"Rate my Rig" thread

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Re: "Rate my Rig" thread

Postby Mr Bean » 2017-01-02 03:43pm

The Nvidia 760 is a touch old but not a dinosaur but explain to me the math that generates 9 gigs of Ram without something being wrong?

Ram sticks in ye-olden days were 128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048, 4096 and 8192

So how do you get 9 gigs? What combination of 1 gig, 2 gig and 4 gig sticks gets you to 9 since for a decade now Ram is supposed to be paired installed to take advantage of dual channel.

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Re: "Rate my Rig" thread

Postby Rogue 9 » 2017-01-02 03:53pm

It was that way when I bought it. I think it's 3x3GB, but I'd have to crack the case and look. I'm 99% certain there's three sticks in there, though.
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Re: "Rate my Rig" thread

Postby Rogue 9 » 2017-01-02 04:09pm

Ghetto edit: It's 2x4GB and 1x1GB. For some reason.
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Re: "Rate my Rig" thread

Postby TheFeniX » 2017-01-04 04:00pm

Rogue 9 wrote:So I'm running into a problem, with the original Dawn of War of all things. I run the Ultimate Apocalypse mod these days, which adds in a LOT of stuff, but it's still a twelve year old game, and... it spikes the fourth core of my processor (but not the first three) and crashes in larger games.
Google suggests using this modified executable.

This is what my system looks like currently.

To be clear, I'm not intending to upgrade my system to handle Dawn of War, but am I/is it doing something wrong? I've been keeping the resource monitor open so I can see what it's been doing after a crash, and of the processor cores (which it numbers 0 through 3) it spikes 3, uses 20-40% of 1, and virtually ignores 0 and 2 (I close everything else I possibly can) and if it's overwhelming my graphics card I am fucking shocked.
Run GPU-Z to check your VC usage. Doubt DoW could touch even a 760.

Rogue 9 wrote:Ghetto edit: It's 2x4GB and 1x1GB. For some reason.
My old ASUS is the same way. 3x2GB is dual-channel (says Triple on the main memory page) and the other 3 slots are 3x1GB at Single. Might try CPU-Z and check each memory bank.

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Re: "Rate my Rig" thread

Postby Rogue 9 » 2017-01-04 04:52pm

RAM usage isn't the problem. It redlines one of the processor cores; it never uses more than half the RAM.
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Re: "Rate my Rig" thread

Postby Rogue 9 » 2017-01-04 07:26pm

Ghetto edit: Never mind, just saw that it's because Soulstorm is artificially capped at 2GB of RAM. I have a CD install, though, not Steam, so it still won't work on my copy.
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Re: "Rate my Rig" thread

Postby TheFeniX » 2017-01-05 11:37am

Oh sorry. All I can find in the FAQ says to follow this performance guide for disc installs. I have no idea why it would tap out one core unless the lack of RAM was leading to tons of faults the CPU had to crunch through.

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Re: "Rate my Rig" thread

Postby Rogue 9 » 2017-01-06 08:02pm

That seems to have done it. Thank you very much. :grin:
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Re: "Rate my Rig" thread

Postby TheFeniX » 2017-01-08 04:44pm

Cool.

Rogue 9 wrote:Ghetto edit: Never mind, just saw that it's because Soulstorm is artificially capped at 2GB of RAM. I have a CD install, though, not Steam, so it still won't work on my copy.
I wanted to talk about this, as a hardware guy, because I know there's a few people on here more on the software side of things. This is a "let's see if what I think I know isn't total bullshit."

The 2GB cap wasn't artificial back then (well, it was, for reasons I'll go into later). In 2004 (and Soulstorm seems to just be an expansion pack for the original 32-bit engine, so same game, even if it is stand-alone): most OSs would have been 32-bit, so capped at 4GBs total memory (including VRAM). Any 32-bit software has this hardcap (either OS or video game) because 32-bit can't physically address more memory then that. So, any game running on a 32-bit OS would have to compete with the OS for RAM usage. And an OS like windows reserves as much as 2GBs for hardware addressing and system resources. This sort of worked out to 2GBs of working addressing for any given 32-bit application running on that PC. Application/game designers built their executables with this cap in mind due to the technical limitations.

Sidenote: Then some modder comes along and jams way more into a game than was ever meant to be there. I ran into this same issue with Natural Selection. The amount of hammers required to beat the aging HL1 engine to produce that game had to have been insane.

