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The 4Gb Patch Useful For Gpl.exe?


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#1 Mytrack

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Posted May 01 2014 - 07:10 PM

Hi everyone,

I recently re-installed the submarine simulator Silent Hunter III. The community there are applying a 4GB patch to the SH3.exe in order to give 4GB of virtual memory to people running 64-bit windows operating systems.

I'm running Windows 8.1 x64 and have tried the patch on GPL.exe without any problems.

I don't know if this has already been done through GEM or not but this patch was written in 2007. See link below:

http://www.ntcore.com/4gb_patch.php

Thanks
Mytrack

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Edited by Mytrack, May 01 2014 - 07:12 PM.


#2 leon_90

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Posted May 02 2014 - 04:49 AM

I have used it on my gpl.exe ;) don't know if it's useful or not.. it works, that's sure :D

Edited by leon_90, May 02 2014 - 04:50 AM.


#3 ezechiel47

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Posted May 03 2014 - 01:34 AM

Hi,

thanks for the patch.
But i dont understand 100%.
On modern rig, there are 6 or 8 Go of ram. Even if 2 Go is exploited by the OS, it remains a lot of Go for the game...
So is it really useful ?

Ez

#4 sky

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Posted May 03 2014 - 02:31 AM

Ez, A 64bit OS can handle a lot of RAM, however, when you are running a 32bit program, it can only use 32bit 4gb of RAM (theoretically, 2^32), take away OS and lots of other stuff and you'll end up with something like 2.5-2.7gb for the program - no matter how much RAM your machine has. I wonder though, what this patch would do for GPL. I believe nothing really as the textures are usually loaded into the GFX card, not really the system memory (or only as a gateway to the VRAM of your gfx card(s)). So extended the amount of RAM available to GPL seems a bit pointless, especially with the current mods and all. Only with Spa67 have I seen my cards VRAM fill up to the limit - and only at that point the RAM extension for GPL could make sense as the stuff doesn't need to be read from the physical disk but from VRAM - and I'm not even sure it would do that when it has more RAM available. After all the track textures + car textures were less than 3gb, so should fit into your average 32bit address space anyway. And anyway, since then, texture sizes for Spa67 have been reduced to fit within 1gb (I believe, with further smaller options down the road).

I'd be interested to see if this patch does anything in regards to performance - I have my doubts (see above), but I like to be surprised every now and then, too :)

#5 Aysedasi

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    Oh, and GPL as well.

Posted May 03 2014 - 04:33 AM

Well, I've patched, time to go see.......  ;)

#6 ezechiel47

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Posted May 03 2014 - 11:14 AM

Many many thanks for these quite interesting explanations, Sky.
I'm interested in this kind of thing because my own modern rig has some difficulty to handle with some heavy tracks like randaberg...
Maybe i will go for a test.

Ez

#7 sky

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Posted May 03 2014 - 12:36 PM

Well Petteri (brr) has explained that at some point in the past. GPL's graphics engine is arcane. I hope I don't go to far away of the technical details when I simplify it somewhat by saying unlike modern games, the CPU does most of the work and then passes the data to draw via the graphics card. So up until a certain point the graphics card is really irrelevant - my opinion regarding GPL anyway. By the arcane algorhythms used to do all those calculations, a lot of power is wasted. Either of my cards is running at 5-15% (ballpark figures) when running GPL. I even have to force them into 3D mode via the Nvidia control panel or else they keep running at 2D (desktop) speeds. And the odd thing is, if you're alone on track, you almost do not notice it, unless there is a helluvalot going on or you have you are running a tool like EVGA precision (or MSI afterburner) to display various parameters of your GFX card(s) (e.g. clock speed, memory speed, temperature, gpu / memory usage, ...). Even running at the BOG (back of grid) on heavy tracks you won't see the cards' usage spike much higher than that (if at all).
Why did I say "up until a certain point the graphics card is really irrelevant"? If anything it might be misleading. So let me rephrase. After a certain point the card you are using is irrlevant. I have not seen ginormous increases in performanced with GPL over the past few years - coming form a single X1900XT to a pair of them to a single GTX260 to a pair of GTX670s - it doesn't really matter. I'd say from the GTX260 onwards performance gains were, for the most part negligible. Yes, you will see somewhat more stable FPS with the faster card(s), but you might still get framedrops on occasion. That is just the way GPL is. If anything a faster CPU might really help there. And with faster I am talking about RAW speed, a dozen cores running at 2 ghz won't really do much for you compared to, say, an E6600 dual core (2x 2.4 ghz). If anything my clockspeeds have decreased somewhat with the last update although the new CPU is (theoretically) 3 times faster than the old one.
But why does that matter? Again, as said above the CPU does most of the work - and if you're running a multiscreen setup, start the Windows Taskmanager on one of the secondary screens, start GPL and watch what happens. No matter how many cores you have, only one will really work for / with GPL - and at times not even full power either. As a result of all this, the display logic being run by the CPU and NOT the graphics card is the limiting factor. I think Petteri showed that the time it takes to draw a frame is so high because the graphics card is waiting for input. Plus there seems to be a limit as to how many calculations the logic can actually do. Modern games with modern graphics engines handle things way differently. The CPU tells them to draw a car, a tree and a house (or something) and the GFX card takes care of what is drawn first, etc., not so in GPL. It's like having an entire orchester trying to perform a great opera but you (the CPU) is telling each musician what note to play and when - which, as you can imagine, isn't really the best and fastest way to go ;)

