Author Topic: Outpost 2 CPU usage at 25% and some graphics glitches  (Read 601 times)

Offline spacecolony

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Outpost 2 CPU usage at 25% and some graphics glitches
« on: December 25, 2018, 07:29:40 PM »
Hello my dear! :)
I am old fan of this game series.
At fist sorry fo my bad english :-[

I am sucsessfuly download and run Outpost2 from here http://outpost2.net/files/op2/game/1.3.0.7/Outpost2-1.3.0.7-OPU.zip
All works good, but i have always 25% cpu load in game missions(not in game menu) this is bit high for this game isnt it?
Can you help me with my question?

ps Win7x64(DEP is off, Compability mode winxp-sp2 not help), cpu i5-2300, videocard rx570

video for explain
« Last Edit: December 25, 2018, 07:59:56 PM by spacecolony »

Offline leeor_net

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Re: Outpost 2 CPU usage at 25% and some graphics glitches
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2018, 09:05:15 PM »
Hello! First post, so welcome! :D

Being a quad core CPU, seeing a 25% load is to be expected. As a single-threaded application it does no throttling and so uses as much power as it can get. Fairly typical for games of that era (and even many games of this era).

As for the visual issues, this is a known problem. As discussed in several other threads, this is likely due to compatibility issues related to the way GDI/GDI+/DirectDraw interact between older 32-bit OS's and modern 64-bit flavors of windows coupled with the way older games used a concept called 'dirty rectangles' to update areas of the screen versus refreshing the entire screen every frame.

Unless we rewrite the rendering engine from scratch there will be no real way to solve this. It's cosmetic only, at least... so there's that?

Offline spacecolony

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Re: Outpost 2 CPU usage at 25% and some graphics glitches
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2018, 06:05:05 AM »
Hi again :)
Thanks for quick reply.

So, 25% its normal for modern cpu and no any solutions to reduce usage?
I have second PC and i have same 25% on q6600(cpu)

But i have another question. On my second old PC i have GeForce 9800 gtx video card and on this old card i have much smooth performance gameplay i mean scrolling and units moving. On modern rx570 gameplay is choppy. Why?

Ps 1pc - i52300,rx570,Win7x64
Pps 2pc - q6600,gf9800,Win7x32


Offline leeor_net

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Re: Outpost 2 CPU usage at 25% and some graphics glitches
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2018, 12:06:55 PM »
It's hard to explain to someone who's not a programmer why this is normal in terms that can be understood as it's really kind of technical but I'll try. :)

Most games from the 90's ran on very limited hardware so they ran through as many ticks or cycles as the CPU could deliver. This is usually used for calculating things like unit movements, interactions of different objects in the game, handling user input, network messages and in the case of older games that don't use the GPU, drawing images to the screen. These programs were written without a 'throttle', basically, they just took everything they could get. With modern multi-core CPU's, this results in the game 'consuming' all of the processor power which effectively results in a lot of wasted time. Modern games use softare 'throttles' so that they spend less time calculating the same results over and over. Modern games also frequently take advantage of the GPU for rendering graphics so they don't really need to use the CPU as much.

Now, all that stated, the GPU's between your machines is effectively meaningless. It has no bearing on the performance of the game because it doesn't use take advantage of a GPU. It uses what's called a software renderer versus the GPU which is a hardware renderer.

The real difference is that your main machine is 64bit, your other machine is 32bit. The game is 32bit so it runs natively in a 32bit environment. On the 64bit machine it's not running natively and the OS (Windows) has to intervene to get things working right. A core i5 depending on which generation and clock speed may not truly be up to the task especially after the hardware bugs in Intel CPU's have been patched via software.

TL;DR;

It's an old game for sure but that doesn't mean it'll run well on a modern machine. The developers took a lot of shortcuts and took advantage of assumptions about the hardware and operating system of the time to make the game perform well. These don't usually translate well onto modern computers and modern operating systems which is where the performance issues come in.

Also note that I've simplified the above because it's really technical and dry and not really worth getting too detailed into.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2018, 12:08:42 PM by leeor_net »

Offline Vagabond

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Re: Outpost 2 CPU usage at 25% and some graphics glitches
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2018, 04:24:02 PM »
Hi spacecolony,

Welcome to the forums and sorry to hear about the problems you are having with Outpost 2.

It would be nice if we could narrow down a list of hardware that is not compatible with the game and mitigation strategies.

Over the years, I've played the game on about 5 different machines and never had performance issues. The game works fine on my machine, a Windows 10 x64 i7-7500U @ 2.70GHz, 2 Cores, 4 logical processors. No GPU outside of what is integrated on the i7. I do not have to enable any sort of Windows compatibility settings.

Back in the day I used to have an nVidia graphics card. I could force applications to run without using the graphics card, which would sometimes be necessary for different applications.

Perhaps you could tell the rx570 to not run with Outpost 2 and let us know if that fixes the problem. I'm not sure if this is possible with the rx570 though.

Thanks,
Brett




Offline spacecolony

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Re: Outpost 2 CPU usage at 25% and some graphics glitches
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2018, 04:46:39 PM »
But i have another question. On my second old PC i have GeForce 9800 gtx video card and on this old card i have much smooth performance gameplay i mean scrolling and units moving. On modern rx570 gameplay is choppy. Why?
I found why game was little choppy. I am turn off "Skip frames" in options. Sorry for my fail :-[ Now all good :)

@leeor_net, @Vagabond
Thanks a lot for quick support and detalied response :)



Offline Arklon

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Re: Outpost 2 CPU usage at 25% and some graphics glitches
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2018, 06:08:01 PM »
We're aware of this issue. The wait in the game loop is coded naively, so it acts as if it uses 100% of CPU even though it doesn't really.

We actually have an experimental fix for this, but at the moment there's some new bugs caused by it where keyboard/mouse input stops working if there's too much happening on screen (like 1000+ units firing weapons), so it's not ready for public release. But the only real thing this bugfix would be good for is fixing laptop CPU power usage, which is kinda a big deal which is why we're looking into it.

Offline Hooman

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Re: Outpost 2 CPU usage at 25% and some graphics glitches
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2018, 02:08:35 AM »
Ahh yes, someone else posted a video last month showing the delayed redraw:
Shadows misbehaving on Windows 10

I'm uncertain of the technical reason why. It looks extremely annoying, so it'd be nice if we could somehow fix that.

The slow rolling update that eliminates the glitches seems related to the day/night progression. Each time day/night moves, it forces an update of the background, which causes the slow rolling redraw which covers over the glitches. I'm not sure why the glitches appear in the first place though.



As others have pointed out, the 25% CPU is due to a busy wait loop in the game. It keeps spinning without giving control back to the OS, so it effectively pegs CPU usage at 100% for one of your cores. Not so great for battery usage and heat/fan noise on laptops.

There was a thread posted about it way back in 2007:
100% Cpu Usage All Time