Project CARS Devs Address AMD Performance Issues

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by HardOCP News, May 8, 2015.

  1. ikarinokami

    ikarinokami Gawd

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    Does this suprise anyone? it's been this case for years about AMD having terrible developer support. On the other hand, for years there have been stories of Nvidia sending engineers and making sure games works on well on thier hardware.
     
  2. T_A

    T_A Limp Gawd

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    Another one... i swear my current card is my last AMD card, 'fool me twice...'
    just like AMD CPUs , i wanted to support them , but they just cant keep up.
     
  3. Cr4ckm0nk3y

    Cr4ckm0nk3y Gawd

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    So its NV's fault AMD ignored a dev, had shitty driver performance, still ignored the dev and then has to rush to fix their drivers?

    This is a prime example of AMD missing the bus.
     
  4. Cobalt35

    Cobalt35 [H]ard|Gawd

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    This issue sums up PERFECTLY why I haven't used AMD for years and, at this rate, why I'll never use them again. As far as CPUs go I can't ever see them catching up to Intel in terms of performance. As for video cards their drivers suck and have done for a very long time.

    The question of what nVidia gets out of this if they haven't paid a cent? This issue is fantastic advertising for them, and it happens reasonably often. Their drivers work perfectly, their only competitions drivers are utter shit.
     
  5. Udgnim

    Udgnim Gawd

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    doesn't AMD need access to the code to optimize?

    if they needed keys, they could have just bought into the beta
     
  6. fs123

    fs123 Limp Gawd

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    It'a not AMD's fault when a dev can't be bothered to optimize thier game for different hardware. It's easy to blame drivers but ask the devs why the game runs badly on AMD processors too. Why does an i3 4330 beat an 8 core fx8350 and every other AMD processor according to the following review?

    http://gamegpu.ru/racing-simulators-/-gonki/project-cars-2015-test-gpu.html
     
  7. Kor

    Kor 2[H]4U

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    Yet another case of Nvidia's developer relations team putting AMD to shame. John Carmack was talked about how easy Nvidia are to work with for years. The problem is this kind of engagement costs money, something AMD doesn't have a whole lot of these days.
     
  8. Wierdo

    Wierdo [H]ard|Gawd

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    This particular case, imho, is not AMD's fault. AMD could do better with Dev communication, but in this case it's a Gameworks game, the devs basically dug themselves a hole.

    AMD could be faulted for Rage, that was a game from a major developer with no such baggage, but in this case the Devs are asking AMD to support their nVidia dongle, how ridiculous is that?

    That's the whole point of Gameworks, it's like DRM for optimizations.

    Next time don't go with proprietary stuff and then complain companies can't optimize for it, then your complaint would not sound so childish.
     
  9. DarkStryke

    DarkStryke [H]ard|Gawd

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    Sorry to burst the bubble, but DX11 is not going the way of the dodo anytime soon (see DX11_3).
     
  10. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard as it Gets

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    On the official forums for Project Cars the developer said that they were in contact with AMD constantly until the day before the launch. The person that posted that on the Steam forums decided to leave that tidbit out. Also the game did work decently a year ago on AMD hardware then they added in more GameWorks stuff like the grass and smoke effects. AMD performance has sucked ass in Project Cars every since.

    Now the question is can it be fixed with a driver or is it something catastrophically wrong with GameWorks again? Personally I'm thinking driver as some of the guys get 20% to 50% more performance by running the game in Windows 10 instead of Windows 8.1. I don't know what DX12 does for the game, but it is a helluva boost to performance in this title even the game is DX11.

    But to say that the game was remotely playable on AMD hardware in the past year is not telling the truth. 3 years ago my HD 7950's in CrossfireX were getting beat by a GTX 560 in Project Cars. To be exact as soon as you cut the rain on it immediately cuts your FPS in half and it has always been this way. I have complained about it on this forum in the Project Cars thread in the PC section. And I don't mean complain only the past month. I have been consistently pissed off about it.

    Hopefully it will be fixed soon. But like I always say when I see GameWorks and AMD in the same sentence; I won't hold my breath. It is what it is.
     
  11. jwcalla

    jwcalla 2[H]4U

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    Maybe they should dial down the marketing department and ramp up the engineering department.
     