When 64-bit became the norm, that didn't matter as 64-bit can address exabytes of memory. But legacy 32-bit apps were likely to have the 2GB cap because they are old and they wanted to make sure they worked no matter what. You obviously aren't going to code you game to potentially crater your install base. Unlike in the 90s when certain games meant you had to jack around with Expanded RAM (man, we had to work for it back then).

So, some guy developed a patcher to give them access to all 4GBs of physically addressable RAM a 32-bit app could use. So, in 2016: yes the 2GB cap is "artificial" if only because 64-bit exists. Because to get 4GBs of accessible memory (of which few people would have back then, even with their GPU): you'd have to go back to the old days of Boot Disks with custom autoexec.bat and config.sys files.

NOTE: The 4GB cap doesn't actually exist from what I know. You can logically address much more than that on 32-bit. But the overhead becomes increasingly unviable as you "eat up" more physical RAM for some reason and your CPU can choke trying to deal with all the extra virtual mappings, which would be even worse back then as multi-core support was "bleh" and most people had a single-core anyways. Maybe MAYBE they had a dual-core....in 2004. Man, my memory is getting bad. Was I still on a single-core Athlon 3200+ back then? I mean, sure dual PHYSICAL CPUs, like in some Xeon configs.

Once again, this is just what I'm failing through trying to understand as a Hardware/Networking guy.

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Re: "Rate my Rig" thread

Postby Rogue 9 » 2017-01-08 04:53pm

You're right, of course; it just hadn't occurred to me because... well, I just didn't think of the 32 bit limitation since it's been forever since I had to deal with it.

The game still spikes a single processor core and I get some framerate issues at the end stage of large games, but it doesn't crash.
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Re: "Rate my Rig" thread

Postby TheFeniX » 2017-01-08 05:44pm

Rogue 9 wrote:You're right, of course; it just hadn't occurred to me because... well, I just didn't think of the 32 bit limitation since it's been forever since I had to deal with it.
Well, over a decade after the release of 64-bit CPUs and related architecture, we're FINALLY (as of about 2014 due to the release of the PSWhogivesashit and Xbone) at a point where if a game gets released you can expect it to be 64-bit. Because those devices are 64-bit exclusive, although I think they added some 32-bit emulation in there, but I honestly don't care to look into it.

The game still spikes a single processor core and I get some framerate issues at the end stage of large games, but it doesn't crash.
Well, if it's a 2004 game (updated in 2008, maybe), it's probably still:

1. designed around the concept of a single-core
2. CPU limited on top of that
3. (and since "modders") cramming WAY more high-res textures, polys, whatever through a dated engine.

My only current experience with insane modding is Skyrim. But back during my Jedi-Outcast days (and that game would actually use a Video Card), the required processing for spawning NPCs (with actual AI packages) into the Mulitiplayer game mode could bring even beastly (for the time) dedicated hosting servers to their knees because the game wasn't really setup to support that kind of processing while also having to deal with multiplayer clients. Until a mod was released, you had to "enable cheats" for the ability to do so because Raven knew how badly it would crater an MP server (and some clients).

And RTS is pretty lousy about needing CPU cycles for the (even limited) multiple AIs you have in any given engagement. So, that combined with any graphical improvements that might be around also being offloaded to the CPU, well: RIP one of your cores. On another note, SWTOR used a split-process for..... reasons (Bioware sucks and cobbled together code from an incomplete engine) which each process would brutalize a single-core/thread, treat the video card like a leper, and routinely (as in every 5 seconds) drop everything out of RAM and reload it.

Really, I can't say I'm sad to see 32-bit gaming fade out. Honestly been holding back hardware forever.

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Re: "Rate my Rig" thread

Postby Ace Pace » 2017-01-09 01:01am

TheFeniX wrote:Cool.

NOTE: The 4GB cap doesn't actually exist from what I know. You can logically address much more than that on 32-bit. But the overhead becomes increasingly unviable as you "eat up" more physical RAM for some reason and your CPU can choke trying to deal with all the extra virtual mappings, which would be even worse back then as multi-core support was "bleh" and most people had a single-core anyways. Maybe MAYBE they had a dual-core....in 2004. Man, my memory is getting bad. Was I still on a single-core Athlon 3200+ back then? I mean, sure dual PHYSICAL CPUs, like in some Xeon configs.

Once again, this is just what I'm failing through trying to understand as a Hardware/Networking guy.

Everyone feel free to ignore the following tech dump.
Yay! I live on the edge and can contribute.

