'm back on that system for gaming next week, I'll try the aforementioned color settings and may drop resolution. I am resistant to do the latter as the screen is already physically small, and manually adjusting the scale of the HUDs to compensate for a smaller resolution is more than I'm willing to sit through to allay the 2 hours or so I deal with the lowered framerates on the laptop.
  • Don't reduce your res, as that may actualy add latency since your lcd then has to interpolate to the lower res. Vsynch stops tearing, by the way. In most cases, going from 32 to 16bit colour will double your fps, but the game WILL be ugly. The high resolution will help in that regard a bit.
  • ThythThyth Apotheosis Incarnate
    Is this an ATi video chip in the laptop?

    If so, I've seen similar problems on my IBM T60 (ATi Radeon X1400 Mobility). D3D performance is unacceptably slow, but with IBM provided drivers, there were graphical glitches in OpenGL that made the game unplayable.

    I fixed it by getting the DH Mobility Modder and modifying the latest Catalyst drivers from ATi/AMD, then running in OpenGL mode.
Sign In or Register to comment.