  12. ikarinokami

    ikarinokami Gawd

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    marketing is probably more important if you are in survival mode.
     
  13. Daroller

    Daroller [H]Lite

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    AMD has a responsibility to its user base and they don't appear to take that very seriously.

    I just hope they get it together. GameWorks title or not, people purchased AMD cards because they theoretically provide the performance you need at a price you can afford. If the product suddenly can't perform, no amount of finger pointing will change their product's shift in value.

    At this point I can't see any reason to buy their products, even if they are cheaper. Inconsistent performance in new titles should be a deal breaker. A lot of people are feeding AMD money in the hopes they will get their act together... why not just give your money to the company that already has its ducks in a row?
     
  14. Yakk

    Yakk [H]ardness Supreme

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    Nope DX11 will be around a while yet, don't mean it's not a mess. But like the Trident cards of old it'll go away eventually, even if it might take a while.
     
  15. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard as it Gets

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    I see Nvidia as a company that can't create game titles that can run properly on the competitor's hardware. I made this deduction since it always seems to me that only their titles are broken consistently at release. Thus I make the connection that they are utterly incompetent.

    AMD funds / assists gaming companies all the time. All of their titles run fine on Nvidia hardware at launch. The worst offending game that AMD backed and was released "broken" was Tomb Raider. And it was broken for a very short period of time before Nvidia was able to ask for revised code to make it work great on their hardware.

    Nvidia backed code runs like shit on AMD hardware for months because it is so broken. I can only guess how many thousands of man hours AMD must pour into making Nvidia backed titles compatible with basic Direct X standards. I guess that you would say that this is a feature of Nvidia sponsored code. I see it as incompetence.

    Different ways at looking at things. Glass half empty vs Glass half full I suppose.
     
  16. DPI

    DPI Nitpick Police

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    Removing Gameworks wouldn't make AMD drivers suck less.

    But I do love how people try to rationalize what ALWAYS boils down to AMD not being able to get their act together.
     
  17. Brackle

    Brackle Old Timer

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    I usually complain about both companies drivers, But AMD dropped the ball on this one.

    Not one reply since October? WTF is their driver department doing? I mean I know when it comes to Gameworks titles AMD cannot do much, but this isn't a Gameworks title.

    AMD dropped the ball on this one hardcore, and I am VERY glad a DEV called them out on it.
     
  18. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard as it Gets

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    No, in this case there is an entire thread in the Project Cars graphics subforum where we discussed with the software engineers directly about the problems with the game and AMD video cards. SMS knew for the past 3 years that Nvidia based PhysX effects in their game caused the frame rate to tank into the sub 20 fps region for AMD users. It is not something that occurred overnight or the past few months. It didn't creep in suddenly. It was always there from day one.

    Since the game uses GameWorks, then the ball is in Nvidia's court to optimize the code so that AMD cards can run it properly. Or wait for AMD to work around GameWorks within their drivers. Nvidia is banking on taking months to get right because of the code obfuscation in the GameWorks libraries as this is their new strategy to get more customers.

    Break the game for the competition's hardware and hope they migrate to them. If they leave the PC Gaming culture then it's fine; they weren't our customers in the first place.
     
  19. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard as it Gets

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    Let me quote Ian Bell directly from the private SMS forums since he gave us permission to do so.

    Ian Bell's post verbatim. 5/7/2015

    "Of course.

    Looking through company mails the last I can see they (AMD) talked to us was October of last year. I'm holding an internal investigation now as I'm seriously pissed at this allegation.

    Categorically, Nvidia have not paid us a penny. They have though been very forthcoming with support and co-marketing work at their instigation.

    Edit - More info below. Lot's of communications with them around March and more yesterday.

    Gains that were made with an earlier driver they released were lost in a later release. Our internal analysis shows only very marginal gains available from our side (around 1%) with an excessive amount of work.

    We've had emails back and forth with them yesterday also. I reiterate that this is mainly a driver issue but we'll obviously do anything we can from our side."

    Some great gains we saw from an earlier driver they released have been lost in a later driver they released. So I'd say driver is where we start.