The 4GB cap in 32-bit address spaces is 100% real. It is physically impossible to talk about more than a 4GB address space in a 32-bit world. More than that, Windows as an OS caps applications at 2GB address space (for many legit reasons) which can be expanded to 3GB at application discretion.

However, we can still play around with larger memory blocks using many tricks. The main one is called PAE at the hardware level or AWE at the Windows level. This allows you to address "large" (for our purposes) of memory, but at a far slower rate. The basic concept is opening a "window" into a different 4GB segment of a larger address space. We are still limited to 4GB at any given moment.

Now the reason is that this isn't used much is that switching these windows is very problematic. Why? Because you just lost access to all the prior 4GB. So this technique is for all intents and purposes, not used.

So how does that tie into games? Remember that everything in a game takes memory space. That starts from the code itself, to game data, to game media (the big killer). When we're talking two GB, that's really nothing with a few huge textures, dozens of models, etc. etc.
Meaning that many games will simply go and kill themselves because they (or the OS) can't find enough space in the address space to keep all this data.


This has been a very much tl;dr of how memory mappings work and why writing high res games in 32-bit land is no fun.
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Re: "Rate my Rig" thread

Postby Starglider » 2017-01-09 05:18am

Ace Pace wrote:Now the reason is that this isn't used much is that switching these windows is very problematic. Why? Because you just lost access to all the prior 4GB. So this technique is for all intents and purposes, not used.


PAE was used by enterprise applications, e.g. most major databases. You are correct that no consumer applications bothered with it.

Currently large pages have a similar lack of support, although at least Java VM supports those so you can force them on in config for a wider range of applications.
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Re: "Rate my Rig" thread

Postby Ace Pace » 2017-01-09 04:11pm

Starglider wrote:
Ace Pace wrote:Now the reason is that this isn't used much is that switching these windows is very problematic. Why? Because you just lost access to all the prior 4GB. So this technique is for all intents and purposes, not used.


PAE was used by enterprise applications, e.g. most major databases. You are correct that no consumer applications bothered with it.

Currently large pages have a similar lack of support, although at least Java VM supports those so you can force them on in config for a wider range of applications.


True, because for databases your access patterns are regular enough to make the window shifting work.

There is some good work being done lately on adopting large pages generically, both in Windows and Linux MM, but it's not going to be relevant for most people.
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Re: "Rate my Rig" thread

Postby Starglider » 2017-01-10 03:20am

Ace Pace wrote:True, because for databases your access patterns are regular enough to make the window shifting work.


It wasn't so much that the access patterns were regular, just that x86 large servers already had more than 4GB of memory prior to 2003, and even with the PAE overhead using that for table caching was at least a couple of orders of magnitude faster than going to disk. After all, that was years before commodity SSDs.
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Re: "Rate my Rig" thread

Postby His Divine Shadow » 2017-02-02 06:15am

Would an I3 4170 based system with 4gb ram be good enough for basic work? Found a cheap leonovo SFF tower case for 350€ and free shipping from a local webshop.

The most demanding app I would want to run is Fusion 360. My current system is 10 years old, an E6600 Core 2 with the same amount of ram. I got a GTS 450 in my current system that's better than what comes with the leonovo (integrated intel stuff, 4400 something) so I could swap it in, and I could add another 4gb to it later I guess.

I dunno, it's been a while since I had reason to spec out CPUs and other components...
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Re: "Rate my Rig" thread

Postby Dominus Atheos » 2017-02-02 06:55am

It's fine. Thanks to Moore's law, we passed the point where any given desktop computer was good enough for 90% of people years ago...

In other words, you'd have difficulty finding a computer that wasn't good enough for you.
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Re: "Rate my Rig" thread

Postby His Divine Shadow » 2017-02-02 06:57am

Yeah it's sure different from the 90s when the PC was obsolete by the time it was unpacked, the idea of having a computer for 10 years was pretty unthinkable.
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Re: "Rate my Rig" thread

Postby phongn » 2017-02-13 05:19pm

Ace Pace wrote:The 4GB cap in 32-bit address spaces is 100% real. It is physically impossible to talk about more than a 4GB address space in a 32-bit world. More than that, Windows as an OS caps applications at 2GB address space (for many legit reasons) which can be expanded to 3GB at application discretion.

