Performance Index indication needed?

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Performance Index indication needed?

Post by graymac on Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:41 pm

Is it possible we may need to devise a "performance index" rating system to indicate to end-users what level of hardware they would need to allow downloaded routes and objects to be run in a satisfactory way? Many items recently have had comments concerning frame rates achieved on different systems.
After all, for the most demanding items it is frustrating for someone with a simpler PC to download an item and not have it work properly (or at all!).
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Re: Performance Index indication needed?

Post by Dexter on Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:52 pm

That's why I put recommended hardware configuration of the PC for my route on my web. From my experience, the majority of users ignore this data and are upset afterwards...
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Re: Performance Index indication needed?

Post by graymac on Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:16 pm

Most items don't carry any indications of system requirements. I noticed your recommendations when I downloaded first brno and found the advice to be accurate. I had a low-end PC at the time and it would not run the route in a satisfactory way. I now have a more powerful machine and there is a huge difference.

I think this is an issue which will be more noticeable as there are several add-ons being made now which are looking as if they will be a problem for low-end PC users.
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Re: Performance Index indication needed?

Post by joeyfjj on Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:55 am

graymac wrote:Is it possible we may need to devise a "performance index" rating system to indicate to end-users what level of hardware they would need to allow downloaded routes and objects to be run in a satisfactory way? Many items recently have had comments concerning frame rates achieved on different systems.
After all, for the most demanding items it is frustrating for someone with a simpler PC to download an item and not have it work properly (or at all!).
Agreed. It would be nice to have such a system.

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Re: Performance Index indication needed?

Post by Egg on Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:53 pm

Very sensible idea.
While some users happily run a lower definition simulation on a lwer-grade computer, others, with faster computers, prefer to see higher definition graphics, and more animations.
Developers shouldn't be restricted by the abilities of older computers, unless they prefer to develop for older computers, and as Graymac says, a "performance index" would avoid wasted downloads.

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Re: Performance Index indication needed?

Post by mrknowitall on Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:07 pm

Maybe we could (as we i mean every add on developer) could show what hardware we use and show what FPS per instalment of openbve we hit, recommended hardware differ from one add on to the next really, when i started creating i had little knowladge of a csv file and thought animated files danced. But now i understand so much more i try push lyself with every release. And by doung so my FPS on my items do differ, at the moment i hit 70fps (capped due to my pc moniter) and 55-60 with fraps running, my class 159/8's will be very enjoyable by a low spec pc user for now, but open my update soon to be released i know that it will be a lot more demanding, i know alot of people are going to railworks and that if they can run that then my addons may not be an issue. Id say if you can run fsx,fs2004 rw1,2,3 then my addins are not going to be a issue.

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Re: Performance Index indication needed?

Post by joeyfjj on Thu Jul 05, 2012 6:27 pm

How about basing it around the Windows Experience Index?

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Re: Performance Index indication needed?

Post by graymac on Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:12 pm

the Windows Experience Index

What's one of those? The only experiences I've had with Windows have been mostly bloody awful! Can you post a link with explanation of what it is and how it works, I should like to see it and see if it would be suitable Very Happy
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Re: Performance Index indication needed?

Post by joeyfjj on Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:55 pm

This might help!

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/What-is-the-Windows-Experience-Index

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Re: Performance Index indication needed?

Post by graymac on Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:15 pm

I see. So if I knew that the minimum PC spec to run my new route was, for example, a 2.4 - then I could indicate that fact perhaps by a little notice put next to the download button.

The difficulty as I see it is matching the Win Experience index to the bve item.

Just suppose I had a low end PC which tested as a 2.0 rating, then as long as my work ran properly on that I could say so, and all others with a similar or better machine would be confident that all would work fine.

But let us suppose instead that I am running a better PC with a 4.2 rating (or whatever). How do I know how much lower the hardware can go before poor running inevitably sets in?

We need a way to measure the demands of the bve product as well as rating the hardware which, for windows users, that "Windows Experience" seems to work.
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Re: Performance Index indication needed?

Post by Quork on Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:10 am

Post your specs and your FPS, that's the best variant. There is too many factors to this to put it all into one number... There's a reason why that WEI value is so unpopular Wink
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Re: Performance Index indication needed?