#8 dbell84

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Posted May 03 2014 - 01:32 PM

That's a good explanation, Sky.  My own experience follows along with what you stated.  I don't have anywhere near the latest and greatest graphics card with a MSI 560Ti GTX series that I currently run.  But when I compare it to an 250 GTX I still own, I don't really see a difference between the 2 with GPL.  If there is any difference, it is very negligible.  I did see a significant difference upgrading from a P4 2.8GHz CPU to a i5-2500k 3.3GHz CPU. But there seems to be a certain point more CPU power doesn't do much to help GPL.  When I overclock my i5 to 4.2GHz and run GPL, the difference between stock 3.3 and overclock 4.2 is very minor  As you say, number of cores isn't a factor with GPL, at least that I've seen.  I've seen people post sometimes with a system like duo core 2.2GHz and a fairly recent GPU card state their frame rates and I think to myself that my old P4 with a lesser graphics card used to do better than that.  The difference between CPU at 2.2GHz and 2.8 GHz, regardless of one being a duo core and one being a single, is the reason for this, imo.

Thanks for your time and explanations, Sky.  I always appreciate when you share your PC knowledge and experiences.

Dave

BTW, While I'm not sure that the 4GB does anything for GPL, if anyone plays RF1, there is a 4GB patch for it that does make a difference.

Edited by dbell84, May 03 2014 - 03:01 PM.


#9 Lee200

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Posted May 03 2014 - 03:45 PM

Dave, your experience goes along with what Roman and I and others found by testing Spa67 which is very graphics intensive.  Basically, there comes a point where the latest and greatest video cards don't help GPL that much, if at all.  At that point, the cpu speed seems to be more important.

VRAM memory is also important.  With Spa67 and heaviest mod cars, a 2 GB VRAM card can still load all the track and car textures which keeps the textures in faster memory than using RAM and much faster than having to use hard drive access.

And 8 GBs of RAM seems to be the sweet spot for the 64 bit operating systems as that allows the OS to be loaded outside of the 4 GB memory address space that 32 bit programs such as GPL are limited to.

Your mileage may vary.  :)

Edited by Lee200, May 03 2014 - 03:46 PM.


#10 ezechiel47

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Posted May 04 2014 - 02:15 AM

:thumbup:
Very interesting thread !
Thanks to all involved !

Ez

#11 sky

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Posted May 04 2014 - 03:08 AM