However, we can still play around with larger memory blocks using many tricks. The main one is called PAE at the hardware level or AWE at the Windows level. This allows you to address "large" (for our purposes) of memory, but at a far slower rate. The basic concept is opening a "window" into a different 4GB segment of a larger address space. We are still limited to 4GB at any given moment.

They're not quite the same thing - they're interrelated. PAE extends IA32 to 36-bit addresses (and is also used for the NX bit) and is extended in AMD64 to 52-bit physical addresses. AWE lets you move around that 4GB window in the 64GB address space.
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Re: "Rate my Rig" thread

Postby TheFeniX » 2017-02-23 03:13pm

Finally put an SSD in my aging i5 and my bosses computer. The bundled Acronis cloner worked pretty damn good whereas the Samung version is garbage-tier. I'd rather have reformatted, but I wanted to be back up and online ASAP for both PCs and if the clone failed, I could always just pop the HDD back in until I had time to reformat.

Honestly can't wait for the day when SSDs are standard everywhere except extremely high density and fault-tolerant/multi-disk storage.

I mean, I'm still on W7 and haven't formatted this thing in 5 years and the SSD just does not care.

A bit late, but I want to say thanks for the discussion on 32-bit addressing. It was informative to say the least.

This is probably a no brainer, but I'm asking anyway. Two "servers:"

Dell Poweredge T610
E5504 Dual-Core Xeon @ 2Ghz - 4 Threads
16 GB ECC DDR2 dual-channel
1 hardware RAID 1 HDD array (OS)
1 hardware RAID 0 HDD array (this is my working array, data loss is not a concern)
Windows Server 2008

ASUS CG5290 Desktop
i7 920 @ 2.6Ghz - 8 threads
RAMPAGE II Motherboard (IIRC) - amazingly, can do SLI
9GB DDR3 RAM - 8 GBs running triple channel the last 1GB single channel (WTFBBQ, it's how I bought it).
1 hardware RAID0 SSD array (I had two 120GBs laying around, data loss is a concern but live fast, die hard).
1TB HDD
Windows 10 Home

So, I'm currently running our old Dell Poweredge as a warm backup server in case the office kerplodes. But it does nothing besides run my Teamspeak3 server and currently switching between Ark and Conan. I'm considering just benching it for my old ASUS as the CPU speed alone should provide a performance boost on unoptimized dedicated servers. I'm a bit worried about the RAM as ARK has become stupidly hungry for it. The console claims it's using 2.5GBs on start. It's using 9. Conan Exlies is using about 3.

DDR3 is pretty cheap, especially the stuff I need and Triple channel is overkill from everything I've read. I'm out of expansions though, so I'd have to toss my 4x2GB and 1x1GB sticks and pickup 2x8GB or 4x4GB. Other than that, the monetary investment is nil. The SSD Raid array would be nice because the new Unreal dedicated servers like dumping the entire map file into a backup every 15 minutes. They can get up to a couple gigs. I have considered running a striped SSD array on the Poweredge, but I'm loath to throw more money at it.

Like I said, I think this is a no brainer since the i7 is an i7, but "which one should I use?" My only real beef is Windows 10 can and does go into sleep mode even when you tell it not to. It's not a server OS, but I do have a backup copy of Server 2008. I had considered going back to Linux, but I really just don't want to mess with it. I can just RDP over to my server box, copy files into the "public" folder, and have everything up and running with no hassle.

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Re: "Rate my Rig" thread

Postby Ace Pace » 2017-02-23 04:40pm

TheFeniX wrote:Like I said, I think this is a no brainer since the i7 is an i7, but "which one should I use?" My only real beef is Windows 10 can and does go into sleep mode even when you tell it not to. It's not a server OS, but I do have a backup copy of Server 2008. I had considered going back to Linux, but I really just don't want to mess with it. I can just RDP over to my server box, copy files into the "public" folder, and have everything up and running with no hassle.


Uh what? I've never had Windows 10 go into sleep without my express approval, even on my Windows 10 Home laptop (I run nearly every edition of Windows 10 somewhere). I'd check your settings before blaming Windows.
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Re: "Rate my Rig" thread

Postby TheFeniX » 2017-02-23 04:56pm

Ace Pace wrote:Uh what? I've never had Windows 10 go into sleep without my express approval, even on my Windows 10 Home laptop (I run nearly every edition of Windows 10 somewhere). I'd check your settings before blaming Windows.
Well, when that was happening, the computer was running a very early version of W10 and I had done an upgrade on it (to test the process). My fresh-installs of W10 on my primary system and laptop have not had issues.


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