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FPS surprise -- Cool VL Viewer vs. Firestorm 
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Joined: 2012-03-22 19:43:50
Posts: 8
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I have used Cool VL Viewer for a long time especially since it always did so much better than Firestorm in terms of FPS on my system. The basics as follows:

Intel i3
32gb RAM
MSI NVidia GTX 460 v2 graphics card (1gb)
Windows 10 64-bit

I do a lot of Photoshop work so processor speed doesn't factor in as much as RAM for me in case you are wondering.

In this configuration, I would get, on average, about 32 FPS (frames per second) with Cool VL Viewer vs about 18-20 FPS with Firestorm 64-bit.

I just bought an EVGA GTX 960 SC (4gb) since, well, it was time.

When I ran Cool VL Viewer, I found I was only getting slightly more FPS -- like around 38. I thought hmmm, that doesn't seem like much improvement since the card generally benchmarks at around 2 - 3x as fast as the 460. Plus recommended settings for Cool VL were the same -- high. The surprise was when I ran Firestorm. It's giving me FPS of 60+ on average now and the recommended settings now fall between high and ultra instead of just high. :ugeek:

I have no idea what that means. I'm just passing it along.


2016-04-05 03:19:20
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Joined: 2009-03-17 18:42:51
Posts: 3628
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When comparing viewers, please do ensure you do compare the same things. The first problem, here, is that you are comparing a viewer compiled for 32 bits (Windows binary of the Cool VL Viewer) with one compiled for 64 bits: while it won't make much of a difference in speed for the viewer code itself (well below 10%, if any, either in favour of 64 bits or the other way around, depending on the CPU), it can definitely make a large difference for the graphics drivers...

My bet (but you'd have to test a 32 bits Firestorm to be sure) is that the NVIDIA driver for the GTX 960, which is quite recent a GPU, has been much better optimized for 64 bits than for 32 bits, unlike what happened for older GPUs (for which the optimization level was most probably equivalent in 32 and 64 bits: that's at least what I'm seeing here under Linux for a GTX 660); you perhaps already heard that AMD/ATI is going to give up on providing 32 bits graphics drivers (too bad for ATI/AMD cards owners who can't upgrade to 64 bits systems... ATI/AMD drivers support has always been and will apparently always be abyssal) and while it's not the case for NVIDIA, I doubt very much that the latter will bother with top notch optimizations for their modern GPUs 32 bits drivers...
For now, the Cool VL Viewer is not yet compilable in 64 bits for Windows (it is for Linux), by lack of proper pre-compiled libraries: but LL is working on 64 bits libraries and the Cool VL Viewer will of course provide a 64 bits compile option for Windows in the future (and, at some point, the Cool VL Viewer distributed binaries will also move to 64 bits). Note as well that Firestorm is now compiled with VS2012 (or is it VS2015 ?), while the Cool VL Viewer is compiled with VS2010 (keeping it Windows XP compatible): this also can make a difference, and you'd need to compile a 32 bits binary of the Cool VL Viewer with VS2012 (this is possible, see the build howto in the doc/ directory of the sources tree) to compare it with the 32 bits Firestorm...

Also, please do make sure all the graphics settings are (individually) identical for the two viewers under test; the Low/Medium/High/Ultra settings are not at all translating into the same settings in all the viewers, and the Cool VL Viewer also got additional settings (such as "classic clouds" rendering, or "animate trees") that you'd need to switch off since they don't exist in other viewers. Not to mention that the graphics settings must be set with the debug setting floater, via their actual numeric value (i.e. not with the sliders): for example, the "Mesh details"/"Objects" slider in the graphics preferences sets the RenderVolumeLODFactor setting to 3.0 when slid to the right in the Cool VL Viewer, against 2.0 in the other viewers.

Finally, make sure that some options, such as textures memory, textures compression (and all GPU features, especially anti-aliasing: FXAA (much faster but graphically significantly inferior) may be used by Firestorm and is not by the Cool VL Viewer...) are set to the same for all viewers under test, and that, if in use on your system, your graphics driver "profile" for each viewer is not interfering (and is set to let the application decide), or that it is at least set to the same settings for all viewers.

As a last word, please note that the Cool VL Viewer will run much faster under Linux (with proprietary graphics drivers installed: not the Open Source ones, which suck big time !) than under Windows, in either 32 or 64 bits... OpenGL always ran faster under Linux.

PS: I almost forgot: don't compare the experimental Cool VL Viewer release with any other TPV for now: the Bento skeleton/avatar it uses got many more joints to render, which will make quite a noticeable difference, especially in crowded places...


2016-04-05 08:45:50
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