    Again, if there's anything we can do we will.

    I've now conducted my mini investigation and have seen lots of correspondence between AMD and ourselves as late as March and again yesterday.


    The software render person says that AMD drivers create too much of a load on the CPU. The PhysX runs on the CPU in this game for AMD users. The PhysX makes 600 calculations per second on the CPU. Basically the AMD drivers + PhysX running at 600 calculations per second is killing performance in the game. The person responsible for it is freaking awesome. So I'm not angry. But this is the current workaround without all the sensationalism.

    The best advice I can give while we work with AMD is to reduce settings which influence CPU load. Specifically in this order:

    Shadow Detail -> Medium
    Reflections -> Medium
    Environment Map-> Medium
    Car Detail -> Medium or High
     
  20. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard as it Gets

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    Finally this is what they are basing the assertion that it is an AMD driver issue on. Straight from the software engineer at SMS whom I think is a wonderful person and knows more about this than 99.9% of us. Note that they are NOT doing this test with the rain effects on, there are only 9 AI on the track, and the game is running at HIGH / Medium settings; not Ultra which Nvidia's slowest card (GTX 560Ti) from 4 generations ago will run "laps" around AMD's fastest card in this game currently. Also they are testing on a i7-5960X and it can't handle the load of the game and the AMD driver.

    "And a quick update from me, since today I did some profiling with the various driver versions, all running on Windows 7SP1, i7-5960X@3.5ghz:

    Brands, 9AI, 5PM, BMW GT4, graphics settings at High except reflections at Medium:

    Driver v14.12 - 59FPS
    Driver v15.4 - 67FPS
    Driver v15.2 - 72FPS (engineering sample 15.200.1018.1 from Guru3D)

    Timings measured with our internal “Release” development build with the usual <ctrl s> rendering metrics – this build is around 10% slower than Gold/Retail CPU Wise

    CPU submission time across those driver versions (Begin Frame, D3D11 API calls, End Frame) drops from around 14.8ms to 12.5ms (18%) which is closely aligned to the 59->72FPS (22%) gain we see across the three drivers from top to bottom, above.
    So it looks to me that we are CPU bound by whatever the driver is doing, but they've made gains there over time.

    With the i7-5960X@3.0ghz which is a 16% clock speed drop over the test below, FPS drops nearly linearly to around 59FPS, which also adds to the evidence of the frame rate being CPU limited by a driver interaction.

    Note that this isn't conclusive yet - their engineering team are also doing some analysis across driver versions, and also another more general review (although it should be said that we've exchanged several hundred emails over the course of the project between the two teams, with many previous reviews and re-reviews as we've made progress during the games development)"
     
  21. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard as it Gets

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    When I say that a GTX 560Ti is faster than a R9 290X in Project Cars, I'm 100% serious. The R9 290X will stutter and the GTX 560ti won't. So the performance is even more pathetic. The next images come from this article and illustrate this. First is Clear weather and the second has Rain enabled.

    Clear weather
    [​IMG]

    Rain enabled.
    [​IMG]
     
  22. Udgnim

    Udgnim Gawd

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    so Nvidia has hardware accelerated Physx while AMD is running Physx via CPU and there's no way to disable Physx for AMD users?
     
  23. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard as it Gets

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    I think that you're thinking about this in a wrong way, or I worded my posts earlier in a way that didn't convey my thoughts. At any rate it's cool; I'll try to explain. :)

    The game runs PhysX version 3.2.4.1. It is a CPU based PhysX. Some features of it can be offloaded onto Nvidia GPUs. Naturally AMD can't do this.

    In Project Cars, PhysX is the main component that the game engine is built around. There is no "On / Off" switch as it is integrated into every calculation that the game engine performs. It does 600 calculations per second to create the best feeling of control in the game. The grip of the tires is determined by the amount of tire patch on the road. So it matters if your car is leaning going into a curve as you will have less tire patch on the ground and subsequently spin out. Most of the other racers on the market have much less robust physics engines.