Post by joeyfjj on Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:35 am

Quork wrote:Post your specs and your FPS, that's the best variant. There is too many factors to this to put it all into one number... There's a reason why that WEI value is so unpopular Wink
How about we use a standard route and train, get the framerates, and take take your route's framerates divided by that of the standard one, then use the resulting number as some form of score? :/

I'm more for a numerical number for explaining the type of system required, over the use of specs.

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Re: Performance Index indication needed?

Post by Stephen Cross on Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:26 am

Hi all,

Interesting I never knew about this, and probably didn't care enough to know about it in the first place. Though I haven't had any problems running either BVE or OpenBVE for a while now. The score is 7.5, the only thing that I have added to this PC since I bought it is a SSD where my system / OS resides. My mate that actually knows a bit about PCs etc says it's not a bad machine, as long as I can run my train sims I'm happy (about train sims he thinks I'm sick and in need of help Rolling Eyes ).

Bye for now,

Stephen.
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Re: Performance Index indication needed?

Post by Quork on Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:13 am

joeyfjj wrote:How about we use a standard route and train, get the framerates, and take take your route's framerates divided by that of the standard one, then use the resulting number as some form of score? :/
Not convinced, neither. Depending on both hardware and drivers different aspects affect FPS differently. The texture amount and sizes, complexity of geometry, number of objects etc. have a different impact depending on GPU, CPU, RAM speed, RAM size, and sometimes even HDD speed.
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Re: Performance Index indication needed?

Post by graymac on Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:37 pm

(about train sims he thinks I'm sick and in need of help Rolling Eyes ).
Ha! Don't we all!!!

The idea of a rating is quite simple. The physics of simply achieving such a facility seems more arcane. It looks like it is a difficult thing to quantify.

I suppose it might be possible to use information like overall size of bitmaps, total max number of faces displayed or something like that to work out the likely demands. But probably an "educated guess" would be just as useful.

Any techies out there got suggestions how it might be done, in simple terms please?
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Re: Performance Index indication needed?

Post by Egg on Fri Jul 06, 2012 2:36 pm

Currently, there is no clear evidence of how different routes are tackled by different computers, so it is difficult to devise a rating. It might well be worth while trying an empirical approach.
If 'drivers' posted system details and framerates for some specified routes, then over a period of time there might be enough data to start devising a factor system.
The specified routes could cover a spectrum of overall size of bitmaps, total max number of faces displayed, etc, as suggested by Graymac.

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Re: Performance Index indication needed?

Post by Dexter on Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:00 pm

Stephen Cross wrote:The score is 7.5, the only thing that I have added to this PC since I bought it is a SSD where my system / OS resides. My mate that actually knows a bit about PCs etc says it's not a bad machine...

LOL not a bad machine... it's pretty good, man! Smile
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Re: Performance Index indication needed?

Post by alvinhochun on Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:56 pm

Windows Experience Index is based on DirectX, so forget it.

I personally think that there is not much use to have a performance index indication. Some people would like to have very high framerates let's say 120fps, some satisfy with 30fps, and different settings can affect performance (i.e. switching off DWM, setting window size, viewing distance, etc.)
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Re: Performance Index indication needed?

Post by Stephen Cross on Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:52 pm

Hi all,

My PC expert (?) mate was on the phone and said that because OpenBVE is not on SSD the performance would be less than the indicated 7.5, probably more around 6.

I also hijacked my daughters rather basic laptop and it with only a 3.7 rating ran OpenBVE and this case the Northern Line fine, go figure.

Bye for now,

Stephen.
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Re: Performance Index indication needed?

Post by graymac on Mon Jul 09, 2012 3:50 pm

Your experience with the laptop is quite valid Stephen. Generally, most of the routes and trains currently available will work satisfactorily on a PC with that rating, or even lower.

There are routes which need premium hardware, or at least cannot be guaranteed to work universally in the way the creator intended WITHOUT some seriously powerful hardware. Derryck's First Brno is an example. On his web downloads Derryck has provided guidance and informs users of a realistic minimum hardware level to meet expectations.
In the trainbuilding section there's a trend towards more detailed and complicated rolling stock. A lot of US subway trains are getting heavy on power (like the US generally) and Pioneer Trains output grows bigger and more demanding with much use of animated files and detailed interiors etc. Users have already posted about frame rates taking a dive.

This being the case, it would be useful if a workable rating system could be evolved. With the emphasis (and this is the difficult bit) being on workable.
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