And what Lee says is basically where my argument "against" the 4GB patch comes in. While in development I have used extremely large textures for Spa67, sometimes over 8000 pixels wide but not as tall, that ended up with Spa67 using more than 2 gb of memory. I don't recall how much more than 2 gb, but I would think something in the ballpark area of 2.5 gb. Add to that that GPL always (!) loads an entire carset of 20 cars (player car + 19 AI) even if you are going for training mode where you are supposedly alone on track. Now I have made some calculations in our dev forums about the memory usage of the individual mods at certain tracks and basically used that as a way to determin how much memory will be available for a track with a certain mod selected. It's sort of reverse engineering to make it useable. I have used 2 gb cards as the yardstick (just happens to be the limit on my cards - honi soit qui mal y pense ... ;)) for the maximum amount of memory available as I think most cards nowadays have 2 gb with only a few offering 3, 4 or even 6 gb - but those are the high-high end cards mostly. However, I'd recommend anyone who is looking for a new card to get the one with more memory if the clock speeds are the same for a slightly higher price.
Anyway, back to the 2.5 gb of textures. With those 2.5 gb of track textures add the additional up to 500 meg of a car set and you're somewhere around 3 gb total. Now these won't fit into the memory of a 2 gb card (or even two - I'll explain why 2x 2gb doesn't equal 4 gb if someone is interested), but they should still fit into the 32 bit memory size of 3-4 gb that a 32 bit application should be able to address. Now while running the pre-optimized Spa67 with any carset got me occasional stuttering in certain parts of the track. Now what I reckon happens there is that GPL needs to load those textures from disk at that time, ditching others, previously loaded ones in exchange, and then transferring them to the VRAM of your graphics card. It would do the same again at other points around the track. I think I had 2 or 3 major areas where this would happen. Thinking back to the 32 bit addressable memory space one would wonder why that is - after all the entire track + cars + game executables should fit nicely into that 32 bit addressable space, but maybe that's not how GPL operates. My guess, and it is really just that as I haven't tested it yet, is that GPL does not load texture files into the system memory, but directly to the VRAM. The system memory is used for the executables and the 3d models (probably) as they are processed by the CPU, not the GPU (see one of the posts above). So the point of extending the potentially addressable space for GPL seems moot, but again, I'd gladly see reports back on what it does for GPL.

And Dave, your experiences regarding CPUs are what I have noticed as well. In any recent game, my new CPU ecclipses everything I have had before - I can now run Crysis 3 at max details and bling bling (whatever the highest setting is) with no less than 60 fps at all times, which my last CPU (i7-3820) could not, but an ancient title like GPL gets the odd framedrop, where maybe one of my previous CPUs (generally slower in overall performance, but faster in raw speed) performed better. At this time I do not feel the need to overclock it, eventhough I know I could run it crank it up to 4.5 without it breaking a sweat, but don't see the point when everything else works. Plus overclocking an i7 is a bit of a pain in the ... if you want to use the energy saving things built in.

#12 TurboMan

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Posted May 04 2014 - 05:12 AM

sky, thanks for so detailed and easy explanations you did, very useful to know how this game and computer stuff work.

Reading all, a question comes to my mind:

What are aproximately the minimum requirements to run the most demanding mod on the most demanding track with 20 cars on it?

I know it's difficult to calculate exactly, just ask for aprox. figures, if possible of course. In other words, a person who wants to buy a PC to run GPL at "full power" what would he need?

#13 Pete Gaimari

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Posted May 06 2014 - 06:35 PM

Ok, so I have 8g of ram. I shouldn't need this right?

#14 Lee200

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Posted May 06 2014 - 08:02 PM

View PostTurboMan, on May 04 2014 - 05:12 AM, said:

What are aproximately the minimum requirements to run the most demanding mod on the most demanding track with 20 cars on it?

I know it's difficult to calculate exactly, just ask for aprox. figures, if possible of course. In other words, a person who wants to buy a PC to run GPL at "full power" what would he need?

Roman will probably reply too, but my best answer is that you should have a minimum of 2GBs of VRAM in your video card and 8 GBs of RAM for the 64 bit versions of Windows 7 and 8.  Of course, the faster your video card and cpu, the better results you should get.

I'm using an i7-4770 cpu running at 3.40 GHz and a GeForce GTX 760, 2.0 GB video card and get a constant 60 fps at all tracks including the upcoming Spa67 with all mods and 19 AI BOG with OpenGLv2 as a benchmark.

Slower video cards may be able to do the same as GPL is primarily cpu intensive, but the 2GB VRAM spec is important if you want to load all the textures into the fastest memory.

Edited by Lee200, May 06 2014 - 08:05 PM.


#15 TurboMan

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Posted May 13 2014 - 12:24 AM

Thanks for the reply. It's a good reference :thumbup:




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