    Nvidia drivers are less CPU reliant. In the new DX12 testing, it was revealed that they also have less lanes to converse with the CPU. Without trying to sound like I'm taking sides in some Nvidia vs AMD war, it seems less advanced. Microsoft had to make 3 levels of DX12 compliance to accommodate Nvidia. Nvidia is DX12 Tier 2 compliant and AMD is DX12 Tier 3. You can make their own assumptions based on this.

    To be exact under DX12, Project Cars AMD performance increases by a minimum of 20% and peaks at +50% performance. The game is a true DX11 title. But just running under DX12 with it's less reliance on the CPU allows for massive performance gains. The problem is that Win 10 / DX12 don't launch until July 2015 according to the AMD CEO leak. Consumers need that performance like 3 days ago!

    Evidence #1

    Evidence #2.

    In these videos an alpha tester for Project Cars showcases his Win 10 vs Win 8.1 performance difference on a R9 280X which is a rebadged HD 7970. In short, this is old AMD technology so I suspect that the performance boosts for the R9 290X's boost will probably be greater as it can take advantage of more features in Windows 10. 20% to 50% more in game performance from switching OS is nothing to sneeze at.


    AMD drivers on the other hand have a ton of lanes open to the CPU. This is why a R9 290X is still relevant today even though it is a full generation behind Nvidia's current technology. It scales really well because of all the extra bells and whistles in the GCN architecture. In DX12 they have real advantages at least in flexibility in programming them for various tasks because of all the extra lanes that are there to converse with the CPU. AMD GPUs perform best when presented with a multithreaded environment.

    Project Cars is multithreaded to hell and back. The SMS team has one of the best multithreaded titles on the market! So what is the issue? CPU based PhysX is hogging the CPU cycles as evident with the i7-5960X test and not leaving enough room for AMD drivers to operate. What's the solution? DX12 or hope that AMD changes the way they make drivers. It will be interesting to see if AMD can make a "lite" driver for this game. The GCN architecture is supposed to be infinitely programmable according to the slide from Microsoft I linked above. So this should be a worthy challenge for them.

    Basically we have to hope that AMD can lessen the load that their drivers present to the CPU for this one game. It hasn't happened in the 3 years that I backed, and alpha tested the game. For about a month after I personally requested a driver from AMD, there was new driver and a partial fix to the problem. Then Nvidia requested that a ton of more PhysX effects be added, GameWorks was updated, and that was that... But maybe AMD can pull a rabbit out of the hat on this one too. I certainly hope so.

    Sorry for being long winded. No edit button so if I made a mistake so be it.
     
  24. PRIME1

    PRIME1 2[H]4U

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    Reminds me of when AMD did not have AA in Batman Arkham Asylum. This was in 2009, so not much has changed.
     
  25. PRIME1

    PRIME1 2[H]4U

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    That's what happens when you don't work with the developer to optimize your drivers. AMD even says they are working on a fix, so they could have done that 6 months ago when they last talked to the developer.

    Look at GTAV. AMD had to rush a beta driver out the door. That's a AAA title they should have been ready for.
     
  26. Bahanime

    Bahanime Limp Gawd

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    Nice work SMS, building the entire racing simulation on the back of PhysX, which for NV, can be offloaded to be GPU accelerated.

    They would have known from the start this would cripple performance for AMD. It's like older games like Lost Planet, Mafia where you run with PhysX effects on high on AMD, it would destroy AMD performance because its all on the CPU, but for NV, its GPU accelerated.

    I guess the unwashed masses will eat up that "AMD drivers suck" marketing, reading through this thread, it seems people have no idea. Let's all blame AMD for not being able to GPU accelerate PhysX.
     
  27. Nenu

    Nenu [H]ardened

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    We need to know if they have used GPU accelerated PhysX.
    Its possible it is entirely CPU based.

    Its easy to draw the conclusion that GPU PhysX must be being used because of the AMD performance problems and I think this is likely.
    But we need conformation.
     
  28. jbltecnicspro

    jbltecnicspro [H]ardness Supreme

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    I wonder if things like DirectCompute could be used for physics acceleration...?
     
  29. Yakk

    Yakk [H]ardness Supreme

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    Yes of coarse. This is what Directcompute is for.

    The more i read about this game, the more I find the devs are being very hypocritical and dishonest in all of this. They should have just called their game an nvidia game, not a PC game.
     
  30. jwcalla

    jwcalla 2[H]4U

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    This is actually kind of hilarious since it shows the fundamental idiocy of the DX / Windows paradigm. When a gamer has to upgrade his whole damn operating system to get a performance boost, something is out of whack upstairs.

    Honestly, these devs -- and PC gamers too -- get exactly what they deserve.

    Now what happened to the idea that since AMD had the console wins they were going to shine on PC games too?
     
  31. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard as it Gets

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    If you buy the game and try it, there is an Nvidia sign on every corner damn near. I love SMS, but let's be honest with ourselves. :)
     
  32. PRIME1

    PRIME1 2[H]4U

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  33. ManofGod

    ManofGod [H]ardForum Junkie

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    So, basically, they took an NVidia proprietary standard, built it into the game with no way to turn it off. Nvidia can offload the PhysX to their gpu's but AMD cannot but hey, it is AMD's fault that the NVidia proprietary standard does not work on AMD's cards, do I have this right?

    No amount of driver changes will change the fact that PhysX is an NVidia proprietary standard. It only works on NVidia GPU's and not AMD GPU's. Who the hey cares if it can also run on the cpu, that is far slower than the GPU.

    Why would I want to buy this game????? People whined that Mantle will fracture the market but then we have this and, hey, no big deal, right? Oh well, enjoy your proprietary standards that are being shoved down your throat.
     
  34. ManofGod

    ManofGod [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I know, how dare AMD not support the NVidia proprietary standards that built into the gam.... Oh, wait. :rolleyes:
     
  35. ManofGod

    ManofGod [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Really? So, explain to me how a driver will magically make AMD videocards works with Nvidia proprietary standards that cannot be turned off?
     
  36. PRIME1

    PRIME1 2[H]4U

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    AMD already said they are working on a fix for this game. So that proves that they are at fault here. I guess if you can't even believe what AMD says when you are trying to defend AMD things have really gotten out of hand.
     
  37. ManofGod

    ManofGod [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Really? I am sorry but what is AMD supposed to say, it is Nvidia's fault and screw you? Enjoy your expensive, proprietary stuff, I will not buy the piece of crap game. :D
     
  38. AlexisRO

    AlexisRO Limp Gawd

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    Meanwhile while some AMD owners and fanboys point the finger at everybody else but AMD, people game without (major) problems on Nvidia cards. AMD/ATI drivers are legendarily terrible with new releases since the dinosaur age unfortunately . Funny thing just a few days ago, nostalgia hit me and I was looking at reviews of the 9800 Pro, 5950 Ultra, 4600 Titanium and the likes here on [H]. What was one of the constant complain of the 9800Pro, an otherwise superb GPU for the time? Most of you guessed it! Drivers ...
     
  39. ManofGod

    ManofGod [H]ardForum Junkie

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    *Shrug* That is nice. :rolleyes: Me, I am older now and wiser with how I spend my money and more aware of what is going on. (You probably are aware of what is going on as well but care not to admit it.) That's ok, the producers of this game clearly cannot manage to be on the up and up so, they will not get my money.

    That is one thing I have found I am more capable of then I used to be when I was younger, sifting the wheat from the chafe. So, did you run any races today or did you just decide to criticize everyone else for what they purchase that does not match up with yours?
     
  40. jwcalla

    jwcalla 2[H]4U

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    Here is the issue: nvidia is better dedicated to making the gaming experience as good as possible.

    So where is AMD's PhysX counterpart that the devs can plug in to get the same functionality for AMD cards? Is that HairFX? Or should devs write their own library from scratch using OpenCL (which BTW has been a trainwreck in AMD drivers)?

    Same thing with GameWorks. Hey, nvidia is trying to push the envelope of what PC games can do. What is AMD doing? I'll bet that what you find in GameWorks is code that takes advantage of some of the architectural details of nvidia GPUs (Kepler, Fermi, etc.). You know, all that "low-level" crap some of you people fawn over. And now we have some here demanding that developers should just stick to the high-level standards of DirectX for the purposes of abstraction. Just wait until you see how bad it gets when DX12 / Vulkan titles start rolling out and things are fundamentally broken at the level of an individual GPU line.